The following listings provide information for people looking for alternatives to conventional, drug-focused care.

Please send submissions to Laura Delano at ldelano@[email protected]

Please note: Mad In America does not endorse any of the listings here. We provide this information simply as a resource for readers.

Information on Psychopharmaceutical Drugs

AntiDepAware

AntiDepAware promotes awareness of the dangers of antidepressants, in particular to the problem of antidepressants “being prescribed to those who are not depressed, to whom they are likely to do more harm than good.” The the site offers a link to inquest reports in England and Wales over the past 10 years, found mostly in the online archives of local newspapers.

CriticalThinkRx

CriticalThinkRx:

  • Offers a prescription for critical thinking about psychotropic medications and a more balanced evaluation of the “prescription situation” based on ethical codes of practice of medical and non-medical helping professions.
  • Aims to sharpen critical skills of mental health and child welfare professionals assessing and practicing with children and adolescents who may be medicated with psychiatric drugs.
  • Tries to close gaps between research and practice to maximize opportunities to help clients and avoid harm
  • Emphasizes the ethical dictate: “First, do no harm” and recommends:
    • Use of psychotropic medications that have been reported to have serious adverse effects in children – including death – should be halted as first-line interventions until research demonstrates that both short- and long-term benefits outweigh the already known risks.
    • Psychosocial interventions for children’s behavioral problems have been empirically-validated and should be implemented as first-line interventions.

All investigators and consultants have agreed to forego pharmaceutical industry funding for the entire duration of this project in order to reduce financial conflicts of interest.

The UCSF Drug Industry Document Archive

The Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA) contains internal corporate documents from large pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Parke-Davis, Wyeth, and Pfizer. These documents reveal questionable drug industry practices concerning clinical trials, publication of study results, pricing, marketing, relations with physicians and involvement in continuing medical education.

Drugwatch

“Drugwatch.com reports on the latest information regarding dangerous drugs and defective medical devices. We give you the information you need, when you need it. Our Patient Advocates can answer your medical questions and point you to a specialist. They can also assess your situation and help you find an attorney.”

Search Nursing Home Deficiency Reports

ProPublica offers an interactive tool that lets you search nursing home inspection reports for problems such as antipsychotic overprescribing.

DrugNews

“The mission of DrugNews is to improve patient safety through education. By providing the latest safety alerts, FDA recalls, studies and legal news, patients can discuss treatment options with their doctor, learn of current litigation over side effects, and decide if they need legal advice.”

Madness Radio

Madness Radio: Voices and Visions From Outside Mental Health is a regular FM show produced through WXOJ-LP in Northampton MA, and aired on KWMD in Anchorage Alaska, KBOO in Portland Oregon, and several other stations. Madness Radio is syndicated through the Pacifica community radio network and shows are picked up by stations around the country and internationally. The show is also vailable online and through iTunes. Hour long shows are produced monthly, with a special 30-minute version also available.

Zoloft (and other SSRIs) Lawsuit Center

The Zoloft Lawsuit Center offers information on the problems linked to a range of antidepressants, including Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Lexapro, and the lawsuits associated with them.

Psychrights

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) is a non-profit public interest law firm whose mission is to mount a strategic legal campaign against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock in the United States. A treasure trove of scientific research and literature on medication and the legal aspects of forced medication.

Alliance for Human Research Protection

From the website: “The (AHRP) is a national network of lay people and professionals dedicated to advancing responsible and ethical medical research practice, to minimizing the risks associated with such endeavors and to ensuring that the human rights, dignity and welfare of human subjects are protected.”

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Resources

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome Round-up

Beyond Meds has numerous resources on the topic of psychiatric drug withdrawal and is a starting point for withdrawal information on the web.

Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications

Written by Peter Breggin, MD and David Cohen, PhD in 2007, this book seeks to “expose the shortcomings of psychiatric drugs and to guide patients and doctors through the process of withdrawing from them.”

Coming Off Psych Drugs: A Meeting of the Minds

A 2013 film by Daniel Mackler.  “In June of 2012, twenty-three people came together to discuss the subject of coming off psychiatric drugs. We were psychiatric survivors, therapists, mental health consumers, family members, and activists, united by a passion for truth-telling. More than half of us had successfully come off psych drugs, including cocktails of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. What resulted from our three-day gathering was an unforgettable meeting of the minds.”

Video on Coming off Medications: A Harm Reduction Approach

This video provides some basic guidance for anyone considering reducing or coming off psychiatric medications and their supporters, which is discussed in greater detail in the Harm Reduction Guide. This video and Guide are in the spirit of peer support and mutual aid for educational purposes, and not medical advice. (While everyone is different, coming off medications, especially abruptly, can sometimes be dangerous. Seek support when possible and use caution.)

Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

A 2013 book by MIA blogger, Matt Samet, chronicling his “near-fatal struggle with anxiety and depression, and his nightmarish journey through the dangerous world of prescription drugs.”

Recovery & Renewal: Your essential guide to overcoming dependency and withdrawal from sleeping pills, other ‘benzo’ tranquillisers and antidepressants

Recovery and Renewal is an essential guide for overcoming dependency and withdrawal from sleeping pills, other benzodiazepine tranquillisers and antidepressants. It is a useful, insightful and incredibly courageous book which delivers everything you need to know before, during and after. Family and friends will better understand the experience and will be equipped to give support. Doctors, counsellors, rehabilitation staff, recovery and mental health organisations will gain invaluable insight critical to providing best care. All proceeds from the sale of this book are paid to the Recovery Road charity.”

Benzo Buddies

Benzo Buddies provides information and support to plan and execute a benzodiazepine withdrawal schedule.

The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs – 2nd Edition

The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, written by Will Hall and published by The Icarus Project and Freedom Center five years ago, is now available in a revised edition!

Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers

The world-wide first book about the issue of coming off psychiatric drugs.  “Successful coming down from psychiatric drugs primarily addresses treated people who want to withdraw on their own decision. It also addresses their relatives and therapists. Millions of people are taking psychiatric drugs. For them, detailed accounts of how others came off these substances without ending up once again in the doctor’s office are of fundamental interest. With forewards by Judi Chamberlin, Pirkko Lahti, and Loren Mosher.”

Proactive Planning

The Proactive Planning site is intended to be a resource to those seeking information and resources on learning how to safely reduce or withdraw from psychotropic drugs and restore their life while healing the issues that often cause one to seek help to begin with.

Xanax Withdrawal 

“Xanax Withdrawal” is by Dr. Stuart Shipko, a clinician in Pasadena, California who has focused to some degree on tapering people off psychiatric drugs and withdrawal syndrome. He’s one of the few doctors who will give a diagnosis of withdrawal syndrome for insurance purposes or in a lawsuit.

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and their Families 

Dr. Peter Breggin’s new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Families, is meant for prescribers, therapists, patients and their families who want guidance in tapering off drugs.

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs

Will Hall’s Harm Reduction Guide, published by the Icarus Project and Freedom Center.

Video: Coming Off Medications: A Harm Reduction Approach

Video by Will Hall explaining some of the important things to consider when choosing to reduce medications.

Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw

Protocol for the Treatment of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, written by Dr. C. Heather Ashton (“The Ashton Manual), published on Benzo.org

Coming Off Psychiatric Meds

Comingoff.com is a website that “…aims to give you up to date information about psychiatric medication, how it functions and the withdrawal process. It is put together by people who have been prescribed medication and withdrawn from it, and clinicians who have been involved in supporting this process.”

The Road Back

A widely used outpatient drug withdrawal program. The Road Back publishes the free book How to Get Off Psychoactive Drugs Safely.

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Communities

Recovery Road

Recovery Road Wellness Project’s focus is on providing self-help and coping strategies to individuals currently experiencing benzo and antidepressant withdrawal and dependency, and on providing resources for moving on, reintegrating, and living fully functional lives.

“Welcome to our Recovery Road comprehensive website which provides individuals and families affected by withdrawal and dependency on sleeping pills, other benzodiazepine tranquillisers, Z-drugs and antidepressants with self-help information and coping strategies and promotes education and awareness through our “Recovery & Renewal” book, our You Tube inspirational channel and Facebook community.   With our responsible, up-to-date and invaluable guidance and information our website visitors are able to cope well. Thank you for visiting us and we hope you will benefit from what you read here.”

Surviving Antidepressants

Surviving Antidepressants provides volunteer peer support for antidepressant withdrawal, while tapering off and after you quit.

Benzodiazepines Co-operation Not Confrontation (BCNC)

BCNC is a website aimed at helping people reduce from benzodiazepines. It includes links, book reviews, support groups, and other information.

Benzo Buddies

Benzo Buddies provides information and support to plan and execute a benzodiazepine withdrawal schedule.

Med Free Or Working On It

A website for “survivors of medical abuse, through psychiatric drugs and other medications, and are looking for healthy ways to support our minds and bodies.”

Paxil Progress

Paxil Progress is a forum for people engaged in withdrawal from Paxil. It also offers adverse drug reaction reporting, FDA Warnings, published withdrawal studies, and pregnancy warnings.

Seroxat (Paxil) & SSRI User Group

The Seroxat & SSRI User Group was founded to support and advise patients experiencing problems with Seroxat (Paxil). This English-based group offers information, forums, book reviews and articles on withdrawal from SSRIs.

Beyondmeds.com

Beyond Meds presents alternatives to psychiatry, along with information and support for withdrawal and recovery.

Benzo.org

U.K. based website focussing on benzodiazepine addiction, withdrawal & recovery.

Alternative Therapies and Modalities

Beyond Psychotropics: A Practical Introduction to Non-Drug Therapies and Wellness Basics for the Treatment of Adult Mental Health Issues

“This paper by Craig Wagner is for adults with mental health issues and their supporters. It helps answer the difficult question, “what can I do?” by distilling a significant body of mental health research down to a pragmatic menu of 21 proven non-drug options. The focus is on non-drug approaches since these are often given insufficient priority and may well offer the best hope for recovery. It encourages personal ownership, informed decision making and prudent experimentation, since mental health recovery is unique to the individual. With it, readers can better understand, select and enact a set of approaches with their healthcare providers that represent their unique recovery plan.”

Spiritual Recovery

Spiritual Recovery explores the “transformative experience that in this culture and setting would be identified as psychosis.”

EFT for Medication Withdrawal

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) involves tapping on stress-relieving points of the body while reciting affirmations to help manage withdrawal symptoms. This approach has been shown to help with many anxiety issues in addition to medication withdrawal, as it is being used here.

Integrative Mental Health for You (IMHU)

IMHU’s mission:

“To improve mental healthcare by forwarding an integrative, ‘wellness’ model, independent of special interests and lobbies.  Integrative Mental Health considers and attends to biological issues, psychological and social problems, as well as the profound need for psycho-spiritual growth.  Practitioners take a cautious approach to the use of psychiatric drugs.

We facilitate a greater understanding of the integrative model by showcasing prominent experts who give online presentations and courses.  This empowers patients and their loved ones to make informed decisions about the full spectrum of effective options for care.  We also provide a center for healthcare professionals (MDs, psychologists, therapists and nurses) to expand their knowledge and skills in integrative methods of diagnosis and care.”

The International Network of Integrative Mental Health (INIMH)

The International Network of Integrative Mental Health (INIMH) is a “A global organization to advance an integrative whole person approach to mental health through education, research, networking and advocacy.”

Madness Radio

Madness Radio: Voices and Visions From Outside Mental Health is a regular FM show produced through WXOJ-LP in Northampton MA, and aired on KWMD in Anchorage Alaska, KBOO in Portland Oregon, and several other stations. Madness Radio is syndicated through the Pacifica community radio network and shows are picked up by stations around the country and internationally. The show is also vailable online and through iTunes. Hour long shows are produced monthly, with a special 30-minute version also available.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction began at the U.Mass. Medical Center in 1979 and is now offered in over 200 medical centers around the world, as well as in countless private groups and classes, as a proven complement to medical treatment. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, based on the MBSR program, works with the thoughts and feelings of depression and introduces skills for mastering them.

Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry

Book of alternatives to psychiatry around the world, edited by Peter Stastny and Peter Lehmann. (Ex-) users and survivors of psychiatry, therapists, psychiatrists, lawyers, social scientists and relatives report about their alternative work, their successes, their individual and collective experiences. The book highlights alternatives beyond psychiatry, current possibilities of self-help for individuals experiencing madness, and strategies toward implementing humane treatment. With a link to “Self-help & Alternatives beyond Psychiatry” - Peter Lehmann’s International Internet Portal on Humanistic Antipsychiatry

International Guide to the World of Alternative Mental Health

Alternative Mental Health.com offers a directory of alternative mental health practitioners, a bookstore, support groups, email lists, and a monthly newsletter in support of reducing dependency on psychiatric medication. Alternative Mental Health.com looks for medical problems, allergies, toxic conditions, nutritional imbalances, poor diets, lack of exercise, or other treatable physical conditions that may underly “mental” disorders.

Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention

Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, based on the work of Jon Kabatt-Zinn in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Zindel Segal in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, is proven to help people withdraw from addictive substances and medications.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

The Sensotimotor Psychotherapy Institute works with trauma and dissociation using a mindfulness-based approach.