Saturday, July 20, 2019

Comments by Lydia

Showing 22 of 22 comments.

  • Thank you very much.
    Parallel to ADHD drugs, I am also very concerned about my recent discovery of the widespread prescription of stimulants like Aricept to older people for everything from mild cognitive decline to Alzheimer’s, which also appear to have no benefit and cause harm, to a population that is, like youth, disemplowered and physically and emotionally especially vulnerable.

  • And don’t forget Dr. Weston Price and his amazing study of the effects of diet on health, “Nutrition and Human Degeneration” (1939) He was a dentist who became intrigued with the lack of tooth decay in people untouched by the modern diet and documented the health deterioration caused by introduction of the industrial diet. He observed both mental and physical degeneration resulting from the introduction of white sugar and flour, canned foods, pasteurized or skimmed milk, and refined and hydrogenated vegetable oils. From the prologue: “Weston Price’s search for isolated, so-called “primitive” groups, living entirely on indigenous foods, took him to remote Swiss villages, windswept islands off the coast of Scotland and idyllic South Sea islands. He visited Eskimos in Alaska, traditional American Indians, African tribes and Australian aborigines. His studies occurred at a pivotal moment in the history of the world–one in which groups totally isolated from civilized ways could still be found, but which also supplied a key modern invention, the camera, that allowed him to record for future generations the superb physical condition of peoples yet to experience the industrial age…….”

  • Dear Vanessa,

    Thank you for writing your inspiring story. I first tried to get off psychiatric drugs in 2003, with no knowledge of withdrawal, and had a terrible crash, which my psychiatrist said was evidence that I needed medication forever. I got right back on, but started to investigate the notion of withdrawal, and tried again, this time weaning, but again too fast, broke down and went back on. But I was determined to immediately try again, and continued going through this process, making it a little longer each time, until, after 6 years of efforts, I made it. I am now three years drug free.

    The emotional pain I experienced in withdrawal was more intense and relentless than “natural” depression of the past, which makes sense in terms of down-regulation of serotonin receptors from SSRIs. I think by getting on and off over the 6 years, with additional meds always added, I probably damaged myself even more. Part of the pain, in doing this against the wishes of all who knew me, was the self-doubt. From my first day off, after a period of agitation, I would plummet into excruciating despair.

    Since I have assumed, like you, that my brain changed in response to the drugs and needs to recover equilibrium, I have tried to eat nutritious food–no sugar, white grains, omega oils; and to exercize. Meditation and yoga are helpful for getting through agitation and depression. One problem that was intense when I first got off drugs was severe muscle cramps (arms, wrists, legs, feet) which made it hard to walk at first. It has gradually improved alot, but is still a problem.

    I think the hardest thing is keeping the faith with yourself, when family, doctors and society at large give you the message that you’re making a huge mistake, denying your mental illness, causing problems by being “non-compliant”, and when you may feel bad for not being up-to-speed and highly-functional because you are dealing with agitation and depression from withdrawal. Your very determination to get off is framed as a symptom of mental illness. (I forget the term for that symptom of not realizing that you’re mentally ill.)

    That’s why I think it’s so important for keeping resolve through the withdrawal period to hear stories like yours–beautifully written–and to keep learning about the damaging effects of the drugs, read critical analysis of how efficacy research is spun, and about the politics of disease-mongering and the disinformation tactics of the pharmaceutical companies. The publication of Anatomy of an Epidemic gave me so much motivation and validation in my effort. In fact, when I read what it was about, I ordered it 6 months before it was available. This all helps to keep the mainstream propaganda at bay. You have to be like Ulysses and tie yourself to the mast and not listen to the siren songs of the magic bullet.
    Also to expect it to be a slow process.

    I really used information such as Mad In America website now has (it didn’t exist then) to hold onto my interpretation of my mental pain as withdrawal to be endured for the sake of eventual freedom from debilitating drugs, as well as a authentic engagement with underlying experiential causes of my lifelong emotional difficulties — to see it as a painful, but worthwhile passage to a life of full possibility. While I understand that the website aims to change institutions and society at large, it’s even more important to me in offering hope, support and information to isolated individual “patients” attempting to get off drugs in the face of intense pressure from medical professionals, family and friends.

    Another thing that motivated me was that fact that of all the people I know who have opted to remain on drugs long-term–and I’ve known many–none is doing really well. They are struggling. They often seem to be switching or adding drugs in hopes of getting better results. In fact, there’s a certain kind of resigned malaise, stuckness, melancholy or apathy that I now associate with people who have been on drugs long-term. Whenever I see them, it’s like, “so what are you on now and how’s it working?” and they are caught in this trial and error merry-go-round of trying to monitor their moods and figure out how to tweek their drug regime. (not to mention physical and health effects.)

    Conversely, I know a number of people who were condemned by doctors to drugs for life, rebelled and got off, and are full of energy and doing fine.

    So thank you so much for offering your story, and I’m very grateful for this website.

  • Hi,
    You list “Pharmaceutical companies” as one item on your list, which implies pharmaceutical company profit motive. Yet almost every other item on your list is a result of direct or indirect social engineering on the part of pharmaceutical companies. For instance the destygmatizing campaigns (along with screening campaigns) are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

    I would include appealing to the profit motive of doctors, insurance companies, and medical journals under the same category.

    The only item that jumped out at me as not arising out of pharmaceutical efforts is romanticizing by association with creativity.

  • I don’t have an alternative term, but I feel that states that are called mental illness are on a continuous spectrum with states called normal, not qualitatively different, and have truth value (often metaphorical or symbolic), and are responses to experiences and situations.

    For negative states I’ve been in I’ve used words like terror, anguish, suffering, disintegration. It’s tough to think about terminology for describing subjective states! Mysticism might have offerings for visionary states, ordeals or crises.

    I do think we are talking about spirituality, a Materialist taboo! It’s so essential, and so socially repressed.

    I will have to reread your first post and think more about it. Thanks again for the article!

  • Although I understand that the word “mad” has been embraced for political purposes, and to reverse meaning and establish pride, I question whether it is actually useful. To me it the term itself is discrediting of the perspective of those who are called “mad.” To associate madness with creativity seems to me to discredit the truth value of creativity as well. I would love to hear some political analysis on the use of this terminology.

  • Hi Wil,
    I forgot to put in suggestions questionaire:

    Please refute the notion that patients should consult with their doctor about getting off meds, or not try to get off meds without a doctors oversight.

    The only principal anyone needs to know is titration and using a pill cutter. Doctors have zero expertise on weaning off meds, and their authority over the administration of meds should be refused entirely.

  • I have a universal theory of shame as the basis of all so-called mental illness–shame as the internalization of oppression of one kind or another. Therapy that works is therapy in which the therapist does not shame the patient (for instance, by invalidating their life experience by saying their distress is meaningless and organic; or by denying shame caused by the family and the social system by ocating the problem within the patient) and that creates an environment of trust in which unacknowledged shame (from family and social sources) can come to consciousness and be examined and externalized.

    If the problem of unacknowledged shame is not dealt with, therapy will go nowhere. It is hard for therapists to deal with shame, because of their own shame avoidance. Thus a good therapist has is one who has come to terms with their own shame.

    I think that CBT therapy can function, like drugs, to deny and suppress shame, because it attempts to work on shame-generated thought patterns (low self-worth, etc.) without going into the underlying shame itself.

    I think the reason that one therapy works as well as another, is because what actually makes therapy work is the nature of the bond between the patient and the therapist — whether is is honest and respectful and treats the patient’s experience as meaningful. Obviously treating the patients thoughts, feelings and emotions as “moods” or “affect” or “symptoms” or “like diabetes” is highly disrespectful and silencing. With respect, therapy is a collaboration.

    I say this as someone who spent years in ineffective therapy, with a number of different therapists, as well as being prescribed antidepressants, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics and benzos. My last therapist was willing to work with me without drugs, and I am off all psych drugs for 3 years now, and making real progress through therapy…

    Shame is the lynchpin!

  • I was on Seroquel for 6 to 8 weeks. In this time period, my cholesterol increased from total of 188 to 212; I gained more than a pound a week; my resting pulse went from 62 to in the 80s.
    So I got off.

    I was prescribed this medication as in-patient due to mental breakdown. At no time was I warned about any side effects. I would like to see people start suing doctors concerning informed consent, so that doctors would be forced to tell patients, in-person (not through a tiny print insert with the medication) not only what the side effects are, but what the efficacy rate is, and whether they are prescribing on or off label.

    Thank you for telling the truth.

  • Their research only shows a correlation between medication and low oxytocin. Where do they get off titling it “lowered oxytocin in schizophrenia”????? It should be titled “”Lowered Oxytocin In Anti-psychotic use”

    Yet again, harm caused by drugs interpreted as organic disease by those who are blinded by their paradigm.
    the only organic mental illnesses are those caused by drugs of one kind of another, or other poisoning.

  • “These cognitive impairments can limit the ability of persons with schizophrenia to process new information accurately and quickly, make effective decisions and remember key information. …these symptoms can severely impair patients’ abilities to perform everyday activities, live independently, gain employment and sustain social relationships.

    It is commonly believed that the most significant symptoms of schizophrenia are delusions and/or hallucinations, yet these represent only a fraction of the symptoms.”

    This study concludes that the side effects of anti-psychotic medications are more impairing than the symptoms of so-called schizophrenia they are meant to treat. (i.e. delusions and hallucinations). These are all the “negative symptoms” that Nancy Andreason recognized were due to medications, and had been mistaken for symptoms of schizophrenia.

  • The fact in the article is that Kelly first got on SSRIs, then got off due to intolerable side effects, switching to a non-SSRI, and has not returned to SSRIs since. After 2 years, she got off medications. She herself apparently did not buy that she needed to permanently be on medications to correct a medical illness, and did not want to continue on medications.

    She returned to the non-SSRI after a year, because she became distressed and sleepless due to adverse events in her life. Kelly has elsewhere published accounts of childhood trauma and various psychological difficulties, including depression, that she directly attributed to these experiences, not to biological brain disorders.

    One question unanswered in the article is, if her Wellbutrin failed her, would she return to SSRIs, given the side effects that caused her to get off them? Didn’t those side effects constitute harm?

    Another question is, why does Kelly assume that she is immune to the placebo effect? Wellbutrin may be succeeding as a placebo merely in not having intolerable side effects.

    My last post was apparently seen as disrespectful of her motives, so I hope this is more appropriate. (I have no problem with you removing it if it still seems unproductive for the purposes of the website.) My aim is to draw attention to the fact that she herself, even anecdotally, is not an SSRI success story and her anecdote tends to undermine any notion of a biological origin to her mental distress.