Write down responses if you find it helpful, or simply sit with these questions and reflect on them.
1. Level of respectfulness in the relationship:
- Do I feel that I’m a co-collaborator with my prescriber and that my own opinions, experiences, perspectives and wishes are valued and help steer medication decisions?
- If I’ve disagreed with my prescriber’s recommendations in the past, did I ever feel that I was then pressured or forced to do things that I didn’t want to do, or that I was at risk of being incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital?
- Does my prescriber know that coming off my medications is something I’m considering? If not, is there something holding me back from telling them?
- If I tried to taper with this prescriber before, did I feel respected and supported throughout the process, even if it didn’t go well?
2. Level of understanding of withdrawal:
- Does my prescriber understand the reality of psychiatric drug withdrawal?
- If my prescriber isn’t informed about psychiatric drug withdrawal, do they seem open and willing to learn about it?
- If I’ve brought up slow tapering with my prescriber, have they said it’s “unnecessary” or implied that they know better than I do or than other patients who’ve experienced it do about how slowly to taper or how risky rapid tapering can be?
- If I tried to taper with my prescriber’s help in the past unsuccessfully, what lessons did we each learn, and will we be on the same page this time?
3. Checking in
Having spent some time reflecting on your relationship to your prescriber, how are you feeling about it? If you feel that your relationship to your prescriber is positive, collaborative and strong, and that they’re already well-informed about psychiatric drug withdrawal and truly slow tapering and supportive of your wishes, that’s great news! You may find it even more helpful to actively involve your prescriber in your work with this Companion Guide. You may wish to skip the rest of this step and move on to the next one.
However, if you’ve given your prescriber a poor rating on any of the issues explored, it’s important to consider options for improving the nature of your relationship. Before moving on to the 'Reflections', we recommend heading to the Help Hub to read the article, “Maintaining a Workable Relationship with a Prescriber During Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal”, where you’ll find some helpful layperson-sourced thoughts and tips.
In this section
- Introduction: The Vital Role of Good Preparation
- Step 1- How Do I Feel About the Idea of Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs?
- Step 2- Learn About Psychiatric Drug Dependence, Tolerance and Withdrawal
- Step 3- What is My Withdrawal Beacon?
- Step 4- Managing Day-to-Day Responsibilities and Tasks
- Step 5- Building a Support System
- Step 6- Communicating with Prescribers
- Step 7- Listening to the Body and Its Messages
- Step 8- Being With Pain and Darkness
- Step 9- Is the Time Right For Me to Taper?