Sunday, August 18, 2013
Psychiatrists MUST tell their patients of harmful effects of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs too rapidly
THIS MUST BE MANDATORY!
It has come to my attention that psychiatrists STILL do not tell their patients that there is a need to withdraw slowly from major tranquilisers/ neuroleptics/ ‘anti-psychotics’.
This is a breach of ‘informed consent’. Not giving this information to a patient, means a person can be put through unnecessary suffering, which can be very dangerous, even deadly. This suffering could be alleviated, if they were informed to withdraw slowly, and, in ideal circumstances, aided and helped by a psychiatrist or GP in doing this.
People who may stop taking psych drugs for very good reasons. Quite often people don’t want to take them forever, because of the horrific debilitating side-effects, and, because they don't really do what psychiatrists claim they should be doing.
People often get told by psychiatrists that they have to take neuroleptics forever. This is not reasonable, especially when there are so many side-effects, when important social functions such as driving, reading, sex function, conversation and operating machinery are hampered. Especially when there is Tardive Dyskinesia, or akinesia emerging, and this harm caused by the drug is dismissed or ignored by the treating psychiatrist… what is a person to do? People as young as 23 complain of feeling like they have Alzheimer’s on these drugs. I felt that way myself, until I came off them. I was sure my brains had eroded. No, it was the neuroleptic. There’s also those 25 years that get torn from the lives of people on a regimen of neuroleptics. Read enough and you’ll know all this, and that you need to come off psych drugs slowly. But if your sight is blurring because of the drugs and your thoughts are clouded and you’re chronically fatigued, then how are you going to do that?
I’ve seen over a hundred psychiatrists in a 14 year period and none of them informed me of the horrific withdrawal effects of neuroleptics. Yet psychiatrists do know to withdraw people slowly from one neuroleptic before getting a person to take another, or they should.
Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist, writes at length about withdrawing from neuroleptics in his book, ‘Your drug may be your problem.’
Icarus project has a free pdf on ‘Harm reduction’.
All psychiatric, medical, clinical psychology, mental health and psychiatric drug related websites should include something similar about slow withdrawal from drugs/ harm reduction.
Psychiatrists should be informing all patients about drug related harm reduction. Australia has got to make this mandatory for psychiatrists to do.
Hospitals have systems in place for harm reduction for stimulant use.
It is ridiculous that these hard drugs, which are major tranquilisers, have for so long been written off in documents by ‘Mental Health’ organisations as not having harmful withdrawal effects. It is ridiculous that these withdrawal effects are seen as ‘symptoms of psychosis’. They are NOT.
I came off Solian, from 200mg to nothing and my whole face and body twitched as parts of me came back to life. I had a headache that lasted 2 weeks. At that time, 2009, I didn’t know you were meant to come of these drugs slowly, but I’d been medicalised by psychiatry since 1998!
It has taken me 2 years, after slow reduction from Zuclopenthixol, to get my emotions to stabilise and the Tourette’s caused by this drug to fade. I have had a lot of support from friends, Intervoice, my tafe, colleagues and my partner, that allow discussions of what had other years been denied.
I think this INFORMING OF PATIENTS is essential and must be made MANDATORY. I think everyone could agree to that, in the very least of things that need to be done, to stop psychiatric abuse, that government could put some legislation in to make certain that this occurs.
There are documents that have said this pressure on people’s minds/bodies, of quickly withdrawing, has been a factor in many horrific shootings by youth, that have happened in the USA.
Certainly drug/alcohol rehabilitation services are well-studied in how to safely withdraw from other hard drugs.
So, please, see that this, is done. Make it mandatory for psychiatrists to inform people to withdraw slowly, never quickly, and to do so under their supervision, so that tablets are not quartered in a way that is unsafe. I don’t want to see another person harmed unnecessarily by withdrawing too quickly from drugs.
(If you are attempting to do this, ask, remind and let your psychiatrist know why you need to reduce your harmful drug. Do not talk of stopping the drug. Just talk about reducing it. Then they are more likely to give you a prescription of a smaller pill, I’ve found. If they refuse, keep asking, get back up, books, a lawyer, or an understanding friend.)
As an individual please make enough conversation happen to grant MANDATORY HARM REDUCTION INFORMATION TO BE GIVEN, BY ALL PSYCHIATRISTS IN REGARDS TO PSYCHIATRIC DRUG WITHDRAWAL, TO THEIR PATIENTS. And please feel free to write emails to RANZCP and the AMA letting them know why this must be made mandatory.