Healing the Gut: Biofilm Eradication

**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.

What-is-BiofilmThings 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:

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.[2][3] 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



*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.


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  1. Hi Monica, thanks for the great information and sharing what has worked for you. I’ve noticed I have a negative reaction to raw garlic and raw ginger during recovery, and I am wondering if they are too “detoxifying” for my system. Any thoughts?


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    • it’s possible, yes. I can’t know for sure (we never really do with this stuff) but I definitely was calling a lot of detox symptoms a reaction to foods…for a long time before I began to understand what was going on. Raw garlic has a very strung anti-fungal property…very strong…and so does ginger…Garlic though is actually commonly recommended as an anti-fungal with candida and you can get it in pills etc.

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  2. Big thanks for the great information I haven’t been able to get anywhere! I mean…I guess the cause of why I was having all the symptoms I was after quitting imipramine and beer-over a seven year stretch, ending in 94, weren’t understood in the proper/correct context: protracted psych med withdrawal!. I knew, instinctively, it was a big part of the sudden appearance of new symptoms, but nobody, and I mean nobody I paid good money to, thought so. Though I’ve regained much of my original health, there’s still a few residual issues. Maybe with your info, much of it new to me, I can push this process to new levels of health. Thank you so much Monica!

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    • oh, wow, Kevin, I hope so. If it’s resonating strongly I imagine there is something in it for you…

      that said, I do not imagine that this is helpful to everyone with residual issues from psych drugs.

      I certainly hope it does help you out and please let us know once you do some more research and perhaps pursue your own trajectory with it.

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      • Robert Whitaker has shed light on how a whole industry not based on a provable science has created an epidemic: people in lesser developed countries not leaning on psychopharmaceuticals have recovered and maintained recovery from severe mental illnesses.

        “Biofilm Eradication”, etc. seems similar to the kind of thinking, “serotonin imbalance” that got us in this mess to begin with. That, and the pills that you are linking to on amazon.com equal one hundred and fifty dollars plus shipping of non-FDA approved substances that have no scientific proof behind it.

        “For me that meant several years of nursing my nervous system with an uber clean diet, meditation, yoga.” This is free—as it should be for survivors of the system. This more simply is mindfulness, diet, movement, and most of all, Time.

        There is a reason why there aren’t more responses to this: there are thousands of people recovering at any given time from psychiatric medications and the shocking similarity of side effects often mean that the tools for healing are similar.

        There is no ownership to healing regardless of people’s time or dedication to this cause. That being said, I hope Mad in America will widen their authorship to include a more measured guidance of holistic healing that doesn’t pivot and try to monetize experience.

        A movement is happening, but it will be a people’s movement, one that is equal and free to all. I’m offended by your affiliate fee links to Amazon, but I see it practiced on people’s personal blogs. I think Mad in America going into the next year should be more scrupulous about these things. As people heal and share notes, wellness is seen as more simpler (no more pills), and individualized than a health “protocol”.

        Healing to all.

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        • we’re sharing what is working for us…that is what you seem to be suggesting. (also 93 people saw fit to share it on Facebook…it also appeared on Beyond Meds which impacts the response here…it was shared another 171 times there) … suggesting folks do find it helpful.

          this is happening in my body right now. I don’t know exactly what is happening…the science suggests what I’ve shared…it’s happening in other people too with whom I interact online in chronic illness circles

          I don’t care what is actually happening. I know I ‘m getting better…all the time and I know that this path is the one I needed to get well. It’s not necessarily for anyone else and I say that again and again.

          the fact is some people are more gravely impacted by iatrogenic injuries than others. this is not a hard fact to grasp…and it’s the reality.

          you seem to have an inherent contradiction in what you’re saying.

          I make no money whatsoever for thousands of hours I put in writing and researching. I will not apologize for affiliate links. They are such that if someone follows them and buys ANYTHING at all from Amazon I get a (tiny) percent. It doesn’t matter if anyone buys what I link to.

          I really want to know how people expect us to survive when we work full time for this movement but don’t ask for money from the hundreds of people we help.

          I find your line of reasoning insulting. It’s ridiculous as well as completely unrealistic to expect us to survive in a capitalistic society and have no source of funding. It’s more than ridiculous it’s ungrateful and hateful both as well.

          I have never charged anyone for any of the hundreds of hours I’ve spent helping folks directly one on one to heal and find freedom from psychiatry.

          You clearly don’t want me to continue healing if you won’t allow me to try to survive in the very limited ways we can do that.

          Amazon has never brought in more than $120 in a months time and generally it’s more like $50 – 100. This is my work. I have to find other ways to survive right now because Amazon is not cutting it.

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          • and yes — NO to PROTOCOLS…I totally agree with that…that’s why I put quotes around the word protocol and said it CHANGES DAILY…that is not a protocol…it’s responding to my body in every moment…

            the reader had asked me what my “protocol” was so I entertained the question by using the word ….

            we need to respond to the body…each of us as we see fit for our own body. this is one the most fundamental things I say again and again…

            none of us is alike…

            we can still learn from each other…I’ve been informed by literally thousands of people now…yes, we the people…and science and sometimes doctors too…I will get good info from all over the place…and suggest others do the same…it’s like a puzzle and every single one of us has a different puzzle to solve.

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        • “That being said, I hope Mad in America will widen their authorship to include a more measured guidance of holistic healing that doesn’t pivot and try to monetize experience.”

          I am hard-pressed to understand how anyone could question, let alone impugn, the motives of the author of Beyond Meds. As someone who has learned and benefited enormously from the information that Monica Cassani has shared about her healing journey, I am unable to discern anything in her work and motivation as anything but a gift of extraordinary generosity and selflessness, using the wrongs done to her and her own experience with healing to help others. I assume you are not familiar with Beyond Meds; otherwise you would know that no one is more emphatic about everyone being different, the fact that something worked for her may not work for others, and that people on this type of path need to become detectives and find what works for them. That is a recurrent theme and mantra of Beyond Meds and I have found it to be true with my loved one whose recovery I am supporting. If the links in the post above constitute a technical violation of MIA’s posting policy, fine, let the editors fix that. (I personally do not mind them, because all this does is help my own research; it does not propel me to buy anything.) To suggest that there is anything untoward about Monica Cassani’s work or motives strikes me as not only as wrong-headed, but indecent in a profound way.

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          • This is the kind of thinking that brought millions of people into harm’s way: trusting psychiatrists implicitly, taking products blindly, and not questioning intentions. Her intentions have been clearly stated above: to increase her earnings, and she has no qualms about that.

            A few survivors in the community have let me know that she was banned from another site because she was doing similar tactics and defending herself with the same reasoning: “I am owed things for helping people”. I have no intention of swaying people like you, but to let Mad in America choose the direction of authorship they want to go in. I did contact Robert Whitaker, and I trust he’ll understand that this isn’t a technicality, as you call it. This kind of “technicality” gets called into question in tax exempt status, non-profit applications.

            People who were in the system, polydrugged, researching for the next antidepressant, mood stabilizer, etc., and thinking that research—flawed personal research were proven wrong and faced much harder recovery. That kind of magical thinking and trust is tragic, but to repeat it can be fatal. Sometimes, those Same people are the ones on the other side of recovery who haven’t critically faced that flawed thinking. You don’t look for more products, look for the next latest & greatest, and hawk the same products to other survivors to further your own literal personal gain. Because of the greyed out area of recovery, we’re left with experience, and we Have to question absurd pseudo-science, and raise questions when there is affiliate linking.

            If we don’t challenge our own survivors who claim to be experts or people who “guide” others in recovery, we’re doing a disservice to the movement. I expect people will be lost to this kind of false leadership, but I do hope Mad in America will keep things clean, use the knowledge available and hold authors to the highest standards. This does mean questioning intentions and being critical of this specific realm of recovery.

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          • the only site I’ve ever been banned from is Benzo Buddies. They banned me because I was outspoken about ALL drugs being problematic and they therefore called me anti psychiatry and found that to be offensive…

            they also used the links to amazon as a reason to block their users from linking to my site (which they’ve since stopped doing…for the last year or so they no longer block links to my site and their members do link to my site with some regularity)

            This was the reason they gave for banning me…this was cut and pasted…

            “Sorry Gianna, you are banned from using this forum!
            Your membership has been permanently suspended for refusing to remove a url to an anti-psychiatry site, from your profile. As well as a long history of moderation issues. (that site was Beyond Meds)
            This ban is not set to expire.”

            Increasing my earnings is a pretty funny way to talk about the very small amount of money that comes in. They said they wouldn’t allow links because of the Amazon links…again…I stated above how much money comes from those links.

            Also Robert Whitaker apparently didn’t have an issue with the links because they’ve not been removed. I told him I was fine with them being removed as they weren’t intended for this site when the piece was published.

            Anyway, thank you Get It Right. It’s really sad when folks attack others who are helping folks…and also trying to survive…and I don’t make enough to survive from this…not even close and I’ve not quit…I keep on doing it because it’s not a choice. It’s what I do and what I love. How lovely if we might find ways for it to sustain us financially too and support one another in doing so. So far few of us have found ways to do that. I’m not sure why it should be wrong to find ways to survive.

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          • also the “survivors” karis is talking about is someone I know…two people actually from Washington State…the only reason they even know I was banned from benzo buddies is because I wrote about the experience…they took the part about the amazon links and made it a big deal at the time as well…they were not members of that board so they only info they got was from me and my post…the real reason they banned me was for being critical about all drugs…which is something we all agree on here, I think…

            I wrote about benzo buddies here: if you want to take things out of context and embellish it like those other folks did…I can’t stop that. http://beyondmeds.com/2012/06/06/ive-been-banned-from-benzo-buddies/

            I’m really sorry this comment section has devolved like this. My best again to Get it Right. xo

            (I will not engage any further on this topic)

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  3. “Madinamerica.com does not host advertisements or sell any data about our readers. As such, our ongoing operations are funded entirely by the support of our readers.”

    Do you understand the implications of what you just wrote? It’s one thing to use affiliate fees on a personal blog, another to do on a site for a community of writers.

    You will find another way to make more money—you have causal knowledge, not scientific knowledge, but that sort of linking, affiliate fees for advertising products that you prefer has no place on this site. Eventually, Mad in America through funding, perhaps federal funding some day will be able to pay its writers. Until then, it’s disingenuous to fee link.

    If you’re saying that you are unable to make more than x amount / a month, yet you are linking to products that cost 3 times that, then you are missing the point that all survivors of the psychiatry are part of the same economic system, and it is not for our overall community’s health to take advantage of that.

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    • I’m happy to take the affiliate links out of this text. I am not the editor here I did not post my article here…the piece was cut and pasted from Beyond Meds and then posted by the editor here at MiA…I don’t think either one of us thought about the links.

      Take it up with the editors here. I had not read the line you just quoted above. I have no issue with complying with Mad in America’s guidelines and the links can be removed to be in keeping with that.

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      • We at Mad in America know Monica Cassani to be scrupulous in her research and writing, and stand by her. She does not speak prescriptively, nor does she invoke any authority other than her own experience. Rather, her consistent theme is to speak honestly about her own experience, and invite others to use that information in their ongoing pursuit of learning what works for them. Mad in America provides a forum for people to interact, inform, and strengthen their resources and resourcefulness in learning what is right for them in pursuit of their mental health, with the recognition that one impediment to this has been the overwhelming – and questionable – sense of authority that most people are faced with at the moment that they begin this pursuit; Monica was doing this on Beyond Meds before MiA started. She has been a trailblazer that we believe in and support. We personally know many of the people she has helped, and we are honored to be allowed to post her writing whenever she feels it would be appropriate. We also know – first-hand, and for a fact – that she has not and does not benefit materially from this work; certainly not in any way that could in any conceivable way influence her judgment, and certainly not anywhere close to the extent that she deserves. We are pleased and proud to steer people toward Beyond Meds any time we get the chance, knowing that they will find information and the forward-looking, positive view that it is sometimes challenging to find as we engage with the multitude of injustices that we have all witnessed or met with on the route to coming together in this forum. Having looked at the links in question, I cannot see (if I’m missing something, please enlighten me) any way that Monica benefits. I think it is a service to the reader to provide helpful links wherever possible; the link represents, in my view, the information that there is easily accessed information with which the reader can then evaluate for themselves whether the experience that is being presented resonates with them. For MiA to attempt to step into the role of vetting, accepting or rejecting everything that people relate from personal experience we would be stepping into the role of a monolithic authority – exactly what we are trying to work against. To that end, we have recently presented posts in which people spoke of how psych meds have in fact helped them; it isn’t for us to reject the experience, but to make sure they are telling the truth, that they are expressing themselves as clearly and effectively as possible, and providing appropriate evidence for the views expressed. We then provide the opportunity for people to engage with these views in a discussion that will hopefully strengthen the ability of everyone who is participating to present their view effectively. I view MiA as a sort of gymnasium, where people get access to the resources they need to strengthen their ability to engage in these topics effectively. We provide relevant research as it is published, and peoples’ experiences and expertise as they are moved to make them available; As long as this is done in a respectful manner, the next step is to open the topic up for discussion, as is largely happening here.

        Monica represents the best of what is happening. She deserves respect and, where possible, support. I am saddened that posting on MiA brings arouses such negativity and suspicion, because I know how much that hurts when all that she – and most of us who do this – get in return for our efforts is the satisfaction in our souls that we expended the best effort we could at a time that people needed help, and maybe we succeeded in helping them. I know that that is all the Monica has ever, and likely will ever get for her efforts, and so to take that good feeling away is, in my view, one of the most insidious forms of theft. It dispirits and impoverishes the best intentions of the people who gather here, and makes it hard – in fact impossible – to attract some of the best and most subtle thinkers on these topics.

        Monica’s writing is presented here not as being an unquestionable voice of authority; any statement made on MiA should ideally be the beginning of a discussion, not the end of one. But we do present Monica as someone whose motivations are beyond reproach, and we do ask that she – and everyone who makes the effort and takes the risks involved with writing or commenting on MiA – be treated with appropriate respect. None of us is or ever will be “correct” 100% of the time. We are all engaged in a collective journey of learning to make the most out of life, and the “correct” answer to how to do that changes person-to-person and even day-to-day. But one thing that never changes is that nobody can be healthy when their honest efforts are met with negativity and disdain. Therefore, it is a bottom-line necessity on MiA, as being the one forum that we have any control over, to try to make sure that that is what people can expect when they participate here. It is, we have found, IMPOSSIBLE to make sure we meet that standard all the time. All we can do is ask. I am asking.

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  4. I agree with the commenters saying that the links to supplement which may (slightly) financially benefit the author need to be removed.

    If MIA is going to leave those links up, it should also allow psychiatrists to post links to samples of neuroleptics (probably illegal I know), or links to a way to get a consultation financially benefitting that psychiatrist.

    The amount of money at issue isn’t the question; it’s the principle. MIA should not open itself to the charge, false as it may be, that it is further (beyond Robert Whitaker doing it a little bit) allowing “anti-psychiatry” authors to advertise/profit from their wares on the site. Even if the amount is very small. Listing the names of the supplements without a link to purchase them should be sufficient in this article.

    Just my opinion.

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  5. I am shaking my head big time at the criticisms of Monica who has given so much information out for free that would cost a fortune on other websites.

    And speaking of free vs. paid information, the site, http://www.survivingantidepressants.org is completely free in offering advice on getting off of psych meds. Yet, I know of at least one person connected to this site who offers consulting services for getting off of psych meds. Yet, there is no criticism of this person for offering a paid service that a website offers for free.

    By the way, I don’t think this person is in the wrong for her/his consulting services. Heck if someone is willing to pay money for what you offer, go for it.

    But I just wanted to point out that people are very inconsistent with the criticisms.

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