I've added a "protracted withdrawal" link to the drop-down menus above. I wanted to call attention to it and so I'm also sharing a bit of correspondence I recently had with an injured comrade with protracted withdrawal syndrome below. ...
There are quite a few relatively mainstream doctors now talking about the harms of benzodiazepines and anti-depressants on social media. As usual other psychiatric drugs (neuroleptics, anti-convulsants, -- called anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers, etc) are given short shrift. This is about informed consent. If people don't know about the very serious potential risks involved in... Continue Reading →
This is the video I did last year for this day. Help raise awareness and please share it and other information about benzodiazepines today. Visit: -- World Benzodiazepine Day: Change through Unity (Facebook page) -- Recently I wrote another post about what it was like when the illness incurred by the drugs was at its worst: When medicine and doctors almost kill you… Because, yeah, I was on death's door for a long, long time. It can still feel traumatic to really think about that time. I do hope we can help others avoid such a fate. ...
By Richard Lewis -- As the benzodiazepine crisis spreads throughout the United States and other parts of the world so does the debate within the benzo victim/survivor community about important definitions of key medical terms and about safe and successful paths to healing and recovery. Does “iatrogenic benzo dependence” and “addiction” represent completely separate medical and social phenomena? If they are to have distinctly different scientific definitions, can they also (at the same time) intersect in multiple ways in people’s actual real life experience? And what is the medical and social significance of exploring these concepts and seeking unity of understanding and purpose? Before delving into the content of this debate let’s briefly review the social context from which this “Benzo Divide” has emerged.
I am a completely different person from when I wrote the below piece. Shaped by what I was then, but completely different in a positive sense. Today as I write this I’m having a bit of a flare which is part of the healing process, so it remains not an all or nothing thing, yet the way I experience everything now is different. Life is always good even when it’s painful and difficult. Having that capacity is a gift as far as I’m concerned and also a sign of inherent wellness. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
And to be clear -- It's not like this anymore. It's gotten a whole lot better. (from) MARCH 19, 2010 This is an email I wrote to a friend who asked what it was like to experience the post benzo withdrawal. I don't write much anymore, even emails to friends and family, so I figured I'd be economical and use this on the blog. I began the description: Have you tripped before? I often feel like I'm having a bad trip and it's the part in which one is coming down...strange sensations and terror...as well as semi-psychotic thought processes. … [click on title to read and view more]
The IT GETS BETTER collection is intended to help those who are currently dealing with the iatrogenic (medically caused) injury from psych meds…so that they might know that we can heal. It is also intended to help educate the masses to the realities that we face. Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome is real. It’s also sometimes gravely disabling. The fact is it’s largely denied in the medical community. We are routinely blamed and told that the experience is psychiatric…this leads to more drugging and sometimes forced drugging with the very drugs that have harmed us. This must end. This is #7 in the IT GETS BETTER series. … [click on title to read more]
This collection is intended to help those who are currently dealing with the iatrogenic (medically caused) injury from psych meds...so that they might know that we can heal from it all. It is also intended to help educate the masses to the realities that we face. Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal is real. It's also sometimes gravely disabling. The fact is it's largely denied in the medical community. We are routinely blamed and told that the experience is psychiatric...this leads to more drugging and sometimes forced drugging with the very drugs that have harmed us. This must end. We have no societal support when we are coming through this heinous process either...many people have no familial or community support whatsoever. This is a dangerous reality. Please become educated. And please pass the information along in any way that makes sense, so that those of us struck with this can get the help we need and deserve. … [click on title to read and view more]
I am, now, grateful that I was forced onto what was often a heinously difficult path that psych drug withdrawal created because in the end, it was the only way for me to truly and deeply heal. The drugs weren't just a dead end for me, they were slowly driving me downhill to my spiritual death. Getting off that ugly merry-go-round involved facing far worse in the short term but on the other side now, I see a freedom that simply wouldn't have been possible if I'd stayed on those drugs. My experience is shared by many others. Again, if it's not resonant for someone, that too is okay. I do not write assuming that all I say will have meaning for everyone. We are all on different paths. … [click on title to read and view more]
During these times I was unable to sit upright in bed. I was only able to walk to the bathroom and rarely to the kitchen. My muscles became totally atrophied. I was too weak to hold a toothbrush up to my mouth and therefore went a couple of years without doing what most people consider simple acts of hygiene. I wrote with the laptop propped on my knees and my head propped up a bit with a pillow. Writing was a lifeline that helped me continue. It’s been a source of great joy to find out that my keeping this blog has helped so many others. This is not my reality anymore. I am up and out of bed. I practice yoga daily. I dance, I walk and I cookand run errands and do chores. I have not achieved perfect functioning. I still can’t make firm commitments or travel. Still I can enjoy many things in life and I’ve developed a deep appreciation for what I’ve been through and how much it has taught me. Life is a wondrous thing and simply being alive is a reason to be grateful as far as I’m concerned. … [click on title to read and view more]