7 Years Off Psych Drugs: A Message to Those Labeled by Psychiatry (video)

Monica Cassani
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Seven years ago, I completed a six-year process of withdrawing from six psychiatric drugs.  That process was the impetus to start speaking up about what is happening in psychiatry with far too many of us being gravely harmed.

I learned about what was happening not only from my own personal experience but my work, as a social worker, with others who were subject to the mental health system via social service systems. My own experience as both a now ex-patient and a mental health professional allows for some interesting and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the mental health system in the United States.

My story of iatrogenic harm was shared in November a few years ago on Dr. David Healy’s website RxISKMonica’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology.

I also have a page on my website that documents my withdrawal journey in particular for more details: Monica: withdrawal documented.

I’m still recovering from the grave harm incurred by the drugs. For some of us with severe withdrawal syndromes the process can take several years. My birthday and my seven-year anniversary off of psych drugs was February 9th. I usually do a video and post that day, but I was actually in bed most of the day and didn’t feel well at all… hence the video and post today.

For more on this anniversary visit Beyond Meds.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Happy belated birthday, Monica, and anniversary drug free. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. Your willingness to be so open and vulnerable was a source of strength in my own healing and grime realization about the dangerous path of psychiatry. Continued healing, peace, and success to you! I cannot thank you enough!

  2. Welcome Monica,

    Meds are part of the problem. The entire edifice of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Recovery Movement, and Life Coaching, have got to go. All it amounts to is abusing the survivors of familial abuses and social marginalization. I am glad that you are off of drugs, but it can’t just be that. There must be redresses, otherwise the system will not change. We have to start holding parents accountable, as well as all these sorts of doctors, and government. There must be civil judgments and criminal convictions.

    For everyone, I want to fight an initiative on the ground, local government trying to turn poverty and homelessness into a mental health issue. I want lawyers, the ones who will start the lawsuits, and then let me be the process server.

    Nomadic

  3. You’re a beautiful person and an inspiration to many people. Like you I was also harmed in the mental health profession and realized that there was no one too turn to for help so I’m on my own and still searching for my path to healing, you’re blog is one of the tools I use in that search.

    Thank You!

  4. Great message Monica which I have forwarded to two close friends. I really like how you spoke to the duality of inferiority and grandiosity when attempting to recover from the traumatic experiences of Biological Psychiatry. Carry on your vitally important work; it truly helps large numbers of people.

    Richard

  5. Congratulations, Monica and happy anniversary. Beautifully authentic and real, as always.

    I agree that by choosing to follow our bliss, we find our true spirit nature and from that, we can make more inspired choices for ourselves, moment to moment. Following the path which society expects or dictates (social programming) indeed causes a core split, because we are not following our true nature. To my mind, this causes suffering, and it is chronic until we discover who we are and make choices based on that, and not based on the judgment of others.

    The path of healing is one of true creativity, so we connect directly with our creative essence when we choose this. I believe that from the “going toward bliss” intention and momentum, we are creating a more light-filled society, by example. This energy ripples outward, as is the nature of energy.

    So it’s true, I think, that those of us who took on the burdens of society through our sensitivity can help influence healing and change by, once and for all, being ourselves, and letting the chips fall where they may. In other words, we can always give it back in order to create healing opportunities for others. We cannot heal others’ issues, but of course, we can always help to transmute the energy.

    I always say that no one heals another, we can only speak our truth in the hopes of influencing others to find their own unique healing path. You are a shining example of this. Thank you for your voice and enormous influence to create sorely needed change in the dynamics of our society.

    • I wanted to add this, your example reminds me so much of what this statement is communicating. I’ve posted this on MIA a few times when it feels relevant, as it does now. I have two groups with whom I’m working at present, and we start with this–it is the cornerstone of my practice, because I find it so liberating in all the right ways, to bust through the most inhibiting and stigmatizing of all that social programming. By Marianne Williamson, from A Return to Love–

      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  6. Happy belated birthday, Monica, thanks for sharing your story. I, too, have been completely drug free for about seven years. I agree the “psychosis” label is particularly vicious, one there is no test to prove is true, and one the psychiatrists are hell bent on gas lighting those they label as such, into believing it is a “lifelong, incurable genetic disease,” which it is not.

    For me, since I was misdiagnosed as “psychotic” by a psychologist who wanted to profiteer off of covering up the abuse of my child, being put on antipsychotics I did not need, did create “psychosis” though. I hope the psychiatrists will some day wake up to the reality that the antipsychotics can create “psychosis,” one of the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via anticholinergic toxidrome poisoning. And the neuroleptics can also create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome. But since these psychiatric drug induced toxidrome/syndrome are not listed in the DSM, they are almost always misdiagnosed as one of the billable DSM disorders, since this is the only way the psychiatrists can get paid. Out of sight, out of mind, too, right?

    And given the enormous percentages of child abuse victims who are labeled with the “psychotic” diagnoses (82%) and the borderline diagnoses (92%), I do also hope the psychiatrists in general will soon get out of the business of profiteering en mass off of turning child abuse victims, and their concerned parents, into “bipolar,” “borderline,” and “schizophrenia” patients, with the psychiatric drugs. Personally, I think this is medical evidence that most of today’s psychiatrists should likely be arrested as child abuse covering up profiteers.

    Thankfully, I found an intelligent oral surgeon who finally sanely confessed, “concerns of child abuse are not cured with antipsychotics,” and quoting him embarrassed my last psychiatrist into weaning me off the “psychosis” creating antipsychotics. It’s a shame the psychiatrists and mainstream medical doctors are unaware of this simple reality, and prefer to all profiteer off of covering up child abuse. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the medical profession due to this “dirty little secret.”

    And this medical hobby of defaming and drugging up child abuse victims has seemingly allowed our entire society to be taken over by pedophiles, according to many Pizzagate/Pedogate researchers online. I know a lot of people on this website are child abuse victims, who were wrongly labeled and drugged. Please research into Pizzagate/Pedogate, those in our society who are disgusted by pedophilia and child abuse in general are wanting to hear your stories now.

    • I agree, Aria. I would love students of psychology, social work and psychiatry to have a book in their studies about experiences such as Monica’s and many, many others harmed as a guide to good care and what to do and what not to do. Mad in America and Anatomy of an Illness sitsin my book case for clients, families and other providers to read. I still have my Psychodynamic Psychiatry by Glenn Gabbard, MD and Inside Out Inside In by Joan Berkoff in a prominent place but lacking books about being a patient in a system that has become very harmful and dysfunctional. I would love a new generation to learn from the past and move on to a more enlightened, egalitarian model of care.