Using Reevaluation Counseling to cope with the feelings, and acupuncture to help with the detox and withdrawal, I succeeded in getting off of an old-school anti-depressant that I'd been taking for close to twenty years. I learned how to get off of psychiatric drugs safely by reading and educating myself. I learned that I was misdiagnosed with “major depression” and drugged.
I had spent six consecutive years in three psychiatric hospitals. I spent eight more years compliantly taking psychiatric drugs. I was aware on some level, with every dose I took, that the drugs were ineffective. I just didn't have any other answers and felt all alone. By entering the mental hospital, I had effectively severed connections and isolated myself from everyone who cared about me.
I threw away any preconceived calendar or time line. It took as long as it took to free myself of the drugs. The time allowed me plenty of opportunity for Co-Counseling sessions. My withdrawal mirrored the symptoms that drove me to seek out the mental health system in the first place. I used the Co-Counseling process and my Reevaluation Counseling Community support team members to discharge on those old feelings/symptoms.
As I worked through feelings that came up, I sometimes would feel that I needed to be on drugs after all. The truth was that these feelings were ONLY FEELINGS, recreated by the drug that was supposed to make me feel better.
People have asked me how I maintained the determination to succeed at getting free of psychiatric drugs. Absolute fury is my answer. I am still working through my anger at the mental health system that stole decades of my life and the pharmaceutical industry that left me with health problems due to the undesirable (side) effects of the drug.
I learned that it wasn't helpful to be in a mental health system that recreated the dysfunctionality of my childhood and, at the same time, punished me for trying to release my feelings. That was my experience in mental hospitals (all three of them). Initially, I went into the hospital seeking empathy and support but found neither. I've learned to gather people around me who support rather than punish release of feelings.
A close friend taught me Co-Counseling and the healing property of good attention and releasing emotions. Now I feel deeply connected to members of my Counseling community, more deeply to my friends, and I have succeeded in getting myself completely off of psychiatric drugs and staying off. ~ D