Saturday, February 16, 2019

Comments by JanCarol

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  • 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: https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/7040-lithium-orotate/

    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: https://youtu.be/x86aCDtvbT0 and http://missd.co/

    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:

    http://www.i-ownpets.com/product/Pet-Sling-Carrier-Bag.html

    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?

    https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/17909-are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take/ (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: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/

    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: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9451-delayed-onset-of-withdrawal-symptoms/

    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 http://www.survivingantidepressants.org 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: http://cdn.neiglobal.com/content/practiceres/posters/50188_nei_009_bindings.pdf 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 http://www.survivingantidepressants.org 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:

    http://www.ectresources.org/
    http://www.ectstories.com/

    Especially: http://www.ectresources.org/Shock_treatment_brochure_June_8.pdf

    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: https://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.com/2018/11/exiting-psychiatry-by-engaging-alchemy.html?m=1

    – 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

    Consider: http://www.carl-jung.net/alchemy.html

    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.

  • I’m sorry Ekaterina, but I watched your video – and it did not present you well. You sounded like crazy person saying “Psychosis is good, psychosis is fun!”

    There are many many people who do not find the intrusions of alternate views as pleasant (even without the drug psychosis). There are many people who suffer under the pain of trauma and their intrusive realities are punishing, torturous. The trauma is so intense, and the Voices and HyperReality is so pressing that it is literally punishing.

    Use clarity and describe – what you are calling “psychosis?”

    “Today the faeries told me not to take the train, and a man jumped onto the tracks.” “When I was Buddha, I knew that humanity had hope and purpose.” These are connections, communications with deeper realities – but they are NOT PSYCHOSIS. (regardless of what doctors have told you)

    I’m all for reclaiming words like fag and witch, even Mad – but when the power of the corporate, government, and society at large are behind a word like “psychosis” then the tide is too great to turn. You are punishing yourself with use of words like this. And – it will be harder to reach the audience you want to reach – while you are saying “Psychosis is pleasurable” I know hundreds of people who are saying “I cannot, the pressure in my head is too painful.”

    I got labelled “bipolar” in the 90’s. When I was “manic” it was dramatic and energising – but it was not creative, it was horrible. It was indeed “spiritual emergence” but it took me 20 years to process the information that came through. But it was painful, not pleasurable. Saying “psychosis is great” diminishes my own experience, which was that “psychosis is intense, it is valuable – but it is also hard work.”

    You will heal better when you let go of the “psychosis” word and all of the baggage attached to it.

  • Ekaterina – there are shamanic techniques, and there are teachers and experienced persons to help teach without $$$$ outlay. What is shamanism? It is deep communication with these very things, and the methods for grounding them in reality and serving your community.

    The first technique that comes to mind is developing the ability to choose when you are in an altered state or not. Most people who experience altered states are concerned about the intrusion of these states – finding yourself in an altered state of consciousness while driving in traffic is very intrusive.

    The clearest method for developing this ability is to – every day – devote a time where you say – for 10 minutes, allow all of the altered state information to come through. Then, when the 10 minutes is over – it is over, and you spend the rest of your day – as a discipline – **not** in that altered state. After about 6 months of practising this, you will be able to choose when you can go in and out of these states.

    The next method is gratitude for what you experience while you are there – whether it is faeries, or Jesus or Buddha, or your Ancestors, or Nature, or just the Inner State – be thankful, give thanks, express gratitude to whatever those experiences are.

    There are many methods for cultivating support for yourself, often defined by your Ancestors – but there are post-tribal techniques as well.

    If you cannot learn from a teacher, you can – from your altered states – contact your Ancestors and receive guidance as to how best to develop your talent. As your talent develops – the purpose of this talent is to help others – you will better see how you can utilise it for more than your own pleasure – to use it to help others, which you are already driven to do.

    I humbly submit my small website (though there are many other teachers Greater than I): https://shamanexplorations.com If I am not a good fit for you, there are others I can refer you to. The truth of Shamanism is that you are your OWN Shaman, someone like myself can only point, suggest, help navigate your own experiences.

    Jungian analysis tends to work on these premises, too, that what lies underneath your conscious mind is valuable information. “Psychosis” gives greater access to this subconscious and Collective information – but for many people it is too frightening to access.

  • Ekaterina – I appreciate your bravery, but I question your insistence upon calling altered consciousness = “psychosis.”

    Altered consciousness has been a human state of growth and learning for as long as there have been humans. Experience in non-ordinary reality gives depth to a person, and integrating this experience in ordinary reality infuses passion and meaning to life as a human.

    Some would say “walking with a foot in each World” = the world of Spirit, and the world of consensuality.

    I watched your video – but “psychosis is amazing” – when psychosis is brought on by life crises, difficulty reconciling the Inner and Outer Realities – it is not “amazing.” A Great Teacher, yes – but often (if you read many of the stories here) quite painful, too.

    Please lose the diagnostic language – and if, as you say in your video, you are trained in Shamanic methods of alternate states of consciousness – then please call them what they are, not what psychiatrists have named them.

  • I reckon the “Hero gene” is just being a Leader – you naturally want to protect the tribe at great risk to yourself. That serves a genetic purpose, as well.

    Thank you for all you do. When I saw you speak in Australia a few years back, I wondered how it was possible that you were employed, prestigious, and that the Cochrane Collaboration was the last bastion of objective science in medicine.

    Sadly, that is past tense now. I trust your work, but Cochrane no longer. You will always find a place to fully utilise your great gifts of diligent, clear thinking, precise language, and passion for humanity.

  • Bonnie, I agree. When I heard Dr. Gotzsche speak here in Australia (2015?) – I was stunned at what I was hearing.

    How did this guy have a job? How was he able to speak so freely these things which so angered the psychiatrists in the room? TO THEIR FACES! With his keen mind and rigorous application of scientific principles – well, I was stunned. And in awe. He was really doing this!

    This man was working, and his Collaboration gained the utmost of my respect. I learned to study their work before making any medical decisions.

    Sadly, the Collaboration has fallen away, but Dr. Gotzsche’s clear mind shines like a star.

    Hopefully he will transcend any other challenges put in his path.

  • Which makes a wonderful marketing opportunity for Scientology. (though oddly, their numbers are down, while psychiatry’s are way way up)

    Jung used to say that Satan was Jesus’ brother – that you couldn’t have one without the other.

    I would say the same is true of Scientology and Psychiatry. Different approaches to control.

  • Hey phoenix, watched another Robot movie last night (he even looked a bit like Wall-e, but predated him) from the 1980’s called “Short Circuit” – where Number Five’s “malfunction” was that he was ALIVE. This made the military and his creators extremely upset…and they tried to destroy and repair him “accordingly.” It wasn’t until you just made this Wall-e comment that I linked it to spiritual emergence…which is frequently perceived as “malfunction” by society in general, and psychiatry specifically.

  • OK, oldhead, I’ll bite:

    Scientology does indeed produce some good documentaries.

    It is for the purpose of getting you into one of their programs like the Purif (Purification Rundown) where they try to sweat the drugs out of you like toxins. Or the Narcanon cover group. CCHR used to be a cover group – which is why folks here expressed surprise that this doco was in the name of Scientology instead of CCHR.

    There are some valuable concepts in Scientology, but you will be a lot poorer to learn them. It is a scam designed to make L. Ron Hubbard a God and very very rich, copying techniques borrowed from various (including occult) sources. It can cost $100k to a $million $ to go through all their programs “up the bridge,” and however “clear” or free you may believe yourself to be, there is always another level to pay for.

    The reason it is a religion is so that Hubbard would owe no tax (though the IRS was beginning to wonder…). He started it out as Dianetics, but realised that if it was a “psychological process” it would be taxable – so he made it a religion.

    When one is caught in the cult, his/her free labour goes to the organisation. Your time, your money, your family are no longer your own. You are separated from “non-believers” (one of the definitions of a cult) and encourage to only affiliate with believers. There is Thought Crime in Scientology. You will be minding your words (and looking them up in the dictionary) with great care and precision, lest you be considered an SP (or Suppressive Person).

    I encourage you to read Jenna Miscavage’s autobiography. There are other excellent books, such as “Going Clear” – which was also made into a film (much against Scientology’s protests).

    It is a tyranny of its own, with survivors much like the psych movement.

    If I were given a choice to be trapped in Psychiatry, or trapped in Scientology, it would be a rough choice. I think I would prefer the cult, because of the community support available there (which you would lose as soon as the wool falls off your eyes and you had to leave, but at least you would know what that support would be like).

    But it is dangerous, too. Take care, do not engage with any of their “free personality tests” or “information evenings.” It will seem so innocent at first. Like psychiatry…

  • rasselus redux: “But often, people with psychosis, particularly those labelled schizophrenic, are unbudgeable magical thinkers. ”

    Story time.

    Once, she came to believe she was pregnant. Less than a week later, she came to believe that she had miscarried. There was no proof of either. When confronted with the possibility that this was symbolic, she insisted that she had lost a baby and now she must grieve. It may be possible that the belief helped her grieve whatever it was representing – the loss of innocence, trust, fear of betrayal – whatever it was. But there was no way she was going to see that pregnancy as a symbol of anything other than a literal lost baby.

    Once, he was told that he needed to strip naked and swim in the ocean. When I suggested that this might be a symbol for being vulnerable in relationships and exploring his emotions – nope. It was a literal command. He got arrested for stripping naked at a public place and swimming in the ocean. (He was on a “Community Treatment Order” at the time, so this didn’t go well.)

    There are example after example of these sorts of beliefs – many of which are not harmful until you get “caught.” My goal with my friends is to help them to “not get caught.” Waving a giant flag in a public place, standing on a box and preaching, stripping naked in a shopping mall, or hiding in the shelves of the grocery – are ways to “get caught.”

    Once you are caught you surrender all control of your life. The police come, the ambulance comes, you are shot up with something and taken away in a very involuntary fashion.

    As for surveillance, I am stunned at how readily people under age 30 just forfeit their privacy, and – as a 50-something, how challenging it is to maintain my privacy while trying to function in the world. Apps & devices know everything about the users, more and more all the time.

  • See my post at bottom as to how many people can, in the afterlife, be influenced by great souls such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Joan of Arc, and Anne Frank.

    Regardless of the factuality of the belief – here’s the thing. It’s valuable. If my resonance with Joan of Arc leads me to learn something about how to function in my present incarnation – then – whether she is a Guardian Spirit, an archetype, a past life, an Ancestor – or just a symbol for my personal healing – the belief about it doesn’t matter.

    What matters is that it is valuable information which informs the present from the realm of the Collective.

  • This may not be the correct forum for this discussion of belief – but let me share with you the belief I hold about reincarnation – because it is fun.

    Imagine the Source as a Well of Souls. For visualisation purposes – I imagine it as a barrel. When we die, our light merges in with the other souls in the Well, all the Spirit becomes one great light. Sometimes, there are individual souls – like Cleopatra, Jesus, Buddha, and yes, Anne Frank – who, when they return to the Well of Souls, make a “big splash” and light up the entire Well as they re-enter.

    With the laws of physics, each contact that is made continues to be influenced by that contact. The constitution of a Soul as it leaves the Well will be slightly different to the last time it experienced incarnation. And many many many souls have been influenced by The Buddha (for example). That light filled the entire barrel as it re-entered the Well of Souls – so many many many “souls” will be influenced by that light.

    So you could have been Buddha – and so could I – because we each “touched” the Spirit of Buddha in the Well of Souls.

    Tasty, eh?

  • Hey Sera –

    At least a content warning is about the content, what you are writing. “This content is graphic”

    As opposed to “trigger warnings” which are about the reader – “You will be triggered when you read this.” This can become self-fulfilling prophecy, too.

    “you triggered me” – is about victimisation, while “That content was disturbing” is more accurately facing what you just experienced.

  • Thanks Sera – I thought I was the only one who objected to using the word “trigger.”

    Even when people are talking about symptoms, “That triggered me,” I’m like: you had no choice but to REACT?

    What about RESPONSE?

    And how long can we tip-toe around the ever changing fences of “PC”?

    Thank you.

  • Yes, use of “antipsychotics” can induce hallucinations, self harm behaviour, increase impulsiveness, increase apathy, produce flat affect, and – create addiction to the chemicals which may be the most challenging to get off of because an “antipsychotics” efficacy seems to be related to how many receptors it hits.

    Abilify hits 11, Saphris hits 17, Clozaril hits 23, Zyprexa hits 16, Seroquel = 22. These are just the known actions, or the recorded ones in the report I have in front of me (http://cdn.neiglobal.com/content/practiceres/posters/50188_nei_009_bindings.pdf)

    These are just a few of the mental and emotional effects of neuroleptics – it also doesn’t count “feeling like a zombie” or stigma, or the challenge of being socially interactive when your mind is slowed to a crawl.

    THEN there are the neurological effects, which are further stigmatising.

  • I’m torn. The meat industry is cruel. It’s true, true, true that gluten (especially wheat) and processed food contribute to inflammation and mood dysfunction. But Kelly Brogan insists that her patients eat red meat for aminos, cell repair & recovery. The times I was most unwell was on a vegan / veggie diet.

    I find it difficult to fight metabolic disorder (caused by psych drugs) with a vegan / pure veggie diet, as it is high carb, low protein. No, sir, legumes are not protein, they are carbs, and inflammatory ones at that (many of them high histamine). Complex carbohydrates are still carbs, even if they are (slightly) slower. And eating carbs begets cravings for more carbs.

    Any diet which requires supplementation (B12, D, Omega3’s & digestive enzymes) is not a whole human diet. Non-dairy milks (such as almond) are little better than sugar water, unless you make your own. Almond milk in particular contains less than 5 almonds per package.

    “Acts like an egg” but is not an egg – again – not nutritious, only a “binding agent.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXlVfwJ6RQU&index=12&list=PLABdHCdls7_QSAXF9VUfRGSZ2t-lsO3d2&t=10s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4VRp5ZFFRU&index=13&list=PLABdHCdls7_QSAXF9VUfRGSZ2t-lsO3d2&t=11s

    And Umami may have satisfaction, but it is not protein or fats (my doctor leans towards ketogenic), nor does it help with amino profile. There are essential aminos, essential fats – there are no essential carbs. There is nattokinase which is umami, but not very much to western tastes (and it’s still probably a carb, albeit a very dense one).

    This woman is probably healthy because the first half of her life she ate lots of seafood. Her recipes convert to sugar – and contain sugars. Carbs. Carbs are my problem with vegan / vegetarian diet, always have been. High carbs = sugar spikes (see Chris Kesser for more on sugar spikes). Sugar spikes = mood problems.

    As always Will, thanks for all that you do.

  • Hey streetphotobeing – as someone who was also poisoned by the stuff (and lied to: “it does help with “bipolar depression” = what? by causing severe anhedonia?), it was hard to give up. Not because tapering was challenging or withdrawal was a problem – but because – it does have elements of neuroprotectivity (Alzheimer’s studies) and supposedly (though not in my case) it aids with biological clock regulation.

    Because of this, I take 1.67 mg of Lithium Orotate daily (which is equivalent of 0.06 mg elemental). I’ll let it go when I run out, but I do believe that tiny (tiny! tiny!) amounts of it can be helpful. Much smaller than listed in the article, however.

  • Lithium poisoned me, very subtly over 10 years.

    My blood tests read “normal,” but I developed diabetes insipidus.

    I have good times and bad times – it is reversible with ketogenic, but I’ve yet to adhere to that protocol 100%. I also have to stay very hydrated, or I get into trouble, and am prone to UTI’s.

    Doctor – said, “tests are normal” I said, “diabetes insipidus.” She said, “not associated with lithium.” I said, “check again, please” and she said, “Oh, so you are right! Yes, it is a side effect.”

    Egads. Toxic. If you are taking more than 5 mg per day please get blood tests at least 2x a year. More if you are on over 100 mg per day.

    And oh yes, I had a goitre when she prescribed it. I lost my thyroid to surgery while on it, as the goitre was choking me.

    Essential nutrient? Maybe – but I take water as my guide. Lithium in natural levels in water is no more than 1 mg per day (San Pellegrino = 0.2 mg / litre). With the dose I was on, to reach the levels of natural lithium in water, I would have had to drink 846 litres of water per day (using San Pellegrino as a measure). Um, no – that’s not a nutrient, that’s a toxin.

  • Hey Rachel I finally found a doctor who is addressing the malabsorption issue via my gut biome.

    According to my biome tests, I am low in e-Coli which hampers my nutrient absorption (especially aminos and B-vitamins), and high in streptococcus and enterococcus which causes me to store lactic acid (mood and pain issues) as well as hampering my metabolism of fats.

    All of these point to why my thyroid medicine is less effective, and why my hair and nails are so horribly thin and brittle, and – ye olde metabolic disorder which I have thought I might carry to my deathbed.

    Her solution is a clean out (detox) and probiotics. I’m still in the clean out phase and – can it be that my nails are just a little firmer? My hair is not falling out quite so badly?

    Unlike you, my B12 and magnesium are fine. I am eager to see what happens when I start taking those gut bugs in a week’s time.

    However – like you say – she is unaware of what the psych drugs do to the gut. She is just looking at what the labs report, and prescribing to fix.

  • Hey bcharris – I reckon Niacin helps with the “psychotic” symptoms, puts a bit of a damper on them. I can’t say that it “gives clarity” because that’s about insight, and is easy to produce with chemicals. But it probably levels out the spikiness of those symptoms, making them easier to deal with. I doubt it does much for the akathisia, dystonia, dyskinesia, insomnia, etc. But it might address some of the wackiness that coming off the drugs can cause. I’d be adding in magnesium for smooth firing, and fish oil to bathe the neurons, as well.

    But – as yet – I have failed to get any of my friends off the neuroleptics. They “need their drugs,” and are terrified of the symptoms that arise (even though the symptoms arise ON the drugs, too).

  • Nobody’s answered this. “Marihuana” was the term used during “reefer madness” to turn the middle class against the jazz listening Negros and the scary immigrant Mexicans. (please these are not my terms, it is historical.)

    Thank Harry Anslinger and Randolph Hearst for the spread of the term:

    https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/where-did-the-word-marijuana-come-from-anyway-01fb

    https://www.salon.com/2013/08/06/weed_and_words_the_growth_of_dank_vocabulary_partner/

    I can no longer find the PDF where I learned about this – it’s possible that it is Abel – “Marihuana the First 12,000 Years”

  • out – my story is similar. When I was 7, we moved to the wheat fields of Kansas. Of course, I was fed wheat bread daily, sometimes twice daily. As a result, I became a severely allergic child. “Allergic to everything” said the tests. So – shots and antihistamines all my life – and the antihistamines of the 60’s and 70’s were closer to neuroleptics.

    And I question that: 1. Celiac susceptibility – especially to wheat (see Dr. William Davis) + 2. Fed fresh wheat bread all my life + 3. Fed heavy antihistamines all my life = “mood instability” + antidepressants = “bipolar”

    This doesn’t even take into consideration toxins such as PCB’s and glyphosates, or trauma (which is there, too).

  • Overlooking the substance, there is more to this “cure” than the wine or brandy.

    There is the love of mother, the comforting blanket, the safe space to let go in.

    And honestly, short of addiction – it is a much safer treatment than the drugs.

    Before they came up with neuroleptics, they would knock out the distressed people with barbiturates or benzos. I’d rather have a benzo than a neuroleptic any day (except for the addictive part). Letting people sleep off the distress is a known treatment, and one which has been forgotten.

    The main difficulty I see, is that upon awakening, the emergent person may not remember or understand what the crisis was about – thus facilitating return of said crisis. Resolution and integration is a much better “cure” than sedation.

  • Thank you Melothrien – there are too many people who get no relief from pain because of the abuse of others. In Australia, there have been very few opioid deaths, but the MSM is reporting “opioid crisis” and following lock-step with the CDC’s restrictive policy.

    I have friends who suffer, and who are treated as criminals for asking for help with their pain, have had their pain meds cut in half, and one by 75% (with CRPS, a “suicide disease” because the pain is so awful), and she’s just supposed to knuckle down and face the fact that she won’t be able to walk or perform the simplest tasks of daily existence.

    Compared to them, my chronic pain condition is simple – but I, too, am grateful for the relief that an intermittent opiate provides.

    You wrote: “I do agree with you, however, that CPS and Fibromyalgia were invented…to justify the doctors not being able to find an answer. They’ve done it to me out of laziness. ”

    I believe that this is an invented illness – not because they aren’t finding the answers and are lazy – but because it’s iatrogenically induced. Most of the people I know with ME/CFS have been on psych drugs. And that doesn’t count the other madnesses – like statins, fluoridated water (one dose fits all), glyphosate in the food (a hormonal disruptor).

    For doctors to look into these illnesses, they would have to admit that they’ve been doing it wrong. They’d have to take on Big Food and Big Pharma, and the government (fluoridation). It’s in what Australians call, “The Too Hard Basket.”

    Thank you for the articles, I will be sharing them with my friends.

  • Thank you for this Carlene.

    I’m similar. It seems to be like a default switch that I always fall back to when anything (and I mean anything) goes wrong. The yogurt is spoiled, I’m done. My nails and hair are getting worse (and the doctors can’t help) – I quit. Nobody came to my event, nobody will miss me (my thoughts are more graphic than this, but you get the idea).

    I’ll add one more strategy that kept me going when nothing else would. Get a pet. Not a warm fuzzy cuddly pet – but a cantankerous rascal of a pet that “only a mother could love.” One that lives awhile.

    Mine was a cat. Nobody loved that cat but me. That cat loved nobody but me. I couldn’t quit, couldn’t succumb – because – nobody would be able to take her. She would have to be put to sleep. And that’s unfair. If it’s unfair to her – it was unfair to me, too (but I only learned that in retrospect). She kept me alive for 20 years, and by then I had learned how to do it.

    Thanks for normalising thoughts that – I believe all of us have – but that expressing aloud causes “freak outs” in other people. It’s like a giant Shadow that we all have that if anybody mentions it, it gets bigger and scarier and must be squelched.

    Whereas really, it’s usually a frightened, insecure person, even a child inside, that just needs connection and comfort – not “treatment.” And definitely not a big fuss.

    One of the questions I dread the most is, “Are you alright?”

    Short answer is always yes – because I’ve walked with this suicidal companion for 33 years now, and I will continue to walk without heeding these – urges? voices? default settings? – but I always cringe, because – often something is not right, but I can’t say it, can’t ease it out into safety, and so must process it alone.

    It would be much better if we could speak, normalise, and let these things go.

  • Hey Mike – while the beautiful biography you’ve written helps look at Williams life and contributing factors, and the drugs surely contributed to something of his distress (maybe a factor, if not the whole story) – I think that one factor which amazes me that I don’t hear more often is that of iatrogenesis.

    Would he have had Parkinson’s if he had never used drugs (have to include the recreational in there, too)? And has anyone studied neuroleptic induced dementia? Yeah, no, they haven’t. I watch the neuroleptics eating the brain of my family & friends, one lost about 30 points of IQ. While this is only a case, not a study – nobody looks at that, or the connections between psych drugs and:
    Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Restless Legs, IBS, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes (oh they look at this a little, and then they say, “well, you’ll just have to manage the diabetes or go mad…..”), cardiovascular issues, strange nerve issues, kidney failure, chronic insomnia….

    You know the banter – all of these mysterious iatrogeneses are rarely connected to the drugs of origin. That’s what I wonder about Robin Williams, is – in the complex story of his life and death – was his final, deteriorated condition – iatrogenically induced?

  • Paul Keith at what point did I attack you? Yes I paraphrased – but egads you use a lot of words. It was not meant to “dis” you, just talking about what worked (or hasn’t) for me. I have not name called you or attacked you, and if you perceive that I have, I’m sorry. I’ve been on forums for nearly 30 years and do make an effort to discuss ideas, not people.

    I felt that what I discussed (especially in light of the excellent Alice Miller article) was in *addition* to those who are fortuitous enough to have that excellent witness, compassionate shoulder, etc. For many people, this is an impossibility, and even for those who are aware of the possibility may not have access to such a person. I know I didn’t.

    I also know that in the throes of withdrawal, a compassionate shoulder is nice, but does not serve the function of time to adjust neurotransmitters back to balance. Akathisia, anyone? There is such thing as “inner akathisia” or “emotional akathisia” as well.

  • shaun f – I continue to be amazed at how people who recognise the problems with chemically fiddling neurotransmitters (psych drugs) think that our use of the devices is purely voluntary and “we can control it,” when it is zapping the dopamine – especially in our children who are being raised with this protocol – and interrupting our attention. It is the *job* of the device to zap dopamine and interrupt attention. This device has permission to interrupt anytime.

    I’m sure there are a few who put chains and keep it in a lead lined box and only use it when they choose – but there are too many who are falling into the dopamine trap as easily as a psych drug.

    Just because you have a choice doesn’t mean that it’s not a dangerous drug. Especially for children who are becoming hard wired to this. A choice? Corporate programming, which is still totalitarian.

  • Rachel777 this sounds like withdrawal, so the answer is time.

    If you went off the drug too quickly, for whatever reason, then the delayed withdrawal is more intense – it all hits at once, instead of the (usually) more gradual symptoms of tapering.

    At Surviving Antidepressants, we call this negativity, “Neuroemotion” – as in – chemically induced emotions. And they seem to be one of the last things to go.

    Personally, I still have dips into major “depressive” thoughts and feelings, but I battle them one moment at a time. Feel suicidal? Make a cup of tea. Sounds trite, but those moments I was making the tea were moments I wasn’t thinking about suicide. Little steps out of the abyss may not seem like much when all is total darkness – but the best way out of the dark forest is to keep going.

    There’s also gotta be some anger at what happened to you. My acupuncturist speaks of “right application of spleen,” as in – finding good ways to use your anger. Writing, telling your story, helping others are just a couple of good applications for your spleen. I don’t think I would have succeeded in escaping the system if it weren’t for a LOT of anger.

    Paul Keith’s comment that “nobody has achieved the right level of compassion” – still places the expectations on others. I haven’t found that to be a successful strategy. Others always let me down. It’s hard to rely on connection when – even in the face of deep caring and compassion – others don’t grasp what you have experienced.

    I was listening to a talk last night about emotions – even the negative ones – as opportunities. Neuro-emotions are harder because they are amplified by withdrawal, but even they have a seed of truth in them. Finding the opportunity – interviewing your emotion as if it were a person sitting in front of you: why do you feel that way? Where are you in my body? What happens when I focus on that part of my body? What else is there? How can you be expressed or soothed?

    E-motion is the movement of feeling, and really the only way to be healthy with feelings: experience them, explore them, and let them move – on and out. They will. In the case of withdrawal, it may take a few years before you start to experience positive ones. Focus on the 2% positive emotions, as tiny as that is, and feed that wolf.