When I see an article about Akathisia I still feel stunned. Having akathisia became the bane of my existence it felt like an exploding volcano with no place to go and I can’t even tell you about having to pace and keep moving because I couldn’t stop. I had such an internal fear, wanting to die that wouldn’t go away and I started to self harm. The symptoms started early on with a SSRI but the psychiatrist kept prescribing more drugs thinking it was a worsening mental condition. A chance consultation with a neurologist got me diagnosed with akathisia as I twitched and jerked (the worst akathisia he’d ever seen). So why didn’t the psychiatrist at my monthly Med Checks notice this? Because he creased looking seeing me as a human being; I was now a psychiatric diagnosis. So much of your article rings true with me. Drug free I found my life again made new friends and a better relationship with family. The last entry my psychiatrist wrote in his office notes was “she’s only on a small dose of Trazodone and she’s not even depressed?” He had drugged me into craziness and wasn’t able to admit it.
When I see an article about Akathisia I still feel stunned. Having akathisia became the bane of my existence it felt like an exploding volcano with no place to go and I can’t even tell you about having to pace and keep moving because I couldn’t stop. I had such an internal fear, wanting to die that wouldn’t go away and I started to self harm. The symptoms started early on with a SSRI but the psychiatrist kept prescribing more drugs thinking it was a worsening mental condition. A chance consultation with a neurologist got me diagnosed with akathisia as I twitched and jerked (the worst akathisia he’d ever seen). So why didn’t the psychiatrist at my monthly Med Checks notice this? Because he creased looking seeing me as a human being; I was now a psychiatric diagnosis.
So much of your article rings true with me. Drug free I found my life again made new friends and a better relationship with family.
The last entry my psychiatrist wrote in his office notes was “she’s only on a small dose of Trazodone and she’s not even depressed?” He had drugged me into craziness and wasn’t able to admit it.
I keep coming back to this article because I want to comment. It scares me to read the “services” you offer and then you say oh I’m not one to push drugs. I had gone to a chipper young psychiatrist thinking “he’s so nice he knows what he’s doing but he didn’t”. That chipper young psychiatrist almost killed me with the polypharmacy he prescribed dismissing obvious iagtrogenic harm. Your website lists psychiatric “diagnoses” which has no basis but yet you “treat” people for them?
On my very first appointment with a psychiatrist he told me I had major depression and would need drugs for the rest of my life just like a diabetic would need insulin. He had his pseudo mantra down pat and at the time I had no reason to doubt him.
Once again, Rebel, you have written a heartfelt and realistic description about walking away from psychiatry and psychiatric drugs to be your own person. The pain psychiatry inflicts is beyond description. I’m a different person drug free but my life is so much better, fuller.
Once again you have said so eloquently what I wanted to. There needs to be an end to psychiatry and with more information available people are seeing this.
I found being psych drug free a victory also. I had no idea how the drugs had altered my perception behavior and thinking. It took determination to become drug-free and to adjust to life no longer being monitored by psychiatry and psychiatric drug. I was able to read books again to do hobbies I had put aside and to make awesome new friends. I am so thankful for this.
When I was in intensive care with Seroquel induced acute pancreatitis my friend called my psychiatrist’s office to tell him that. Because they couldn’t comprehend “pancreatitis” they put in my chart that I was in the “ICU with psychosis”. I know this because I have my psychiatrist office notes.
It took me 16 years until my eyes were open by the fraud of their psychiatry. Add in the years it took me to taper off the drugs. I call those my Rip Van Winkle years. Slowly waking up from a drug fog, the slow recovery of mind and body.
Double entry, sorry.
I will never forget the psychiatric drugs toxic effects including Akathisia. The Akathisia during withdrawal became excruciating with me pacing for hours in my house and neighborhood. I knew if I didn’t do this I would start screaming.
One of the psychiatric drugs was a powder capsule which I tried to taper from but kept getting inaccurate doses. A compounding pharmacist showed me how to use a suspension agent and calibrated cylinders to slowly reduce the drug. It took me several years to taper off the psychiatric drugs and even longer for me to be able to sleep decently. I could see how the w/d insomnia would make anybody go back to reinstating.
I remember the overwhemingly thoughts of suicide on antidepressants that intensified on polypharmacy. Those kind of thoughts disappeared once off the drugs.
My cognitive skills were zilch on psychiatric drugs. My driving was scary because of impaired coordination and perception. So many times I wondered why my psychiatrist thought drugging me to oblivion was better? It’s a no brainer psychiatric drugs alter your perceptions and behavior, at least on this site. They also cause profound physical issues and this to needs to be addressed.
Thank you for writing such a powerful narrative.
Psychiatric drugs alter who we are. We put our trust in the psychiatrist to supposively know what they are doing but they are woefully inept. You mentioned reading your psychiatric records. Unfortunately doctors can change their records so it may be that you were never told about the drug effects at all.
Glad you’re enjoying life drug free.
I’m so glad when I see articles like this. When I went to see the psychiatrist due to not sleeping & stress from a car accident he told me I had major depression and would have to take drugs for the rest of my life. Fast forward a couple of years and I was on multiple psyche drugs including Seroquel and Zyprexa (Seroquel put me in the ICU with Acute Pancreatitis).
None of the psychiatric drugs are benign. It took a few years being drug free to be able to read books again. Little things like that that psychiatric drugs take away from you. Thank you again.
You have written so eloquently on what I wanted to say. Unless someone has actually been on and then tapered off psychiatric drugs how can they judge another person’s experience? I was a moderator on withdrawal forums and the stories would break your heart.
Psychiatric drug tapering — withdrawal — the body desperately trying to re regulate itself (causing insomnia, akathisia, depersonalization and hypersensitivity to sounds, crowds, lights plus numerous other problems). Imagine trying to hold down a job when you’re sleep deprived and every sound you hear is like sharp jab? Imagine going to a psychiatrist when you’re withdrawing from drugs and he doesn’t believe what your going through?
Please be upfront with your clients that you do not believe in w/d after three or four weeks so they can find someone, a supportive source, who does.
Long term psychiatric drug use causes severe chemical disruption (neuroleptics, benzo, ssri). Psychiatric drugs are in a class by themself for the damage they do.
Julie was a wonderful writer.
I always liked to read Julie’s comments. She was a phenomenal woman and will be missed.
I have a psychiatric directive in my legal documents but after reading this article I need to do more to protect myself.
I had a chance consultation with a neurologist 16 years ago because I was in excruciating pain and he informed me that I had the worst Akathisia he’s ever seen in this entire neurological practice (this man was in his 70s). The neurologist screamed in my face, “these drugs were killing you”. I was on Seroquel, 2 SSRI and two benzos. I had no idea what Akathisia was then. Below is part what he wrote In his medical notes about me.
“The overall presentation was startling in that she was constantly in motion with sharp jerks, twist, bands and more or less constant movement of the face, tongue and extremities. When this was pointed out she was able to control it to some extent but standing with feet together and arms out reached there was a constant piano playing movement of the fingers”.
After all these years later I’m still astounded how I was being destroyed emotionally, physically and neurologically by psychiatric drugs. Every time I mentioned one of these toxic side effects the psychiatrist would tell me it was my worsening mental illness. The Akathisia ignored.
Sorry about the double postings. The first post never would post and when I made the second post hours later they both showed up.
My psychiatrist did change my diagnosis to major depression. I think he only did this because he was afraid of malpractice. So many things came together at this point that I realized he was an idiot and had no idea what the hell he had been doing. My years on neuroleptics destroyed my immune system and left me with a variant of multiple sclerosis that has been linked to Seroquel usage.
When I confronted my psychiatrist in his office about the psychiatric drugs toxic effects he broke down sobbing apologizing to me. That’s when I became a liability to him but he did change my diagnosis to major depression. With medical electronic records the other diagnosis will never go away no matter what. When this happened I’d recently been in the ICU with Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis and several things came together for me to realize psychiatry and psychiatric drugs were killing me. Unfortunately the years being on major psych drugs caused my body to break down and I developed a multiple sclerosis variant disease (it has been linked to Seroquel). If you want to read more it’s on Surviving antidepressants.org Success Stories “Aria’s Journey”.
On my first visit to the psychiatrist he told me my depression was like a diabetic needing insulin. My confusion and deterioration from the toxic drug effects were seen as worsening mental illness by the psychiatrist who added more drugs and more psychiatric labels.
Thank you for a wonderful article! Was my psychiatrist a nice man? I thought so at the time. I am one of the few people whose had her psychiatrist admit he wrongly diagnosed and drugged her. That will never undo my psychiatric label in my medical charts for any physician to see and the years lost on psychiatric polypharmacy.
Thank you for highlighting Akathisia and psychiatric drug neurotoxicity. Psychiatry has poisoned many and then they pretend they haven’t. I don’t want to think of what kind of brain shrinkage I’ve had from the years of psych drugs.
Psychiatrists refuse to knowledge the drugs they prescribe can mimic worsening “mental illness” and these toxic effects are intensified during a taper. They like to blame it on our “chemical imbalance” which they say needs treatment for the rest of our lives. I had no idea when I entered the psychiatrist office due to life stressors I would be poly drugged into oblivion. It took me years to taper off the numerous drugs with no help from the psychiatrist. Thank you for helping patients taper off of benzos.
First of all I’m sorry about the loss of your son. I understand all too well about psychiatric polypharmacy. The day I saw my psychiatrist I was profusely sweating and not feeling well but he just brushed it off saying I was anxious. A few hours later I was fighting for my life with Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis in the ER. I was transferred to a hospital that had an ICU and told I would not to live. As they say it wasn’t my time and I was given a second chance.
I had been on polypharmacy for numerous years and my psychiatrist never did the needed blood work or exams. It’s such a travesty. My story in its entirety is on Survivingantidepressants.org site under Aria (My Success Story). If I had stayed on the psychiatric drugs I wouldn’t be alive today. What was even more unbelievable was I was told that I had NOT been mentally ill. It was the psychiatric drugs causing me to appear bizarre (a neurologist said I had the worst Akathisia he’d ever encountered). There are many of us on Mad in America site who have experienced what I have. Psychiatric drugs ARE dangerous.
So many people who come to this site have been debilitated by psychiatric polypharmacy toxic effects and bogus diagnoses. Thank you for your article on interpreting “psychiatry speak”.
The last two years I have seen more online references to the horrific toxic effects of a drug induced Akathisia. When I was on psyche drugs my extreme Akathisia got diagnosed as mania. I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t lay down, I paced the floor for hours on end, I couldn’t sleep, I had an internal panic and extreme fear that never abated. I had a chance consultation with a neurologist who diagnosed me with Akathisia and he said it was the worst case he had seen in his entire career as a physician. My prescribing psychiatrist was clueless about drug-induced toxic effects. This opened up a door for me to realize what the psychiatric drugs were doing to me and I made a permanent exit from anything psychiatry.
Thank you for highlighting Bob’s work. After reading this I went to his blog and enjoyed reading it.
“Emerging from the psych ward to a life where just about everything had been stripped away — career, friends, daily routine, self-confidence, social role — I groped my way from day to day, glazed and unresponsive”.
Thank you, Auntie Psychiatry!
In 2002 when I was having unbelievable 24/7 pain all over my body like I was on fire. The doctors I saw were in the same hospital system so they had access to my psychiatric diagnosis. Every one of them told me to go back to my psychiatrist because there is nothing wrong with me. I was using crutches because my right foot was turned sideways and was dragging. The last doctor I saw was a neurologist and it turned out I had a progressive neurological disease that was known for its ferocious nerve pain. This neurologist did not know I had been on psychiatric drugs (I tapered off all the psych drugs by then) or my psychiatric diagnosis.
Physicians are quick to think everything is psychosomatic and when there is no hope given you have none. I feel for anyone who cannot get the help they need for a physical illness.
Many people who go into a psychiatrist’s office like I did mistakenly think there is a drug to make whatever problematic situation we are in better.
Whenever I told my psychiatrist about new, unusual and upsetting symptoms that the drugs were causing he either dismissed them as minor or perceived them as worsening mental illness. Of all the toxic effects I’ve had from polypharmacy the Akathisia was the very worse and I had no idea at the time what it was. When the Akathisia started the psychiatrist said it was mania and prescribed more drugs. When a client has had their perception and behavior altered from polypharmacy how can they clearly answer any kind of questionnaire? I didn’t have internet at the time which has proved for so people a potential lifesaver.
Thank you for the link to the magazine. I’m so very sorry this happened to you.
If I may ask what magazine was your story written in? Is there a link to it so I could read it in its entirety? Your story sounds very much like mine except I never had ECT. I too had a “so called spontaneous recovery” from several psychiatric diagnoses once I became drug free. It’s unbelievable psychiatrists refuse to accept the drugs they prescribe cause horrific emotional and physical effects that they like to describe as mental illness.
In all the years I was poly drugged my psychiatrist never thought about reducing or taking me off the psychiatric drugs. I have great concern for people who are on psychiatric drugs because they may not realize how much these drugs have changed who they are?
I remember the day I realized my psychiatrist had no idea what he was doing. The man drugged me into oblivion causing off-the-chart toxic effects including Akathisia and kept writing in his office notes I was getting worse and worse as he added more drugs. As I had almost completely tapered off of all the polypharmacy he wrote in his notes, “Aria is on a little bit of Trazodone and doesn’t seem depressed at all?” He never could (or refused to) put it together that the drugs changed who I was when the evidence was right in front of him. I think the majority of psychiatrist are very narcissistic and don’t want anyone questioning what they think they observe and hear from their patients. I fear for anyone who is currently seeing a psychiatrist and who may come contemplate seeing one in the future?
I had a tube in my nose for quite some time. The upside was I lost a lot of weight.
When a person is given psychotropics they may not be aware of the changes in their behavior, their perception and how other people make view these changes. What does a person do when they are not aware the drugs are altering their reality? They turn to the prescribing doctor and if he is not well informed he will pass off someone’s complaints as mental illness.
I was on Seroquel and Zyprexa (not at the same time) and they obliterated me. I may never know which was the worst of the two but I ended up in the ICU with Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis and my family was told I wouldn’t live.
If you had asked me when I was poly-drugged whether the drugs helped I would have said firmly yes. I was drugged into oblivion, was convinced by my psychiatrist the drugs were saving my life and had no idea the extreme physical and emotional toxic effects were related to the psychotropics. When a neurologist screamed in my face that the psychiatric drugs were killing me then I had a clue (Seroquel induced Akathisia). I strongly doubt the patients filling out this questionnaire understood the ramifications of being on neuroleptics. And I’m saying that because I didn’t.
“mental health services (psychiatry) are invariably accused of having failed in their duty to protect the community” and it should read “mental health services are not protecting the community as much as making the community ill”.
Thank you. You made me laugh today. When I was polydrugged I saw numerous specialist trying to figure out why I was having these strange physical symptoms and guess what? What’s I tapered off the drugs all the strange symptoms disappeared……
Thank you, Cat. I was never told about potential psychiatric drug neurotoxic side effects, tapering off any psychiatric drugs or withdrawals.
I wanted so much to sue the hell out of the one psychiatrist who drugged me to the max and took away so many possibilities. As I’ve written here before I’m one of the few people who had their psychiatrist admit to their face while he was crying uncontrollably apologizing for totally screwing up, for wrongly diagnosing and drugging me. I was in the mist of horrible withdrawal and was so physically ill from drug induced Akathisia it was all I could do to just take care of me. I regained my belief in myself as I tapered off all these drugs and reclaimed what life I have. Psychiatry destroys lives.
I had an elderly neighbor that was on benzos and SSRI’s. She didn’t take either one like she was supposed to. When she ran out of her benzos she went into withdrawal. She said I must need this medication because I’m so nervous and not sleeping without it. I tried my best to explain to her that she couldn’t stop start these kind of medications but she didn’t understand. This scenario is being played all over the United States.
A better description would be “drug reaction”. If the doctors and the pharmaceutical insert said these are drug reactions that you may or will experience. The downside with psychiatric drugs is as we well know psychiatriy thinks WE are becoming more mental ill. I could go on and on about this because I lived it.
It’s always nice to read one of your articles on this site. You have amassed such important information and and it would be wonderful if you could publish it as a book.
“I can’t deny my own pain and sorrow and rage at what’s happened to me, but I can say again that there is value to my life and to my experiences outside of the value that society bestows. The journey is important”.
I feel that at this point in my life it’s a positive life. I became aware of what psychiatry was doing to me in 2002 and have been drug free since 2006. It was a slow healing process as my body and brain readjusted coming off the polypharmacy. I now have some wonderful friends. The other day at the yarn group I started we were trying to guess who was the first king of England? That might seem trite but it was enjoyable for us. I’m looking forward to gardening in the spring, I have a couple of books that I’m reading, I went to dinner at a friend’s house Friday night and last night a good friend and I went out for Chinese. I shy away from situations that may be impossible for me to handle because I want the load I carry to be lighter and more manageable in my life. Would I be at this point if I hadn’t been so grievously injured by psychiatry? I don’t know? I do have an awareness that I didn’t have before. I don’t mind spending quiet time with just myself at home for days on end. I appreciate and am grateful for each day even though I may not feel my best.
I wanted to thank the author and all the commenters for what you have written. Unless you have gone through this yourself it’s almost impossible for anyone to relate to it. Many of us were in a vulnerable situation when we first went to see a psychiatrist. Reading the vignettes about what each you went through is empowering for me because you have gone beyond it.
I have come back to this blog several times today wondering if I would comment? Knowing firsthand how a psychiatric diagnosis can lead to no one in the medical field believing anything you say is horrific. Yes it is a knee-jerk reaction. When I went to a new primary care doctor for follow up care after I’ve been hospitalized with acute pancreatitis I was stunned at the way she talked to me less than 5 minutes into the initial first visit. It didn’t make any sense because I had never met her before? I requested a my medical file later and she had underlined my psychiatric diagnosis three times in red ink. To her I was a psychiatric diagnosis. It led me to find out that when my psychiatrist had visited me in the hospital he had written my psychiatric diagnosis in my chart for the whole hospital staff to see. Any doctor I saw in this hospital system would see my psychiatric diagnosis.
I have not told any new friends about my psychiatric history because all it would take was one comment on “how stupid were you” to hurt me to the core. I had dinner at an old friend’s house tonight and was telling her about this article to which she said there’s no reason for you to tell anyone and she’s right. My friend knew me pre psychiatric drugs, drugged senseless and psychiatric drug free. She has seen what the drugs had done to me and she has seen me rise above what I went through drug free. That’s my validation. Not some psychiatrist I saw for a quickie medcheck who was so oblivious to what he was doing.
Your article was powerful. It’s hard to live your life when you feel like there’s a shadow nearby. Some years ago I hand delivered altered medical records that had no reference to psychiatry or psychiatric drugs to the new physicians I saw that were independent of the hospital system. No one needs to go through life branded with a psychiatric diagnosis that makes you lose your credibility. I wish you the very best on your journey and I thank you so much for your bravery telling your story.
I know psychiatrist like to pretend they’re also neurologists but they’re not. When I’ve talked to people who had an elderly family member in a nursing home and a psychiatrist has been called in I’ve begged them to call in a qualified neurologist. Neurologists at least will take the time to figure it out when a psychiatrist will add drugs (this is from personal experience). I still remember the neurologist asking me point-blank how I could I come to him in this advanced condition? I was too ashamed to tell him a psychiatric diagnosis kept me from being taken seriously by other physicians. No I never did tell him I was ever on psychiatric drugs. I have no idea what psychiatrist are qualified to do except poly drug prescribe? The psychiatrist I went to all those years was oblivious to the fact that I had Tardive dyskinesia, tardive dystonia and out of control Akathisia let alone that I had a variant of multiple sclerosis.
I have dealt with “diagnostic overshadowing” and it almost killed me. I was having difficulty walking, carrying simple items, brushing my teeth, excetera plus I had unbelievable burning pain all over my body. With a psychiatric diagnosis in my charts the primary care doctors dismissed anything I said until I learned to hand deliver altered medical records (without any mention to psychiatry, psychiatry drugs or psychiatric diagnosis) to new physicians. This was during the time the hospitals and doctors were going over to electronic records. Only by accident did a neurologist diagnose me with a progressive neuromuscular disease when the other doctors dismissed it as me needing to go see my psychiatrist. It’s a damn shame that a psychiatric diagnosis has the majority of physicians not believing anything you say when you’re telling them about physical problems (they’re more than willing to agree it’s all mental).
I believe that psychiatric drugs are causing people branded with a serious mental illness to die sooner. When I tapered off all the damn drugs I was like a phoenix rising out of the ashes. From personal experience I know psychiatric drugs kill your soul.
I strongly doubt there is any post psychiatric drug research because psychiatrists don’t want to know we exist. My psychiatrist could not come to grips with the fact that the lower the drug doses I was on the more coherent I became. As I slowly became the old me (psychiatric drug free) my family and friends were delighted and our relationships became stronger.
A good site for tapering and support is “surviving antidepressants”. Good luck with your tapering.
My sleep has stayed interrupted since I’ve been off all the psychiatric drugs for 10 years. There are so many nights I can’t go to bed till the sun comes up. I’m too exhausted to read or do any other activities so I choose to lay in bed quietly in increments. I have met other people that were on psychiatric drugs and they live a sleep-deprived life.
I don’t know where there has been any research on post psychiatric drug disruptive sleep pattern? Like you I don’t go to doctors about it because they don’t have anything to offer me except drugs. If you find any concrete info about this please see it makes it to MIA for others to read.
1boringoldman had a very good article (November 30, 2016) on Akathisia. One of the components was ssris can cause insomnia. Seroquel caused off the charts Akathisia so how in the world was I supposed to sleep? How can any psychiatrist not get the fact that these drugs are neurotoxins?
When a client goes into a psychiatrist’s office they are automatically suspect of not being believed. This is the beginning of a messed up doctor-patient relationship because any drug-induced toxic effects will not be seen as what they really are. It’s much easier and profitable to watch the patient become more incapacitated then it is to put the effort into why in the world is this poly drugged client has become incoherent? Stupidity. Even more once the client comes off the drugs they’re not mentally ill. What is the explanation? They call it recovery when it’s really surviving psychiatry.
Always appreciate when you point out the drug side effect Akathisia. I didn’t know what it was and I suffered greatly from this drug-induced toxicity. I paced the floor all night, I couldn’t stop moving my hands to touch things, I couldn’t lay down because my body wouldn’t allow it, I shook and it was all due to drug induced Akathisia. My psychiatrist said he was perplexed as I deteriorated more and more into my so-called “mental illness”. What did he do about it? It added more drugs.
I am awed with how you questioned your diagnosis of schizophrenia as a lifelong tragedy and going on with your life. So many times I wish I could be more vocal about what happened to me, how the polypharmacy made me into a bizarre incoherent person and the diagnosis stigma. Thank you so much for writing your story on this site.
I love how you said we’re like a slightly torn quilt or piece of clothing that seen wear and tear. It is such a beautiful description. I have said before no one can go through what we have gone through and not be changed by it. I’ve told many of my friends I love having clarity of mind which I did not have it all when I was poly drugged.
I had off the charts Akathisia and a few of the TDs but almost every one of them are completely gone now. I had great difficulty reading and it took years before I could read any kind of book. Now I can sit for hours reading. There is so many things I couldn’t do when heavily drugged because I was mumbling, confused, stricken with profound Akathisia, physically ill from the psych drugs and even though I may not be as physically active as I want I’m able to do enough. Most of all I’m thankful that I am psychiatric drug free and I can continue on my journey.
So many of us have gone through something the majority does not know or acknowledge. I was told by a single prescribing psychiatrist that he couldn’t understand why I was regressing into mental illness as he changed and upped the psychiatric drugs (neuroleptics, AD, benzo, z-drugs). To watch the man’s surprise when he realized what his drugs have done to me was in itself a horrible situation but later (I got his office notes through an attorney) he wrote he still could not understand why I was no longer severely and profoundly mentally ill when I was barely on one antidepressant? I strongly doubt he learned anything from what he did to me even though he acknowledged it verbally in an office visit and later in his notes. The stigma of psychiatric diagnosis and the out-of-control polypharmacy has to be stopped. Having a severe psychiatric diagnosis in my medical records had impeded me getting needed medical help.
I want to thank you for coming to MIA to write an article on how psychiatry has become all about polypharmacy. What steps are you going to take besides writing a book to let the public and other physicians know about toxic psychiatry?
Thank you so much for your P.S. above. I was able to get my psychiatrist office notes through an attorney and when I was almost off all my drugs he had written he couldn’t understand why there was nothing wrong with me? He couldn’t (and wouldn’t) accept that his polypharmacy had made me totally incoherent even with the truth right in front of him. Like you I hope the Beast gets what it deserves.
I need to point out I had very perplexing what is called emotional issues like hysterical crying for 6 hours, out of the blue panic attacks, strange perceptions, behavior and great difficulty articulating what I wanted to say. The pharmaceutical inserts said report any unusual or changed behavior and I did only to be told, “Aria, you are just becoming more mentally ill by the day”. My inability to be able to sleep, to sit still, to not be able to stop pacing were caused by the drugs (Akathisia) and my psychiatrist decided it was Mania.
One of my good friends said recently I was so vulnerable when the psychiatrist started drugging me and she’s right. For all the people who come to this site wanting validation for what they went through I think the majority of it find it. I still have friends from back in the old days who will never stop their psychiatric drugs (even though they have liver damage from lithium) and they accept that they are limited, they are damaged, they will never reach their potential. They certainly don’t want to hear from me about possibly lowering their psychiatric drug dose. And I want many people who come here and read to know you can reclaim your life psych drugs free because I feel I have done a pretty good job of it. I wondered many times what it would be like to actually be in a room with people who have gone through what I have?
This is the 4th or 5th attempt to post on this article. I am a psychiatric survivor who has posted on this site about my struggles with psychiatry, psychiatric drugs and then the healing process once I came off the drugs. I do not want start any kind of argument with the posters who are adamant the drugs have made their life more livable. When I was on the psychiatric drugs I did not realize how messed up I was or how I appear to others. I trusted my psychiatrist because he was a doctor and I thought that he knew what he was doing.. Every time I ask the psychiatrist about perplexing symptoms he said he’d never heard of them or I was becoming increasingly more mentally ill. I went from specialist to specialist trying to find out why I was having these physical symptoms and guess what? When I went off the drugs all the horrible physical side effects disappeared.
I know in my heart if I was still on the multitude of psychiatric drugs I would either be in a nursing home or dead. It was with a chance consultation with a neurologist I found out I had Akathisia. He said it was the worst he had ever seen. I had no idea what Akathisia was? I’ve always wondered how in the world I could have seen my psychiatrist every month and he had no idea the drugs were poisoning me? Unless you have gone through what some of the other posters on this site have gone through it’s very hard to understand. And with this I will end my comment.
I was able to hand-deliver a lot of my medical records and I just deleted certain diagnoses and drugs. One time it slipped by me and my new Primary Care looked at the diagnosis of depression, turned to me and said “this has to be a mistake because that’s not you”.
There is a knee-jerk reaction with the medical community when they see diagnosis like major depression, bipolar and schizoaffective. All of the sudden your physical complaints to them become imaginary. There are damning diagnoses in some of my charts so I just switch doctors or send the doctor a certified letter which I check on its arrival that nothing in my chart will be forwarded without written consent from me. I’ve been drug-free for a number of years and have learned not to tell new friends and acquaintances about my psychiatric history.
Be very careful stopping any benzos because tapering is essential coming off this type drug. When I was reading my psychiatrist office notes he kept saying I was a mystery to him as he kept changing my diagnosis and the drugs I was on. You can’t have informed consent when you’re drugged especially as drugged as I was. A friend of mine called it a chemical straitjacket or a chemical lobotomy. Trying to carry on a conversation with a psychiatrist after he realized I was a malpractice liability became a joke. He tried his damnedest to convince me I had been profoundly mentally ill (when drugged) but had no rational to explain my “recovery” drug free? Just remember how hilarious psychiatry is.
My former psychiatrist was considered my city’s premier psychiatrist and I found out that meant very little when it came to prescribing. Even though he realized I never had the various diagnoses (they were all drug-induced) he still would not accept this as a fact. I got the majority of my medical notes from him (had to get a lawyer ) but it was an eye-opener to see this man had no clue. You said you would confront your psychiatrist next week but please do not be surprised if he doesn’t hear one word you say. Have you thought about bringing a friend with you because this will give you added support during this meeting. Psychiatrists get a little edgy when people bring in someone on the visits.
I will always regret ever seeing a psychiatrist and realize I was nothing but a pharmaceutical experiment. I had to go see another psychiatrist to get the psychiatric drugs for tapering and he told me there was nothing wrong with me at all. These so-called treatment psychiatric drugs alter, change, our perceptions but psychiatry only see this as a worsening mental illness.
Best of luck on your journey.
The last drug I tapered off of was a benzo. I have never had panic attacks like I did until I was tapering. When I looked at my old Med records I saw the psychiatrist had me on 3 different benzos at a time.
I have felt your rage realizing my prescribing psychiatrist didn’t know what the hell he was doing and yes I did confront him about the poly drugging (every type of psych drugs). I’m one of the few people on any forum who has had their psychiatrist break down sobbing asking for my forgiveness. He turned around and wrote a letter to someone (I got a copy of it) discrediting my mental capacities because he was trying to save his medical license. I’ve been drug-free for 10 years, it was not easy to do but I did it. The numerous and distressing toxic physical and emotional effects the psychiatric drugs were causing went away. At the time I had no idea the drugs were doing this and I was going from one specialist to another. I never saw a psychiatrist again.
If only I had access to this information when I was put on these drugs years ago. The neuroleptics caused Tardive dyskinesia, Tardive dystonia and Akathisia which my psychiatrist kept dismissing (I still have to deal with the damage from the neurological aspect). In no way did the neuroleptics help me but my psychiatrist kept telling me I needed them.
How have I fared being psychiatric drug free? Very well indeed.
I don’t understand how psychiatric diagnoses carry the weight they do to other physicians. I’ve learned so much from sites like this and wish it had been available to me many years ago.
The minute I read this I too was going to copy and paste it to a friend. Thank you thank you thank you. I suffered terribly from Akathisia (I had no idea what it was). My psychiatrist was oblivious to any toxic side effects so he saw Akathisia as mania. Need I add he proceeded to drug me even more? I’m so grateful I am 10 years + drug free.
I have a drug induced psychiatric diagnosis that has seeped into too many of my medical records that primary care doctors could see. In 2002 I went to see a new primary care doctor who saw the diagnosis and I can’t even put into words how she treated me. I was a brand new patient coming because I’ve been in the hospital with pancreatitis. I do not want any reference to psychiatry and psychiatric drugs to come up when I have to see a medical specialist. My sibling only wanted me to not to be judged on incorrect information when I was in need of medical help. If only it was so simple to change psychiatric diagnoses in our medical charts.
I remember when my psychiatrist went to a diagnostic tool of circling smiley faces to enter how I was feeling that visit. There was no space whatsoever for why I was feeling that way. It’s was ludicrous then and it’s ludicrous now. Psychiatry doesn’t go with what is causing you to feel this way they just grab psychiatric terms for a diagnosis.
I have a sibling who is a psychologist and she keeps telling me I need to go to a new psychiatrist so he can deem me “psychologically well”. I have a false psychiatric diagnosis in my medical chart which has hindered me getting proper treatment in the ER and from primary care doctors in the past. Does it matter I’ve been off psychiatric drugs for over 10 years and haven’t seen a psychiatrist in that long either? My sibling and I both know the diagnosis is absurd but it’s still in my chart. So when I read your comment I had to start laughing because what psychiatrist would do that? “Oh yes, here is your certificate of mental competency for you to carry around in case you need it”.
Thank you for your article. Even these years later I am stunned by the neuroleptic toxic effects I had and my psychiatrist kept saying he’d never heard of them before. I had Tardive dyskinesia, Tardive dystonia, Tardive Akathisia (which meant I couldn’t sit still, I paced for hours, I couldn’t sleep for days, excetera). On top of this nausea, stomach pain, Reflex, insomnia, confused thinking, the list is so numerous I don’t think there’s space here for them. I was told these ADs and neuroleptics would make me better and whatever recovery I had during this time was blown to pieces by the poly drugging. To those reading this I successfully tapered off all the drugs, later when I went to other psychiatrists they said not only was I not mentally ill they were baffled how I’ve been diagnosed as mentally ill in the first place? How can one psychiatrist drug the crap out of you on what he thinks is wrong when it was all drug induced? Because he can.
Thank you, TRM. The prescribing psychiatrist kept saying I was a mystery to him and to this day I can’t fathom him not relating not only my ongoing deterioration but my perplexity physical problems to the drugs he was prescribed? When my psychiatrist read the report from the neurologist he looked up at me and said I cant believe you have Akathisia? By then I knew what it was and did I have it. I’ll remember this appointment I had with a psychiatrist for the rest of my life because I confronted him with what the drugs had done to me and the man broke down sobbing in his office asking me for forgiveness. When I walked out of his office I was considered a liability and I found out later how much of a liability. I am very grateful to Be Drug Free and I’m grateful to have what I considered a relatively quiet life. All my favorite activities that I stopped doing when I was so drugged I am back doing it again.
I found Akathisia to be the bane of my existence but I had no name for it. My psychiatrist said I was Manic and it was because I couldn’t sit still, I was pacing, up all night, non stop talking, sweating, shaking and it was drug induced Akathisia. Shame on my prescribing psychiatrist shame on him. I feel blessed that I can now sit still, that I can lay down quietly without the twitching, the urge to jump up. I thought this peace would never return but it did.
I was a total mess on all the drugs (ssri, neuroleptics, benzos) and the psychiatrist decided I was profoundly mentally ill. I’ve been hospitalized several times with perplexing physical symptoms along with unbelievable emotional liability that were due to the drugs. By chance I picked up Peter Brannigan’s book Toxic Drugs and had my aha moment. About the same time I had a consult with a neurologist who said I had the worst case of Akathisia he’d ever seen in his life and I thought what in the world is Akathisia? I had been to the same psychiatrist for 17 years so I went to see a new one who told me there was no way in the world I’ve ever been profoundly mentally ill and to him I was not mentally ill at all. What in the world is happening? Somehow I tapered off these drugs very very quickly and to the surprise of my family and friends I was back to who I was before I stepped into a psychiatrist office. How did I go to a psychiatrist because I was having trouble sleeping and all this happened? The same reason many of you are here with your similar outcomes dealing with psychiatry.
My story is so similar to yours. I walked away from psychiatry after 17 years of being told I would never be a productive citizen again, that I was profoundly and persistently mentally ill. I was zombified from the poly drugging and the horrific toxic side effects they caused. When I told my therapist I was tapering off the drugs she told me my clarity of mind wouldn’t last very long and she fired me as a client. Words cannot describe the transformation from being drugged to becoming a drug free. Numerous people who had never seen me drug free were astounded at the clarity I presented. I’ve been drug-free for over 10 years but I still am afraid somebody will stumble across my psychiatric diagnosis in a medical file. Once you have a diagnosis it’s stamped on your forehead like a scarlet letter. I was able to eradicate a lot of my psychiatric history by hand delivering what I call corrected medical files to new non psychiatric doctors.
I wish you the very best and I want you to know you are a phenomenally strong woman to become drug-free. It’s still a work in process after many years to forgive myself for innocently entering a psychiatrist office and what transpired. From this side doesn’t psychiatry look absolutely absurd? There are so many of us drug free who are just fine but there’s no way psychiatry will admit their mistakes.
My story is so similar to yours. I walked away from psychiatry after 17 years of being told I would never be a productive citizen again, that I was profoundly and persistently mentally ill. I was zombified from the poly drugging and the horrific toxic side effects they caused. When I told my therapist I was tapering off the drugs she told me my clarity of mind wouldn’t last very long and she fired me as a client. Words cannot describe the transformation from being drugged to becoming a drug free. Numerous people who had never seen me drug free were astounded at the clarity I presented. I’ve been drug-free for over years but I still am afraid somebody will stumble across my psychiatric diagnosis in a medical file. Once you have a diagnosis it’s stamped on your forehead like a scarlet letter. I was able to eradicate a lot of my psychiatric history by hand delivering what I call corrected medical files to new non psychiatric doctors.
I wish you the very best and I want you to know you are a phenomenally strong woman to become drug-free. It’s still a work in process after many years to forgive myself for innocently entering a psychiatrist office and what transpired. From this side doesn’t psychiatry look absolutely absurd? There are so many of us drug free who are just fine but there’s no way psychiatry what will admit their mistakes.
I like “Chemical Lobotomy”.
I totally agree with what Someone Else. I repeatedly told my psychiatrist I was experiencing unusual feelings, thoughts and behaviors when he started poly drugging and yes you’re right all he did was up the dosages or change what kind of psychiatric drugs I was on. I got stuck on a horrible Merry-Go-Round not knowing how to get off. The prescribing psychiatrist kept telling me I was persistently mentally ill and the only chance for me to get better would take these drugs. Most of us are taught to believe what the doctor tells us and we have no idea how we seem to others when we’re on these drugs. To list the severe physical effects caused by the toxic drugs would take several paragraphs. When I successfully became psychiatric drug free all the disabling toxic side effects went away. As many of the members on this forum have learned their psychiatrist was wrong wrong wrong wrong and it cost them dearly.
I understand your rage against what happened to you. It is inconceivable to most people who have not experienced it and yet they are so fortunate to have not. Being drug free for well over 10 years I would like to say it does get better. I have developed a a better sense of myself and most of all I try not to be too hard on myself. I didn’t know any better when I walked into the psychiatrist’s office.
I have wanted to say the psychiatrist realized he had “wrongly diagnosed and wrongly drugged” me for numerous years. I wanted the last sentence to say I do not think psychiatry and the medical profession have anything in common at all.
Every now and then I come by Mad in America to post. I’m one of those former psychiatric patients who originally went to her psychiatrist because of anxiety and trouble sleeping due to a car accident. Through an attorney I was able to get my mediccal records from the psychiatrist and time after time he was perplexed that he couldn’t understand what was going on to me but yet he kept changing and increasing the dosage on various strong psychiatric drugs. If I hadn’t been so out of it on all the poly drugging I would have questioned what he was doing more but it that by that time I was beyond a coherent thought. My pay back after all these 17 years of drugging? Watching the prescribing psychiatrist break down sobbing in his office after he realized he had wrongly diagnosed and only drug me for numerous years. What this any kind of payback? No it wasn’t.
Realizing my psychiatrist could not tell the difference between severe Akathisia and Mania is in itself ridiculous. He had on his medical diploma he was a certified neurologist and yet he couldn’t tell the difference? It took a Consulting neurologist to diagnose me with Akathisia and the man said it was the worst he has ever seen in his 40 years as a physician. It scares me to write this but it happened.
I applaud this young lady for for becoming drug free after such a long time. This is truly wonderful accomplishment. I’m glad there are forums online to help guide someone who may not have any idea how to slowly taper off their drugs and how withdrawal can exacerbate any so-called psychiatric symptoms. I have very little belief that Psychiatry will learn that they’re doing more harm than good. It’s an outdated antiquated so-called profession and in no way related to being a medical doctor at all.
I haven’t been on MIA in a few months. I’ve read all of Dr. Whitaker’s books and from personal experience know antipsychotics hinder, hurt, cause Akathisia, profound brain fog, muscle spasms, inability to function, etc etc etc. I was able to get my prescribing psychiatrist’s notes and were they revealing to his inadequacies on what was wrong with me but he kept prescribing stronger drugs. Keep hammering away at the absurd statements saying these drugs work to make people better. These drugs inexplicably change us into non functioning adults. How tragic studies showing these drugs are not helping are being shrugged off. Allen Frances obviously has his head in the sand and in Big Pharma’s pocket.
I am grateful I happened to stumble on a book “Toxic Drugs” that lead me back into a life psychiatry free, psychiatric drug free and to finding me again (or what was left)..
“Psychiatry helps discredit and control and silence people”.
I was one of the few who had their prescribing psychiatrist admit to my face he had totally screwed up diagnosing and drugging me. He did his best to discredit me later and I have a copy of the letter he wrote another pdco outlining my psychotic behavior when he knew it was a lie. I’ve learned to fly under the radar when dealing with doctors (still distrustful) and have never told them I was diagnosed to protect myself.
Who will listen?? Dragging out our so-called mental illness to debunk our credibility is being done daily. I was afraid of repercussions if I had spoken out and still am today of the labeling I’ve tried to hide.
My psych diagnosis is in my medical records. Thank goodness my city has two separate hospital authorities and I now to to the other one. The diagnosis I have brands me and I was so ill treated by physician who’d never met me before I stepped into their office. One of my siblings is a psychologist and she said it was unfortunate I was wrongly diagnosed and drugged (at the time she did not know the drugs were what was making me weird). How do we refute a wrong psychiatric diagnosis in our permanent records?
I agree psychiatry promotes illogical diagnoses and prescribes dangerous drugs. The reason I come to MIA and post is I’m a psychiatric survivor who was told she had “a disease like diabetes” (his words) that the drugs would make better. The drugs starting changing my behavior, my perception and when I told the psychiatrist how strange I felt he said it was not the drugs, only me becoming more and more mentally ill. What profession does this? Who else gets away with these ridiculous statements that follow you around in your medical record?? By the way my psychiatrist was in private practice.
I was able to get my psychiatrist’s records and read how he had no idea what was wrong with me. Why then did he prescribe more and more poly drugging for something he didn’t understand? Even more unbelievable is when I was almost done tapering off all these drugs he wrote I was barely depressed, he was perplexed. The man could not fathom the drugs had made me very ill emotionally and physically.
I wish I was more involved with letting others know what happened to me but I’m scared of repercussions even today. Partly shame and fear.
I had off the charts Akathesia for years when on psychiatric drugs, the restlessness, up all night pacing and my psychiatrist diagnosed my symptoms as bipolar. I had no idea what Akathesia was or that I had it till a change consult with neurologist. To this day I can’t fathom the psychiatrist not seeing my body movements and obvious unrest but the truth is he had quit seeing me at all during the Med Checks.
I tapered too rapidly of numerous psyche drugs not knowing any better. It was a hellish ride. I need to add the psychiatrist was perplexed at how I no longer fit the diagnoses he had given me. He couldn’t fathom the drugs were the culprit.
My psychiatric diagnosis is in my medical charts thanks to the psychiatrist doing this when I was hospitalized for pancreatitis (not as a psych patient) and he came to see me. This diagnosis were now in all the med records for anyone to see using that hospital’s system. My hospital records were sent to my new family doctor and on my first visit I treated me so horribly I was in shock. She told me my only problem was I needed to go back to my psychiatrist. What? I was still very ill from having pancreatitis. She had no idea who I was. I now go to the other hospital authority medical groups but fear the psych diagnosis is still out there. I didn’t do anything to deserve this?
The medical info out there for anyone to get or see is beyond scary.
Healing from poly drugging is non linear, no two are exactly the same. The healing periods vary with intensities. I knew no matter what I was going to be drug free and my entire system had to readjust to this. What a ride it was. I have most of my psychiatrist’s office notes and as I was on less and less drugs he remarked I was barely depressed, he couldn’t understand why I was doing immensely better. This guy is considered my city’s premier shrink (he’s a “good ole boy”) but he had no idea what the hell he was doing.
I am so glad they are forums now to help people who want to learn about tapering off psychiatric drugs and offer support. It’s such an eye opener to find out what these drugs were doing to us and during w/d they still knocked us for a loop. For months all I could tolerate was plain yogurt and the 100 pounds of drug weight fell off. For many more months I could not talk on the phone or handle guests coming by (except people bringing me yogurt). Yes, healing takes its own time.
Many times I think what books and articles I could send to my old psychiatrist for him to hopefully read. Would he learn from this? I would want him to be better informed before he pulls out his prescription pad and writes mulitple scripts to new clients. I realize I was not the only client of his he overly prescribed to (he said he’d been wrong in his diagnosing /drugging me) but did this confession change his ways??
My former psychiatrist had sales reps lined up in his hallway and his office was a pharmaceutical display of items with drug names on them. Even in my drug hazed mind it seemed too much. I left his office with my brown bag of drug samples too often. Got to wonder if my drug changes corresponded with a drug rep walking out of the door after presenting a new chemical to prescribe?
Loved it, you nailed the diagnostic spectrum”’
“Nor will I ever again accept a convenient socially driven belief that I am in some way emotionally dysfunctional, broken, and in need of ‘chemical repair.’ The person I am now is far better than who I ever was or could hope to be on psychiatric drugs.”
Beautiful strong story. It took an unbelievably awful situation for me to wake up to how damaging psychiatry and that poly drugging was killing me (Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis). I still can not fathom my prescribing psychiatric saying he had no idea the drugs has changed my behavior, altered my perception and made my life hell (hello toxic effects). I am grateful I have been drug free for years but unfortunately I was left with a neuroleptic induced demyelinating disease. Yes, I am stronger, more aware and more compassionate after psychiatry tried to kill my spirit.
I remember 20 years ago going with a friend who drove the group home severely mentally ill to doctor appointments. One client was an attractive young man, maybe 25-28 years old, who was on massive neuroleptics. He had extensive upper body jerking and facial grimaces that made others seeing him turn away. He seemed very happy conversing with his “voices”. By writing this I wanted to show case how neuroleptics do cause extensive disfigurement and as we all know interference with abilities. I was on so many neuroleptics and to everyone except the prescribing psychiatrist saw how impaired I was on these drugs ( still don’t know how I drove a car). I know I would not be alive today if I was still poly drugged because the drugs toxic side effects ( Akathisia, muscle spams). To have my “clarity of mind” again drug free was such a gift.
I know there is vast difference of diagnostics by individual psychiatrists and wondered if your group of schizophrenics would all be diagnosed the same? The reason I’m asking is I my diagnoses kept changing as neuroleptic drugs were introduced and later was told I had never been mentally ill. I believe from my own experience that psychiatric drugs make the situation worse. It’s fascinating to me how psychiatry views it’s diagnostics and prescribing. I want to thank you for speaking out about how psychiatric/neuroleptics drugs can make a person worse.
Wanted to add to bpdtransformation’s post that a therapist must believe in their client and that in some way they can/will improve. Whether it happens is another thing but hope can be conveyed. I was so poly drugged I had no idea who I was except a mental patient who would never improve (by psychiatrist and therapist)) and and when I was tapering realized my therapist had no hope or feelings of good will towards me.
My prescribing psychiatrist broke down in tears apologizing for drugging me wrongly for years. Rather than feeling relived to hear this I was afraid, now I was a liability. It was fear that kept me from suing him plus my friends said the repercussions against me might be worse in the long run. How to find a lawyer who would take the case, how to be in court being asked questions so personal. At the time I was tapering off numerous psyche drugs and in no condition to handle this. I now wish I had sued him because he’s still over prescribing and wrongly diagnosing others.
When I told my long time therapist how I had clarity of mind coming off the psych drugs she sneeringly replied it would not last (she fired me for not being drug compliant). The clarity of mind has lasted, for 12 beautiful years. Being able to think clearly got me through the horrible tapering situation and beyond. I’m still astounded how psychiatry will not listen to us but once branded as mentally ill we are not to believed.
“Though it was not mentioned in the abstract, press release or most news articles about the study, most of the women were taking psychotropics.”
I’m laughing because of this. When I was poly drugged I frequently got lost driving and couldn’t follow conversations. My entire behavior, personality, were drastically changed on psychiatric drugs. We here know this is caused by psyche drugs and how in the world psychiatry pretends it’s otherwise IS mind boggling. These drugs are NOT benign.
“Adverse Reactions: CNS: Extrapyramidal Symptoms: The side effects most frequently reported with phenothiazine compounds are extrapyramidal symptoms including pseudoparkinsonism (tremor, rigidity, etc.), dystonia, dyskinesia, akathisia, oculogyric crises, opisthotonos, and hyperreflexia.”
My face was a road map of twitches and spasms to which my prescribing psychiatrist basically ignored. I had no idea what Akathisia was and was told by a neurologist it was the worst he’d ever seen in his entire medical career. How could my psychiatrist not notice?? He didn’t care, I was a mental illness diagnosis not a perso. After I did a complete taper off all psych drugs the profound toxic systems went away except for some facial twitches and rapid eye blinking. No more embarrassing bed wetting, uncontrollable urge to move, pace, move my arms., slurred speech, painful upper body spasms I’d cry out when they happened, you name it it was gone. Yes, neuroleptics are dangerous, very dangerous. Oh, forgot to add the Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatits I spent several weeks hospitalized with (ICU)………
I ran into this 12 years ago as electronic records came in and realized the only way I might escape being treated as crazy was to find independent doctors. I got copies of my medical records and deleted paragraphs pertaining to me being depressed, on various psych drugs , etc. These I hand delivered to my new doctors. It worked to an extent.
Next time take a friend with you to visit this doctor. Doctors and especially pain clinics feed into the whole “Client has psych issues”. You end of being reduced to a nut case who supposively has pain. I had to leave the pain clinic I’d gone to because of how I was mistreated. Sorry you have to experience this.