“Pseudo-Autism” as a result of psych drug injury (another consideration in protracted withdrawal syndrome from psych meds)

This post discusses a very important issue that is simply not widely understood by pretty much anyone in mental health circles…critical or otherwise. I look to these injuries from many different frames and windows…this one comes up again and again for me whenever I encounter autistic folks. 

I found this article at Mad in America quite fascinating and on point. I hadn’t heard the term pseudo-autism but it’s exactly my experience too. I’m sharing the link to the article and my comment in response to the article here. Please go visit Mad in America to read the article:  When Modern Medicine Made Me More Autistic

I left this comment on the post at Mad in America:

oh wow, I love this. Pseudo-Autism…I noticed a long time ago in my recovery process from psych drug injury that I had much in common with folks who identify with the autistic label. I always had some manner of these issues but the drug damage put them on steroids, and yeah, added some heinous qualities to the picture. I have to say that while they are indeed challenging and awful at times there are many gifts and I continue to heal from the heinous aspects of it all.

And yes, gut and microbiome issues are central to that picture. For me early over-use of antibiotics also played a large part as well as later multiple systemic infections that originated in the gut.

Thank you so much for expressing this variant and injury from your experience. I find it very helpful and validating too.


I’ve written much about the gut on this website. I’ve not actually kept the site up to date with all I’ve been discovering lately…But, yeah, multiple infections as a result of the damage the psych drugs and other environment factors made to the microbiome. They are very hard to eradicate. I won’t use antibiotics (because I don’t tolerate pharmaceuticals since the psych drug injury) but there are many natural means of killing all the buggers. I have mentioned this in my detox articles too.  Detoxification (which is really about balancing the internal ecosystem): healthy living for body/mind/spirit

Some updated links here:

This is an older collection from this site:  Mental health and diet: nutrition and gut health

More on the GUT here

See posts that discuss autoimmunity too

And chronic illness in general


*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. 

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!

6 thoughts on ““Pseudo-Autism” as a result of psych drug injury (another consideration in protracted withdrawal syndrome from psych meds)

Add yours

  1. Psychiatric drugs themselves often make what is called “autism” worse. These drugs have suppressive effects on people. This causes people to become more withdrawn.


  2. And here I am remembering that, despite the fact that I have always avoided socialising with kids mom ( and older people in general) did not approve of ( not because I did not approve of them, but in order to avoid the “jobation” regarding who to hang out with), the first time that I recall really enjoying – and insisting on –
    playing on my own was in the kindergarten, when I came back there after some virus or something (could have been bronchitic asthma, too), which obviously seemed strange to my kindergarten teacher, too, since she mentioned it to my mother. My diagnosis, of course, is OCD, but it kind of manifests as autism (=I avoid eye contact for fear that people might guess my intrusive thoughts, which I do understand that it is highly unlikely to happen, but, still, that one percent possibility of that happening, keeps torturing me) – please forgive my english, I have forgotten much of it, since it is not my first language.


  3. Since stopping 6 unnecessary psych drugs in 2008, which took 18 months, I know I have become “slightly autistic” as I refer to it. I’ve never been properly tested, just done online tests which report I’m on the aspergers end of the spectrum. Though I know this isn’t a reliable indicator it was interesting. Stopping psych meds exacerbated traits that have always been with me since birth, things I learned to account for and work around, but are now much more pronounced.

    9 years later I still can’t watch anything on TV without captions because, even though it’s in English I can’t understand what people are saying unless I can also read it at the same time. I interrupt on the phone because I can’t see the speaker’s face. Now I know what “stimming” is I realize I’ve done it all my life, but it’s much more difficult to control, as are repetitive behaviours that are new since coming off pych meds. Just some tiny examples of many odd things.

    The way I see it in my layperson’s mind, I have an auto-immune illness that was caused by coming off psych meds. I sense/feel that much of my illness is in my gut, and this in turn affects my brain. It’s my simplistic understanding that 10-years of psych meds rewired my brain somehow, which affected my gut, which in turn affected my immune system. With the help of an integrative rheumatologist with a PhD in immunology I’m very, very slowly improving, so slowly I don’t notice unless I look back 6 months. It’s very interesting and makes a lot of sense to me reading about emerging research into the role of the gut in all this.


  4. It’s great to see you have opened up posts for comments at last. I’ve often wanted to post a comment, and miss your Facebook page. I identify strongly with this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally understood. Social media drains energy and can cause negativity, I restrict my interactions for this reason. No need to reply 🙂



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