After a recent discussion with a client and his father about his journey and the tremendous progress he has made, they both gave me permission to share their story.
I first encountered the client when he was 12 years old and he was attending an alternative school, having just being discharged from a residential facility. I was a consultant for a time to the alternative school, and was asked to meet the young man for an evaluation. He had been abandoned by his mother and endured some very traumatic experiences. However, what was most disturbing is the fact that though he had undergone situations of abuse, he said that his time at the residential faciltity was more traumatic than any of that and he was never treated there like a human being.
I listened and validated him, and we made an immediate connection. One day, he became very escalated at school, and I overheard one of the staff speaking to him in a rather aggressive way and it only fueled more escalation. I went into the room to help calm the situation. Thereafter, he and his father requested if I would be his therapist and I agreed.
I came to learn that he had been tried on 8 different psychiatric drugs and was presently on 4 when I agreed to work with him as his therapist. He had abnormal bloodwork and an immune system deficiency from the psychiatric drugs but it wasn’t being addressed. The father stated that each time he went to see the psychiatrist, the meeting lasted only 5 minutes, medications remained the same, a few questions were asked, scripts written, and they were ignored and sent on their way.
It was not until I wrote a very concerned letter that this psychiatrist began weaning the drugs and eventually he was off of all them and the father and the young man never went back to see this psychiatrist. I continued to build on the relationship and connection with this young man, and he made remarkable progress.
From daily outbursts and conflict and much emotional turmoil and multiple medications, he progressed to no longer having any of these so called outbursts, is free from psychiatric drugs, and has been able to feel he is human once again. I broke down barriers with this young man, I did not seek to be in a position of power over him as so many had, but sought simply to be with and to understand.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.