I just watched a video thanks to an entry at Beyond Meds.
*this video runs about 10 minutes and I hope you watch in its entirety-Dr. Breggin has some interesting things to say regarding children and psychiatric medications towards the end.
this video is powerful, informative and yet i feel… lost. confused. deceived. this video has triggered so many emotions. i don’t even know where to begin.
i’ll start with this. age 13. telling my parents i wanted to die over and over until….a trip to a psychiatrist’s office and i left with a diagnosis of depression. i have repeatedly discussed here my rape at 15 which i assumed only heightened my depression. it was so brutal, i blocked it from my memory for nearly 4 years. during my early 20s, i checked myself into a mental hospital because i wanted to feel normal. instead i was given dixie cups filled with medications and then kicked out because my insurance company would only pay for three or so days. at 30, five years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar. and I have seen several psychiatrists since then that agreed with that diagnosis.
after watching this video, my mind…is spinning. you see, I have ALWAYS believed I have a mental illness. and now, i question that. is there such a thing as a chemical imbalance? i believed so and now i have doubts. i cannot describe to you what that feels like. there are millions of us with a ‘mental illness’ and all we’ve ever really wanted was to be understand and loved unconditionally. unfortunately our behaviors tend to push people away or scare them. they may very well be incapable of understanding, therefore, getting too close is impossible. that has usually been my experience with some family members and some friends. if there is not a name behind this, like, mental illness (even with its misunderstandings) i feel i will never be understood, only by those that are either open-minded or like me. again, my entire life i have wanted to be understood. my sister has a rare disease. it has a name and people understand, they comfort her, doctors care for her. what if mine does not have a name? what if it is much deeper than i ever imagined? my gut and my heart are both telling me right now (and I should probably listen) I don’t need a label, I just need to live my life.
i know my maternal grandmother was sick. she had ECT treatments and of course this was back in the day when people like her were completely misunderstood, ignored and treated cruelly by society. i have always assumed my grandmother’s illness was passed onto me. how does one explain suicidal thoughts at 13? suicidal thoughts again recently at 35? but, there was a trigger this past time and i would bet money there was a trigger at 13. and I have to remember a few things I have been told about my grandmother-her father died in a fire when she was 5. I’m pretty certain she was abused. pain. and a lifetime of triggers i would assume.
when I was in the hospital, I befriended a woman in her 40s who had been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder. I have few memories of her today (thanks meds) but I clearly remember being in her room one day and she had several drawings on her desk. and the one i remember most was a picture of a little girl and an older man. the handwriting was that of a child’s handwriting. she later told me she was molested by her father. and it makes me think now….i am seeing a pattern.
this second, this is where my mind is going….
I completely understand what Dr. Peter Breggin is saying. I have experienced first-hand (many times) what psychiatric drugs can do to ones brain. Ironically I cannot remember a lot of the medications I’ve been on over the past 15 plus years because of the brain damage caused by these drugs. I do remember taking these drugs: Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Seroquel, Lamictal, Celexa and Abilify. and i cannot remember the side effects I had on the earlier drugs like Prozac and Paxil. except for one foggy memory, about 15 or so years ago. I think I was taking Prozac…anyway, I went off the medication and I remember being at my parent’s home. I thought I was on fire. I remember lying on their master bathroom floor because I thought the cool tiled floor would put the fire out. I certainly know what Seroquel did to my body, I gained 50 pounds, slept all the time, I was a walking zombie. Who knows the effect it had on my brain. Lamictal, the kindest of them, but horrific headaches every single day from 3p-11p which is what lead me to acupuncture in the beginning, to treat the headaches. oh, the body aches, too. Abilify-my speech was slurred and I couldn’t complete a sentence, severe memory loss after only a couple weeks on the drug. Wellbutrin, allergic reaction. a rash covered my body and off to the hospital i went. today, we have children taking these very drugs. i cannot not even imagine what these drugs will do and are doing to their innocent little brains/minds. it is heartbreaking. it infuriates me and always has.
however, now i find myself, yes, lost. and at a crossroads. have i been deceived? is there such a thing as a mental illness or chemical imbalance? and if not, where do i go from here? which road do i take? the road that calls to me is the road that would require many life changes: better nutrition, exercise, vitamins, supplements, yoga, meditation. the other road is the dangerous road (full of big pharma BS, corrupt doctors and pills) but it is the only road I have known my entire life. the road that calls me is frightening. and yet i feel it might free me. although i believe it will be the most difficult road. and i don’t know if i’m strong enough to travel it. especially now that i must question that last 22 years of my LIFE, beginning when the words ‘you have depression’ were uttered by some fancy, high-dollar psychiatrist. and I say my LIFE because my illness has played a very large role in my life. i must question what led me to being suicidal at 13. i must face the repercussions of so many things I most likely have ignored, especially the rape and growing up in a Cleaver family.
However, questioning these things and facing them…might indeed free me.
one thing is for certain, as soon as I have the money I will be buying Dr. Breggin’s book.