Retreat for the Medicated Soul?
October 10, 2012 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Where should I go to detox from a psych med roller coaster disaster?

I'm recovering from an psych med experience fairly similar to this one.

I've had a roller coaster experience of issues that were compounded by psychiatric medication trials which were added and mismanaged and have finally left me feeling not at all like myself-- dependent, quiet, lacking emotional and internal terrain, etc. The doctor I'm working with doesn't know what else to try, and I'm fairly sure that the only way I'll have a prayer of feeling like myself again is to come off the meds, slowly, carefully, and with support, and give my body and mind a chance to heal and recover and get back to baseline.

In the midst of this roller coaster, I moved back in with parents in the Midwest. As they ascribe my symptoms to an underlying "disorder," they are not supportive of me coming off the meds.

My question is: in the event that my family will not be on board with this, what are my other options in terms of practical logistics? I envision it's going to take six months to a year to fully recover. I can work (and am working part-time right now doing film production), though my faculties are lower than they were when this debacle started. The medication effects have been pretty strong, but it's not immediately apparent to others that I'm struggling. I'm just very, very quiet. (Before this I was very outgoing.) I understand there are zillions of "rehab" centers for people detoxing off illegal drugs/alcohol, but I'm wondering if there's a similar environment that could be a supportive place while I wean myself off these meds.

Where should I go, if I have to leave the family nest to do this? Striking out on my own probably isn't feasible, as I'm not functioning at my full capacity and running a household/working full-time/etc. is going to be a ways off. I need a place to live, and ideally access to a doctor/therapist, and a community that would be sympathetic to this process. I have some savings I can spend on this. Is there a retreat/ convent/ monastery/ meditation center that might make sense? A spa? A healing horse farm? Some other option? I'm female, early 30s. I'd be happy to travel somewhere in the U.S., or possibly abroad
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you thought about in-patient detox/rehab?

I think you need to get with a psychiatrist who will work with you to move you off of all medication, then work with you for a diagnosis of whatever underlying condition lead you to start taking psyche drugs in the first place.

Health insurance should cover an in-patient stay if that turns out to be the appropriate way to approach this. Any detox/recovery center for prescription drugs should be able to handle this. Plus you might like the structure of a 28 day, in-patient program.

You have to be careful when googling for "Detox Psyche Meds" as you'll run into a butt-load of Scientology run places.

My Google Fu is pretty strong and I had to get to page 3 to find something that even remotely addressed your concerns. Pur Detox Center.

Give them a call, see what they say.

Hang in there. But be prepared that if you do have a chemical imbalance in your brain (the best of us do) that you may need some kind of medication.

I'm rooting for you!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:18 PM on October 10, 2012

Just came back to say that there's a significant amount of Woo on that site. But it still may be something you want to do.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:21 PM on October 10, 2012

You are certainly old enough to make your own decisions regarding medication, and old enough that it is between you and your doctor. Can you trust your family to LET it be between you and your doctor? Then I'd stay where you are for the stability.

One other point-as someone who has run the gamut with meds and has now been thankfully medfree for years, I still want to point out that it is actually a bit unusual for a family to NOT want you to be medfree. If they think there is an underlying disorder, there very well may be. This doesn't mean you shouldn't do what you are planning, but it does mean that you would be well served by keeping an open mind about whether or not you will eventually have to be on something. If you don't trust your present doctor with this, perhaps you can find another who will work with you and listen to you. On the other hand if you and your doctor have a good working relationship perhaps a consult with a specialist in pharmacology would be in order.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:23 PM on October 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

I know someone who went through a similar experience with psychiatric meds -- and developed a benzo addiction to boot.

He had a lot of success at a 30-day residential detox facility somewhere in Central Texas. I don't know what it was called -- but I can't imagine there are that many super high-end facilities in the area. He made it sound like a damn spa vacation-slash-meditation retreat. Beautiful property, activities if you wanted to do them, relaxation if you didn't. And then medical care, therapy, etc. Even the fellow patients were good company -- alcoholics, meth addicts, heroin addicts... different problems, same path to recovery.

He came out on the other side a new person. It was life-changing. Kind of made me want to go.

In any case, I'd try looking at facilities that aren't specific to psychiatric drugs. It might not be an important distinction.
posted by sock puppet du jour at 2:29 PM on October 10, 2012

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