I have spent the last few days researching a residential facility that specializes in getting people off psych meds in eight to sixteen weeks. I’ve known of the facility for months and initially dismissed them completely, but recently I’ve spoken to a number of people who are familiar with it including a woman I know who knows ten people who have been through it successfully and who are fully recovered. I ended the first conversation with a receptionist with a terse, “thank you very much, click,” when I heard the price of the program but she called me back a few days later and we had a very nice conversation.
Today and yesterday I spoke with the director. We talked like peers. For the first time I spoke with a professional who was on the same page as I was. We spoke the same language of nutrients and blood work. I’ve not spoken to a single professional that knew half as much as I did up to this point and I’ve now talked to a lot of so-called integrative, orthomolecular and other complimentary and alternative doctors and practitioners. This guy is the only guy so far who does only drug withdrawal. And he’s done it himself. He was on neuroleptics for so-called schizophrenia. I’m starting to be sold on it.
He knows the same things I do and more, and it’s clear he has a sophistication and understanding about the variables of nutrients working synergistically for a persons particular needs. He admits it’s not always easy and he needs to closely monitor and observe so that minute changes can be made as necessary and with no time wasted. This is all stuff I have been unable to do on my own—I’m well aware that some of what I’m doing may be aggravating my withdrawal. I have only been doing the best I can. We also talked about particular combinations of nutrients and amino acids that I didn’t know about specifically, but that I knew enough about that when he talked about using them together I had a bit of an aha! experience.
There is a staff of doctors, addiction specialists, nutritionists, yoga instructors, acupuncturists and counselors. It’s promising in that the director truly spoke to me as a peer. It was clear he did not see me as damaged or in need of saving or coddling. The woman I know who knows the people who’ve been through the program said they all said the staff was extremely caring and warm. This does not feel like traditional mental health services at all.
Three months to get off the remainder of what I’m on (because the director doesn’t think it will take the full 16 weeks.) It feels too good to be true and maybe it is. But I’m considering it seriously enough that I’ve negotiated a price for the program that would allow me to empty my (meager) retirement accounts and pay for the whole thing. If I can get healthy and back to work, filling up the retirement accounts again won’t take long. It may be a gamble, but it may also be a risk well worth taking. I’m figuring without this kind of expert assistance it will take me another two years to get off the shit I remain on.
My husband is in England. I just had a conversation with him and when he gets back he will talk to the director. He is better at reading people when it comes to stuff like this where I get excited and hope that I’ve found the answer.
Anyway, I’m being vague about the place because I don’t want to name it, so that I can speak freely about it throughout the process. If I go through it and when I’m done I will reveal the name of it and give it a rating based on my experience.
It’s almost four in the morning. It’s very strange that I can’t sleep—I’ve been sleeping like a rock lately. I really am not aware of feeling overly excited, but nonetheless, I have this on my mind and it’s keeping me awake. I’m not chomping on the bit to go there. I feel like I need to take it slow and easy and ask a lot more questions. My husband will play an important role in that process. But I guess, bottom line, I am getting my hopes up. I think I have enough sense, though, to think through this carefully and make a good decision—I will most likely visit and interview graduates.
On another but broadly related note, I’ve recently found a school in New York associated with Columbia University—it’s actually part of the continuing education program there that certifies one in holistic health counseling. It also allows you to test to become a Certified Nutrition Consultant. This is what I want to do. It’s a six month program with the option to go an additional intensive year. You only have to be in class one weekend a month. I have people I can stay with in New York. I want this. I want a new career. I’m already imagining that whatever I learn at this treatment facility I’ll be able to use along with my certification. Yes, my imagination is running wild, but god, all I want to do is work again and help people do what I’m doing—freeing themselves from the oppression that is psychiatry.
Tonight I will dream while I wait for sleep.
If I do this I will start in the beginning of February. In the meantime I still intend to begin tapering the Lamictal again.
Update: detox centers are not safe. Read: Many existing detox centers for psych drug withdrawal are dangerous