Common Misconceptions (in my case)
Below are some comments made in my case which highlighted some of the common misconceptions about benzodiazepines I encountered with regards to addiction / dependency and withdrawal effects.
- The prescribing doctor during the treatment: “You need to toughen up”
- A friend whilst going through withdrawal: “It’s all in your head”
- The prescribing doctor during litigation: “It must only happen to foreigners”
- Various parties during litigation: “He already had various symptoms before the treatment”
Regarding comments 1 and 2 above:
Consider the following quote from leading International expert, Prof. Heather Ashton.
“Benzodiazepine withdrawal is a severe illness. The patients were usually frightened, often in intense pain, and genuinely prostrated. The severity and duration of the illness are easily underestimated by medical and nursing staff, who tend to dismiss the symptoms as "neurotic." In fact, through no fault of their own, the patients suffer considerable physical as well as mental distress.”
Regarding comment 3 above:
Consider the following quote also from leading International expert, Prof. Heather Ashton.
“I get desperate e-mails from India, S Africa and almost any country you can think of - except China and 'Russia' ”
Regarding comment 4 above:
Of course I already had various symptoms before the treatment, otherwise why would I go to see the doctor in the first place?
This was not the issue. The issue was that I didn’t get better, I get worse – a lot worse! This worsening was evident in the worsening of original symptoms and the development of new ones (both during the treatment and upon reduction).
This fact was established by Addictive Medicine Specialist, Dr. Graeme Judson in section 2 of his third report which was based on the official court evidence (mainly patient files).
Further, Dr. Judson gave clear reasons, also based on the official court evidence, with regards to why this worsening of my condition was due to benzodiazepine addiction / dependency and not just stress or an underlying anxiety condition (as the defense appeared to be claiming) in article 3.3 of the same report.