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TOPIC: Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care

Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 29 Apr 2019 23:19 #61

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This psychiatrist, Dr. Lee Coleman, has a similar viewpoint to Dr. Breggin's:
Psychiatry and Society
Published on Jul 30, 2018

Psychiatrist Lee Coleman invites you to join him in a re-examination of psychiatry's so-called "biological revolution," as well as our society's granting his profession the right to force treatments on some of our most vulnerable citizens, and burden our courts of law with unreliable "examinations" that fly in the face of justice.

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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 00:21 #62

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From the website of the maker of the film Take These Broken Wings -- Healing from Schizophrenia, Cure without Medication:
My name is Daniel Mackler and I am a musician, filmmaker, and writer based in New York. I also worked for ten years as a psychotherapist in New York, though I ended my therapy practice in 2010. My creative work focuses on the destruction of our natural environment and the causes, consequences, and significance of childhood trauma. I see childhood trauma as ranging from the extreme, which is common, to the mild, which is so much more common that few even notice it at all, much less call it by its proper name. I view the norm in our culture as being highly traumatized and I view the average, and even above-average, childhood as being extremely traumatic – and the average parent as lacking both awareness of this and deep empathy for the child.

I see our world growing more pathological, confused, polluted, overpopulated, and disturbed by the day – and I feel that to stand by and say nothing while we destroy our planet is, at the least, irresponsible. Yet I write with great hope – both for individual healing and for the collective healing of our world. I seek to offer a new perspective – on relationships, on manifesting the best of ourselves, on the potential value of celibacy, on parenting, on the pathology of the family system, and on the future of our species.

wildtruth.net/
Daniel Mackler
Published on Apr 8, 2014

••• Featuring Joanne Greenberg (bestselling author of "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden"), recovered for over fifty years. Interviews with Peter Breggin, Robert Whitaker, Bertram Karon, and Catherine Penney. Directed by Daniel Mackler.

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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 10:22 #63

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Connect Dots wrote:
The focus needs to shift to facilitating the patient's self-understanding of the underlying fears and anxieties that cause unproductive behaviors in the first place..

Another anecdote- Some years ago I contacted a middle-aged lady via her advert in the local papers lonely hearts column and we met platonically a few times. She suffered from agoraphobia and never left her house because of a fear of the outside world.
Her friends and neighbours were always telling her "You must go out", but their well-meaning pressure was making her feel worse and "not normal".
So I said to her- "Relax, you don't have to go out if you don't want to".
Her mouth dropped in amazement and she said with a smile- "Wow, nobody's ever said that to me before, you've made me feel better"
The moral is that if society pressures people to "conform" it can have a negative effect on them.
PS- for the record we soon split up after a few weeks because she had other mental issues, possibly schizophrenia and paranoia, and the last time I visited her and knocked her door, she peeped from behind the curtains and shrieked in fear through the glass "What do you want?"
"it's me, Mick" I replied, "I thought you liked me?"
But she wouldn't open the door and said something about how she was "too far gone", so I never contacted her again.
A month or two later I passed her house and it was empty with a "For sale" sign up outside, so it seems her personal demons had got the better of her, confirming what I said in an earlier post about us being unable to help anybody if they don't want to be helped.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 10:51 #64

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Ugh wrote:
A month or two later I passed her house and it was empty with a "For sale" sign up outside, so it seems her personal demons had got the better of her, confirming what I said in an earlier post about us being unable to help anybody if they don't want to be helped.
It is true that we can sometimes take action to help people which is rejected. It's a bad feeling.

Hopefully by supporting efforts to change mainstream psychiatry, in the future, people like her will be helped by the system instead of hurt.

A psychiatrist will say something to the client like you did, and it will start the ball rolling.
Last Edit: 30 Apr 2019 10:53 by Connect Dots. Reason: Typo
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 11:44 #65

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Mad in America
Published on Feb 25, 2016

Full scene released exclusively on www.MadinAmerica.com from the upcoming feature length documentary HEALING VOICES. A Digital Eyes Film Production.


(The documentary is not free on the internet.)

Here's a HuffPost article about it:
Bruce E. Levine
Contributor

Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. He is the author of Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite.

Healing Voices: Intriguing Documentary, Innovative Release
12/16/2015 04:45 pm ET Updated Dec 16, 2016

The soon-to-be released documentary Healing Voices goes a long way to healing our fear of people commonly labeled as “schizophrenic,” “bipolar,” and “psychotic.” The message of this film is that understanding and love—not fear and stigmatizing labels—are what people who have experienced these altered states need.

Writer and director PJ Moynihan explores two question: What are we talking about when we talk about “mental illness”? What is truly helpful?

Over a five year period, Healing Voices follows Oryx, Jen, and Dan, all previously diagnosed with serious mental illness. Oryx, Jen, and Dan are each very different personalities but all are articulate, insightful, and fascinating in describing their return journeys from extreme states of consciousness to satisfying human relationships and meaningful work.

Healing Voices is not afraid to discuss aspects of our humanity that routinely terrify many of us, and Moynihan is also not afraid to make his movie fun and joyful—including playful music and animations. What is striking about Healing Voices is its combination of boldness and humility—its boldness challenging political correctness and its humility about its own assertions.

Unlike other documentaries that are critical of standard psychiatric treatment, Moynihan does not have an anti-drug agenda but instead seeks the truth regardless of where that might lead. Healing Voices confronts the damage done by the fear of our humanity and the fear of truth.

In 2013, the general public finally began hearing some truths—hopeful truths—about people who experience extreme emotional states, including voice hearers. Prior to this, ex-patients and dissident mental health professionals who attempted to depathologize and normalize extreme emotional states were mocked by the psychiatry establishment and not taken seriously by the mainstream media.

However, in 2013, Eleanor Longden’s TED Talk, The Voices in My Head, went viral (ultimately with over three million views). Longden—diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, drugged, and told that she would be better off having cancer than schizophrenia because cancer could be more easily cured—describes her recovery, which involved letting go of the fear of her voices.

Also in 2013, as I reported in the Huffington Post (“NIMH Director Rethinks Standard Psychiatric Treatment for Schizophrenia“), the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, based on two major studies, concluded that people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses are a diverse group who need diverse approaches. NIMH director Thomas Insel acknowledged: “For some people, remaining on medication long-term might impede a full return to wellness.”

So, between Londgen’s TED Talk and the NIMH’s rethinking, the time is ripe for a full-length documentary that fearlessly examines a topic that for so long we have been socialized to be frightened of.

The producers of Healing Voices have announced an innovative plan to release the film via community screening partners in a coordinated one-night global event on April 29, 2016.

Moynihan tells us, “What we refer to as ‘mental illness’ in our culture is widely discussed and debated, but not very well understood. These screenings are an opportunity for a range of demographic audiences to come together and engage in a dialogue about a very complex social issue.” Moynihan describes his plan as a “grassroots, non-theatrical release.”

www.huffpost.com/entry/healing-voices-intriguing_b_8817642
Last Edit: 30 Apr 2019 11:46 by Connect Dots. Reason: Typo
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 12:45 #66

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Firestarter wrote:
Most people want to expose how bad the psychiatric drugs really are, but because they don’t have the persistence to read the “scientific” reports they wind up repeating the conclusions of the likes of Whitaker or Breggin without ever understanding how they work.

You are dead wrong about Whitaker and Breggin.

Both individuals know a lot about scientific reports and they know about how psychiatric drugs work and the fact that they must be withdrawn slowly because going cold turkey is a disaster.

They know that there is no "chemical imbalance."

They know everything you know.

And calling Whitaker a "scumbag" is baseless.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 13:08 #67

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The Psychiatrist - Fawlty Towers (excellent series, just rewatched it):

The Only Limit is Your Own Imagination
A truth seeker is someone who dares to wade through thick series of toxic smoke screens and tries not to inhale - Gaia
"What do you call 'genius'?" "Well, seeing things others don't see. Or rather the invisible links between things."
- Vladimir Nabokov (1938)
"The silence of conspiracy. Slaughtered on the altar of apathy." - Lords of the New Church (1982)
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 13:15 #68

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This article is about the harm done by antidepressants:
Ambushed by Antidepressants for 30 Years

By Jane Tholen
March 31, 2019

Before antidepressants, I was articulate and accomplished. I could think — I could do anything I set out to do. I was a banking executive living in a beautiful apartment in Boston’s Back Bay when a home invasion in 1985 prompted my doctor to prescribe antidepressants for PTSD.

Just as my attacker slammed into me, SSRI antidepressants ambushed the neurotransmitters in my brain causing cognitive decline, severe anxiety, panic attacks and suicidal depression.

They helped me function for a while, but the debilitating mental and physical side effects of antidepressants held me prisoner. I couldn’t “decide” to get off them.

Antidepressants Led to More Drugs

When the antidepressants didn’t “work,” my doctors either upped the dosage of the one I was on or switched me to a different one. A higher dose made the side effects worse; a new drug continued the assault on my brain under a different name.

In an effort to tamp down overwhelming anxiety, which is one of the most common side effects of antidepressants, I was given tranquilizers. When I complained I couldn’t sleep, I was given addictive sleeping pills. When I was constantly wound up, couldn’t focus, and showed a terrible temper, I was told I had ADHD and was given amphetamines. In a strange way I was relieved when I got the ADHD diagnosis because what I was going through had a name. Once again the meds didn’t help and, after testing, I was told I didn’t have ADHD. When I asked what was wrong with me, none of my healthcare providers had an answer.

Over the years, I was prescribed 16 of the 25 top-selling psychotherapeutic drugs — I never got any better.

My Life on Antidepressants

Antidepressants caused innumerable mental and physical problems. I merely subsisted from day-to-day trying to cope with what the drugs were doing to me. Uncontrollable high anxiety ruled, and I thought about suicide every day.

I read self-help books and saw a therapist every week, but it was a losing battle. I was powerless against what the chemicals were doing to my brain and body. To make matters worse, my doctors made me feel as if I weren’t trying hard enough.

When I tried to read a book, it didn’t make sense. I couldn’t understand what people were saying to me. When I was talking, I’d get mid-sentence and go blank. Before I made a simple phone call, I’d have to write out a script to help me stay on track.

Physically, I was a mess: dry mouth, headaches, gagging, flushing/sweating, blurry vision, head buzzing, body aches, lack of coordination, high cholesterol and a 45-pound weight gain.

I’d get in the car and just drive around. One time, I’d written “dinner” on my shopping list and walked out of the store with a bag of carrots. When I got to a familiar intersection, I’d panic because I didn’t know where I was.

I had always been a “can-do” kind of person. On antidepressants, my life turned into a series of catastrophes: I had to close my public relations agency, declare bankruptcy and move into subsidized housing, where I live today.

The most devastating blow came in 2012, when I was declared totally disabled. Before my lawyer and I walked into court, he told me that our judge usually rendered her opinion in two weeks. On that day, she declared my complete disability then and there. As I walked out of the courtroom with my new label, I thought, “How could this be happening?”

But I could still remember how I used to be, so I decided to come off antidepressants in 2015. When I told my doctor I wanted to quit, she tried to talk me out of it. She offered a dire warning: “If you come off antidepressants, your depression could get worse.” I was already living in hell, so what did I have to lose?

My Tapering Experience

Over the years, a couple of doctors took me off antidepressants cold turkey with disastrous results. Or, they put me on a taper schedule that was too abrupt: too large a milligram decrease over too short a period of time. When severe discontinuation symptoms surfaced, they’d halt the tapering process and return me to “a more therapeutic” dose.

By 2015, the only med I was taking was Effexor (venlafaxine, an SNRI). I had been on it for three years, and it caused the worst side effects of any antidepressant I had ever taken.

When I started to come off venlafaxine, my psychiatrist reduced the dose in half in just three weeks. My system couldn’t process the rapid decrease, and I went nuts. I opened my second floor bedroom window and was ready to pitch myself into oblivion. I called the EMTs instead.

After that scare, I went back to a higher dose and started to devise my own tapering schedule, cutting back the med the least possible amount each time and staying on that decrease for two weeks. I’ve since learned that had I stayed on each decrease longer, the discontinuing side effects I experienced would have been less severe.

In order to keep track of my tapers, I started an RX calendar and noted down how much I took each day. It helped me realize what I had already accomplished and where I was in the process. Most importantly, keeping an RX calendar made me feel that I was in control — for the first time in a long time.

Getting My Life Back

I wish I could say everything got better right away when I stopped taking antidepressants. As the venlafaxine gradually left my system, I experienced brain zaps, headaches, dizziness, nausea and sweating. It took a long time for these discontinuing symptoms to diminish and finally go away, but now I’ve got my old self back.

Even while I was coping with the side effects of quitting, there was a bright light. Just weeks after I was completely off venlafaxine, the pervasive, desperate depression I had lived with for so long simply vanished. It was as if a window shade in my head had been raised all the way to the top for the first time in years, and I knew I was going to be alright.

As the months passed, my brain continued to reset itself. Gradually, things started to make sense again. I could finally understand what people were saying to me. I could carry on a conversation without having a “brain hitch.” As the overload of serotonin dissipated, I realized I wasn’t stuck anymore — I was getting better every day.

My blurry vision cleared up, my mouth wasn’t dry anymore, I stopped walking into door jams, and I slept through the night. I’ve lost 45 pounds and my cholesterol, which had been dangerously high, dropped 60 points to a safe level. . . .

www.madinamerica.com/2019/03/ambushed-by-antidepressants-for-30-years/

Had this lady had empathic therapy support after her home invasion attack, she would not have gone through her 30 year ordeal caused by psychiatric drugs.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 30 Apr 2019 21:13 #69

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Engaging with Voices
Published on Mar 8, 2019

The Engaging with Voices videos are intended as inspiration and support for people interested in compassionate approaches to voices.

If you are hearing voices or having similar experiences and they are causing you distress we would encourage you to seek support from someone you trust.


About voices:
There are lots of different ways of understanding and relating to voices and other similar sensory experiences.

Some people view their experiences as a symptom of a mental health problem, relating to diagnoses like psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression or PTSD. Others may understand their experiences as a natural response to trauma or adverse life experiences (such as childhood abuse, poverty, discrimination, racism, victimisation or social isolation). Others may see their voices as a gift or sensitivity, an ability that can be a valued part of their life. Others may experience them as an unwanted force in their lives that they are struggling to manage.

This section includes lots of information about hearing voices. We try and look at the experience from lots of different angles, so whether you see voices as relating to difficult life experiences or as a special gift or sensitivity – we hope that there is something here for you.

If you have a perspective that is not covered here, and would like to share your story, please get in touch.

www.intervoiceonline.org/about-voices
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Powerful Talk on Demonic Possession - Pastor Jeff 30 Apr 2019 21:55 #70

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Powerful Talk on Demonic Possession - Pastor Jeff
You can't fix stupid
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 01 May 2019 12:24 #71

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Recovering Emotions After 24 Years on Antidepressants


By Cathy Kreisman
October 6, 2018

This is the story of my recovery from depression. I expect it to be an ongoing process that will take a while. But I want to show that recovery is not only possible but should be the expected outcome. This writing will grow. I learned as a child to keep my mouth shut as my thoughts and ideas were not welcome. So, I am adding to this as I think of things that I need to talk about. It’s a bit of a struggle for me to communicate, so please bear with me.

I have suffered from depression my whole life. One doctor told me that dysthymia (or mild depression) was what I suffered in between my major bouts of depression. The causes of my depression were environmental. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family in Minnesota. My parents were both alcoholics and depressed, and their dysfunction became my growth environment.

I’ve had three major bouts of depression:

1. The first time was at puberty in the eighth grade. I had no confidence in myself. My childhood was filled with messages from my father telling me I was fat, that fat people are ugly, and that no one would ever love me. So, I grew up feeling fat and ugly. I was so sad, I could barely make it to my room after school before the tears would start falling. This happened almost every day. My parents took me to a psychologist who did hypnotherapy with me. It proved to be fairly effective for the short term.

2. My second major episode of depression was as a senior in college. I came to realize that I would soon be leaving college and entering the work world. I had no confidence in myself and was soon lost in tears over my prospects. I called my parents at home and they came and got me to spend a few days at home. I was educated but not prepared for life.

3. My third major episode with depression happened at about age 40 in 1991. We were now living in Oregon. I had a very good job in the high-tech sector at a computer manufacturer. I was building test equipment for our product for manufacturing and maintaining that equipment and much more. I was running the lab, and purchasing parts, and serving as a lead in my group. I had received accolades in the job I was doing and went on an employee excellence trip as an award. When I got back from that trip I was told, “We have to cut back, and your group has been dissolved.” Some people in my group lost their jobs, and others got reassigned. The management forgot about me. I was finally assigned to a job in purchasing which was basically grunt work. I was typing purchase orders and filing them. I became very depressed and suicidal. I didn’t know how to resolve the dichotomy of being told I was an excellent employee and then put into a job that was so bad for me. The rug of self-confidence was pulled out from under me.

I contacted my health insurance company in 1991 to get help. I had never taken advantage of my insurance so they sent me a questionnaire to fill out to assist in finding me a doctor. It took one and a half years to get a doctor appointment. I had never been taught to fight for myself, and thus was not able to fight that battle. Worse, I believed I really didn’t deserve help.

Once I finally got in to see the doctor, I started taking antidepressants in 1993. It took six months before I started seeing an improvement in my mood. I was also put into a cognitive behavioral therapy group which I found to be very enlightening, but of limited usefulness. It demonstrated to me how we see and think about things when depressed, and how twisted it was. It lasted 10 weeks.

Over the years I have taken a wide variety of antidepressants. There was always a balancing act between which was worse, the depression or the side effects. Side effects included things as minor as dry mouth, to constipation, irritability, a zombie-like state and sexual dysfunction.

I stopped taking them on my own twice, with disastrous results. I got extremely depressed both times. It was worse than before I started taking medications. I would stop in the middle of the workday to run into the bathroom and cry. It felt like I had a bowling ball in my stomach. I ended up going back to my doctor both times and taking something else. Antidepressants changed my brain chemistry. Stopping them too quickly or without medical supervision is a very bad choice.

My doctor told me after the second time that I would have to take them for the rest of my life. I believed him.

In the end, I was taking 500 mg of Nefazadone in the evening and tried a number of different antidepressants in the morning. I had problems with all of them.

The last morning antidepressant I took, I had to stop taking it when people told me how zombie-like I was. I spoke and moved very slowly.

After almost 25 years of taking antidepressants, I had no emotion left whatsoever. I felt dead and wanted to be dead.

I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t do daily tasks, keep up on my daily chores, or manage my own house. We had 36 acres of property that I had been managing, but I couldn’t do it anymore.

In 2016, my husband and I made a decision and moved to southern Oregon, and sold our house. We wanted to be closer to family and to where my husband grew up. My doctor in the Portland area told me that I needed to make contact with a new psychiatrist here to “manage” my medications.

Moving and packing was a nightmare. Our house was in total disarray, and making decisions about what to pack and when to pack it proved to be very difficult for me. My head was spinning, and I couldn’t make decisions about what to do. We did the move very slowly. I think we went up and down I-5 about 25 times over the course of six months. The new house was situated on about five acres (we really downsized) with a panoramic view of the Rogue River valley.

I made an appointment to see a psychiatric nurse practitioner. I really liked her. I was still not doing well, so we talked about my starting anti-anxiety drugs. She seemed to understand me.

She made it clear that she would be unable to continue treating me — she could not bill Medicare, which I became eligible for within several months of arriving in the valley. She referred me to my new doctor.

Shortly after I started seeing him, my new doctor had me read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. It took me a while to read it, but by the end, I became angry over the manipulation and lies that the pharmaceutical industry tells to the public about psychiatric drugs. The FDA only requires six months of studies on the efficacy of psychiatric drugs. They do not require any long-term studies. Independent research has shown that psychiatric drugs have very limited usefulness over the long term and in fact can be harmful. The pharmaceutical industry also says that mental illness represents a physical problem with the brain that needs to be fixed. There are no studies that prove that this is true. Doctors are now taught in school to prescribe drugs, not to treat mental disorders.

Studies have also shown that in the case of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, the weaning-off process can be very difficult. Close to 20% of US citizens are on a psychiatric drug of some kind and this country has the worst outcomes on mental illness by far in the developed world.

My therapist and I jointly made the decision to wean me off of the drugs. We started by reducing my meds by 10% per month. He always asked me if I was ready to go down, and I always ended up saying yes. Finally, a doctor was teaching me, rather than telling me!

In the beginning, it was a very scary process for me. Since I had twice gone off medications on my own, I knew how bad it could get. I was also expecting that at some point in time, my emotions would come flooding back.

There were a couple of episodes of anger that I experienced while I was reducing my medications. I got angry with my husband for letting the dogs out of the house at a bad time. I got angry with a bird for pecking on our metal chimney. No one got hurt, and I learned about riding out my emotions. Feeling them in a safe way.

At the same time, I was also learning tools to help me with my emotions. I was learning to meditate and journal. Meditation in particular has proven to be an incredibly important tool for me. It has helped me “smooth out” my emotions and gain a better understanding and compassion for myself and others. I can say without exaggeration that meditation has saved my life.

One time early in the process, I was meditating and I was thinking about how scared I was reducing my medication. After a while, a voice came into my head saying, “You are going to be okay.” What an amazing thing to happen! I eventually came to believe it, and it became easier and easier to continue reducing my meds regularly. My last dose of medication was taken in June of 2017.

Earlier that same spring, I started attending a local Buddhist temple. Buddhism has been an interest of mine for a long time. In coming to the valley, I found myself with a choice of places to go. My doctor had started teaching me how to meditate, and I wanted to deepen that practice. At the temple I learned about various activities I could participate in that would help me learn more about my new skill. The one thing that really called to me was a one-week meditation retreat that would happen in June. At first I rebelled against the idea of one week away from home meditating, but I came to believe this was the right thing for me to do.

So, I applied to the temple for permission to go, and I went. There were three 90-minute meditations per day. On the advice of the lamas, for each session I spent 30 minutes meditating, 30 minutes studying and another 30 minutes meditating again. I had found a book there to study. It was called The Mindful Way Through Depression. As soon as I saw it I knew that was what I had to work on. I read the whole book during the course of that week.

It was during that time that I took my last doses of antidepressants. I had started feeling emotions. During one of my study sessions, I started thinking about all those years of depression, and I started crying. I cried for about an hour. Just being able to cry was such a relief! It was very good for me. I plan on attending the same retreat this year.

My individual therapy continues. I am also participating in group therapy. I still have issues with anxiety which I am confident I will learn how to deal with. Group therapy also involves getting a “buddy.” A buddy is someone you meet with weekly or semi-weekly to talk about what is going on in your life. We have only one assignment, and that is to tell each other our life story. After that the agenda is our own. It’s a hard thing to do. It can be very emotional. It is actually a great way to get to know someone. I have several buddies now and it has so far gotten me a few very good friends, for which I am incredibly grateful.

What else have I learned? One thing I’ve learned about is my “inner guide.” That’s who spoke with me when I started down the path of medication adjustment. The inner guide can be called God, Great Mother, former lives, and many other things. The inner guide helps me make the hard decisions, once I learned to listen to it.

The good news is, I am alive. I feel alive, and I now have emotions, both good and bad. I am very grateful to have all of them. Most of all, I have joy.

I am also reconnecting with my husband in a wonderful way. We are talking about what I am going through and what I went through.

I am learning more each day about how to be more proactive in my own life. I no longer wait for someone to tell me what to do. I learn what to do by seeking appropriate people, books, and thoughts. My growing self-confidence gives me great hope!

www.madinamerica.com/2018/10/recovering-emotions-24-years-antidepressants/
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 01 May 2019 12:58 #72

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Bad parenting and bad teachers must take a lot of the blame for setting kids on the road to mental problems by force-feeding false values down their throat, we've all been through it.
For example as a kid every time I went out to play, my mother would say "Comb your hair, it's sticking up on top like a cockatoo, what will the neighbours think?"
As a result even now some 65 years later, I still catch myself glancing sideways at my reflection in shop windows to see if it's still sticking up
..:)
Last Edit: 01 May 2019 12:58 by Ugh.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 01 May 2019 13:19 #73

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Ugh wrote:
Bad parenting and bad teachers must take a lot of the blame for setting kids on the road to mental problems by force-feeding false values down their throat, we've all been through it.
I'm learning from reading on the Mad in America site that if we listen to the mental patients tell their personal stories we can understand where their behavior comes from.

It doesn't come from a biochemical imbalance.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 01 May 2019 14:00 #74

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Connect Dots wrote:
I'm learning from reading on the Mad in America site that if we listen to the mental patients tell their personal stories we can understand where their behavior comes from.
It doesn't come from a biochemical imbalance.

Yes but perhaps if the body's chemicals are out of balance in some way it could make a person feel run-down and/or tired and therefore more prone to the onset of mental problems.
A lot also depends on the victim's personal values and mindset etc, especially if he/she hasn't the strength of will to resist being pushed around by the world in general.
For example my dad used to tell me I was "worthless", a "disappointment", and "useless" all through my childhood and naturally it made me withdrawn and introverted for a while, but when I got into my teens I realised he was simply a terrible father, and from that point on I grew stronger and stronger..:)
It's the people who DON'T realise that their parents/teachers are terrible who are the one I feel sorry for.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 01 May 2019 14:33 #75

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Ugh wrote:
Yes but perhaps if the body's chemicals are out of balance in some way it could make a person feel run-down and/or tired and therefore more prone to the onset of mental problems.
If you're talking about poor nutrition, yes, I agree it will affect mental health.
Ugh wrote:
For example my dad used to tell me I was "worthless", a "disappointment", and "useless" all through my childhood and naturally it made me withdrawn and introverted for a while, but when I got into my teens I realised he was simply a terrible father, and from that point on I grew stronger and stronger..:)
You were blessed with the ability to not believe what your father said. I'm impressed!

My guess is your father probably did not have a happy childhood, himself, and just passed on to you what he had experienced.
Last Edit: 01 May 2019 17:55 by Connect Dots. Reason: Clarify
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 02 May 2019 02:47 #76

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Connect Dots wrote:
My guess is your father probably did not have a happy childhood, himself, and just passed on to you what he had experienced.

His father was killed in a drunken pub brawl in the 1930's when he was a kid, that might have had something to do with it, so to expunge the social guilt it brought on his family he probably became determined to become a respected hard worker in the community.
He became a workaholic ("that factory's my life" he told my mother) and although he rose to become a departmental manager, he displayed the classic workaholic symptoms of not being able to distinguish between what's important and what's not in life, for example he once kicked me like a dog because I'd dropped orange peel down the toilet and it wouldn't flush down because it was too buoyant.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 02 May 2019 17:22 #77

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This first paragraph of a three-part article on Mad in America is by a psychologist in Sydney, Australia who was on antidepressants himself but got off them in 2013:
My Story and My Fight Against Antidepressants

By David Fox
October 12, 2013



My name is David Fox, and I am a registered Psychologist living in Sydney, Australia. In the past five years, I’ve focused predominantly on counseling people with anxiety, depression and a range of other issues. I was also on antidepressants, myself, until a few months ago. I’d like to share a bit about what happened to me after being placed on these medications, and how I successfully got off. Until recently, I was embarrassed to talk about my personal experiences publicly, as I’m a professional who specializes in anxiety and depression. Today, medication free, I feel better than ever before, and I am now on a mission to help my current clients get off medications, and to inform others through my writing about the dangers and pitfalls of starting antidepressants. This has not been an easy story to share as the stigma of depression and anxiety disorders remains strong, but I feel compelled to do so, in the hope that it will help others. . .

www.madinamerica.com/2013/10/story-fight-antidepressants/

Here he is talking about his website:
David Fox
Published on Jun 27, 2018

Description of the Fox Psychology website and resources page. Website dedicated to helping people recover from anxiety and depression. Tools, guidance and advice about anxiety and depression and how recover by psychologist and authors- David Fox.


Here's the link to his website: Fox Psychology.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 02 May 2019 20:14 #78

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Yet another anecdote-
In 1978 aged 30, I was hit by an 8-week spell of depression totally out of the blue, I've never experienced anything like it before or since.
I don't mean just the ordinary brief periods of "down in the dumps" depression that we all get from time to time, as this was something in a league of its own.
It was if my mind was being overwhelmed by feelings of despair and the futility of human existence, and the world suddenly seemed a dark, cold and dreary place. I never contemplated suicide or went to my doctor, but I can well understand how depression can make people take their own life.
I picked up a Bible to try to find some assurance that life wasn't futile and meaningless, and the depression began to lift, though of course it could just have been coincidence.
With hindsight I think my lifestyle at the time was largely to blame, because I was living in the "fast lane", always going out swimming or cycling or socialising etc, without ever slowing down and giving thought to more spiritual matters.
So afterwards I became a much more spiritual person and have grown stronger over the years
..:)
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 03 May 2019 06:59 #79

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^ Sometimes you just need a change of lifestyle.

The thing with depression (I don't mean being bi-polar which is a psychotic condition) is that it's a from of pain. Not all that different from physical pain, for example if you're standing to close to a fire the pain will warn you to stop doing it for your own health and safety. Mental pain such as depression is quite natural, it's making you stop doing something which is impeding your survival ie you could be wasting your energy on useless pursuits, or you are engaging in under-stimulation behaviours.

Sometimes you may have had a unwanted experience as a young child, something you saw, or something that happened that you didn't like, your mind splits it off from your conscious and it gets placed in a volt in your mind with other such things, and it's kept tightly closed, it's quite usual for everyone.

The problems may occur if you experience something that unbolts that cavern unconsciously, even just for a short while, then feelings from your subconscious can surface but consciously you don't know why, but you start feeling depressed and may even start thinking some of those things again, if you can remember any of them, it depends how young you were during those experienced as to whether you can recall them consciously.

What your depression is most likely, isn't because you've been too active physically and socially but you've got things that your subconscious is using energy to oppress repress, so you can't do that and living in the fast lane, you were running out of mental strength.

You're boosting your mental strength by reading your bible, so it's like a mental crutch. What you're depression (pain) most likely wants you to do is to stop shutting away whatever it is in there, you might not even know/remember what all of it is, but if you can identify any of it, let that out and deal with it. other layers may then surface too, pasting it over with spirituality is a way of dealing with something, so in that sense Jesus is healing you, well not quite, it's more like he's soothing and massaging your mind, he's residing between your conscious mind and you unconscious pain, he's got your cavern held closed, he's sitting on the trap door. He's not forgiving sins he's hiding them, now you can't confront them, because it will ruin your relationship with Jesus.

It's probably why you keep making these sort of racy statements and act in a counter-Christian and selfish manner, you wan't to give Jesus something to do, you want him to forgive you.
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Rethinking the Current Paradigm of Psychiatric Care 03 May 2019 11:06 #80

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Connect Dots wrote:
This first paragraph of a three-part article on Mad in America is by a psychologist in Sydney, Australia who was on antidepressants himself but got off them in 2013 . . .
But in part two he says this:
By David Fox
May 6, 2015

Unfortunately or fortunately—sometimes it is hard to tell with life—my story and my battle continue. In January 2014, I had some major setbacks and made the decision to restart antidepressants. . .

www.madinamerica.com/2015/05/my-story-and-my-fight-against-antidepressants-part-ii/

Here is part three:
By David Fox
November 29, 2018



The first time I was able to come off antidepressants was in July of 2013. It was one of the best experiences of my life… or so I thought for an amazing six months.

Being able to achieve what I had wanted to achieve for almost thirteen years by then was a huge milestone and, to be honest, quite surreal in some ways for me. I wrote an article for Mad in America in October, 2013 about my struggle with antidepressants since being prescribed them after having a panic attack in February, 2000 when I was twenty-four years old. I had tried in vain to reduce and get off them from time to time but always suffered with terrible withdrawal and side effects when attempting to taper to lower doses. It would throw my physical, mental and emotional state into chaos and my life and relationships would follow suit.

However, it was in late 2012 that a colleague casually mentioned to me—whilst we were undertaking some training on delivering depression awareness for workplaces—that I might want to take a look at a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Little did I know the impact that brief and synchronistic suggestion would have on my life and what was about to happen over the next six years.

As I began to read Robert’s book, my eyes got wider and wider and my conviction grew stronger and stronger as I finally saw before me in black and white what I had suspected on some level for the previous thirteen years—which was that there was something horribly wrong with the medical, psychiatric and pharmacuetical model of treating anxiety and depression.

I discovered how we have been misled and misguided by some very powerful institutions and commercial organisations which are making billions of dollars off human suffering, without alleviating the suffering but actually increasing it… sometimes to deadly ends.

I will not repeat here what happened next as that is already in the first article. Briefly, however, as I kept reading about the research that Robert had undertaken which highlighted that the chemical imbalance theory of depression had never been proven and that studies used by Big Pharma to sell their drugs were massively flawed and biased… my anger and indignation grew. If there is one thing that I have come to learn about myself, it is that I have a very strong sense of justice and I will stand up when I see something isn’t right and make a noise, sometimes at my own peril. But, that’s the way it goes. I have no doubt that this article and the book that I have just released will create controversy and I am fully prepared to handle the slings and arrows of that.

Armed with a changed belief about myself and what I began to entertain as possible for me, I started to take steps to get off the antidepressants that I had been stuck on for over thirteen years. I had been prescribed Ciprimal (Citalopram) in February, 2000, after completing my masters degree in psychology and experiencing my second panic attack in two years. I say “stuck on” because that is exactly what had happened—I became horribly stuck on drugs that were meant to be helping me feel happier and better but which were slowly destroying my life. Today I would call what I struggled with “antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.”

At the time that I was able to come off of Prozac in July, 2013, my daughter had just been born and I was in a “relationship” of sorts with her mother. There is a rather painful and difficult story around what happened with that but it is not really relevant here. Things were relatively stable in my life at that time and I had been exercising fairly regularly. Due to some of my research into the half-life of antidepressants, I had decided in January 2013 to do a direct switch from Cymbalta—which had been causing me some terrible anxiety—to Prozac. Prozac has one of the longest half-lives of any of the antidepressants and lasts a few weeks in the body rather than a day or two like most of the others. In other words, when you stop most of the currently available antidepressant drugs, the chemicals leave your body very quickly and that is extremely likely to put your mind and body into a major withdrawal reaction.

I managed to get off the antidepressants by tapering relatively slowly and it was a complete revelation for me. I was absolutely elated. The return of my emotions, sensory acuity and general reconnection to life was almost miraculous for me given that I had tried unsuccessfully to come off the drugs for over thirteen years by then.

As I mentioned, this lasted six months.

By December, 2013, two major life events had come crashing down on me, including a career change—which turned out to be a disaster and left me with almost no income when I had to walk away from it—and the end of my “relationship” with my daughter’s mother. From October, 2013, not only was I a single father again, I was now a single father to a four-month-old baby girl in addition to my two little boys, who were seven and four at the time.

Things went very bad, very quickly for me when the job change didn’t work out. I had only been off Prozac a short time and though I had been continuing to run four kilometres approximately two to three times a week, I found that my anxiety returned with a vengeance. I just wasn’t prepared for it and didn’t know enough at that time to be able to handle the huge financial and emotional upheaval.

And so it was in January, 2014, when I was desperate, severely depressed, anxious and completely insecure about the future that I stood in the kitchen of my apartment holding a Prozac tablet in my hand. I remember swallowing it down with this sense of abject failure and hopelessness.

Not only was I taking an antidepressant again after feeling like I had been let out of prison after thirteen years, I now had to contend with all the emails I had begun to receive since my story was published here on Mad in America. My article eventually had over 100,000 views [editor’s note: our page views reset during our site redesign in the fall of 2016—David’s first story has had an additional 42,000 views since then] and became the number one article on search results leading to the Mad in America website. People had begun to write to me from all over the world, desperately looking for support, answers and ways to get either themselves or a loved one off antidepressants.

The emails were coming in thick and fast from all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions and countries in the world. Anxiety and depression clearly do not discriminate and antidepressants don’t either.

I emailed Robert Whitaker and told him I felt like a fraud and that I would prefer if he took the article down. However, Robert very wisely told me that I should write Part Two of my story and tell people what had happened because my story of having to return to the antidepressants was unfortunately a very familiar one for many people. And so I wrote the second part, which you can read here, explaining a few of the things I had learned and begun to look at in order to prepare eventually for another taper. I certainly wasn’t sure at that time whether I would indeed ever be able to get off the antidepressants again.

Little did I know that my life was about to become a living nightmare, far beyond anything I had ever experienced before, which was already more than I thought I could handle!

You see, the Prozac didn’t work at all. I thought at first that it was just because I had tapered off completely and so I probably had to endure the four to six week adjustment period. But as the fourth week rolled in, I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t think straight, I was filled with overwhelming anxiety and just wasn’t getting any relief at all. And I had to keep getting up and going to work and looking after my kids when they were with me.

This was when I went back to see the psychiatrist who I trusted and who knew the history of my ten years since I had arrived in Sydney.

He suggested I go back onto Cymbalta and started me on a single capsule dose of 60mg. However, by the end of January, 2014, I was up to 120mg of Cymbalta. I was also having to take four tablets of Xanax every day just to cope with the rampant levels of anxiety in my body and mind. I would wake up each morning with anxiety coursing through my veins and would experience an almost abject terror in my being.

By May, 2014, although I was getting on with my life, I noticed that the anxiety would hit me really hard about an hour or two after taking the Cymbalta each morning. I had to be very careful with having a coffee and so switched to having only a half-strength coffee each morning and no more than that. I also began to drop sugar from my diet completely as I did not want anything artificial playing around with my energy or moods.

I decided to test my theory about the anxiety being mostly driven by the Cymbalta, which is an SNRI (serotonin-noradrenalin reuptake inhibitor)—meaning it targets not only serotonin but noradrenalin in your body and brain. Taking one of these antidepressants is like giving yourself a shot of adrenalin when you are already anxious! I knew I was still going through some traumatic life events, ongoing income instability and financial stress, but I was just dumbfounded as to why I was experiencing such unbelievable levels of anxiety where I felt on the verge of a panic attack most mornings.

So, one morning I just halved the dose from 120mg to 60mg and I noticed that the anxiety wasn’t nearly as bad that day. This was when I realised, yet again, that nobody other than the person experiencing anxiety, depression or the impacts of various drugs should ever be considered the “expert” or the “authority” with regards to what works or doesn’t work for that particular individual.

Psychiatrists prescribing antidepressants are playing a game of Russian roulette with your brain and your life. There are some psychiatrists, including Dr. Daniel Amen, who eventually came to realise that drugging their patients was in effect like “throwing darts at them in the dark and often hurting them, badly” and decided to look for alternative ways of helping people recover from mental health issues.

I continued to struggle with the Cymbalta and at some point I switched across to Lexapro because I didn’t want to be on an SNRI, and I got on with earning a living through contract counselling and delivering mental health awareness training. However, as a contractor counsellor seeing around 25 to 30 people each week, I was not entitled to any sick leave or annual leave, and so I began to slowly burn out. I also continued to struggle with what appeared to be ongoing long-term side effects of being on the antidepressants, including debilitating short-term memory problems as well as thrashing out at night and a few other side effects I would rather not talk about here.

It is unclear to me exactly when this next part happened but it was during 2015. I ended up at the mental health crisis clinic at one of Sydney’s hospitals in the eastern suburbs, where the chief psychiatrist had a brief review of my case and told me that he believed I am someone who clearly needs to be on a tri-cyclic antidepressant. Now, if you know anything about this older class of drugs, you may know what they can do to you. I was clearly not in the right head space to dispute his thirty or more years of experience and so I ended up on first Mianserin and then Nortriptyline. Let me tell you, if you have ever had the misfortune of being on any of these drugs I deeply empathise with you! I couldn’t sleep. I became wired and started living on around three or four hours of sleep a night. I had to try taking anything I could to help me sleep but this usually just made things worse. At one point, I noticed that when I went outdoors it felt like the sun was burning through my skin as if I suddenly had no protective layer on my skin at all. It was a nightmarish time for me.

Things continued like this until around August, 2015 when I took a job with another company which ended up being a cataclysmic mistake, yet again, and this time it was all just too much. By December of 2015, I was at the end. When I had started the new job, in my excitement to have some annual leave and a stable salary, I had booked a five-day cruise for myself and my two boys for late January, 2016. After years of not being able to take a holiday or even a short break and spend some quality time with my kids, I was beyond excited about taking them on a cruise from Sydney to Tasmania. However, as December arrived, things had reached such a bad state for me that I just wasn’t well enough to be able to take them on the cruise and rather than forfeiting it completely, my ex-wife ended up taking them on the cruise while I stayed at home in Sydney. I remember the moment I had to accept that I was not going to be able go on the cruise with my boys. I raged and pounded my fists into my bed yelling: “It’s just not fair! It’s just not fair!” I knew I had to let it go and not think about it too much because it would probably lead to me ending my life.

It was just before all of this that I had begun to reconnect with the work of Dr. Wayne Dyer, who is a psychologist and author of over forty books on self-help, psychology and spirituality. I credit the beginning of the turnaround in my life to his work. I would listen to him in the car and I began to read anything of his I could get my hands on. Through listening to him I also reconnected with the work of Esther and Jerry Hicks, and their work also helped me connect with a part of myself that began to give me some peace and some hope that I could change things around.

I also returned once more to a psychiatrist who knew me well and he suggested I try Effexor. Yet another SNRI. Although I had my misgivings, I just had to get myself back to functioning and so I went along with it and ended up on a dose of 225mg of Effexor at one stage. This is a HUGE amount and the upper limit for this drug.

In July of 2016, I was finally able to leave my work as a contractor and take a role as a student counsellor with a large college. This was when things really began to settle down for me and I was finally able to breathe and focus on my health and well-being.

Now I had a real conundrum because when I decided I needed to taper down the Effexor, I realised that I couldn’t really do it on my own because it comes in capsules and inside those capsule are tiny, coated (time release) beads. I had counselled someone not long before this who had told me that she had managed to wean herself off Effexor by removing a few beads each week for about three years!

I just wasn’t prepared to wait that long. I am persistent but I am not that patient, not by a long shot. In addition, my experience and experimentation had proven to me that I didn’t need to completely wean off one antidepressant to get onto another—as most doctors and psychiatrists repeatedly told me I had to do—but that I was able to find out the rough equivalent dose of one drug to the other and then switch across, which is what I did when I switched from Cymbalta to Prozac and then successfully weaned off the Prozac in 2013.

My struggle with anxiety, depression and the antidepressants continued to escalate. In the meantime, I continued to work full time and try to earn an income. I also continued to have my kids two to three times a week—even when I was struggling with major anxiety and sometimes quite debilitating depression. There were times, however, when I just couldn’t have them and I had to contact my ex-wife and partner and tell them that I just couldn’t do it. The guilt that I felt and the sadness that I couldn’t see my children was very hard to bear. My daughter’s mother was at least understanding of this as she had often seen what I was going through and the tears in my eyes when I would drop my daughter off after a weekend with the kids.

During this time I began to research everything I possibly could around the most natural ways to increase serotonin in the body and brain through supplements and food. I found out exactly how serotonin was naturally produced in the body, which is from protein being converted by the body into tryptophan and then into 5-hydroxytryptophan before it crosses the blood-brain barrier and provides serotonin.

I completely dropped sugar from my diet and then began to follow a mostly gluten-free way of eating after reading Dr. David Perlmutter’s books Grain Brain and Brain Maker—which show the direct connection between gluten and inflammation in the body and brain, as well as how this can often be the cause of anxiety and depression.

It was then, around December of 2017, that I made some further major changes to my diet and to my exercise regime.

I began running five to six times a week each morning at around 5am. I started off with just a 3 km run and then increased this to 4 km and then 5 km most weekdays. On weekends, I extended my running and eventually I was running 8-10 kms at least once each weekend.

I dropped meat and chicken from my diet and increased the amount of green vegetables I was eating by having a vegetable soup for dinner most nights, which included cabbage, onion, garlic, celery and spinach. I would have this with gluten-free bread and a protein—either fish or eggs.

In the meantime, I had already switched away from the Effexor back to a Prozac tablet which I was able to cut down with a pill slicer.

My energy levels increased amazingly as I continued with my new diet and exercise regime, and I continued to meditate and work at finding peace with my situation.

Within two short months, I found myself staring at the box of Prozac as I had a little “farewell” conversation with it—which I have detailed in my new book Black Belt Mind—and threw it into the bin.

I had managed to get off the drugs again, this time with practically no withdrawal reactions at all other than some disturbances to my sleep which eventually settled down. In fact, I started to experience a restful sleep that I had not experienced in years. I remember lying down to sleep one night and having that experience of your head hitting the pillow and then waking up what felt like a minute later and it being morning. Feeling rested, refreshed and with no trace of anxiety in my mind or body at all.

I truly feel that I have been given a second chance because I am aware of how many people struggle terribly with these drugs just as I did. My experience of life now is completely different, in so many ways that I can’t even begin to describe them all here.

It is now nine months later, and although I have had some ups and downs trying to work through some of the issues that I had not really been able to do whilst on the drugs, on the whole, I have found that my experience of any down days or difficulties are infinitely more manageable now. This may be due to the fact that I now know that nothing is interfering with me. I know that if I exercise I get the benefits of the endorphins and the serotonin boost. I know that if I get enough sleep, meditate, connect with good friends, eat a diet designed to maximise my physical and mental health, and take certain supplements, I will continue to be free.

I am indebted to Robert Whitaker for his bravery in writing Anatomy of an Epidemic and for his ongoing encouragement over the years. So much work to be done and people to help because from where I stand as a psychologist, trainer and author, I can see that people across the world need something very badly right now, and that is HOPE. And if I can inspire people to see that they can indeed overcome anxiety, depression and antidepressants, then it was all worth it.

www.madinamerica.com/author/dfox/
I, personally, am very encouraged by the voice that the website Mad in America is giving to the movement to reform psychiatry.

This is the internet at its best!
Last Edit: 03 May 2019 11:15 by Connect Dots. Reason: Format
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