Before you take psychiatric drugs a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Are you eating a reasonable diet? This doesn’t mean you have to eat kale for breakfast lunch and dinner, but before taking a drug for your state of mind, look at your nutritional habits. I know, a months supply of Paxil is cheaper than a fish dinner, but taking psych drugs on top of a poor diet is adding insult to injury. Before you even think about going on meds, make sure you’re eating a good amount of protein, vegetables and healthy fats every day, and at least work to limit non-foods that you know are bad for you like Doritos, 7 Up and overly sweetened packaged foods. To some, this is second nature, to others the connection between food and how we feel has hardly been made and their basic diet consists of addictive drug-like non foods that cause emotional highs and lows, and consistent irritability or anxiety. These food-drugs, like any addictive substances may need to be reduced gradually in favor of nutrient dense, nourishing, real foods.
2. Get outside. Breathe some fresh air every day, preferably at a park or a on a quiet street with minimal traffic. Bonus points for getting into the woods or going to a body of water. If you’re not getting enough oxygen, psychiatric drugs won’t help you feel refreshed.
3. Express your creativity somehow everyday. This is essential. Everyday you must do something creative whether it’s writing, art, dance, piano, cooking, constructing or singing. Try this everyday practice for a minimum of a half hour (an hour if you can) before getting on a maintenance drug. Most people find their creativity and expressive capacities are blocked considerably when on psych drugs.
What do you do as daily practices that keep you feeling healthy and strong? Exercise? Prayer? Meditation? Hugs? All these things have better long term outcomes than psychiatric pharmaceuticals by actually changing hormone and brain patterns in a positive way, and without adding toxins to someone who is already overwhelmed.
My team and I are doing an Indiegogo campaign to fund my book called Breaking Free From Psychiatric Drugs. We will soon have an actual campaign video up. In the meantime, please enjoy the video where I speak out at the protest of the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.
And share your own ideas below.