Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: A Dilemma

On March 17, 2013, I wrote a post titled Withdrawal from Benzodiazepines.  In that post I wrote:

“Withdrawal from these drugs is potentially dangerous, incidentally, and medical supervision is a good idea, especially if the dependence is marked.  Try to find a physician other than the one who got you hooked on them in the first place.  In severe cases, hospitalization is required.”

On December 27, 2014, a reader (Nancy Rubenstein) left a comment which stated that this is dangerous advice in that  “…there are literally less than a handful of doctors nationwide who have proven they can handle this. There is no safe hospitalisation for people in psych drug withdrawal…”  Nancy also pointed out that when people do go to hospital for emergency withdrawal problems, they are often met with disbelief, and that this disbelief can result in further problems, e.g. diagnosis of a “mental illness”, further drugging, etc…

All of these points are well taken, and I appreciate Nancy’s feedback.  I received similar feedback from Monica Cassani (Beyond Meds) in March of 2013.

The great difficulty in all of this is that withdrawal from benzos can be life-threatening.  So people who have become addicted to these products are in a particularly difficult dilemma:  to seek medical care or not?  I would be very grateful for comments from people who have had to face this question, and from people who have experienced adverse consequences as a result of seeking medical care for this kind of withdrawal.

  • this is the text from a post in which I discuss this issue.

    I always find it sadly and tragically amusing when critics of psychiatry (generally professionals who are trying to cover their asses I guess) slam the psychiatric system and then tell people to be sure that they have a doctor to help them withdraw from drugs…as if these doctors are readily available. The thing is these people making this recommendation KNOW that they are not readily available and so they participate in the chaos by creating and perpetrating yet another double bind for those who’ve been subjected to and often already harmed by psychiatric treatment. We have it hard enough without these folks, too, pretending it’s better than it is.

    The truth is ugly in this instance. The truth is that when people tell their MDs they want to come off meds some MDs will discharge these patients without support. Other MDs will commit and force drug these patients. The truth is it is often dangerous to tell your doctor the truth. This is a tragedy that needs to end. People should be able to get support from a medical professional. I understand the wish that it were something that might be the case, but it’s simply very often not on offer. So slamming psychiatry and then telling people in the same breath to get medical care to disentangle themselves from psychiatric drugs is, well, kind of delusional.

    I think a lot of people really don’t want to believe this is what it’s like. But when that denial is foisted upon those who are subject to this reality it compounds the harm that has already been done. These are human rights issues. We have a right to not be on neurotoxic drugs and we have a right to find a safe way to get off. We need to know that it’s often not safe to approach our doctors. It’s really very simple. Tell the truth.

    We can, once we know the truth, get on the phone and interview potential new doctors if we have the luxury of choice. Not everyone has that luxury so in those situations people are forced to continue seeing a prescriber without necessarily telling the prescriber that they are withdrawing from the drugs. Again, this is not something I recommend because, frankly it sucks. It sucks really badly and it can also be dangerous. But again, this is reality and people have to do this with some frequency. Please, if you’re in a position to consult folks in such a painful, lonely and scary position, do them a favor and be honest with them. Thousands of us have freed ourselves from drugs now without any meaningful medical support because we had no choice but to do it that way. We chose our health and wellbeing over finding a non-existant doctor.

    I generally tell people that often the best one can do is find an MD who will cooperate with your plans to come off medications. To find an MD who will listen to the very real and scary issues that might come up during the withdrawal process and to learn together about how to come off the drugs. I only found someone to cooperate with me…he really didn’t care much about what my experience was and I had to do all the research and footwork to figure out how to manage my taper. I was grateful I had a cooperating prescriber though because I needed prescriptions in ever changing doses and many people are not so lucky to get an MD to even cooperate with the initial plan.

    I’ve now worked with thousands of folks coming off medications via this blog and via all the withdrawal boards I’ve participated on. I often wish I didn’t know what I know, but I do and so I speak up because there are far too many people out there who deny what is happening to so many thousands of people. I want the harm to end. Help us end the harm.

  • I also wrote a post recently that speaks to the fact that sometimes no professional is better than a poorly suited professional

  • Cheryl Dr Ashton manual on line best source I know, and Monica’s site beyond Meds. Alll psych drugs do damage or can. Never met a doc knew how to withdraw you properly. More harm done , many permanent not being brought off properly. Signed nearly dead & repeatedly damaged for life from mostly psych drugs I didn’t need.

  • Amy Smith

    I started withdrawing from psych drugs in 2006, and I didnt even bother asking any mental health professional to help me- I had to keep my plans a SECRET from them, or I would have been labeled non-compliant & forced. It took me about a year & a half to get off, with an additional two years for the benzos. I used a NYC Freudian psychoanalyst over the phone to help me, also not advisable but thats another story. I have known a D.O. that was willing to assist folks titrating off for a while, until his insurance carrier educated him regarding standards of care & his potential liability and that was the end of that. A couple years ago, I got the bright idea to see if the substance use community could assist other folks I know here in Colorado that want to withdraw from psych drugs, specifically benzos, and the Big Dogs I asked actually laughed at the question. I was in psychiatric treatment for 37 years, and aside from being UBER pissed that they ruined my & my family’s lives, I am really happy now & doing really well.

  • Guest

    ” Other MDs will commit and force drug these patients.”

    You’ve got a man that blogs for your website that participates in force drugging people and has written many times publicly that he sees his actions as justified.

    “These are human rights issues. We have a right to not be on neurotoxic drugs”

    The paid actions of the man you have blogging for your website would indicate at least one of your bloggers disagrees. His numerous apologias written in defense of his participation in force drugging others, simply add salt to the wound.

    Your website is fantastic for the most part and you’ve done wonderful work helping thousands of people.

    In your recent Black Lives Matter post you said “We cannot oppress others and not also be harmed by our own violence.”.

    How are we really supposed to feel, when someone with such a large readership gives a platform to a man to write things like this?

    “Nourishment means not only taking in the best whole foods and herbs
    prepared with love, it also means avoiding the foods, drugs (legal or
    not) and substances that damage us. Very simply, take in what is good
    and whole, and avoid what is processed and refined.”

    While on the other hand he’s holding people down while they are undergoing egregious, traumatic forced injections of toxic psychiatric drugs?

    Are we supposed to feel forgotten? Supposed to feel offended? Supposed to feel like its OK that this man gets to carry out what for so many of us was the worst assault on our health and body of our lives, and yet you’re giving him a platform to paint himself as some ‘healer’ that cares about the purity and wholeness of what goes into people’s bodies?

    ” So slamming psychiatry and then telling people in the same breath to
    get medical care to disentangle themselves from psychiatric drugs is,
    well, kind of delusional.”

    I’d say slamming people physically and holding their arms and legs down against their will while they are force drugged, and then the same guy telling people in the same breath to take his advice and treat their bodies like a whole foods temple, is, well, kind of delusional.

    One has to wonder how retraumatizing it would be, to be one of his victims, and then come across your site and see him painting himself as some guru of the purity and sanctity of the human body, knowing that he’s played a hand in doing horrific things to these people’s bodies.

  • I am clear that Jon does not support forced treatment and that as someone who has worked in the system (I have too) we all have had to see that shit on occasion…best to you.

  • I will also add, that I am deeply grateful for the few deeply human beings I encountered the times I was hospitalized. They allowed me to not completely and totally despair. I admire those rare folks who can be beacons of love and healing in such disgusting and toxic environments…I cannot do it anymore. It’s incredibly soul crushing work, but some people do manage to do it and some do it well. They cannot fight all battles at once…they choose to do what they can to help while in such environments…again, I thank god for a couple of these folks who were real and honest with me when I was otherwise surrounded by people who only knew how to harm.

  • diana

    (I tried to sign in thru discus but couldn’t get my login to work. happy to apply my name here when password is reset. this comment appears with my name on your facebook page) to recommend that folks consult with a professional when seeking help getting off this class of drugs is absurd. i’ve been prescribed klonopin for nearly 20 years (for anxiety related to childhood trauma, which by the way responded to therapy where the meds never helped) and in that time i asked four doctors five different times to help me get off the med. each time i was told the same thing, as if docs had been handed a scripted response: “how do you know you won’t feel worse without it? you’re on a very low dose and can safely take it for the rest of your life.” yeah, right. … until tolerance sets in. the last psychiatrist i asked for help with this refused and instead handed me a paper bag filled with seroquel samples and said i’d feel better adding that to the klonopin. he was fired and i stumbled around in tolerance until i found places such as benzo buddies and facebook benzo groups that provided links to the ashton manual and other research into the benzo debaucle. when i realized a slow liquid taper off the “very small dose” i had been taking all these years (0.5 mg), i approached my gp with the ashton manual, only to be told a slow taper wasn’t necessary, that a 3-week cut would have me home-free. home-free out of her hair maybe but more likely facing prolonged withdrawal sydrome on my own. until doctors become educated about the dangers of this drug class, we who have suffered their iatrogenic damage must find our own ways safely free from the meds. shame, shame, shame on the ignorance and cold shoulders that are shown to us by the medical profession.

  • Nancy Rubenstein

    Thank you Phil, It’s Nancy Gottstein now (Jim Gottstein and I were married on the winter solstice). People of true integrity can be hard to find these days, you are one.

  • Destry Stokes

    I was put on this drug over 20 years ago now. No doctor ever had me tested to see why I was having severe anxiety. At the age of 19, while in college, I was first put on Prozac as it was the “new” wonder drug. At first it worked but as all the other drugs I was continually prescribed for the next 25 years, it quit working. So, now I am not only dependent on a Benzodiazepine but also an antidepressant. Next, a doctor put me on Ambien as my sleep became erratic. So, that puts me up to 3 Psych drugs to deal with anxiety. Little did I know that I was having inter-dose withdrawals from Klonopin and that is why I could not sleep. After many years of trying to figure out what is really wrong with me, a specialist in infertility diagnosed me correctly with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which causes severe anxiety because of low progesterone among other issues. Why did a doctor prescribe me Psych drugs when I had a hormone issue? Because nobody tested me for anything….they just “thought” I was mentally ill. Now, my body has such a strong dependency that I I have spent exactly one year so far trying to taper off of a 1.75 mg dose of Klonopin. I am not done and have suffered tremendously trying to get off of this medication.I have never sought to buy these meds off the street or take more than prescribed. I have always taken what the doctors told me I could. The doctors I saw actually wanted me to take a higher dose and I would not because I knew it was not the answer. My life has been put on hold for 20 years and I’ve lost most everything I held dear. I cannot work due to agoraphobia that was brought on by the withdrawals of this horrible drug. I now cannot find a doctor to work with me to come off of the last small dosage I am taking because they say, “It’s too dangerous.” They do not want any involvement. I did have one doctor tell me he would help me but I would have to do it his way. His way means to come off quicker and to take other drugs to help my symptoms. He says I need more drugs for me to have quality life and I should not be ashamed of it. Wow, he has no idea what my background is and why I have anxiety problems. He does not understand how these meds make you more anxious and sick. I have one doctor that has been through this himself who would certainly help me but he lives in Texas and because the laws tell him he has to see me in person atleast once. I cannot travel 5 miles down the road much less from Georgia to Texas. So, thanks goes out to all the Psychiatrists out there that want to help me after they did this to me!!!!!

  • Destry Stokes

    I should have added that because of all the roadblocks I have encountered I would say NO do not tell your doctor that you want help coming off a Benzodiazepine or any other Pysch drug…..just learn from youtube or Facebook groups how to do your own taper. There are many people willing to help you do your own titration but do not ask a doctor.

  • OMG!! Congrats!! and love to you both! xoxo

  • Nancy Rubenstein

    Thank you Monica, this is a true mental health reform movement love story.

  • Nancy Rubenstein

    Dear Destry, Hearing the same story over and over does not make it easier, and my heart goes out to you. If you would be interested in contacting me privately, the doctor you mention might be willing to help people nearby. PsychRights and Mad In America have both been trying to locate safe practitioners we can refer people to. Please remember that the end of your taper is the most difficult part. I’m in year three of my liquid taper from Klonopin (1.5mgs). Please throw the calendar out the window, be safe, and reach out to people who have slow tapered before. What is great about Klonopin (maybe the only thing?) is that is makes a solution in homogenized full fat milk (I use Goat’s Milk), so you can really control the dose. But remember that the last .2 is comparable to 20 mgs Valium, and don’t be surprised if you have to make some changes to get through to zero. Love and Solidarity, Nancy

  • Nancy Rubenstein

    Hi Cheryl, I am happy that you found the Ashton manual helpful. My experience over the last five years at PsychRights and in closed facebook groups is that the Ashton manual creates a great deal of harm. I do not recommend it. Ten percent cuts cause many suicides.

  • Guest

    “See that shit?” or DO that shit? There is a big difference. Jon’s words, and deeds, speak to a completely different reality than the one you’re putting forward:

    Jonathan Keyes:

    “I also help patients if they become severely agitated. I spend time
    trying to hear their concerns, sometimes helping them find a comfortable
    and safe space to vent. And yes, I have taken part in restraining
    individuals and delivering injections of medications to patients”

    AND from his comments under that article

    “1- the support of very limited use of medications/sedative drugs in the face of violence.”

    He admits that he SUPPORTS the (forced) use of drugs, that he justifies as a response to violence. Such ‘violence’ no doubt includes as we well know, becoming angry and trying to leave after you’ve been summarily detained after having broken no law. The penalty for being assigned the label of ‘violent’ person in the presence of Jon Keyes? a violent assault to the frontal lobes via forcibly injected neuroleptics.

    HE HAS REPEATEDLY said that he lives in a world where the only response he even sees as possible to ‘violence’ is forced drugging or tasers, he supports force drugging and carries it out.

    “The alternative, unfortunately, is to call the police. And the tools
    they use to interact with violent people is the use of tazers, bean bag
    guns and lethal force. I would much prefer our staff to interact with a
    violent person than the police.”

    He’s fundamentally dishonest here, as numerous commenters pointed out to him. The act of restraining a human, means that the person is now restrained. Cops restrain numerous people around the globe without resorting to weapons. A restrained person can no longer engage in violence. But Jon wants to, and does, go further, he invades their brain, AFTER they are restrained. Because as he says, he sees these people as ‘psychotic’. And I guess what? Entering their brains by force is fair game?

    He believes in two kinds of citizenship, those citizens that merely get locked up by police, and the second class citizens that lose the right to own their brains. This is disgusting. This is a man that believes in chemically sedating people by force after they are restrained, and then dishonestly calls the whole thing non-medical and simply an acceptable means of preventing ‘violence’. He has no fundamental understanding of what the human right to bodily integrity is. Worst of all, he has absolutely no fundamental understanding of, and zero respect for, what a violation this is, what a rape this is for the person left to live with it, and how these egregiously, needlessly invasive assaults he’s been a party to, traumatize people for the rest of their lives and really, destroy lives, and sometimes kill. He’s never provided anything but the most ridiculous justifications for why some ‘violent’ people should have their neurology invaded and some shouldn’t, apart from what kind of building they are currently in, apparently. Apparently breaking out syringes and stabbing people with them, is acceptable in this man’s ethical system. But eat whole foods. Because the body is a temple to him, yeah right. This is a man prepared to flood anybody’s body with toxic chemicals, and you let him pretend to be some great worshiper of the body’s sanctity. We can see though him.

    There are innumerable more quotes. If you now say, that ‘he does not support forced treatment’, I’m afraid that is just a weasel word, yes, he’s made clear he doesn’t believe the force drugging he supports constitutes a ‘treatment’, but he’s still said that he supports, and perpetrates, force drugging. He has not shown respect for the human rights of others, and he continues to believe he has the right to invade the bodies of other people’s BRAINS if they wind up with the assignation ‘violent’. He’s shown a complete lack of tact in his engagements with survivors of these assaults, and his presence on Mad in America has been enormously controversial and led many dedicated readers and commenters to cease engagement with the site’s articles. It got to the point where people would dread him turning up in the comments, because he could always be counted on, to jump in with his facile ‘it’s either a forced needle or a taser’ argument, in the face of being in the presence of some of the most traumatized psychiatric human rights abuse survivors on the entire internet, he could always be counted on to make things ten times worse.

    On what planet, can you defend a person that believes entering other people’s brains with chemicals while they beg him to stop, is justified???

    Will I open the front page Beyond Meds in the future to see the violent thugs that assaulted my brain writing for you too? Apparently you’ll take anybody.

    You don’t see the sheer vulgarity, of a man that publicly states his support of, and participates in, smashing the bodily integrity and blood brain barrier of nonconsenting, protesting people, with forced floods of neuroleptics, juxtaposed with his ‘whole foods – the body is a temple’ schtick? You don’t see how offensive that is to the people fighting for their rights at the UN and from numerous governments, their human right to not have their body invaded with drugs? This isn’t a man that respects people’s bodies and sees them as sanctified, this is a man that with his own hands, is prepared to engage in the ultimate crossing of human rights lines. The most sacred part of my body, he sees that as fair game to split open and flood with toxic drugs. So forgive me if I look askance at his laughable rhetoric about eating whole foods and keeping the body pure.

  • Guest

    Monica Cassani, above: “I am clear that Jon does not support forced treatment”

    Jon Keyes in his first article for MIA: “And yes, I have taken part in restraining individuals and delivering injections of medications to patients”

    I’m not so clear. Why are you so clear?

  • I spoke to him today…I will repeat what I said: I am deeply grateful for the few deeply human beings I encountered the times I was hospitalized. They allowed me to not completely and totally despair. I admire those rare folks who can be beacons of love and healing in such disgusting and toxic environments…I cannot do it anymore. It’s incredibly soul crushing work, but some people do manage to do it and some do it well. They cannot fight all battles at once…they choose to do what they can to help while in such environments…again, I thank god for a couple of these folks who were real and honest with me when I was otherwise surrounded by people who only knew how to harm.

    there is very little black and white all or nothing in the world. those who have the courage to enter war zones and do as much good as possible have my respect. I do not doubt Jon’s integrity. I’ve worked in the system and walking the razors edge is a difficult task…one I believe Jon is doing.

    take care. we will have to agree to disagree here.

  • Guest

    We will have to disagree. But I’ll never agree. And it is he that reserves the right to ignore my pleas as I beg him to stop.It is he, and possibly you, sadly it seems, that doesn’t care ultimately whether I agree or not. You’re prepared to support these laws existing and ensure that it doesn’t matter whether I agree. Human rights, are all or nothing, you either have a right, or you don’t. Jon doesn’t support our right to say no to psychiatric drugs without exception, he has exceptions. You’ve either got another human forcing drugs into your body, or you don’t. You’ve either got a polity supporting forced drugging laws, or you don’t. You’ve either got the death penalty, or you don’t. You’ve either got marriage equality, or you don’t. You’ve either got bodily integrity equality, or you don’t. In Jon’s ethical system, I don’t have bodily integrity. In Jon’s ethical system, someone taken to jail for the night has more human rights than I would under his thumb at his facility. Those that are so cowardly that they would ignore the most sincere, most terrible, most profound plea of my life, ‘Don’t inject me’, and plow right on into my body, are not “courageous people entering war zones”, they are volunteers for unjust wars of aggression, committing war crimes. On no logical scale can one argue against the following, unless one believes in the use of neuroleptics as a chemical weapon…. which is what I think Jon’s argument boils down to… My argument is the following, and many people, hopefully a majority one day, agree with me…

    Any of the ‘inpatient’ forced drugging scenarios I’ve ever heard of.

    1. Detainee is unarmed, distressed, confused, scared, terrified, and well and truly outnumbered by ‘staff’.

    2. Overwhelming force no matter what the harried and cornered unarmed, outnumbered detainee is doing, can swiftly bring about limb immobilization, touching only the outside of the detainee’s body. Ensuring the principle of least invasiveness.

    3. In our current world, no forced injection can be carried out against a moving target, all forced injections take place on immobilized / either physically or mechanically restrained detainees.

    4. Those that argue for the continued existence of laws and practices that take the intervention to a far, exponentially more deeper and invasive and violent level, the total flooding of an immobilized detainee’s body with toxic neuroleptics, have to explain why it is, that certain people, don’t deserve their right to own their own brain.

    5. Those that argue in favor of the continued existence of this practice almost invariably are not even paying a shred of respect to the deaths it has caused, and to the countless lives all but destroyed by this utterly impossible to come to grips with, for many people, RAPE of the consciousness.

    6. To argue in favor of this practice’s existence, is to effectively say that some people’s consciousness, has no right to exist and must be snuffed out. It is, the brutal gang rape of the consciousness, of an already rendered harmless human being, and an act that is well known, and testified, to live on and scar that human being, for the rest of their natural lives, usually short, nasty, devastated lives, and there are some things, some invasions of the person, so profound, that once that line is crossed, once that china shop smashed up by the bull, it can never be put back together.

    7. To leave a detainee with absolutely no place untouched by your intervention, no neuron, no part of themselves that they can say wasn’t violated by the violent, unwanted occupiers of their body and consciousness, is, as the UN says of forced drugging, cruel, inhuman and degrading.

    To see anybody become so infested with moral relativism as to not be able to see the pure, unmitigated banality of evil at play in this practice, breaks my heart. I thought you supported our human rights, but at least I know where you stand now.

    If I didn’t have in my life a large number of people that see this abhorrent practice for what it is, I’d kill myself without a doubt.

    My sole reason for going on, is that I have some people in my life that honor my struggle, that see, and don’t look away, when the reality of this act is brought home to them. I believe that total abolition of this disgusting and inhuman practice can be achieved in the centuries to come with raised awareness of the profound destruction of innocent lives that it causes.

    Survivors of forced drugging know that most people don’t give a fuck. That’s how it’s allowed to occur. That is why we are left holding the bag and living in fear and terror for the rest of our lives, once these disgusting human rights criminals are through with us. I’d like to see people like Jon and you take a tour of what my life is like, and look into my eyes as the needle goes in, and live with my nightmares of violent psychiatric rape, and tell me “there’s very little all or nothing in the world”.

    I guess people that voluntarily got involved in psychiatry will never really understand, just how violent and unforgivable it is, to have your fellow man not only force psychiatry on you as your first contact with psychiatry in your whole life, but to rape your brain in the first five minutes, while you’re trying to grieve a death in the family. This is what you support happening if you support he continued existence of laws that grant legal immunity and power of ‘staff’ to carry out these assaults. Some people are killed during forced drugging. If you support forced drugging laws, you’re supporting those ‘collateral damage’ deaths. I am the collateral damage, to the selfish world that sees so much utility in tranquilizing people like zoo animals to make them shut the fuck up when they are in a crisis.

    I will never forgive my society for allowing me to come to so much harm. And I will never, ever, be satisfied with false allies that say oh yeah I can have the right to so to psychiatry’s drugs, provided Jonathan Keyes says it’s not one of those ‘rare’ moments that he reserves the right to rape my brain.

    I don’t see it as ‘courageous’ to rip the jeans of a 19 year old woman down as she screams out in terror and then stab her with a syringe in the naked buttock. Even if this unarmed, outnumbered, detainee did something ‘aggressive’ after being detained without having broken any law, a detainee was already immobilized for a forced injection to even logically be able to be carried out. Even if she punched an ‘orderly’ in the face, she doesn’t deserve to have her brain raped. Doesn’t deserve to live with that violation for the rest of her life. Doesn’t deserve to live in fear of the system and be repelled from ever seeking help. Doesn’t deserve to be sent a message by her society that her body is just something that can be snatched away from her at a moment’s notice. Doesn’t deserve to not be listened to and ignored by the ‘courageous’ thug with a syringe, when she pleads for mercy.

    I don’t see courage. I see the cowardice, and moral bankruptcy, of someone that was socialized into his occupation, and slowly acclimatized, to seeing people’s bodies breached like he was ordering Chinese, just another ‘necessary’ action. When someone is already immobilized, you don’t fire tear gas into their face. You don’t shoot them up with brain disabling drugs either. If you do, you’ve crossed a fucking human rights line that puts you squarely in the realm of those that commit violent crime or take part in mass atrocities. This might be a person who does much good with 99% of his time, but those darkest moments, when that moral and human rights line is crossed, decimate and erase all that good, for I know the engulfment in turmoil that so many of the victims suffer from long term. To stab that syringe in, and take that chance with an innocent life, is to risk creating another me.

    Does it sound fun to be me?

    People like me, are just the people that will have to like it or lump it, because other people have decided that ‘in an extreme situation’ it’s a handy thing to have laws that allow Jon Keyes to hold someone down and ignore their pleas for mercy and stab them with a syringe to make them ‘calm’. Oh what I wouldn’t give to find calmness. Yeah, you supporters of forced drugging made me calm short term, that’s all you gave a fuck about, the short term. The quick removal of ‘bizarre behavior’. Forget those who die during forced drugging, forget those who die 20 years of despair. I don’t see people like that as ‘courageous people entering war zones’, I see them as moral cowards, unwilling to take a stand for inalienable human rights, and willing to earn and spend blood money, earned destroying innocent lives by crossing lines they had absolutely no justification to cross. It doesn’t put my sense of connection with most of society and humanity back together, to be told that people like him are nice guys 99% of the time when they are not ignoring the pleas for mercy of the person they are about to violate. It might be true, the vast majority of the moments in his life he was not crossing that line, but unlike you, I’m prepared to ackowledge he does/did cross those lines, and anyone that perpetrates that act crosses those lines. It is clear, if you’re prepared to say to yourself ‘That face, those eyes, that mouth, that tongue, that voice, begging me not to forcibly inject them, is just the psychosis talking’, then you’ve crossed the line. You’ve crossed the line into ultimate dehumanization of your fellow man. But supporters and perpetrators of the acts legalized by these laws currently outnumber those who are opposed. So, ‘we will’ have to agree to disagree. I hope for a day when the great grandchildren of supporters of forced drugging can visit museums and learn about the destruction unleashed on innocent lives by their great grandparents who raped peoples’ brains. I hope for a day when the pain and alienation so many innocent people burdened with a lifetime of damage due to forced drugging, is told in the popular culture, in film, and in documentaries, and the dead and those whose lives were diminished by these policies are memorialized and finally given the respect for their humanity that they deserve. The people that decided ‘psychiatry needs to change a bit’ and nonetheless went to work everyday, and slept at night, after shoving to the side some poor helpless captive’s visceral plea of nonconsent, they certainly aren’t the people that respect my humanity. Forced drugging is a monstrous act, and one day, 51% of the population in a democracy is going to see that, and the threat posed to my life and liberty by people like this, will be something my children’s children children don’t have to bear. That’s the dream anyway. Who knows? Maybe it’s as unrealistic as those people he’s restrained and injected hoping to be listened to when they try and say no. All we want, is the right to say no to having things put in our body against our will.

  • my intro to psychiatry was forced. I am no fan of forced tx. you can’t use that argument against me. this is my story of forced treatment.

    until there is an infrastructure of care that supports viable alternatives I’m grateful that folks like Jon are in such places meeting our most vulnerable folks.

    I just reminisced with my husband about someone who was my Jon in a hospital once. He was a psych tech…from the Carribean islands…a gentle loving man with a lyrical voice who validated and supported me in spite of working in that system…there were others like him…another time it was a middle aged woman who felt grandmotherly to me at age 20…another soul who knew how to walk the razors edge…a loving presence in a place full of hell and violence…

    I won’t argue with you because I imagine you never met such people. I know it can be done…an incredible grace and it does happen and I’m grateful to those who like Jon are willing to come meet with us because they love us more than they hate the system.

  • Guest

    The notion that I don’t deserve the human right to feel safe, and don’t deserve the right to the inalienable right to own my own body, ‘until’ the utopians have somehow convinced the biodeterminist fanatics to cede power in every city and every town, is like somebody spitting not only in face, but in my frontal lobes. It has always been, and will always remain ‘viable’ to restrain any unarmed, outnumbered, helpless detainee and prevent any behavior, WITHOUT resort to raping their brain. That’s an unassailable argument from me, about the logical timeline mechanics of the forced drugging act. It is a brutal, inhuman act done for expedience, AND WORSE, only exists as a legal reality, because of the mainstream beliefs in brain disease psychiatry. To see people that don’t believe in the medical model actually cleave to biological psychiatry’s nuclear option, is saddening. Maybe that’s why he pisses me off so much. He practically admits, that he’s for its use merely as a chemical control weapon. As a weapon. As a taser alternative, according to him, but in reality, it’s a physical restraint alternative weapon. And it devastates lives. To support it, is to support the destruction of innocent life. I’m sure there some moments where the guards in prison camps were kind and nice too. This doesn’t help me, I want the right not to have shit shoved into my body by people that preach whole foods. The most interesting thing is, the world only sanctions this shit because it believes the forced drugging act is an act of ‘medical treatment’. Jon Keyes could never, ever, get a democracy to agree to introduce this if it didn’t yet exist, as not a ‘treatment’, but a ‘response to violence’ as he calls it. That’s what’s so offensive to me, people surfing the wave of a society that gave these powers to psychiatry on the basis of its faith in the medical model, and then he comes along and says, essentially ‘well it’s still a great way to get people to shut up and stop doing shit’.

  • we all want that right…we don’t live in a world where it exists right now…we’re all working towards it…we all have our niches. I trust the nature of humanity at this point…it’s a practice, still, but one I avidly work on…and that is part of embracing a paradoxical reality for me…and as far as I can tell that is the nature of the reality we live in.

  • by the way I’m not engaging in any comment about Jon on purpose…he is not here to make any arguments and I’m not engaging in assumptions on your part or mine.

  • Guest

    I envy you. I trust very few. I could never see myself trusting a man that has publicly stated he believes in doing this to me. And has done it to others. If he moved next door to me, I would move away. If I knew he would be at an event, I would not go. I know there are many that engage in this practice, but his public, tactless for his position and privelege, down in the mud debates with actual torture survivors at the other place in the comments, was downright egregious. I wasn’t a party to them. I know how many people had to leave the other place for the retraumatization. Tell him to just not remind us of his little theory that ‘its either the cops taser you or a forced injection’ I don’t want you to talk about him. I don’t want to talk about him. I wish I had never been reminded of his existence today. Seeing you here reminded me. Hopefully it is a long time before I ever think of him again. I don’t like him. I Jon was here, and making arguments, I wouldn’t respond. I have a zero respond policy to people that reserve the right to not listen to me when it counts the most, when I try and say no to forced drugging.

  • Guest

    I want to thank you for listening to me and talking to me today. Even if I do not like your friend. I have always admired your large site. I always wondered, do you sell much from that amazon store?

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thank you.

  • Guest

    I’m gonna delete all these comments, I lost control today. I never intended to start ranting about ‘the issue’ or personalizing it to merely one of a hundred thousand human rights abusers working in the forced drugging scene.

  • Guest

    Refresh your browser, I’ve deleted every comment about your friend. I don’t like your friend. But I did go over the top. Life after brain rape is like that for some.

  • Guest

    Are you gone now?

  • no, i’m here. but I’m tired and need to rest…my nervous system has been on the fritz for the last couple of weeks…flares are still common in this healing process

  • you’re welcome. I appreciate your listening to me as well. (and Amazon brings in change…not a big source of revenue…at this point anything helps…I’ve not been able to work in compensated employment for many years)

  • Guest

    I’ve never commented on MIA about your friend, never emailed your friend, never ever publicly said anything about him until today. I lost control for a moment, they are ALL deleted, forget it. I’m never gonna like your friend but I like your work and your large site is an inspiration for a large site I will have one day. And I think that sometimes because we read and expose ourselves to the same people over and over we can forget that even if you’re only moderately in this camp, that’s still better than the billions that haven’t even given these issues a single thought. I can’t forgive your friend for his trespasses, but I can see why various people don’t take such a hard line. I do because it is the only thing that feels right to me. I don’t judge people that associate with who commit these acts, I only judge those who commit these acts.

  • Guest

    In addition to that, the whole point is, he’s no more deserving of an unhelathy fixation from me, than any other person involved of this kind of stuff. I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve just latched on to the one that I saw the most of doing public apologias in the last few months. I’m gonna focus back on the whole, and not the individual guys. I can see how it is not good or polite or healthy.

  • Guest

    In five years maybe you’ll link to my new site. That would a good thing. I promise I won’t be denouncing your friend on it. That will just go without saying. Are you still here?

  • Guest

    Well I have my own flares. They usually involve hours typing into the ether about forced drugging. And then I feel profoundly, I don’t know, like I wasted my time, but as you can see, doing it hundreds of times has given me great practice.

  • Guest

    When I out myself, and have enough money to out myself and run my site, I will link to your site as one of my core external links. You seem to have the kind of new agey coming off psych drugs demographic pretty well serviced. It takes all kinds of puzzle pieces to produce an internet where everyone can depsychiatrize, I’m gonna be pretty straightforward, commonsense, big picture liberty human rights type of site. With exactly what this site has, uncensored comments.

  • Guest


  • Guest


  • well, you seem to have pulled the comment about what your site would be like and I want to say that YES we need people on many different fronts because no one reaches everybody…we all touch and reach different people and different demographics…and we’re all needed with our unique perspectives…thank you again, too.

  • Phil_Hickey


    Thanks for this comment. I very much agree.

  • Destry Stokes

    Hi Nancy… can I speak to you privately?

  • Nancy Rubenstein
  • daniel

    Would love to talk to you privately…#callme1970

  • all too easy

    You have no proof that withdrawal from these drugs is difficult or painful, no scientific proof. Not one test confirms your claims.

  • all too easy


  • all too easy

    What a riot!

  • all too easy

    Absolutely hysterical! Ready for a belly aching laugh? Watch this. Names names, honey. Go right ahead. No? Can’t? Golly, that is shocking! Told ya.

  • Destry Stokes

    What is your point?

  • all too easy

    Guess. See if you can’t figure it out. It is blatantly obvious.

  • all too easy

    The logic of some folks is so deficient or entirely absent, it isn’t difficult to understand how they are so easily manipulated.

  • doppelganger

    He doesn’t have a point. He’s Dr. Hickey’s resident troll, an ardent and obnoxious true believer in the religion of psychiatry, or as another commenter has dubbed him – a psychia-trained monkey! LOL. Don’t pay him any mind. He’s brain damaged from a long-time ADHD amphetamine habit.

  • I made the mistake of rehab. Any rehab that “treats” benzo withdrawal should be sued out of existence. My life has been a living hell since. Psychiatrists are all but uniformly ignorant of prescribing instructions. Nearly all will cut you off and claim the withdrawal is in “your head.” Which is supposedly their specialty. What exactly DO they know? If you’re trapped on these meds, getting off them should be YOUR decision as you are the one who will suffer or benefit from it, not your “doctor.”