Thursday, January 26, 2023

From Fear to Freedom: A Story of Addiction, Misdiagnosis, Survival, Hope and Healing

In this book by Don Killian, the author recounts the events of his life that led him into years of addiction to alcohol, psychiatric misdiagnosis, and dependency on benzodiazepines (specifically clonazepam). Part one of the book begins with the author in a suicidal state resulting in his admission to a psychiatric hospital. During his first morning in the hospital, in an effort to discover how he could possibly be in a mental institution, he focuses on several former distressful episodes from his life (much like flashbacks) and how he failed to properly cope with them.

Part two is written from the perspective of the author (who is now healed and well from the ravages of psychiatric drugs and the withdrawal from them) looking back on the events of part one and finally understanding how and why he ended up in the mental health care system. He discusses mistakes that were made in his “care,” lessons he learned, and things he did to keep hope alive (and ultimately keep himself alive) during his withdrawal from clonazepam. The author also mentions the development of a “new paradigm” for psychiatry – one which would differ markedly from the current methods employed in both the diagnosis and treatment of individuals presenting with emotional and mental distresses.

About the Author: Don Killian is a former environmental scientist who was employed for nearly three decades in that capacity. His career was curtailed prematurely by withdrawal from benzodiazepines. This book is based on his experience of withdrawal from both alcohol and clonazepam. He spends much of his time helping others survive the suffering of benzodiazepine withdrawal. He currently resides with his wife, Gail, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

You can purchase the book (and support Mad in America at the same time) here.