Something that comes up quite often in discussions with my friends and readers who have been on meds and have come off of them is how many of the “psychiatric” symptoms they were being “treated” for disappear upon discontinuation of the medications. This is widely known and experienced among those of us who have decided to stop medicating ourselves.
For me there are two most astonishing details. The first was when I discovered I was being given more and more Risperdal to medicate away the akathisia that the Risperdal was causing! Once off the Risperdal the akathisia was gone and so was most of what we’d called anxiety which led me to take massive doses of benzos.
This is tragic and disgusting. I have less anxiety now in the midst of an awful withdrawal then I had when I was on the six drugs. I’m on one drug now and withdrawal from benzos is infamous for causing horrible rebound anxiety and yet it’s not terribly true for me. I do occasionally suffer from anxiety but not to the extent I did when I was on my full cocktail, including when I was NOT on a stimulant.
And most remarkably since I got off the five other drugs–(Concerta, Zoloft, Seroquel, Risperdal, and Lamictal) and it did take getting off all five…I STOPPED HAVING ANY SUICIDAL IDEATION whatsoever.
I no longer EVER fantasize hurting myself. I do sometimes wish I would die when my body is hurting really bad. When I’m suffering from so much physical pain and I just want it too stop, but it’s a distinctly different phenomena than wanting to off myself.
Of note: I also had never had a suicidal thought before medications were introduced.
My desire to suicide while on meds was violent and ugly, fueled by akathisia and chemicals in my brain that did not belong there. My very occasional desire to die these days is simply a passive desire for the pain to stop. But my mind is clear and I know it will pass. I want to live! I have a renewed desire to live and be well and make a difference in the world, no matter how small.
Please share your stories.