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I donated my last Geodon yesterday

Getting off psych meds follow up story:

In my raingear. I rode 27 miles in rain to celebrate getting off psych meds and donate the last of the Geodon stockpile.

In my raingear. I rode 27 miles in rain to celebrate getting off psych meds and donate the last of the Geodon stockpile.

At one point I felt like I’d gotten to a point where my psych meds were helpful and weren’t causing me any side effects. Then I finally realized that maybe it was causing me sleep problems. It used to take me 1-2 hours to fall asleep every night and the nights I couldn’t sleep at all I realized it was because I’d forgotten to take my Geodon.

But then nights would come and I’d feel those withdrawal symptoms and I was sure I’d taken the med. I’d check my pill minder and it was on target, plus I remembered actively taking the med, like noticing the amount of water in the cup or where the pill had been laying on my palm or something. So this helped me decide to make a final push for getting off psych meds.

Two days after I took the last dose I felt better immediately. It’s been 10 months now and I still feel a lot better. Once the Geodon had cleared my system, I could sleep again!  I was finally was able to get to sleep in 10 – 15 minutes instead of 1-2 hours. It was like a miracle. It still seems that way.

I used to ride the bridge next to this one home every night. I got to revisit that route to celebrate getting off psych meds yesterday.

I used to ride the bridge next to this one home every night. I got to revisit that route to celebrate getting off psych meds yesterday.

Once I realized that my trauma issues were causing my disconnection from reality instead of an “illness,” I stopped getting scared whenever the hallucinations came. My friend Ken Braiterman talks about how he “cured me of psychosis by using distress language.”  This was the last leap I needed to take to finally get off medications. I saved the Geodon for a while but finally decided to donate it.

Donating my Geodon to celebrate getting off psych meds:

There’s a nonprofit in Kansas City that accepts donations of excess meds and helps get them to people who need them, so I called and told them I had about $4,000 worth of Geodon to donate. They said, “Oh, we’ll take that. We’re always in need of that kind of stuff.” I kept making appointments with them and then getting too busy to donate.

Finally, yesterday, on a rainy day, I had about five errands in that neighborhood and strung them all together and got up there. I got in just as they were closing and told the person, “I don’t think these solve the problem, but someone may think they do, so maybe they can use them.”

The social worker in charge said, “Yes, I’ve seen a lot through my social work experience, too, and I don’t think they help much either. I think there’s a lot more to it than medications, some people’s lives get really complex.”

That and the Geodon gave me zits.

What your story about getting off psych meds?

2 comments to I donated my last Geodon yesterday

  • Interesting, Corinna! From my psychology classes to experiences with psychiatrized persons and/or family, I always thought things like schizophrenia and bipolar were diseases, regardless of cause(es). I know of a guy back in CO who was traumatized and developed psychosis but he [after a hell of a battle with the hospital systems, doctors and right drugs] did find the one which worked for him and still takes it; this was instrumental to him working full-time, supporting himself, having interests outside of work, dates, etc. whereas before, he’d been at his mom’s, needing a feeding tube. I was in the hospital with a lady who clearly spoke a lot of “word salad” and talked about “making babies with her mind”. She was put on Geodon and while it made her excessively groggy (which started to wear off in a short time) she made a huge stride toward coming back to reality. I thought she was an example of someone who needed it. Your story is different in that you can manage your symptoms in non-medical ways just like I can with my PTSD (for which there’s no pill). I believe your story even though we haven’t met. You write a concise, clear, believable story…one which could cause you to lose everything and gain nothing! One which has passion! Maybe your movement really is onto something the doctors aren’t. And you know I’m cynical about the mental health system! Thanks for unflinchingly sharing this personal, sensitive account.

    As for my experiences getting off psych meds: 1. I tapered off of Prozac at age 18, according to doctor’s orders. It was a good thing. It made me feel a bit better yet also bitchy a lot of times; it didn’t solve problems, either. I saw a counselor but that person didn’t have a clue and just tried to manipulate me into staying…I don’t think any counselor, though, could have known what to say/do to the unique problem conversations I’ve had: adoption/abandonment issues, dysfunctional/broken family issues, co-dependency, emotional and verbal abuse from my parents, parents who tried to squelch my uniqueness, to make me “just like them” (they were yuppie, image conscious, career focused, valued money and toys, would do anything to “run with the dogs”, to attain “their accustomed lifestyle”). (I’m free spirited, creative, have staunch values, won’t be pushed around, will tell off anyone who does, who just wants to do anything in life where I can be myself).Counselors don’t always fully understand how to heal dysfunctional families IF all family members want to participate. Counselors typically don’t study adoption or co-dependency issues in school; those are newer concepts. Counselors also don’t understand trauma (i.e., emotional abuse) or traumatic death (from a terrible, ugly illness or a sudden, unplanned loss or both). So, I “lost” the Prozac and the unhelpful counselors. Same comments re: two TERRIBLE (and openly self-serving) “counselors” who MISdiagnosed me and had me on the WRONG pill (Lithium tranquilized me a bit but also caused me to become too busy/scatterbrained and eventually I went toxic and had to quit…I felt like myself again immediately and friends noticed! [Then, told me they’d never thought I was bipolar; just depressed]). Another time, a bozo brain “counselor” misdiagnosed me with paranoid schizophrenia after showing no signs…they MADE me psychotic…I eventually ripped myself off the drugs and fired her through a “nasty gram” in the mail. :)

  • Beth Oswald

    Corinna! I have a whole freaking stash of various meds. I wonder if these people would want my leftover seroquel and Abilify? I won’t be taking those ever again! Maybe you could email me their contact info?

    Coming off the antipsychotics has changed my life. Although I think it also caused me some interpersonal problems along the way. I’m sure you’ve seen this…the person who was a zombie for so long starts to wake up and ask questions…that does not always fly. But I treasure finally having an authentic experience of my motions, both pleasant and painful. You are an inspiration.

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