Iatrogenic Injury, Ayurvedic Constitution, and Aging

I felt some healing in my body this morning.  It reminded me of how much damage psych drugs did to this same body when I was 20-23 and how a lot of that damage is felt MORE as I get older, not less, because it affected my aging process.

The damage to my kidneys, liver, adrenals and other organs was an issue when I came off those drugs at age 22/23 but I still had a young body. I still endured a week or so of semi-sleepless nights. It wasn’t easy, but it was nowhere near as hard as it is for me now. Even one night of no sleep can have terrible results.

In one way, in theory, I believe most damage can be healed. Yet optimal conditions, (which hardly exist today) are required to achieve the healing of organ damage. And even then, it isn’t usually easy.


Being disabled by psych drugs also led to years of “unemployment” or “underemployment” (not having a steady salary ).  This meant less money for healing resources.  We know insurance covers virtually nothing (in most states) that serves to restore our internal organs to health after severe and acute injury from the drugs they do cover so readily.

I put unemployment and underemployment in quotes because even while I was too damaged by psych drugs to work at a job with a steady salary, I was still employed. In fact I was deeply, steadily and meaningfully employed writing, teaching and supporting others (often as a volunteer or for a small stipend). In hindsight, this may be one of the fastest ways to heal organ damage or overcome some of its devastating effects.

Still, with aging, and with the additional  stresses in life, the organ damage and weakening of my already sensitive constitution that occurred when I was 20-23 and forced/coerced onto 7 psych drugs, makes things a lot more stressful.

I used to be able to take good care of my health and then feel healthy (before psych drugs). After the iatrogenic injury, I’ve consistently put a lot of effort into my health and only feel healthy sometimes.

I’ve increased my efforts many times over and still my energy and stamina have fluctuated. Some of this is a natural part of aging. Yet, I can’t think of anyone my age who puts as much effort into their health for as little return on the investment.

Others I know (with the exception of some with Lyme or who are still on psych drugs) SEEM to have a lot more leeway to miss sleep, eat junk food, exert their bodies to their limit, smoke, get drunk, etc. without the instant backlash the next day.

Looks can be deceiving though. I don’t know how healthy anyone is or feels, and this may be the other point.

In Ayurveda, I have the vata constitution. This means I feel the health effects of my choices the next day. Others of other constitutions can tolerate more stress. However,  the health effects build up and will show up years down the line as chronic conditions.

Vata is the immediate litmus test; it shows up right away.

Vata is considered the least desirable and least fortunate of the constitutions (except for spiritual growth which seems to arise from adversity) living in consistent anxiety, pain, aches and stress (but can also achieve deep meditative peace more easily and be highly creative).

Vata constitution is the least likely to tolerate psych drugs. I couldn’t even tolerate a low dose of a single drug at the age of 20 without side effects. Anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, severely compromised immunity, and social withdrawal just to name a few. These are the effects I experienced RIGHT AWAY from taking the smallest dose of one drug. This was despite taking the smallest dose of another class of drug entirely.

So being an immediately intolerant, sensitive vata constitution (the thin, cold, anxious type) did perhaps keep me from being on a “maintenance” dose of drugs for many years. If I hadn’t gotten off that drug cocktail, I know I wouldn’t have lived much longer. That’s how sick and incapacitated it made me.

Vata constitution has made it more difficult to heal all that organ damage. But I’m certainly not jealous of people who can tolerate psych drugs for years and years, only partly present and alive.

Because having more people who “tolerate” poison and toxicity for longer and longer periods of time is not helping our health as a society. In fact it is creating a society of half-alive half-zombies. A society where being highly toxic and poisoned but being able to get by with some extra uppers and downers each day is the norm. However, underneath that is incredible suffering that is just barely glossed over. And yes, having a sensitive constitution, I feel that suffering emanating from almost everyone.

I recently had a personalized tincture made from an herbalist.  It includes an essence, a subtle vibrational medicine that requires intention to work. The herbalist instructed me to take it each day with an intention.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve said an intention to myself as I’ve taken it. These included intentions such as “to receive the healing/guidance/wisdom of the plants” or “to restore my adrenals/energy”.

Today I woke up feeling some adrenal restoration, after working on this actively for the past few weeks. This was following hitting a bottom of adrenal exhaustion and utter depletion from insane amounts of stress. When I took my tincture today, I said my intention.  My intention was “to restore the health of the earth and myself together, to work with the earth in harmony.”


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3 thoughts on “Iatrogenic Injury, Ayurvedic Constitution, and Aging

  1. Julie Greene, MFA says:

    Don’t worry, Chaya. These things pass. My boyfriend died suddenly when we were both 45. Not long after, I was walking outside and slipped on ice. I hit the ground hard, harder than I ever had. I was on the ground for so long that at that very moment, I realized my age. I was told this was the way it was, that people age and fall hard. The implication was that I would be that way from now on. I was on maybe 7 psych meds at that time. Hitting hard was a wakeup call for me. I knew I wasn’t elderly at 45. I also knew my weight was climbing rapidly and I didn’t know why. It was the Seroquel. By the time I found out, my weight had more than doubled, that is, it was twice what I should have weighed. I made up my mind I had no desire to be elderly at 45. I am glad now that I fell, since it drove me to go straight to my MD and demand that she take me off Seroquel.

    I was over three decades in the System and for almost all of those years, on giant cocktails. Most likely that’s why they loved me so much. The pills didn’t do much except give me side effects. They exclaimed, “You’re responding!” (Yeah, doc, if this pacing keeps up, I’ll pace out of this joint…)

    I don’t know how old you are, but it does get better. Aging is a good thing, not bad! I’m 57 and I rarely fall. If I do, I bounce back like a kid. Mentally speaking, I don’t get depressed anymore, and I don’t get that “angst” feeling that comes from shrinks bossing you around. I haven’t been bored for 20 years. I am sure that if I weren’t this well off, I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the insomnia I have. It’s every single night. I only sleep a couple of hours, and never deeply. Yes, I am constantly exhausted. I hear well, too well (noises annoy me so I’d rather be hard of hearing) but I can’t see much but a blur. It makes an okay excuse for flubbing up, though.

    A terrific part of aging is that the men stopped chasing me. If they aren’t after your wallet (or perceived wallet or parents’ wallets) they want your body and nothing else. I’m quite thankful. Also, you become wise because you have so many years of life experience. You save not having to buy sanitary supplies, too. I love being nearly 60.

    Julie and Puzzle

  2. truthman30 says:

    Have you tried ‘Maca”? It’s a Peruvian root made into a powder, and you take it as a supplement. I found it was the only thing which helped my Adrenals after burn out, it’s an Adaptogen herb. I was also on psych drugs when I was 21 to 25 (Seroxat/Paxil) so I understand completely the damage they do. We spend the rest of our lives trying to heal it. Great blog by the way. 🙂

  3. Julie Greene, MFA says:

    Hey, Truthman, thanks for not saying “detox.” Yes, the damages can stay with us a long time, long after any trace of the drug is out of our systems. So many people assume you spend years “detoxing” when truth is, you’re not, starting not long after you stop the drug. Your body heals, mends itself.

    Yes, Maca is readily available here where I live. i have used it for hot flashes but i don’t really get them now. Mostly, if I get all hot and sweaty it’s because my digestion is overworked.

    As for the insomnia, it’s so severe that I am sure it must be sleep apnea. Actually, the psych drugs can cause it regardless of weight. I always assumed that because I don’t snore, I couldn’t possibly have sleep apnea. but recently I read that even non-snorers can get it. I never ever ever get a decent night’s sleep, four years now. It has nothing to do with “inability to relax.” It is clearly independent of any mental state I may be in.


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