MIA’s New Directory of Providers For Psych Drug Withdrawal

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One of the first things I heard from Bob Whitaker when I joined Mad In America was this, “I get emails every single day from people asking if I know where they can get help coming off their medication, and I don’t know what to tell them. We need to do something about this.” Since then, I’ve received many messages with the same question myself, and rarely have I been able to offer concrete advice.

Thankfully, that has changed! Today, we are pleased to announce the Mad In America directory of service providers featuring practitioners and programs who support withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, as well as other alternatives to the mainstream paradigm of care.

I am excited about the opportunities this list will open up for individuals who know they want to reduce or cease their psych drugs and previously had trouble finding real-world assistance. Several of you have asked for this feature explicitly and it has taken longer than hoped for us to deliver, but here we are! I want to thank Laura Delano for her hard work in compiling this directory by evaluating existing lists and undertaking an impressive amount of personal outreach.

Laura has also updated and re-organized our resources page.

In its current state of roughly one hundred entries, our directory is in its infancy. We hope it will grow with your support to include many more practitioners who are willing to provide this highly demanded service.

Nominations for listings can be submitted directly to the site using the button in the upper-right corner of the directory. They will be reviewed, verified, and published by Laura Delano. You may also email suggested entries to her at [email protected]

Entries can be viewed both by location and by category. Our list of categories includes:

  • Alternative Communities
  • Alternatives to Psychiatric Hospitals
  • Peer Respites
  • Places that Support Drug Withdrawal
  • Practitioners who Support Drug Withdrawal

Entries in the first three categories are various alternatives to the mainstream paradigm of care. Entries in the last two categories explicitly support drug withdrawal.

Our initial listings all reside in the United States except for one in Canada. We welcome submissions from all over the world!

The current location and category being viewed are listed in the upper-left corner of the directory. The site will remember which location you have last chosen when browsing the directory, so if you are surprised to see an empty page, be sure to make sure you are viewing the right region! Empty regions are hidden, so if you don’t see your state it’s because we don’t have a listing there yet.

I want to provide a disclaimer, which is that we are not doing any in-depth vetting, review, or certification of the listed practitioners and organizations. This list represents simply those service providers who share a willingness to support individuals who are reducing or ceasing the use of psychiatric drugs. Their beliefs, tools, and qualifications for who can receive this service naturally represent a broad spectrum with as many unique points as there are entries in the directory. Certain resources may be very useful to some individuals, while unhelpful to others.

It is my belief that this offering furthers our cause to encourage individual research, critical thinking, and thoughtful decision-making around mental health care.

Thank you for your support in making the directory, and this entire site, happen. I hope you all will spread the news of this service far and wide so that its existence becomes known to anyone who might find it useful.

Please respond below or email me at [email protected] if you have any problems or suggestions regarding using the directory or any other aspect of the website.

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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.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly, this list is badly needed, and it’s great that Matt and Laura have produced it. It is probably already well-known to you, but MindFreedom has a list of therapists, etc, who provide alternative approaches to the present system. I suspect a lot of these people, while maybe not focused on this issue, would be willing to support people getting off psych drugs.

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  2. A very exciting development. It’s very encouraging to see people like yourselves acting in practical terms to effect change in this very urgent area. Would love to see such developments in Australia. Hard to find people who are of like mind here. They must be out there – just can’t find a common forum!

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  3. Matt,

    Thank you for this. I previously had found a excellent psychiatrist, who is also a psychoanalyst, and who has helped me to taper off of a neuroleptic that I’ve been on for some 9 years. As I’ve reported elsewhere on this site, even after only 1/3 down, the cognitive, emotional and social benefits — restored benefits — have been truly remarkable. This is, of course, at once wonderful and disturbing. I write here seeking counsel in regard to one of the challenges recovery has brought to me, more because I’ve found that comments to bloggers’ pieces elicit more responses than questions and comments within the forums section of the page, than because my comments relate specifically to your post. I also know you’re the web developer, so maybe you can think about whether this is a broader problem shared by other users of this wonderful site. The challenge I want to seek counsel about is, how does one who is in recovery navigate changes in their interactions with loved ones. My wife and I married after I was already on neuroleptics, and so she has always experienced me as the relatively more docile, distracted, slower, socially-avoidant, pessimistic, unmotivated, uninspired and low-energy person that I became (increasingly and cumulatively) on the drugs. Now, neither of us finds that version of me unlovable at all, and I’ve been very successful in all life aspects while on neuroleptics and believe they were once helpful to me, but both of us find that version to be markedly different than where I currently am. Neither of us realized the profound effects the drugs were having on me for many years, and we both accepted that the version of me on the drugs was my baseline. Now, while it is wonderful that my mind, heart, spirit and interactive fluency have returned to me, it is jarring for both of us. I am more assertive with her, I stand up for myself more, I embrace anger in a way I never did previously, I don’t avoid conflict as I did previously, I challenge her more intellectually, I pursue ambitions I neglected before. These are all positive things (and there are other affects that have not presented problems for us), but we have settled into a way of interacting that no longer is acceptable to me and it has had the effect of breaking down our communication. I also think my wife feels in some ways that I’m not the mane she fell in love with, and is struggling to find me and us in this new reality. Surely others have struggled with this challenge. We’re working with my psychiatrist but, in some ways, the most reliable experts are those of us who have successfully tapered off of personality-altering drugs and have faced the inevitable challenges on the other side.

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    • I am aware that people do not use the forums very much and I would like to see them be a place where exactly this sort of conversation can be happening. Thanks for bringing it up here!

      I want to encourage you to also make this post in the forums. The discussion will not pick up there unless someone starts new topics! Since the blog posts are so ephemeral, this question may drop off the map soon. In the forums it will stay present for others to engage in.

      In my personal experience the strain that major life changes and personal development can have on relationships is a common issue. I know people who who have similar trouble with their partners after going through therapy, attending a meditation retreat, or having some other transformative experience.

      Good luck working it out together! To me it seems like a mixed blessing, but very much a blessing, when the parameters of an intimate relationship change and both people have to grow into the new reality.

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      • My husband and I went through a bumpy transition once I found my voice and my opinions we sought out a marriage counselor to help with the break down in communication. Its hard to have a dialogue with someone who was once just a sideliner with no difference of opinion and then the first time you realize what your voice sounds like you realize you got a lot more to say. Your also taking an active role in decision making and daily run of things which can be disconcerting for someone who has been at the helm of the ship all this time. (your wife) I always wondered why my husband and I didn’t fight more inn the beginning cause my friends were all telling me he was a Leo and I was a Taurus it just wouldn’t work between us. It turned out I was a control freak and I already knew he was but until we adjusted to the fact that I was taking over the running of my house and finances and well I let him decide whats for dinner everyday. lol It was funny cause there for a couple of months he slept on the couch more than he had ever done. Then in therapy one day my therapist asked him if he wasn’t tired of making all the decisions and running everything? Would’nt he enjoy just taking it easy and letting someone he knew he could trust not to sink the ship to take over for awhile? He hasn’t slept on the couch since! Good Luck to the both of you while you reacquaint yourselves and in some cases get to know more about one another!! Its an exciting journey.

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  4. Please I need help to taper off Ativan ..I am suffering, and have nowhere to turn 🙁 I am debilitated, and home bound.
    I have made two cuts, and am stuck holding to stabilize for 6 weeks now, with no relief in sight. I may be suffering from Tolerance Withdrawal.
    Please help me …I will be grateful ..Chloe

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