My psych meds are literally killing me… and I can’t get off of them. Yet.
I have medically-induced lupus, which can be cured once the person is off the medication that is the culprit. However, each time I’ve tried to taper off, something insane has happened. Running away from home, suicidal ideation. I miss the days of binge shopping. It was a bad habit but much more harmless than sneaking off in the middle of the night to try to make it to Marfa.
Recently I talked to a family friend of my dad’s who is around my age. We played together as little kids (think preschool), but I never really hung out with him. He was accepted to Stanford and moved out to California. I knew a little bit of his mental health struggles, and I was desperate to find a way to get through grad school. Because I knew he did it, I called him up and we had a long conversation. I was probably too negative and stole his vibes, but he was kind to me and talked about tapering off meds and healing. It was a bit of an awkward conversation due to us not really being friends for 20 years, I’m sure, but he handled it well.
He suggested I go on a retreat into the desert while I went off the medications, once I had a plan in place. Which sounds really cool but also scary to me, considering how wild I get during withdrawals.
After our conversation I did some research and discovered The Withdrawal Project, a non profit, pharmacist-vetted, FDA approved resource dedicated to guiding those withdrawing from psych meds. I also reached out to a research neurologist who had previously said she would refer me to a research psychiatrist at the medical school.
I have had fellow friends who were diagnosed as kids who tried getting off their meds and ended up developing epilepsy and needed to get back on their meds. I am very afraid of this happening to me, as we take similar bipolar medications.
Right now I am typing up a plan, called the Freedom Itinerary, to try to roadmap out of here. Hopefully I come up with something that works and I can stick to it.