Tag: psychiatric medication withdrawal
Although it’s taken me a while to acknowledge my right to be in this world, I know that I am not “mentally ill,” but rather have a dynamic spiritual and emotional sensitivity to this world. I am here for a reason, and having to go into the depths of a very dark cave in order to see the light is how I was able to grow and discover that I don't have to take medications for the rest of my life.
It's been over 5 years since I started offering non-medical consultations to people in the process of coming off or hoping to come off psych drugs. I wanted to share here some things I have learned in this process. Despite how far we have come, we have a long way to go in the quest to liberate all who wish to be liberated from psychiatry.
A variety of scenarios of social and economic collapse have gone through many of our minds since Election Day. Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies want to keep people on drugs, but what if there was no government subsidy for those who can’t pay?
I have given up on psychiatry as a system capable of “being there” for people who are dealing with life and death issues. Psychiatry as a system of care lacks validity. Every day — unfortunately — we learn of new examples proving this statement. But here's the good news: every day we meet people who show us that the predictions of psychiatry are not true; that there are “cures,” that it is possible to reduce or withdraw psychiatric drugs.
Psychiatric medications such as antipsychotics and antidepressants account for a huge number of published research studies. This existing research, however, is almost exclusively constrained within a medical model approach, purporting to evaluate medications as treatment for biological brain disorders, and designing studies accordingly. The disease, and how medications presumably affect it, is at the center — with pharmaceutical company financial interests not far behind. That paradigm is starting to change.
I was a psychiatrist who participated in the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Early Treatment Program (RAISE ETP). Although I welcomed the positive headlines that heralded the study's results, the reports left me with mixed feelings. What happened to render the notion that talking to people about their experiences and helping them find jobs or go back to school is something novel?
In my work facilitating depression support groups, I have discovered three essential factors to healing from depression, which I call ”the three pillars of mental health recovery.” In my earlier blogs for Mad in America I wrote about two of these pillars --connecting with community and using a holistic approach to treat symptoms. Now I would like to present the first and MOST IMPORTANT pillar — Setting the Intention to Heal.
For a scathing, 11-minute overview of the death of Dan Markingson at the University of Minnesota, and new allegations of coercion into psychiatric clinical trials, you can't do much better than this excellent investigative report by Jeff Baillon.
For the last month or so, Mad in America has been hard at work building a directory of “mental health” providers across North America (and eventually, we hope, the world) who will work with people wanting to come off psychotropic drugs. I’ve been honored to have been tasked with the responsibility of building this directory, and I have to say, it’s been inspiring to talk to people all over the country who do this work, and who “get it”.
At no moment in my childhood-- whether in those weekday hours after school spent exploring the woods with my dog, or on the early...
A newfound acceptance of my bipolar diagnosis during the winter of my freshman year at Harvard filled me to the brim with a sense...
On the day I arrived as a freshman at Harvard in the fall of 2001, I dropped my belongings in my dorm room, said...
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