I have for a long time realized that protracted withdrawal issues are pretty much always a result of autonomic nervous system dysfunction. As I became seriously ill, I discovered that other chronic illnesses (in particular CFS, fibromyalgia and various autoimmune issues) have a lot of the same things going on. I came to think that withdrawal IS THE TRAUMATIC and LONG TERM TRIGGER that ends up bringing on a serious long-term disability that has many common issues with these other chronic syndromes. This guy, in the videos below, in my opinion, correctly points to the autonomic nervous system as being the cause of these issues.
He also points out that most folks with chronic fatigue have trauma histories. Withdrawal is inherently quite often gravely traumatic. At it’s worst it’s an extreme trauma that goes on many months. Recovering from such a serious insult to the autonomic nervous system is no small thing for those of us who have such withdrawal experiences.
His motto is treat the cause not the consequences. He believes the cause is a whacked-out autonomic nervous system. I’m in agreement. Please don’t get caught up on what he is calling the phenomena of illness. It’s all linked. If you listen to his descriptions rather than the labels he uses you’ll see that. I’ve known for a long time that if I wanted to I could get a diagnosis of CFS and Fibromyalgia both. I’ve chosen to stay off the diagnosis merry-go-round.
So, here is Dan Neuffer’s description of what is going on. It is very much in alignment with what I’ve learned. I think it’s very helpful and perhaps often critical to have this broad view in order to heal.
Note: I am not advocating Dan’s program because I’ve not read his book yet. I do support what he says in these videos.
UPDATED NOTE NUMBER 3 — Dan got in touch with me on twitter. There was some sort of twitter glitch and he never got my tweets. So I am glad to report I was wrong about some of what I wrote below.
7/08/13 Update – Second note: FYI to folks with withdrawal syndromes. Dan Neuffer, the man in the video seems to be actively ignoring me on twitter. He followed me on twitter which is how I came to know about his work. I shared this post with him which has now been read by hundreds of Beyond Meds readers. He is actively twittering to folks who share his identification with the ME and CFS labels but has not responded to my tweets, so I can only assume he’s not interested in being associated with those of us with psych drug withdrawal syndrome, regardless of the fact it has so many things in common with what he talks about. I hope I’m wrong. I am putting this here so that if anyone contacts him and is met with a less than embracing attitude you’ll know it’s not just you. It’s sad…this sort of posturing…my sickness is superior to yours or something. In any case, I’ve been reading his book and so far, it remains quite sound in theory and possibly helpful to us. I’ll be finishing it in the next couple of weeks. I’ll report back if it seems prudent.
7/13/13 Update — The Book — So I’ve read almost to the end of the book. It’s clear that very much of it is extremely relevant to those of us with protracted withdrawal issues. I’m dismayed that the author couldn’t be bothered to inquire about what I’ve learned about psychiatric drug withdrawal and how it too creates a perfect and nightmarish storm that in turn creates illness very similar, if not indistinguishable from what is labeled CFS and ME etc. It would have been lovely to exchange notes with him since I would likely be able to inform him about the commonly used psych meds in the folks he advocates for just as he’s been able to share important information with me through his book. Certainly I’ve come to know many folks with the CFS and ME labels who’ve come my way for help when they were made even worse with various psych meds. Most of what he writes I’ve figured out intuitively on my journey too and in fact I have been getting better because I already do what he is recommending. What is nice was to read how he articulates and documents all of that. Anyway. The book is worth reading and because it’s of value I am sharing it and suggesting you all read it.
Follow up to this post:
- Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, protracted psych drug withdrawal, CFS, Fibromyalgia and why I still limit engagement on the internet
Here is a little snippet from the book of him explaining how the autonomic nervous system dysfunction occurs:
Why does the ANS dysfunction occur?
The short answer is, the ANS dysfunction occurs as a result of overwhelming amount of physiological and psychological stress that is unsustainable and hence emergency protective measures are created – we call this the ANS dysfunction. If we consider this from the point of view of some of our bodily tissues, such as the Hippocampus, we might call this the emergency circuit breaker.
Yeah, those of us with protracted withdrawal issues know exactly what that means!
If you’re interested in checking out his book you can get it here: CFS Unravelled – One man’s search for the Cause of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Discovery Essential for You To Recover
I wrote about the link between Fibromyalgia and what is labeled Bipolar once before as well. I understand much more now, but see this: Fibromyalgia and bipolar: it’s the drugs stupid
I come at my health issues from numerous perspectives. I think it’s critically important to be able to do so because of the nature of the autonomic nervous system.
For more on chronic illness and recovery see this page: Information and inspiration for the chronically ill
And for those who’d like to minimize the potential harm to the autonomic nervous system when withdrawing from psychiatric drugs see: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up