Monday, August 3, 2020

Comments by JanCarol

Showing 565 of 571 comments. Show all.

  • Excuse me – but I refuse to go to a practitioner to “change my brain.”

    There are so many things I can do to change my own brain. Sunlight. Diet, exercise.
    Daily walks, seeing the horizon, listening to music, meditation, qigong, yoga – all of these I am in complete control of.

    When I get in your chair (I assume you, @class1quirk, are also a practitioner, like jjnoles) – that choice is taken away from me, and I am at the mercy of the practitioner.

    No, thank you. And thank you James Hall for pointing out these risks.

  • class1quirk: and so – how do you suggest one sorts out the “legitimate” practitioners from the cowboys, wild west and snake oil cures?

    Is this a job of the regulator – like FDA? AMA?

    Or is it the job of the practitioner? If this is the case – how does a “consumer” (egads) choose the right practitioner?

    If practitioner C gets excellent effects, but practitioners A and B have problems (or vice versa) – how are we to know? Where is the reporting on this?

    If you have 3 auto mechanics, and 1 of them is always breaking things – well, that’s my car, and I can take it to a good mechanic to repair the damage done by the bad mechanic.

    But my body – once you damage that – yes, it is a self healing amazing body, but – where do I take it to get it “fixed?”

    The answer is: nowhere, you have to fix it yourself, and your mileage may vary.

  • Sam – too right! I know people who have been “addicted” to their puffers since childhood, and there becomes a tendency to hit the puffer anytime one is anxious or uncomfortable. It seems that the long term consequences of the puffers is similar to any other drug use: the body acclimates to it, homeostasis sets in, and the next thing you know, you “need” the drug.

    Asthma is a huge business here in Oz, and I have wondered: what if the children were taught QiGong breathing exercises instead? Or yoga? When will it be acceptable for a GP or paediatrician to have a “breathing” specialist on staff?

    As children, we change our breathing to squelch our Shadows, our “unacceptable emotions.” (ref: Dennis Lewis, “Natural breathing.”) So there is a psych element involved in these puffers and their use as well.

    If a child learns to breathe through emotions – then they will not suffer “shallow breathing,” which leads to asthma.

    I’m not a parent, so I’ve never been through the fear of “my child cannot breathe!” and the trips to the emergency room – so – perhaps I’m not qualified to comment. But perhaps that child never learned to breathe through their feelings (without suppressing them) to begin with.

  • Too right, Sam! Can you put it back the way it was?

    It is difficult to report a treatment when, if you go to physicians, you are gaslighted into believing “it’s only your ‘illness’ which is causing these problems.”

    This is why the drugs took so long to be excoriated.

    Physicians don’t like to contradict other physicians, and declare “OMG you’ve been HARMED.” Even James Hall’s neurologist said something like, “Well, it will likely clear up, but I can’t find anything . . . ” refusing to contradict this physician referred “treatment.”

    I suspect it is brain damaging, and that the damages caused by TMS “regulate mood” somewhat. Sadly, James got the damage without the mood regulation.

  • No, they have seen the light on benzodiazapenes. AFAIK, he is still on SSRI’s, and on some sort of anticonvulsant post benzo. From a Surviving Antidepressants perspective, he still has a lot of tapering to do before he is free.

    The “Lobster” chapter of his book is about as bio-bio-bio as they come. He has a lot of adjustment to do before he accepts the nature of trauma…Daniel Mackler made a good video about this topic:

    I’m working on a letter to him (and/or Mikhaila) about the dangers of SSRIs, that they can produce the SAME SYMPTOMS that the benzos caused…

    It would help if I’m not the only voice from MIA doing so. If he sees the light, we could have a powerful, popular ally. He’s not afraid to be excoriated (as evidenced by his stance on making certain pronouns required by law) – he would be an excellent ally for anti-psychiatry – IF he can let go of everything he’s ever learned.

    And I’m not sure he can, but – he believes that learning (from his 12 Rules book) is a little death, and that by letting go of the old, you are cast into chaos, and it is up to you to build a new Order.

    he has definitely been through the Chaos (I believe his chaos / order model is very black/white simplicity, but – he does have a good mind) and it is my fond hope that he can see through the lies.

  • I hear you Berzerk. I have witnessed cognitive decline in all kinds of polypharmacy. Sometimes it’s the simple “pain prescription” of Cymbalta + Lyrica. Heck, Lyrica does a number all by itself, as do the neuroleptics and tranquilisers. Then there’s the “over time” problem, taking polypharmacy for 2 years. 5 years. 10 years. Watch the brain go away. I’ve seen this happen, too.

    I’m pleased to see this information getting out there – but – a single case study? This feels underwhelming for the magnitude of the problem.

  • Ah but they can. That’s called “the algorithm. It has been shown that algorithm get way skewed and prejudiced – the prejudices of the people writing the parameters get amplified in the echo chambers of algorithms and turn into very prejudicial AI’s….

    Though – you said *one* person. It would depend on what parameters on the algorithm any one person fits or doesn’t fit.

  • Hey Teresa,

    The forum has moderators and members in New Zealand. Our protocols work there as well as anywhere!

    I have met some of the New Zealand moderators and members, back in the days when we might meet in person. I tried to hold meetings in my local area (Brisbane), but it was like herding cats, as everyone was too “anxious” or “having a symptom wave” to come out, meet people, and have a cuppa….

    So you don’t need to do it in person, and, in fact, it’s contraindicated – withdrawal makes it hard to meet face to face (even if there were no COVID). Have a look around the SA site, and you can help people with the information presented there.

    Be aware, however, that most people don’t want to be helped. I am an expert, thanks to the training of AltoStrata, but most people dismiss me as “just a paranoid person” when I try to warn them about how wrong these drugs are. I am not a doctor, and most folks are inclined to listen only to doctors. Even those that are psychiatrists. Ugh!

  • Rachel sez: “They know the drugs cause excessive weight gain, kidney failure, severe GI problems, heart arhythmia, diabetes and extensive damage to the brain and CNS”

    And if you go to the doctor – with a detached retina, cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, metabolic disorder, diabetes, cognitive loss, blindness, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue – practically anything –

    They won’t even CONSIDER removing the drugs that caused it.

    It’s like there’s a hierarchy, and psych drugs are at the top – if you remove the psych drugs, the person dissolves into a puddle. EVEN if the drugs are causing all the above problems. The medical doctors are in collusion with the psychiatrists in supporting their drugging regime.

  • Yes, when the WHO says “corporal punishment of children is *always* bad” I’m inclined to question.

    I have heard of tales of Americans in Scandanavian countries who spanked their children, and ended up with their children removed from their custody into foster care. Surely this, too, is an extreme?

    I can see why Peterson probably takes umbrance with this worldwide policy, as he is at the sharp end of the liberal stick at times.

    What he states in his book is nuanced. It is VITALLY important for children to have clarity and consistency, because it is the child’s job to test the boundaries at all times. If the boundary is in the same place, consistently, and there are consequences for crossing that boundary – to their level of understanding – then they will learn better. Especially if this is done from the support of love. “I love you, not this behaviour, but I love you.”

    It is the parents who sometimes say it’s okay for a child to throw a tantrum and then give them a lolly to shut them up, and then the next tantrum smacks them – that raises a confused and wild – and surely – abusive antisocial child. I’ve seen this more often than I can count.

    As for Peterson, it is my fond hope that his Dark Night of the Soul with his benzo / antidepressant withdrawal will help his great mind (and he does have an excellent, if rigid, mind) to transform and he will be able to drop his labels.

    One of his psychologist’s skills is to label everything. Diag-nonsense labels. “post-Marxist” “neoliberal” labels.

    It is my fond hope that – not that I wish anyone to suffer – his suffering will soften his heart and integrate his mind much more fully into opening.

    Perhaps, even, he is getting Iboga, or some other psychedelic treatment to facilitate this process.

  • “I am firmly against forced psychiatric drugging, but this does not mean that I also reject modern medicine and the idea of mass vaccination against dangerous viruses and bacteria.”

    How about “trust me, I’m a doctor” = ?

    Many of us in here have been as harmed by the system of modern medicine as we have by psychiatry. Some of us had physical illnesses which were written off as “psych problems.”

    While I was numbed from psych drugs, I was convinced to have 2 major surgeries which have deteriorated my health. The surgeries were skillfully performed, they did what they were meant to do (thyroidectomy, hysterectomy) – and yet – I was not given any alternatives (dietary changes, etc.). Numb from the lithium, I submitted to the medical procedures. Maybe I couldn’t have avoided them – but they were deemed necessary at the time.

    I am now very cautious about anything involving the system of modern medicine – whose protocols are developed by pharma. Remember, it’s GP’s giving out most of these drugs, or getting people started on them.

  • I just read an interesting article on communication about vaccines.

    There is harm done by them, largely swept under the rug of the “vaccine court,” and the billions paid out in claims against them only cover a few of the cases reported. It is difficult to prove that the vaccine caused harm, and yet many people believe that “things were never the same” after the jab.

    So: Those who question vaccines (“anti-vax” is a slur, and has absolutely no subtletly) are asking: “Will this hurt my child?”

    This is about communication. And so the scientists and doctors keep replying, “We need herd immunity.”

    So the first question is never answered. And the studies are not there to answer the question. The studies are about herd immunity and control of a disease, but the question of individual safety is frequently cast aside for this herd immunity.

    The scientists are not listening to the parents, and the parents no longer trust the scientists, because their concerns are not being heard or answered.

    The faster a vaccine is rolled out, the less I trust it. There were some vaccines which came out after SARS and MERS that were quite questionable.

    I’ll want to see how well it is doing before I join the herd.

  • My mother was not separated as she suffered from COVID symptoms (but they wouldn’t test her to verify).

    I have a friend in Indiana who is helping a homeless man sue the local hospital who turned him back out onto the streets, COVID positive. Hey, let’s eliminate the homeless population in one sweep!

    So – no, these protocols to “help the vulnerable” aren’t really helping the vulnerable.

  • Yes, I’ve seen the Snowdon vid. I have a story of people whose phones (in Singapore) which were OFF – blinked and text messaged “Stop talking about that.” (I think they were talking about surveillance)

    I have not disconnected camera or mic …however I do not let the phone connect to internet.

    We all have our lines. That one is mine. And so – no app for me. Likely requires internet / data connection.

    Your link to Dastyari is behind a paywall, so couldn’t see. I remember hearing the name, but not the controversy.

  • I learned more about the tracker app. It is not for warning you off an active case, but if you do test positive, they go to your phone, and have a list of every phone you’ve come into contact with in the past 3 weeks. It’s for tracing contacts (which, they are doing a pretty good job of now, without the app).

    2 million (so far) have downloaded it.

    And Boans, the next “enemy” might not be Jews (there aren’t that many here, to my knowledge). Who knows what random enemy the state will create for us? When everyone is tracked (including medicine), it could be for a gene allele, or – as Oldhead postulates, a virus caste system.

    I opted out of MyHealth. It’s my understanding that in the US, there is something similar in response to the “opioid crisis” that tracks people nationally through pharmacies. We’ve noted on SA that it’s hard to get labels dropped from your file, even after moving.

  • Oldhead, the Australian PM wants every Australian phone to carry a COVID19 tracking app, like they did in Singapore. He’s bought the app from Singapore, and wants to use it here.

    This is above and beyond the normal tracking capacity of the phone. It will Bluetooth to all nearby users and issue warnings when too close to – what? another human being? an active COVID case?

    I’m not sure how this is meant to work, but it’s evil. Pure evil.

  • I have to express delight that Maryanne Demasi is working with Peter Gotzsche!

    Her report on statins for our ABC-TV (Australia) was key in saving me from the devastating consequences of those drugs.

    Her report questioning the efficacy and highlighting the dangers antidepressants was before “Anatomy of an Epidemic” (at least in my world)

    Both shows were banned from the ABC, and Dr. Demasi has been disinvited from presenting on that platform, even though she was a delightful and challenging presenter. (The Aussie Medical Association didn’t care for her views much)

    The show where she used to present (Catalyst) is now lobbing softballs, “reality tv”with a dash of science. “Does flash-frozen salmon taste as good as fresh? Better? Let’s analyse this **scientifically!**” YAWN.

    I miss her hard hitting medical exposes, and to hear that she’s working with one of my heroes, Peter Gotzsche, is good news indeed.

    Keep up the good work Dr. Demasi and Dr. Gotzsche!

  • Hey Sam –

    I mostly agree.

    I do think that this is progress in the mind of Dr. Scott Hall, however.

    In this one thing: a disease is a permanent, disabling horror. A label that follows you all the days of your life.

    An “injury” is temporary and can be recovered from. Like Rachel said, “I was mad, but I got over it.”

    This might remove some of the harmful labels that Rachel is protesting. And people can be expected to get better.

    it’s not the final answer, but a step in the right direction.

  • Rachel: “But no doctor would ever pronounce me cured because the DSM 5 states that that is impossible.”

    Someone Else: Believe it or not, my psychiatrist actually claimed “recov’d [bipolar] disorder” on my second to last appointment with him.

    Sigh. While I call myself “undiagnosed,” I believe my medical chart says “Managed with supplements, exercise and other natural means…”

    Once you get that label, it’s hard to get rid of it.

  • Eh Boans: “We can’t have foreigners knowing that if they come here they could be snatched out of their beds and tortured for three weeks in a mental institution and it would be considered lawful? They wouldn’t come, and we wouldn’t get the opportunities that provides. Forget renditions to Egypt…”

    Foreigners? What about Cornelia Rau, an Australian Citizen who “went off her meds” and spoke German and got “rendered” to an immigrant detention centre? This was featured as part of the story in “Stateless” by Cate Blanchett. I was glad to see the Rau case get so much attention there (even if they claimed she was “mentally ill”)

    I’m pleased with the lockdown so far – but there are disturbing trends expanding the surveillance state.

    More details on the app:

  • Hey Fiachra – I’m not picking on you, I’m more interested in how the language ended up this way –

    WTF is “High Anxiety”? ? ?

    I never heard of it before Mel Brooks. . .

    And now people whose anxiety seems more intense than “average” (whatever that is) claim to have “High Anxiety”

    Perhaps, since you are good with language, and have used this term, can describe how “Anxiety” becomes “High Anxiety”?

    This is just a little bugbear of mine, tired of hearing how everyone’s “anxiety” is superlative in some way. . . . (I know you put it in quotes – but if you were told you had “High Anxiety” what did that mean?)

    Thanks, JC

  • Thank you Steve for this comment.

    It is part of the mass hypnosis of – medicine, politics – damn near everything these days. People vote with their emotions, people react and respond with their emotions.

    I was just saying to someone today – that – in order for the hypnosis to be broken, people need to suffer. This is much colder than Anomie’s comment, it’s cruel. But it’s the truth.

    Until someone experiences the harms firsthand, we will not be believed.

    EVEN THEN, they will say, “it was a bad apple,” and not look to the system. It takes even more suffering to break that.

    I wish, Oldhead, that people reacted, responded to facts. But it is obvious that people do not. Therefore it is vital to appeal to emotions, as well.

  • It seems to be in the right direction…what I seem to understand as “harm reduction.”

    Making sure that folks have a safe place to sleep. Food to eat. Companionship. The basics of being HUMAN.

    If it costs $10k more per person to use this model – perhaps those with “lived experience” can help, as they go through the process and get better.

    I’m reminded of the old Mission model, where, you’re given a bed, helped off the street drugs or alcohol, and then given work around the Mission to help them get on their feet again…

    it’s not the answer, but it’s a start. My concern for this is that it is crying for “privatisation” if someone can make a buck doing it. . . Sigh.

  • I’ve been complaining to docs for DECADES that paracetamol / acetominophin is NOT SAFE, and yet it is the FIRST THING they give for ALL COMPLAINTS.

    I have severe osteoarthritis of the knee, in addition to back pain, and they wonder why I refuse their daily doses of “Panadol Osteo” and instead favour the occasional opoiod then the pain interrupts sleep or functioning.

    I’ve also seen evidence that acetominophen / paracetamol damages the motility of the gut – which is also tied to the dysfunctions which get labeled “ADD” and “ASD.” There are specific bacteria involved (if I have to take paracetamol, there is a special probiotic I also take a couple hours after) that this drug damages.

    “ADD” and “ASD” may not be valid diagnosis. However, there may be neurological damage which causes the behaviours and challenges that these children face. Add to it trauma, parental attention, and you get a perfect storm. But the potential for neurological or gut damage is a good reason to be extremely careful what toxins we expose ourselves and our children to.

  • I was born in the USA, but moved to Australia late in life (post diag-nonsense)…

    One of the things I love about Aussie culture (that came from the UK, I’m guessing) is how all problems can be addressed over a cuppa tea.

    Car accident? Here, love, have a cuppa tea.
    Cheating husband? Can I get you a cuppa tea?
    Grief and loss? Let’s have a cuppa tea…

    It’s not the cuppa tea so much (though I love all teas, herbal and green and black and white) – as the invitation to sit, chat, and at the end of the cuppa (or two, or three, or whatever the crisis requires), everyone is feeling better, even if the problems aren’t fixed.

    Tea is community. Sharing. Communication. A safe space for emotions. (though, tea is also a bit of “stiff upper lip,” “get it together” in some circles – but I live in hope!)

  • I like the way you think, Jane. Thank you for this.

    A 4 year program for survival of trauma and abuse (including psychiatric abuse) with a curriculum of work, tilling the soil, talking to trees, making art, washing dishes, chopping wood, carrying water.

    I think you are onto something here.

    it’s got to be less expensive than what is currently being done. It would provide jobs for laypeople (no doctors or experts, PLEASE). And it would enrich our culture immeasurably.

    Thank you for this vision.

  • @madmother13 – so what did you do?

    I liked Steve McCrea’s differentiation of:

    MEDICAL ERROR – woops, we goofed (but they never admit it – “pt didn’t respond to treatment” is usually how that gets charted)

    MEDICAL HARM – the treatments cause damage

    MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – negligence and malfeasance, which, in the case of psychiatry, is because of error (diag-nonsense) and harm built into the “treatments”

    So – I have a number of “diagnosed” friends, and once that diagnosis is there- MD’s think everything is related to psych. Perhaps they looked at your son’s cancer and thought, “hygiene.” blah blah blah.

    I have a similar issue with fat. People who are overweight go to doctor, and doctor blames everything (cholesterol, arrhythmia, pain, endocrine, fatigue, blah blah blah) on “well, if you’d just lose weight. . . . ” (gosh, Doc, why didn’t I think of that?)

    It’s a bias, a prejudice, and an unconscious one.

  • Anyone who is taking the drugs is under forced treatment – because the doctors don’t tell you – they don’t know themselves – the long term consequences of these drugs.

    I’m reminded of this, here:

    Sounds like forced treatment to me. Even if it is based in ignorance and incompetence. There is no excuse. The information is out there. It’s willful, to protect those in power.

  • I loved your introduction about individuals rejecting the humbug of psychiatry.

    But I am afraid you lost me at #1: Find your purpose.

    While now, that I am in my 6th decade of life, I know my purpose (I always called it “porpoise” while I was looking for it. . . )- it took me 5 decades to get the tiniest glimpse of that.

    Belief, religion, faith give porpoise. But in the throes of distress – that is not accessible. While it may seem easy for someone on sanity’s side to say “I have porpoise,” it is impossible for those in distress. This is a big picture demand which is overwhelming. “Just find your purpose,” is a short, sweet sentence – but an impossible, unforseeable mountain to someone who is suffering.

    Is it possible to break that down into smaller, bite size chunks? Such as: find meaning for today, this hour, this moment? These moments are the things that pull someone through the distress. Big picture philosophy sounds great on paper, but is thin on the ground for practicality.

    All of your Kirist principles are good – but I also find that they are well covered by the Buddhist Eightfold path, including Right Livelihood (adhering to that one changed my health greatly for the better).

    Keeping it Real. – JC

  • I wish there **was** such a thing as “treatment options” for fibromyalgia.

    There are topical things (CBD ointments, menthol based preparations). Magnesium baths (couldn’t live without them). Fish oil, turmeric.

    But the drug options (gabapentin, pregabalin, amitryptaline, and opiates) all have their risks.

    I have a friend who has been on amitryptaline now for 40 years for pain and sleep. She was not even aware that it was really an antidepressant, and that it might be causing many of the health problems she is suffering now.

    Ive been offered all of these drugs, and have opted for occasional opiates for relief, and the non-drug options I listed above.

    To come off your drugs, see

  • He hasn’t been a psychiatric fan previously.

    But if you read his chapter on Lobsters, he’s big on the serotonin theory of well-being (chemical balance). He’s big on diag-nonsense and making order out of chaos. He has done private practice, so if someone presents to him in an extreme state – he speaks not of “spiritual crisis” or “cognitive dissonance” but – “psychosis” and “schizophrenia.” He believes in Bipolar and Depression. I’m unsure what he has said about ADHD – he may look to the way we school children and parent them with that one. I don’t think he is for drugging children (faint praise).

    But he does love his cubbyholes of diagnonsense – and that’s what I think he will have trouble walking away from. In that regard, while he’s not “pro” or focused on psychiatry – he does love the psych labels. They make “order” out of emotional and mental chaos.

    Maybe now that he’s being called an “addict” (in some corners) he’ll be able to rethink.

  • @Daniel Smith – there are absurdities on the left, too, who are deeply in support of psychiatry.

    They want the homeless to have “treatment,” they want their kids to have access to “treatment,” in fact, “‘Treatment’ for all!” (this is the danger with Bernie) “Equal access to ‘treatment’!”

    It is not in the best interests of the left to acknowledge that there is no chemical imbalance, that diagnosis is diag-nonsense. It just doesn’t seem “compassionate” or “progressive” enough.

    Humph and Humbug.

    To liberate from Diag-nonsense and “Treatment” is just too far for the left to acknowledge. They are too busy choosing PC language for addressing “stigma” to acknowledge that the emperor is naked.

  • I’d add: for MOST people tapering is the way off. And for Benzos, which are insidious – the microtaper seems to be the best way off.

    Yes, I’d like to know what “antiseizure” drug he is on. In Russia, it could be Phenibut which hits GABA receptors – but is more likely to be gabapentin or pregabalin. All of this, however, is a guess.

    And YES – “go have a fast detox” is NOT a good recommendaion. We have hoards of people suffering from this approach – they beg us at SA – “can I just check into hospital and get off this?” The answer is no. This will cause harm.

  • Yes, read Tina’s response. Glad to know she was involved with it – that fact alone lifts it in my esteem.

    But it’s still paper. Not the way it is run on the ground. I was excited to see Australia as a signatory. Then I realised – Boans’ story, and the sterilisation of the “disabled” is still happening here.

    BUT at least with CRPD someone is talking about it. Without CRPD it would just be happening with no oversight at all. That’s my interpretation, anyway.

  • This is a discussion I’ve had with some of the American Ayahuasca centres, who want someone to be off their SSRI’s for 3 weeks…

    I’m like – uh – that’s very questionable. If I were the Shaman I’d want them to be drug free for at least a year, preferably 2. Based on what I know about these drugs from Surviving Antidepressants.

    But when I mention it to them – they’re like, “Oh, the Medicine will take care of that. . .” and I’m like – um. Neuroemotions? Extreme physical and nervous system reactions? Akathisia – Tardive Dys-anything.

    So a little cavalier with the post drug syndrome. I was unable to convince them of the danger.

  • Hey Juliano –

    This is not really the place for this – but I use the term “magick” to describe: The Art and Science of Changing Consciousness At Will.

    I use the “k,” not because Crowley did – but because it is not stage magic or sleight of hand.

    In my learning, there are two main types of magick: Power Over/Service to Self, and Power With/ Service to Others.

    Those who would manipulate for Power are definitely in the Service to Self category. The problem with Service to Self as a path to Enlightenment (and it is a valid path, called the Left Hand Path – ref, that “Kabbalah” which you relegated specifically to the Power Over people, but which can be used for all manner of Transformation) is that Service to Self must be 99% pure in order to be effective. Therefore, Hitler failed to achieve his goal of Superman. He was not pure enough. (and if he was not “pure” or Selfish enough, then who is?) I strongly suspect that the Bohemian Grove practitioners, too, are sheep, led to believe they are more powerful, more pure than they truly are.

    The advantage of what you call “folk magick” or what I call “Service to Others,” is that you need only be 51% pure in order to achieve transformation and Self actualisation. Simply put – you help more people than you help yourself.

    This is the power of the grassroots, the power of the masses. The Big Magick that you classify under “occult” is indeed big, powerful, scary stuff.

    But we can each seize our Consciousness back from the Matrix, one Human at a time. Serve others. Offer help in manifesting Change of Consciousness At Will. This is not Mindfulness in the service of “don’t look behind the curtain,” instead it is Mindfulness in the service of discovering and uncovering what lies behind that curtain.

    There is much which is “occult.” Not all of it is evil. Some of it is even mainstream, such as the mysticism of Christian and Buddhist monks, or Sufis and Hindu saddhus, chanting, praying, dancing and meditating to purify and aid others. (and yes, a good majority of these are really just chanting to strengthen the status quo – but not all!)

  • The role of a Shaman in a traditional society is, indeed, meant to conserve the tribe and culture as is, without evolution. Evolution is not a welcome beast in a small interdependant tribe. Individualism is not a welcome development.

    This is interesting to me, as a post-tribal Shaman, my role is to help facilitate growth and evolution and release from the social constraints which have a person blocked and tied. To me – this is what psychedelics do, too.

    And yet – we got the psychedelics from traditional cutlure, which uses them quite differently. They are used for communion, for reinforcing traditional belief systems, for talking to God. And it is the Shaman’s role in traditional culture to interpret these experiences and visions to ensure that they are integrated into the tribe as a whole.

    I agree with Oldhead, these are not narcotic, and while it might feel like communion when the whole tribe (or village) gets drunk together – it is not the same communion as when you all step out of your brains together. Narcotics offer a false communion. Plant medicine is another animal entirely.

  • Interesting point – here in Australia, we call that “backburning” – using fire to fight fire.

    I’m being devil’s advocate – I mostly agree with you.

    People in emotional and mental distress have no business meddling with their brain in this way.

    Meditation and other practices can produce gentler results, in the direction of stabilisation, not destabilisation. (note: possible microdosing might be beneficial in these circumstances, but **might** does not a solution make)

    That said – sometimes the emotional and mental distress is because the current paradigm or viewpoint isn’t working, and that is exactly what the psychedelics shake up.

    But I’d make the meditation a prerequsite – the ability to sit through extreme states and observe them with curiosity without being overwhelmed by them.

  • Anomie –

    Iatrogenic disability is indeed different to “mental illness.”

    And I think it is something that is overlooked. It is not a diagnosis offered to anyone. And yet – everyone I know who has been on the drugs for more than 10 years – and many of the people who have come off of them, as well – suffer from iatrogenic disability.

    Some of us are able to struggle and get by – but many of us are not.

  • A lot of homeless and ex-prison in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky are given a bus ticket to my former hometown, Bloomington, Indiana. I don’t know how good the shelters are, there, but it’s possible to get fed, and there are other social services in place in that little blue mecca amidst a sea of red…

    As a result, the ex-con population in Bloomington has tripled or even quintupled. This may be why you don’t see homeless in your neighborhood.

  • Hi Sam! That’s a good question.

    What is a well trained ego? What is centered and grounded “enough” to experience the multiverse opening up between your ears? I recommend meditation, but it is a different path for everyone. Is 3 years of meditation enough? 5? Again, it’s different for everyone. I would say, the ability to experience extreme states with curiosity and the ability to observe them, detach from them, is “well trained” enough. Some people meditate for 20 years and never find that (even though they are peaceful, and the practice is beneficial).

    If you try a psychedelic – nope. Sorry, not a “happier” existence. But possibly a more real one, a shift in perception that might lead you to greater happiness – or, greater engagement with your life and choices.

    The problem with happiness is a lot like the problem with love. If you try to hold onto it, the tighter you grip, the more you lose it. It is like that moment in meditating, when you realise, “I am meditating!” and in having the thought, lose the flow.

    Consciousness (as you discuss in your other post) is actually quite well defined and demarcated by Buddhist meditational practices. These same states of being can be achieved in other ways. And there is a difference between meditation and trance for accessing “subconscious” and “unconscious” experiences.

    But it takes someone more advanced than I to describe these states with any clarity. Jack Kornfield is pretty good – but he’s a Westerner, and the Asian Buddhists often consider American Buddhism to be Buddhism-lite. But for Westerners, he helps greatly to delineate the observer from the observed, the Self from the thought, feeling, or experience.

    And sadly, psychiatry doesn’t really have much clue about any of this. (my p-doc was a zen/buddhist type, even though she didn’t push it on me, it influenced her practice – but not so much that she wouldn’t prescribe drugs!)

  • Dr. Kelmenson –


    …”a couple of weeks” tells me that you do not understand about the adjustment of neurotransmitters. It takes at least 3 weeks for the neurotransmitters to adjust. This is why, when someones starts taking the drugs, they are told by physicians (and pharma) that it might take at least 3 weeks to work. See Anomie’s comment, above.

    In my work with Surviving Antidepressants, I have seen Cold Turkey withdrawal that went fine – until a stressor hit – then the compromised neurotransmitter system collapses. This is a COMMON occurrance that can happen 3, 6, 9 months or even 2 years out from “withdrawal”

    These drugs *change* and *alter* the pathways of normal, natural firing. They may never go back to baseline.

    In my opinion you are not qualified to do anything with these drugs, (in spite of your expensive degrees) as you do not understand how they work. See works here at MIA by Stuart Shipko, who postulates that it’s often impossible to “heal” from these drugs. He’s a doctor, perhaps you will listen to him, if you are unable to hear what survivors are saying:



    Unlike Shipko, I like to believe that there is improvement – but – there is also the mitigation of damage, and the change in baseline to deal with. My cardio health is better, other symptoms are not.

    Your “clinical experience” may be achieved because the patient is too afraid to tell you what you’ve already explained to them is not possible.

  • Thanks for replying, but you’ve only angered me. Yes, swallowing glass causes problems. The “reverse placebo” effect has nothing to do with the damage and disruption caused by these drugs.

    Your statement about “Medicalising withdrawal” tells me that you are out of touch with what really happens:
    1. when people take the drugs
    2. when the drugs are continued for longer than 5 years (and systems start to break down), and
    3. when the drugs are discontinued (especially after long term use).

    “Medicalising withdrawal” means you still think that the “patient/client/sufferer” is crazy and “making things up.”

    It’s my understanding that when you take that first SSRI/SNRI/ Neuroleptic drug, they alter – possibly permanently – the neurotransmitter cascade in the brain. From the FIRST PILL. talks about liver DAMAGE. (that’s not a placebo, or a “reverse placebo” effect, that’s medical, bodily damage).

    These are just two quick examples I can find off the top of my head on a lazy Sunday morning.

    If you are talking about the psych difficulties of withdrawal (I was not) – that is caused by the antidepressants, as well – since your neurotransmitters are changed, it makes it much more challenging – if not impossible – to return to “baseline.” Hence, Whitaker’s “Anatomy” points out the way use of these drugs increases the chronicity of the disturbances. The baseline is gone.

    I stand by my statement (elsewhere) that doctors should take these drugs for 3 months, then cold turkey – it’s the only way you will understand what really happens with them. And they should try not only “antidepressants” but also neuroleptics, like the experiment David Healy did. To find out what akathisia is. You know we had a suicide here at MIA recently – due to extreme akathisia? Is that “medicalising withdrawal?” or “medicalising drug sfx?”


    I understand you do not prescribe – but you are still falling into a pit of denial about just how much damage these “placebos” cause.

    I’ve been off the drugs for 3 years. I went through most of the symptoms that Rachel describes below – the arrhythmias (which were medically charted) have cleared, the IBS (I refuse to call it “disease”) is improved, and I am leading an amazing, fulfilling life. Yes, I still fall into a depressive pit – but that’s not “medicalising withdrawal” My withdrawal is DONE, and has been for years. That’s the “new baseline” that my brain set after 20 years on the drugs.

    Read the case studies at There will be a large amount of noise to pick up the signal – that these drugs are damaging, harmful. Dare I say – that pharma wants to make more patients? It’s not such a long bow to draw – I think it was Peter Gotzsche who pointed out the irony of the metabolic disorder induced by olanzapine – and the metformin to help diabetics = both from Eli Lilly.

    And please, when you are talking to survivors, take care not to imply that we are “making things up” or “focusing only on problems,” or “medicalising our suffering” that was INDUCED by medicine, medical practice, and “standard of care.”

  • Excellent post Dr. Kelmenson – I see the marketing of illnesses oozing out of all kinds of medicine, not just psychiatry. Such as the statin rort. (also not a fake drug, see below)

    The only thing I struggle with is the 4th one: “fake drugs.” Where you say: “Fake diseases go with fake medicines, of which three types exist: If your ‘meds’ were proven to only be placebos, as were antidepressants,”

    I know you quote Kirsch here, but you are missing the point of antidepressants.

    They are ****NOT*** placebos, they are merely as ineffective as placebo. They do have action and effect.

    If they were merely fake drugs or placebos, then people wouldn’t have so much trouble withdrawing from them, reference the cases at

    They are real, and dangerous drugs that disrupt digestion, sexuality, endocrine, metabolism, nervous system, brain – and other effects which are harder to quantify.

    Please don’t fall into the trap of calling these “fake drugs” or placebo. They are dangerous.

  • Daniel Amen claims that these things which you call disorders (“bipolar” and “attention”) are neurological in origin and can be balanced with brain treatments, like neurofeedback (there are others, too). There is an excellent clinic in Melbourne doing this kind of work.

    Orthomolecular doctors will correct a lot of these “disorders” with diet and supplements such as high dose niacin.

    Will Hall frequently speaks of the need to modulate sleep cycles in order to keep from “flipping.”

    Some might even claim that these “disorders” are rampant in our society due to epigenetic insults – re-engineered wheat (dwarf wheat which has high yields, also has more chromosomes than heritage wheat), pesticides, herbicides, even chlorine and fluoride, as well as food additives and processed food.

    Then there’s the role of trauma, relationships, and what strategies you learned as a child that are less effective as an adult.

    The truth is probably a combination of the above, and a “true” “bipolar 1” might still struggle, even after these things are corrected. Thing is – if you read Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” you will learn that “bipolar I” was never a chronic illness, it was episodic. If you could only treat your behaviour problems when they get out of line. But these drugs are not designed for going on and off, and this would be further destabilising.

    Ex-Bipolar, here (yes, there is such a thing). What I’ve learned over the course of my life (57 yo) is that if *I* can’t manage my behaviours, then nothing else will. Lithium poisoned my kidneys, flattened my brain – it’s coming back, but I’m a lot less intelligent, flexible, and capable than I was before. Antidepressants (combined with surgeries that happen in the course of a life) ruined my gut, challenged my endocrine system in a way that looks like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

    I know how to be depressed, and I know how to prevent my “manias” (sleep is my key, as well as nutrition, and light cycles). And I found that the drugs actually ramped up my symptoms over time. So if I “get out of line,” it’s up to me to choose the things which help. Drugs are no longer among those things.

    I’m not saying that nobody ever finds use for the drugs. I am saying that there are many roads up that mountain.

  • Hey Vanilla – I’m not McCrea – but nearly all of my psychiatrists have been well educated, compassionate people, who thought they were doing the best for me with the knowledge that they had.

    And yet – I was prescribed lithium – by a very compassionate, zen, earth-mama psychiatrist – when I had a visible goitre. Subsequently, within 5 years lost my thyroid.

    And yet, this same psychiatrist became very sad when I said I wanted to go off. She said, “I’ve seen others do this, and there’s not a good success rate.” I had to give her an ultimatum: If you won’t help me, I’ll find someone else who will. So – she supported my taper (sort of).

    It’s the education of these caring people which is at fault. They are told lies, and so they tell lies. Some of them know they are lies, and keep telling them – but most of them really believe in what they are doing.

    My other “good psychiatrist” whom I got 12 minute “med check” visits with – just cut a friend’s dose of neuroleptic by 25%. She is having Tardive Dyskinesia, and so the cut is warranted – however – it really shows that they don’t understand how these drugs work.

    Psychiatrists-in-training, since they are primarily prescribers, should do more than just study the drugs on paper. They should put them in their bodies for 6 weeks, and then Cold Turkey to see what that does. After all, most psychiatrists think nothing of a “cold switch” (Oh, this drug isn’t working, let’s take that out and put this one in).

    It’s the education of them that is lacking, and as Steve says, it goes all the way to the source – the Journals are corrupt, the drug trials are corrupt.

    Have a read of Whitaker’s excellent, “Psychiatry Under The Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform”

    To better understand what’s happening in psychiatry.

    Also – Peter Gotzsche’s superb, “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime.”

    It’s like with any mob – the individuals might be awesome, beautiful people, but the overall effect of them in concert can be devastating.

  • jnicholas – #2 – “loudest and most persistent”

    When actually – in order to overcome a “negative” thought, you need to replace it with THREE positive ones, because the “negatives” – the stress-based thoughts – are vital for our survival as a species.

    “Must watch for tigers” is embedded more deeply in our survival than “cheer up.”

    Therefore the “negative ruminations” (as they might be called in therapy) have been developed as a coping strategy, and are more deeply embedded. You might say the limbic ones are more concerned with survival, while the neocortex is more concerned with executive functions (which, as you say, “short out” when under stress & duress).

    So – in order to overcome a survival “tape” – it takes 3x as much effort as it would to overcome a less emotional one.

    I feel like I’m not quite expressing myself well…I know that in relationships, because survival is so linked to the “negative” statements – that if you criticise your partner once, make sure you compliment them 3 times.

    It’s like I’m oversimplifying, but maybe it really is that simple?

  • Ross – have you ever received CBT – as it is presented in today’s “Mental health system” – when you were in a state of distress?

    You say that people here are misrepresenting CBT.

    But from a state of depression, a 6 week program to “cheer up” or “think better” doesn’t seem relevant in a situation which may be isolating, or feel quite futile. You might say that I’m “misrepresenting CBT” with this description, but I assure you, from the standpoint of the sufferer, it does feel quite like that.

    I’m all for adjusting coping strategies which no longer work (behavioural therapy). For example, when I was a child, I might have found it quite effective to throw temper tantrums in order to get what I wanted. This strategy might carry over into adulthood, where it is a poor adaptation to issues of being an adult. Many of the strategies learned in childhood to get through a difficult situation are carried into adulthood, where they are then considered “maladaptive.”

    Addressing these at the WHY level, is, however, more effective than just instructing “how to change behaviours.” WHY was this a successful strategy in childhood? HOW is that not working in adulthood? HOW can we address the emotions that cause the strategy to manifest, and find a better way of expressing them? So – it’s not really “behavioural” even though the behaviour is what is sparking the need to address it.

    My temper tantrums might have started when I felt helpless as a child, and that my opinions and voice was unheard. Perhaps they started in response to neglect. In adulthood, it may be that when I don’t feel heard, that’s when I’m likely to “go off” into a temper tantrum. What needs to be addressed is not the CBT of the tantrum – but the feelings of neglect, or feeling unheard.

    CBT is like a bandaid for a broken arm in this kind of situation. The end result may be similar: to redirect a maladaptive strategy. But to just look at the strategy and say “No, don’t do that,” and learn to catch it when it is happening, is not nearly as effective as understanding why the strategy is there in the first place, and addressing the feelings that spark the recurrence of the strategic behaviour.

    Ok. “nuff therapy stuff. There are folks here who think all therapy is evil (get used to it). I’ve found it helpful many times during my life – and I’ve found that the cold, clinical CBT approach is very denigrating, condescending, and overall ineffective for me.

  • KateL – that rash could be exacerbated by Cymbalta withdrawal.

    It seems that Effexor (in particular) invokes mass quantities of itchy skin issues – so I don’t see why Cymbalta wouldn’t have similar issues.

    Yeah, I see docs as little as possible…I told one doc (a “natural medicine orthomolecular doc”) that I didn’t think that my mood was any of her business, and she said, “What a thing to say!” I said, “It’s not medical, it’s my responsibility…”

    Of course, she launched into a lecture about how to improve sleep, blah blah blah, and – yep. I’d grown 2 heads again.

    But until we educate them (this is helped by developing LONG TERM relationships with doctors, so that they learn you don’t have two heads, after all), they will continue “standard of care” practice as usual.

  • Ah, Altostrata – I was just talking with someone who – in hospital – was prescribed drugs in DIRECT MAJOR CONFLICT with each other, and then wondered why they felt so much worse.

    If doctors and pharmacists can’t handle major drug interactions, how are they going to handle tapering safely?

    There is so much arrogance in the profession. Heaven forbid we should find that Peer Specialist information is more accurate, scientific, and effective than “medical advice.”

    Sigh. It feels like yelling into the wind, sometimes. But thank you for all that you do in Doctor education, case study collection, and helping people off the drugs. You helped me, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  • Here is the main problem with lawsuits: Doctors were following “Standard of Care” and as long as they follow “Standard of Care,” they are not liable for negligence, malpractice, or any other criminal action.

    THe HARD PART is getting lawyers / lawsuit to address that the “Standard of Care” is wrong. Usually the only way to prove that is is through FDA, which is now wholly an arm of pharmaceutical interests. Like Vioxx. That wouldn’t happen now.

    MORE PEOPLE DIE from these drugs, their effects, and withdrawal from them, than die in “opioid” events, or “vaping accidents” – and yet, all the outrage is there. Additionally, if you look into the opioid events, there is in a huge percentage of them (80%? 90%) a psych drug component, whether a benzo or a seizure drug like pregabalin (which is widely abused in the UK) or gabapentin.

  • hey Sam, I’ve been appreciating your comments.

    However, “appeal to authorities” is going to achieve nil result. “Lobbying” against the $,$$$,$$$ that pharma has to offer is like trying to stop the ocean rising with popsicle sticks.

    As I see it, the best way to approach this is word of mouth. Being a light of recovery that shines so that other people can see it. “How did you do it?”

    We each need to rebel within, because – lobbying the government is not going to heal someone from these drugs. It requires radical responsibility – for your moods and behaviours, and your own dosing schedule for tapering.

    Whether that tapering advice comes from BB or SA – or just from your own work with Will Hall’s Icarus Project “Harm Reduction Guide.” (how I started, then I went to SA for moral and social support) – doesn’t matter. But we need to get the word out: DOCTOR TAPERING SCHEDULES ARE UNSAFE.

    I need to review my “dear doctor” letter and put it somewhere like “Googledocs” so that others can use it. I don’t use Googledocs, so perhaps someone who has an account can help me with that.

    Because Doctors need education, too. They need to know that there is another way. It’s hard to present to doctors, because their education was expensive and tedious, and it’s hard for them to accept that what the drug companies have taught them about the drugs might be wrong.

    It would help to have DOCTORS teaching DOCTORS about harm reduction protocols for reducing psych drugs.

    I have a friend whose Tardive Dyskinesia is getting out of hand (they have had this condition for over 20 years) and what does her p-doc do? Cuts the neuroleptic by 25% right up. And they lose sleep and struggle with intrusions while waiting for the neurotransmitters to adjust…

    We can’t just go around smacking GP’s and p-docs (like I would like to) – but if we can distribute educational materials that are science-y enough, and short enough for a busy doctor to comprehend in short order, it might help.

    I used my “Dear Doctor” letter for a friend. Her doc was going to cut in half for 2 weeks, cut in half again, and then discontinue. A typical doctor response (and recipe for disaster). I wrote my “Dear Doctor” letter, and at least the doctor reduced that to 25% per month. Slower, not without consequences, but not a disaster.

    It’s so sad to have lost Zel, when there might have been another way. But he chose what he chose, and a light went out in this world.

    But “lobbying” Pollys who are getting their pockets lined from pharma, is a waste of effort. I think the solutions are grass roots. Revolution doesn’t happen by lobbying politicians. It happens when the little guy decides: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • I know, my first thought was: did he know about Surviving Antidepressants? We’ve dealt with a good deal of polypharmacy. There are things about his situation that might have made that challenging, however. In an institution, it is harder to taper and reduce doses. We haven’t done much with the MAOI’s, which are horrific drugs to deal with.

    RIP Zel, I’m glad you got the dignity. I think about that diginity almost daily in my own life.

  • Ah, the “Whole Plant” Medicine thing.

    it’s true. While it’s legal all around the USA (and now in Australia) to have CBD only extracts – if you want the REAL healing, it involves the whole plant. Marinol, a pharma extract of THC, is really hard to use – the people I’ve spoken with about it, use it only in the direst of circumstances – and now that CBD is legal – they supplement it with CBD so that they can feel better, not worse. Marinol alone “feels horrible.”

    LSD is an example of this – I was reading how Albert Hoffman tried playing with the molecule, adding, subtracting (it is an ergotomine) – but NO OTHER related molecules produced the effects of LSD.

    Something ghastly happened with MDMA, which was, by itself, a useful drug (and I call it a drug, there is no natural equivalent). When the US Gov’t (and I assume Aussie too) made it illegal – then chemists started tweaking it to get similar effects, so that “Molly” is not exactly the same, maybe never exactly the same. Hence the popularity of MDMA test kits – one molecule off can be a brain disaster.

    Another example of whole plant medicine is the coca leaf, which is nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, and even proteins, which make it an excellent Medicine Plant.

    But when Europeans extracted the cocaine from it – different animal entirely.

    But here’s the thing – when pharmaceuticals are “engineered” they may not be as specific as you’d like to think. Take SSRI’s for example, which are supposed to work on the brain – but they also work on the digestive system (which is where 90% of the body’s serotonin is found). Many of these psychotropics – like Ayahuasca – flood the body with serotonin, which can cause muscle tremors, definitely digestive disturbances (called “purging” by afficionados) –

    Our body’s systems do not work in isolation. And it is a myth that pharmaceutical drugs (of any kind, psychotropic or not) are specific to one system.

    The myth is pervasive, as the ads tell us that diabetes drugs soothe your pancreas, or heart drugs affect only your heart…but statins also starve your brain of cholesterol. They don’t tell you that.

    But the “specific action” is a myth. So – I don’t really have high hopes for the “engineered” psychotropics (evidenced by the failure of Marinol to actually HELP people).

    And the Frankenstein drugs that might happen in the exploration process are frankly, quite frightening.

  • After sleeping on it, I feel compelled to add: if you are going to do ayahuasca, seek out an American centre which offers aftercare to help with integration. You may not have any issues with integration, but it is always nice to have a community “in the know” to talk to as you rejoin society after such a venture.

    There are several reasons for this. First – there is no language barrier for English speaking peoples. I don’t say this to be a snob, but because – with my hearing impairment, it was good to get my questions answered in a language I understand.

    Second, South American Shamanism doesn’t play by the same rules as Fluffy Bunny New Age Shamanism. There are battles between shamans, and wars, and shamanic weapons. Having gringos caught up as fodder isn’t really a moral issue under these conditions.

    There are many beautiful Central & South American centres for “aya tourism” like Rhythmia, in Costa Rica. There are other authentic experiences which are deep in the jungle (Three, unless you are an adventurer – this form of travel may not be for most). The hard part is seeking out the practitioners who care what happens to you, who want to facilitate your healing (and aren’t just interested in your money).

    And Four – once you leave the Central or South American Centre, and go home, they are done with you. You don’t have anyone to talk to as you try an navigate the changes and shifts that have been made in your brain.

    Find testimonies, and read all the articles about the deaths (tobacco juice ceremonies seem to be involved in many fatalities) the nightmares (adding toe, or datura, to the brew ENSURES visions, but they are not pleasant, and someone having nightmares might give the shaman more weapons for battle with other shamans).

    There are reputable places in Central and South America. But IF (and only if) you are called, I recommend finding an American centre which offers aftercare – you can call on the phone and talk to someone after your experience.

  • Anytime you base your esteem on peer opinion, you are at the mercy of peer opinion.

    Unfortunately, many children are being raised by Facebook and YouTube, and don’t have anyone to model centred self-esteem for them.

    Children’s brains are also at the mercy of the dopamine hit offered by the device. Adults have better executive function, and can (somewhat) resist this mindfark. But children fail to develop this executive function when they are getting 50-100 dopamine hits per day via their device.

  • Anomie, you covered the antidepressant washout, thank you. I tell my friends to expect symptoms (often of the autonomic dysregulation or mood-based variety) for up to ***TWO YEARS*** after ceasing the drug.

    I have tried to convey this information to American practitioners of Ayahuasca Medicine, but like the psychiatrists, they dismiss my concerns as irrelevant. “The Medicine will heal that.” they say. Uh yah.

    So – as someone who has experienced ayahuasca, there are a couple of things to address:
    1. Placebo ayahuasca? REALLY? No vomiting, no visions, what a boring 8 hours sitting on the couch listening to music. Just because it “looks and tastes” like the brew, doesn’t mean that the trial is effectively blinded. Even the psilocybin trials got a placebo drug with some effects, and even then, it was clear who got the psilocybin, early on.

    2. Fiddling neurotransmitters. Since my ayahuasca experience, I have wondered whether I have destabilised my neurotransmitters after psych drug withdrawal. My experience was over 2 years after discontinuation of psych drugs, and I thought I’d stabilised. This past 2 years of “integration” have been exceptionally challenging on mood, which gets to . . .

    3. LONG TERM EFFECTS. It might be awesome the month after, or even 3 months after – but what about 2 years, 5 years? What about repetition of the Medicine? The Ayahuasca culture seems to demand return to the Medicine, which makes me question whether the practice of losing your mind in this way is addicting. I admit to craving that feeling – even though I have no desire to go through what I went through before (days of Medicine, purging, before that release was felt).

    Effectively, ayahuasca serves as a massive flooding of the brain with serotonin. The Medicine People say that it is adaptogenic, that after the experience has passed, your brain “resets” to what it should be.

    However, if your brain has been altered by antidepressants, does that “switch” get “sticky?”

    I’m all for the freedom to alter consciousness at will. I do not like these “Medicines” falling into the hands of psych practitioners. There are dozens, if not hundreds of stories of “bad practitioners” of this Medicine and abuse and neglect during and following the experience. So – how would Psych people be any different from the Shamans for whom this is native practice?

    I advocate great caution and respect. Like “mindfulness” being removed from the Spiritual Practice of Buddhism – use of this as a “drug” and not as a Spiritual Based Medicine – is dangerous.

  • Wow, Doc. You are in my neck of the woods! I thought you were up in NT somewhere, or I would’ve referred folks to you when they want to come off their drugs. Unfortunately, the only ones I have in this neighborhood are docs who go too quickly, and throw people into crisis, and then indicate that their “coping skills aren’t handling the consequences of the withdrawal from chemical assault. . .

    So – that cuppa and cake which Boans offered, goes for me, too – I’d happily shout you to compare notes about tapering. And I’m “in the ‘hood” so to speak.

    Good to know that someone on the inside see psychiatry’s crock of yhit for what it is. (I notice your “Rate a Doctor” ratings include what a grumpy bugger you can be – likely you didn’t give out the scripts they wanted!)

  • Oh JW this is a vital point.

    Can we take up a collection to see that her writing and videos remain?

    YouTube will likely keep them indefinitely – but her hosted blog may not. Is there some way we can check on this?

    It is likely her main Legacy, and needs to be “out there!”

  • Hear! Hear!

    As a lithium survivor, I really really really want to read what Julie has to say about “Life After Lithium”

    Is there any hope of getting the manuscript and moving it forward to the next stage of development?

  • In my experience with Surviving Antidepressants, NA is only about “drugs of addiction.” The 12 step model has indeed helped many of our members, but it is a challenge to find groups that put psych drugs into that category. Many of them in NA take psych drugs to overcome their primary addiction and place great faith in them, not realising that they are setting themselves up for another battle later.

    It very much depends on the group.

  • Good point Richard – and – what happens when – these women (who were sexually inexperienced when they started the drugs) – evolve and try to form relationship – which is one of the purposes to be developed in adolescence? When their sex “doesn’t work” do they beat themselves up more?

    There is a growing trend of “asexual.” I have been left asexual from psych drugs and surgery (can’t say what did what), and so I went on the Ace forums. But GOD FORBID I should talk about:

    1. Personal use of antidepressants and their effects on budding sexuality, and
    2. (even more hidden) The use of antidepressants in the mother (all too common, linked with autism and other neurological damages)

    I didn’t get banned from the site, but anytime I brought this up, it got dropped like a hot potato. They would rather talk about “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” and the myriad ways those fit together…

    It wasn’t “cool” or acceptable to consider that antidepressants might be the source problem.

    After all, if it changes the sex of frogs and fish – what is this grand experiment doing to humans?

  • Been there, done that, got the T-shirt (but maybe not at gunpoint!).

    I have learned that if I am having impulses, urges, and dangerous inner voices – that there is something underneath them. That they are valuable companions in this journey called life – and if they ramp up, it is because I have been ignoring them, shoving them down (and this repression makes me more dangerous). Only I can control my moods – the lithium only dampened them down so that I was unlikely to even know what they are – much less how they could help me (instead of harming myself and others).

    It is not a lithium deficiency.

    You feel very strongly the need to be controlled by the lithium. When the time comes, and they send you for dialysis, and you can no longer take the lithium, what will you do then?

    In this society, we are called to often behave in non-human fashions, in the name of conformity. It may be that some of us need the Soma to survive the society we have built. It’s my desire that we can all be free of this mental and emotional control, free to be the humans we were born to be. I do recognise that it may not be practical for so many (like my own loved ones, who are also controlled by drugs & psychiatry) to be free of these shackles.

    So I’m not picking on you – but just sharing that I believe there is another way besides destroying your organs with the lithium. My beliefs may or may not apply to you.

  • LOL I have a degree in accounting. I don’t think that’s the one you want. Our best assets are making sure everything balances, compiling reports and statistics.

    FINANCE degrees are about interpreting those stats. There may be some accountants who are wizards about seeing “how things fit together” and may be improved, but LOL I’m not one of them!

  • I was reading in Brave New World today. The chapter where the Savage approaches a bunch of Deltas, clamouring for their allotment of Soma. . .

    “It’s poison! You are slaves!” he cries, “Don’t you want to be free?” as he knocks the Soma out of the hands of those distributing it. He throws it out the window, scattering it to the wind –

    And chaos ensues, the people want their poison, they want their slavery, and a riot breaks out…the Savage is arrested, and the Riot Police arrive with spray guns of Soma and Tranquilisers to subdue the agitated crowd. The Synthetic Music Box runs “Anti-Riot Speech Number Two (Medium Strength)” which tells the people,

    “‘My friends, my friends!’…pathetically, with a note of infinitely tender reproach… ‘What is the meaning of this? Why aren’t you all being happy and good together? Happy and good…At peace, at peace.’ …It sank into a whisper and momentarily expired, ‘Oh, I do want you to be happy,’ it began with a yearning earnestness, ‘I do so want you to be good! Please, please be good and . . . ‘ ”


    It’s getting close to this. The devices and phones are the box, and Soma is everywhere. . .

  • Alex speaks of the corrupt system.

    This seems to apply to military, police abuses as well.

    Where there is a pack of people “following orders” from top down to protect corporate interests.

    I know this is paranoid, but I’m beginning to wonder – when we take on the Corporate Masters – what are we in for?

  • Thank you for this anomie!

    I also wonder about the flip side of the coin: if psych drugs affect metabolism (they do), endocrine (they do), autoimmune functions (they do), the gut (they do) – then do they contribute to cancer forming?

    It’s a question which will never be answered, but enquiring minds . . .

  • I agree that psychiatry is a virus – but I would say it has infected more than the medical system.

    it has also infected the courts. The schools. The family. The media. It’s a pretty prevalent virus – might even be a retrovirus, that puts its fingers into every system it possibly can.

    How do you kill a retrovirus? (hint, you can’t, not yet – we haven’t come that far with stem cells yet) We don’t know how – so all we do is “manage” a retrovirus.

    But stop feeding it is a good place to begin.

  • I’m imagining what it is like to shut down a psychotherapist.

    “You realise that your methods are harmful?” (like we’ve been saying since Szasz?)

    “OMG, really? I will stop right now!”

    yeah, right. I like Frank’s perspective that the boycott of all psycho-services is a good place to begin.

  • What business has “marketing and advertising” to do with medicine?

    This is the core nature of the problem!

    Rachel – agree – “He drank the stuff!” because he was told that the rat poison would balance his chemicals. . . lies, coercion, fraud, all of these contribute to the forced nature of psychiatry.

  • “all psychiatry is not forced”

    Is a falsehood.

    If diagnonsense is a lie, if drugging is based on a lie, if there is coercion from family, schools, etc. (Johnny can’t sit still, see a doctor to see if he has ADHD) – then psychiatry is forced.

    Psychiatry which is based on a lie is forced.

  • Thanks for your story, David.

    Taking radical care of yourself is so important – it might even be more important than the taper.

    However, I agree with beckys11 and ebl that a 10% taper is wiser, especially as you get lower in dose.

    Additionally, there are post-withdrawal effects that can knock you around at 6 months, 12 months, even 18 months or more after the drugs are gone, especially if there are stressors. I suspect that this “wave” (as we call it on Surviving Antidepressants) was what drove you back to the Prozac at the 6 months mark.

    I believe (personally, don’t have proof) that the drugs sensitise you for life, and those of us who have been through this gauntlet and come out the other side in “radical self care” – have to be especially vigilant.

    My routine involves a sun walk – just 5 minutes a day. I took up tai chi, and thought – I’ll do that *instead* of the sunwalk – but sure enough, after a year of no sun walk (radical self care – every day – every day – every day – without fail) the black dog was biting at my heels again.

    After just a week of adding the sun walk back in (in addition to my usual physio, tai chi, yoga, meditation & prayer practices), that black dog is a roly poly puppy again. It still has teeth and claws, and if I neglect my practices, it is likely to grow into a menace again.

    So radical self care – so important! Thanks for your emphasis on that. I just downloaded your book.

  • If you are pre-diabetic, you will do better off the drugs. At least that’s my experience.

    By taking control of my mood, health, and well being, I’m still “pre-diabetic” but have not flipped into diabetic, and my blood sugar is lower than it was on the drugs.

    The drugs are very hard on the endocrine system, and if you are on any neuroleptics, they increase the risk of diabetes and metabolic disorder (and even though the research isn’t there – I’d hazard that the antidepressants do, too)

  • Thanks for this Kindredspirit.

    Amongst my friends and family – I am frequently biting my tongue – because I ***know*** how to get them out from under their drug load.

    But “I am not a doctor” so – I might say something once (and be dissed, again).

    A prophetess is always scorned in her hometown (& family and friends).

    And the doctors? They keep doing it. I fear (yes, fear) the time when a condition of mine requires actual treatment by a doctor, whether surgical, procedure, or drugs. At least with drugs, I know how to do the research. Hip replacements? Back surgery? Not so much. Chemotherapy? Radiation? Surgery? This is all scary territory.

    I consider a successful interaction with a doctor as “I fended them off.” e.g., I fended off the cardiologists – they don’t want to see me again for 3 years. . . .

  • The key is written write here, in Robert Whitaker’s own words:

    “There are many individual psychiatrists who are championing the need for change in their field and working in new ways. However, psychiatry, as an institution, has not shown much interest in reflecting on the failures cited above.”

    This is direct evidence that the purpose of psychiatry, entangled with the courts, law, and behaviour – is a means of social control. The institution has too much invested in the power of social control. How will people “control themselves” without psychiatry to do it for them?

    The government needs psychiatry, law enforcement needs psychiatry, corporations need psychiatry, a “well ordered society” needs psychiatry. It’s more than just profit motive, but an entire system of control.

    Because psychiatry’s only true function is social control.

  • Police are raiding drug dealers because:
    1. When they achieve a certain quota in drug arrests, they get the attention of the federal goverment.
    2. This attention results in grants and sales of “retired” US military equipment.
    3. This equipment has to be used for something, so in order to keep the grants coming, they raid for more drugs, and get to use their armor, tanks and door-busting weapons.
    4. ALEC makes sure that the drug laws support this.

  • Haven’t read comments yet, but it’s my understanding that the restrictions on “mentally ill buying guns” was limited to “involuntary committments.” Disability was not a restricting factor. This might be the difference between what Obama said was 75,000 people on the gun buying list, and the million plus folks on disability.

  • You were lucky. They never look at the drugs as the cause of the symptoms.

    Your persistent contact with the Other Worlds might mean that shamanic training will be of value to you.

    I don’t mean to downplay your torment – just want to mention, that they might be valuable, if heeded and harnessed for the good of all.

  • That’s not necessarily true.

    There are numerous cases of doctors – without high mortality rates – but who are writing the prescriptions in question, where the DEA comes in.

    It may not amount to arrest, but it is very discouraging to a practicing physician to have his practice closed while the DEA goes through his records with a fine tooth comb.

    He may be exonerated at the end of the DEA process – and this is happening a lot. Doctors are terrified of this! And as a result, they are avoiding prescribing the drugs in question.

    The threat of DEA audit alone (not just the arrests) is changing the prescribing practices of doctors in general.

    I had a friend in a car accident last week. Cracked his spine. They sent him home with Lyrica.

  • Rachel777 which is funny because – they give us the drugs that make us fat, and then blame us when we get fat. Tell us to “exercise more” when we’re drugged out of our minds, lethargic and anhedonic, and tell us to “eat better” when the drugs make us crave carbs like a Cookie Monster…..but it’s “our fault.”

    Not the fault of the doctors or the drugs.

  • Surviving and Thriving – likewise, as a round, plump female, I get blamed for all my pains, because “I’m fat.” “If only you’d lose weight. . . ”
    (never mind the metabolic problems that were caused by 20 years of psych drugs. . .. )

  • Ultram (tramadol) and Palexia (tapentadol) are called “opiates” by the doctors. They are called “non-addicting” because they don’t get you high like the oxy or vicodin.

    HOWEVER, tramadol is really an SSRI, and tapentadol is really an SNRI. They developed tapentadol because so many people were on SSRI’s that they got serotonin toxicity when they added tramadol.

    There is severe withdrawal from tramadol / tapentadol, but it is irrelevant to the weak opiate action.

    This is because they fiddle your neurotransmitters like psych drugs.

    They should be tapered carefully if used for more than 3 weeks at a time.

    And doctors, in their ignorance, still think of them as “opiates” (the “good kind,” the “nonaddicting” kind, the kind with less street value), and don’t consider checking for interactions with psych drugs.

    I had a friend go into serotonin syndrome because she was on max dose of Pristiq, and then offered tapentadol when she broke her back. She said to me, “I don’t feel so good,” and I asked her what they gave her and said “OMG quit! And call the pharmacy!” Fortunately, she had only been on them a couple of days.

    But = stupid stupid stupid.

    Sometimes I wonder, Someone Else, if Jesus is right, and all doctors are going to hell.

    Contrast with pure opiates, give me 72 hours and (apart from the addictive behaviours, which must also be broken) you can get someone off the opiates in detox.

    Not so, antidepressants (which, like Cymbalta & Lyrica, they also give for pain conditions).

  • As I see it – “tapering strips” are not drastic enough for the DEA requirements that – whoever is on opiates – be limited to equivelency 50 mg ME (morphine equivalent).

    It doesn’t matter if they were on 3x or 10x that – the DEA is arresting doctors and making it challenging for pain patients to get their condition managed.

    I know several patients with chronic pain conditions who have had their doses cut to 1/10th of their former dose, overnight, because of these DEA requirements – or – the doctors fear of them.

    So – tapering strips – are too gradual, and this means that – for a time, the doctor will be prescribing OVER that DEA minimum ME dose, in order to attempt to taper gradually and wisely.

    Perhaps, from a business perspective, it’s better to throw them in crisis and get them addicted to neuroleptics, instead (Abilify being the #1 selling drug in the USA right now).

  • Interesting that this article does not mention the other things they frequently give to addicts: SSRI’s and SNRI’s and neuroleptics – “to reduce cravings,” “to ease transition into ‘normal life'” etc. etc.

    This is done for alcoholics, too. Then, a decade or more later, when the original addiction is “under control,” they realise that quitting alcohol (or opiates) was easy compared to the “safe” drugs that they were given instead.

  • Hey Nijinsky – the Gene Edigio story is amazing (I’m about halfway through the video) thank you for sharing.

    Did he ever lay hands on you? Can you describe what that was like?

    My friend, I don’t think he’s about “demands,” but – learned helplessness. He’s learned that the docs think they can fix him, so he goes to them first. (this is true of a lot of my friends and medical doctors, too – when there is a simpler solution often available).

    The media says, “Ask your doctor,” your peers and social support tell you to “ask your doctor.” One becomes conditioned over a lifetime to “Ask your doctor,” even though that’s not always the best course (and sometimes, as in the case of psychiatry, is a harmful course.)

    He is very dear to my heart, we’ve been friends since 1986, so I wont’ be letting go of the friendship. Instead, it’s an internal letting go, of saying to myself, “Bless your path, dear heart.” I think it’s too late for him to escape, now that he’s lost his brain, as well. If a kindly Doctor Breggin found him, and could help him off the drugs safely, under medical supervision, it would be good.

    But the truth is, these resources are not available to very many people – and the hard core do-it-yourselfers have the wherewithal to be disciplined and careful (as is needed).

    A pleasure to make your acquaintance. Bless your path, too, and may our paths cross again. If you want to get better acquainted by email, you can find me at

  • Here’s the thing, Hermes – neuroleptics are not just for “schizophrenia” anymore.

    They are passing them out like candy for:

    Opiate and alcohol addiction recovery
    Depression (where people don’t respond well to the SSRI class)
    “Bipolar” and related diagnonsense.

    They are pushing the neuroleptics as the “next line of defense” in a world where their “miracle drugs” are not so miraculous.

    When people are rejecting the opiates (addicting) antidepressants (side effects like losing your sexuality, among others) pharma is saying, “BUT WAIT! There’s more! We’ve got these handy neuroleptics that hit on all KINDS of neurotransmitters…..”

    It’s another wave of marketing of questionable “products” and that’s what they are – products. Not medicine. Not healing. Not even a solution. Just a bottom line for the shareholders.

    I think I heard that the neuroleptics are the best sellers and are driving pharma profits now. Abilify is currently the best selling drug in the world. Sigh.

  • The LAI is a slippery slope. Maybe it is different in Finland, but the LAI’s are used in America in “Mental Health Courts” for forced treatment. Forced treatment is easy when they can give a shot and send you on your way for a month, they don’t have to watch you take your pills every day (like they would in incarceration, er, hospital). Same in the prison situation.

    This is why the aripirprozole now has a tracking device in it – to “ensure compliance.”

    This marketing scheme is especially deadly considering how the courts, prisons, and forced treatment can be involved to drive up sales of these newly patented formulations.

  • Thank you Nijinsky
    I have read and re-read your comment over the past 24+ hours, drinking in the learning you are offering me.

    The biggest blessing for me is this: “Maybe just detaching and blessing their path is the answer, because any rational discourse becomes bate for more of a feeling they are being attacked. ”

    Yes, and yes. Blessing their path/s (because I’m speaking of many people, not just this one or that one).

    I’m going to add – because we don’t live in a very kind society – the element of empathy, compassion, kindness.

    I’ll give an example from real life.

    One of my friends is declining again. He says, “It’s a medical issue” and has started self harming again, drinking again, ruminating again, having suicidal ideation, extreme fatigue. He is working in a cafe, about 20 hours a week, despite massive brain damage* from 30 years on the drugs. He has stress from this job, but being a poor American on disability, needs to work. But there is nothing left over for him. He cried to me, saying, “This feels medical! I am going to report these 10 things to my psychiatrist…”

    Fortunately, the psychiatrist is a good one. I was terrified that it would escalate into hospitalisation or further drugging. But the doctor has been treating him for decades now, and knows that a hospital bill or drug change would only increase the stress.

    What the p-doc said was this: “You’ve gained weight. Have you checked on your diabetic / blood sugar status? You cannot keep doing bad things (drinking, etc.) and expect to feel better.” So p-doc advised him to lose weight and start monitoring blood sugar (again – he had full blown diabetes about 10 years ago but embarked on an extreme exercise program – ultra-marathons – and fully recovered = not diabetic until just recently).

    Since the last diabetic episode, my friend developed auto-immune disorder (about 5 years ago), severe cognitive struggles, and damaged eyesight from 30 years on Seroquel (and other drugs)… He has been able to lose weight since developing the Hashis, but at some point, the Seroquel is going to say no.

    My “Shaming voice of righteous indignation,” says, “Well, that’s all fine and well for the p-doc to tell you to lose weight and mind your blood sugar when he’s giving you drugs which induce metabolic disorder and diabetes….Don’t be disappointed if you cannot lose weight this time – I know you’ve done it before, but at some point, your body is just going to say ‘no.'”

    Kindness would stay silent, encourage him in his efforts to stop drinking, quitting smoking, whatever it is that’s “not helping.” (I think Will Hall calls this “Harm Reduction.”) and just listen. Wait. See how it goes. Maybe this time isn’t the time when the body says “there’s only so much you can achieve while drugged.” Maybe he’ll be fine for another 5 years, 10 years, 1 year. My righteous indignation serves no purpose (except to burn at me, and hurt him).

    If, then, this is the time when he can no longer lose weight, no longer control the diabetes (Metformin was mentioned, which is a scary drug to add to neuroleptics!), then I say, with my compassionate voice, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve had a good run. You know these drugs induce metabolic disorder, and you’ve beaten it before, but maybe this time it’s too much for your body to take. Be kind to yourself, make do with the best you can.”

    Even that will hurt, but there will come a point where he is slamming against a brick wall. I know I will get push back from even this, “There’s diabetes in my family!” (they are all drugged)

    So I bless his path, and pray in sorrow.

    I learned a Buddhist meditation the other night. Breathing in suffering, breathing out peace and calm. I can breathe in my own suffering, or the suffering of another. I did this for him. It may not make him feel any better, but it helped me.

    * a measured 45 point IQ loss! The “brain damage specialist” claims that this is from an automobile accident when age 16, but I have known him since that age, and watched the decline in lock step with the neuroleptic drugs. NOBODY at the brain damage clinic mentioned neuroleptics as a possible contributing factor to this measured, diagnosed brain damage.

  • Madmom this is a brilliant point.

    The folks I know who had “depot” – towards the end of the weeks, would start to flutter around in distress, until they got the shot again.

    I think I’ve seen studies which show that the decline of the depot shot over the last week is equivalent to withdrawal. At the very least, cutting the dose in half for a number of days.

  • When you mention “weaning,” this indicates regular use. Yeah, that’s a no-go.

    It is true that there is a “come down” time, as there is after any “peak experience.”

    Those who are experienced in these matters for entheogentic, noetic and consciousness expanding purposes call this time, “Integration,” and it may be the most important part of the experience. This is where the therapist might be invaluable, because after the amazing feelings, comes all the ruminations and problems, right back at you full force. It is an opportunity. That’s why they call it “Integration.”

    MAPS purposes are not about regular use, but about experiential use – a few sessions, then never again, or maybe occasional use.

    Your drug users forums talk about regular use, and any drug is bad for that. I seem to recall dangers of dehydration with “molly,” and there is also the issue that street “molly” or “E” is only about 30% likely that it is actual MDMA. I’ve also heard about MDMA causing DNA damage to the brain, but that was in the 80’s. and may have been a “reefer madness” scare tactic.

    Comparing street / party / rave use with clinical trials isn’t a very clear comparison.

  • Most of the people writing here are writing about what they have read, not about what they know.

    MDMA can open gateways to expression of feeling, and explore traumas safely.

    However, I’m reluctant to give any tool like this to psychiatrists.

    MAPS has done some good work, however, they are still buying into the “psychiatry is the way to go” model.

    I do not trust that model.

    There is a power variance if I am on a drug, and the practitioner is not on the “trip” with me.

  • PD: “Most of these drugs are ingested voluntarily.”

    No. They are not. When they give the drug to you with the lie that “you will need this for the rest of your life” and “the side effects will be worth the benefits” and “it won’t harm you in the long term”

    Then they are forcing something. Would someone really take that pill if they knew that they may never get off of it again? Or that they might be going down the rapids of prescription and diagnostic cascades? Or that the drug will, in the long run, make them worse?

    Until this is the knowledge of the people (and it is not), then these pills are being forced.

  • Richard –

    You make some excellent points.

    Here’s the thing: I watch my friends and family go underwater when they “take the pills.” Maybe it helps them cope. It doesn’t mean I love them any less, but they take the pills, and I see them go further and further from the shores of community, emotional availablility, and closer to impulsivity, lack of empathy, and inability/disability. I watch them estrange their friends and family “I FEEL FINE!” as they forge their way into this drug-brain way of coping.

    Meanwhile I watch the toxins destroy their digestive system, endocrine system and cognitive function. Is it any wonder I’m standing on the shore jumping up and down and maybe even screaming “NNNNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

    So – okay, yes, I love these people and respect their ill informed choice to take these drugs. But – there is a duty of care of the people giving them out. “Do you know that once you start taking this drug, you may never be able to get off it again?” “Do you know that if your insurance plan or pharmacy changes suppliers of this drug that you might have a withdrawal meltdown?” “Do you know that this can contribute to mysterious long term disorders that we call ‘fibromyalgia,’ ‘chronic fatigue,’ ‘metabolic disorder,’ diabetes, and dementia?” And be sure and be aware that – if you do develop these disorders, it will be blamed on your diagnonsense, or you will be told that the metabolic disorder, diabetes, is your fault, and you need to “lose weight” or “take action” or even take more drugs to treat it? And that “we don’t really know what causes dementia”?

    Sure, I respect my loved ones’ choices to go skydiving, join the military, tightrope walk between skyscrapers, climb mountains, or overtrain their bodies with ultra-marathons. Sometimes they really believe in this – and I watch as they return from Afghanistan “not the same.” Or have a complete endocrine or autoimmune meltdown induced by overtraining. And sometimes these things provide pleasure and amazing excitement. Sometimes creating drama does that, too. But as I’ve aged, I’ve learned that – those things which shorten your life, damage your system, deplete your *mana* (for lack of a better word) – will make you die younger and in much more distress – sooner.

    So – is it shaming them to say, “Don’t do it!!!!” “COME BACK!” “I miss you!!!!” ? ? ?

    I still respect their choices – what choice do I have? The balance is – how do I keep from chewing myself up inside as I watch their inevitable destruction? (note: friends and family, we have the opportunity to watch, over decades, their decline. People on the internets – not so much. People in your life: decades. And the results are visible.)

  • Hey Johnnyb – this is interesting.

    It’s OK for NA to “narcotics shame”
    And It’s okay for AA to “alcohol shame”
    and it’s okay for SA to “sex and porn shame”

    But is this because – people go to these 12-step organisations and surrender to them for “help”?

    And in that surrender, they have to accept that their “unacceptable behaviour” will be shamed?

    What is the role of shame in psychiatric diagnonsense? We go to the p-doc, and he shames us for not being able to hold our emotions together well enough to work, or not having enough oomph to get through the day, or for being argumentative with our spouse, children, etc…and then offers us pills to “fix” these behavioural strategies?

    I may be stepping out of line on this one – I’m trying to expand my connectome and the way I think about this – so this is not necessarily something I believe – just something I’m trying on.

  • Dr. Breggin uses the phrase: spellbinding.

    Drug Spellbinding.

    Psychiatric Spellbinding.

    Stockholm Syndrome is similar – you come to be fond of the people who “took such good care of you” while you were kidnapped and held against your will.

    Sometimes this is dramatic incarceration and forced drugging like Nchurch describes. Sometimes it is subtle like Mother’s Little Helper. “I just need it to get through the day.”

    Sometimes, it’s true – that in order to “adjust” to our toxic society, the Soma is required. Not all of us can leave. Not all of us can afford to live without disability.

    But like Sera said, I’m “just sick of watching people fucking die.” And sick of watching cognitive loss, loss of will, loss of personality, the dehumanising of humans as they take these drugs. I’m sick of watching drugged people shit on their families because they can no longer empathise. They are “surviving” with their drugs, but at what cost?

    Have you ever tried to take junk away from a junkie? That is what I feel like when I discuss the neurotoxic effects of these drugs. I have tried to take junk away from a junkie. And it’s not possible. Only the junkie can choose to leave the junk behind.

    The junkie (and I don’t use this term lightly -though it can also be someone who is addicted to alcohol, or even tobacco – but the addiction is there) will lie, cheat, steal, do whatever it takes to get their junk back. It’s impossible to believe, and it’s hard to trust a junkie, no matter how much you love them.

    How hard is, therefore, it to believe that someone Spellbound by psychiatry, Spellbound by the drugs – will be participating in some self-delusion, therefore?

  • This is overlooking the fact that ***children*** are still wiring their brains.

    When they grow up with drugs as part of their protocol, like food and water, brushing their teeth, doing their homework, saying their prayers – taking their drugs –

    Then their brains are hardwired to these substances. There becomes less choice.

    What you and I experienced in 70’s & 80’s is a different ballgame now.

  • There are a number of much less harmful devices out there. Dr. Bob Becker was castigated for his approach to healing with electricity. I have a Dr. Becker BioTuner, the stimulus is on the ears, and it sets up a gentle current between the ears (brain). It has settings for earth resonance, healing, calming, and energizing. It is very gentle.

    There are other devices which are more invasive, involving pads on the head more like a TENS device. I also use TENS for pain.

    But I don’t trust just anyone with my brain; the only device I would consider is one designed by Dr. Bob Becker.

    There is a discussion of these devices (as they apply to withdrawal symptoms) here:

  • I do know a number of people who –

    – like the psychiatrists whose income depends upon performing psychiatry –

    Their diagnosis and drugging is essential to their income. To walk away is a greater challenge than many of them can face, especially after 30-40 years of being on disability payments, diagnosis and drugs. (including the resulting brain damage)

    it’s sad, but true. And more true all the time, as the poor become poorer, and it takes multiple jobs to live inside, eat food, keep warm, have running water, etc.

  • Here’s the legal problem: all docs prescribe according to “standard of care.”

    Without violation of that “standard of care” (and we all know what that is – diagnose and drug) the ability to press a lawsuit – class action or otherwise – is a challenge.

    Funny how, when we first presented with distress, it was easy to make us “guilty” (diagnosed with “broken brain”)

    But when the harm is done, it is impossible to prove it.

  • I just watched a talk by Daniel Amen about how easy it is to induce brain injury.

    One of his SPECT images was of a boy who fell on his head at age 3, and they wondered why his behaviour at adolescence was so outrageous…embarking on a brain healing program, they were able to recover damaged brain tissue (I’m guessing through brain training, diet, neurofeedback, Amen has a lot of protocols…)

    I wonder, Dr. Breggin, if he might be an ally in this cause to stop the Monarch?

  • I think having read Kay Redfield-Jamison made it easier for me to accept the script when the p-doc gave me lithium.

    I protested – indicating that I had “bipolar depression” not mania, and apparently the lithium is better for the mania, but she wouldn’t hear it, insisting it was good for depression too. (my GP back home in America said, “OMG but it’s got such a narrow therapeutic window!” as in – the diff between “therapeutic” and “toxic” is extremely close.)

    Egads, I became such a cotton-wool-wrapped zombie that all I could think about was ways to end my misery. And adding “antidepressants” didn’t help, either. Thank you Robert Whitaker, Joanna Moncrieff, Peter Breggin, Will Hall, and Surviving Antidepressants for showing me the truth – and that there was a way out, and that I could live life again.

  • Places with natural lithium in the water have generally placid and peaceful populations. Less violence, folks get along better. Less “mental distress” in general.

    But there are maths involved. I would have to drink 1000 litres of natural lithium water to approach the dose that I was on for “bipolar disorder.”

    When it was added to 7-Up people started having kidney failure. It got removed. I don’t know the levels at which it was added to the 7-Up (proprietary information).

    It depends on if they are microdosing (which there is some science to support) or “therapeutic” dosing, which is outrageous.

    I lost my thyroid and got diabetes insipidus. My kidneys haven’t failed, but they are fussy, and I must drink constantly (and add electrolytes a few times a week), even though I’ve been off the lithium for 3 years now.

  • Ron, I often question my own ability – as a friend – to keep my friends from being dependant upon me.

    Certainly, when they call or text, they are in distress, and by the time we’re done, they’ve settled, have a plan of action, and feel better.

    But I keep asking myself: how can they do this for themselves, without me?

    Is it cruel to say “solve it yourself?” Or “talk to your therapist tomorrow?” Or is it kind to show them the way? And hope without hope that next time, they will reach for the answers alone, and without my assistance?

  • This is a beautiful expression Penelope!

    I was hearing a meditation teacher tell a story about what it’s like to meditate. “Why don’t you take up meditation, you’ll feel better!”

    So the student starts to meditate, and is consumed with rage, and tears, and all of the issues that had been stuffed down over the years. He went back to the teacher, and accused, “You said this would make me feel better!”

    “Yes!” said the meditation teacher. You’ll feel sorrow better, feel anger better, feel all of your feelings better when you meditate!”

  • I agree – it is exceedingly rare that a doctor – a psychiatrist? – would recommend “Anatomy” to a patient.

    Please, can you name your doctor? At, we are always looking for doctors who have a clue, anywhere in the world.

    Your doctor not only had you read “Anatomy,” but also tapered you at a sensible rate. It’s the first I’ve heard of it. At SA, the member usually has to plead with their doctor to do it sensibly slowly, and the doctor pooh-poohs and resists. That is what happens – well, all the time (until I read your story, which is different).

  • OH EFF. And here I have been saying things like, “You’d be better off going to a minister than a psychiatrist.”

    Sounds like the same abuse of power, as SomeoneElse has been pointing out. Again, bad apples? Or is it more common than we believe?

    Thank you for sharing your Truth.

  • I’ve been waiting to hear this. There must be a naturalistic way to study autistic children and their mothers to see what antidepressants and other drugs the mothers were on.

    But golly no, autism is a “natural variation of the human condition,” and we cannot discuss this with them, lest the snowflakes melt.

    Chiro John Bergman calls it (correctly) a neurological disorder. And antidepressants are not – like rasselas.redux states – the only factor. Just like vaccines are not. Or glyphosate.

    Likewise when I want to ask the people in the asexual forum – how many of you had mothers on antidepressants? Or how many of you were exposed to antidepressants around puberty or shortly thereafter? I ask the questions and get booted out of the forum, because “asexuality is a normal variation of the human condition.”

    Kind of like madness. It is, in a sense. But it’s like there’s something else going on, too.

    The mice study points to it, but Sylvain Rousselot nails it when he says, “That’s okay, though, we’ve got toxic drugs to fix that. . . “

  • 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.

  • 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): 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 (

    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.”

    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:

    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.

  • I remember a game that someone in my party circles used to play. In the moment, it was basically harmless – he was doing it to “mess wit’ you.”

    But he could sense exactly what someone’s buttons were, and there, before the bonfire, partying out of our gourds, he would “mess wit’ you,” pushing your buttons to see if you snapped, and then laughing like a coyote when he succeeded. “Gotcha!” The game always ended when you saw that it was just a game. And the party continued.

    (This also reminds me of a strategy my older brother would use – anything he could use to see if he could get me in a state. Typical brother stuff – but in the same vein. Years later, my brother has exhibited great use of emotional intelligence and compassion in helping my parents achieve a good death – so his empathy has been used with compassion)

    In retrospect it was great training in “not taking things personally,” as well as turning a mirror onto my buttons, and why they got triggered – but I do wonder about the forces that drove him to “mess wit’ us,” – like it was a protective function to keep *us* from messing with *him.*

    I think this was a clear case of empathy – it wasn’t just the head, but the whole person he was sensing (I usually think of empathy as a heart quality) – but there was cruelty, not compassion in response.

  • shaun f but that journey to totalitarianism is a slippery slope. I’ve learned this by observing the differences between America and Australia. Much more of our lives are regulated here, and Australians generally (despite their convict origins) colour between the lines.

    In China, the social pressure of “fitting in” becomes greater and greater, and many Westerners are also slaves to those social media devices, and many of our young people do not know what privacy is, nor do they find it desirable.

    So – for the pleasure of belonging, the ball and chain of devices is welcomed, and minds are controlled so much more easily than with Soma. And the telescreens – people clamber to get the newest hottest portable telescreen devices.

    The old “totalitarianism” is unnecessary. The bread and circuses of the telescreen is all that is needed (coupled with the soma of psych drugs) to control the masses.

    it is a slippery slope.

  • Oldhead – you think I formed my opinion from reading AMA articles on the interwebs? Uh, no. Remember, I considered chiropractic as a possible profession in the 90’s.

    Your definition of “subluxation” is more clear than anything I’ve ever heard from a chiropractor, or any chiropractic literature (which makes me think you’ve simplified their thing somewhat).

    If you are being helped by these techniques then remember that placebo has great power to cause your body to heal itself. Sometimes the laying on of hands is all that is needed.

    Sometimes, too, taking charge of your own health is the key, and I’ll give that to Chiro’s, they do tend in that direction. That’s why I love John Bergman’s YouTube channel.

  • Hey Catnight, I went to a similar drugstore, now museum here in Queensland. It was interesting to note that some of the women had mounds of buried hoards of laudanum bottles.

    But I reckon laudanum – which is closer to the plant – is far less destructive than the current pharma formulations.

    My great grandfather ran a patent medicine company, which included laudanum, codeine, cannabis, and other common formulas. He was an MD, and believed in his formulations.

    I reckon what happened historically is the same thing that happened to hemp. Corporate interests became threatened, and wanted to monopolise a market (nylon rope) (patent medicine) – and the big guys smashed over the little guys with “regulations” and “laws”

    Why did the patent medicine trend (including snake oil – which there is still plenty of snake oil about – try looking at the variability in quality of CBD out there) get smashed?

    I reckon you will find DuPont, and Lilly, Bristol Meyers, Roche and Squibb somewhere in the story.

  • Yar, I’ve been looking for a clear definition of subluxation since 1992. It’s harder to nail down than “borderline personality.”

    I’m still not satisfied.

    (remember I considered becoming a Chiro until I learned about the low entrance requirements – easier to become a chiro than a Bachelor Arts in Medieval European History….fwiw)

  • Rachel777 good point. Thing is, while I’ve always had some methylation issues all my life – my 20-30 years on psych drugs ruined my gut, endocrine and metabolism of nutrients. So – it is malabsorption (though I have a much better diet than “Standard American”) *and* iatrogenesis.

    As for Dr. K’s claim (in another article) that “institutionalisation” is causing more brain damage than neuroleptics, it’s hard to parse, because most institutionalised “clients” are on neuroleptics. I’ve watched people decay over the decades, and I blame the drugs. That someone cannot escape their anxiety, and fear of intrusive emergent challenges = institutionalisation (“I need my doc, I need my drugs”) That they suffered an IQ loss of 40 points (and suffer blurred vision) – I’m afraid I blame the drugs for that.

  • I can’t say as I trust the Chiro’s either.

    In the 90’s, I was going back to school to study medicine. What form of medicine would it be?

    Here was the hierarchy of how difficult medicine is to study (entrance requirements):
    1. Pharmacists
    2. Physiotherapists (in the US – I think it is easier in Australia)
    3. MD’s (including dentists & other specialities)
    4. Veterinarians
    5. Osteopaths
    6. Psychologists (PhD)
    7. MSW
    8-15. Any other number of Allied Health professionals – X-ray techs, blood techs, etc.
    somewhere down below my accounting degree was Chiropractic.

    I only needed a high school education with a 2.5 GPA to get accepted into Chiropractic school.

    Now I know, these are “systems” schools – how much you can adhere to the established system.

    But I also know that chiropractic is harmful for my particular condition – it inflames the ligaments and increases my pain. There were other things that they counselled me on – diet, lifestyle, etc. – that were valuable, and I’m a big fan of Dr. John Bergman’s YouTube Channel (but I think he is exceptional).

    I chose Osteopathy as the level I wanted to try and get into – and started doing the undergrad work required. Then I had a divorce, “manic episode” and my ambitions were derailed.

    I would send people to a DO long before I would consider a Chiro. I do think that adjustments are a valuable part of health – just not the way that the chiros do. I also believe that a practice of yoga, tai chi, meditation – something that addresses body alignment – is an essential piece of overall health.

  • Hey Oldhead – try living here. I never believed in Nanny State until I experienced just how intrusive Aussie government is.

    I’m not suggesting that they equalize income like a true socialist system would, but there are many instances where the needs of the many obliterate the needs of the few – and the PC of “minority speak” trumps it all.

    Socialised medicine is – socialised medicine, and that’s just one way that the Gov’t wants to run your life here. It’s one of the reasons that people in distress get locked away so quickly and thoroughly.

    There is a difference between this and the free wheeling way that the USA does things. “Socialist Democracy” is the best word I have for it.

  • Thinking about this overnight – I don’t know anyone who has “gotten better” from back surgery, either. Again, the procedures and interventions often seemed designed at creating long term management situations instead of healing. So I’m pretty suspicious of “medicine” in general, especially the profit driven model. (and my previous comments about socialised medicine – it is more and more about profit and cost efficiency, too.)

  • Strewth, Dr Lawrence.

    There are also addictions such as PPI’s and statins (which cause all kinds of health problems) that have also come out of this massive pharmaceutical push since the 1980s.

    I’m even suspicious of hypertension drugs, if they can possibly be avoided. It seems that everyone I know, whose health declined – started with statins or blood pressure drugs. And after that point, they never really get better – they just get “managed.”

  • Richard – just for information, I moved from the freewheeling US of A where none of my friends could afford medical care (one just died of heart attack because he didn’t want to run up a doctor bill…) to Australia where the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare take care of our medical needs.

    While it is a delight to go to a doctor and have only a co-pay (for the private, expensive ones) or no payment at all (for the “bulk bill” doc-in-a-box) – and our pharmaceuticals are negotiated for price (like the US Medicare/Medicaid will not do) and subsidised, there is a stronger element of social control.

    If the Government (socialist democracy, it’s called) decides that a supplement is Dangerous because some kids got ahold of some and took astronomical amounts and got sick, it is banned the next day. No waiting around for Congressional approvals or studies. Banned, done.

    If the Government decides that opiates are the devil (as they have done, in lock step with the social disasters in the USA – which are not happening here) – then poof. No longer can you get them.

    At that magic moment of the “poof,” then, Doctors offer you all kinds of other, more evil things – such as the Lyrica, Neurontin, Amitryptaline, spinal implants, cortisol shots, thus effecting social control in a top down manner that has a similar effect to what the free market does to the “proles,” which get ground under the wheels of capitalism.

    So in my belief the shift to socialism is not a solution to the pharmaceutical problems of psych drugs, or biomedical “mental illness.” In fact, Australia has a horrible record for forced treatment – CTO’s, incarceration, all in the name of “community policing.”

  • OK and for those of us who practice tai chi, yoga, qi gong, meditate, and even practice karate and have a rich spiritual life – and who still have chronic pain due to structural abnormalities (this is not the “bulging disc” MRI, either, that all of us over 45 supposedly have) – are now being tormented as the drugs which make it possible to lead an active life, to get through a night (maybe once a week) without pain.

    I do not place chronic pain in the same category as “mental illness.” I would love to not have to beg my doctor and get judged as an “addict” or get read the riot act by my pharmacist, or put through any number of humiliating procedures, like steroid injections or implants which cause more problems than they solve.

    I am not eager to be placed on Neurontin or Lyrica, which is a psych drug in disguise, or amitryptaline – which are the drugs of choice to replace opiates. Old opiates are known drugs with known side effects, and can be managed.

    I am aware that people have died. People have died who were close to me, and junkies were made who maybe would’ve “just” turned to alcoholism before.

    I’m not saying that everyone does manage wisely – but I am angry that those of us who do (I beg for 20 pills every 3 months) are punished because of the drug company lies (“oxy isn’t addictive,” said Purdue Pharma) and the excesses of pain in the poverty stricken, unemployed swathes of the USA. There is a reason that the addictions and deaths happened in the poorest areas of the country – it was another exercise in social control.

    And now, as a result of the media storm – people with legitimate complaints are now treated like criminals. In the “old days” when opiates were “only for cancer” I remember family doctors who had bandoliers of codeine and hydrocodone samples and passed them out to “trusted patients.” So – history is being rewritten a bit here.

    The Australian government lists statistics of something like 700k deaths from “drug overdose,” but fail to note how many of those events were caused by the overdose of the paracetamol/acetaminophen or NSAID contained in the pain product. Paracetamol is the #2 poison control call every year, but now “opiates” are “the devil,” and no effort is made to control these other substances.

    It is this fact which tells me that the “opiate crisis” (especially in Australia) is a media storm, and a Nanny State intervention, rather than a real “concern for the well being of our citizens.”

  • Except that in Yoga, the goal is not to “release” the prana, but to channel it up the spine. And in Yoga, the blockages as you move the energy are still responsible for illnesses (which has some ties to Chinese Medicine meridians as well).

    Reich differed from yoga in that he wants all that lovely orgone to be released – considering how sexuality was so repressed in Victorian and post-Victorian times, it was a start, I’m sure.

  • Thinking about a Private Message system – would clean up these threads because a discussion between two could be taken to PM.

    Moderators would have the ability to say – hey – this is OT, take it to PM. There are advantages for the MIA site as well as the participants.

  • Oldhead is not playing, but I’ll play. How about this?

    Dissociation comes when the inner and the outer worlds don’t match, are out of balance. Some could call this “cognitive dissonance,” and the variance can be so extreme that it leads to disruptions in “normal” functioning and extreme states. (these things you call “disorder,” but are really healthy ways of surviving trauma, stress, imbalance, conflict.)

    You can drug the extreme state, or you can try and resolve the variance by connecting the inner world to the outer. First, as samruck so aptly described, this requires a safe space. Then, when a caring helper listens, and listens and listens and doesn’t judge – pieces will start to make sense and begin to link to the outer world. Olga Runciman describes this process well, as building a bridge between the individual and the community.

    “Medicine” and “Corporate Psych” are rarely interested in the intense care this requires; it’s hard to see the profit motive in non-drug safe places in the system. But that is what is needed in order to work through the distress, instead of repressing it.

    I am guessing that this is why the success of MDMA in PTS (I refuse to call it “disorder”), as it speeds the process of opening the inner to facilitate building these bridges.

  • Affirmed oldhead! You’re one of the ones I’d like to add to my private correspondence list. I posted an email somewhere deep in the forum – and you can find me at – but you have to sign up there to private message me there. You can also find me on the contact page at my website
    and we can exchange emails there.

    It’s a brutal world where we can’t just post contact details on a public forum lest we be bombarded by corporate messages, spam, or offensive materials. So yeah. PM’s here – yes.

  • Thank you for this.

    If it wasn’t my bipolar, it was my BMI.

    I went to an endocrinologist to discuss thyroid (I had a total thyroidectomy) and he got out the humiliating tape measure to tell me that my waist was the problem. Might I be so fat because my endocrine system is out of balance? Might that be why I am sitting in an endocrinologist’s office to begin with?

    Now, my orthopedic pain (ACL tear from skiing accident) is blamed on how big I am, and they don’t want to help me with that either, because – 1. They don’t know what to do with pain anyways, and 2. If I weren’t so big it wouldn’t hurt so much….


    It is yet another way that healthy people are marginalised, and it makes it difficult and challenging.

  • LavenderSage – strewth! There is economic truth there.

    I have friends who are terrified to quit their drugs, because they will lose – exactly that – housing, income, and go from being “drugged but surviving” to “stressed and homeless” which can’t be good for mental health.

    This is true in Australia as well as the US (I have a friend in each with this pressing issue). If you are no longer “bipolar,” or, if you are a “bipolar” but refusing treatment – it is a dangerous place to be in.

    You may still be “disabled,” as in, unable to work or function in “normal” society – but those benefits get ripped out, and you’re stuffed.

  • ShaunF “voluntary treatment” is illusory. It looks like volunteering, because the person walks into a clinic on their own two feet.

    The involuntary part is the now socially acceptable pressure to “seek help from your doctor,” or maybe work performance is putting pressure on you to seek help, or perhaps your parent, teacher, boss, spouse, even child is pushing you towards the door of that clinic.

    It is, somehow easier and encouraged in our society to push someone towards a professional, than it is for a friend to admit to a friend, “I can’t get up off the floor,” or “I’m afraid to leave the house” or (insert whatever difficulty / challenge is being faced here). Or, for a friend to say, “I’ll stay with you for the next 48, 72 hours – or a week, if needed, and help you work this thing out.”

    The entire society makes certain that the feet walking up the path to the clinic has plenty of pressure behind it (I might lose my job, my spouse, custody, again, insert stressor here).

    We don’t have safe places to go to let the madness take us, and just be mad until the madness passes. It will pass, especially if it is faced instead of buried.

    We don’t have space in our society to just “freak out” and shake and dance and move out the anxiety, trauma, stress. We’re not allowed to take a month off work or school to cry, scream, rant, rave, draw, paint, write, dance, shake & express that which is troubling us.

    So – I see the pressure to go to a clinic/therapist/psych-anything as actually “pulling the bootstraps up.”

    “I have to function, so I’d better see a professional who will ensure that I do.” That’s the bootstraps, and it’s actually the “easier” path based on our societal norms.

  • Julie – many “orthomolecular” or “functional” medicine folks find these labels useful to decide what of their natural protocols they want to apply.

    My last one also used the term “bipolar,” and I heard other labels from her to (though not applied to me) of ADHD, Depression. Her focus was on B vitamins, methylation, and minerals. She got me in pretty good shape, and my thyroid situation much better. Then she closed her practice!

    This one is focusing on gut biome, which can be responsible for a lot of mood (but I’m not complaining of mood, I just want to manage my thyroid in the absence of this other one (without thyroid I will wind down like a clock). Our first visit was quite scary, I could see her latching onto my bizarre delayed cycle sleep and IBS.

    But it’s reasonable to look at gut biome, and I”m getting something that I’ve wanted for years, which is a profile of my gut bugs, and an attempt to square them around.

    I probably could do it myself with weeks of bone broth, but I like to live, too. (that means eat food, and share it with my husband)

    So – I agree – scary – to go among medical professionals. Much of my health problems were caused by drugs and surgeries. Were the surgeries necessary? Don’t know. I was in a lithium fog at the time. But came out 10 years later with no thyroid, no ovaries, and a wrecked bowel. I will do anything to avoid anyone with “surgeon” in their title!

    I will not share my mood as a medical event. Ever.

    And Rachel777 – I reckon many of them DO diagnose us with Stupid, Ugly, Lazy, Slowpoke, Weirdo, Freak – they just don’t write those in our charts….it tends to go along with the other labels they dish out!

  • Rachel777, I was at my “natural” doctor this week, sorting out my biome.

    She said she wanted a Sam-e/Methionone metabolism profile, and started to say, “All of my bipolar patients….”

    and I said, “Doctor, I am not bipolar, that was medication errors.” (she is a new doctor, and is making assumptions)

    And she said, “But you’re anxious aren’t you?”

    I said, “No, I am on coffee!”

    If I’d been super clever (you know the things you say in hindsight) I would’ve said, “I refuse to medicalise normal human emotions.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    If you look at Moni K’s videos here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That bothers me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Emotions never killed anyone. Reaction to those emotions has.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Brill. And you have to add: devices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks for the link to John Dewey.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hey Mike –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Another great resource:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • And yet they are the most effective lobbying organization:

    The chart halfway down the page is telling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • sman that is a hollow argument.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • I reckon I’m in pursuit of adaptability.

    Or resilience.

    Or coherence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hey oldhead –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • madincananda it is so much more than bad choices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    the Heart decides, and instructs the brain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hey Lady Blue –

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

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

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

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

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

    I hope this helps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hey Daniel,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • But first – have you ever been Experienced?

    Have you ever really been Experienced?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thanks Ron.

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

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

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

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

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

    That was the point of my apparently vague examples.

  • It’s interesting, to be sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Only two?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Look at prisons and police procedures in Norway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Nobody has answered you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    These drugs are hell to come off of.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • This reads like ad copy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It says nothing about me.

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

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

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

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

    Good article here:

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

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

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

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

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

  • Likewise then, curiosity helps to engage.

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

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

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

    Great writing!

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

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

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

    So we put both of them on amitryptaline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The algorithm to tell them when to interrupt.

    To remind me that there are pills for that emotion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Oh YetAnother, that’s awfully young.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Ouch but what an education. I had to give chlorpromazine to my husband for a physical symptom (a reaction to a steroid gave him permanent hiccups). A low dose didn’t work, so I increased the dose to maybe 1/2 of a “neuroleptic dose.” It knocked him out for 3 days, he had trouble walking, going to the toilet. He commanded me to “NEVER do that again!”

    It’s comforting to see we are on the same page, thanks for responding.

    But I do wonder – if you’ve felt akathisia, how can you call the toxic effects of SSRI/SNRI (“antidepressant”) drugs as placebo? People are fighting to get out from under these toxic drugs – and you had a 3 day understanding of them. Imagine if that had gone on for years, decades? Still placebo?

    Again, we agree that the original stressors need to be addressed. I would go one step further – these drugs NUMB one to the problems at hand, and intensify and delay the recovery from them. So – while I agree with Irving Kirsch that “recovery from depression via antidepressants is about as successful as placebo” – I do not think these drugs *are* placebos.

    I believe, with Whitaker, that they make the distress worse and more chronic.

    Have you read any Joanna Moncrief? Her expert opinions on how to view the drugs and their effects is excellent.

  • Ah. I don’t know why I thought it was you. So sorry. (think twice post once!)

    Now who was that guy? mjms?

    I’m glad to know you’ve got Whitaker’s evidence behind you. Sorry that your welcome to MIA was a little strident – but there are people who have been seriously, irredeemably harmed.

    To hear that “placebo is the main cause” of our distress was a shocking thing to hear. It’s excellent that you are thinking outside the square.

    I still hold that it might benefit your knowledge of these drugs to experience them first hand, but I truly wouldn’t recommend that to even an enemy, so – I hope you could benefit by listening to the many stories and voices here on MIA (and also on Surviving Antidepressants) before you decide how much is “placebo” and how much is chemical toxicity.

    There are a lot of survivors here. Please be gentle with us – we have been denied our truth in so many arenas, this is one of the havens we have.

  • I don’t know why, in this day of modern medicine, people still insist that a mental or emotional state is an “illness.”

    If it’s a nutritional deficiency that affects mood, then let’s call it that.

    It’s the dismissing of people’s lives under the umbrella of “illness” which is causing so much suffering.

    There is, as Richard says below – a capitalist cause for choosing the “expensive” drugs (they are not medicine) over the simples. There is also a power play involved, as people (maybe even people like you) try to tell those of us who suffer “what to do.”

    These simples also include sunshine, bare feet on grass, seeing the trees in the forest, exercise, breathing, walking, pets, gardening, and having healthy relationships. This list is not comprehensive.

    Please, if you are going to post in MIA, do not call these horrific drugs “medicine,” and do not call our suffering an “illness.” I’m even on the border when I call it “suffering,” because many of us are gifted with our differences, and wouldn’t trade them to be “normal” for anything.

  • Doctor, as someone whose thyroid was “subclinical” before the psych drugs, and whose thyroid was destroyed by lithium – I respectfully disagree.

    The doctors at are excellent at discussing the value of these labs, and how to respond appropriately to **symptoms** of subclinical thyroid, like doctors did in the days before these charts and graphs and numbers (labs). Of course the med schools don’t want you to seek a natural or inexpensive solution to a “subclinical” problem.

    With the fluoride in the water and the destruction of these drugs – more and more thyroids are being destroyed like mine.

    I had doctors who tried to treat my “treatment resistant depression” with natural thyroid – but – they also gave me antidepressants at the same time (cancelling each other out, in my book).

    Now that my thyroid is subclinical (I have none, but it is hard to get my thyroid doses “correct” and my symptoms managed) it is extremely difficult to get correct treatment, including co-factors, absorption, diet, exercise – to eliminate symptoms.

    Once a thyroid is destroyed, it’s gone. The website I referenced is full of doctors who disagree with your treatment protocols. There is a real epidemic of thyroid problems as well. (and we don’t know how much of this is caused by fluoridation, pesticides & GMO, and psych drugs – which are also in the water supply).

    Placebo is not the primary cause of this distress. Fred Abbe said what I’m going to say again: try 2 months on Paxil, then try to quit. See if you think that is placebo.

    There is no difference in what these drugs do to healthy (read: off-label) people who take the drugs, or those buried in life stresses.

  • I do agree that in order to come off the drugs successfully, one needs to address the stressors that drove them to the drugs to begin with. This is part of the reason people have difficulty withdrawing from the drugs.

    Until you’ve experienced homeostasis (which you are calling placebo) and downregulation and upregulation of these monoamine systems, you can never say how much of the horrors of withdrawal are the drug, and how much is life stressors.

    They are both vitally important. As someone whose (volunteer) job it is to help people come off of the drugs – there is more at play here than psychological factors.

    I suggest you read a few personal stories, such as Katinka Blackford Newman’s excellent, “The Pill That Steals Lives.” In it, she tells her own story of how a liver enzyme conflict caused her to go completely psychotic on the drug (not a placebo effect), tells the stories of people around the world whose lives have been damaged by these drugs, including committing homicide and suicide, as well citing studies and stories about the worldwide, largely untold catastrophe these drugs are causing.

    Oh, but those are just anecdotal, not “proof.” It is time for doctors to, as David Healy proclaims, listen to the patients, not the drug companies. Your arguments reek of ivory towers, not practical knowledge. Take the drugs, doctor. Try and withdraw from them. Or – just take ONE neuroleptic drug at a D2 hitting dose (e.g. for Seroquel, at least 150 mg). Find out the truth.

  • Richard: “Your blog denies the harmed caused by perturbing the sertonergic, dopamanergic, and/or the gaba receptor system etc. in the brain. Do you not accept the principle of “homeostasis” and “down regulation” and then acknowledge the harm caused by the alteration, disruption, and possible damaged created by the long term use of these psychiatric drugs affecting these brain systems?

    How do you explain the ENORMOUS problems millions of people are having with withdrawal problems related to these drugs, where these withdrawal symptoms are often protracted, including some lasting for years, and some residual effects that never seem to totally abate?”

    Aye, thank you for that Richard.

    I was shocked that he talked about the “horrible opiate withdrawals” (which are over in a month) and didn’t even touch upon the life changing horrible antidepressant withdrawals, which can last years, and that’s if one is successful getting off of them!

    The “bad effects” from these drugs are more than placebo effects. People are not just blaming their problems on the drugs – the drugs have real effects. If you want call them “active placebos with side effects,” and then please note that those “side effects” are damaging to brain, nervous system, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and in many cases, liver and kidneys. These effects are not placebo in nature – or else people would be quitting the drugs no problem.

    I agree with the author that we need to get away from the biological model. But his views on “placebo” and the effects of these drugs lacks understanding. Have you considered the possibility that psych drug users turn to opiates because the pain of the ****side effects**** is unbearable?

    And there is a reason that most opiate users are on the psych drugs – doctors hand out psych drugs like candy – because they claim they are “non addictive” (read: unpleasant) like opiates, and psych drugs are now the first port-of-call for chronic pain. This practice will be causing even more long term damage, and that 16% of population figure will be growing, as these drugs are thrown at every problem, without understanding how they work.

    “The opiate crisis” is a thinly veiled excuse (yes there have been deaths, but I would hazard a guess that the psych drugs have caused more deaths – epidemic, as Mr. Whitaker says, but unreported) to get more people dependant upon a different form of pharma: the psych drugs.

    The author asks Richard for “proof” and “evidence.” I believe that a prerequisite for posting here is at least familiarity with Robert Whitaker’s excellent book. THEN, with the other side of his mouth, the author claims: ” Just for the record, anyone can steer statistical data to prove any point that they like. In other words, it’s not written in stone nor is it black and white.” So – what kind of “proof” would you accept?

    I am a peer support volunteer on a patient advocacy website called Surviving Antidepressants. I have exposure to the costs of these drugs personally, and in my dealings with friends and family. But onsite, I gained experience in listening to hundreds of cases with different stories, with the same theme, all starting with the sentence: “I went to my doctor and he gave me a drug….” Does that make me an “expert working in the field?”

    Are my statistics (which are not collated, published or peer reviewed, but are “estimates” of what I see on a peer support website) any less valid? Or are they twisted by the pain and suffering which I witness on a daily basis?

    It’s convenient to blame suicide rates on “the economy.” Yes, that is a factor – but – look up the word: akathisia. Just reading the definition doesn’t give you insight into the condition, but it is so horrible that ending your life seems a blessing. These drugs cause akathisia – when you go on them, when you change them, and when you go off them. This is far more significant than a “placebo effect,” and that is just *one* side efffect; also consider chronic insomnia, agitation, restless legs, irritable bowel, cardiovascular disturbances, obsessive thoughts, sexual dysfunction, Alzheimers and Parkinson-like symptoms. In history, economy and suicide ride hand in glove. But now there are thorns in the glove, and they are psych drugs.

    Sadly, this is another case of someone telling us what is good for us top down. Take the drugs, doctor, for at least 6 weeks, then try and quit them. Then I believe you will understand better where these “statistics” are coming from.

  • Don – right! Art is the only Truth we have left.

    I don’t just mean paintings and sculptures to buy and sell – but banjos and posters, speeches and knitting circles, book clubs and fiction writing, journalism and orchestration.

    Any time you are compelled to put a piece of you – out into the world – to share. Even if that’s just whistling a tune, or doodling on a napkin – art is Truth.

    That’s why what Auntie has done is a highest Truth. All this and actual science, too!

  • Please, a name? I have friends in Bloomington Indiana, and I would like to help them. There are a lot of docs in Bloomington Indiana, most of them are in one of 2 stables: IU Medical (lots of pharma funds) and Premier Healthcare (hands tied corporation). There is only one doctor who is not in the stable – the ones in the stable have to use insurance protocols, and I lived there for 10 years and had to fight to advocate for my own health care to be “minimal.”

    Is this Lambrecht? I thought she wasn’t taking new patients.

  • Kalina, this is a most heartfelt and beautifully communicated story.

    I’d like to hear it read aloud – by you. I wonder if you can podcast it? I have friends in distress who could hear your story and benefit – but they cannot read very well. (withdrawal).

    Let us know if you do! (link on this page: “now available as podcast”)

    Your journalling shows in your writing. Those things which I have felt, too – but could never sort the threads of the feeling out enough to say – like you did :

    watercolor splash across the DM and
    he listened to me without knowing the answer (like the others had)

    This is a beautiful journey, with all the hallmarks of someone who will get better (and better!) and help the rest of us, too.

  • No studies. But I did it. And I know I’m not the only one. If you wait for the studies it won’t happen – lithium has been around for decades – and there are still no studies like this.

    And you should do it too, because while lithium can protect against alzheimers and has mood benefits in microdoses – in medical doses it destroys kidneys.

    Maybe it will take 3 years, maybe 5, maybe 10 – or maybe it will wait until that hot summer’s day when you take a long hike and get dehydrated.

    For getting off, it’s the same as any drug, really. Taper 10% of previous dose per month. If you have symptoms, stop tapering and hold until symptoms subside. It took me 2 years to taper lithium and an antidepressant. It helps to have doctors support (I gave my an ultimatum: you can help, or I will find someone else. I’d rather it be you, since you know my history, but I will do this, and I’d prefer your help to anothers. She caved.). If your tablets are XR, be prepared to take them 2x a day as trimming your doses eliminates any XR coating..

    I became interested in life again. I developed hobbies which became passions which rolled over into helping others. I could read books and retain information better (still cognitively slow from the other drugs, but much much better). Lithium had wrapped me in cotton wool, and as I gradually came out from under it, life became brighter and more worthwhile.

    I’m still probably “bipolar.” But I take responsibility for my moods, words, and actions, and don’t need to get caught by the system ever again. I rest when I’m down, I act when I’m up. I enjoy both. to help you taper.

  • Here in Australia, they have a medical measurement for cigarette smoking damage called “pack years.” How many packs for how many years.

    I think that any mention of dosage should also include time on the drug, number of switches between drugs, age when the drugs were started, and other drugs being taken.

    All of these are factors. A 13 year old started on 150 mg of seroquel and on it for 10 years will have a different profile to a 30 year old started on 150 mg of seroquel for 10 years.

    Then there’s polypharmacy, like madmom suggests. There’s no testing for polypharmacy, all we have is the anecdotal collective evidence of this gigantic experiment loosed upon the general populace.

    When someone says to me, “My drugs are working,” my first question is: how long have you been on them?

    Usually, it is less than 5 years (more often, less than a year. Sigh). After that, they are starting to get sick, or having sleep problems, or unexplained symptoms that may not be connected to the drug. My next question is, “how many other drugs have you tried?” When that starts to get up in the 3-5 drugs (not polypharmacy, but switching), then there are often problems.

    How many other drugs are you on? I include statins, PPI’s, blood pressure medication, blood thinners as possible contributors to major problems. For me, statins were as deadly as the psych drugs (even though the lithium was starting to deteriorate my kidneys)

    How old were you when you went on them? People who were put on the drugs before fully forming in adulthood often have a lot of learning to do – in order to come to healing.

    It’s complicated! We are each an experiment of N=1.

  • Samruck, that is a thorn in my side too.

    I am not a professional, I am a peer support and caring friend, with my own madness experience.

    In my work at Surviving Antidepressants, I have seen as many case studies (anecdotes) as some doctors.

    After seeing someone accelerate at 70 mph towards a brick wall, it becomes easy to predict how that crash is going to unfold. This isn’t the best example because it’s pure physics instead of the weaselly chemical actions of these drugs.

    But in general, I have noticed that people who cling to their diagnosis stay diagnosed. People who insist that doctors (or others) “fix” them, do not take responsibility for their own wellness. People who take charge of their self education and healing find ways to get better. People who cold turkey from the drugs and feel well at 1-3 months out, tend to have more experiences waiting for them, some of which will be so extreme as to send them flying back to doctor or hospital. People who bounce their doses and change drugs get destabilised / symptoms. People who carefully taper generally do better (but not always).

    These are generalisations based on an aggregate of anecdotes. But like bcharris says, I don’t have a lab (or white coat) or blood tests, clinic, MRI’s, or any “scientific” evidence to prove it. Just years (and possibly decades) of experience.

    The shocker for me is this: if I, in my limited experience, can see this (anecdotally, and in the aggregate of anecdote after anecdote after anecdote) – why don’t the doctors?

  • Hey the_cat –

    I reckon I would never have been diagnosed by psychs if there had been recognition of my Delayed Sleep Cycle. That was always listed as a “symptom of bipolar,” not a “cause for erratic behaviour” or “depression.”

    Owls and Larks – and I ain’t a lark!

    Currently, have work that I can do on my own time, but the struggle to mesh with other people’s schedules is stressful.

    I recognise that my delayed cycle sleep can contribute to diabetes, metabolic, endocrine and cardiac problems. And I’m wondering about the cardiac problems, starting a new round of diagnostics for that. That’s how stressful it is to change my sleep.

    But I moved to Australia – which is largely a daytime country. Up with the birds, down with the sun. I’ve never seen such healthy people! It’s stressful trying to keep up with them! But the stress of changing my sleep is greater….

    There’s a clinic in Chicago which does sleep deprivation. They keep you awake and “fix” your circadian rhythms. It is for “bipolars” and people like us. I reckon if I still lived in the US I might give it a go, to see if it worked.

    I do know that extreme jet lag (like flying halfway across the planet for three weeks and then flying back) – can correct my sleeping for about 1-3 months.

    I kept my Seroquel – given to me just like in this article: 25 mg at night (now I have to go look and see – how many years did I take that? Egads, gonna have to call the Chemist). The Seroquel sits in its box by the nightstand like a security blanket. I haven’t taken one since I quit.

    When I think about my brain, and think about – how little it helped my delayed cycle sleep (ah yes. So maybe I could shift it back 1 hour? And sleep 3 am – 11 am instead of 4-noon?) – I don’t miss it.

    But now I want to know – was that 3 years? or 5? That I took it every night, sometimes up to 75 mg on a “bad night.” I was a cognitive mess when I came off my drugs. Different drugs contributed different effects. I’ve always wondered – as I have watched friends fall into neuroleptic symptoms and states – how much I lost on Seroquel.

  • Please, do “drama queen cutter chicks” a favour and find an alternate way to discuss these traumatised people.

    First, using the word “cutter” or “cutting” is activating to those who want to do it. Just reading the word is enough to set a self-injurer into a tailspin.

    Second, I understand that some people do experience extreme states and exhibit borderline strategies for getting what they need. In my experience I’ve found that it is generally BECAUSE THAT’S HOW THEY GOT THEIR NEEDS MET in a situation that was traumatic, or far less than optimal.

    Yes, I agree with you the_cat, (and Breggin) it sounds like medication spellbinding/anosognosia. But I have a feeling this woman is going to wake up at some point in her life, and the weight of what has happened will be punishment enough.

    Here is an interesting phenomenon of self injury – everyone I have experienced this with – goes completely numb just before it happens. How much easier would it be for that to happen – if you were on emotionally numbing drugs?

    When are we going to pay attention and be kind to each other? This is about cyber-bullying as much as it is about drugs. In our society it’s considered fashionable to shoot from the hip in a quick, cruel text and laugh about it with your friends. This is starting to have consequences. This may be a landmark case, but it’s not the first time it’s happened. The last time I saw something like this in the news, it was done by a mob – and was not prosecutable.

    I’m mixed about the verdict. I would like to see some measures to make it less popular to be so cruel to each other in faceless texts. I agree with Breggin and most people here – the drugs – always the drugs. Look at the drugs first. I expect that – someday if she ever gets off the drugs – she will be punished enough for what she has done (if she can ever recognise her culpability).

    Until then, serving time will do. Keep in mind, the police and courts exist to put people into the profit making prison industrial complex. Mind your manners.

    And how can we better learn to be kind to each other?

  • Oh, that’s a slippery slope.

    You gonna use your truth to treat my psychosis?

    Listening to psychosis practically requires a suspension of consensual reality.

    So where is truth? What is more true – that I see vampires on the dark side of the moon? Or that a traffic light that is red means stop?

    Both are symbols or representations of truth – one agreed upon (the traffic light) one not (the vampires). But the vampires are important too, and to integrate and resolve that shadow, it needs to be acknowledged as truth, as well.

    In the safety of that truth, yes, there is resolution. But to impose objective truth upon another is to deny the reality for that person.

    There are many paths up that mountain.

    Nietzsche: “The search for truth begins with the doubt of all truths in which one has previously believed.”

  • 1. The statistic was quite conservative. There might – MAYBE be 10% of people who are drawn in to psychiatry by honest means, and are kept there without pressure or coercion. But once they take those drugs, that is questionable. The reality is probably more like 99%

    2. The source of this is my personal experience, combined with the experiences in my peer support for withdrawing from psych drugs, and reading myriads of case studies over the past 5 years.

    I include marketing in coercion. I include pressure, “You’re not cool if you don’t,” or – more likely “You’ll go crazy if you don’t.” This is coercion too.

    So – perhaps the thing you are against is violent coercion? The worst of the worst – the restraints & needles & confinement & humiliation of forced incarceration. Does that also include Treatment Orders “for the safety of the community?” Is the court a violence?

    Where does the violence end and the coercion begin?

    I reckon all psychiatry is coercive. I spotted you 10% for the benefit of the discussion.

  • It is the job of a tribe to make sure you are unsuccessful in your efforts to be free of it. That’s why conformity is such a powerful control on behaviour.

    Even worse when, as KS says, they are financially dependant upon the system for their very survival.

    FD I like your idea of iatrogenic damage payments. As a “cost of doing business,” right? Like the lawsuits?

  • Except that 90% of “treatment” is coercion.

    Coercion by the ads which drove you to the doctor – “I’m sad, I’m out of sorts, my life sucks” Try Dammitol!

    Coercion by the schools, Johnny isn’t performing very well, let’s get him some speed to stunt his growth and create a bipolar patient.

    Coercion by ignorance as the psychiatrists hold all the cards, and “know best” in the realms of “agnosia” caused by these coerced “illnesses.”

    Show me non-coercive psychiatry. I don’t think it exists.

    By “coercive” or “forced” treatment do you mean only by violence?

    What about the pressure of the poor, doctor knows best for them, too. Or the pressure to perform in a mindless corporate soul sucking job? Is that forced treatment to get help so you can still be a good worker? Is it forced treatment to take drugs to stay in a toxic marriage because you need to “save face” among the deacons?

    Oh, look – your cholesterol numbers are high. Reckon you need a statin!

    I’m even in the realm with Julie where most medicine is coercive. I hit the books before visiting a doctor, lest I be bullied into procedures, drugs, and even surgeries, without knowing what I’m in for. I have to fight with all of my doctors – even the “good” ones – for the good treatment for my health that I deserve.

    I choose to fight my doctors because I was so ruined by the drugs and surgeries that I still need care. Without pharmaceuticals (thyroid) I will die. I have to interact with them, and fight their control (coercion) at every step.

    I am a salmon swimming upstream, and you are telling me that treatment is voluntary?

  • As someone who was too poor for insurance in the USA (and was “too rich” for Medicare or Medicaid or Disability because I could work 20 hours a week) – and who has moved to Australia –

    I don’t think that medical insurance is the road to hell quite like you pave it.

    I have choices in my treatment. My private health cover that helps with acupuncture is cheaper, because there is a base which is covered by the single payer system here.

    Yes Australia has abuses just like the USA, and people are locked up and force treated. Yes, Medicaid and Medicare patients are milked and it’s criminal – scraping the bottom of the barrel so that the fat cats at the top have a bump in share price. It’s evil!

    But now that I have escaped the USA, I have choices here – because of the single payer system – that I would not have in the USA. Choice is a good thing.

    The problem in America isn’t health insurance (or lack thereof) it’s inequality. Anything which levels the playing field – like single payer health insurance – has got to be an improvement.

    Studies show that it is inequality which drives emotional distress and spikes the rates of “mental illness” and violence in a country. And the USA is one of the most unequal in the world.

    I haven’t acted pro or nay on the repeal. I see people suffering at the bottom of the barrel – like my mother, my little sister. Medicare and Medicaid take away your choices. Universal health care, single payer systems, open up choices.

    I am pro choice, when it comes to healthcare, even though I’m terrified of doctors. Maybe ESPECIALLY because I’m terrified of doctors, I want the freedom to choose which doctors and under what conditions I will see them.

  • Julie, your comment about MISUNDERSTOOD above is SO RIGHT! (sorry, I’m a little behind in time-line)

    The reason adolescents are so susceptible to crisis (besides the trauma factor) is that our Western society has no “coming of age” initiations.

    The Rite of Passages are now – drive a car (16) – go to college (18) – learn to drink (21 and, um, before), have sex (whenever??). But they are not formally acknowledged by community and society, and in fact – many of these initiations must be done on the sly, they are forbidden in our society. So they are not formal, socially acceptable initiations.

    Even the Amish have the Rumspringa, after which they are formally accepted into the community.

    Adolescence is a vital and important time, and too many people have been medicated from the “crisis of growing up” where there could have been a “coming of age initiation” to prepare them.

    There are so many things we are not taught – how to express feelings, how to communicate, how to resolve conflict – and all of these skills come into play as we try and navigate our way through college. Our initiation is like the parent who taught the kid to swim by throwing him in the river – here ya go, pup, now swim! Some of us can survive that – many of us need more support as we make the transition from childhood to adulthood. From supported (if you had it) to responsible.

    For me, college was my first time free of an oppressive religious home, and I had the equivalent of “breakdowns,” but didn’t “get caught” until much later in life. If I’d been caught then, I might still be babbling in restraints somewhere.

  • Okay anonymous case study.

    Someone with a drinking problem self-injured, took too much Zoloft and ended up in Psych Ward. There, was referred to “dual diagnosis” where the first thing they did was rip said person OFF benzo (Ativan) cold turkey because now that s/he is “dual diagnosis” no addictive drugs will be supplied.

    I guess this is happening a lot in the USA? How to help? This person is poor & without resources – all medical care etc is provided by Medicaid. Person is already sick from decades of Seroquel and antidepressants, but is too afraid – and too dependant upon “system” – to find a way out.

    This is draconian, and negligent medical practice. But s/he doesn’t have options in the medicaid system. Housing, food, also under threat from government policy.

    Just die young? Is that the answer?

  • Marketing: I would go so far as to say it’s not just psychiatry, but pharmaceuticals.

    There are pharmaceutical cascades that are killing people which have nothing to do with opoids or psych drugs.

    It often starts with a statin. Then, muscle pain – add NSAID. Stomach trouble, add PPI. This might cascade into heart drugs, or it might cascade into psych drugs, as depression sets in and sleep gets worse. Someone who was feeling fine, but had a blood test run & came back with “hypercholestemia” ends up very sick in a few short months by just listening to their doctor, who listens to Pharma.

    What about the 50 years of fluoride in the water? When will the science court decide that there is no one dose for all people, determined by levels in water?

    I think that psychiatry is an extreme symptom of a very sick system. Decisions are made for the benefit of share price, not for the benefit of anyone’s health or well-being.

    The innocent who “go along” with what they are told – are participating in a huge social and chemical experiment. For share price.

  • It’s positive that you recognize the spiritual components to distress and suffering.

    Your most astute observations were around who got well and who didn’t – how much they bought into the fatalistic psychiatry story.

    However if I were in distress and I were approached with a branded ministry geared towards a certain doctrine, I would find that just as intrusive as psychiatry.

    To me, spirituality is divorced from religion, it is something that must be discovered within, not imposed from without via proselytization. You say that the spiritual component of your working farms was optional, but there is always an element of peer pressure, and those who have been incarcerated in hospitals are acutely aware of “fitting in.” This pressure would be subtle, and not always available to the observation of those who are running the programs.

    It’s a tough line between helping the vulnerable and preying upon them. From your voice here it seems that you walk that boundary cautiously and carefully. But I have to express that I felt trepidation when I heard the phrase “faith-based residential recovery working farm.”

    On the other hand, I know people with the long term “need the meds” mindset, and what you say is very true. And the Quakers did it in the 1800’s and 1900’s with compassion, so perhaps “faith based” could help where psychiatry has failed.

    There are many of us who have been traumatized in the name of “faith” and “religion” however.

  • Hey Julie – actually there could be a connection between drugs and apnea. My occupational therapist and I were looking at why so many people on the psych drugs came up with tendon injuries. The occ therapist reckoned it was collagen. Other problems from collagen would include prolapses, apneas, and aging.

    If you think about what the drugs do to digestion and endocrine, this actually makes sense (though I can’t prove it).

  • Sadly, most nutritionists and homeopaths are as clueless as the docs, and can cause damage of their own. I was talking to a friend who is now discovering the amazing benefits of sunshine and exercise, fish oil and magnesium on mood – and we talked:

    “If you had been told this before all the crisis went down, would you have believed it?”

    Both of us answered, no. That there was something about the crisis we both had to go through, and come out on the other side. Now, sunshine is very effective – but it might not have cut through the drama in my previous state.

    PS – Mensah Medical is in Chicago. I don’t think they have the whole picture, but they can help a lot. Problem is – how rich are you? 🙁

  • I was just listening to some Peter Levine who pointed out that “medical procedure trauma” is a real thing, too. And he wasn’t talking about psych drugs, just – invasive stuff affecting our boundaries and subconscious safety – like the dentist, could set up this kind of trauma for later seemingly unrelated anxiety.

    I reckon – as GiaK says on BeyondMeds – Everything Matters.

  • Whoa Julie, I didn’t come after you at all.

    I think you’re talking to AA.

    I agree that it is an industry, but it is worse for me when hubby doesn’t use his noisy CPAP, when I lie awake listening to see if he’s breathing.

    I also agree about the addiction thing – once you start treatment, like anything, homeostasis seems to set in and the only way to keep it working is to adjust it up, just like a benzo. I don’t know ANYone who – once treated successfully on them – has gotten off.

    I do, however, know that many people with apneas can be treated with Vitamin D – as it affects the sleep paralysis balance of sleeping. See Stasha Gominek:

    Sorry you felt attacked.

  • Hey Rossa –
    I am not a medical practitioner of any sort, and can only talk about my personal experience. My research has led me away from niacinamide, which was stabilizing, but not the miracle that niacin was.

    Niacin, of course, has those awful flushes. Hoffer says at some point they go away, but they never did for me.

    I use it more for a mood stabilizer than an “anti-psychotic” effect, so take just under 1g per day. When I was more unstable, I was up to 2g per day, and have been able to reduce it over time.

    Non flush versions which “pass muster” for me are NADH (don’t have to take as much of it, as it goes directly to brain), and inositol hexanicotinate.

    Niacinamide was not used in Hoffer’s tests, nor has it been used in cardio or other tests. Based on my experience, I’m guessing it’s about 10% as effective as pure niacin.

    The other version I list here feel more like 80-90% of efficacy of pure niacin.

  • That’s the way my ortho-doc speaks. There is no way her supplements will do to me what the psych drugs did. (see below, as I address “chemical imbalance” from orthomolecular perspective).

    We have all of these blatant effects from the drugs – the akathisia, withdrawal problems, over-stimulation, emotional distress – but my problem has been with the hidden effects: internal organs, endocrine, cardiac.

    No way that niacin or fish oil could begin to do to me what the psych drugs did.

    BC I’m glad you are doing what you do – and I wish there were more of you. Orthomolecular may not be the whole answer (I also believe that trauma must be addressed) – but by golly it’s a terrific start!

  • Hey BC – yes, 40-60 years for turnover, except that this orthomolecular stuff was so suppressed upon discovery that I suspect it’s 40 years ago (as you note about Carl Pfeiffer below) – now.

    Sorry I cannot match your optimism. This technology will be buried under profit.

    They did a similar study on aggressive Australian prisoners and fish oil, reducing incidents by 50-75%. By the end of the study, they gave the placebo group the fish oil, it was so successful. So – forced fish oil for the imprisoned? Or just the violent ones?

  • Hey Desi, now that you are down to the pointy end of the taper, you might slow down.

    It takes 3 weeks for your neurotransmitters to adjust to a change, that’s why at www. we recommend changes monthly, not as often as you are doing.

    And many people react to Sam-e, as it fiddles serotonin receptors. Visit Surviving Antidepressants for more information.

    Yes, Effexor is an evil one, because of it’s multi-neurotransmitter approach and deadly short half life.

  • @desi12 – What a brave and valuable comment!

    How do we heal from the past? Maybe looking at the past helps you understand why you are how you are – but then there comes a time to let go and move forward. The past has made you who you are – and the present is bearing down on you trying to make you more, again. How can you protect your future hope? I think Letting Go is key. And you are so right – that thing called G-d – however you may perceive It – is the essence of healing.

    What is the fine line between your native stress and condition, and what have the drugs and psychiatry done to you? I do think that those of us who have been through the diagnosing and drugging are more sensitive to the life which we engage with. The “killing lifestyle” may not go away all at once, you might need to replace bits of it a little at a time. Some of my bad habits are hard to break, and we get so easily addicted to what is expected of us in society and family. After all, that’s what we’re “supposed to do,” right?

    I have taken a lot of peace from a myriad of little Practices. Right now, I like Natural Breathing, by Dennis Lewis (which might help with your digestion and cough) I have some energetic practices, as well as practical physical practices like tai chi/chi gung for pain, yoga for balance and stillness, karate for expression of anger, mental and social skills, and weightlifting for strength and rehabilitation. I walk in the sun for melatonin and vitamin D. I listen to music to uplift and feel, and heal. I love to read and learn from books and internet. I try to eat clean to prevent inflammation. I manage my daily stress to keep from getting overloaded (it happens altogether too easily sometimes!).

    NONE OF THESE stop the depression, the rumination, the palpitations. ALL of them combined – help, and the more of them I can do, and – (this is key) – express gratitude for – the better I get.

    I still “crash,” I still get depressed, and have my moments of hopelessness and helplessness. It’s probably very realistic in today’s world when we realize that it’s going to get very hard to be human very soon. So I rest, and wait until I’m able to do again. Then, as I re-engage my Practices, and my gratitude for every millimetre of growth, I find I’m growing again. The downtimes are less dramatic, less powerful, and shorter lived.

    There’s a lot to be said for the do-be-do-be-do of the Frank Sinatra School of Enlightenment.

    But I will not submit to doctors again for my emotional well-being.

  • It’s discussions like these (and Lucinda Jewell below) which are a clear pointer that the folks who did the study were not familiar with meditation and how it works.

    And then – pathologizing the experiences that come up. Instead of omg a negative emotion! You must have an underlying “disorder”!

    We should be celebrating them! LOOK! You learned a thing! It hurt? AWESOME! Learn again, learn some more! The more you learn, the better you will get at exploring these places.

    (exception: the many Eastern – and Western practices – which include abuse and trauma as part of the curriculum. I never celebrate these, even though they can make you mighty.)

  • What about that 55th day?

    I know you’re just reporting the studies. It’s shocking to see how inhumane and painful they are. Many of them just seek to substitute one addictive drug for another.

    THere are a few gems in here.
    18: “The authors conclude that histamine H1 receptors are facilitators and H3 receptors are inhibitors concerning benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome.”
    40: “This author describes symptoms of the benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome including insomnia, panic attacks, increases in anxiety, hand tremor, sweating, tension, difficulty concentrating, dry heaving and nausea, weight loss, headache, muscle tension and stiffness, perceptual changes, and seizures and psychosis at high doses. ”
    41: “This study is a case presentation of five seizures occurring after withdrawal from benzodiazepines (3% of a sample of 153 in a larger study) and found that sudden cessation and high-dose use increased risk.”
    44: attitude matters (though I disagree with the terminology): “patients reporting craving were more dependent on benzodiazepines, psychopathology, negative mood, and personality factors such as negativism, somatization, and psychopathology”
    47: “there is not currently evidence that when tapering, substitutive pharmacotherapy improves outcomes compared to gradual reduction in use.”
    49: “discontinuers had a shorter length of stay and lower levels of depression.”
    53: “many benzodiazepine users show improvements in cognitive functioning after withdrawal…There was not full restoration of cognitive functioning within the first 6 months after discontinuation and there may be aspects of cognitive functioning that are permanently impaired or take longer than 6 months to recover.”
    54: (same as 44 but with better language): “Successful withdrawal was associated with low neuroticism, low behavioral inhibition, higher numbers of positive events, and higher levels of satisfaction with social support.”
    54B: ” Participants in the Combined and Taper groups relapsed significantly less than those in the CBT group. ”
    63: “patients who underwent this rapid tapering showed more withdrawal symptoms than the clients who had gradually tapered”
    67: “tapering was more successful than usual care and that CBT had no added benefit and that success and intervention type had no association with measures of psychological functioning” So – CBT has no benefit in withdrawal! (though, that’s contradicted by 68)

    66: “This study had chronic benzodiazepine users switch to diazepam and found that after treatment for depression with paroxetine vs. placebo, approximately 2/3 were successful in tapering from benzodiazepines and 13% of all patients in the study remained benzodiazepine-free three years later.”

    SO – now they are addicted to PAXIL, one of the worst of the bunch!

    Confirmed by 70: “use of SSRI predicted becoming benzodiazepine-free after adjusting for age, gender, length of benzodiazepine use, and baseline HAM-A and HAM-D scores.”
    79: “melatonin does not appear to assist with cessation of benzodiazepine use.”

    Look to see greater use of SSRI, anti-seizure drugs, and neuroleptics as people try to come off these “controlled substance” drugs…
    Like this one:
    76: “Though pregablin showed promise in alleviating anxiety and other withdrawal symptoms” (at least it acknowledged that the long term risks and withdrawal plans are not addressed)

    I’m mostly summarizing these for my own references.

  • Mmm.

    All things in moderation.

    Decades of experience in seated and moving meditations, at least 5 types – and there are a number of factors to consider. I’ve been abused in practice before, too. I’d say it was more traumatic than any psychiatric or therapy experiences I’ve had – because it shattered everything I was before the practice.

    For example, meditation should be at dawn and/or dusk. (midday or midnight meditation can be used to disrupt your circadian rhythms as a form of mind control) Meditation should be no more than 2 x 20 minute sessions daily. The extreme experiences of meditation are usually found beyond these beneficial limitations.

    Also not discussed is meditation under a Master. Did he beat you about the head with his bamboo stick? Did he tell you that you needed to “correct” your thinking, feeling, behaviour, that you were “doing it wrong?” Were you sitting incorrectly? Did you bring the right fruit or flower to honor the guru? Did he try to destroy everything you knew before?

    There are many ways meditation can go wrong – similar to therapy. Put in appropriate places and fences, using techniques that are appropriate for you (can’t sit still? try moving or active meditation), are the ways this can be a useful tool for growth and well being.

    So – there is no “this is the perfect meditation for everybody,” which is the kind of reproduce-able results mainstream medicine would like to achieve.

    Everyone has different times, practices, methods, teachers, non-teachers, places of comfort and well being. Meditation can help one heal, but it is probably best to come from within. If you’re not compelled, it’s not for you. And if your guidance comes from within – then you are less likely to end up in a practice which is bad for you.

    Nothing is 100% “safe.” But like with anything, choose what is best for you.

  • Hey Sera – and notice that your PM’s are not private!

    But the total incompetence of Joy is exactly the kind of bogus thing that will get monetized and report on you – as well as market to you – based on what you say to KillJoy. She’s positively begging for marketing “improvements.”

    I find that incompetence can be as dangerous as competence – especially in the digital realm. Look what happened last election!

  • This doesn’t even consider the privacy issues of discussing your mental health business on Facebook. Bad enough to do it from an App on a Smart Phone (I forget what Mindfulness based and other apps there are) – but Facebook is the worst.

    Take for example, the “Private Message,” or PM, where you seemed to be communicating with Joy.

    I was getting to know a new Facebook friend in another city via PM. She was talking about Asian American issues, and racism, and how difficult it was to be accepted in either the Asian or the American communities.

    Facebook immediately decided that it was time to give me an ad for “Seeking Asian Women? Hot 18-21 yo Asian Women are ready to chat with you!”


    Taken to the Big Brother level of interaction – Facebook collects your key phrases and metadata, which the NSA (and other awful acronyms) have direct access too. Children born since 2010 will have no idea what privacy is. They will interact with health bots and emotional bots and their info will be reported to the appropriate department. A knock at the door, a syringe, a section or treatment order. Next!

    I know it is taking your scenario about 2 steps into the future – but – considering that the cyber world expands at an exponential rate, I don’t think my scenario is so far fetched.

    It will be a cold day in hell when I discuss my distress with anyone or anything on Facebook or on a Smart Phone. To find out more, investigate the PRISM program of data gathering. Ugly.

    Here: (just one example)

  • Thank you for spelling out some of the steps to taking our bodies back.

    Single payer health care is an improvement on the profit model, however, if you look at the drugging rates of socialized medicine countries: UK, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and some of the Scandanavian countries – you will see that they are similar, and can be as draconian as the USA.

    Australia’s single payer is really a tiered system, with the illusion of “private cover” being more affordable with the single payer base. This private cover is blatantly corporate and profit driven, with some institutions keeping “revolving doors” for their “clients.” It may not be anything more than semantic – a profit driven hospital is more likely to talk in terms of beds, turnover, services, and billable hours, than perhaps a public hospital.

    But Australia’s forced treatment policies only require the statement of one psychiatrist for “Sectioning” and CTO’s are enforced with enthusiasm.

    It will take far more than a single payer system to heal these wounds. So I guess I fall into the “until psychiatry is discredited and dung heaped – it won’t get better” camp. And with the value of social control in this Brave New World – I don’t think that the powers that be will allow this to happen without a huge battle.

  • MEPAT QUOTE: It’s carthartic for me to be a pompous ass to some of the authors and commenters here and to bombard site with YouTube videos.

    Called: Troll.
    Solution: Ban.

    Self described troll, even.

    If that’s your only purpose here – you are not promoting growth, conversation, or anything of benefit other than your own jollies. The very definition of a troll.

    PS Steve don’t feed the troll.

  • I reckon that the trainers are not making so much – one of the cult complaints about LGAT is the use of “volunteer labour” for the org. There would have been a team of unpaid volunteers at a session, doing registrations, minding the doors, etc. The paid employees” might get a percentage of the take on the room, but they wouldn’t get the full amount. That goes to running the org.

    This impoverishment keeps them hungry. Essential if you want to drum up more business.

  • Oh – this is a good starting point – but – what I’m not hearing here (that seems so obvious to me) is the suppression and oppression of the positive thinking lifestyle.

    Denying the Shadow only makes it stronger – and I think this is more the causes of depression than our constant change and rootlessness. i would hazard that the constant change and rootlessness are symptoms of this lack of integration – the denial of the dark, the bad, the evil, the unwanted sides of ourselves.

    I’ve seen whole discussions here on MIA about how inappropriate it is to express emotion in public. Emotion – sadness, fear, anger – are “inappropriate,” and can lead to sectioning if expressed in public. This is a symptom of denial of the Shadow.

    These sides are most useful when integrated and put to work. So the solution for me is not to deny the search for meaning, but to refocus the lens of our attention to include those parts that we might not like, and which might not be socially acceptable. And they are not the “positive” “happy” parts…

    Brinkmann touches on this in “Focus on the Negative,” but then his shifting his focus to Stoicism is, to me, asking for more pain and suffering. The problem with our society is not that we are ignoring our responsibilities and obligations – but that these have increased in our social structure to a practically unbearable level – so much so, that we get drugged in order to survive our responsibilities and obligations and struggle to “be a decent human being.”

    The self-help movement is an attempt to balance that (even if it swings the pendulum too far in the other direction)

  • It makes me wonder – the issue here is economic, surely.

    That in the short term it is cheaper to put the kids on drugs, rather than re-gearing our entire education system, which is always subject to cuts and incredibly tight budgets.

    And when the schools do get funding – it’s always to infrastructure – buildings, sports fields. It’s never to the arts and music program (which saved many a kid’s well being, including mine!), and never to increasing staff or training. I’m also thinking about “gym class” – which we always dreaded – but which was a structured form of play to get us to burn off some energy.

    And I’m reminded of the helicopter Health and Safety codes (and the heavy hammer of lawsuits). A local school in Australia removed the monkey bars from the playground because a child broke her arm. What? Isn’t that a normal “growing up” lesson? And what are the other hundreds of kids supposed to do with their energy? Stand around on an empty playground? Play with their devices?

    I grew up in an educational family – father Dean at a University, stepmother Principal of a High School. Education (and the economic resources we don’t devote to it) is the source of the problem, medical policies only reinforce it.

    That teacher who is happy to “diagnose” children is in an understaffed classroom, using materials that are dictated by state curriculum – any extra materials must come out of that teacher’s meager salary. Additionally that meager salary includes time/attention obligations like – showing up for sporting and social events as chaperone, grading on evening and weekends. The teacher has very little to work with, and yes, it might be a relief to numb out the exuberant, restless, or traumatized child.

    I’ve thought about my own childhood. All my report cards indicated that I had trouble paying attention, that I looked out the window or talked in class. My whole education was an effort to get me to “pay attention!” But I always had “good grades” so “I got away with it.” And that was the 1970’s, geez.

    I also remember ONE friend who was “hyperactive” and was on some sort of amphetamine. He wasn’t in my class, but he was at my school and in my neighborhood. ONE. During my entire schooling career! I wonder what the “drug to kid” ratio is in a classroom today?

    As privitization sweeps the country, the “charter schools” start filling the niche of these “kids who nobody wants” – do we expect it to get better?

    Rotten to the Core.

    Getting back to my original issue, the short term benefits – if we look at the long term cost and damage of these kids growing up to become “bipolar” and “schizophrenic” in adolescence because they’ve always depended on a pill to adjust their behaviours – and the cost to society of having chronically ill children from earlier and earlier “interventions”…

    “Intervention programs” surely don’t save the society money – but are instead means to cull out “certain types” and put them in a “useless box.” Drugging ADHD children is a huge (but invisible) societal cost and means of social control.

    How can we pitch it to our School Boards and State Boards of Education that these interventions cost more in the long run? Or does anything matter beyond their short term in office?

  • Thank you Julie! Sure, just give me a by-line “JanCarol of”

    Interestingly, I got ISP banned from wackyworldofyogibhajan shortly after posting this link. I have no idea why they would ban me, when they provide helpful information which could help prevent people from falling into belief traps, and that’s my goal, too. So read what you can before you post that link! It makes me think that the 3HO rabbit hole might go very deep indeed, if they are afraid of a stranger on MIA.

    We are beset upon all sides – the devices, media, psychiatry – 3HO is probably a better place to spend 20 years than lost in the TV set or Paxil and neuroleptics. But if I were a public figure (like Dr. Brogan), asking people to listen to me publicly, I could not say, “HERE! THIS!” to any belief system.

    Tip: any time you’re presented with a new Guru or “school” just Google the name of the school/teacher and the word “abuse” or “scam.” Something like 62% of male American yoga teachers have had sex with their students. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is similar in meditation, as well. Especially if there is a charismatic leader.

    I love yoga; I have a decades strong kundalini practice of my own. But it’s my practice, and my own body is my guru. So I’m not coming to this discussion from a place of “superstition” or “fear of Hinduism” or other xenophobic approaches. My concerns are more about the power structures, and abuse of those powers.

  • Additionally, I find your brand of kundalini to be predatory. 3HO founded by Yogi Bhajan, may have some excellent practices. But the deeper you go, the closer you come to “cult,” conversion, and corruption.

    While you are a strong woman, there are many vulnerable women who are following you. To point them to 3HO is to invite them to forgo their dreams and lives and dedicate themselves to a questionable organisation.

    Certainly, the exterior teachings have value and worth – they are adapted from centuries of yogic practice. The closer one gets to the inner circle, the more corrupt it becomes. 3HO is rife with sexual and power abuse and scandals – by the Yogi himself, and by his “Khalsas,” who are now running the organisation. Women gave up their peak childbearing years to serve the yogi, and have sued him over it, and the power and sexual abuse he (and his teachers) perpetrated on them. and

    You are a leader of women. You’re attracted to this? Like psychiatry, it is a form of sexual social control!

    Several of the standard cult practices, as written about by Robert Jay Lipton in his excellent “Thought Reform” in the 1950’s, are all present in 3HO: Mileu control (stay in the ashram, dependant upon the ashram, new name, new clothes), Mystical Manipulation (the miraculous way you FEEL when practising in the group, love bombing), Demand for Purity (again, new name, diet, practice, service to the group), Sacred Science (Our truth is the one truth, those who leave the group cease to exist), Doctrine over Person (the practice, the guru, the teacher hold precedence over the individual, even when traumatising), and Dispensing of Existence (you are only Graced when you come to us).

    The Sikh community is in an uproar over the “Sikh-like” practices and false claims of the group, which they see as a corruption of their own faith, creating the 3HO monstrosity a la carte out of Sikh and Hindu practice. The Sikh’s are distressed to be associated with such corruption, like the sex scandals, and ashram tactics and practices.

    One of the minor points of contention is that the 3HO prefers vegetarianism – which, in your own studies, leaves a vulnerable human in a high-carb, low fat volatile state. Easy to manipulate. The Sikhs disagree with this practice as well – readiness to defend the people is a spiritual obligation in Sikhism, and that requires the eating of meat, to stay strong and healthy. Your own practice for brain health advocates the grass fed meat proteins. But 3HO wants to strip people of that layer of health. Why? Because it’s “pure”? (see “Demand for Purity,” Lipton, above) Or because it makes the congregation easier to convert and control?

    When asked by his 3HO Team Leaders if he could show them the finances, Yogi Bhajan put in a tearful face, and said something like, “Oh my Beloveds, I cannot show you the books, it is too embarrassing – we are barely able to continue.” As a result, his community was shamed and fundraising efforts were doubled – all the while the Yogi was worth $14 million.

    Is this the kind of corruption you wish to associate with? Sexual predator and con man? And the Khalsas he trained up to walk in his footsteps?

    Now – your personal practice is your decision. But when you are in the business of helping vulnerable women, I recommend you keep your religion private. In following you, how easy it would be to lead women into this cult – via a simple practice – when they go to a festival, get caught up and change their whole lives because they’ve “found the answer.” The cult is designed to “love bomb” and entice. Even if just one woman sells her house, leaves her family, and joins the organisation, spends decades of her life serving the group – do you want the responsibility of knowing you led her there?

    As someone who has personally experienced cult tactics and tries to educate people about them, I recommend that you continue to keep your personal practices private, regardless of what “community” you wish to build. OR, if you insist on building community with your practice – get your own yoga teachers and start something new. Hold your own “Vital Mind Reset” Yoga festivals. Do not affiliate with a corrupt organisation.

    And for yourself, consider your own practice. It may feel blissful to give your energy to this group – but the draining of energy feels much the same as the building of energy – bliss is felt anytime the energy moves.

    “The best way to learn about a specific group is to locate a former member, or at least a former member’s written account.” (Hassan, 1990).

    I invite you to explore:

    I have the deepest of respect for what you are doing to transform women’s health, and mental wellness. But you are in an upstream battle, and what you attach to can make your work easier or more difficult. You are already considered “fringe” for your views on vaccination & psych drugs (I’ve sent people to your site, and, in the dominant paradigm style, they say, “Oh but she’s an anti-vaxxer! I couldn’t do that!”) – take care not to lose credibility by association with questionable and corrupt communities.

  • I’ve got people close to me who have struggled with Self Injury, which also manifests as suicidality in its extreme forms.

    One of the most beneficial programs for this was S.A.F.E. founded by Wendy Lader (now run by her co-founder): Self Abuse Finally Ends.

    One of the most valuable principles of S.A.F.E. was a complete ban on graphic language, images, as “triggers.” While I don’t like the idea that something “triggers” someone else (we choose how we respond) – the ban on graphic descriptions of self harm were very valuable.

    I would think that, in the case of ACE and trauma, the graphic depictions of rape could be quite traumatic, as well. I know when my trauma is addressed – sometimes quite innocently – in media – I find it too much to bear.

    On the graphic depictions of rape and suicide, and your objections to them in this series – I concur. In general I find that modern media is too edgy, in order to keep the attention of our youth. This is an extreme example of it.

    But – could it raise the issue – without the violent “hooks”? Would it get the attention and discussion that it is getting? It’s a razor’s edge.

  • Regarding the trauma of hospitalization. Steve, you say, “To suggest that traumatization by involuntary hospitalization is rare suggests a Pollyanna view of reality. Sure, clients in the hospital often express relief that they didn’t end up killing themselves, but they also learn very quickly that telling the staff you’re pissed about how the situation was handled or that you feel powerless is both pointless and dangerous.”

    And I can think of more than a few cases – where the FAILURE of suicide is a heavy, traumatic burden on the person who experienced it – and finds themselves corralled, restrained, searched, locked up, drugged.

    Heaping trauma upon trauma.

    There are a few who find hospital a relief when in this sort of crisis. There are even some who get addicted to being cared for, comforted by being numbed to their pain. But on the whole I’m with you, and put hospital in the “increase of trauma” category.

  • In that regard, shouldn’t the series be lauded for not even bringing “mental illness” into it – instead focusing on feelings, events and discussion of those conflicts?

    It’s not my cuppa tea, and I cringe at the thought of such dark media infiltrating the homes of vulnerable teenagers – but – at least they didn’t focus on the “disease” the “treatment” or “she went off her meds” as is so common in mainstream TV today.

  • Sorry for the OT

    I believe that Hubbard died with his chronic addiction to barbiturates and painkillers. At the very least, they didn’t help him live any longer. Vistaril was what he was taking at death. Sorry, I’ve lost my source on this one – so I can’t really see Hubbard as a pure believer, more a paranoid conspiracist. His final days – pursued by FBI and IRS – were quite paranoid. What has been built in his wake is possibly even worse. The purpose of the cult is an alternative to psychiatry – so they must, as part of their canon, slam it.

    Attend their museum of psychiatry in LA for a laugh. It’s better than the Creation Museum in Kentucky as far as facts and science – but – a similar level of hype and fear-based entertainment.

    In reading Scientology survivor stories, I see deep similarities to *any* other cult that I’ve studied. The CCHR Narconon, and Purif objections to psychiatry is because their “treatment” is an alternate to psychiatry. They are front groups designed to channel a person onto the Bridge. $$$,$$$

    Some of their objections to psychiatry are fascinating and in depth but every CCHR film I’ve watched is deep with undertones, manipulation and threat. If you can separate the information from the manipulation (screen switches, musical cues, pushing vocal techniques) there is value in it.

    But yes, CCHR is a front group for Scientology, and while there are techniques of value in Scientology, and I would probably recommend it before psychiatry, that is not high praise. I would not recommend anyone spending $$,$$$ to $$$,$$$ to achieve the “Bridge to Freedom” – or – adding a digit in labour hours if they want to do it more cheaply. I don’t recommend anyone give up years of their life or hard earned dollars for a “technique.”

    A true Master would not hide the technique behind hours of labour or thousands of dollars, nor would a true Master or Method require you to cut off from all of your family who don’t believe in the technique. These are just 2 of my objections.

    Further, (trying to get back to topic) if Autism were presented, some of the “treatment” can be as cruel as CBT – conformity is the game in Scientology. Conformity to the principles. No Neurodiversity there – read the story of Jett Travolta (again, one story among myriads).

  • Dr Larsen-Barr, you write:
    ” The act of asking questions is an information-bearing exercise that if done well has the power to help address the issue of our limited self-awareness; the questions we ask and the way we ask them can guide people towards perceiving things they might otherwise have overlooked or been unaware of e.g. From broad open questions into more focused questions like, What is it like to take this medication? What does it do for you? Does it cause you any problems? How does that affect your life? Has it changed your appetite or the way your body puts on weight?”

    I’m sorry, this seems so naive to me. These are the kinds of questions that my suffering friend has been asked for decades. It has not resulted in any acknowledgement or change to her treatment for her to say, “Oh, I’m gaining weight, I’ve got diabetes now, I keep shaking, I cannot hold a coffee cup without spilling.” She has interdose withdrawal anxiety, akathisia, tardive dyskinesia, and is it any wonder she is depressed and afraid to interact with her fellow humans?

    Instead each descriptive is treated – not as ‘quality of life’ issues – but a symptom, and so – an anti-seizure drug is added, or increase in antidepressant, or more anti-anxiety medicines – or a visit to the nutritionist (when really, diet and exercise do not address psych drug induced metabolic disorder), or a script for Viagra or Addyi for sexual dysfunction.

    Your questions are still talking about symptoms which are effects of the drugs. These effects are diagnosed by mainstream doctors as “disease based symptoms” (“Oh, she’s relapsing, she’s getting worse again”) and more drugs are added, more diagnoses are added, and a life is ruined.

    The drugs and their effects are like a giant elephant in the room. A whole fricking pack of elephants. A cocktail of elephants. My friend got an extensive neurological evaluation for Traumatic Brain Injury – and received a positive diagnosis for TBI – but not a word was said about what these drugs have done to her brain, her nervous system, her endocrine system, her cardiovascular system, her eyes, over the last 30 years. Not a whisper.

    Now granted, they didn’t know her (like I did) when she was young and bright – maybe they think she’s had a cognitive struggle her entire life, and her “lack of coping skills” contributed to her “biological mental illness.” – but I’ve watched it happen. I’m trying to find hope for her now, something she can hold onto to pull herself out of this morass – but she is not supported by her doctors, only drugged., and she is so deeply spellbound (as Breggin would say) by the drugs, that the terror of coming off – in the face of all her other problems right now – is frightening to the extreme. More than she can handle in addition to her full plate of problems.

    Doctors have her down as someone who has “responded well to treatment.” It has not helped her at all to have this evaluation.

  • Right now, I have a dear friend who is being killed by the drugs. She has metabolic disorder, her endocrine is shutting down (Hashimotos, adrenal fatigue), has been diagnosed with TBI, suffers huge cognitive deficits, and her opportunities and options are cascading into collapse. She has been on Seroquel for at least 20 years, and various cocktails. Her current cocktail includes 5 drugs.

    If you talk to her, she will express gratitude that she does not have intrusive delusions, that her behaviour is under control, and she is thankful for the benzo that can put her anxiety on hold for awhile, and grateful for the Z drug that helps her sleep.

    But if you get to know her, and see the 30 point IQ loss, the chronic motor dysfunctions (shaking, jerks), the thyroid difficulties, the inability to address her situation or her problems with anything more than “whatever,” and see the constant drive to suicide, self harm – you will think: this is not a well person.

    BUT HER DOCTORS AREN’T GOING THERE. They just treat her, “business as usual.”

    That’s the difference between knowing and understanding. She hears me talk about the harm of the drugs – but is so terrified (and conditioned to be so by the drugs) and has suffered akathisia, TD and cognitive decline for at least 20 years. How could she possibly go through this to a life of freedom from the drugs?

    Where are the people to help her do this while she is worried about having enough food to eat, or how to pay her bills? This is clearly the result of long term neuroleptic and benzo use – but – how do you save her from what is killing her, when she believes so firmly that she “needs” it?

    If she had done this survey, she would have expressed the sentiments and gratitude of the 2nd paragraph above, and it would be up to a clever diagnostician to connect the dots to her massive distress.

    BTW, the neurologists who tested and diagnosed her TBI ****DID NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE 20 YEARS OF NEUROLEPTIC DRUGS AND BENZOS****** instead they are giving her “memory aids” (an iPad) and “coping classes” – but no acknowledgement that the way to survive this is OUT of it.

    The drugs cause more harm than good. Especially when you take the long term view into the equation.

  • Anti Authoritarian.

    Or learned helplessness for the anti-authoritarian. It feels so hopeless and helpless for so long, that suicide becomes the first thought, the first solution to the problems when they get thick.

    I found that “suicidal ideation,” plans, thoughts, etc., became a “default pattern” over years of depression. It was like a groove which my thoughts fell into when things got uncomfortable.

    I agree that current measures are harmful and ineffective. But I’ve seen very little to address this thinking ditch or gravity well or default switch, where suicide becomes the first “solution” to the problem.

    It happens. And, I suppose, self-harm (which can accidentally result in suicide) is another gravity well like this, also.

  • Oldhead –

    I’m in the salvage business, trying to see how much of Us can be rescued from the wreckage.

    I do not not NOT recommend this path for anyone, for anyone to choose the wreck, or even submit to it! – but – so many are already on this destructive path! And most of Us had NO CHOICE, and many were drugged from CHILDHOOD. It’s criminal, evil – but –

    When this happens to a child – how can we heal what is left on the other side of the ordeal?

    I agree – more questions than answers!

  • I agree Seth. I think one of my driving motivations is to help people that I love. It breaks my heart to see how thick and total the wet steamy blanket of neuroleptics is. Harder to bear, to watch – now that I am out from under it. (my neuroleptic use was light: 25 – 75 mg Seroquel for 3-5 years – but see? even there I can’t tell you how many years or how much it was….)

    Like Plato’s cave, I see the shadows as shadows, I’ve been outside and smelled the grass and heard the birds, but have difficulty getting my loved ones to see the chains that bind them away from the light, thinking that the shadows are real. I dance and drum, crying out for them to turn around, the light is behind you!

    It’s like tilting at windmills. As the years of neuroleptic use shrink the capacity for executive decisions, and induce massive cognitive loss, the ability to see another way is narrowed significantly. I have known a few to escape neuroleptics after 20-30 years – but they are the rare ones. And to do so – functionally, engaged with the Spirit – that’s a whole other level.

    “I need my drugs,” “How will I function / cope without them?” “but I’m anxious” “I can’t sleep without them” “The bogeyman will get me if I stop taking my drugs….”

    Without a thought for what the messages are, that the symptoms are so graphically bringing to them.

    Maybe my methods will just bring me to Light, maybe that’s enough. Maybe one other will follow, maybe two. Maybe we will have a practicing group of healthy people that those who have suffered the drugs will be able to join.

    I only know that my drum is my Revolution, and I must follow it.

    Lynne, you’re welcome. It is my hope that a story like mine will add to your collection of stories.

    PS: Richard, darkness? I don’t think I used the word “darkness” anywhere in my original post? Have you never been mad?

  • Hey Oldhead – hi!

    This is one that I and quite a few others are discussing.

    Is the crippling of ones senses useful in a shamanic awakening? (yoga spends a lot of time withdrawing from the senses in a structured fashion) It was for me, I voluntarily gave those senses up for at least 10-15 years. Others, not so lucky.

    I say voluntarily because I submitted to the drugs – I was not SEEKING numbness, I was seeking survival. After my experience, I will never voluntarily give up awareness – of any sort – again.

    Shamanic death is not a symbol or even an archetype. It is a real event – and often happens in the wake of Near Death Experience. Many healers have been awakened after their own brush with death.

    We’re trying to make the best of it, because, unfortunately, and frequently involuntarily, the “post drug experience” is the hand we’ve been dealt.

  • Hey Richard,
    All good.

    I can’t speak to “religion,” which frequently offends me, as well. It does serve as social glue in a corporate society where the individual is frequently estranged from community. These are skills we are not taught in school.

    It is my firm belief that if I follow where I am passionately driven, it will be a belief system which roars, rather than one which lies down and submits.

    I can speak to “opiates of the masses”, however: Psych drugs. Media. Devices. Processed foods and dietary disruptions. Bread and circuses. We have enough numbing influences that religion is hardly needed in the Marxian sense anymore.

    Ever listen to Chris Hedges?

  • Thank you Richard.

    Please do not call another’s beliefs, “confusion.”

    For me, the connectedness and the Oneness are G-d, and include All Life. G-d is in me, in thee, all life, and everywhere. This is not confusion, but experience. Is it supernatural? Certainly. Is it common to all humanity? I hope so.

    I cannot prove it in a science lab, but I am proving it in my own life. I don’t need to distinguish between a “spirit in the sky” and the spark in our eyes as we converse. For me, the macrocosm, the microcosm are the same.

    This is not a challenge, just a clarification of your expression of duality, which I do not invest in.

  • I was raised traumatically fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Long before my drugging, I rejected that first for atheism, then adapted to match my experience for a broader view, and an exploration of hidden belief, with a sense to connect the religious practices to find the core essence of each version of relationship to G-d. During my “manic break,” I was talking to wasps. Was it a 2-way communication? I will never know, because the ability to talk to wasps hampered my ability to function in a job, pay my bills, maintain a residence, a car, a practical life. And my relationships were in tatters.

    So I submitted to the drugs, as an act of Response-ability. I anticipated that they would help me gain control of my emotional life, and because my spirituality was so integral to my Be-ing, did not anticipate any damage to my relationship with G-d.

    It’s true, I was able to hold a job, and work, albeit under severely limited hours and conditions, as my sleep went weird, my dreams went away. I was able to develop and maintain working relationships with others, and became more aware of damage I had caused and sought to make amends.

    What I did not see, was the creeping numbness and anhedonia as it gradually engulfed me in cobwebs and cotton wool. I could not pray, I could not connect, I actually became afraid of the nature that I previously loved and trusted. I stayed on my chair on the porch, reading fiction. I lost my hobbies of watercolor, music. I was wrapped in silence. (the offending drugs were: Tricyclics, SNRI, lithium, statins, a neuroleptic, and PPI’s) The silence became so deafening that suicide loomed. I had nothing left to live for. Why was I reading books? Why do anything at all?

    All of my former curiosity and engagement with the world around me was robbed by this deadly cocktail. Luckily, I was still reading books, and when Anatomy of an Epidemic crossed my lap, the scales fell from my eyes. I was still numb, anhedonic, but I saw a ray of light which would allow me to follow a path – back to my Self – or at least OUT of the deafening numbness.

    Robert Whitaker showed me the fallacy of “drug maintenance” for mental health, Will Hall showed me the possibility of escaping the drugs, while Surviving Antidepressants showed me the how to get out from under the drugs – safely.

    As I came out from the lithium blanket, it was like walking from a deep filthy polluted pond, with my legs hip deep in mud, and my vision obscured by muddy toxic water. Gradually, as the doses decreased, the mud was less sticky, and the sunlight started to come into my world. Now, a year out from the last dose of lithium, I am out of the toxic pond, standing on the shore – still knee deep in mud because of the damage I’ve suffered – but I see the sky, I see the trees, I hear the birds again.

    I’m not about defining what spirituality is for others. I only know that – I was once again curious. Why orange? What is a triangle? How do fractals relate to traditional geometry? how does my body feel in yoga asana? What is chaos? What is the animus? What is the difference between a symbol and an archetype? Why does the drum work to produce reliable shamanic response? How does it work? How can I help it work better? How can I be the best possible human I can be, and how can I use what I’ve been given to help others?

    And so, in a short year from leaving the lithium behind, I find myself in a teaching position, helping others to become aware of their inner life and how it connects to their outer life. Of finding symbols to help them learn the lessons needed to learn. I try very hard to keep it secular, but there is a numinous force at play, guiding me, guiding those I work with to a greater awareness, openness, and above all – curiosity.

    (oh, and yes, I also joined the team at Surviving Antidepressants to help teach people how to come off their drugs safely)

    So – from my perspective, the fallacy of this article is that “expectations about the drugs lead to the spiritual experience with the drug.” I expected that my relationship to “That” would never change. I underestimated the force of the numbing blanket of neurotransmitter tweaking. While we may not agree on what “That” is, Richard’s comment that these drugs cause MORE HARM THAN GOOD is a vital expression of my own healing.

    And to address why the suffering of the drugs brings people to a greater spiritual experience upon discontinuation? Oldhead said that it was the relationship with death. I will take it a step further – it is a death, a shamanic death, an ego-death, to completely lose your personality and who you thought you were – just by taking a pill. It is such an occlusion of the “soul” that you are, by all rights, dead to yourself. You stop searching for meaning, you barely make it through the day.

    Then, after the drugs, when you begin to feel again, begin to engage again – the small things – the blade of grass, the flight of a butterfly, that vivid color, that warm chord – become so much more meaningful.

    I SURVIVED! I am a Human Be-ing!

    This survival is akin to being “born again,” as we would have said in my early church.

  • You hit the nail on the head Feelin.

    The healing cannot begin until I, as a formerly diagnosed “bipolar,” take responsibility for my moods and managing them. Taking responsibility for my words and actions is the first step – becoming aware of when and how I have hurt others with my words and deeds. Acknowledging that I am not the only person in the world with feelings – and learning to be sensitive towards others.

    It is a life’s work, really – but it is possible. And it is the largest, most important step towards “undiagnosis.”

  • Ron, I agree. And the Powers That Be want compliant working slaves, and blasting open consciousness is counter productive for profits.

    I reckon Corporate will fight any opportunity for this expansion – whether by communal trance dance and drumming – or by any form of psychedelic – tooth and nail. They always have.

    After all – if all you need is one, or just a few (“you get the message, hang up the phone,” Alan Watts) – there is no repeat business.

  • Humans have been seeking expanded consciousness for millennia. Some would say that the mushroom is the missing link – why we started painting, making art and music, worshipping G-ds, seeking greater wisdom in stars and archetypal symbolism.

    Likewise, I have seen meltdowns in drug-free Zen-dos as well, from abuse of power, or just the personal challenge of facing one’s own silence. (this goes for a number of Eastern practices which can be inflicted upon an unadjusted Western Mind without a strong, well-trained Ego for the challenge of going Deep.)

    How we choose to learn and grow should be a choice, not a top down decision. It’s almost religious or spiritual in nature.

    Your voice here speaks as one with no Experience, who fears that Experience. And in that fear, you downgrade others’ very valid Experiences, because they may have started on a mushroom, a cactus, an ergotamine, a vine in South America. And yet, all of these have roots in spiritual practice.

    A yogi once said, “One hit of acid, a lifetime to integrate it.” Your Experience may be that the day, the month, the year after the psychedelic was not “integrated,” but really – in my Experience, the integration takes time, work, and further Experience. And nearly everyone I knew then (in the sun-kissed psychedelic days) – has been transformed by the Experience in some way. It’s not always positive, it’s not always definable by function in Modern society – but it is very real, indeed.

    To dispose of it as “worthless” or “addictive” is to shallowly dismiss what Humans have been seeking on Winter Nights for millennia, the ecstasy of dance, of music, of shared altered experience. To wake up the next day, and know – I am not alone, I am connected to all things.

    This is the beginning of change. And it can be well done, carefully done, even (dare I say) therapeutically done.

  • I’d like to know, too – how do you get 3000 hours of service – before certification?

    Every peer program I know (granted that’s very few) requires in-house training modules, tests and certification – and that bar is pretty high, as well.

    It’s probably cheaper and easier to get a university degree and hang out a shingle.

    Massage therapy requires 80 hours of pracs. A chiropractor does 180 hours? (these are just quick googles), a naturopath requires 450 hours of supervised clinical time. An acupuncturist does 1-2 years of training and 30 hours of practical clinical experience (varies from place to place. I can become a basic auto mechanic in 6 months. Why, oh why would I do 3000 hours of Hello to get this stinking certification?

    3000 is 75 weeks at 40 hours a week. Most peer specialists I know start out part time – so – at least 3 years of pracs before the test? Volunteer is okay? What qualifies? Hours spent on a helpline? Is what I do for 16 hours a week on the internet considered peer support? (probably not, since I help people come off their meds safely using harm reduction).

    And the fear, the danger, is that once this program is accepted by one, by two, by a few places – it may be required in all of them. Or at least all of them with corporate masters. (the slave language is apt)

  • Yes, Eileen. There’s that profit motive!

    Why hire a professional or a nurse practitioner, or a nutritionist, or pharmacy consultant when we can have a lowly grunt do the handholding, the social work (helping with appointments, apartments, etc.), the tempering of emotional distress?

    You could have an army of part time peers (with no benefits) for the price of one MSW.

    It sounds like a great way to increase share price, which is the ultimate goal of a corporation.

    And if the peers “toe the company line,” all the better. Having a “national company line” – for ANY corporate practice – is a disaster! (though, looks darned appealing to the corporations!)

  • Ah Yes, Anonymous – and the people I know who have been tapped for “peer work” really really need the money – to go from destitute to earning a salary? What a dream! Even though, the peer paid positions I’ve seen are little more than minimum wage – but it’s work! How exciting!

    There’s just that tricky “sell your soul” part. Oh well, was I really using that?

    Sera – this is some awesome research you have done – except for the opinions (which I agree with) this is some fine journalism!

  • Quoted from the Spotlight article:
    ““She’ll say, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s those meds that made me crazy,’ ” Barbara Biasotti said.”

    And nobody believes the girl, her parents keep her drugged and locked up. I wonder what her story is?

    On the “meds,” changing the “meds,” coming off the “meds” = all are recipes for distress, akathisia, and when nobody understands what you are going through – potential violence.

    Why does nobody look at the drugs? The REAL drugs, not just the street, illegal “recreational,” socially unapproved ones.

    Sera – awesome work, bringing this to the attention of the mainstream media (I hope!). You at least got their attention!

  • How do 6-10 year old children get diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder?

    What is going wrong in our society that these young children are floored by such crippling symptoms that they get diagnosed?

    Does the diagnosis of MDD ever go away? Or are they stuck with it “for life?”

    I know the point of this article was to emphasize the exercise – but I keep thinking about those children.

  • Hey Julie – I am not “diagnosing.”

    Just indicating that it can be serious. And that it’s better to know than not.

    I know that a lot of people in the “survivor” category often refuse to go to doctors of any type. I understand this – it’s like having tea with your perp.

    But I like to believe we are stronger now, and can advocate for ourselves through the maze that is “treatment.”

    No, I would never submit to psychiatry again. I will definitely ask a lot of questions and seek 2nd and 3rd opinions if I’m ever up for surgery again. And it is harder work – to parse out what is treatment and what is profit, in the current medical model.

    But I do find the diagnostics of the docs useful, even if I ignore their recommendations. (ironic note – because I skipped a year of mammograms, the doctor now has me down as “radiophobic.” EGADS.)

  • Too right, AA. Hubby was not overweight when he had his stroke – his doctor was completely flabbergasted – healthy 56 yo man. It was out of the blue (and it was sleep apnea).

    Thanks for the resources.

    What is wrong with needing a machine in order to sleep? Just that – there is a dependence there. What happens when the grid goes down? I do sleep better with the freight train than I did laying awake listening to him breathe, wondering when he will breathe next.

    Seriously, Julie – hubby had a stroke due to sleep apnea. It’s worth getting over fear of doctors to find out – at least you will know how severe it is. You can always refuse treatment (most people do).

    Additionally, if my Occupational Therapist and I are correct, and psych drugs strip us of collagen, it’s not unlikely that someone who has been on psych drugs could develop weakness in the throat muscles & connective tissue.

  • Julie, this is true. There are few or no stories of people who lost the weight and came off their CPAP. There are people who “quit treatment” because they couldn’t tolerate the mask – but for people who were getting good sleep on them, once you adjust to them, you need it.

    Like a drug, it can (and will) “poop out” and need the pressure adjusted – ever higher and higher. Like a p-doc with drug doses, they never bring the pressure down.

    Hubby struggles with this – he resists all upward pressure changes – but when I am hearing his apneas in the night, I insist on an increase. I hate it – but – it’s better than another stroke (and he won’t do the yoga). He is now doing his own adjustments – like AA – instead of paying to ask for help and getting new studies all the time. But – that machine will likely be there “for life.”

    There’s something wrong with this model, but I don’t see a way out of it for him. And he totally isn’t even looking for it – his sleep is good – he feels good, so will continue treatment. And I sleep next to a freight train.

  • Hey Oldhead (ran out of reply buttons) – I too wonder what it is about modern humans that by the time we are 60, 1/3 of us have to be hooked up to a breathing machine in order to sleep.

    My own research points to a couple of things. The apnea is caused by a collapsing of the airways. Collagen is one factor, sleep paralysis is another. I’m not sure how to boos the collagen, but sleep paralysis is aided by optimizing Hormone D (it’s not a vitamin).

    The yoga exercises for sleep apnea are ujayyi (snake – hissing) breath combined with alternate nostril breathing. This strengthens the muscles around the esophagus and affords better control. Also – any exercise that strengthens the muscles of the neck would help. I just had this discussion with a friend about why weight makes apnea. It’s the weight of the fat. Developing supporting musculature would help.

    Diaphragmatic breathing is essential for good health – but the apneas seems to be about the neck.

    As with all proper healing – it’s not just “do one thing” and it eliminates the problem. It seems to be a management issue. (I sleep next to a CPAP machine – my husband had a stroke in his sleep due to apnea – so it is a serious problem!)

  • I have to add: a lot of my friends who survived psych drugs are now facing unexplained anti-immune and metabolic problems.

    They claim there is a diagnostic test for fibro being developed here in Queensland – however – the treatments always seem to be the same: amitryptaline, Lyrica, or Neurontin. So what good is a diagnosis?

    Even “adrenal fatigue” is a more specific moniker than “chronic fatigue,” but doctors don’t like that one.

    In fact, I would call autoimmune disorders “epidemic.” We must be doing something wrong if so many people have these symptoms. Probably toxic load from industry, factory farming, “food” that isn’t food, and pills for everything.

  • The terror for me came as I watched my sister deteriorate in the system.

    Then when my own diagnosis came, I swore oath to NEVER let them have me. I complied – but I did everything in my power to stay out of the Institution. To control my own treatment.

    I suspect that the price she paid – and my terror – are contributors to my good condition now.

    I’m sorry Julie, that you complied as long as you did.

  • Caveat upon caveats. In the popularity of the Ayahuasca experience, the cheap, nasty Datura is put in the mix, and insanity (and death) ensues.

    I’m a huge fan of psychedelic expansion – I might not be alive today if it weren’t for the lessons learned on “set and setting” and “surfing the experience.”

    But as someone who guides others into shamanic experience, I cannot let this pass without a warning. In an ideal world, our Allies (plant helpers) would choose us, and we could forge forward into purer clearer experience. Psilocybin and MDMA experiments have shown people ways to be more true to themselves.

    But they are not for everyone, and in old times a trained healer would screen for danger, or mix the blend according to the individual. NOT – one brew, let’s all take it together.

    In the modern Ayahuasca experience, many practitioners want to make a living, and the screening is more like encouragement: “It helps everyone, if you are having problems, you are not opening to Mother Ayahuasca.” In other words, if it doesn’t work for you, it is your fault. Not the fault of the screening process, not the fault of the preparer of the brew (seriously, watch out for that datura), and not the fault of the shaman who invokes the ceremony.

    These filmmakers experienced Ayahuasca, and put a composite of their experience into a feature length film about healing trauma through Ayahuasca. The Ayahuasca sequence is here:
    Warning, not for the faint of heart. If this looks like the way you want to deal with your traumas, then maybe Ayahuasca is for you.

    Additionally, there are neurotransmitters involved. And the changes can be long term, if not permanent. If you cannot integrate the experience, you can be left hanging from an Ayahuasca cliff for years to come. I have read many stories where people have asked for help from these “shamans” who just say, “take more Ayahuasca, Mother Ayahuasca will teach you,” or offer services for extravagant fees to “fix the problem.” (I have heard no stories of such post-Ayahuasca problems being “fixed.”) Or – ignore the individual, it is their problem, they must integrate on their own with no guidance from the “shaman.”

    Sound familiar, all you psychiatric survivors? Here, try this. Don’t like it? It must be your fault.

    Support MAPS, who is trying to open this field to further research. And if you want to go to South America, do lots and lots of research as to which center you are attending, and who the resident “shaman” and what the “brew” is. Lack of information should be considered dodgy.

  • Right on, Richard.

    I applaud the efforts to find alternatives to drugs (which are not “solutions to problems,” either). Micronutrients can be an important part of recovery, and do bear further study.

    But what is not being addressed here, (even if the for-profit supplement makers were not corrupt):

    One size fits all ratios of different micronutrients in the compound
    One dose fits all of each micronutrient
    Combinations of micronutrients which are counterproductive (like copper and zinc – which points to the corrupt marketing of the products.)

    This also overlooks the masses of case study research done on this in orthomolecular medicine. Why not build on the shoulders of giants instead of forging into these questionable waters?

    This shotgun approach to micronutrients is not a fruitful area to look at – but hey – if they want to waste their time and money without looking at previous research – I guess that’s their problem.

    It certainly doesn’t forward the case for micronutrients, and indeed, may even hamper what benefit is there.

  • Or an old direction, as hot and cold hydrotherapy were practiced a century ago.

    Thought I suspect that *voluntary* hydrotherapy might be a new twist.

    In a segment on “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs,” BBC – he tried to help a woman withdraw from her antidepressants with coldwater bathing. It was definitely mood enhancing, confidence building.

    I’ve used this in pain management to some success.

    But your bread would make me sick, and a diet without meat starves my brain and adrenals. We are all individual.

  • As someone who has hacked her own “diagnosis” and come off the psych drugs – I have examined EMPower and TrueHope (years ago) and other combination “shotgun approach” supplements – here’s what I found:

    These products work through sheer luck.

    They are a shotgun approach of multiple aminos and nutrients, with few or no adjustments for individual methylation or need. Some of the aminos are paired which should not be (NAC / GABA) – or which would be more effective with NAC in AM and GABA in PM (I note that the Truehope contains no aminos, but other scatter gun products do). There is little adjustment for morning vs evening formulas – for example many practitioners recommend no B6 after 2 PM or it could interfere with sleep cycles (that’s one of the more plentiful ingredients). There are myriads of interactions and rules, and these products do not consider them.

    While the companies proclaim: “why would we want to study them? We’re making money.”

    Some people need more niacin, some do better with fish oil (not in these products). In my studies of my own mental, emotional and physical health, my ratios are unique to me. There is no “standard dose” of Zinc or Niacin, for example. And if you take more of these combination tablets to increase your zinc or Niacin, you might take too much B6. Using Truehope as an example, most of us are overloaded with copper – so putting copper in a supplement is an indicator that they do not understand the connection between copper and mood.

    Copper opposes zinc. Having them both in the same product is counterproductive. Excess copper is associated with strong emotional states. Additionally, the Truehope contains a token amount of Magnesium – something which people healing from psych drugs are deficient in. In fact, Magnesium is the #2 nutrient deficiency in the USA.

    So – the combinations are wrong, the nutrients are wrong. Thank you AA for posting the link to the ingredients so that I can refresh my memory.

    It’s a shotgun approach – “if we throw all these nutrients at this, something will hit, and it will work, and it will fly off the shelves.”

    The best benefits in supplementing are received by individual nutrients in individual amounts, customised to the individual. Unfortunately, it’s hard to run a double blind, placebo based trial, when every person has an individual supplement plan.

  • While I know this is private, I’d love to see your list. I have a few collected in various places, but not all in the same place. This list could be valuable to me in my work (activism, helping people see the dangers of these drugs, and helping people get off of them).

    While I’m reluctant to post my email on such a spam-ridden site (admin? Please stop the spammers?) I would really find this to be valuable.

    w underscore o underscore w at optus dot net dot com dot au”

  • Addiitionally, the BPD wastebasket is used to cast aside people in distress because “it’s too hard,” and “they don’t respond to regular treatment” (treatment being drugs and DBT).

    I have known many people who got cast out of programs once this label was stuck on their file, left to their own devices and distress, with a pile of drugs to insulate them from suffering that nobody was willing to help with.

    It is one of the uglier “diagnoses.” They are all ugly and fictional to be sure, but labelling someone as “Borderline” is a fast road to marginalization, suppression, and oppression.

  • Frank, I concur.

    While CYP testing is a step forward from the haphazard and careless prescribing habits I see today, it is still just another step in “finding the right drug” instead of finding a solution, or a method of coping or surviving a difficult time.

    When CYP testing becomes rampant, er, “standard procedure,” the drug companies will all struggle to find drugs which are not metabolized by the CYP system at all, and we will find new metabolic pathways to destroy by drugs. Oh joy. A new generation of “safe drugs,” a new generation of disconnect from emotions, and side effects that nobody believes in because “these drugs are safe for you.”

    Just like the last ones were touted to be.

    Feel like Don Quixote sometimes.

  • Like Matt, I had never heard about her, but when I Googled Ruby Wax I found that she is coming to a local “trendy venue” to do her show.

    And will therefore set a biological wave in my community – as it is, my ideas about drugs are considered quite mad, and I’m surrounded by people on drugs. Her stone dropping in my pond can’t be a good thing.

  • Stephen, I agree when you say:
    “My greatest problem with the drugs is that people are not given a real choice as to whether or not to take them. When you are locked up in my facility you don’t leave until you become compliant with taking the drugs like the psychiatrists demand that you do.”

    In fact, it is greater than coercion. The individual is in a state of distress, fear, crisis, loss of control of the last bastion of self-hood – their “mind” and “emotions.” In this state of panic, most people would do anything -anything – to stop it, and when the “good doctor” says take this (or when he just administers it), the suffering individual not only has no choice, but it is as if that person has been tortured to achieve this result – drugging.

  • (reply in wrong place) – I agree TRM, that is a start.

    It is a start to test a “diagnosed consumer” for severe reaction to the metabolism of a drug.

    That’s kind of a bare minimum.

    But that “diagnosed consumer” may not be served by the alternative drugs, either.

    The way I’m seeing it CYP450 testing rolled out in Community Mental Health Centers, appears to be a Cover Your Ass application of prescribing. It is surely better than the haphazard prescribing I see daily at

    I’d like to stop it before – as you say – the “consumer” becomes “diagnosed” with an “irreversible disorder” which gets blamed for all future health problems.

    It’s difficult, because problems in living can be so severe, so extreme, so disruptive, and not everyone can just drop off the hamster wheel and work on things like I have.

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    Our society is surely very sick, very insecure, bordering on enslavement. Not every slave can walk away. I recognize that. So hurting the slaves less is a starting point.

  • Learn a new word, Shaun & Shook.


    The trauma of a pregnant woman can be expressed in genetic alterations in the granddaughter (or grandson) of that woman. How does that fit into the myths of “mental illness” and “chemical imbalance”?

    You are expressing an outdated model. If you think Whitaker falls short, try Gotzche. There’s a gold standard for you, called the “Cochrane Collaboration.” Even the medical profession calls it a “gold standard.”

    If that doesn’t thrill you, be sure and catch Ben Goldacre’s TED talks. Less than 20 min commitment to understand the ****deep**** corruption in the medical industry.

  • CBT can be a blunt instrument to whack-about-the-head of a traumatized individual.

    “If only you thought correctly, you would feel better…..”

    can lead to deep rumination and a sense of hopeless, helpless failure. “I can’t think correctly therefore I must be a broken human being.” “OMG, I can’t think that, it’s bad CBT!”

    CBT is called a gold standard because it can be measured with a ruler, and developed as a “program,” and funded by grants, etc. etc. CBT fits neatly in the capitalist model that you are so quick to denounce, Shaun. Maybe you are subtle enough to wield it without causing injury, but –

    It is no more gold than any other flavor of the month, and I can list a number of people who have felt bludgeoned by CBT, punished by the practitioners of it, and found it didn’t help their distress at all. Especially if their distress was compounded by drugging.

    Yes, I can find people who have found it helpful; perhaps half of those who have been exposed to it have found something useful about it. I use parts of it in my own practice. It is one tool, in a whole world of toolkits. But it ain’t the “be all and end all” of therapy.

  • Thank you Rebel –

    I’ve been looking for Margot Kidder’s name on this thread.

    She walked away from psychiatry with her bipolar.

    She is still alive to tell the tale. She’s older than Carrie Fisher.

    As Rebel says, there are zillions of alternatives to the dominant model. Orthomolecular is one.

    The only difference is – there is less profit in the non-drug, non-DSM invested models. Which is why the bio-medical model is a dominant force in today’s corporate-based society.

  • Shaun says (sorry, this is slightly out of sync, due to no “reply” button where I want it):
    ” If someone thinks that bugs are crawling all over their body, or thinks that it’s a great idea to drive across the country on a whim without their wallet, or runs down the street naked yelling the FBI is coming, or actively cuts their wrists and has had 20 hospitalizations for suicidal thoughts, etc….they are probably ill”

    All of these. Bugs crawling over body. Lowered impulse control, paranoia, alarmism, self injury – all of these can be found as symptoms of effects of SSRI and neuroleptic drugs.

    They get treated as “mental illness” because that’s the dominant paradigm, and so a drug condition is drugged. Withdrawal effects can last up to 6 months to 2 years after discontinuation – so it’s not “original condition coming back,” as so many in the field claim.

    These are common drug effects, and here you are calling them “mental illness.”

  • Thank you TRM.

    Though in case studies I’ve read –

    CYP450 interactions might prevent most akathisia, but not all akathisia is caused by CYP450.

    It’s hard to say because not everyone is tested.

    I’m seeing CYP450 testing becoming more common to “tailor” drug treatment, which will make all the pharma companies scramble to have a drug that doesn’t hit on CYP450 enzymes.

    But – akathisia can strike, even when there is no conflict on the liver enzymes, at least in my experience.

  • Until their health starts to suffer, as none of these drugs were trialled for long term use.

    Over time, they start to cause paradoxical effects, mysterious health ailments that often get called “Chronic Fatigue” or “Fibromyalgia” or insomnia, chronic headaches, etc.

    In my own story, I waited until my health started to fail (kidneys, endocrine, 2 surgeries on thyroid & ovaries) and once it gets to that point, often (especially in my case, as organs were removed – I can never get them back) then it is not just “side effects,” it is damage.

  • Princess Aurora, my cat had difficulty adjusting to other cats in the house when she came. At the vets request, we drugged her and another cat on a tricyclic.

    It was when she was 6 months old. Her brain was still forming.

    6 months treatment on a tricyclic, and this cat is not very intelligent (she used to be quite bright). She is reactive (also mentioned in Whitaker’s book – which you need to read, as well), spooky, and just not as good a cat.

    I kick myself. I didn’t know better at the time, I listened to the vet. I believe she would’ve adjusted without the drugs, and not suffered the brain & personality changes which have hampered her long term quality of life.

    To see how antidepressants are equal to placebo in effect, please see Irving Kirsche’s work, and Joanna Moncrieff’s excellent, “Myth of the Chemical Cure,” where she takes apart drug companies’ studies to adjust for “placebo effect.”

    You are stating your case as a case. I study hundreds of cases, maybe up to a thousand of them. Naturally, most of the ones I see are because of problems, but I also have noted that over time, the longer the drug is taken, the percentage of problems increase.

  • Shaun, you see the world differently because you don’t have the same set of information that people in here do.

    Go away, read “Mad in America” and “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and weep.

    Realize the harm that has been done in the name of creating jobs for psychiatrists, and profits for pharma. While you’re at it, if you like scholarly stuff, read Whitaker & Cosgrove, called, “Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform.” It’s a short read.

    If you want to go more in depth, please consider Peter Gotzshe of the Gold Standard Cochrane Collaboration, and his book, “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime.” Or look up some of his & Whitaker’s talks on YouTube.

    Your expressions here are uninformed of the issues we are discussing. Learn some of this stuff (not just be aware of it) and come back – and we’ll engage you some more.

  • Shaun, again, the time factor is not taken into consideration.

    I believe these drugs provide “functioning” on a certain level by robbing the future health of the patient, and that the longer they are on these drugs, the more depleted their enteric brain (gut), endocrine, and mitochondrial systems are.

    When you tell them it will decrease their life span by 10-20 years – is that worth the ability to function now?

  • Thank you for this TRM 123:
    ““Significant symptoms of akathisia occur in: –
    Around 20% of people on antidepressants.
    At least 50% of people on antipsychotics,
    on higher doses, this rises to 80% or more”.”

    The question I have, when I read stats like this is – what about the time factor?

    Is that 20% of people on antidepressants right now suffer akathisia?

    What about the person who has been on them for 5 years? 10? 20?

    How does the time factor change these stats?

  • Shaun, you would be well served to read Robert Whitaker’s Excellent “Anatomy of an Epidemic” to learn the difference between Neuroleptics (anti-brain: the original name of this class of “antipsychotic drugs.” – the latter is a marketing term) and food or even recreational drugs.

    There was a symposium in the UK which addressed the debate: Are these drugs doing more harm than good?

    Many of the videos can be found here:

  • Aurora: “a good pharmacist (or pharmacist’s computer) will catch things like potential drug interactions and, if asked, will counsel you on the drug.”

    According to the Chicago Tribune, those “good pharmacists” are in the minority, with the best pharmacies making errors 30% of the time. That’s ONE IN THREE!

    And that was the best chain pharmacy. There was only one pharmacy which got 100% score, with the average score among all pharmacies had a 52% failure-to-report rate. Half.

    So don’t count on your chemist to save your life either.

    This test was taking 2 scripts in at the same time, to see if it was caught. What if, you are already on one of the drugs, and just come in with a single script – does the pharmacist have time to look up your current drug history in order to dispense with the correct warnings – or clear it through the doctor?

    The corporate model is not dispensing health.

  • I like your answer Julie!

    Undiagnosed is something you know in your own mind.

    I know I am not a bipolar. I list all of my “bipolar symptoms” as reactions to drugs and situational stress & relationships. I manage my stress carefully, and strive to be kind in all my interactions with other life forms.

    I could go and have it removed from all of my charts. I refer to it as “misdiagnosis” when in Doctor’s office.

    However – if I remove it from the charts, it becomes harder for me to refuse drugs. Oh no, doctor, I can’t take Lyrica for pain…oh no doctor, no Tramadol, please. Oh, no doctor, no prednisone, either. It makes me crazy, you know. And I am quite sane now.

    There are others – especially in forced treatment situations – where the diagnosis is keeping them drugged, and I have great compassion for that situation. I spent 10 years in a numb fog because “we give all bipolars lithium,” and I am certain it is worse for those who show up in full, thrashing, intrusive manifestations.

    So I am undiagnosed, and doctors are beginning to accept that. But I leave it on the charts, in the hopes that doctors can learn from their mistakes.

  • Aurora: How much of your physical injuries are due to emotional blunting (the horse didn’t know how to read you?)

    How much are post drugs (physical dystonias?, misplaced perceptions? again, numbness and not knowing your limitations) ???

    You say you are fine, but present as accident prone. Now I accept that many people are accident prone, but those of us with long years experience with the drugs have realized that many of the things which have gone wrong have been because of drugs and doctors who give them.

    I notice nobody else drew this line, so I thought I would make an observation.

    I don’t know you – I don’t know how your accidents happened – but I am asking you to consider the role that the drugs might have played in those accidents, and consequent pain.

    Additionally, the longer you are on them, the more of a toll they will take on your health. They rob your endocrine & other systems in order to “make you work better.” Are you willing to look at that before it is too late? I’m sure your outdoor lifestyle contributes greatly to your wellness. Would you consider the next step?