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Thanks for this, Monica. Very timely considering the dynamics around here lately.
I face criticism occasionally. I have learned to consider what is being said, see where it might conceivably be warranted, and incorporate that insight into my behavior. If some criticism is not warranted after careful reflection, and I then discard it. If some of the bloggers are unable to do this, I have to wonder about their maturity level and abilities to self-reflect.
I pretty much in my life have honed down my friendship base to those who are able to do that.
I, too, am disheartened by Emmeline’s pronouncement. I consider MiA to be a sort of *home* for me after bumbling into Robert Whitaker’s work, which changed my life. A place where I can learn and be inspired and gain virtual support from others who have been ‘consumers’ in the system and from those who are practitioners and critical of that system.
To see what is happening here, and the changes *ever since the format change*…the lack of interactivity by staff and now what feels like just more of the same ol’ same ol’ corporate crapification and the knuckling under due to pressure from vested interests. Again, those who have no power are being disempowered by those that do.
Believe me, I wanted to say much more in my reply to this blog than I did.
MiA won’t miss me, since my financial contributions are minor. I hope they succeed with their mission without survivor’s voices. But I want to know, just how much are mh practitioners going to learn without hearing the voices of those affected by the system?
Pretty good article, scary comments.
The thing is, finding a psychiatrist or a health care professional who knows anything at all about withdrawal from psych meds is rare as hen’s teeth.
You might try looking into http://survivingantidepressants.org/
Monica Cassini’s site, “Beyond Meds” might be useful, too.
Good luck to you.
This is more what I had in mind
Do you even have to ask who?
Good job throughout this thread, kindred.
Thank you for saying so well what I’m thinking…
Benzos are not ‘harmless’…brain changes happen in as little as a week.
Again, on BenzoBuddies there are folks trying to get their brains back after just a few days on benzos.
That’s horseshit, cat.
There’s folks from *all over the world* who bought benzos over -the-counter who have difficulties getting off ’em.
It’s DEPENDENCE. They change your brain. Addiction is a whole other story.
What Vlad doesn’t seem to get it that his/most other Americans run to a pharmaceutical when having difficulty rather than just go thru it. The nature of the world is change. Nothing lasts forever.
Mania? Isn’t that just another word describing a piece of the range of human experience? I refuse to pathologize any response to our inner/outer ‘chemistries’ with our environments. It’s a slippery slope (as far too many of us already know) to give some ‘professional’ power over anyone with mere words.
I read this article in the middle of the night (yay insomnia) and it festered and gnawed and writhed and out popped this conclusion:
WTF are you thinking ???
WHO is *CRazy* here???
The same reason restraints are.
Medicine for profit$.
“If psychiatry was all-bad, why would it still be around in 2017?”
Because it is the perfect tool for social control???
I don’t believe in ‘mania’ or ‘depression’ or any other adjective in the DSM…there is only a range of human experience. And just because one is ‘stuck’ in a particular place of discomfort or distress does not disprove the law of flux–*everything* changes.
There’s so many other ways to address insomnia–but you had to have the quick fix, just like most populations with ‘advanced’ economies. Pharma loves that…
Good luck to you. I wonder what your attitude will be in years to come?
That’s great if you have enough money to *afford* a dog, or have housing that allows PETS.
Sounds like some people’s parenting style.
My poor 56 year old autistic brother. I’m almost positive he’s been thru something like this.
Power and control.
Yes–thank you, Michael.
Nope. For *me*, the PAWS/ID is much much much much much worse than the original distress that fed me into the “MH” system.
I went into the system believing that I was deviant, unnatural, inadequate thanks to my milieu growing up and the marriage I made with a so-called partner who just repeated my childhood messages.
Everyone is different, but I don’t think I’m the only one who has had things come down the way they have.
distress works for me
perfectly describes what led me into the system
The link is the wrong one–leads to the baby touching article.
Regarding your sleep issue
I worry about this too. It is my most persistent ‘symptom’ and leads to a cascade of all the other impairments. I don’t like reading about how it is permanent–altho I have those thoughts, too.
What ‘outside’ intervention are you referring to?
Supplements cost more than I can afford–really very simple. It’s all I can to do buy organic on my disability stipend. Fish oil–hah! right…pro-biotics, sure thing./s
(I’m) Dealing with iatrogenic damage from psych drugs. I cannot tolerate B vitamins, now, among other things. In fact, supplements are somewhat discouraged on the support boards due to the sensitivity of our nervous system. They seem to exacerbate symptoms for many of us.
Avoiding sugar, caffeine, chocolate, gluten is about all I can do right now, and otherwise eating well.
Thanks, erin, for the ‘spectrum’ statement.
I use that analogy all the time when trying to explain my opposition to labels and the ‘mh’ system.
As someone mentioned already, about the only way I will seek ‘medical care’ is if I’m bleeding profusely (or a similar scenario).
But as we’ve seen on these pages before, even Advance Directives can be overruled by the medicos.
Just give me the black pill, and I’ll take care if it myself.
As an ‘elder’ that does NOT MAKE ME FEEL better!
What are the chances of being ‘tortured’ as a younger person and then escaping further torture when I’m a doddering old fool?
“The alternative, it seems to me, is to allow any quack who can (figuratively) wave their arms or practice the laying on of hands, to victimize and defraud people who are hurting and their families who are at their wits end in dealing with bizarre behavior.”
isn’t that what’s happening already?
Good essay, Ronda. Thanks for your integrity and ‘insights’ (hah – little joke)…
I was prescribed Neurotin as part of the ‘cocktail’ of drugs my former shrink prescribed for my mythical ‘chemical imbalance’.
Might have something to do with the PAWS I’m dealing with now these last 3+ years.
But who knows? And who the F*** cares?
Don’t be Debbie Downer.
Nevermind that your brain is damaged, and you haven’t slept in weeks.
No, think about what is POSITIVE in your life as you lose your job, housing, family and friends.
It’s *all in your head*! Change your attitude as you’re dealing with the akathisia and the weakness and the apathy, the brain fog and nightmares and the thousands of additional physical and mental deficits. Pull yourself up by your BOOTSTRAPS, goddam it!
Plan for your awesome future, drug-free…if you ever recover from the iatrogenic damage that’s been wreaking havoc on your brain/body! There’s so much to look forward to…(!)
This all sounds like bullshit to me. It truly sounds like you all have NO IDEA what’s involved when attempting to get off the meds (easy part) and then deal with the aftermath and reality of iatrogenic damage.
Great comment, Tina, and thanks for all your work.
Thanks, of course, also to RW for this article and the hope it represents.
Gotta go along with oldhead, Richard and Bonnie tho. The beast cannot be ‘reformed’.
Did you ever see that Star Trek Next Gen episode, “The Game”?
I look around, and it is happening here and now! And the aliens are taking over the ship!!! Where is Wesley Crusher when you need him?
and it wouldn’t disappoint me at all if *someone* would finally acknowledge that long-term/permanent damage occurs after withdrawal…not just ‘2 years’.
I am so discouraged, my friends keep trying to ‘fix’ me by recommending this supplement, that mediation technique, to correct my ‘attitude’ (where have I heard *that* before??) and imply that I’m just not trying hard enough. I should be good to go after 39 months of this hell!…I must be ‘exaggerating’ or faking it!
It would be so much easier for me if this PAWS/ID thing was recognized. AND COMPENSATED for!! But there’s the catch, huh?
Again I ask, who the he** can afford these “supplements”?
Not me. Just another example of the partial cause of my *distress* — grinding, unrelenting POVERTY with no access to ‘alternatives’. Straight medicine is all I have access to, and all they have ever done is to drug the symptoms without addressing the causes.
If I had a spare $79 bucks, I might give it a shot. But then there’s the option of the methylated formula…I cannot afford a test to find out if that is an issue for me (is that an issue for those of us who are experiencing ID from psych meds???)…a blood tests for gluten intolerance is a hundred bucks!
Until this sort of ‘help’ is available to all of us, it remains all about money, and not at all about healing.
Another person dealing with ID, here.
Nevermind the advice that is offered if it doesn’t feel right.
I got sick of the ‘be positive’ crap long long ago.
Sometimes you just roll with it–and then there are days when you can do stuff like compose music, right? Thanks for including it here and for telling your story. It’s a crime that just keeps being repeated ad infinitum.
Maybe someday our collective suffering (not just us who have been damaged by psychiatry and/or psych meds, but the disenfranchised everywhere) will be in a place to rise up and throw the chains off before we kill ourselves and every other living being on this precious, irreplaceable planet.
A good place to go for information about tapering benzodiazepines is BenzoBuddies:
It is in English, but there are participants from all over the world.
Slow is the way to go when tapering benzos; even slower than what is recommended by “The Ashton Manual” – the method recommended by BenzoBuddies.
Let us know how it goes…
I just went on the Truehope site that sells the EMPowerPlus supplement and *crikey*! Some of us don’t have that kind of dough…guess only the strong (and rich) survive, huh??
“generational bipolar disorder”
Yes, they are very good.
Would love to see them made up as flyers.
The Phillip Hickey article, too. Only just posted today.
I agree with this comment.
I am dealing with a huge wave of PAWS symptoms, at 38 1/2 months out from a year and a half taper of a tiny bit of Klonopin that I was prescribed for 10ish years. My mind has been so fogged, my energy so zapped that it’s been difficult just dealing with my daily life, never mind feeling any joy or connection. My best friend just dumped me after supporting me thru this over the past 3 years…she thinks I’m ‘not trying hard enough’. I’m not *postive* enough. (and I’m sure whispering to mutual friends about my ‘underlying condition’) HAH
Yes, I try to engage when I can. I gave out yet another copy of “Anatomy…” last week, and I make arguments about the ‘mental health’ system in the comments section of a local paper (as able). But for me to make a verbal argument, or write something coherent at this point, or to handle the *STRESS* of organizing anything, or *travelling*…operating on no sleep for weeks, well. Tell ya what…right now, for me to hang onto the fact that I’ve had periods of time (windows) when all 4 cylinders were firing–a dim memory now cuz this wave (yep, waves and windows) has pulled me under for weeks now, is about all I can do. This is no way to live. My old age spent just trying to get my brain back only to die from lack of medical care thanks to our awesome for-profit system. Shoot me now.
Sorry for whining but I cannot cannot cannot believe this is still so bad this far out.
And ya’ll want me to be politically active, too.
I’m impressed. So far I’ve only followed your link to the piece about the election on your site, but I am blown away…
I wince at the word ‘spirituality’ (and ‘God’ o yeah) but that is only because I have seen it commodified and held up and pointed to by egocentric humans. For me, it’s deeply personal and not something I’m likely to discuss with just anyone.
I have so much more to say, but the brain fog is getting in the way.:( Will come back to your post here and explore your site via the links when I can comprehend things better…thanks for being out there.
Localize. Get to know your neighbor. Make time for your community. Learn how to deal with conflict in nonjudgmental and creative ways. Arrange your life so you’re not working so much and get off the internet!
I will have to get back to you *BUT*…I think there are more women on psych drugs (thus a diagnosis) than males mostly because men are reluctant to seek outside help when troubled/stressed.
That ol’ boy Freud was big on ‘hysteria’ and ‘neurosis’; just those words bring up, for me anyways, of troublesome women being committed to institutions waaaay more than males thanks partly to the power differential.
what I found on a cursory search:
I think re-localizing efforts and the transition community could be a way to help us reconnect. We’ve become atomized and alienated from ourselves, our neighbors, our families and the natural world.
We need imnsho, to dial it down, and live closer to what is authentic.
Or it may be that things have spun so far out of control with population/’resource’ pressures, that we might just have to make peace with this life and prioritize what’s important to us, then love it as if there’s no tomorrow.
Oh, hell…we’re doomed.
I call bullshit on more boys than girls get a psych diagnosis.
Communism, as I understand it, is an economic and political philosophy that has yet to implemented genuinely by any large, recognized, regional government.
The US is a “democracy”, right?
As oldhead pointed out to you above, the Soviet Union was never a true communist state. We’ve all grown up with and have become enculturated by the “communist” bogeyman via our capitalistic media.
(pressed ‘post’ the same time old head did, but it doesn’t hurt to reinforce the point)
Also I wonder about the evolutionary advantages of anxiety…surely our neolithic ancestors needed a little anxiety to spur them into action–us, too?
I’m quite sleep deprived, and I haven’t been able to think very deeply for some weeks now. It grieves me sorely. I used to be fairly ‘smart’. Maybe someday my head will clear and I’ll be able to read articles and understand them fully instead of this superficial skating I seem to be doing.:(
Waves and windows…waiting waiting waiting for that window~
This is a good article except for the plug for CBT and the watered down suggestion about possible drug therapy. Dovetails well with the main piece/review today about Marx regarding ‘mental illness’ as a tool for social control.
Thanks for this great review and critique.
Much to think about, more to do.
The propaganda machine dialed in on 11.
Pharma must be getting nervous.
There’s *hippy* people on this site who think they’re SHAMANs???
Guess I missed that. Or maybe the context is wrong. Or maybe they’re shamans…
*That* is good news.
Chilling story, tho.
Are you in Russia?
I thought the same thing…
Listening to this now–excellent!
Yep; it’s *important*.
Where is Matt coming from? (answer not necessary…pretty sure I’ve got the picture)
Yeah, I don’t see anything harsh in uprising’s response to you, Robert. Please do reconsider your decision about not commenting in the future…I don’t agree with some of your views, either, but your participation is most welcome.
Mountains can be made out of molehills thanks to super-sensitivity via iatrogenic damage? Only sayin’ that since I get that way, too.
Fellow Benzo-damaged person
Like *divorce*? Or loss of a home?
The ol’ UNDERLYING CONDITION bullshit again.
This is horrible. It is all so nightmarish.
I fear for us all.
I am associated with the local Hospice, and elders are *purposely* neglected or drugged for convenience. The quality of care for old people without family support or high-end insurance is dismal indeed — death panels by any other name.
Oldhead is the furthest thing from ‘right wing’.
Obamacare is a joke when your deductible is 5 grand and your co-pay is prohibitive.
Single payer NOW!
Everything goes downhill after the blood pressure medicine…that has been my observation and experience as a (former) RN. When I encounter folks who have just been prescribed, I do my best to educate them. Often I’m vilified.
“Modern Medicine ™” is barbaric and should only be engaged with eyes open.
I’m sorry for your loss, Suzanne, and thanks for writing down and submitting your story for others to consider.
Trump is grilling people’s brains and poisoning and electrocutes them?
Haven’t read *that* in the WaPo yet!/s
Then why are you fist bumping with the guy with the ex/ax to grind over there in the ‘BPD’ disorder article posted yesterday? You know, where you go on about your BPD diagnosed ex? Which is it cat? A DSM diagnosis is good for some but not for yourself?
Why are you participating on this site, cat?
What’s *your* diagnosis?
Again: it takes two to tango.
glad she got away…
I think you have an ex (hah typo, I meant *ax*) to grind, which is coloring your perceptions a wee tiny bit.
It takes two to tango, bro.
And if we had elected the D version of the corporate ruse that is called ‘democracy’, we’d be looking at war with Russia right now. The Ds are teaming up with the ‘intelligence community’ (you know, the folks who brought you ‘weapons of mass distraction’ and ‘gassing his own people’), the MSM, and the Military Industrial Complex to try to derail the current plutocrat in charge. What a joke; except it’s not.
Trump is a cartoon, but they’re all dangerous. It’s all about money, and the 99.9% are losing big time by not looking at the actual problem: the economic system.
CNN and MSNBC et al are foaming at the mouth hysterical, ranting about ‘fake news’–and the *irony* is that they’ve been onboard with that shit for a long, long long time.
You might learn a something by changing your sources for information. (And btw; who funds the MSM? Do you think those entities has your best interest at heart???)
Everyone who is flabbergasted by Trump’s election, and who can’t understand why *anyone* female or with a modicum of sense would have voted for him, you should check this essay out.
Trump sure doesn’t look ‘crazy’ in the embedded political ad.
Off topic but educational imnsho.
I will respond to Sera’s article, or to the comments here, in whatever way I feel is useful to the general readership.
Psychology is a tool of social control. Big picture.
You are not the editor here and it is not your place to limit the discussion to whatever *you* see as acceptable. Geez.
The larger picture impacts directly on the topic, and to deny that is (trying to be diplomatic, here), *silly*.
There’s big money in the “DSM and diagnosis (and such issues)”. It’s a *business*. It’s a *business* that makes money off people in distress. Marketing, capitalism…it’s all related, and to limit the discussion to just one part of the issue resolves nothing.
This ^^^. (In respond to uprising’s post) Until Democraps are able to do some serious self-reflection, nothing is going to change in the Democratic Party. It’s dead, kaput, over.
Hey, look! Over there! The russians the russians the russians o and those pesky deplorables…
What is a ‘liberal’ these days? Does it mean marching around in your pink pussy hat and then calling it good? How many *poor* people/poc were out there with you? Not many. They couldn’t take time off from McDonalds without losing needed income or getting canned.
Obama was horrible for those of us on the bottom of the economic pile (and for *lots* of ‘civilians’ in arabic countries); why can’t the ‘libruls’ see that? The terms ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ don’t mean much these days.
Trump being deemed ‘mentally ill’ is just another attempt to grasp at straws…I don’t think the hubbub has enhanced the current narrative much at all, imnsho.
Totally agree. Well stated.
MiA gets a LOT of Polish spam in the forums, and staff doesn’t deal with it in a timely matter for whatever reason. Sorry that puts you off; it’s a shame.
MiA is all ‘we’ got right now.
And Julie, the saying, “the personal is political” is thought by some to be just another device to keep us atomized and on our own as *individuals*; kinda like how the ‘think positive’ meme was introduced into public consciousness around the time of Ronny Rayguns.
This lack of access to the legal system for lack of money is NOTHING NEW.
It’s the *injustice* system and has been forever.
Thanks for the article, and *thanks* for all the great comments. So true, all of it.
Thanks for the heartfelt writing. You put words to my own ‘dark side’ and the conclusions I’ve come to about my own life. Yup. Shit happens. Our monkey brains seem to have a deep need to make sense of things–and that often leads to false narratives and spectacular cruelty.
I still have problems with the word ‘love’–that’s my own struggle. I *love* life and everything is alive but humans are still a dangerous and unpredictable challenge to me. I can give the people around me a break when I’m able to give myself one. Your essay helps me do that.
Thank you, Dr. Hickey, for this review. Additions to the arsenal are always welcome. How to break thru to to the mainstream like R. Whitaker managed to do with his book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic”?
Has anyone here ever communicated with Marcia Angell in regard to ‘anti-psychiatry’? I know she’s critical–it was her review of “Anatomy” in the NYRB that lead me to my present state of being med-free (but still suffering the iatrogenic damage). Would I have been better off still taking the drugs? Sometimes I wonder, but on the whole, glad and grateful to know the truth.
Even now, into my 36th month of significant impairment after quitting Klonopin? I’m sure the many other psych meds over the last 10 years didn’t help, either.
It would be *wonderful* for this iatrogenic damage to finally be acknowledged, at the very least, and compensated for. Really, I’d much rather have my life back…and with no end in sight, at times it’s hard to hang on.
Everyone on BenzoBuddies (<30,000 registrants) and Surviving Antidepressants would like some *proof*, I'm sure. Because right now, as it is, no one believes us.
Thanks for this very useful article.
I’ve had people online at other sites extoll “Dr.” Amen’s clinics and skills…and a close friend has had her son FUBAR (don’t know how to help that boy at this point) by a ‘diagnosis’ from one of “Dr.” Amen’s brainscans (only 3+grand) and given a fistful of prescriptions. Just last month he cold turkeyed his *whatever* and ended up in jail for running loose on the freeway.
Sad sad sad.
That’s so depressing. What’s more depressing is I’ve seen similar scenarios in my own neck of the woods.
No place to run, no place to hide.
CBT doesn’t work for everybody, but I think using mindfulness as a tool to get thru the muck, and otherwise, is extremely useful.
I don’t think anyone can “prove” anything from a brainscan.
I just need to ‘change my thoughts’…hmm. Sounds a lot like *positive thinking*, which is all the rage nowadays. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps; it’s your MIND keeping you back, and thus, your own fault.
Dr. Jeffery Schwartz…and his neuro-imaging? Sounds like more pseudoscience.
apples and oranges, Frank
Yeah, really sick of his rant/obsession about this.
The ‘taxpayers’ are paying for a lot of evil shit, but if even a crumb drops down to those whose lives have been ruined by psychiatry, he just can’t stand it.
If I wasn’t *disabled* before I met the shrink, I sure am now.
And yeah. I lost *EVERYTHING*.
What’s sad is the ‘med’ lines in *correctional facilities*. County jails have staff psychiatrists…
Folks in jail are almost as drugged, but it’s ‘voluntary’. Never let a good Klonopin go to waste.
I read your link; Robert Whitaker was never diagnosed with anything as far as I know. He came into this subject as a journalist/science writer.
For now, MiA is our ‘room’, or at least *I* consider it that way.
Glad you made it, aria.
Thanks for that ^ Subvet…a great tidbit of succinct information, there.
Wasn’t *insisting*, just defending oldhead in his actions.
Thanks for the link; lots to read there and I only skimmed it. We could use someone like you with your knowledge and skills here in the US…
That was the *other* Carrie Fisher article; shook did not comment in this one. And I agree with oldhead; this thread got hijacked by shaun and julie and was off topic.
Sure, she can believe and injest whatever she wants.
‘Cept she was snarky from the jump, too.
Guess you missed it.
Thing is, shaun, I don’t *believe* in ‘mental health’ care. ‘Mental Health’ care has harmed me, possibly irreparably.
But you keep on acting like it’s some kind of panacea for humanity’s ills.
O, right. Your income depends on it.
Replying to shaun @ 12:05 Jan 5
Whelp, shaun, I’ve been to a goodly number of counselors/therapists, some of which gave me bad advice, btw…and it all felt, I dunno, *icky*…like paying a whore. Inauthentic. Ya know?
As far as the ‘dysfunctionality’ of other cultures; how can you deny that we have become more isolated and cut off from family/friends/community with the advent of the *automobile*, the ‘mobil phone’ and the ‘internet’. How many hours do folks spend on Faceborg these days instead of interacting in their neighborhoods? We are being atomized and isolated, and then we are blamed as individuals for our misfortunes, the result of our ‘character flaws’ and our ‘broken brains’. Divide and conquer. A very old technique with a new, post-modern, twist.
Yup. I do think real community is possible, I have experienced it. But people must be given the space and time to create it and it’s nigh on impossible in these late days of capitalism. We just need to slow down and not have to work so hard to survive.
Oh, and ps: there’s, what, 7.4 humans on the planet? The petri dish is getting crowded and people need their ‘stuff’.
Therapy, in my nsho, is a substitute for the connects that have been severed by capitalism and industrialization.
It’s just a sad statement of our current dysfunction as a specie.