Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal – One Year On

Facebook kindly reminds me that a year ago I was a few days into the process of withdrawal from my psychiatric medication/drugs. I was not exactly feeling good from missing one dose of one drug for a few days.

I’ve been told I shouldn’t call them drugs because that’s all negative and connected with illegality and addiction and I should only call them medicines. But they are drugs. The presence of a medical prescription doesn’t change that. That’s why the BNF (British National Formulary) site has a page for browsing drugs. Medicines are drugs, and psychoactive medicines are drugs in more ways than an antibiotic. If the BNF calls them drugs, I can do the same.

In any case, I’ve been addicted to them. I’ve been told I shouldn’t say that. But I was, the physical withdrawal and big mental cravings show that. The cravings still recur at times, especially for Pregabalin. I had my doctors’ blessing, and the approval of psychiatry, but I was a legal drug addict. I’ve read a lot of withdrawal stories in the last 18 months. There are a lot of psych drug addicts out there, some of whom find withdrawal utterly impossible even when the drug isn’t tackling the symptoms of an “illness” in any way. Sometimes the addiction or dependency may be better than the symptoms relieved. Sometimes.

A year on. There have been lots of tough times. And the unexpected difficulties of having to begin to accept and come to terms with a dissociative system that’s been maintaining everything else. Without support. Without therapy. I’m on waiting lists, meaning all the NHS can offer in the meantime is more drugs.

Right now I’m doing a little better after big struggle times. More positive about the prospects of sorting out DID, learning just what and who is in our head, dealing with trauma I can only remember tiny fragments of, and slowly building a cooperative system together. An online conference last weekend is helping. And somehow hope and determination has returned, in part due to Lucy.

I’m glad to be off the drugs. Everything is more vivid which can be much harder. But it’s also more real and gives a better place to deal with DID. Someone last week told me my eyes move a lot quicker now. Reaction was numbed and delayed before. Dissociative truth was numbed too. Plus I was having a ton of visual hallucinations to add to the usual voices and inner influences. Those drugs weren’t like some of the others – I couldn’t function at all on some psych drugs – but I was definitely in some way less on them, living more disjointed from the world, from myself, and from everything in between.

Withdrawal was tough. Hellish at times. But necessary for me. There’s no going back.

The future’s brighter. The future’s dissociation!

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