Christopher: A Transformational Journey from Psychiatric Hospital To Working In Peer Support

This week, we have an interview with Christopher Jump. Christopher describes his transformational journey starting with a very difficult childhood which led him to be treated for many years with various psychiatric medications. After successfully withdrawing, he now works a Program Manager for Heart & Soul inc in California, an organisation which offers a variety of mental health recovery-oriented and wellness support opportunities for people in need of mental health support.

In this episode we discuss:

• How Christopher was hospitalised with Major Depressive Disorder and was medicated
• How his very difficult childhood led to more than 15 years of treatment with various psychiatric medications
• That his Psychiatrist did no physical examination but concluded in 5 minutes that he had a brain abnormality
• How he had to agree to take the medications to get released from hospital
• That the side effects of the drugs were very troublesome and made him more anxious and agitated
• That the medication led to an increase in self harming and suicidal thinking
• The doctors advice was always to increase dosages or to add additional drugs
• How long terms usage of psychiatric medications leads to psychological and physical problems
• How he had previously tried to quit his drugs cold turkey but always ended up back in hospital
• How Christopher stopped his drugs by tapering and what therapies helped him during withdrawal
• How looking back, Christopher feels that stopping the drugs was the best thing he ever did
• How he now works in peer wellness and support for Heart & Soul Inc, an organisation staffed by people with lived experience of mental healthcare
• How, when he was first struggling, Christopher needed someone to listen to him and a supportive environment rather than a diagnosis and medication
• That people should rule out any physical reason for depression or anxiety before resorting to medications