I’ll Take Goat Shit Pills If I Have To!

goat

 

Yes, here’s the uncensored Dyane in all her glory.  Most likely I’ll have some readers unfollow my blog, and maybe even an unfriending or two on Facebook as a result of this slightly profane post, but I’m starting to understand that I need to write my truth as long as I’m not being vindictive.  This post is most definitely my truth, and today I’m writing what I am most passionate about besides my family.

This morning I let my potty mouth loose after watching an extended eight-minute-long preview of a documentary film called “Crazywise”.

This documentary’s two filmmakers explain that they are comparing cultures and how each culture regards mental illness, which is fascinating to me.  I was very interested in their portrayal of several tribes which contain people who would be perceived as mentally ill in the United States.  But when the filmmakers showed glimpses of their interviews with American anti-psychiatric medication “gurus”; public figures I had closely studied when I decided to taper off my bipolar meds, my stomach turned.

Two of the subjects they featured in this preview unexpectedly triggered me big-time.  The first person was the author/lecturer Robert Whitaker, whose bestselling book Anatomy of An Epidemic (specifically his chapter on bipolar disorder) affected me profoundly. Whitaker’s book was one of several factors that influenced me to start tapering off my bipolar medications, which first caused acute mania and then I became acutely suicidal and required three weeks of hospitalization just a year ago.

Now, before I go any further, I know it’s not fair to blame an author or a book or a premise for almost killing me.  I want to be very clear that I’m not doing that.

However, if one is on the fence about taking bipolar psychiatric medications and reads Robert Whitaker’s work, specifically the bipolar chapter, his book is extremely convincing at making it seem like taking medications is not the way to go!  I was so hopeless and weary when I read that book.  I was ripe and vulnerable.  I honestly don’t know what exactly were his intentions with his book – it’s confusing to me given his smooth sound bites in the preview. I like to think that I’m not stupid or easily swayed by Whitaker and other so-called experts.  I’m just being honest with you because that’s what you, as my valued reader, deserve at the end of the day.

Another subject featured in this film is Will Hall, a famous personage in the anti-psych-med movement.  I was in touch with Hall at one point through his website, and he offers a free PDF “Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal”.   While I know he has a good heart, seeing his face in the preview basically made me want to barf.

I had tried so many fucking psychiatric medications year after year to no avail.  Two rounds of unilateral and bilateral ECT.  Seven, yes, seven hospitalizations, which still sickens me whenever I think of it.  It astounds me that no psychiatrist I saw since 2007 thought to mention the one, old-school MAOI medication called Parnate/tranylcypromine (known as the “last resort medication” for bipolar depression) that would ultimately restore me to a good quality of life and lift my bipolar depression when taken in tandem with lithium.  (Combining the two – an MAOI and lithium – is key according to two very impressive studies I located on the internet.  They were done in the 1970’s, but their findings are still valid as far as I’m concerned, since it worked so miraculously for me 100%!)

When I started considering tapering off bipolar medication, if I had found a book that spoke to my trepidations, who knows – maybe it might have made a difference.  If I had encountered a story that documented a mother’s journey with bipolar disorder who was considering going the “alternative, natural” route but experienced total disaster despite consulting experts from around the world, who knows – maybe I would have paused. I would have, at the very least, interviewed such a mother.  And, most importantly, I would have found out what did work for her.

If I can help ONE person not experience the hellhole that I did when I slowly, meticulously tapered off bipolar medication by writing my book about what happened to me, it will be worth it.

I know there are so many people living with bipolar disorder who are suffering…I know what it’s like.  I know that 99% of of them would try any medication that could truly help them. I now know that I’ll take any Big Pharma or Little Pharma, patented or generic medication for my mental illness (and it IS a mental illness at least for me – my bipolar disorder ain’t no sublime, bewitching psychic revelation!) as long as it helps me.

I’m willing to deal with the side effects.  I’ll take goat shit pills if I have to.  I’m not going to demonize meds ever again.  I’ll watch the entire “Crazywise” film when its released and if (as I suspect) they glamorize the anti-medication movement, you’ll be seeing me speak out actively against this film, as much as an indie film lover I am, because that’s just not cool.   There are too many vulnerable, desperate people with bipolar out there willing to believe in the Kool Aide promises.  After the war I’ve been through with bipolar disorder, (and yes, I consider it a war and I have PTSD from it – my counselor agrees with this) I’m no longer a milquetoast.

To watch the “Crazywise” preview

I wrote the following comment in response to the Crazywise YouTube clip – I just went off and as you’ll see, I didn’t edit it- I was too angry at the time….

I just watched this preview and feel compelled to write this comment. After reading “Anatomy of an Epidemic” (the author is interviewed in this doc: Robert Whitaker) I went the no-meds route, I corresponded with Will Hall, Peter Lehmann, read Dr. Peter Breggin (anti-meds shrink), you name it , I read it etc. etc. Meds got my life back after I almost died. Tapering slowly off meds almost killed me. I won’t be living in a Shamanic culture anytime soon. These are all nice, smooth sound bites and I want to see this film, but I can tell you that it is not all black or white. My two little girls don’t care if Mommy takes pills as long as she’s alive to be with them. I love my lithium and no one is making a whole lotta money off me, I guarantee it.

 

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35 thoughts on “I’ll Take Goat Shit Pills If I Have To!

  1. I am with you on this post I really enjoyed it a lot 🙂 I wish I could take medication. I have tried! Everything literally. Not 10 or 20 medications but far more than that I am afraid. I am sort of a lab rat literally. But many people just try 2 or 3 and just give up. Until a new one comes out I am drug free for the first time since I was 19 years old and it is terrifying. I would not wish it on anyone. As someone with somewhat of a medical background it is even more terrifying and when I have ptsd and environmental it’s very difficult. And to see some people who just don’t want to take medicine because they “feel better” or see me and just want to be “like me” it is so hard. I didn’t ask to become this way. I’ve enjoyed this post IMMENSELY and relate on a very personal level. But I do feel therapy is very important but it’s hard to do therapy and things like EMDR when your skin is crawling or you want to scream.

    The funny thing is my family says I am sort of like having a real life Sheldon or Sherlock around so it can be humorous or traumatic at times depending on circumstances. So I am with you but keep in mind medication can be dangerous to some. I developed neuroleptic malignancy syndrome from one and some results are permanent. It was sad. A lot of doctors aren’t trained to handle special cases and those people become sick and suffer from physicians assistants and nurse practitioners. People like me who were once intelligent people who could have changed the world become permanently handicapped from adverse reactions. Not from lack of medication not “working” but from reactions from the complexity of ptsd brain bipolar brain genetics and other health issues professionals don’t take into account. It is very complicated and shock treatment as well can damage it. I am lucky to have been taken by my family while I was sick to an expert who saved my life before my memory was destroyed as well. But people just need to realize desperation can be fatal with medication or without so professional help is very important and if you think something is not right get another opinion. It is like the blind men and the elephant sometimes when it comes to our health. Instead of just piling things on sometimes it is best to start over and find out where real problems lie and then put them together one piece at a time.

    1. This is such an awesome, intelligent post and I appreciate the time and thought that went into it! Thank you for your kind words! I am happy you enjoyed it – that made my day to read that!

      You sound like an amazing, strong, brilliant person and it makes me sad to hear about your suffering with PTSD and the other maladies. The way in which you explained your being medication-free and how you’ve been treated about that was especially moving for me. It sounds like your family is caring in that they took you to an expert when you were ill.

      Have you read Dr. M. Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Traveled” book? My Mom loved it but I never read it…I’m just curious! Here’s his website in case you’re interested:

      http://www.mscottpeck.com/

      As far as meds being dangerous to some, oh yes, absolutely. I’ve written at length about it in this blog (“The Power of One Pill” and others) in which meds almost killed me. It’s always a gamble with every new med ones tries. All I can say about that (brace yourself for my mega-sophisticated opinion) is that it sucks!!!!!

      I’m writing this response after a night’s “sleep” in which my six-year-old woke me up during the wee smas. Around 3:00 a.m. I was sleeping soundly (that’s always a huge accomplishment for me! 😉 and she was struck with a bad cough. I finally got up & gave her medicine, but I’m extra-groggy today. Forgive me for not replying when I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

      I haven’t familiarized myself with your blog yet, but I hope that you are having a good day today. I just noticed the Gravatar photo of you and an adorable looking hound next to your comment. I don’t recall seeing that before. I’ll go off and check out the “Road Less Traveled” Blog more thoroughly today – the fabulous photo sealed the deal! 😉

      take care and once again, many thanks for commenting!
      Dyane 🙂

      1. Thank you. That is my service dog Penny. I trained her myself with the help of a private trainer I consulted as well as some other people along the way. She is retired now because she developed cancer and was bit by a brown recluse but she saved my life. Without my service dog my life would not have made it this far. I will look into the above things you mentioned.

  2. Reblogged this on Depression Hub and commented:
    Very well written and witty personal memoir about having bipolar illness and the experience of coming off meds. Challenging and funny as hell.

  3. Tony, wow – thank you for your gracious comment! I’ll be the first to admit that once I got sucked into the possibility that I could not only live med-free without the side effects I experienced from my meds, but also be my best, healthiest self ever, I was hooked into giving the med-free life my best shot.

    My husband and other loved ones and medical professionals tried their absolute best to convince me that I was setting myself up for failure. You can guess the rest…their pleas, which I viewed as attempts to control me, made me dig in my heels and want to prove to them how wrong they were. It was a powerful mindset.

    Your approach with medication is the same as mine – it’s solid and rational. I will definitely write more about my experience, as I believe it could potentially help others w/bipolar who are vacillating about whether to not to pursue a med-free lifestyle. At the very least they could have a contingency plan set up when their plan to taper off meds (most likely) goes awry.

    Thanks again for your comment – I always appreciate them very much!!! All my best to you!

  4. Reading about the story when you were suicidal and got hospitalized gave me goose bumps. Since you have the first hand experience, it can be seen in your writing how awful it can be to go off meds. I sometimes want to do that and try the alternate route, but then i get a reality check on science. One of the advantages of being a scientist’s wife. Amazing Post, loved your honesty !

    1. Hey Lovely Zeph!

      Thank you so much for stopping by, commenting & for your sweet compliment too! 🙂

      Oh yes, I know how alluring it feels to decide to go off meds – I really do. I felt so empowered to make my own choice and research being med-free. There were all kinds of people, books, films, and online communities around to support me in that decision. Then you know what happened to me….Near Oblivion

      I’ve always been into natural and alternative foods/holistic modalities/ etc. – I live in an area that’s famous for it: Santa Cruz, California. I just can’t be natural when it comes to my meds. I’ll take what I’m taking (lithium, an MAOI & Seroquel) and gladly wait and pray for a cure.

      I am thankful that you are a scientist’s wife (I am too!!!) and that you have his perspective and logic in your corner. I want my Zeph happy and healthy!

      Sending you my love as always – you & your family are in my prayers always, and I am grateful for you very much! xoxoxoxoxo

  5. Dyane, thanks for this. I was lucky to have a Psychiatrist who took a conservative approach. My meds were only changed once to find the right combination. Like others who commented here, those meds saved my life.

    I will say that I did once foolishly attempt to go off them because at one point I had no health insurance. The pharm companies charge a ridiculous amount for these meds (as with cancer meds and the like) because they can, and that’s the real tragedy.

    When someone makes a movie about that, I’ll watch, Twitter and FB to everyone!

    1. Hi Susan, I loved reading your comment. Thank you so much.

      That’s truly wonderful that your meds were only changed one time – what a serious blessing! You were not foolish to go off them when you didn’t have health insurance – you couldn’t go rob a pharmacy and it sounds like you were put in an impossible position. I could see myself doing the same thing in that situation. I’m just totally glad to hear that’s no longer the case for you. I know how exorbitant the meds can cost, as if they were cars and not pills….and if my meds were the new ones, I’d be in major trouble.

      I especially appreciated your writing if someone makes a movie about the
      massive med costs etc. that pharm companies pull off, then you’ll watch and tell all social media to check it out. That’s a great idea – I wonder if something like that is in the works? Let me know if you find out! 🙂 thanks again for stopping by!

  6. I think that Whitaker is pointing out that outcomes are better if the medications are not given to begin with or are used very short term. The studies suggest the illnesses tend to become more recurrent and chronic once drugs are used long term. Outcomes for depression and schizophrenia are better for non-medicated individuals. As Joanna Moncrieff pointed out, the drugs do not cure or correct imbalances; they simply have effects which may reduce or blunt certain symptoms. And the “withdrawal” torment is often severe and viewed as a return of the illness. It is often so debilitating individuals reintroduce the medications. People often end up on “cocktails” of medications for years that cause physical disease, tardive dyskinesia (antipsychotics), obesity, etc. which may shorten their life span. So, it is dangerous to go on the meds and dangerous to go off them.

    1. Very interesting and intelligent reply. Thank you for taking the time to comment thoughtfully.

      I’d like to clarify, however, that I would never say my symptoms are simply “reduced” or “blunted” by my meds. Those two words are minimizing-sounding to me. The difference between how I was before I went back on lithium, added an MAOI & guetiapine is seriously like night and day. If you knew me personally you’d see this miracle – words on a screen will never convey the dramatic, positive change. I am grateful every day for these substances.

      I know I may come across here sounding like a Big Pharma rep or a shareholder, but it doesn’t matter since I am not just getting by, but I am writing again, I am THRIVING on my meds (combined with exercise and enough sleep), I’ve been a mother/wife/friend again, and I have been feeling better for almost a year. That time period isn’t that long, I know, but for me it’s a ginormous improvement.

      As a former A.C.E.-certified personal trainer, I am in tune with my body; thank God I have no signs of T.D.. I’m in excellent physical shape, & if my life span is shortened by the meds I’m taking, it’s worth it to me, because I’d rather be this way on my medications than live longer without them, but want to die all the time, not be able to get out of bed & not be human, essentially.

  7. Thank you Dyane! There are so many methods out there claiming to cure bipolar disorder – I know I’ve fallen for a few and paid for it with my health. A cure would be marvelous! But I’m glad you don’t subscribe to that crap about mental illness not needing medication. My friend’s husband was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago for a psychotic episode – bipolar II but not regular on his meds! It breaks my heart they are going through this. Granted, it was also an insurance issue for them and I’m glad they are now getting help from the state. Medication can’t do everything, but it can prevent the worst from occurring.

    1. Doreen, here I am finally replying to everyone. I am super-happy to see you commenting – it means a lot to me.

      It has been one of *those* weeks where I’ve let the computer go to the wayside, which is the way it should be sometimes. I know you understand!! I am SO sorry about your friend’s husband and I hope he recovers quickly & gets stable on medication. That’s a Godsend they are receiving help from the state. You are right – medication can’t fix it all, but it can give us a foundation that’s absolutely critical in order to function.

      Sending you a big hug and hope you have a great weekend with your beautiful family!

      p.s. I want to print out your TRUST post from your alwaysrecoverygoals blog! (And maybe tattoo it on my forehead?) 😉 It’s outstanding!

  8. Dyane, in my most humble and uneducated belief in comparison to your knowledge, medication is the saving grace for bipolar sufferers. Throughout all my therapy and own research I have become a firm believer in the necessity of medication. Medication has changed my Life!

    1. My dear, you are an amazing source of inspiration to me; your blog “The REVELATIONS of Being BIPOLAR” is fantastic and you have such profound insights. I learn from each of your blog posts – they are riveting.

      I noticed that since you returned from your brief blogging break that these post topics are even more incredible. You have really blossomed!

      That said, I’m so glad that you agree with me about medication & I am grateful to God that meds have changed your life. I am so glad to know you through our blogging world. I want you to experience more happiness because you have been through horrendous difficulties, to say the least. You deserve heaps of joy now! xoxox much love to you!

  9. Thank you Dyane for your honest and up front post!

    Oh how careful one has to be tampering with medications. My wife is maintaining reasonable health on fish oil capsules, but does consider that without mood stabilizers she’d never have made it to this point. I’m still a long way off from taking any kind of break from medication. We both realise that all it takes is a stressful event to send either or both of us barrelling back into the abyss.

    All I really know for sure is that without meds neither of us would’ve got to where we are. They might not be a perfect solution, but the is no such thing.

    I don’t enjoy the side effects much, but without pills, I wouldn’t be able to work, and then we’d be deep in the shit.

    Thank again for your words!

    1. Greetings my Kiwi friend!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading this post! It’s always a pleasure to read your comments.

      I used to take HUGE amounts of fish oil. I live near a company named Nordic Naturals, a highly acclaimed manufacturer & bought their most expensive liquid/highest concentration. According to a book I read by Dr. Andrew Stoll (The Omega-3 Connection ) Stoll claimed that large amounts could potentially eradicate bipolar symptoms. Taking the large doses didn’t work for me, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t work for others. I read about medical studies that said some people were helped by the specific fish oil ratios/doses etc. Now I still take fish oil per my psychiatrist’s suggestion, but in capsule form and at a lower dose.

      In any case, I am so pleased that your wife is doing well. I am thankful you have access to meds, and that you can work at your demanding job that I could never do! 😉

      Please give my very best to your wife. New Zealanders are awesome! If I win the lottery I’m taking my family over there and will visit both islands & catch a Dave Dobbyn show & stalk Tim Finn. (JUST KIDDING!)

      Kia Ora, and I’ll be in touch with you again very soon!

    1. Just call me………..Mini-Bipolaronfire! ;)))))
      Thank you so much for writing that comment – you made my day!

      I do like being passionate & fiery, even if I’m a pain in the ass! I’d rather be like that than be snoozy.

      I’m lovin’ your fiesty blog as always – you have the best titles in the blogosphere, bar none.
      Keep the fires raging!

  10. As a healthcare worker, I’ve seen firsthand the effects of both sides. People want a pill to make their troubles go away, and people who don’t want to stick to their medication routine. I will say if you find a reputable, responsible primary care physician and psychiatrist, you can make a plan that will work for you. It took some tweaking, but I have found a regimen (that does include medications) that works for me. I don’t believe in condemning those who choose to medicate any more than doing the same to those who do not medicate. We’re all individuals and we need to have an individual approach. Dyane, thanks for bringing up this subject in a passionate format.

    1. Hi there latebloomlisa! I am grateful for your comment as I know from reading your blog you are a busy bee!

      After enjoying one of your recent posts about your daily schedule, I admire how hard you work in the E.R. and how dedicated you are to your work. You are amazing! (I loved a show called “Nurse Jackie” and after reading your post, I wondered if you ever saw it, as Jackie works in an ER & is addicted prescription drugs, which I know you most certainly are not!)

      I digress! (Bad habit!)

      I’m very glad you found a system that is helping you do so well; it’s inspiring to read about success stories such as yours. After what I went through when I tapered off lithium, I’ve had anger issues/judgment towards those who don’t medicate for bipolar disorder – especially towards those who advocate to desperate people (like I was) to become med-free.

      Despite my locating a credible statistic that cited something like between 5-15% of people with bipolar can be stable and not have to take meds (I forgot where I found that – please forgive me!) ANd for finding a mentor who was med-free and stable for ten years, I still am feeling lots of judgment and anger. It’s all over my writing and it’s something I’m working on in therapy.

      Even if I didn’t harbor all my anger etc., being med-free seems like a crapshoot to me.I pray for a cure for bipolar to make all of these issues moot points!

      Thanks again for commenting so eloquently, and I hope you have a wonderful summer!

  11. Hey Dyane, like you I will stick to my meds. And not suffer the disordered, delusional, paranoid and suicidal thoughts. Like any movie or tv show, we will only see what the producers want us to see; those things that support their claims. Seems that the guy was very lonely and removing that social isolation has helped him. There are flaws in the psychiatric system and there are many, many medications to choose from and that makes finding the right med for our own conditions a bit of a challenge. Some psychs fail to exercise due diligence and project what they think is wrong onto the patient; it happened with me. One medication in a class may work where another fails dismally.
    I agree with Kitt’s comment that films like this can be a problem when you are in a highly suggestible, But that being said, I experienced the same problem with psychs when I was in such a vulnerable state and ended up being wrongly medicated and eventually set a date to take my life. But then my GP prescribed the right med, the antipsychotic “seroquel”.
    It will be interesting to see the full documentary and how the guy functions and integrates into society and whether he achieves his goals.
    Prior to seroquel I used to believe in all of those alternative therapies (and the paranormal and supernatural) and lacked the insight to see that my condition was only getting worse on them. I was both gullible and highly suggestible.
    Seroquel keeps me grounded in reality and makes me a more functional person with a much better quality of life.
    Thanks for the video and your comments.

    1. G-day glenn2point0! (Hope you don’t mind that g’day greeting – let me know if you don’t and I promise to stop! 😉

      Everything you write in your comment is true & you write well and with heart, which is the icing on the cake.

      To be honest, I wasn’t only suggestible when I decided to taper off meds and live med-free- I was UTTERLY DESPERATE!!! That is an insidious combination, isn’t it? My desperation to find something that would help me feel human again took over everything else I was thinking and feeling. I was a zombie on meds, and I didn’t feel that life was worth living, despite having a beautiful family. My story is so common…

      Like you, I am indebted to quetiapine/Seroquel as a medication that profoundly helped me with the super-hellish agitated insomnia. I’ll never forget how thankful I was when I was able to sleep again after I took my first dose of it. My side effects to Seroquel have been morning grogginess, but nothing major, and I can taper down the dose a bit with my pdoc’s blessing (I’m at 100 mg) and see if the grogginess disappears. I’m in no rush.

      I am glad you watched the video & I am very stoked you left your interesting comment! I feel you are a kindred spirit; I used to believe and try out lots of alternative therapies too. I’m lucky to have you as a follower, and I sure hope your weekend is going well. Take it easy, friend! :)))) Dy

  12. Scary because often we who live with mental illness can be susceptible to suggestion, and want to believe that we are okay or special. As you personally experienced, it can be life-threatening to go off medication.

    1. Oh man, my lovely friend, I faced the “Perfect Storm” of suggestions. I’m telling you, I tapered oh-so-slowly, and oh-so-carefully. We bought a special $140 scale & empty capsules so that Craig could make up my lithium pills in increasingly minute increments. That’s just the tip of the tapering iceberg that I went through – there’s a great deal more to my story and some of it is truly bizarre.

      All I can say now is thank God I have my meds. I would be more likely to believe a person’s opinion about taking medications who has been both no-med *and* pro-med instead of just no-med. (I hope that makes a bit of sense!)

      The more years of stability w/meds that I have under my belt, the better, so I’m working on stability every day. I just pray pray pray I’ll be okay over the long run.

      Thanks as always for reading and for sharing your unique point of view. Your comments are always invaluable to me.

      1. Dyane, today medication is our best and most effective treatment option. Psychotherapy, exercise, and fish oil are helpful adjuncts, but not replacements for meds. I’ve lived it. I struggled with BPD II for SO LONG without proper meds, without proper diagnosis.

        I am so glad that you are experiencing stability thanks to meds. Wonderful, too, that your mother’s situation has improved.

  13. My affliction is Schizophrenia (since 1976), but at one point was treated w/ bipolar meds. I personally rely on the old-school generic for schizoid affliction, Thiothixene (w/ companion med Benztropine) – tapered off many moons ago & ‘dealt’ w/ attendant problems for some 10 years – now live a bearable life w/ 40 mg & 3 mg nightly – still have my “psychic partner” but have reconciled with the real world. I maintain an interest in Bipolar affliction.

    1. Dear Emma, thank you so much for reading this post and for your comment. I am glad that your life is bearable now, and it sounds like you’re on relatively low doses of your meds, yes? You sound like you have been through quite a journey, and I am pleased that you found my blog and shared your experience.

      I’ll check out your award-winning blog “Forever After” more closely – I have relatives visiting this week and I haven’t been online much. After a quick peek at your blog, it certainly looks intriguing!

      I send you my very best wishes & take care,
      Dyane 🙂

      1. Thank You Dyanne for the visit – varied forms of mental illness have struck many individuals on my family tree. I checked my PDR & 60 mg of Thio is highest recommended dosing – so I’m mid-range. For those 10 years, I took only 2 mg a day – it controlled the auditory & visual hallucinations but continued to leave me open to tactile hallucinations & ‘trying’ mental distress! – after another major breakdown in 1992 and yet another hospitalization I was stabilized on “30 mg” per day ( and 40 only as needed ) (my error saying 40 all the time). I also was placed on Trazodone to let me sleep – I’d be a wreck without that.

        For any qualified doctor to try to treat mental illness w/o Rx drugs is absurd! I was able to hold down a job w/ ‘handicap status’ (many doctor notes required from me by the State agency I worked for) – but finally had to take disability retirement in 2011. I took a leave of absence in 2010 & got a picture of life without a job in the equation & it was good. My doctor and my supervisor both thought I needed to give up the job. I eventually succumbed to that truth.

        Best regards,
        Emma 🙂

      2. Hi again, Emma! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with medications and more…I’m truly sorry that your family tree has been affected by different kinds of mental illness. What a nightmare, to say the least. I don’t blame you at all for giving up the job – first of all, that takes guts. I commend you for taking good care of yourself. Your doctor and supervisor sound like they were actually looking out for your best interest. (I hope that were!!!) I’m glad to hear that the Trazodone has been a godsend for your sleep – you are fortunate to find what works – you & I both know how rocky a path that can be. I hope you are doing well, and I wish you all the best this summer. Take care!

  14. This is a very passionate plea I believe can do a world of good for people with mental illness looking to go off their medications. I do hope you write more of your experience.

    Too often, I believe, people who are ill get sucked in by extreme promises — first those made by Big Pharma commercials and then, when they don’t produced a desired “cure” — those made by their opponents.

    My approach with medication is first to find a psychiatrist who has a healthy skepticism of prevailing cures and takes a highly conservative approach to making changes. I make sure s/he is a good listener and responds faithfully to my concerns. Then, I always…. ALWAYS… take my medicine as prescribed. Personally, I consider not doing this equivalent to self-medicating with drug and alcohol abuse. Contrary to the famous dictum, “Physician, heal thyself,” we are not physicians and even if we were, we can not heal ourselves.

    Thank you for writing on this valuable subject.

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