“Coming Off Psych Drugs” Mutual Support Group Resources

List of Resources for Coming off Psychiatric Drugs, Self-Education, and Information about Psychiatry and “Mental Illness”

Resource for finding a practitioner in your area to help you come off psychiatric drugs

1. The ‘Mad in America’ Service Directory, which includes a list of practitioners and places who support psychiatric drug withdrawal- http://www.madinamerica.com/service-directory/


Books/Manuals for Coming off Psych Drugs

1. The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs

-The new second edition has expanded Resources, scores of new collaborators and Advisors, new topics, more detail on the reducing and coming off process, and additional ideas for harm reduction and staying on medications.


2. Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: Successful Withdrawal from Neuroleptics, Antidepressants, Lithium, Carbamazepine and Tranquilizers 

-A 2002 book edited by Peter Lehmann, with forewards by Judi Chamberlin, Pirkko Lahti, and Loren Mosher.  “Successful coming down from psychiatric drugs primarily addresses treated people who want to withdraw on their own decision. It also addresses their relatives and therapists. Millions of people are taking psychiatric drugs, for example Haldol, Prozac or Zyprexa. To them, detailed accounts of how others came off these substances without once again ending up in the in the doctor’s office are of fundamental interest.”


3. Your Drug May Be Your Problem:  How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications

-Written by Peter Breggin, MD and David Cohen, PhD in 2007, this book seeks to “expose the shortcomings of psychiatric drugs and to guide patients and doctors through the process of withdrawing from them.”


4. Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

-A 2013 book by MadinAmerica.com blogger Matt Samet, chronicling his “near-fatal struggle with anxiety and depression, and his nightmarish journey through the dangerous world of prescription drugs.”


5. Recovery and Renewal: Your Essential Guide to Overcoming Dependency and Withdrawal from Sleeping Pills, Other ‘Benzo’ Tranquilisers and Antidepressants

-“Recovery and Renewal is an essential guide for overcoming dependency and withdrawal from sleeping pills, other benzodiazepine tranquillisers and antidepressants. It is a useful, insightful and incredibly courageous book which delivers everything you need to know before, during and after. Family and friends will better understand the experience and will be equipped to give support. Doctors, counsellors, rehabilitation staff, recovery and mental health organisations will gain invaluable insight critical to providing best care. All proceeds from the sale of this book are paid to the Recovery Road charity.”


6. Xanax Withdrawal

-“Xanax Withdrawal” is by Dr. Stuart Shipko, a clinician in Pasadena, California who has focused to some degree on tapering people off psychiatric drugs and withdrawal syndrome. He’s one of the few doctors who will give a diagnosis of withdrawal syndrome for insurance purposes or in a lawsuit.


7. The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and “Addiction”

“ With the FDA’s warning that antidepressants may cause agitation, anxiety, hostility, and even violent or suicidal tendencies, these medications are at the forefront of national legal news. Harvard physician Joseph Glenmullen has led the charge to warn the public that antidepressants are overprescribed, underregulated, and, especially, misunderstood in their side and withdrawal effects. Now he offers a solution!”



Videos and Films on Coming off Psych Drugs

1. Coming off Psych Drugs: A Meeting of the Minds

A 2013 film by Daniel Mackler.  “In June of 2012, twenty-three people came together to discuss the subject of coming off psychiatric drugs. We were psychiatric survivors, therapists, mental health consumers, family members, and activists, united by a passion for truth-telling. More than half of us had successfully come off psych drugs, including cocktails of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. What resulted from our three-day gathering was an unforgettable meeting of the minds.”


2. (Free) Video on Coming off Medications: A Harm Reduction Approach with Will Hall

-This video provides some basic guidance for anyone considering reducing or coming off psychiatric medications and their supporters, which is discussed in greater detail in the Harm Reduction Guide. This video and Guide are in the spirit of peer support and mutual aid for educational purposes, and not medical advice. (While everyone is different, coming off medications, especially abruptly, can sometimes be dangerous. Seek support when possible and use caution.)



Blogs on Coming off Psych Drugs

1. Letter for a Patient, Meaghan Buisson.


2. Finding the Meaning in Suffering: My Experience with Coming off Psychiatric Drugs (in a nutshell), Laura Delano.


3. The Other Side, Matt Samet.


4. Madness Radio: Coming off Psych Meds interview, Will Hall and Laura Delano


5. Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Human Metamorphosis, Laura Delano


6. Everything Matters: A Memoir from Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs, Monica Cassani



Online Resources and Communities for Psych Drug Withdrawal

1. Beyond Meds

-Beyond Meds has numerous resources on the topic of psychiatric drug withdrawal and is a starting point for withdrawal information on the web.


2. Surviving Antidepressants

-Surviving Antidepressants provides volunteer peer support for antidepressant withdrawal, while tapering off and after you quit.


3. Seroxat & SSRI User Group

-The Seroxat & SSRI User Group was founded to support and advise patients experiencing problems with Seroxat (Paxil). This English-based group offers information, forums, book reviews and articles on withdrawal from SSRIs.


4. Recovery Road

-Recovery Road Wellness Project’s focus is on providing self-help and coping strategies to individuals currently experiencing benzo and antidepressant withdrawal and dependency, and on providing resources for moving on, reintegrating, and living fully functional lives.


5. Benzo Buddies

-Benzo Buddies provides information and support to plan and execute a benzodiazepine withdrawal schedule.

Benzo Buddies

6. Benzo.org

-Protocol for the Treatment of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, written by Dr. C. Heather Ashton (“The Ashton Manual), published on Benzo.org


7. Comingoff.com

-Comingoff.com is a website that “…aims to give you up to date information about psychiatric medication, how it functions and the withdrawal process. It is put together by people who have been prescribed medication and withdrawn from it, and clinicians who have been involved in supporting this process.”


8. Paxil Progress

-Paxil Progress is a forum for people engaged in withdrawal from Paxil. It also offers adverse drug reaction reporting, FDA Warnings, published withdrawal studies, and pregnancy warnings.



Books about the Effects of Psych Drugs and Challenging the Medical Model of “Mental Illness”

1. Whitaker, Robert. Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America

2. Whitaker, Robert. Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

3. Moncrieff, Joanna. The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment.

4. Moncrieff, Joanna. A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs.

5. Breggin, Peter. Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the “New Psychiatry”

6. Kirsh, Irving. The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth

7. Williams, Paris. Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis

8. Szasz, Thomas. The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct

9. Glenmullen, Joseph. Prozac Backlash: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives

10. Bass, Allison.  Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a Bestselling Antidepressant on Trial

11. Healy, David. The Antidepressant Era

12. Edited by Peter Stastny and Peter Lehmann. Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry

13. Mackler, Daniel and Matthew Morrissey. A Way Out of Madness: Dealing with Your Family After You’ve Been Diagnosed with a Psychiatric Disorder

14. Moncrieff, Joanna.  The Bitterest Pill: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs

15. Jackson, Grace. Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed Consent


Articles about Psych Drugs and Challenging the Medical Model of “Mental Illness”

1.  Moncrieff, Joanna.  “How do psychiatric drugs work?” (British Medical Journal, 2009)


2.  Moncrieff, Joanna and David Cohen.  “Rethinking Models of Psychotropic Drug Action.” (Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2005)


3. Moncrieff, Joanna and David Cohen.  “Do Antidepressants Cure or Create Abnormal Brain States?”  (PLoS Medicine 2006)


4. Buisson, Meaghan. “Contesting the Chemical Cure: A critical assessment of the biological paradigm and pharmacological approach to treating depression.”


5. Thomas, Philip, Bracken, Pat, and Sami Timimi. “The Limits of Evidence-Based Medicine in Psychiatry.”


6.  Radio Interview with Joanna Moncrieff, “Bipolar Medication Myths”, http://www.madnessradio.net/madness-radio-bipolar-medication-myths-joanna-moncrieff

7. Deacon, Brett and Grayson Baird. “The Chemical Imbalance Explanation of Depression: Reducing Blame at what Cost?” (Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology)


8. Moncrieff, Joanna and Jonathan Leo.  “A systematic review of the effects of antipsychotic drugs on brain volume.” (Psychological Medicine)


9. Joseph, Jay. “The Crumbling Pillars of Behavioral Genetics” (Council for Responsible Genetics)


10. Angell, Marcia. “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (The New York Review of Books)


11. Angell, Marcia. “The Illusions of Psychiatry” (The New York Review of Books)


12. Goldsmith, Lucy and Joanna Moncrieff. “The Psychoactive Effects of Antidepressants and their Association with Suicidality” (Current Drug Safety)


13. Pigott, Ed. “STAR*D: A Tale and Trail of Bias” (Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry)


14.  Moncrieff, Joanna. “Psychiatric diagnosis as a political device” (Social Theory & Health)


15. Leo, Jonathan and Jeffrey Lacasse. “Psychiatry’s Grand Confession” (Mad in America)


16. Allen, Patrick. “Deception in Plain Sight: Depression, Anxiety, and “Just Ask Your Doctor”” (Mad in America)



Helpful Websites

  1. Mad in America- www.madinamerica.com
  2. Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights)- www.psychrights.org
  3. Madness Radio- www.madnessradio.net
  4. Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry- www.chrusp.org
  5. ALTmentalities- http://altmentalities.wordpress.com/
  6. MindFreedom International- http://mindfreedom.org/
  7. Critical Psychiatry- http://criticalpsychiatry.blogspot.com/
  8. Behaviorism and Mental Health- http://www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/
  9. International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry- www.psychintegrity.org





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