Personal Stories

People with “lived experience” tell of their interactions with psychiatry and how it impacted their lives, and of their own paths to recovery.

I Had No Idea That Gabapentin Could Do This…

76
I am now a few months off of Gabapentin, and my withdrawal problems have not passed. I still deal daily with internal tremors throughout my head and back.
pill bottle with skull and crossbones label

Gabapentin Horror

34
After suffering PTSD in the late 1980s, I reluctantly accepted antidepressants. In time, I had resolved the trauma, but when I tried to stop the antidepressants (Prozac, and later Zoloft), I assumed my desperate feelings and “return” of depression were an indication I had an imbalance and needed those drugs. I didn’t understand I was experiencing withdrawal. (I was never told that for most people, psychiatric medications need to be tapered.)
against DBT

Trauma Survivors Speak Out Against Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

202
Despite the majority of the individuals being sent to DBT having histories of severe childhood trauma, little about DBT treatment is “trauma-informed.”

From Wonder Drug to Catastrophe: My Seroquel Story

What my doctor had told me would be a two-week withdrawal from Seroquel turned into a 14-month nightmare with lasting repercussions: the movement disorder tardive dyskinesia.

How I Healed My ‘Bipolar Disorder’

52
I was desperate to get off the medication. I wanted to be in control of myself again; independent and capable. The label of Bipolar Disorder made me feel like I was seen as a crazy person who did not fit into society. I wanted my dignity back!

My Story and My Fight Against Antidepressants

98
I’d like to share a bit about what happened to me after being placed on these medications, and how I successfully got off. Until recently, I was embarrassed to talk about my personal experiences publicly, as I’m a professional who specializes in anxiety and depression. Today, medication free, I feel better than ever before, and I am now on a mission to help my current clients get off medications, and to inform others through my writing about the dangers and pitfalls of starting antidepressants.
emotions

Recovering Emotions After 24 Years on Antidepressants

49
My therapist and I jointly made the decision to wean me off of the drugs. In the beginning, it was a very scary process for me. Since I had twice gone off medications on my own, I knew how bad it could get. The good news is, I am alive. I feel alive, and I now have emotions, both good and bad. I am very grateful to have all of them.
akathisia pain

The Agonizing Nightmare of Drug-Induced Akathisia

86
Take every horrific feeling you’ve ever had in your life, all at once. Now, times them by 200, right in your gut. That is how akathisia pain feels. When I tell doctors I have drug-induced akathisia, and that it's incredibly painful, they do not believe me. They say my pain is a mental health issue, and they have all methodically undermined my credibility in my permanent record.

Letting Go of Lithium

90
The healing journey is less about being free from medication and psychiatry and more about connecting with myself now. I am grateful for the freedom to feel.

My Daughter and Prozac

89
While our daughter was growing up, my ex-wife treated our daughter’s body like a temple. She was the only kid among her friends not allowed to drink soda or cow’s milk as they might negatively affect her health. But Prozac for mild anxiety? Sure, no problem. I was honestly and genuinely shocked.
mania

Antidepressant-Induced Mania: When My Mind Became a Literal Hell

18
The amount of anxiety I felt on these medications — and for a couple of years after — was unfathomable. I felt as though I was trapped in an air-tight vat, constantly gasping for breath. And my thoughts were guided by my state of constant worry and panic.
doctor

Benzo Withdrawal: Why Don’t Doctors Know?

36
Many have asked: “Why doesn’t my doctor/provider know what is happening to me?” Benzodiazepine tolerance and withdrawal are not new. So, why isn’t it simple to diagnose and treat? As both a health care provider and a withdrawal sufferer, I’d like to offer an inside and outside perspective on this question.

Childhood Trauma Is Not a Mental Illness

25
My childhood was stolen by systems focused on labeling and medicating me instead of healing the effects of abuse and neglect.

Pills That Steal Generations of Lives

59
Suddenly I had an insight into why my dad decided to end his life in 1976. I learned that, like me, he was on antidepressant medication. It seems highly likely that his illness could have been entirely caused by side effects of medication, just like it was with me.
geriatric depression

The Year I Lost Everything, Psychiatry Offered Nothing

89
After a failed suicide attempt following my son's death, New York State incarcerated me in a mental institution for 21 days. The environment was degrading, stultifying, and downright depressing.

Dying to Stay Alive: A Ketamine Disaster

34
Ketamine treatment, which was being hailed as a ‘miracle cure’, backfired so spectacularly that it very nearly cost me my life.
Joey Marino

The Death of Joey Marino

18
There needs to be more informed consent with these medications. If Joey was more aware of the potential side effects at the very beginning, I feel he would still be here today.

The Prescription that Changed My Life

22
What I have learned is that benzos don’t discriminate. They don’t care that you have a master’s degree or that you are a good person in the community or that you were just doing what the doctors told you to do and you were woefully ignorant and misinformed of their dangers.

Gabapentin Withdrawal: One Year Later

34
Even though I was only on the medication for a little over six months, I am still traveling down the long road of psychiatric drug withdrawal. This is the hardest thing I have ever endured.

How Big Pharma and the Medical Doctors Killed my Father

143
When the nurses tried to give him other medications, my father refused. They accused him of being “combative” and “uncooperative,” and they injected him with the highly toxic, incredibly dangerous, mind-bending antipsychotic HALDOL.

The Trauma of Psychosis: My “Bipolar” Journey

54
Somatic therapy helped me process the trauma of my psychosis: the two days of my brain telling me the world was ending and awful things were being done to my family.

The Connection Between ‘Bipolar Disorder’ and Migraine: Unraveling the History of a Family Line

12
Why did I have to go on a personal investigation to finally figure out that I was having migraines?

The Gauntlet of Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

94
My doctor insisted that my symptoms could not be associated with withdrawal – they had to be symptoms of an underlying condition. I have since learned from legitimate sources that protracted withdrawal syndrome from benzodiazepines can intensify long before it abates, with some symptoms lasting for years.

56
When I was 17, I took Prozac for five days. Ever since, I have been completely unable to experience sexual pleasure.

The Words That Stick Forever

38
I often think about how the situation could have played out, had that nurse and the doctor chosen kindness rather than aggression and impatience.