The Spiritual Component of Healing from Antidepressant Withdrawal & Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

May 17, 2019

 

 

 

There isn’t always a lot of attention given to prescription drug withdrawal in our society; at least not to the type of withdrawal that stems from antidepressant and benzodiazepine medications. Every day in this country (and throughout the world) expensive and vaguely occultic magazine and television advertisements push these medications onto a vulnerable segment of the population (a hurting segment), and after the damage is done—when medications are stopped and people go back to their doctors complaining of night terrors and akathisia and body pains and mental confusion and depression and a frightening disconnection from reality—then no one wants to claim responsibility. The situation is often denied, denied, denied.

 

But some people do pay attention to antidepressant/benzodiazepine withdrawal. In fact, those of us who have been affected by the syndrome often pay a lot of attention to it, for obvious reasons. However, when withdrawal and healing are talked about, too often that conversation revolves solely around the physical A plus B equals C equation: Time plus the Upregulation of Neurotransmitter Receptors equals Healing. And while the entire “upregulation of receptors” conversation is a valid one, it gives people the false impression that just sitting back and waiting for 100 percent of the healing to happen is a valid strategy. It isn’t.

 

While time will do some of the heavy lifting in the process of healing from antidepressant withdrawal and benzo withdrawal, there is an active component to the process as well: one that not only cares for our physical health, but for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well (and after all, these aspects of well-being are intertwined oh so closely).

 

In this article I’m going to focus on the last of those four aspects of well-being, the spiritual component. I believe that, in fact, withdrawal healing has a distinctly spiritual component, and because my own spiritual background and faith are Christian, that is mostly how I’m going to approach the subject here.

 

4 Common Withdrawal

Symptoms/Challenges & How Their Remedy is Found in Spirituality

 

 

1. GUILT AND REGRET

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

I don’t know too many people who’ve gone through antidepressant withdrawal or benzodiazepine withdrawal and who weren’t struggling against some form of guilt or regret regarding their situation. How can those things not be a part of the experience?

 

During the withdrawal and healing process, we might feel guilty about having been unavailable for loved ones during the years we spent on those medications that blunted our emotions. Or we might feel guilty because we acted impulsively or arrogantly while on the drugs. We might feel guilty because we didn’t take proper care of ourselves physically, or because we neglected important aspects of our financial, professional, domestic health.

 

We might regret having stayed on the medications for such a long time when there were clear signs that they were causing harm in our lives; we might regret having lost time or productivity to withdrawal; or we might simply wonder how life got to this point—the point of being sick and needing healing. We might wonder, wonder, wonder, and regret, regret, regret.

 

But guess what? A spiritual view looks forward—not backward—and it does so with the fresh eyes of newly redeemed men and women who are no longer slaves to the failings of their past.

 

The Christian faith, in fact, is something that is built upon the concept of redemption. It is about fresh starts and new beginnings. Our failings were erased with the events of Easter weekend, and no matter what future mistakes we might make, we know that the forgiveness of Jesus knows no limits. We are accepted—no matter how we got to this point—and we are given a hopeful future that holds great things.

 

So, if you’ve been feeling guilty or regretful lately, please hand that burden over to God so that you can begin to walk forward with a lighter bounce in your step. Remember, this is your new beginning. A better future awaits you!

 

 

 

2. FEARS OF ISOLATION

 

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9:10 NLT

 

If you’re someone who’s going through antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzo withdrawal, then you might know a thing or two about feeling all alone. During withdrawal, we might feel isolated even when we are surrounded by loved ones. We tend to get lost in our own heads a lot. We oftentimes can’t adequately explain our symptoms to others, and sometimes we just flat out don’t feel connected to the rest of the world because we are suffering from high anxiety and/or symptoms like depersonalization and derealization.

 

At times in the withdrawal process, we might feel as if no one can help us, as if we’ve been abandoned. However, one of the great comforts of faith is the idea that God is with us at all times. He can comfort us and protect us in the dark of the night and in the heat of the noonday sun equally, and He can understand our every physical, emotional, and mental struggle without us having to say a coherent word. The next time you are feeling all alone, please remember that Jesus is your Good Shepherd (the one who cares for you at all times) and your friend (the one who will never abandon you).  

 

 

 

3. EXISTENTIAL WORRIES

 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Genesis 1:1 NIV

 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

 

I think this is the biggie in withdrawal. No matter what else the antidepressant/benzodiazepine withdrawal process throws at us—shooting pains in our extremities, mental fog, head pressure, insomnia—the existential turmoil seems to be an ever-present thing. We can get lost in deep thoughts and fears as never before, continually pondering super-heavy questions like: “Why do I exist? What is time? What is my purpose? What is the purpose of life in general? What happens after I die? What does ANY OF THIS MEAN?

 

The whole point of getting spiritual is to find answers for those really big questions—the ones that prescription medications might help people to ignore—and although some aspects of meaning and fulfillment will be decided on an individual basis, we can all rely on the following thoughts as a very comforting place to begin finding those answers:

 

Question: Why do I exist?

 

Answer: We exist because we were created out of love.

 

 

So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them. Genesis 1:27 KJV

 

 

Question: What is time?

 

Answer: Time is eternal, and therefore we shouldn’t worry about our measures of time on this Earth nearly as much as we do. We should stop stressing about alarm clocks and appointments and deadlines, and we should allow Jesus to lighten our burden by allowing us to simply live in the present with joy.

 

Question: What is my purpose?

 

Answer: Our purpose is to accept God’s love, care for ourselves and each other in a Godly way, find (and spread) peace and joy on this Earth, and make creative and productive use of our talents so that we can build a Godly legacy. (That is a partial answer, I guess.)

 

Question: What is the purpose of life in general?

 

Answer: To find joy in “everyday” miracles, and to build an increasingly strong relationship with our Creator and Protector; also, to find love and fulfillment and to help others find God’s presence and therefore find greater healing and joy for themselves.

 

Question: What happens after I die?

 

Answer: We find eternal peace in new life, we find an eternal reunion with loved ones, and we find eternal (pain-free) joy in the presence of God. Our existence continues in a beautiful way.

 

Question: What does any of this mean?

 

Answer: We should trust that God is forming a divine tapestry with our lives. We should do the best with the gifts (and the challenges) we’ve been given, and we should trust that God is making them meaningful (both here and in the hereafter).

 

 

“It is not your business to succeed, but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God.” C.S. Lewis

 

 

Okay, wow! That was deep. That segment of the article hopefully provided you with some inner peace, but it also might have given you some intellectual fatigue! So, when you’re done reading this take a deep breath and then go find some mindless fun for a while!

 

 

4. ANXIETY ABOUT THE FUTURE

 

Jesus wasn’t big on worrying about the future. In fact, this is what He had to say about it in Matthew 6:25-34 (lengthy Bible quote alert):

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

It’s easy to get worried during the withdrawal and healing process, not only worried about today’s symptoms but worried about the future. How long will this last? How will I survive financially while healing? How will my future look?

 

So the next time you catch yourself worrying about the future, remember those words from Jesus. He says, in effect, “Do not worry. The Father will provide for you.”

 

And remember to keep that above promise from the book of Jeremiah in mind, too: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

 

I believe that there is not a single soul out there going through the withdrawal process who isn’t longing for inner peace. There isn’t a single soul out there going through the withdrawal process who isn’t longing to have life be something joyful once again.

 

So, to all of you out there who are currently going through antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal I say, Start focusing on the spiritual aspect of your healing. It is something that cannot be ignored, and once you begin to make it a part of each day’s journey, you will find greater and greater measures of calm, peace, and joy. You are cared for within God’s plan, and by getting closer to Him and to the fabric of that plan you can find much-needed measures of healing.

 

 

Michael Priebe

 

Lovely Grind Author & Web Creator

 

 

Tags: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Support, Withdrawal Counseling, Benzo Withdrawal Coaching, SSRI Withdrawal and Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal Support, Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms, Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, Klonopin Withdrawal and Healing, Spiritual Support for Antidepressant Withdrawal, Spiritual Support for Benzo Withdrawal

 

 

 

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Did you enjoy this article by Michael Priebe? If so, you will enjoy his new e-books & videos about withdrawal, healing, and spiritual connection. Just click on the links or photos below to order one or all of these new healing tools today!

 

 

Show Me the Way of Life 

 

Based on the powerful poetry of the Psalms, Show Me the Way of Life offers fourteen daily devotions for those going through benzodiazepine withdrawal and/or antidepressant withdrawal. These devotions help readers to stay spiritually connected while finding emotional and mental relief from antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

 

Tags: Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal Support, Gospel Hope, Christian Devotions

 

 

 

 

I Call You Friend

 

Based on the powerful & comforting Gospel words of Jesus, these fourteen daily devotions offer peace, perspective, and healing to those who are going through antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal. The messages in this book allow readers to find spiritual connection while helping to ease the mental and emotional symptoms of SSRI withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal.

 

Tags: Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal Support, Gospel Hope, Christian Devotions

 

 

 

Lead Me Beside Still Waters

 

Based on the powerful poetry of the Psalms, Lead Me Beside Still Waters of Life offers fourteen daily devotions for those going through benzodiazepine withdrawal and/or antidepressant withdrawal. These devotions help readers to stay spiritually connected while finding emotional and mental relief from antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms. 

 

Tags: Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal Support, Gospel Hope, Christian Devotions

 

More Than a Glimpse of Hell

 

What was my life like during my Paxil Withdrawal and my Xanax withdrawal? What lessons did I learn as I healed? In this book I offer candid word portraits of my daily life during withdrawal. I show readers how I struggled to manage my many symptoms, how I dealt with frustrating doctor's appointments, how I kept my job, how I maintained my family relationships, how I made sense of my newly resurfaced emotions, and ultimately how I found the courage and motivation I needed to secure healing and happiness.

 

Tags: SSRI Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal, Antidepressant Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal, Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, Healing from Antidepressants, Healing from Benzo Medications

 

PREMIUM VIDEOS ABOUT WITHDRAWAL & HEALING

 

 

"The Healing Power of Thinking Outside the Box" (Video)

 

 

The Healing Power of Thinking Outside the Box 

 

Antidepressant/benzodiazepine withdrawal is a unique challenge, and so it stands to reason that our approach to healing from that withdrawal must be unique as well. After taking Paxil & Xanax for nearly 15 years I decided to stop the medications, and the resulting withdrawal and healing process, while difficult, taught me important lessons about finding better health and happiness. In this video I discuss the dangerous groupthink that exists in the health-care and withdrawal communities, and I go on to talk about the importance of independent thinking when it comes to healing. If you're ready to find better health and greater measures of healing, then check out this new video is my Outside the Box Healing series!

 

 

"Avoid This One Thing While Healing!"

(Video)

Avoid This One Thing While Healing!

 

There are a lot of confusing and conflicting opinions out there regarding the things we ought to do or ought not to do in order to find healing from antidepressant withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal. While I myself don't subscribe to a rigid list of "Dos and Don'ts" regarding healing, I do believe that there is one thing that everyone going through withdrawal needs to avoid! Find out what that one thing is in this new video from my Outside the Box Healing series!

 

WORKDAY DEVOTIONALS

 

The Uncommon Grind

 

Are you seeking ways to better cope with the stress and hectic pace of the daily grind? Are you seeking greater meaning and fulfillment out of it all? The Uncommon Grind: Spiritual Motivation for Workdays offers readers fifteen daily workday devotional messages meant to aid spiritual growth, personal development, and professional fulfillment. Each message includes two applicable Scripture verses, a discussion of a particular professional/workday challenge, and a motivational idea meant to spur personal growth. Readers will love this new e-book from Michael Priebe, author of The Lovely Grind: Spiritual Inspiration for Workdays. 

 

Tags: Christian Devotional, Workday Devotional, Stress Relief, Professional Development, Personal Development, The Lovely Grind, Christian Workday Devotional, Christian Daily Devotional, Professional Growth, Personal Development, Spiritual Growth

 

 

True Professional Development

 

Are you seeking ways to better cope with the stress and hectic pace of the daily grind? Are you seeking greater meaning and fulfillment out of it all? True Professional Development offers readers fifteen daily workday devotional messages meant to aid spiritual growth, personal development, and professional fulfillment. Each message includes two applicable Scripture verses, a discussion of a particular professional/workday challenge, and a motivational idea meant to spur personal growth. Readers will love this new e-book from Michael Priebe, author of The Lovely Grind: Spiritual Inspiration for Workdays. 

 

Tags: Christian Devotional, Workday Devotional, Stress Relief, Professional Development, Personal Development, The Lovely Grind, Christian Workday Devotional, Christian Daily Devotional, Professional Growth, Personal Development, Spiritual Growth

 

 

 

 

THE LOVELY GRIND: SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FOR WORKDAYS offers 90 devotional messages that will help you find rest, renewal, and perspective for your workweek and beyond.

 

WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW? Difficult coworkers? A lack of professional fulfillment? Financial concerns? Balancing work with the rest of your life?

 

By discussing a variety of professional stressors and personal-life challenges and then offering spiritual and thought-provoking perspective on each, THE LOVELY GRIND gives readers a truly unique devotional experience.

Get a copy for yourself and don't forget to order one for a friend or family member who has been feeling fatigued or stressed out lately. Come join THE LOVELY GRIND & start living lovely!

 

CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING

 

 

If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.

 

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