Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Comments by prescribedharm

Showing 17 of 17 comments.

  • Psychiatry is the cause … of indescribable suffering. The drugs I was prescribed caused permanent, damaging effects that have not lessened years after stopping. When I complained of the ill effects of the drugs, I was told I had worsening symptoms of x, y, z – new mental illness labels, as you describe in your article …polydrugged to deal with all the new symptoms I never had before starting the drugs. It has been a Kafkaesque nightmare where the only way to get help is to be thrown back into the arms of those who nearly killed you. If you complain, you are considered more mentally ill. I was told repeatedly that the drugs were not addictive and that it was better to take multiple drugs rather than one.

    How is what I and many others have gone through legal and importantly ethical? In reading about the opioid settlement, I wonder are we not also victims of grotesque marketing of addictive and dangerous pills? Who is keeping track of how many lives have been lost to psychiatric drugs? How many families destroyed? How many lives ruined? How can we possibly have “psychiatry” exist to destroy someone’s life in this way, in the name of mental health care?

    Dr. Campbell, please keep writing, advocating, educating. Thank you.

  • Kate, I agree totally with your assessment. The reported coverage of her case seems to focus on all the players but not on psychiatry’s power, without which she would not have been put in this situation. I have also noticed the NYT’s pro-psychiatry sway. I find it very upsetting as especially during this era of “fake news” I have turned to the NYT as a cornerstone of fact based journalism. I cannot understand why no mainstream media will address the potential harms of psychiatry and psychiatric medication. Like Maria, who commented above, I respect that some people say that the drugs and psychiatric care has improved their lives but just because those people have been helped does not take away that some people have been grossly harmed, constrained, traumatized, or even died in the hands of psychiatry.

  • Dr. Ruthven,

    It is interesting that your cardiologist speculated that physicians prescribe so many drugs because they are worried about malpractice.

    What if it was the other way around. What if doctors were more worried about malpractice from dangerous drugs they prescribe?

    The current opioid class action lawsuit has a large list of defendants — including every link in the supply chain of manufacturing, distributing and dispensing — who are accused of aggressively marketing painkillers while downplaying the risks of addiction and overdose. The marketing tactics cited are shameless.

    I cannot help but see some of the same tactics perpetrated with psychiatric drugs, which are aggressively advertised and pushed by nearly all medical professionals who sell them as safe interventions, downplaying the immense risk of dangerous side effects and physical dependence.

    The Numbers Needed to Treat (NNT) should not be a mystery or surprise to patients but part of informed consent and full disclosure from the pharmaceutical and medical communities.

    Thank you for sharing this important information.

  • Kathleen,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is an important one to be known, and I hope that you will find other outlets to publish it widely, especially in the medical and veteran communities. It was an astonishing and painful account. It is a wonder you lived to tell it. My entry into psychiatric drugs came when I was prescribed them off label for migraines. I had never been depressed or anxious but suffered from severe headaches. I was prescribed an antipsychotic, antidepressant and Benzodiazepine. I did not know what class drugs they were at the time. I trusted my neurologist who was a headache specialist. I had such bad reactions to the AP and AD that I was taken off them immediately but stayed on the Benzo for several months along with a seizure medication until my migraines abated. When I tried to stop the Benzo, I spiraled into a tortuous year long ordeal, the chief being insomnia. I was then prescribed antidepressants, ambien, etc. to deal with the insomnia. It was a hell I could not have imagined.

    Your story really hit home for me because of my most recent interaction with psych drugs. I found myself yet again on a med, then trying to taper over several months. I suffered from tardive dyskinesia and akathisia. My hands shook so violently I could not feed myself. I had trouble walking and speaking. My psych doctor told me it was not b/c of the drug b/c it was not addictive. I experienced so many of the same things you detail, my cognition and memory so bad, I could not recall what day it was, got lost going to familiar places, could not make simple decisions. I could not follow television shows, had trouble with basic tasks such as showering. I also became extremely disassociated and emotionally numb. Many of the effects have never gone away after years of being off all meds.

    From where I sit, I believe the suffering endured could be classified as torture. I never read about that possibility as a side effect of psych meds nor of the possibility of permanent damage.

    I am glad you are finding a positive outcome of your terrible ordeal by helping to educate others about TD. I confess that I still cling to the memories of my life before the meds and what could have been. All aspects of my life, my health and relationships have been damaged.

    Rebel, thanks for your comments. I agree!

  • Rose, thank you so much for this article. I wish there was more traction in covering this information in the mainstream media. I experienced so many of the issues you described. Rebel, you summed it up, “the damage has been done and no matter what happens further, we become like the civilian casualties of war; the walking wounded.” We are silenced. Our injuries are chalked up to an underlying illness. No one wants to criticize or question the safety of these drugs openly.

    Rose you stated, “becoming injured by psychiatric medication may result in losing our ability to feel normal for the rest of their lives” – we were never warned of the possibility of the profound injury to our psyche, our minds and that taking these medications as prescribed may cause permanent injury that will affect us for the rest of our lives.

    Who is responsible for this injury? Are we as patients who put our trust in doctors responsible for the injuries we received? Are we, as ones who have to live with years of unimaginable, debilitating, life changing effects supposed to remain silent and accept when we were never given warning that these drugs could cause such outcomes? Are we to accept that the only way to improve our unbearable symptoms are more drugs?

    In just a few years in mid life, I was given nearly every class of psychiatric drug, at times multiple prescriptions at once, most of them given to deal with the side effects of an initial drug. I nearly died, am now obese and have health issues never had before. I am a shell of the person I was before, and I have been made to accept that it is somehow my fault for my circumstances.

  • Rebel, I agree with your assessment. The best way to avoid harm is to never ever get on these drugs in the first place. It’s hard to be in a moment of vulnerability with all the “experts” offering the drugs as the only means to get better while you have no idea you are getting ready to be injured for life. It is a massive con, and I cannot understand why it is not front page headlines. I wish there was a site that shows “Those we’ve lost”, like the NYT is doing for those who have lost their lives to COVID. I think there is no tallying how many deaths and lives destroyed by these drugs. I would like for the unimaginable suffering I have experienced, as have others, to be acknowledged somewhere…

  • I come to this site for hope that there are people who are actively trying to educate about the dangers of psychiatric drugs and the harms of psychiatric care. I wish that there were many more voices and more outrage and concern. I remain discouraged that any “survivors” will be taken seriously regarding the disabilities and damages they have suffered, particularly those that are the most damaged or who have died because of psychiatric drugs. The suffering can be immense and long term, then the patient has to accept responsibility for their circumstances and the trust they placed in their doctor. Lives are ruined and often lost. I think Altostrata is right that a huge step in reducing harm would be for doctors to reconsider their quick diagnoses, overprescribing, ignoring adverse effects and learning to safely support those tapering. Psychiatrist vs. GPs appear more likely to prescribe more than 1 drug and also to push meds to highest doses. I have heard from psych doc that rationale for multiple meds was that less was needed of each med, however I was also told I was not willing to work on my depression if I would not take the highest dose of drug despite the numerous adverse effects. I was convinced to add another medication to cross taper then given another med to deal with side effects of drugs. I think all of these prescribing practices greatly contribute to patient harm. When multiple drugs are added and patient spinning out of control, doctor’s only resource appears to be prescription pad. A group that could certainly help with educating on psych drug harms are consumer drug safety groups, watchdogs, pharmacists that are trying to inform and protect patients but it’s an uphill battle. It’s nearly incomprehensible that a patient can go to a doctor for healing and then be seriously damaged or killed without someone saying “what went wrong here?” and “how can we prevent this from ever happening again?”

  • Sunshine coffee, I am so very sorry to hear about your situation, especially at your age. I am in my mid 50s. I feel so upset when I hear about adolescents being given psychiatric medication without their understanding of the risks. I have kids of my own and know that it’s often the first option given to kids in distress. There is so much pressure from all sides – therapists, doctors, family members – who put their trust in the notion that the drugs are low risk interventions. The pressure is hard to overcome, even as an adult. I sincerely wish you all the best.

  • The level of harm I have experienced from psychiatric drugs has been unimaginable. When I think of people who are put in jail because of the physical harm they have caused other people, I wonder why are there not legal repercussions for what I have experienced? My life has been destroyed. I nearly died. I am disabled. Then I was blamed. My family has been torn apart. My quality of life has been decimated. I cannot feel love or joy, emotionally blunted. No imagination, intellect or intuition. Memory and cognition issues. For a year I could hardly even speak. My mind is overtaken by relentless obsessive thoughts I never had before taking the drugs. Can barely complete simple tasks. Chemical lobotomy. The essence of what makes a person human has been erased. I was a high functioning person with a full life before taking the drugs.

  • Thank you for writing this important article. I am someone whose life has been obliterated by psychiatric drugs. I am left mentally and physically disabled. Like the person Michael you write about in your article, I put somewhat blind trust in physicians regarding prescription drugs and tapering. When I reported side effects, was given higher doses or other drugs to offset these side effects. The suffering has been indescribable. Like Michael, my life was very good prior to being on these drugs. Now, I am a shell of the former person I was. Years after being drug free I have permanent mental and physical disabilities. I live in daily agony with no reprieve in sight. I still find myself shocked that my circumstances are possible. There is zero culpability from the medical doctors I saw, just blame for the patient. I struggle between trying to accept and forgive and voicing my anger and rage. Stories like Michael’s are not uncommon. Lives and families are destroyed.

  • I found Mad in American through the Surviving Antidepressants website. I found SA too late as I had already been through a much too fast taper that resulted protracted withdrawals that has lasted years. It is a sad state when patients must find credible information and support outside of their doctor’s office. There is not enough thanks for Adele for doing the work of what doctors should be trained and required to do. It takes an incredible amount of empathy and patience to witness, acknowledge and support people living through the horrors of psychotropic drug withdrawals. I wish that I could be optimistic that things might change but all my interactions with the mental health system tell me that there is a intractable belief in the medical model and that the drugs are helpful, low risk interventions.
    Thanks Altostrata for the remarkable work you are doing and the lives you have improved and even saved.

  • Dr. Moncrieff, please keep writing and educating. Like so many others who frequent this site, my life has been irrevocably changed and harmed by psychiatric drugs. I have been further traumatized by the treatment I received when I tried to complain of side effects and also while tapering. I have permanent issues that have never resolved or improved after years of being off all medication.

  • It seems to me that there needs to be much more participation from journalists and media to expose the issue of the danger of psychiatric drugs and educate the public in the same manner that happened for opioids. Not only was there an epidemic of users, over prescribing by doctors but also there was evidence proving Pharma was aggressively marketing the pills knowing their addictive and deadly nature. Then class action lawsuits followed.

    It seems that no mainstream publication wants to cover the topic of the ills of psychiatric drugs in a serious way although there have been many books written about the seriousness of the issue.

    The problem is that the medications don’t cause every patient side effects or tapering issues. I have had friends and family who have taken psych meds long term without problems – like your experience with Prozac for many years. They doubt my experience. Instead of seeing someone completely wrecked from doctor prescribed drugs, they see someone who has become seriously ill.

    I worry that while talking about mental health seems to be easier these days and even encouraged there will be more people seeking help put on medication. There is less discussed on the causes of distress such as divorce, financial insecurity, illness, loneliness, abuse, addiction, loss – which are things that many people go through in their lives versus just “mental health” with an associated diagnosis as a vacuum to enter into a prescribing cascade.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very sorry for your suffering. I recognize so many of the details from my own experience. It strikes me as the ultimate contradiction that the doctor who is trusted to relieve distress ends up causing much more significant pain and symptoms that may lead to death. How can any of what you describe be acceptable? How can patients continue to be gaslighted when they describe the side effects of drugs? How can the answer to the debilitating side effects be to pile on more mind altering drugs with a hope of a better outcome?

    The 6000 people in your Facebook community. The 5 lives lost in the past two years. They are human beings. They have families. They have jobs and communities. Their often extreme long term suffering from medication is an outrage. Do we really have any idea of what percentage of people these medications harm? For those that they help, is it worth the risk of the lives completely lost and the years of suffering? Would anyone in their right mind choose to take a drug with the potential for such an outcome? “Your cognition and memory may become so compromised you may lose your ability to work. You may end up bedridden for years. You may have unexplained physical symptoms that remain long after you discontinue this drug. Your pain and disability may become so great that you no longer wish to live.”

    Is there any way to have the medical community recognize the results of the lived experience of protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal versus the short term clinical trials?

    I don’t know how but the system has to change. The perilous effects of and destruction of lives by these drugs need to be acknowledged!! #metoo

  • I experienced tardive akathisia while tapering from a psychiatric drug. There are no words that can describe the agony of the intense physical and mental anxiety / anguish. To have your family watch you experience these symptoms which are out of your control and affect your thoughts and movements is traumatic for all. The horror story continued when my reported side effects were dismissed as emergence of more significant illness and prescribed more psychiatric drugs to tame the said effects. My worsening state included noise sensitivity, emotional numbing, depersonalization and derealization, a vocal tic, intrusive thoughts, 50 lb weight gain. I believed that doctors followed the Hippocratic oath, “first do no harm.” Four years later, I am still suffering from long term effects that have not diminished after stopping all medication.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Every time I read one such as yours at MiA, I feel great compassion and also anger / frustration that people are so gravely harmed by the doctors and professions that are supposed to heal. Your story mirrors my own in many ways, especially as relates to more drugs being piled on to deal with side effects of original drug. The drugs caused so many more issues and horrors than anything I was dealing with before being put on them. I am so sorry for all that you have been through and glad to hear that you are healing.