Stories of Hope and Triumph: a New Webinar on Withdrawal


Mad in America’s upcoming webinar with the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal zeroes on uplifting personal tales of recovery: “Inspiration, Hope, and Healing: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Success Stories.”

Scheduled for 12 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday, May 11, the 90-minute virtual event will feature Brooke Siem, author of the memoir May Cause Side Effects; Gemma Da Costa, a justice advocate in the United Kingdom and creator of a YouTube channel on withdrawal and her “health anxiety success story”; and Michael Priebe, writer, wellness coach, and founder of “The Healing Mindset” online course. James Moore, who produces the Let’s Talk Withdrawal and Mad In America podcasts, will host.

All of this is relevant for parents and close relatives, because no one—other than the person in distress—has a clearer view of treatment harms and their profound human consequences, and no one is rooting harder for their loved ones to heal. Parents and other family members crave hope. They long for a future where a child or sibling or spouse isn’t in pain, and they want to know, to believe, that it’s possible. 

So stories of healing deserve to be heard. More than that, psychiatric survivors need to be heard. And seen. And taken seriously. Individuals who make it through the thorniest woods of drug-based treatment are too often unacknowledged by an establishment so fixated on the disease model, so blind to its failures, that those who suffer the consequences are rendered invisible.

For the pharmaceutically driven model to truly change, a different narrative must take hold—a narrative driven and shaped by individuals who speak truth to power. While withdrawal from psychiatric drugs has gotten some attention of late, particularly with the new guidance on antidepressants in the UK, the culture at large remains mostly oblivious to both the iatrogenic harms associated with psych drugs and the first-person accounts of those who survived them, got off them, endured withdrawal, and came out the other end. 

But not just survived—thrived. Moved forward with a sense of mission. 

This is why their stories matter, and why we need to pipe down and listen. What challenges the prevailing narrative more than people whose lives are filled with creativity, connection, and purpose? Who can better speak to the wrongs of the existing system and the rights of those who seize their autonomy, claim their voice, find another way?

As the webinar description explains: “These incredible panelists will share information and inspiration for those on the journey, their loved ones, practitioners, and anyone interested in the topic. There will be a deep dive into what helped each panelist heal and move on to live a fulfilling life. We’ll share valuable resources and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions” 

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on eventbrite. Mark May 11 on your calendars, and let’s all move forward with hope.

Amy Biancolli, Family Editor

[email protected] 


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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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