A Mother and Son Journey
Observing all of your recent posts I can't help but wonder whether you are building additional dissonance with psychiatric drugs and are getting ready for your next battle against Chris continuing with his prescriptions. If this is the case, and it's very presumptuous for me to speculate upon, what is important is does Chris feel he is ready? And, is Ian willing to take the risk?I am no fan of psychiatric drugs. At one point I believed they may have a purpose in abating an acute psychosis. Now I am even questioning that. My son, who has gone two years now without a psychotic break, and who has been off psychiatric drugs over 18 months has recently astounded me yet again. He has just entered second year in pursuit of his business degree and last weekend moved and began living idnependently. The stress of the move and the anticipation of resuming school had him anxious and I observed what appeared to be the onset of a psychotic break. He was articulating some delusional beliefs. In the past, he would have spun out and gone completely delusional. What was remarkable was, with some support, he worked his way out of that state in a couple of days. I did not express fear, nor helpless concern, and though the thought crossed my mind regarding the inevitable need for psychoatric intervention I resisted my own fears and had the confidence that he would remain healthy. He has.Peter Breggin promotes in "Medication Madness" that when one is in a state of crisis he or she should think twice about seeking refuge with a psychiatrist who will administer psychiatric drugs. It appears, when a fundamental level of trust has been established, that a loving and supporting person(s) can assist in aiding the individual to resist the process of the psychotic break and return to the here and now that that can be successfully achieved.It struck me that at this point my son has a far greater ability to manage his own thought processes than I will ever have insight into and that what is required is faith, trust, support, and love. I have full confidence that he will enjoy another successful year and is more capable now than ever to navigate the occurring world.
I'm glad to hear that your son is back on track. Didn't he also suddenly announce at the end of the last school year that he was dropping university - so it sounds like he has changed his mind, to everyone's relief, I'm sure. I'm not preparing for any big medication battle. Chris is lowering his medication at his own speed with the psychiatrist's blessing. She's taking a back seat in this. When Chris started going psychotic again two years ago, it was awful. He had been off the meds completely for eight months but had been on very minimal levels way before that. We tried everything we could to prevent him getting back on the meds and yet he completely spun out of control. Ian and I rethought our strategy, and basically we don't discuss Chris anymore. We don't comment on his state of mind to each other because that always leads to a difference of opinion and can whip us into unease. So, Chris's mental health is off topic for us and so is talking about Chris's future. We decided that Chris will do what he wants to do when he's ready. We have provided him with lots of support to get him where he needs to go - sound therapy, psychiatry, occupational therapy to help him discern some study directions - and a place to live. Now it's up to him. This strategy is working, but frankly, I wish he were where you son appears to be. That will come, but it sometimes is hard to be patient.
I'm not a huge fan of Peter Breggin. I know I should be, because he is rightly sounding the drum on medication. But he seems out of touch with what really goes on. It's almost impossible to find a psychiatrist who doesn't advocate meds, particularly when one is scarily psychotic. Ian and I did the homemade Soteria thing trying desperately to keep Chris from going on meds and going back into the hospital. It failed. But what also failed to keep him out of the hospital was the psychiatrist, who was seeing him twice a week at that point. So, extra psychiatry didn't help him in this period and neither did all of the vitamin support offered by the second psychiatrist (who didn't believe in meds.) So easy for Breggin to say, but no at all obvious to do.
I agree with your observation regarding Breggin. He is clear in advocating what not to do and much less clear in defining what works.I am glad to hear that Chris is setting the pace and that your role is supportive. The progression is much the same as what we have experienced. It is naive to expect there won't be a few bumps in the road. Chris' psychotic break after being off medication may have been an essential component in the recovery he is currently experiencing.I think a piece of it is the individual needs to come to terms with understanding himself and his triggers. In my son's case he has learned how to settle himself down, what activities to undertake to do this, and how to reframe his own thoughts. It's remarkable. (It was work he announced he was quitting and not school.)
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