I put this on Beyond Meds Facebook page today. It’s good general advice when approaching others. I find that this is something I need to remind myself about as well from time to time. We don’t know what is right for someone else’s healing journey:
It is not a good idea to tell people what they need in the way of supplements and it can sometimes be dangerous…especially if folks are taking psychiatric medications and/or are in the process of withdrawal from psych drugs.
Supplements in a hypersensitized body (as many are after having been on psychiatric drugs) can be quite dangerous. It’s not okay to assume that something that worked well for you or someone you know is safe for someone you’ve never met here on this page (or anywhere else you might be likely to hand out such advice) You can share your experience here, but I ask you to refrain from directing people to what they should take and to refrain from thinking you know anything about what might be appropriate and safe for someone you do not know (or for that matter someone you do know, too as you won’t know their body) basically everyone needs to find their own sense of guidance and intuition. Your experience may help inform their experience but it’s rare that someone can safely simply copy what another has done and it’s not a good idea to tell folks what to do…pretty much ever. Thank you. (see original here)
I’m quite serious when I say dangerous as well…I imagine many people won’t believe that. I wrote the above blurb on Beyond Meds Facebook page after someone came up with what they claimed was an essential list for folks healing the gut/brain complex. The suggestion was that all the supplements they were speaking of were essential and necessary. Not only was this claim totally false but several of the substances were very dangerous if someone was on psych meds.
I’ll be explicit. One of the supplements was 5htp. A substance that many have appropriately found helpful. It can be totally okay, but it most certainly is not always safe.
5htp is among other things, a serotonin booster, and if someone takes it while they’re also on an SSRI antidepressant it can cause serotonin syndrome…which in turn can be DEADLY.
I’ve seen people tell others to take 5htp without knowing anything about them so many times it’s rather mind-boggling. The thing is even if someone is not taking an SSRI — 5htp is potentially quite psycho-active and can also cause severe adverse affects in someone who has become hypersensitive from psych drug withdrawal. It can also prompt manic like energy in people prone to such who have not taken psych drugs at all.
So you see…just this one supplement has a whole laundry list of potential issues. All supplements are like that to some degree…some more or less, depending on the individual, no doubt, but it’s simply not safe to assume that what has worked for you is safe for another.
It’s also arrogant and even violent to insist you know what is right for someone else and not at all unrelated to what psychiatrists like to do when they prescribe drugs. Yes, sorry, but it’s true. We are not being respectful if we insist we know what is right for someone else in caring for their own body/mind/spirit.
We instead need to learn to develop our own Internal Guidance – a piece from Beyond Meds on Mad in America. Other’s experience can certainly inform our path, but no two of us are alike in what we need.
And another post with a similar message: Psych Drugs Kill vs Psych Drugs Save Lives. What if Both Are True?
May we all honor the mystery of our individual paths.