It’s not a traditional “medical detox”

I’m doing more research on the detox facility. It bugs me that I know a lot of my readers who have gone through withdrawal are so wed to the “it takes forever and you gotta suffer real bad” theory. My experience with a whole host of other readers is that is certainly not the case for many people and they don’t even have the assistance of experts who know how to make cocktails of nutrients that make the come down easy as there would be at this facility. Also there are all the additional parts of the program—the acupuncture, the yoga, the whole food diet, counseling and an orthomolecular psychiatrist etc.

I’ve now talked to someone who’s gone through the program. This particular individual was apparently monosyllabic upon entering the program and on 2 mg of Risperdal and 80 mg of Geodon. She actually got off those two drugs in seven weeks and found it completely easy. Her mind cleared and she feels good and energetic again—she is articulate and energetic in her speech as well. She attributes the supplements and dietary changes for her stability. She’s been out of the program for three months. I should add here that it took me about a year and a half to do a comparable amount of tapering of my drugs.

I talked to the director again yesterday and felt depressed and down because I fear failure because if I risk getting my hopes up and doing the program and actually being off meds in 3 months—meaning the nightmare existence I’ve been living which puts withdrawal in the center of my life being over. If I fail my disappointment would be so great I don’t know if I could handle it. If I have to go back to thinking it’s going to take another 2 or 3 years it would simply be an incredible let down.

I started crying on the phone as I communicated this to the director of the program. He was soft and kind and said, “If I thought you would fail at the program I wouldn’t encourage you to come. How do you think everyone else staying here would feel if you are sick and miserable. This would be an equal gamble for me.” He seems sincere and he is confident I can do it. He says no one on a cocktail like mine has taken more than three months in the three years they’ve been in operation.

My husband will be home tonight. He will talk to the director in the next few days and then I will make a decision.

Also, something new I never mentioned. I stopped seeing my local therapist. She was too far away and I often couldn’t drive the distance when I wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t like her manner on the phone so I didn’t have the option of phone sessions. I felt I still needed someone so I called a “famous” therapist in the consumer/survivor/ex-user movement. This is someone who is decidedly opposed to meds and also understands the emotional and physical upheaval I’m going through in the process of withdrawal—much more so than my local therapist. It feels like the best decision I’ve made since my withdrawal process started. He is wonderful, gentle and kind and very knowledgeable about all I’m going through.

He’s looked at the info I gave him on the program and was very impressed. He knows about a lot of the methods they are using at the facility and says it sounds really good. Of course he cannot give it an endorsement but he’s quite interested in my letting him know how it goes if I go through the program.

I’ve just called the director again to see if I can have an hour a week to continue therapy with my therapist while I’m there. That will play a part in my decision of whether to go or not too. I’m going through so much emotional discovery as I come off the meds I want him to be part of my process throughout the time I’m there. I’ve been numb for so long and that is the one part that isn’t addressed explicitly in the information on this program. I know that as I awake from the numbness I’m going to need support because I am grieving my whole life right now. I regret my whole adulthood. I have been numbed out for 20 years. I want to live again. I want off these fucking drugs.

11 thoughts on “It’s not a traditional “medical detox”

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  1. I don’t have experience sending blogs, so hopefully this works out. It’s such a blessing to be in touch with people on the same path as I am on. Last Wednesday, I stopped taking Geodon, and have had no drugs in my system since then. I was court ordered last July to take 80mg of Geodon twice per day. The circumstances surrounding my court order were illegal and infuriating, but I got to see injustices, such as one friend in the hospital, who was overdosed on psychotropic drugs and not resuscitated. I am so grateful to be off all of those dangerous drugs, which I’ve been on since 1996. I spent the first four days sleeping, and now my brain hurts, and I feel emotionally spent. Someone said it well; I’m grieving all that lost time that I’d spent emotionally numb. I understand that Geodon shrinks people’s brains. I certainly hope that over time I can completely heal from the hell I’ve been subjected to. I am very interested in learning more information on detox facilities for people getting off of psyche meds. Please tell me all that you know. Much appreciated.

  2. Jan,

    Interesting that you consider sharing empathy and wisdom with others as a ‘given’ – this makes me think you are a very good person – (that you see it this way)….

    Seeing the past for the good (and not what was missed) – a choice – gotta agree….

    A little confused about ‘not being diagnosed’ for 14 years – in your mind, would this have been better for you?

    My own experience was that the ‘diagnosis’ was only (a close) second to ‘conventional treatment’ as one of the most damaging things in my life.

    I don’t understand what you are saying here – do you think diagnosis would have been a ‘good thing’ for you? If so, how do you think it might have helped?

    These are complex situations – I try to understand others’ points of view on some of this….


  3. hey –

    just passing through.

    don’t be sad. i wanted the life i wanted too. 10 years of unmedication, 10 years of meds.

    when i was 15, i had my first major depression my mother and the therapist dropped the ball. i would not be diagnosed for 14 years.

    i sometimes wonder who I would have been. Would I have graduated high school? would I have gone to college before I was 35? would i have married the first one? would I have married the second one?

    would i have liked myself?

    I’ll never know. It is the past. I use my past today for 2 things: 1) to remind myself of where i have been and all that i have accomplished – in spite of….
    2) to share empathy and wisdome with others

    #2 is a given, you have the experience and knowledge
    #1 is a choice.

    that you have to make each time this despair hits you.

    Go – be well,

    jan – NY

  4. hey gianna, don’t know if this is the latest in a series of posts on this detox facility — it looks like it is, from what you write here. i have been unable to follow your blog (among many others), because of great exhaustion, but i’d like to comment on something you say here as i read my way backwards from your latest post to earlier ones. this is re: terror of getting your hopes up and then being disappointed.

    can you be any more disappointed, gianna? you are being devastated by disappointment, and you find the “‘it takes forever and you gotta suffer real bad’ theory” all but unbearable. i may have been one of the people who proposed it for you, but i realize i never heard your great urgency the way i do now, when it’s reaching to me loud and clear. you seem to find the prospect of waiting and waiting so intolerable that i’m not sure disappointment, should it occur, would be any more intolerable.

    also, from where i sit, i see so much determination in you, that even if this place were not entirely congenial to you, you’d probably stick it out just so that, three months hence, you could get out of there drug free.

    i’m not dismissing the possibility that this place might prove unsuitable in all sorts of way — that is always there. but the place you’re in now is not exactly suitable either, so, coraggio, take the plunge my friend and do not worry about what you *might* feel in terms of disappointment *should* the experiment go wrong. dealing in hypotheticals doesn’t seem the right way to go, in this case.

    my heart and my thoughts are with you.

  5. I agree with HSP Woman, that you should trust your intuition. You have enough understanding and experience with this stuff to make an informed decision, and this puts you in front of the game, I believe. You bring up a very important point about recovery afterwards. Having been in therapy for nearly 18 years before I went off my drugs, I have to say that the majority of my healing has taken place in the past (almost) two years since being drug free. One can not completely ascertain the extent of their ‘intoxication’ until they are off these drugs, and when it happens, it’s like the biggest epiphany you could ever experience. Well, you have already had a small taste of this new, fresh reality. I think it’s brilliant of you to demand to have access to your new therapist while in the detox facility. It is critical, because the waves of emotions that come during this time can be all at once exhilerating and overwhelming. So, great insight on your part!! This is all beginning to sound very positive, Giana. I am excited for you!

  6. HSP woman,
    thanks so much for your support.
    And NO it’s not 12 step and most of the people there are like me—psych med (accidental) addicts. Not drug-seeking addicts. So I will be with my own kind.

    I read your experience in a traditional drug treatment facility and that sounded like a nightmare!!! Would not even begin to think about such a program. This presents as radically different and I can be sure it is if I believe just the one person I interviewed. And I do. Now I just have to be assured it’s the right choice for me.

    I do agree that all I have to lose is money in a tangible sense. And you’re quite right I will walk right on out if I don’t like what it feels like once I’m there. But like I said in the post I’m terrified of getting my hopes up and being disappointed. I want this to be over so bad. Right NOW I’m still figuring it’s gonna be another couple of years. But once I decide on the program, if I do, well, I will shift into being hopeful and be looking for it to be over three months from the beginning of Feb. which is when I want to go.

    I realize there may be further recovery upon returning home, but I really just want to be off everything and start thinking about life without drugs being in the picture at all. I don’t think I can do all the things I need to do to truly heal while drugs are still in me numbing reality. I have to process my whole life of trauma and disappointment without the drugs making me feel less.

    Anyway, dear HSP, your support means a lot to me because I know you understand on so many levels.

    Cheers to you!! I’m still happy everytime I think of how far you’ve come. You are one of my heroines.

  7. I love the program’s “extra” stuff like yoga and a whole-food diet. If you decide to go, after three months of being on program how could it be that you fail? Even if you’re not completely off everything, you’ll be close. I can’t imagine that every single side effect would disappear, but, man, it couldn’t be worse than now.

    My question is whether it’s modeled on the 12-Step program? Other than the obvious terrible things about the traditional detox/rehab I went to, the 12-Step program was the worst for me. It really set back my healing. I wasn’t the traditional addict, I was as they say, an accidental addict — physically dependent on prescribed psychotropics.

    I can’t see why they won’t let you speak once a week with your therapist. Even in the shitty detox/rehab I went to I got to see my pdoc everyday.

    The program sounds like it’s made for you. You are well-versed in nutritional/supplements, so you’d know if they were full of it. Three months is a fast taper, but under such conditions as theirs, it could be just perfect for you.

    What’s the “worst” thing that could happen? Well, as you get into the program, you sense it’s not healthy. So, you leave. You’ve lost some money. So what, really. But, what do you have to gain potentially? Health and peace of mind.

    I would never recommend a “traditional” detox/rehab for people coming off of psychotropics, but this one, Gianna, there’s a reason you’re drawn to it. You must trust your intuition and your extreme intelligence.

    It’s not like the bunch of us is too trusting, is it? 😉

    Go with your intuition. I am very excited for you.

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