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To my friends and readers who still take psych drugs http://wp.me/p5nnb-9Aw


GiaK
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latest post on the blog

 

To my friends and readers who still take psych drugs (and to the whole spectrum of folks on and off meds too)

 

I often stop and wonder about the spectrum of readers this blog draws.  I have readers who are interested in mental health and wellbeing who've never taken a drug, nor have they ever been subjected to any sort of coercive psychiatric care. I have readers who take meds willingly, understanding that for them at this point of their individual, personal, idiosyncratic journeys it makes sense for them to do this. I have readers who take meds but really do not want to. They have not found meaningful supports that allow them to find a way to be free of them. Then there are readers who have been on meds but have freed themselves from them. Among those readers is a huge spectrum as well. Some were coerced and traumatized in the system. Others, didn't have terribly traumatic experiences,  but they understand that for them medications were not a long-term solution. I also have readers who were coerced and traumatized and harmed who cannot free themselves from the drugs and who have admirably and painfully come to terms with this reality. I am actually in a bit of awe of such people. They do not know what the future holds but they know that for now this is what is best for them. And they move forward like we all do in the unknown. Watching life unfold.

 

Oh, and I do also, have some readers who are grateful for what drugs did for them. Yes. I do. Some of these folks are still on drugs and others have come off when they no longer felt the need for that support. They understand that a dialogue with all of the players must be had and appreciate the perspective I have to offer as one of the many folks who've been gravely harmed by psych drugs.

 

The fact is I hold a space for every single one of these folks. Our journeys are long and complex and individual. I was on drugs for over 20 years. I hold a space for who I was all those 20 years. If I did not I would be a self-loathing hypocrite.

 

It seems that on occasion there are people who imagine I am somehow demanding that people not take meds. I also can only assume these folks feel threatened by my message. I speak to a particular audience of people whom can generally hold a lot of uncomfortable tensions because, frankly, life is messy and it's pretty much never straight-forward. I also speak from my experience. Psychiatric drugs pretty near killed me. I'm kind of passionate about that fact. That I know it can happen and that it happens everyday. I know about the harm these drugs can cause. I know it personally and I have now worked with 1000s directly and indirectly all over the world who have been gravely harmed. As long as this information is largely denied by those who prescribe psychiatric drugs, I do feel I have a responsibility to let it be known what can happen when these drugs are used the way they are most frequently being used today.

 

Those readers of mine who find they need to stay on psych drugs after trying to free themselves recognize, with that uncomfortable tension that, perhaps, the reason they have to stay on them is because they've been harmed by them. This doesn't change their reality today at this juncture in time. (It also does not predict the future.) They know that had they been offered meaningful alternatives at the beginning that they might not be in the predicament they find themselves. Do I judge them for making the only choice, in the context of their reality today, that makes sense? God no. I admire them.

 

Then the folks who are not my regular readers but who are horrified by my message. People who value psych drugs to the exclusion of all other possibilities. They are terrified that everyone will come off their drugs right NOW  even though I never ever have once told anyone to come off their drugs. Ever. And I never will. It's utterly and critically important that people know what they are doing when they come off psych drugs and that they have appropriate supports. There are many good reasons to NOT come off drugs now, in very many instances. There are simply not appropriate supports available all too often at this juncture in time. We need to change that, of course. These folks don't understand that if the system actually incorporated sane withdrawal protocols complete with trained physicians (both are non-existent now) it would make safe for people to discuss the subject openly that disasters of sudden withdrawal and decompensation would largely be eliminated.  So for these folks who don't understand all the complexities of my message, I have great compassion because they are terrified. It's awful being terrified like that. And given the nature of the mental health system today, it's frankly understandable.

 

I also have great compassion for those on the opposite end of that controlling spectrum. Those who do think everyone should come off their drugs right now. Many of these folks, like me, were gravely harmed by drugs. Same issue. Fear. Terror. Again, very understandable. Basically in their fear such people want to control others so that they are not traumatized the way they themselves have been. There is some genuine concern for others in their actions.  It's hard for them, in their fear, to imagine that completely other pathways are possible that sometimes incorporate aspects of the very things they are terrified of...but that will have different outcomes in different contexts with different people.

 

Can you see a theme here? Everyone has a reason that makes a lot of sense in the context of their life experience for the positions that they hold about these issues. I suggest we widen our hearts to recognize this fact. And that it's possible to come to terms with our experience in the context of our experience in such a way we no longer feel the need to try to force others to our point of view because we come to recognize there are many legitimate points of view.

 

Still, if someone gets coercive, inflexible and dogmatic, whether they are predominantly pro-med or anti-med you can be sure that fear is at the bottom of that. Fear is dangerous and it doesn't matter what side it's coming from. Many times the way this fear is expressed in with aggression and hostility towards others who might be indiscriminately perceived to be similar to those who've harmed them or their loved ones. I want to make a distinction here. Anger is a normal, human response that holds information for us. Aggression and hostility projected at others is most often misdirected, however. There are exceptions to this. I'm writing generally now. In any case I feel strongly that even in more extreme situations anger can be clean and non-violent (again, there are exceptions to this too). I strive for skillful application of anger in my life.  Anger in the name of justice is totally necessary. Nothing would ever happen in the name of progress in society if it weren't for anger at injustice. I am not demonizing anger. Anger is part of our emotional heritage and it's very important to be in touch with anger. Fully conscious of it. It's vitally important if we want to become whole and congruent with our deepest self. See:  The anger and rage collection: what we don’t engage we cannot transform

 

Ultimately the only thing that marks a mature human being is not whether they are on drugs or they are not on drugs, but are they consciously moving through life with integrity, congruency and alignment with all that lives. Doing that is every individual's task and how they go about getting there is never going to look the same. We cannot know what others need to learn or how they are going to learn it. The most we can do is allow. Allow for the great diversity of humanity.

 

What I know now, is that every step of my journey has been valuable to me, even the drugged years. It was not until I could embrace and accept everything, good and bad in my life that I was able to have some peace in my being.  I would not know what I know now if I hadn't been drugged all those years. I would not know what I know now had I not been a social worker in the very toxic mental health system. That was my schooling. It made me. I can now help people make safer, healthier choices for having lived through all of that. I have often said I know things I wish I didn't know, but I do know them and so I must do what I do. This is how progress happens. This is how in some weird way, all is okay. All is good. Life is somehow ordered and lovely even in the chaos.

 

This doesn't mean we sit back and do nothing. It does mean we continue to wake up and become who we are in the deepest sense and help others do that too.

 

Force and coercion has no place in that regardless of what our beliefs are. Everyone has a different path.

I conceived of this post as a message to those still on meds who understand the big picture because frankly, I think being in the middle of what is a sort of maelstrom is the hardest place to be...having the great anti and pro med forces coming at you from all sides is not easy thing to come to terms with for any of us, frankly. So I see that people who are still taking medications, for whatever reason but doing it consciously and reading this blog too are truly to be admired. They are truly grappling with the issues and that to me indicates integrity, congruency and alignment with their deepest selves. That is all that being awake entails.

 

Related posts:

●  Stop taking your meds, right now… (NOT!)

●  Some thoughts on stopping psychiatric medications – pros and cons to coming off

●  Dogmatic anti-meds stance can be dangerous

●  Informed consent and pro-choice when it comes to drugs and medications

 

Original link and post with photo http://wp.me/p5nnb-9Aw

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Completely, utterly, resoundingly right. ALL of it. You eloquently and passionately gave voice to the very thoughts I have every day.

 

If there was one thread I would be sure to post in EVERY day to bump it to the top of the list, this is it.

 

Thanks, GiaK.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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oh, thank you...I'm very glad it resonated so strongly. 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Lovely, excellent, insightful, helpful, as always. Thank you so much for your healing work, Gia.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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