Weaning off Klonopin is the Choice I Make Today

I spent many, many years in a self-imposed isolation. I felt I had no choice because I believed I was severely ill. Having spent over 20 years on the planet crippled by severe panic attacks, anxiety symptoms, and the depression that came along with it, hanging out with friends was something I just couldn’t do. Heck, standing in line at the grocery store was torture. A casual chat at the grocery store? Impossible! I am not kidding when I tell you I used to pray for cancer instead. I am also not being dramatic, this is the truth.

Technically, I was what they call “functional” — modern medicine saw to that! While I am grateful for medication–don’t misunderstand me–without it, I would have been completely agoraphobic. But because doctors didn’t really know much about what was ailing me, more often than not, I was over or under-medicated. Often severely. And even with medication, I had break through panic attacks.

With medication I could socialize, go to work, and be a soccer mom, but it was in a semi-coma, zombie-like state. True, I was having my severe panic attacks only occasionally, but I was pretty much only present in body. The medicine took me far away. I slept 12 dreamless hours a night and took naps every day. This was the side effects of my medication. Also, I was unable to cry. My inability to shed tears hurt actually. I went through the deaths of my 2 beloved grandfathers and could not mourn in the usual way.

I decided to wean off Klonopin

I decided a few months ago that I wanted live a better life.  I wanted my emotions back.  I really wanted to be awake and alert for my loved ones, but more importantly for myself. This is my life after all, not some dress rehearsal. Panic attacks or not, I wanted to start getting off my klonopin withdrawalmedications.  My choice today is to wean off my Klonopin.

I was able to find a primary care physician who listened to me–no easy task 😉 — and he supported my decision to wean off my medications under his care.

Medication withdrawal is very serious business, and requires being under a physician’s care.  Over the years, I had tried to wean off my anti-anxiety and depression meds by myself. Big No-No! Two years ago, when I tried to wean off Prozac, I had terrible side effects: I felt like I was being shocked or electrocuted, and I couldn’t stop crying. My sleep was all messed up.  Worst of all, I didn’t realize how badly I was doing until my dear friend pointed it out to me.

She couldn’t believe I went cold turkey on my Prozac after being on it for 18 years.  Certainly I knew better but I wasn’t thinking clearly.  With my history of suffering through my childhood, teenage, and young adult years, I just figured it was my job to endure whatever life handed to me. It was no different with this disturbing Prozac withdrawal. Clearly my self esteem needed some serious adjusting as well– which is something I continue to work on in my 12 Step Recovery Program (I’ve been going to Al-Anon for 10 years).

But let’s fast forward to my most recent medication withdrawal under the care of my doctor. This was the big one for me, my Klonopin.  I have been on Klonopin (I won’t say the dose, but it is very high) since 1988, when I was first diagnosed with panic disorder. My doctor gave me a suggested schedule for weaning off the Klonopin, and stressed that I was free to go as slowly as I needed to, and STOP the weaning at any time. Also I was to call him if I was in any trouble, symptom-wise.

My Klonopin withdrawal symptoms were quite severe, even with the very gradual weaning schedule I was following.  I woke up in literal puddles of cold sweat every night, and had to change my pajamas and lay on towels to “sleep”, if you could call it that.  I didn’t get a sound night’s sleep for over 30 days, often awakening 3 hours after bedtime and then not being able to fall asleep again (this is called terminal insomnia).  Since my body was relearning to fall asleep, I wasn’t allowed to take any sleep medications to help me with that.

I also had a lot of very disturbing thoughts, mostly of a sexual nature. These thoughts were awful and they really plagued me.

The worst side effect of my Klonopin withdrawal was that my severe panic attacks returned. Here is an example of one. Even with all my book knowledge and years of therapy behind me, I was immediately freaked out again, and started to wonder if this was going to be my life again.  Panic attacks are HELL on earth, plain and simple.

One day at a time, I am doing it

With the grace of my God, the care of my doctor, the support of my family and friends, and through living my life by learning to face my fears and wait for the panic to pass without retreating (I am using the Panic Away program, it is wonderful), my life is 50% Klonopin-free today. I see with my own eyes, and it is undistorted. Maybe a little blurry because of time, but it is real life, and it is beautiful. The smells, sounds, and things of this world are truly miraculous to me. I actually think I must sound like I’m a bit loony today because I’m so happy today for the small things. I guess it’s just that I really don’t take much for granted.  Anyone who has lived life on heavy meds and successfully weaned off them knows what I’m talking about. 😉

Yesterday I had lunch and a fun afternoon with my friend. I’ll admit I was nervous at first because I felt naked without the backup pharmacological courage of Klonopin to stave off any panic.  But my friend knows my deal and she was fine with it. I trust and love her tremendously. Eventually I simmered down.  Before I knew it, we had been in the restaurant for 3 hours. It was sober and wonderful, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Thank you Sarah. Oh, and food was delicious too 🙂

So for today, being off half my usual dose of Klonopin is working for me. This is the choice I make every night before I go to bed. I really like reality and living in the world without that hazy drugged feeling.  I really like sleeping naturally and waking up naturally. My life is a blessing and a constant challenge, and I am truly grateful.

However, I am not setting my expectations too high.  If my panic attacks increase in frequency, or I find myself avoiding trigger situations instead of facing them, then I know I need medication again. In short, if my life starts to go back to hell, I’m going back on my meds– no shame, no guilt.

I share this with you because it is my hope that you can learn to live happily too — despite panic disorder, panic attacks, or social anxiety disorder –whether you’re on meds, not on meds, or somewhere in between.  In this blog, I share with you my free anxiety tips that have helped my in coping with panic attacks and all the stuff that goes with it.

Do you have any experience weaning off Klonopin or other medications for anxiety and panic attacks?

I wish you peace,
Jill G.

Want to know how I’m doing so well after suffering for so long? I recommend and use the Panic Away Program. Click on the link to learn more. Get started today and reclaim your life from fear.

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123 Responses to Weaning off Klonopin is the Choice I Make Today

  1. nina says:

    Thank you for providing such a positive post. So much regarding this topic is negative and angry, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak with hope. I too am weaning off Klonopin, after finally deciding “enough is enough”. I want my life back, my family deserves the best version of me-I deserve it, and that is NOT the version taking Klonopin. It’s harder than I imagined, but it is a choice everyday and I’m getting through it. Thanks again. God Bless.

    • JillG says:

      Good for you Nina. It is hard, that’s for sure, especially the rebound anxiety and poor sleep. How wonderful that your family is so supportive. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you and very glad you are getting through it! 🙂
      Take care and many blessings,

  2. Kelly says:

    I am on 2.75mg of Klonopin & I was on 6mg. I am on .75mg in the morning & 2mg at night. My doctor is not trying to wean me completely off of my morning dose & then finally my evening. I got off the afternoon dose – no problem- I tried to wean down to .5mg May 1st & started having panic attacks so I am back to .75mg. I feel like I am going to die but know b/c I have faith in God, he will get me off of this. I want to be medication free & if I have to be ON a medication, I do not want to be on a Benzo. I want to go the natural route.

    • JillG says:

      Hi Kelly,
      I’m down to .5 mg right now. I too was on 6 mg at one point. Make sure you go as slow as you need to with your wean. Even if it takes a few years. When I first started this, I decreased the Klonopin too fast. Even though my doctor said it I could make a .5mg decrease every 2 weeks, that was too fast for my body. The side effects and rebound panic and anxiety were too much. I learned a lot from this 3 minute video by Dr. C. Heather Ashton, the leading expert on benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine withdrawal. Here is the link: http://panicfreeme.com/789/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-treatment-guidelines-video/

      I’m sorry you are feeling so bad. Please know that you are not alone, listen to your doctor, go slow, and press on, if that is your desire.

      ((Hugs)) and many blessings to you,

  3. Kelly says:

    I am on 2.75mg of Klonopin & I was on 6mg. I am on .75mg in the morning & 2mg at night. My doctor is not trying to wean me completely off of my morning dose & then finally my evening. I got off the afternoon dose – no problem- I tried to wean down to .5mg May 1st & started having panic attacks so I am back to .75mg. I feel like I am going to die but know b/c I have faith in God, he will get me off of this. I want to be medication free & if I have to be ON a medication, I do not want to be on a Benzo. I want to go the natural route.

  4. Kelly says:

    I am back up to 3mg of Klonopin & my doctor wants to add Abilify. I want for a 2nd opinion and she said she hates benzo’s (psychiatrist) & she wants to add Buspar & Depakote (so I don’t have a seizure) and she will have me off of Klonopin in one month. I have to wean each week though at her tapering route. I have looked into drug facilitlites who wean you off too & just don’t know what to do. My psychiatrist (that wants to prescribe Abilify) said I do as he says or he drops my medical leave. My medical leave is up May 30th. I have a high paying flexible job I have worked at for 14 years and do not want to lose it. I am now just praying for a miracle from God.

    • Jerry says:

      Hi Kelly, I have been off klonopin for almost 3 years now and have gone through serious withdrawals. When I started to not trust doctors and trust my own research is when I started getting better. These doctors are educated idiots when it comes to mental meds because they trust the drug reps too much instead of doing their own independent research. If you ever have any questions or want some feedback just email me. I would be glad to help you. I have helped others get off meds and they are much happier now.

      • Carol Styrsky says:


        I am still on 4 MG Klonopin. I basically know what not todo to wean off this drug,
        but really do not know how to do it.

        Did you dry cut?

        Can you email me at junco66@verizon.net

        Thank you,

      • mel says:

        help i am 51 been on klonnopinn for 5 months anywhere from1 to 2mg tried ssri’s didnt work having internal trembling i asked dr to try to switch to valium like the ashton method she says thats to slow im having horrible time she got me back 1st day to.25 mg kl morn and .50 night im having terrible anxiety panic attacks she replace it with 5mg val at 5pm is this to quick i hate this medicine can you recoomend anything thanks mel

        • JillG says:

          Mel I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I can recommend prayer, yoga, self-hypnosis, meditation, a support group or forum, cut out caffeine from your diet if you can, try to have a daily routine and stick to it. There are so many things we can do for ourselves when we are in a crisis situation. Here is a post I wrote that can help http://panicfreeme.com/645/self-help-for-panic-attacks/

          Best of luck to you, hang in there 🙂

      • Jared says:


        Hi, my name is Jared and I have been taking Klonopin for 31/2 to 4 yrs. now and I see no end in sight. I am writing to you for advice because I completely agree that the doctors who are prescribing these medicines have no idea what they are getting their patients into. They will tell you to only take as needed all the while not knowing that the need will only get worse and worse. I have overcome 2 yrs. of smoking methamphetamine, about a year of chronic painkiller abuse (lorc 10/650), I have totaled 3 vehicles under the influence of alcohol, one of which earned me a DWI, and for some reason I cannot see an end to the benzo Clonazepam. I have beat all of these other extremely addictive drugs but Clonazepam almost seems impossible to me. There is nothing more in this world I want and need than to get off of this drug. I have tried many times with no success as of yet. Any help and advise would be most appreciated considering this is not really me and I would like to be the person that I once was.
        Thank You Jerry,

        • JillG says:

          Hi Jared,

          First of all I would strongly urge you to get into AA or NA if you’re not already. 12 Step programs are an abundant source of support and friendship. I’ve been in Al-Anon for over 10 years.

          I am certainly no expert on medications nor am I a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice. I can point you in the direction of some books, however. There is How to Get Off Psychiatric Drugs Safely – 2010 Edition.

          Also Stopping Anxiety Medication Workbook is a new one and looks good- it is a workbook and you have to go thru it.

          Whatever route you choose- GO SLOW- slower than you think you have to. This will minimize the side effects. Also talk to your doctor who specializes in addiction if possible- could be helpful.

          Oh, and lots of prayer helps too.


  5. Kelly says:

    I have decided to to a facility to get off of Klonopin – I cannot take what this drug is doing to me. My psychiatrist says I am bipolar now which I know is the side effects of the drug. It’s a 30-60 day facility in Mesa, AZ. It’s called River Source. If I go, I will be leaving in less than a week. My psychiatrist is in charge w/ my medical leave and wants me to go on Abilify – added on to the Klonopin. Another psy. wants to add Buspar & Depakote. I want off of this Klonopin and I want help doing it – I liked the way they wean you – you can go to their site. I will check out that site too, thank you.

  6. Kelly says:

    Any comments? I still haven’t made up my mind. Still on 3mg of Klonopin. Dr. now is insisting I go on Serequel or I give up my medical leave and return to work a mess….or go to the River Source in Mesa, AZ.

    Please give me insight & pray.

    • JillG says:

      Honestly, I don’t have any further insight. I wish you the best of luck in your situation.

    • Carol Styrsky says:

      Hi Kelly:

      I am on 4 MG of Klonopin and just went into a panic attack recently thinking about weaning. I am so afraid of the side effects.

      But I decided to go slow once I calm down.

      I will try dry cutting first. I changed my perscritption to 2 .5 MG tablets. I am going to cut 1/8 of MG a Month. It will take years to get off, but I expect to feel better as I go down.

      My comments about your posts:

      I had a psychiatrist who also suggested taking other medications. They did not
      agree with me and I was left withdrawing from them.
      Secondly, I can say with complete certainity that a 30-60 day wean is too fast for 3 MG. You will come out of that resort in withdrawal which you will have to tolerate untill you heal – which you will of course, but it will take time.

      Have you visited some other sites on the web. One I would recommend would be
      benzowithdrawal.com. They have some suggestions for weaning off benzos and support.
      There were a number of posters on that site who went through a facility such as the one in Mesa and came out in not so good a shape. But you could post your questions there. That site has members with quite a bit of experience in this area.

      I wish you luck, and God Bless you, I know what you are going through.


    • Carol Styrsky says:


      One more thing. I looked up River Source,
      Kelly you are not an addict and I doubt that you are bipolar. My pscyhiatrist told me I was bipolar also. But I know that before Klonopin I did not have the mood swings I have now.


  7. Kelly says:

    Carol, thank you so much for your comment. My question is this – and it’s complicated. How do did you get a psy. to go along w/ the Ashton Manual? Mine refuses….and he is in charge of my medical leave. Also, how did you get more Klonopin to wean off? I mean, I have seen 3 psychiatrists now and all three want to add on meds – two though I was bipolar (which no one including me thinks I am. My PCP won’t comment anymore and said ‘see a psy’. I have to make a decision by Wed. what I am going to do. Go to Mesa, go on Serequel or do whatever this other psy. doctor says – and return to work. I am just wondering if I tried to go back to work in this condition (something is wrong – I mean, I was diagnosed w/ Syncope & Pots – I don’t know how that it interfering – I feel like a zombie yet when I taper down, I freak out. It’s a mess – my life has become a mess but I have hope in God that he will pull me through. Plus my psy. in charge of my medical leave already labeled me bipolar to my company – which I think sucks. I think I have to go on it b/c he won’t prescribe Klonopin without Serequel – no psy. will. So, again, how did you get someone to do that for you?

  8. Kelly says:

    My case is so complicated bc this started w/ me fainting & being in the hospital over 10 days for Syncope and then came the panic. I haven’t seen any comments about people going to facilities. The only reason I even considered that was I figured I would be in supportive enviroment. Do you work? Do you drive? I am a medical sales rep. who is trying to save her job. I am literally hoping for a miracle from God to come through before Wednesday. The other psy out of the three wants to put me on Lexipro – I haven’t responded very well to SSRI’s in the past…..maybe I am bipolar but I haven’t acted like this since I have been on this drug – and I am barley functioning. Please advice……please. I am taking your advice about the facility. Anxiety brings on my Syncope so, I wouldn’t want to leave the facility and be fainting.

    • Carol Styrsky says:


      After I got tired of going on and weaning off the many medications my psychiatrist had me try, I made a list of psychistrists in my area and started making appointments.

      I was lucky that the second psychiatrist I saw was very easy going and switched me from 3 MG of Xanax to 4 MG Klonopin.
      He actually wanted me on 5 MG Klonopin,
      but I would be tapering years. He is also supportive of me going very slow. He like most psychiatrists in the US was hesitant to put me on Valium. Valium has too many metabolites for the liver to process and can have more side affects. He said he saves that for when you are down to a lower dose and are having problems tapering. He has never heard of the Ashton
      method and he is an addictions psychiatrist.

      I retired early because of the Benzos. I could not take the stress of work. I also have a autoimune disease called Mastocytosis that can be triggered by anxiety. So I am not working.

      Try posting on Benzowithdrawal.com.
      You will get a lot of support there. Many
      there weaned off of klonopin using water titration. They never switched to Valium.
      That method is explained on the site. I probably will try that method eventually, but I want to see how I do dry cutting.

      I do not respond very well to SSRIs either.
      They increase my anxiey 10 fold, also there is the nausea and there is the insomnia. I am more tolerant of TCAs such as doxepin or amtrypaline (spelling).

      I have never tried Seroquel. Probably if I had stayed with my first psychiatrist I would have been on it.

      Try going to http://www.benzowithdrawal.com and do search for Seroquel and see how other members did with it.

      Also can you try this approach with your
      Psychiatrist. Come up with a plan for slow withdrawal (no other drugs). And because you are in tolerance (doesn’t sound that 3 MG is working for you) can you raise your dosage .5 or 1 MG. Then after 30 days start tapering. That is sort of saying to the doctor – this is what I would like to try.

      There is another website Benzobuddies.org. They will give you a taper plan if you post some information about you current dosage.

      Just some suggestions. Gosh you sound so much like me before I found my second psychiatrist. I have not done well on Klonopin though. Lots of side effects, night time and morning adrenalin rushes, still get very anxious, some nausea. Can not think straight, very clumsy. I am praying for the courage to taper.


  9. Kelly says:

    Carol, God bless you for making it through it though. I don’t believe you had to retire early from Benzo’s. Well, I am glad you are alive & hear to tell your story. I will read up on water taper. My memory is gone….I just feel like I want God to pick me up & take this away but I am going to have to struggle like all of us – but we will get there. In respect to Serequel, I think I might just go ahead & get on it. I know it knocks you out at night so maybe that would take care of my nighttime dose of Klonopin.

    You know oddly, I have heard – not often though – of people weaning of easily with mild discomfort. I am 39….before I fainted on Jan. 22nd, I was a very (super very) energetic bouncy happy girl – I don’t have much support in respect to if I lose my job so I am just going to pray for a miracle and see what happens. I will say a prayer for you though – and thank you for responding to me & giving me all of the advice. Also, thank you for giving advice about the facility – I just though being surrounded by people while they taper me – with other meds to help with the withdrawal symptoms might help. You know, there are facilities that take you off under anesthisia (however you spell it) in the hospital & then put you on Phenobarbetol for days until you are done – and I don’t know if that works or not……It’s a place in Chicago called New Hope. It’s a residential/in patient facility.

    You have to taper slow but that makes you stay on it longer – that’s what I don’t like – wicked. Well hopefully someone will stumble upon this & not ever take it. Also, I mentioned tolerance withdrawal to my doctor and he was so irritated – he said there is no such thing as tolerance withdrawal.

  10. Carol Styrsky says:


    The problem with going to a facility to withdraw from a benzo, is that they withdraw you too fast. And the reason you must go slowly is that while you are on the benzo it down regulates you GABA receptors in your brain. These receptors produce GABA which is the chemical that keeps you calm and collected.

    By down regulating the GABA receptor I mean that the Benzo takes the place of the GABA and those receptors just stop making this chemical. That is why benzos are so hard to taper from. You have to go slowly so as the amount of benzo goes down in your system, the receptors start producing GABA again on their own. If you taper too fast, the receptors do not have time to catch up and you will feel it with increased anxiety and other symptoms.

    Do some research on those Benzo web sites, they have a lot of information.

    Those withdrawal facilities can not keep you long enough for that to happen. You would have to live there for a couple of years.

    I know you can do this on your own, all you need is a taper process you trust and can manage and tweak to get the least amount of withdrawal symptoms/or none at all. What might help is finding a therapist who will work with you once you start your taper. He/she may have some ways to help calm and encourage you.

    I am going to take my own advice and have been looking for one who will help me.
    I too feel that I would do better with some help and encouragement along those lines.


  11. Kelly says:

    Thanks Carol. I get it now. There is also a facility though called Timber Knolls in Lemont, IL. It’s totally different. I will talk to this new psychiatrist tonight & see what happens.

  12. CA says:

    Thank you so much. I need hope. I have also been a long term Klonopin user. I had no idea many years ago when this was prescribed for insomnia that I would be where I am today. The Klonopin has stopped working and causing depression, fear & extreme panic attacks. I am scheduled to see a psychiatrist to help me through the weaning off process. I am scared but need my life back. Thanks you so much for your encouraging post!

  13. Kelly says:

    I just wanted to post that I am down to 1.5mg of Klonopin – we weened very quickly but I am ok. I am having withdrawal symptoms primarily in the morning (now) but they go away as soon as I start getting up & moving. I have pretty bad headaches but I take Advil in the evening. My doctor & I did this taper w/ 14mg of Serequel at night. We are talking today & I believe he is taking me off of the Serequel now. I never used to have this type of anxiety – prior to Klonopin. My biggest concern is having a Syncope event or a seizure coming off but our tapering now will go very slowly. I will speak w/ him today about just being on Klonopin – nothing else – until I am off completely. My BP is swinging pretty low to high but I drink a lot of water. I also pray & believe that God is helping me through this. It is not as bad as I thought it would be. We can all do this!!!!!! Thanks Jill & Carol – and Carol thank you for saving me thousands of dollars from going to a facility b/c you were right, I can do this on my own. Once I am off – we are weaning off completely between June/early July – I will have a testimony to share & like Jill, I will help everyone I can not to take this drug!
    God Bless everyone!!!!

    Kelly O’Brien

    • JillG says:

      Awesome Kelly,

      Hang in there, you’re doing great!

      Everyone has to make their own personal decision when it comes to staying on anti anxiety medications long term. I’m not advocating either way– I made the choice to wean off Klonopin *for me*. Others may choose to stay on it. The choice is up to the individual.


  14. Kelly says:

    Jerry, what is your email address? Bravo that you are off of Klonopin – that is amazing!!!!
    My email address is kell.yob@hotmail.com

  15. Sandi says:

    June 28, 2010
    I am 40 years old and have been on Klonopin for 2 & half years. I remember telling my Dr. that I did not want anything that I could get addicted to she said I would not unless I popped them all day long. I take 1 mg at night. I am trying to wean myself off because I am so depressed and I have a loving husband and 2 children and I want my life back. I feel so ashamed and angry that I fell into this trap of taking the medicine. I want to be free of meds. Please give me some advice. I do not sleep well and I am suffering from panic that I never have suffered from before. I don’t know what to do. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? What should I be doing?

  16. Kelly says:

    I am now on 1mg of Klonopin – yes, it’s hard but I just tapered on Friday of this past weekend.

    In respect to how I am doing it -I am using the Body Calm & Body Calm Supreme from the program The Road Back – google it – buy the book – it WORKS. The Body Calm Supreme puts me to sleep at night . I have heart palpitations in the morning which is hard but other than that, I am ok. My challenge is my blood pressure is very very low. Do any of you have this problem? My bp is around 91/50 with a heart rate of 60.

    I do not know if Klonopin contributes to lowering blood pressure – my doctor says no but then again, he also says that it isn’t addictive. I ended up in the ER on Friday b/c my heart rate was so high & blood pressure was so low – they gave me fluids and sent me home.

    I will keep you posted about my taper. It always seems -for me – that the first three to four days after a lowering of medication, I am very ill. It then evens out – and I get used to the new dose – each time I feel like I am dying or I cannot take it. I have weaned down from 6mg though (since Feb.) & each time I do, I think I cannot handle it but I do. So can you!

  17. Kelly says:

    Jill, how often do you use Rescue Remedy? Can you talk about that a bit? I need more arsenal to combat anxiety. Second question, does anxiety lower any of your blood pressure?

    And thank you very much – it’s not a walk in the Park but everyone’s support gets me through the tough days and hours.

    • JillG says:

      Hi Kelly,

      I use it to as a preventative, before I go into a panic triggering situation. Lately I use it about twice or maybe 3x a week. I also like to use it occasionally before bed, for a restful night’s sleep

      Anxiety generally raises your blood pressure from what I understand. I haven’t had any low blood pressure myself.

  18. Kelly says:

    Last question….so it works for you then…the Rescue Remedy?

  19. Kelly says:

    Sorry for all of the questions but last one….if you use too much? Hmmm…I had bought it, tried it but it wasn’t effective. I cannot find the bottle – I want to give it another shot. So, what else do you use? I think we should all share any natural remedies that might work for us. I am doing kind of a trial and error while I am getting off of Klonopin – I have tried Serenagen – that did not work. Body Calm Supreme is really a miracle for sleeping. Body Calm works but kind of makes me not feel too great. I need another natural remedy b/c once I am off of Klonopin, I will never go on a prescription anti-anxiety medication again – the benefits do not outweigh the risks.
    If anyone wants to talk to me personally – my email is: kell.yob@hotmail.com.
    So grateful for your site Jill!

  20. Kelly says:

    I have spent a week in the hospital at RUSH in Chicago. They diagnosed me w/ severe Orthostatic Hypotension – I am on Florinef at .1mg plus salt pills & potassium pills – ambien. They want me off Klonopin. They put me back up to 1.50mg in the hospital & I just went straight to 1mg last night – the withdrawal is unreal. I will make it through though – Please God help me hang in there.

    I am scheduled to be back at work July 22nd and now have all of these problems – I need a miracle from God.

  21. Kelly says:

    I am now on 1.25mg of Klonopin – they keep switching it around. They have added Ambien CR bc I cannot sleep – that is addictive too!!!!!! I want to just stop taking it! I have taken it since I was in the hospital and my psy. said I cannot just ‘stop taking it’. I am at a loss and all of my support is going away.

    • JillG says:

      I hope you listen to your doctor and don’t just stop taking it. You can wean off it under your doctor’s care when the time is right. If it’s helping you sleep now, then it’s doing its job.
      What do you mean all your support is going away?

  22. Kelly says:

    My friends have stopped supporting me – some of them call it ‘drama’. I have Orthostatic Hypotension too – and one of my friends was just like (a best friend) – “I have lost hope in you getting better, I will provide fluids, drinks but I cannot be around you. People have been putting up w/ me lying in bed for 6 months, in and out of hospitals – my family just doesn’t handle this well so it’s best not to be around them. My friends though are scared out of their minds and feel hopeless and tired of my struggles.

  23. Kelly says:

    I will keep taking it although w/ Klonopin, it makes me feel groggy. It is addictive and caused dizziness, grogginess and just is bad for you (Ambien) – I feel like I am adding on to my addictions here. I despise what Klonopin has done to me. It’s a vicious cycle of my blood pressure affecting my anxiety & my anxiety affecting my blood pressure. My PCP told me that Ambien WILL lower blood pressure. My psy. just takes me on & off meds. I feel hopeless but I am trying to surrender to God. I just know I am in a condo I cannot afford but assesments are so high – I cannot sell – I am stuck all the way around – I pray that Christ shows me the way out of this.

    • JillG says:

      I imagine it is hard for your family and friends. Heck it’s hard for you and your doctors. You are in a dilemma to be sure. Keep praying, the answers will come.

  24. Kelly says:

    My doctor took me off Klonopin 1.25mg and put me on Xanaz XR 1.5mg . Have any of you ever heard of such a thing? So, I am officially off Klonopin but now on Xanaz XR

  25. Kelly says:

    Jill, how did you do on Xanax XR? I am having burning skin, burning face, chills, etc. It’s only been a couple of days but I don’t like it. Please tell me your experience….maybe it’s still Klonopin withdrawal – my doctor said it’s already out of my system. Hmmmmm….now he wants to put me on Cymbalta but I am saying NO MORE MEDICATIONS – and I want off the Xanax XR – I am having either an allergic reaction or the Klonopin & Xanax XR are crossing over one another – something is happening though to my body and I don’t like it.
    Please email me if you don’t want to post on board – kell.yob@hotmail.com

    • JillG says:

      I did fine on the Xanax XR, I didn’t have any reactions. The med wasn’t bad for me, except that it made me tired. That was back in 2007. I don’t take it anymore.

  26. Kelly says:

    Well that is good – that is great Jill! I am attempting to figure out of I am just anxious, have a mood disorder (psy. thinks so since I have been on Klonopin)….or just out of control panic disorder.

    I am going to lean on Christ – and pray He guides me.

    Did you have challenges coming off of if?

  27. Kelly says:

    Well that is amazing! He is taking me off of it in 3 days – now switching me in the morning to Xanax (Xanax XR tonight). I landed in the ER today – my body is freaking out – it’s shaking, my speech is slurring. I am sup. to have a work meeting tomorrow. I am going to have faith that God will pull me through this. I told the psy. he is moving to fast and he said no he isn’t. Doesn’t days seem wayyyy to fast?????

    I am scared for my brain…..all the damage done. Please pray. I will pray for all of us.

  28. Kelly says:

    I just left The River Source in Mesa, Az. I arrived on Xanax Aug. 1st, put back on 1.50mg of Klonopin upon arrival & taken off in less than a week. I am off of benzo’s – staying at a friend’s in Scottsdale, Az. – the withdrawal is unbearable & scary – but I am still here, alive & fighting for recovery. I hope the withdrawal ends soon. No more benzo’s for me….now I will heal although painful….one day I will recover. Thank you for all of the support.

  29. Kelly says:

    Wow, I have posted a lot on here. Question – and we can discuss this in a positive light b/c Jill’s blog is to be positive which is important (0: Are any of you off Klonopin, experiencing extreme head pain – I had it everytime I would wean off Klonopin & now that I am fully off, it’s unbearable. I know it will get better though – I pray everyday & hope in the Lord.

    • JillG says:

      Kelly you’ve had quite a journey- I’m sorry about the headaches, but congratulations on getting off Klonopin. Personally, I got more migraines when weaning down my dose- especially around my period. Hope you’re feeling better soon. 🙂

  30. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much Jill….so have you. I long for the day that this head pain goes away – and my body returns to a new normal – keep the faith (0:

  31. Keryn says:

    I want you guys to know something. I was on a large dose of Klonopin.. 4mg, but sometimes took more. I was so messed up, all I could do was live in a fog. I used a method called Water titration for 2 years to get down to 2.5mg, when I reached that I changed to 45mg of Valium. The Valium like Ashton says does help. . do not get me wrong there is withdrawal still.. but the Valium is like it covers some of it up.. yes go slow, there is no need to hurry.
    I am feeling parts of my old self come back, it feels good, yet scary to some degree, you think about things you haven’t thought of in years and I have been on Benzos for 7 years..including this Valium.
    I’m at 25mg of Valium.. it’s rough, but it can be done!

    • JillG says:

      Keryn good for you! Yes it can be done. I think the main thing is people don’t go slow enough. Thank you for sharing your huge success and your tip about the water titration method. This is the second time I’m hearing about it now.


      • Keryn says:

        Jill, I have a question, do you ever fear seizures? I’m tapering and I have heard that as long as you taper slowly .. you will not have a seizure.

        The Water Titration worked well until I could no longer titrate and I had to change to Valium, which was a good move I think.


        • JillG says:

          Hi Keryn,

          It’s good to hear that you are tapering slowly. I used to be afraid of seizures when I was on really high doses (4 – 6 mg) , thinking if I missed a dose it would surely happen. Well, being anxious I sure never missed a dose and I’m happy to say I never had a seizure.

          I think if someone were on a high dose and suddenly stopped the medication, that would put him or her at risk for seizures. Tapering slowly is how you lessen any side effects.

  32. Keryn says:


    I was in that range too 4-6mg of Klonopin.
    I think a slow taper in the only way to go. I cold-turkied once, after a week.. it was unbearable.


  33. Keryn says:

    Jill, How are you doing with your taper?

  34. Kelly says:

    So did your migraines go away after you have been off the medications? I have been off Klonopin since August 8th and the head pain/eye pain is 24 hours a day. I am applying for social security b/c I cannot go back to work right now. I am on Florinef for my blood pressure and Indocin for the head symptoms. I have never heard of a migraine lasting this long. It even hurts when I talk.

    • JillG says:

      Hi Kelly,

      My migraines have gone away. Now I just get them around my period which I think is normal. I’ve not heard of migraines lasting this long either. It sounds concerning. If I ever hear about anything that would help, I’ll email you.

      Oh, I just thought of this- have you been to the ophthalmologist? Maybe you need to get your eyes checked. Just a thought.

      I really hope you feel better soon, you have been suffering for far too long.

  35. Kelly says:

    Thanks so much Jill – I have POTS Syndrome and supposedly, it’s a symptom of POTS. POTS mimics panic disorder so I just learned that I was wrongfully misdiagnosed w/ anxiety all year when in fact, it was POTS Syndrome. What a road.
    Do you take migraine medication?

    • JillG says:

      Not really hon, just Excedrin migraine or Alleve.

    • maysunshines says:

      This sounds so much like what I went thru before getting diagnosed with Lyme/Bartonella which was the cause of my migraines (actually neuralgia, migraine that never went away), anxiety, panic attack, pots, and more. Just wanted to pass this onto you because it took me years to figure out the cause of my issues but once I figured out it was Lyme, I went to an LLMD (you’ll need to google this) and a lyme doctor was able to put me on antibiotics and reverse almost most of my symptoms, I have a bit more to go, but my permanent migraine is gone, pots gone, maybe something you might want to look into? In any case just wanted to pass it on, as I find that sometimes our health is like a puzzle that we need to peice together and this could maybe be a peice in your case…

      • JillG says:

        Thank you for sharing this May. Lyme is rampant in our country. Glad you are feeling better and good for you for getting to the bottom of your issues.

  36. Keryn says:


    How long was you on a high dose of Klonopin?

    • JillG says:

      From 1988 to 2009.

      • Keryn says:

        Congrats Jill,
        You have come a long way, I started it in 2003 and started tapering in 2007, slowly, I worked my way up to 5mg and tapered to 2.5mg hit a wall and was crossed to 45mg of Valium, now at a lower dose of that. I can feel myself coming back, but it’s been a rough road. You have a very positive attitude.

        : ) Keryn.

        • JillG says:

          It is rough. What I learned the hard way is that you have to go super slow- otherwise the withdrawal symptoms and anxiety are almost unbearable. You’re moving in the right direction and that is wonderful. Isn’t is great when you start feeling yourself coming back?

  37. Keryn says:


    It is great to feel yourself come back, however there are of-course the intrusive thoughts at times, they can’t hurt you, withdrawal to me has been like a set of “Waves” and “Windows” I’m sure you have heard those expressions. The anxiety I have less of really at times on a lower dose, but it’s still there, we just have to get our bodies adjusted to the way it was before the Benzo’s and cope without a pill.
    Best thing to do is find something for distraction and keep close tabs with others who are going through this or have been through it.
    I tried cold-turkey once off 5mg of Klonopin, it was unbearable, so yes a slow taper is the best way to go.. otherwise, I couldn’t do this.

    • JillG says:

      Wow, cold turkey off 5 mg? That sounds dangerous. Glad you are going about it correctly now. Distraction was not good enough for me. The thoughts and panic were horrible, I had to learn how to confront the feelings and learn not to be too concerned with them. I got to the point where I could be 100% out of my body with depersonalization (to me personally, the scariest anxiety symptom) and still continue shopping at the mall. It was strange – and hard as hell, but the more I practiced, the easier it became. I wrote about doing exposure in baby steps because that’s what worked for me. You can read about it here: http://panicfreeme.com/1714/exposure-therapy-how-i-do-it-in-baby-steps/
      I agree Keryn, connecting with others helped tremendously too. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog.

  38. Kelly says:

    Hi. Well, it is April 9th & I am officially 8 months off of benzo’s & all medications.
    Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome from Klonopin still remains. The head pain is horrific and has never gone away – not even for a minute. I went to Mayo Clinic & while they said it is a migraine, we all know that migraines do not last this long. I have had every test imaginable. The only explanation is PWS of Klonopin. It’s so much more common than I had thought. The right side of my body is numb and my brain feels like it is swelling. It’s horrible. I pray it ends soon. I will say that I have extreme mental clarity though now (0: My anxiety is less and less – as the days/months go by (0:

    • JillG says:

      Hi Kelly,

      I’m so happy to hear your anxiety is so much better and that you are off benzos. I hope your other symptoms get better soon. You’ve come a really long way.


  39. Kelly says:

    Thanks so much Jill. I have had the opportunity to speak w/ Gwen Olsen – author of
    ‘Confessions of an RX Drug Pusher’ and our conversation was sadly fascinating. Protracted Withdrawal is happening all over the country. I am going to be pursue a career in advocacy once I am well. I pray this goes away – if the head pain goes, I will return to LIFE. I am very excited – despite the pain level and being bed ridden.

  40. Mia says:

    Hey I am currently not trying to wean myself off the meds but I ran out of meds till i get to see my doc next visit, I feel very shaky and uncomfortable is these the sympthoms you feel off of klonopan. I am also on prozac I am still taking that but klonopan I ran out of =/ . ur words are very inspirational I hope I can get threw this until I see my doc again, a lot of lifes issues I am not able to deal with feeling this state of miserary. I think wayy to much I am up and down I feel jumpy I look calm but I feel terriable in the inside like I wanna explode its terriable I wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy I would rather deal with Cancer.

    • JillG says:

      Since you’re not weaning off meds, why don’t you call your doctor and tell him you ran out? Klonopin has to be taken steadily. Your doctor should be made aware.

  41. maysunshines says:

    I have never withdrew harder than having been on Klonopin at just .5mg for a month. I’ve taken benzos before, but there is something about this particular drug, or maybe it is just my personal reaction to this particular drug. Something that needs to be addressed – the underlying cause of the anxiety – in my case I already know what that is, I have Lymes and Bartonella and anyone suffering from unexplained panic attacks or chronic anxiety or migraines should get tested for it, preferably thru a reliable lab such as Igenex. Treatment is thru antibiotics. Unfortunately as you kill the buggers, your symptoms temporarily increase, which is why my dr rxed me the clonopin and I’m really wishing he hadn’t. There is a great anti-anxiety product I’ve used before that is all herbal and amazing by Amazon Energetics or something called Calmazon that works as well as the Clonopin but without the high. I ordered some more and as soon as I get that I will be doing a tapering down of the clonopin and using the Calmazon supplements to take the edge off. I’m going to be Keith Richards about it and just do it. Just get it done and over with, slowly, carefully, and never take these meds again. -m.

  42. How is everything going Jill?

    • JillG says:

      Hi Keryn,

      It’s good as far as the Klonopin. I got down to 0.5mg. I may try to wean off it completely sometime in the future, but I’m not putting any undue pressure on myself. I have no untoward side effects like i did on the high doses. My main focus is to feel balanced, productive, and happy despite my history of panic and anxiety. So I continue to work on my anxiety recovery and take it one day at a time.

      How are you doing?

  43. Ted says:

    First off, I don’t expect a reply. I need, however, to vent some frustration. Especially after reading this blog. Such a fantastic piece of writing.

    I am on 0.5 mg of Clonazepam twice a day. I have been taking this for about ten years now. I’m 33 now. I take it for seizures and anxiety. I take it along with other seizure meds.
    I told my doc that I wanted to get off of it, and she thought it was a good idea. She said it was very hard, so she started me on something else (Lyrica) while I weaned off of it. I went down a quarter of one of the pills every week until I was finished. I never had any problems while weaning off. Maybe two weeks after I was done, I started to have mini-seizures (or episodes) again. I was back in the hospital and before I knew it, back on the drug. And now I’m on both of them.
    On a side-note, sometimes I don’t think I even have epilepsy. I was diagnosed as a teen, and ever since, they have found nothing wrong in the EEG’s and MRI’s. I have no problems other than feeling anxious. Sometimes I think it’s just severe panic attacks since I still have the breakthrough “mini-attack” every once in a while. I’ve only ever had a major, full-blown seizure when going off the meds. I hear anxiety attacks can look like seizures, but how should I know, since I was diagnosed so fast and put on pills to hide whatever it was? And for me to tell the difference? No doctor has ever told me straight out what my problem is and what kind of epilepsy I have. What I should do about it other than pop some pills.
    Anyway, I would like to get off of this real bad. I would go much, much slower while weaning off, not like my doc had told me to. But I hardly see or talk to her. I don’t have med insurance, and I’m not working. She is part of a special program that I joined, and she isn’t available for months at a time. It’s surprisingly very professional of a place. She is a neurologist, but I’m in and out every time I go for a visit.
    She wants me to stay on it for now, but I know… I KNOW I am not the same person I could be if I were off of this. She did tell me to ride it out if I started shaking again. Well maybe I should have, but I was shaking so bad and so violently, I decided it was a good idea for someone to call 911. Or maybe she doesn’t realize the problems I had with the shaking before I was on these meds. Heck, WHILE I’m still on these meds!
    I don’t want to make this all about how I don’t trust my doctor, but I’m trying to find a way out of this before I can’t function at all. I’m having way more problems on this med than before I was taking it. I can’t seem to get much help with anywhere else, and I’m tired of feeling like this and having to rely on meds to get bye. I’m seriously thinking about taking myself off of this. Veeerrry sloooowly.
    I didn’t think 0.5 mg was enough to harm anybody, but over the years I’ve found out otherwise. If I get off of it, my anxiety will probably come back, and it will be hard to function that way too, only because I’m so used to relying on my pills. Afraid to do anything….
    I just don’t want to be on pills anymore. I want to have “natural” feelings and emotions again.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    • JillG says:

      Hi Ted,
      I’m sorry for your situation. I am not a doctor but I know if you have seizures you definitely shouldn’t take matters into your own hands. That could be very dangerous for you. Maybe just put up with the Klonopin as best you can for a few months till you can see her again, and then see if there is something else you could try. In the mean time, try to do something about your panic attacks instead of living at the mercy of them. See this page Free Anxiety Tips & Help. Good luck!

  44. Samantha says:

    Somehow, in January of 2010 I weened off 6 mgs of klonopin in 1 1/2 months. It was miserable. Then in Oct I got back on and am trying to come off again, this time 3 mg. My doctor told me it is completely safe to come down 1 mg a week even after I explained the symptoms iwas having coming down .25. Night sweats, mood swings unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, panic, insomnia, tremors. This is the most terrible experienced of my life 🙁 However, I know it can be done.

    • JillG says:

      Wow Samantha. Your doctor sounds like a lunatic- going quickly through the weaning only makes the withdrawal worse. I hope you are feeling better.

  45. Kelly says:

    Hi. I would appreciate if the person who suggested Lymes Disease as a possible cause of what is happening to me, to email me kell.yob@hotmail.com. I would appreciate it.
    I am getting better but the head pain and brain fog remain – as well as the low blood pressure (it drops when I stand or sit up).

  46. Cheryl says:

    This was an outstanding article. I have been scared to wean off of Klonopin, but (no offense) I didn’t want to wait until down the road and I was also on it for 20 years. I’ve only been on it for 3.5 years, 2mg a day, but right now I ran out early because I have people who like to steal my medication even after me trying to hide it, etc… I am short for the month and I am extremely scared. I cannot go a day without it because like you were, I was afraid of getting panic attacks. This gives me hope, but I know I still have a battle.

    Also, my other daily medications for my panic disorder is 10mg Buspar 1x daily but my doctor wants me on 40mg a day, Prozac 20mg 1x daily but doctor wants me on it 2x daily, 1mg klonopin 2x daily, Inderal, a beta-blocker 3x daily. Then I take 2 other medications as well, not related to my panic disorder. I’m 25 and want to have kids before I’m 30 and being on all these medications makes me feel like I am elderly.

    I don’t know when this was written, but I hope you are still doing better and continue on your positive and uplifting path in life! Thank you for this article, not just for yourself, but for everyone who is like us!


    P.S. I’d love to have anyone write me about panic attacks and what to do about medications and everything so if anyone would like to talk or have a “pen pal” my email is cherylruth.sc@gmail.com!

  47. msh says:

    I’ve been on Klonopin for about ten years now. I do meditation and it does help a lot. The weird thing is that when I accept the withdrawal symptoms – it’s not as bad.

    This goes with the panic attacks as well. Whenever I don’t resist the panic attack – in fact, try to increase the panic – it pretty much goes away.

  48. Josh says:

    Iam presecribed four mgs. of klonopin a day. I tend to take more, but either way want very badly to be offf. O f course my Dr. Tries and talk me out of it but enoughr is enough. I was wondering how long it took, and exactly how you did it. I know in detox they geive you phenbarbitol for seven days, but its not a benzo just a anti seizure. I was thinking cut my dose from four to two a day, then after a week go to one mg., then after another week do .5 mg. then do .5 mg every ohter day. It seems fast But should give my body enough time to recover. If you have any info I would greatly appreciate it.

  49. Jane says:

    Klonopin is incredibly hard to taper from. If you don’t do it slowly enough you’ll be back on it soon enough. I’m down to 0.25 mg/day from 2 mg/day, but it’s taken me 6 months. This is the third time I’ve done this and this time is going to be the last – the first two tapers were too fast and I never really stabilized.

    My doc is incredibly supportive and knowledgeable, but in my experience this is not the norm. What I have learned: Go slow. Go slow. Go slow. If your doc isn’t supportive, find one who is if you can. So many docs, even shrinks, are ignorant about meds, especially benzos. They may tell you Klonopin is less addictive than other benzos. Fail! They may tell you can just stop taking it. Fail! They may tell you that you are imagining your horrible withdrawal symptoms. Epic fail! Go slow, and if your doc won’t support you, find one who will. Managing the taper is part of the job. If a doc won’t manage the taper, that doc has no business writing for benzos.

    Go slow! Good luck! While it worked for me when I needed it, it’s wonderful to be almost free of this med.

    • JillG says:


      Congratulations on your success! 6 months still seems too fast (in my opinion) but as long as you’re feeling ok, that’s the important thing. Your thoughts on doctors are spot on, thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  50. Amol says:

    yes it is very dangerous, it takes away our life.
    we become like dead bodies. helpless.

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