Monday, August 20, 2018

Comments by JanCarol

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  • Richard, you claim that people are not getting alternatives before opiates – I say that opiates (regardless of the OD factors, which seem to be about co-morbid use of opiates and benzos much of the time) are minor in comparison to psych drugs.

    And – because of the media hyped “opiate crises” – people like myself with chronic pain conditions – I practice yoga, meditation, tai chi, am CBT initiated, positive thinking – I get denied the drugs that help me to be able to do activity.

    Google CRPS and suicide, and Trigeminal neuralgia and suicide (both called “the suicide disease”). There are plenty of pain patients who are killing themselves BECAUSE of the “opioid crisis” and cannot control their pain without opiates.

    I reckon the “opioid crisis” is being used to drive people to psych drugs (like Steve was saying), where they will be stuck forever unless they understand how to come off them. I’m sure this “crisis” drives sales of Lyrica and Neurontin (which were offered to me, but I refused) and makes Pfizer very happy.

    (Yes, I know that people are dying from opiates, I don’t dismiss that at all; I personally have friends and acquaintances who died this way – I’m not saying that addiction isn’t a problem – I just think that the authoritarian solution is unhelpful.)

  • Trauma. Crisis. Cognitive dissonance – when you cannot reconcile inner and outer worlds. When you cannot match your inner world to the society around you (what RD Laing called, “Sane in a Crazy World”). When wrongness needs balancing. When your habits or conditioning are taking you towards destructiveness and your brain/body tries to correct your path. Many many many causes of “dissociation” or “dissolution” or personality, or “spiritual emergency” or “crisis” or any of the names for it (which I refuse to call “psychosis” or “mania” because really, these are symptoms of a deeper emergence).

    NOTE: where I say “you” or “your” above, I could as easily say, “me” or, “my.”

  • despondent – I am the shaman. I help myself. If I am called to help others (or they call to me) I don’t put anything into them. I offer them the space & the tools to develop personal insight. After all, I don’t know what insight it will take, and their inner process is really none of my business.

    If you look at Moni K’s videos here:

    You will see that her insights are her own. Sean didn’t put any of these into her head – he did what shamans call “Holding Space” – creating the space, the environment, and the stimulus (breathing) for an individual to access their own inner space, conflicts, demons, talents, support (whether you call it Guides, Spirits, Ancestors, Medicine, whatever) – in order to develop their own plan for how to advance.

    I’ve only ever used a drum to hold this space for people, and very simple techniques. I do not know how the breathwork works, and I am concerned about the vulnerability that may be inherent in that space. I’ve heard equally nightmarish stories like at Findhorn and rebirthing, and amazing transformative unfoldments as well. With the drum, the individual is completely in charge of their own experience. After my post-cultic experiences, I like to ensure that no programming comes from me to the individual during that suggestible time/space.

    If I were to do such a thing for myself, I would have to establish a trusting relationship with the practitioner – like Sean (I have no reason not to trust him) to ensure that he would give me safety for my own Inner Space to develop a plan. Again, from Moni’s videos, it seems like he does this.

    I actually have concerns about Gabor Mate’s Ayahuasca experiences, as I wonder if he may use them to “shape and mold” the people he takes to Costa Rica and other places to take this transformative Medicine. Can he step back, and let their Inner Experience unfold and Teach? Again, I would have to know him better before I would trust him with my Inner Truth. When I watch his videos, he does seem compassionate – but also very passionate about his structures around trauma and addiction, and I have concerns that he could not resist putting them into suggestion in order to “force” a healing. A rose cannot be forced open.

    Jules Malleus, thank you for your post. I appreciate your insight into this kind of work, perhaps the breathwork / rebirthing did this for you?

  • despondent – as I practice it, the shaman helps you to find your own insights, as my insights might not be valid for you. The best shamanic work opens you to your own personal power and intuitive skill. Then the shaman can step aside, and let you choose your power.

    a shaman who inserts their insights into your psyche might be practising a darker (or pushier) form of the art.

  • Danzig666 – I’ve traditionally thought of the dichotomy as between Apollo / Dionysus. Order / Chaos, Rationality / Emotion, Service to Others / Service to Self. Or even Right hand / Left Hand.

    It’s interesting that you use Hades – the Underworld – as opposition to the “world of light and order” (Apollo, the Sun).

    New way of thinking of things. I do agree that “psych” in any form tends to idolise the Apollonian view, and demonises – ALL others – whether Hades, Demeter, Dionysus, Pan (panic), Artemis, Eris…

  • LoganCW:
    “. It is becoming increasingly common for mentally ill youth, especially those with personality disorders such as borderline, to respond to the suggestion of treatment as if it were an insult”

    Here’s the thing – “treatment” by psychiatry is ***more*** likely to induce suicide, so these “disordered” youths would be better off without it.

    The drugs induce numbing and akathisia, which, in combination put people of all ages at risk for suicide and other desperate acts.

    “Treating” also includes labelling (which you do so readily) and that has stigma and trauma associated with it, too.

    Further, since you are fond of the DSM, there is no “treatment” for “borderline” and many of the people I know diagnosed with “Borderline” have been rejected by hospitals and doctors for that very reason.

    Steve writes: “The reason this was the most popular Netflix original ever is not because people want to watch someone commit suicide. People watched because it felt REAL to them”

    This bothers me. The trend since “streaming” channels with exclusive programming is not regulated by FTC or otherwise. And I’ve noticed that the violence is about 5x greater than normal, about 2x what I might find in a R rated movie.

    The movies cannot show sexy stuff, but they sure do show the violence, and it seems to me like a trend towards “snuff films.” Everybody strives to catch that moment of snuff. Ask the Coen brothers how many different ways you can portray death (and they are particularly artful about it – not all are, and it is proliferating). It’s not gladiators in the arena, but it’s darned close, and it seems to me that this series hyped a self-snuff (even though it was acting, not real) to attract audience!

    That bothers me.

  • I think the key piece here, is “triggers.”

    I don’t believe in triggers, I believe that I can choose the response to the input – though I may find the input disturbing. I do find the trend of greater graphic violence (this seems to be pushed by streaming-based series) disturbing, my response is my choice.

    However, when people are in grave distress, a “trigger” is sometimes the thing that throws them over the cliff. It takes slowing down and learning to be able to turn that reaction into a response.

    The Powers That Be do not care if our young people are killing themselves, as long as they sell enough soda, chips, shoes and fast food (and pharmaceuticals) to support their bottom line.

    LoganCW, many people here at MIA have thrown out the DSM categories of “mental illness.” The diag-nonsense was designed to sell drugs, to legitimize the psychiatric profession and make it sound more scientific – offering codes for insurance purposes.

    Certainly, when someone like Hannah gets bullied, raped, traumatized, she maybe wasn’t thriving before that happened – but why she wasn’t thriving isn’t necessarily a disease or illness. It is, instead, a series of events and strategies to deal with those events. Our lives are filled with trauma, and we’re not given a manual for “how to survive and move on.”

    Some of us are better at that than others of us. That does not make us “ill” or “diseased,” just needing help, adjustment, and learning the ability to slow down and respond instead of reacting.

    Emotions never killed anyone. Reaction to those emotions has.

  • Rachel777 this is a really excellent post. I know we’re not supposed to back pat – but you’ve really hit the nail on the head – that bad behaviour is drugged too.

    And then the medical model tells the person-behaving-badly that it’s not their fault, their brain is broken, so no effort is made to improve bad behaviour.

    Ostracizing, community reactions (Sven is beating puppies again, we need to teach him that is not done), taking care of each other – these help with bad behaviour. If your community mirrors back to you that you are not cooperating, not flowing – then if you care, if you love your community, you might make an effort to please.

    But we are so lacking in community, tribe, and this kind of mirroring, and instead, biological psychiatry gives the opposite message: “Sven is beating puppies, so his brain is imbalanced and we must drug him.”

    The effect is that the drugs calm Sven, and he has no energy or inclination to beat puppies anymore – so – the perception in the community at large is that the drugs work. But Sven has no opportunity to become a better Human.

  • Brill. And you have to add: devices.

    The attention span has gotten shorter because the devices interrupt every facet of daily life, and a thought can’t get to the end before “bing!” someone likes your post on Facebook or some such rot.

    It’s the Economy of Attention, and in breaking up attention with devices, the Powers that Be can easily prevent a revolution.

  • Hey msmonique – I actually have a problem with the “growth” mindset – “growth” – of economy & consumerism – bigger, more faster (better grades) – it’s semantics, but I think it’s important.

    In my own recovery I’ve learned to call that flexibility, “resilience,” or even flexibility. That seems a more accurate description – because, in my recovery it wasn’t always ***more*** (growth) that was better, but sometimes it was actually ***less*** that was better.

    Quality rather than quantity – and “growth” implies an increase in quantity.

  • The_cat, I agree. My first thought was – oh, they have to tie it to academic performance, otherwise it will go the way of art, music and drama…(out the door).

    Lord knows, art, music and drama have an effect on academic performance – and mindset – but it’s not the mindset they really care about.

    Thanks for the link to John Dewey.

  • Sadly Pristiq is even harder to come off of than Effexor, due to the time release formulation of it. If you want to come off, I know of some people who have had success with compounding pharmacies for this one (though some compounding pharmacies say “it can’t be done” due to the formulation of the drug – but keep trying until you find a “can do” compounding pharmacy).

    I hope it holds for you, but in my experience, “healthy and happy” don’t really go hand in hand with these drugs, and especially not in the long term.

  • Actually, the website was founded as a reference tool for doctors – since the clinical evidence was being so broadly ignored.

    Niall McLaren did a study of his own patient base, which is here: But he is a rare bird.

    Talk to most doctors and they say “but they helped patient,” which basically means that patient did not return (for whatever reason), or patient then returned again and again for refills of script (now physically addicted).

  • Hey Mike –

    If you want to talk to me further, join, where I am a moderator, send me a PM to let me know it’s you, and we can continue to talk there.

    I wouldn’t spend too much money on gene tests, and I would be very nervous about a naturopath. As soon as they say the word “detox,” RUN AWAY!!!! Seriously, many people have been harmed by naturopathic regimens. It is better if you do the research yourself, and get support from a naturopath who is willing to work as a partner.

    I AM NOT A THERAPIST but it seems to me like her “connections with outside people” voices – seem to be talking about how she feels held hostage, blackmailed and threatened by her life.

    There are theories which talk about how “psychosis” or extreme states can allow the veils of our minds to thin and rend the veil between “normal thought” and “paranormal thought.” I don’t know what to call these extreme thoughts – but I do know that they can be accurate in their own way.

    Example. A friend of mine was sitting at a bus stop. A homeless woman was seated at the end of the bench, with all her stuff in a state of disarray. My friend was thinking, “I wonder what I’ll have for dinner,” when the other woman exclaimed, “Dinner! Dinner!” Okay, maybe coincidence, and she thought, “That must be coincidence or very strange timing.” “COINCIDENCE TIME!” exclaimed the woman! For the next 5 minutes, a weird echolalia of my friends thoughts came out of the mouth of this stranger. The words may vary from what I have said here – just examples of how it worked.

    Usually these experiences are not so literal (but it can happen).

    So – your mother may be feeling connection with strangers – and there may be some truth in the thoughts. Or these thoughts may be mirrors of her own situation. Like I said, I AM NOT A THERAPIST, and a good Jungian or Voice Hearing Sensitive therapist would be able to do much better.

    I am slightly concerned by this comment: “I asked her wouldn’t it be great if she would stop hearing the voices and become thin again ? ”

    Do you really want to burden her further with the pressure to be beautiful for you? Isn’t she burdened enough?

    This is focusing on what is “wrong” with her, when her state of mind may be exactly what she needs to do to survive.

    I was listening to a talk today with Dr. Terry Lynch (James Moore “Let’s Talk Withdrawal”) and he was describing what needs to change with medical treatment in psychiatry. It was this: Too often we focus on what is wrong, and we never consider that this behaviour might be right and appropriate for what is happening to and around the distressed person.

    What is wrong – she’s hearing voices and the drugs are making her worse & gaining weight.

    What is normal and good – she’s escaping her traumatic situation & history into a place where she has company, people to talk to, interactions and support.

    In looking at what is normal and good, allowing it to happen and learning from it – (and only she can do this; you can support her, you can help) – then she can heal and choose her mental and emotional states with more clarity.

    The more you read, hopefully the less you will need to use words like “schizophrenia” and “psychosis” and can more focus on content, experience, emotions, and descriptive words.

    Oh YEAH – I saw another great talk on TED, about how group drumming improves coherence in mental health. These ladies took their drums to nursing homes, and she said it gave them the power to express the unexpressable. That’s a great tool for recovery!

    Dr. Terry Lynch offers courses and support for people in distress (looks like he focuses more on depression, anxiety & bipolar – but the things he said can apply to extreme states like “psychosis” as well)

    Another great resource:

    I hope to see you over at (don’t be fooled by the name, we support all kinds of psych drug withdrawal).

  • I agree with Phoenix – I can feel the love you have for your Mom.

    If she is in no danger, does she need the drugs at all?

    Can you encourage her to write, paint, sing about what she’s being told?

    I always ask for labs on B12 and D3 for 2 reasons. 1. It determines whether there really is a deficiency, and 2. The doctors tend to accept labs, and will support B12 and D3. You can go ahead and supplement (I supplement personally, even though my labs are more than fine), but the labs are very helpful in knowing how much, how important they are in the scheme of things. (I would love to ask for labs on Niacin, Magnesium, Zinc and Copper as well, but doctors are reluctant to run those. Don’t underestimate the role that Zinc and Magnesium play in mood management as well)

    Wheat does things to the brain that rice does not. They are both carbs and will contribute to metabolic disorder & fatty liver. This is not a time to worry about her weight, it’s a time to be concerned about getting her off the damaging neuroleptic (“antipsychotic”). The drugs are what makes her lay in bed all day. The weight is not what she is eating, it is the drugs. Dr. David Perlmutter has written a book called “Grain Brain,” that talks about the mood and mind altering processes that wheat can cause. Dr. William Davis has given some great YouTube talks about the damaging properties of today’s hybridized wheat. (and that doesn’t count the GMO processes or pesticides, which make it even worse).

    Please reconsider your use of diagnosis words. Your Mom is upset, she’s traumatised, she’s hearing voices and may be “outside of herself” with passion and pain. “Schizophrenia” is a junk label to throw onto people that doctors don’t understand. There’s even debate here as to whether or not “psychosis” is an accurate description, also.

    I’m hoping that some of the more experienced therapy types here can recommend a better way for you & your Mom. RD Laing found that when he took people in this sort of distress – out of the home, into hospital, they got better – but then, as soon as he put them back into that situation which made them sick, they became distressed again. Maybe in a different environment – at a sister’s in the country, or a cousin’s house by the sea – she would have a chance to wake up and be more present with her situation, and might even figure out what it is about her environment that is distressing her. (and perhaps the voices are giving her these clues, as well)

    There are many “Hearing Voices Network” groups – – I suggest you look into that, there will be a lot of good suggestions there – for you, even if she doesn’t believe she’s “hearing voices.”

    I’m also very concerned that there is something biological happening, as Oliver Sacks talks a lot about neurological things that can go very weird. It’s always good to rule these things out, though it sounds as though in her case, there has been enough trauma on her plate to cause her distress.

    To taper her risperdal, I recommend, and there’s an excellent webinar on “antipsychotic” drug withdrawal, here: There’s also a free webinar, here:

    I can’t recommend enough watching as many videos and reading as many articles as possible by Olga Runciman.

    This touches me close to my heart, as I lost 20-30 years to the drugs, lost my ovaries, lost my thyroid, and I have escaped this drugs & diagnoses, but my endocrine system is damaged – I keep trying to heal (that’s how I learned all this stuff) but it gets harder to make headway the older I get. I am 55 years old.

  • Hey Mike – what about honouring the voices she is hearing? Maybe this is a response to isolation – she may be immersing herself in a dimension where she is not so lonely.

    It is extremely rare to “catch schizophrenia” in later life. Usually our personality is more firmly formed as we age, and slipping out of personality is highly unusual. Don’t her doctors think this is weird? Then fire them. Find someone who is willing to reduce her drug load, not add to it. We don’t metabolise well as we age.

    Age 52 is it also rare to need Parkinson’s pill, unless it is needed to counteract other drugs (like the “antipsychotics”). I would question whether she is on statins or blood pressure drugs, as well. I’d want to know she was getting plenty of magnesium, Omega3 fish oils, and I’d be checking her diet to remove wheat. It sounds like her whole system may be in inflammation, and that is affecting her brain function.

    I recommend you find her a Consulting Geriatric Pharmacist to evaluate her drugs.

    As for Niacin, at the levels that she may need at this point (I would also be getting labs done for Vit D3 and Vit B12), you might want to go with inositol hexanicotinate form of Niacin, as it is potent and flush free. Dr. Hoffer was using doses as high as 30g (yes, grams!) to get results. I don’t recommend that for non-medical people to try, I’m just indicating that a half gram might not do very much. And it will do nothing if you don’t address what has happened to her.

    I am older than your mother, and find all of this highly unusual, to “suddenly slip into psychosis.” There must be trauma or stressors which are pressing on her psyche.

    This drug regime will ensure that she goes to her grave early, as she is already developing metabolic disorder, and likely to quickly develop cardio and endocrine problems as well (especially since she’s already lost her ovaries, as have I, and suffering hypothyroidism, as I do also.)

    Listening to her voices is a start to trying to understand. And really – are they harming anything? Do they place her in any danger? Perhaps this is a thing that she needs to go through in order to reconcile parts of herself. Drugging her voices is squelching her very being, and places her at great risk.

  • Hey Chaya – Synchronistically I was listening to your interview on Madness Radio (June 2013) when I saw this article pop up!!!

    Wow, people pay you to do what I (and the other moderators at do for free? I’m not belittling you – or me – here – because I know we can’t get very personal or do much handholding at Surviving Antidepressants. A website has limitations to support people in crisis. We need people like you to support people through this difficult process. So many people, especially who are trapped in the system, become accustomed to having people “do their thinking for them,” and we at the website cannot “tell them what to do,” but can offer options for them to choose from. Sadly, many of them are not in a state where they can make good decisions. You would be able to get personal and help them through the difficult times, while encouraging them to make better choices as they heal.

    I remember how much stress and weight was removed from my shoulders when I found an orthomolecular doctor to support me as I came off of my drugs. She didn’t make the final decisions, but her support eased my mind so much that I got better just from knowing she was there, supporting me.

    There is a deep need for what you do, and I will keep your info as support for the work that I do. Thank you!

    There is a huge need for this. All you need to do is read all the horrible misled comments on YouTube videos (for example) to see that there is a lot of suffering out there.

    I honour that you are following your passion and thank you for flowing against this monstrous tide that is psych drugs!

  • And yet they are the most effective lobbying organization:

    The chart halfway down the page is telling.

    I’m sure their lobbyists are professionals. As long as they are touting something that the Powers That Be agree with, they will not suffer the fate of the Unions….

    I saw a video (sorry, can’t remember who) that reminded us, if we want gun laws changed, we need to do what the NRA does, and call – all of us – many times to ensure a bill passes. Most of us call just once, but the NRA is well organized with passionate people (paid?) to keep calling and calling – and so – the Congress believes that what they say is what the people want. If each of us called our congressperson and senators 10 – 20 times a year, there’s an opportunity for change.

    Personally, I’m torn – my paranoid self tends to believe that this is all being set up to take away the people’s right to defend themselves against a growing military state. Already our rights to protest are curtailed under “protest zone” laws. On the other hand, children are dying – so if it is a ploy, it’s a very effective one.

    I’ve studied the Port Arthur “Massacre” in Tasmania, the one which caused Australians to eagerly surrender their guns for melting. It is claimed (and widely believed) that a young man with an IQ of 68 made 23 head shots (kill shots) in less than 3 minutes, when really there are only a handful of shooters in the world with that level of skill. The kid was not offered a trial, was instead tried by media, “treated” by doctors (neuroleptics), and convinced to plead guilty. He has been locked away now for over 20 years, drugged to the gills, and his story has never been heard. There are other weirdnesses, too (like the 22 bay hearse purchased prior to the event and never used since, and 2 major conferences in Hobart that weekend – one for media, one for emergency “first responders.” Hobart is a town of 220,000, these conferences would be rare.).

    I don’t put it beyond the Powers That Be to kill children to get what they want. After all, Pharma does it every day. (paranoid rant off)

  • Practice and dedication: 1,000 hours of practice and dedication, and your skill will likely surpass many who were gifted with it in the first place.

    It’s a matter of discrimination and desire – what do you give your 10,000 hours to?

    This is free will: the ability to choose what you put your attention and energy into.

  • sman that is a hollow argument.

    Happiness is not ambition, nor does the pursuit of resilience preclude the desire to provide goods and services, or travel, or anything else.

    I suggest you read “The Happiness Trap” by Dr. Russ Harris to understand where I am coming from. In pursuing Happiness, it will evade you. In understanding it, you stand a better chance of achieving it, at least in moments.

    You think I am negating “happiness,” I am not – I am suggesting that the “pursuit” of it is meaningless. There are much better things to pursue in life, and it does not change my “luxury” of dual citizenship, or the prospects of goals, challenges and ambitions.

    Note: The US government wants to tax my Australian income and assets, making a double tax on them. It is one of 2 countries in the world with this policy – and it hampers my “Pursuit of happiness” as you put it. What would the Founding Fathers say?

    There is nothing in the Australian constitution about “pursuit of Happiness,” or even “freedom of speech” and yet – the Aussies seem to do okay by these two measures of freedom.

  • My comments were not based on religion or country. I’m an American/Australian dual citizen, living in Australia.

    Happiness as a permanent state is a myth, as Oldhead said, happiness is temporal.

    The poor country “drawing in dirt on cave walls” is probably happier than people in the US who are bombarded by media and public relation messages that there is “never enough” and you are “never good enough” and that if only you had this or that, you will be “happy.” The very existence in the “First World” is based upon the deficit provided by media and advertising messages. We are all deficient, and need what is being sold. This is the modern interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ “Pursuit of Happiness,” and it is an empty pursuit. It is also the basis for the “happiness pills” that got so many of us into dire distress.

    We have no idea, really, what the Founding Fathers meant by “Pursuit of Happiness.” Wealth? Ownership? Freedom from Tyranny? It’s a vague phrase, and if you read history, it is likely to have been wealth for the wealthy, and use of the resources of the poor to obtain such.

    You have the right to pursue happiness, but I tell you it is a futile pursuit. Better to pursue the appreciation of happiness, not the thing itself. Happiness is in the eye of the beholder. Easier to shift your eye and your perception, than to change your relationship to “happiness.”

  • TM is less harmful than the drugs, but there is a cult and culture attached that can also cause them to waste decades of their lives paying for it. This could be anywhere from $360 for children to $1000 for adults – or up to $2500 (and the fees increase as “advanced courses” – which are nothing special – are added). It is a simple technique that ends up like diving down a waterfall into flat brain waves which the TM’rs call “coherence.”

    This flattened brain wave is blissful and peaceful, and can leave a person susceptible to suggestion, much as a pre-hypnotic state, and can lead to poor decision making (like buying the next course, or paying a pandit to pray for your karma), or, worse, if there is trauma, an explosion of unregulated trauma reactions and no technique to deal with it. TM, like the drugs, numbs the natural response to situations.

    Russell Brand, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Hugh Jackman and David Lynch have found it very helpful – and I would say, in the case of extreme addictions (like Brand) it is preferable to a medical approach.

    But it was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself that said, “Sometimes it takes a thorn to remove a splinter,” and TM is far less harmful than drugs.

  • The enzyme testing is a start, and can eliminate many problems.

    But it does not eliminate the problems of “just plain” mania, akathisia, and other effects of these drugs which are also common.

    My concern with CYP450 testing is that they just use it to “find the right drug” instead of not drugging. I am familiar with cases on Surviving Antidepressants, where the CYP450 or other serotonin reactions have resulted in heavy neuroleptic cocktails for “depression” or “substance abuse.” This is not a good answer to the CYP450 problem.

    And there are other problems, too – coming to light more recently is the amphetamine / SSRI major drug interactions – and yet – I can name a half dozen people I know who have been given amphetamines for “fatigue” caused by the antidepressants and benzos. One of whom found a different liver enzyme conflict from the CYP450 (sorry I don’t know the exact enzyme), and was going into serotonin shock. This took time to build up, too…

    So CYP450 testing is a beginning, but has the potential for future drug abuse, and while it will eliminate some of the problems – it will not eliminate the bulk of them.

    No drugs at all is the best solution, or, if there must be drugs, only after other interventions have been tried first.

  • I hear your concerns Dr. Kelmenson, about “the drugs made me do it,” kind of like an insanity defense – abrogating responsibility for the behaviour.

    But if you’ve experienced the drugs first hand, you come to realise that they do inflict personality changes, remove inhibitions, numb normal emotional response and induce akathisia which can ramp up any normal internal thought into action.

    It is normal to think, at times, “I could kill her.” It’s just a thought. But when your frontal lobe is perturbed, your inhibitions are lowered, and your akathisia ramps up – this thought becomes very dangerous indeed.

    The stories I’ve read of the people who have suffered from these drugs – such as Katinka Blackford Newman, in, “The Pill that Steals Lives,” and on, we hear reports of a sort of fugue state – the person awakens from a fugue with a knife in their hand, and they knew they were on the way to the nursery to kill the children (and some succeed). And it is not something in their native personality or sense of responsibility. The urges were not something she really had much choice about – it was overwhelming and consumed her whole being while on the drugs.

    Watching the testimony of homicides and suicides at the Paxil trials in the USA is eye opening and shocking. There is one in particular – I think it is a Congressional Hearing for the Black Box Warnings (including Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac and other drugs) – to hear parents speak of their dead children, disfigured suicide survivors discussing how their prospects were bright until they took the drugs, and a father who lost his 2 young children and wife to one of these fugue-like states that ended in murder/suicide.

    As someone who lost a drugged ex-husband to suicide, I know that he had bought into the “broken brain” of psychiatry, and probably struggled for years to kill himself as the drugs limited his options and never made his traumatic pain any better. I’m not saying “the drugs made him do it,” but they did make it easier to complete his suicide. If he had gone another path younger in life, perhaps he could’ve found a different way to address his suffering. But he went the path of the “broken brain.” I remember him proudly telling me that it was “verified” that he would need drugs for life and all of the interventions in the world would never work as long as he had this “brain disease” that was making him unhappy. He was relieved that responsibility for his unhappiness had been removed from him by psychiatry. It wasn’t until after his death that the trauma and abuse became known. He would never have admitted to it, even if he was aware of it (it’s a long story, but I believe it got sublimated into a “UFO Contactee experience” much like in the movie “Mysterious Skin”).

    His case is different from the school shootings, as he had been drugged for 20 years by the time he ended his life. But watching the Congressional Hearings – and reading Katinka Blackford Newman – speaks of “just a little down,” until they took the pills – and then – monstrous behaviour afterwards.

    I hear your concern, and it is something that needs deeper discussion and awareness – as – like you say – 20% (I would say it’s higher) of Americans are on the drugs, and a similar number in the entire “Western World” are at risk. Is it just 1% of the drugged who react like this? (Ms. Blackford Newman says hers was a liver enzyme conflict – which is verified by the testimony of Australian Psychiatrist Dr. Yolanda Lucire, who studies these enzymes and conflicts) If it is just 1 in 100 – and there are millions drugged – this is a very high risk to society and needs to be explored.

    Sorry for the long post – but it is a complex issue, and I thank you for bringing it up. I, too, used to think that nobody would commit violent suicide or homicide if it was not in their nature. After years of studying this, and of observing the challenges that withdrawal presents, I am not so sure that “responsibility” is much of a factor at all, and that the people who have experienced this would give anything to be able to have been able to control their behaviour under the drugs.

    Dr. Breggin, who has infinitely more experience about this than I do, writes in greater detail, here:

  • Go to and read the member stories of people who are suffering while trying to decrease or come off of these drugs.

    Also, there, you can learn of the horrible, cumulative side effects that are driving people to try and get off these drugs.

    Serotonin drugs (for example) affect more than just the brain, it can damage digestion, endocrine, nervous system, kidneys and liver. The longer you take them, the more the damage is done.

    These things are often “diagnosed” as “Chronic Fatigue,” “Fibromyalgia,” “IBS,” or other NOS junk diagnoses – or – “metabolic disorder,” “diabetes,” and “heart disease.” They seem to be unrelated, and the doctors tread them as such – but the drugs can cause all of these, and again, the longer you are on them, the more likely that these “side effects” will result in damaged health.

    Go to Surviving Antidepressants and read for yourself of chronic insomnia, akathisia, ibs, nausea, dystonia, ramped up rebound and interdose anxiety…the list is endless.

  • This is very similar to shamanic work – of dealing with extreme states in safe, prescribed spaces (set and setting – no need for drugs). Giving the format and space for exploration of meaning within the altered state, releasing the pressure of the cognitive dissonance – or revolution, as you call it – and gain a “prescription” from the inner self, as represented by Guardians, Guides, Ancestors, Angels – it doesn’t really matter what you call these deeper, higher influences – just that – there is meaning to the state. Even though it may be “disorganized,” with guidance, it can be brought to light, just as the Shadows can be illuminated and integrated. It really is the highest calling to work these things through, and those who have done it are empowered, interesting, curious, passionate, and engaged with living, because they’ve experienced directly the meaning behind their “events.”

  • I do know people who can function on them, but after 30 years of use, there is measurable (and verified via cognitive testing and imaging) brain damage, and the cognitive struggles are significant.

    The answer to psychosis is not to shut it down, but to go through it. There is the other side, and that’s where health and well being lie. Most “psychoses” are temporary conditions induced by a paradox of living or cognitive dissonance and can be processed through. I’m sure there are exceptions, but once they have been drugged (even just once) then the brain is sensitised to these extreme experiences, and the more the intrusions are drugged, the greater the dependence upon the drug (and sensitivity, too) to “control” them.

    Nobody dies from extreme states. The drugs are killing people all the time, in a slow and painful – and expensive – way.

  • LOL sman – I reckon as you learn the skills of resilience and adaptability you will find that happiness is available to you a lot more than if you “pursue” it.

    You know – the tighter you hold on to a thing, the easier it slips away?

    Happiness – like enlightenment – comes in moments, in waves, and is not permanent or perpetual. To pursue happiness is an oxymoron. There’s a certain amount of letting go required in order to appreciate the happiness you have.

    In Bhutan, one of the poorest countries of the world, they measure their progress as “Gross Domestic Happiness,” rather than financially. This measure of quality of life is probably better than “pursuit of happiness” or financial gain as it is done in the USA.

  • I don’t present as disabled, and so do not qualify for “disability.”

    In order to keep up with hubby on travels, it helps to have a wheelchair.

    I have iatrogenic “issues,” but do not consider myself disabled. I would be hard pressed to collect what is called “disability pension” here, as I appear “normal” in every way.

    I am not an 8 hour a day productive citizen, however. I would seriously struggle to survive if without my spouse’s financial and personal support.

    Since I refuse the help of psychiatrists, I’m not sure who could “certify” me as disabled. In fact, my last psychiatrist refused to certify me, until I “went out and failed” a few times. Never mind that I don’t sleep the right hours, and tire after 2-3 hours, she wanted me to get a record of being fired first.

  • Aye Stephen, but they do get enough (too many in fact) of people who buy into this helplessness.

    Someone here mentioned how many people are begging for someone to “tell them what to do…” and here is someone waiting, willing – in fact, insisting on telling them what to do.

    The hard part, as Feeling Discouraged has mentioned – is learning to stand on own two feet, make own choices, and tell the negative nannies to stuff it.

  • Hey Dr. K – there’s the “institutionalised” thing, but there’s also a lot of conditioning.

    Sometimes starting with parents who tell someone, “you’ll never amount to anything,” or “Nothing you do will satisfy me,”

    Moving up to teachers who make reports like, “failure to pay attention in class’ “restless” “disruptive,”

    Moving up to doctors who start in on the “broken brain,” “diseased personality” “disordered” and “give up on your dreams.”

    Then there’s the institutions, “You can’t take care of yourself,” and “You need us to keep you safe,” and “the monsters won’t stop until you submit”

    After a few decades of this, it’s really challenging to believe otherwise.

    The dominant paradigm is oppressive! (I know, I’m stating the obvious here)

  • I reckon I’m in pursuit of adaptability.

    Or resilience.

    Or coherence.

    I think it quite futile to pursue a mood. Much better to pursue a skill or refinement of personality – or better yet – to grow beyond personality so that it matters less.

  • And who will pay for the studies to prove it to you? Even the scientists are scrambling for those grant dollars – and nobody really wants to look at the drugs as causes.

    I’m sorry that all of my knowledge on this one is anecdotal (okay, let’s all make fun of JanCarol for listening to anecdotes again) –

    everyone I know that ever went on any heart medicine never got better, whether it was blood pressure, statins, blood thinners. What happens at that point, is that the person goes into “maintenance” of the condition and decline from there on out.

    I have no direct measures of dementia, other than – the trends similar to the one that Whitaker points out in MIA – that as people go on the drugs, dementia numbers seem to be rising. Correlation. There are likely other factors involved as well – the endocrine disruption of glyphosate and drugs in our water as well, for example. The increase in income disparity (and resulting decline in self-care) as well.

    But I’ve never seen someone on BP or statins get smarter, healthier and better at that point. Maybe you have? Maybe you believe they saved someone’s life? I will suggest – like I would with the psych drugs – that it’s probably still the “honeymoon period.”

  • Hey oldhead –

    I know – new thread (what, in forum?) – but really I’m on my way out the door, a week away in a rugged paradise. So sorry for using this forum.

    All medications stop or hinder a metabolic process. I recommend looking at John Bergman (yes, he’s a chiro, but he’s a smart one) and Blood Pressure on YouTube. There are easily a dozen videos. Another resource is the Paleo Cardiologist, ( has interventions (like beet powder) that are drug free.

    Blood pressure medications slow your heart down – but the reason your blood pressure is high (it’s an adaptation, not a disease) is because of heart damage. To slow the blood, lower the pressure counteracts what your body is trying to do to stay alive. In Germany they treat blood pressure if it’s UNDER 140 and have 100’s of ways to raise blood pressure.

    Again, blood pressure medications and statins are money grabs by pharma. The guidelines – much like “depressions screening” are meant to create new profits, new patients.

    I have posted my email addy in the forum (not sure where but I know it is there) if you wish to talk further.

    Most non-drug people recommend a device for blood pressure, called a RespErate. The best blood thinner is water (so no on the aspirin, too). Supplements include fish oil and magnesium.

    And the “low fat diet” – also starves the brain. Dietary and medicinal advice for the last 50 years contributes greatly to the waves of dementia (and depression).

  • Yes, dementia can be seen on an MRI, but nobody seems to be looking to pharma for that one, and there is evidence that mama’s little helper (xanax) fcontributes to it massively, and nobody is looking to the way that statins starve a hungry brain, or at the blood pressure drugs that everybody is on that reduces oxygenation of the brain….

    So – hence – it “looks like” dementia. But it is as iatrogenic as “mental illness.”

    I’m not saying there is no such thing as dementia – but I reckon the numbers are massively inflated by pharmaceutical interventions.

  • Um, actually Sman1109 you might enjoy reading Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” where he postulates that it was the rich landowners who machined the war, the constitution, etc., and points out that the constitution was carefully crafted to keep the top on top.

    Yes, the grunts were, as usual, the poor Americans – promised land ownership for their efforts.

  • madincananda it is so much more than bad choices.

    It’s the whole picture, trauma and stress, learned coping mechanisms, diet *and* choices.

    The best way out of the extreme states is through them, but our society spends a lot of time, effort and money in suppressing these states because they are scary – scary to the person, and scary to everyone around him/her.

    Instead of the word disability, how about the words, “different ability?”

    I am not as productive as most people, having only 4-6 hours a day of average active productivity. Is it enough to hold a job? No. That 4-6 hours includes feeding myself, exercising, keeping my house clean and the vital social connections that keep me well and alive. Some days that productivity might amount to 0, some days it’s better.

    I am differently abled, but not DISabled. I seem to recall that this model is used in other medical fields as well. Someone who is paralysed might be a brilliant statistician, writer, etc…

  • Or, as I’ve been exploring – the HeartMath version, which is

    the Heart decides, and instructs the brain.

    If your Heart is steeped in negativity, pain, and doesn’t see a way out, that’s how it will instruct the brain.

    If, however, your Heart is open to hope and possibility, the instructions to brain are different.

    I’m oversimplifying excessively (I’m still learning this stuff) but recommend a look into HeartMath.

  • Yeah. It may help with social skills and adjustment, but on the whole metal is not good for the nervous system. It’s rhythms are energy draining. Anytime energy moves it feels blissful – and feeling anything when you are depressed is a blessing – but if the energy is moving out (instead of in and up) – the long term effects are diminished.

    Think of it more like a crutch than a cure. (Flame-retardant armor up!)

  • Well, Julie, you may have noticed that if you have “high blood pressure” or “high cholesterol,” you are told by your doctor that if you do not submit to their treatments you will die a rapid and horrible death.

    I’ve conquered the psych’s control over me – now I must battle my way into old age with the doctors. Going to a doctor is like arming for engagement – knowing what the labs mean, understanding the treatments and presenting alternatives before they nail me with bad drugs and bad ideas (like surgeries or intervention).

    Just last week (back pain) I was bullied by a neurosurgeons office for refusing to meet with him. He sent me a letter of refusal and cc’d it to the referring GP. “This is to inform you that JC has refused to meet with me regarding her back pain.” This letter followed about 4 calls – which I interpreted at harassment – to schedule the appointment.

    So – beware – your doctors are “out to get you,” too. Cardiologist, surgeons – they all have a “better plan” for you. Sigh.

  • rasselas.redux – niacin can have some uncomfortable and risky to the liver consequences when taken in very high doses. There are no queues at the hospitals for niacin overdose. Hoffer would use up to 20 g per day with good effect. Most doses are lower than this.

    Water is toxic, too, if you want to look at the possibility of extremes.

    The grain in breakfast cereals, and the sugar are mood altering as well, perhaps that – not the niacin – is why it is a popular “schizophrenic snack,” and starts a spiky cycle of mood alteration. The grain and sugar are immediately felt, and I would postulate – if your theory of “common snack” is true – that is the craving that is being addressed.

    The niacin in cereal is not quality, and you cannot eat enough of it to get a flush. A handful is less than 100 mg of niacin, 10 handfuls is still under a therapeutic dose. Ergo, you cannot eat enough fortified cereal to get a therapeutic amount of niacin.

    I’m not the orthomolecular specialist here, but what you are claiming is beyond the pale.

  • Hey Lady Blue –

    I’m a moderator on We have a benzo section for help with tapering.

    What was done to you to get off the xanax (clonazepam + Remeron + gabapentin) is criminal. 3 drugs to get off of one? Didn’t anyone notice this discrapancy?

    There are other forums available for getting off your benzos (BenzoBuddies comes to mind, but I understand it can be a bit of a free-for-all). Naturally, I’m partial to

    Getting you off your drugs is outside the scope of MIA. Please come to Surviving Antidepressants. We’ve tapered off of all kinds of drugs, and are familiar with the symptoms of withdrawal as well as non-drug methods to help us survive the withdrawals.

    I don’t know your time frames – but some of these effects could be from how you got off the other drugs, too. You will be asked for detailed information at SA.

    I hope this helps.

  • When I read Anatomy of an Epidemic, I thought that was a really solid treatise that the drugs were causing problems. I thought, “Wow, this will change things!” When I presented that treatise to others, I was stunned to find out that it was easily dismissed.

    We have tons of evidence, and yet nothing is changing. The last election was proof that facts are not important any more. How does one make an evidence based, scientific argument in a “post factual” world?

    Whitaker’s second book – again, I thought – this will change something. Gotzsche’s book – I thought – this will change things, surely, maybe in Europe.

    But the corruption just builds, and still the drugs are the “go-to” practice. And that doesn’t even address the horrors of forced treatment. People believe in the TV and what it tells them. People believe in the drugs. This one will be as difficult to overthrow as religion.

    In the face of belief, the facts haven’t had much sway. That seems to be happening here, too.

  • Alex Jones been screaming about it for years, perhaps even decades. Sadly, it only makes our movement seem more fringe, like the “Scientology effect.” I even believe the Resident of the United States has proclaimed anti-pharma things – but – hasn’t said a peep since taking office.

    I have learned this, my tree-hugging friends on the left are Pro-Treatment. To “help” the downtrodden and suffering with “treatment.” Ugh.

    The Right wants to abandon the downtrodden to the streets. It’s not “treatment,” but it’s not very helpful, either.

  • Hey Daniel,

    The group dynamic – among friends – has an equilibrium, or a homeostasis that prevents the worst, and protects from extremes. I don’t have any reference other than my special group of friends, a nature based organisation. I’ve heard about the Healer’s Tent at Burning Man, and it involves a sober companion, like you mention. In our group, we would go out into the woods together in love and trust, and what happened was meant to. Like has been said before: it was spiritual.

    There was ceremony, rituals to ensure that all were kept safe. Set and setting. Keeping good company. When someone had an extreme state – many of us were capable of functioning in the moment. It wasn’t about “sobriety.” It is about functioning, caring, opening to another. Trust. Of putting personal trip aside and holding a person in safety until they came to a place of well-being again. There was always a place to go if things got frightening. There was scary stuff – but experience taught how to deal with it, and if you couldn’t deal with it alone – there were always friends around to offer you tea, a hug, a blanket, and a listening ear.

    I remember someone who thought the planet had fallen away, that if she left the nature sanctuary, she would find nothingness, void. Surely it was frightening! She was held in a circle of friends who reassured her that all was well – “See? None of us are worried,” and, “We’re your friends.” That circle of friends brought her back to equilibrium. She had experienced some sort of trauma, but it was unclear what (it still is unclear). Now, over 30 years on, I ought to ask her how she feels about that night – if she learned something, if it helped her to grow in any way.

    I can think of individuals that I would – with ceremony – choose to experience an event like this with as a dyad (though I’m much older now, and less likely to pursue any events). I cannot think of a single therapist that I would want to dyad with, however. Especially not if they were “sober.” And I like nearly all of the therapists I’ve ever had.

    Additionally, while I can think of lightning bolt insights I have had (mostly while psychonavigating alone or with one other), most of the gains were made with training through multiple experiences. The more you went, the more skilled you became at manipulating your being, your experience. With that skill, you can become aware of just how vital perception is to reality.

    And there’s a thing called “synchronicity” which clarifies what is right and wrong. In a group, this synchronicity is far more obvious, because it comes from a more random place. When someone you barely know walks up and addresses something you were just thinking about – it’s stunning and affirming.

    I feel my words here are falling far short of the event. It’s like explaining G-d to someone who has never met Him/Her. Or describing a colour to someone who is blind. A lot of this awareness happens in non verbal space, and it takes special skill to describe the non-verbal in words. I feel I am falling far short of that skill.

    But to me, the sober healer of any stripe – is less likely to hit that synchronicity, and will find themselves left out of the discussion, no matter how empathic they are. Go with me, show me the way. Don’t sit in your chair and listen to me while I go. That, right there, is the power differential. If you won’t go with me, then I don’t want to go with you.

    And if you are not skilled enough in the event to go with me – and put your own trip aside as needed – then I don’t want to go with you.

  • I was in LA, and there was a tattered (not naked) man accosting all of the people in the parking lot. Not the best neighborhood. There might have been street drugs involved.

    He was loud, obnoxious and quite scary. He may not have been harmless, but I was afraid. It challenged all that I write about here concerning extreme states and alternatives.

    If I knew him, if I were not a tourist (like I was in LA) I would consider telling him, “hey, man, you’re scaring me,” and listen to him for a bit.

    In shame and guilt, I got in my car and drove away, leaving him to his fate. I had to think about it. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Mental diversity doesn’t include behaving in an aggressive or frightening manner.

    Sometimes from the perspective of extreme states, a person doesn’t know how scary they are.

    This is the cutting edge, isn’t it? I’m hoping that someone here has a better answer than me. I ran away. I couldn’t do it, on the ground, face to face, in person with a stranger.

    Maybe someone else could do better. But that’s just it, isn’t it?Communities always pass the buck. “Someone else” always ends up being cops and ambulances and restraints and drugs.

  • But first – have you ever been Experienced?

    Have you ever really been Experienced?

    I go back to my description of psychedelics as an event, not a chemical.

    How do you manage an event to make it transformative? This, too, is an art, and there are protocols which could be called science or even Ritual or Ceremony.

    But yes. This is spiritual work, as LavenderSage states.

  • I work at Surviving Antidepressants, and we find people on a lot of duplication in categories. So someone on 5 meds might be on 2 mood stabilizers, 2 neuroleptics, 2 antidepressants – and don’t forget benzos and sleep aids. Additionally, when someone is polydrugged, they get foggy and listless, so often an amphetamine is added to the mix.

    Stan, I am so sorry for your loss, and it is laudable you are writing here. Yet another reason to be quite grateful that we have a place such as MIA.

    I am curious – when someone is on 5 drugs – remember 5 + 5 = 120 possible interactions (an estimate) – how was it determined which 2 caused the cardiac and other problems? Yes, these symptoms will be listed on the drug information pamphlet, and might even be in a Black Box – but the synergy of all of these drugs would have to make the 2 “baddies” far more dangerous.

    In other words, by calling out the 2 “baddies,” again, the doctors are overlooking polypharmacy as the direct cause of your son’s death. There’s still a blind eye here.

    You have addressed it in your fine article, but somehow I don’t think that the doctors have resolved their cognitive dissonance.

  • I think a lot of these voices here stridently opposed to this – and other psychedelic research – are thinking of MDMA as more of a *drug* and less of an *event.*

    MDMA, psilocybin, LSD – these are events. Yes, they are chemically induced events, and can be extremely useful for starting the process of healing. They do not replace the hard work, and they may not even make it easier, once a shift takes place – often that shift causes the “client” (insert your favourite word here) to have a more realistic perspective of the scope of the work and what needs to happen, and hopefully an open, eager heart to engage in the work. 20 years ago, I would have said, “Right on, man!”

    I do not want this “event” in the hands of psychiatrists. Unlike the neuroleptics which can be used to torture, psychedelics can be used to re-form the mind. If it were coupled with, say, light/sound/neurofeedback and brainwave therapy (I almost regret saying that, because someone might pick it up and do it) it can be a form of mind control. Remember MK-Ultra’s use of LSD. Remember – that we don’t really own the country right now, and rabid dogs can be “put down.”

    It is unlikely to wind up in the hands of therapists – psychedelic therapists I might trust more, but there is still a power gradient there. (the group event I mentioned – because it is a group – a caring group of friends – if someone gets power mad, the rest of the group can steer things away). And the office IS important, it’s called “set and setting.” If the only time I can legally explore “inner spaces” is on someone’s couch – even with sweet music, or a beautiful window opening onto trees and birds – I’m not sure that’s helpful to me.

    I can think of a few friends whose traumas are so “carved in stone,” that the event of MDMA might loosen things up a bit. There are breathing techniques which do this more slowly and under control. BUT – some of those friends are drugged.

    OMG – what about that? Is it wise to perterb neurotransmitters for someone who is already on a cocktail of mind drugs?

    Even the ones who are not drugged would be terrified of the prospect of “losing their mind” for a few hours, especially at the hands of a therapist. There is stigma involved here, too. MAPS is working on that arena.

    MDMA is not exactly a “chemical solution” like drugs are a chemical solution. Because there is only money to be made in paying for the event, the sessions – I don’t think it will have a long life, or, at best will be a fringe practice.

    The prospect of getting it rescheduled is expensive. If this is not beneficial to someone’s balance sheets – it is extremely unlikely to happen.

  • Thanks Ron.

    But I think you misunderstood. I wasn’t talking about “heaven and hell” as places whether in another dimension or on this current planet.

    I was talking about the dichotomy of either / or, and using Heaven/hell, good/bad, in/out as examples. In reality – are you all good, or all bad, ever?
    Is it a particle, or is it a wave?

    This is a form of global thinking, and to reject “bad” and be “good” is a reaction, not a response, and will lead to imbalance.

    Likewise, to reject spirit for matter, because “religion” effed you over – is a reaction, not a response.

    Yes, there is a lot in this world that is binary, and a lot that can be reduced to binary application. But even matter itself – particle or wave – points to a continuum of existence, not an either/or choice.

    That was the point of my apparently vague examples.

  • It’s interesting, to be sure.

    I think one of the problems I have with this protocol (and many of the MAPS studies, though I suppose it is a step away from this totalitarian war on drugs, er, racial war on poverty) – is the therapist’s office.

    Let’s take someone, for example, who has trauma from psych treatment (Monica Cassani talks about “Psych Drugs as Agents of Trauma” That person goes to the therapist’s office, and in this office, even if it has been set up like a hippie haven with a painted parachute on the ceiling, tea lights all around, and Enya playing calming, emotive music, this office represents a room of control.

    In that place of control, the “client” (whatever word you want here) takes this drug which will cause them to lose their inhibitions and get in touch with their emotional self. Except their emotional self is traumatised. And there is a huge power variance between the “client” going into this altered state, and the therapist, who is not going with them. This is similar to my objections of the medical uses of psilocybin.

    In my experience, psychedelics/entheogens are best experienced in nature with a group of like minded, caring individuals, preferably friends. There are always people around to help coddle you through the rough bits, and there is not this power variance, nor is there a reliving of the therapist’s office in trauma. And even though it’s not “therapeutic,” in my experience it has always been beneficial and transformative, when handled with care and respect, as a sacrament should be, and if the intent to transform and connect was clearly pursued.

    When I heard in the 80’s that it was being used in relationship therapy – I did try it in my own marriage, the two of us together. That day is still memorable to me, spent in a public park – talking, opening to new hope. There were glimpses, moments of opening and sharing – but – and here’s the other caveat – when the drug wore off, the gates slammed shut, and I was left with a very distressed, repressed and locked-down husband again. And we don’t know what it did to his neurotransmitters in the long run. (He committed suicide in 2008, another polypharmacy case.)

    Of course, my experience was illegal, horribly illegal, and currently the state of “Molly” on the streets does not even resemble the pharmaceutical drug. It’s terrifying – so terrifying that the smart kids take test kits to their raves to make sure they don’t get the bad ones, which are cheap and plentiful, and so terrifying that I advise all to not take anything without a test kit.

    So on the one hand I applaud that MAPS is getting the government to release the better entheogens, I’m not sure that the therapist’s office is where I want these things to end up. (and yes. the change in neurotransmitters is a strong issue, and why I only tried it a few times in the 80’s. The last attempt was a “bad dose” – the beginnings of what is available on the streets today, and that, coupled with the reports of brain damage which didn’t seem like propaganda at all, ended my experiment in “freer emotions and communication.”

  • Richard “In my mind there are two separate definitions of “spirituality.” One is the unscientific belief of a spiritual world separate from the material world (God, Heaven, Hell, The Devil etc.)”

    Only two?

    What about a continuum of synthesis between these two definitions? Something like – spirituality which is based on human connectivity AND connectivity with the Universe AND connectivity with the collective unconscious, AND belief in a higher power which orders, disorders and guides these things?

    It is a spiritual exercise to eliminate the words “But” and “Or” from your vocabulary for a time in order to refine your viewpoints and expand your awareness. Other practices, more extreme, consider the elimination of all verb forms of “to be,” in order to emphasise the present moment. I’m sorry, I cannot recall the source of these exercises, but I found them valuable.

    However, when you say either/or – I am reminded of the dogma of religion that I was hammered with in my youth. You are either a sinner or a believer. You either go to heaven or hell. Either you accept the canon as interpreted by your church-God-man, or you are outcast. It was when I started saying “AND” that I realised the rainbow of possibility.

    What I hear in your either/or scenario is someone who rejects Jesus by embracing the Devil, or Atheism with the same fervour that was betrayed by belief in a specific religion. It’s a reaction, and still a belief.

    Then, there are the possibilities that we, in our finite ability, haven’t conceived of yet.

    I like Ron’s suggestion about the role of love. I’ve been exploring the spiritual value of Emotions – perhaps emotions are direct messages from that part of us which is immortal, divine. Perhaps it is the highest guide we have – and when we ignore it, that’s when our lives dissolve into distress and disorder. I’ve been exploring the purpose of Art in living well – that the best truth is Art, whether it is writing, dancing, painting, calligraphy, knitting, child rearing. I write about Art as Truth, here: Is Art a form of worship or communication with that higher order – whether it is communication and connectivity with other humans, or an expression of appreciation to something which might be called “divine”?

    I’m more writing for the general audience than you, Richard. You and I have gone round this bend before and I don’t anticipate influencing your beliefs. If, however you can consider replacing “or” with “and,” I would be deeply honoured.

    I am reminded of some music I heard earlier today:
    “We’re all Jesus, Buddha and the Wizard of Oz!”

  • As someone who has been on the internet since its inception, I’ve seen a lot of flame wars, and then met the warriors over dinner and we got on fine.

    I reckon that’s what it’s talking about.

    Though – lily.c. – I, too find the phone extremely exhausting, being present and listening carefully – and basically being a captive polite audience. “Excuse me, I hate the telephone” just doesn’t seem to go over well with the girlfriends. I’d much rather meet in person – or – write, where I have the time to choose my words.

    But – lily – do you find that your friends take as much care with their words, or honour the effort you put into your written communications? Because I often feel my efforts are dis’sed, or what I was trying to communicate is missed – because the care I put into writing, was not present in the person reading.

  • Look at prisons and police procedures in Norway.

    They still have crime, but the methods of approach to criminals – they consider it more skillful to talk before shooting.

    It is the culture of police in America to shoot first (kill the dog, even) and ask questions later. The Norwegian cops find this shocking.

    Additionally, the military-industrial complex, in order to keep the American military buying newer better equipment – have a special program (tied in with the “war on drugs”) to hand down old military equipment to police forces.

    We used to never see the SWAT teams, busted doors, military style police operations. That has become de rigeur, now that they have tanks and armour. Is busting crime really more violent than it was before they got this equipment?

    Put a man (or woman) in armour and he tends to act more like a soldier. The uniform does have an effect.

    The other bottom line – Norway (for example) has greater equality between citizens, while the US is stricken with vast variance between the bottom 99% and the top 1%. It is a given that greater inequality equals more violence in trying to get your needs met.

    These are just a few factors (I haven’t even touched on the race button).

  • Nobody has answered you?

    I don’t know about the klepto stuff – but I do know that benzos and other neurotransmitter fiddlers will lower impulse control – or worse, drive compulsions up. I’ve heard of serious gambling addictions caused by SSRI’s and SNRI’s.

    Your cocktail is a dangerous one, and a difficult one to come off of. If you wish to reduce your drug load, please come to for information on how to reduce or eliminate drugs safely.

  • I’m sorry littleturtle, I wish I had something good to say. My work is about getting people off of these drugs – and so – I see the ones who have trouble. I don’t know anyone who has augmented ANY neuroleptic (marketed as “antipsychotic”) who doesn’t regret it, but that may just be the field in which I work. And the longer term they are on it, the worse it is.

    From where I stand, the risks are greater than the rewards. Peter Breggin calls them neurotoxins, and I’m inclined to agree. Rewards may be short term – but the longer you are on a drug, and the more drugs you are on, and the more drug changes you’ve been through – the harder it is to come off of them.

    And when I say harder – think about how hard it is to come off your Celexa. Make it worse by a factor of 3-10. Heroin addicts have found that a heroin withdrawal was a piece of cake compared to antidepressant and / or benzo withdrawal. And the media isn’t reporting this, they’re more concerned with the “opioid crisis” than the people dying and disabled from these drugs.

    If I were you, I’d learn how to taper the Celexa carefully and safely, and take up running or aikido or dancing or painting to express your emotions safely, and become friends with your emotions. Then at least you will be authentic, and off the rollercoaster.

  • I agree – having the Shaman shake a rattle over you and blow smoke into you

    Or having a Priest swing a censor over you with an Exorcism prayer –

    Or even having someone lay their hands on you and pray and shake the demons out of you –

    Will not have long lasting damaging side effects. It might be weird, it might even have a trauma element to it – but has the potential to be extremely cathartic. But no brain damage, no damage to nervous system or endocrine system.

    Ergo, Witch Doctory is more scientific than what the psychiatrists do. And potentially more helpful, too.

  • What this does not address is the difficulty in coming off “atypical antipsychotics” like Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel. I have helped people with all three.

    All of them hit a shotgun spray of neurotransmitters, depending on the level of drug. For example, at low doses, Seroquel hits histamine receptors, then serotonin receptors, then dopamine receptors.

    At an equivalent dose, Zyprexa will be heavy on the dopamine and serotonin receptors, and Abilify will be also hitting norepineprine receptors.

    What receptors they hit are dose dependant. So here’s the rub – when tapering, all of a sudden at 75 mg of Seroquel, the dopamine action drops out – and the dopamine receptors go into full blown withdrawal. You can still sleep (because the histamine receptors will still be hit), and there may be a mild serotonin effect – but – you’ve just gone all the way off your dopamine drug – even though you are still on the drug.

    This is worse with Zyprexa, and worse still with Abilify, which hits on 11? neurotransmitter sites.

    (though, the chart here, says Seroquel is the most complex, and Abilify the simplest – but – in my work with helping people taper, the opposite seems to be true. I am not a biochemist: )

    Additionally, some of them are agonist and some of them are antagonist – complicating the neurotransmitter soup significantly.

    These drugs are hell to come off of.

  • I’ve been thinking about this for the past hour (editing too late)

    I’ve had medical catheters for surgeries – and I believe (nobody believes me) that my ureter hasn’t been the same since, that it “damaged something.” “Oh poo,” say the docs, “we do this all the time and have no complaints.” (I guess I’m just a cranky Yank in an Australian system, then). I don’t think highly of the procedure, even when it is medically necessary.

    But what I’ve been thinking about most about the **forced** catheterisation is – what is driving this?

    Apparently it is drug testing. Hello drug wars. Hello war on the poor and marginalised. Even more so.

    Recently in California I had a urinary tract infection. The California doctor, who took a urine sample, seemed to feel it was well within his rights to drug test my urine, just because. I only caught him running the test because they didn’t have a hand-washing facility at the toilets, and I had to go to a lab sink – where I found him with a chart and my urine, and he looked up and asked me, “What are you on?” (oh I had forgotten to report the Low Dose Naltrexone, was that it?) I didn’t raise a stink because I needed antibiotics in order to travel. But I was angry, and felt violated. And I imagined how violated I would’ve felt if there had been something else – something psych – or if I were a minority to begin with (this was a Spanish speaking neighborhood).

    What if I had tested positive for codeine (which was still legal in Australia) or cannabis (which is legal in California)? What was the purpose of his “fishing”? Why did he even think it was his right? I was not asking for narcotics, but antibiotics. I was a white, middle-aged tourist, from Australia, with my husband in the waiting room.

    So – now – drug testing is more important than the dignity and human rights (and privacy, in my case) of the individual?

    Is forced catheterisation a recent phenomenon? Or is this something which has been going on for 40-50 years, and folks have been to ashamed to speak of it?

    I’m sure you can’t show statistics of increases in this new form of human violation (only of the rare **reported** cases) – but I’m suspecting that it is more common now than even 20 years ago. Because we have to stop the “illegal drugs,” right?

    Do we have reports of it from the 90’s? 80’s? 70’s?

    You are both young people – and what I’ve seen from reading the comments is that the older survivors are APPALLED! Many of us have been wheeled in, restrained, shot, drugged. But this? How new is this?

    One of those rare instances where I want an emoticon on MIA, with my frowning angry red faceand steam rolling out of my ears!

  • Stephen says: “All of the famous men who sexually preyed on others and who’ve been revealed for the predators we now know them to be will be held accountable for their actions against others. ”

    That’s optimistic. A few will be paraded out. Many of them will be convenient (we wanted to get rid of him anyway). A tiny percentage will be “caught.”

    This is so obviously a culture, and the boys protect the boys. But in this you are right – at least it is something.

    Those who are buried in “mental health” get blamed for being harmed.

  • This reads like ad copy!

    When it comes to psych drug withdrawal, I have seen as many people harmed by “integrative approaches” – like rapid detoxing, use of “herbs” and “natural supplements” that agitate serotonin (tryptophan, St. John’s Wort, 5HtP). As many harmed as helped, in my reckoning. (I use “natural medicine” but I only consult with my practitioners to make my own choices – but not everybody can do the level of research that I do)

    But – I guess 50/50 is a lot better than Psychiatry’s record. I agree with all here that as long as you’re using DSM you’re causing harm. If they can provide safe, drug free places to be extreme, that would be good. In fact, that’s my BASIC CRITERION for a good “integrative mental health centre.” Safe drug free space for emergencies.

    I seem to recall that the NHS in Britain and places in Europe went this way – and it resulted in tighter regulation of supplements (some of this is good, some of it is just plain stupid, like the way Australia has “practitioner only” herbs and supplements, because they are “too strong” for the general public to handle, when they are non-toxic – especially compared to the drugs they hand out like lollies). Eventually, Britain and Europe found that the health system was being rorted by homeopathy and other “edgewise” practices, and stopped paying for them.

    I see Emma’s comment on flower essence as a first go-to in Cuba. That’s interesting, and difficult to run trials on, as, like homeopathy, the formulas are very individual. N=1 doesn’t make for a good study. Australian flower essences are very interesting – but also very subtle. Someone in a full crash emergency might find them “nice” – like eating a good meal is nice – but not a solution. If you could help 30% of people with these, and prevent drugging – that’s a start.

    Since 30% get better within a few months of their event with no intervention, however, I’d be hoping that the numbers of people kept out of “the system” could be higher.

    But – egads – God reached out and “saved me from schizophrenia?” Oh dear.

    Additionally – who pays for this? Is this a free clinic for the poor and downtrodden? Or is this a pay-for clinic for the rich and famous? Or – after reading a few links – is this just a “Clinic for Spreading the Gospel?”

  • Actually, the “vampires on the dark side of the moon” is an example from one of Jung’s case studies that I found to be curious.

    It says nothing about me.

    My point was that anyone who wants to cram their truth down my throat – like the pills – is committing a violence, too.

    Having come from a family religion which did exactly this – and their truth was consensual – they had the Bible, the congregation, and the Preacher to back it up – and then realizing that there were other truths, alternate views, was quite the culture shock.

    It is arrogant to believe that fact is the only truth. It is also arrogant to confuse “what you believe” with “what you know.” And one last arrogance (the one I suffered from) – is combining these two to believe you know what is G-d’s Will and Desire for the purpose of inflicting it on others.

  • That’s not a very big dose. Hoffer talked about GRAMS of niacin, and while NADH is better absorbed, this dose could just be a drop in the bucket.

    Good article here:

    I’ve seen a chart – maybe here in a comment in Mad In America – which compares the doses of NADH to Niacin, but I cannot find it.

    Though I do agree – if someone doesn’t want to empower themselves regarding mood and functioning, they will not be able to.

  • And their solution? “Mental health teams” who spy on you at work…funnel you into the system. Okay, maybe “spy” is strong, but knowing what I know about psychiatry, I do not want to talk to a “counselor” at work.

    The times I’ve participated in “workplace mental health” programs (I’ve always been open about my diagnosis, as my sleep patterns go askew) – they’ve been 6 sessions of CBT “think positive!” programs…worthless.

    I’m with Nomadic. I reckon that my emotional and mental state is nobody’s business. Not a doctor’s, and not my boss.

  • Likewise then, curiosity helps to engage.

    You can be curious from a neutral place, as well as non-judging.

    Curiosity is non-judgemental, and opens up the possibility of exploration.

    This discussion between Alex and Ron is one of the clearest communications of “mental and emotional diversity” and what it means for individuals and society that I have read here at MIA.

    Great writing!

  • I was drugged at the time, it’s my only excuse.

    I had a half-feral kitten, and wanted to have a home where the kitties get along. But it wasn’t possible with this fearful cat. All the natural methods – catnip, Feliway, toys, feeding routines – didn’t work.

    Additionally, the other cat, a fairly well adjusted male, couldn’t figure out what the little cat was so afraid of, so he became a behaviour problem, too – spraying and dominating to compensate.

    So we put both of them on amitryptaline.

    It didn’t do much to the big fella, except make our life hell when we wanted to give him a pill. The little cat took the pills just fine – but she was only 6 months old – the time of her life when her brain is forming. She took the drugs for 6 months, which was when the big cat went to a new home (nobody would have this freaky little cat)

    She became apathetic, would not play (she was afraid to play before the drugs, so – at least she was calm about it now), was disengaged an non-interactive. She never got properly socialised.

    I don’t know how to measure IQ on cats, but I’ve had some pretty smart cats over the years. This cat isn’t quite “dumb as a box of rocks” – but she’s nowhere near a smart cat, either. Now that she’s 11 years old, she is more interactive and communicative than ever before – but I look at her, and see what the drugs have done to her, and regret regret regret it.

    It was part of what made me look at my own psych drugs, and wonder what happened to me. It made me angry at the people who put children and adolescents on these drugs, because those formative years are so important.

    My cat is still a stress-kitty, and will jump at her own shadow. But she’s undrugged now, and I am too. The vet was just trying to help what was an untenable situation. We changed the situation, and the drugs were no longer “needed.”

    It’s hard to apply this lesson to people – but maybe we should.

  • The algorithm to tell them when to interrupt.

    To remind me that there are pills for that emotion.

    They already know what you think, they’re working on how you feel – so that they can hit the sweet spot every time! And “correct” the sour spots.

    This is some scary stuff when you look at the long term marketing / control implications of this technology!

  • This is a great article, Sarah. Thank you for sharing your stories, CatNight.

    It reminds me of times in the 80’s. Neighborhood domestic violence. Do you call the cops or not? Does she want him there or not? Is this violence? Or just another knock down drunk shouting match?

    There was hardship in making this decision. It would affect lives, someone would get hauled off to jail (still, better than the 72-hour forced “hold for observation” option, and more deserved).

    Now – in our impersonal text message era, one can call the cops on a whim, and one’s un-comfort is eased but someone else’s life is ruined. The impersonality of this era enables people to anonymously soothe their own discomfort by ruining someone else.

    And the cops are more likely to come in full riot gear. I remember when I finally called the cops in the above domestic disturbance. I said that I thought he had a gun (he had bragged as such). They surrounded the house (not in riot gear, they didn’t have riot gear in the 80’s) and approached very carefully. It was SCARY! Now – I hate to think what it would look like, with door smashers, helmets, and riot gear.

    A request – maybe this only works in Australia, but if you know someone in distress – if you can choose to call an ambulance instead of a cop – that’s always a better alternative. Medics are (somewhat) more compassionate.

    Better still – can you talk face to face? “I’m sorry you’re upset, but are you okay? Would you like a cuppa tea?” Or is that solution too 1950’s?

  • Oh YetAnother, that’s awfully young.

    If it’s “anxiety” it is likely to be: 1. Mood stabiliser (anti-seizure drug), 2. Antidepressant (really gonna be hard for him to reach sexual maturity), or 3. Neuroleptic (“anti-psychotic”) which is life destroying.

    If you can tease out the drug name, you can name the horrible side effects in the young. Only Prozac is approved for people so young, so this is bound to be off-label prescribing.

  • I find it is harder to be fat – not only for the social reasons (fat shaming) that you mention.

    I find I have to fight harder for medical treatment – because after all, my BMI is the source of “all of my health problems” according to doctors.

    The endocrinologist brought out a tape measure and humiliatingly measured me to tell me that my belly was too big. Well, duh! The reason I was seeing him was the difficulty I have losing weight, in spite of a fairly good (not perfect) diet and 3x exercise weekly with daily walks.

    I think that about 30 kilos would make my knees and hips hurt less. I think that carrying around 2 big bags of kitty litter makes it harder to climb stairs, and makes my heart work harder.

    I do believe that how fit I am is more important than how fat I am. But I do believe it would be easier on my body and my social settings to be thinner.

    This has nothing to do with eugenics, and a lot to do with iatrogenic damage. I was always so skinny before the drugs and surgeries…

    I shudder to think how damaging and difficult it would be to have this struggle from the age of 10, instead of the age of 40.

  • It really rakes my heart over the coals to see all of the media storm about “opioid crisis” when the dangerous epidemic of psych drugs is not addressed.

    It thrilled me to see this German study – I have made a note of it for when my own doctor tries again to inflict amitriptyline or duloxetine instead of the poppy.

    I’d love to see a similar study (including withdrawal effects) for gabapentin and pregabalin, which are the new “wonder drugs” that doctors seem to be fond of. After all, they can’t be bad since “they’re not opiates.”

    This study was conservative. What numbers I read and could understand did not seem to account for the suicides. Withdrawal effects were mentioned, but were skewed – possibly because of the short-term nature of these studies? (I have seen more trouble with Cymbalta and Effexor, for example, than any tri-cyclic.)

    At Surviving Antidepressants, we have people who were put on these drugs and left on them for 10-15 years. When the drugs stopped working, or the side effects become unbearable – coming off of them is incredibly difficult. While we do have people who struggle with tricyclic drugs – the suffering caused by Cymbalta (one of the most challenging) and Lexapro (escitalopram) are the worst.

    This is the first study I’ve seen that begins to address the problems which are out here in the real world.

    I was hoping to see escitalopram in this study, as it is being handed out left and right as the “best thing since sliced bread.”