Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

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After long-term use, most people are going to have serious symptoms when stopping SSRIs. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop.

Three Suicides: Honoring Lives Lost to Benzodiazepines

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I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.

Is Long-term Use of Benzodiazepines a Risk for Cancer?

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A large study of the population in Taiwan reveals that long-term use of benzodiazepine drugs, commonly prescribed for anxiety, significantly increases the risk for brain, colorectal, and lung cancers. The research, published open-access in the journal Medicine, also identifies the types of benzodiazepines that carry the greatest cancer risk.

Withdrawal Symptoms Routinely Confound Findings of Psychiatric Drug Studies

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Researchers examine how rapid discontinuation can mimic the relapse of mental health symptoms and confound psychiatric drug studies.

Social Vacuum

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I remember the feeling, one of not exactly isolation but otherness. A sense that not only did I not fit in many places where I used to, but also that I lacked the energy to even try — to, like an actor, wear the skin of the old me for an hour or even a few minutes so that others would not feel uncomfortable in my quivering and clearly perturbed presence.

Who and What Killed Prince and Michael Jackson? Will the Role of Benzos Ever...

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It is the deadly cocktail of benzodiazepines and opiates that is most responsible for the rising rate of opiate overdose deaths... and benzos may actually be THE decisive deadly component in the lethal drug combination. Yes, fentanyl and propofol can be dangerous drugs, but to focus the main attention in this crisis on these rarely used drugs is deliberately misleading...This minimizes the critical role of benzos and rather conveniently lets certain institutions and their leaders off the hook as the main suspects in such a vast number of cases that should be labeled as crimes of negligent homicide.

Setbacks

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Oddly enough, it had occurred to me over this past year as I’ve been writing these essays for Mad in America that maybe I was “too healthy” to speak to the withdrawal experience with authenticity, to have street cred. It’s now a moot point. I write this not to scare people, but to present a reality. This reality has been difficult to accept, but the fact remains that my nervous system is more sensitive than before and might always be so, at least to some degree.

Researchers Address Dangers of Polypharmacy and Inappropriate Medication Use

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A new special issue brings together articles exploring the harmful effects of simultaneous multiple medication use.
integrative mental health

8 Years of Mental Health Research Distilled to 4 Infographics

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Pictures are worth a thousand words. So I’ve chosen pictures to distill the mountain of mental health research I’ve examined over the last eight years. Three infographics summarize research on psychiatric drugs, and one asserts why I think Integrative Mental Health is the best path available for mental health recovery.
doctor

Benzo Withdrawal: Why Don’t Doctors Know?

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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.

Benzodiazepines Linked to Treatment Resistant Depression

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Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

Report Calls For Policy Changes In Response To Dependence and Withdrawal From Prescribed Drugs

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Statistics from the UK reveal that prescriptions for painkillers and antidepressants continue to rise despite concerns over dependence and debilitating withdrawal effects. The British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science has released a report that acknowledges changes to medical practice, research and policy necessary for addressing the dependence and withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants.

Cognitive Impairment from Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use Remains Even After Drug Withdrawal

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Long-term benzodiazepine use shown to effect cognitive function during current use and for years after drug discontinuation.

There’s No Duct Tape for Benzo Withdrawal

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It’s stunning what a quarter milligram of a benzodiazepine can do to the body. I’ve been detoxing off a high dose of benzodiazepines since September of 2011. The first few months were a failure. But this past May, I found my expert and thought I had the formula. Things were going well for detoxing off a substance many deem more addictive that heroin. That is, I realized, until they weren’t.

Is Xanax Really the Bad Guy?

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While any effort to generate awareness and potentially curb the benzodiazepine epidemic is commendable, we have to ask ourselves, is Xanax just the scapegoat in this situation? Will legislative action and media attention for only one benzodiazepine out of so many make any difference?

German Psychologists Declare “the Drugs Don’t Work”

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Jürgen Margraf and Silvia Schneider, both well-known psychologists at the University of Bochum in Germany, claim that psychotropic drugs are no solution to mental...

Duty to Warn – 14 Lies That Our Psychiatry Professors in Medical School Taught...

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Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”

Still Mistreating the Elderly with Psychiatric Drugs: Benzodiazepines

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Despite safety concerns, a new study reveals that there has been no change in the use of benzodiazepines in the elderly from 2001 to 2010.

Don’t Harm Them Twice: When the Language Surrounding Benzodiazepines Adds Insult to Injury (Part...

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Language is important. And when language dictates specific treatment protocols, it should be used with extreme scrutiny. Using the wrong words can put vulnerable people at risk—not only to their sense of self-worth, their sense of self-knowledge, and they way they are treated, but also to their health.

Matt Samet: Climbing Out of Benzo Madness

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Rock climber, author, and MIA Blogger Matt Samet discusses his experience becoming addicted to, and subsequently coming off of, benzodiazepines.

PTSD in Withdrawal

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Can withdrawal from psychiatric drugging be so terrible as to leave you with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — to somehow rearrange your psyche for the worse even once time and hard work have undone the damage caused by the chemicals? To so profoundly alter your core self that you acquire a new diagnosis meriting special considerations or further treatment in order to resume a normal life again? If the real definition of insanity is “repeating the same mistake over and over and expecting a different result,” then embracing a psychiatric diagnosis of PTSD as a result of psychiatric damage would surely make you “insane”.

Cold Turkey

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The other day I talked to a friend who I hadn’t seen for quite a while. She told me that she had been prescribed Seroquel for sleep problems about a year ago. But when she started to read about it a couple months ago she got really nervous that it was causing her long term health complications and she stopped taking it - cold turkey - without tapering. I wondered about our conversation afterwards and thought about the countless amount of people who don’t tolerate their psychiatric meds and quit cold turkey.

Tapering Strips for Benzodiazepines

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One size fits all does not work. It is not possible to use the same tapering schedule for all patients who wish to stop with a certain drug. Therefore we had to come up with a flexible solution that was both practical and allowed doctors and patients to make the choice they deemed appropriate.

The Gauntlet of Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

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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.

Playing the Odds, Revisited

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It is hard to believe that a year has gone past since I posted Playing the Odds: Antidepressant Withdrawal and the Problem of Informed Consent. The feedback I received underscored the more controversial aspects of SSRI toxicity.  Common themes concerned the abrupt onset of new symptoms 3 to 12 months after stopping the drug, reinstatement of the drug failing to help withdrawal related symptoms, the possibility that withdrawal-related symptoms can persist indefinitely and concerns about using benzodiazepines to help with tardive akathisia.

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