August 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm #18126
By the way, if anyone doubts how difficult withdrawal can be, I invite you to read a few of the stories here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/3-introductions-and-updates/ These are of people asking for help.
It always pays to know the territory before you offer to make a map.August 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm #18128
“Now, I hope you won’t mind if I ignore any of your contributions to this topic. In my opinion, you have nothing constructive to add.”
Like I said, the existing content on the internet, of which your site is included, presents an overly scaremongering approach to psychiatric drug withdrawal.
I didn’t encourage anyone to go cold turkey. I offered that it was an option among many.
I went cold turkey after more than half a decade on numerous drugs. I have a right to present my story as a counterbalance to the horror stories others peddle in. “In your opinion”, hearing about successful, hopeful stories, may not be “anything constructive to add” to your horror stories, others will disagree.
I would strongly advise, that you don’t take it as a personal attack, when someone holds a position halfway between paranoid years long “tapering”, and cold turkey. Go back and read my initial post on this. I simply offered my thoughts on the discussion, and that I felt there was too much of a one sided story being told with regard to drug withdrawal. I could have set my watch to the prediction that you would find it offensive that I’m not on board with your all-out position on drug withdrawal. So be it.
The immature shut-downs, the “I’m ignoring you now” mentality, doesn’t help the dialogue here.
Your allegedly well mapped territory, evidently doesn’t include people who were ready to stop these drugs, and succeeded.August 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm #18129
*Moderator Edit. Post Contained Personal Attacks*August 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm #18147
There is one aspect of going off medications that you forget. The medications work on our brains – our brains work through neurons that connect in various ways. When the medications enters the system they start to mess around with those neurological pathways, and because the brain has amazing plasticity it starts to create new neurological pathways that become the most used pathways. Coming off the medications then on the other hand also means that the brain has to adjust and create new neurological pathways and depending on how long a person has been on the drugs that can be difficult.This is on top of whatever physical damage the toxins has caused in the body that might not really be apparent until detoxification.
I was lucky, I was able to go off the drugs cold turkey, but I had been on the drugs for such an short time.
MaleneAugust 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm #18149
“You cannot generalize from your experience to everyone else.”
I don’t and I didn’t. I merely offered, painfully for you it seems, something not entirely approaching 100% agreement with your schtick.
Altostrata to Anonymous: “I find your attitude deeply, deeply offensive and antithetical to the hard work I put in for hours every goddamned day. In my opinion, life is too short to read the sort of self-indulgent cr*p you post. So don’t expect me to waste my time doing it again.”
That was rude and unnecessary, and I’m confident most will agree.
I wasn’t “lucky”, I was ready, and I knew what I was doing. If I ever was on psych drugs again, which would only be a period of forced drugging conceivably, I’d get off them the same way I did the first time.
Malene, I’m glad you were able to stop cold turkey too.
Altostrata, please understand that just because I don’t agree with you 100 percent, it’s not justified to start cursing and throwing a tantrum.August 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm #18151
Laura, if this topic ever turns towards substantive discussion again, please drop me a line.
Malene, I’d love to talk to you. My e-mail is survivingads at comcast dot netAugust 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm #18152
“substantive discussion” = code for discussion without dissension.August 31, 2012 at 8:41 am #18172
As a mental health advocate, I consider Functional Medicine and participatory/empowerment concepts as the most effective means of providing support in a relatively inexpensive, accessible way for people who have decided to come off of psychiatric drugs.
I support the benefits of Orthomolecular/Functional Medicine/Integrative Psychiatry, Bioenergetic Therapy (Alexander Lowen), Acupuncture, and other mind-body/alternative therapies for providing safer, more effective, and in the long-term more affordable options for individuals with the desire to taper off of psych meds.
A strong advocacy agenda is needed to make alternative therapies and integrated care available and affordable not only for those seeking to taper off of psych meds, but for those who are experiencing difficulties and would like to have options other than psych meds.
The benefit of Functional Medicine and Integrated Care includes detecting underlying medical conditions that may have been overlooked or misdiagnosed, a big plus in my book and an approach that all mental health advocates should consider supporting in their advocacy agenda.
The American Psychiatric Association is begining to awaken to the benefits of Integrated Care and encouraging this approach among main stream psychiatrists, so it seems only reasonable that mental health advocates should take advantage of the APA opening the door for alternatives.
I support patient empowerment concepts through the Participatory Medicine movement. These are also concepts that I think all mental health advocates should consider supporting and incorporating into their advocacy agenda. (JCPs, PADs, WRAPs, Shared/Collaborative Decision Making, etc)
This is a good resource on PADs:
My desire to become a mental health advocate began in 1999 but I found it difficult to find an organization to support.
In 2008 I met a father of a young Marine who had just committed suicide. That was the first time I had heard about the high rate of suicide among our military and what inspired me to finally seek out and join a nonprofit organization devoted to mental health advocacy. ICSPP was the only organization I could find that was calling attention to this issue.
Since 2008 I have been volunteering for ISEPP (formerly ICSPP) by maintaining the organizations websites, blogs, press releases, conference promotion and social network accounts. ISEPP’s board members do not allocate much money for their internet services, so much of what I do utilizes free services and is a one man show (usually a late night show)
ISEPP is a relatively small organization, less than 300 members from around the world. It is an independent nonprofit with no paid employees and has been run completely by volunteer efforts for over 40 years.
Although small, ISEPP provides a network that does advocate for particular change and is always looking for volunteers, as well as contributions for the blog.
The membership has VERY diverse opinions and is made up of both mental health professionals and nonprofessionals alike.
I like the fact the membership of ISEPP carries diverse opinions. Even though the majority opinion does not always coincide with my own, the diverse nature of this organization makes it critical to effectively confront the problems facing the mental health care system.
I have only been able to attend the 2009 conference, so I do not know many of the members personally. The ones that I have met, seem sincere, honest and dedicated to the mission of ISEPP as “a research and educational network devoted to educating professionals and the public concerning the impact of mental health theories on public policy and the effects of therapeutic practices upon individual well-being, personal freedom, the family, and community values”
I have worked closely with the past Executive Director, Dr. Toby Watson and the current Executive Director Dr. Al Galves. They are both individuals who will listen to your concerns and who take seriously the problems facing individuals in the mental health care system.
Dr. Gary Kohls, Dr. Scott Shannon and Dr. Grace Jackson are among the members/past conference presenters who support the benefits of Functional/Orthomolecular/Integrative Psychiatry.
Dr Shannon’s book, Please Don’t Label My Child, is an excellent resource and available at most public libraries as well as the ISEPP bookstore.
Dr. Charles Gant also host free lectures with a lot of great information on mental health topics.
Dr. Jim Gordon, Founder and Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, and Dr. Grace Jackson are among the keynote speakers for this year’s ISEPP conference.
It will take a strong and uniform advocacy agenda to effectively make changes and provide support in an inexpensive, accessible way for people who have decided to come off of psychiatric drugs.
In order to unite individuals with diverse opinions for a common cause, differences must be mediated to discover common grounds to build a strong and uniform advocacy agenda.
In my opinion, a single nonprofit organization must take the lead.
For those interested, I have posted links to some of the presentations that support Functional Medicine/alternative therapies from the ISEPP blog.
Mood Disorders – Causes and Solutions – Dr. CE GantSeptember 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm #18204
I’ve been on effexor for eight years and have over the last 4 four months come down to 75 from 225, which I was at for about seven of those years. I certainly wouldn’t recommend cold turkey! Jeez, I had a seizure after four days. You read all the stories on the net, and because of the inadequacy of words in communicating the experience of effexor withdrawal, you almost reflexively downplay it, or delude yourself that it won’t happen to you. Since then my nerves have become unbearably stimulus-sensitive. Your whole relationship to external things changes. The sounds of helicopter engines or really bassy sounds go through me, for example, sometimes triggering sensations of electricity charging through your body, or even worse causing seemingly every muscle in your body to cramp, which leads inexorably to panic. I can’t countenance images of people jumping up and down or hitting walls for some reason, it gives you these hideous intracranial sensations, and the nights are the worse. I wake up in the middle of almost every night terrified, hyperventilating, vertiginous, you get this horrible sensation in your joints, and you lose control of movement in your arms, which feel like they’ve turned into lead, which occasions more horrible feelings. It feels like you’re possessed, especially when you start writhing and your back starts to arch. Your imagination becomes horribly vivid as well.
As for support, I’ve had hee-haw in the way of that. The cowboy medical professional I see just stares at you non-plussed whenever you relate something negative about your experiences on these sacred cows of the pharmacopoeia of Western society. She told me to buy a paper bag! What an insufferable quack. They just compound your misery with their self-serving evasions and crap advice. I went to see a normal doctor the other week and she asked have I been taking any drugs, as if what she deals out to people promiscuously and without thinking of the implications, aren’t drugs! She then proceeded to lecture me on the evils of drugs (not the drugs she deals though), because I have a history of taking the “evil” drugs dealt by those shadowy, demonic figures commonly known as drug-pushers, which hammered the final nail into the coffin of my faith in the medical profession.September 3, 2012 at 9:56 am #18272
It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to discuss this topic with such a broadly experienced and intelligent group of people. Please recall that personal attacks are never acceptable on these forums, no matter how much we may not like what someone else has to say. In this case Anonymous is respectfully submitting an experience and an opinion without telling anyone else what to do. This kind of post allows for substantial dialogue to occur.
Altostrata has made posts here misrepresenting Anonymous and making personal attacks based in response to a perceived offense. When the conversation reaches into touchy areas, it is important to be mindful about separating the sharing of alternative points of view from personal assaults. We do not currently take any sides regarding individuals or the content people post. Anonymous has been moderated in the past too. Our intention is to create a space where the issues can be discussed with civility and good faith. If at anytime people are unable to post civilly, which happens for all kinds of reasons, I encourage folks to wait and submit your post at a later time.September 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm #18289
Anonymous, in my opinion, you’re totally missing the point about withdrawal. There drugs make neurochemical changes throughout the body and obviously, these are more intense, the longer someone is on the drug. So if someone were to cold turkey these meds, that would be like putting the breaks on the car while driving 60 miles per hours.
Heck, even drug companies and most psychiatrists don’t advise a cold turkey so why would you imply in your post that it simply a matter of willpower and not being scared off by horror stories?
Sure, there are a few people who are lucky and suffer no damage. But they are in the minority of cases.
Doing so is taking a big risk to your health.
AASeptember 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm #18317
I never said it was simply “a matter of willpower and not being scared off by horror stories”.
I’m just saying, people shouldn’t be scared off by success stories either.
Your “minority of cases” thing isn’t backed up by any hard data. Nobody really knows. The majority of hotel room stays come off without a hitch, but to read the internet reviews of hotels, you’d get the impression all of them have bedbugs. The internet forums filled with horror stories, are a self-selected sample of people, who had the motive and inclination to get out there and share their horror story. The millions and millions of people who have gone on various drugs, and come off various drugs, without winding up as some kind of human wreck, don’t have an incentive to fill the internet with what for them, was a non-eventful thing in their lives, they went on an antidepressant for a bit, they came off, and it was hardly the biggest thing that was going on in their life. You won’t hear from them. In fact, they’d probably be shouted down. They would almost certainly be immediately banned, with extreme prejudice, from various “withdrawal syndrome”, forums. This tells me something about people clinging to their beliefs. The fact that everyone is so outraged when I question the party line on drug withdrawal, tells me something about people clinging to their beliefs.
Look, I agree, that long term use of drugs, changes the body and the body adapts and gets used to having that drug in the system, and when it is pulled, it can take some getting used to, but the simple stories of drug blaming you hear from many on this site, are oftentimes, something I find hard to believe, not all the time, oftentimes though.
This is a journal article detailing some subtle brain adaptations caused by smoking for many decades. This is a drug, changing the brain, over the long term, and can probably be found in most dead smokers upon autopsy.
However, if the smoker quits, cold turkey, and the brain tries as best it can, to adapt back to the “natural state” or whatever, and the smoker finds it hard to sleep, gets moody, flies into a rage, and slaps his kid in the face out of anger, he doesn’t get to make all sorts of wild speculations about the minute brain changes the drug nicotine or the other things in tobacco, made to his brain, to blame for his behavior. The same kind of behavior, the same kind of study, but switched to prozac, is apparently enough for many drug blaming psychiatrists to stand up in court and say someone is not responsible for murder.
People still have free will, and should try their best, to exercise their will, and will themselves through challenging times. If it is well known that it is hard to go through the brief period of withdrawal, and it is brief for most people, they should prepare themselves as best they can psychologically, find a safe place, supervision if needed/wanted, take some time off, have no stress in their life, and choose the best time to go through such a big change, it is only common sense.
If I was to claim, correctly, that long term smoking brought about a long term change in the noradrenergic biochemistry of my brain, and then say I tried to quit, and found it hard, broke into night sweats, was irritable, and then I decided to, for years, partake in a “tapering”, of reducing the drags and number of cigarettes for many years, and lets say I find someone claiming to be an expert on this smoking withdrawal problem, and one of them said I should take two drags of a different brand of cigarette a day, along with my increasingly smaller dose of my original brand of cigarettes, because he was guessing that my “noradrenergic biochemistry” needed to return to some “happy medium”, and then if I was on this rollercoaster for years and years, you’d have a mess, and you’d have quackery, you certainly wouldn’t have a “roadmap” for combating the dreaded “cigarette discontinuation syndrome”. You’d have muddy waters, which is all you find at the forums of places that claim to be run by experts on withdrawal. You have a different guesswork combination of drugs and tapering speeds and all this, and it just goes round in circles.
People are trying their best to figure out a way for themselves, that’s great, but it’s not clear what the best way is. There are no firm answers. If people want to say caution and steadily easing off something worked for them, great, that’s great, but I’m still happy I did it my way, that’s my opinion, and I’m not saying you should agree with my opinion or not.
This tapering thing, can wind up a huge mess, just look at the internet, so can cold turkey. There is much more to the story than people who claim to be experts in the controversial and ill-defined “withdrawal syndrome” say about getting off drugs. It is even more concerning, that they seem to border on practicing medicine without a license, when they tell visitors to their forums, to “take 2.5mg of Lamotrigine”, the internet forums of self styled “withdrawal syndrome” experts, are riddled with this sort of guesswork. Some have claimed the mere mention of cold turkey success stories is dangerous, I say dishing out allegedly “precise” advice to strangers on an internet forum about prescription anti-seizure drugs is dangerous (which is what you can see drug withdrawal forum operators doing)… but hey, that’s just my opinion, and other people will have their opinion, and that’s what it is all about, sharing opinions, in a civil way.
I don’t claim to know the best way to get a drug out of a person’s system, my personal preference is ASAP, others do claim to know the best way, but if you look into them you’ll see there is nothing out there but people speculating and guessing. It should be up to the individual. Me, my opinion, and what I’ll always do with myself, is get it out ASAP. I’ve said if I had my time again, I’d do the same thing I did, and I would. Again, my opinion, and I respect other people’s right to have their opinion.
Nobody should pretend for a moment, that what is going on with people who claim to have “drug withdrawal syndrome” is fully understood. It just isn’t. Nobody should pretend they know for a fact that your psychological outlook going in has nothing to with it, and nobody should pretend there isn’t a chance that flooding your mind with horror stories won’t lead to a worse outcome. And conversely nobody should pretend that being overly optimistic is going to lead to a better outcome. All I did, originally, was share my opinion and my story, it is not advice, not a recommendation, if I’d told people to take 2.5mg of Lamotrigine on this forum, then that, would be a recommendation. There are lots of recommendations out there, my biggest crime, was to be one of the only, and certainly the most vocal, reader of madinamerica.com, to question, to be skeptical, and to say how much do we really know, when someone writes an article, like David Healy did, days after the Aurora theater shooting, blaming psychiatric drugs for the crime. Incidentally, last week, it came out in the press that Holmes, the shooter, had seen that college psychiatrist a total of ONE time, and she admitted in court documents that she considered her professional relationship with him over, the minute he walked out of her office on that one occasion. What Dr. Healy did, was write an article wildly speculating that Holmes had been seeing this psychiatrist for a long time, was almost certainly on psych drugs prescribed by her over a period of time, and then proceeded to blame this falsely presumed term of prescribing, for the crime. These are the sorts of pat conclusions we hear from people who think drugs cause all sorts of things, and they have shown they are willing to speak and make claims, far ahead of the evidence. My greatest crime, as always, is to go against the beliefs of people who think if there’s a tragedy, there is a straight line between pharma drug molecule, and “crazy” behavior. I do feel things are always more complex than that, and for this I get pilloried. It is my opinion.
Nobody understands this whole issue. Not me, not you, not some shrink standing up in a courtroom saying a drug “caused” a suicide.
If you want to get off drugs successfully, all I can say is try and find some people who did it successfully, ask them how they did it, and try an synthesize your own strategy. Learn from other people’s experience, and make up your own mind, and try it out.
I agree with the vast majority of what people around here believe, I just have a more complex opinion on the causes of things than “hey, drug messed with person’s biology, x happened, therefore it was drug”. There is usually more to the story. I said more to the story, I didn’t say drugs don’t play a role in things.
But believe what you wanna believe. People see what they want to see.
40,000 extra caveats, this is just me sharing my opinion, in a civil way. When and how and using what method, to pull a drug from your body, is as I said, a hotly debated topic.September 4, 2012 at 4:06 am #18330
I agree that you can’t blame drugs for everything. I made the mistake in thinking that my inability to sleep was due to med withdrawal. It turns out I have sleep apnea.
But regarding the issue of cold turkey, if folks like Peter Breggin and mainstream psychiatrists and drug companies agree that doing so should never be done, in my opinion, if you chose to disregard that advice, you are taking a big risk in my opinion. It is not an issue of choosing what I want to believe as people with totally different philosophies on meds are agree that cold turkeying is dangerous to do.
And Peter Breggin has studied the negative affects of psych meds for years so yes, he is a definite expert in my opinion.
AASeptember 4, 2012 at 5:37 am #18332
Breggin is a person who takes money to stand up in a court of law under oath, and blame med withdrawal for some very bad things. This makes him a deeply ethically flawed individual, in my opinion. He wrote some good books, did some great work, and then got waylaid forever on cheap and easy biological explanations for complex deeds, so long as the person doing the deed, was taking or had stopped taking drugs. There are also plenty of non “medical” explanations for sleeplessness. We know it is hard to sleep when you are very excited about something, and we know it is hard to sleep when you are very worried about something.
In fact at this point, after a few months here, I think I’ve sadly learned, that pat speculative biological explanations for very complex things, based on speculations about drugs, is a metastatic cancer that infects much of the psychiatric reform movement. It is a crying shame. People who start out believing psychiatry’s stories, grow into skeptics about psychiatry’s all too convenient and unprovable biological explanations, which is a positive skepticism to have, and then the minute they spy a feeling or behavior that is problematic after this, they blame it on psych drugs.
It’s been a disheartening realization, just how much mindless drug blaming is going on. It really seems to be everywhere.September 9, 2012 at 9:44 am #18586
Vanessa Krasinski, MSN, RNParticipant
Dormant–Have you taken these drugs?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.