People have a tremendous amount of difficulty with these realizations:
-The drugs may be doing more harm than good -Doctors are not always sources of accurate information and good care. There is no medical safety net. -Guilt over having wanted the medications in the first place -There are huge societal pressures to keep a person in a disenfranchised patient role -Time lost to inability to emotionally participate in relationships -Time lost to adverse effects and withdrawal syndrome -Lives, families, and careers destroyed by inappropriate medication, adverse effects, etc. -A wasted life -Loss of sex life -Dealing with anger towards the medical establishment
And then there are difficult lifestyle changes:
-Figuring out how to work even though you have horrible symptoms -Realizing you’re unable to work because of horrible symptoms -Filing for disability (often, this has to be psychiatric, on paper) -Finding a place to live after a disintegrating marriage or being thrown out of parents’ or relative’s home -Recuperating from drug damage — need peace, quiet, security -Taking care of oneself: Eating better, sleeping properly, getting appropriate exercise -Figuring out how to go back to work after being disabled -Figuring out how to talk to friends and acquaintances about your situation
and so much more!
“Unpatienting” oneself is very difficult work for people who may have no emotional support for changing their lives. Families are sometimes resistant.
Psychotherapists are more likely to be sympathetic than MDs but many therapists subscribe to a medication model. People have to slog through interviewing therapists to find out who is trustworthy.
Finding a therapist or any kind of doctor, even an internist, may require the disgusting work of kissing a lot of frogs before you find one you can work with.
I’ve been trying to put together a directory of sympathetic doctors and therapists, but it’s been very hard going. No help from ISEPP, for example — they’re focused on keeping people off drugs by providing therapy instead. No help from Critical Psychiatry in the UK — they like to theorize, but none of their members step forward to treat people. No help from the Breggin folks — although there’s a rumor a directory is in the works. No help from Steve Moffic — you can see for yourself where those conversations have led!
Local peer support groups would be a huge step forward, but we need people to lead them. I ran one in San Francisco for over a year, there’s no doubt the need is there and I know how to get this going, but I can’t stretch myself any further right now.
So the millions of people who are on psychiatric drugs are pretty much left to their own devices, or to whatever help they find on the Web, which varies greatly in quality and accuracy.
(Note to Matthew: The editor’s bullet list command didn’t work in this post.)
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.