Showing 21 of 21 comments.
I’m tired of hitting brick walls.
This is the email without names that the most recent nurse practitioner sent me. I thought she was going to be open to helping me with a patient-led taper but I soon found she was not open to learn, even though she admitted to me that she had never tapered anyone off Klonopin before, yet told me to just listen to her and she refused to look at The Ashton Manual or other articles and videos I attempted to share with her. This is her email to discharge me from her practice after only one appointment: she also wanted me to take a stronger antidepressant and a mood stabilizer while tapering. I told her I do not want more psychotropic drugs. This is her email:
“Considering your brittle emotional state and trepidation about the proposed steps in your treatment plan, I strongly recommend an inpatient detoxification plan that would help you transition and taper off benzodiazepines in the most efficient time possible, yet with an overarching goal of safety. I recall your hesitancy in being admitted to a facility. Yet, what I recommend is not an inpatient psychiatric Baker Act facility, rather it is an inpatient detoxification center.
The delay in committing to and starting the active process of tapering off, compounded by incessant reading of articles, self-deprecation, and family stress all precipitate a worsening anxiety and mood disorder. Apart from selecting the correct treatment plan, the second most important factor in obtaining good outcomes is patient-provider rapport and trust. It is obvious that we have not fully arrived at the latter, nor I am sure that we will, due to your prior healthcare experiences and doubt.
I would not be implementing a titration plan without first addressing the underlying comorbidity of depression and mood instability – which would necessitate medications. I hear that you don’t want “more psychotropic medications” and I can respect your wishes. Psychotherapy is also necessary, which would help you better identify your strengths, weaknesses, fears, and self-sabotaging behaviors. Tapering off the benzo is only one piece of a wholistic treatment plan.
It is therefore my professional recommendation and ethical duty to relinquish your care to a more suitable fit. As previously mentioned at our first meeting, I strongly recommend White Sands. Though I requested of you to cease from internet research, you have not. So, in your continued search, I invite you to investigate White Sands (Plant City). You are one that reads reviews and take opinions to heart; you will find positive feedback about White Sands. Should it be any consolation, I have a former university peer who works at White Sands in Plant City.
I’m scared. I only listened to doctors, also thinking they were helping me. I needed to function to work and raise four children, so years flew by before I realized what had happened to me. 24 years on benzodiazepines- highest dose was 4mg Klonopin – but now a little less than 3mg. I’ve been poly drugged- they tried over 32 different psych meds on me because of the severe depression caused by Klonopin. When a psychiatrist suggested ECT for “treatment resistant depression” (that all the psych meds had caused) I stopped talking about how I felt. I need to get off. I’m desperate. I’m scared. I’ve been seeking for years for help. I have no support. No help. I need to function. My youngest adult son had been damaged by psychiatry- almost to his death and he’s been beaten in psych wards. I’ve had to hold tapers to advocate and help him. Now my mother needs me. I need to get off Klonopin and lexapro. Why is there no help? I was told in 1997 when given a Xanax RX – that I would need this for the rest of my life. I resisted for so long. I never took medication. He finally convinced me that I was “ill” and needed these drugs. Plus, I had four children I needed to care for. No one has ever cared for me. Now, 24-years-later- Psychiatry has stolen everything from me. I’m trying hard to still live. I do not want to lose my family. My husband also works most all the time. Lately, my son and I just spend most our time in beds. This is not living. Why is there no help? I cannot become completely bedridden. I’m suffering severe depression but keep pushing myself and then crash in bed for days. No help. No money to get help. Help. I’m trying to do yoga. Still not helping. I wish I never started this poison. 24 years. Is there any hope for me????? A doctor just started my son on Xanax. I begged him not to take Xanax. He says he only takes it 3 times per week. I’m still begging him to not take Xanax. Did The Ashton Manual help you? It doesn’t sound as though it helped.
I’ve been dumped by so many doctors or nurse practitioners, but they made sure to blame me before dropping me.
Last nurse practitioner dumped me because she told me to stop reading on the Internet. And said I needed to go to detox for quick”but safe” detox since I would not listen to her. I’ll put her email below.
I suppose we must be low income – I do not understand why. My husband works in chronic pain as an automobile techinician at a dealership for about 14 hours daily, six days a week. We barely see him. He should be retired. I have become unable to work ever since I have had to constantly advocate for my son – seeing him left to die an agonizing death in the middle of a medical hospital and now scared to leave his side because he has only suffered one tragedy after another since entering the mental health system. It always happened because he was vulnerable and taken advantage of with no advocate. So, I now have to be his advocate everywhere he goes to be sure no one lies about him or takes him away.
I have contacted everyone I know and feel I am up against the mafia here. I have spent countless days, weeks, months, years writing and advocating with little response other than “I’m so sorry” Or “get help and let us (professionals) help your son!” Ha! They will help him right to his grave! I used to trust the “professionals” and they almost killed him more than once! No more! I have contacted organizations such as Disability Rights, elected officials, the joint commission and more; about the severe abuse and attempted murder of my son. There is no help. CCHR has been no help either.
And I am now suffering awful withdrawal effects from 24 years on benzos – as I have been attempting to taper on my own for some time now, with many holds due to my son’s situations that were continually occuring for quite a few years. I cannot keep up with a virtual community. I can only try to just be here for my son – barely care for myself.
I do not have the luxury I have read of others, whose family’s take them in and take care of all their responsibilities, provide them healthful food, cleaning, shopping, companionship, support and much more so they can get through the awful withdrawals. I have read about such situations where people have nothing to do other than get through their withdrawals while others care for everything else. How I wish I could do that so I could be a much stronger help for my son! I can find no doctor who will support me, so I have to hide my tapering efforts and the efforts of tapering my son as well. No peer community around me either. There is only punitive treatment here for anyone “labeled”. We might as well have a patch on our clothing… it is that bad.
How is one to “figure out how to get out of poverty” while their mind is completely drugged into needing at least 15 hours sleep or more – not able to think well (my son’s psychiatrist writes as symptoms: cognitive dulling and apathy! Those are not symptoms, they are side effects of the drugs she give him!) – suffering horrible side effects and while going through horrendeous withdrawal? And while being fearful of anyone forcibly hospitalizing you because you are experiencing withdrawals? I heard that others lay in beds safely at home for years, while their apparently well-to-do families cared for them. If they did not have such families, where would they have been? On the streets? Back in the psych wards getting beaten and forcibly drugged out of their minds and/or ECT or even dead?
That is what happens to even just the “working class” – not only poverty-level. We are not in complete poverty. We just can only afford to rent a small home, utilites, food, necessities. My husband cannot even afford insurance for himself! My mother purchases insurance for me, but it seems I still pay a lot for everything. I need therapy for the severe traumas I have suffered and also have witnessed as they tried to kill my son and abused him mercilessly. And they intimidated and harrassed me and him, tried to invalidate anything I had to say, minimize my son’s serious medical condition and abuse and more. I have been ambushed entering his psychiatrist’s office.
Now he is home – but where do we go from here? If we are tapering, and any doctor suspects anything out of the unusual – back to the hospital and torment again. When does it stop? Where is the compassion? Where is the oath to “do no harm”? I am doing my best to never allow this to happen again. We pretty much isolate and trust no one. I no longer feel safe here. I no longer believe that America is the “Land of the Free”. What did our soldiers even die for? This? I think not! And many of them are drugged as soon as they return home. I am so saddened by it all. More than saddened.
Does anyone see my plight? I am not ignorant or living on welfare.We never have lived on welfare – both worked and raised other children. Then this happened and destroyed everything we have built together. I have often worked in the past (sometimes stayed home to raise my children), yet now I am with my grown son 24/7. Both of us need a place where we can receive the support we need to taper without fear of hospitalization. After we are free from these medications and the withdrawals, learn to live without them, then we can get back to living and being productive citizens; enjoying life and doing good in this world. My son has yet to begin adulthood. I cannot even accurately describe this desperate situation. The nightmare that psychiatry brings into the lives of many!
I need rest now. I do not understand why we have no accessable non-drug and non-violent help. All that is accessible or forced on us are drugs and tortourous hospitals filled with death. Why no drug-free options available to us that are covered by insurance? My son has disability insurance. My insurance doesn’t even pay for anything – I might as well not even have it. I cannot afford the natural alternatives.
Do you see our plight? I am barely surviving each day – and trying my best to keep my son away from abuse. CCHR did not help me either. They want me to gather all his records after-the-fact, so they can file complaints to the same organizations that I have already filed with. What good will this do? How will this protect my son from future violation of rights and torture and forced drugging? How am I to be his only advocate when I am undoubtedly suffing severe PTSD and withdrawals? This is more than most people could do and I feel I am doing a poor job myself. I need help! Real flesh and blood help, not virtual help. I only have access to harmful “help”. There is nothing to help us get out of harmful psychiatric practices. God help us.
I never believed in the biological model. I only suffered severe panic attacks which I did not understand. I thought for sure I was dying and the doctors were missing something. I kept running to emergency rooms. I knew nothing. I suffered – and was not able to care for my four children. My pastor convinced me to see a “Christian” psychiatrist; two people I should have been able to trust: my pastor and a doctor. The “Christian” psychiatrist insisted I had a “chemical imbalance”. I did not believe him. I refused his drugs. He gave me books to read. I finally succumed to his xanax just so I could function enough to care for my children. I had no emotional support in my life whatsoever – and still do not have any. The psychiatrist told me I would need xanax for life. I finally just gave in because I had a household to run, responsibilities, children I loved. Xanax seemed to ease the panic attacks and I was able to function.
Fast forward to now – after moving to a different state – one of the worst for mental health care – they switched me to klonopin in 2013 (the start of my downfall) and have tried over 25 different drugs for the depression caused by the benzos. I was a stupid good patient for most of these 24 years, following orders, until I was introduced to Mad in America through Dr. Caroline Leaf’s husband. Now- my problem- I read and study and am told over and over the blaring truth that I somehow missed. It was not out there back in 1997. There were not options for me back then. I had a controlling husband and chidren to raise. They are now all grown. My youngest still at home because he has suffered “psychosis” and severe abuse in hospitals. One hospital even tried to kill him. I saw him dying an agonizing death. This is so now such a nightmare life! All because I went to a psychiatrist in 1997, who was just as controlling as my mother and my husband – and I raised to trust and listen to authority always. I have been through hell with the system here. Fighting for my son’s very life and freedom – alone! So – here we are: he is finally home and we isolate – we do not feel safe where we live. But he is being prescribed 500mg Clozapine and 150mg Effexor. He wants off. I am tapering too. There is no one I know who has successfully tapered off Clozapine. I fear the authorities taking him from me if anything goes wrong! I have been tapering at a 3% rate using a scale and dry cutting for him. He is currently down to 425mg. His psychiatrist agreed recently to let him go down to 487.5mg. I notice little changes in him – yet he denies any problems and wants to taper faster. I am a mess. I am scared they will take him again.
I cut lexapro in half in 2017, before I knew about tapering. But I kept it at 10mg. The doctor now knows I am at 10mg and just recently tried to put me back up to 20mg. I have been trying to taper klonopin since 2017. My son suffered multiple tragedies – horrible tragedies – including one self-inflicted one. So, I have had to hold many times. Recently, I got down to 2.1mg from 4mg of klonopin. But, I ran out of the 2mg pills they used to prescribe and I had to switch to 1mg pills and figure out the math. Maybe I did something wrong or maybe it was the switch, but the severe anxiety came on strong. I could not think, I felt I had dementia. I could not remember things. My chest was very tight all the time. I am still dealing with many complicated issues for my son so I need to function. I have nightmares every time I sleep for at least the past year. I have to be able to function. How do I do this alone? I went up to 2.5mg. That was not helping. I finally went back to 3mg, which is my current prescription. Now I just want to sleep all the time. No way to live. I have to taper back again.
Since I found Mad in America around 2016 or so, I have been seeking everywhere for help to get free from psychiatry and benzos. Now I need to get both myself and my son free. There is no help. We need to get away and be surrounded by professionals and peers to help us get off these awful awful drugs! Believe me, I have looked everywhere. There is no help. We cannot just do this through forums and such. We need real, live people in our lives. I have so much information, I can not hardly read anymore. I feel we are surrounded by wolves, waiting for either of us to make a wrong move and we will be thrown into psych wards and drugged up. Plenty of these people around – no helpful people. My son, they would kill. Where can we get help? Is there any compassion for people such as us who are stuck here? There seems to be compassion for street users, but none for us. We need a clinic such as the type of clinic Healther Ashton ran – real help. We do not need more people writing more books or giving more lectures on how bad psychiatry and its drugs are. We need real help. Will all the people and professionals who know so much ever get together and try to provide tapering clinics for people such as us? I have found Inner Fire in Vermont as well as a Sortaria House (they will not take my son because he is already on drugs!) – have to be very wealthy to go to Inner Fire, which we are not! Same with Cooper Riis. There are not options out there for people like us who have to use our insurance and cannot pay exhorbitant amounts for help. We just do not have it. It feels so hopeless. When will there be help for us and others like us? Will it come too late? Will it ever come? While I was strongly advocating for my son for years, I saw others. Other who had no one. They are still stuck in the system or dead! When will real help come? I can find thousands of places to get drugs – I could be drugged into oblivion if I really told people how I felt – yet why is there no affordable help for me to get off these drugs and get my son off his very dangerous drugs – and live life. I sometimes am afraid of tapering his clozpaine because a doctor once cold turkey took him off and that was the time he almost died. I saw him dying in the psych ward of a medical hospital. It was not a pretty scene. He was dying an agonizing death. Yet, a nurse and two med techs just sat there as if they were on a coffee break! I kept insisting they get medical intervention for him. I told them he was dying. They told me to leave! I refused. He was finally assessed and taken to CV-ICU where the doctor documented that he was in respiratory failure, rhabdomyolosis with kidney injury, dehydration, and more – stating that they had to work on him some 48 minutes, less procedures, to stop vital organ shut down and to stop further deteriation of patient’s life-threatening condition.After ICU, he was kicked held on the floor and kicked in the head by med techs in the psych ward – kept in restaints and beaten many times. WHY? No one will let me know what really happened in there. He has heart problems now at age 26. We need help. I cannot do this alone. Where is the help in this country of USA?
The residential home he had been court-ordered to stay for treatment “ran out” of the Clozapine. They have a psychiatrist in charge of all medication management, so I would say the responsibility lies solely on his shoulders. This is malpractice, to abruptly stop 500mg daily Clozapine. My son had been on Clozapine for probably 16 months at this point. He wanted more than anything to be “compliant” because he wanted to come home. He knew the routine, the blood draws, etc. In fact, for some reason, when he began “treatment” at this residential home, the psychiatrist immediately raised his 300mg daily Clozapine to 500mg daily Clozapine. I think that most the guys in the home were given clozapine – cookie cutter psychiatry. I was very involved and saw what was going on in the home and saw all the guys going for their blood tests. My son did very well at the residential home for 10 months. They complained that he would not wake himself by 9AM daily. So, they would “write him up” for not getting out of bed by 9AM. He would get written up and disciplined – not able to enter his room until bedtime each day. That was his only trouble there. Otherwise, he did all chores, attended day programs and groups, even led an exercise group voluntarily. But, when they ran out of his Clozapine, he called me scared. He knew it was trouble. When I called the next day, I got the same story from 3 different employees: It is yours son’s fault that we ran out of his Clozapine because he refused a blood test on 07/12/2018. And I was told that because of that refusal, they ran out of Clozapine for him on 07/20/2018. I have everything documented. I was told that the pharmacist called the home asking for my son’s blood test results in order to fill his RX. That is when they supposedly realized that he did not get his blood drawn. Later, they changed the date to 07/05/2018. Then, one of the administrators told both my husband and me in a 3-way conversation, that they do EVERYTHING to avoid a crisis. He was a good talker and soon took over all communications with us. After that 3-way phone conversation, I immediately called him back and got his VM. I left a message telling him that at least THREE employees were aware that my son supposedly refused a blood draw for TWO weeks. They knew that in two weeks, he would run out of Clozapine. If they do everything they can to avoid a crisis, why did they not take him for an emergency blood draw, or have it drawn the next week (the nurses came every Thursday to draw blood). He never answered my questions.
And, the haldol was not administered until the residential home allowed my son to became horribly ill and they had him “Baker Acted” and had police escort him to the hospital. I even have the police report. There was no struggle or mention of psychosis. The police just said he took the baker act report from an employee. They dropped him off at a psych hospital.
On this day, 07/26/2018, this hospital forcibly injected him with Haldol, Ativan and Versed without my knowledge or his consent. I was out trying to find out where he was. That hospital claimed he fell and hit his head (another report from the MD says he banged his head against the wall). Either way, they had my son transported via ambulance to a medical hospital that also has a psych floor. (I believe that they knew he was physically ill from abruptly stopping the Clozapine) During transport, EMS forcibly injected him with haldol, ativan and versed. I finally found my son at the medical hospital ER. My husband and I were there. They told us our son needed a CT scan of his head and was refusing. My son was not combative. He was just refusing a CT scan. He told me that he had never hit his head. He even asked me to feel his head and I did. There were no lumps on his head. Anyway, the nurse came in with a syringe filled with haldol and ativan. I told her immediately that he cannot tolerate haldol. This was documented in the records. She returned with geodon and ativan. I didn’t want him to have geodon either, but he got it. I do not know how he is alive. Then, the hospital that day (07/26/2018) cold turkey stopped his daily 225mg effexor too. So, he was suffering severe withdrawals of Clozapine and Effexor. And, little did I know, he already had haldol and ativan in his system. The ER nurses told us that our son had to be admitted to medical for observation because his bloodwork was not good. Meanwhile, the hospital continued to forcibly inject him with haldol and ativan without my knowledge. And by 07/28/218, early morning, not even medically stable, they transferred him to the psych floor. One nurse admitted to me that he was admitted “in respiratory distress and in restraints” that morning around 1:00AM. I later got a call that he had been transferred and that he was “producing excess saliva in order to choke himself” but not to worry because he cannot choke himself that way. That was a lie! He was seizing and foaming at the mouth all day!!! Trying to breathe! Anyway, the nurse told me he was in isolation because he had spit on a med tech.
Then, you read the rest – we came to visit him at 5:30PM and saw what we saw. He was dying.
And another mother I know, who has written a book about her son’s experiences, and who is promoting early treatment etc… In other words, she believes the medical model — I found out that her son died in a psych ward. I asked her once: I know this is a very personal question and you do not have to answer if you are uncomfortable, but how did your son die? What did the hospital tell you was his cause of death? She responded by telling me that the hospital told her that her son died of either a cardiac event or some type of seizure. She told me she will never know for sure. I am sorry, but I told her they killed him. I know that is a difficult truth. But she knows my son’s story. I told her that they would have told me the same thing had my son died. I encouraged her to try to find more information, but I doubt she will. What makes me sad is that this is still happening. The same people are still employed, same doctors still have their licenses to practice, the same things are happening right now. Most of the men in the residential home did not have family involved. No advocates. They just disappear. I have so much I could tell of how I was intimidated and more. Awful things. It is a mafia. I cannot even think about it right now.
I also have met a woman whose father was murdered in a FL hospital with injections of haldol and ativan as well. He had dementia. He begged her to get him out of the hospital because as he said to her, “they are going to kill me”. Well, they did. And she now is politcally active to change a law in FL that she calls the FL Free Kill Law. Basically, if someone is single and has no dependents under age 18, dies in the hospital, nobody can get information nor sue the hospital.
This is her story if interested: https://www.floridamedicalrights.org/single-post/2020/02/15/CBS-News-covers-Florida-Free-Kill
Something has to change. When did our hospitals and doctors begin harming and killing?
I feel as if I am up against a mafia. I have felt that way for the past two years. I saw something I wasn’t supposed to see and have seen mafia-type behavior for the past two years as I have been trying to advocate for my son. It is difficult for me to discuss or write about it anymore.
Have to run for now but will be back to answer questions.
It happens all the time. I know of two other mothers whose sons have died in psych wards. People with “psych” labels are not even viewed as human beings. The “professionals” are always correct and if anything goes wrong it is the fault of the “label”. So, they are clear and free to abuse and even kill. Some, by accident I’m sure, but many not. Holding my son down and kicking him in the head multiple times was not an “accident”. Those men should be charged with assault and battery. You know if it were the other way around, my son would be in jail! And the doctor should be liable for overdosing my son and not stopping his death. She just had him held in isolation as he slowly suffered a slow death. Awful suffering. I knew he was almost dead and I am not a medical professional! If I had not seen him, he would be dead. I had to argue with nurses to get help for him. These definitely are crimes. But our society does not seem to care what happens to people with psych “labels”. I have my son’s medical records. The discharging MD noted “two black eyes”, but nowhere is there any documentation during his two weeks’ stay of how he got “two black eyes”. They do not even have to explain themselves. Looking back, I should have filed a police report for assault on my son I guess. I don’t know.
Thank you for your encouragement. I’m trying to find a way to move forward – away from harm. It is kind of tough to do alone in this community.
Thank God you survived. I am scared. Still tapering lexapro and klonopin myself and my son is in the beginnings of tapering 150mg Effexor XR and clozapine. I’m terribly frightened. I’ve already been through hell because a hospital cold turkey stopped my son’s meds and forcibly overdosed him with injections of Haldol and Ativan and left him alone in isolation to suffer and they would have let him die. He suffered 14-16 hours. Withdrawal plus their forced overdose. I do not know how he is still alive. I am traumatized myself because a nurse had enough compassion to allow me to see him as he was fighting for his life. It was an awful scene. I’m haunted to this day by it. I had to argue with staff to get help for him. He was finally rushed to CV-ICU. The doc in ICU documented that he was in respiratory failure, acute kidney injury with rhabdomyolysis, dehydration, leukocytosis all vital organs shutting down. They worked on him for 48 minutes to stop his death. I’m still traumatized to even write this. It’s awful. They did not want to admit their wrongdoing, so soon threw him back in psych while he was still physically very ill, restricted all visitation, kept him in restraints and began forcibly injecting him with Thorazine, restoril and more. The med techs also held him on the floor while other med techs kicked him in the face and head. It was a miracle that I got help to get him discharged one day before they were going to send him off to a state mental hospital and assign a stranger as his guardian. They discharged him to a residential home. I had to fight for his life and freedom for three months. He finally was able to come home. God help us. It’s been two years- still have not recovered. No help from the medical community. No help from friends. He has heart and brain damage but is being passed around. No help. God help us. I don’t know what to do. I can barely read things like this anymore. Psychiatry is evil. Pure evil. Run by Nazis or the mafia. I’m shocked that they kill and torture people every day. We need a way out too. God help us. He is our only help. No one else cares. I pray we can both break free from the psych drugs and psychiatry. We need to move too.
Thank you, Tristan. I joined Inner Compass years ago. I have a lot of information. Doctors got me into this situation – convincing me I needed life-long drugs, just like a diabetic needs insulin. Where are the doctors who will help me off? Why are there no doctors who will help us get off or clinics — without saying we are relapsing and sending us to a psych ward or adding more psych meds? There is no end to the mistreatment!
This is the most discouraging article I’ve read for some time. I’m discouraged now and a friend just sent me many texts regarding this article, saying she gives up. She has to accept she’s just a person to be “managed”. She’ll never get off. She read my comment and wrote me a text saying that there is no hope, only acceptance. I asked her acceptance of what? She said that there is no way out. That she is not seen for who she is. That she is only someone to be managed and she has no hope. She has to accept that. How is this article helpful? I’ve always looked to MIA for hope of getting out of psychiatry.
So, there is no hope? We need to educate the public, yes, but when will there be any focus on helping people get off these drugs safely without further trauma by forced and torturous hospitalizations? I would like to expound on personal situation but am not able to at this time as it involves myself and a family member who does not want me to talk about it. It is beyond horrific. We need live in-person, intense help. Not the medical model. Not online information or online “support” groups. Most of who give up on me thinking I am not even trying.
Or basically, we just need a miracle from God. There seems to be no other way. Or death. Those are our options?
I feel no one cares and we are just alone.
I just need help. 24 years on at least one benzodiazepine, while they tried over 25 other psych meds in different combinations. Just woke up to truth a few years ago. Started tapering. I’m only getting worse. No support. No help. Abandoned by everyone. What makes it worse is my son became psychotic after smoking spice. Sliced his throat open with a knife, even cutting through his trachea- that was Jan 2016. Since then, he has been overdrugged, arrested, abused severely in a hospital, all his rights stripped from him. They have damaged him severely. I’ve had to advocate day and night. Now I’m barely functioning. I need help Where can I get help so I can be well enough to find help for my son. God help us. He’s on Clozapine and Effexor. I feel I am stuck in a nightmare. USA is no longer the “land of the free “. This is a holocaust. I’m tapering from Lexapro and Klonopin. Need local, in person help! So isolated. No help available in Tampa FL. Only abuse.
Thank you for sharing. I’m living in hell now. Along with my son who has been severely traumatized by psychiatric abuse and over drugging to point of almost death and time in ICU. I am his caregiver-advocate-payee-mother-and more. It seems I’m living from crisis to crisis with no break. I’m trying to taper off 23 years of meds. Klonopin being the most evil of meds to me. I’m suffering horribly. There seems to be no end- no meaning to my life. Please pray for me. I am where you described- I need to get better or die.
Dear Dr. Gotzsche- What steps can I take to ensure my son’s safety? Do I have to hide him away as I am pretty much doing right now? He is no problem – never has been for me. His diagnosis began with his immature and bad decision to smoke K2 or spice or whatever it’s called. Ever since, he’s been drugged.
This past summer is so difficult for me to describe. I get weak and sick to my stomach still just thinking about it. I’ll try to describe in short: court ordered to a residential treatment facility where he was forced to take a high dose of anitpsychotic -Clozapine and high dose of effexor and was only supposed to be there 6-9 months. He excelled in their program – doing chores, attending groups, day programs, chores – I have records. For 10 months they documented his “compliance” and that he was respectful to all and respected by peers. Then, in his 10th month there, they received over $7000 in backpay — things happened and he began asking about the money. That very day – they instantly “ran out” of his 500mg of Clozapine. He immediately called me, scared, asking if he was going to have to go to the hospital. I assured him I would call to get his Clozapine reinstated. I called and was met with incompetent, defensive, rude staff members, blaming my son for everything. My husband, my son, and I pleaded with them for 6 days to reinstate the Clozapine. Nobody can just cold-turkey off 500mg of Clozapine. The sixth day he was Baker Acted (forced hospitalization in FL) for no reason. I still cannot get in writing the reason for the Baker Act. But the police took him to two “psych only” hospitals -both refused him. He was physically ill by now because of the abrupt cessation of Clozapine. He was taken by ambulance to a medical hospital.
DAY OF BAKER ACT: while suffering WD’s from Clozapine, he was forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, and Geodon X 1 to my knowledge after receiving his records. ER admitted him to medical because labs were horrible. I informed ER he cannot tolerate haldol and geodon and to never give it to him. I was ignored. Labs continued to get worse, yet
DAY 2: forcible injection of Haldol and Ativan even though he was not a danger nor combative.
DAY 3: taken to psych, labs even worse, he was in restraints and in respiratory distress. YET, they forcibly injected him with Haldol X 3, Ativan X 3, and Benadryl X 3 (were they trying to kill him?) — it was documented that he was experiencing extreme EPS, yet they stuck him in isolation to suffer their forced cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and 250mg of Effexor now, plus their forced overdose of drugs. He suffered in isolation alone for 14-16 hours! I do not know how he is even alive. He fought death. I saw it later. I received a phone call that he was in isolation because he was spitting on the med techs. NO! I found him later with white foam pouring out of his mouth and every time he tried to speak, it flew out! That is what was happening!
DAY 3 continued: My husband and I show up for visitation. A nurse says my son is in “crisis” and we cannot see him. I finally convince her to set up a private room visitation because I heard his agonizing groans and refused to leave.
This is what my husband and I saw as we entered the room: my son, seated, rigid, back arched, head thrown back, skin beet red, sweating profusely – pouring off like water, eyes rolled back completely in his head, white foam pouring out of his mouth. Every time he struggled to breathe, I heard gurgling sounds. He struggled so hard just to get air. I held his hand and told him I was there. He desperately tried to talk as white foam and agonizing groans came out of his mouth – every muscle tensed – struggling. This is when I noticed his jaw was tightly clenched shut. He could not talk. A med tech sat in front of him with a towel to constantly wipe up the foam pouring out of his mouth. Then, as I looked at my son, his right eye began to spontaneously bleed in two places, filling his eye, and the skin around his eye, with blood. I asked the nurse what what happening. She told me to leave. I refused to leave. I insisted they get medical help for him because he was dying right in front of me. She finally agreed to have an ICU nurse assess him. He was immediately transferred to CV-ICU. If I had not seen him – I know he would be dead.
ICU documentation: patient arrived “with respiratory failure, kidney injury with rhabdomyolysis, leukocytosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws.” More ICU documentation “A total of 48 minutes of direct delivery of medical care (excluding time for procedures) involving decision making of high complexity needed to assess, manipulate, and support vital organ system failure and/or to prevent further life threatening deterioration of the patient’s condition…” He stayed the night in CV-ICU with Ativan and Precedex IV drip.
In medical for next 4 days. His WBC count was 20,000 and CPK 4000. All psych wanted was clearance from the infectious disease doctor, which they received and he was thrown back in psych after only 4 days in medical. He was receiving accuchecks and insulin even though he is not diabetic. The infectious disease doctor told us the WBC was to high because his body was reacting to whatever it was he was experiencing. I still do not have anything in writing. I heard talk of EPS, malignant neuroleptic syndrome. I suspect forced overdose – especially of haldol – a drug that he has not been able to tolerate in pill form in the past. He lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks. Not documented. But we weighed him.
Back in psych for the next 7 days, he is still physically ill. The psychiatrist restricts all visitation, the med techs beat him many times daily, put him in restraints multiple times daily for hours at a time, and the heavy drugging continued with thorazine, restoril, vistaril, depakote, ativan, clozapine restarted and more. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist, who knows nothing about my son, completely assassinated his very character badly and mine somewhat (even though she never met me!). I feel this was done to justify their attempted murder and abuse. Blaming the victim of their crimes against him. They assigned a stranger to make medical decisions for him, forcing the family away.
An advocate issued a memo via fax early morning his 7th day back in psych (2 weeks total in hospital), to QI, attorneys, administration and all involved of the fact that the hospital had violated the Baker Act law in many ways and it needed immediate remediation. I received a call by 1PM letting me know my son was being discharged back to the residential facility.
I could write pages about what happened at this facility for the following two months – they were trying everything to get him baker acted, arrested, or put in a state mental hospital, but they failed because I was there constantly and they could not lie about him. Although they threatened, harrassed and intimidated both him and me daily, my son never once reacted violently. He was never violent in the medical wards of the hospital. Only in the psych ward where no one could visit him, was it documented that he was violent! I think they were documenting the behavior of their med techs. He lived in that residential facility/home with 10 other men and staff for 10 months with no violence. No violence before or after. At the home he was still physically ill from his hospitalization and suffered: light sensitivity (had to wear sunglasses all the time), no peripheral vision, migraines, nausea and vomiting, insatiable thirst, confusion, mumbled speech at times.
I constantly asked for medical evaluation and they threatened to send him back to the hospital. They told me he was faking and that he was non-compliant.
I was finally able to get him home. But he is traumatized as am I. What can we do? He does not even fully understand the gravity of the situation. He cannot even bring himself to read the medical records. I can barely read them myself. I read your article and am now upset again and staying up too late to write this. We need help. I have been seeking help for him for years now. How is any of this even legal? I could even write much more. I have my own notebook of daily, hourly documentation of events and conversations. I am dealing with the mafia and it is scary. This is so wrong and I do not know how to fix it. I research – but need to keep my mind together – I can’t get so overwhelmed. I pray for answers and healing and help.
God help us. I’m scared. I have seen this and am traumatized. It’s scary. For the first time ever in my 53 years, this past summer I realized that I no longer live in “the land of the free” USA. I’m reeling and shocked and still do not know what to do or where to find help. I have no words to describe the horror and abuse- and dehumanization, abuse and violation of civil rights. Psychiatrized people have zero rights and it’s frightening. What can I do to protect my loved one and me? They attacked me after I stopped my son’s death from occurring. And they further abused him and traumatized him after he got out of ICU from their previous forced overdose. And the psychiatrist restricted all visits while he was physically ill after near death, he was being beaten by med techs, put in restraints and drugged even more. The psychiatrist documented awful things regarding my son’s very character to justify their attempted murder and abuse. I don’t know what to do. I was in a fight for his very life daily— up agains lions (administration) for three months. I had to be there every day to ensure my son didn’t die and to get him home. But he’s severely traumatized as am I (he much worse) I feel blacklisted and that I’m up against the mental health mafia.
Thank you. I have found no one in person to support me or help me support my son. I have been on at least one antidepressant and one benzodiazapine for the past 23 years, but they have switched me around on over 25 different psychiatric drugs in different combiniations – which was scary. I never liked any of them. I guess that’s why they kept trying different drugs. Now I am done and still tapering lexapro and klonopin without help from any doctor. They refuse to help me. I do not know how I will help my son, but am trying to get healthy myself first.
Thank you, Mr. Moore. I just want the world to be right again. I never feel well (it is tough to just get out of bed or to shower) and seeing my son suffer is just beyond traumatic. Anything I do, I feel I am dragging my body to force it to do what I really would like to do or have to do. No way to live. I suppose this journey takes a lot of patience and keeping hope alive that we will feel alive eventually as our bodies and brains repair. I look everywhere for help.
“I am fatigued beyond words and dispirited beyond belief” I’ve copied this from your article. It describes me. When will this nightmare end? I’m still tapering lexapro and Klonopin. But they’ve had me on over 25 different psych drugs in past 23 years. I haven’t been able to taper as fast as you. I feel I will never be free. Plus, psychiatry has tried to destroy my son and I’m having to advocate fiercely for his very life and freedom which is extremely difficult. They almost killed him last summer through forced overdose in a hospital. He’s finally home, yet ill and on a neuroleptic and an antidepressant. Ugh. I’m so overwhelmed. The fatigue and depression is debilitating. I understand having to watch everyone else go on with their lives. I’m living a nightmare and have been abandoned by friends and family. They are living their lives and my son and I have been left, reeling from severe injustice and psychiatric injuries. My son only has me as a safe person and he relies entirely upon me now, but I need help myself, but have none. It would help for someone to clean or cook or just visit us. I feel so alone. We need miracles. Thank you for sharing your story. They say it helps to know you’re not alone, but it doesn’t seem to help me. I’m suffering horribly every day with no relief. And must try to be a caregiver and support—I’m failing miserably.