« back · www.benzo.org.uk »


from Kilen, Sweden

Note: Some of these are side-effects and tolerance symptoms

Changes in perception:

Derealisation - a sense of unreality

Depersonalisation - insecurity about one's identity, one cannot recognise oneself in the mirror and so on

Tinnitus - ringing ears, buzzing, whistling

Déjà vu experiences - appear occasionally due to dreams, and sometimes as strong, sudden experiences in the middle of the day

Discomfort in the face and around the mouth - a sense of loss of control over face muscles, sometimes appearing as unwanted faces. The cramps spread occasionally to the whole body

Formications - A sense that insects are crawling on the body, scalp etc

Visual Disturbances - blurred vision, vivid 3D vision

Tense head, neck, shoulders. A marked, sometimes hard backache may be experienced while one is taking pills and during abstinence

Co-ordination problems - slurred speech, stammering, the mixing up of words when speaking

Paraesthesiae - "A thousand needles"

Shivering / Heating experiences


Fatigue - a feel of exhaustion

Tension Headache The feeling of that one has a piece of string around the head, a constant pressure on the top of the head


A sense of instability - the ground seems to move beneath one's feet, one walks in the air, a common and very disturbing experience which may last for a long period of time

Illusions and hallucinations

Paranoia - "people are looking at me, talking about me". This is also a common symptom of long-term use

Changes in emotions:

Phobias - This is also a common symptom of long-term use.

Fear, anxiety, indignation, panic. This is also a common symptom of long-term use.

Resignation - "what is the point of quitting?

Melancholy - an abnormal state of depression, guilt, feelings of hopelessness.

Suicidal behaviour - everything ranging from suicidal thoughts to actual attempts should be taken seriously

Fear of, or a feeling of, becoming mentally ill

Lack of confidence

Irritability, bursts of fury


Rapid mood swings

Lack of control over impulses

Lack of sense of humour

Contact seeking

Demanding, whining

Morbid, destructive thoughts

Bodily and vegetative symptoms:

Sleeping problems - Insomnia and irregular sleep patterns

Loss of appetite


Weight loss


A taste of metal in the mouth

Stomach cramps Periods of diarrhoea and periods of constipation

Breathing problems

Uneven inhalation


Dry coughs

Uneven pulse

Blood pressure changes, upwards and downwards


A feeling of swollenness, sometimes very swollen hands, feet and face

Sore tongue

Difficulty swallowing, dysphagia

Tremor - shaking body parts, may go on for months


Hair loss

Cracks in lips and in the corner of the mouth

Libido - usually reduced, but sometimes intensified

Changes in menstrual pattern

Incontinence - alternatively difficulty voiding bladder

Swollen vulva

Increased secretion in the vagina

Changes in the will and cognitive ability:

Deterioration of the memory, the short-term memory is most affected

Paralexia - the mixing up of words in texts.

Poor concentration

Problem with speed and precision in work

Loss of ability to take initiatives

Problems making make plans or decisions

Learning difficulties - it is not unusual that things learnt during the period when one took benzodiazepines will be lost and have to be relearned

Drug related behaviour:

A subjective need for drugs - "the body cries out for pills"

A secret, continued drug use, if necessary with help of lies and fraud

Stock of pills

Frauds, theft, falsified prescriptions to get pills

Seeking replacement drugs - alcohol, pain killers, codeine etc

Social changes:

Social isolation

Loss of contact with others

Loss of financial judgement


The power acting the strongest for one to continue using pills, regardless of what consequences it has, is FEAR. It is not dangerous to be afraid, but it can be paralysing, especially when one doesn’t have the courage to even admit to oneself what one is afraid of.

« back · top · www.benzo.org.uk »