I am posting this link from Beyond Meds as a public service for a fellow blogger who has been going through a tough withdrawal process after years of taking multiple medications, often at extremely high doses. She is finally off benzos, but is still suffering the lingering effects. A medical professional finally said it. She has endured injury to the brain because of using these drugs. It is the first time on her long journey that a doctor has put the blame where blame is due, on the medications for the protracted agony she has been going through. Critics have been saying all along what doctors have refused to acknowledge, that these drugs cause damage to the brain. I am using the phrase "damage to the brain" rather than "brain damage," to make a subtle distinction. Damage to the brain can be healed, whereas "brain damage" implies that the condition is irreversible. That's my interpretation, anyway.
I also feel it is important not to alarm people who are already struggling with the heavy anxiety and guilt that comes with the use of psychiatric drugs as part of the therapy. Since there are no "medically" sanctioned alternatives, and patients and relatives are not informed by the doctor about non-drug possibilities, antipsychotic medications are almost always part of the treatment plan. Therefore, it is extremely important to be vigilant with the doctors by doing your homework. Medication should be short term and in low doses. There is no justification for the use of two antipsychotics, scientific or otherwise. I do not believe in multiple diagnoses for a mental health condition. When your doctor diagnoses you as, for example, bipolar and schizoaffective, with OCD traits, what this means is that you have problems, and your doctor is one of them. He or she doesn't have a clue how to help you so simply piles on the drugs. Your only defense is to hold your doctor's feet to the fire to keep drugs to a minimum and learn to find other ways of coping.