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Aria   
Aria
Aria's recovery from poly drugs
 
I had no idea when I walked into a psychiatrist's office 25 yrs ago the horrible labyrinth I'd entered. Slam dunked at a point in my life when I was feeling low and the loss of future possibilities taken away. Being told I was mentally ill, would never function again, needed to be on disability and poly drugged for the rest of my life repeatedly took it's toll.  All this impacted my relationships with family, friends and enjoying life. The pdoc constantly added new psych drugs, changed doses and took me off the old drugs at an alarming rate. I became a morbidly obese woman who mumbled or talked rapidly and it was obvious to everyone but the pdoc I was totally messed up on something.

I had Seroquel Induced Acute Pancreatitis that landed me in the hospital for quite awhile and my pdoc put in my open med chart I was crazy. I didn't know this till later but ill as I was I did notice some of my physicians were treating me oddly. One good thing about being so ill was I referred to a neurologist for chronic pain and found out my problem was profound drug induced Akathsia. This neurologist actually screamed at me, these psych drugs are killing you, they're killing you. I knew I had to get off these drugs not matter what it took and reclaim my life.

At my next appointment I asked my psychiatrist why he was drugging me like this and he looked directly at me (probably for the first time in years he saw "me"). He started sobbing, loudly sobbing, "Oh God what have I done to you", over and over. I'm sitting there thinking oh crap, I don't need this. Our 15 minute med check was up and this guy calmly goes to the front desk to get the next patient and proceeds without any other fanfare. He's robot. A robot. All this in itself was mind boggling. Hell, closure?? No way.
 

I found out I had Tardive Dyskinesia and a few other psych drug induced issues. My face was a road map with twitches and jerking that yelled hey, I'm on massive psychiatric drugs. Will my face be like this forever?? The TD has mostly gone away and I'm so grateful (the pdoc adamantly said I did not have Tardive Dyskinesia from psych drugs).

Well, guess what?? The psychiatrist was wrong...horribly wrong. Other doctors, psychiatrist, therapists said you're not mentally ill and never had been. The sad but very scarey part is I'm labeled as profoundly mentally ill and that info is in my medical charts. One pdoc did this...one. I've gone through the gambit of emotions dealing with this. I will probably always be mad at this jerk for what he did to me and for what he still does to others. It affected years of my life and he was wrong.

I'm a Success Story because I'm psych drug free and have been for several years. My journey was extremely difficult and I did it on my own hit or miss tapering off numerous psychiatric drugs. I endured drug withdrawals that paralyzed me month after month. Was it worth the hell of tapering? Yes, very much yes.  My reward was my clarity of mind, my passions for life returned and I have hopes for my future. I mended fences with family and have made new friends. I strive everyday to be productive.  I'm me but a different me because no one could go through all this and not be changed by it.

 

(for more in-depth conversations about my struggles, coping and self awareness with surviving psychiatry please visit my ongoing thread Aria's Psych Journey  http://survivinganti...psych-journey/)

Edited by cymbaltawithdrawal5600
Edited at member's request, fixed link 1 25 15

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Nikki   
Nikki

Your story is astounding and very moving.  Than you so much for sharing.  A doctor who actually admitted responsibility for poly drugging you is rare.

 

So glad you found your way out of that mess and your life is going well.

 

I really needed to read this.

 

I was recently poly drugged and I am off one of the meds...with two more to go.  It was or is a bad experience which I am suffering thru daily.

 

Bless your heart:)

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Meimeiquest   
Meimeiquest

Thank you for sharing this! So sad, but you have done an excellent job.

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compsports   
compsports

Thank god for that neurologist because so many people like him in my opinion would have just looked the other way.    You have done a great job in overcoming horrific odds and when people join this list wondering if they can get off antipsychotics, we can point them to your success story.

 

CS

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tezza   
tezza

You really give hope to many! Thank you for sharing, Aria.

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Zoe   
Zoe

Thanks for sharing- great job!!! We are so proud of you!!

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mammaP   
mammaP

Thank you for telling your story Aria, it's been a hell of a journey for you and you

have done it yourself, I have much admiration for you for achieving so much and

hope the rest of your new life runs smoothly and happily .

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Thank you so much, Aria.

 

How did you cope with withdrawal symptoms? Was there any pattern to your healing?

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Aria   
Aria

Alto,

It's so blurry when I think about it?? I'll check to see if perhaps I kept some notes? I remember feeling like I was under water and wading through a thick jello in movement and thought.  I slowly improved but by that time I had this neuro muscular disease hit me hard.

 

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Wow, Aria, you've really been through it.  And I have to say how inspiring it is to me.  My simple little problems and I ask myself daily:  can I do it?  SHOULD I do it? and here you are, on the other side, telling us about the reality of it.  Not only can it be done, there is "the other side," we can come out on (after the hell part, of course).  Thank you for showing me "the other side."

 

I agree with compsports, you were lucky to find that neurologist.  Most doctors don't believe "mental patients."  Doc, I have strep throat. "No, it's just a virus," no really - and this goes for any number of ailments. 

 

It is worse than being an obese smoker (who doctors also frequently dismiss, because it's "my own fault").  Worse than being old.  There's almost a little terror in their eyes when you say "bipolar" or something is in your chart that says "mad as a march hare" so that everything out of your mouth becomes suspect.  So that neurologist was a gift, a boon, I'd even say, a miracle!

 

I have a question about your graduated cylinders as you posted on my thread:  do you use them for making up liquid?  I've seen them  with eye droppers and I wondered.

 

Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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Bellisimo   
Bellisimo

You are SO STRONG, I admire you so much! Thank you for sharing your story

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WinningThrough   
WinningThrough

Thank you for sharing this Aria. You are amazing. I am so glad you have a better life now.

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Aria   
Aria

My Introduction thread is now this thread. I've recovered enough to stop posting in Intro. Welcoming all posts asking about psych drug tapering and getting better.  My sleep is awful but having a sense of humor about it is priceless. :)

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

:-)  That's the key isn't it?  No matter how you taper or which coping strategies you choose, if you keep a sense of humour about it - you are winning!

 

I was just watching a TED talk by a woman named Jane McGonigal who made up a game in order to heal from a traumatic brain injury, there are 4 types of resiliances to court:  Physical, mental, emotional and social.  In this game, she is a superhero with a secret identity, and a secret mission - to get better.  What she found, was that this game helped other people get better, too!  See http://www.superbetter.com

 

Good onya Aria, for keeping your chin up and a smile on, even when you have suffered, and still suffer from this horrible psychiatrists robotic schemes.

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NewMe   
NewMe

Aria - thank you from the depths of my heart for posting. The intermittent wax / wane of hope for successful taper is refreshed thanks to your account. Much respect and thanks. 

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Coleen   
Coleen

Aria, so proud of you. You are so strong! I'm glad you chose to be your own advocate- so many just blindly follow their doctors without question. We are so afraid, but once we start to question everything, it frees us to do what is right.

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rainfall   
rainfall

Aria, thank you for sharing here. It's wonderful to click through success stories. Incredible your doc admitted polydrugging created harm. What a powerful and rare admission!  

 

I also found that polydrugging made relationships hard, really, nearly impossible. My thinking, behavior, and mental capacity were so altered.Wonderful to hear you're reconnecting and healing. Me too, little by little.

 

Thanks again for posting here. I wish you continued healing.

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Aria   
Aria

My update is I can read fiction books again. I had lost the ability (due to psychiatric drugs) to read any books. When I was in withdrawal hell my love of reading went out of the window and in my grief I got rid of hundreds and hundreds of my books. The withdrawal was so bad I thought I surely wouldn't make it. Slowly I was able to start reading scientific journals and non fiction books. Facts my injured brain could understand and for years dragged home books from the library on healing, politics, oceanography, history and any book damming psychiatry. A few years ago I started to gather books at resale shops that I hoped one day I could read.

 

 

I just finished a 900 page book, silly historical romance I was able to read for 2-4 hours at a time, enjoy what I was reading and follow the story line. I've read a few other shorter fiction books but is a milestone.  I wanted to share my excitement and happiness.  :D 

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Meimeiquest   
Meimeiquest

That is wonderful! And hopeful that you can continue to see progress. I'm like you were, I can read non-fiction, but novels are nothing to me and impossible to concentrate on. It's encouraging to know there is hope!

 

How is your sleep these days?

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WinningThrough   
WinningThrough

My update is I can read fiction books again. I had lost the ability (due to psychiatric drugs) to read any books. When I was in withdrawal hell my love of reading went out of the window and in my grief I got rid of hundreds and hundreds of my books. The withdrawal was so bad I thought I surely wouldn't make it. Slowly I was able to start reading scientific journals and non fiction books. Facts my injured brain could understand and for years dragged home books from the library on healing, politics, oceanography, history and any book damming psychiatry. A few years ago I started to gather books at resale shops that I hoped one day I could read.

 

 

I just finished a 900 page book, silly historical romance I was able to read for 2-4 hours at a time, enjoy what I was reading and follow the story line. I've read a few other shorter fiction books but is a milestone.  I wanted to share my excitement and happiness.  :D 

That's the best thing I've heard all day!

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Jemima   
Jemima

My update is I can read fiction books again. I had lost the ability (due to psychiatric drugs) to read any books. When I was in withdrawal hell my love of reading went out of the window and in my grief I got rid of hundreds and hundreds of my books. The withdrawal was so bad I thought I surely wouldn't make it. Slowly I was able to start reading scientific journals and non fiction books. Facts my injured brain could understand and for years dragged home books from the library on healing, politics, oceanography, history and any book damming psychiatry. A few years ago I started to gather books at resale shops that I hoped one day I could read.

 

 

I just finished a 900 page book, silly historical romance I was able to read for 2-4 hours at a time, enjoy what I was reading and follow the story line. I've read a few other shorter fiction books but is a milestone.  I wanted to share my excitement and happiness.  :D 

 

I didn't see this when it was first posted, but my experience in recovery has been much the same.  I was able to read non-fiction early on, especially books on Christianity that gave me hope, but it took a year or more before I could read fiction and enjoy it. I think this is because antidepressants and antidepressant withdrawal so deaden the emotions that we can't identify with fictional characters who are usually going through some sort of emotional trial.

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CCJ   
CCJ

What a fantastic inspiration you are! thank you for your frank and moving account which I know many people will draw strength from.

 

My story is as follows, I was in a very distressing and tortured business partnership that was a nightmare for 11 years. Instead of doing the tough and courageous move and removing him from the company I capitulated and became a battered partner (Mentally). For 11 years my confidence, pride and dignity was destroyed and systematically removed.

I decided that I would go and see the doctor which was a huge mistake as I got hooked on Anti-depressants and Xanax  that he prescribed me for five years. I found it hard to have a life on these drugs and 1 year ago I flipped and lost my cool with my partner. I immediately left and within a week set up a new business which is really flying. One month after I left I decided to stop the Anti -depressants and from that day to this I have never taken any. The really tough one was Xanax and it took a further 12 months before my inner spirit said enough is enough Stop right now!. It was really tough for the first week but I am now 4 weeks into zero Xanax and I have definitely managed to break the cycle.

What has changed

1 year no anti depressants means I have a much better love life and my clarity of thought is back to its best.

No more side effects such as suicidal and harmful thoughts. I also feel so much more confident and strong mentally.

 

Coming off of Xanax was much harder but I stuck to it and now I can live a normal life without sleeping all weekend from morning till night.

I hope that someone reads this and realises that you can move on and live a normal and happy life without the dirty little secret that we all carried around with us.

.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Thank you, CCJ. Please start a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum and let us know how you're doing.

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Whoopsie   
Whoopsie

Hi Aria,

 

I want to tell you that I spent the better part of today reading your entire Intro thread and it was very good reading for me as I identify closely with a lot of your thoughts and feelings.  It was real nice to find someone else on the planet that is in roughly the same shoes I am in.  Congratulations on having the commitment, determination and strength to get off all the psych drugs and keep right on going, no matter what.  My ship may not be a luxury liner but dammit, it's my ship and I'd rather go down with it than ever go back to a psychiatrist and allow myself to be judged, owned, discounted, labeled and drugged out of my mind EVER AGAIN.  Looking back, I put myself completely in incompetent hands just as I was societally trained to do.  Sheesh!!!   Well that's over, lesson learned, the best hands for me to be in are my very own. I know you and I could have some very long conversations given the opportunity.  Soon it will be Spring again and the return to life will be evident once again and you'll be out there exploring the garden centers.  What a very interesting and challenging life you have led!!!  I'm very proud of what you have accomplished on this journey.  All the very best to you.

 

Whoopsie

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Aria   
Aria
Aria's Update and the condensed verison
 
I feel my life has made an incredible turn for the better this year. My healing is on-going from years of toxic drugs and feeling better is always welcome. Healing for me was a long drawn process, my body and brain had to readjust to being off drugs that had rewired and changed my entire system. Recently I posted I was once again able to read of fiction and I'm reading book after book. It took years for that part of my brain to heal from poly-drugging. To me having a big glass of sweet tea and a book to read is close to heaven.
 
How did I get trapped into psychiatry?? It was 30 years ago when people rarely questioned their physicians. Plainly speaking I didn't know any better. It seems ludicrous now that I went because of insomnia (due to a car accident) and not sleeping was affecting my work, my life. I had no idea psychiatric drugs would change who I was, how I thought and how I behaved. There is no way a human being can function on multiple mind bending drugs and then being told they will make you "normal". The drugs kept being changed and doses upped as these same drugs altered my behavior. The even more ridiculous thing is the pdoc changing his diagnoses. If I was so mentally incompetent how did I handle the busy traveling position I had for years? To let someone who is considered so messed up (from drugs) drive a car, take care of themselves, pay bills, be able to take their "medicines", where is the real responsibility? Obviously it ends at the Med Check.

I had unbelievable drug induced side effects the psychiatrist and other physicians were dismissing as my imagination and/or had more drugs added to supposively fix the problems. The few of the list of symptoms were incontinence, nausea, dizziness, constipation, severe stomach pain and I was hospitalized for them. The worst one was Akathisia and it made me pace for days unable to lay down or sleep without suddenly having to jump up again. If you're guessing the psychiatrist drugged me more thinking this was all me you are right. I had no idea I had Akathisia till a chance consultation with a neurologist. He told me in no uncertain terms the psychiatric drugs were killing me (his words). Drug free ALL of the above are gone.
 
Yes, I was seeing a therapist when on these drugs but she had never seen me off of them. Her view was altered by this and she only saw a messed up woman. I was shocked she fired me when I said I was tapering off the drugs. It was a blow but I walked away from her. In a sad way it was an incentive to keep going.

I've read my psychiatric records I got through an attorney and can see where the latter ones had been changed (his writing style). After he realized he'd been wrong (he cried in his office apologizing to me) my pdoc did his best to authenticate his reasoning for poly drugging and diagnosing me the way he did. Right after this I went to a new pdoc still on all these drugs (had recently c/t off Seroquel) and he said I was fine (not mentally ill) just suffering from over drugging. OK, one doc said I was crazy as can be and another said I was not mentally ill? Huh? Also two therapists said nothing was wrong with me. If I'd only known this years and years ago when I first got lost in the psychiatric labyrinth. Psychiatry is nothing more than speculation, assumptions and it's extremely dangerous to your health, your life.
 
I want you to know that you can taper off drugs if this is what you choose. However I did it I did without any help or support. I knew I had to be drug free and my life become my own again. Yesterday an old friend said the drugs sure messed me up but I was me again as much as could be. She has called me to go shopping, I limped out to met her and we had a load of fun. My health has been compromised but being able to think clearly is beautiful. I'm so grateful to be drug free. I'm grateful for sites who help and support you on your journey trying to be drug free. Thank you, SA. :)
Edited by Petunia
Added title from new topic and moved from off topic

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Petunia   
Petunia

Thank you for the wonderful update Aria, its great to hear that you are doing so well. I merged the update topic you started in off topic with your success story thread here.

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Wow Aria, so good to hear from you again!  

 

How's the old Insomnia?

 

Are you planting a garden this year?

 

From your writing style, it sounds like you are standing on your own two feet, and holding your own.  I'm sure it's slower than it used to be, but that's probably a good thing.

 

I've just been thinking about you, and here you are, posting on SA!  <3

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Aria   
Aria

Jan Carol,

 

Still not sleeping well and last 2 weeks have seen me watching the sun rise. My attitude is good, sorta laugh about it but it impacts my life to great degrees. If someone doesn't have acute insomnia they have no idea. Have beautiful yard full of happy greenery: lavender, sage, rosemary, profuse trailing vines, purlace, Gerber Daisies, multitude of bee attracting flowers and some new plants I don't know their name. Enjoying my silly feline. PM or email me for more details'''

 

Aria

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Aria, I've been reading your posts on Mad In America!  You go girl!

 

You are so well spoken, and clear, and calm - I love the things you do!

 

I hope this finds you well (and rested). Are you putting your garden to sleep for winter?

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Mort81   
Mort81

Hey Aria I was having a bit of a rough time lately. But your story is inspiring and made me smile. Im so glad how far you have come. I can only see you continuing to get better

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Aria   
Aria

I had told myself I would not tell any new friends and acquaintances about my past psychiatric history till I finally outed myself recently. I've met a very nice woman who was having post-traumatic stress from events in her life to the point that she was going to a therapist who was mentioning she probably needed to be hospitalized for a few days. I didn't want this wonderful woman ending up on multiple drugs the hospital staff would tell her she needed to be on and have a psychiatric hospitalization in her medical files. So I told this lady about what happened to me and surprisingly she got the whole scenario. I found I didn't feel embarrassed by telling her what happened to me. She has been to more than one psychiatrist and she didn't care for their demeaning attitudes or they're jumping to the wrong diagnosis ​aka ​conclusions. We've had several deep discussions since then, she has a good support​ system​, is using alternative ​health ​methods and is still seeing her therapist. Last but not least I wanted her to know that if she felt she needed to go on psychiatric medicines it was her choice but these were indeed drugs and had not been found to be that helpful since all they did was numb and make things different not better.

 

Many times I wanted to write another email on this site about the struggle coming off psychiatric drugs. Every now and then I get a PM from someone who wants to thank me for writing my Success Story. It's been quite a few years since I've come off all the psychiatric drugs and I can't even express in words how much better I feel. I had expected my psychiatrist to be a medical doctor and I found out how wrong about this I was. Every time I told him about new physical or emotional aspects he said no, there's no way it was due to the psychiatric drugs. He was physician, a so-called expert, so I believed what he said.

 

I've mentioned before that I have a sibling who's a psychologist. She didn't want to have much to do with me after she called my psychiatrist many years ago and he told her I was beyond help. I ended up being put on the back burner in my family because I was officially "mentally ill". It took a while but as I withdrew from the drugs my sister realized the drugs were what had made me "mentally ill". She now tries to make sure her patients are not over medicated and if they are displaying any new symptoms then she calls their psychiatrist. Believe me the psychiatrists are not happy there having a non-MD calling them but several times this has helped one of her clients. Just one person who might be able to help those involved in psychiatry is where it starts. My sister has repeatedly told me that she had no idea the drugs were what had changed my behavior (causing bizarre behavior). I am thankful for my family realizing it was the drugs not me and I'm glad before my dad died he knew the truth. I know I wasn't consciously aware of how my behavior impacted my family and friends but it affected everyone close to ​me. ​I'm just so very very sorry that this happened.

 

I can only hope ​publicly denouncing psychiatry and sharing what happened to us will help educate future victims away from it​. When you are facing an emotional crisis we naturally look for help.​ To have a psychiatrist tell you you are permanently broken is making it even worse. To find out later he was a thousand percent wrong is a catastrophe. To me psychiatry undermines everything you are  and I'm very sorry that I ever entered a psychiatrist office in the first place. To know psychiatric drugs are no better than a placebo would be helpful, that psych diagnoses will follow you forever and in most instants the emotion situation you are experiencing will abate on its own.

 

I wanted ​you to know​ there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The psychiatric induced toxic side effects all went away once I was off the drugs. There is no way I would trade my clarity of mind, the calmness, enjoying good friends once again, being able to do the pleasurable activities that I lost when I was on the psychiatric drugs. It is so precious to have my ​p​eace of ​m​ind. Yes,​ this is something I've repeatedly said on this site but it's true. You can recover post psychiatric drug withdrawal.​ I wish all of you a good journey ​with​ whatever you decide to do​.

 

Aria

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Bless you Aria.

 

I come here because I am angry.

 

I help people because I am angry, and if I can just convince ONE to liberate themselves, then it's all worth it.

 

That you were able to share from a place of love and caring - and you were heard - is a blessing!  I hope you have saved this dear friend heaps of grief.

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JanCarol   
JanCarol

Aria, I've been thinking about this:

 The psychiatric induced toxic side effects all went away once I was off the drugs. 

 

But you still have the neurological damage thing, right? (I'm sorry, I'm stupid with the name)

 

But you're talking about "crazy symptoms" like DP/DR and emotional swings and all of those "diagnostic" categories - all gone, right?

 

It's so good to hear from you.

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Aria   
Aria

Yes, JC, all the weird psychiatric induced mood swings and by that I mean I would cry hysterically for 6 hours or pace the room from the Akathisia (which I had no idea I had or was causing me to behave this way). Akathisia is a relentless inner turmoil, having to pace and not beong to sit still. My stupid psychiatrist thought it was Mania. I was sleeping in a recliner because of the drug-induced GERD and jumping up and down using the recliner level because of the Akathisia. One thing that's laughable now but it wasn't then was one of my sweet kitties would get on my lap in the recliner and 30 seconds later I'm jumping out of the recliner. I get back in the recliner, kitty in my lap again and there I go again having to jump out of the recliner. I'm surprised I didn't wear the recliner handle off each night. Another thing is I was having such horrible spasms in the upper part of my body that I put folded washcloths in my hands at night because my fingernails had started to dig into my palms from the spasm clutching. The strange altered perceptions and behavior are no longer here. All that is gone.

 

On a better note I've had a wonderful summer tending my garden and I just knitted the most precious little baby blanket for a friend. My life is just more gentler and I am so grateful for this off psychiatric drugs. My best to everyone of you.

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