In order for an experience to create a life mission and strong sense of purpose, it has to affect you to the core. Though I was only on psychiatric drugs for a few years of my life (and the very lowest “clinical” doses available), they affected me so strongly and took away so much that I could never forget or simply leave that experience behind me. I’ve seen getting off psychiatric meds give so many other people their lives back as well.
I share this list, not to torture people who are on them or struggling with getting off psychiatric meds, reminding them of how much is being taken away (or could be taken away), but rather to validate the desire that many have to not take these substances and to be supported in better ways.
I share this to validate how very necessary it is to create better systems for being with trauma and to facilitate the process of getting off psychiatric meds for those who would like to come off in every way we possibly can.
When I was on a psychiatric drug cocktail at age 21-22, I lost the abilities to do the things on this list with any regularity. Many of these things I could not do at all.
Once I was done getting off psychiatric meds, slowly and carefully, which was quite tedious and difficult, all of these capacities returned to me.
1. Reading (there were times when psychiatric drugs made me unable to focus on reading)
2. Thinking clearly
3. Communicating my thoughts with others directly (for some reason psych meds made me very passive aggressive and it was really hard to ask directly for what I wanted to needed)
4. Night vision (my vision would get super blurry at night but once I recovered from psychiatric meds the vision issues went away)
5. 20/20 vision during the day
6. Eating all kinds of foods (psychiatric drugs messed with my blood sugar and caused a lot of food intolerances that I had never had before and haven’t had since)
7. Traveling (this was too overwhelming while I was on psych drugs)
8. School work
9. Graduating college
11. Developing friendships
12. Developing romantic relationships
13. Walking more than one block
14. Aerobic exercise
15. Weight lifting (I was able to lift more weight immediately after withdrawing from “anti-anxiety” meds)
16. Discernment about what to eat and which supplements to take
17. Being attractive to others (these drugs made me look horrible)
18. Showering regularly ( I was too tired and apathetic to shower a lot of the time)
19. Brushing my teeth twice a day
20. Changing my clothes (why bother when I wasn’t leaving the house?)
21. Dressing nicely (this never occurred to me while on meds)
22. Understanding my own experiences and being able to communicate them
23. Empathy for others
24. Intuition (with a few exceptions)
25. Grasping and formulating complex concepts
26. Teaching others from my experiences
28. Doing artwork
31. Computer skills
32. Awareness of some current events (while on psych drugs world events did not occur to me as significant in the slightest)
33. Appreciation of music
34. Sexuality (I lost all capacity while on psych drugs for some time and it came back “too strong” after withdrawal but eventually normalized)
35. Leaving the house and socializing
36. Meeting new people
37. Trying new things
38. Seeing a future
39. Caring about people
40. Caring about principles
41. Feeling sad
42. Feeling excited
43. Feeling calm
44. Being awake during most of the day (i stayed in bed for most of the day)
45. Researching topics and discerning accurately what is relevant to me
46. Working for money
47. Committing to regular activities/classes/meetings
48. Falling in love
49. Having creative goals
51. Grocery shopping (I needed to have others do this for me even though there was a grocery store a block away)
52. Detangling my hair (my hair turned into a big dreadlock)
53. Expressing my feelings
54. Doing my dishes
55. Cleaning (absolutely never did this while on meds)
56. Being able to benefit from subtler health treatments like acupuncture, homeopathy and organic herbs
57. Eating healthy
58. Loving people
59. Attracting friends
60. Engaging socially and feeling (somewhat) “normal”
61. Caring what’s going on in the world/my city
62. Caring about other people’s needs and acknowledging them
63. Being able to talk about my life without using unproven “mental health” pseudoscience jargon (I would talk about my “mental illness” as if it were a chronic permanent disability while on psych drugs but never before or after)
64. Being able to see fact from fiction
65. Writing down and finding meaning in my dreams
66. Smiling for real
67. Wanting to help others
68. Caring about my life, health and future
70. Believing in God/Higher Power/Angels/Being guided (I actually lost a connection to the God of of my lived experience (not a religious concept) which I have had my whole life before and after.
71. Having faith in myself and my life
72. Inspiring trust in others
73. Inspiring creativity in others
74. Typing fast
77. Wearing deodorant
78. Regular menstruation (this was the only time in my life where my menstrual cycles weren’t completely regular and sometimes I went months without menstruating at all)
79. Awareness of moon cycles
80. Sexual arousal
81. Normal hair growth (my hair fell out excessively)
83. Cooking (I only ate things out of a can or a box or frozen food which required minimal thought and effot and I ate the same things every day)
84. Staying out of the house all day
May all beings be free to choose, and to choose with true informed consent, which cannot be expected from a doctor or medical care provider, but must be gotten with a combination of research, self study, intuition, personal accounts and fierce, unbiased logical analysis.
We must take back science from under the fist of commercials and indirect advertising (who tell us getting off psychiatric meds is irresponsible or wrong).
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5 thoughts on “84 Capacities That Can Return When Getting Off Psychiatric Meds”
WOW! I should print out this list and highlight the one’s that apply to me. My psychiatrist doesn’t agree with my decision to off of anti-psychotics. she always quotes back to me canned jargon about preventing relapse, being stable, and schizophrenics becoming violent. I’ve tried to explain to her several times that I am mentally healthier off of she anti-psychotics and it’s as if she just ignores my concerns and spews back her mumbo-jumbo.
I’ve tried to relay to her about studies that show that psych med-reduction improves functioning; that schizophrenics are more likely to be attacked than to attack; that the medicine she had me on says right in it’s pharmaceutical insert that it reduces intellectual functioning and can cause diabetes, amongst other things; that I was diagnosed with diabetes on the medication; that part of my hand went numb, and has remained that way since, due to the medication; that I am more active, alert, and articulate off of the medication; and that I went 7 years untreated after my first psychotic episode, and have experienced both being untreated and treated, and prefer being untreated; that studies show that schizophrenics recovery rate is about the same whether treated or not; etc. But it’s like talking to a wall with her.
OOps, I need to edit that doc.
WOW! I should print out this list and highlight the one’s that apply to me. My psychiatrist doesn’t agree with my decision to go off of anti-psychotics. She always quotes back to me canned jargon about preventing relapse, being stable, and schizophrenics becoming violent. I’ve tried to explain to her several times that I am mentally healthier off of anti-psychotics and it’s as if she just ignores my concerns and spews back her mumbo-jumbo.
I’ve tried to relay to her about studies that show that psych med-reduction improves functioning; that schizophrenics are more likely to be attacked than to attack; that the medicine she had me on says right in it’s pharmaceutical insert that it reduces intellectual functioning and can cause diabetes, amongst other things; that I was diagnosed with diabetes on the medication; that part of my hand went numb, and has remained that way since, due to the medication; that I am more active, alert, and articulate off of the medication; and that I went 7 years untreated after my first psychotic episode, and have experienced being both untreated and treated, and prefer being untreated; that studies show that schizophrenic’s recovery rate is about the same whether treated or not; etc. But it’s like talking to a wall with her.
Thanks for sharing Yvonne! Do you have any way of getting a better doctor?