“Dependence” means that withdrawal symptoms have made it hard to stop a medicine. This effect is often purely physical, and does not mean that you are “psychologically addicted” or have become and addict. If they are taken for less than three months, and the dose is reduced gradually, most people can stop them without experiencing withdrawal. When benzodiazepines are stopped abruptly, withdrawal symptoms can include:
Insomnia, anxiety, tremor, irritability, headache, dizziness, depression, increased or abnormal perception, feeling outside your body, paranoia, and seizures.
After steady use for longer than a year, it is harder to come off them, but this can still be accomplished by switching to a long-acting benzodiazepine and lowering the dose gradually.
“Tolerance” means that you need to take more of the medication to get the same effects as when you first took it. This condition is a sign that dependence may be occurring.
“Addiction” means that you go out of your way to get a “high” from a medicine. “Going out of your way” often means behavior that is destructive to your life. Most people with anxiety are very cautious about medicines and do not seek them out in this way, and people without anxiety usually don’t like the sedation that benzodiazepines cause. People with a personal or family history of alcohol or drug addiction may become addicted to benzodiazepines, and unfortunately taking them in an addictive way will usually lead to physical dependence on them.
I hope this helps you understand the drug and that you will talk with your physician at length re your concerns.
Take care and stick with us,