Monica/Gianna: healing documented

The archives of this blog now span close to five years. They are a record of a time in my life when I was learning and transforming at a rate unlike any other time in my life. I say this as a way of disclaimer. In the earlier years of this blog I am processing shock and dismay. In the early years I am undisputedly angry. I have worked out much of that and see things in a much less judgmental manner now. This continues to evolve. I sometimes want to take down old posts because they no longer convey how I feel, but I realize that they may still be helpful to people who are going through something similar now. The journey got me to where I am today, it’s just odd to have some of it in writing here for all to see.

A personal note to my readers — why I’m not available for correspondence.

new: Radio and video appearances (mostly from 2014 so far)

552923_327192990696208_461156195_nA collection of my personal posts on this journey and my essays too follow. (there are also lots of posts that talk about withdrawal issues that can relate to many in withdrawal syndromes)

My views have evolved as I’ve moved through this journey. While the heart of my being remains the same, some things have changed and become more nuanced, etc. One does not go through something like this completely unchanged. Most importantly I’m releasing anger and simply not seeing anything black and white anymore.

This blog, started in 2007, now covers 7 and 1/2 years (and counting) of a transformative journey. I am no longer the same person that started this blog.

While many assume I’m anti-med because I speak frequently about their dangers, it would be a mistake to assume I am stridently opposed to all meds all the time. I am first and foremost pro-choice and always have been. The crime that happens everyday in virtually every psychiatrists office is that options and alternatives are neither discussed nor recognized. Also there exists no infrastructure of care to support people in crisis, often leaving no alternative for people who do not have financial or emotional resources to do otherwise. It’s excruciatingly complex. There simply is not effective and viable care for too many people.

Some of this blog tells my story which is one in which meds are grossly overused and abused by professionals. I do not assume that my choices once realizing this are appropriate for anyone else unless they determine them to be for themselves.

Nothing on these pages should be construed as medical advice.

Note for new readers: the first 5 years of this blog I used the nom de plum Gianna Kali. I am now using my legal and given name Monica Cassani.

My professional history:

I got my BA in Religious Studies at UC Berkeley. After graduation a San Francisco state MSW graduate friend of mine helped me secure an interview for a graduate internship program for social workers at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. After losing a close friend to AIDS I had worked in an AIDS hospice as a volunteer for a couple of years.  Once interviewed by the Foundation it was determined I was qualified to do the internship. I completed the program with social work graduate interns from UC Berkeley’s and San Francisco State University’s MSW programs. After that internship the San Francisco AIDS Foundation hired me on as a social worker on their front lines. The bulk of the population I worked with at the Foundation had significant psychiatric diagnosis.  Later I took positions in mental health agencies. Because of my background my positions were generally filled by master level candidates. I worked side by side other social workers, therapists of all kinds and psychiatrists for many years. The clients were generally designated “severely mentally ill.”
My “patient” history:

The aftermath of polypsychopharmacology: my story on Dr. David Healy’s site (new) –this is the most complete short synopsis of having been grossly over-drugged and my path to drug freedom.

And now too a mini memoir at Mad in America: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

The above two pieces can serve as a mini history of my personal journey in and away from the psychiatric system.


For info on withdrawal in particular see: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

See also: the “It Gets Better” Series if you’re sick and in the midst of psychiatric drug withdrawal

For some recent updates you can see these first:










Click here

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  1. Gianna ~

    Thanks for your blog. I thought this interview with David Healy on bipolar disorder might possibly interest you and your readers:

    Best regards,
    Chris Lane

  2. thank you Chris!


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