Here are some excellent resources to help you learn about psychiatric drug withdrawl, what it entails, the risks involved and how to go about it in a safe and effective manner.
Included below are research articles, books, websites and personal stories of those who have successfully withdrawn from psychiatric medication.
I share a little about my personal experience withdrawing from lithium many years ago here: If I Can Get Off Psych Meds Anyone Can.
Menka Pickles shares her story of slowly recovering from 17 years of psych med use (more than 30 different ones perscribed) here: Withdrawing from Psychotropic Medications After 17 Years.
A Few More Stories:
Chaya Grossberg – Chaya shares her personal story of being made disabled by psychiatric treatments and how she recovered. Very insiring. She now helps others who want to live a med-free life.
She is a cerfified Kripalu yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist and has led support groups for many years at various healing centers. The below is from the website:
“After psychiatric drugs took my physical and mental capacities away (and nearly my life) at age 21, I have been an advocate, activist, speaker, writer, consultant, teacher, and supporter for those coming off psych drugs and those choosing not to take them despite social pressure.”
Beyond Meds Withdrawal 101 – section of award-winning website of Monica Cassani, social worker and former psychiatric patient who took many years to heal from 20 years of psychotropic medications, beginning at age 19.
Quoted from the website:
“I completed my withdrawal in February of 2010. I was one of thousands of people who develop serious protracted withdrawal issues that lead to grave disability. Still, I have not had one moment of regret for having freed myself from these drugs because my mind is clear.”
“I have a clarity of mind that is so beautiful I can cry if I spend time thinking about it. My clarity was stolen from me for almost half my life. I have it back and even while gravely impaired I have been grateful for that.”
Will Hall.net – Will recovered from schizophrenia (and psych meds) to go on to become a counselor, international speaker and consultant and much more. He is featured in the YouTube video above.
Any reearch on psych med withdrawal will pull up his name (eventually!) as he created a free PDF: Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs. Is an excellent read.
Quoted from the website:
“My work as a therapist and group facilitator has focused especially on trauma, oppression, and working with extreme states of consciousness that get diagnosed as psychosis; my PhD research is focusing on psychiatric medications and alternatives.”
Coming Off.com – created by mental health professionals, has a section with eight personal stories by psychiatric survivors.
The site also includes basic helpful information (how to plan, how to taper, what to expect, alternative things to try).
Websites About Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
MindFreedom.org – a non-profit group focused on human rights of psychiatric patients and survivors, non-coercive treatment modalities and speaking out about Big Pharma. The page is their list of helpful resources for those thinking of getting off of psychotropic medications.
PsychIntegrity.org – website of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP). It is a non-profit volunteer organization of physicians, educators, mental health profesionals and ex-patients of the mental health system.
Quoted from the website:
“At the heart of our critique is the fact that “mental illnesses” are not literal illnesses like diabetes and cancer. Despite popular media portrayal, decades of scientific research have failed to demonstrate any biological pathology that causes “mental illness”.”
“For this reason, they should not be considered medical problems and traditional medical treatment is not a solution. In particular, the only thing psychiatric drugs do is suppress feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.”
“Not only does this prevent people from understanding their problems and making important life changes, these drugs carry with them a whole host of dangerous effects that typically are not explained to the user when prescribing them.”
Mad In America: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Resources – many excellent articles written by psychiatrists, mental health professionals, former psychiatric patients, etc.
Recovering From Psychiatry – the name of the website says it all. It is Laura Delano’s site (she is alos featured in the documentary above) with extensive resource material plus detailed information on her personal story and recovery.
Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs & Withdrawal – This is the website that breaks down the information in the PDF listed above by Will Hall. It is broken up into nice easy-to-read sections.
Books About Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers. – just reading the free intro pages on Amazon has a ton of excellent information.
Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patient’s and Their Families – by Peter Breggin, M.D.
Dr. Breggin also co-authored the book “Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications” with David Cohen Ph.D. Read about it on his website.
The book explains how withdrawal symptoms can mimic the symptoms the person first experienced, and mistaken for a “relapse”. Give yourself the gift of healing, read this book.
Medical Articles About Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal
There is an abundance of information available now about withdrawal effects for all classes of psychotropic medications: antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, stimulants and unspecified (clonidine, pimozide, Tenex).
Do a search online for your specific medication like this: “Zyprexa & Withdrawal”. You will pull up a bunch of articles from many different sources.
I found this Journal of Psychoactive Drugs article a great read: “The Psychoactive Effects of Psychiatric Medication: The Elephant in the Room“.
“We examine the issue of dependence, and the need for support for people wishing to withdraw from psychiatric medication.”
“We consider how the reality of psychoactive effects undermines the idea that psychiatric drugs work by targeting underlying disease processes, since psychoactive effects can themselves directly modify mental and behavioral symptoms and thus affect the results of placebo-controlled trials.”
Source: National Institutes of Health
Documentary with Psychiatric Survivors
The image at the top of this page is a screenshot of the documentary – Coming Off Psych Drugs: A Meeting of the Minds. It was created by Daniel Mackler, a former therapist who now does a bunch of other things including writing and filmmaking. His website is: WildTruth.net.
The film includes many who were put on psych meds, told they had to take them for life and eventually challenged that mindset and sowly tapered (most, some were not as smart!) from the drugs to heal and live an authentic, psychotropic drug-free life.
Very inspiring. Is a touching vid, with many helpful tips shared by those who participated. View on YouTube here.
I will add to this page as I find resources that draw me in, and that I think others will find as pertintent and useful as I do.
If you have any suggestions, please add in a comment below. Thank you!