Supports that People Sometimes Find Helpful for the Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Journey
Below is a list of some of the kinds of support that many people on the journey off psychiatric drugs have found helpful to have in place along the way.
Practical and logistical support
If things get tough during withdrawal, having a “go-to” person or people to help with basic errands, chores, tasks, filling in at work, or other responsibilities can be a huge relief. For example, some people experience withdrawal symptoms that make driving or being in crowded or unfamiliar places difficult, so knowing that they can reach out to a family member or friend to help them with an errand can go a long way.
Your taper process is likely to require making calculations, using a spreadsheet, and/or using fine motor skills. If these are areas that you struggle with, having someone to help you can ease a lot of stress.
Sometimes, but not always, people find it difficult or even painful to navigate appointments with prescribers, therapists, lawyers, and other professionals when in the midst of psychiatric drug withdrawal—especially if they have a negative history with any of these individuals or types of people. It can be beneficial to have a family member or friend who’s willing and able to come with you to your appointments, keep notes, and help you voice your desires and choices if need be.
Fellowship with other withdrawal journeyers
Many people have found that having a sense of fellowship with other people who are coming off or have already come off psychiatric drugs has been essential to getting through withdrawal. These relationships can be vital ways to get validation of the reality of your withdrawal experiences, hear reassurance that you’ll get through and be okay and, most importantly, connect with hope that it gets better—because sometimes the most encouraging evidence that healing happens is the presence of someone who’s actually gotten off and recovered from psychiatric drugs. Whether it’s having a regular “text buddy” or “Skype buddy”, or finding people at TWP Connect who live near you so that you can meet up for a cup of tea or a walk, knowing that there are fellow journeyers by your side can make a huge difference.
Ongoing emotional and moral support from “non-taperers”
In addition to sharing that powerful sense of fellowship with other withdrawal journeyers, many people find it especially helpful to get ongoing emotional validation and support from family members or friends who aren’t going through withdrawal themselves, but who “get it” and who are validating of the experience. Considering the increased levels of sensitivity and emotion that can arise on the taper journey, simple, reliable emotional- and moral-bolstering from people in your life can often help you stay more grounded and centered.
Crisis planning and support
During the withdrawal journey, some people—typically those who taper off too quickly for their central nervous systems to handle—find themselves in the midst of such darkness and pain that they become convinced there’s no way out, that all is lost, or that they’re “permanently broken”. While careful preparation and responsible tapering greatly diminishes the odds of a crisis occurring, it can be helpful to develop a crisis plan in advance of starting your taper that lays out what you’d want and not want to have if you should ever find yourself in such a place of darkness. Just sharing or even developing that plan with trusted people who will support you and respect your wishes can itself bring a sense of reassurance and relief.
In this section
- The Risks of Central Nervous System Destabilization Before and During Withdrawal
- How Laypeople Tweak Their Tapers to Optimize Chances of a Smooth, Successful Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Journey
- Understanding and Moderating the Risks of Variable Drug Levels in Different Versions of the Same Medication
- How Do People Come off Multiple Psychiatric Drugs?
- Supports that People Sometimes Find Helpful for the Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Journey
- How Laypeople Build a Strong Support System for the Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal Journey
- Maintaining a Workable Relationship with a Prescriber During Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal