Guide to Choices in Coming Off Psychiatric Medications

Many, many people are undertaking the arduous task of reducing and eliminating psychiatric medications and rebuilding their lives. The following are some resources that may be helpful in making those difficult choices.

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A Reminder of Education and Self Advocacy   by Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland

Recipe for Recovery   by Dr. Mary Ellen Copeland

Transforming Mental Health Services and Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal by Dr. Peter Breggin

Books by Others:

Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs & Withdrawal

The Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 40-page guide gathers the best information we’ve come across and the most valuable lessons we’ve learned about reducing and coming off psychiatric medication. Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, psychiatric drug withdrawal, information for people staying on their medications, detailed Resource section, and much more. A ‘harm reduction’ approach means not being pro- or anti-medication, but supporting people to make their own decisions balancing the risks and benefits involved. Written by Will Hall, with a 14-member health professional Advisory Board providing research assistance and 24 other collaborators involved in developing and editing. Click here to go to the Icarus Project website to download this free guide.

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker [Crown. 2010]

Whitaker asks why the number of Americans who receive government disability for mental illness approximately doubled since 1987. In the book, Whitaker tries to answer that question and examines the long-term outcomes for the mentally ill in the U.S. In April 2011, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) announced that the book had won its award as the best investigative journalism book of 2010 stating, “this book provides an in-depth exploration of medical studies and science and intersperses compelling anecdotal examples. In the end, Whitaker punches holes in the conventional wisdom of treatment of mental illness with drugs.”

Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients and Families   by Peter Breggin, MD [Springer Publishing. 2012]

This book provides a new roadmap for prescribers, therapists, patients and their families that will enable patients to taper off their drugs and achieve emotional and physical recovery and well-being. At the same time, it provides an improved treatment approach for all patients regardless of whether they are taking psychiatric drugs.

Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers   by Peter Lehman [2004]

The world-wide first book about the issue “Successful coming down from psychiatric drugs” primarily addresses treated people who want to withdraw on their own decision. It also addresses their relatives and therapists.. To them, detailed accounts of how others came off these substances without once again ending up in the doctor’s office are of fundamental interest.

 

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