healing documented

The archives of this blog now span over ten years. They are a record of a  life – learning and transforming at a rate unlike any other time. I say this as a way of disclaimer. In the earlier years of this blog I am processing shock and dismay. In the early years I am undisputedly angry. I have worked out much of that and see things in a much less judgmental manner now. This continues to evolve. I sometimes want to take down old posts because they no longer convey how I feel, but I realize that they may still be helpful to people who are going through something similar now. The journey got me to where I am today, it’s just odd to have some of it in writing here for all to see.

new: Radio and video appearances

Below are a collection of my personal posts and essays presented in reverse chronology.

This blog, started in 2007, now covers 10 years (and counting) of a transformative journey. I am not the same person that started this blog.

While many assume I’m anti-med because I speak frequently about their dangers, it would be a mistake to assume I am stridently opposed to all meds all the time. I am first and foremost pro-choice and always have been.  I am also pragmatic. The crime that happens everyday in virtually every psychiatrist’s office is that options and alternatives are neither discussed nor recognized. Also there exists no infrastructure of care to support people in crisis, often leaving no alternative for people who do not have financial or emotional resources to do otherwise. It’s excruciatingly complex. There simply is not effective and viable care for too many people. Being pragmatic counts too when people are suffering.

Some of this blog tells my story which is one in which meds are grossly overused and abused by professionals. I do not assume that my choices once realizing this are appropriate for anyone else unless they determine them to be for themselves.

Nothing on these pages should be construed as medical advice.

My professional history:

I got my BA in Religious Studies at UC Berkeley. After graduation a San Francisco state MSW graduate friend of mine helped me secure an interview for a graduate internship program for social workers at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. After losing a close friend to AIDS I had worked in an AIDS hospice as a volunteer for a couple of years.  Once interviewed by the Foundation it was determined I was qualified to do the internship. I completed the program with social work graduate interns from UC Berkeley’s and San Francisco State University’s MSW programs. After that internship the San Francisco AIDS Foundation hired me on as a social worker on their front lines. The bulk of the population I worked with at the Foundation had psychiatric diagnosis.  Later I took positions in mental health agencies. Because of my background my positions were generally filled by master level candidates. I worked side by side other social workers, therapists of all kinds and psychiatrists for many years. The clients were generally designated “severely mentally ill.” (a designation that has never really made sense to me)
My “patient” history:

Monica’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology  –from David Healy’s site.

And now too a mini memoir at Mad in America: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs

The above two pieces can serve as a mini history of my personal journey in and away from the psychiatric system.


For info on withdrawal in particular see: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

See also: the “It Gets Better” Series if you’re sick and in the midst of psychiatric drug withdrawal

And The anniversary posts: the 8 years off psychiatric drugs documented

For some recent updates you can see these first:




Psychiatric drug withdrawal: preparation for before you begin










*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. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

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