Review Explores First-Person Experiences of People Taking Antipsychotics

A new systematic review finds that patients report reduced symptoms but also loss of self and agency while taking antipsychotics.

Ayurdhi Dhar, PhD
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A new systematic review examines the experience of people on antipsychotics. It finds that while some patients report a reduction in psychotic symptoms, others associate the drugs with loss of autonomy, emotional numbness, and a sense of resignation.

The researchers, led by Jemima Thompson of the University College of London, conducted a thematic synthesis of numerous qualitative studies on the first-person experience of antipsychotic use. In an email to MIA editors, critical psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, an author on the study, stated:

“I was particularly interested in how antipsychotics affect people’s sense of themselves because although antipsychotics can reduce symptoms of psychosis, they also dampen down emotions, motivation, and sexual function, which are such important parts of what makes us what we are.”

Antipsychotic drugs remain the first line of treatment for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. However, research has challenged their long-term efficacy and their limited use in managing symptoms in some patients. While psychiatrists have repeatedly defended the long-term use of antipsychotics, others have contested that their arguments are weakened by the influence of industry corruption and bad science.

Additionally, studies have found that recovery and improved cognitive functioning are possible in patients who are off antipsychotics. Still, others have suggested that psychosocial approaches to schizophrenia, like social recovery therapy, the Hearing Voices Network, and the Open Dialogue approach, have reduced long term hospitalization risks. Psychosocial explanations of psychosis, as opposed to biomedical ones, have also been linked to reduced stigma towards the patient.

Currently, the use of antipsychotics is not just restricted to schizophrenia, and they are often prescribed for depression and to children in foster care. This happens despite evidence suggesting that side-effects resulting from these drugs, such as heart disease and diabetes, outweigh the benefits.

There is very little research addressing the experiences of service-users taking psychiatric drugs, but the limited available evidence suggests that many feel long-term antipsychotic use undermines recovery. Thus, this current review is essential as it adds to our understanding of how patients feel about antipsychotic use and what they consider to be its benefits and harmful effects.

The current review reveals the complexity of this experience in relation to changes in behavior and cognition. The reviewers conducted a thematic synthesis on the rich qualitative data from studies that explore the user experience of people on antipsychotics. They write:

“The rich nature of qualitative data means these studies can highlight the complex alterations to conscious experience, mental functions and behavior that neuroleptics produce, arguably more successfully than quantitative approaches (e.g. use of side effect scales). It can also clarify how such effects interact with symptoms of psychosis, and how they impact on people’s sense of self and agency.”

Using the PRISMA guidelines of systematic reviews, nine different databases were utilized to find studies reporting on the experience of service users taking antipsychotics. Quality of studies was discerned using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program qualitative checklist, and 35 studies spanning over 11 different countries were ultimately chosen for review (including one unpublished dissertation).

The results showed that while service users had mostly negative views of the changes induced by antipsychotics, they did consider their effects on symptoms in a more positive light.

Many pointed to the debilitating effects of these drugs, such as emotional numbing, crippling lethargy, loss of motivation and energy, reduced concentration, lowered intelligence, and loss of clarity in thinking. As a result, they were prevented from carrying out any functional tasks and reduced to feeling like “zombies.” Others commented that they felt an increase in anxiety and depression, and even felt suicidal. One participant noted:

‘I remember taking my first depot… and it absolutely knocked me out… I couldn’t even lift a dustpan and brush in that I didn’t have any movement in my arms, in my legs… I didn’t have any thoughts in my head. I couldn’t do anything… I was like a zombie.’

At the same time, some participants indicated that the medication helped in the reduction of symptoms. It led to a decrease in the voices they heard, and sometimes even improved clarity of thought. For these patients, emotional blunting and slowing of thoughts was beneficial since this cognitive and emotional deadening reduced mental confusion, intrusive thoughts, and intensity of delusions. While the majority of patients complained that the sedative qualities of antipsychotics were unpleasant, some stated that it helped them relax and sleep.

Further, some users felt that antipsychotics had a negative influence on their personality, their sense of self, and their “soul.” The decline in motivation, cognitive changes, and side effects like weight gain and sexual difficulties, made many believe that they had lost their true selves. Others complained of decreased “creativity, imagination, humor, or a sense of ‘spirituality and spiritual connection.'”

Complicating the narrative, few participants stated that the reduction in symptoms caused by antipsychotics helped them to recover their old selves. It veered them towards normality and, by allowing them to participate in chosen activities, the medication increased their self-esteem. These findings suggest heterogeneity and complexity in service users’ experiences and opinions.

The drugs also had symbolic effects, as many participants noted that the continuous ingestion of antipsychotics reaffirmed the idea that they were patients with a disease. For some, this idea was comforting, but others thought it reinforced the belief that they were not whole, or that it made them ‘lesser people,’ ‘weird,’ and ‘mad.’ Many felt it forced them to identify as chronically ill, and encouraged further stigma. The use of the biomedical model has been repeatedly associated with increased stigma, and prominent voices in the field have begun to criticize the minimization of social influences.

Lastly, many participants associated medication use with a loss of autonomy and agency, and irrespective of the severe adverse effects, maintained a passive attitude, and a sense of rejection towards it. One said:

“I always accepted the medication. It may have made me feel bad, but I accepted it. I accepted it without complaint.”

Others stated that they had little idea about the purpose of the medication and that they felt they never had a choice in taking it. The narratives were full of “feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, fear, confusion, or indifference concerning their neuroleptic medication.” Many believed that refusal to take medication would invite rejection from friends and family, pressure from mental health professionals, and informal and formal threats of rehospitalization. Overall, Moncrieff notes:

“The studies we looked at suggested that when antipsychotics effectively reduce intrusive and troubling psychotic experiences, they can help to restore a lost sense of self, but they could also deprive people of important aspects of themselves. Peter Wescott expressed this situation hauntingly in the British Medical Journal in 1979, ‘in losing my periods of madness I have had to pay with my soul.’”

The authors mention that a possible limitation of their review could be its generalizability to other parts of the world since most studies were conducted on Western populations.

In conclusion, the review paints a complex and nuanced picture of service user experience, where some contend that antipsychotics help with symptom reduction. In contrast, others complain that it robs them of who they are. Moncrieff says:

“I hope our paper will help highlight this experience for mental health staff who may not be aware of it, so they can be more empathic towards people who are prescribed these drugs, and more open to helping people avoid or minimize their use.”

This empathy and social connection are especially important since research has indicated that high frequency of social interaction, and respectful relationships between mental health professionals and patients, are critical predictors of recovery from psychosis.

 

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Thompson, J., Stansfeld, J.L., Cooper, R.E., Morant, N., Crellin, N.E. & Moncrieff, J. (2019). Experiences of taking neuroleptic medication and impacts on symptoms, sense of self and agency: a systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative data. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Published online December 13, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-019-01819-2 (Link)

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Ayurdhi Dhar, PhD
MIA Research News Team: Ayurdhi Dhar is instructor of psychology at the University of West Georgia, where she also finished her Ph.D. in Consciousness and Society in 2017. She is the author of Madness and Subjectivity: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Psychosis in the West and India (to be released in September 2019). Her research interests include the relation between schizophrenia and immigration, discursive practices sustaining the concept of mental illness, and critiques of acontextual and ahistorical forms of knowledge.

56 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Ayurdhi…
    It can’t be missed how psychiatry is all over the place with it’s narratives.
    So much language, meant to divert, confuse, yet that in itself is telling. I remain not confused. I am able to see that what was once an absolute, the manner in which they spoke about illness, has now become a wordy exercise, clearly involving people who do not study psychiatry, but rather language.
    Within that ridiculous amount of non sensical psychiatric poetry, lies the fact that children in foster care are drugged.
    Why fostercare? Because it is a child without true love protecting it. A child who is less than a dog in foster, a child who’s temporary people get paid to house him, yet the state owns the right to experiment on his brain.
    I hope a lot of foster kids file lawsuits. A committee made up of foster kids. They should be paid back for having no choice to begin with, and having no rights. The absurdity that life has no rights until a certain age.

    What adult psychiatrist would deem it necessary to drug a child? The few times this would EVER be needed is if a child suffered non stop seizures, and IF those seizures were not caused by “seize the brain” drugs.

    If Foster parents gave a damn, they would unite to stop drugging of kids. And it would be very doable. To not band together, to not come out publicly, shows the laziness and disregard for the lives they make money off.
    Shame on this practice. Beyond disgusting, and simply should make one question any rationality in the human population, when unable to address these outright abuses.

    I hear the word “hopelessness”…..from experience, psychiatry reinforces the original hopelessness which then solidifies. It is the perfect staging.

  2. ‘Anti Psychotics’ are extremely disabling.

    POTENTIAL SAVING TO TAXPAYER
    The saving to the Taxpayer of full Recovery throughout a person’s working life can be calculated at about £3 million (per recovered person)*.

    *Professor Robert Knappe of the LSE has previously calculated the cost of SMI/per person/per year/to the taxpayer at £65,000.

    *(£65,000 × 45 years of non disability equals about £3 Million).

  3. “I hope our paper will help highlight this experience for mental health staff who may not be aware of it, so they can be more empathic towards people who are prescribed these drugs, and more open to helping people avoid or minimize their use.” (moncrieff)

    “This empathy and social connection are especially important since research has indicated that high frequency of social interaction, and respectful relationships between mental health professionals and patients, are critical predictors of recovery from psychosis.”

    “empathy” is something that can only truly be learned through experience. It cannot be taught and although I see a shift within psychiatry, which is supposed to look like insight and empathy, I refuse to believe the shift is anything other than pressure and finally an understanding that the practice is not looking rational any longer.
    To support psychiatry they always jump to words that scare the public, like “psychosis”….yet most lies about “mental illness” are about a normal that only psychiatry deems as abnormal.
    The DSM is rife with absolute garbage that really should be an embarrassment to most psychiatrists. How can anyone take even 5 diagnosis seriously among the invented diagnosis?

    The “empathy” is no more than a granted kindness. It actually makes the psychiatrist feel more empowered if he can play god and dole out his bits of empathy.
    Most people don’t long for crumbs that psychiatry thinks makes themselves nicer people. If anything, “empathy” is there to make themselves feel more justified and if their client does not accept their crumbs of empathy, that is where their true empathy stops.
    The clients should be ever so thankful for the help they receive?

  4. My guess is psycho-social explanations for weird behaviors associated with “mental illness” lead to less discrimination because they humanize the other.

    From what one sees on the media the “mentally ill” have no feelings or motivations. Aside from the “mental illness” itself.

    A headline I read after the mass shooting in Los Vegas. “We Discovered the Motivation for the Mass Shooter: He was Mentally Ill.” 😛

    • mhmm, now psychiatry can instruct the public to think in these terms: “He is mentally ill, but it’s not his fault, it was his upbringing, trauma, or lack of social supports”, BUT, he is still “mentally ill”…..so now we have the public saying, “awww, be kind to the mentally ill”
      I guess it’s either shunning or pitying, I never liked being singled out for special treatment.

      Is sarcasm mental illness? I’m feeling rather sarcastic lol.

      • Actually, they have done this… turned sarcasm into “evidence” of a “mental illness”…one of the psychiatrists who testified for the state in the Marci Webber case claimed that Ms. Webber showed signs of borderline personality, which, according to this psychiatrist, can manifest as “extreme sarcasm”. (I’m proving my borderline diagnosis in this comment by using so many quotation marks. I’m proving it times 2 in this parenthetical remark which is also extremely sarcastic).
        While in treatment, I often resorted to sarcasm as a defense against constant blame, invalidation, disempowerment, etc. from treatment providers and people in my family who benefitted by me being seen as severely mentally ill. Sarcasm was one of the tools I used to survive.

        • Sarcasm. It depends on context.
          Sarcasm is a natural response to psychiatry. Anger is a natural response.
          I do notice that psychiatry dislikes anger in females and often they mistake assertiveness as anger.
          But if one adopts a calm firm response, that is also painted as something.
          The reality is, if psychiatry does not like what comes out of the mouth, or if they don’t like your looks, your eyes, they get nasty.
          Their diagnosis’ seems to come from a place of oppressed shit within themselves that has little to do with their clients.
          It is a natural outcome to resist systems that are there to keep people down, to put people into the place where they belong.
          We get a desire to be validated by the systems that put us down, and psychiatry will never do that.
          The personalities that they accept and don’t get personal with, are few. After all, psychiatry was ran by men, men that mostly labeled women.

          I read an article that the prejudices that were heaped on women by men in professions to do so, are not getting better now that women are in those professions. In fact, the study showed that women consumers were often talked down to more by women doctors than men doctors.

          I don’t think it is just because of genders, but about clients that are simply not satisfied with being paternalized. It is about consumers tired of the hierarchy that exists.

          • “We get a desire to be validated by the system that put us down” – Sam, this is so true in my case. I hadn’t realized it. After a filed a formal complaint and it was ignored, I became gripped by this obsession, this panic:. They have to validate me. They have to say they understand why I feel so hurt, angry and betrayed. I kept writing emails and Google reviews, thinking, if I provide this detail, make this analogy, explain it this way, if I just use the right language, they will see what they did, acknowledge it, apologize. Maybe they will even admire my persistence. One person in Patient Relations, in response to the formal complaint, said, “you should write a book. It would be a best seller.”. But I think she was only patronizing me and trying to avoid responding in any way to the complaint.
            I have to wonder, why was I so desperate for their validation? It’s not like I had the energy for all that writing. I still do it sometimes:. I’ll post a Google review on the psych hospital or the IOP explaining another facet of how badly they f’d my life. I’m reminded of a quote I heard on that show The Mentalist. Something like, “when the individual is humiliated by a group, the individual will, in response, hold the group in higher esteem.”

  5. Great to see a study examining antipsychotics from patients’ perspective. Enough we have read reviews written by doctors who never took themselves these drugs.

    Let using antipsychotics at patients’ decision and the industry producing these drugs will sign for bankruptcy, as almost always is about forced medication

  6. OVERCOMING ‘SCHIZOPHRENIA’ THROUGH COMING OFF ‘ANTIPSYCHOTIC’ MEDICATION

    ‘ANTI PSYCHOTIC’ & DISABLED
    I was Disabled in Ireland between 1980 and 1984 while I co operated with Psychiatric Drug Treatments. When I consistently complained about the problems with the treatments, I was eventually offered the option of abrupt (neuroleptic/antipsychotic depot injection), discontinuation.

    SUICIDAL HOSPITALIZATIONS
    Between December 1983 and April 1984 I experienced 4 hospitalizations one Suicide Attempt and one almost Suicide Attempt.

    SEVERE DIAGNOSIS
    By April 1984 my Diagnosis was one of very Severe and Chronic Schizophrenia.

    VERY CAREFUL DRUG TAPER
    After this, I decided to Taper very carefully from the
    (‘Antipsychotic’) injection, with oral medication.

    INDEPENDENCE
    With reductions in ‘medication’, I was no longer disabled and was able to came off ‘disability payments’, and move into independence.

    DRUG WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME
    I suffered from “Neuroleptic Withdrawal High Anxiety”, and I would have fallen back into the ‘hands of Psychiatry’, if I hadn’t found effective ways of dealing with it.

    REALISATION
    At this time I had a type of Realisation. I was able to recognise that I was suffering from a High Anxiety problem and figure out what to do about it. And this Approach has worked for me in the Long Term.

    ‘HIGH ANXIETY’ PROBLEM & SOLUTION
    1. When I was overwhelmed with High Anxiety
    – I wasn’t able ‘to think my way out’.

    2. If I could stop trying ‘to think my way out’
    – the High Anxiety would eventually balance off.

    3. When the High Anxiety balanced off
    – I was OK, and I knew what to do.

    4. When the High Anxiety returned
    – From past experience I knew how to deal with it.

    RECOVERY
    I have not claimed Mental Health Disability Benefit nor been admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital since 1984; and have not consumed any Psychiatric ‘medication’ in many many years.

    It also took many years to adapt to the Withdrawal Anxiety.

  7. Antipsychotics were added to my prescribed drug regimen after I was diagnosed with borderline perality following a series of ECT treatments in my late 30s (the psychiatrist had recommended ECT for what was then diagnosed as treatment-resistant depression – meaning I hadn’t responded to a huge variety of SSRIs, amphetamines, benzos prescribed for 6 years by the non-record-keeping referring psychiatrist.). After the brain shocks, the doctor said, “You have borderline personality disorder. That’s why the ECT didn’t work.”. Once I had that diagnosis, I was always made to be on an antipsychotic along with whatever else they were prescribing. I know I became psychotic at times as a result of prescribed drugs, but most of the time I wasn’t psychotic, I was angry. Really, really angry. Angry at treatment providers. Angry about this new shitty diagnosis that the doctor who diagnosed it didn’t even bother to define for me. I went home and googled borderline personality disorder. That’s how I learned what it was. The psychiatrists weren’t treating my psychosis with the antipsychotics. They were treating my anger. The anger that they seemed inappropriate. The anger that made them angry or uncomfortable or defensive. The anger that, they seemed to feel, I had no right to. At times, the more compassionate psychiatrists would try to make me feel like the treatment relationship was a partnership, that they weren’t forcing these drugs on me or writing notes about my non-compliance in my chart. One conversation with one of the kinder psychiatrists went like this:
    Dr:. (about to write a new RX). “What dose of Ability do you think works best for you…5, 10, or 15 mg?
    Me:. “I don’t notice any improvement when I’m on Abilify, so I really can’t say ”
    Dr:. “I’ve seen you off Abilify. I’m writing the Rx for 15 mg.”
    Being made to take antipsychotics (there were also Rxs for Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Risperdal, Latuda…it just depended on the Dr) made me angry, which, by their logic, meant I needed a higher dose of antipsychotic.

  8. Well Katel,
    When a bunch of girls/guys shame us in school, or family shames us for being “different”, we feel like an outcast. If I am called ugly by my peers, I feel ugly. The sensitive withdraw, become depressed. It works this way in animal packs.
    It is the most natural thing to want to belong.
    Basically psychiatry shames people. It is the ultimate religion now in power.
    Remember, you will NOT get the same diagnosis from ALL shrinks, so this basically invalidates any diagnosis.
    The reason they have to add to the “clusters” of symptoms is to try and get more shrinks giving the same diagnosis.
    Now you tell me, what helping profession gives people more shame? The reason it is easy for them is because the shamed just beget more shame. It is old and from a reptilian brain. When adults come to adults for help from a “weak” and “helpless” point, it sickens them, it turns them off. They then cast them away, as not needed. Psychiatry has not risen above this reptilian automatic response, but rather made disorders out of it.
    And people buy into it, just like they bought into the peers long ago, calling them ugly.
    And the response will be to be sad, to feel dehumanized, and yet all it ever was, was a bunch of underdeveloped reptiles calling someone names.
    The reason it is so humiliating is because we know better. We know we are NOT what someone says. It is only because we want to be part of a group that it hurts.
    Just like in school, we don’t want to be the “loser” and it does not make us feel better to be accepted into a loser club. We long to be with the assholes.
    I now believe shrinks had either a rough go of it, that they oppress some deep pain, or they are simply mean, nasty snakes, or plain stupid.
    There is no other explanation, because it is IMPOSSIBLE to do what they do, without something being off.

    One can tell if something is off about people by the things they say to us.
    Why would someone need to tell you that you are a loser or ugly, even if you are? Often this name calling leaves people at a certain age. Many go on to use a form of passive aggressive slandering, and some get a licence to do so.
    Any sane person knows that if one has a few ugly features, we can decide to live with them and make the most of it, or if it really bothers us, to work on them or get some surgery to make us feel better or have society not look at us as ugly. We do not go there to be turned away by the surgeon who writes on our chart that we are “ugly”
    We go to a shrink to help us not feel ugly, or get rid of what makes us feel ugly.
    We don’t go there to be told we are ugly.

    So that is how you can tell a bogus profession from something more advanced.
    It gives you a lot of strength to see reality. The handlers you go to are nobody. They are not superior to you in any way, shape or form. You and they are not similar, not as long as they don’t communicate that in fact they are. So let them live their pretense, but don’t take it on.

    • Sam, it is perfectly possible to free oneself from the fear of being “the loser”. It is perfectly possible, too, to stop worrying about the opinion of people who want us to feel bad about ourselves.

      I have personally often faced rejection from my peers since I was a little girl. My being a very academic, bookish and introverted girl was certainly one of the causes of this rejection. I have never been “popular” and I just accepted it instead of trying to please people who disliked me, rejected me, and maybe also felt threatened by me.

      I have gradually stopped worrying about what narrow-minded, intolerant people might think of me. Why should such people have power over me? I think that my independence was one of the reasons why I found it very easy to disobey the will of doctors who thought that I was “mentally ill”, though they knew virtually nothing about me and my life.

      • Joanna, I hear and totally agree with what you are saying in terms of not worrying what peers may say or think about you. But it is a very different beast when a psychiatrist gets to put stigmatizing labels and write false and damaging statements about you in your medical records. In Canada anytime you need medical care they first pull up your records and your treatment is determined or even denied based on the psych labels and the indisputable “opinion” of a psychiatrist who knows very little about you or your life, but is somehow allowed to “opine” in stone who you are as a person. There really is no way to free yourself from that fear or rejection because it is bolted onto your records to follow you for life.

        • Rosalee, thanks for the upvote.
          I think everyone should write, or could write a book because no one deserves a branding.
          I am watching the development of our pipeline situation right now, and I want to protest. I want to block railways to protest my lack of privacy. To protest the injuries of psychiatry. I bet they would get me off that railway rather quickly.
          But I really do think it is time for angry protest…
          I do hope lawyers get interested more. It could be a lucrative business especially if a system robs people from exactly the same rights everyone gets.

          I was aware of how we were losing power and privacy long ago. It sickens me for the future generations.

        • Rosalee, of course I agree with you that psychiatric labels very often lead to discrimination by the health care system. Is it possible to get re-diagnosed in Canada? In my country, Poland, fortunately doctors who are not psychiatrists don’t seem to be aware of my diagnosis (“paranoid schizophrenia”); and even if they were, I know where and how to check if I am getting the right treatment for a disease, I know how to stand up for my rights, and I know what to do if I am ever discriminated against.

          It seems to me, however, that Sam was talking about the impact psychiatric labels have on people’s self-esteem – about “shaming” by psychiatrists – and this is what I commented on.

          In my case, my “paranoid schizophrenia” diagnosis really damaged my self-esteem for some years, though I quickly rejected this label. But I am sure that it would be much more damaging if I had not realized many years earlier that people’s opinions about me did not define me…

          • Joanna,
            I was talking about the shaming aspect due to labels, but that “shaming” is done within medical care.
            I have a real disease and not a good disease and to get rid of my complaining, after changing a few docs, my symptoms were finally minimized by writing on my chart that I had been to a mental health program. He obviously dug those records out from 20 years ago.
            Yet he could not find any record of any diagnosis, since it was a program I chose to go to.
            After he put that on my med report, I was treated like crap in ER. They denied my symptoms, which led me to using the MAYO clinic for $10,000 to acknowledge my symptoms.
            Of course I was smart enough not to mention what was going on, so the MAYO was able to be objective.
            It has led to extreme stress and decisions I won’t go into here.
            My whole point is, even if I was crazier than a loon, why would that belong in a medical chart? To try and smear people? To make it look as if my complaints are invalid?
            My issue is, labels are horrible on a personal shame level and then the services shame one further.
            One of the biggest system to hop on board with psychiatry is regular medicine and the general public.
            It is well known that people with labels are treated differently.
            THAT IS the fault of psychiatry. Regular docs have no business to jump to psychiatry.
            Does my disease cause anxiety? Panic? being down? You bet.

        • Joanna, yes I think Sam was talking about being shamed by psychiatrists and how that shame can follow you. I agree we should all reject whatever label(s) has been pinned on us – which I absolutely do – but when it’s in electronic medical records that are widely available to ALL health care workers it’s impossible. I’ve paid a huge price for a number of years now because of what a psychiatrist I saw “for help with sleep meds” while in cancer treatment put in my medical records. It was proven she had a predetermined agenda and I’ve have been battling years to get my records corrected, engaged lawyers, spent thousands obtaining indisputable legal evidence, and was provided with strong letters of evidence/support from doctors who know me well. But all to no avail because the psychiatrist is the only one who can correct her report and she has the right to refuse. In spite of all the evidence she repeatedly refused, claiming it was her “opinion” and “just because another psychiatrist has a different opinion does NOT make mine wrong”. In Canada doctors are provided with lawyers for free. Their lawyers fees are paid on the backs of taxpayers so they can fight endlessly, money is no problem for them.

          • In America thanks to HIPPA red tape, you can simply relocate and not inform your new doctor about your all “diagnoses.” Changing states is best, thanks to different health systems–but just changing hospital systems will do. For example, seeing a doctor in a nearby county or city.

    • Sam, you know I love your comments, you need to publish a book, ‘Sam’s analysis of psychiatry’. I had to laugh at the fitting comparison of someone going to a plastic surgeon with an issue that bothers them only to have the surgeon deem them hopelessly “ugly” and then bolt it into their records just how hopelessly “ugly” they are. Yes this is what psychiatry does under the corrupt guise of “help”.

        • Right?
          And it’s not uncommon either. We were also sold on plastic surgery. But psychiatry has no issue with this. When is plastic surgery becoming a mental illness?
          My friend had 3 relationships, that and the fact her sister has anxiety was proof that she has BPD.
          Holy chit. Why am I not privy to a shrink’s sex life?
          My friend went for 15 years to a shrink who she liked going to because they flirted, in that kind of hands off kind of flirting. (the shrink needed her obviously, why else do you have one for 15 years? At that point, it’s a friendship or Co-dependence) Not that I am against co-dependence, it is something we all probably do, normal part of human relations…
          That disclosure was also taken into account by the new psychiatrist. Yet no label for the shrink.
          She only disclosed it because she always found it kind of weird that they flirted.

  9. I was prescribed antipsychotics first in childhood (elementary school) while being physically, verbally and emotionally abused daily, my mother (who was a sadistic narcissist) was allowed to give me a tab of Risperdal whenever she wanted to, it was a “PRN” prescription. If I cried too much or got angry from being hit and controlled, I got one. It knocked me out (a 70lb girl) and I would just fall asleep.

    The second time was when I confided in the shrink at the time that I felt socially inferior and anxious around other people, that I felt like I wasn’t good enough. I would get some sweating and nervousness around others from a lifetime of being told I wasn’t okay or good enough socially. I got Zyprexa for that. Over time I gained 40lbs on Zyprexa, started sleeping 16+ hours a day, and also developed metabolic and hormonal imbalances. I also just felt… dead inside. The APs definitely lobotomize you. They kill the person that is inside and cause anhedonia and demotivation as well as depression and akathesia (suicide). When I tapered off the drug, I slept so little that I hallucinated and became paranoid. As I detoxed, it became apparent how much this is really a lobotomizing murder/suicide drug. I can’t believe this shit is even legal to give to anyone, for any reason. It is truly, a “shutup [about abuse/social issues] pill” and is not designed for safety.

    • What happened to you was awful. I’m so glad you got off the APs – no small feat I’m sure. The withdrawal part, I can imagine, would have been terrifying…even if you understand insomnia, paranoia is caused by the withdrawal, you can’t allow any representatives of the system to know you’re in that state as they will use it as “proof” against you. I went through that recently with Cymbalta withdrawal.
      The one blessing I had was the system didn’t get to me until I was 17 or 18. It should be illegal to drug children. As you said, none of it should be legal.

      • Yes! Exactly! You can’t go back to the people that dealt you this stuff after escaping. We only can be thankful we lived and crawl away to hiding and safety licking our wounds. I had a Benadryl and NyQuil habit to drug myself to sleep and I just white knuckled years of withdrawal after that, still dealing with some of the bodily illness it causes and trying to heal the gut and take nutrients in food and capsules. I’m so sorry. I totally endorse quitting and ghosting shrinks, therapists and doctors who don’t believe you or who will just dogpile more labels. They’re wrong and delusional, and I hope there’s a special place in hell for them. Cheers to our freedom.

    • survivingthesystem, I am very sorry to hear about your experiences. And I totally agree with you: I, too, felt dead inside on antipsychotics. I was unable to have a normal conversation. I was unable to write in an interesting, imaginative, creative way. I found reading tiring and I was unable to read a long paragraph in a book – on Abilify I was scared whenever I saw a long paragraph, though I have always been a book lover!

      I also suffered from horrible akathisia which made even commuting to and from work quite stressful. And at work I was happy that thanks to my job (university lecturer) I was able to walk in the classroom in order to cope with my akathisia.

      I felt an immense relief when I came off Abilify – I felt that I became again my old self!

      • I’m glad that you’re free and thanks for your well wishes! People who have not been through these drugs personally simply do not understand how awful and brain dead they make you feel. And so I validate your hellish experience. I concur that it felt like my thoughts were drowning in mud and I had no emotions or… soul anymore, just like utterly blank. I would lie there catatonic and stare at the wall. Food tasted like cardboard. Just not me anymore. Also, the akathesia can be strictly emotional as well, like intrusive graphic visualizations of suicide and mental urges to engage in compulsive behavior like pacing or self harm. I think these drugs basically possess people like demons. They are satanic, if there is true evil in this world it is these drugs and their dealers. Never had issues like that before the drugs, slowly escaped afterwards, restored mostly after withdrawal back to life.

    • “It is truly, a ‘shutup [about abuse/social issues] pill’ and is not designed for safety.” Absolutely, covering up child abuse is the primary actual function of both the psychiatrists and psychologists, and it is by DSM design.

      https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/01/23/18820633.php?fbclid=IwAR2-cgZPcEvbz7yFqMuUwneIuaqGleGiOzackY4N2sPeVXolwmEga5iKxdo
      https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/heal-for-life/
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-child-does-not-have-bipolar-disorder/201402/dsm-5-and-child-neglect-and-abuse-1

      I was attacked by “mental health” workers, prior to even mentally coming to grips with the fact that my 4 year old child had been molested, at the home of a school board member, and likely also at my child’s school. But sadly, a pastor of my childhood religion was also intimately involved in the child abuse cover up, according to medical records.

      I was able to eventually scare that school into closing forever, their announcement came just two weeks after they heard the gossip that my family’s medical records had been handed over, with medical evidence of the abuse in them. Hopefully, I saved some innocent children from abuse, by scaring that school into closing down.

      But it is sad the mainstream religions have bought into the ‘mental health” workers’, child abuse covering up system. Since, of course, that means they are not actually Christian religions anymore. One justifiably appalled ELCA synod offices insider did express his disgust at the ELCA’s maltreatment of me in the Preface of this book.

      https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Culture-Wars-Reclaiming-Prayer/dp/1598868330

      I’m glad you were able to survive and escape, survivingthesystem. Let’s hope some day the systemic, child abuse covering up crimes of the “mental heath” workers, and the mainstream religions, end.

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