We are all different

 

designThis post is now also on Mad in America

I got an email from someone today who thought they knew just how to save me. A psychiatric survivor who had decided that her experience could be generalized to everyone. She’s doing very well…and that is a lovely thing. What is not lovely is writing me with unsolicited advice.  I was familiar with everything she “prescribed” to fix me. Very familiar. If she’d actually read my blog she would have known that. None of it is appropriate for me or many others who’ve found themselves in protracted withdrawal.

She assumed that she knew how to fix me. She also spoke to me as though I were an impetuous and stubborn child. She in fact called me stubborn.  Worse she accused me of choosing to be in pain rather than on drugs!  It’s kind of like what psychiatrists do…except it feels worse and uglier coming from someone who should be a natural ally and know better.

Anyway…to anyone else who thinks I and others with similar experiences might just start taking meds again (in tiny doses or otherwise) like a good, unstubborn child and clear up all this nastiness that is psychiatric drug withdrawal, I, and 1000s of others of us, CANNOT TAKE MEDS anymore. The iatrogenesis is such that they become dangerous. I have to wear a medical bracelet because the drugs can now kill me the reactions are so radically disabling. I have a doctors note saying such as well: Multiple drug sensitivity (the outcome of grossly over-prescribed medications)   — (and as a side note this excessive sensitivity includes many supplements. Yes, including the ones this woman thought I should be taking).

This is our reality…it’s not everyone’s reality, but for those of us with this particular kind of iatrogenic damage it’s very very real.

So, right, a lot of us end up with these sorts of sensitivities and can no longer take meds. I’m ALL FOR taking tiny doses of meds if that works for folks. Heck Yeah.

I refrain from judging others or assuming I know what is right for them…everyone has their own path. And when it comes to these drugs the harm they cause is phenomenal and varies from individual to individual…having corresponded with 1000s I know this to be true. We are all different.

Yes

We are all different. We should not assume that our particular idiosyncratic experience is generalizable to others. My work tries to underscore this all the time.

Read: To my friends and readers who still take psych drugs (and to the whole spectrum of folks on and off meds too) 

(there is a list of posts at the bottom of that page that speak to when it’s NOT appropriate to come off drugs — because, no, I do not support the withdrawal of psych meds willy nilly)

I have done what is right for me…you do what is right for you. This is how we achieve a society of respect with no coercion.

I want to remind people I am unable to correspond in general: Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, protracted psych drug withdrawal, CFS, Fibromyalgia and why I still limit engagement on the internet

This person got my email from someone who had it from years ago. It wasn’t a nice email to wake up to.

Anyway…thought I’d respond to what her concerns were in case others have them too and while I’m at it I’ll repost the extensive collection on withdrawal info from this blog.

Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

neuro

Below the initial commentary is a collection of links with lots of information to better inform the reader on psychiatric drug withdrawal. Educating oneself and preparing for a safer taper goes a long way in mitigating the risk of serious protracted withdrawal issues.

In the course of my work with those coming off psych meds I’ve learned that there are few people, even among critics of psychiatry that have a clue at the potential severity of psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes. That also means there are virtually no professionals that can offer meaningful support when people encounter serious issues. We remain dependent on each other.

Other than those who’ve directly experienced protracted withdrawal or those who have lived with those who have experienced it, it simply remains under appreciated and therefore under treated and under recognized even, as I said, among critics of psychiatry. It’s rather horrifying for those of us who find ourselves struck by such illness. While perhaps a minority, we are not an insignificant minority. I alone have had contact with 1000s of us.

The other thing to consider is that we are perhaps not even a minority because the fact is so many issues with withdrawal are not recognized at all and are instead considered and then treated as the “underlying illness,” many folks simply get sicker and sicker on meds and never even know why they’re ill. Those people never come to understand that all the multiple trials of drugs and the numerous times of coming off and on them has actually been the cause of their illness.

I’m putting together a collection of withdrawal links for the navigation menu since the drop-down menu has become rather long. I will post it as a new post and then it will be accessible permanently from the top of the blog.

Generally, prolonged withdrawal syndrome is not recognized by medicine. You will find very few doctors to diagnose it and still fewer to treat it. This is a collection of links that might help you educate yourself so that you can find more appropriate care when the time comes as well as hopefully avoiding falling ill at all. I found that being well-educated and finding doctors who respected how much effort I put into educating myself helped me. It must be said, though, that it is also a curse because for every doctor who appreciates a knowledgable patient there are likely 15 or 20 or maybe even more who feel threatened by that same patient. Still, it is a plus to know what we are doing.

I will update this page as appropriate and as I remember about older posts from the archives.

For general information on withdrawing from psychiatric drugs see here: Withdrawal 101

 For additional information on psychiatric drug withdrawal support and withdrawal boards see here: Support in withdrawal

This post and it’s content really only scratches the surface of the issues we face. Still it’s a good place to start.

●  The truth is often ugly… (what people are up against when they choose to free themselves from psych meds)

●  Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common.

●  Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, protracted psych drug withdrawal, CFS, Fibromyalgia and why I still limit engagement on the internet

●  Stop taking your meds, right now… (NOT!)

●  Some thoughts on stopping psychiatric medications — pros and cons to coming off

 Introduction to psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome

●  Psychiatric drug withdrawal: Why taper by 10% of your dosage?

●  The slowness of slow tapers (safer withdrawal from psychiatric medications)

●  Withdrawal syndrome vs adrenal fatigue

●  Protracted withdrawal from SSRIs and SNRIs antidepressants

●  GABA/Glutamate cycle in withdrawal from psychotropics– SSRIs, benzos, and Lamictal

●  Benzo withdrawal info

●  Lamictal redux

●  Multiple drug sensitivity (a not infrequent outcome of over-prescribed medications)

●  Trellis: this is your brain on (psych) drugs

●  GABA/glutamate system and how it might work with benzodiazepines and Lamictal

●  Drug Withdrawal and Emotional Recovery

●  Chronic pain (psych drug withdrawal induced and chronic pain in general too)

●  Dogmatic anti-meds stance can be dangerous

●  Alarming report on persistent side effects of antidepressant drugs published online

●  Histamine intolerance(likely to apply to others on psych meds and coming off

●  To those suffering acute and protracted withdrawal symptoms… (it gets better!)

●  Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome, chronic illness, CFS, Fibromyalgia. Yeah, they all have things in common.

●  Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, protracted psych drug withdrawal, CFS, Fibromyalgia and why I still limit engagement on the internet 

●  Cold-turkeying off psych drugs is not a wise choice except in a life-threatening emergency

●  The “Start Small, Listen to Your Body” Taper Plan (psychiatric drug withdrawal)

Share all of this information with the doctors in your life:  A plea to prescribing physicians and psychiatrists: please help us heal

See here for the Freedom Center and Icarus manual:  Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs & Withdrawal (newly revised edition)

For general information on withdrawing from psychiatric drugs see here: Withdrawal 101

 For additional information on psychiatric drug withdrawal support and withdrawal boards see here: Support in withdrawal

I also have a page that is a collection of my own withdrawal documented.  It has a lot of posts that talk about what I learned on the withdrawal boards while I try to recover from my own protracted withdrawal and so a lot of it has value to others in withdrawal: Monica/Gianna: withdrawal documented

Recently the concise story of my withdrawal and subsequent disabling iatrogenic illness was published on David Healy’s site, RxIsk: Monica’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology 

More recently I detailed my history on Mad in America’s website: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

And for ways to support your recovery you can visit the Healing Arts and the Nutrition sections at the top of the page. There are drop down menus available with lots of options.

If you’ve found yourself very ill from this process I also have a section at the top of the page to support those with Chronic Illness. Check that drop-down menu too or click here.

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

Support Beyond Meds. Enter Amazon via a link from this blog and do the shopping you’d be doing anyway. No need to purchase the book the link takes you to or make a donation with PayPal. Thank you!

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters