Benzodiazepines are a commonly abused class of drugs. They include those drugs that help to temporarily reduce anxiety, an effect that makes them tempting to abuse. Once you’ve used Benzos for a long time, it might come as no surprise to find that your anxiety is greatly elevated when you no longer take them. This happens with any type of drug you’re addicted to, but it’s particularly severe in Benzo withdrawal because those drugs are specifically for reducing anxiety.
The rebound anxiety sometimes feels unbearable to people who are recovering. How can you cope with the heightened anxiety that comes from detoxing off benzos? Finding relief during withdrawal from Benzos is definitely possible. While it’s not possible to eliminate all of the anxiety that comes during this trying time, it’s possible to make the withdrawal much more comfortable and even bearable. Many people have recovered from benzo addiction. The fact that they’ve done it is proof that you can, too.
Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawl
Withdrawal from benzos typically hits hardest in the central nervous system, so it’s understandable that there would be symptoms like:
- Panic attacks and anxiety
- Irritability and angry outbursts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Body aches or tremors
None of these things are pleasant, but as millions of people over time have discovered, it’s possible to cope with these unpleasant effects during detox and successfully make it through. Strategies that help one person might not necessarily help you, but if you learn many different strategies, you will eventually find something that will help you through each symptom of withdrawal.
How to Cope with Anxiety
Anxiety is debatable as the #1 symptom of benzo withdrawal, but a good many people who have successfully conquered a substance abuse problem with this class of drug will tell you that almost everyone will experience anxiety to some degree during the detox phase. What helps will depend on the kind of person you are. What brings you peace in times of trouble? What worked in the past before you turned to benzos to help with anxiety? For many people, a good peer support group helps tremendously with anxiety.
Knowing that other people have conquered this might help you, too, and reaching out and talking to people about your feelings is another great way to feel more at ease with what’s going on. Calling a sponsor from a group or a friend who’s also recovering can help. They might have strategies you can use that will help you, too. Every day of sobriety is a day that you learn to cope with the anxieties of life. One day you won’t have to struggle as much.
Counseling and Peer Support
Counselors have discovered a number of ways to help people say goodbye to the worst parts of anxiety during the detox phase. For example, they have implemented tools like art therapy, music therapy, and meditation to help sufferers cope with the heightened anxiety of benzo withdrawal. You might be asked to draw a picture to soothe yourself, or to listen to a certain type of music that calms you during the worst moments. Meditation is another great tool that many people report helping during this type of anxiety.
When you meditate, you clear out the most distressing parts of the anxiety and hone in on what’s calming to you. No one tool is going to help with anxiety every time, and there are some tools that might not work at all. The golden rule to keep in mind, though, is that as you recover, you’ll discover a unique set of tools that work for you most of the time. Withdrawal will be most severe during detox, so once you find a few tools that really work during the most difficult time, you can carry them going forward to maintain your sobriety.
It’s a good feeling to know that you’ve faced a problem head-on and worked through the hard stuff. Yes, anxiety will sometimes be a part of life, so it’s definitely worth it to take note of the things that help during detox. They will also help later on as you go into relapse prevention programs.
Are you struggling with anxiety during benzo withdrawal right now? Is someone you know struggling to find a way to cope? We can help! Call now at 302-842-2390 to talk to our friendly, compassionate counselors. They can help you develop a strategy to combat anxiety during the detox phase.