Oliver Sacks, the autonomic nervous system, and psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome

My husband, Paul Woodward, who has published quite a few essays on this blog, sometimes sends emails to me about his thoughts on my (and therefore, often, our) circumstance. Sometimes he’s incredibly helpful and insightful both. I’m sharing what he wrote to me yesterday. The below is most of the body of an email. I’ve edited out a couple of sentences that were directed to me more personally at the beginning and the end. Most of it is just as it was written. As way of introduction to those who perhaps are not familiar with this blog, the autonomic nervous system injury that Paul is referring to in myself is the one incurred by psychiatric drugs and their withdrawal. It is essentially a sort of chemical and pharmaceutical and, therefore, iatrogenic brain injury. It’s often referred to as psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome and in some people can be a severe and debilitating condition. … [click on title to read and view more]

Yoga back bends: feels yummy on the autonomic nervous system

I like to help people see how easy yoga can be. You can start with something as simple as this and see where it takes you. Being a yogi is about listening to your body and learning from it and it really doesn’t matter if you can do really complicated poses or not. Start simple and see what happens. Back bends continue to be very helpful to me …

Autonomic nervous system dysfunction, protracted psych drug withdrawal, CFS, Fibromyalgia and why I still limit engagement on the internet

I introduce the work of Dan Neuffer in another post. He’s done a brilliant job documenting and explaining how the autonomic nervous system appears to be of foundational concern for CFS, ME and fibromyalgia. I made the link that it’s clear that protracted psychiatric withdrawal syndromes, too, also fall into his theory very neatly. It’s worth reading the initial post and viewing Dan’s videos that are in that post. His book is excellent too and anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the issues should read it. I’ve not seen anyone else pull together so many of the issues I think about and talk about on this blog in one dynamic whole. What a joy to find it. He understands deeply how everything matters. This holistic understanding of our natures and particularly this illness, is the cornerstone to how I’m healing. I share my healing story in the article on Mad in America here: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Yoga back bends: feels yummy on the autonomic nervous system

I’ve been using yoga as a main source of rehabilitation and recovery since I was bedridden. I began doing yoga while still in bed. Now it continues to be a primary source of continued healing. Lately I’ve been doing backbends and while all the yoga I do feels like it profoundly helps my nervous system, these bends have really been making me think about my autonomic nervous system and how it seems to be healing it. Tending to the autonomic nervous system seems like the most important thing I’m doing in all of my recovery practices. And indeed all of my recovery practices aid in this most important endeavor. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Emotional “dysregulation” is plasticity

while the healing process may sometimes be radical and even violent as well as time consuming, ultimately when we’ve healed, we’ve also transformed in profound ways. Indeed, this is becoming my experience. …

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some thoughts from around the internet in the last few days: In response to this article I saw tweeted: Psychiatric drugs killing more users than heroin, cocaine, say health experts I wrote these words:  Zyprexa alone killed far more than Vioxx ever did in same time it was on the market (Vioxx was taken off […]

Paradox in healing and life

  The coin of health has illness on the other side. The currency of joy has sorrow on the reverse. Turn the coin of serenity and there is the stamp of worry. You always have to take what is underneath and reckon with that too. Happiness rests on sorrow, life upon death, calm upon turmoil. […]