Psychiatry must be patient led - please remember doctors: the client is the expert of themselves!
Updated: Jan 28
As we come towards the end of the year I am wrapping up the blog with my final posts, some of which are incredibly important.
I will continue to write next year, but just not quite as consistently since I will be moving on to my next project as I begin offering one to one coaching sessions through my knowledge of NLP, CBT, DBT, psychology, philosophy, as well as my extensive own lived experience of bipolar disorder!
Up until now I've poured my efforts into the book/blog and helping others gratuitously (which I don't mind doing at all), but I need to be able to afford continued private treatment since the NHS still refuse to issue me repeat prescriptions of a drug that keeps me well!
It's all too ridiculous, but the long and short of it is that I must prioritise my own health if I'm going to be able to help others - I'm slightly peeved that not one doctor is really helping me with all of this but I'm also not really surprised!
Introduction to psychiatric drug withdrawal
I'm adding this brief post this morning as an introduction to psychiatric drug withdrawal which will be followed by a much more detailed one coming later in the week.
In short, I am not a fan of medicating the brain.
I have come to this conclusion after years of trial and ERROR with the traditional psychiatric drugs which caused me NO END of grief and quite honestly very nearly killed me.
Full details of this are in my self help/memoir (still waiting for a publisher)... but basically all of them were a complete disaster until I found the obscenely expensive Harley Street doctor and miraculously got better on thyroid hormones and rTMS (see 'top posts' for full story).
Anyway, apart for the horrifying side effects while being on these drugs, the most disconcerting and worrying problems often emerged when withdrawing and this was never (and still isn't really) appreciated by the psychiatrists at all.
So, I will say it again:
Withdrawing from psychiatric medications is an absolute nightmare and highly dangerous! Patients must be listened to and advised/supported to discontinue with care and caution!
The client is the expert of themselves
I feel the need to add this post this morning after three of the patients I support have reached out to me recently expressing SEVERE concern over side effects that have presented as they withdraw from previously prescribed psychiatric drugs.
There is a big problem in psychiatry now - in fact, that was the understatement of the century - THERE IS A MASSIVE, HUGE, GARGANTUAN problem in psychiatry right now which is that not only are psychiatrists taking people off these medications far too fast (there is no research into it so they don't have a clue what they're doing) but also:
Psychiatrists are mistaking withdrawal problems for the reemergence of the original disorder!
And this one really pisses me off!
I mean it - The client is the expert of themselves!
I know all about this because it's happened to me several times.
One such occasion (there have been multiple) was after the disastrous ketamine infusions which shot my brain to pieces and left me in a horrifying mixed state. The psychiatrist tried to tell me that the reason I couldn't sleep was because my 'original disorder had been particularly unpredictable this year'.
Now, I never said this at the time because I would have been labelled difficult and recalcitrant, but what I would like to say to this 'professional' is:
It was never my original disorder returning, it was your dangerous treatments which were catapulting me into and out of mixed state and catastrophising my already vulnerable and sensitive mind and brain!
I walked out of that appointment and never returned to that doctor again.
I knew it was nothing to do with my original disorder, yet everything to do with the bodged and failed experimental and dangerous treatments.
I was proved right of course when I finally got off all of that poisonous crap and stabilised, but I would never have done this if I'd listened to the professionals - the truth is that the only reason I am well and able to type this sentence is because throughout my double-decade nightmare I was always THE EXPERT OF MYSELF.
It translates to general life too!
Recent events have proved to me that it's not just in psychiatry where being the expert of yourself is important - it's in ALL of LIFE TOO!
This is especially important for those in recovery from trauma and/or mental illness because the smug (and blind) people who claim to live in the 'real world' will have all sorts of advice and suggestions for you - most of which will be complete and utter BS.
When you finally recover from whatever horrendous trauma you've had to wade through they will probably suggest you become an accountant or estate agent like them, without one moment of consideration that -
a. Everyone is different and on their own individual journey
b. Not everyone's priorities are the same
c. Those who have survived deep suffering see life in a completely different way and have therefore found a new path to tread as they emerge from the darkness.
As I said to one such friend this year:
'If you become an estate agent I'll kill you!'
Her reply was simply,
Don't ever compare yourself to others - it is a total waste of time and there is no 'real world' and 'dream world' either, because:
We are all on our own individual journey in our own subjective reality. No one else can know what we are experiencing and they therefore cannot know what is right for us either.
Always be the expert of yourself - whether this be when standing up to a doctor for your right to manage your condition as you see fit, or whether it's more generally when standing your ground to live your life as you wish!
Do not apologise for this - it is your life and you may live it in any way you choose!
Later this week I will be adding a detailed post on how to withdraw safely from psychiatric medications so be sure to check back in but it all starts with being the expert of yourself and having the courage and strength to understand and know that!
Thanks for reading,
Speak to you soon,