Sunday, December 4, 2022

Comments by Susan Bell

Showing 9 of 9 comments.

  • It’s clear as all heck to me that slavery is an abomination and so is psychiatry. Thank you, Dr. Levine, for such a clearly written piece and pointing out that just because institutions exist doesn’t mean they need to continue to exist. Your voice is much needed, as are the voices of Robert Whittaker and many others trying to get through the morass of entrenched subterfuge, ignorance, and greed.

  • James and Jill – Thank you for this really important interview. Jill – You so articulately bring up really important points about akathisia. For example, it’s so easy to feel utterly alone, being misunderstood, dismissed, judged, and dangerously misguided by virtually everyone – health professionals, family, friends, and other acquaintances. When you try to describe how you’re feeling, it essentially becomes a downward spiral of misdiagnoses and continued pharmaceutical injury. I was slapped with “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” by a psychiatrist when I was actually suffering from – as you aptly put – chemical-induced terror. Also, I didn’t have a lot of the pacing and other external movements that many think of with akathisia, but I had the extreme internal agitation. There were moments here and there when I could still myself, but it wouldn’t stick and I’d just return to the agitated state. The examples you give of people describing how they feel with akathisia are right on target and really helpful. Thank you for all you’re doing!

  • What an important article! You bring up excellent points, James. I stopped cold turkey after a few months on psych drugs and suffered a lot. How much of that suffering was from the quick stopping vs. the drugs’ effects from the start is hard to say. I did notice extreme sweating, neuropathy in my feet and digestive issues right after stopping cold-turkey, but my worst side effect – akathisia – began basically as soon as I started taking the drugs, and I wonder if it might’ve continued longer than the year and a half I had it, if I’d been slowly tapering over an extended period of time. From what I’ve learned from reading and watching videos since my experience, I’ve been assuming that extremely slow tapering is the way to go for everyone and would’ve been much better for me. But it’s good to keep an open mind regarding this. The extended time on the drugs could cause some people continued and greater harm and suffering. It really is so individual, and flexibility in the tapering process is important. Thank you for your thought-provoking piece!

  • Hi Lisa, Yes, I agree there are so many factors that can lead to ongoing and permanent injury. Even short-term exposure to the drugs can cause severe and permanent injury. We can hope that the brain and body heal to some degree over time, but the damage can be so significant that recovery to much extent doesn’t happen. Kathleen mentioned the book “Medication Madness” by Dr. Peter Breggin, which I have on my bookshelf. Another book I have by Dr. Breggin that really helped me as I was healing (and I wish I had read earlier) is “Guilt, Shame and Anxiety – Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions.” This book talks about how guilt and shame developed in humans in the first place, and how problematic these emotions become when they lead to sleeplessness or despair or grief or anxiety and then get treated by disastrous brain-injuring chemicals instead of holistically.

  • As someone who barely made it through (MAD article “Akathisia – Very Nearly the Death of Me”), I’m so sorry I didn’t have the chance to connect with Kathleen to support her in any way I could. Her beautifully written, powerful piece should be required reading for anyone in the health care field. This is yet another tragedy from a condition so horrific and unbelievable that people – as well-meaning and caring as they may be – simply are not able to comprehend its devastating effects. Honestly, if I hadn’t experienced Akathisia myself, I’d probably be someone who, after a while, would be dismissive and frustrated and impatient with someone suffering from it. That’s why sharing stories like this one, that Kathleen so bravely put together in all her turmoil, is so important, so people can get a clearer picture of the pure agony and terror of this hellish brain-jacking experience, and understand the desperate need of the sufferer to be listened to and believed and compassionately held in the midst of their overwhelming fear and depersonalization, over a period of months or years. Something I believe was important for me, and definitely goes “against the grain,” was refraining from telling most people I was suicidal. Unfortunately, our culture can’t handle suicidal ideation and basically demands psych drugs for suicidality, and something inside me told me that taking more drugs would not lead to my recovery. Instead, I somehow needed to look for holistic therapeutic methods and therapists to have a safe healing space and allow my subconscious to process and heal the injured state. I needed also to keep taking baby steps to connect with the world, clinging to even the smallest of kindnesses along the way. But each person needs to pursue what feels right for them. I later learned that tapering off psychotropic drugs very slowly is critically important, and there are helpful resources out there for doing that. Support groups are really useful for discovering these resources and connecting with others. Kathleen’s story is a precious gift; her story will save lives. RIP Kathleen. You fought long and hard and gave it your very best. Thank you so much for that. And thank you, Lisa, for sharing Kathleen’s story. For those suffering with Akathisia, please know that things can and do get better.

  • Another well-articulated and important addition to the personal stories of unnecessary and significant harm done by psychiatric drugs. The key take-away: Don’t start! It’s a slippery slope that’s super hard to climb your way out of, and often leaves devastating damage in its wake. Let’s shout it from the rooftops: Don’t start! Thank you for sharing, Antonia.

  • This is such a thoughtfully written expose – so important and so timely as psychedelic therapy quickly moves toward mainstream acceptance. Therapy with psychedelics certainly comes with many benefits and risks, depending on a multitude of factors. But I hadn’t thought about the huge risk of abuse by the therapist until reading this. Thank you so much, Will, for enlightening us! May your message continue to spread so that everyone becomes aware of this potential aspect for harm, leading hopefully to the strictest safeguards being put in place in therapeutic settings, along with extra training on this topic for all staff involved.