Three years ago today, I completed a six-year process of withdrawing from six psychiatric drugs. That process was the impetus to start speaking up about what is happening in psychiatry and to far too many of us who have been inappropriately medicated and made ill by said medication in a myriad number of ways.
I learned about what was happening not only from my own personal experience but my work, as social worker, with others who were subject to the mental health system via social service systems. My own experience as both (now – ex) patient and a mental health professional allows for some interesting and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the mental health system in the United States. I try to share those insights with my readers daily.
This blog has allowed me to be productive while very ill and in so doing get the word out to many thousands of others that they might make an informed choice — an opportunity I was never given. We’ve had more than a generation of people who weren’t able to make that informed choice. Today with the power of the internet this can change. Still, many vulnerable people continue to be given medications without full disclosure to their sometimes very grave risks, nor are they told about the many ways to heal safely without medications or with minimal, targeted use of medications during crisis.
Please familiarize yourselves with the drop down menus at the top of the page. There you can find many resources and information about alternatives to psychiatry. There you can inform yourself and your loved ones about how to never end up crippled by psychiatric care like so many people I’ve come to know through this work.
My story of iatrogenic harm was shared in November of last year on Dr. David Healy’s website RxISK: Monica’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology.
I have a page on this blog too that documents my withdrawal journey in particular: Monica/Gianna: withdrawal documented
I’m still recovering from the grave harm the drugs incurred. For some of us with severe withdrawal syndromes the process can take several years. I do continue to get better and at this point I do expect becoming well even though I’m still quite disabled by any standard. The amount I’ve improved in the three years since I completed the withdrawal is really quite a lot, though. I was bedridden for well over a year. I couldn’t even sit upright. During that time I wasn’t strong enough to hold my hand up to my mouth long enough to brush my teeth. Those days are long gone. Rehab continues and it’s often frustratingly slow, but when I remember back to the days I couldn’t sit up in bed I realize how far I’ve come.
In the article I link to above on Dr. David Healy’s site I say:
I’ve been free of this massive cocktail of drugs for over two and half years now. The sad part is the greatest amount of suffering I’ve ever endured in my life has been a result of my body adjusting to no longer having neurotoxic drugs in my system. Medically-caused harm and a term that often sounds Orwellian to those of us who experience the protracted version: withdrawal syndrome. It totally fails to capture the grave disability some of us experience.
Still, I have not one moment of regret for having freed myself from these drugs because my mind is clear! I have a clarity of mind that is so beautiful I can cry if I spend time thinking about it. My clarity was stolen from me for almost half my life. I have it back and even impaired as I am, unable to leave the house most of the time, I am grateful.
Yes, I am grateful to be able to spend the rest of my life in clarity and purpose I never had while drugged.
And, hey, today is my birthday too. Happy birthday to me.
If you have found my work helpful and can afford to do so, please consider making a contribution and becoming a supporting subscriber of Beyond Meds.