The sources & reviews page is a bibliographic list of the media I am using to help me plan and carry out my drug withdrawal process. It includes reviews of each item and also contains links to websites where you can acquire or download these materials.
Breggin, P. (2013). Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients, and Their Families. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Description: This book offers compelling argumentation and is clearly understandable for readers of all backgrounds. The author, Dr. Peter Breggin, outlines risks and possibilities of medication withdrawal for different patient types and different drug groups. In defense of the patient’s freedom of choice and integrity as a person, Dr. Breggin proposes a “person-centered, collaborative approach”. Instead of turning the patient into a passive onlooker of their own treatment, Breggin places the patient at the very center of his therapeutic model. Around the patient, he constructs a support network consisting of a prescriber, a therapist or counselor, and significant others (family members, spouses and friends). The patient’s wishes and decisions are taken into account at all times, and all participants in the collaborative, person-centered approach are communicating efficiently among them and monitoring the patient’s health. In Dr. Breggin’s view, all people involved are equally entitled to knowledge, ensuring that the patient and his or her loved ones are empowered to actively overcome their crisis.
Personal comment: Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal was the first book I consulted once I had decided to withdraw from my medications. I had already read other books by Dr. Peter Breggin, whose empathic attitude and dedication to the recovery of his patients struck a chord with me. This text has provided me with important information, but also with encouragement and motivation. It is definitely a must read.
About the author: Psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin is renowned for guiding patients through drug withdrawal and advocating a no-drug or low-drug philosophy. He is strongly engaged in educating the public about the risks of psychiatric drug use, and the power of the pharmaceutical industry over today’s psychiatric practice. Dr. Breggin has contributed to numerous court trials as a medical expert on the mind-altering effects of psychotropic substances. Based in New York state, he is co-founder of the Center for The Study of Empathic Therapy (see http://www.EmpathicTherapy.org) and founder of the scientific journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. For more information, also go to http://www.breggin.com.
Hall, W. (2012). Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (2nd ed.). MA: The Icarus Project and Freedom Center.
Description: Comprehensive and hands-on. That pretty much describes the enormous value of this 56-page book. Here is compact information and copious advice about the risks of taking and withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, with countless tips on how to proceed. It also offers plenty of helpful links. This is likely one of the best reads there is on the topic. Another must-read, available in English, Spanish, German, French, Greek, Bosnian and Japanese.
Personal comment: Will Hall’s Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs packs basic information on psychiatric drugs and withdrawal in a nutshell. I read through it in a few hours and found it remarkably well written and concise. I also appreciate that despite being a book on psychiatric drug withdrawal, it clearly states that any decision the patient takes – even if it is remaining on a medication plan – is an achievement in itself. Regarding mental illness as a difference rather than a defect, Hall calls readers to accept that there are as many ways of dealing with mental conditions as there are individuals. Another plus: you can download this book for free (see below).
About the author: Will Hall once got diagnosed with schizophrenia himself and was a long-term user of various psychiatric drugs. Eventually, doing his own research, he decided to wean off his medications and trained as a therapist (www.willhall.net). He is the co-founder of the Freedom Center in Massachusetts, which offers support to individuals in crisis and advocates holistic and non-forced treatment methods (www.freedom-center.org). Hall also collaborates with the Icarus Project, an online community promoting a less discriminatory and more accepting perspective on mental illness (www.theicarusproject.net).
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Also watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4bdG601k4k