In my first three posts in this series, I review the book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker. In my last post, I reviewed Whitaker’s points about the industry of drugging up kids. In this post, I explain how my experience as a Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP) survivor informs my reaction to this book.
Better Off Without Drugs
A common theme throughout the book was how much better off people are when they aren’t on medications; regardless of whether they really are mentally ill or not. A study that Whitaker noted showed that exercise was a much better remedy for people with mild to moderate depression than Zoloft.
I can say now, since I have been a good ten years off these drugs, that I have much more clarity, and I feel like a human, not a slave to these pills. It really was like being a drug addict, fending off the sickness with the next dose; although these doses were prescribed by caring medical professionals.
However, to get to this point of clarity, one must muddle through the madness. I went crazy when I took myself off the pills at the tender age of 18. I believe it took close to two years before I really settled down, and initially, I was like a feral child. I went so manic, which many physicians would say confirms that I needed to be on the medication.
However, according to Whitaker, our brain develops an adaptive response to the chemical imbalance the medication creates, and when we go off the meds, we can go through a “relapse”, which is pretty much what I went through. I mean, I was running around Walgreens, decked out in a Satan mask, and ripping them off of their frozen pizzas! The post-medication time in my life was tumultuous to say the least, but I got through it.
Looking back, I feel like the medication put a haze over this period of my life, which in some ways could be a good thing, because a lot of bad things happened. However, now that I really know clarity, I wonder what it would have been like to really feel. I recount my past with emotional detachment, like I’m retelling a movie I’ve watched over and over.
Book Review Conclusion
I must say that Whitaker’s book has been a huge source of validation for me, and has helped me understand why I have so many blank spots in my past. Understanding through education is very important to me.
Have you read “Anatomy of an Epidemic”?
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