This guide brings together the best information we've discovered and lessons we've learned at The Icarus Project and Freedom Center. 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.
In a culture polarized between the pro-medication propaganda of pharmaceutical companies on the one hand, and the anti-medication agenda of some activists on the other, we offer a harm reduction approach to help people make their own decisions. We also present ideas and information for people who decide to stay on or reduce their medications.
Many people do find psychiatric drugs helpful and choose to continue taking them: even with the risks, this may be a better option given someone's situation and circumstances. At the same time, psychiatric drugs carry great dangers and can sometimes do terrible harm, even becoming bigger problems than the conditions they were prescribed to treat. Too often, people who need help getting off psychiatric drugs are left without guidance, and medication decisions can feel like finding your way through a labyrinth. We need honest information that widens the discussion, and we hope this guide helps people trust themselves more and take better care of one another.
Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs
Written by Will Hall.
Published by The Icarus Project and Freedom Center.
About Will Hall
Will Hall, MA, DiplPW is a mental diversity counselor and consultant with a private therapy practice based in Portland Oregon, and hold a Masters Degree in Process Work. Visit Will Hall's website.
About The Icarus Project
The Icarus Project is a website community, network of local groups, and media project created by and for people struggling with mad gifts commonly labeled as "mental illnesses." We are creating a new culture and language that resonates with our actual experiences of madness rather than trying to fit our lives into a conventional framework.
About Freedom Center
Freedom Center is an award-winning support, advocacy and activism community based in Western Massachusetts. Run by and for people labeled with mental disorders or who experience extreme states of consciousness, Freedom Center works for access to holistic alternatives, compassionate care, and an end to forced psychiatric treatment.
Thanks to: Ben Abelow, George Badillo, John Banister, Amy Bookbinder, Dave Burns, Kent Bye, Mick Bysshe, Monica Cassani, Oryx Cohen, Colin, Mary Kate Connor, Laura Delano, Jacqui Dillon, Dionysia Dionysius, Marc Dinacola, Dianne Dragon, dreamer, Sascha DuBrul, Empties, Steve Fenwick, Marian B.G., Vikki Gilbert, Richard Gilluly, Rhiannon Griffith, Chaya Grossberg, Molly Hardison, Gail Hornstein, Lee Hurter, Jenna, Jonah, Julie, Marianna Kefallinou, Ed Knight, Inez Kochius, Peter Lehman, Paul Levy, Krista MacKinnon, Jacks Ashley McNamara, Tsuyoshi Matsuo, Pheepho, Suzanne Richardson, Olga Runciman, Alex Samets, Sarah Seegal, Seven, Janice Sorensen, Lauren Spiro, Bonfire Madigan Shive, Stacco, Jessica Max Stein, Terramuggus, Amy Upham, Agustina Vidal, Dorea Vierling-Claassen, Robert Whitaker, Health Professional Advisors, and many other collaborators and allies.
Cover art: Jacks Ashley McNamara.
Art design: Carrie Bergman (first edition); Seth Kadish & Cheryl Weigel (second edition).
Contributing artists: Fly, Gheena, Will Hall, Miss Led, Jacks Ashley McNamara, Erik Ruin, Janice Sorensen, and Bec Young.
Web site and e-book: John Banister
Creative Commons copyright 2012. You have advance permission to print, copy, share, link, and distribute as many copies as you like, as long as you include source attribution, do not alter content, and there is no commercial financial gain. Please contact us for other uses.
This guide is written in the spirit of mutual aid and peer support. It is not intended as medical or professional advice. While everyone is different, psychiatric drugs are powerful and coming off suddenly or on your own can sometimes be dangerous.