Another great document put out by MIND

The anti-dote to NAMI in the UK.

Making sense of coming off psychiatric drugs.

It’s another good resource. Not the be all end all on withdrawal.

And thanks Sloopy for the heads up. I need to spend hours on their website some day.

12 thoughts on “Another great document put out by MIND

Add yours

  1. thanks for that synopsis on MIND Sloopy,
    It’s my impression they do pretty good work but I’m over here on the other side of the pond…

    it’s good to know that they do have government funding as that can certainly change the tones of things…and it’s good to be aware of such things.

  2. I think MIND publish a pretty accurate overall picture of withdrawal.

    Almost unprecedented for a health charity, MIND has refused for over 50 years now to accept any bribes donations from the pharmaceutical industry.

    That independence of the drug corporations elevates MIND, in an ethical sense, way above any other major mental health charity in the UK.

    MIND are quite clear that withdrawal symptoms are very real and can be very severe. In one booklet they report that 60% of patients they surveyed suffered very badly when withdrawing from psy-drugs.

    MIND also put forward some practical tips for withdrawing.. cautioning that the slower it is done, generally the safer the withdrawal, and the greater the likelihood of success.

    MIND also warn that the longer you’ve been on psy meds, the harder the withdrawal process is likely to be and the longer it will take..

    I’ve got no personal involvement with MIND other than as a bystander watching them help a lot of people at the grass roots level – but suspect that they too are bound by the adage of “he who pays the piper calls the tune”..

    The British Government is the main funder of MIND, via grants towards MIND social centres around the country, and patient advocacy support in mental hospitals.

    MIND is also a major provider of social housing in Britain specialising in housing those with mental distress.

    99% of the funding for all that comes from the Treasury Department.

    Whilst it would be wonderful if MIND could be supported entirely by public donations, that’s not practical.. And I guess being tied by those purse strings to Government serves to gag what MIND might really like to say about psychiatric drugs. To mix the metaphors, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you..”

    So MIND goes about its business quietly, trying not to get up the nose of Big Pharma. The drug industry has its tentacles wrapped throughout Westminster and Whitehall and by calling in a few favours from corrupt public officials, Big Pharma could easily cause MIND’s state funding to dry up..

    To paraphrase Noam Chomsky.. MIND must operate within the bounds of permitted dissent..

  3. I think the message that one takes from this discussion is that there is no generalization that one can make about the likely experience of any patient trying to come off a given drug – their experience will be peculiar to them, and globalizing the effect of a drug (eg, “it’s not addictive,” etc; or “it is addictive, and you’ll suffer horribly”), is not appropriate. However, as Gianna suggested, everybody’s position on this is equally relevant.

    That seeming to be the case, one is required to develop a programme that caters for everybody’s experience. Mind’s right, I think: there’s no real sense in trying to argue with the drug companies and regulators, which have already satisfied themselves, officially, that SSRIs, in particular, are *not* addictive. It’s a pointless argument, then, because those parties now have the result that they wanted, and they won’t move from it. In which case, one should stop going to them for a solution, because they already have the solution that best suits them: their product is wonderful, and if anybody has an issue with it, it’s down to the individual.

    It’s up to us to develop a solution that actually works for the patient, by the look of things – and the first part of that is to acknowledge that what a person is experiencing may well be down to the drug, because it seems to me that that is the first thing that is denied, when one goes to one’s quack, or chemist. Invalidation has never been a particularly efficient means of discovering anything worthwhile, I’ve learnt, because by that method, one closes off a valid possibility, when it ought to be investigated.


  4. I’ve just wanted to say that I lost my back account and credit card in 2001 when I was withdrawing Lamictal, Seroquel, Paxil, Neurontin, Klonopin and Topamax.
    I had no money and had to buy the drugs.
    I have also heard of people withdrawing easy.
    It’s hard to understand it all.

  5. I’ve read it and also noticed that they avoid as much as they can to claim that people are addicted.
    This is great:
    “One person coming off reported that she was so busy with other things that she forgot to take her medication, and realised that she had come off it almost by chance.”
    Lucky woman!
    I’ll volunteer for some – I cannot work because my name is on the IRS and I’m 49 years old and haven’t been working for too long – and work hard 18/7.
    In three weeks I’ll come back telling you that I’m out of them all. LOL
    At least it made me smile today.
    Hope you too.
    Thank you Gianna.
    I’ll publish some excerpts.
    This is what we have to start. Since our voices are not heard, we are patients, we have to find any validation that withdrawal is hell.
    I had better be on street drugs. I’ll explain later.
    I’m too tired.

    1. Fortunately for the people who have an easy withdrawal…but very unfortunately for us..

      the fact that there are indeed people who have it easy is dangerous…because they go around saying it’s no big deal and don’t know what the fuck they are talking about…

      but yeah, some people do have it easy…it’s a fact…and it’s true of every drug…I’ve heard people have it easy with Paxil, Lamictal, Seroquel, Effexor, and benzos too, just for starters…all drugs that can be living hell to get off of…I KNOW some of these people…it’s true…some people simply don’t have a hard time….

      but that does not make our experience less real and because we exist it’s important we let people know that it can be damn dangerous to withdraw too quickly and people should always be safe and careful and responsible…

      beyond cautioning people though, we can’t do anything…

      once a woman got mad at me here and wrote some nasty shit about how I was a fear monger on her blog…she proceeded to come off Seroquel in about a week and a month later she was floridly psychotic…

      she’d been warned and wrote shit about me for telling people withdrawal is dangerous…I’m sorry she had to learn the hard way that my cautionary notes are for good reason.

  6. I agree fid…
    this topic came up in a email group I am in the other day..someone posted something form NAMI from something they have on their site call “ask the pharmacist”:

    Will I become addicted to the medication? I don’t want to become addicted?

    This is a commonly asked question. Addiction involves taking more and more of a drug and craving it, despite having negative consequences from taking it. For some people who are addicted, much time is spent making sure that there is always an available supply of the drug. Common addictions are for drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. Addicted individuals may crave these drugs but sometimes taking them makes them feel paranoid and even hallucinate.

    Most medications for severe brain disorders like schizophrenia or bipolar illness do not pose a risk of addiction. The medication alleviates symptoms and improves your health but there is no craving and the outcome of use is positive. For example, sleep is improved and concentration is better when people having schizophrenia take an antipsychotic like risperidone (Risperdal®), quetiapine (Seroquel®), aripiprazole (Abilify®), olanzapine (Zyprexa®), ziprasidone (Geodon®), clozapine (Clozaril®), or haloperidol (Haldol®).

    Some prescription medications to relieve anxiety and improve sleep, for example, lorazepam (Ativan®), clonazepam (Klonopin®) and diazepam (Valium®) can pose a risk of addiction in persons prone to addictions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the risk of addiction with your specific medications.

    My response to that was:

    I think it’s called splitting hairs…if you couldn’t get your script from
    the psychiatrist you just might try to do anything like a street drug
    addict, huh?

    with our convenient source we don’t need to act like the street addict, but we’re really not so different…we want the pain to stop…just
    like the street addict…and we’re not willing to do what it takes…

    until we are, of course…

  7. The booklet is from 2005. I sincerely hope they have changed their tune.

    The addiction section is contradictory:

    “Addiction means being physically dependent on the drug, with a need to increase the doses to get the same effect”

    When I tapered, I wanted to go back to the dose I was taking the previous week – therefore I was looking for an increase. I also would have willingly ripped the pharmacy apart if they would have told me they didn’t have my SSRi in stock. On a few occasions they told me to come back the next day as they had ran out – I told them to get me 40mgs just to get me through the night – they had to go to one of their other shops before I would leave their premises.

    That, to me, suggests addiction.

    MIND need to sit down with patients because it’s patients that have experienced the withdrawals.

    Happy New Year to you G and all your readers.


  8. I didn’t read the whole thing either…another reason I put the caveat out there…

    I can’t read long shit…I have no concentration…

    It looks like reasonable interpretation of the general facts…i did look at the part you’re mentioning….

    I don’t actually know that much about the science of it all…I wish I did. Someday when my severe brain fog lifts I hope I will be able to think clearly enough to learn the science.

  9. The language used, however, doesn’t alter the fact that some people have extreme difficulty when coming of psychiatric medication
    and only achieve it with great determination.

    I think that means they’re saying the language is bulllshit in somewhat diplomatic terms…

    But yeah, I think it should be yelled from the rooftops..this shit is addictive as all get out!!!

    In general I don’t like splitting hairs with people who generally get it…

    Frankly, I could rip this document to shreds if I wanted to…if I picked out every instance I don’t see things like they do…but I’m fucking sick of infighting and everybody hating one another…

    They also say somewhere that for some people it’s okay to cold-turkey and some people do okay with that. But really you shouldn’t do that….

    I think that is majorly irresponsible and dangerous. It should be completely and in all instances avoided and that should REALLY be yelled from the rooftops..

    And you’re right criticism of this nature is fair and right I guess, but fuck, I’m too fucking sick to stay on top of if all..that’s why I put the caveat–NOT THE BE ALL END ALL ON WITHDRAWAL

    I noticed the part on addiction too…anyway…I think they know and are being wimps about it…

    someday I’ll write the fucking book on withdrawal…had offers to do so as well.

  10. MIND’S stance on addiction:

    Am I addicted?

    Addiction means being physically dependent on the drug, with a need to increase the doses to get the same effect, and having a compulsive psychological need to take it. Many people who experience unpleasant symptoms when they withdraw, consider themselves to be ‘addicted’ to the drug. Many doctors and pharmaceutical companies prefer to call it ‘dependence’, or even ‘withdrawal symptoms’ or ‘discontinuation symptoms’. The language used, however, doesn’t alter the fact that some people have extreme difficulty when coming of psychiatric medication
    and only achieve it with great determination.

    They haven’t really answered the question about addiction have they?


Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑