Hospitals equal torture?

Mclean's Hospital Boston MA
« on: July 24, 2017, 03:07:21 pm »

[Buddie]

Doing some research I think that I have found a hospital outside of Boston Massachusetts that has some knowledge of benzo tapering and withdrawal. I have contacted the program’s director and I’m hoping to get a response sometime soon. I have been struggling with benzos for years and am worn out. I am hoping to find somebody that can really help me and not just a script doctor.

http://www.mcleanhospital.org/news/2016/08/02/tapering-addictive-therapies
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:57:12 pm by [Buddie]

Re: Mclean's Hospital Boston MA
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 03:16:39 pm »

[Buddie]

Hi,

I understand how you feel, but please be very careful about hospital “detoxes.” I went through one several years ago, in a major Seattle hospital where the doctor was supposed to be a “benzo expert.” They cold turkeyed me the minute I walked in the door, monitored my blood pressure for a few days, then sent me home to endure hellish long-term withdrawal symptoms alone. I only saw the doctor once, for a few minutes, and it cost me many thousands of dollars. Many others here have similar experiences with hospital detoxes. “Detox” is designed for alcohol and street drugs, not benzos, which require a much longer recovery period.

For long term users, the best way to get off benzos is to taper slowly at home. It’s not always easy, but it generally leads to milder symptoms in the long run.

Knott’s Berry Farm had a ride called Fear VR: 5150

Fear VR: 5150 will be largely themed to a mysterious medical facility. Guests receive timed tickets, and upon their entry will be greeted by ominous nurses at the Meadowbrook Institute, guests become the latest patients inside the mysterious facility. Once checked-in, the new patients are warned of a dangerous, telekinetic female inmate known as “Katie,” who has just gone missing. Strapped to a specialized wheelchair, patients’ embark on a terrifying tour of the institute.

Regarding the experience itself, eight people at a time are loaded into 4D-effects seats disguised as wheelchairs. Once seated, they are provided with Samsung Gear VR headsets, headphones and a panic button. A safety message will be displayed while each guest’s hands are strapped down to the wheelchair, before beginning their four minutes of terror.

Parkgoers are strapped into chairs, given VR goggles and told to press the “panic button” if the experience becomes overwhelming.

“The journey into terror begins as you’re greeted by so-called medical professionals from some place called Meadowbrook Hospital,” he wrote. “Just go with the flow and sit right down in the wheelchair, and strap on the VR goggles and earphones, basically blocking out any sign of the outside world. A nurse adds arm straps, so you can’t remove the VR equipment on your own. Seconds later comes the horrifying realization that you’re absolutely at the mercy of the hospital staff.

“You are, however, given a ‘panic button’ to push in case the experience is too much. But that doesn’t exactly bring down the anxiety level, does it? For with a panic button comes the understanding that, well, you might need to use it.”

There’s one moment where you feel yourself getting an injection, which is something I imagine has never happened before in a 4D experience”.

Fear VR: 5150

Fear VR: 5150 controversy

For Halloween Haunt in 2016, Knott’s Berry Farm introduced Fear VR: 5150, a virtual reality attraction that was met with controversy from the mental health community regarding the negative portrayal of mental illness.[45] The ten-minute-long attraction immersed guests inside of a chaotic mental hospital haunted by a supernatural central character named Katie and zombie-like patients.[46] The initial controversy came from the attraction’s name, with 5150 referring to the California law that allows a law enforcement officer or clinician to involuntarily commit a person suspected of having a mental illness and determined “a danger to themselves or others”. The backlash was focused on Cedar Fair’s use of painful experiences suffered by those dealing with mental illness and to have it “transmogrified into spooky entertainment”.[45] In response, Cedar Fair removed “5150” from the name, and after continued opposition, permanently closed the attraction on September 28, 2016, only six days after its debut.[47][48] A petition was signed by more than 2,000 people hoping Cedar Fair would bring it back, with the petition’s organizer stating that Cedar Fair shouldn’t be “forced to shut down an attraction based on the words of people who had not even experienced the attraction”.[49]

Cedar Fair initially responded by dropping the “5150” subtitle — code for a possibly disturbed individual who could be a danger to himself or others — from the original “Fear VR: 5150” name, the Voice of OC said

The controversy was reminiscent of the brouhaha that erupted in the Bay Area in 2009 when Psycho Donuts opened in Campbell with straitjacket decor and an array of doughnuts whose names were deemed offensive by the mental health community. A truce was eventually reached, with Psycho toning down the decor and dropping the most egregious names.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/27/great-america-knotts-berry-farm-pull-plug-on-fearvr-for-halloween/

Kook wants to Crowdfund a taper hospital where cult members can stay indefinitely (there’s already such a place, it’s called an insane asylum)

Could a detox facility similar to Ashton's be created today?
« on: May 04, 2017, 02:13:04 pm »

[Buddie]

It’s been a while since I’ve read the Ashton Manual, so I’m not sure if it included any historical portions in there such as when the facility started and ended. But with the failure that is the modern day psychiatric hospitals and detox centers where you only get about 14 to 30 days before you are discharged (and usually in worse shape than when you came in), you would have to think there is room to have a longer term facility similar to Ashton’s that could be recreated today. I would gladly turn myself over to such a facility to live there indefinitely since I’m out of ideas on how to stabilize myself and already on disability. How much time money do you think a facility like that would take to create? What do you think would be the best location for such a facility? Do you think that it would be possible to use crowdfunding to get something like this created?

Re: Could a detox facility similar to Ashton's be created today?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 03:36:33 pm »

[Buddie]

I think that prof Ashton treated most people outpatient. Anyway, it would be possible if there were enough funding ! I’m not sure why it doesn’t exist, it wouldn’t be that expensive nor would the costs of certain academic research be that prohibitive.

Money, money, money … who’s gonna pay ? A few 100,000 USD or a few millions would go a long way I think. Any rich members who want to contribute ?

Re: Could a detox facility similar to Ashton's be created today?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2017, 04:15:05 pm »

[Buddie]

I would but I’m dead broke. 

Re: Could a detox facility similar to Ashton's be created today?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 04:19:52 pm »

[Buddie]

Professor Ashton only ran an out-patient clinic on the NHS here in the UK. Sadly it was closed down many years ago.

There has been no such facility since then.

[…] 

Re: Could a detox facility similar to Ashton's be created today?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 04:41:56 pm »

[Buddie]

I’ve thought about buying some property in the Caribbean and starting a benzo recovery retreat. The idea being, a place where one could go during or after your taper, stay for as long as needed (e.g. weeks, months), offering relaxing therapies (e.g. yoga, meditation) and healthy living (organic food, exercise) in a tranquil setting. A place to heal from benzos or other psych drugs. Cost would be comparable to a staying at a modest resort, which is to say not cheap but much less than the outrageous amounts charged by “detox” facilities which don’t really do anything for you except suddenly yank you off drugs which is not the best approach for benzos anyway. I think it’d take a few hundred thousand dollars to start such a facility. I’m not rich but it’d be do-able if I wanted to gamble a chunk of my retirement savings on the idea. Do you think this is a good idea? Would anyone come to such a facility?

I don’t think one could do it in the U.S. due to regulations and the high cost of any kind of health care here.

BENZO FREE AND LOVING IT? NOT EXACTLY.

Healed after 12 years!
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:51:33 pm »

[Buddie]

I’m coming up on 12 years benzo free. On may 5, 2005 I was cold turkeyed in the hospital. It was the most horrific and unforeseen event in my life and it has changed me as a human being forever. Slowly, very slowly over 1-5 benzo free years my symptoms waxed and waned until at 5 years benzo free my life was about 80% of what I was pre-benzo. Life was good but not great for a few months. The unrelenting horror, mental anguish and general displeasure for life had abated but the physical symptoms were still alive and well… just milder and I expected them to all abate as well as time marched on.

At almost 6 years benzo free the flood gates reopened again and I was cast back into what I would call acute benzo withdrawal! It was just as bad as the beginning if not worse… as a matter of fact a lot worse! All the progress I made was suddenly gone and I was left a 40 year old man with a wife and two kids, a beautiful home crying on the floor with no hope for a future. It nearly broke me as a human being and I was ready to give up.

Luckily I had tremendous support from the person I had been with my whole life…My loving wife. She knew me since high school and knew that this was not the man she married. Luckily she believed in me because I didn’t and at 6 years I didn’t think recovery was possible. I thought I had permanent brain damage from the ativan and I would never recover.

My wife got busy and contacted many people on my behalf.  Una Corbett, Barry Haslam, Baylissa Frederick (Bliss), and even to professor Ashton herself! They ‘ALL’ said to my amazement ‘HE WILL RECOVER’ and ‘THIS SOMETIMES HAPPENS’. She even made an account here to talk to people on my behalf (I was too unwell to post then). I’m Mr. B by the way!

The symptoms were very hard up until 11 years benzo free and right now at almost 12 years benzo free my life is brilliant!!!  I can see the light again and feel love, joy, and happiness. I’m 47 years old and have a new lease on life and you will too. Please people believe in recovery…BELIEVE!!!

It happens for ‘EVERYBODY’ given time and staying off  benzos and ‘ALL’ chemical crap!

Mr. B

Anti-psychiatry site Benzo Buddies threatens psychiatrists

These people should definitely go to jail for a long time.
I’m more than angry at these so called, doctors.. my doctor was an addictions specialist too.. I think they specialize in getting people addicted!
  1. Legal drug dealers, that’s what they are!

I’m mad too.

        • I went to the best doc of my city.
          I was diagnosed with major depression and he gav me escitalopram + benzos when I was under benzo WD without have any ideia ? ? ?
          I had hallucinations, etc
          thank you
I should know, I’m a clinical psychologist
Vent: My old psychiatrist should be in jail
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:15:25 am »

[Buddie]

Sorry if this is in the wrong place, I’m just having a hard time accepting the fact that NOBODY TOLD ME QUITTING KLONOPIN WOULD BE THIS HARD

Also- WHAT KIND OF “ADDICTION PSYCHIATRIST” STARTS A NEW PATIENT (me) ON 4mg KLONOPIN DAILY BECAUSE SHE HAD A BREAKDOWN… WHAT KIND OF DOCTOR RENEWS THAT RX FOR 2+ YEARS???

A doctor that prefers cash

The same doctor that has been prescribing my dad klonopin for the last 12 years when my dad is a very obvious alcoholic.

“People […] in from all over the country to see me”- yeah, because you are their dealer…

My new doctor, the one who insisted I taper off, did not believe my former dose. I had to bring in an RX bottle.

You were told to keep your opinions to yourself, in the psych ward, because you’re crazy as shithouse rat

Re: Word is getting out there at long last.
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2017, 10:14:46 pm »

[Buddie]

[…] is so right about our NHS service here in the UK. I personally have really been let down.

Having to spend 4 months twice on a psych ward being poly drugged because they wouldn’t believe me that I was having withdrawal symptoms
due to the benzos that I was prescribed.

Thankfully it was on my 3rd attempt that I became drug free and it is almost 4 years but have suffered with PTSD with what they put me through.
Was told that this should not have happened and yet I bet there are women right now on the same psych ward going through what I did.

You will be shocked at how many women I met that were there for the same reason as myself who were having issues regarding the menopause.
When I tried to explain that the symptoms they were having were more than likely due to their drugs. I was warned by the nurses to keep
my opinions to myself.

[…]

FORTY DRUG NIGHTMARE

Doctors put me on 40 different meds for bipolar and depression
« on: June 02, 2016, 05:30:28 am »

[Buddie]

Source: https://medium.com/invisible-illness/doctors-put-me-on-40-different-meds-for-bipolar-and-depression-it-almost-killed-me-c5e4fbea2816#.7kfi3px5m

Tears were flooding down my face. Textbooks, highlighters, and my laptop were strewn across the bed, along with my crumpled body. I sobbed into my pillow, in hopes that it would all go away. Deep, low depressive swings had once again returned to my life. Despite my outward appearance as a highly motivated 21-year-old college student, my energy was sapped. It was getting harder to concentrate, harder to get out of bed, harder to get through the day without weeping.

My psychiatrist had been changing my medication in hopes of finding an anti-depressant combination that would help me to feel like my passionate self again. It wasn’t working. That night I called my friends and family crying. I needed to vent and release some of my pent-up sorrow. I needed to connect with people who would understand. I needed loved ones to help me hold a bit of the gut-wrenching, depressive pain that flowed through every inch of my body. After I hung up, I felt a bit better. I set my alarm for an early morning wake-up to get in some studying before finals the next day. I hazily drifted off to sleep, salty tears drying on my cheek.

A couple of hours later, my heart erupted with panic as two armed police officers burst into my tiny dorm room. I was half-naked, shaking my head in terror as one cop ripped open drawer after drawer, barking “Where are your pills?” Another police officer got in my face and demanded an answer to the question, “Are you going to kill yourself?”

One of the police officers shoved a phone in my ear. On the other end was a psychiatrist I’d never spoken with before. With terror in my voice, I told him I wasn’t going to kill myself, that I was just letting off some steam. I pleaded and begged with him to tell the officers to leave — not to handcuff me and take me to the psychiatric ward that night.

I was lucky. Something I said convinced the doctor I didn’t need to be placed on a mandatory involuntary hold in a mental hospital. But if the color of my skin wasn’t white, or if I wasn’t cisgender, or at an affluent college, I may not have been so lucky. People of color face disproportionate risk of violence in police encounters — and police are the first responders in mental health crises.

I didn’t make it to my finals the next day. I had stayed up most of the night, trembling with fear, so when the sun finally rose, I took a long, warm shower. Sitting on the bathroom floor, back pressed against the wall, fingers shaking, I dialed the number of my psychiatrist. I wasn’t sobbing this time. My tone was distant and my gaze was glassy and vacant. She convinced me to check myself into the psychiatric ward. In a haze, I slowly packed items into a bag and a man I’d never met before dropped me off for my first psychiatric ward visit.

Within an hour of checking into the hospital, I knew I needed to leave. The air was thick with pain. People wandered the fluorescent lit halls. Like mine, their eyes were vacuous. When someone erupted in an expression of intense emotion, doctors swiftly followed the outburst with sedatives. There was no wellness here. After several hours, I packed my bag, walked up to the front desk and told the secretary:

“I’d like to check out.”

“You can’t leave.”

“… I came here voluntarily.”

If you walk through those doors, we’ll place a mandatory involuntary hold on you and put you in there,” she motioned toward the ward next to mine, where I would’ve been taken last night.

My breath grew heavier and my eyes darted back and forth. I was trapped. Still reeling from the previous evening, my heart was beating out of my chest. I slowly curled in a fetal position on the hospital floor. I was having a panic attack. Two doctors in white coats and clipboards hovered over me. After a few minutes, they medicated me and I drifted into sleep.

I had never been suicidal before being locked in a mental hospital.

Much of my stay there was a blur of medications. I laid on my back in a cold bed for days, for the first time wanting to die. I shuffled off to group therapy in my gray hospital socks, listened to the screams of my neighbors, peered into the ward next door, and obliged when student doctors and clergy came into my room and asked if I wanted to pray or take long surveys about my mental health. I took the surveys but declined the prayers.

Sometime during my stay doctors etched the diagnosis “Bipolar Disorder” onto my chart. My brow furrowed with confusion. I had managed intense OCD and anxiety since I was in elementary school, and yes, over the last several years, I had waves of depression, but otherwise I was high-functioning: I took the maximum course load, got straight A’s, worked multiple jobs, led several campus organizations, and performed in numerous plays simultaneously. I thrived off the adrenaline of being busy. I crackled with ideas and buzzed with creativity. My energy and passion were my greatest assets, how could that be an illness?

The diagnosis was the first time I really tried to understand myself in the context of pathology. Someone who barely knew me combed through my traits and behaviors and labeled it as a disease. Bipolar Disorder. Grappling with this new way of understanding my identity, I felt my brain begin to slow with each fistful of pills I dutifully swallowed. I wasn’t on merely a drug or two — I was on four or five and counting. Antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, sleep drugs, anxiety pills, each addressing a side effect brought on by the last one. My energy, passion, and strong-will began to fade away as apathy and lethargy settled in. I said “yes” more. I didn’t really care what happened.

The psychiatric ward released me to a halfway house for people with mental health challenges. The doctors at the house sat my worried parents down and told them that I was ill. That my academic and personal accomplishments were not something to be proud of: They were a product of my bipolar mania. The doctors’ answer? An expensive combination of pills that would help me be happy, stable, and “normal.”

After awhile I somehow managed to get back into the swing of school. On the surface it appeared like I was thriving, but people close to me knew I was very unwell. My health declined rapidly. The medications made it almost impossible to wake up for class in the morning. My father, recently laid off from his job at a car dealership after being diagnosed with cancer, drove 45 minutes to my school everyday to wake me up and drive me across campus to class.

My once sharp memory dissipated. I used to be an actress, performing in multiple shows at a time, easily remembering every single line. Creativity was a core part of my identity and wellness. Now I would read one line over and over again, unable to retain a word. I did my last performance with a script in hand. Each time I left the stage, I vomited profusely before coming back on again — another side effect of the medications. Eventually, I stopped performing altogether.

Over time, I developed dependence on the anti-anxiety drug ativan, which I was prescribed to take every day, multiple times a day. On top of my other medications, my doctor prescribed me 20mg adderall to help get me up the morning, followed by 2mg ativan to reduce the teeth-chattering anxiety brought on by the morning’s strong upper. Then I would take another adderall mid-day to bring me up, followed by another dose of ativan. When panic attacks hit — which they frequently did — I would take multiple ativan at a time. Once, I collapsed on the floor of a campus building. A woman working at the front desk found me passed out cold on the floor and called my partner to pick me up.

“I’m just really tired,” I told her.

I gained 125 pounds and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I started taking a daily hormone to treat a thyroid disorder, which I developed from my mood stabilizer lithium. (The damage from lithium was permanent, I still need to use the thyroid hormone to this day.) I started experiencing severe, incapacitating migraines where I would need to lay in complete darkness for days at a time, vomiting relentlessly, occasionally making a trip to the ER. Migraine preventatives and painkillers were just another addition to my daily fistful of medications.

I barely survived those two years, but still somehow managed to graduate with two degrees, honors, and a Fulbright Scholarship. I even received several academic awards that came with monetary prizes. But my money was gone in the next several months, every cent going to out-of-pocket medication expenses. Lithium alone was $300 a month.

My family didn’t have a lot of money, but we made ends meet. I was better off than most. When I didn’t have an income or home, I stayed with my supportive parents in a safe place. Unfortunately, many marginalized people with mental health challenges don’t have access to this kind of luxury; for many, comprehensive mental health treatment is prohibitively expensive. My family went into debt to pay for medications and treatment because my doctors told me I was sick and needed them. We complied without question.

I never went on my Fulbright scholarship. As my medication count climbed, I slowed to a halt. I stopped being able to drive. Despite my costly treatments, panic and depression still overwhelmed me. I was unable to function. I didn’t feel anything anymore.

Over a five-year period, I was on more than 40 medications. The side effects brought me to the edge of my physical and emotional limits. My body broke out in hives and red bumps. One medication made it difficult to take deep breaths for several weeks. I was either up all night wired in panic or sleeping for 12+ hours. I ate everything I could find or I didn’t eat for days, the thought of food making me feel sick. I was horny all the time and then I didn’t want to be touched.

I couldn’t leave my room. All of my memories became jumbled and I couldn’t tell if I had made a situation up or if it had actually happened. I didn’t recognize myself anymore, physically or mentally. I couldn’t see any way out of this deep pain and numbness. I would lie on my side and stare at the dozen pill bottles on my counter and the boxes of partially used medications that I had been prescribed then taken off of. I laid awake thinking about how easy it would be to swallow every pill in the bottles and drift off into a state where I wouldn’t feel unrelenting emptiness and agony.

Soon my psychiatrist had a new diagnosis for me: Treatment Resistant Depressive. Because I had taken every psychiatric drug on the market in different combinations and still felt depressed, there was no cure for me and we had to take a more drastic measure: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a cousin of electroshock therapy. My old self would have resisted. My over-medicated self was much more passive and docile. I didn’t put up a fight, I didn’t care. I felt dead already. And I would have gone through with the procedure if my insurance hadn’t denied me the service because it was too expensive.

A small voice inside of me thought: “I need to get off these medications.”

I devoted the next three years to the challenging, painstaking process of coming off my 10+ drug cocktail. I left my psychiatrist for a new one, a person I told, “I just want to get off of my meds to establish a baseline.” She reluctantly agreed. She didn’t have the vision or understanding of my mission, and I quickly found that my own research outpaced what she knew about the drugs.

Medication is a tool: Some people’s lives are saved by the right combination. Other people respond better to wellness options outside of the mainstream. Cannabis helped ease my depression, anxiety, pain, mood swings, and sleep challenges. Not only alleviating some of my mental and physical pain, cannabis centered me in gratitude and gave me some much-needed motivation and energy. I could now do short errands, drive around the block, even get to my own doctor appointments on public transportation — huge accomplishments for me. It was also the first time I was in control of my own dosing.

Tapering did not come without challenges, however. A whole new batch of withdrawal symptoms entered my life: My entire body itched, and I would scratch until I bled; I frequently woke up convulsing, my body drenched in a cold sweat; my moods were unpredictable; my anxiety, overwhelming. I menstruated everyday for months at a time. And yet, with each medication I eliminated, I became more myself again. I went to a sliding-scale community acupuncture clinic which relieved me of some of the physical and emotional pain of withdrawal. Weight started coming off. I no longer had sleep apnea. My migraines persisted but with less intensity.

As I began to read about alternative mental health frameworks, I realized that I am not sick with mental illness — I live in a sick society and have “dangerous gifts”: They need to be handled with care, but they are also my sources of passion, connectivity, creativity, and drive.

Now I identify as “neurodivergent”, a framework through which I transform what I have been taught are my weaknesses, diseases, and shameful secrets into my strengths.

Neurodivergence also recognizes that mental health challenges are deeply tied to societal oppression along lines including race, class, gender identity, and physical disability. Discriminatory barriers often make it even more difficult to access treatment. It’s hard to achieve wellness within a system that profits from our illness. But when our dangerous gifts receive the meaningful support they need, we can transform society. Our greatest challenges become our wellsprings of power.

I am not an anomaly. I am one of many people who barely survived the mental health system. Lots of folks with dangerous gifts are sitting in prison and psychiatric wards right now instead of receiving the support they need. It’s quite likely that you or someone you know has been deeply impacted by mental health challenges — even if that person hasn’t opened up about them. While each of our stories is unique, many of our experiences echo one another’s, reminding us that we are not alone.