Our Powerful Mind, and Hope

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One of the main arguments for continuing drug treatment for depression, psychosis and bipolar disorder is that you will get worse from stopping the drugs, especially if they are stopped abruptly. These are findings from mainstream psychiatry. However, if we combine this information with the methodology of the randomized controlled trial, we may see that these drug trials do not show efficacy of drugs, and may not be usable to show safety. The positive side to this is that the trials may actually demonstrate the healing power of our own minds.

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.

Helping People Come Off Medication—Bad for Business?

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The message in journal editorials, comments and opinion articles, is that 'this new study shows great promise' and that 'we need further research'. My interpretation is: 'give us the money and we will be happy to carry this out'. With the implied promise that, once this new research has been done, we will get a better world. Sadly this is rarely ever the case.

ďťżEarly Death Associated With Antipsychotics

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There are a vast number of studies that document the diverse range of side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs. These adverse effects include brain...

David Cohen on Madness Radio: The Meaning of Medications

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David Cohen's work begins to address a paradox: medication effects are not simply chemical impacts on a biological brain, but rather the complex interactions of social factors, expectation, placebo, "nocebo," and learning. As a harm reduction approach to withdrawal emphasizes, empowerment may be the most important consideration for supporting people's wellness.

Psychiatric Drugs: More Dangerous Than You Ever Imagined (A New Video)

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“Psychiatric Drugs are More Dangerous than You Ever Imagined” is the newest video in my series Simple Truths about Psychiatry.  It provides a simple, direct and inescapable warning about this epidemic of harm induced by psychiatric drugs. The video sounds a necessary alarm about this growing tragedy, involving millions of people and their families, who never foresaw the disabling results of taking psychiatric drugs and giving them to their children.

The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs

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As I see it this website is about filling the gaping hole in the official literature on mental health problems and their treatment. Since these problems were declared to be diseases, ‘just like any other’, academic papers present them as if they were simply technical glitches in the way the brain or mind works. They can be identified by ticking a few boxes, and easily treated by tweaking the corresponding defect with a drug or a few sessions of quick-fix therapy. What it is like to experience these problems and their treatments is nowhere to be found. Yet in post after post on this site among others, we hear about the harm produced by drugs that are prescribed for mental health problems.

Online Experts on Withdrawal

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Online communities are stepping in to help people facing withdrawal effects amass information and receive support for their withdrawal experiences.

Gradual Reduction is Best For Coming Off Meds: But In All Situations?

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The phrase "medication tapering" is being used more and more as the preferred term for the psychiatric medication withdrawal or coming off process. Based on my years of work educating many people around coming off medications -- clients, support groups, and in workshops and trainings -- I think that term is misleading, and let me explain why.

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal in Spain

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My study, in which I slowly withdrew people from prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants, found that it is possible to decrease both spending on psychiatric drugs and patients' chronic exposure to them. In general, the drug-reduction process was well-tolerated and well-accepted among those treated.

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 4: Withdrawing from Psychiatric Drugs (Part 1)

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Very few doctors know anything about withdrawal and make horrible mistakes. If they taper at all, they do it far too quickly because the few guidelines that exist recommend far too quick tapering.

The Reckoning in Psychiatry Over Protracted Antidepressant Withdrawal

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Medically-induced harm—affecting tens of millions of people worldwide—has taken the field decades to take seriously.

Mental Health Survival Kit, Chapter 4: Withdrawing from Psychiatric Drugs (Part 5)

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Withdraw from psychiatric drugs at your own speed—according to what you feel. Don’t reduce again before you feel stabilised on the previous dose.

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.

Antidepressants and Pregnancy:  Who Says They Are Safe? 

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Depression during pregnancy is an important issue. Depression should not be ignored and depressed pregnant women deserve good treatment and care. Part of that good care, though, is providing them with full and correct information. I care for pregnant women taking antidepressants on a daily basis and too often they tell me that the only counseling they received about the medication was, “my doctor told me it’s safe in pregnancy.” This post will review the evidence in this area and address the counterarguments.

Long-Term Antipsychotics: Making Sense of the Evidence in the Light of the Dutch Follow-Up...

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In the 1950s, when the drugs we now call ‘antipsychotics’ first came along, psychiatrists recognised that they were toxic substances that happened to have the ability to suppress thoughts and emotions without simply putting people to sleep in the way the old sedatives did. The mental restriction the drugs produced was noted to be part of a general state of physical and mental inhibition that at extremes resembled Parkinson’s disease. Early psychiatrists didn’t doubt that this state of neurological suppression was potentially damaging to the brain.

RxISK Stories: Withdrawal from antidepressants – V’s story

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I quit taking Prozac using a step-down method. Started in Sept. 2011 and finally off in January 2012. I experienced severe loss of balance early on, which progressed into full-blown ataxia & parasthesia. Have had extensive blood-testing & MRIs of brain & cervical spine, all negative! I have to believe this is a result of coming off Prozac, although most sites say the withdrawal side effects don't last this long.

ďťżNew Rat Study: SSRIs Markedly Deplete Brain Serotonin

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Dutch investigators will soon publish an article in Neurochemistry International that sheds light on how SSRI antidepressants affect the serotonergic system over the longer...
freedom

10 Things I Learned in 5 Years Consulting With People Coming Off Psych Drugs

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It's been over 5 years since I started offering non-medical consultations to people in the process of coming off or hoping to come off psych drugs. I wanted to share here some things I have learned in this process. Despite how far we have come, we have a long way to go in the quest to liberate all who wish to be liberated from psychiatry.

Antidepressants, Pregnancy, and Autism: Really Time to Worry

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On Monday April 14th, an important new study from Harrington et al was published in the journal Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.)  The study was designed to examine prenatal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other developmental delays (DDs).  Nine hundred sixty-six mother child pairs were studied and the researchers found that in boys, the association between maternal SSRI use in the first trimester and autism was very strong (OR 3.22).  The association between third-trimester maternal SSRI use and developmental delay was even stronger, with an odds ratio of 4.98.

Harrow + Wunderink + Open Dialogue = An Evidence-based Mandate for A New Standard...

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In the wake of the new study by Dutch researcher Lex Wunderink, it is time for psychiatry to do the right thing and acknowledge that, if it wants to do best by its patients, it must change its protocols for using antipsychotics. The current standard of care, which—in practice—involves continual use of antipsychotics for all patients diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, clearly reduces the opportunity for long-term functional recovery.

Consent and Psychiatry: Problematizing the Problematic 

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It is rare to get involved in a dialogue over psychiatry without sooner or later someone defending the use of such “treatments” as ECT “as long as they are consented to,” with the term “informed consent” periodically employed. Herein lies the context for this piece. The issue that I want to probe, to be clear, is not whether force should be used—for of course it shouldn’t—but the thorny issue of consent itself—what exactly constitutes consent and what other issues besides consent are critical to factor in when considering what it is and is not legitimate for a “medical” professional to offer.

A Massachusetts Benzo Bill That Mandates Informed Consent

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H. 3594 would require pharmacists to distribute pamphlets containing information on benzodiazepine misuse and abuse, risk of dependency and addiction, handling and addiction treatment resources. This would be a major legislative response to the prescribing patterns for these drugs today.

The Real Benzo Hysteria

On June 12th, Psychology Today published an article entitled, "Benzo Hysteria: the Chilling Effects of the 'Addictive' label," by Ed Shorter, PhD. A dangerous and unfounded claim was made in its final paragraph, which reads as follows: "The benzos are among the safest and most effective drug classes in the history of psychopharmacology." Benzodiazepines are in fact highly addictive and many people suffer for years from protracted withdrawal syndromes that are disabling.

Learning About Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

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We held the first course ever on psychiatric drug withdrawal on 12 June 2017 in Copenhagen. The course was open to patients, relatives, psychologists, doctors and other social and healthcare workers, and 77 people participated.