Friday, December 2, 2022

Comments by pixygiggles

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  • I began taking SSRI antidepressants in 1996 at age 23. Prozac made me so suicidal that I attempted suicide for the first time a couple of months later. I was told repeatedly that the medication would correct my “chemical imbalance” by every psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, and therapist that I saw.

    Over and over again, they raised the doses to max levels, changed the medication to something new, or added another pill until around 2004 – 2005 when I was on 5 different medications at the same time. None ever helped much if at all. I simply could tell no difference no matter what medications I was on, with the exception of negative side effects.

    I lost TennCare in 2005 after I moved to a new city in TN to take a fulltime job. I had no healthcare insurance with the job, so I found myself in withdrawal hell when I ran out of everything. I ended up at the ER, suicidal and experiencing weird brain zaps. That resulted in an involuntary 72 hour hold; and about a month later, I lost that job, lost all of my belongings, and became homeless for the 5th time. With the exception of a part time job that I somehow managed to keep for 5 months in 2018, I haven’t been employable since, despite everyone pressuring me to “just find a job” and keep it.

    Until 2005, I bought into the whole chemical imbalance theory. After experiencing the horrible withdrawals, though, and realizing I felt no different on or off meds, I suspected something was amiss. I’m not sure when I first heard that the chemical imbalance theory had been disproved; but I’m guessing it was around 2008, when I finally gave up on medication altogether. That’s also around the time I began reading scientific papers for fun, and I do remember reading a few stating as much.

    By that point I no longer trusted psychiatry and left treatment. I’m no better off for any of it. I’m still a suicidally depressed individual, but now I have a whole lot of trauma to go along with it. I felt used, like a Guinea pig or one of the rats of NIMH. I felt disrespected and manipulated. My trust in mental health treatment was shattered, and it took me several years before I reached out for help again out of sheer desperation. Even then and for the last 10 years, I refused medication because I no longer trusted it or psychiatry.

    I can’t even take medication for physical health problems because I developed such a phobia of medicine and doctors, for which I blame psychiatry. I can’t even make myself get a complete physical or go to a doctor for basic first aid or illness.

    I lost my only source of income, SSDI, and Medicare in January 2013 as a result of leaving treatment. The treatment facility I’ve used these last 10 years has been a nightmare, repeatedly discharging me from treatment again and again, often when I was at my worst. It’s a rural area, not much to choose from. I’m currently homeless yet again, and I see no hope for a future.

    I apologize for the lengthy comment, but that was still a very abbreviated version of “my” experience with the mental health industry. The consequence of lying to clients in the way that they did throughout the ’90’s and beyond affects every aspect of their lives. It’s wrong. Corporations need to grow a conscience and take responsibility for the damage they’ve caused.