Thursday, April 25, 2019

Comments by JanCarol

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  • Forgive me for interjecting, but Richard, the “ultra left” wants treatment for all…I don’t think that banishing psychiatry or even forced treatment is on the agenda for the “ultra left.”

    The “ultra left” wants to be sure that everyone has the opportunity to seek treatment (or, often, “for their own good” forced treatment.)

    So I’m not sure what you mean by “ultra left”

    Psychiatry is no longer a left/right issue (was OldHead saying something like that?)…but a for/against issue.

  • Thanks for your comment, Dr. Coleman.

    I could argue that the entire medical system is not voluntary, but based on marketing of for-profit medicine.

    Overactive bladder? Ask your doctor…

    …and the doctors are frequently the target of these marketing campaigns: “Does your patient have high cholesterol?” (when there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol is always a good thing.) HPV vaccination is an excellent example of marketing to doctors and patients for an intervention which may do more harm than good.

    One goes to a doctor, the doctor is almost required to intervene, whether that is drugs, procedure, device, etc. All of which are profit based.

    But this is not the forum for that discussion.

  • LC: ” help non-psychiatrist physicians help their genuine (voluntary) patients”

    Except that – the whole diagnosis (diag-nonsense) and drugging basis of psychiatry – which has leeched into GP practice – is based upon fiction and marketing.

    There are **no** voluntary patients. There are unhappy, suffering patients who have been told by the TV, their family, their schools, their workplace, and their inability to function in our sick, high pressure, overdriven society – to “ask your doctor.”

    This is not voluntary, any more than the ball-and-chain effect of “devices” is voluntary. They know how neuro-advertise, and adding the peer pressure and the herd mentality of societal sentiment, ensures that people will “voluntarily” “seek treatment.”

    I heard yesterday of more teen suicides in Florida in the wake of the traumatic shooting about a year ago. These teens were “receiving treatment” for “PTSD.” Did they know that the “treatment” increases the risk of suicide? Did the “treatment” work to prevent their suicides?

    They only did what society and TV say to do, “I can’t sleep, I keep seeing the event over and over, I keep thinking how I’ve failed, I cannot adjust to this world where my best friends can be shot by a mad gunman…so I will tell my doctor, because that’s what you do.”

    That is not voluntary treatment, and as we know here at MIA, it is based on a lie and a long range neuromarketing plan.

  • I hear you Melody, it’s one of the greatest battles we face.

    (this is a generic conversation that happens almost every day)

    Member: “I went off my drugs, I felt great for a few weeks but now I feel awful! What do I do?”

    SA: “Reinstate a tiny amount of the drug, hold for a month or two, and then taper from there.”

    Member: “But I’m *free* of the drug! Why would I want to do that?”

    SA: ” because you are having symptoms, which means you are NOT free of the drug. . . ”

    OR also common:

    Member: “I cold turkeyed a month ago, and I feel great”

    SA: “You are in danger, please reinstate a tiny amount of the drug”

    Member: “But I feel great, why would I want to do that?”

    SA (banging head): “Oh dear. . . ”

    I can count on one hand the number of people who reinstated and prevented the BIG CRASH that frequently happens after a cold turkey.

    But I cannot count the number of people who simply couldn’t believe us because they had a doctor whispering in their ear, their family pressuring them, and – the lies that are spread about these drugs. Then, 6 months later, they return to SA –

    Member: “I’m all kinds of messed up! Help!”

    SA: “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the Kings Horses and All the SA mods, couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

    We try, but it’s a challenge.

  • Ach! Starr! That’s such a good goal!

    But here’s the thing – it’s not just psych!

    When I check into hospital, they put me down as “obese” and then give me these high carb meals with artificial sweeteners. I have to tell them – NO bread, no pasta, and NO TOXIC SWEETENERS (they are bad for brain, too). Even so, they keep trying to bring me cookies and toast and porridge. . .

    As someone who is doing Keto, you’ll understand that all hospital diets are – not healthy.

    Cooking lessons (the way Jamie Oliver did for the school cafeterias) would be awesome!!!!

  • Also – I noted a NOW supplement offered on your site – Calcium / Magnesium.

    1. Magnesium Oxide does not offer any benefit. You would do as well to go outside and chew on some rocks, to get the magnesium from them.
    2. Calcium and Magnesium compete for metabolism. They are to be taken separately in order to get full benefit. I don’t know why these vitamin companies insist on bundling them together ($$$) but they do.

    I do use and recommend many NOW products, but a cal/mag combination is never recommended. And Mag oxide is not recommended, either. This product does contain some citrate and ascorbate, but that would likely be “eaten” by the calcium in the product.

    You can learn about this and other recommended supplements (we recommend Magnesium and Fish Oil for withdrawal and brain rebuilding – but not much else) at

    If you do join the site, and use any of our information on your website, please give credit for all of the research and hard work our founder, AltoStrata, has done.

  • camilleisreal – difficulty getting off of antidepressants can be aided by v-e-r-y slow tapering. has a number of protocols for a number of drugs.

    I saw discussion of “half life” here in another comment.

    Half life only determines how many doses per day you take while tapering. Shorter half life – like Paxil, Effexor IR (not the extended release, which comes in beads), and Xanax – means that you must dose several times a day in order to keep steady state. Half life does **not** have anything to do with tapering speed. Tapering speed is determined by your neurotransmitter repair – it takes about 3 weeks to adjust after any taper, then we wait a week to taper again. Tapering speed is the same – because it is brain based, not drug based.

    Tapering also does **not** have anything to do with fast or slow metabolism. Fast metabolism just means that the doctors add more and more drugs and raise the doses to try and get an effect. Hence, fast metabolisers are more likely to be polydrugged and on the highest doses available. This does not mean they can go faster getting off – because – how fast you metabolise a drug has nothing to do with how quickly your neurotransmitters adjust to a drug, it has to do with the organic rate of healing in the brain.

    On some people a broken leg *might* heal a little more quickly than on others. But for most, there is about a 6-10 week healing time. It is the same for neurotransmitters of the brain. They adjust at the rate we heal, which seems to be about 3 weeks in between tapering cuts.

    Getting off is the same for fast and slow metabolism. Better safe than sorry.

  • Keeping in mind that 40% of the population has methylation issues, and the folic acid might not be appropriate for them. . .

    At a quick glance I was unable to see what the breakdown of nutrients was, as well. How much folate? Was it methylfolate (easier for people with methylation issues)? How much magnesium? A pittance or a valuable amount? What form of magnesium? (if it is mag oxide, it’s like chewing rocks to get the minerals out) Many combination supplements put a spit of each ingredient in and claim “synergy” and “proprietary” but there’s not enough of anything to really make a difference.

    I see it is on the side of the box – so why don’t they provide it online? I tried iHerb and Amazon with no luck. (Amazon had the brand, but not that product.)

    I would bet that eating oily fish, avocado, and coconut oil would provide similar benefits. At least it’s not a $50 bottle, like so many “proprietary” combinations.

  • Hey Julie – all of the people whose stories I told are in the USA. (mostly Midwest – is it harder to be cottage by region?)

    Australia supports its people a little bit better. You don’t have to be “disabled” to get a pension – just be poor, old, or be a single Mum.

    In the USA I worry about people dying without medical care, because they are below the line, below the radar. Here I worry about people going to the doctor TOO much!

    A good case for Universal Income … (but that is beyond the scope of this forum!)

    Kindred – my intentional community would include people from Israel, France, Pacific Northwest USA, Australia, UK, Belgium, Midwest USA. Is there a cave that connects beneath all these continents? My point being – the intentional community with people you know & want to hang with – might not be in a single locale. Got an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific?

  • Not the kind of communities I meant, Oldhead.

    I was thinking more organically – we like each other, we have common goals. I have a job baking bread, but you have a gift in childcare – how about I work while you watch the kids?

    This becomes more important as we age. When I was young I fantasised that all my friends would be in the “oldies home” with me. As I rapidly approach that situation I’m realising that is not only unlikely, but damn near impossible. I will be paddling upstream as fast as I can to avoid any sort of “care.”

    Churches are often organic communities. There are organic communities online – but are not practical in the day-to-day. I saw a “prepare for self sufficiency” meeting, but couldn’t get my hubby to go – this was a collection of people where one would grow oranges, while the other would raise chickens, another doing aquaculture, and all of us purifying our own water from our rainwater tanks. Together we could all be independent of the system, and survive its immanent collapse. Community.

    I’m not talking about “care!” I will probably take my own life before I submit to it. (Sssssh! Forbidden topic!)

  • Julie: “Some people do manage to sell on Ebay or Etsy. I knew a guy who cut hair on the side. Massage is not hard to learn. Getting paid gigs as a musician (weddings, etc). Sewing clothes, selling your art (photography is likely the one visual art that could be very profitable) or selling your psych drugs. Fortune-telling (i.e. “readings,”) if you can convince other that this is valid, will be instant money. ”

    First, I could not, with a clear conscience, sell psych drugs. “Right Livelihood” is a principle I have to live by, and causing harm to others is not in that department. I would sell street drugs before I would sell psych drugs, even though Gabapentin has street value now. (and it’s not easy to make a living selling street drugs – the profits increase as the harm and danger increase)

    Next – all my life, I’ve known people whose goal was to be “off grid,” and utilised the methods you list to try and make a living. These people are dying young now because they cannot afford to go to doctor for a heart attack (for example) and “wait until morning” is a death sentence. Their teeth are falling out. They have untended tumours. They live in dirt and teepees, yurts, and cobbled together housing on other people’s land. It is not a “living,” by any stretch of the imagination. There are a few who “make do” with the festival circuit, buying and selling as merchants, having a table at flea markets and such.

    I do know photographers who win awards, etc. etc., and sell their work – but they are retired from a profession which pays their bills. I do know **one** artist with an MFA who is completely independent and can paint as she wills, and pay the bills, but I think many of her customers are rich elites and corporate (she also teaches part time at a local university). She is extremely skilled, educated and talented. We can’t all be her.

    One friend of mine quotes his father, who said, “Your value in life is your ability to be productive.” Learning a craft – like house painting, carpentry, plumbing, auto repair, hairdressing, and yes – massage – is one way to produce off-grid income. The more skilled, conscientious, and hard working you are – the more likely you are to make a living. Being able to produce something which is a needed service is essential.

    The most successful job for some of these people is apartment turnovers – cleaning out the apartment, painting, carpeting, repairing, getting it ready for the new tenant.

    I do know a few people who make a living off of eBay, but Etsy’s model actually prevents people from making more than a dribble of income. And again – eBay can be hard work! I don’t know anyone who makes a “living” (roof, food, and possibly transportation) off of “fortune telling,” though I do have a friend who makes a good living from combined services of storytelling (at schools and libraries), writing books, and handicrafts as well as offering readings. By combining all of these services, he is very busy and hardworking (as well as skilled with his woodworking) – and very independent.

    What I am saying is – I know many people who dream of being “off grid,” but who do not have the wherewithal – whether that is drive, ambition, or skill – to do more than be a dirty hippy living off the well being of others.

    I know even more people who are stuck in the system – to quit their drugs – to undiagnose – would be homelessness and worse. If you are over 50 years old, and it is winter – “take your pills and shut up” is a strategy for survival. The fear of losing home, pets, possessions, everything is a strong motivator for staying on system. The older you get, the harder it is to just walk away.

    I’m with kindredspirit in that we need to form communities. Many of my hippy friends do live better – not in communes – but supporting each other as best they can, helping each other out with a place to stay, or sharing meals, etc. BUT – I had one hippy “friend”/family staying in my house in Indiana. They still owe me $6000 in back rent, that I will never see (and the house was trashed). They felt entitled – as “hippy friends” – to walk all over my goodwill. You can’t get blood from a turnip.

    Just some stories about independence for your entertainment and thought.

  • Alex: “This is the complicated part, healing the brain/mind/heart/spirit from gaslighting and negative projections and other dysfunctional relationship patterns which ruin peoples’ health and lives, because they lose their clarity and are filled with doubt, worry, and chronic negative ruminations. All because others like to send messages of doubt and fear. One has to be careful about this. I remember this well from my experience.”

    That’s the crux of the biscuit! When I observe neuroleptic damage or cognitive troubles, I’m always extremely careful to **NOT** **SAY** **SO**!!!! Because in 5, 10, 15, 20 years, it may have recovered enough to be satisfying. (if they can walk away from the diag-nonsense, gaslighting, and other bad programming they’ve received.)

    Or, in the case of the people who insist they need their neuroleptics to keep their brains from exploding (????WTF but it’s true, people really believe in these treatments) – I bite my tongue and cry inside.

    Because it does no good – if someone is not in a position to choose to come off of the drugs (usually due to the programming you describe) – to hammer home that the drugs are destroying their brain. And – sadly, the longer they are on the drugs, the less free will they have to try and come off of them, as their choices and ability to choose becomes limited.

    Neuroleptic = means brain destroying. And the gaslighting keeps one down. Combined, they are formidably life destroying.

    That said, I know people on the drugs who work full time, read physics for fun, paint, play music, etc. etc…brains are amazing!

    I’m glad you got your brain out!

  • Neuroleptics do shrink the brain. The question is – was it a part of the brain that you use?

    I’ve watched this happen with many of my friends and loved ones. I’ve watched IQ loss, decision making falter, inability to perceive and discern “grey areas” (black/white thinking), and complications get immeasurably simplified due to the drugs. I help people come off of neuroleptics, and these qualities are common among many of them.

    You got away young enough to rebuild neuroplasticity and connectomes. It is still possible to be highly intelligent with parts of your brain missing. My husband has a golf-ball sized hole in his brain due to stroke. He is intelligent, analytical, communicative, etc. I can perceive his gaps because I am his wife, but I’m the only one who can.

    The fact of the hole in his brain is not something one can perceive by his functioning. But it sure shows up on MRI.

    Likewise, the neuroleptics clearly shrink frontal lobe white matter (I hope I got that right) on MRI, causing volume loss. That doesn’t mean that your brain doesn’t function – and you’ve had decades to re-wire, utilise neuroplasticity, and form new connectomes so that your brain functions quite well.

    Size and shape of brain is not always function of brain. Certainly, the drugs exacted a price, and certainly, because you are a curious and driven human being, you may have recovered a great deal of functioning. Brain and mind are not the same thing.

    But we will never know what we “could have been without the drugs,” except in a parallel universe.

  • dfk Sometimes the mom is the source of the stress.

    But yes, talk to someone. Grandma, friend, teacher, minister, neighbor (I talked to the Mom of the family who I babysat).

    Peers are not the best for children to talk to, because they are still forming world views, and are frightened of anything “different” to their own experience. But an older person will have perspective on what someone is going through.

  • In orthomolecular, copper is associated with emotionalism.

    The copper in orange juice is minimal, however.

    Balance copper with zinc.

    Most modern people are zinc deficient, so it doesn’t hurt to try it. Our chemists have a thing called “Zinc test” which you drink a sip of, and if it tastes good, you are deficient. If it tastes neutral, you’re probably okay, and if it tastes awful, you are not zinc deficient. This keeps you from OD’ing on zinc.

    I never suggest a supplement without a means to test it.

    The other thing your son has been exposed to is a father who was on neuroleptics much of his adult life, who had extreme states. Children absorb the distress of their parents, even if it’s not “abuse,” it can still affect a developing mind. Children also learn their coping strategies from their parents, and if his was taking pills, and yours is taking pills – then he’s gonna want to take pills, too.

  • Warning: this link downloads software. There is no description of what the software is, or why I should (or shouldn’t) use it.

    More information, please Don. Is this the Platform for the chat?

    Where can I read more about the chat, without downloading software?

  • As long as you are waiting for the “experts” to “fix you,” you will sadly, not get better.

    If you know that the experts are corrupt, that the treatments you espouse were designed and marketed – not for your benefit, but to make money. . . (you’ve read RW, I almost question if you understood it. It is the *same* in the UK as in the USA, it is also the same in Australia. National Health just means that you have centralised records – the doctors behave the same.)

    The best person to make you better is yourself.

    I’m not saying that distress isn’t real, it is. But if “anything that stops suffering” is alcohol – are you okay with that? What about heroin? What if “anything that stops suffering” is a bullet? The current “treatments” are no different to these.

    It’s the same thing, really.

  • I may not be a scientist, but I do know that there have been people diag-nonsensed with some sort of psych disorder when really, they just needed to stop eating wheat and / or gluten OR – quit using sugar substitutes.

    One in particular had an SMI diag-nonsense that was escalating until she gave up the diet coke.

    Others have done well to give up bread and grains. Or processed foods. Or Vegans who started eating fish and meat – and voila! Their SMI diag-nonsense went away.

    So “junk science” ? Perhaps. Field work, more likely.

    I like to see people well.

  • Bippyone if you are dissociating, I would postulate that there is a reason for it. It may be “spiritual” or traumatic, or situational, or just the way you’ve conditioned yourself to react to loneliness or stress.

    Your brain and body are trying to tell you something.

    But you’re content the way you are, so perhaps you don’t care to consider the options.

    We don’t need “treatment,” but we may need support. Nobody (and I mean NOBODY!) needs ECT. And while there may be a small number of people who don’t have the wherewithal to survive without drugs, most people don’t need them, either (they make matters worse).

    I would hazard that your withdrawal from the drugs was too fast, causing rebound psychosis. This is common, and has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with the craziness of the individual. Psychiatrists and doctors took some “antipsychotics” (properly called neuroleptics) and they went stark raving from it. Found it intolerable. David Healy ran that trial, I believe.

    And the UK psychiatrists are in bed with pharma, regardless of the governmental model of treatment. UK prescribing habits are just as bad as everywhere else in the world.

    KindredSpirit – I got an email saying you posted – but I don’t see your post here?

  • Ah Bippyone – you have brought a loaded gun into the room.

    If you read Robert WHitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” you would learn that – ***with*** medicines people die.

    If you read around this site, you will learn that people here have been stark raving mad, “delusional,” “psychotic,” or any number of diagnonsense terms. I’ll go with stark raving mad for my own self-description. There are many people here who have experienced extreme states which are frightening, or amazing – or just awe-some (in the old sense of the word, as in, the Awe felt in the Presence of the Divine.)

    What I have learned in my experiences of extreme states, is that they are lessons. It is indeed helpful to have someone to help you process these states, whether it is a shaman, a religious person, or even a therapist.

    What the drugs do, is dampen down the experience. This enables us to live in society – however, perhaps it is the stressors of society which may have brought on the extreme state to begin with. Being numbed as you go back into it will only drive the crisis deeper. Additionally, they create and contribute to the extreme states you are trying to avoid – “antidepressants” cause depression. “antipsychotics” induce psychosis.

    But these extreme states (some call them “spiritual emergencies,” there are a number of terms bandied around) – as frightening and challenging as they are – are important keys and lessons. When you go THROUGH the experience, you become a stronger, better, more creative and productive person. Often, a non-drugged spiritual emergency, when handled as a lesson – results in growth and insight.

    Yes, I’ve been stark raving mad. Stripping naked so that I would be invisible. Talking to wasps. Stalking the man of my affections (clue: he was one of the contributing factors to my extreme state). I have never been hospitalised, so I might qualify as one of the “walking wounded,” as you say. However – it was only the Grace of God which kept me out of hospital.

    Yes, I submitted to the medications. The trick about the medications – besides dampening down the keys, the lessons, that your emotions and extreme thoughts are trying to teach you – is that the longer you are on them, the cumulative effect of them increases illness. It may be a mysterious illness that seems unrelated to the drug, such as Irritable Bowel, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, or even susceptibility to autoimmune disorders.

    People who use the drugs, on average, die 30 years younger than people who don’t use the drugs. This is an average, and there are always exceptions.

    You say you suffer delusions – I would ask you – what are your delusions trying to tell you? Jung might say that they are symbols of a deeper distress which needs to be addressed.

    And honestly, while the NHS is “not-for-profit,” there are a number of Brits in here who can tell you how badly they were abused under the NHS. The corporate pharma is just as happy to sell to governments as it is doctors, hospitals, clinics and individuals – and ALL of the drug information propagated by these profit centers is skewed and dangerously wrong. NONE of these drugs are tested in the long term.

    The challenge is – from an extreme state – finding the ability to address the extreme-ness, and strive for the lessons that YOUR OWN BODY AND BRAIN are trying to teach you. It’s not easy, it’s not a cakewalk. It may be that this path is too challenging for you to pursue. You’re widowed, you’re tired, perhaps diving into the fog of drug numbness is what is your choice.

    But I’m telling you – the people on this site who say that diagnosis is diagnonsense, the DSM is a lie, and psychiatry is not science – have experience in the extreme states you are struggling with. Everyone is different, truly, and your choices are your own.

    I’m only scratching the surface here, Bippyone – but I hear defeat and surrender in your voice, and it is my desire to give you hope that there is another way besides drugging your brain into compliance.

    Normally at this point, I would offer you, where many people have freed themselves from the ball and chain journey of the drugs. But instead of that, please consider reading Robert Whitaker’s excellent, “Anatomy of an Epidemic” to discover the long term, disabling effect of the drugs and treatments promoted by the fake science of psychiatry.

    I feel your distress. I remember a time when I would do anything – ANYTHING (even considered ECT) to make the extreme states stop. I can see you are close to that place now. SO perhaps my words will fall on deaf ears. I hope I’ve said this in a way which is sensitive and not aggravating to you. But perhaps, over time, as you start to pay the price of the drugs – perhaps you will remember.

    There are other ways. Psychiatry is not needed. It is not science. It is not even art. It is social control.

  • Hey l_e_cox –

    CCHR is to Scientology like Social Work is to Psychiatry.

    To use your terms, CCHR is the bird dog that wants to send people to Scientology.

    While they do not use toxic drugs, they do use toxic methods. There’s a new special coming out by Leah Remini who is pulling no punches.

    I do watch their docos, if you can turn down the bass (they make threatening music to “drive the point home”), and not allow any of the medium massage you – there is frequently excellent information in their docos.

    But – if you read Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic” – affiliation with Scientology is one way that psychiatry can dismiss you as a crackpot. Honestly, it was one reason I didn’t believe in the harms of the drugs, because – well, Prozac was just a Scientology lawsuit, wasn’t it?

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is fraught with peril.

  • Julie – I’ve found you have to be careful with naturopaths and alternatives, too. Especially if one is trying to come off the psych drugs – naturopaths, just like all practitioners, have their favourite modalities, and not all of them apply to all people.

    While it is less likely that a naturopath will poison you, there is still a good deal of harm in the name of “natural medicine.”

    My approach is to do my own research, and my natural practitioners are partners. I may or may not take their advice, depending on my knowledge, history and experience in my body, but I am thankful to have someone to consult with when I get confused about symptoms.

    Sadly, because of what psychiatry and medicine has done to me – I have a lot of confusing symptoms.

  • Kindred – you are a gem!

    This is stuff I was unaware of.

    Australia has something similar – because it’s roughly a single payer system (with a tier for “private insurance”) – the government knows nearly everything.

    This year they rolled in MyHealthRecord which is a record that goes across all platforms. All labs, all visits, all tests, everything goes onto this massive database. You can opt out of it – but it’s tricky, and they don’t make it easy. I have opted out.

    I first noticed it when my Orthomolecular doc ticked a box on my labs that said, “DO NOT SEND TO MYHEALTH” so I looked it up, you had until a certain date to opt out – after that date, too late, you’re in the system…

    It sounds similar to what they are doing in the US. The only advantage I see in the US is that it paves the way to socialised medicine. There would be a small advantage for people travelling to be able to access records about epilepsy or allergies.

    But on the whole, I’m with you. Don’t use the system unless you have to! (the problem is, unless we all boycott, the beatings will continue!)

    THANK you for all of those resources!

  • Hi Starr!
    Yes, there are many doctors who stop prescribing, and start with natural and nutritional interventions.

    When they do this, I become afraid for them.

    Hearing Dr. Jennifer Daniels’ story is very enlightening. She had to leave the country – but at least she is alive to tell the tale.

  • Hi – I just read the CITA brochure, and it is excellent.

    However, when tapering, it is vitally important to not alternate days. While their schedule is pretty non-intrusive – alternating days can throw you into little withdrawals each time, and over time this effect can be cumulative and destabilising.

    People go to these kinds of schedules because they cannot imagine chopping, crushing, liquifying – and all the other techniques we use to taper (like counting microbeads)…it’s considered “forbidden” by doctors and pharmacists, and yet we have good success with tapering using these techniques.

    At Surviving Antidepressants, we do a 10%-of-previous-dose taper per month. It takes 3 weeks for neurotransmitters to adjust, and a month gives you a week of “just to be sure” before tapering again.

    it’s sad that CITA closed – you’d think there would be interest in getting people off these dangerous drugs. But no. There doesn’t seem to be.

  • NP’s – I was first seen by a Psych NP when I began to cave in to the diag-nonsense. She was scary – and kindredspirit you’re right they’ve proliferated in the name of bottom line profits.

    i have a doctor friend who – as a family practitioner – might refer a patient to, say, a dermatologist, thinking that it was beyond her expertise – only to have the case handled (and poorly) by an NP. She snorted, “I should’ve just treated them myself!”

    But here’s the thing, where there is hierarchy up, there is oppression down. The nurses take the brunt of the profit centre. There’s nobody out there trying to reduce their hours, improve their shifts, offer them benefits. The whip cracks on their backs, too.

    And it makes numbers of them just as authoritarian as they’ve been treated. You know the way the abused become the abuser?

    Hierarchy up/Oppression down.

    And the diagnosed are at the bottom of that heavy pyramid.

  • I was having this discussion
    In a taxi heading downtown
    Rearranging my position
    On this friend of mine who had

    A little bit of a breakdown
    I said breakdowns come
    And breakdowns go
    So what are you going to do about it

    That’s what I’d like to know

    – Paul Simon

    “Breakdowns” is an interesting way to describe it. In order to transform, a caterpillar goes into a cocoon, where his entire cellular structure dissolves into the goo which will build a butterfly. Breakdown, dissolution, is sometimes essential to build something new.

  • I can’t help but to feel for all of the poor people in the studies.

    *In the event of kidney disease, we recommend continuation of lithium treatment in order to prevent “relapse.”

    Sure, just kill them instead of helping them.

    It’s like these studies were designed to induce instability and suffering…

  • Intestinal flora is a two way street.

    You have good biotics that you want to grow, and out-of-balance ones that you want to decrease.

    My TCM lady says that moving the good people into the village helps to move the bad people out – but –

    Sometimes when you’re so out of balance, you might want to do a “die off” – with oregano oil – before re-biotic-ing your flora. It helped me to get my biome done, but not everyone can afford that. I found that I had too much streptococcus and another – and – get this – not enough e. coli. I actually TAKE e. coli as a supplement (especially if I have to take acetominophen for pain, which kills native e. coli).

  • That’s tough. There’s such thing as “too much protein.” Definitely carbs are a problem (that’s because of the liver damage – welcome to “metabolic disorder” and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease!).

    Electrolytes are huge. I love my pink salt!

    I take a kidney glandular , I don’t know what it does but I’m afraid to stop it when I have attacks like I did the other night. I do have an “orthomolecular” or “functional medicine” doc who looks at more detail than my p-doc or GP does.

    Water, water, water, water. I am addicted to coffee and tea, but limit them to one per day. The rest is water. Water. Water. Kidneys love water.

  • Hey Oldhead –

    You hit the nail on the head!

    I write in Surviving Antidepressants (link above) about that is where the danger lies with lithium. It may be the “lightest metal” but as you take it, it gets heavier and heavier in your system. The longer you take it, and the higher the dose, the more burden it places on your body.

    The longer you take it, the heavier it gets, and it’s chronic use of it where it takes its toll.

    Many people on that thread in SA report that they started taking LO, and it helped, and they were fine, but over time, it made them dull and flat (that’s the point of psych-drug lithium!).

    Over time, it ripped my soul away, and I fell into a deep anhedonia. Nothing mattered. I lost my give-a-yhit-itude. I sat on my back verandah and smoked and read books. I don’t remember those books, I only remember that I spent 10 years out there smoking cigarettes and caring about nothing. Well, okay – I cared about the cigarettes, but that doesn’t contribute to my family, community and society at all.

    Coming out from lithium (I tapered 10% increments over 1.5 years) was like walking out from a muddy swamp. Gradually, my head cleared the swamp and I could see the sky again, even while my hips were deep in mud and I was deeply fatigued.

    I’m now about ankle or knee deep (depending on the day) but seeing the sky and the horizon is motivating to keep me moving and creating and producing even when I no longer have the capacity to produce the way that other people (“normals”) do.

  • Hey zmenard, don’t be surprised if your doctor pooh-poohs my information.

    After all, it came from a “citizen scientist” and not from a doctor. The only reason I researched it was because I had been damaged – in a way that my doctor didn’t even recognise.

    My doctor wouldn’t believe anything I found on the internet, not even if it came from a “respectable MD site.”

    It is important to do your own research, and make your own choices – it is your body.

    However, if you are on an AOT, and the doc is fending off the courts with lithium orotate – that’s preferable to other horrors which could be unleashed.

    Drink ample water – too much is probably close to about right. And electrolytes (you hear people talking about potassium here, magnesium is also vital) to ensure that your kidneys have all the support you can muster. I like using natural pink or sea salt to get a full electrolyte profile.

    It may be possible that you could reduce (please taper!) to the safer dose that the doc is on.

  • “Therapeutic dose” is bogus. Yes, there are “studies” which proclaim that xxx-yyy levels in the blood seem to be more effective on a subjective test like HAM-D or something (“how do you feel? how are you sleeping?” etc), but – as my doctor-friend said, when she found out I had been lithium-prescribed, “it’s such a narrow therapeutic window!” This means that the line between beneficial and toxic is a razor’s edge. And many – like Oldhead – would proclaim that there are no beneficial levels (though there are towns and villages with natural lithium in the water, and they do have lower rates of violence, domestic and otherwise, suicide and depression).

    I woke up this morning after a night of being up every half hour with diabetes insipidus, a lingering, painful, dribbling torture from my 10 years on the lithium carbonate.

    There is a fiction that says that lithium orotate (the OTC kind) is “safer” – but when given to rats, it was more toxic in lower doses than lithium carbonate, and caused damage more quickly. It is less potent at 3.83 mg elemental to 100 mg “chelate” compared to carbonate at 18.8 mg/100 mg…

    I’ve written a lot about this here:

    I’ve concluded that – yes, it is probably somewhat “neuroprotective,” and in some people it can assist with biological clock (it didn’t for me). But the amount needed to assist, and the amounts prescribed – are widely variant. And it is dangerous, regardless of what John Gray PhD (“Venus and Mars”) advocates (he has videos singing the praises of lithium orotate).

    I’ve compared lithium doses to amounts naturally occurring in water, and decided that it’s fine to take lithium if you take enough water. I’ve also done the maths, and my dose of lithium carbonate required something like 423 litres of water daily to survive; hence, I got sick with kidney damage. My tiny dose of lithium orotate required 1/3 litre of water daily (this is additional to normal fluids).

    @zmenard’s dose of 60 mg here, would require 11.5 litres of water daily in order to take it safely. Her doctor’s dose of 10 mg would require nearly 2 litres of water – which is closer to safe.

    Anyone who wants to take more than 5 mg lithium orotate daily should have kidney and liver function tests regularly (every 6 months). Additionally, all of my kidney function tests were in normal ranges – even though I couldn’t sleep through the night for my kidneys doing the diabetes insipidus thing (which I still apparently suffer from, now 3 years off the drugs). I had to educate my doctor about this, as she didn’t believe that lithium *caused* diabetes insipidus. I made her look it up. “OH my, yes, it does!”

    It is not a “safe supplement.” Some naturopathic doctors like Dr. Nancy Mullen suggest that everyone should take 60 mg daily. I disagree.

    The problem with these kinds of supplements – and lithium in particular – is you don’t know the damage until it is done. The problem with kidney damage is that you don’t always notice it until you need dialysis. It was painful to not be able to sleep through the night last night, as my kidneys kept shedding liquid.

    And oh yeah, I lost my thyroid taking lithium, too. I had a visible goitre when doc prescribed it! She had no business prescribing lithium to someone with a goitre! Goitre got so large, that thyroid had to be removed so that I could breathe.

    Your doctor is giving it to you to make herself feel better, it probably has nothing to do with you.

  • “The threat to rigorous and ethical scientific conduct within EBS research seems connected to larger practices uncontained by proper guidelines or regulation of standards. ”

    I am learning about how much private clinics here in Australia are earning from TMS and ECT. It is an assembly line of “clients,” all lined up to get their brains adjusted, one after the other. Cha-ching$$$ cha-ching$$$ cha-ching$$$

    Why question the science, if it is making money?

  • You’re very right Steve.

    Because the child is autistic, I have not been permitted to meet him.

    It would be “too upsetting” to his routine, or something. Or perhaps they are ashamed of his extremes?

    Never mind that I send the child presents 2x a year from Australia to America…

    The whole situation is sad, very sad, because I know what they are doing to his brain – which is probably brilliant.

  • All fine and well, but the companies in the article: Young Living and doTerra are pyramid schemes, almost at the cult level. And while the products may be good, they are overpriced, and use scams to distribute to unwitting “want to be in your own business” pyramid schemes.

    This is predatory behaviour. What is it doing here touted as a “cure for anxiety,” when everyone I know distributing for doTerra has deep anxiety about how they are going to get their next order? (and hint: you can only get the oils if you are a distributor. Scam alert)

    And Young sounds like the essence of a self important predator.

    I am an herbalist, yes, I will take teas of turmeric or lemon balm, and put rosemary on my food. Using an extract in a similar way sounds – almost dangerous. Ingesting essential oils is an experiment.

    Additionally, it sounds like they have no environmental care at all, and are willing to trade in endangered woods and damage ecosystems, all to support the 1/10th of 1% at the top of their pyramid.

    I like a sweet smelling oil as much as anyone, and they can be an important part of health and emotional well being. But egads, pay a fair price for a fair product! I smell a fad.

  • In my experience at SA (and in the real world), tapering antipsychotics is extremely difficult, because the drugs destroy the frontal lobes – centres of concentration, discipline and reasoning required to come off the drug slowly.

    This is why so many impulsively get off – and in many ways it’s the only way for some people. Is to just stop destroying their mind (and tolerate the disabling intrusive symptoms for as long as it takes to get better).

    This is not “relapse,” withdrawal symptoms can strike 6-18 months out. “one month” is hardly a test.

  • Agree Steve! But any GP can help with a single drug. Then you don’t have to mess around with the psychiatrists.

    In a perfect world, I would invite someone to the Healer’s Hut, to stay as long as needed, to thrash and scream and have someone there to keep them safe while they go through the horrors of withdrawal. But I don’t have a Healer’s Hut, and I don’t know where they can be found. I hear Mandala Project in SF, CA is something like this. Or Soteria.

    In a perfect world, someone’s family would be there for them. But in this world, it can be the family who caused the crisis to begin with, as RD Laing so astutely observed when he sent folks home from his Healer’s Hut.

    It’s a tough question. What to do with human distress, in an increasingly distressing world?

  • Oh, and doctors have done her so much good?

    Failure to reinstate may mean that she is likely to suffer worse and longer. I have a friend who CT’d Cymbalta and now, 10 years later, is still suffering. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    Reinstate is about harm reduction. We don’t do it because we love the drugs and the doctors, but because her body and brain are crying out for the thing she has been withdrawn from. It is a kindness, possibly an essential one.

    Apparently, markps2 you haven’t witnessed what “full blown acute and chronic” withdawal looks like. It’s ugly, and dangerous.

    Start with akathisia: and

    Akathisia is the most common (and dangerous) symptom from these drugs.

  • Let me tell you about my Guardian Angel, Squeak.

    I got her at a beef farm, a litter of barn kittens (she was blue, all my cats have been blue – I’m about ready to graduate to a tabby, but still have a blue cat).

    She was with me through 2 marriages, 3x as many boyfriends. She saw me on drugs, she lived through my extreme states. She met all of my friends.

    She was a cantankerous cat. Guests always thought she looked “mean,” but she was just being protective. She was the kind of cat that when she heard something scary – she would run TOWARDS it growling like a dog.

    So – nobody loved that cat but me. When things got extreme, and I contemplated ending my life, she would look at me and tell me – that nobody else would take her, nobody else would love her like I did – and SHE would love nobody else. Killing myself would kill her too.

    She kept me alive for all of her 19 years. She’s gone now, but I’m stable. I owe my life to that cat.

  • Kate – if you join SA – you will have a platform to talk about this all you want – and an audience that understands the harms of drugging (as they are all suffering from their own overdrugging experiences).

    Please, come and chat – there’s a huge community there which will welcome you with open arms.

    I know – it sounds like I’m thumping on, but I really do think you would benefit, or I wouldn’t keep saying it.

    There – you can talk about your cat, your DBT experience, NONE of it is off topic. You’ll have your own thread where you can chat with people – and you can go to their threads and chat about their experiences and compare it to your own – and find that your story is not so strange after all.

    You are not alone!

  • My cat (she’s smaller than Kodi) uses a sling bag like this one:

    She loves it because she cuddles next to me. There’s also a tether that I can attach to her harness (she loves her harness, because she wore one ever since she was a kitten) so that she cannot jump out.

    She also likes it because she can hunker down and hide from stuff (like traffic or people or anything loud or scary to her) or she can pop her head out and check stuff out.

    We no longer use the other cat carriers, this is her preferred conveyance.

  • Oldhead – that’s ME!

    Don’t intervene and put your tubes and drugs in me to try and give me another 24-48 hours of life! Let me curl up in my box by the stove, and meet my Maker in my own way!!!

    My own cat – yes, we did take her to the vet for a transfusion of fluids (kidney failure) but then brought her home where she experienced and I witnessed her last breath, in the comfort of bed.

    Vets are a little better than doctors – but they still have a vested interest in intervening.

  • I believe that both the Inner Compass and Laura Delano base their information on Surviving Antidepressants protocols, but okay, whatever you find helpful. Since Surviving Antidepressants is free, open source and evolving, it stands to reason that people would lift a lot of stuff from there.

    Laura Delano is trying to make a living out of it, which is a bit of a sticking point to the founder of SA.

    When you go to SA you will find that a lot of people are keen on Baylissa Fredericks (also called Bliss Johns, she focuses on benzos – but her self-soothing techniques are beautiful) and Claire Weekes (for surfing and surviving anxiety) – both can be found on YouTube.

  • Ah Kate.

    Keep your cat. He might save your arse.

    If the only thing you do is ask him what he needs, and strive for that, you will start getting better too.

    You can get better.

    I’m not negating your trauma – it sounds horrific. And there is help for the Cymbalta withdrawals. This is still early days, that’s when it is easiest to help.

    I just know that I’ve seen people come back from the wildest far-within places, the deepest of drug cocktails, and they now feel human again. This can happen to you too. Even the ECT damage can re-route – have you read Norman Doidge (I know, psychiatrist, believes in drugging – but ) about Neuroplasticity? We heal.

  • Julie thank you for posting this.

    All I can post is *****MAJOR SAD FACE*****

    It ceases to surprise me anymore. I watch freedom of thought, speech and deed restricted at nearly every turn, in the US, and in all of the countries of the world that “want to be like the US” (Australia is one.)

    1984 and Brave New World were but inklings, twinkles in the eye of the powers that be – what they can do with chemicals and digitals has surpassed Orwell’s wildest dreams. And the people walk right into it.

    *****MAJOR SAD FACE***** (but don’t try to diagnose or drug it!)

  • Hey Kate, that eases my mind a lot. Please, when you do reinstate, start small. Maybe a few beads will help. If you sign up on SA, you can list your dosage, how long you’ve been on (all the variables I mention above) and a mod may be able to suggest a sensible reinstatement amount.

    You are likely to still need a doctor. This is for the long term. I know you’re in your 50’s (me too) and want to be free right away – but it’s better to be alive and healthy than upset and dysregulated. Depending on what works for you, it may be over a year before you’re totally free.

    Other products like Kratom (I’m not sure what neurotransmitters it hits) might complicate things.

    Phenibut hits the GABA receptors, which is like a benzo. A soft benzo. I am currently tapering my phenibut, as Australia recently made it illegal (some kids got ahold of some at a muscle shop, took the whole bottle, and wondered why they got dizzy and sick), and while it was helpful for my cardiac problems, it is too challenging to try and keep it up with black market supply.

    So – in reading at SA you will begin to notice what soothes your nervous system and what revs it up, and you’ll hack it! The simpler it is (changing one variable at a time) the better.

  • There are many factors for CT success, like: how old were you when you went on psych drugs? What drug are you trying to escape from? How much personal work have you done regarding what sent you to the drugs in the first place? How long have you been on them? How many times have you switched drugs? How many different drugs have you been on? How much are you willing to help yourself and not rely on others to “fix” you? (the author of this article has experienced 30+ people taking their own lives from withdrawal during the course of his own taper)

    IF someone had been on only Cymbalta for 5 years, went on it as an adult (teenage neurotransmitters are more pliable, and thus harder to disentangle from the drug), had no other complications like complex cocktails, earlier drug use, etc., I would (personal opinion, not the opinion of SA, who never hazard guesses on this stuff) give someone a 20-30% chance of escape with a cold turkey and a few months of tolerable symptoms. (I shoulda been an actuary.) As the 5 years goes on towards 10, that % sinks lower and lower. At 10, it’s more like 15-20%. This is just from my personal experience helping people off their drugs on SA, and reading a ton of their case studies.

    If that were Prozac, for example, I might extend that to 30-45%, but Effexor and Paxil have different problems, but similar odds. Neuroleptics might be even harder, because they damage the brain that is required to escape.

    The problem with waiting for the symptoms to become unbearable (instead of reinstating at the earliest symptom as I suggested) is that you run the risk of intractable PAWS. When multiple systems get shaken at the same time, it is extremely challenging to balance them all. I am in contact with someone who CT’d Cymbalta nearly 10 years ago now, and while she’s never going back on the drug – she’s still suffering.

    Like I said before, once Humpty falls off the wall, it becomes harder (if not impossible – for all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t do it.) to put Humpty back together again.

    It makes my job harder – to convince people to reinstate and taper during the “I’m fine, I’ve got this.” stage of withdrawal, before the “Oh MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?” part….

  • Hey Kate – your Cold Turkey (CT) of Cymbalta is exactly why I gave you the link to Surviving Antidepressants.

    I have seen a lot of CT’s, and very few of them go well, especially for someone with a long history of psychiatric abuse. Cymbalta in particular is nasty for the CT because it hits on so many neurotransmitters. Here is one example of a CT of Cymbalta:

    One month is a still “the honeymoon,” you probably feel great – but there is a delayed reaction in withdrawal (don’t believe your docs who say 2-3 weeks out and you’re “fine” because they want to diagnose it as “relapse” of your “original condition”). It takes 3 weeks for a single neurotransmitter adjustment. A CT asks your body to make several of those systemic adjustments at the same time.

    This is a tricky period. You might escape. But the thing is – once the symptoms start it is much more difficult to control. Once Humpty falls off the wall, it’s hard to put him back together again. At SA, we would recommend a small reinstatement to stabilise and then taper, to prevent a big crash.

    But it’s hard to get someone to reinstate a nasty drug when they are feeling fine. We suggest this not because we like the drugs or doctors, but because we want you to succeed. Reduction of Harm.

    There are people here at MIA who escaped with a CT, but it is a more dangerous path. (Conversely there are people here on MIA who have not been able to escape via taper, as well – this is about finding the path which is easiest on your body)

    Please see:

    You can choose to reinstate by bullying a GP doctor into prescribing, and you would not reinstate at full dose. (“Hi Doc, I quit this Cold Turkey a month ago, I’m not feeling right, can you please prescribe?” avoids seeing the nasty psychiatrists….the GP will reach for his pad faster than you can say “lickety split!”) Since Cymbalta tapers count beads, you can ask for a full script and open the capsules to get the smaller dose – and have doses to spare to ride through your taper. (yes, you will probably need a few refills, as the 4-6 weeks to taper that doctors & pharma recommends is wayyyyyyy too fast)

    If you choose not to reinstate at this time – pay close attention to your body. Nausea, “weird brain feelings,” IBS, pain, fatigue, emotional extremes, spikes of adrenaline – all of these are symptoms that you may be headed for falling off the wall (there are many many more – too many to list, but if I say, “anything weird” do you know what I mean?). If it were me, I would reinstate now; if it were my stubborn husband, I would wait for the first strange symptom and then say: “Now!”

    Sorry guys for the SA protocols here – but I believe very strongly that these are dangerous drugs and that a CT can be mediated.

    And Kate – WELCOME to MIA – it’s good to see you here!

  • KateL I couldn’t agree more.

    When I complained of numbness going down my legs, and muscle weakness, they didn’t even consider the statins.

    When my sister got diagnosed with brain damage (YES, BRAIN DAMAGE, DIAGNOSED!) they didn’t think to look at the 30 years she’s been on neuroleptics, instead blaming the brain damage on a car accident 30 years ago….

    The early aging is often not from the trauma – it’s from the drugs they give you to treat the trauma. Drugged psych patients die, on average, 30 years younger than undrugged people, of complications that might be blamed on diabetes, heart problems, etc. etc.

    But they never look at the drugs.

    I know it seems wrong, but honestly, paying out-of-pocket for a DO or other compassionate provider, is worth every penny.

    To taper your drugs, go to where there are protocols and forum support.

  • Lyme is a bacteria, iirc – a spirochete, which can burrow into any organ or system and wreak havoc.

    The similarities between Lyme, autoimmune disorders, and those weird ones that docs don’t like (CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia) and withdrawal symptoms – are so shockingly aligned that I can’t help but to wonder how much of these “disorders” are drug induced.

    For example, I have a neighbor. Horrible CFS. But she takes Cymbalta. Which came first? The drug or the CFS?

    Psych drug withdrawal does this autonomic dysregulation thing that can affect all systems.

  • Seroquel, Zyprexa, Clozaril, Abilify – all hit the H1 Histamine receptor. See this chart: that purple column on the right is all of the neuroleptics that hit on Histamine receptors.

    As explained by “The Last Psychiatrist” – it works like a champagne fountain. Example Seroquel, the first glass at the top is Histamine. Once that glass is full (25-75 mg, depending on individual metabolism) it will start spilling over into the D2 (Dopamine) receptors as well as the 5HT ones. This is why Seroquel is sedating at lower doses (the first champagne glass) until the D2 action kicks in.

    Tricyclic antidepressants hit those H1 receptors, too. Chlor-trimeton, a common antihistamine hits on 5HT receptors, as well.

    Additionally ALL of these drugs destabilise the entire neurotransmitter system. SO – haywire? Yeah, it’s normal. It’s my understanding that people withdrawing from Effexor have a lot of Itchy & Scratchy show, so there’s something going on there.

    But yah, histamine haywire = normal.

  • Oldhead – here’s the thing about *not* advocating non-compliance.

    In order to taper a drug, one needs someone to prescribe it for them. This process can – and should – take years. You can’t just ditch the doc – or if you do, you’d better be able to get one who won’t make matters worse.

    What you do with the drug when you get home (cut it up, crush it, dissolve it in liquid, weigh it out into gel-caps, count beads – whatever it is) is your business.

    But in order to taper one needs a prescriber. How much you tell your prescriber is your business – but many “psych patients” are conditioned to “be honest” and “tell everything” about their thoughts and feelings. At SA we cannot say that “our methods are superior to your doctor’s” but we know that they are. We do sometimes say that “doctors don’t understand these drugs.” It’s a fine line.

    We prefer that people don’t report every symptom to their docs, because of what happened to kindredspirit (it happens all too easily). We prefer that people don’t go to hospitals for their withdrawal distress, because they nearly always switch up the cocktail. We prefer that people don’t come back to us and say, “But my doctor said I could just quit….” or whatever the doc’s advice is, because we know that a disaster will follow, and we will likely be the ones to address the mess. “Prefer” is different to saying, “don’t listen to your doctor, he’s an idiot.”

    The power is in the hands of the members, to choose how to heal.

    We clean up after doctors. And hopefully the members learn to hack their own problems without getting doctors involved in their mood, extreme states, even certain physical symptoms (like akathisia or sexual dysfunction – drugging these is never a good option). The less you can report to a doctor, the better.

    In withdrawal, it is common to have cardiac issues. These should – ALWAYS – be checked out. Sometimes there are symptoms that seem like brain damage – by all means get it checked out (but we often find it’s just the drugs). If it eases worry to check out physical symptoms, then by all means do. But please, when visiting a doctor, don’t talk about anxiety!!!! (especially if you are a woman)

    Personally, my mood is my business, and I get angry when a doctor (even an osteopath) talks about me as “anxious” or “depressed” or “we need to fix your sleep” or whatever – I never use these words with them, and it’s stunning to see how frequently they still come back to me.

    Kindredspirit – as an individual I am in complete agreement. Educated non-compliance is the best way to survive and heal. It’s just that in SA, we cannot dispense medical advice over the internet.

  • As the waters rise (here in Australia, we all live around sea level) it would be lovely to have a sustainable eco retreat.

    I hate to say it, but actuaries are predicting massive movements of refugees – so – (since we are dreaming beautifully here) the need for defense – or secrecy – of our mountain retreat may be essential.

  • Thanks Rachel and LavenderSage for advocating Surviving Antidepressants.

    Our goal is to help reduce or eliminate the drugs. Definitely not a pro-drugging site. We cannot advocate that you become non-compliant with your doctor, but our suggestions definitely differ from mainstream medical perspectives.

    It’s not as warm and fuzzy as a support group. Moderators look at your cocktail and advocate for reduction, and can help with adjustments according to half lives and drug interactions. But the onus is on the Member (that would be you) to choose and decide what is best for themselves.

    There are some warm fuzzies between members (but as a moderator I do not participate in those).

    It’s better to go in there when you are moderately stable, than it is to wait until there is an inevitable drug crisis.

  • Thanks Jule!

    I agree! In general diets are disastrous!

    I thought I made it clear that “SOME say they get results faster with Keto and intermittent fasting” – perhaps I should emphasise the SOME and add YMMV?

    I have not been able to adopt full ketogenic personally, but have greatly benefitted from adding more healthy fats to my diet. I keep hoping that it will naturally help me reduce carbs without being restrictive.

    I have managed to do one day a week of intermittent fasting, again, not restrictive, just an eating window one day a week.

    YMMV. Always.

  • Please do go and post a Success Story!!!!

    Often when people get better they leave, and forget to share their success – so then, when newbies arrive and ask, “will it EVER get better?” we have more stories of success to share with them.

    Sorry the SA snail’s pace didn’t suit you – but it’s dangerous for us to recommend anything faster (liability and all that, we are not doctors, and cannot catch people when they fall). I’m so glad that ***you*** didn’t fall and escaped into wellness!

  • Cymbalta is especially evil, in that it hammers a lot of receptors. Please be careful. The CT’s from Cymbalta I’ve seen are especially damaging – if I were to choose a strong candidate for s-l-o-w tapering, that would be one.

    I’m glad to hear that your recovery is inspiring your parents to think differently!

  • Hey Rachel – I reckon time will help.
    1. You are young,
    2. You are still less than 3 years out from your last dose.

    Those of us who are longer out from last dose – find incremental improvements. I don’t think one ever gets to 100% because of – life and aging.

    I think in the first year you get huge gains – you get your mind back, and start to deal with the physical toll (amazing how the drugs cover this up). After that first big gain, the recovery rate slows, and the increments are smaller, and you have to work harder for them.

    Any dietary changes need to be for at least 4-5 weeks to “see a difference,” though some say they start to get results faster with Ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting (autophagy). Dr. Ken D. Berry from Tennessee has an extensive YouTube site about how to do it cheaply and easily.

    But you will get better – you will hack the autoimmune thing and find what works for you – and you will find ways to get better, get more active, get more sunlight and social contact, and gradually you will get better.

    Already you are past the point of no return – ain’t no way you are ever going back, right? 😉

  • Hey Neesa – see my post below.
    Usually attempts to reduce drugs start with too much reduction.

    I’ve never seen anyone – on their own devices – do the 10% approach. After being on Surviving Antidepressants for 5 years (gee, has it been that long?) I have yet to see someone who “reduced their drugs” by this small amount. The goal is to trick the body and brain into thinking “it’s all good.”

    We do have people who are in a type of tolerance, and for them we recommend microtapers of 5% or less. One schedule is 2.5% per week then wait a month.

    You can do this – especially if you combine it with exploration of your “symptoms” (intrusions, “delusions,” whatever you want to call them) to find out what they are trying to teach you.

    Until you’ve tried the 10% approach – or if that scares you – a 5% or smaller approach – then you really haven’t tried tapering.

    Nearly everyone I’ve talked to and seen who says they’ve tapered and “it didn’t work” has reduced by greater amounts than 10%.

  • Igor – “schizophrenia” is not a disease but a cluster of symptoms around profound distress. There are many methods for opening the gates, building bridges to these intense places of distress that actually heal the distress.

    “Schizophrenia” does not cause loss of brain matter – the treatments – drugs, ECT – do. Further, the drugs only suppress the distress – meaning it is not resolved.

  • CCHR is a recruiting arm for the cult that is Scientology.

    If you forgo psychiatry, then you are ripe for Scientology.

    While the goals of “antipsychiatry” or “critical psychiatry” or whatever the heck whoever we are – may be parallel to CCHR, as long as one stays away from the final door (“would you like to take a personality test?”) I think that we can use each other.

    I use CCHR and Scientology videos to explain to folks how the drugs don’t work. I tell folks “sorry about the hype – but the information is good.” Then, when they are ready, I give them a copy of Anatomy. (many folks who are drugged aren’t ready to read, and so the videos are a good start).

    Both psychiatry and Scientology are scams. Is one more harmful than the other? By the numbers, I think psychiatry comes out as most harmful – but by cult recovery information, Scientology is pretty evil. Mind control always is.

  • My bro-in-law had TMS and hasn’t said what good it did (at least he wasn’t harmed, and he was at a prestigious Melbourne brain institute) – he did several months/years? of neurofeedback with good results, but there was only so much they could “fix.”

    There are many cowboys in the TMS field, who just set up shop and do not study fMRI or anything. So – who you get has a lot to do with how effective it is. So for example, here in Australia – I would consider (if desperate, which I am not) the Melbourne clinic ONLY. They at least have the ethics to stop if the treatment isn’t doing anything – or – if it’s doing unwelcome things.

    Click click!

  • Just above: Maya Dusenbery, “Doing Harm.”

    I just finished Anatomy for the 3rd time too. It’s good every time. I got it on audiobook by accident (twice, sent the first one back, and got another, thinking it was the book this time – because I give the book away every chance I get) – and while it’s a little hard and fast with the statistics – it’s a stunning way to experience the book too.

    Also reading “Blaming the Brain” by Eliot Valenstein.

  • Dusenberry talks about how when Freud turned “hysteria” from a physical “wandering womb” (and all the awful treatments for that) into a psychogenic thing – “it’s their emotions, and women can’t handle emotions, so it manifests as physical symptoms” – that was when diagnosing women got worse.

    This book is opening my eyes to the tragedy of what is being done to women in the name of medicine – and shuffling women off into “psych diagnosis” is one of these things. Once the psych diagnosis is there – any other complaints are put in that effing cubbyhole.

    Psychiatrists have corrupted more than medicine. As evidenced by what you have witnessed – all of the women saying “oh, you must get treatment, it’s a ‘brain disease’ – I seed it on TeeVee” have been corrupted by media, and the capitalistic venture that also drove them to seek out “my little pony” as little girls, or Maybelline as adults…

    It’s no accident that it’s the women, the black, the poor who are thrown into the lion’s den of psychiatry.

    (I guess maybe I’m about ready to dive into some Naomi Wolf after this.)

  • kindred – you might enjoy (or be angry about) a book I am reading about the misdiagnosis of women called “Doing Harm” by Maya Dusenbery.

    I’m only on the first 100 pages, wherein she’s gone through a history of “hysteria,” “psychogenic illness” and she’s starting to get into the fact that once ONE doctor has said, “It’s all in her head,” then no other doctors look any further.

    As a result 12 million Americans experience diagnostic errors, and conservatively, 40-80,000 people die annually due to these diagnostic errors. That on average, people with mystery illness have to go through 10 doctors and 4-8 years of misdiagnosis to find out wtf is wrong.

    Anyhow, you might be interested in her book.

  • Thank you Oldhead – yes. Psychiatry is not science, it’s not medicine. But medicine is more and more corrupt at the core, I’m beginning to think it’s got elements of fake, too (especially on the pharma side of things). The doctors really believe in it – lord save us from those who want to help us! – even though it is created by corporations for profit, and possibly for social control. (if everyone is on statins, there will be no revolution!) How many hysterectomies are truly necessary? Why is there fluoride in the water. Cavities? REALLY?

    and MedLawPsych – you neglect medical manufacturers – I’ve seen tons of lawsuits for bad implants, meshes, devices, “treatments” (including the ECT and TMS of this blog)…unnecessary surgeries. After my experience, I question the cancer care industry which puts people through expensive, horrible regimens of chemo and radiation to add 2-3 (poor quality) months to someone’s beleaguered life.

    For all of my surgeries I went in (with flat lithium-induced affect, so I wasn’t the brightest bulb – but also – I TRUSTED) and the surgeons said, “we do this and this.” Nothing was said about how necessary this was, nothing was said of risks of damage (I have damaged vocal cords from thyroidectomy – never to sing again!), nothing was said about the cost on my adrenals, or the induction of chronic illness. Nothing was said about, “if we DON’T do this, these could be the consequences.” The surgeries were performed by top notch doctors, with exquisite skill, precision and care.

    Example – in 1990 I had an arthroscopy performed on my knee. It was amazing, and the pain went away and I could run and play again. But – now, 30 years later – there is no cartilage where they trimmed it away and I have severe knee pain. Was the intervention good (it was certainly skilful) or harmful? I’m not sure, and I’m unsure of the alternative (living with 30 years of pain).

    But they wrecked my body. So yes – big pharma is bad – but the “science” of all of this shit is corporate. Profit driven. And the doctors really believe they are helping with their interventions and statin drugs and blood pressure pills and treatments and surgeries.

    Upton Sinclair, I believe, is the author of the quote you mention.

  • Hey Neesa – nice writing! I can feel your mirror – of watching your mother experience what you go through every day.

    My husband got a steroid shot for a frozen shoulder. He had a reaction – and got permanent hiccups. The only way to stop them was with chlorpromazine (Thorazine to the Yanks). Here I was, handling the very drugs that I had rejected (I was never prescribed Thorazine, only Seroquel) – and having to keep dosing him until he could sleep. I knew this was not a psych situation – he was only going to be drugged short-term to stop this thing. It took 3 doses (total of 75 mg) before he was finally freed of these reactive spasms. This continued for over 72 hours. After the 3rd dose, he finally slept. (note: this dose schedule was “acceptable” for a 25 pound dog, I looked it up. Hubby weighs 180 lbs. )

    In his sleep, he could not get up to go to the toilet. He was trapped in his sleeping body. He railed at me: “DON’T EVER GIVE ME THIS STUFF AGAIN!” as I helped him to the toilet. Lesson learned: medical intervention (steroid shot) always comes with a price. Sadly, I would do it again, because it was the clearest way through this thing.

    Have you read Anatomy of an Epidemic? And understood how the neuroleptics contribute to chronicity?

    I am not you, I cannot change your mind about your diagnosis or your perception of your intrusions, nor can I experience your internal methods of coping with trauma.

    However, you are functional and well now – and you know that the Clozapine is exacting a toll. Instead of waiting for the axe to fall – why not try this?:

    Go to and learn how to taper 10%. Then – taper 10%. Just 10%. Take 90% of your dose, and ride on that for awhile. When you are convinced that is okay – then – you can try another 10% (of current dose, not your total ever dose). Maybe you will wait 3-6 months between tapers to develop confidence. Maybe as you develop confidence you will increase the schedule of tapers.

    But just start with the first one. If you understand the curve of plasma occupancy, the top 25% of any drug dose (especially as prescribed by psychiatrists and doctors) is unlikely to make a difference. Start with the goal of finding the “lowest useful dose.”

    Maybe that will be – as Fiachra found – zero. Maybe it will be a ridiculously low amount that your doctor will scoff at – like 25 mg. Maybe a lower dose will fend off some of the horrors that the drug is exacting from your body, reducing toxicity. Maybe in the process you can make peace and come to understand better your Voices and intrusions. Many of us have found that voices and intrusions can be guiding lights, protective (even if they are sometimes, well, intrusive!). There are methods for accepting them – and it’s never too late to learn.

    Resist the urge to do any of this quickly or impulsively. You know from experience that is the path to symptoms returning with a vengeance.

    I’ll say it again: just try 90% of your current dose. See how that feels.

    Think about it as “finding the lowest effective dose” to prevent damage to your body. Your doctor should be helpful with that (though they do get funny about people crushing and liquifying doses – lucky for you, Clozaril is available in a liquid, which makes tapering much easier.)

    Start with 90%. Seek “Lowest effective dose.”

    You’ll live longer with better quality of life. And you won’t have to be afraid your mother (or brother or dog) will harm themselves with your drug, either!

  • That said – the hysterectomy and thyroidectomy and bowel surgery could have been avoided if I’d not been on psych drugs – but – the doctors, they never look at the psych drugs, they just look for “treatments” and “interventions” and drugs.

    When I find a doctor who will look at my brain damaged sister (30 years on neuroleptics) and say – you know – your arthritis pain, your cognitive problems – it could be the drugs…

    When I find that doctor I will cheer and find hope that there is at least one. But my sister – in the system – cannot afford to shop for “functional medicine” or even an osteopath because it’s not in her Medicare/Medicaid based system.

    When a “system” doc says these things – I will begin to have hope for medicine. Until then, they are all just as suspicious to me as psychiatrists.

  • Oldhead said “psychiatry needs to admit it’s not medicine” (paraphrased).

    Steve says Science is wonderful when practiced well.

    It is my experience that Medicine is no longer Science. I have been harmed as much by unnecessary surgeries and GP drugs, as I have psych drugs. Hysterectomy, Thyroidectomy, “bowel repair” that has only made things worse (they want to “fix” the bowel surgery with a mesh – read up on the lawsuits about that one). Statins anyone? PPI’s anyone? Anyone here been FLOXED? (I haven’t but I just read a heart rending post from someone who was – and at one month out thinks she is a “survivor” not understanding the long term consequences…)

    So I don’t know where to fit my “antipsychiatry” with my “anti-corporate medicine.”
    For me, they feel like the same basket, with the psychiatry apples being the worst of the bunch. I do know that psychiatry brought my attention to the fact that medicine was harming me, too.

    So – MLP – as you go looking for “evidence” be sure and follow the money as well. Read Dr. Goetzsche’s excellent “Deadly Medicine and Organized Crime” before you believe any published study ever again.

  • MedLawPsych – before you go praising ECT as a valid “treatment” consider these:


    ECT is widely used for social control. The poor, the elderly, the disabled, and women are the most common victims (and I don’t use that word lightly) of this “treatment.”

    ECT is traumatic brain injury. I came to this article because I know people who have also been damaged by TMS and this is one of the rare times that I’ve seen the two “treatments” put in the same basket.

  • Fibro, Autoimmune, CFS/ME, POTS, dysautonomia, chronic pain – can all be caused by drug withdrawal.

    Rachel, I did the CFS thing, too. Or Fibro. “Oh, I’m sorry” folks would say. Much easier than explaining how doctors ruined me. I’m healed, but not nearly as functional as “normals.”

    And how often I bite my tongue when I see my friends, family, community subjecting themselves to “treatment” (of any kind).

  • It’s easy to say that if you have no experience with this drug.

    There is a black box warning on Cymbalta – it is there for a reason, and it was quite a battle to get this small concession from Lilly.

    It is criminal to prescribe this to young people for any reason. Google the phrase “Cymbalta Hell” to see why this study is representative of greater problems with this drug.

    Sometimes even a small sample reflects the wider problems quite well. “Only” one suicide? Isn’t that enough?

  • I know a number of people who have “chronic fatigue” or “fibromyalgia” and don’t think to look at the drugs they’ve been given.

    Just last weekend I was talking to a woman with horrible chronic pain – supposedly “fibro” but also Hashimoto’s. It didn’t occur to her that the amitryptaline they gave her 30 years ago (that she still takes) could have messed her endocrine system….

    When I hear of ***children*** with fibromyalgia, I am shocked, and believe there must be some trauma (if not drugging) involved.

    And Cymbalta – I agree with Cochrane – 100% side effects. None of these drugs are effective and now that the “opioid” (really, that’s not a word) crisis is forcing GP’s to look at alternatives for pain. Sadly, these alternatives are worse than the opioids.

  • Hey George – I am so sorry for your loss of the beautiful Martha.

    I think you are onto something when you say her love of Alexei was pointing to God. Sometimes in the path to God, we need to make it personal in order to connect to Something which is Beyond us, unfathomable, unknowable.

    When I listen to love songs, I often listen for the You. “You make me feel” “I see You in the Stars” etc. etc. and I find that when I substitute the Divine for You, these silly love songs become Worship of the Divine.

    In learning to love Alexei, she was in training for loving God. And, eventually, in training for a real relationship with a manifest Human Being. But she needed to learn to love Herself first – and Alexei was the key to that. Perhaps a representation of her Animus?

    There is also the untouchable nature of Alexei. He cannot hurt her, he cannot betray her, he is always there for her. So in loving the impossible – she is safe to love.

    Thank you for sharing her story.

  • Julie – this is shocking!

    One of the first “Unitarian Universalist songs” I learned was this.

    “Oh we’re Unitarians and we don’t believe in sin
    We won’t chastise or criticise – we’ll only let you in!”

    So – they may not believe in sin, but they sure do believe in the sin of “broken brain!”

    I’m sorry for what you went through.

  • Hey Oldhead – the vultures are important.

    The people who want power and control – as said by comedian Lee Camp – are the ones with the plans.

    The rest of us muddle along as best we can while the power hungry are making plans for what they want next…

    The prophecy of Eagle and Condor comes to mind. At first I was offended that the scavengers would reign – but that will be what it comes to. To the vultures go the spoils.

  • Thank you Monica for an excellent article – it’s good to hear from you.

    Another thing to consider (which we’ve heard bits of here in the comments) are people who are traumatised further by the effing “mindfulness programs.” Not myself, but I’ve witnessed it in others. And “meditation” in general – especially for those with trauma in their story – is a minefield. If it’s not my trauma, it might be the teacher (I have been messed up by meditation teachers).

    When working with folks, whether it’ well folks, traumatised folks, or folks who walk with feet in many worlds – I do encourage “a daily practice.”

    But it may not be “mindfulness” even if it is mindful. It might be balancing a rubber ball on the end of your nose, or a walk around the block. This daily thing helps to build well being. And it doesn’t have to be Eastern, and it doesn’t have to be patented, and it doesn’t have to cost any money at all.

    Examples include writing, drawing, singing, cooking (I love the arts), or walking, lifting, yoga, breathing, making tea, tai chi, or something completely unique to you. You can be mindful of whatever you are doing – and the healing will still take place. The traumas and sticky stuff will still bubble up whether you are sitting in lotus or knitting. It’s that dedicated time to one’s self which is the foundation.

  • I just read an (Atlantic?) article about Thomas Insel who was with Google (don’t be evil) in a sub group focusing on providing mental health services. He’s since broken off and formed a smaller group with the same purpose.

    The thing he described scared the holy hell out of me. Using our metadata – how we use the phone, how we speak, text, engage, disengage – whether we left the house or posted on Facebook – the metadata used to determine if we were in a diagnostic category – and a danger to ourselves and others.

    The development of such a tool is an invitation to have Corporate and Government Big Brother watching our behaviour via metadata to see if we are fomenting thought crime.

    This article is about using these e-tools in collaboration with a therapist – and honestly, the young folks love this kind of stuff.

    But it’s a slippery slippery slope.

  • It does seem that on your blog post:

    – that you are advocating for use of psych drugs. That you are actually telling someone (the reader) that *you* (the reader? yourself?) need Seroquel.

    Perhaps you choose to use quetiapine to function in a working world. But I question the word “need,” and definitely would not advocate anyone else to choose that path without knowing more. The long term cost of “antipsychotics” (called “Neuroleptics” on this website because they are anti-brain) may be more dear than you know. (finding your sleep again may be one of them)

    (I tried to comment on your blog, but my security suite doesn’t like the log in)

    And honestly, to call psychiatry witchcraft is to insult the witch. Diabolical, evil, mind control, behaviour control, social control – totalitarianism disguised as “helping profession.” The witches I know tend to like sex, trees, herb tea, rocks and walks in the forest or on the beach.

    I’ll take it one step further and state (opinion alert) that “biology” and “medicine” are inherently corrupted by the corporate model of research and reporting of that research. The entire profession is suspicious to me – the diagnostic tools (MRI’s, blood tests, bone scans, etc.) are useful, but the “treatments” fall under suspicion of corporate pharmaceutical and medical devices being pushed.

    If you are interested in alchemy, try Carl Jung, who says,

    “Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.” ― C.G. Jung, The Red Book


    For the old timers here – she is on the cusp of undiagnosing, and on the verge of discovering the Inner Life that was squelched so thoroughly by psychiatry. Can we cut her some slack (I hope you don’t mind my use of 3rd person here)? I think that’s what Oldhead meant when he said, “get back to me in a year or so…” but I would hesitate to claim to truly know “what Oldhead meant…”

  • I agree with Auntie – “idiot” is not a word I would use.

    And perhaps my first description of your video wasn’t very accurate, either.

    One of the things which I learned in undiagnosing myself was how to appear calm, rational, even when I was excitable or agitated. It is vital to “present well” around professionals (I still have to use doctors, and they ***still*** want to address my mood, even though it’s none of their business). Unfortunately, the people who are diagnosed look through similar lenses as the professionals – because they’ve been taught and conditioned that way.

    When I looked at your video, I could see the diagnostics flying, as you were so enthusiastic, and your repeated use of the word “psychosis” caused problems for me. My “psychosis” was not pleasurable at all – so my reflection of your video was that it was “off the wall” or not very credible – TO ME. As Auntie pointed out – it has appeal.

    Please do not think “idiot” about yourself. Ever.