Kelly Brogan M.D. on psychiatric drug withdrawal

Kelly Brogan gets it.

kellyMillions of patients find themselves caught in the web of psychiatric sorcery – a spell cast, hexed, potentially for life. They are told that they have chemical imbalances. They are told that the most important thing they can do for themselves is to “take their medication”, and that they will have to do so “for life”.

A Dr. Joanna Moncreiff states:

“Symbolically, medication suggests that the problem is within the brain and well-being is dependent upon maintaining ‘chemical balance’ by artificial means. This message encourages patients to view themselves as flawed and vulnerable and may explain the poor outcomes of treated depression in naturalistic studies.”

These patients have suffered a crisis of resiliency.

The stress of their life experience outpaced what their biopsychosocial resources could support. Providers are not asking WHY they became sick when they did. They are not exploring root causes. They are not discussing evidence-based alternatives to medication treatment. And they are not disclosing the long-term risks of psychotropics including worse functional outcome and increased risk of relapse. Let alone the poor integrity, industry-funded and manipulated data that supports the approval for efficacy of these medications.

(READ MORE HERE on Kelly Brogan’s website  — It’s well worth reading the whole article.)

Below is my withdrawal info page cut and pasted for ease. It’s always available above in the drop down navigation menus. Please pass this information on. People need it so that further harm can be mitigated.

Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

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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.

*feel free to share via social media. You are also free to copy and paste and republish as widely as you’d like. 

NOT EVERYONE IS SUBJECT TO PROTRACTED OR EVEN SIGNIFICANT WITHDRAWAL ISSUES. That said everyone needs to be aware of the risk so that every reasonable precaution can be made to avoid potentially serious issues. In the interest of informed consent we need to know what the risks are. Many psychiatrists are not telling people about these risks. What is worse is that psychiatrists don’t even understand the risks or recognize what they’re actually witnessing when they start happening. This level of ignorance is a criminal reality at the moment.

See: the “It Gets Better” Series if you’re sick and in the midst of psychiatric drug withdrawal

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 

See also: Peer support? This is the real thing. Free of institutionalization. (psych drug 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)

New Updates:

See: the “It Gets Better” Series if you’re sick and in the midst of 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.

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters