Some folks in the withdrawal community love to talk on and on about
withdrawal from psych drugs causing permanent damage. I totally refute this and here’s why:
Let’s face it, the drugs themselves caused most of the damage already! I know withdrawal is hard, harder for some than for others. However, I think it’s more like cigarette withdrawal. Yes, stopping smoking is very difficult for some people. What is the alternative? Continuing to smoke and continuing to harm your body? If you can quit cigarettes your body will thank you for the rest of your life!
Does withdrawal hurt? YES! For many, it’s like torture. I do not believe the torturous part of it has to be forever. This kind of attitude creates permanency. That is, if you have total faith that you’ll be miserable forever, you are more likely to be miserable.
The withdrawal community pisses me off tremendously. Not all of them, but some of them. Science, or shall I say, pseudoscience (that is, psychiatry and others) tend to avoid doing any research on withdrawal because the assumption was that we’d be drugged forever. Some of the folks in the withdrawal community get very touchy about the subject. They feel threatened by anyone who says they’re going off drugs cold turkey. They’ll try to tell you it won’t work, or that you’ll die. I do know a few who did get off cold turkey and they’re not dead. They are off drugs! Some are dead, but more are dead who continued to stay on the drugs.
Is going cold turkey a form of Russian Roulette? Well, yeah. So was seeing a psychiatrist! So was going to an ER! Come to think of it I know a number of people who get sickeningly drunk every weekend which is also Russian Roulette. Life itself is Russian Roulette. Do you sell drugs? You’re taking a risk. If you’re alive right now you might be dead tomorrow.
The withdrawal community loves to blame anything at all that goes wrong on “withdrawal.” It is totally disgusting to me that people will blame normal life on withdrawal! Everything from getting periods to sunburning in the sun is blamed. Nothing is spared….Sound familiar?
Part of the withdrawal community loves to boast about how sick they are. Sick and (of course) still disabled, so that way they have an excuse to stay home and act sick, thereby extending their disability benefits forever without having to see a shrink or get MH “services” to justify it. This also sounds very familiar to me. After all, didn’t we sit around the ward and boast about our diagnonsenses as if they were our college majors?
People who make the INFORMED choice to go cold turkey are somehow terrible sinners who need to be prayed for. Maybe instead we need to pray for those still trapped in the System, and for those on insane “cocktails.” Pray for the elderly who are imprisoned in nursing homes and those who live every day of their lives terrified that their own families will have them locked up.
This is what I would suggest….Not that I have any authority on the subject…Just live your life. I think if you make a gigantic stink over withdrawal, then withdrawal is going to stink. I suspect the “preparations” for withdrawal only increase people’s already elevated sense of self-absorption they were taught in the System. Self-absorption needs to go way, way out the window, and if that means tossing out Self-Absorption’s twin sister, Mindfulness, please do. If you look for symptoms you will find them. If you call them symptoms then they likely will become symptoms.
Now I do know that there are certain effects we got from the drugs that seem to stick around. Please get “permanent” out of your vocabulary! While I know that some effects (organ damage, TD, sexual effects, insomnia, etc) seem to be permanent, just stop calling it that. Permanent means no hope. We need hope to survive, don’t we?
Hope IS the placebo effect. Why? Because no one can predict the future anyway. We rely on hope every day when we drive. We assume that we’ll get to our destination and that we won’t crash. If we drove constantly afraid of crashing, driving would be a nightmare! Most do not drive that way. Our faith in auto safety keeps us driving pretty much mindlessly, almost subconsciously, which is probably a good thing. You might be on auto-pilot but that’s so you can concentrate instead on not making a wrong turn or on actually noticing a stop light. Our auto-pilot attitude during driving is actually a form of faith that so long as we drive safely, chances are we won’t get into an accident. This, in fact, protects us and helps us drive more safely.
You might have some damage that sticks around five or six years. Still, keep having hope. Live life as if you’re driving and leave that brain space for the stuff that matters. You do not need wildly unrealistic hope, but steadfast hope. Keep it in your heart all the time and please, don’t give up.