Acceptance and patience

flowing river

It may seem counterintuitive, but when it comes to withdrawal, anecdotal wisdom suggests that constantly struggling against symptoms and impatiently trying to speed up healing may not only be ineffective and draining, but it may also increase anxiety and stress, which in turn can make symptoms more intense. On the other hand, many people report that practicing acceptance and patience can be two of their most effective approaches to coping. 

Of course, this can be difficult to do. When presented with a problem, pain or physical threat of some kind, it seems almost instinctively human to want to resolve it or struggle against it. Going through psychiatric drug withdrawal is no different: most people want to find a resolution to their symptoms as soon as possible, and for some, the symptoms feel like a threat—to their fundamental health and well-being, and perhaps even to their economic stability or personal relationships. It’s completely understandable to resist such symptoms and want them to end and, in many cases, turning to coping techniques of various kinds can make some of these symptoms more tolerable. But withdrawal can be unpredictable and, for some, there are aspects of this complex, nonlinear, and often slow process that can at times be outside of anyone’s control. At such times, many laypeople report that it can be helpful to turn to two time-honored traditions of inner wisdom. One is acceptance: recognizing the reality of a situation without trying to change it. Another is patience: abiding the situation without acting on the frustrations and annoyances that may arise. 

Indeed, some people find it helpful and calming simply to hear and be reassured that what they are experiencing is commonly experienced by many on the journey off psychiatric drugs, and that in all likelihood the symptom will eventually subside and disappear during the natural healing process.