Sunday, November 17, 2019

Comments by aria

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • FeelinDiscouraged,
    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.

  • Julie,
    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.

  • 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.

  • Rebel,
    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?

  • Explorer 86,
    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.

  • Pulpamor,
    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 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.

  • 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?

  • “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.

  • Jeffery,
    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.

  • “The incantation of the psychiatrist is a psychiatric label, it explains everything by explaining nothing, and allows the cursed/enchanted person to be treated as entirely unworthy of consideration and, more or less, invalidated as far as humanity is concerned.”

    I had gone to the same psychiatrist for 15 years being told I was profoundly ill and being heavily poly drugged. When I went to a new psychiatrist he said I was not mentally ill and refused to prescribe any drugs. Once a diagnosis is “out there” we are suddenly very vulnerable, over looked, denied medical help even when psychically ill and disregarded. No one should be treated this way. I’m out spoken to many on the dangers of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs and can only hope someone does listen.

  • I had originally gone to my psychiatrist because of insomnia and I ended up on more drugs than anyone thought possible. I was being told I had a profound mental illness as I became more and more drugged. It was a sham. I did get my psychiatrist’s office notes and that was an eye opener. He wrote he couldn’t figure out what was going on with me yet he kept prescribing neuroleptics ”” No one who has not personally gone through this hellish nightmare knows what it does to you.

    My city has two hospital authorities who own all the doctors and because my diagnosis is out in one system I can not go to anyone in this group. I did not hurt anyone, I’m no evil yet I’m discriminated toward by physicians. I remember all too well going to a new doctor for the first visit and she had seen my psyche diagnosis in the records. She actually hissed at me saying Go back to your psychiatrist, nothing is really wrong with you.

    What you wrote is incredible, so true and I hope more and more people read about the harm psychiatry does. My thanks to you.

  • I trusted my psychiatrist and took every drug he prescribed. According to him I was becoming more and more mentally ill but he did not look into the very drugs he prescribed causing me to be worse. By chance a neurologist told me I had the worst Akathisia he’d ever seen and I didn’t know what that meant. Akathisia is caused by psychiatric drugs and I was unable to sit still, not sleep for days, became confused and I was pacing for hours because the drugs. My psychiatrist saw this as me being manic and added more drugs. All I’m saying is what happen to me is NOT uncommon. Have you had a second…third opinion?? If you are here reading than you do have doubts. I am drug free after 2 years of tapering off numerous drugs and my life blossomed, my thinking cleared and I can lay down in my bed quietly again. I’m the last person to question a doctor but I did and found what he was doing to me criminal, horribly wrong. He was drugging me for toxic drug side effects not a mental illness. I did go to other psychiatrists and they said I’m never been mentally ill in the first place. Remember you do have a choice, to decide what you want to do.

  • My fear of retaliation from my former psychiatrist stopped me from publicly complaining. He admitted in his office he has totally screwed up but I was still afraid to do anything about it. Having a bogus diagnosis in my med charts has caused me to fly under the radar and hope it does not surface again to hinder any further medical treatment. I’ve been in the ER and told” people like me are not ill, go home” when I had Pancreatitis. Unless someone has been through what most of us here has it’s hard for them to fathom our fear of reprisal. I was told I was permanently damaged and that was not true. My hope is MIA can lessen the injury psychiatry does in the future.

  • I look back at how the psychiatrist said I would always be profoundly mentally ill and how his erroneous diagnosis crippled my credibility. I’ve learned so much by psychiatric manipulation and how I became trapped by psychiatry. To be denied medical help because I’m “mentally ill” is ridiculous. Seeing the neurologist that day saved my life. I was given help with my very real neuro-muscular disease.

  • “For me, the drugs were the mental illness and disability, precisely. Without them, all is back in balance. I know I’m not alone in this claim, and that’s the best evidence we have that this is all a ruse”.

    Exactly what happened to me too. My psychiatrist never looked beyond his nose to see severe drug induced akathisia he diagnosed as mania. Drug free I can sit quietly reading for hours.

  • Bridget,
    I went for years not having any physician listen to my increasing physical issues. One leg was dragging with the foot sideways, balance issues, my hands would freeze in mid-movement, obvious symptoms something was very wrong. My psychiatrist had put in my open medical files I was psychotic so any doctors in the same hospital system angrily dismissed me from their offices without an exam. To be told, “You need to go back to your psychiatrist” before I could finish a sentence was inhumane. This went on for years till one day I saw an independent neurologist who immediately could tell I have a progressive neuro disease. He asked how I could be in his office so ill and why no other doctor had helped me? I just shook my head because I was too ashamed to admit I had a psychiatric diagnosis that had proven to be wrong and had followed me relentlessly. This is by far not an isolated incident. We have been judged to be crazy and there fore have no right to medical help for anything other than psychiatry.

    I have tried my best to hide the psych diagnoses which other doctors later said I did not have but it’s still in my medical records. How can one psychiatrist’s assumptions of diagnosing my poly drug-induced behavior as mental illness and there is no way to get this erroneous diagnosis removed? That is an on-going question on MIA.

  • Being completely psychiatric drug free is beautiful. As I slowly tapered off the drugs parts of me resurfaced. The horrific Akathesia stopped as the re-flux, colon spasms, shaking, bouts of hysterical crying for 6-8 hours not being able to sleep for 72 hours, muscle spasms, itchy skin rashes, being hospitalized repeatedly for nausea, vomiting and stomach upset, painful leg edema, confused thinking, loss of energy, gaining over 100 pounds, ect. More and more of who I used to be became evident as I tapered and I was surprised at my renewed inner strength to endure further tapering came into play. The drugs had caused profound emotionally instability and after tapering my emotions stabilized.

    To have so many people remark how different I am now, stable, calm, fun to be with. When I was drugged my reading stopped and now I read easily for hours . Psychiatric drugs robbed me of my life and once again I am me but a changedt me because no one can go through what I did and be the same.

  • I remember my old psychiatrist’s office was over flowing with pharmaceutical brand name items: pens, clocks, note pads, paper weights. Every time I went to see my pdoc in the afternoon the remains of a pharmaceutical meal was still evident in the lounge room and pharmacy reps in the hall ways dragging their blue suitcases full of free drug samples. If my psychiatrist decided to change my psych drugs (he changed them constantly) he’d fill a a paper bag with free samples. Took me a long time to realize he did not know what he was doing and was throwing drugs at me haphazardly not caring about the consequences.

    Today I am psych drug free and feeling better than I ever did when heavily drugged.

  • My premise is the psychiatric drug made me less able to function and I’ve loss count of the people who have said ,”Good God you were messed up on those drugs” to me now that I’m psych drug free. They saw an individual barely functionally, mumbling, stumbling and it was obvious I was heavily drugged. They have said I’m “normal” (for what that’s worth).

    Am I “anti-psychiatry”? Any group that takes your life away, makes you zombified, has no clear idea of what the drugs they are prescribing do and then ignores the toxic side effects, would make someone be “anti”. I wish I had known what I know now before I walked into the psychiatrist’s office.

  • Recovery?? I miraculously became “well” when I tapered off the psychiatric poly drugging. My story might be twisted as a recovery but it wasn’t. I was drugged into oblivion by a psychiatrist who had ceased to see me as a person. To him I was a mental patient.

    Thank you for your article. I hope one day to post my psych journey on MIA. I’m always amazed that off the drugs I was told I was not mentally ill.

  • “Indeed, much of the pathology of schizophrenia being described appears to result from the iatrogenic effects of medicine.”

    How can any psychiatrist not see a client’s worsening state as due to the drugs he prescribes? I have my psychiatrist’s records and over and over the man writes how perplexed he is about me getting more “symptomatic” as the poly drugging gets out of hand. Looking for drug reactions should be any prescribing physicians first investigation. I hope who reads the articles on MIA realize this (client/physician) and re-thinks where they are drug wise.

  • My reason for posting on MIA is the absurd diagnostic criteria for a so called mental illness and how psychiatric drugs can mimic and cause mental instability. I was told one day a magic pill would make me better as the poly drugging changed my perception and ability to think. I’ve had doctors I never met before treat me shabbily because they saw my diagnosis. This is why I came here again and again to read and post.

    How many people are wrongly diagnosed and treated for cancer ?? Because of the criteria for diagnosing not many. So why can’t we have the same guidelines and consideration as this to be spared being wrongly diagnosed and being given toxic drugs? OMG, the stigma a lone having a psych diagnosis is scary, so scary.

    I wish I could had mediated my bogus psychiatric diagnoses and drugging like Alex but I was told I would be blacklisted for any medical treatment in my city. I was too scared and ill from tapering off the several psychiatric drugs to stand up for myself. I did have the satisfaction of watching my prescribing psychiatrist burst into tears apologizing for wrongly drugging me for 15 years. That was it because he did his best to discredit me later. Psychiatry has little credibility with others physicians but still has too much power with diagnosing on what they think they hear.

  • Zombified…that is what I was on neuroleptics. Everyone but the psychiatrist seemed to know I was drugged out of my mind. To this day I can’t fathom any psychiatrist prescribing drugs that completely change a person’s personality, perception and have the nerve to say oh it’s due to them being mentally ill. When we did complain about toxic effects we’re ignored and given more drugs.

  • I paid an attorney $ 300 to write a letter to my old pdoc and when I saw my records were incomplete had another letter written stating what was left out. Double check, most USA states OK you getting your psych records but the psychiatrists will fight you on this saying giving you these records “will upset you”. Remember the records are only a perception of you on drugs.

    I find it interesting only pdocs won’t let you see your med records?? They don’t have full picture of you, only a slanted view. My records didn’t have how I was socially active, only negative comments and any developments were only seen as worsening mental illness never toxic drug effects. My pdoc loved to brag he verbally recorded all his daily patient contacts in his car on the way home. How exact is that?

  • I’ve read my prescribing psychiatrist’s office notes and he kept saying I had little if any “mouth puckering”. If he’d looked harder he’d seen my forehead and face twitching and rapid eye blinking which are blatant signs of neuroleptic drug damage. He kept poly drugging what he called mania when it was drug-induced akathisia. This not at all unusual and most psychiatrists wrongly interpret what the client is reporting as worsening mental illness.

  • “my psychiatrists seemed to lack in-depth knowledge about the drugs and when I questioned them, they tended to avoid responsibility for their prescribing practices.”

    Your story is so similar to mine (poly drugged for 15 years). I was falling asleep at work and having trouble thinking. My prescribing psychiatrist kept adding new drugs and changing the doses. The multiple drug toxic side effects were seen as worsening mental illness. He convinced me I would always be severely damaged goods. I am completely drug free, reclaimed my life and mended fences with family (once they realized it was the drugs not me). I still have profound sleep issues years later.

    We want to think the prescribing physician is our gate keeper, knowing what to do and being responsible. They do not and will not face responsibly for this. I look forward to reading your book. Thank you for a beautiful post.

  • I got my pdoc’s office notes and read how he was perplexed at me gaining 100 pounds when poly drugged. Thorazine/neuroleptic drugs made me so hungry I stuffed myself non-stop. Neuroleptics suppresses nausea so my stomach was numb to constantly eating. Besides being diagnosed as crazy I was also diagnosed as Morbidly Obese, double whammy for being targeted. As I tapered off the toxic drugs the weight fell off, every 2 weeks I went down 1-2 sizes without trying to diet. Unbelievable to be able to walk distances, my feet and ankles were no longer painfully swollen.

    Psychiatric drugs have been shown to cause dangerous weight gain, diabetes and high cholesterol numbers. My pdoc did not do blood labs on me which was breach of him being a prescribing physician. It’s been years since I had anything to do with psychiatry which I am extremely grateful of.

  • I’m comparing being chemically treated for a bogus diagnosis of cancer to being treated for so-called mentally ill. The people being treated aggressively for something that wasn’t real or true would be furious, upset and violated and this is how we here feel.

  • Sleves,

    Please, read all that is written hear and wonder, really wonder, why do this many people feel psychiatry caused more problems in the long run than not? Do you have any idea how erroneous psych diagnoses haunt us? How can a drugged individual know what informed consent is? How can one pdoc say we are crazy and a second say we are not? It more than the psych drugs and diagnoses, it’s how we were told we would never be whole again and found out this was wrong, incorrect and plain ludicrous.

    My prescribing psychiatrist had no idea of what he was doing prescribing potent and toxic drugs. Every drug side effect I told me about was meet with him saying it was all ME, becoming more unstable. Seroquel almost killed me.

    I am grateful I am psych drug free and have clarity of mind again. I would never trade it for a drugged state that psychiatry said was my only alternative.

  • Sleeves,
    I was told I was permanently damaged and needed massive psychiatric drugs to make me as “normal as possible”. For me psychiatry was a mistake, one that drugged me beyond who I had been and I no longer was functional. A chance consultation by a neurologist who said I had the worse Akathisia he’d ever seen and that “the psychiatric drugs were killing me” (his words). At that time I had no idea what Akathisia was, only I couldn’t sit still, had to pace all night, couldn’t sleep, shook and had profuse sweating. My psychiatrist was giving me drugs for what he called mania but it was drug induced akathisia.

    This is my two cents and I think what a lot of us here are trying to say, how does someone who is experiencing a temporarily bad situation in life be diagnosed as crazy, drugged to the hilt, then later drug free be told they are not mentally ill and never had been? How many people are told they have cancer, go through chemo, surgery and radiation and told they never had cancer? I can’t think we are that few that psychiatry has ruined our lives? My prescribing psychiatrist broke down in tears when he realized how wrong he’d been and suddenly I was a liability. I am glad you are here and reading what MIA has.

  • As various combos of psychiatric drugs were added my diagnoses changed. Now as I look back, drug free, I realize the sham of it. I had no idea how my behavior was altered due to these drugs and I was increasing ill with toxic side effects. Every time I told the psychiatrist this he said he’d never heard of it before and said it was only me becoming more mentally ill. If you’re told over and over by a psychiatrist you’re permanently damaged you start to believe it and I did. It was a profoundly sick relationship. How any prescribing psychiatrist could not see that is so wrong.

    After years of being drug free I have never had one physician say I was depressed or needed psychiatric drugs. The bad part is it’s still happening. Keep on putting these types of articles out there.

  • “b) a lot of DSM disorders are defined by criminal behaviour or “oppositional” attitudes so in many cases criminal = mentally ill by definition not because of any underlying medical problem but because we chose to redefine criminal behaviour as mentally ill”

    B, I agree with redefining criminal behavior not as mentally ill. If psychiatry had its way all of humanity would be considered mentally ill and there fore more to drug.

  • When I “became aware” of what psychiatric drugs were doing to me I went off them and the toxic side effects slowly went away. My behavior became more bizarre as the poly drugging intensified and my prescribing psychiatrist thought the craziness were all me, not the drugs.

    The benefits of being psych drug free are indescribably wonderful and so many people remarked about my clear thinking and calm demeanor. On psychiatric drugs I was UN-aware. Any”lack of insight” was due to poly drugging.

  • I totally get this because it happened to me for 15 years. Over and over I kept getting worse (bizarre symptoms that were drug induced) as the psychiatric drugs changed and doses upped. Later I was told I’d never been mentally ill.

    Please keep on telling what happened to you. It’s happening more than anyone truly knows, iatrogenic illness.

  • The majority of non psychiatric doctors treated me terribly when they saw (didn’t know my psych diagnosis was in my med chart). I couldn’t understand why, they had just met me for the first time? I requested copies of office visits and saw my diagnosis underlined in red. The only way I could ever been seen again as a human being was to re-xerox my records and hand carry them to my new docs. Suddenly I was treated nicely, the same me with clean slate and not one new doc ever mentioned me being depressed or needing psych drugs. Prejudice against people with psych labels is wide spread.

  • “Psychiatrists collectively and individually have have made millions of dollars and inflicted lives of drug-filled misery, or worse, through its co-operation with pharma.”

    If a physician is prescribing drugs he needs to be aware what these drugs do to the client. There is no way psychiatry can say they are blameless for over drugging. It’s right before their eyes. Its ridiculous when non medical people can tell a person is drugged out of their gourd and that person’s odd behavior is drug induced.

    I wish I didn’t know this but I do. I wish I never stepped into a psychiatrist’s office. Fact-less speculating diagnoses. One day the general public will know the dangers of psychiatry and the sham of DSM.

  • I was poly drugged on psychiatric drugs for 16 years to the point I was no longer myself emotionally, physically, psychologically. Zyprexa and Seroquel did me in and I ended up in the ICU with Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis. Neuroleptics caused severe Mitochondrial Dysfunction that turned into CIDP. Have you had heard many clients getting CIDP from Seroquel?? It’s a nasty demyelination disease.. Even dealing with this progressive disease I am doing well psyche drug free and reclaiming my life. It was your book “Toxic Drugs” that helped me slowly taper. I thank you, Dr. Breggin.

  • My concern is what to do when wrongly diagnosed and having this stigma follow us around? Years of wrongly prescribed psychiatrist drugs and how they caused us to change to change into another person, confused and rambling. That is why I come here and read MIA articles. What happened to me is becoming common place. I had gone to a psychiatrist because I was having trouble sleeping for God’s sake. Worst mistake in my life. Yes, I’m drug free now and no longer have toxic psych drug issues. Geez.

    Am I anti-psychiatry?? Yes, because of how dangerous psychiatry is handing out diagnoses based on assumptions. I had my prescribing pdoc apologize for wrongly drugging me but it didn’t help. Hind sight apology after this level of heinous magnitude, no way. How often does it happen someone is treated with chemo and radiation for a cancer diagnosis they did not have?

  • “The person I am now is far better than who I ever was, or could ever hope to be, on antidepressants.”

    I found this true too once I became free of psychiatric drugs. My prescribing psychiatrist kept telling me I needed the drugs and yet I felt worst. I was forever changed being poly drugged for 15 years but the now me is much better, happier, focused and able to handle situations I couldn’t when drugged.

    A beautifully written article, thank you.

  • I had numerous poly pharmacy reactions including: nausea that the last 4 years on these drugs I had to sleep upright in a recliner, diarrhea, constipation and dehydration so severe was repeatedly hospitalized (has several gastrointestinal invasive procedures)), dizziness, menstrual bleeding for 2- 3 weeks every month insomnia (up 3 days), akathisia (paced the house all night), wavy vision, depressed breathing (had invasive testing and put on oxygen) and the list goes on. As these drugs made me physically ill they also altered my behavior, my perception and relationship with everything around me. When I told my prescribing psychiatrist about how I felt he said it was my worsening mental illness and gave me more drugs. At the very end I was hospitalized with Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis in the ICU.

    Guess what?? Once I successfully tapered off these psych drugs the “symptoms” went away. Scary no one had a clue way I was so ill and when I got my psychiatric notes I saw one doctor had called my psych doctor saying I was incoherent (but again the drugs I was on was not mentioned). I did get to ask my clueless psychiatrist why he hadn’t known how the drugs made me so ill and my behavior so bizarre. He just looked at me like he’d never meet me.

    Psychiatry is akin to the Inquisition, just as barbaric, cruel and wrong..

  • wileywitch,
    Been there with the stigma. Years ago went to the ER and this horrible ER doc saw my MI diagnosis in my chart. He said, “nothing is wrong with you except you’re crazy, go home” and my friend heard him say this. I’ve been denied medical help due to this stigma.

    I was told later by other psychiatrists I had never been mentally ill but what to do with my diagnosis? A fear is being branded with a scarlet MI for Mentally Ill.

  • I always thought having a severe mental illness would be so obvious within 1-2 psychiatrist visits. This article is saying schizophrenia is not noticed by the prescribing pdoc who has been poly drugging his victims, oh meant, clients for years? Would the pdoc not think this was unusual?

    Happened to me and I had no idea the drugs altered my behavior. MIA is a gold mine of info from former psychiatric victims and unfortunately psychiatrists coming here to read it.

  • Fiachra,
    I had gotten so physically ill and confused from poly drugging I doubt I would be living on my own or even alive. I can’t express how improved my life is now drug free. I had night mares for years I would forced to take them again (mine was all voluntary but I was still scared). If only sites like MIA had been available 15 years ago.

    I wish you well and yes we are better off drug free. The key word is “free”.

  • Fiachra,
    I also was told I was seriously mentally ill and took the drugs. It caused me to endure many years of confused and weird thinking with terrible toxic side effects till one day I tapered off the drugs and returned to a much happier person drug free.

    If only psychiatry would stop their charade.

  • chrisreed,
    My concern for years has been the availability of psychiatric diagnoses electronically. Ten years ago I went to a new family physician for excruciating pain and she had accessed my former records saying I had a serious mental illness. Within meeting me for 5 seconds she dismissed my physical problem by telling me to see my psychiatrist (who I stopped seeing). In The USA it’s hard to get your psych records but I did after I had an attorney ask for them. I have to wonder if I went to a psychiatrist with the purpose of having my mental state diagnosed as “normal” would this help? Carry this piece of paper around for my own protection? If I only knew the answer?? One psychiatrist poly drugging me till I was a vegetable then saying oh this woman’s mentally ill follows me around.

  • erin321,
    My prescribing psychiatrist actually broke down in tears saying he was sorry, how wrong he’d been, but by the time I left his office he’d contacted his attorney. He did his best to discredit me to others by saying he’d treated me for a serious mental illness even through other psychiatrists later said I’d never been mentally ill. Talk about heaping dirt over a hurt, he feared for his medical license. What can we do to change a wrong diagnosis that will follow us and impact future medical treatment? I sometimes feel like Hester wearing a scarlet letter. Good for your husband wanting to show them how wrong they were.

  • MIA posters all know too well the dangers of neuroleptics. Being “treatment resistant when on antidepressants” get antipsychotics added to the drug mix. I still wonder why the prescribing psychiatrist haven’t a clue linking these drugs to numerous physical aliments and seem stymied when their patients become sicker and more disabled? Are they truly that blind? When I mentioned my sudden changed behavior on psych drug cocktails to the pdoc he added more drugs saying it was “me”. Once I stopped the drugs my odd behavior was no more and I am so grateful every time I think of this.

    Are any of the MIA posters sending this info on to their psychiatrists to read ?? To hopefully have alight bulb go on in their clouded heads?

  • I keep coming back to read your heart felt article. You ask over and over “why”. This is what I want to know. Why my psychiatrist kept prescribing and prescribing dangerous drugs that surely he had to know were changing me? How could a physician be so stupid to not know?? That it took another physician to tell me I was being poisoned by psychiatric drugs. Why did this happen? Why?

    Many of us on MIA are not a small group of dissatisfied “customers”. We suffered terribly on psychiatric drugs, under (sic) psychiatric care, drug withdrawals and want others to avoid what we endured.

  • I remember in my 20’s and 30’s going right to sleep and out for 7 hours till the alarm went off. On weekends I’d sleep 2 or more hours. I know as we age our sleep rhythms change and many of us had hard time going to sleep and staying asleep. We’re being told this in not normal and we must take something to sleep.

    When I first went to the psychiatrist with sleep issues it wasn’t that bad when (hindsight) compared to what I faced with psych drugs reactions and later withdrawals. The psychiatric drugs altered my system causing severe sleeping issues (up for 72 hours from akathisia) but I can handle it knowing I’m psych drug free. My mantra is “Go with it, you’re free from the psych drugs” and it works (mostly).

    Psychiatry Reality 101…what I learned and wished I hadn’t.

  • Atypicals are deadly and being given out more and more. My wish is I knew what I know now about psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. I went from an active well read woman to one who was incoherent, gained over 100 pounds and had profound akathisia (at the time I didn’t know what it was or that I had it). Every time I told my psychiatrist of how I was feeling on each new drug he prescribed me he replied it was all “me” not the drugs. Please keep revealing the subterfuge of psychiatry and let others be warned of its dangers. Thank you again. By the way I’m psych drug free and celebrating the fact.

  • “Three words spoken to my doctor began a horrifying decade of psychoactive pills. As I reached tolerance, the dosages were increased and additional medications added.”

    Oh my that is how I stared my psychiatric drug journey”” I was having an awful time sleeping because of a serious car accident and as the poly drugging blurred my mind the higher doses went out of control. I was sleeping alright, 15-18 hours day or more. Numerous specialty doctor visits, medical testing and even more prescription drugs for my many perplexing physical symptoms when it was the psych drugs causing them. I was on a dangerous merry go round not knowing how to get off.

    I’m completely psych drug free (ten years) and glad you are too. Iit was hard journey but we did it.

  • My goal was to be completely psych drug free and I always kept this in mind. I didn’t know any better so I tapered off two or more drugs at a time. After reading on several forums how to carefully taper I realize I did it way way too quickly. There was no support from any physicians or therapists, all on my own. Because I’d gotten so obese on the drugs I lost 80 pounds in a matter of months. To now not have drug induced panic, scarey thoughts, muscle spasms, incontinence and indescribable Akathisia was a blessing.

    To see my family and friends realize OMG is the old Aria back?? The Aria before the psychiatric drugs?? When my long time friend simply said, “Welcome back”. That said it all.

    A side note is the psychiatrist I saw for all this time had no clue of what he was prescribing and after I read his office notes (yep, I got them) this fact was even more evident.

  • This article is interesting to me because my SSRIs and Neuroleptics caused severe and debilitating tardive akathisia. I was seeing my psychiatrist once a month for Med Checks and he never noticed my body jerking, profound sweating and constant moving in the chair. It took an independent neurologist to see it and this doctor actually screamed at me that I had the worse akathisia he’d seen in 40 years and the psychiatrist drugs were killing me. This was my wake up call because I had no idea why I felt this way, constant pacing all night, feeling like I was coming out of my skin and when I would tell my pdoc about it he said I was anxious. My pdoc kept trying to tell me the neurologist was wrong and when it was akathisia from toxic drugs””’

    I had been prescribed up to ten 1 mg of Xanax a day for “my nervousness” which was profound the akathisia and toxic reactions form the psych drugs. On my own I tapered off numerous psychiatric drugs including 2 kinds of benzos and now years of being drug free have found myself. It was a difficult journey and I was basically house bound for 2 years in withdrawal hell. My body and mind slowly gained ground and being able to lay down quietly without jerking and having muscle spasms is heavenly.

    “If I’d only known the road I went through with psychiatry and psychiatric drugs would lead me through hell and back”.

  • “Having experienced the process of coming out as a gay man and the stigma associated with having a psychiatric label, my experience is that coming out as gay is easy compared to fighting the stigma associated with one or more psychiatric diagnoses.”

    I have a psych diagnosis that branded me as mentally ill and I’m still afraid of the repercussions.
    Thank goodness I was able to taper off numerous mind numbing psychiatric drugs ten years ago and the horrible Akathisia stopped. I now have a much better life drug free, can think clearly again and everyday am thankful of this.

    Your article was very moving and I applaud your helping others become more.

  • Thank you so much for your well written article. I stumbled into psychiatry after a traumatic car accident (couldn’t sleep from pain) and began a nightmare ride of changing diagnoses and heavy drugging.

    My wish is the branding of people with the term mentally ill will not cause further harm when needing employment, housing or medical help. So many of us are psych drug free after being wrongly diagnosed, doing well but still afraid an old psychiatric diagnosis will pop up when we seek medical attention. It’s real fear.

  • Psychiatry can use having a medical degree, relying on Big Pharma for help and knowing how to use the media to make all of us crazies not be believed. How easy it is to for them to say “but they are mentally ill and you know how these kind of people are” to sway public opinion.

    My former pdoc told me in tears how sorry he was he had wrongly diagnosed and drugged me. Months later he still sent a letter (I was able to get a copy) saying do not believe one thing Aria says after all she’s mentally ill. He could use this term all he wanted to discredit me and it worked.

  • Psychiatric prejudice is what happened to me once I got a diagnosis. On the other hand I found my prescribing psychiatrist to be totally inept for realizing he was poisoning me with poly drugging. It took a neurologist to see I had profound akathisia (the worst drug induced akathisia he said he’d ever seen).

    Till psychiatrists come off their high horse with bogus diagnoses, not having the necessary blood work done and to monitor their patients like other physicians do all we say here may not help? I’m just sorry I had to go years of heavy drugging, changing diagnoses and then to be told I had been never mentally ill to begin with. It’s just criminal for patients to have to go through this and the psychiatrists skip merrily away.

  • My sibling is a psychologist in private practice and we argue about psych drugs versus no psych drugs. She says some of her clients have to be on drugs to curtail their symptoms and I reply have you ever seen them off these drugs?? On lower doses? How do you know it’s them or drugs causing these internal disruptions? I have slowly brought her over a little to my side of the fence and now she makes sure her clients are on the lowest dose possible.

    I know a few people who swear psych drugs keep them balanced but I don’t see that they are better? I feel they have bought into the “I’m replicating ill” through years of constant indoctrination.

    I went through years of psychiatric drug withdrawal, I many times have no idea how I endured it. I was bedridden and in pain not sleeping for days. The prescribing psychiatrist was no help at all and refused to believe I was having withdrawals. Today psych drug free I can once again have a life without akathisia and the awful toxic effects of psych drugs but my body has never fully recovered. Did psychiatric drugs help me ?? No, they never did and in fact made me worse. I do not think long term use of psychiatric drugs is in any way safe.

    Monica, I always appreciate your blog and MIA postings. You have opened a few eyes to what has happened and continues to happen with the toxic effects of psychiatric drugs. Thank you.

  • My favorite was I told my pdoc I sometimes heard the phone ring and he put in my medical records I was having “auditory hallucinations” (because of this added “psychotic”). He put this in my open med chart when I was hospitalized for Pancreatitis and the staff doctors had a field day with it. I got my records to review and saw this, OMG, what in the world”” Auditory Hallucinations?? I brought this up to him and said I told you I heard the phone ring when I was half a sleep after taking my night time drugs. I was dreaming. Dreaming, not hallucinating. He said, oh, sorry.

  • Toxic neuroleptics is right. Good ole Seroquel blew out my pancreas and put me in ICU for a long stay. My caring psychiatrist never did the needed lab work (to monitor cholesterol and sugar levels) when on Seroquel. If a psychiatrist wants to keep pretending he’s physician than do the lab work. Neuroleptics are dangerous and today are given out way too freely off label.

    It’s not just the drugs it’s the bogus excuse for listening to us during the ridiculous Fifteen Minute Med Checks and having us come in like a revolving door. I never felt better on the drugs, never and got lost in the back roads of psychiatry. Thank goodness I got off the psych merry go round and have been drug free for many years. Some where out there in my medical records are my mentally ill diagnosis and this scares me. I feel like Hester wearing a scarlet letter.

  • I’m happy to say I’ve enjoyed years of being psych drug free and have my clarity of mind once again. The incredible thing is I was told by other psychiatrists — psychologists I wasn’t mentally ill and for all purposes had never been mentally ill. How can such a discrepancy happen and the years lost while poly drugged? It continues to happen leaving us with damming wrong labels and diagnoses.

    Thank you for writing your story and I hope more of us will publicly tell our stories. My old pdoc used to cheerfully say one third of Americans were mentally ill like it was a good thing.

  • I did get my psychiatric records from the pdoc I saw for years (took hiring a lawyer). It was eye opening on many levels, the incorrect entries, reading what was taken out of context, what the pdoc “thought he heard”, he rarely took notes telling me he did ALL of his daily charting by tape recorder as he drove home and the obvious chart changes after he told me he was sorry he had wrongly prescribed and diagnosed me. It was so blatant how he changed records after this.

    I haven’t finished reading my records (I doubt all of it was sent). It was hard to bring myself to read what I did and I keep the records in a box unopened for years. I tried to get my hospital records but hit a major road block from the administration. I did request from the drugstore I used during these years for all of my medication records and the pharmacy gave me them with his hand written signature on the pages.

    If you do get your psych records be prepared to be upset and have someone with you as you read them. It’s damming and upsetting. Remember what was written was by someone who only looked for the very worse, who doesn’t know you and everything you say is suspect. If you were poly drugged and so messed up from the prescribed drugs like I was than than goodness knows what anyone in this shape would say. Would you believe what someone drunk said?? Blitzed out on drugs?? Most likely no, but psychiatry does and truly thinks in this condition you’re YOU. That’s how crazy it is.

    To this day I can not fathom how the psychiatrist keep adding on various drugs that debilitated and altered my behavior yet not once seemed aware of it?? It was interesting how people I barely knew later said it was obvious to them I was drugged, this was not me. So a person off the streets was more savvy about me being drugged than the prescribing psychiatrist? Yes.

  • “Why didn’t you realize that the side effects of benzos and other psych drugs can mimic what our society calls “mental illnesses” and keep patients in a zombie-like, drugged state until (hopefully) one day they say “Enough!” and fight their way out? Why was it OK for you to keep assaulting my brain with multiple mind-altering drugs without any proper accountability and even, it seems, awareness of how disabling they are?”

    I had to ask myself why the psychiatrist who I saw every month did not realize the drugs he was prescribing had completely changed me? He was my gate keeper, he was suppose to look out for me and instead prescribed more drugs with my ever changing diagnoses. My answer is he had stopped looking at me as a person. I now realize he had no earthly idea of what he was doing.

    How can a psychiatrist expect a so called mental patient to understand informed consent? Sitting in front of you is one messed up drugged person and you truly expect them to understand?? Are you joking?? Really?

    I tapered off numerous drugs too quickly and stopped the benzo last. It was an arduous lonely journey I survived without any help. I’m now drug free and wide awake at 4 AM. I have no idea when I will fully heal but for now I’ll accept having clarity of mind and no more akathisia.

    Fantastic article and when I read it it was just what I’ve written many many times on a few blogs asking why why why? Thank you for writing this and I hope you mail it.

    .

  • When I was tapering off psych drugs I started having troublesome symptoms and went to a new physician. She saw my psych diagnosis in my file and immediately told me I needed to return to the psychiatrist. It didn’t matter to her I was dragging one leg, having to use crutches and experiencing severe pain. To think how I suffered and to told by someone who had never met me till 3 seconds ago that “it was all in my head”.

    The more I tried to dislodge myself from psychiatry it kept rearing its ugly head to hinder my recovery. It is a merry go round with disbelief in our physical suffering and being compounded by repeated denial of what we know is true.

    My problem turned out to be a progressive neurological disease that is connected to neuroleptic damage (Seroquel). For this disease I’m in constant treatment and yes, it real and was diagnosed by 4 different neurologists. I had to fight the psych drug tapering elements and then had to include this horrible illness on top of it–double whammy. Iatrogenic harm is definitely real and so many of us have been curtly dismissed by physicians because they think we need to go back on the psych drugs.

  • With poly drugging it’s no wonder anyone is not suffering from acute constipation. This isn’t the most pleasant of topics but it’s true. I had to be hospitalized more than once due to this and yet no one said maybe she needs to not be on so many psychiatric drugs? Psychiatric drugs cause untold side effects and are not always treated or acknowledged.

    “Well looked after”… what kind of comment is this?? He died.

  • I read your online paper and have to agree that psychiatric diagnoses cause grievous harm. I went to see a psychiatrist because I had had a serious auto accident, was in pain and not sleeping. Little did I know I had entered a labyrinth to mulitple diagnoses and years of poly drugging. The diagnosis is in my open medical records and it has caused me to be denied referrals and delayed treatment. The kicker is the diagnosing psychiatrist said he’d been 100% wrong but he held fast to what he did because he feared losing his license. Later several other physicians and therapists said I was not mentally ill and never had been. I’m many years drug free and have reclaimed my life.

    From my stand point I have seen the ugly side of psychiatry and how labeling compounds and hinders the well being of the client. The DSM is full of nonsensical platitudes and it’s left to interpretation. When what is said is taken out of context and/or due to what psychiatrists may think they hear someone say. This is a bias for a diagnosis that has the potential to ruin your life?

    My thoughts are psychiatry has lost its way and only knows labeling and prescribing drugs.
    I’m so sorry it still continues to harm.

  • My friend had her SSI changed and experienced a full blown manic situation. It was her first mania and she was over age 70. Her psychiatrist did admit it was due to the SSI change and said now she was Bipolar as he added Seroquel to her drug mix (SSI & benzo).

  • When I was having trouble walking my psychiatric diagnosis kept me from being believed and referred to specialists.I was deemed mentally ill and naturally any so called physical problems were all in my head. At long last I found a wonderful neurologist who immediately knew I had a progressive neuro disease and asked me how in the world no one had seen I was obviously so ill? I didn’t answer at first and then said sir, I was told it was all in a my head. He said what you have have has progressed so much I doubt I can help you but I will try my best (and he did).

    Having a psychiatric diagnosis is one of the scariest things with today’s electronic medical records. I might as well have a branded sign on my forehead. Does it matter I was told I never had been mentally ill? That my symptoms were due to poly drugging?? I celebrate years of being psych drug free and being able to think clearly (no more poly drugged fog).

  • Jeff,
    I had to agree. My friend was on as AD and recently was put on Seroquel. I just got a phone call saying she’d taken her life. I don’t know the whole story and already people are saying the usual platitudes about suicide:

    “She’s better off”
    “She didn’t believe in religion”
    “She’s left the rest of us to ponder why she did it”
    “She was selfish to do this”

    Did the psych drugs help?? No and I saw how the neuroleptic changed her personality.

    I’ll miss her.

  • I surely won’t be included in the “Clinician’s Illusion” because not only am I drug free but had been told I’d never been mentally ill in the first place. This was after 15 years of poly drugging so how did this happen?? This is what’s one of the main problems with psychiatry. No solid evidential facts to base a diagnoses on.

    Quote from “Emily”:
    “When medicated on psychopolypharmacy I was surely among the living dead, often wishing I were dead”.

    How is being like the above quote considered living???

  • Simply beautiful. This story was me…psych drug impaired, 100 pounds over weight, diabetic (not now), a mess, driving when barely alert, and not aware of how drugged I was or how others viewed me.

    I look at photos of me before psyche drugs, while on them and psyche drug free. My eyes are now clear and the happiness, awareness is evident. Occasionally someone will remark how different I am now–no longer messed up on drugs. They could tell it was the drugs (they didn’t know what kind) so how couldn’t the prescribing doctor not know?

    I have no doubt if I had stayed on the drugs I’d be dead by now. The drug side effects especially the horrible akathsia were killing me. It is scarey and yes, insane, my physician said he had no idea why I was having these problems as he handed me yet another prescription.

    Thank you again for sharing your journey. It means a lot to me to know we can be psychiatric drug free after years of wrong drugging and diagnosing to live again. I hope others who are now where I was may rethink being on these drugs and look at the possible options.

  • I had been in a terrible auto accident and when my source of pain was ongoing I was referred to a psychiatrist (soft tissue damage and severe whiplash weren’t “believed” back then). The downhill drugging began.

    The original problem was pain and I ended up being told I was permanently mentally ill and later told I’d never been mentally ill?? Makes no sense.

    Later when I was suffering from a progressive neuro-muscular disease I was told (the aha moment) this too was not real and the disease progressed till a neurologist diagnosed me. This makes no sense either?

    There has been quite a lot of research and study into pain and its consequences but with females being repeatedly told what they are suffering is not real what are we to do? Many of us are not well enough to keep fighting.I do believe the majority of doctors are frightened by chronic pain and without proper training do an auto pilot referral to psychiatrists.

  • When on the psych poly drugs I had numerous horrendous side effects that kept my city’s medical specialists busy testing me for “issues”. I lost count of the invasive procedures and additional medications prescribed when the culprit WAS the psychiatric drugs. I became drug free and the problems disappeared.

    On the other hand once my psychiatric diagnosis got out I was denied treatment and referral for a progressive demyelination disease. Every time I went to a doctor they saw in my chart “crazy” and told me I had to see a psychiatrist. I ended up on 2 crutches dragging my legs before a neurologist diagnosed me. Being mistreated like this is by no means unusual and it’s still happening. Who knows what shape I’d be in today?

  • I had numerous psych drug induced said effects like nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, gaining over 100 pd, couldn’t sit still from the Akathsia (urge to move), naturally the Akathisa kept me from sleeping so I was up all night pacing which got me diagnosed as manic, not sleeping for days got me diagnosed again as manic and something else, rambling slurred speech got me diagnosed with Disorganized Thought Disorder, horrid Tardive Dyskinsea muscle spasms that got diagnosed as fibromyalgia and so on.

    I had drug induced behavior that wasn’t me but my prescribing psychiatrist had ceased to think I was ever a person and kept on adding more drugs.I’ve had several physicians later tell me I’d never been mentally ill and they couldn’t fathom how I’d been diagnosed as bananas.

    Here I am drug free for some years looking back thinking what happened?? What happened was I walked into psychiatrist’s office not knowing the future ramifications.

    I can sit quietly all day, read, relax, enjoy food without nausea, etc and yes, I can sleep drug free.

  • I remember my friend who called her psyche treatment “abuse”. She died early because of the extreme poly drugging.

    Reading the comments I have to agree that I am anti-psychiatry. If only I’d known what I do now I’d never had taken one psyche pill. To be labeled by what a doctor thinks he hears and then to read his office notes of gibberish in no way reflecting what I said. If we can in some way educate and help others not go down the path we did and with compassion offer genuine support most of us would had never been psychiatrized.

    My psychiatrist asking as he read a letter a consulting neurologist wrote about me, “What does he mean you have Akathsia,” as my whole body trembled and jerked. So much for the prescribing doc actually looking at me each visit and not noticing severe and dangerous drug indued side effects.

  • I had been on Zyprexa and Seroquel some years ago. I developed Seroquel Diabetes and Seroquel Acute Pancreattis (lengthy hospital stay). These drugs make me incoherent, scared, akathsia, tardive dyskinesia..horrible side effects the psychiatrist dismissed as worsening mental illness.

    The drugs were given to me because my psychiatrist deemed me crazy and changed drugs and doses every visit. To everyone but him saw a drugged obese woman who rambled and couldn’t sit still. These drugs took away my will, my life and make a non ill person sick. I tapered off all my psyche drugs and fought a determined battle with the withdrawals that I won.

    I was told by other physicians I’d never been mentally ill and the damage from long term atypical prescribing?? Physically I’ll never be well but my mental clarity is beautiful and the return of drug free calmness is describable.

    It will always boggle my mind I was prescribed atypicals and how they caused me great harm. In no way did they help me.

  • I find your article saying withdrawal will for certain never stop scarey and untrue.

    I was on everything in the PDR between 1986-2002 (Neuroleptics, benzos, z drugs, mood stabilizers, anti depressants) and switched multiple times from one to another drug(s) on my psychiatrist’s whims. I tapered off 7 psyche drugs entirely on my own because I was literally dying from them. My pdoc was totally unaware of the horrible side effects I was suffering (so he said later and the list is endless) and when I told him I was having problems he added more drugs. Here I am years later saying I did it (I’m drug free), it was sheer hell but I did it. I have a progressive demyelination disease thanks to Seroquel but its hell is better than being on psych drugs.

    Do I recommend everyone stop their drugs?? No, because they may not be ready to or feel with certainty the drugs are helping. I do try to tell them the long term problems being on these drugs can cause and ask them pointedly if they’d ever tried anything non drug that might help.

    Would knowing the withdrawal might never end had stopped me trying to come off these drugs?? I doubt it. I can only say for me coming off psychotropics gave me my life back maybe not my whole life but enough. The kicker is I was told later I’d never been mentally ill.

  • I was checking for new replies and saw I hadn’t fully put in how I was told of my non-mentally ill status. I had seen the new psychiatrist 8-10 times not 3 or 4 and it was for an hour each time. He did say I was fine and had never been mentally ill. I had gone to more professionals for evaluations and was told the same. Without medical info from the original diagnosing pdoc to predispose any findings I was found every time not be mentally ill. I was very truthful on how I felt and what I was thinking at these new doctors visits. Most doctors will always think along the same lines as the other docs on diagnoses if they have been informed upfront about what may be the problem. This simply proved to me psychiatry has no concrete guide lines if they can’t decide on the same diagnosis on their own.

    I’m celebrating many years of being psyche drug and psychiatry free and having a real life again. I was greatly harmed by wrong diagnoses and given powerful drugs that made me not myself. That is what is wrong with this picture.

  • I don’t know how I missed this article about Seroquel?? It was the last neuroleptic I took and I got Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis which had me hospitalized for 2 months. After I left the hospital a neurologist told me I had the worst Akathisia he’d ever seen and I innocently asked what was Akathisia?? It was inner restlessness hell psych drugs cause. My psychiatrist told me to just stop the Seroquel as I wouldn’t have any problem doing that and I went into horrible withdrawal.

    The side effects, nasty symptoms, from these drugs were off the chart and every time I told my psychiatric he thought I was crazier so he either increased or change them like a merry go round. It was a mess, a nightmare and so many times I thought what had I done to deserve this. I tapered off every drug but here I am years later completely psychiatric drug free and have my life back.I was later told by other psychiatrists, psychologists and physicians I’d never been mentally ill in the first place.

    I still have eye damage and when I read about yours I went OMG. Not one of my doctors understood why my vision was blurry and it still is today.

  • I don’t think a training course to help the psychiatric staff to better understand the “mentally ill” is working or will work. They may not even be aware of the divide and how their attitude/perceptions are affecting their contacts with in-patients or outpatient clients. So many were burned out, plain rude and treated me like I was 4 years old. Lump all of us together under labels. Herd us from room to room from planned activity to planned activity.

    Basically I’m trying to say compassion’s limited for psych patients when they need it most. What you’re going through may not be understood but offering compassion (not disdain) can help.

  • The difference between being in-patient on regular hospital floor and in the psych ward are 1,0000 miles apart. Can you imagine your surg floor nurse coming in after you had surgery and saying the crap the psych nurse does?? She’d get fired. Never could understand the authoritative attitude of the staff on a psychiatric ward. So confrontational and they know exactly what they are saying because it’s meant to upset and throw you off balance. My friend would came see me and ask why I was upset…the staff had just asked very unsettling questions and quickly left. She confronted the said staff and pointedly asked why they did it. No response. As usual they were busily writing copious notes about all the patients…they love to pretend they’re analysts.

    I found out psychiatry only had drugs to give and unsubstantiated diagnoses.

    I am celebrating 10 years being psychiatric drug free. It was a hard road haphazardly tapering but I did it. To me recovery is freedom.

  • The difference between being in-patient on regular hospital floor and in the psych ward are 1,0000 miles apart. Can you imagine your surg floor nurse coming in after say you had surgery and saying the crap the psych nurse does?? She’d get fired. Never could understand the authoritative attitude of the staff on a psychiatric ward. So confrontational and they know exactly what they are saying because it’s meant to upset and throw you off balance. My friend would came see me and ask why I was upset…the staff had just asked very unsettling questions and quickly left. She confronted the said staff and pointedly asked why they did it. No response. As usual they were busily writing copious notes about all the patients…they love to pretend they’re analysts.

    I found out psychiatry only had drugs to give and unsubstantiated diagnoses.

    I am celebrating 10 years being psychiatric drug free. It was a hard road haphazardly tapering but I did it. To me recovery is freedom.

  • I have done my darnest to eradicate any reference past or present of my psychiatric history to new doctors.

    I’ve been drug free for 8-9 years and was told by other psychiatrists I was not nor had never been mentally ill but we know how this goes. The stigma of having been diagnosed as mentally ill is terrible and medical professionals who see this in our medical charts still continue to treat us as sub humans. I was refused necessary medical treatment because of what psyche drugs I was on.

    I see no reason to let any doctor know my past history because of the blatant stigma and the consequences I have first hand endured.

  • Why does a psychiatrist put someone who isn’t psychotic on neuroleptics?

    After all the medical training and feed back from other clients how could the psychiatrist not know the drugs were causing at least some terrible side affects??

    That the client’s changed behavior was due to the drugs he prescribed??

    When he does know this then why wouldn’t he admit it and help taper the client off said drugs??

    These are basic questions that psychiatrists should be aware of because they are essentially gate keepers and responsibly prescribe any mood changing drug very carefully.

  • My overall concern is how these diagnoses we received will impact future medical treatment by regular physicians who may not believe any thing we say?? How to make sure any new doctors don’t find this info out? That is what’s upsetting and it already happened to me. I was disbelieved and refused referrals.

    So the psychologist attorney thinks having a family member who was in prison means you would eventually go there too?
    Just a correlation as silly as what he said to you.

    There are a few decent forums out there that might help you discuss what happened. More and more are finding they were misdiagnosed and drugged but how to make sure others don’t tomorrow?? We believed the psychiatrists would have our backs and notice drug symptoms but they didn’t. They said it was worsening mental illness.

  • I went to another psychiatrist and after 3-4 sessions of 30 plus minutes he said you’re not mentally ill and never were. You sound fine and may have a little PTSD from all you went thru being on psych drugs. I also went to see a psychologist for a 10 sessions who said the same thing, I was fine and not mentally ill. In fact she visually got upset when she heard what I’d gone thru and was concerned there might be a lawsuit. They couldn’t understand how I’d gotten diagnosed by the original
    psychiatrist. I didn’t have those symptoms and was completely lucid.

    The original doc had stopped listening to me and I was just one of his “15 minute med checks patients”. All he did was hand me pills and tell me I would never be well and me being the compliant patient believed him.

    I read in a few of my medical records other physicians (not psychiatrists) wrote “patient is off all of her meds and completely lucid”.

    I’m sorry you’re still going through this. Is there any way you can have your diagnosis challenged??

  • I wanted to add my psychiatrist realized he could be sued and pulled up the drawbridge. I never mentioned lawsuit to him but his obvious wrong doing had him on the defensive.

    My behavior on drugs was like a drunk but worse with slurring words, dazed, trouble sleeping (akathsia) and bouts of crying. Those symptoms are all gone. It was interesting that people I barely knew wondered what drugs I was on and my own prescribing psychiatrist had no clue of my drug induced behavior. I lost years of my life in a foggy haze when I could had enjoyed them with my family. I was labeled like a package without a forwarding address for 15 years.

    I was later told I wasn’t mentally ill and never had been. That’s the quandary. How can a doctor had been so wrong?? Do I wear a arm band stating I’m mentally well and competence??

  • When I read stories like this I see what happened to me years ago. I had gone to our city’s premiere psychiatrist because I not doing well after a severe auto accident injury. He started me on one drug then two then three all the while my emotionally stability was drastically changing by the merry go round of more drugs and higher doses. Need less to say he kept telling me I was permanently damaged by my severe mental illness as I slipped deeper into a drugged fog.

    The drug side effects was numerous and terrible. The psychiatrist either saw these as worsening mentally illness or said they were imaginary. I ended up in the ICU for Seroquel Induced Pancreatitis. By chance because I was such ongoing physical pain when hospitalized I was refereed to a neurologist who said I had the worst case of psychiatric drug toxicity he’d ever seen. I stared tapering off all the drugs I was on and here I am 10 years later drug free, thinking clearly and much happier than I was on the drugs.

    I did confront the prescribing psychiatrist and he actually apologized for wrongfully diagnosing and prescribing between his crying (yes, he did). Within an hour of telling me this he contacted attorneys and did his best to discredit me. His actions scared me and I knew I couldn’t fight the system to get justice for all the harm that was done to me.

  • My original psychiatrist admitted he’d diagnosed me wrongly but later he sent letters refuting such saying he was legally protecting himself. I went to other psychiatrists who said I was fine, in no way was I mentally ill but the original diagnosis is out there in open hospital charts and physicians office records.

    I’ve already experienced the abruptness by any physician who has access to the diagnosis. How can one psychiatrist’s diagnosis continue to do such damage?

    My psychiatric diagnosis was wrong and so what do I do to protect myself from this??

  • Great article. The last drug I tapered from was a benzo and it was hell. I have successfully come off 5 other drugs and have loved every minute of being drug and psychiatry free for years. This is a wonderful time for me being able to think clearly and not suffering from psychiatric drug side effects.

    I still cringe thinking of how I was packaged and labeled as a psyche patient. What seems even stranger was other psychiatrists later said nothing had ever been wrong with me??

    Belinda:
    I also have not informed any new doctors of my past psychiatric history. What good is that?? It’s gone and over and I did survive. In time you will find yourself again and make new friends who will appreciate who you are.