My birthday and my seven-year anniversary off of psych drugs was February 9th. I usually do a video and post that day, but I was actually in bed most of the day and didn’t feel well at all…hence the video and post today…
At this point I can feel growth in the shittiness too (most of the time) and so while it was not a happy day, I knew that it would pass and that I would do this post as soon as I integrated what was going on in my body that day.
My brain is going through a rapid growth spurt which actually hurts sometimes (a whole lot, in fact). I find that if I follow the somatic imperative I’ve learned to trust — if I follow its indications precisely — I have an easier time of it. Either way I’m growing like a baby monkey. The delicate discernment process continues. It’s a razors edge so following its suggestions makes that edge a bit more comfortable…I went against my better judgement Wednesday afternoon (the day prior to my birthday) and thus suffered for it all the next day. Such is life…it’s a steep learning curve when you’re growing new neurons like a weed!!!
Seven years ago, 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 with far too many of us being gravely harmed…
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.
My story of iatrogenic harm was shared in November a few years ago 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 for more details: Monica: 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.
This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. — Walt Whitman
Some of the articles from the last year that speak to what the year was like:
*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care. Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up
It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention.
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.