Showing 9 of 9 comments.
Appreciate your take, Frobex.
I gave concrete examples of pill shaming as I have seen and experienced it in a presentation, “Listening is Love: Peeling Back the Layers of Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness, Medication, and Withdrawal.” It may be too simplistic – my brain feels about 2/3 gone with my spirit quickly following. But it’s on the WARM Network website and conveys the intended tone of WARM. Pill shaming mentioned about halfway through:
A while back I remember reading an article on this site about Jeffrey Lieberman for which the comments had been turned off out of respect for his dignity. Either the author (Bruce Levine) or Robert Whitaker said it just wasn’t right to let people bash Lieberman in the comments.
So it gave me pause when I noticed that routine Healy bashing is tolerated here. As an American, I’ve felt embarrassed that this website saves it’s worst manners for a foreign correspondent who sacrifices his time and risks his career to support those of us who have been grievously harmed by doctors who didn’t warn about the inherent dangers in popular medication treatments.
I emailed an MIA administrator and said that surely we could find a way to respect an ally with whom some of us disagree since it had been done for Jeffrey Lieberman (with whom most of us disagree). My email was forwarded on to a more appropriate person who never replied.
I realize infighting is a part of activist culture but I’ve just got to say that this community, (if we call it a community) could learn a thing or two from observing the respect David Healy and the RxISK team demonstrate toward people who come to them with something to contribute.
Great article. I recently read about the need for “the richest nation on earth” to take more responsibility for responding to the Syrian refugee crisis by welcoming more refugees into this country. While I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, I find it intolerable that so many who are already here are being exploited and/or ignored, like those you have described. A tragic aspect of this is that most who experience the dehumanizing effects of the sick systems in society feel all alone as if they’re the only one experiencing this. Such an isolating condition! Thank you for recognizing these societal side-effects for what they are and for reminding us of how they connect to the bigger picture.
So true. I know of someone who even had a bad experience with Heather Ashton’s protocol for benzodiazepine withdrawal. Protocol is probably the wrong word, and what you describe is so far from where the medical establishment is now that it might be a miracle for this necessary kind of listening to become a common practice.
Great insights, Monica. One should’t underestimate the severity of what so many suffer after taking medications as prescribed.
As I read this I am struck by how desperately treatment protocols for these conditions are needed within medical and mental healthcare systems. (The very systems that currently deliver the harms). This is a whole area of study that is completely avoided and therefore neglected by the corporate-infected medical establishment.
I say this because even though there are awesome people on the internet with great information to help people through the shock of withdrawal, it’s a kind of do-it-yourself endeavor. Many of us truly need/ed assistance with it. When it’s your brain that’s compromised, it’s a daunting task to attempt healing, all on your own, using only that compromised brain. (I’m speaking mainly for myself, out of my own experience).
Over ten years off, I haven’t regained nearly the level of health necessary to live in a reasonable state. Ongoing symptoms (not original condition) and medical denial of my condition affect me physically, mentally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. How differently might it have turned out if I had been safely guided through withdrawal? If I’d had someone in my own community to turn to for knowledgeable and compassionate support? I’m so tired. I’ve tried so many things and yet I still suffer with intolerable symptoms. It would be a godsend to be able to find (and/or afford) a doctor who might recognize what I’ve been through, understand what I’m left dealing with, and who might offer a compassionate response instead of “Guess you’re SOL.”
Turning to doctors leads to just that: denial, victim blaming and more abuse instead of care. Turning to family and community often leads to misunderstanding and that same denial as they rely upon the opinion of doctors who are esteemed experts in society. It is an indignity to be forced to live with ongoing iatrogenic illness, required to work and function and get on in life as if none of it happened or is happening. All because doctors, the revered authorities, deny that it’s happening.
That healthcare systems are so resistant to this reality is intolerable. The public deserves just medical and mental health care responses in the same way all citizens deserve just treatment by the police. This abuse must be acknowledged and addressed.
The manipulated data is sold as pure, unadulterated science. If we even get to court, that so-called science is primary evidence and holds more weight than the story we tell about what happened on a drug. (And this is why most of us cannot even bring a case). So we would be better off if no one “paid the tax” of participation in trials, because no matter what happens in the trial, the data made possible by participation will always favor of the drug.
I think Dr. Healy frames these issues in many different and creative ways to facilitate new ways of thinking. These are complex problems and the more angles we can view them from the better we might understand and ultimately address them.
We absolutely do need a new compact when it comes to our relationship with healthcare systems. Industry has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted, and yet our governments (like lazy parents) continue to let industry “live in the house,” probably because it pays the light bill. (And then there are the shiny trinkets).
I may now have a flimsy lock on the door of my room, but am still completely aghast at what this industry/a**hole is allowed to do to other kids. Those in charge will keep letting horrible things happen until we the people put a stop to it.
Is it too much to demand public health be public? Will we let our new surgeon general be mascot of the status quo, or might be petition him to take on the pharmaceutical industry like Koop did big tobacco? Do you think he would even be willing to consider that the public he’s charged with serving is currently at risk?
Congratulations on your recovery from Klonopin and doubly so for writing a book about it! I’ve put your book on my “to read” list. It’s interesting that doctors feel so confident in prescribing benzodiazepines and consider them completely safe (except for drug addiction risks). Clearly, a doctor should know that 2 mg of Klonopin is like 40 mg of Valium, and therefore one definitely needs to taper. I find it astonishing that prescribers remain ignorant about this class of drugs that has been around for over 50 years. Astonishing, but not surprising.