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Memory flashes

4218 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Manof_theFuture
I've been getting all kinds of different reoccuring memory flashes of events, or people and things I havent thought about in a very very long time. It's really strange and hard to explain 'cause I've never had it happen. If you are familiar with this kind of thing; do you know if it's common with DP/DR or is it possibly another benzo thing goin on?
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Very common in benzo withdrawal. Its even specifically listed in the Ashton Manual. I experienced this also.

I have my own crazy theory on this. The brain is a very adaptive organ. I believe when a person takes benzos their serotonin supply is reduced. In a healthy, drug free brain Serotonin mediates gaba. When you take benzos the gaba is already mediated by the drug so the serotonin isnt of as much use so the brain compensates by slowing the output. Over time a person becomes short of serotonin and I believe this is why long term benzo users are often depressed. When the drug is taken away the brain has to build up its supply of serotonin which takes time, not to mention changes occur in the gaba itself so it no longer mediates excitatory nts like it should. It all adds up to a big mess and the reason benzo withdrawal is a nightmare.

Serotonin is very closely linked to our memory. The memory flashes that occur are a very good sign that the brain is slowly going back online with all its chemicals working as they should. When I started to really recover, I noticed during vigorous excersise that the memory flashes were really intense. This makes sense because excersise increases the output of serotonin.

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Directly from the Ashton Manual....

Intrusive memories. A fascinating symptom in patients undergoing benzodiazepine withdrawal is that they often mention the occurrence of what seem to be intrusive memories. Their minds will suddenly conjure up a vivid memory of someone they have not thought about or seen for years. Sometimes the other person's face will appear when looking in the mirror. The memory seems uncalled for and may recur, intruding on other thoughts. The interesting thing about these memories is that they often start to occur at the same time that vivid dreams appear; these may be delayed until one or more weeks after the dosage tapering has started. Since recent sleep research indicates that certain stages of sleep (REMS and SWS) are important for memory functions, it is likely that the dreams and the memories are connected. In both cases the phenomena may herald the beginning of a return in normal memory functions and, although sometimes disturbing, can be welcomed as a sign of a step towards recovery.

Poor memory and concentration are also features of benzodiazepine withdrawal, and are probably due to continued effects of the drug. Mentors should be prepared to repeat encouragements again and again, week after week, as their words are soon forgotten.
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