Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting off of klonopin

During a manic period I was  once prescribed 10mg of Klonopin a day. I rebelled, eventually, because between that and 500mg of Seroquel I was sleeping 20 hours a day, and during the 4 hours a day I was awake I couldn't speak in complete sentences. I cut it in half, and then for a number of years was taking about 4mg a day. Then another psychiatrist told me that klonopin causes depression, and that I should try to get off of it- but he wrote me whatever I asked for. So I tried to get off of it, at my own pace- if it causes depression, it is the last thing I want to be taking! I got down to about half a milligram. And I have really taken half a milligram a day, on and off, for the last few years- occasionally more during PMS, etc. 

Any time a doctor gave me a hard about giving me a script for Klonopin, I would get angry and a little scared. I'd feel the lack of power I had. I'd get mad. I'd decide I needed it all the more. The times I have cut down was when I was under no pressure to do so. I'm sure if a doctor had given me a tapering schedule, etc., I would have rebelled. And it would have felt too threatening.

So when I was in the hospital, I told them my meds, which included half a milligram of klonopin 1-2x/day prn- but I had been taking it pretty much daily for the past few weeks. And the psychiatrist wrote the order for that. I could take it if I wanted to. But once I decided to go back on the Ambien (the lesser of 2 evils), I decided enough is enough. I am done with klonopin. Forever. 

Again- if there had been any external pressure not to take it- I think I would not have made the decision. I would have argued to keep taking it, tried to get the psychiatrist to prescribe it.

I keep thinking that it really wasn't that hard stopping the klonopin- but there were two nights I could hardly sleep because of cramps in my legs. I wonder if that was a withdrawal effect. I was attributing it to all of the pacing I was doing, after spending so my of my life recently in bed. 

I was also able to stop the stimulants without much trouble- I was just a little tired and hungry for a week. But miss a dose of Effexor, and I go into a very miserable withdrawal. And as for Zyprexa- forget it. I have given up, for the moment, trying to get off of that. I think that the wrong medicines are controlled substances!

The couple of times that I did feel like taking klonopin recently it wasn't due to anxiety. It was due to agitation. And because of how out of control I was when I was manic- even though it was many years ago- my agitation still scares me. If I am anxious, okay I'll just suffer. But mostly I haven't felt like taking it.

I know I haven't really been tested. When I next have my period (every 3 months the way I take the BC pill). If I get hypomanic in the spring. Or my next serious depression when I am trying to still function. We'll see how easy it is to forget about klonopin then. But for the moment, it is a non-issue. 

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