On the Other Side
It was the first time in my Klonopin journey it occurred to me the problem might not be inherent in me. The problem might actually be the Klonopin. Convinced my very life was at stake, I made the firm decision to get off the stuff once and for all.
From ‘Madness’ to Self-Mastery: Overcoming a Life of Disconnection
You are trained to trust a system, to trust a professional… But I was always following my intuitive self telling me that there was a way out of the madness and the labels.
Ambushed by Antidepressants for 30 Years
They helped me function for a while, but the debilitating side effects of antidepressants held me prisoner. I'm still having a hard time understanding how this could have happened. It's been suggested to me by a therapist that what I'm going through now is another kind of PTSD: the ongoing trauma of realizing what antidepressants did to me for 30 years.
Child Abuse and Psychosis: My Healing Journey
Hospitalized for "grandiose delusions," I began to wonder: Was my dis-orientation really just a sickness? Or in "treating" it, was I missing a powerful re-orientation toward healing old wounds?
Against the Odds: ‘Unimproved Schizophrenic’ to Yale PhD
Forty years after I had first been admitted to the hospital, I was ready to confront my past. So, I sent for my hospital records, and I read them. As an experienced clinician, I recognized immediately what the doctors hadn’t been able to see in 1960: my problem wasn’t ‘schizophrenia’ but PTSD, connected with incest.
My Mental Health Awakening
Although it’s taken me a while to acknowledge my right to be in this world, I know that I am not “mentally ill,” but rather have a dynamic spiritual and emotional sensitivity to this world. I am here for a reason, and having to go into the depths of a very dark cave in order to see the light is how I was able to grow and discover that I don't have to take medications for the rest of my life.
What’s Missing from NAMI and Pro-Psychiatry: Lived Experience
Since many psych patients become forced consumers, their advocates have a duty to be educated and concerned with adverse reactions.
Memories of a Childhood in a Mental Hospital
My stay at the hospital had no impact on the problem that led to my admission. But it did exacerbate other problems and change me in fundamental ways. I am a deformed product of that ‘cutting-edge facility’ and the ‘treatments’ I received there — social isolation, pills and shots, ice bath and ECT.
The “Shotgun Method” – A Story of Mental Health Crisis in Iceland
"Let's try the shotgun method," my psychiatrist said — meaning that you load the gun with a bunch of pellets and hope that one of them hits the target. I went through 16 different psychiatric medications in five years, and they were not the right choice for me.
The Poison Isn’t the Medicine: Antipsychotics, Mania and Sleep
To test the theory that a lack of sleep would trigger mania and resumption of sleep would restore health, I conducted what I thought would be a straightforward experiment: while still on lithium and a low dose of antipsychotics, I suppressed sleep for a few days.
What It’s Like to Be Involuntarily Committed
Ten years after being fired for taking a mental health leave after the Virginia Tech massacre, I was diagnosed as "schizophrenic" and involuntarily committed to a hospital. Now I have a job and a life, but I'm still forced to take drugs and report to a social worker.
I Want Change
Only two hours after we got home, Dan fearlessly told me of the suicide plan that he'd devised while in the hospital. He had all that time to think about it while nobody was listening. He'd lost his dignity, his identity and his place in society. He had lost the will to live.
A Best Kept Secret
After working in the field, I have found that the majority of people in the mental health system are not getting adequate care like I received during my first psychotic episode. I was lucky enough to have a doctor who took a nontraditional approach to schizophrenia and worked with me on coming off of medications.
Surviving and Thriving After a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
I have wanted to go public with my story ever since I started getting so dramatically better via holistic means, but I consistently chickened out. It wasn’t until I hopped on a plane to Boston to meet other psychiatric survivors at the Mad in America Film Festival in 2014 that I found the community and forum to do so.
Snapshots of Spring: Journeying Off Psych Meds After 20 Years of Compliance
My prayer to be taken out of my misery was answered, just not the way I used to envision. I managed to escape the system and here I am in the same lifetime, alive and well. I’m slowly getting acquainted with this new setup and am eternally grateful for yet another opportunity at life, which I hope does not slip through my fingers.
A Psychiatrist Remembers His Recovery from Schizophrenia
A psychiatrist since 1949, I was psychiatrically hospitalized on December 21, 1963 at New York City's Mt. Sinai Hospital. I stayed for three months,...
Calm, Organized, Homicidal Behaviour – My Connection to School Shooters
There is little doubt in my mind that many school shooters were in an antidepressant-induced state of psychosis, which is a loss of contact with reality that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not real. That's what happened to me. I started taking 60mg of Paxil a day. Three days later, I planned my suicide. Then I planned a murder.
Us, Too: Sexual Violence Against People Labeled Mentally Ill
In light of the recent events and media discussions pertaining to the issue of sexual violence, we feel that it is of the utmost importance to speak out about this issue in the context of psychiatry and the treatment of those perceived as mentally ill.
Burning Down the House of Psychiatry During COVID
If there was ever a time to re-evaluate how society deals with human suffering, it is now. The pandemic’s mental health effects strain every false narrative and misguided practice of psychiatry.
Eulogy for Abraham Leighton McNeill
A friend said to me recently, "Oh, he suffered such a lot. That’s over for him." I know their words were intended to comfort me over my son’s suicide. Our fine, excellent son, Abraham, had committed suicide a month before Christmas 2019. Nevertheless, I bridled inwardly at the suggestion, not wanting to remember Abraham as merely the sum of his sufferings—he was so much more than that.
My Beautiful Psychosis: A Soul Process
To say a person is out of touch with reality is to ignore the validity of the reality that they are in touch with. This is not only disempowering, but also fails to celebrate the journey that the person is on.
Out of the Abyss (with a Little Help from My Friends)
An ER doctor told me I was experiencing venlafaxine withdrawal, then told me to go home and take care of myself. Unbeknownst to me, I was about to enter pure hell.
A Nurse’s Nightmare: Child Nearly Dies from ADHD Drug
My hope and prayer is that this dramatic look at a negative effect of this class of drugs will help you understand that, in my professional assessment, their risks outweigh their benefits.
Letter to My Child’s Psychiatrist
Dear Doctor, I wonder if you remember my son... you only spent about ten minutes with him, exactly four days after his first suicide attempt. I asked you if his medication, Zoloft, had anything to do with what was happening. You looked at me and said, "There's no way of knowing; there are too many factors involved."
I am Insane
I have been here at Western State Hospital for almost five years. While I’ve been told that I’ve met all the criteria for a conditional release, the hospital won’t grant me this because I can’t prove that I won’t be dangerous in the future. Can anyone prove this? Even convicts don’t have to prove they’re ‘safe’ before they are freed.