Intervoice, we welcome people’s right to choose their own path (whether or not this involves the use of medication). If someone is struggling to cope with the voices they hear, and is diagnosed with a mental health problem, they may be under a great deal of pressure to take medication whether or not they find it useful. Sometimes this pressure can be implicit. The person may be given no other options and told that this is the only way to treat their ‘illness’. However, this pressure can also be explicit, where someone is forced to take medication against their will.
It is important that people have the opportunity to think through their use of medication, and support to make their own choices about this. This page brings together some resources and information about medication. We will add to is as more resources become available.
Thinking About Medication
Healing schizophrenia: Using medication wisely, by John Watkins
A refreshing challenge to the widely-held belief that most people diagnosed with schizophrenia will require long-term neuroleptic treatment, and that recovery is relatively unusual without it. This book shows how a holistic approach which treats body, mind and soul can significantly improve the likelihood of healing and recovery, even for those with a long history of schizophrenia.
Mad In America: www.madinamerica.com
Website including Robert Whitaker, author of ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness’. Contains critical perspectives on medication, diagnosis and psychiatry written by guest ‘bloggers’ from around the world.
Psychiatric Drugs Explained, by Dr David Healey (available as an e-book)
Psychiatric Drugs Explained contains a clear and comprehensive guide to the uses, benefits and impact of psychotropic drugs. It explains how people taking the drugs experience their side effects compared to the benefits they may bring. The fifth edition has been fully revised and updated to include the latest thinking on the rationale for drug treatements to help mental health professionals and service users understand therapeutic decision making.
The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment, Dr Joanna Moncrieff
This book exposes the traditional view that psychiatric drugs correct chemical imbalances as a dangerous fraud. It traces the emergence of this view and the way it supported the vested interests of the psychiatric profession, the pharmaceutical industry and the modern state.
Coming Off Medication
If you, or someone you know, is considering reducing, or withdrawing from, psychiatric medication – please read through some of these resources first. Whilst people can, and do, live with voices without medication – coming off medication can be a real challenge, so it’s important to do it slowly and make sure you have the support you need.
Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs: A Harm Reduction Approach, Will Hall
Coming Off Psychiatric Medication
This website aims to give you up to date information about psychiatric medication, how it functions and the withdrawal process. It is put together by people who have been prescribed medication and withdrawn from it, and clinicians who have been involved in supporting this process.
Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs (Available in: English, German, Greek, Spanish)
This guide brings together the best information we’ve discovered and lessons we’ve learned at The Icarus Project and Freedom Centre. It is not intended to persuade anyone to stop taking psychiatric medications, but instead aims to educate people about their options if they decide to explore going off.
Making Sense of Coming Off Psychiatric Medication
Many people want to come off their psychiatric medication. This booklet looks at why these medicines are prescribed, the possible effects of coming off them, the best way to withdraw successfully, and how to tell the difference between withdrawal and ‘relapse’.