Alto Strata speaks at the Occupy Psychiatry Protest at the APA conference: psychiatric drug withdrawal

Alto Strata speaks at the Occupy Psychiatry Protest at the American Psychiatric Association conference. She tells her story of withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome. And then shares her hard earned wisdom about how to more safely discontinue psychiatric drugs. Alto runs the most comprehensive psychiatric drug withdrawal support board on the web now — Surviving Antidepressants — which also discusses all other psych meds. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Surviving antidepressants (and psychiatric drugs in general)

Those of us who’ve spent hundreds of hours with thousands of people coming off drugs still have the most reliable information available for the time being. This is an instance in which “peers” simply have more information than anyone else. Not only have we lived it but we’ve watched many others do the same. Alto Strata has been doing this for many years and has amassed a knowledge base that is truly impressive. … [click on the title to read and view more]

Guest authors

This blog owes much of its success and influence to the great authors who chose to share their work here. Below are just a few of the more prolific contributors. There are links to their blogs or websites in the body of the posts where you can get more information about each author. There were […]

It gets better: Sleep, insomnia and iatrogenic injury

The dangerousness of insomnia as associated with psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes. This is a post about what it was like at the time in 2011 and further information to learn how to get through it and heal. Because it does get better. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Cold turkey withdrawal from psychiatric drugs

The most important thing about cold-turkey to understand is that just because you’ve heard of someone that managed to do it successfully (or you are the one who did it successfully) doesn’t mean it’s a generally safe thing for others to do. The risk involved if things go wrong are potentially radically life-changing in the extreme negative so it’s simply not a risk worth taking unless one is faced with an immediate life-threatening side-effect from the drugs. That is the only time that cold-turkey is appropriate and wise…in that instance one should have easy access to emergency medical services. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Health industry group: Replace psychiatrists with vending machines — Measure to reduce health care costs

A health care industry thinktank, US Health Insurance Consortium on Cost, advocates replacing psychiatrists and other doctors with vending machines to prescribe and dispense antidepressants.

“We believe this will cut the cost of psychiatric services significantly,” Uli Arnowsky, spokesperson for USHICost, said. “Our studies show the diagnosis and prescription process can be automated, with no loss in quality of care. Specialist costs are just not necessary for this type of treatment, and psychiatrists are overworked anyway.”

Andrew Solomon, poster child for psychiatric misdiagnosis

As a poster child for psychiatric drug treatment, Solomon has been showered with honors. He received the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s Humanitarian Award in 2008 and is a lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He is on the boards of many mental health organizations.

As of March 2013, Solomon was still taking 5 psychiatric drugs a day.

But a closer at Andrew Solomon’s history suggests that his is a not a triumph of psychiatric drug treatment, but a tragedy. He has been taking a basket of psychiatric drugs every day for 20 years not for depression, but for misdiagnosed iatrogenic symptoms caused by the drugs themselves. … [click on title to read the rest]

Cold-turkeying off psych drugs is not a wise choice except in a life-threatening emergency

I am seeing an unfortunate trend in the psychiatric survivor community: People are saying cold turkey can be a perfectly fine way to go off psychiatric drugs.

We know many people get away with cold turkey, but others injure their nervous systems severely, for months or years. You don’t know in advance what will happen. Even a taper over a month reduces the risk of injury.

What’s more, if you do get withdrawal syndrome, you’re on your own. You cannot imagine how bad it can be. There’s no real medical treatment. You can’t count on a nice doctor with a pill to save you.

We need to get together to protect each other, the way the gay community united to encourage safe sex to protect people from HIV infection.

Please help spread the word: Friends do not let friends cold turkey. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Alarming report on persistent side effects of antidepressant drugs published online

Wow, some researchers have finally spent some time on our withdrawal boards and report back with ALARM. We try to get people to look at these boards all the time and it’s pretty clear most people are unimpressed enough to generally think we are simply being hyperbolic in our descriptions about how many people are gravely suffering. Sadly this often includes people critical of psychiatry. Those of us suffering from severe withdrawal syndromes … [click on title to read the rest]