Psycho-Tropic Medications Used As Chemical Asylums by Pam Witzemann


I am grateful and excited to have another guest post from Pam Witzemann ! Pam is a frequent guest blogger on Emerging from Broken and contributes her voice to most of the discussions here as well. As always please add your thoughts and comments. ~ Darlene Ouimet Founder of Emerging from Broken

Psycho-Tropic Medications Used As Chemical Asylums by Pam Witzemann

People who are treated for mental illness are led to believe that the medications they are prescribed are in their best interest and treat a specific disease. However, people are prescribed medication as a means of control and psycho-tropic medications are in actuality, chemical asylums.

I know what I have written in the above paragraph is controversial and I’m not advising anyone to go against their doctor’s instructions however I don’t think people with mental illness are always treated with their best interests at heart. Historically, treatment has been primarily about containment and even in these modern times, I believe that containment remains the top priority. In the sixties, many mental hospitals had to be shut down because of the expense required to run them and since that time, drugs are the primary method used to control the behavior of people with mental illnesses. From my personal experience and from my observation of others undergoing treatment, I see little benefit to the patient from the psycho-tropic medications being used today and often they seem to cause more harm than good. I don’t think these chemical asylums are working in the best interest of patients or for society at large.

In the late nineties, I underwent interferon treatment for hepatitis c and became depressed. I was given an anti-depressant that made me hypo-manic and I was sent to visit a psychiatrist who spent an hour with me and diagnosed me as bipolar II. I was told that only bipolar patients become hypo-manic when taking anti-depressants. I was given lithium to balance the effects of the anti-depressant and the door on my chemical asylum was sealed shut for eight years. As I continued taking these drugs, I developed many imbalances in my body that were treated as new disease with new prescriptions added to my regimen. At one point, I was taking thirteen medications, every day. I also, grew increasingly, unstable which resulted in my being prescribed stronger and stronger psycho-tropic medications.

After being in the care of a psychiatrist for eight years, I weighed over 200 pounds and I wasn’t much more than a drooling zombie. I did nothing but lay around my house all day and I never experienced such deep depressions or such intense manic episodes as I did during the time I remained compliant to treatment. I was a very sick woman both physically and mentally and my husband and I knew that I was close to either spending the remainder of my life in a mental hospital or dying. I never received any other help for my depression other than medications and all the counseling I received was for the purpose of making sure I remained compliant to treatment and took my medications. My doctors were certain that as long as I was medicated, I was no threat to myself or others and that is the bottom line in the mental health care system. I had never been a threat to anyone that I know of but my self-esteem was so low that it didn’t take much for a psychiatrist to convince me that I was born defective. If my experience was isolated, I might think that I was merely the victim of misdiagnosis but I have seen others treated the same way and some of them never emerged from their chemical asylum alive.

A cousin of mine had a very troubled life and was diagnosed as bipolar I in prison. He was given lithium and the change in him was wonderful. When he was released from prison he went to work repairing computers and for the first time since he was a teenager he experienced a normal life. Then his psychiatrist retired and under the care of another doctor, his medications were switched to newer, supposedly more effective medications. Medications similar to the ones I also, was being treated with. My cousin became very depressed and suicidal and his brother and mother convinced him to check himself into the hospital. Just as he was being admitted, he changed his mind and there was nothing anyone could do but release him. He left upset and ended up getting arrested. His brother and mother managed to get him out of jail and bring him home. He was combative and hurt his brother in an altercation. My cousin’s brother and mother called the police and waited for them outside of the house. When the police arrived, an officer went in the front door and my cousin came down the hall with a small mallet raised above his head. The officer shot twice and killed him. Later, when my cousin’s room was cleaned out, relatives found 91 bottles of psycho-tropic medications.

I have also, known two young men whose lives were completely altered because as adolescents, they were diagnosed as bipolar and given psycho-tropic medications that induced greater mental illness in them. They committed acts that I know they never would have committed if not under the influence of those drugs. One young man remains in prison and another struggles every day to overcome the past and live a normal life. I also, know another young woman who died from an over-dose of psychotropic medications. Before her death, she was also, out of control and out of her right mind with greater illness created due to the psycho-tropic treatment she received. These are my personal experiences but I have heard and read of many more accounts of similar tragedies. I am one of the lucky ones who found my way out and escaped from my chemical asylum.

All of the people who I’ve written about here including myself, experienced abuse in their childhoods and had reasons to be depressed and anxious. I have come to understand that I was never bipolar at all but instead a long time sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the trauma of my childhood. And the biggest problem wasn’t that the diagnosis was wrong because many people diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder end up being treated with the same drugs. The biggest problem is that these doctors only attempted to treat the symptoms instead of trying to treat what was causing the symptoms. When they diagnosed me as bipolar they told me that I had a physical chemical illness and ignored the fact that my problems could have been caused by abuse. They never talked to me about abuse, neglect or trauma, period. After awhile, I realize that they dumped a lot of things in the bucket marked ‘bipolar depression’ that were actually many different illnesses. Drugs definitely were not the solution for me but the doctors offered no other solution.

These others I have mentioned in this article could have just as easily been misdiagnosed, however I’m not sure that they were so much misdiagnosed as given up on. I don’t think the priority was treating disease in these cases but instead, controlling these individuals through prescribed medications and insuring that they were not a danger to others. Bipolar disease effects less than 1% of the population but many more people than that small percentage are diagnosed as having bipolar depression. There are no tests that a doctor can use to show conclusively that someone is suffering from bipolar depression, or any other depression for that matter. Diagnosis is subjective both on the part of the doctor and the patient. I believe bipolar disorder is a trash-can diagnosis, in which an entire spectrum of symptoms are tossed into a trashcan marked bipolar, whether they are the same disease, with the same cause, or not. Then the doctor attempts to treat those symptoms with psycho-tropic drugs. There are a few who are truly, helped by these medications but most are either rendered incapacitated or greater mental illness is induced. I believe that modern day, chemical asylums are not only inhumane but ineffective.

Drug companies have more influence than they should on the practice of medicine and the mental health care field is no different. Doctors are trained to order tests and prescribe medications while other treatments, used effectively in the past, are forgotten. Patients are also, trained to expect instant benefits from a pill but there are other ways to find healing. Talk therapy and psycho-therapy is a lot of work but the results are actual healing. Psycho-tropics don’t heal, they imitate health by tempering symptoms. Insurance companies don’t want to pay for years of talk therapy and prefer the tri-monthly, 15 minute medication check. The system isn’t designed with the best interests of the patient at heart. The system is designed to make money for mental health care providers and the insurance companies. This puts people suffering from mental illness in a precarious position. Many such persons have suffered from abuse in the past and are prime targets to be abused further by mental health care providers.

I feel that I spent eight years of my life as a cash-cow for that system, through my compliance and the view of myself as being born defective. While under the influence of those medications, I was very malleable and easily convinced of anything. It was only by the grace of God that I escaped the fate of my cousin or others I have known. In my spirit, I was impressed to listen only to God and look to nature for the help I needed. I found a doctor willing to help me wean off the medications and I replaced them with supplements that supported the function of my body that the drugs were intended to treat. What I learned is that those medications, alcohol, and other drugs strip the brain of important neurotransmitters and are often the underlying cause of clinical mental illness. I also, learned that there are many underlying reasons for depression and medications as a life-long treatment are only necessary in a few cases. I began to look for other ways to heal and part of that was the self-confrontation journey that led me to face the abuse in my past and it led me here to “Emerging from Broken”.

Today, eight years have passed since my confinement in a chemical asylum. I am free and I have learned to treat my symptoms by many means that are far superior to medication. I know there are instances where medication is the only answer but medications are over-used and some people might benefit from using them in the short-term but most people don’t need them at all. Street psycho-tropics have long been used by people seeking relief from reality. Prescribed psycho-tropics, I believe, work in much the same way. At first, the relief they provide seems like a miracle but later, they expose a dark underbelly of addiction and physical harm. Anything worth having requires hard work and emotional healing is no different. Psycho-tropics are a quick fix that is disastrous in the long term but the method of applying truth to one’s past that is presented here at Emerging From Broken, is true healing. The first method produces bondage and death. The second method provides freedom and life. I choose freedom and life!

Pam Witzemann

Pam Witzemann was born in Santa Fe, NM and is now 54 years old. She has been married for 33 years, raised two boys and has two grandsons. Pam and her husband have had their own business for about twenty years. Pam is a painter and a writer and hopes to make these pursuits more than a hobby in her later years. Pam authors the blog Boomer Back Beat; a place where baby boomers find inspiration in the process of aging.

Related Posts by Pam ~ The black hole of Emotional Neglect

The Healing Power of Righteous Anger

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Categories : Depression




I appreciate you sharing your experience and that of others. I also think one needs to be ESPECIALLY careful when calling these medications “chemical asylums”. I have a friend who is schizophrenic. Upon diagnosis, she too was given a psychotropic medication (two actually) and fifteen years later, enjoys a NORMAL life. She has not experienced what you have shared. Another friend of mine has a son who is severely autistic. He too, was given psychotropic medication and the change in him was no less than miraculous. I have many friends who also have autoimmune or fibromyalgia like I do. MANY of them taking anti depressants and have found them to be extremely helpful in moderating pain and depression. Particularly in fibromyalgia, given the right “commbo” which includes medications, TALK therapy, EMDR, and alternative treatments (supplements and things like acupuncture) they do extremely well, while others do not. FIbromyalgia combined with a mental illness is one of the MOST frustrating things to deal with. The “public” view you as it’s “all in your head” and your doctors keep prescribing to get the right “formula” to treat endless pain. Yea it’s fun.

I would never, ever, ever suggest, imply or even tell sommeone what they should and should not take. While I understand your position and do not necessarily disagree with you for many other reasons you’ve not mentioned, as well as those you have, someone who really BENEFITS from the use of medications should not be feeling as if THEY are doing something innately “Wrong” for doing so. In cases like tihs, such as with your article here’s what I have to say: I’m so happy FOR YOU. I am so happy that what you are doing is working FOR YOU. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through and the losses you have experienced as a result of witnessing others who have been used by big pharma and the insurance companies that make billions off exploiting others pain. Mental health professionals who do this are often pathological and are more concerned with keeping their clinical bosses happy the insurance money coming in etc. I GET that.

But there are really GOOD therapists out there who monitor their patients very well, and will take a patient immediately OFF a medication if it is not working. Everyone reacts and responds to them DIFFERENTLY. Good therapists will also want to dig deep in pursuing approaches that work toward healing the person who has an abuse history. This could include EMDR or other such additional therapies that help others and not avoid addressing the TRUE ISSUES. This is what make CBT so dangerous from my perspective. It is a general mental health “maintenance” present day CHECK UP rather than real psycho dynamic therapeutic approaches that address TRAUMA. And I have been through too many of THOSE therapists as well, WITHOUT medication. In fact, a therapist who SHUTS YOU DOWN EMOTIONALLY is more DANGEROUS or just as dangerous as a pscyhotropic medication.

There are so many, many variables that are independent and pertain to each individual situation. Currently, I’m battling my clinic doctors, my therapist, as well as the insurance company in getting my chronic health, as well as PTSD issues addressed. It has been a NIGHTMARE for me, but there is NO better advocate for how I feel and how I approach life than ME. I WILL get the treatment I need, no matter what it takes and I won’t settle for big pharma or an insurance company making those decisions on my behalf. Many clients/patients are TOO AFRAID to speak up when something isn’t working.
TO those of you on medications, whether depression, for pain or whatever, if it is working for you, GOOD. Stick with your good doc if you are stable and medications and therapy WORK for you. For those where medications are NOT working, SPEAK UP.

No one has the right to tell you what is best for you, I don’t care WHO it is. We shouldn’t feel guilty because we need to take medications and we shouldn’t feel guilty when we DON”T need to take them.



Hi Kelli
(and all other readers)
As with all of my own posts here in EFB, Pam is expressing her own exp. ~ she qualifies her article in the beginning with the following statement: “I know what I have written in the above paragraph is controversial and I’m not advising anyone to go against their doctor’s instructions however I don’t think people with mental illness are always treated with their best interests at heart. Historically, treatment has been primarily about containment and even in these modern times, I believe that containment remains the top priority.”
She is saying that in some cases people are not treated with thier best interests at heart. Of course we do not intend to suggest that ALL dr.s are bad nor are ALL therapists wrong or bad. I myself had a very good therapist at one time. I would not advocate a guest post that is suggesting that ALL medications are wrong OR that anyone should feel guilty for taking meds. I have always said that medications can be an effective tool for assisting in recovery (I took antidepressants with great success myself for 2 years once) but that for me it has always been necessary for the root of the problem (where the broken began) to be addressed in order for complete healing to take place.

This article written by Pam is about HER exp. Her exp. with the negitive side of this issue does not make all other exp. wrong.

Please don’t misunderstand the intentions behind this post. Kelli, you have made good points in your comments but Pam has also made good points in her article.

Hugs, Darlene



I understand the intentions, again I don’t disagree entirely, but I do feel a great deal of compassion for those who think that maybe by reading this something is wrong with the for using the medications. I’m inclined to relate well to your experience, Darlene with regards to anti depressants. Abuse zaps the good chemicals in the brain. Sometimes it needs to be “replenished” before any true therapeutic work can be really done. Healing work and therapy is really hard work, and sometimes anti depressants can REALLY assist well in getting through the most painful of work without sliding into an irreversible depression. I think some may need those for life, but a lot may not too, either way, it is purely individual, but on a grander scale, with regards to the motivations of big pharma and insurance companies as well as some therapists, exploitation is what makes money.

Thanks for the article.


Kelli, I’m with every thing Darlene said in reply to your statement. I’m not advocating that anyone stop doing anything that is working for them but there are lots of people out there that are given no other solution. I was one of them and I was able to find my own solutions and a way out of treatment that not only didn’t work but was very harmful to me and created a great deal of chronic illnes that disappeared when I guit taking those medications. My mental state also, improved drastically. I would never tell another person what to do in regards to their health. That’s abusive. I do share what I’ve been through in hopes of helping others find their answers and take charge of their own health care and I include mental health in that. Not all medical professionals are what they claim to be and those who abuse patients for monetary gain find easy prey in patients with mental health complaints because after someone has been labeled “crazy” who will listen to them?




I COMPLETELY agree with you on that, totally. I read your article again. You said your cousin got lithium while in prison and did wonderfully when he got out, further that it was his psychiatrist retiring and a new one implemented that changed his medications, as to pinpointing where his troubles started again. My question is this: Why did your cousin not say anything about changing his medications? Why were they changed if what he was given was working? It also goes to the point that some medications DO work for some people. It is SO SAD that this happened, but there is a REASON. THis is where being our best advocates is so critical to getting the right treatment. I’ve been through a plethora of anti depressants. NONE of them provided relief and/or had such devastating side effects that I simply could not tolerate them. I was told it takes six to eight weeks for a med to work. NOT FOR SOME. I am chemically sensitive and I can tell in the first 72 hours whether this is going to work or not. I won’t be told to “endure” the side effects until they go away. I understand the potential power behind these medications. I do it my way with regards to chemicals or the HIGHWAY. I hope to eventually find the right one that will work for me, but again self advocacy is so critically important and many patients don’t have the strength to do so. THAT is really scary. What other than an excellent and insightful therapist would bother to catch onto that?

Pam there are MANY therapists who are abusive. MANY. Personality disordered people FLOCK to those professions specificially BECAUSE the victim exploitation is easy! I agree one hundred percent about that. It took going through two therapists and A LOT of diligence on my part before I found the one I have now.

I completely agree with you on that. Completely.


When I was a young teenager, shortly after the period when my brother’s physical and sexual abuse had tapered off, my mother decided I was ‘depressed,’ without bothering to ask me, and she took me to a doctor, who also decided, after talking to her, that I was ‘depressed,’ and so he prescribed me medication that gave me extreme nausea, but produced a state that my parents liked because it allowed them to pretend that they had done nothing wrong, and had a sweet, balanced boy for a son. It did nothing for me, as medicating kids usually seems designed to benefit the abusive family who doesn’t want to see the effects of their abuse. So I stopped, despite the physical abuse I suffered through from my parents as a result. I’m strongly against taking any drugs today.

Psychiatry thrives on a persistent disinterest in the real roots of these conditions–which lies in child mistreatment, not genes or simply random illnesses that people come upon as if catching a cold. Bipolar, schizophrenia, eating disorders, all have a root in the patients life that deserves to be explored, not pushed under a rug. In prescribing medication they are insisting that you will just stay in abusive relationships and abusive families for the rest of your life without looking back, but simply living in a drugged out state 24/7. That is not a life.


Thank you Pam for this article, I can definitely relate to it and I see this exact same thing in other members of my family.

I understand the difference between those who take these types of medicine and find that it works wonders and allow them to live a relatively normal and happy life, and those who take these kinds of medicine and find their ability to recognize the true issues at hand decreasing. My ex-boyfriend, recently diagnosed with bipolar, was an incredibly abusive man when we were in a relationship together, yet he has finally found some sort of peace by taking his medication, and I am, in a way, glad for him and everyone else who comes across his path. When I was with him I felt his abusive behavior was because of me and I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and depression and was put on a few different medications that, let me say, took the depression and anxiety away but made me feel very, very suicidal (why, I wonder). I recognized then that the anxiety and depression (that I had suffered for as long as I could remember) were really symptoms of, well, being in an abusive relationship for one, and also were symptoms of my very unhappy and emotionally abusive and emotionally neglectful childhood, although this was enigmatic and has taken me over 3 years of *knowing* to finally face. Even though I didn’t understand it as this then, I *knew* it nonetheless, and so did my body. I was still depressed even though I wasn’t feeling it the same way anymore, it didn’t change the fact that my family didn’t care about me and it didn’t change the fact that my relationship with me ex was very, very abusive. The fact was, I depressed and anxious because those were part of my coping mechanisms and because I wasn’t changing those, I remains very sick. I stopped taking the medicine after a while because it wasn’t making anything better other than my symptoms. It was really the situation I was in and my dysfunctional way of thinking. Now that I’m actually facing my past, I’ve come to realize the patterns that led to these feelings to begin with and for the first time in my life the depression itself is lifting. Dealing with my childhood was the thing that my body was trying to tell me to do for so, so, so long by being depressed and anxious and that was also its way of protecting me from the abuse of the past and the present. I think that some people really do need this medicine because they just need a little help and with the right kind of therapy and physical activity and just a general discovery of self they live more fulfilling lives and that is why these medicines exist and why these doctors prescribe it, my ex is proof and so are numerous other people I know. Yet, then there are people like myself who found the symptoms receding with the medicine but still found that that things were really bad and dysfunctional (in the situation and also my way of dealing with it), and felt more hopeless for it. For myself, the therapy I went to was counter productive because it ignored or devalued the true causes of my problems and instead the psychiatrists I was seeing upped the dosage and gave me more pills. Other members of my family continue taking their medication to no avail because they fail to recognize the dysfunctional root causes of their symptoms. My much beloved auntie took her own life a couple of years ago because she just couldn’t take it anymore and I can relate to her. I feel sad because I see how my grandparents treated her and their other children, including my father, and I now see how its a legacy that I also carried on my shoulders and medication did not help me see it because my body needed me to feel it AND see it. Yet, I’ve seen friends of mine and my ex turn their lives around because they no longer suffer from the symptoms of their own problems. I feel that medication is worth trying out, because everyone is different, but that the real key is to learn to listen to what the body is saying. Unfortunately, that’s a lot more difficult and time consuming than say, prescribing a plethora of medication.


Kelly,It doesn’t bother me when people disagree with me. I only get upset if someone wants to force me to agree with them.:0)Your experience and opinions are equal in value to my own.

My cousin was relegated to one psychiatrist because of the insurance that he had. I think two things were going on. It isn’t uncommon for people to have a miraculous response to medications at first and then develop problems later on. Medications don’t realy replace the natural brain chemistry, the action of those drugs is to cause a dysfunction that imitates wellness. Most people develop side-effects, as I did after taking them for a period of time. I know he was starting to have problems with his health and lithium is notorious for causing low thyroid which worsens depression. That may have been the reasoning behind trying other, newer meds. Secondly, the new psychiatrist didn’t like my cousin, personally but he had power over my cousin because of the insurance. I don’t know all that went wrong there but I do know that my cousin had some serious childhood traumas that were never adressed. In many ways, I don’t think the second doctor regarded him as fully human and I think my cousin was abused more than treated. My aunt did file a wrongful death lawsuit but focused on the police department and not the doctor. Instead of asking for money, she asked that the Santa Fe Police Department use tazers in situations where the police are dealing with someone who is mentally ill, rather than guns. She won.

New Mexico is a rural state and there aren’t very many therapists or psychiatrists to choose from. I have a family therapist that I have high regard for but I’ve experienced more healing since I decided to trust myself, take charge of my own health, and regard medical professionals as working for me. It’s the only way to stay safe.



Caden, My heart goes out to you and I know there are lots of young people who have been treated just as you have. Many young boys were not so lucky as to end up in a docile state (I’m not saying what happened to you was good)but instead, into a highly manic state and into doing things under the influence of those drugs that forever, alter their lives. Then if they try to save themselves by telling people that it was the drugs that caused them to behave that way, it’s controversial and they often end up paying the price by being incarcerated and the doctors and drug companies go free.

What you said about it being an easy way for your parents to cover up the real problems rings so true. If people weren’t searching for quick, easy answers, they wouldn’t be vulnerable to being sold something that promises to be a silver bullet. There are no silver bullets. True health and healing takes work.



Jacki, When I started weaning myself off the meds, I found that there are so many underlying causes of depression that are seldome dealt with. Taking better care of myself, good nutrition, and applying truth to my past, finding self-acceptance, and self-value are all parts of what it took for me to get better. The medications seemed great at firts but they caused things like low thyroid and diabettes which caused me to have even deeper problems with my moods. I have to work hard every day to keep myself in balance but naturally good health is so much better than any quick cure that comes in pill form.



Pam, I was very moved…and horrified …by all that you went through! I have seen much of what you have described in ppl I have known, and even in relatives over the years. I have also seen parents medicate their own children when the child did not need it, and I have seen ppl who definitely do or did desperately need to be helped by medication. You bring up such great points in your article! I am so happy that you were able to see for yourself what you have needed to do! So many never think past what a doctor tells them…or questions what they are being given. This article is awesome for raising awareness! Thank you!


Diane, I guess what I learned was that if I won’t even listen to myself, no one else will either. Thinking that someone knows better than me, what is good for me, or someone, I love leaves me vulnerable for more abuse. Being diagnosed, by someone with athority, with a mental illness is diabling. Having a child diagnosed in the same way is disabling to parents. Somehow, we have to quit giving control of our lives to people simply because they have some kind of degree. I’ll never surrender my power to a professional, ever again.



First I want to say Amen!
I too used to be on a multiple regimen of pills til I couldn’t stand all the side affects anymore. I was so sick, massive weight gain, tremors that made me feel like a person in an old folks home that couldn’t get a spoon to her mouth, not to mention the days that I would sleep through, and the nightmares of people trying to kill me! The mental heath doctor wouldn’t listen to me, they just wanted to change medications or add more. So I left their services and went cold turkey of the medications which lead to severe hot flashes, cold sweats, and vomiting. To this day I will never let them put me on so many medications again. I am currently on a low dose mood stabilizer to which I no longer feel the need for and seeing a mental health therapist undergoing (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. The recognition of the real issues at hand is half the battle the other half, for the stage I’m in, being the steps to leave the people in my life that have caused so much pain and refuse to acknowledge the issue at hand. Oh in the EMDR I hate the word “Desensitization,” I see the “Reprocessing” part as a good thing! I also have to say that Emerging from Broken has helped put a lot of validation to things I have said to others and thought to myself!!! I have much gratitude to the writers and to those who comment!
Lots of loving hugs to all! (Ann)


Changesandnewbeginnings, Your description of yourself is also,a good description of me when I was taking all those meds. One of the worst things that happened to me was to find myself lost in a town I’d lived in for over 15 years!I never had anything like that happen to me before when I wasn’t taking meds. My oldest son said it this way, “Mom, you were really high.” Strung out is the truth of it and I feel for you going cold turkey. The worst for me was ativan which was sold to me as a “mild seditive” to help me sleep. I was on it for over three years with ever increasing anxiety. I found a family doctor willing to help me get off of it. He told me that most people who are addicted to these type of drugs never get off. It took me over 12 weeks of decreasing the dosage in small amount with horrendous anxiety and uncontrolled crying for the first three days of the week. He told me that these drugs were originally intended for people who have only a few days left to live to help them through the anxiety. They aren’t new drugs and my psychiatrist knew full well that I would become physically dependent and need more and more of the drug to control the anxiety that in the long run, the drug made worse. I thought that maybe this only happened to me but I’ve talked to others with the same experience. The woman I posted about died from an overdose of xanax, they same type of drug. Lots and love and hugs to you too, Ann. We need them!


I just wanted to say that I appreciate your article & respect your point of view! I agree that being your own advocate is important. Those who are abused have already been victimized & add a professional into the mix, it creates a mess of Mixed Messages & Self Doubt. I walked away from a psychiatrist I had for 9 years, because I was getting mixed messages & I continued to have depressive episodes. The different antidepressants I was on were not working either. She did address & work with me on deeper issues of abuse in my family, however, it was limiting. It wasn’t until I learned better coping skills through DBT, that I woke up to the dysfunctional coping skills I carried for so long.

I had to learn emotional regulation, before I could deal with the deeper issues of abuse. I couldn’t even admit I was abused let alone say the word. I believe I had “Bond Permanence” which was coined by Alice Miller. I had difficulty separating from my parents. I had an illusion of connection & actually it was enmeshment/entrapment. It brings tears to my eyes to say that, but it was True. Although I have LC now, with my family of origin, I am no longer so emotionally connected to them & have separated. I tend to have a bleeding heart though, when they are in pain. However, I’m acutely aware of the damage that was done to me & mindful of their tactics. I still take medication though, since I find it does work on leveling my moods & anxiety. I’ve been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, NOS Personality Disorder w/borderline traits & it was suggested I also could be Bipolar 2.

I don’t put the focus on those diagnoses anymore because that has been limiting. Once I was able to cope with the help of DBT, prescribed the right med (Prozac), have a spiritual & caring counselor, a bright & experienced APRN & then a support group like EFB, I feel like a new person. The sadness I felt before was disabling. I do credit EFB for a big part of my recovery process. Looking at the root causes & acknowledging the abuse has helped tremendously. It’s a painful step by step process, however having the emotional support of others who truly understand, makes all the difference to me!


After a 15 min appointment I was declared bipolar and prescibed 3
meds. I looked them up online. Threw two away and took one for a year.
I did not like the side effects I read on line. Now I take nothing.
The one pill i took was helpful but I took only one Quarter of the
prescibed dose. I felt at the time the doctor just looked at my
answers on the questionair and didnt even want to talk with me at all.
I did not go back and for 2 yrs have been trying to fix myself. EFB
has further set me in a good direction. Many thanks!!


I just saw your comment #14. I was also on Ativan for years to help cope with my anxiety. My anxiety only worsened with that medication. If it wasn’t for my counselor, who has worked with addictions, I would still be on it. I was able to cut it out cold turkey. I did have strong withdrawal symptoms and I was tempted to pop a pill to feel better, however, I persisted. It took weeks for me to feel better with less irritability/crankiness. I was given mixed messages about going off this too. My APRN thought I needed it like a diabetic needs insulin, however, my counselor convinced me that my anxiety was increasing & that I was dependent on it. She was surprised I was able to come off of it cold turkey. I’m strong willed and my tenacity paid off. So glad I’m off that med!


SMD, We all have our own path of healing and becoming to travel. I think medications can have a place in all that but they aren’t true healing anymore than insulin heals diabettes. With mental illnesses there are no tests that tell a doctor or a patient how much medication and patient should have or for how long. People respond to those medications in very different ways. I have never been manic in my life except on antidepressants. There are others like me but still doctors pass them out like aspirin. I think a person should be hospitalized the first time they are given an antidepressant. Men and boys especially, become aggressive when manic and lives are destroyed when someone reacts to antidepressants as I do and commits a violent act while in a manic state. I know certain antidepressants are no longer advised for teenagers but they are still given to kids. Diane Sawyer recently aired a documentary on how children in foster care are routinely given psycho tropics. I doubt if there are any persons with less power than kids in foster care except, someone who has been labeled ‘crazy’ and ‘unstable’. People with no power have little they can do to retaliate or protect themselves when mistreated. The drugs themselves made me overly compliant once I was on the right ‘coctail’.

I’m glad you got off the ativan and you are strong to have been able to do it all at once. I’m curious as to how long you took it and what your dosage was. I think what makes me the most angry is the fact that my doctor didn’t give me honest information. I was led to believe this was a very safe drug and non habit forming. I don’t trust what doctors tell me about mdication anymore but at that point in my life, I was very trusting of my psychiatrist. It was when I was so over-medicated that I was rapid cycling and totally miserable and useless and I begged my doctor to hospitalize me and start over and was met with her refusal and the admonishment to “trust her knowledge” that I knew I was trusting the wrong people. That’s when I knew to trust only God and myself. It was the best decision I ever made.

I had already started a self-confrontation journey when I found EFB. I found confirmation for the path I was on and surety for what I know to be true about me and my life through what Darelene shares about her life and the stories of others. I’ve gained a lot of strength and purpose here.


Karen, I don’t think that should even be legal and maybe it isn’t.lol! No one is smart enough to make that kind of diagnosis unless they are only treating symptoms and need a label to affix to them so they can write prescriptions. I’m glad you didn’t bite. That shows you have the kind of self-confidence you need to overcome.


Interesting topic. I’ve had to go through many different stages in my own personal journey of what was originally called post natal depression but now looks to be more accurately described as complex post traumatic stress disorder…there was the “I’m not taking medication” phase; then there was the trialling of medications without effect/poor side effect stage; then there was the “found a medication that sort of works but keep having replapses phase”; then found a medication that works well; there was the focus on symptoms/biochemical/genetic side of things and finally the breakthrough in terms of recognising and processing the trauma of a dysfunctional and abusive family of origin as well as other traumas (the deep seated psychological aspects that I hadn’t been able to confront before) and the going no contact with the source of the abuse phase…all the while having miscarriages, 2 babies, continuing with ongoing therapy etc etc – and it was not until I had had my second child that I was able to face the actual trauma underlying the depression…for me, prudent use of medication has been very useful in order to function and care for my girls but now that I have put the pieces together, I am wondering whether I still need to remain on medication long term…I do believe that trauma can cause changes to the brain function and that medication can assist with managing the fallout, particularly when one has the stresses of looking after young children…but it is certainly a timely topic for me…


Thank you Pam. I always google meds for info-Karen


I am a qualified mental health nurse – I left the profession decades ago for precisely the reasons described by Pam – that we were agents of social control rather than healers. Now – as I am into my 3rd year of my healing journey – I have decided to take anti-depressants again, as I was becoming unsafe without some additional support. However, my first experience of anti-depressant meds was as a 14yr old – my mother decided I was depressed and the doctor went along with her – it let them off the hook and meant the cause iof my behaviour and mood problems was not dealt with till now.
Treating the cause and not the effect is not something that psychiatric services are equipped to deal with; here in the UK they have neither the time nor the resou8rces/training to do so in the majority of cases. I get my help from more than one therapist because of that. I see my meds as temporary till I am more able to cope with the unbelievable truth that is emerging from my repressed memory. As I become more stable the meds will be gone! My doctor is treating fairly and listens properly, and is OK with a proper discussion with me abotu the pros and cons of medication. She knows it was not a step I took lightly – indeed she had been urging me to accept meds for quite some time. maybe she was right, maybe not. For now, this is where I am. And thats Ok


Marianne, I can relate to the phases because I’ve gone through my phases too. Actually, I knew all along why I felt the way I did but for me, I had to find the confidence to listen to me instead of everyone else.


Karen, Libby, You both sound like you are in charge of your mental health care and that is the place to be. The people I feel for are kids and those too sick to be able to take charge. Medication does have a place in treating all illness but it isn’t the whole solution as it is presented and used, today. I’m extremely cautious because of my experience and I see caution as a good form of self-protection when seeking any kind of medical treatment.


Thank you for sharing this very powerful insight. I believe we do have to be our own advocates much of the time, mentally, and with physical doctors. I stand by my longheld thought that no one knows me better than I do. I am so glad to read this, the timing is uncanny. I just did a search yesterday and obtained a free ebook on getting off of effexor and the best way to manage it. I have been hoping to do this for a very long time. I’m not sure this is the perfect time for me, but I am armed with the information when the time is right. Withdrawal has been horrible for me in the past. Thank you for sharing again!!
Hope you are doing well,
ps – I’ve yet to read all comments, but I will ~ then comment again! Love to everyone!!


Mimi, If you do some research on the supplements and most importantly, amino acids that support the bodily function for which you are taking the medication for, it can greatly reduce withdrawl symptoms and put back what the drugs steal. There are few drugs that actually, heal because they work against the body not with it. Food is what our body uses to manufacture the chemistry our brain needs and amino acids really do replinish important neurotransmiters. Personal responsibility and a willingness to take charge of my health care has made a huge difference in my life. I know I’m responsible for the outcome too and the success I found in trusting God and myself has been huge in building self-confidence.



Pam and everyone,
I found a website yesterday that had a list of the sort of “back and forth” exchanges in the body with respect to food and supplements when getting off of anti-depressants. Pam, does JNK ring any bells with you? I can’t remember complete specifics right this second, but it seems like JNK is a gene inside the cell that excites protein cells, and it somehow interacts with the pathways from the liver and thus causing longer/shorter drug half lifes. Is this the same sort of thing you’re speaking of Pam? I did see a link on the website and it wasn’t an ad, just a helpful link where you can buy supplements. I was interested in it for sure. Do you have any suggestions for something more comprehensive I should be researching on the internet? Thank you Pam!!


Mimi, No, but I’m interested in that because I know that because of the hep c and now subsequent liver disease, I don’t convert the chemicals in food into the neurotransmiters my body needs. That’s one reason why it is so helpful for me to take them in converted form. One of the ones that I take is GABA, the neurotransmitter that calms the brain. It is helpful in both anxiety and mania and what prevents those mental states in people with normal brain chemistry. Many psycho tropics work along GABA pathways and they, some pain medications, and the over use of alcohol strip the brain of GABA. If people have normal liver function and eat the right foods,it will replinish itself.Ativan is one of those drugs and the reason that it calms anxiety is that it imitates GABA but also strips the brain of natural GABA and as a side effect, produces greater anxiety or mania and thereby, physical dependence. They haven’t been sucessful yet in producing GABA is a formula that readily crosses the brain blood barrier but if taken an hour after eating, on an empty stomach, with a small glass of orange juice or vitamin c supplement, it will produce the desired effect. I also, wait a half hour after taking GABA before eating again. I’m not sure this website is still up but one of the best places I found in how to treat my depression and anxiety naturally was SafeHarbor.com. I buy most of my suppliments from GNC or Vitamin Cottage because it is important to buy them from a reputable source. GNC’s website usually, privides comprehensive information on the supplements they sell. A rule of thumb I use when doing online research is that I use information from three main-stream sources that I trust but also, read other information and I look for agreement. When three sources agree, it is usually, good information. There are also, studies done on supplements that mostly come out of Europe, China, and Japan. Supplements are widely used in those countries and people are given a supplement that supports a particular body function before they are given a drug. Sometimes the supplement is enough and sometimes people also,need some medication but the amount of medication is usually less than the dosage required with medication alone. In the U.S., the competition between drug companies and those who treat naturally is fierce. The laws are written in support of the drug companies and they also, control doctor education through funding and writing text books. I have sometimes felt that as an American, I am treated as a paying guienei pig for new drug trials and kept in the dark about the importance of good nutrition. Younger doctors especially, are very ignorant about nutrition. They also, get kickbacks from the drug companies. I’ve had the best luck with doctors who were new in practice in the ’80’s as there was a push toward natural medicine at that time and it was before the drug companies became so powerful and obtained so much control over doctor education. They generally seem to be more open to natural methods of healing. When they all retire, I don’t know what I’ll do…

I’m going to try to do my own research on JNK. Perhaps that is one reason I have difficulty with medications…You do your research too. Don’t ever just try something on my say so. We all have to drive our own bus, so to speak!lol!


p.s. in most states people who work in nutrition and natural medicine aren’t allowed to say that they treat disease with supliments. All they can do is share what they do and point you in the right direction. The dosages on bottles isn’t theraputic. We are left on our own to find how much we need. With most supplements, excess is simply flushed away but it is important to make sure because some can be toxic when too much is taken. Herbs are a whole different story and require expert knowledge.


Mimi, I thought of something else…remember that the effect of supplements isn’t immediate and it may take a week or two, even longer to start to feel better. Just like it takes time to face the pain in our past and make necessary changes in lives in order to heal from abuse, it takes time to repair the body from over-use of chemicals.That’s why so many people prefer drugs, it is tough to compete with quick, cheap, and plentiful even when the end result is lacking. Natural methods of healing are work but the end result is one that I’m most happy with.


Thank you for this helpful information. I will do my research… I’m too chicken not to!! Haha!!

The first thing that came to my mind when I read your last paragraph is that label the manufacturers have to put on supplements, herbs, vitamins, and the like. NOT FDA APPROVED!! Haha!! I’m not trying to be terribly cynical here, but PALEEEZ!!! For anyone who thoroughly trusts the FDA, please, this is not aimed at you. This is simply my opinion. The FDA scares the bejeebies out of me!! Recently, on the same day my MD was hoping to prescribe me Zocor, I came home to hear an ad on TV that it had been recalled!! And, that business of having your liver tested on certain statin drugs…. OMG… scares me to pieces!! They rarely suggest change in lifestyle in my experience, and my husband’s too. Some drugs, and some Doctors I really believe in. Some others, I don’t. EEEK!! It’s really scary for people who don’t know they have a voice in their own medical care. My mother for example. She thinks since they have a higher degree, that they are a stand-in for God. She just takes what they give her. Never questions it. Maybe because I’m in the medical field, I question more than most. But, I’ve always thought this is my body, not my Doctor’s! I hope we are coming to a different standard of living with the emergence of the “age of information”. And, truly, the Pharm companies seem to own us all, doctors included! Big BIG money there.

Disclaimer ~ this is not aimed at anyone specifically, and I don’t wish change minds. It’s just my opinion. 😉
Love to all,


I am loving this discussion because it is bringing up the pros and cons of all of these kinds of meds! I have felt alone in my feelings that they can be extremely harmful and even lead into serious health risks. I never went on meds for myself. I cannot say that it was “right” of me to not take any or “wrong” of me. I have been concerned over the years at how many ppl I have known casually and extremely well that are hooked on these type of meds….that believe it is hopeless to get free or they just don’t want to because they feel they cope better while under the influence. I also have wondered at the doctors who prescribe them so freely! I am appalled at that! I have sat and listened to other women tell me of their childhoods and how they are on they heavy duty drugs….and my childhood sounded like a freaky horror movie compared to theirs and I used to wonder why I could seem to cope (well…in some ways!) but they couldnt. I was very confused by it and didn’t recognize the facts ….that doctors were handing them out for anything and everything. I have an aunt who went from being a person who needed to face up to dysfunction and rejection, to someone who now is barely able to function physically anymore. I blame the doctors who started her down this horrific path of ” medical care!”. She also wanted attention so desperately that I also believe she bought into this crap as a way to get it. It is so sad! This article brings out so many interesting and valid points!


Mimi, I whole-heartedly agree. The FDA was a good idea but subject to corruption and I’m afraid it is corrupted in favor of powerful drug companies. I don’t want FDA approval for my supplements. I want the government out of my health care, period other than a basic framework of laws in protection of patients and doctors. I don’t like extremes in either direction and I think we have become extremely, over-dependent on drugs to treat.

The information age is empowering as so much knowledge is available for personal use but we have to maintain wisdom in knowing how to use it. There are many ways to get a degree and not all of them include becoming proficient in a particular area of study. There is also, too much knowledge for one doctor to fully, obtain. Personal responsibility, in my estimation, is the key.

Love your input, Mimi!



Diane, There are health care workers out there that are abusive and enjoy power and people who’ve been abused are ripe targets for their exploitation. It’s very sad but it also, validates me in knowing how important it is to face the past and stand up for myself. I know I couldn’t always do that because the part of me that functioned for self-defense was broken. However, at the lowest point in my life, I found it. The will to live is strong. The best we can do for others is to try and encourge that will to live and defend themselves. I know lots of people wasting away because of what they’ve come to accept as treatment and part of the problem is their desire for a quick fix. Real healing takes a lot of work both to achieve and maintain. However, I wouldn’t trade the result for any magic wand in the world because magic is by nature deceptive.



May or may not be off topic but it’s what I’ve been feeling for a long while and just wanted to say it: I have always felt that there is a much deeper place of life that society (or government) likes to keep unacceptable and desensitized! Little drones if you will… work, eat, sleep… work, eat, sleep, etc. feelings are not permissible to overcome just keep keeping up, nothing else matters but expectations and conformity! Doesn’t matter what country, province, etc. they all have their hidden agenda’s for control and manipulation!

Mimi I’m right there with ya on comment 30! FDA & Government scare me!

Loving hugs always! (Ann)


Ann, I’m all about liberty and self-rule. Good government is small government with tempered power. When it comes to my health care, I want it as personalized as possible. Big corporations (insurance)and detailed government oversight can’t provide that.


I agree with you that medications aren’t true healing. It takes hard work no matter what choices you make. There are many different paths to healing. With Mental Illness, there are no diagnostic tests and diagnosis is based on symptoms. A very good Psychiatrist is an astute observer & knowledgeable. I had much respect for my former Psychiatrist, however, I had to advocate for myself and decided to leave, since the treatment approach was not working. It was limiting & I needed a different approach, which ended up being DBT for me.

In terms of psychotropic meds, they are all chemicals & have side effects. Some side effects include serious behavioral changes, such as increased aggression & suicide. It’s so important to report those changes to the prescribing Dr. asap. Some people with mental illness are very symptomatic & need some type of medication or combination of supplements to manage the symptoms. I’m a believer in supplements too, especially B-Complex vitamins, which are good for the immune system & nervous system. I don’t like when Big insurance Corps dictate what medication to use based on cost. The focus should be on an individual’s healthcare needs. Our healthcare system is flawed.

BTW, I took Ativan for years…the dosage went up over time, from .25 mg prn to 1-2 mg twice a day prn. In the end, I was taking the higher dose twice a day. So habit forming and I’ve never considered myself an addictive person. I don’t drink or smoke, however with Ativan it was very effective in decreasing my anxiety. The problem was that you get dependent & need more. I’m glad I kicked that habit! I certainly don’t need it!


It is amazing that 3 years ago I was pulled from my car with serious injuries, in actuel fact the top of my spine is sticking into my scull, on the day I was pulled from my car, the police said I was lucky to be alive, but quess what, £18.000 later the consultants wanted to prescibe antidepressants, my head was nearly on my right shoulder, the MRI scans all proved the damage to my spine, head and neck, my hair fell out on the left side, I lost teeth on the left side, 4 vertebra’s on sitting on top of each other yet consultants thought I was nuts. Thank god I am one of those people who only listen to me and my body, and I am getting well with out drugs. But as in many car crashes the insurance companies also have a big say in personal injuries. I say to all listen to your own body only you know.


Mimi – what is the website you are referring to that you just looked at ?

Pam – this is a godsend for me right now. I am transitioning off of Effexor and have just started taking Prozac. I have been taking effexor for about 4 years. I have reduced to 37.5 mg per day and so far so good. Its been about a week since i reduced the dosage and started taking 20 mg of prozac. i have a nurse practitioner working with me who has 25 years of experience.

What would be the best supplements to take to aid in my withdrawal from effexor ? Amino acids ? I am in therapy and working through my pain pretty much every day. the effexor just didnt seem to be helping at all. The prozac is def helping with all of the sadness that i had been experiencing every day. Heavy sadness all the time. That is much better now since i started on the prozac. I can think more clearly and my head is lighter and I dont dread waking up in the morning because that “morning sadness” i have been experiencing for about 20 years has now subsided !! Hallelujah ! Thanks so much for your feedback and support !!




Dave, Pam, Everyone,
Here is the website I looked at that offers advice and suggestions for tapering off nearly any drug. It has supplement suggestions as well. Dave, you will find effexor in there somewhere; I found it but the link here is for the homepage. Good luck to you Dave!!


With Love,


I agree with everything you said. I would like to add that in the absense of diagnostice tests,it is difficult even for a very astute psychiatrist to come to an accurate conclusion based on fact. It is a highly subjective process on the part of the doctor and the patient. It is possible to look at a problem through many different lenses, with a different view every time. In my case, I see it as using many lenses and then bringing them together into a truer focus. I also, found psychiatric treatment with chemicals to be inadequat.

I also, believe that people with mental illnesses are taken advantage of in a system that is overly focused on profit rather than on healing. I also, agree that health-care is moving in the wrong direction and making that care more impersonal when it needs to be more personal. We are all only human and more likely to treat one aonther better when we have to look each other in the eye. My insurance company could care less about me as a person, or in helping my doctor do what is best for me. I don’t see the government’s take over of health care improving that situation. In fact, I fear it will be much worse.



Hi Maggie,

Dear, you continue to amaze me! I wince at your brief decription of what must be horrible but I concur with your conclusion, we must listen to ourselves and trust ourselves. People who were abused as children find that a very difficult thing to do. It is terrible to steal a child’s ability to stand up for themselves and survivors have to find that ability and nurture it because it is paramount for survival in this world. EFB is a good place to find encouragement in standing up for one’s self!

Thank you for commenting, Maggie. You’re a fighter!


The amino acid I use in winter for depression is 5htp which is the converted form of L-typtophan, found in turkey and peanut butter. That’s the reason a turkey dinner makes people sleepy. 5htp is the amino acid that the body uses to produce seretonin. I also, have bowel problems, as many depressed people do, and taking a probiotic that keeps the bacteria in my bowels in balance is also, helpful becasue the bowel is where the body stores seretonin.

I believe there are many underlying causes for depression and I have several differnt types of depression, one type is physical and the others are trauma related. The type that I use 5htp for is more like hypernation and I believe it is an genetic adaptation to farming that doesn’t fit in our modern culture. It is called cyclothmia and I experience it as a need to shut down and sleep in winter but I don’t feel sad or any emotional discomfort. I also, get a big boost of energy in Spring.

The other depressions I’ve sufferend with are related to traumas and I’ve been able to attach each one to those traumas. When the trauma of sexual abuse is triggered, those are the depressions that immobilize me. There is also, a depression that settles over me as a feeling of being cut off at the knees which I know is the emotional regection and neglect from my mother. Now that I’ve identified them and understand that it is an old trauma that has been triggered, I’m able to turn them off. I may be depressed for a day but not for months as I was in the past. No pill and no supplement helps these depressions.

Now, I’ve just found out, my thyroid is low as it was damaged during interferon treatment three years ago. There is depression from that too and nothing will help it but thyroid hormone.

I’m saying all this to demonstrate how many different reasons there can be for a person to feel depressed. Yet, docs routinely treat all of them with antidepressants without looking hard enough for the cause. No one can get well if they don’t know why they are sick. Antidepressants did me no good but they surely, did me a lot of harm.



Mimi, Thanks for taking the time to share that website.



In the UK back in the 80s many of the psychiatric hospitals were closed down, with goverment saying we must give people the rights to live independently in the community, what no one told you was, that these hospitals were sold to the big boys to became million pound homes, and so we have many more people living on the streets, and prescibed more drugs, when I was working in that field many people from those units were then given a yearly injection to shut them up, can you imagine a vaccination to control you and your mind from year to year. I also have the prozac book sent to me from America, this book is or was banned in the UK, if people only knew the truth of Prozac, but then it is up to each person to learn of their own bodies and to be positive.


Sorry, I forgot to say in the 70s I found that women were being injected once a year with a drug to stop them becoming pregnant, this had been going on since the early 60s, but it was all kept quite, untill late 90s when it became part of the birth control and then made legal. The birth contol pills patches or any of them can and may cause depression, along with high risk cancer and blood clots. Remember all hormones are a steroid and steroids takes the calcium from the bones. All estrogens are carcinogenic, I have a letter from the world health organisation saying just that, but it is ok to continue to prescibe hormones. That is exactly why we have a high rates of cancer in the world. I have posted to Pam the book written by Martin Walker H.R.T LICENSED TO KILL AND MAIM, and am sure Pam will give her thoughts once she has read the book. Martin also wrote the best seller Dirty Medicine.


Thank you for adding your knowledge. The history of mental health care isn’t a pretty one and I’m afraid that legacy continues today. In the U.S., we also, have many mentally ill people on the streets and most of them will only receive hospitalized care if they end up in prision. Prisions have replaced the hospitals for providing in patient care. The rest are given medications.

There are those who receive good care but it is expensive and those who are the most in need are often unable to obtain it. I think medications have a short-term place in treating many people and long-term in a few. What I object to is relying too heavily upon them and selling them as sivler bullets. There are no silver bullets. It takes great effort and determination to find healing. When someone was abused as a child and struggles with the aftermath, the only thing that will make it better is to face the truth and truth doesn’t come in a pill.



Everyone, I wanted to add to this that today, I was researching supplements that would help me with my hypothyroid problem and I came across a warning from Mayo Clinic. There are thyroid suppor supplements out there for thyroid support that list pig thryoid hormone as an incredient. This is really dangerous and could cause hyperthyroid symptoms including, behavoral symptoms and even heart attack. It goes to show that we can’t put blind trust in everyone and simply, going natural isn’t a solution to the misuse of medications. The only answer, is personal responsibility and looking out for one’s self and our loved ones.



Pam – I dont understand much of the following paragraph from your response above:

I believe there are many underlying causes for depression and I have several differnt types of depression, one type is physical and the others are trauma related. The type that I use 5htp for is more like hypernation and I believe it is an genetic adaptation to farming that doesn’t fit in our modern culture. It is called cyclothmia and I experience it as a need to shut down and sleep in winter but I don’t feel sad or any emotional discomfort. I also, get a big boost of energy in Spring.

Can you maybe “dumb it down” for me… you used words like “hypernation” and the phrase “genetic adaptation to farming” and “cyclothmia” – you are obviously way smarter than i am ! I dont understand a lot of medical terminology. Can you explain in laymans terms please ?

thanks !



Sorry, Dave, that was a typo, I meant hybernation. In the fall when the days become cooler and shorter, I kind of shut down. There’s nothing emotional about it. In the Spring I get a boost of energy and need less spleep. I come from a long line of farmers stretching back into Europe. Farmers have inhuman amounts of work to do in Spring and very little to do in winter. If I were a farmer, cyclothmia would be no problem in fact, it would be a benefit. Cyclothmia doesn’t fit in the modern nonfarming world. 5htp helps me get through those winter months and GABA tempers the extra energy I have in Spring.

What was missing in the mental health care I received was that no one even looked for any of the underlying reasons for my depression. It is a symptom and not a disease in itself.



One day I went to my doctor for a recheck visit having recovered from a sinus infection. She asked me how I was doing, and stated that “I seemed sad.” I laughed and said that I was just run down from being sick, but since my infection was ending, I expected to get back to normal soon. Then I also told her that just before I left to go to her office, a crow had eaten the baby cardinals from a nest in my rose arbor. I am very tenderhearted, and tears came to my eyes as I described how the parent cardinals had reacted with courage but panic, trying to make the crow leave. Their calls sounded like grief to me, but I was as helpless to stop it as they were.
She promptly wrote me an Rx for a psych drug, saying that I was overreacting to something “natural in the flow of life.”
So in effect, since I showed sympathy for these birds, because I blinked back tears, I needed psychiatric medicine! I guess we are all supposed to be cold and callus about such things, else we are in need of meds.

I disagree! We need more not fewer tenderhearts who care, and are not afraid to show it! Human tears right after something sad happens are not abnormal!

When my father died I was also offered medication, by another doctor. I was not crying, but I mentioned it because he said I looked unhappy. I must have looked sad to him too, maybe because… I was. I told him that being sad that my father died is normal, and I didn’t need medication for normal emotions. I guess I should have been pretending to be happy the week after my dad died, so no one would be made uncomfortable by the sadness of grief. I say, good grief!

This is just a brief story to illustrate how readily some doctors prescribe these meds. How easy it is to get started toward the door of the chemical asylum.


Hi Karenina, Thank you for adding your experience and I agree that we seem to be living in a time when everyone is supposed to meet a certain standard of perfection. Perfect body, perfect teeth, perfect hair, and perfect mood. Individuality and character are definitely out! I once had my medication increases simply, because I changed the color of my hair. My doctor thought that was a sign of mania. Nuts. Not the patients but the way patients are sometimes treated. Your story is a perfect example of how subjective treatment is when there is no scientific way to measure for the disease. A girl friend just told me that there is a new blood test for depression and that it should be out next year. I hope it brings some sanity to the way anti-depressants are presribed but I hope it won’t add to the problem of people never facing the issues that caused the depression in the first place. I wonder, can science truly measure an emotional response? I have my doubts and I’m curious to know what they are measuring in order to diagnos depression.

All we can do, is protect ourselves as much as possible and continue to hope for more humane treatment of mentally ill persons.


Pam, you are so right. It seems the movie “Stepford Wives” was prescient. It’s downright creepy, if you think it through. But it applies to men and women now in our culture, not just wives.

Now the big horror films are the Zombie films. Walking dead. Brainless. Brain -eaters.

Doesn’t this sound to you like a rather obvious semi-subconscious cultural realization demonstrating the fear of things that are happening in and to our culture, because of the insistence upon making every one “brainless” by insisting that we all be *perfectly* alike? That the insistence that we should all have incessantly “perfect moods” leaves us literally “walking dead” whether or not we use meds? And that if we insist upon being individuals, we will be put on meds even if we don’t need them…thus the brain eating image?

Everyone needs to weigh carefully what *they* think about what their doctor thinks, and prescribes. Be an advocate
for yourself, and work *with* your doctors rather than accepting without question if you have any doubt.


Oh Pam, maybe all the hair color boxes should contain a dose, huh?


Karenina, If the powers that be have their way, they probably will!lol!I’ve been reading about what some powerful people want to do with kids in school, including mandatory mental health screening before high school graduation. The kids are really getting the worst of this. Especially, kids in foster care. They are routinely, medicated.Reading the news is like reading a science fiction novel these days. They want to open U.S. airspace to drones, force the abortions of babies who aren’t genetically acceptable, abort after birth those that can escape and my favorite, the final solution to the unfundability of social security and medicare, don’t treat old people, let them die. They never could figure out how they were going to support old baby boomers, well now they have it figured out. I wish I’d read this stuff on some far-wing site but most of it came from Time magazine and Dianne Sawyer. More than stepford wives, “The Hunger Games” depicts what is going on today and the possible near future. I find myself praying for some intense solar flares!Not really, but almost…



Sorry to post three times in a row here, but Pam got me curious about the blood test for depression, so I googled it.

I became alarmed seeing news articles saying it was for TEEN depression. Looks to me like Big Pharma wants a bigger customer base for these profitable drugs, and who better than teens who will be started on them at such a young age, they can become really long term customers.

I kept looking until I found a bit of info about the research behind this new test. This from the Citizens Commision on Human Rights International: http://www.cchrint.org/2012/04/17/depressionbloodtest_bogus/

Read it and weep.


Karenina, Lots of people post more than three times. Don’t worry about that. Thanks for the link. I don’t know if I can take any more today, but I will read it. I plan to be writing more about this stuff, if I don’t get too frightened by the drones…



Pam, we were definitely on the same page, writing at the same time! But I have a suspicion that if old folks are weaned from the prescriptions they take, many will live longer than they would have had they stayed on them.
By the time most folks reach 60, they are taking a whopping number of different medications, and many are supposed to prevent disease, although many meds for prevention are dangerous…check the side effects, not to mention the lawsuits and recalls.
This treating of old age as if old age itself is a disease is silly. Old age only happens because a person is healthy enough to survive long enough to get old in the first place!
(Quality of life is so much more important to me than quantity, my personal choice is to forgo all cancer testing until there is a cure for it, because I choose not to be chopped, burned, poisoned and bankrupted at the end of my life. If there is pain, I will accept morphine near the end, but that’s it…) of course a cure will not be found, because it’s big business, believe me.
Seeing death as unnatural is silly too. It’s as natural as birth, and something we all have in common.
As for me, I take no meds at 60, and don’t plan to. This is my life and I shall live it my way, and when it is time I hope I will be able to die my way too: it’s only natural.


Karenina, I was talking to my husband about the Final Solution:Kill Granny”lol! stuff and what I said to him was, “Oh, to hell with them, I’ll just die and go to heaven!”lol! I agree with everything you said. However, I do think there are times when reasonable use of medications does improve the quality of life. I say that because I’ve struggled with my health since the day I was born and there were times when I really needed the right medicine. It’s different these days though. What the world is lacking is decent morality. Everything is corrupted by greed and power. You and I won’t have to put up with it for very long but I hurt for my kids and grandkids…I don’t like the world we are leaving them.


Pam, of course medications are often useful, and some save lives! I would certainly not tell my husband who takes medications for his heart to stop! We each have to choose, and like you said above, be the controllers of our own health insofar as we are able. And everyone’s health and circumstance is different.
My statements were only for myself alone, not meant to be my opinions of what anyone else should do. We each are different…not Stepfords at all! LOL


Karenina, I knew you weren’t making a blanket statement.:0)Thank God we aren’t stepfords!I enjoy knowing people who aren’t exactly like me!lol!Indiviuality is a marvelous thing!



Pam – some advice please !! So i’m getting ready to come off of effexor (37.5 mg) – regular not XR. I am taking 20 mg prozac right now too. Should i add the 5 htp to the mix ? Should i wait until i stop taking the effexor and then add it ? I also take 30 mg of restoril to help me sleep at night. I know there may be some withdrawal from the effexor, wondering if it would be better to get the 5 htp in my system before i stop the effexor or wait until after i have stopped taking it ?

thanks so much !



Dave, I can’t give advice and I hope you aren’t making this decision because of my sharing my experience. Make sure you do your own research. I’ve read about people taking 5htp with antidepressants and other psycho-tropics with no ill effects and I have never read of any problems with mixing it. Theoretically,mixing could cause an overdose but I’ve never found information stating that it had occurred. I was off the antidepressant before I started taking it. I took up to 350 mg. for the first few months. Now I only take it in winter.

Dave, I’m not an expert on this. What I am is an expert on is my own health. That is how I protect myself from being over-medicated or being prescribed medications that I don’t really need. I can’t emphasize the research and self-education part of this enough. I found an MD who helped me wean myself off of the medications. Having a doctor who has a consience and wants the best for you is very valuable. I went very slowly and it took me about six months to get off of everything. Please, whatever you decide to do, take it slow and easy. When I took charge of my own health-care, I also, had to acknowledge that I would bear responsibility for my actions, even if things went wrong. I have no regrets but none of us are alike. What’s right for me may not be right for you.

I’ll put you on my prayer list, Dave and I hope you find the answers that are right for you.



Hi Everyone!!
Since this post is all about drugs, I thought it would be a good place to share my experience thus far in weaning off of effexor. I already mentioned somewhere here, that I was planning to start the process, although I can’t remember where for sure. Probably because I take effexor, LOL!

I’m 9 days out (I think), and I’ve been on 150mg daily for 7-8 years. I’ve only stayed on it that long because I dreaded the process of weaning. I’m thankful that I take generic, because it comes in tab form rather than capsule, making it very easy to cut.

I’ve reduced my daily intake by 18.75 mgs. I was really expecting to have an emotional impact because that’s what happened a few other times when I stopped. I’ve had no emotional issues whatsoever. I might even feel a little better. Maybe a little less emotionally suppressed…. or something. I read all the scary withdrawal symptoms and decided if I experience them, I won’t let it stop me (within reason). I never had physical symptoms in the past, but, I never was on it for more than a year (give or take a few months).

Faced with this new 7-8 year commitment to the drug, I thought perhaps I could experience some of the physical stuff people describe. So, I got mentally prepared, and researched what I should do if I fall victim to really uncomfortable withdrawal.

So, all that said, and to make a short story really long and boring, I started the process. I have had no brain zaps as described in a lot of the research I did, and as Darlene described. I have felt like my brain is a little “loose” in my skull at times. Nothing to write home about (as if I would write home anyway, lol). Probably the most noticeable symptom is some GI distress. I am fairly accustomed to that, so I don’t find it bothersome. It’s been mostly in the morning, and not until after I have a cup of coffee. That’s kind of a blessing though, since I’m wanting to eliminate that sometime as well.

Yesterday, I broke out into horrible sweat and felt fairly sick for a short while. The sweat was also GI related and that’s been the only time I drenched myself. I have noticed my body temp fluctuates a little, but not at all unbearable. No night sweats as others report. I’ve had a very mild headache from time to time. Barely noticeable. In the mornings, I am slightly trembly, but I have told myself I won’t let anxiety prevent my success. A little mental reassurance that this is common and even expected, has gone a long way in helping me shrug it off. Also, I learned a long time ago that it’s possible to embrace the excess energy of anxiety, rather than fight and fear it. So, I’m enjoying a tiny bit of extra energy.

A website I looked at said a good treatment for the swimming head feeling, or even brain zaps, is Omega-3. I had that in my cabinet already, so I started it as a precautionary measure. My MD suggested it anyway for treatment of other things.

So, all things considered, it’s been a breeze so far, and I’m very very thankful. Of course, I’m cutting down at minute amounts in order to stave off any withdrawal. And, I’ll take as long as I need to in order to make it the least unpleasant experience possible.

I’ll post again later in the process, or if something new comes up. So far so good as of now!
Hope everyone is well!!


Pam and Dave and all readers in this discussion;
Thanks for the way that you answered Dave’s question Pam. Dave we can’t give that kind of advice on this blog. We are not medical experts here and it would be dangerous to give this kind of advice. Sharing (like Pam is saying) what has worked for us is all we can do because there are always many other factors that we don’t know when it comes to someone else. And there is a science to the way the body works with different drugs or supplements so many things need to be considered. (which is one of the complaints we have when dealing with doctors ~ they prescribe too easily without enough consideration for all these factors!)
Hugs everyone!


Hi Mimi, I never took effexor. From what you’ve shared, it sounds as hard to get off of as ativan was for me. It also, sounds like you are doing great and I can’t help but think that part of that is because you’ve found the cause of your emotional problems and you’re dealing with them. Your comment is good news all around!



Hi Pam,
Yes, the research I did revealed a LOT of horror stories. I am a person who “could” fall victim to the power of suggestion when it comes to side effects, etc. Since I know that about myself, I’ve been double dosing the mental reassurance that it will all be okay, even if I do have a symptom here and there.

Thank you for your positive outlook. I am EXPECTing to be whole enough to completely wean off, so I hope you’re right on that. I had told myself a few weeks back that this wasn’t a good time to try to wean. But, then I decided there’s no better time than the present! It can’t be as bad as 2011…. I’m not sure anything could match that. Your post here also inspired me to go ahead and at least try. If I couldn’t swing it, no big deal. I always knew I had to do it someday. I just procrastinated it for about 6.75 years, haha!

It’s funny…one of my first thoughts this morning was a memory of visiting a diabetes specialist about 7 months ago. I had let my blood sugar get out of control. I was controlling with diet and exercise, but all my energy to do that slipped away from me in 2011, and I was up to my neck in my family dynamics, and my husband’s affair. So, when I visited this doctor, my blood sugar was high of course. I was trying to explain how it had gotten out of control, and when I mentioned my husband’s affair, I got tears in my eyes. She said, “do you think maybe you’re depressed?” Haha!! I thought, well, I filled out a current med list, so she knows I’m ALREADY on an antidepressant. I wanted to say, “do you have any idea how it feels to have your spouse cheat on you for 4 months?” Then I thought, perhaps she’s a blockhead!! LOL! Did she really think I needed ANOTHER drug to help soothe the pain of my husband’s affair? That’s not at all what I needed!! Why couldn’t I just grieve a little in front of someone without getting a diagnosis? Is it that unnatural to have a tear develop in your eye when you talk about a painful event?

Anyhow, I just wanted to share that moment of clarity that hit me first thing this morning.

Thanks for writing this post Pam. It’s been very interesting and inspirational for me.


I just wanted to add a note about “stepfords” ~ When I saw the original movie there was something about it that just stuck with me! I could not stop thinking about it. That was way before I started to confront my own belief system. Today I realize that that movie was just a little too close to reality in the sick dysfunctional family system that I was actually living in! That movie was reminding me of my own life. I was and had always been trained to be compliant just like those women! I shudder to think about it today! I am so happy to say that all that is in the past for me!
Hugs, Darlene


Mimi, I’ve had problems metabolizing sugar all of my life and when it gets out of whack, everything is out of whack. I know so many people diagnosed as bipolar who are diabettic and it seems that those who have the most difficult mood symptoms are the worst when it comes to avoiding sugar. I know that hep c also, had a huge effect on my moods. The virus settles in the brain just as it does in the liver. Lots of people with the virus are also, diagnosed as bipolar. I think knowing as much as possible about your own body is the best defense against a health care system that is overly dependent upon drugs for treatment. It’s also, good to figure out your personal nutritional needs because no two of us are the same and simply, going to the health food store and buying lots of suppliments without having a solid reason for taking them will do no good. For me, it has all been part of standing up for myself.

It is perfectly okay to be sad when life throws you a curve. It is even okay to be depressed, for a short time. It is afterall, a way of coping with overwhelming emotions. It just isn’t a good way of life. Doctors don’t seem to have reasonable criteria when it comes to prescribing antidepressants. We have to have the strength to impose that reason on our health care. I find your approach to be very reasonable.:0)



Darlene, I think that movie spoke to a lot of women back then! I can’t believe how things have changed for women since back then. I too, am glad to be less compliant! Over-compliance is hazardous to your health!



Thats the thing Pam; I don’t think things have actually changed that much. When I came out of the fog I realized that only the details and tactics have changed! I was just like those brainwashed women in the movie before I healed.
(It’s like when I read the hunger games this year; I thought “woah!! This is not actually fiction but more like an alegory!; children are used (for entertainment ~ scapegoating and everything else) , objectified, and the list goes on!)
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, The women who stick in my mind are my mom and my aunts. They were very submissive, compliant women so in comparison, I think women now are stronger. I agree though that things aren’t better for kids and really, worse in so many ways. What pops up in my mind first is how many kids are used as slaves both in the usual sense and as sexual slaves. They have no rights and no voice. They are treated as merchandise. I also, think the sexual objectification of women is worse instead of better. We are long way from people treating one another with equal value. Lots of work to be done, girl!:0)



Pam – thanks for the input ! Appreciate your feedback ! I am not doing anything because of you suggesting. The nurse practitioner that i see is weaning me off of effexor. I was looking for something that can help me with possible withdrawal effects. I have been working till midnight every night this week. i have only had time for eat, sleep, work, cry and pray and about 30 min to check email and this site. I have one more week that will be crazy like this and then i will have 2 weeks off where i will have plenty of time to research this. I will check into it. I am down to 37.5 mg of effexor so i am at the lowest dosage. I didnt even know it came in tablet form. I have only ever been prescribed it as a capsule. anyway – thanks again – appreciate your wisdom and prayers !



Dave, No problem. I’m glad you’re down to the lowest dosage. It was helpful to me that the ativan I was taking was in capsules as I could open the capsules and empty a certian amount and take the withdrawal as slow as possible.I will keep praying!



Pam/All – i did what Mimi is doing and cut my effexor in half. i am down to basically 20 mg per day. Today was the first day of that reduction. I already had gone from 75 to 37.5 about 3 weeks ago. So far so good. My Nurse practitioner who is prescribing my meds wont touch the 5 HTP Q at all. She gave me a very stern response that she “cannot advise me on any non FDA approved drug.” – I replied that i thought it was a vitamin supplement and not a drug ? – no response from her yet. I know my Doctor wont touch this either. Amazing what happens when you go “outside the box” – i trust my Nurse practitioner but clearly she is not going to help me in respect to the 5 HTP or any other non prescribed medication. I will probably go buy a small amount of the 5 htp this weekend and start taking a small dosage of it as i contine to wean off of the effexor. thanks to everyone for your prayers and support !



Dave, When I discovered how amino acids could help me with depression and anxiety, I was so excited and thought my doctors would be too. I was met with the same kind of responses you got. That’s when I really began to realize how threatened many practitioners of western medicine feel when it comes to natural methods of treatment. It is so simple and logical to take the amino acids that the body uses to produce seretonin, which is what 5htp does. It is the converted form of L-tryptophan and some people prefer taking it over 5htp. My liver doesn’t convert it into 5htp so I can’t get the same effect from L-tryptophan as someone with a normal liver. I always try to buy my supplements from a reputable source. I’ve taken up to 350 mg. per day. It makes me sleepy so I take it before bed. I had problems with diarrhea after being so overmedicated because so many drugs strip the bowels of good bacteria. I started taking a probiotic with as many live cultures as I could find and my bowels returned to normal. I was like that for three months with no help from my doctors.I had to find the answers myself. I’ve known people with the same problem after chemo-therapy or other treatments with high doses of medications.Doctors just leave them that way when it is common knowledge that a probiotic puts back what medications take away.It is interesting to me that the bowel is where the body stores seretonin and I think keeping the bacteria in balance in my bowels also, helps my depression. Irritable bowel syndrome was thought to be an ’emotional’ complaint for a long time because most patients (mostly women) who complain about IBS also, have depression. Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed studying nutrition and how different foods work in the body and can even cure many diseases. Chemical disease in particular. My sister-in-law says that Mountain Dew is the underlying cause of most mental illness and in a way, I don’t think she’s far off.lol! What we eat is what the body uses to produce all the chemicals our body uses. It’s logical then that eating the right things produces healthy chemistry and eating the wrong things produces unhealthy chemistry. Anyway, I’m glad you’re doing so well, Dave and I hope that good nutrition that takes into account your special needs will become a part of your self-care. I know it changed my life.



Thanks Pam – looks like you were up late :). Ok so tell me this is coincidence – I am driving yesterday and turn on a christian radio program on sirius called “len and joe the pharmacists” – people call in and ask questions about their health and apparently these guys use a homeopathic approach. One of them mentioned to a caller about taking probiotics daily – I was like “pro what” ? – never heard of it. He didnt really explain much about it but suggested it to the woman who was having some medical issues. So now this am i get up and see your response and you mention probiotics. Honestly i dont ever remember hearing this word before and now i have heard it twice from 2 different sources in consecutive days !

So are you saying that 5 htp and L-tryptophan are probiotics ? or are you saying that you take the L Tryptophan and you take a separate probiotic ? If i go into a health food store and ask for a probiotic are they likely going to ask me all sorts of questions like “how much do you want, what is it for, etc…?

Pam – whats the difference between amino acid and probiotic ? i am sorry – i just dont understand medical terminology at all. I was terrible at science in school ! I took astronomy in college because it was the easiest science class and i knew i could remember the planets and some of the stars !

thanks and god bless !



Dave, Sorry to confuse you. L-tryptophan is the substance found in turkey, peanut butter, and milk that the body converts into 5htp, which the body uses to produce seretonin, the neurotransmiter in the brain that regulates mood. A probiotic is the opposite of an antibiotic. Antibiotics function by destroying the bacteria in the bowels, that’s how they fight infection. A probiotic puts that bacteria back. Some doctors recommend that their patients take a probiotic after taking an antibiotic, to restore that balance(they seldom reccomend it anymore). That balance is important for a properly functioning immune system, digestion, and I think it also has an effect on how the body is able to utilize seretonin because the bowel is where the body stores seretonin.

I like Vitamin Cottage and GNC. The people are usually, very knowledgable and helpful. The language isn’t any harder to learn than computer language so don’t think you have to be a genius. You’ll be amazed at how many people use alternative medicine. That’s why drug companies are so threatened by it.:0)



Pam – well i was just looking at probiotics on the GNC website ! I can get a bottle of Probiotic Complex 1 for $9.99. Now it makes sense. I never thought of anti being against. Pro is obviously for. I understand now. Biotic is killed off with meds. Needs to be restored. Totally understand ! Thanks ! – they also sell 5 HTP in 200 mg extended release. I will be heading to GNC this weekend !

thanks Pam !!



You’re welcome, Dave.:0)


2 days left on effexor – basically 20 mg. tomorrow will be my last dose. So far no side effects at all from drawing down. I will probably stay on the prozac for a little while but i really dont want to stay on it. the effexor has raised my blood pressure so i am also on meds for that. Hoping that when i come off the effexor my blood pressure will return closer to normal and i can stop taking that med also. Boy am i learning a lot ! Nutrition should be mandatory for all school children. I remember taking a health class when i was in elementary school but back then they didnt even talk about vitamins or supplements or anything. Ironically my mother was very much into vitamins and supplements. she had a whole tray of stuff. I actually was taking vitamin b and e i think, in addition to vitamin c. so i actually began taking this stuff early on. my mother was very health conscious in that way. Its just all the other crap that she was into like the Occult and all the psychic stuff that caused so much damage.



I have been off effexor for two days now. My trauma is pretty bad this week but no side effects from withdrawal except some nausea which comes and goes. other than that i cant tell any difference. Not like when i went off it before and started to feel flu like almost right away. Thank God this time is different. Thanks for all of your prayers !


I am SO glad to hear this Dave! That is excellent!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi All
My new post is finally published: “the fear of good bye if you don’t comply” is about why we are so afraid to stand up to someone else esp. a parent. It all starts somewhere and finding out what that fear really is and where it came from gave me some information about the lie behind it.
Hugs, Darlene


YAY, Dave!I’m so glad that it is going smoothly for you. Withdrawl is the pits.Going into it suddenly with no plan is usually, the hardest but having a plan, and treating yourself kindly, goes a long way to making it easier. Of course, those prayers help a lot too.:0)


p.s. I think the thyroid hormone started kicking in today. I’m feeling much better too. Using reason when it comes to medications and natural methods of healing is important. I’ve had docs try to frighten me into complying but as in every instance, being overly compliant sets us up for abuse. I’m thankful for this fiesty little lady, Darlene who continually encourages us to stand up for ourselves!


Hi everyone!
I just wanted to put a little report out here about my progress with effexor along with Daves.

I reduced by 18.75 mgs again two days ago. I reduced by the same amount about 14 days ago. I was feeling normal with that reduction, so it was time to do it again.

This time, I haven’t had any physical or emotional symptoms. I have more energy and maybe a little more passion for things I had lost motivation for. I don’t know if it’s been the effexor dampening my life for the last several years, or if it was just a downward spiral from an emotional origin. I knew life was becoming more dull very gradually. I’m not entirely sure what to attribute that to at this point. I’ll know more if effexor can be to blame when I’ve reached a much lower dose. I can’t help but wonder if there is some strange accumulation of effexor that eventually resulted in a total lackluster outlook. Time will tell.

I reported with my last reduction that I had some GI symptoms. It was several days out when I experienced that so I’m starting to think I had a little stomach bug. If it was related to the effexor, I would think it would happen right away. AND, I haven’t experienced that at all yet this time. I’m hoping it was in fact a little bug, and this reduction will me smooth as silk.

I have to admit I have only been half committed to taking the fish oil I mentioned. I don’t know if it really made much difference. I am still planning to take a trip to GNC and do a little exploring.

Hope everyone is well!!


Glad things are going well, Mimi.:0)


One thing I missed that might be helpful, drinking lemon water is really good for detoxing the liver. Chemicals do build up in the liver over time from drugs and from all the chemicals in the environment.


Thanks for the info!! Isn’t that lovely….. liver toxicity!!

The MD wanted my husband to go on a statin drug which historically can have an effect on the liver. That just scares me. Having quarterly liver function tests doesn’t seem all that appealing. It didn’t to my husband either. He had gone on one a few years back and it raised his liver enzymes. He’s going au naturale at this point. Lots of oatmeal. He happens to love lemon water too. I’ll pass along that information.

Thanks Pam,


Hi Mimi, I think statins are hard for most people to tolerate. They strip GABA as part of their action and as a result, cause muscle pain. It also, increases feelings of anxiety. I hope the natural route works for your husband. High cholesterol seems to be a hard one to conquer. I have several friends who struggle with it.



Pam – whats a statin ? What is GABA ?



Hi Dave, Statins are the drugs used to treat high cholesteral.GABA is an acronym for, gamma aminobutyric acid, a nonessential amino acid found mainly in the brain and eyes. It is considered an inhibitory neurotranmiter,which means it regulates the brain and nerve cells activity by inhibiting the number of neurons firing in the brain. GABA is referred to as the brain’s natural calming agent. I use it for anxiety and some people use it for mania. It also helps my lower back pain. It is part of what I use to keep my blood preasure down. I also, take Taurine, another amino acid that helps all of the chemical messengers in the body communicate. I find it much easier to regulate my type II diabettes although, I first started taking Taurine for my fibromyalgia (which is pretty much a thing of the past)and it also has a calming effect that also, lowers my chronically high heart-rate that I believe is related to chidhood trauma. I take GABA on an empty stomach, one hour after eating, with a small glass of orange juice(this helps it cross the brain/blood barrier that gives the calming effect. I refrain from eating for another half hour and I take it before bed.

Amino acids were like a miracle for me and I know that is because after having hepatitis c for over thirty years with my liver unable to convert food into the amino acids I need for normal function, I was very depleted. I don’t take them in as high of doses as I did in the beginning but I still take a maintainance dose and if my symptoms increase, I take a higher dose. This isn’t what is recommended on the bottle so I know if something goes wrong, I and no one else am responsible for the consequences. Also, what works for me may not work for someone else. It takes a lot of study and time to find your own nutritional deficiencies. If I knew a good naturopath in my area, I would employ them. Treating with food is not new knowledge, it is knowledge pushed to the side because of the wide spread use of drugs. There is also, a lot of new understanding as to how food works in the body. The internet makes all of that easily available. I’ve been doing this a long time now with no side effects and good results. I have a better track record than my docs!lol! Safe Harbor is a good website. The Link Karenina left provides a link to Safe Harbor on their website.

Hope all continues to go well for you, Dave.:0)




Pam, thank you sooo much for writing such an important article. I see more and more people speaking out about this topic all the time and it is so encouraging!!!

I haven’t actually read through all the comments completely yet, but Mimi, I want to say that you are going to be fine. Do not let anything you read or anyone tell you otherwise. God is looking after you. Just let your emotions flow freely and give them all to God and you will heal. I have been through hell over the past few years in terms of emotional healing. I stopped paxil and neurontin (prescribed as a “mood stabilizer”) and prn klonapin and all withdrawal ceased within a few months. I had been on drugs for more than a decade. What has been far more difficult are the surfacing emotions and trauma and the realization of how controlled and abused I have been my whole life by my parents, several boyfriends, and by major institutions (educational, medical, media). It’s truly frightening. Luckily, we have the most amazing God and his son Jesus to help us through. I am doing a Bible study called Be Transformed (by Scope Ministries) that I highly recommend.

Oh and I am SO SORRY to hear about your husband’s affair. That is the absolute worst. I suffered an infidelity this past fall that completely shattered my healing process and will to live. Prayer, reading psalms, sleep, and the passage of time are the only things that have helped me.

Okay, so I just read some more of the comments. Dave, you are also going to be fine! Just keep doing what you’re doing (especially releasing the sadness through crying as much as possible). My personal feeling is that the best way to heal from the effects of prescription drugs is by food and lots and lots of water (and, of course, prayer!). Find foods with tryptophan in them and eat them. Actually, just listen to your intuition and let it guide you to the foods. You’ll see that when you look up the foods that your body and God are guiding you to eat that they contain the very things you need. If you feel you must take a supplement, see if you can find a food-based one. I also took liquid bentonite clay for awhile. Sonne’s (sonnes.com) is a good company that has food based vitamins and a great liquid clay (gentle detoxer).

Lots of love,


Hi Bree, Coming off all the meds was like coming out of a coma for me. I couldn’t believe how unaware I’d been during that time and what I had completely missed. My children suffered from that and the weird thing is that it was my concern for my children that the psychiatrist used to lock me into compliance with the meds. The other irony is that as an abused child and then a damaged young woman, I had not money to ‘get help’ and as a teenager used drugs to cope. Then when I did have money, the ‘help’ I got was to put me back on drugs and make me an addict again.:0/ There’s something really wrong with this picture. The Holy Spirit, sunshine, and supplements work much better for me too!

Thank you for your comment. I haven’t seen anything from you on EFB before and there is a policy here about sharing. We can never tell one another what to do, we can always share what we do for ourselves. You seem to be an intelligent woman and I’m sure you’ll understand why.:0)Anyway, nice to meet you, Bree!



Hi Pam!

Yes, I read that policy after I wrote my first comment and actually wrote Darlene to tell her she could feel free to remove it if it was too advice-y 🙂 In no way did I mean for my comments to be instructional, just empowering and encouraging and completely from MY experience (what works for me will obviously not work for all people; everyone is coming from different backgrounds and starting at different places). One of the main ways that I got locked into staying on my meds so long (even though I knew they were not good for me) was because people (parents, doctors, the mainstream media) said I would relapse or go crazy if I got off of them. It took a long time before I had enough inner strength to do it on my own with no outward support (only doubts). I hope I can provide support to those going through this difficult process, so they do not have to go through it alone and without encouragement as I did. I did not go crazy (whatever that means). I did un-numb though just as you describe. Not fun and deeply saddening to see that I had been living in a fog (though a part of me did know this even when I was medicated; I used to say, “I felt dead”). This is obviously an on-going process. I am still un-numbing. Yay for wholeness!



Hi Bree
Welcome to EFB
As you read some of the other articles here you will get a better understanding of the types of things that are different about my thoughts on what advice is. It can be just the subtle difference between saying “and of course prayer” and saying simply that prayer worked for you. There are many here who have been spiritually abused and abused by the church so much that the mere mention of prayer as a directive is a huge turn off. Personally I didn’t use prayer at all in my own healing. I prayed for over 20 years for the answers and in the end I had to set that part of my spiritual life aside so that I could really hear my own thoughts instead of other peoples teachings that I thought were actually God’s teachings. Every one is entitled to try whatever they want to try in order to recover and heal. I found that in my own quest for freedom and wholeness I was stuck going down all the rabbit trails that other people told me I HAD to do instead of just sticking to the truth about what caused me to be so depressed and discouraged in the first place. I have written much more about this through out the pages of this site and I write this comment to you for the benefit of all the other readers and not just to you. So I ask everyone to share what worked for them and how things worked for them instead of telling others what to do and how to do it.
Having said that, I am happy to have another encourager here.
Hugs, Darlene


Totally agree, Darlene! I am all about self-empowerment!!! Please feel free to remove that comment if it is too advice-y or you think it would in any way offend someone. I TOTALLY understand about the church abuse thing and how scary that is. I personally don’t attend church. What has worked for me is a direct connection with God. Prayer was something that happened for me spontaneously in the midst of crisis. I literally just started praying aloud. There was no format or formality or anything and I had never prayed before. Prayer to me is asking for help outloud (when I am alone) and it has really begun to loosen a lot of the repressive conditioning and abuse I experienced.

Lots of love,


Bree, I know you didn’t mean to be giving advice. I have to think hard about the way I ‘share’ things too. I’m also, into the relationship with Jesus and not the religions people have built around Him but people assign their own meanings to words and unfortunately, people have misused the teahings of the Bible for a long time and hurt people by manipulating them with it. So, I too am very excited about what Jesus is doing in my life but I try to tone it down here. On my own blog, I share more fully.

It was my over-compliance and learned behavior of self-blame that kept me on ever increasing amounts of psycho tropics too. However, it was the event in my life that gave me the courgae to trust myself and what God was saying to me rather than what others said I should do or what others said God wanted me to do. That’s why I like it here. There’s lots of support for thinking independently and trusting what we know iside is true. We all have our own answers, it is accessing them that is hard for people who were abused as children.

I’m glad you’re here, Bree.



That is really cool Bree!
Thanks for sharing how that happened for you!

Pam ~
Yes, independant thinking is really at the bottom of it all. Empowering people to think for themselves when were never taught OR encouraged to do that. My current post right now has a discussion going on about this. Someone called it “learned helplessness” and that really resonated with me as exactly what happened. When someone doesn’t know how to think for themselves, anyone can convince them of all sorts of lies being true!
Hugs, Darlene

(The current post discussion I am refering to is here: http://emergingfrombroken.com/the-fear-of-good-bye-if-you-dont-comply/ )


Boy do I understand that, Pam! I mean I couldn’t even think. I don’t know if I even had my own thoughts for large portions of my life. It is so hard to access that inner guidance with the cacophany of negative messages and fear from family and society (not to mention all the dissociation and denial from the shock and trauma of abuse and then all the numbing from the drugs…).

I did notice that you are more open about God on your blog; I read your Jesus and prayer post today and really enjoyed it 🙂 I imagine that few things upset Jesus more than the Bible being used as grounds for abuse. One of my absolute favorite things about Jesus is how much he loves children. Have you read the book Heaven is for Real? Jesus’s love for children is profoundly emphasized.



Bree, No, I haven’t read that book but the value Jesus places upon children is something I’ve emphasized a lot in my writing. I hope to see you at my blog as well as here.:0)My calling is a little different from Darlene’s but she’s a dear sister and we’re definitely fighting for the same cause!



Darlene, Your current post is great and discusses what is needed most for people to protect themselves from being overly medicated, the ability to trust one’s self and stand up for one’s self. That inner mechanism that is so natural to some people that they don’t even think about it is stolen from children who grow up under abuse.



Bree/Pam – thx for your insight/feedback. Bree – i didnt take your comments to be giving advice. I knew where you were coming from. I also pray and believe in prayer. God has answered many prayers in my journey including providing this site as a means of support, which i have very little of (no family contact at all).

Bree – sorry to hear about your husbands affair. Sexual temptation is probably the hardest thing for men to deal with/overcome in todays society. I speak from personal experience. I have struggled with it mightily throughout my adult life. When men are broken/hurting/wounded there is a deep need for intimacy that Satan takes advantage of by tempting men with sexual pleasure in the form of porn, topless clubs, x rated movies, etc…I have never seen such an onslaught of sexual temptation directed at men in our society as i have the past couple of years. Many christian men i know have fallen temptation/victim to it. I want to say to you that you did nothing wrong and please dont blame yourself. Its a lie than many men buy into lock, stock and barrel. Its a subtle lie that the enemy is using to try and destroy marriages and families because that is his #1 target. I have seen it over and over again where we live especially with committed christians. The brokenness and pain that men have are a direct target for satan to attack that vulnerable area time and time again with sexual temptation. Unfortunately the church is no help at all. Instead of helping men deal with their brokkenness they provide a “how to avoid temptation program.” – i took the program twice. It doesnt work. Many churches promote it and use it and its worthless. When the problem (temptation) doesnt go away, men are urged to try harder, memorize more verses, lay down your life, take up your cross…etc…so men feel guilty because they cant “do it right.” – they feel guilt and shame and believe that they are just not good enough to fight this battle or not strong enough so they just eventually give in to the temptation. Instead of helping men heal they are actually providing another tool for the enemy to use to bring further pain and destruction. I know i am way off on a tangent here but i just wanted to provide some feedback from a male point of view from someone who has been there and struggled mightily with sexual temptation for a long time. As a began healing more, the temptation lessened and the desire to seek sex outside of marriage has diminished because i am becoming more whole. I didnt have to do anything else. It has just occurred naturally as i have healed. I wasted so much time trying to work programs and memorize verses and to “just be stronger” that it set me back in my healing journey. I found the trap door and escaped fortunately.




Thanks for sharing all that, Dave! It actually wasn’t my husband, but my boyfriend. To me, what hurt the most was the lying and the manipulation and the relative lack of remorse (he refused to talk to me about it afterwards).

As for your struggles with sexual temptation and those church classes, I completely agree, true healing can only come from the inside out! Isn’t it amazing that churches continue to propagate the kind of soul-less legalism that Jesus came to correct? I am so glad that you also have found help in prayer. For me, it relieves so much pressure and it feels so good to be so real with God about everything that’s going on in my life. In terms of temptations in my life, I also find that prayer really works. I just pray to God “to make my path straight” and He has delivered me from all kinds of less than healthy habits and behaviors. Obviously,some things take time, but I can feel Him guiding me.

Lots of love,


Hey again, Dave! I was just reading Max Lucado’s twitter feed, which I do from time to time, and I came across this quote, which is exactly what I was trying to say about what prayer does for me:

“Prayer and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin or sin will choke prayer.” JC Ryle


Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding. I have prayed in my healing, I view myself as a Christian. I have had to step back from all of the teachings and church stuff since my healing began. Actually, I stepped back from church a few years back. Something wasn’t right, and I knew it. I don’t care to pretend at all…. particularly not every Sunday for a two hour time period. I don’t know where I’ll end up regarding church. It’s not my primary focus right now either. I continue my relationship with God. I have not failed to see all He has accomplished with me in my healing. It was God who revealed so much to me. It was God who brought me here when I’d lost my will to live. I’m sure the church would say I am turning my back on God, inviting satan to reign over my life. I don’t buy into the legalism anymore. I don’t think anyone knows better than me, what my relationship with God looks like and what He has done for me, despite not attending church. It flies in the face of many teachings. Try to explain that to a room full of church goers. Haha!! People try to say I am going against the will of God. If they only knew all He has truly done for me. I KNOW I’m not going against His will. If I were, I wouldn’t be feeling the freedom that comes with each passing week/month. What you wrote about helping you get through is exactly what has worked for me. I’ve slept, I’ve cried, and I’ve prayed. Passing time has helped, and so has writing. I journaled a LOT during the worst parts. I write here a lot too. It’s all been very liberating. Thank you for your support Bree. It is so awesome to read similar experiences.

I love the way you articulate it all in #94. I have tried to explain to a friend of mine how it works for me. My prayer life has changed in the midst of all the discovery. It’s not what it once was, although I don’t discount God’s presence in all of it. And, I do still pray. I just don’t have that rose colored outlook about God miraculously taking it all away overnight. It hasn’t happened before, and I think He has orchestrated it all, such that I must go THROUGH it in order to enjoy true and lasting healing. I believe there’s a reason he hasn’t miraculously lifted the fog in one fell swoop! I also believe he gave us emotions. Somehow, the world has tried to make us believe that stifling those emotions will bring happiness ~ even in the church world. Doesn’t work for me! I have been overflowing with emotions of all sorts, all my life. There was an endless well inside me, and emotions would be drawn from it, anytime/place, whether I liked it or not. That was getting old after 43 years. No matter what anyone in the world has taught, I had to get to that source inside, and tend to it. Beating myself up at the suggestions of others for not forgiving, for having anger, etc, did NOTHING to launch me into healing. It’s been YOUR approach, that has made the difference. I wish more of the world could see it.

I know your response was to Bree, but it really spoke to me regarding my husband’s affair. It was in counseling and in our own private discussions, that my husband’s wounds surfaced. Things that he had never talked about to anyone, ever! He also threw a rock on Freedom Rocks day. He had some very substantial things to let go of. I believe in his talking about his abuse, and letting it come out, he has realized some healing as well. I also believe he has spontaneously realized some relief of sexual temptation as a result of processing what was done to him.

I will always believe he had a choice and he made the wrong one. Knowing what was going on inside him has helped me feel more understanding toward his mistake. I have made mistakes too. His sin is no greater than my sins, although infidelity was never my choice. He has worked overtime to make it up to me. That makes all the difference in the world when it comes to healing and moving past it. When the offender doesn’t take ownership or strides to prove their sorrow, I believe it’s much more difficult to continue in the relationship. He has taken huge strides and has worked hard to prove his love. If he hadn’t done that, I would likely not be here. I’m very thankful he has worked hard ~ not by my demands, by his own volition. I did have a few demands in the beginning. I demanded that I would not be left homeless… EVER. That was his suggestion when it all came out. He was very defensive. He thought our house would be his and I would be free to be homeless. (I had sold MY home when we bought this house together.) As a result of that line of thinking, I demanded he put $30,000 into an account with my name only. I also demanded that if he wanted me to stay, he would have to sign a contract that said the house would be mine if he does it again, and he will pay the mortgage. If one of these solutions fails, I would have a plan B. I was faced with the idea of being homeless or going back to live under my mother’s roof. I DO NOT take that lightly at all. I told him it would be harder to forgive THAT than infidelity. My husband has a farm in another state, and it has three homes on it. I had nothing. I sold my home so we could buy this one together. We matched each other’s downpayment on this home. I would have been out my $30,000 downpayment too. Anyhow, this is how it all played out. I bet there are people who would call me a “B” for these demands. But, at least I won’t be a homeless “B”. 🙂

Again, thanks for your explanation from your own perspective and sharing your personal struggle. I appreciate that, even if it wasn’t directed toward me. I hope you’re doing well with the med transition.

Love to everyone,


All, This is totally off the subject of medications but Dave your comment about what men struggle with in regards to sex stuck in my mind and it has made me understand how men are objectified, differently from women but still as objects of sexuality valued for sexual performance rather than human beings. Our culture is in a state of sexual insanity and I’m using the word insanity here with the legal definition of not being able to know right from wrong. We’ve gone from a reprssive morality that made sex secretive and dirty to total abandon. Thank you, Dave for expressing your point of view and helping me see your side of it. I know I still have a lot of deep anger toward men in this area and you’ve given me an important insight.

On another note, Jerry Sandusky was found, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty…thank you, God that he has finally, been stopped!In all of it though, I’ve heard very little about the actual damage he caused his victims and that is the part people need to know and not have to learn by experience. Survivors have to talk about it…



Mimi, I love your heart. You are a gentle, strong, warrior. You are anything but a “B”.



Aww, thanks for the super sweet response Mimi! I’m so glad the legalism of church didn’t destroy your faith. It sounds like you have an awesome connection to God. And yikes, if that’s the kind of thing your church would say about you leaving, that doesn’t sound like a very supportive place. I actuallly emailed a local pastor a couple weeks ago to reach out for some help and said I wasn’t looking to go to church at this time and he totally understood and put me in touch with a super loving church elder that gave me the Bible study and is offering her love and support via phone and email. I’m glad that you brought up emotions and how the church often teaches people to repress them (Dave mentioned that too), because in the study I’m doing, it specifically talks about how God gave us emotions for a reason. This always seemed obvious to me! And it’s why I like the psalms so much– they are SO emotional. Emotion is not held back– they are cries to God! It’s also why I like music so much, especially really emotional music like gospel or love songs. I love Whitney Houston and am so inspired by her continued faith despite the fact that she struggled with so many issues. She has a performance in 2009 that totally breaks open my heart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTuqskRBv1c

Love to all!


Thank you for that!! I totally respect your opinions/perspectives. Your statement means a lot to me!! 🙂

When my husband and I reached out to the pastor of the church we are members at, (when I discovered my husband’s affair) he told us we had turned our backs on God. That was his explanation for why my husband strayed. We hadn’t been at HIS church for a long time. He concluded we’d dropped out of church altogether. What he didn’t know was, we were going to a different church, a more spirit filled one. The services were deeper and longer than anything he had ever offered. I look back at his contemptuous allegation and laugh a little. He had no idea where we were with respect to God. Yep, he’s blazing a dimly lit trail for hundreds of people!! 🙂



Doesn’t that Jerry Sandusky guy give you a little hint of nausea?? I’m thrilled with the outcome, but like you, so many victims at the hands of a single man. Where are their voices?? Sickening!! Perhaps they will find EFB!!

Peace and Love,


Oh Mimi, yikes, what an abusive/manipulative/self-serving thing to say. What your husband did was wrong. It’s really that simple. I’m glad he has taken responsibility for it and you are healing. And as I said before, I am so glad you have such a strong connection to God and can hear Him speak to you so clearly. I love that you wrote, “I KNOW I’m not going against His will.” Yay!


Oh and in case it isn’t clear in my comment above, I’m referring to what your pastor told you about how your husband’s affair was because you had turned your back on God because you were no longer going to his church.


All – i am “not the average bear” to quote Yogi or Boo Boo – i think Yogi said it :). I am glad i could shed some light for you on why men behave the way they do and why they commit sexual sin. Yes its a choice. A big part of my belief system was rooted in believing i was bad because i was abused so much and violated so often. So if i am bad then i am going to do bad things. Trying to get to the root of that type of belief after believing it for 40 years is very, very hard. I dont try and rationalize anything. I try and explain things as i have experienced them to hopefully help provide some insight to the issues men face.

Men have a sex drive/sex cycle that is about once every 90 minutes. Every day. So thats 10 times in a 15 hour day. Ten times of anything in one day is a lot. Thats how often men have sexualy thoughts or our bodies create some type of sexual desire through our hormones. Its a natural cycle. Most people have no clue that this is how often men have this type of thought or desire. Its God created. Its not that men are “sex crazed” or “only think about one thing.” those are the explanations often given for men who seem to be driven by sex. There is so much misunderstanding about this that the truth really needs to come out and men and women really need to be educated about the sex cyle of a man. I never hear anything about it. We all know that women have monthly cycles. Well men have daily cycles. As i have learned more about it i have paid closer attention to my own body and sure enough, about once every couple of hours, the desire or drive is more prevalent. Just thought i would share this to provide more insight. I have shared a little about it before but since we are on this topic i felt led to share more.

love and blessings,



Hey Everyone~ Re Daves comments about men.
I just want to say that this is not true for ALL men. Usually what Dave is discribing is an indicator of something deeper as in a deeper problem. Sex can be a coping method just like any other coping method.
Hugs, Darlene


All – i got way off topic here. I have been off effexor for a week and no bad side effects at all thankfully. I am taking 20 mg prozac. I also stopped taking the blood pressure med that i have been on to see if it was the effexor that was causing my blood pressure to be so high. My blood pressure was pretty good until i started taking effexor 4 years ago so I am going to wait a week or so and have it checked to see if indeed the effexor was the culprit of my high blood pressure. My what they dont tell you when you go on meds. I just wanted help and didnt know where else to go. Everyone said – you NEED an anti-depressant so i listened. I was having severe panic attacks at the time and had very severe depression. I didnt know what else to do. Now i am trying to wean myself off of everything. Thanks for all your prayers and support !



It took me a long time to read through this post and all the comments, but it was so worth it.

Prescribed psychotropic meds messed me up terribly. I was numb, I felt like I was a walking zombie, I gained a lot of weight, I didn’t feel like I was me anymore. I trusted the doctors who told me that these drugs were what I needed, but they were wrong.

A little over a year ago I decided to stop taking the antidepressant that I had been on for 8 years. I stopped it way too fast. My doctor had told me that I could taper off of it in just a couple of weeks. But for me ~ and for most people, according to what I have since learned by searching online ~ tapering off of an antidepressant in just 2 weeks is far too fast. Oh, and I was also tapering off of an antianxiety drug at the same time, ativan.

I thought that I was doing pretty good with my fast taper, though, until about 2 weeks after I had done my 2 week taper off of my drugs, I had 2 horrible traumatic tragedies happen just 5 days apart. The first trauma was that I found out that my lifelong abusive narcissistic mother had written a 62 page hate letter to tell, telliing me everything that was ever wrong with me in my entire life, and she sent copies of that horribly abusive letter to her sister, the aunt I am close to, and to my sisters and brothers. Although I never read the letter, my husband got the mail that day and, knowing the hellish history I’ve had with my mother, and also having my permission that I had given him way back to feel free to read my mail, he waited until I was asleep that night, then started reading the letter to see if it was safe. It was not. My husband read just part of the letter and became so enraged that my couch potato hubby walked at 2 in the morning to the town dumping station, where he tore each of those 62 pages to bits and threw them, one torn-up page at a time, into different dumpsters. That’s how mad and upset he was about that horrible letter. He wanted to make sure I would not find the letter in our house, even torn to pieces, and then put it back together. He threw the letter one torn-up page at a time in different dumpsters because while he was walking to the dump, he thought that maybe our dog might awaken me to alert me to the unusual fact that her “daddy” had left in the middle of the night, and when he came back I would ask where he had gone and why and he would not want to lie to me, and so he would tell me that he had taken a horrible soul-killing letter from my abusive mother to the dump and throw it away…. he said he thought these things as he was walking to the dump, and thought that I might go to the dump to find the pieces of the letter. So that is why he went to the trouble to tear it up one page at a time, and throw each torn page into a different dumpster.

So anyway, I knew nothing about the letter until my precious aunt sent me an email a couple of days letter, telling me that she had a draft reply that she wanted to send to my evil mother, in reply to her evil letter, and my aunt wanted me to read the reply and tell her if I had any suggestions or changes. My aunt was telling her sister off good, in her reply, for writing such a horrible letter to me, her eldest daughter. If my mother’s intention in sending a copy to my aunt was to try to ruin our relationship, it back-fired, because my aunt, who had always loved her 2 grown children unconditionally and totally, could not believe that any mother would write such a horrible thing to her daughter!

Of course I had not idea what my aunt’s email was talking about, because my loving and protective husband had not even told me about the letter. I told my husband what my aunt had emailed to me, and then he admitted that yes, my mother had sent me a 62 page hate letter a few days before, and that he had read part of it and then took it to the dump and destroyed it. My husband told me, “I love you too much to ever hurt you. That’s why I couldn’t even tell you about the letter, because telling you about it would hurt you.” He said the letter was “full of hate and jealousy.”

So…. there was that blow of knowing that my mother had written 62 pages of hate to me, just out of the blue, no provocation on my part whatsoever, except the fact that I was “ignoring her,” that’s what my husband and aunt said my mother had written, how horrible I am for ignoring her royal highness…. I swear, my mother should get down on her knees and thank GOD that I am ignoring her, rather than giving her the kind of treatment she DESERVES!!!

Later I learned that my mother had sent copies of her 62 pages of hate Elaina, to my siblings as well. My one good kind brother said to me, “I asked mother why she would write such a mean letter to you? She said that she wrote everything in the letter that you had ever done wrong in your life, and then she wrote at the end of that letter that God will forgive you of all those things, if you will repent. But you are already a Christian, aren’t you?” my brother said.

Religious Abuse, HELLO! My abusive dad was a Preacher! And my mother was a Preacher-wannabe.

So I was hit with the deep inner soul wound of my mother’s latest hate Elaina attack… and I was on the phone talking about it with my cousin, the only daughter of my aunt whom had gotten the copy of my mother’s hate letter (and she wrote a classy put-down reply to my mother)… and I was talking with my cousin about the letter, because her mom/my aunt had of course told her all about it, they were very close always, the way a loving mother and daughter should be. And my cousin, who was my only blood relative living in this state, and who was more like a little sister to me, than my own sisters have been, because my own sisters have been brainwashed by my mother against me all their lives ~ I am the eldest by many years, and my mother’s scapegoat, on whom she did her gaslighting and projecting all of her disowned badness onto me ~ and my sisters, sadly, seem to have grown up to be clones of our hateful narcissistic sadistic mother…

Gosh where was I, I am getting emotional in remembering all of this, and my writing gets so disjointed when that happens, but it is a normal result of intense abuse and trauma, it is normal…

As I was saying, my dear much-younger cousin and I were on the phone several times over the 5 days after I learned about my mother’s hate letter. My cousin, who was an RN at a hospital and also had a BA degree in Psychology, who had a very high IQ and was very intuitively brilliant AND who had known my mother/her aunt all her life ~ my dearest cousin said to me, during our last-ever phone conversation on the night of June 2, 20011, that “It would explain EVERYTHING if my mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder” ~ and I felt such a huge rush of relief that finally, someone else in my family of origin, who had known my mother all her life, could see through her playacting, her dramas, her LIES, her lifelong hate-Elaina campaign… finally I was not alone anymore, my sweet insightful cousin, educated and intelligent and compassionate, saw the truth about my abusive mother, and VALIDATED ME for the first time EVER. I felt so loved, and so much love for my cousin, in that moment. We ended our phone conversation with lots of love, and with plans to get together in 3 weeks to celebrate her birthday….

The next day, June 3, 2o11, my cousin Elaine sent text messages to our cell phone saying that she and a friend were on their way to the Montezuma Hot Springs near Las Vegas, New Mexico. My cousin texted YAY! and made a smiley face text, she was so excited about going to the springs. And I was writing a long loving email reply to her, when my cousin freaking DROWNED in the hot spring.

I SCREAMED when I got the news. I mean I went IN-FREAKING-SANE…….

….and my point to all of this, on this particular thread? That I had just, within the previous couple of weeks, weaned myself off of Lexapro antidepressant and Clonazepam anxiety meds, I had weaned myself much too fast, AND I had started taking 5-htp which does not, as it turns out, work well with my system, and so I was very chemically fragile and imbalanced and I WENT INSANE. By the end of last June, the day before what would have been my precious cousin’s birthday, I went to the emergency room because I wanted with all of my heart to commit suicide. My emotions were wild, all over the place, and I was ANGRY… no, I mean I was FURIOUS, I was ENRAGED at the whole freaking UNIZVERSE. I got mad at 2 women on facebook whom I had met through this blog, I was mad because they seemed to my INSANE state of mind to be cold and nitpicky with me over semantics and I was ENRAGED that they did not cut me some slack with the semantics because of the HUGE SHOCK and GRIEF I was under. So, for a time I lost my online support-friends, too, and that even more so made me want to Kill Myself.

My point to all of this is: going off of prescribed psychotropic meds is DANGEROUS, especially if right after you do it, you have a huge major soul-wound come against you from your primary abuser parent, and 5 days later your most loving and supportive blood relative DROWNS in water that would not come up to her shoulders if she stood in the deepest part of the hot spring… and her “friend” was close by.. HOW? WHY? Oh, God…

Life is full of good things but it is also full of dangers and death and injury and illness and ABUSERS ABUSING, and we never know when a huge double whammy is going to hit in our lives, and if it hits when we are super vulnerable because we just weaned ourself off a our psychotropic meds that we have been on for years… honest to God I am amazed that I did not kill myself last June, especially when a couple of women who had previously been “in my corner” were blasting me on FB for having a TEMPER oh my god SHOOT ME, I must be too evil to LIVE.

Bottom line is: BE ULTRA CAREFUL WHEN IT COMES TO TAKING YOURSELF OFF A PRESCRIBED PSYCHOTROPIC MED!!!!!!!!! Even doing it the way my prescribing doctor had recommended, by cutting it down over 2 weeks, that was way way way too FAST and it almost KILLED me when the untimely double trauma tragidy hit my life.

When I was taken by my loving husband to the emergency room on June 27, 2011, an angel disguised as a trauma therapist came to the ER and helped me so much, she is an older woman who survived the loss of her country, language, home, and most of her family and friends, when she was a girl and the Nazis took over her country. So she KNOWS about evil abusers, and how people will gang up on you to destroy your soul, and she KNOWS about SURVIVAL, and she helped me SURVIVE, thank GOD!

At her recommendation, I went back on the Lexapro and Clonazepam. After a few months of being on that, then I began to wean myself off again, only this time, I did it ultra-ultra-ultra SLOWLY. I did it one drug at a time, not both at oncem, and I did it by shaving just a tiny sliver off of my drug, and taking it that way for about 2 weeks… then, I shaved 2 tiny slivers off of the drug and took it that way for 2 more weeks… then I shaved 3 tiny slivers off for another 2 weeks… and so on.

Any time that I began to feel the least bit “WEIRD,” I would put back one sliver for a few days, and then try going without that added sliver, again.

When the holidays hit, November-December, I got attacked by 2 sisters and 2 nieces on facebook, and it was all due to the fallout from people in the family believing my hateful mother’s 62 page letter about me. I was being told, right on my own facebook wall!, that I was too crazy to know what was REAL about My Own Life, that the traumas and abuses of my life never happened (the youngest sister and the 2 nieces weren’t even born when my traumas were happening, and the other sister was 5 when I was 12 and my worst truamas happened, and she did not know nor see what happened, she was not there, and I protected her from knowing what had happened at the time, because I was 12, she was only 5, she did not need to KNOW that our mother had just confessed to me that she had been trying to find a way to override the safety shutoff valve on the gas furnace, all those nights when the pilot light would go out and the thermostat would be turned up as high as it would go… my mother confessed to me when I was 12 that she had been doing it on purpose night after night after night to try to gas us all to death… and I was the caretaking big sister so no I did not go and tell my 4 preshooler siblings, Hey guess what our mom has been trying to KILL US… no WAY!

So my siblings, while they acknowledge that our mother has always been hateful and a liar and volatile and crazy, they say I am liar about the worst that happened.

Good grief, sorry, I am getting emotional and carried away in my writing again! But the point is, so the holidays, which are always hard for my husband and me with our respective PTSD, this past holiday was a NIGHTMARE with my family of origin drama going on, and it being the first holiday without my cousin here in New Mexico, it was just HELL, so during the holidays, I upped my meds a little bit, meaning I backed up on my tapering off, because I was listening to my body and to my emotions and they were telling me that was what I needed to do, to get through the holidays. I also needed to get the H off of facebook, and so I did, and have not been there since Jan. 1.

NOW ~ I am totally OFF of all psychotropic prescription meds! YAY!! I feel GOOD and STABLE and PEACEFUL and even HAPPY, most of the time.

Oh, yeah, and as an added complication, I went through menopause during this past year. Last September (2011) was my last monthly… so I had the hormone upheaval going on, on top of everything else.

As for the natural health supplements, I again had to listen to my own body. I mean, first I did searches and read up online, and then I went by the things I learned, to know what supplements to try. And THEN, I LISTENED TO MY BODY AND MY EMOTIONS AND MY INTUITION. I’ve tried many many many health supplements in the past couple of years, I started on that before I went off my prescription meds, and I found that what works for others does not always work for me. 5-htp makes me ANXIOUS and On Edge. Ditto for Sam-e, which is another natural treatment for depression. Sam-e makes me GROUCHY. Or is it BITCHY? 😉

What works for me is: fish oil, flaxseed oil, grapeseed extract, L-glutathione (studies have shown that glutathione does not survive the digestive system, so taking it is a waste, but a new study has shown that the old studies were flawed, and that glutathione does too work… my personal experience is that it works gREAT for ME, and the so-called percuror supplements that are supposed to help your body make its own glutathione, does Not Help ME. Which is good news, the precursor supplements cost Big Bucks, the L-glutathione is very affordable.)

what is L-glutathione? A powerful antioxidant. Same with grapeseed extract. I have been taking grapeseed extract for 15 years and I look younger today, at the age of 59, than when I started taking it at the age of 44. I look younger than my own kids now. No plastic surgery, it’s all done with antioxidants that I take, and also using face creams with grapeseed extract and glutathione and other antixoidants.

I occassionally take Gabba for help when I’m anxious or can’t sleep. I also take L-Carnitine (sp?), which helps me to have more energy and to be able to concentrate.

My husband has been taking the grapeseed extract and fish oil and flaxseed oil since we married 8 years ago. 10 years ago he had 2 heart attacks. His latest heart tests show that his heart has healed so it is like he never had any heart attacks!

I know this is way too long already, so I will end this, even though I have much more I could say about our supplements and the benefits, and also the benefit of gentle yoga stretches, and walking, I was supposed to have disc fusion surgery but the exercises took care of it. OH YES I also have low thyroid, which makes depression worse, I take kepp for iodine and I also take the prescription thryoid med, it has been a life saver. BUT, I have high high cholesteriol, and all of the statin drugs make me TIRED and DEPRESSED and ACHEY, so I don’t take them. I am trying natural supplements for that. Ditto for high blood pressure, those prescribed meds for BP being high make me lethargic and depressed, so I’ve had great success with natural supplements for that.

The BEST prices, service, quality, and good info I have found for health supplements, far better than the GNC where I used to buy them, is: SwansonVitamins.com I LOVE those people. They even refund your money if you don’t like something, anytime within a year, even if you used the whole bottle! They regularly have 2 for 1 sales on most things, too, which is when we really stock up.

Trust your God-given instincts on what works, and doesn’t work, For You… that is what I have found works!

Oh, and the best skin care I have found is skinactives.com ~ they have ready mades, and also every active ingredient I know of that is good for your skin, so that you can make your own custom made skin care. I LOVE skin actives. I swear, I have men as young as my college-student granddaughter flirting with me, and I am 59!

Looking your best is a great antidepressant, too!

Love to all, sorry for the long emotional ramblings, I’m too tired to proofread so you’re gettig it raw and real.
Elaina, author of PTSD-is-Normal.com


Important PS:

IF I ever feel that I am starting to go emotionally whack-o again and seriously wanting to die, or losing my temper with people when it is inappropriate and out-of-proportion, like I was doing last summer with some seeminly insensitive people on facbook ~ then, I will go back to my psychiatrist and go back on psychotropic drugs, because being emotionally numb and overwieight and the other bad side-effects of being on psychotropic meds, is still better than killing myself or emotionally wounding other people because my emotions are out of control.

Again, it’s a matter of trusting my own God-given instincts as to what is best for me and my mind and body at any given time. I continue to search the web for good info on how to heal my wounded psyche of my Complex Post Traumatic Stress, I buy lots of psychological self-help books that have high reviews on amazon.com and I read those, my husband and I are in therapy weekly for our respective traumas (he’s a Vietnam War veteran with Combat PTSD)… basically what I am saying is it’s an ongoing healing learning process, and sometimes life hands us setbacks, and we have to figure out how to roll with the punches, and adjust to the new events and situations of our lives.

My husband is on Zoloft and he is doing great on that. So I’m not saying that psychotropic meds are all bad, not at all! In some cases it is a lifesaver.

Oh, and by the way, I agree with Darlene about the sexual thing, I have personally experienced that sex, just like food and gambling and drinking and drugging and over-spending, etc, can be used to try to cope with trauma. There is such a thing as sex addiction, and it doesn’t just happen with men, in my experience. Sex can be used like a drug and, just like out-of-control drinking and drugging, out-of-control sex creates its own set of life problems.


Dave, I think when you’re off the meds, you’ll do fine this time. The more we know the easier it is to manage things and besides, now you’re on a path toward healing and not just managing symptoms. About the other thing, I don’t mind that you got off track and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a man really try to express how they feel but I agree with Darlene that it is individual and I think a lot of men cope through escaping into the fantasy world or porn or the rush of sexual conquest. They degrade themselves and others in the process and that is usually, winked at, even in church. It isn’t taken seriously.

Mimi, Yes, I have all kinds of feelings around the Sandusky trial and nausea is one of them. I have lots of pent up anger and I want so bad to cry out against how the media describes the victims and their shame. That shame doesn’t belong to them and they should be able to shout from the roof tops what the violent crimes that were perpetrated against them did to them! I haven’t heard anything in all of the about the real damage of sexual abuse and I know people who haven’t experienced it are very ignorant about it. Instead of hiding victims like they have a reason to be ashamed, we should be empowering them to speak out!ARRRRRGGGGG!

By they way, I think porn should be viewed as a form of hate-speech. Child-porn feeds the evil inside people like Sandusky.



Elaina, Thank you for sharing your personal experience with meds and supplements. What you said is exactly right, what works for one person may not work for another our nutritional needs are different and many different gaps in nutrition can cause the same symptoms. Hormones, blood sugar, and other individual variables all play a part in what nutritional suplements work for us as well as how drugs effect us. Herbs are naturally occurring chemical compounds and require expert knowledge in order to use them safely. Also, no one is helped when they simply go to the health food store and start randomly purchasing bottles of vitamins without knowing why they are taking them. Taking control of one’s own health care requires study time and the willingness to accept responsibiity for the outcome.

I went through ativan withdrawl too, Elaina and I know the hell that is. The doctor who I finally, found to help me with it said that most people never are able to get off of it once they become addicted. It is harder to kick the heroin. So, even with all the extra upheaval you experienced, you did good to get off of it. I have never experienced anxiety as intense as what came with the withdrawl of that drug and I have a lot of experience with anxiety.

I hope people understand that I’m not anti-drug. I believe they have a place in medicine but I also, believe that we rely too heavily upon them and ignore alternatives. The best kind of medical care is that which offers a wide variety of choices to fit all of our individual needs and situations. I’m not anti-drug but I am very much anti-misuse and over-use of drugs. I’m against them being used as chemical asylums to control people rather than seek their healing. Psycho tropics don’t heal they are another coping mechanism. As Darlene demonstrates every day here on EFB, it’s better to reveal the underlying cause, face the truth, and deal with it than to adopt any kind of coping mechanism that becomes a way of life. What EFB has shown me is the over-use of coping mechanisms as a way of life is the very heart of mental illness. Often, psycho tropics add to the problem by becoming an added problem.

Good discussions on this guys. I didn’t know how it was going to go but I think it has been good.



This has been an awesome post and discussion, Pam! You didn’t come across as anti-drug, but rather as pro-freedom to listen to your body and do what you believe is right for you. My husband is on Zoloft and he feels that he is doing great with it. I would like for him to try to slowly wean himself off of it, because he does have some troublesome side effects, one being that he weighs 300 pounds, although he eats very little. But I respect my husband’s right to do what he thinks is best for him, and he also respects my right to not take any psychotropic meds.

I forgot to mention DMAE, a supplement that I also take, which I believe gives me much more energy than I have without it. I can’t take more than 5 mg per day of the DMAE, though, otherwise I become hyper and anxious. I’ve also had great success taking health supplements for my menopause, such as Black Cohosh, Wild Yam Root, and Evening Primrose Oil.

Although I prefer natural health supplements to prescription drugs, I, too, take prescription meds for my thyroid and asthma. Right now I am also on an antibiotic for an upper respiratory infection. I’ve been sick with a fever and miserable aches and nonstop cough for nearly a month, so I finally went to the doctor 2 days ago and got the antibiotic.

My physical illness is real, but I believe it has an emotional base, as I have been very much aware all this month of what was happening in my life one year ago. This is the 1-year anniversary of losing my precious cousin so tragically, 5 days after getting my mother’s horrible 62 page hate letter. There’s something about the anniversary of a trauma, that makes it seem almost like it’s happening all over again. I believe this is why my body is so run down right now, that has allowed this infection to hang on so long. My husband caught this cold when I did, but his only last 3 days, mine has lasted almost 4 weeks.

But the good thing about this June, as compared to last June, is that my mind is not warped all out of shape due to psychotropic meds! One year ago when the traumas happened, I had recently taken myself off of an antidepressant and an antiaxiety drug way too fast, after being on them for years. So my mental health was already in a very precarious condition when tragedy struck, and I was incapable of dealing with it, I very nearly killed myself. That is why I wanted to get the caution out there that people NOT take themselves off their psychotropic meds too fast! I had to go back on my meds last June. Three months later, I started my ultra-slow tapering off of my meds. I took about 6 months to wean myself completely off of the psychotropic meds. I have been off the psychotropic meds for about 3 months now, and my emotions feel perfectly normal and stable. No depressions, no losing my temper, I’m happily on an even keel, even while dealing with the anniversary grief from last June.

Pam, your title for this post, ”Psycho-Tropic Medications Used As Chemical Asylums,” hit home for me. In 1967, when I was 14, I started having symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, thanks to my insanely abusive parents, and so my abusive hateful parents put me in a state insane asylum. It was easy for them to do, because PTSD was unknown in 1967. In that day and age, people with ”mental illness” were locked up literally for life. The insane asylums in our country were filled to overflowing in the 1960s. These ”snake pits” didn’t begin to empty out until a mid-1970s Supreme Court ruling which said, in so many words, that it was unconstitutional to lock people up against their will simply for being ”mentally ill,” if they have not been convicted of a crime, nor displayed an overt threat to either their own safety, or to the safety of others. Soon after that landmark decision, the big asylums began closing all across our nation, including the one where I was locked up from age 14 – 16. That particular institution was the biggest building in the entire state when it was built, and it was crammed full of patients when I was there, most of whom had been there for years and were expected to be there for life, although the vast majority were not criminals, nor were they dangerous.

When I was in the state insane asylum, everyone was heavily drugged, in order to keep them very docile and quiet. That is when my own nightmare with psyschotropic meds began, I was put on Thorazine, which made me a zombie. At one point I was even put on an experimental drug, which was being tested for FDA approval. The experimental drug that I was put on, against my will, at the age of just 15, ended up NOT being approved by the FDA because the side effects were so dangerous. I had HORRIBLE side effects from that failed drug, which lasted for YEARS!

The asylum where I spent 2 of my teen years, was finally closed in 1991, and torn down in 1999. It’s very hard for me to imagine that there is only a big empty field where acres of towering brick buildings used to stand!

There was an elaborate tunnel system underground, which ran beneath and connected all of the buildings. I was often taken down into the tunnels with a group of other patients whenever we were being moved from one building to another for any reason. The cement walls of the tunnels were lined with alcoves that had big metal rings embedded in the walls, every few feet apart. I asked the nurse aid who was taking me through the tunnels one day what those rings were for. She said that in the time before psychotropic meds, they would chain the more violent patients down there, so that people above ground could not hear them screaming.

Pam, I am so glad that the hell-hole of a mental institution where I was put as a young girl, is now closed and torn down. But I am also sad, because many of the people there were truly incapable of taking care of themselves. Where did they all go? I did notice that, as the insane asylums started closing in the mid-to-late 1970s, and especially in the 1980s, that was when the number of homeless people on our city streets began to grow exponentially.

What is the answer to the problem of mental health? Locking ”mentally ill” people up for life and throwing away the key, and keeping them drugged up like zombies, is no answer. Almost no one ever spoke with a therapist in the institution while I was there. There were no group therapies, no occupational therapies, no therapies of any kind, we were just kept locked up, and drugged up. It was a horrible place to be, with no hope, no help, and no future. But ~ letting the ”mentally ill” out on the street to fend entirely for themselves, even if that means being homeless, isn’t the answer, either!

I was one of the lucky ones, who was released after ”only” two years. At the time that I was in the institution, the statistics, according to my psychiatrist, were that 97% of the people put there were never released. I didn’t want to believe it when he told me that, so I asked the other patients on my ward how long they had been there, and the shortest answer I got was 8 years! Most of the women I asked had been there more than 10, 15, and even 25+ years. Most of those women seemed as normal and coherent as any person you would meet out in public. They may have been put there for having a crises and attempting suicide after their husband left them for another woman, for example, but after that, they were kept there FOREVER.

It’s a hard world, and there are no easy answers to these questions, I know. But I think the secret to a CURE for mental illness is this: Compassion, Understanding, Respect, and Encouragement.



Elaina – sorry isnt sufficient enough to provide comfort for the hell you have been through. no words are sufficient enough. No words are comforting enough. Somewhere in this blog Darlene talks about the body’s ability to heal itself and that we have the power to do it ourselves. Even tho i am working with 2 separate trauma therapists i do about 95% of the work myself. they just help me process and deal with the pain and hurt. I agree that primarily physical illness is the result of emotional pain/trauma. I have experienced it for over 40 years. Lots of stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, bulimia, depression, headaches – all resulting from repressed emotions that i have held inside my whole life. The answer for me has been that i had to take charge of my healing and i had to make it the hightest priority in my life. I had to say – this is the thing that i need to do the most and spend the most time and energy on. It has been exhausting but i am healing a little more and getting better every day. I was just slow dancing with my wife spontaneously to a song that came on and that’s something i never would have done even six months ago. the little boy in me is healing and is not so much afraid anymore. He is becoming more and more aware that he is ok now.

This has been an excellent discussion on meds and one i hope that keeps going. I am down to just taking 20 mg prozac and one sleeping pill at night. I am going to try and come off of that this week and use melatonin and sleep RX (natural supplement). My body is finally feeling more at ease and more relaxed and more rested ! Hallelujah !!


Elaina – i think as more people are diagnosed with PTSD we will see more things change for the better. I was seriously looking into going to a trauma recovery center in west va for a week but they didnt think i was ready yet. Its a five day program where you do individual therapy 7 hours a day. Its basically a year of therapy in a week. They were close to accepting me but said i need more time to heal first. so i got back into therapy with 2 wonderful counselors who both specialize in PTSD. I think the answer lies in just working through all the pain and trauma. that has been my experience. I have had to work through all the hurt and pain and suffering and let go if it. I have cried almost every day for the past 14 years. Yes, almost every day. I would have died if i had kept all that pain inside. I would have ended up with some serious illness or disease or my body would have shut down. Now i feel better than i ever did and i am having more energy and more desire to do fun things !

I agree that there needs to be a lot more compassion, understanding and respect. thats why i like this community because thats what this is all about. I just wish more men were on here. I love the women on here but there is no balance between men and women. I post quite often but I am about the only male that i can tell that posts regularly. Like i posted earlier i am not the average bear. I made a decision that i was going to heal no matter what so i cut my family completely out of my life and have been working on getting better for 20 years. Thats how long its taken. My case is pretty extreme like yours. I was not put in an asylum but i was severly abused and neglected very young. My mother had a complete nervous breakdown when i was 2 and she was completely unable to care for me. I spent hours and hours in my crib crying and crying and no one ever came. those are my earliest memories and what started all the trauma for me. There was no one else there. My dad worked most of the first 5 years of my life so i hardly ever saw him. i had an older sister who tried to take care of me but she was being severly abused by my mother too. So sorry again for what you have been through.




Elaina, You’ve been through so much and I agree that historically, the mentally ill have been treated with little more than cruelty with little offered to ever make them well. Care is expensive and most people with severe mental illness have no money and no power so they are prime targets for abuse. Too many people have no compassion for the mentally ill. Instead, they are repulsed and fearful without understanding that but for an uncontrollable circumstance they might very well be in that person’s place.

I think the answer for many of us who have had to contend with mental illness is right here. Facing the truth, finding the underlying causes for why we feel the way we do, and taking action to change. It takes time and determination and I know there are those who are in such a bad place that they can’t do that for themselves but if those of us who can speak out loudly enough, then maybe things can begin to change. I surely, hope so. We human beings make life very hard for one another. Compassion, love, respect, and truth are all things there are too little of and have the power to change our world.

Thanks for contributing, Elaina.



Dave, I never realized how intense your suffering was and is. I really appreciate your sharing and I’m not sure I could do the same on a site of men only. You have courage and I know you’ll win this battle. I’m sorry for your physical sufferint too. I’ve also, had lots of stomach issues. I hope the probiotic helps, it takes a few weeks. The one thing I still can’t do is go to sleep at night without taking something to knock me out. I just can’t go off guard duty long enough to allow myself to sleep and the natural things just aren’t strong enough by themselves. I used them with a small dose of a mild sleep aid. The one thing I can’t use is melatonin, it makes me deeply depressed but lots of people do have good results with it. Hops is a natural sleep aid I would take if I didn’t have problems with my liver. I’d also, take the herbs that Elaina mentioned for menopausal support if I didn’t have problems with my liver. The whole process of figering out what our underlying issues are and how supplements and herbs can help us can be complicated but once you get a handle on it, it can improve one’s quality of life so much. Part of the neglect I had as a child included not eating right and being given alcohol and I think it has long-term effects. I hope you find your way to feeling better soon.



Dave, your last two comments brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for your compassion. We NEED compassion, every last one of us, ESPECIALLY when we have been severely traumatized and rejected.

We also need to have compassion for ourselves! Dave, when I read the first 3 sentences in your comment #120: ”Elaina – sorry isnt sufficient enough to provide comfort for the hell you have been through. no words are sufficient enough. No words are comforting enough.” ~ my FIRST impulse was to say: ”Oh no, Dave, really, it’s OK, so many people in this world have had it much worse than me. I have truly been very lucky and very blessed, compared to them!” And that is true, many people have had it far worse than I have. But that reality does not change the fact that I have gone through some terrible things. I need to be able to be compassionate to myself, by allowing myself to accept the compassion that a kind person such as yourself offers to me.

One of the blogs that I follow is called ”A New Place To Stand,” it’s a wordpress blog by Jessi B. Miller. (I just checked and she hasn’t posted since April 24, I hope she is OK!) On April 6 of this year she published a post entitled: ”1 Sure Way to Derail Your Recovery.” That post was about the dangerous trap we all tend to fall into, of comparing our trauma and our pain, with others.

Jessi said: ”…think about your last trip to the doctor or emergency room. One of the questions frequently asked is, ”How would you rate your pain on a scale from one to 10?” Never do they ask, ”And how do you think your pain compares to the person in the next room?” It would be ludicrous, and yet we do it with emotional pain all the time.”

So true!

Compassion is incredibly healing, both when we give it to others, and when we give it, and allow it to be given, to ourselves. It’s not about who had the ”worst” trauma or the most terrible childhood, it’s about Being Broken, and needing to find our way back from Brokenness, ie, as Darlene calls it, ”Emerging From Broken.” If you break a glass, HOW that broken state came about isn’t nearly as important, as the fact that it is broken. A glass can be broken because a gang of careless spiteful kids played football with it, thereby abusing it very badly, or because someone kindhearted accidentally nudged it with their elbow, and it fell off the table and shattered. Maybe that’s a silly analogy, but my point is that Broken is Broken, and being Broken HURTS, regardless of how the brokenness came about.

I am so sorry, Dave, that you went through the extreme traumas that you have gone through. I am very impressed by the way you are working on your healing, though! Awesome! Also, I agree, it would be good if more men commented here.

My Complex PTSD, which I’ve had since I was 12, wasn’t diagnosed until I was 50, which was 9 years ago. Finally having the correct diagnosis, for me, has been a huge help. Just knowing that I am not ”crazy,” and that it is NORMAL to have PTSd as a result of extreme trauma, just as it is normal to bleed if we are stabbed, that is huge. Ever since I was released from the mental institution in December 1969, I have carried the stigma of ”mental illness” with me, every where I went. I truly believed that I was a second-class citizen because of ”where I had been.” I thought that I didn’t deserve the things that normal people deserve. I truly believe that nothing hurts worse than not liking yourself. I have indeed gone through a lot of extreme trauma, but by far what has caused me the most misery in my life, has been Not Liking Me.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with PTSd, that’s when I came up with my saying: ”Turn PTSD into CURE with Compassion, Understanding, Respect, and Encouragement.”

COMPASSION: no less than one would have for a cancer victim.

UNDERSTANDING: know that we cannot fully understand, if we haven’t walked in the other person’s shoes.

RESPECT: No More Mental Illness Stigma! We are ALL created equally worthy of being treated with courtesy, kindness, and dignity.

ENCOURAGEMENT: No one is ”too sick,” and no condition is hopeless!



PS: Pam, I just read your last 2 comments, and yes I meant to say that too, but forgot, about Melatonin, it gave me MEGA depression. That’s why I have to use something gentle like GABA to help me sleep, it doesn’t work very well, but in my case, all of the really effective sleep aids, both prescription and natural, make me depressed. Even codeine in cough syrup, my doctor wanted to give me that for the chest cold I have right now but I told her I can’t take it or I’ll get depressed. I have a lot of sleepless nights, and so does my husband, with his Combat PTSD. We basically do not sleep at night, we catnap. If I ever find something that really works to help me sleep without causing depression, I will come back here and share it.


Elaina, I don’t know how much GABA you take and I know if I take too much it increases my anxiety or just revs up my thinking. I take three capsules with orange juice and the vitamin c gives it a boot that helps it cross the brain-blood barrier and makes it more effective. Hyper vigelence is the pits. I believe it is why my heart beats so fast all of the time too. I’m better than I used to be but I’m still always waiting for the next blow! Anxiety is the spiritual, pysical, mental battle of my life! One thing that did give me a lot of relief was realizing where I ended an others began. I used to hold myself totally responsible for not only protecting me but everyone I loved and I also, took all the blame on myself when things went wrong. The staying awake at night thing though , starte so young and was so reinforced by ivents on the streets and because of being on my own as a teenager, seem to have set it in concrete. I’m coping well with it right now by combining supplements with three mild medications that I cylce so that they maintain their effectiveness. However, I sure would like to conquer it and be able to sleep naturally. The few times that I have accomplished that were wonderful. My life would be amazingly different if I could just get a full nights sleep every night!



It is unbelievable what you went through. Those rings in the cement walls…. unbelievable!! I cannot imagine what that whole experience did to you as a fragile young person. I’m so sorry you went through all of that. I simply can’t fathom it. I remember when the state home here in my city was closed down. There was a big upheaval. Now, people go to a different facility for a daycare type of setting. They are out on the streets at night though. Or, wherever it is they live. I remember doing a clinical rotation there as a nursing student. I am dumbfounded at that memory now. The people were so out of touch. I don’t know if it was the medication, or the condition that rendered them unable to function in society. It was very sad. I wonder if the atmosphere in their homes as very young children damaged them so badly, that this is the result. Perhaps some were products of incest. So sad ~ and maddening!!

I have a godchild who is turning 7 soon. I was her homecare nurse when she was an infant. Her mother also locked her in her room at a very very young age. Left in her crib to cry for hours and hours. Her mother never bonded with her. As she grew older, and was able to escape the crib, her mother simply shut the door and locked it. She would come to my house to stay for a week or so, and has been doing that since she was tiny. A result of being locked up has been that she shows animal like behaviors. That sounds extreme, but she even deficated in the heat vent in her bedroom. I suppose so her mom wouldn’t find it. She also urinated in it. I’m sure she was whipped when it was found. What else was she supposed to do? Hold it for an entire day?? Jeez, makes me sick.

She doesn’t have any attention span, and never has. I couldn’t even read to her because she couldn’t tolerate it. She has all kinds of toys at our house that have gone untouched because all she wants to this day is sit with me, be close. She has started school now and has shown vast improvement in the animal like behaviors. She doesn’t roll around on the floor as much, and she knows now that it’s inappropriate in public. She still prefers to eat with her fingers. Her home life is a disaster. She is in a special education class because of her speech. She actually had speech therapy when she was young, but, her mother laid in bed when therapy was there, and didn’t learn how to work with her on it. An hour a week isn’t enough with a therapist when the parent isn’t interested. I have always been a presence in her life, but it hasn’t been enough. She is out of control. She is angry at her mom. She has been here this weekend. She called my husband an A-hole several times. We both heard her, but she lied and cried and swore she didnt’ say it, despite us both hearing it on more than one occasion. I made her apologize to him. She told me last night that she hates me. We had been talking about what day she has to go home because I will be working. After I told her, she said she hated me. This is what she hears at home. The language in that house is beyond belief. I pray for her. I fear the path she is already on. She has been molested. Her mother’s house is like a revolving door for men. Her mother lies and cheats the government, etc. She has been turned in to DCFS more times than I can count. They did nothing. Even a doctor turned her in. I don’t know what will become of this precious girl. She has two siblings too. They’re all a mess, but she got the short end of the stick because she was born sick, and required a lot of attention ~ an inconvenience for her mom. She stayed in the hospital for a 3 month period once. Her mom only visited her twice, and the hospital paid for her gas. She has such big issues. I have no skills, or any idea how to reverse the damage. She’s had so many daddies. So much trauma and abuse. It will be a miracle if she doesn’t end up on the streets, into drugs, prostitution, etc. Now, she is a skilled liar. She learned to bring on real tears and look me in the eyes and lie. I’m at a loss because she has to go back home eventually. Then, all the work I’ve done with her is shattered.

Anyhow, I know this is totally off subject, but your painful story brought it to my attention. I am sorry you went through all of that Dave. I can only hope this baby girl turns out to be a functioning member of society with a heart like yours.
Peace and Love,


Mimi, Your comment made me cry. There are so many kids who have been treated so badly that they are dead inside or they are dead to the pain of others because theirs is so overwhelming. It’s frustrating too because if she ends up in foster care, she isn’t likely to get the help she really needs either and very likely to end up drugged and institutionalized.

I read yesterday of a little girl, 11 years old, kept in a closet. Their neighbors had no idea that the family had a third child. When the police found her, weighing 32 pounds, she said the closet was her room and she wasn’t alloud to eat with the rest of the family because she messed herself. It makes my bones ache.

I’ll pray for you and your God daughter, Mimi…



Mimi, thank you so much for your compassion.

That little girl that you describe, how heartbreaking. Thank God she has you to bring some love and truth and sanity into her world! She may not be lying though, she may very well be dissociating. With the extreme traumas that she has been through in life already, it is highly probable that she is dissociating, splitting off into more than one person. The personality who would hold the anger for the child, would be the one who called your husband the A-hole, and the other personality, whom is being protected from the rage by the angry personality, would absolutely have no memory of that, and therefore she would believe with all her heart that she is tellig the truth when she cries and insists that she did not call your husband any names. That would explain how she can seem so convincing, because she truly believes it, if she is not the personality who said it!

My mother did this to my 4 pre-school siblings, she locked them all in one room every day when I was in school. They would use the closet as a bathroom. Mimi, you are exactly right that your godchild learned to use the floor vent as a toilet because of her mother locking her in a room for so many hours until she could not hold it.

I would come home from school and let my 2 sisters and 2 brothers out. They would all be in tears, sweaty, thirsty, dirty, hungry, miserable. I was 12 at the time. This happened almost every day. It was during the year after my parents’ marriage had come to a violent end, my dad had come so close to murdering my mother that I, who heard the fight, thought she was dead. Dad was arrested that night, then because of his mental condition he was put in a psychiatric hospital, where he was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, which today is called dissociative identity disorder. While my dad was in the hospital, he got involved with the head nurse. How unethical is that! He married her right after my parents divorce was final.

Meanwhile, my mother went into the deepest darkest depression. She didn’t move off the couch or the bed, all she did was sleep and cry. That was when she decided we would all be better off dead, and she tried to gas us to death in our sleep.

I was born when my parents were 18. My mother was unable to have any more children after that for several years, due to a medical condition called endometriosis. After her endometriosis was diagnosed and treated, she had twin girls, born the year I was 7, then she had a boy 17 months later, and another boy, whom dad swore wasn’t his, was born 2 years after that. From what I knew about the things that were going on at the time, I believe my youngest brother probably wasn’t my dad’s. That was what caused my dad’s mental breakdown, which led to his violent attack on my mother, which led to my mother being so depressed and non-functional that she kept my 4 pre-school siblings locked up in one room all day, every day, when I was in school.

It was like dominoes, one tragedy leading to another tragedy leading to another tragedy. One of the problems in my family of origin was that my parents had too many children, too close together. They had more children than they were able to take care of, either emotionally or financially.

My one brother has been so severely disabled all of his life, that he has never been able to hold down a job. He lives on social security disability, but it isn’t enough to pay for his meds and living expenses, so my husband and I have been buying groceries for him every month. My poor sweet brother. He is very gentle and empathetic, which I think is a big reason that he did not survive our childhood any better than he did, because he feels things so deeply. That, plus he looked so much like our father, whom our mother hated, and our mother treated him very harshly just for that.

So sad. I don’t understand why people like this have children!



Thank you, THANK you for that insight!! And, Pam, thank you for your constant support and loving words!! It is a heartbreaking situation.

It never occurred that she could be dissociating. I don’t have any experience with that. I wonder if there are other indications I could seek out.

It all happened very quickly. Like, she said it and immediately denied it. Can the switch happen that quickly?? She cried real tears. She said she didn’t do it and maintained that. Even when I took her home today, her mom told her she had to tell me she was sorry, and she never would do it. Her mom was holding her still so she couldn’t get away and demanding that she apologize. She never would. She was ordered to her room and she went up the stairs screaming and when she got upstairs she stomped and threw things. I noticed there was a lock on the outside of her door. I had never been upstairs in the house they’re in now.

I honestly thought her mom was doing better. To hear her talk, her kids are her very existance. She’s always been that way, but I honestly thought since they were all in school now, and far less dependent on her than 4-5 years ago, things were improving. I don’t get to see her as much as I used to. When she told me things about the molestation that no 5 year old could make up, I turned the “daddy” in. He had already been gone from their house for 9 months or so. He had moved 4 hours away. I thought turning him in wouldn’t cause disruption in the household. It did. She was investigated yet again, and I had to jump through hoops to make it up to the mother. Even still, she would no longer let her dauhter stay with us. We went over a year without seeing her. I shattered the trust I’d worked hard to build with the mom, so I could be a presence in the child’s life.

The molestation was ruled “unfounded”. My God daughter has a speech issue that’s resulted from having a trach until she was 2 and a half, and having a palate repair surgery twice. She literally didn’t hear herself make any noise until after 2 1/2 years old. When she was interviewed about the molestation, the interviewer said she had been coached and they couldn’t understand what she was saying. It was all dropped. My precious girl told me details that involved a mustard bottle and her private parts. She did NOT make that up. I know her, and I knew by the look on her face when she told me. In my heart I know it happened.

Anyhow, it’s a very tangled mess. My hands have always been tied. I am a mandated reporter of course, but I never had a chance when she was younger. Everyone around her was doing it. I didn’t have to thankfully, because if she had gone into foster care, who knows what would have happened. At least the way it was, her mom trusted me and she could come stay with me as long as I wanted her to. One Christmas she was with us and when I picked her up she had green drainage from her ears. She was so sick. Anyhow, I could go on and on with this subject. I better wrap it up!!

Thanks for your responses again. I appreciate any help I can get with her.


Hi Mimi,
Yes the switch, or dissociation, can happen very fast. I recently read a book about Dissociative Identity Disorder that explains it very well. I highly recommend this book. It’s entitled ”The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness,” by Martha Stout.

It’s so maddening that the little girl’s abuser was allowed to get away with it. She is very lucky to have you in her life now, a knowing witness, as Alice Miller, author of ”The Drama of the Gifted Child,” said. I had a couple of ”knowing witnesses” in my childhood, and I credit them with the fact that I survived all that hell. It’s a very powerful thing to a child, to have a caring observing adult to validate her abusive experiences.



I was an instrument in getting her in trouble yesterday. After I saw the punishment she got, I felt horrible. I honestly thought the days of smacking her around were over. I didn’t really think she got locked in her bedroom anymore either. Because she isn’t as much of a danger to herself as she was at age 2, 3, 4, I thought things had improved. I figured they were just allowed to roam around and be ignored, self caring. When my Godchild was getting smacked and screamed at, her little sister was hiding in a closet. She’s been enduring this since she was an infant.

It was my fault she got in trouble yesterday. I don’t ever tell her mom when she’s acted up at our house. I had to yesterday ~ very long twisted story. Anyhow, she got smacked around in front of me, was ordered to apologize, and she was restrained for a period of time, with her mom holding her arms so she couldn’t defend her face. It was really horrible. My hands are tied. If I turn her in for that, her kids will still stay with her, and my trust with her will be ruined. Then she may never have the respite she gets at our house. As I said, I turned in “daddy”, who wasn’t even IN their house anymore, and suffered a year with no contact. I have always had to walk on eggshells with the mother. I have to spoon feed her my approval (even though I obviously disapprove) of her parenting skills, just to maintain a relationship of trust. It’s been a roller coaster ride with them, but I’ve always tried to keep the child’s interest at heart, over my own, or her mom’s. I was not able to do that yesterday. Circumstances beyond my control.

Anyhow, Elaina, I did a google search after I read what you said about dissociating. Great information out there. I will consider the book you mentioned as well.

Thanks again for your support. It means a lot!!
Love and Peace,


My internet has been down for the last 18 hours and I have been trying to follow this discussion on my phone this morning. What is happening to that child is a crime. We talk about this ALL the time here; that what happened to us as children was a crime and that no one did anything about it. People knew; this is a typical story every day on this website except that we are usually talking about the past. This situation is really grave and dangerous for the child (all children in that house) and it is a PRESENT day situation. Mimi you are worried about being denied contact with that child if your report the abuse, but perhaps she will not live much longer if you don’t report it.

******It was not your fault that she got slapped around; it is the person who slapped her around that is at fault. You were not an instrument in getting the child in trouble. The adult in the situation is an abuser. This child is being abused.**** You are in a very very difficult situation; I know that. I am just asking you to think about your options differently.

Your fears are an example of WHY people don’t report. Fear that nothing will get done, fear that it will only be worse for the child and fear for themselves and for the loss of the relationship. And those are valid fears, but what about the child? Were you really wrong to report the daddy? Or was the outcome what was wrong. You can’t do anything about the outcome but that doesn’t make reporting the wrong choice.
Victim mentality tells us that we can’t “do anything” about a situation. And that we might make it worse if we “do something”. Even if it goes wrong you can still try to fight for her life because she can’t. And at least (even if the whole thing goes wrong and you are not allowed to see her) she might have a glimmer of hope because someone took a stand on her behalf so that she might be empowered to know that what is happening to her is WRONG.

You also say that you have to “spoon feed the mother approval”. (Even though you disagree with what she does) Are you saying that you empower that mom to be that kind of parent and you think that is in the BEST for the child? And I understand why you are thinking that way, I really do but I am asking you to also think about this through the grid of what we discuss here in EFB. This child is helpless.

Having said all this, I really hope that you get some professional advice (from social services or from the police) about how to proceed with this situation Mimi. This is the kind of situation that can’t really be resolved here on this blog because it is really complicated.
Hugs, Darlene


Wow, a big eye opener and I so appreciate your perspective.

I have followed the line of thinking that the best predictor of future actions, is past actions. There is only one caseworker in the little area they are from. The same caseworker goes into the home everytime she is reported. A few years back, she had daily visits from the caseworker. Conditions were FAR worse back then, when she was being reported by everyone imagineable. Nothing was done.

My point is, every fear I have about reporting her, has come to fruition in the past. It just didn’t happen to be ME doing the reporting. The system has completely failed her. I have no reason to believe they won’t fail her again.

I have also seen in the past what the mother does with people who try to reason with her. They are tossed aside in a rage. I understand, you’re right, I’m enabling the mother. I thought I was doing it for the child. So that she could continue to come and stay here and be away from it all.

The problem is, I don’t have a single reason to believe the system will rescue her. I am her Godparent on the advice of a caseworker. She was with us when the caseworker did a home visit on a Sunday. She came to my home after the mom told her she was here. I spoke honestly with the caseworker and told her what I knew. Nothing was done of course, except she advised me to get a signed document saying I am the Godparent. She said that document holds up in court so if she were removed from the home, she would come to me.

Right now, it’s been over 24 hours which makes it too late to report this incident.

I completely understand your points Darlene and I’m thankful that you’ve commented on this. I will definitely consider all you’ve said. It just came to me that maybe I should set up this same scenario and tape it with my phone. ??? I wonder if secret taping is even admissable as evidence. Thank you for pointing out the TRUTH of this situation.


You only have 24 hours to report child abuse??? I have never heard of that. I have heard of as little as 3 years but never 24 hours.

I think the secret taping depends on the situation. I have a friend in the state of AZ that the police reccommended her to tape a conversation with her father about the sexual abuse she suffered at his hands that did in fact stand up in court. (they coached her about what to say though and how to do it too)

I totally understand that your fear is that they will fail her again,and that then she will not even have you but my fear is for the child. These reports can add up to something finally being done. Maybe if someone heard the whole story and realized that this child has been failed all along something would change. That perhaps interviewing the child is not as cut and dried as usual because she has a speech problem.

Get that document. Tell the mom the case worker wanted it in case of emergency. (that you can’t sign for anything legal say if the child needed medical treatment ~ say whatever it takes) I think the case worker is trying to help by advising you get it.

P.S. examples of victim mentality~
~ I didn’t want to stand up to abusers on my blog who wanted to blame everything on their children instead of looking at themselves because at first I thought that at least they are here. I thought that at least if they are reading me then they have a chance of hearing what I am saying. That is the old system though.
~I didn’t want to confront the school bus driver about the way she was speaking to my daughter becasue I was afraid the bus driver might actually treat my daughter worse. But silence is consent if I was to keep silent in that case, it and would not actually help my daughter.

Hugs, Darlene


I just thought of this; if what is happening is illegal then perhaps the police should be contacted. Maybe it isn’t going any farther than the case worker! Maybe she should be reported. Good grief what a mess! This is really frightening and it makes me sick that so many people have reported this with no results! (although I KNOW how horribly common this is too) It sounds like the case worker is just trying to get the mom to behave without actually doing anything to protect the child.
hugs, Darlene


I’m sorry you are put in a position to have witnessed child abuse. This abuse is unacceptable. This brings to mind the situations I’ve been having with my own sister demeaning & yelling in my nephew’s face in front of me & my kids. It makes me anxious & my blood boils! I can’t tolerate it, but she is a master at making it look like she is loving by taking her kids on trips, involved in activities & buying them many things. She has money, however, she mistreats my nephew. I haven’t witnessed any physical abuse but there sure is verbal & psychological abuse. I haven’t reported it either, I fear it would go unfounded. It is hard to prove emotional/verbal abuse.

Although, I’m keeping a record of things she has said just in case I do have to report her. God this is so hard to admit that my sister is abusive. She has always had a mean streak but very good at covering. Wow!…That’s the first time I’ve connected her traits to abuse!…I feel shaky even saying that. I agree with Darlene too that reporting it isn’t bad. It’s the right decision regardless of the outcome. My fear would be losing contact with my nephew too. I give my nephew encouragement & treat him with understanding. Although, I’ve had to tell my sister about his inappropriate comments & behavior too and she didn’t get mad at him but at me, for saying something to her in front of family. It was my mom & my aunt who were there at the time. I see now how embarrassed & angry she was that I would say anything. She actually told me to take her aside. Well, that way her kid doesn’t look bad & neither does she. It’s all about appearances with my family!…I see the truth and it’s not pretty and so much harder to face, when you are emotionally involved with the child. It breaks my heart & I get sick to my stomach, when I’m in the midst of family drama. Please get some advice from a professional on how to proceed. You did mention that you are a mandatory reporter in your profession. I know this is hard & I definitely empathize with you.
Hugs & Peace,


Everyone – i had a mini breakthrough this morning after being awake almost all night from the memories and trauma from being sexually abused multiple nights by an older cousin when i was 7. I started reading a book called “waking the tiger, Healing Trauma” I got through the first couple of chapters enough so that it helped me to process and get unfrozen from the state of terror i felt each night i had to lay in bed with my cousin and have him molest me multiple times. I kept those feelings inside since 1971. They all came to the surface overnight. I vomited a lot during the night and then felt God gently nudge me and say “ok – its time to deal with this.” so i yelled, screamed, cried and yelled some more for about an hour or so. All these years i still felt “stuck” in that bed paralyzed with fear. In my mind i could hear Darlene say “you can do this yourself. You can get through this.” – one of my trauma therapists was worried after my last session last week because of the intensity of the trauma from other abuse by my mother especially when i was very young.

I have found that God waits until we go away to do deep healing work because i can just rest like i am getting ready to do in a minute. We are on vacation (my wife and I) and are under tropical storm debbie in Orlando watching the sheets of rain come down. We got here yesteday. Storm should be gone by thursday so we can start enjoying some outdoor stuff.

Meanwhile our town where we live in Virginia had a tornado hit a mile or so from our house yesterday shortly after we left. No damage to our home but our poor dog spent the whole day and night outside under the deck because she was terrified from the storm. Like me, she was severly abused as a baby and is very frightened of almost all men. She is ok today fortunately.

for those of you that pray, pls keep me in your prayers. This is exhausting work getting through so much trauma from such a young age. Thanks for all the comments and support. I truly appreciate it !




Darlene, I was in a simular experience to Mimi’s years ago and it involved my nephew. They simply refused to accept anything I reported because I was the sister-in-law so nothing I said was valid. They said my brother had to report it and he wouldn’t do it. Our system stinks. I hear horror stories all of the time but never hear of a case where things worked out. When the state steps in, it seems there is no logical sequence. Everything depends on social workers who are often burnt out and jaded. I know exactly how Mimi feels. It’s like there is no answer. However, I think that things can become so serious that one has to take a chance on the system because the only alternative is to take the child and flee. I just hurt for that little girl…



Dave, I’m glad you’re making progress. I do pray.:0)



I know Pam, it is really sad.
But if everyone just gives up and stops trying, that is pretty sad too. Nothing is going to change until change is demanded. I am not saying that action is always going to work, I know full well that very often nothing makes a difference. I understand what a tough situation that Mimi is in. BUT what about the child? Change has to start somewhere. There ARE victory stories. If I advocate on the side of “best” being not standing up to abusers, then I might as well pack up my blog and give up.
I hurt for that little girl too. And MANY of the readers here WERE that little girl.
hugs, Darlene


I know…my nephew was like her and I tried my best and sometimes, we just have to accept there is nothing we can really do. I think I would have taken him and fled. His mother would abandon him with me or my mom for months at a time anyway. If he saw me buy a big bag of diapers, he was so happy because he knew he’d get to stay that long. I had to think of my own children too. I wanted to be his mom but I wasn’t and the state wouldn’t help at all. Maybe it isn’t as bad in Canada, I don’t know. When my nephew was a teenager, then his mom concented to allow him to live with me at his dad’s request because at that point, he made them both miserable and neither of them wanted him. It was too late. He knows I love him but he’s a mess. I spent most of the time he was with me visiting him in jail, taking him to work release, I paid for counseling. I wish I could have had him when he was little. It just sucks for everyone involved. It’s horrible when there’s no answer…I don’t want to give up either…it thouroughly frustrates me.



I’ve had the signed godparent document for about 3 1/2 years now. I also have a signed medical release from her mom.

Also, the police have been involved. Another time she was with us and her mom had been reported. It was a city police officer from MY city that knocked on our door. She was still asleep and he didn’t even have me wake her up. He didn’t even lay his eyes on her, yet reported she was fine. Of course she was fine because she’d been in my care for several weeks.

I want to apologize to everyone for dropping this here. Because it is saddening, maddening, and causes pain, controversy, and unrest.
My love to everyone!


Mimi,Don’t appologize. Maybe we can’t find a way to bring this to the right conclusion but ignoring the problem is even worse. You didn’t cause any controversy. An abusive mother and corrupt system are causing the controversy. I still hope you can find a way to bring the right kind of intervention about. Does the mother use drugs? I’m wondering if a drug abuse intervention or that type of intervention might work. If you could get enough concerned people. When it was my nephew, I couldn’t get any support from the rest of the family. They were too worried about what people would think. I’m just frustrated because I want to offer you and the child help and I don’t know what I can offer.



Please don’t feel that you were wrong to post it. (if you are sorry you posted it because of the fall out then that is something else)
I want this website to be real. I want to talk about these issues here. I am also aware of every reader when I answer comments. (for a site that has over 1500 readers a day, and 14,000 pages read a day ~ the comments are actually pretty few but there are a LOT of readers)
I see a bigger picture ~ I know how all this happened and was covered up when I was a kid and how it happened to other kids. People ARE afraid to do anything and perps RELY on that fear. This child is being used as a weapon AND she is being abused. I realize how tough this is. And the social workers ARE exhausted and they are disheartened, but they (as well as the police) are also very often part of the problem. The world has to fight. We have to start fighting back for the truth or this is never going to stop. The world is never going to change unless the (adult) victims come out of the fog and start fighting back.

This is all part of what I am talking about here in EFB ~ the whole cover up thing, the whole grooming process and the perps groom other people to cover up too but the bottom line is that this is wrong. I talk every day about the way we are pulled into the fog and how hard it is to get out of that fog when we are adults, and it almost kills me to have a discussion on here that is justifying that same fog.
Hugs, Darlene


It seems “diseases” are created for the drugs they are designing. I find it equally appalling how expensive therapy is, which creates the conflict of interest between a client getting “well” and the therapist having a good income. The imbalance, and roles, between therapists and clients are rather ludicrous.


Darlene, What frustrates me is the fog isn’t just in our heads. It’s the whole system and there’s so much to fight. I don’t want to give up either and I keep trying to come up with some creative way to make the system work in this child’s favor. I know how awful it is to be in Mimi’s situation to. To want to help with every fiber of your being and not be able to find an avenue of help. It’s like you need someone in the community with influence to push the right buttons. Maybe a psychologist or counselor who works with the social worker in the area would have some ideas?



Jill, There are good people within the system but I agree, there is a lot wrong with the system. I also, think you are right about new medications. It seems that it is more important to sell them than actually cure disease. Scientist still don’t know very much about the brain but when I was sold on all the new drugs in the 90’s that’s not the way they made it sound. The comparison was of antidepressants to insuline but that is a bogus comparison. Blood sugar levels can be measured but there is nothing to measure when a person takes an antidepressant. It’s all on a take it and see what it does basis. I know that doctoring is as much art as science but when they are leaning heavily on the ‘art’ side of the equation, it’s not right to sell it as science.

It’s hard for a seriously ill person to look out for themselves and those without knowledgable family members or other loved ones to help them are in a precarious position but in todays, healt-care system, one has to play the part of their own advocate and remain the one in control.



Mimi – i agree with Darlene and Pam wholeheartedly. I would never ever hesitate to report something that is done to a child. I will tell you that the police have to answer to someone too. The police are not the end all and be all. they are city employees or county or whatever. Why stop with the local police ?? I am a federal agent and i would not ever hestitate to go over the head of a local police officer. many of them are just good ole boys who dont give a crap about helping others. Some are very good hearted people. But please dont stop there !

Darlene – amen sister !!

I have gotten the most help from the Senator of our State and am currently in communication with the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives here in the U.S., who also happens to be our local representative where i live. Thats how i get stuff done. Thats how i got my security clearance when the govt was dragging its feet. I called the State Senator and the Governor and got my clearance in 3 weeks. for whatever reason a lot of people dont ever think about contacting politicians but they are the representative of the people. I am not trying to tell you what to do here but i am saying that you dont have to stop with the local police if they are not responding and not doing what you feel is sufficient then please dont give up. Darlene is 100% right – we have to fight for justice !!! dont give up Mimi – fight for this little girl like she was your child.

sorry if i broke the rules here Darlene but people sometimes just give up way too easy. the local police are not the final place to go to get justice. I will go all the way to the supreme court if i have to like that women did to get the bone marrow law passed so that people can be reimbursed for donating. She is trying to save the life of her children and she sued the federal government and she WON !!! The federal govt backed down and said the local ruling will stand so it went in her favor. One woman fighting for justice and she beat the entire Fed govt of the United States !!! Keep fighting Mimi !!!



Hi everyone!!
I apologized because I didn’t think things out very well before I wrote about my Godchild. I didn’t mean to carry us all into another dimension. More than anything I didn’t think it out very well how it might touch tender parts in people and cause pain. I didn’t anticipate or want that.

I very much appreciate each person’s perspective and support. I have some things to carefully consider.

The only thing I’ve ever known for sure is that I could provide love and human interaction, nutrition, and health for this girl since infancy. I knew that when she was with me, she was safe. I lost hope in the system after seeing her mom repeatedly reported (I would guess 35-40 times total, and once by a physician) and nothing was done. Throughout all of that, I still only knew one thing for sure. She was safe with me. I could teach her love. I was and am afraid of the unknown. I am afraid of what would happen if my relationship with the mother is shattered. I am afraid of where she might end up. I’m afraid that no one will rescue her. I’m afraid no one will love her. I’m simply afraid.

A factor I hadnt mentioned before. When I turned in the “daddy” for molestation, the mother was so angry with me (because they turned her house upside down as well), that she gently suggested that it wouldn’t take a lot of pushing for her to drag my husband into a sex abuse claim against her daughter. That terrified both my husband, and myself. Because I was already treated as a criminal/threat by people in “authority”, as if my only interest is in robbing this girl from her home, I wouldn’t be surprised if the mother could manipulate the situation successfully. My husband would spend his life behind bars while the real criminal runs free.

It is easy to say I would never hesitate to turn in a child abuser. When she presented it to me as though life as I know it could be shattered, it became a whole new ballgame. It’s not only about a failed system and wimpy authorities. Should I BE willing to give up my husband and life as I know it, to save this baby girl?

I am always open to suggestions and insight. Thanks to everyone.


Mimi, I know exactly how you feel and since you are the one in the position of having to make difficult decisions, you have to consider all the angles and do the best with what you have to choose from. If it were me, I’d go to someone I know like a policeman, or a psychologist who knows how the system works in their area and even if they don’t have power to fix the situation they may be able to provide helpful insight. I never could find an avenue for my nephew and I couldn’t sacrifice my own children’s well-besing and security in order to do something more extreme to rescue him. I gave him the love I could when I could. If nothing else, he knows that I love him.There is only so much any of us can control. It makes me angry that there have been so many reports and no action. Of course, we have a president will a kill list and drones, so why should I expect the rest of the system to function in favor of good people.Sorry…sort of…these are dark days in America in so many ways. I hurt for you and the child and wish I could translate that empathy into something that would do some real good.



The entire situation is very distressing. It again brings to my mind why we are here. It always seems the
abuser has the power and the victims have none. The unfairness makes me so angry. Even as adults we
are held in that position. It is because we want to act fairly and evenly and the abusive people deal from their position of power. I have always felt personally that victims seem to have no rights. I sat in court as a victim and watched a criminal laugh at me when he walked away free. Needless to say I am always a dismissed juror because of my strong opinions on personal responsibility. Judges have the power. My husband was in the criminal justice system for years and we saw many a judge take a strong stand.


Hi All
I can really relate to what Pam said in her comments. And Yes the fog is throughout the whole system, throughout the entire world really and that is why I constantly say that it will only be through healing that the world is going to change. I need to stick to that message.

Mimi ~ I can’t give advice about what anyone should do here. I really try to stick to posting what I have done or would do. The situation is so close to what so many of the readers here have LIVED and so many of the stories of people that didn’t fight for them that it really got to me. I just had to say something. And as several have mentioned, the abuser is the one with the power here. That is so wrong, but that seems to be what is going on. I always want to believe that there is another way..but I am not in the situation and I don’t know all the details.

I really do understand what you are going through in this sick situation. I know that you love this child and fear for her. I would not be willing to lose my husband to this sick system, but I also know that if the woman threatened that, you are already at risk of her doing that. She holds that threat over your head too. And one of the things that I advocate is disempowering the abusers…disarm them… how you will do that is the question. I don’t have the exact answer Mimi. The law seems to have failed this little girl just like they fail so many in this world. It is very sad.

Hugs, Darlene


All, What I do know is that none of us can give up on trying to overcome evil with good.Karen, I know that criminal laughed at you because he thinks anyone who stands up for what is good is fool and often, the system proves he and people like him right, at least on the surface. I still believe the drum we beat here is making and will make a difference in the end. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, Justice has a long arc. It may be long in coming but there will be a day when it comes.

Mimi, I know a woman who fights for children globally as an advocate against corrupt systems. I contacted her for her input. I’m still hopeful that there is a solution to be found but I also, want you to know that by loving this child, you have done more for her than anyone else in her life. Love is powerful. Prayer is powerful too and I won’t stop praying.



Oh yes Pam justice did come. The thief that robbed me ended up
in the local jail for a long time. He was housed in a certain section of
the jail … where my husband worked. And the director refused
his ( the thief) request to be moved. You see he had been robbed to and
really disliked theives.


I only just read all of the comments that were posted here since my last comment. Wow ~ heavy, hard, but GOOD discussion about Mimi’s little godchild. Mimi, I agree wholeheartedly with Darlene on everything she said, beginning with her statement that You didn’t cause this little girl’s abuse, the abuser is 100% responsible for that.

Dave, I cried when I read your comment about the inner healing work you are doing with your cousin’s sexual abuse. I have personally known several men who were sexually abused as boys, and they were all deeply wounded psychologically by the abuse. I believe the incidence of males being sexually abused is far higher than most people realize. I’m the kind of person that people tend to confide in, even total strangers, both male and female, of all ages and all races, will open up and tell me things that they say they have never told anyone before. The men who told me about being sexually abused, said that I was the first person, and the only person, they had told. So thanks to this “gift,” or whatever you want to call it, I am sadly aware of how common this type of abuse is.

Knowing that you are so recently in the process of weaning yourself off your psychotropic medications has me especially concerned for your well-being, Dave. In my personal experience, dealing with abuse memories while going off of psychotropic meds can be very risky. Remembering how emotionally labile I was one year ago, right after weaning myself off both my antidepressant and antianxiety meds, I am very concerned.

Speaking of one year ago: today is June 28, what would have been my cousin’s birthday. She drowned on June 3 of last year, and on June 27 of last year I had to go to the emergency room because I was feeling suicidal. I had weaned myself off my meds very fast, and shortly after I did that, my cousin drowned. We were close, we talked on the phone several times during the last few days of her life, including the night before her tragic death. I still, STILL can’t believe/accept that she is GONE! But at least I am not in the intensely unstable emotional state that I was one year ago. I am sad, and I am physically sick, but I am not suicidal, not by any means.

But I miss her so much.

Five days before she drowned my cousin told me that she wished she could die. I panicked, I told her I would drive to her place (which was 200 miles from where my husband and I live) but my cousin said No, that she had a friend staying with her. I asked if I could speak to her friend. My cousin said yes. I spoke with him, and he told me he knew that my cousin was wishing she could die, and he was staying with her 24-7 and taking care of her. I then asked my cousin to get to a counselor right away and she said she would do so. THEN I called my aunt, my cousin’s mom, and told her what my cousin had said. I did everything I knew to do to try to protect my cousin, including calling a good woman friend I know who lived in the same city where my cousin lived, and asked her to go with my cousin to an AA meeting, and this woman agreed to do that, and my cousin agreed, also. But then my cousin drowned, in a shallow hot spring, with her friend who was supposed to be taking care of her 24-7, nearby….

A couple of days ago I was talking with my daughter, who is the same age as my much-younger cousin was when she died last year. And my daughter said to me something that she has never before, to my knowledge, said in her life, she said she wished that she could die. She said almost word-for-word what my cousin said 5 days before her death.

You better believe I am doing everything in my power to insure that my daughter gets the help she needs and does not die!!!

I am praying for you, Dave, and for Mimi’s goddaughter, and for Mimi and her husband, and for Darlene and Pam and everyone here. Please, anyone here who prays, please pray for my daughter Jackie. Thank you.



Elaina – thanks so much. I am ok Elaina. I have been off of effexor for a couple of weeks. No withdrawal effects at all. I have been on a small dosage of Prozac which i am going to come off of soon also. The anti depressants dont really help me. I am reading a book called ‘waking the tiger healing trauma’ – the author has done extensive research on medication and its effect on trauma survivors. Essentially he says that the meds block the bodies ability to heal if they are taken long term. He is not against taking them. He just says that if you stay on them long term the bodies natually ability to heal itself will be blocked which i have def found to be true.

I had a great session of EMDR last week and my 2 therapists are colloborating with each other on how best to help me !! They know each other well and both are trauma counselors. As long as i deal with the pain and release it i am ok. Its exhausting but i am getting through it. I dont have any other physical problems or issues fortunately. Just the pain from so much abuse. I am not as much dealing with memories as i am just outright pain from being abused. There are not new memories surfacing. I already remember everything. I already know everything that happened. Now i am just processing it and getting it out so i can get on with my life without dealing with the effects of abuse every day.

Thanks for your prayers ! I am praying for you too !



How heartbreaking to have to witness that in your own sister/nephew. I think it’s good that you pointed out his behaviors in front of the family members. Bringing things to light (if possible) is good way to hold people accountable…. especially when the family is all about appearances. My family is the same way. Mostly my mother, but, the disease of “appearances” does run rampant through our family’s blood.

Thank you for contacting your friend on my little girl’s behalf. That is such a kind thing for you to do. I will go to your webpage and contact you if you have a contact form, so I can correspond with you outside of here. I also know someone who works in mgt at Youth Advocate here where I live. I have contacted her in the past and even she is stumped for an answer.

Thank you for your empowering message. You have inspired me to consider using the government for what they are designed to do. I have in the past written letters to the Attorney General in my state. She has worked in my favor each time I’ve contacted her. I have a lot to think about. Thanks for your support. (I’m happy to hear you’re getting the pain out, and working at total healing. I will pray for you as well).

Thank you for your comment and support. I feel a good measure of guilt after what I saw on Monday. Thank you for reminding me who is TRULY guilty. And, I’ve done some research on dissociation in children. I think you’re exactly right. As I look back over the nearly 7 years I’ve known her, she has many of the classic symptoms and has for years.

Thank you for your honesty, always. After being deceived for so many years by my mother and other family, I would rather take ugly truth than beautiful lies anyday. You have given me so much to think about and it is all true! Thank you for that!!

Back to the subject this post was written for (thank you Pam for letting me get off subject there for a while).

I am in my 4th week now of weaning from Effexor. I’m doing well. It’s strange because in the first few days (4-5) after cutting the dose, I have so much energy. It’s like I can feel again, and I have energy to do the things I’m passionate about. I had no idea my passion was being suppressed (if that is indeed what was happening). All I know, is I like the feeling, and I’m very pleasantly surprised by it. The first time I reduced, I had some GI symptoms about 9 days out. I now think it was actually a stomach bug. I haven’t had those symptoms this time. I haven’t really had much anxiety either. If I do, I know what it is and what is causing it, and I can easily dismiss it.

All in all, it’s going well, and I hope it continues to with each reduction. I’m excited to be drug free. I’m excited to feel passionate again.

Love to everyone,


Hi Everyone, I found a great ebook on alternative treatments for mental health. It’s at http//www.operationflyingpublisher.com and it’s called CAM. If this link doesn’t work, use the link in post 55, shared by Karenina and go to the Alternatives tab at the top of the Page, then go to Safe Harbor and you’ll find a link to the book. They offer a free copy to professionals or you can buy one or just read it. It’s eye-opening.

Mimi, You can always change the subject for as long as you want when it comes to your Godchild. A child being abused is never off subject here. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find out much on how to make the system work for the girl. I don’t think it’s tilted in her favor. I think I would go to a lawyer and see what they had to say about what can and can’t be done. Just know you aren’t alone. People are fighting this stuff all over the world. I wish people who hurt their kids would just give them to someone else who cares for them. Write me anytime, Mimi.

Dave & Mimi, I’m glad you’re both doing so well Pwith the withdrawl and feeling better. Life is so much better without being on chemical lock-down.:0)



some years ago a book that was banned in the uk (PROZAC BACKLASH)
not sure it can be bought in the states, but it was sent to me, it will tell you of the danger of PROZAC and many other antidepressants, last year big time in the media the truth finally was published into how antidepressant cause suicide, and for all the people who take any of these medicationes remember, they interact with the brain cells and kill them off, and at an age people get memory loss amongst many other side effects. I think it better to have a memory and deal with depression ones self,with people needing the brains when getting older. For memory loss from taking the antidepressents read up on lecithin, it has been known since the 18th century lecithin renews the brain cells.


Hi Maggie, Thanks for adding this. I was wondering if you have any input on how to intervene on behalf of a child who is being abused, either outside the system or if it’s possible, getting the system to work on behalf of the child. I know you possess a lot of knowledge in this area. I hope I’m not imposing or putting you on the spot. I admire your work.



Hi Pam,
I just subscribed to your blog. You can email me personally through that email if you wish. Thanks for your love and support!!


Mimi, For some reason, it didn’t seem to go through. Maybe you could just sent me your email through my contact? It’s in the drop-down at the top of the Page.



Mimi, regarding the guilty feeling you mentioned in comment #158, I’m glad you agree that the person who is REALLY guilty is this poor little girl’s mother.

Another thing that helps me a lot, when it comes to feeling regret over something I wish I had handled better, or would have handled differently if I had known how to do so at the time, is this quote by poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou:

“You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”


Elaina, I agree and when we follow our gut instincts often, things turn out better than when we follow the prescribed method. I know, Mimi that you are doing the best you know and that could very well be the best that can be done. There may be an opportunity to do more in the future and we just have to pray for that future break.

I’m glad you shared this Mimi. It has exposed a whole new side to this issue and the desperate need for healing in our culture today. Abuse, I’m learning everyday now, is not uncommon. It is happening all around us and on many different levels.



Mimi, not sure how the system works in the states, but you could apply for a care order or a residence or guardian order, but first ask the mother if it would help for you to have the child to live with you, do it in a very friendly way, saying it like to the parent, it seems a little difficult would you like me to have ??? for some time to help you, and not mention helping the child but the mother. Or ask a charity for an advocate for the child. if all fails, then look up the residence and other orders, if it is going to cost money, get people do help with coffeee mornings or other.


Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate your advice!!

I hate to say it, but these are good times for this girl. In the worst of times, she was an infant, and attached to many machines due to medical problems. Her mom was only 20 years old and she had another child to care for. It was alcohol, poverty, violence, chaos, and police. All the time. It was during those time, she didn’t even touch the child, she was so overwhelmed, I told her several times during deep conversations that she could bring the child to me, keep the money she gets for the medical problems, and I would never ask questions, or berate her. I would simply take care of the baby. She would never agree, because her own mother abandoned her at birth. She viewed that as abandonment, and is adamantly against that since her own mother did it to her. In her eyes, she’s a good mother…. she didn’t abandon her kids.

I will search online for the things you suggested. Thank you so much!!
Peace and Love,


Mimi, in the uk we can apply to the court for a care order, a residence order, or guardianship, but as i said it costs money unless you can have legal aid.


Maggie, Thank you for adding your expertise.:o)



Mimi, I’m still not getting anything. My web-host has been fixing things so maybe something has changed. You can send me an email at Pam@boomerback-beat.com.



I sent an message to your contact form. It’s floating in cyberspace! 🙂

I will send an email to the addy you provided above!
Thanks Pam,


All – quick update. I am off of Prozac too now. Three days without prozac. No side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Feel better and have more energy. the many stories i have read about prozac causing people to have suicidal thoughts was just too much for me. So now i am only taking a prescription med to help me sleep at night.

I still am dealing with a fair amount of pain but seem to be coping better now that i am no longer having side effects from an anti depressant. Hopefully i will never have to be on one again !



YAY, Dave! I hope it lasts and even if you do have to use one sometime in the future,you don’t have to take it FOREVER!I still can’t believe I bought the line that SSRI’s for depressives were like insulin for diabettics. It was a pretty effective sales pitch but I’m not so gullible anymore.:0)Did you get to check out the e-book I told you about on Safe Harbor? I thought it was a great find.

I’m feeling alot better too. My thyroid medication has kicked in and I can’t believe how different I feel. I’ve learned a lot of good nutritional information in regard to low thyroid too and have learned that there is much I can do with nutrition to help the cells in my body absorb and utilize thyroid hormone. I’m pretty sure I’ll only have to take the minimal amount. I feel ten years younger!




Thanks for this great post. I have never used psychotropic medications but I understand how frustrating it must be to have doctors who just want to shut you away and don’t understand how to help.

I really enjoyed the discussion about using supplements and nutrition to help strengthen our systems. I myself have had a lot of success in the last few years using herbs to help my recovery on many levels. I have used certain nourishing herbs as teas and infusions to heal and strengthen my nervous system and this helps a lot when I am working on intense emotional issues. And I am dedicated to eating as healthy a diet as possible for the same reasons.

Something that has just started for me recently is getting the knowledge of using herbs in a more subtle way to help when I need to make breakthroughs in my healing. I have been learning about how energy can get stuck in our bodies from trauma and fear, and there are herbal preparations which can be taken in the moment to help get this energy moving and open up to feel and express these old emotions. I have for a long time been aware of a feeling of anxiety lodged in my solar plexus that never seemed to dissipate no matter what I did. The other day, after consulting with an herbalist, I put a few drops of a herbal tincture on my tongue and in an instant I found myself jumping up as the stuck energy moved from my solar plexus up to my throat and out my mouth and I found myself yelling and shouting and really just ROARING the feeling out. It wasn’t even anger or grief, it was more like just pure life force that had been suppressed for so long! It felt incredible. Then I was just dancing and jumping around the room.

I think that long ago I must have internalized a message that nice ladies didn’t roar with pleasure about being alive or something. But all I know is that I had a profound shift. Repressing life force can cause great anxiety!

I am not naming any herbs specifically here because everyone is different and what works for me may not have the same effect on others. And taking herbs without guidance from a knowledgeable herbalist may also cause problems. I just wanted to say how these others beings who live here on Earth with us – the plants – have a lot of healing and wisdom to offer us.

Be well,


Sophia, Thanks for sharing your point of view. Natural treatments in general, work with the body and not against it. Most drugs cause a dysfunction in the body that produces the desired effect and lots of side effects, especially, psycho-tropics. It’s true that we are all different and there are many different reasons why we feel depressed or anxious but psychiatry treats the symptoms the same, no matter the underlying cause. There is no true healing without first revealing the underlying cause and treating it directly.



Hi Pam,
I thought it would be a good time to follow up on the process of weaning from Effexor. (and I’ve missed seeing you) 🙂

I started weaning at 150 mg daily. At my next reduction, I will be at 75 mg daily.

Some of the things I’ve experienced are memory loss, which is the most disturbing, a tiny bit of irritability, but usually on the same day following a reduction. It’s predictable in other words.

Usually, the first day after a reduction, I feel EVERYthing. It’s so great to feel again, and I didn’t even know I wasn’t feeling before. They have mostly been positive. When it’s a negative one, it’s also more intense, but I know that being able to feel at all is a gift. I don’t stress too much over the negative ones because I know it’s a process to get through. When I feel joy, it’s magnified. I LIKE that!! I want to feel joyous again.

There has been a little anxiety, but nothing I can’t swiftly calm by a little self assurance that my brain is working hard at finding a balance. I have given myself permission to just go through it, whatever it is. I am very much looking forward to being drug free and no longer suppressed. I honestly had no idea I was being suppressed. It’s been so many years I guess I got used to it.

One really great thing is, I’ve noticed my skin seems smoother. My face is less bumpy (for lack of a better description). I didn’t attribute it to the reduction, but I did a little research and it turns out that effexor can cause skin problems. Again, I’ve had them so long, I thought it was part of aging or something. I am prone to keloids. I have several of them. Last year a little one came up on my chin. It’s not red, just flesh colored, so I didn’t stress to hard over it. But, it is now shrinking. YaY!! I would have little bumps on my cheeks that I could not seem to get rid of. I had tried every soap and topical treatment available. I even tried home abrasion….. LOL. The home treatment for a super mild chemical peel. Nothing worked. Now, I am starting to see it’s the Effexor. Also, my skin is healing faster. I have a lot of new experience since I have a new kitten. My shins have been in the way a few times. The scratches are healing, I’d say 35% faster than they used to. I’m just amazed at the whole skin involvement. I’m thrilled too. No more searching for the culprit. I was often thinking about seeing a dermatologist to get some relief from the tiny white bumps on my face. I don’t know if others noticed them, but when I was up close in a mirror putting on makeup, they were abundantly clear.

Anyhow, for the most part, I’m doing okay and still looking forwrd to being completely free ot it!


Hi Mimi, I’m always around even when I’m not here.:0)It’s nice to missed though.

I’m glad the withdrawl is going so well and I know how amazing it is when mysterious problems fade away. I had lots of rashes and lesions when I was taking so many medications. I think the truth is that they don’t know for sure how the chemical soup affects people. Doctors look for side-effects the first few weeks and then tend to think anything that turns up isn’t because of medication but the most serious side effects I’ve had occurred after a long period of taking a medication. It makes sense to me that there could be problems when chemicals build up in the liver and body.

I love kittens but can’t make myself get one because of the potty training issue and being tied down with an animal. They are so much fun when they are little.

Send me an email, anytime, Mimi.



Beware new drug Viibryd. My friend took it for two days and he died of suicide. I had not known he suffered depression for 15 years and took Zoloft all that time. He had this blog on his Facebook page which is how I found this blog. I am furious that this drug is being sold. It has a black box warning from FDA. Do the Drs really know the risks? Is it worth a life?


Hi Susan
I am so sorry about your friend. This is really tragic.
Hugs, Darlene


Susan, I’m sorry this happened to your friend. I personally, believe people should be hospitalized when given a new antidepressant because everyone reacts differently to them and suicide is a major side-effect. My husband says that a strong indicator of their not knowing what they are doing is that no matter how they diagnose a patient, they give them all the same drugs…my husband isn’t a doctor but he is good at cutting through the muck and simplifying things. One thing I know for sure is that we should never give any doctor blind trust and we have to do all that we can do to educate ourselves and keep ourselves safe.



Thanks, I appreciate it. My friend was a social worker and worked in mental health. I used to work in pychiatric hospitals and I loved working there. I can’t do it anymore because all they focus on anymore is drugs.. Today psychiatrists aren’t even trained in analysis or any kind of talk therapy. It is so sad. I have been in therapy for most of my adult life. I have been offered antidepressants several times and always avoided them. I tend to be really sensitive to medicines so I am cautious. I have had good luck with a healthy lifestyle and supplementation and chiropractic treatment. I appreciate having this blog to ventilate my frustrations. Btw I now work in hospice and we do use drugs but we use them judiciously and we do a lot of good for people.


Susan, Psychiatry is definately at the far end of the spectrum on the idea of nature. In my opinion, nature and nurture both play a role in mental illness and mental health. There’s so much left to learn about how the brain works and science has still learned very little. They offer magic bullets in the form of psycho tropics and they are firing them in the dark. I’ve seen them do much more harm than good but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used for good. In the U.S., patients have become paying guinea pigs as pharmesuetical companies try out all kinds of new medications. I’m afraid that mental health patients are experiemented on most of all. Drug companies have too much power and they are using their influence to assure them big profits. This really needs to come to an end.



Quick update – i went back on prozac because my depression got a lot worse and i was having suicidal thoughts a few days after my last blog post on this…working with a wonderful LPN I am now Prozac free for 10 days..first time off an anti-depressant for more than a couple of days since May 2008. Hopefully off for good..still have depression but no longer relying on any meds to try and get better.



Dave, I gather from your comment that you used Prozac for help in transitioning off of the other medication? I’m glad you’ve found some one to work with. I like hearing that you are now more proactive in your health care. Taking charge and being knowledgable about one’s own health, makes a huge difference. I’m not a medical expert but I make it a point to be an expert on me and my medical conditions. There is no shame in needing to take medication but patients have to be proactive in order to protect ourselves in a health care system that revolves around the idea of being able to off a pill for every malady, even if there are other known ways to treat a condition. Hang in there, Dave and thank you for the update.



I wish I had time to read all the comments here, but my big vegetable garden cries out for care daily now. My experience with drugs is that they made me feel like such an emotional zombie that I decided that I would rather be depressed–I would rather feel bad than feel nothing at all, and I disposed of them. I got over depression when I realized it was a stand-in for anger at my mother. When I realized who I was really angry at, I stopped turning that anger inward and now I’m normal (or what passes for it in this crazy world).


Wow… does this ever hit home. These “medications” caused serious issues with this body, and still do although the lengthy hospitalization occurred back in the late 1970s.


I’ve been watching a show called THE BLACK BOX. It’s about a neuro-scientist who has bi-polar disorder. She keeps saying, “Why do we have to ‘control’ it? Why do I have to be medicated?” Well, when she is off the meds, she does weird stuff.

I’m watching the show trying to keep an open mind on this. I like her question.


Hi Susa,
Yes, these types of medications can cause problems for YEARS!
thanks for sharing,
hugs, Darlene


Hi Susa,

I still suffer from some of the damage they caused and I’m very glad to have found a real cure and there is no longer any reason for a well meaning professional to try and place me within a chemical asylum.:0) I think side effects from these drugs are an underlying cause of all the mass shootings that have been occurring. They are certainly a common thread that is never examined by the “professionals”.


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