Wondering Where to Start?
Welcome to Inner Compass Initiative’s The Withdrawal Project!
If you’re wondering where to start on our website, you may find it helpful to see our suggestions below based on specific circumstances that you may be in or particular questions, concerns or interests that you may have. Alternatively, you can keep reading to find summaries of the main sections and resources of our website.
Suggestions for Where to Start Based on Your Personal Circumstances
Are you taking or have you recently reduced/stopped taking psychiatric drugs and are now grappling with specific difficulties, questions, concerns, or confusion? Visit Learn for introductions to many key withdrawal issues, or visit Cope and Heal or the Help Hub for more detailed troubleshooting of specific concerns. Even if you've already stopped taking psychiatric drugs, you may still find it helpful to go through the Prepare, Part 1 of our Companion Guide to Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, and explore in depth different ways of managing ongoing withdrawal symptoms.
Are you on the journey of psychiatric drug withdrawal and looking to connect with others who’ve had their own experiences coming off medications? Join TWP Connect.
Do you want to become more informed about the psychiatric drugs that you or someone you care about is currently taking? Visit the “Interventions” section of Inner Compass Initiative’s Learn/Unlearn.
Are you looking to become better informed about psychiatric drug dependence, tolerance, interdose withdrawal, cold-turkey withdrawal, and more? Read “A Primer on Psychiatric Drug Dependence, Tolerance and Withdrawal”.
Do you want to get a clearer understanding of what “slow” means in the context of psychiatric drug tapering? Read “How Slow is "Slow" When it Comes to Psychiatric Drug Tapering?”.
Are you concerned about possible interactions, reactions, and sensitivities that you or someone you care about or work with is facing during psychiatric drug withdrawal? Visit “The Risks of Central Nervous System Destabilization Before and During Withdrawal”.
Are you a family member, supporter or friend of someone considering or going through psychiatric drug withdrawal, and looking to connect with other family members, supporters or friends who have been through or are going through similar situations? Consider joining ICI Connect and learn more about TWP’s Family Member & Friend Task Force.
Are you a practitioner who is working with people coming off psychiatric drugs and looking to contribute to creating withdrawal-related resources for other practitioners? Visit our TWP for Practitioners section to learn more about collaborating with us and how to get in touch.
Do you have a lot of energy to give towards helping others on the psychiatric drug withdrawal journey, along with writing, researching, networking, social media, artistic, creative or other skills that you’d like to contribute? Visit ICI’s Get Involved page and be in touch!
Suggestions for Where to Start Based on Key Withdrawal-Related Topics
Alcohol, caffeine and other psychoactive drugs during withdrawal
Brand versus generic medications
Central nervous system stability
Communicating with prescribers
Communicating with family and friends
Coping with symptoms
Dependence and tolerance
Drug forms and formulations
Drug safety, risks, and effectiveness [This link will take you to our sister site, Inner Compass Initiative)
Exercising during withdrawal
Genetics and drug metabolism
Metabolizing of drugs
Nutrition and withdrawal
Polypharmacy/Tapering off multiple psychiatric drugs
Tweaking a taper
Sensitivities to toxins and chemicals during withdrawal
Supplements during withdrawal-- For sleep, mood, focus, etc.
Supplements during withdrawal-- Vitamins and minerals
Along with our TWP Connect community-building and networking tool, our website provides information and resources about psychiatric drugs and withdrawal from them, much of which has been gathered from the broad community of ordinary people who have experienced withdrawal first-hand. These resources are designed to support you in your process of self-education regarding taking and coming off psychiatric drugs – whether you are a person currently taking medications or someone who knows, supports or works with a person who is on medications.
This is the “go-to” place for anyone who is looking to learn general information about psychiatric drug withdrawal and related issues. If you’re considering tapering, are currently tapering, are a family member, friend, supporter, therapist, or prescriber of someone tapering, or are just someone who wants to learn about tapering, then head to Learn first. In this section, we provide information about how psychiatric medications affect the central nervous system, what psychiatric drug dependence and withdrawal are and why they occur, what "slow" tapering means in the layperson withdrawal community, and more.
If you’re considering tapering (or if you have tapered already but are experiencing difficulties in withdrawal), Part 1 of our Companion Guide moves you through a series of important reflections, assessments, exercises, and information that will help you assess your current circumstances and lay the foundations for as smooth and successful a process as possible. Working through Prepare, you will reflect on your personal history with psychiatric medications and what that means for coming off them, review the main responsibilities and stressors in your daily life, and consider tips from the layperson withdrawal community for adjusting routines, maximizing physical health, and strengthening support systems ahead of and during the withdrawal journey. The Prepare guide concludes with an aid to self-assessing whether now truly feels like the right time for you to begin a taper.
Part 2 of our Companion Guide shares detailed reports on various aspects of psychiatric drug tapering that the layperson withdrawal community has found yield the least risky, smoothest and most successful outcomes. You’ll learn about what taper schedules and methods laypeople use, and get informed about taper rates that many people in the lay withdrawal community consider the most optimal. The Taper guide will then describe all of the gear, skills, and strategies that people in the lay withdrawal community commonly use to actually taper.
4. TWP Connect
This free online platform allows registered members who are thinking about, are in the process of, or have past experiences with reducing or coming off psychiatric drugs to find and connect with one another based on geography, interests, and needs. TWP Connect facilitates mutual support, the sharing of helpful lay resources and tips, in-person meetings, and hope and inspiration between its members. Having just launched in July of 2017, we’re actively working to increase the membership and improve the usefulness of these tools based on feedback from our members.
TWP’s Cope & Heal section is a welcoming space for anyone facing difficulties along the withdrawal journey—whether you are just starting to taper or are years into the journey of being off. If you’re having strange, painful, or scary experiences and you’re not sure if they could possibly be related to withdrawal, you can check our A to Z list of psychiatric drug withdrawal symptoms based on anecdotal reports gathered over the past decade. We also provide an A-to-Z list of coping techniques that others have found helpful for these symptoms of withdrawal—from “quick tips” to fuller descriptions of healing modalities, including links to free resources for further reading and testing out for yourself.
In our troubleshooting Help Hub for psychiatric drug withdrawal, you’ll currently find readings associated with TWP's Companion Guide to Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal— but in the near future, you'll find plenty more in the way of nitty-gritty details and tips gathered from the layperson withdrawal community relating to tweaking a taper, common problems people come up against, commonly asked questions, and more.
It isn’t just the person coming off psychiatric drugs for whom withdrawal can be life-changing—the people around that person, too, often go on their own journeys, face their own challenges and obstacles, and need their own support. This section of our website, which is currently under development, will be devoted to anyone who is a family member or friend of someone on the withdrawal journey. You’ll find resources for effectively supporting your loved one, becoming a better advocate, establishing healthy boundaries, and, most importantly, taking care of yourself.
More and more prescribers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and other kinds of practitioners are beginning to question the prevalence of psychiatric drugs and are opening up to the possibility of supporting patients and clients who want to taper. This section of our website, which is currently under development, aims to help practitioners empower themselves with information about psychiatric drug withdrawal, the safest known layperson taper protocols, and becoming more effective supporters of their patients and clients.