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Quitting Psychiatric Drugs Info Compiled by MindFreedom

Suggestions, ideas and tips for those who are choosing to stop taking prescribed psychiatric drugs. Disclaimer: MindFreedom is pro-choice and is not making a recommendation on your personal health care decisions. Nothing here is meant to be medical advice. Author of each item is responsible for content.

Article Quitting Psychiatric Drugs
This article, from the Lunatics' Liberation Front, is to help psychiatric consumers make informed choices about their options when deciding whether to withdraw, and how to do so safely if they choose to do so. The article intends to provide an overview of how to safely quit psychiatric medications, with guidance for helping consumers carry out their decisions in a safe way. Precautions for safely quitting psychiatric drugs, plus informed discussion regarding psychiatric meds and their effects, may be the most important support available to patients. [Disclaimer: This article is by Lunatics Liberation, and not by MindFreedom.]
Article Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs
The Icarus Project and Freedom Center's 40-page guide gathers information about reducing and coming off psychiatric medication. Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, withdrawal, detailed resource section, information for people staying on their medications, and much more.
Link The Road Back
A web site with recommendations about withdrawing from a number of psychiatric drugs including: Antidepressants - Celexa, Cymbalta, Effexor, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Strattera, Trazodone, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Benzodiazepines; Sleep Meds - Ambien, Ativan, BuSpar, Klonopin, Librium, Valium, Xanax; Anti-Psychotics - Abilify, Clozaril, Geodon, Haldol, Olanzapine, Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa; ADHD meds - Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, Strattera
Link Withdrawing Safely from Psychiatric Drugs
Dr Maureen B. Roberts, Director of the Schizophrenia Drug-free Crisis Centre provides her recommended "Steps to Safe Withdrawal from Toxic Psychiatric 'Medications."
Link Psychiatric drug withdrawal
Safe Withdrawal from Psychiatric drugs, by Guy Holmes and Marese Hudson. Article based on a paper presented at the MIND National Conference 2002 and published in 'OpenMind' in 2003
Link How to Continue, Reduce, or Go Off Psychiatric Medication -- Safely
Freedom Center, a sponsor group of MindFreedom, provides advice on psychiatric drug alternatives. They say everyone has the right to take choose the treatments that work for them. Freedom Center believes that full recovery is possible if you a) Get the facts, b) Get support, c) Create alternatives, d) Look at your situation, and e) Go slowly.
Link Safe Harbor on Quitting Psychiatric Drugs
Safe Harbor is a sponsor group of MindFreedom. Their article, "Basic Principles and Steps to Follow for Quitting Psychiatric Drugs," recommends finding a supportive doctor and stable living situation, organizing support from friends, family, survivor groups, and local organizations; withdrawing as gradually as possible; finding out everything possible about the withdrawal process; don't expect difference at first; realize it is a difficult experience; ensure adequate sleep; stop using any form of stimulants; eat the healthiest diet possible, etc.
Link Peter Lehmann's Book on Quitting Psychiatric Drugs
Peter Lehmann edited a book with dozens of authors suggestions tips about how to quit psychiatric drug safely based on their personal experience. It is available from the MindFreedom's Mad Markert.
Link Making sense of coming off psychiatric drugs
On-line booklet from Mind.org.uk, written for the many people who want to withdraw from their psychiatric medication. This booklet looks at why these medicines are prescribed, the possible effects of coming off them, the best way to withdraw successfully, and how to tell the difference between withdrawal and relapse.
Link E-mail Lists for Coming off psychiatric drugs
A listing of subscription e-mail services, from Peter Lehmann Publishing, for those who are coming off psychiatric drugs, or making that decision. Contains a wide variety of mailing lists for psychiatric survivors who want to withdraw from psychiatric drugs (neuroleptics, antidepressants, lithium, carbamazepine, psychostimulants and tranquilizers) on their own decision, and who want to end addiction while recovering from withdrawal syndromes.
Link Guide for Therapists in Helping Clients Get Off Medications
Therapists and counselors are usually trained in how to help their clients identify when they "need" medications and how to get them, not in how to get off the medications. But MindFreedom Lane County coordinator Ron Unger, who is a mental health counselor, wants to change all that. He has written a guide to assist therapists in helping their clients reduce or get off medications safely, that includes links to other sources of information.
Link Blog on Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Recovery
For an aggregation of many sources regarding psychiatric med withdrawal The blog "Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Recovery" includes the personal story of the author as well as links to external sources aimed to help educate and inspire.
Collection Other Web Resources on Quitting Psychiatric Drugs
This folder contains links to blogs and other web resources devoted to the topic of quitting psychiatric drugs.
Article GUEST VIEWPOINT: Without anti-psychotic drugs, I am finally free to be me
MindFreedom member Brian Merrick, speaking for himself and acting on his own, writes about his success in quitting all his many psychiatric drugs, and what the experience was like. The daily newspaper of MindFreedom's home town -- The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon -- published Brian's essay as a "Guest Column" that is reaching tens of thousands, and Brian identified himself as a MindFreedom member.
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Lauren Tenney, psychiatric survivor activist from New York State

First involuntarily institutionalized, at 15, Lauren Tenney is a survivor of psychiatry. She has been involved with the user and survivor movement since 1992. Her goal is to help stop forced psychiatric procedures, detainment, and confinement, human rights violations, psychiatric abuse and torture. Of particular concern are the elimination of forced electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) on people of all ages, but particularly children and senior citizens, forced drugging, restraints, seclusion, behavioral interventions, and coercion of any kind. Lauren, a Mad-Activist/ Artist/ Author/ Academic/ Adjunct Professor is coordinating The Opal Project, an outcome of participatory action research she coordinated for field research in the PhD program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation topic is: "The Institutionalized "Community." She became involved with WE THE PEOPLE when the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights and MindFreedom International needed someone on the ground in Brooklyn, New York to coordinate a response where Esmin Green was murdered-by-neglect. She now lives in Albany, NY with her service dog-in-training and cat. For more info: www.TheOpalProject.org and www.etrash.tv
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