Do It In a Group

The group can be on the phone, online, in person. If you’re coming off psych drugs, hoping to someday, or staying off, do it in a group.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend all of your time in a group while you’re withdrawing (ha!). Most of us wouldn’t want to do that.

It means you have a group of people who are on a similar journey and you meet regularly to check in.


When I was put on psych drugs, I didn’t have a group of people who supported me to not take them, but when I came off I did and I attribute my success to this.

Even though I was young and had been on them for a short time, I was on 7 drugs and had lost all of my physical strength. I was too weak to even walk around the block. My withdrawal process was not easy.

I will forever be grateful for the Freedom Center in Northampton, Massachusetts, which held support groups and other events weekly for people who had been harmed by the mental health system and were looking for connection around that.

The strength to get through it came to me from others who had done so.

I went to those meetings every week while I was withdrawing. It was a unique group and there are few like it, but more similar types of support groups that advocate for self determination and informed choice are popping up.

Some are online and I made a list of Facebook groups where people are connecting and creating online meetings and weekly phone calls (link goes to an example where you can contact the host to be invited to future calls) to support people in their withdrawal process among other things.

Information online can be hit or miss, so I recommend finding people you can talk to by phone or video chat with for peer support rather than simply trying to get medical information or advice. We need information and advice, yet this cannot take the place of personal connection, compassion and hope that is born from actually talking to people.

I recently participated in two webinars on other topics which were surprisingly healing. Sometimes I have had doubts about whether online or telephone groups of people who don’t know one another can be effective. I learned they can in fact be very powerful, and done from the comfort of your own home or even outside in a park or special nature spot. Facilitation in these groups is important.


Coming together with a shared intention is one of the most potent things we can do.

There are other types of support groups that could be helpful for coming off or staying off psych drugs, if this is your choice. Some include Hearing Voices groups and Alternative to Suicide groups. We definitely need more groups to specifically support people in withdrawal and here’s a big thank you to all who are creating them.

If you have a group, online or in person, please share the info below in the comment section, so others reading this post can find you. Thanks!



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6 thoughts on “Do It In a Group

  1. Julie Greene, MFA says:

    My experience wasn’t the same. Before psych I wasn’t a person who enjoyed group activities. I hated group projects at school and recall having to do all the work for the entire group. I ended up being a music composer because composition was a solitary activity and other aspects of music required cooperation and reliability I rarely got. Later I took up writing for the same reason. I don’t do well at team sports so I assumed that athletic activities weren’t for me. Then I discovered cycling and running. So groups don’t work well for me because I do so much better on my own. I tried a number of them in Boston but couldn’t find my place there. I tried an “abuse group” where you could talk about abuse openly but apparently if your therapist abused you, you couldn’t talk about it. At another group I was usually cut off before I could say much (the assumption being that whatever I was going to say was going to be off topic) so I felt completely unwelcome. Other groups reminded me too much of group therapy so I literally fled. I suppose I will create my own group if I ever want one, although the times I have tried, I couldn’t get anyone to join. Still, I am not one to hop onto someone else’s bandwagon where I have to follow an agenda I am not okay with.

    • Chaya says:

      That makes sense to me Julie, and I can relate with a lot of it. Perhaps for some of us our “group” will only exist in what we have read from others. I’m glad you found the ways that work and don’t work for you and that you are strong enough to trust yourself.

      • Julie Greene says:

        It would be great to see support for something other than drugs, drugs, drugs. The overemphasis on pills disgusts me. I think the current obsession with withdrawal only serves to distract from the real issues of incarceration, marginalization, voicelessness, abuse in facilities, and poverty that are all created by the patient vs staff duality. That duality is false, it is a fake world that was forced upon us, that tiered, totalitarian and essentially racist society.

        Getting off pills alone won’t do anything at all unless you break the doctor-worshiping mentality. If you are still appointment-addicted, you are still brainwashed, you still believe in the split society, us and them, the mentally sick and the all-holy healers of all types.

        We have many systems in society, many that are the same as the mental system, the penal system that creates neediness, the foster care system, the disabled vet system, the welfare system. All create dependency on the State, the hand that feeds the masses. The hand that rules, and knows better since the masses are assumed incompetent.

        The only thing we can do is to refuse to participate in their system, whichever system it is, care well for ourselves, refuse to believe the lies, and not live by these lies in any way. We won’t find answers in offices and institutions. We find the answers within ourselves, and by living our lives.


        • Chaya says:

          You may be right Julie. I believe we all focus on what matters most to us and no one person can focus on everything nor should we all be told to focus on or not focus on any one thing.

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