**An idea: having this information BEFORE coming off psych drugs might actually help one heal enough to not do as much damage in that process. I don’t know this for certain but I intuit that it’s likely. Healing the gut also helps heal the psyche in general for folks who’ve not started taking psych meds. This is something I know.
Things are very rapidly changing right now…I shared the below info in one of my healing groups…some of my readers may find it helpful too so I’m going to share some bits and pieces in this post. I don’t feel ready to write in-depth about this topic but introducing it seems to make sense because everyone I interact with in my private life who is also healing from protracted psych drug withdrawal issues is finding this phase I’m going through very interesting and some folks have started pursuing something similar for themselves too.
I’ve been treating biofilms with a variety of enzymes (several different kinds) with great results. I’m fairly far into my recovery with protracted psych drug withdrawal syndrome…so it’s important to point out I did not tolerate enzymes for several years…but now that I do…treatment has become critically important and I’m getting better and better.
It’s not only important to get good “probiotics” into us. It’s often also important to work at getting the bad microbes OUT.
Biofilms are when pathogenic bacteria and yeasts form a defensive substrate. It’s likely the foundational reason it’s difficult for many people to profoundly heal their guts. From Wikipedia:
A biofilm is any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other on a surface. These adherent cells are frequently embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilm extracellular polymeric substance, which is also referred to as slime (although not everything described as slime is a biofilm), is a polymeric conglomeration generally composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. Biofilms may form on living or non-living surfaces and can be prevalent in natural, industrial and hospital settings. The microbial cells growing in a biofilm are physiologically distinct from planktonic cells of the same organism, which, by contrast, are single-cells that may float or swim in a liquid medium.
Biofilms are likely implicated in all the chronic illnesses that I’ve found those of us with protracted withdrawal issues have in common. That includes chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and many autoimmune issues. See: Protracted psych drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia: it’s autonomic nervous system dysfunction
When I shared this info with folks in my chronic illness circles someone asked about my protocol so far and I share that below as I shared it with them. The thing to be clear about is that it changes daily at this point…things are really intense but clearly good stuff is happening that I simply couldn’t tolerate…(The most key factor for those of us impacted with severe protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome is that the nervous system can’t tolerate the necessary detox until necessary time and initial care has been taken. For me that meant several years of nursing my nervous system with an uber clean diet, meditation, yoga, and very very slow detox with gentle agents generally not recommended by anyone who is into detox because detox at the stage I’m finally able to handle now and that I’m sharing is far too aggressive for those of us with a damaged nervous system from psych drugs)
My current “protocol” changes daily in that I always respond to my body. So I can’t say I do anything totally regimented. This is because my body remains delicate and my nervous system must be carefully catered to. What I’ve been doing is taking three different potent biofilm disruptors, all of which have a lot of different enzymes. They are Syntol — which includes a probiotic — and Neprinol (both by Arthur Andrew Medical)– I slowly worked up to the maximum therapeutic dose, but don’t do that religiously and generally take them around the clock as it makes sense (so I don’t take 4, 3x a day…I might take 2 – four to six times a day for example…sometimes I take a lot less. I find I tolerate less of the Syntol and have to cut back more frequently) My body wants more or less at different times. As the detox continues and the die-off diminishes I expect this to change.
Then I recently added Interfase Plus (Klaire Labs) and that really helped a lot additionally…I do the same with them…up to the therapeutic dose as my body wants it. I continue to eat really clean and am doing a candida type diet for the short-term as well.
The initial 2 weeks was super intense and I had to manage the detox carefully…resting a lot and taking breaks between doses etc.
I think it’s important to point out that I have not tolerated and continue to not tolerate the more potent targeted anti-fungals that are also derived from plants (most often used for candida) like caprylic acid, oil of oregano, undecylenic acid etc. I believe this indicates that the die-off is simply still too much for my nervous system. That said, these enzymes are also very effectively killing off these pathogens and that is clear by what I’m going through now. I’m confident that what I’m doing is hastening profound healing.
The above substances for candida can be very helpful substances for folks who do not have the sorts of hyper-sensitivities many of my readers have. So if you don’t have such issues they may be worth exploring. I may at some point try them again as my hyper-sensitivities continue to diminish. I think it’s likely that at some point I will tolerate most anything once again. Healing is happening!
Sometimes I use activated charcoal at night to clear out the toxins. I drink psyllium husk drinks with the activated charcoal…I take additional probiotics besides the Syntol as my body likes…I take Prescript Assist and Primal Defense…and a liquid detox probiotic from Ascended Health (which actually really helped get me ready for this phase I’m in right now) … I did a lot of prep to get here really…with probiotics (which I’d not tolerated for a lot of years either) and herbs etc. …
My histamine issues seem mostly gone since I started the detox…I can eat most of foods again that I couldn’t eat for years…I’m still very much in process so not sure how it’s all going to unfold. There are some foods I’ve not felt inclined to add back…because they’re problematic foods in any case. Gluten and nightshades, to be clear. I do have the genes for Celiac disease and nightshades are toxic for a lot of people and neither group of foods appeal to me at this point so I’ve not added them back.
I have found that it’s important for me to not think I can copy anyone else’s protocol but I learn from others all the time. I suggest the same to any reader of this material. My intent in sharing this information is not that it be copied exactly but that folks might get ideas about how to proceed on their own unique path.
Of note too: the detox has been fascinating in that it illuminates my psyche too. That which needs release/transmutation/integration comes to light so that it can be processed…so the detox has been incredibly emotionally and spiritually cathartic. I suggest going easy and being gentle…the enzymes are extremely powerful… I didn’t tolerate them for many years. I had to do all I did before I got here…very slowly detoxing and healing.
The gentle agents that helped me get to where I could tolerate what I’m doing now were first simply a really clean diet. For me that meant a low histamine diet. Later when I could tolerate them, herbs were added. Healing herbs that helped heal the gut too in that they include gentle anti-fungal and bacterial properties included bugleweed, nigella sativa seeds and oil (black seed oil), holy basil, lemon balm and many more. I mostly bought bulk loose herbs and made tea that way. It was easy to control dose and it’s much cheaper too. I also ate a lot of fresh cilantro, dill and parsley and I mean a lot, both raw and cooked. Also more recently adding fish oils, phospholipids, CoQ10, and a large variety of minerals among other things have participated in my preparation. That phase was not only strengthening my nervous system it was also healing my mitochondria. I continue with those supplements as well. Remember I didn’t tolerate ANY OF THESE substances for several years. So if that’s you too, just keep on taking your time. It gets better.
Herbs have played an incredibly important part in my healing and continue to do so.
I would not have reached the point where I can now attack the biofilm without the year of intense herbal therapy that I created for myself. I am happy to also say that I’m planning on taking a class towards my certification come January. A real class in which I attend in person. It will be my first such commitment out in the world and I’m very happy about that. Yes, I’m getting better. Yes, it gets better.
UPDATE and FYI: I only tolerated the above supplements for a couple of months and then had to go back to far gentler methods. This is okay. I didn’t see it as a set back…it’s what my body needed at the moment. Listening to our bodies and what they need is always a good thing. The journey for me has rarely involved sticking to any course of treatment that would be considered usual in just about any mainstream healing circle. I continue to get healthier and healthier while listening to the hypersensitivity which guides me. What works for you will likely be completely different than what works for me.
Charles Parker has a great collection of additional info on his site CorePsych right here.
- Histamine intolerance
- Nutrition and gut health, mental health and diet
- Psychiatric drugs and mitochondrial damage
- Immune Response is Secondary to Trauma
*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well-educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up
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.