Reflections: Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs is About Journeying Back to Our Own Bodies

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Many of us have found that developing holistic approaches to improving our physical health and well-being has made an invaluable contribution towards successfully tapering off and healing from psychiatric drugs. Even more than that, though, many of us have learned through the process of coming off these drugs that this journey is about far more than simply getting medications out of our bodies. It’s about coming back into our bodies. As the numbness and negative effects of the drugs began to fade, all sorts of physical feelings both pleasant and painful started to emerge and become more prominent in our awareness, and so tapering, for us, became as much about reducing doses as about re-awakening to our bodies’ messages, sensitivities, and needs. Along the way, we’ve become deeply engaged in caring for the health of our bodies because we’ve discovered it’s what helps us feel more alive mentally, emotionally, socially, creatively, sexually, energetically, and spiritually as well.

At the same time, for many of us who’ve been taught to always “follow doctors’ orders”, we had to grapple with our deep-seated tendencies to turn to professionals, books, guidelines or other prescriptive approaches to tell us what to eat, how to sleep, how to exercise, and what it meant to take care of ourselves. The pressure to adopt pre-determined notions of what are “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong” ways to go about taking care of ourselves can feel strong. In the lay withdrawal community, we’ve found that it has been far more empowering and effective to let go of those outside pressures and messages and instead be gentle with ourselves in our own personal processes of discovery. We’ve focused on examining and uprooting any particular patterns or routines that we may have previously established so that there can be an open-minded re-visiting each day of what it means to really listen to our bodies. In this way, we each have found our own self-directed, self-empowered ways to begin truly maximizing our own physical well-being to help us taper off and heal from psychiatric drugs in as optimized a fashion as  possible. And along the way, we are re-discovering the amazing potential and abilities of our bodies, minds, and spirits to thrive.

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