If I can get off of psych meds anyone can. I firmly believe that. There’s nothing special about me that is different from any other human being on the planet. Individual differences between all of us, of course, but we are all made of the same basic stuff, same biology, same genetic structure.
In my next life I’m planning on morphing into a hybrid human-hummingbird… but that’s not the focus of this post. 🙂
I’m Similar to Anyone Who Is Manic Depressive
There is nothing special about me that somehow makes my Manic Depression different from anyone else’s. Bipolar 1 Disorder has a basic clinical presentation that most suffereres fit into to a certain extent.
I had the classic late teen onset (age 19), severe mania that appeared out of the blue (no previous mental illness issues) and was hospitalized. Many others have experiences that are very similar.
I do not think a psychiatrist would look at my becoming ill as somehow unique. I think they’d simply look at it as classic onset of one of the most severe mental illnesses they have on their books.We Need Better Treatments for Manic Depression from Time of Onset Throughout Someone's Life. Click To Tweet
How the illness will then play out in the person’s life is very unique, and like any illness dependent on a multitude of factors. A few primary ones are:
1. Access to Care i.e. financial status.
2. Support System i.e. being accepted and helped or rejected.
3. Available Treatments i.e. doctor that just writes prescriptions then hospitalizes when the medications worsen someone’s symptoms or physicians who search for underlying health issues and find ways to treat.
I got lucky with #3 above and is why I am alive today. That’s where I want you to get to. If possible. Or your child, relative, neighbor, coworker’s grandchild i.e. off of psych meds and searching for ways to be well.
We know what goes on in the body when we fart. What happens in the body during cardiac arrest. What a seizure presents as. When someone is or is not in a coma. And on and on.
Let’s get to the point where we have a better understanding of what is going on in the body when someone develops Manic Depression.
Or better yet – the field of psychiatry to start taking a more medical approach to treating Manic Depression from the time of onset and throughout the person’s life. To stop lying about a chemical imbalance they know does not exist.
Related post: Undertanding the Placebo Effect of Antidepressants.
Medical treatments meaning anything other than brain damaging psychotropic medications that are only useful short-term for crisis intervention (mania, psychosis, sucidical depression). Long-term they kill. Shorten lifespan, trigger suicide and worse – are implicated in many mass murders.
Lovely. Shouldn’t we be moving away from that madness?
So a person can go on to live a healthy, productive life. Not become permanently disabled by side effects from toxic meds, put in jail or dead.
Progression Of Illness Is Unique
The core features of how this illness presents clinically has been identified (or else there would be no real way to diagnose it) but where it goes from there is highly individual.
This is where all sufferers are very unique. And all are going to have different responses to treatment, different underlying causes of their mood issues (what triggered the onset of BP-1), different responses to medical and adjunctive care, etc.
Examples: Melatonin is a huge help to me in regulating moods by getting deeper, more restful sleep at night. Some people can’t tolerate it or it does not help them. Yoga isn’t my thing. For some it’s a lifesaver.
And on and on.
You Can Withdraw From Psych Meds. No, It Will Not Be Easy.
I can’t share the specifics of my tapering off of lithium (large doees for a year, plus trials of antidpressants) when I was around 23 years old or so. I have very little clear memory of that time.
I remember my life at that time (I don’t have memory issues, have never had ECT) but I had two incidences of trauma that has clouded my recollection of events. When I try to think of what I did exactly, and how, how long it took etc. I cannot remember the specifics.
I basically read a ton, started to receive medical care from qualified physicians for my primary complaints of fatigue and daytime drowsiness and made a ton (or attempted to make) of lifestyle changes: dexox, getting off suger, candida diet, trials of supplements, thyroid hormone medication.
A bunch of stuff. And that’s what withdrawl will most likely be for others i.e. a very complicated and drawn out process that is not going to be easy or quick.
The below is from a nice, simple article on the basics of what to expect, written by psychologist John M. Grohol:
“Although this will not come as news to anyone who’s been on any one of the most common psychiatric medications prescribed — such as Celexa, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Prozac, Xanax, Paxil, Effexor, etc. — getting off of a psychiatric medication can be hard. Really hard.”
“Much harder than most physicians and many psychiatrists are willing to admit.”
And you need help from a physician. I did not have specific, direct care for withdrawing, but I was receiving medical care and they knew my history and that I was off of psych meds.
Today There is An Abundance of Information To Help With Drug Withdrawl
An abundance of information and many qualified physicians (and therapists working with a physician) who can help you.
Many have shared their personal stories online. Here are links to a few of those plus other excellent resources: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Resources.
The bottom line is it is simply up to you. No one can force you. You need to decide to take control of your body and mind. It’s in your control. The choice is yours.
Whether your Big Pharma doctor has training to help, or will support your decision is another matter.
The below is from a Mad in America article by psychiatrist Vivek Datta, M.D.:
“One of the most damaging aspects of current psychiatric practice is that we convince people that they somehow themselves are damaged, whether this due to broken brains, crooked molecules, intrapsychical conflicts, damaged cognitive sets, abusive childhoods, traumatic lives, and so on.”
“In doing so we erode a sense of personal agency, a narrative of resilience and autonomy, and instead create a dependency and helplessness. I think one of the keys to coming off psychiatric drugs is for the individual to have their own coherent narrative of their experiences, and to see these experiences as within their control.”
Related post: There Are No Abonormalities in a Mentally Ill Person’s Brain.
Holistic Psychiatrists in the U.S.
Check out this free list of Holistic Psychiatrists in the U.S. for some names in or near where you live: Holistic Psychiatrists in the United States.
I’ll be continually updating it – if you know of a great doc to add, send me the info!