Joel Marcus, MD – the psychiatrist who drugged me into a toxic stupor (Berkeley, CA)

In the spirit of #METOO enough is enough. Psychiatry has destroyed my life far worse than the two times I have been raped. (I don’t speak for everyone, but that is true for me.)  The fact is many lives have been harmed as mine has by psychiatry.  Too many people have been abused, sickened, disabled (and died too) by psychiatry and no one takes responsibility for it and most of society refuses to acknowledge it’s happening. It’s time to end such treatment and trauma.

I don’t actually even have hard feelings for this man in particular, Joel Marcus, MD. I liked him. It’s been many years since I’ve seen or talked to him now. He’s simply the man who harmed me in the way that all of psychiatry harms people everyday and doesn’t own up to it. I think getting personal about this stuff is appropriate at some point. I want to know that my experience will help others never have to go through what I and the many thousands of people I advocate for have had to go through. While it’s personal on one level, more importantly, Joel Marcus is every psychiatrist and all psychiatrists have to own what has been done in the name of their profession.

This action is that we might raise awareness with the hope that he and others like him can come to peace with what he’s participated in while first taking responsibility. The first step is to acknowledge that his practice harms people. And this post will come to his attention because people like me who are researching their doctor will find it and have some questions. It will help some folks come to this information so that they might make better educated choices than those I and those I advocate for were ever able to make.

Joel Marcus is  both a neurologist and a psychiatrist. This is, of course, additionally horrifying since what many who have iatrogenic psych drug injuries are suffering from are, indeed, drug-induced brain injuries. He’s also well-regarded and respected (as well as a likable guy which makes it additionally tricky for those meeting him and wanting to question psychiatry — which I did at the time.) He had me on a cocktail of 6 drugs mostly all at the very highest doses by the end of the time I was subjected to his toxic care. This too, is horrifying. The heinous, dangerous, toxic care I got is standard treatment in psychiatry. I was treated before the internet existed and didn’t have any sources of alternative information, though I tried.

So, I’ve never outed this MD who “treated” me for the bulk of the time I was over-drugged although I’ve mentioned him many times over the years. I decided to out him now since he’s never acknowledged the toxicity and dangerousness of these drugs even though I’ve communicated with him for many years, hoping to get some acknowledgment and perhaps help those whom he still drugs. It seems reasonable to hold every psychiatrist responsible for those they’ve harmed and he’s the only one I can call out. Other psychiatrists might start thinking twice if this becomes something that many people do. Creating change and rising up from oppressive societal forces is always a bumpy process.

I’ve written to him many times and have  some of the emails documented on this page:

Most of them have been completely ignored…

He can now answer to anyone who sees this post and explain why he had me on this monstrously large cocktail that almost killed me multiple times now (that’s not hyperbole). Perhaps, occasionally, someone will walk away realizing that there are choices that these doctors never let us know about. Informed choice remains the thrust of my work. No one should have to find out, somewhere down the line, that these drugs kill and disable with some frequency.

the cocktail:

  • 84 mg of Concerta
  • 50 mg of Seroquel
  • 200 mg of Zoloft
  • 400 mg of Lamictal
  • 11 mg of Risperdal
  • 3 to 6 mg of Klonopin (3 daily and then up to 6 PRN)

While this sort of excessive prescribing happens there is actually no evidence base anywhere in the medical literature that would support such polypharmacy at such high doses.  To be clear, psych drugs can harm at any dose.  Robert Whitaker’s books on psychiatry  thoroughly examines the evidence base.

For more history see also:

And on David Healy, MD’s site (a psychiatrist who understands the toxic nature of these drugs) : The ‘grave disability’ of withdrawal syndrome | RxISK

And on Mad in America: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs – Mad In America

Sites to learn about the toxicity of these drugs:

Some additional links of interest here

And here are some books to get started with too if this is new information for you.

And again, Robert Whitaker’s books on psychiatry  thoroughly examine the evidence base.

***

*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 or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters