Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Comments by Amy Hoopes

Showing 19 of 19 comments.

  • Francesca,
    Thank you for sharing. This is such a powerful depiction of how the mental health system twists concepts of “care” into acts of coercion and control. You deserve to feel empowered in your treatment and I hope you have some supportive voices in your life that take your actual needs into consideration. Keep channeling that creative and impassioned voice!

  • As a former patient in hospitals similar to Methodist it is so refreshing to hear you share this same disgusted sentiment – it really mirrors my experience and I’m glad some counselors/doctors working in this environment have had the dignity to challenge unethical norms and refused to partake in them when concerns were ignored. Thank you for sharing and I hope you’re in a more human, fulfilling workplace now!

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Kerstin. As someone in the process of tapering off medications it’s reassuring to know how much healing you achieved through meditation and other spiritual practices. I hope things continue to go well for you!

  • I think contacting Tom Cruise, or other celebrities specifically within the film industry who have expressed skepticism toward psychiatry (or even better, those who have direct experience within it), is a fantastic idea. But no matter which celebrity(s) get involved, it is inevitable that the media will twist their intentions and poke at their character – an immature and desperate way to defend the psychiatric community. So, definitely don’t let this fear of backlash deter you from the idea because I think it could have a huge impact!

    On that note, Lawrence – I appreciate this article and the creative dialogue it has encouraged. Even if the Lion King is “old”, your idea has clearly sparked discussion around ways to implement this message into a more modern media platform. I love it!

  • I get the allure of ditching psychiatrists altogether, but I frankly don’t think it’s any better to be prescribed psychotropic drugs by a physician – if anything it’s worse because they don’t have the training or authority to administer these types of meds.

    Even though I’m in full control of my medication regime and can make my own decisions, I don’t want to perpetuate the practice of physician prescribing any more than I want to be a puppet of psychiatry. In a perfect world I would just ditch it all… if only I could write my own prescriptions for the next six months…

  • Oldhead, I appreciate that and agree with everything you have said throughout this thread. My only question for all – and it’s one to think about and not necessarily respond to – what about those who voluntarily seek inpatient treatment because they’re fearful for their own safety? This was my situation, and as much as I hated the psych wards and regret admitting myself initially, I needed a place to feel safe; to protect me from me. Where does someone like me go without some form of inpatient system?

    Julie – your experience of groups, staff and patient dynamics, etc. is a mirror of mine. And my hospitalizations took place last year. So yes people – things are STILL like this in these hospitals.

  • Stephen and whoever else – I would be happy to share the rest of my story with you if you want to send me your email address. The piece here is actually part of my college thesis and the entire thing is 130 pages, but I can pick specific sections that I think ya’ll might be interested in.

    Is there a way to private message on this site?

  • Oh I’m really glad to hear that coming off Lamictal wasn’t too bad. I’ve heard the same from others, and am not too stressed about it. The bigger project will be getting off the Pristiq, but if it takes a long time so be it. I’m willing to be patient if it means wiping my hands clean of psychotropic meds

  • Not to mention that since most public inpatient facilities (at least the one’s I was in) shuttle patients in and out on a weekly basis, the doctors don’t have to deal with the effects of the drugs they’ve prescribed once a patient is discharged. If the individual experiences side effects two weeks in, it’s no longer the doctor’s responsibility to handle the situation. They get to make these life-altering choices for people without facing the repercussions. Must be nice…

  • oldhead – I don’t think eliminating the model completely is the right move. There are people that need to be in inpatient facilities, ideally for the short term, who can greatly benefit from them if the correct care is being facilitated. I speak from experience having gone from several public psychiatric hospitals that made my condition worse, to a private hospital where I worked with a team of doctors who had a tremendous impact on my healing process.

    The question, in my opinion, is not how do we eliminate inpatient care, but how do we redesign it – make it more personable, accomodating, comfortable, less stigmatized, productive, etc. Inpatient facilities are a necessary component of the mental health system, otherwise where would the people who need them go? Getting rid of them will not solve the system’s problems.

  • Totally. I have another portion of my thesis that discusses the lack of psychotherapy in public inpatient hospitals, which goes hand-in-hand with overmedicating. In the future I may submit that story as well, but if you have any interest in reading it, let me know!

  • Hi Erin,

    I do intend to taper off the Pristiq as well but I’m only going to come off one drug at a time. I’m just too traumatized and have too much to lose by risking tapering off both at once. But I have faith that in time, I will be off both!

  • Telling my story and writing a thesis about it has done wonders for my self-confidence and ability to feel like all of this happened for a reason, or at the very least, I can use my suffering to educate / empathize with others.

    To add to your comment, I find it maddening that there is no accountability for these practices. Psychiatrists get away with it again and again because patients like me don’t have the energy, time, resources or whatever, to report this abuse and sue those responsible for it. I just want to move on with my life – which I have – but I’ll never forget what happened to me and will now forever be skeptical and to some extent, bitter towards the psychiatric community

  • Wow – your story warrants its own submission! I’m so sorry that this misprescribing had such a severe and long-lasting debilitating effect on you. I can only imagine the anger and frustration you must feel at the situation that the practice of reckless overmedicating put you in.

    Thankfully, other than PTSD, I don’t have any permanent disabilities. However, I am forever terrified of tapering off my medications and I think it’s going to be a very difficult process for me, no matter how slowly I do it.

    I appreciate you sharing your experience and definitely encourage you to write a post about it, if you want (or haven’t already?) Sending positive thoughts your way and I truly hope your condition improves.

  • I will definitely be following a very specific, slow taper plan. I am actually in the process of getting a new psychiatrist because my current one is incredibly unreliable and unprofessional in terms of following up with me, which is a whole other story… but once I’ve made this happen I intend to start the taper, first with Lamictal and then sometime in the future, the Pristiq.

    Here’s another good article addressing the post-acute withdrawal you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your advice!

  • I completely agree. I think it’s a mixture of a lot of factors – money, corporate and social pressure, political influence, the expectations that are associated with the practice of psychiatry, etc. I appreciate your insight and am not familiar with Jock McClarens piece. Could you share the link if possible?

  • Wow, thank you for sharing that information. I have honestly, surprisingly, never heard of anticholinergic toxidrome, which you’d think a doctor would have mentioned at some point during my various hospitalizations. This condition or “poisoning” I experienced makes total sense given the combination of drugs I took when I overdosed, and the variety of meds I was put on in each hospital. I really cannot believe that NOBODY, not one single psychiatrist, mentioned that my symptoms might be a side effect of this. I can only speculate that I might have felt better knowing that there was a reason for my depersonalization – that I wasn’t truly losing my mind. But then again I’m not surprised the doctors covered their tracks and blamed the “hallucinations” on my unmanageable mental illness, rather than taking any ownership for their recklessness.

    I haven’t considered getting these hospitalizations removed from my medical records yet, or haven’t seen a reason to as they haven’t interfered with anything (yet), but I will keep this information in mind. Thanks again!