The Real Benzo Hysteria

The Real Benzo Hysteria

Nancy Rubenstein del Giudice

Nancy Rubenstein del Giudice

July 7, 2013

On June 12th, Psychology Today published an article entitled, “Benzo Hysteria: the Chilling Effects of the ‘Addictive’ label,” by Ed Shorter, PhD.  Although there were numerous false statements in the heart of the article, all directed in the best interests of the pharmaceutical industry and its shareholders, a dangerous and unfounded claim was made in its final paragraph, which reads as follows: “The benzos are among the safest and most effective drug classes in the history of psychopharmacology.”

Unless Professor Shorter means to say that the history of psychopharmacology has been a disaster, harming millions, a point with which many agree (and I don’t believe he is making that point) he must be talking about how much money has been made on benzodiazepines.

This is a serious problem.  Benzodiazepines are in fact highly addictive and many people suffer for years from protracted withdrawal syndromes that are disabling.  I am currently one of those people.  Psychology Today is defined on Wikipedia as a publication “written for a mass audience of non-psychologists.”  This means that anyone anywhere can read this article and come away believing that benzodiazepines are non-addictive.  They may then fall victim to torture that almost escapes words.   Almost.

In the academic world, personal accounts (a/k/a anecdotes) have the tendency not to be taken seriously.  In the past two years I have been involved in a number of projects which seek to collect these personal stories because, after all, the plural of anecdote is data.  There is, however, a far more compelling reason; to document this tragedy of human suffering and to honor those who have died in desperation and those who suffer horrifically.

Professor Shorter’s article is not only dangerous to unwitting future victims; it is also an affront to all of those who have survived, and especially to those who are trying to survive.

As soon as this article came out, reactions and personal stories began to pour on to the Psychology Today Comments section.  Professor Shorter expressed his “surprise” over the plethora of outraged comments while continuing to deny that benzodiazepines are harmful and addictive.  And the comments took a dark turn as an individual using an alias attacked the commenters very personally.

Psychology Today then removed all of the comments, with the exception of Shorter’s reply, leaving the article intact with its treacherous denial of harm unopposed.

In response, I started a petition with Change.Org entreating Psychology Today to retract the article “Benzo Hysteria.”  I obtained over 500 signers, replete with horrendous accounts, in 3 days.  Harvard psychologist and research methodology specialist, Paula J. Caplan, PhD, was one of the who posted critical comments on the site, just one of which was that Charles Nemeroff, whose work was cited by one of Shorter’s supporters as providing evidence of his allegations about the safety of benzos, has been found to have concealed the vast amount of money he had taken from pharmaceutical companies.

Psychiatric Times is a publication which defines itself as, “a medical trade publication written for an audience in the profession of psychiatry.”  It goes on to say, “It is distributed to about 50,000 psychiatrists monthly.”

On May 15th, Psychiatric Times published an article titled, “Benzodiazepines and pain.”  The author, Steven King, MD, MS, wrote:

“Two reports from the CDC indicate the scope of the problem with benzodiazepines.  From 2004 to 2008 there was a 111% increase (going from 144,600 to 305,900) in the estimated number of emergency department visits involving non-medical use of opioid analgesics.  For the same period, there was an 89% increase (from 143,500 to 271,700) in such visits for benzodiazepines.  Data from the National Vital Statistics Cause-of-Death File in such visits from 2010 show that opioid analgesics were involved in 75% of pharmaceutical overdose deaths, benzodiazepines were in second place with an involvement of 29% of such deaths.  Benzodiazepines were also involved in 30% of opioid deaths, far more than any other class of drugs.”

Does the CDC really understand the problems with benzodiazepines?  No they don’t, but the 500 people who signed my petition in 3 days do.  They are parents who watched helplessly as their children suffered for years.  They are friends whose friends committed suicide in despair that they could not endure.  They are brothers and sisters whose siblings’ lives were destroyed.  They are nurses, teachers and other professionals whose lives are in suspended animation.  They are husbands whose wives have never been the same.  They are wives who lost their marriages, children and livelihoods.  They are adult children who have been traumatized by what happened to their parents.  It just goes on and on.

One person suggested to me that the best way to describe what Professor Shorter denies is as a silent holocaust because “we call out in pain and no one hears us.”

I am including here a link to the petition so that anyone can read for themselves the lived experience of people all over the world.

Benzodiazepines are highly addictive drugs which cause severe damage.  The real Benzo Hysteria is the denial of the medical establishment.

A beautiful young woman in the very prime of her life, a physician’s assistant before her years of protracted withdrawal, summed things up best when she said, “I wouldn’t give this drug to Satan’s dog.”



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Letter To Sinead O’Connor

 Dear Sinead O’Connor, bravo for your courage in facing this abuse on behalf of both yourself and others. When I was coming off drugs (and the medical profession gives ignorant advice about it because no research has been done) I had no idea that I was manic in withdrawal. Rage, hostility, delusions…..all these are drug withdrawal symptoms, I wrote many things to the people I was angry at. They were used against me by people who wanted to hurt me. Sound familiar? Not only do the drugs cause this kind of thing in withdrawal, since the drugs do not treat anything (No, there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance), what they actually do is disable the brain, change one’s perceptions; the drugs change the person you are. I hope someday you will understand that it was not you “being unwell” when you wrote the tweets you talk about, it was you being poisoned. I hope you know that the way you are standing up as a human being to this bigoted bullying is a mark of the beauty of your character. Many people can sing. The lucky ones find success, but the legacy you leave your children is Dignity. It is human to experience mental health issues. The only people who don’t are cowards. Life is difficult; crises are the turning points where we change our course away from the unacceptable. Cowards don a false identity and hide behind it. Psychiatry always has been and always will be the handmaiden of oppression and those of us fighting for human rights applaud and support you.Should you want to contact me, my email is Bless You.

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Allegory for a Movement (Badgers Included)

Nancy Rubenstein del Giudice

August 8, 2013

The story of “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” has a great deal of personal significance to me because it was the last book I can remember reading to my three young daughters before taking Prozac.  My hypomanic reaction to that drug earned me the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the subsequent adverse reactions to the steady stream of drugs that followed led to myriad other diagnoses and, eventually, electroshock, which was deemed “medically necessary” due to my worsening “mental illness”, which was “treatment resistant.”

I remember reading “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” in my youngest daughter’s Laura Ashley wallpapered room, the four of us piled on the WWII hospital bed I had spotted on the ceiling of an antique shop in Vermont on our way home from visiting my mother in Syracuse, New York.  It was one of many ideas Martha Stewart imparted to me.  This is one of my last memories of the peaceful life I had with my children before biopsychiatry ripped us apart.

Although I have often reflected back on those nights of bedtime reading these memories have taken on a newer and more relevant meaning since Gary Greenberg invoked the title of that children’s book in his excellent article for the New Yorker, “The Rats of NIMH,” following Thomas Insel’s blog, “Transforming Diagnosis,” in which for a brief moment, the director of the NIMH disavowed psychiatry’s bible, the “DSM-5.”

In his article, Mr. Greenberg described Insel’s statement about the DSM as “nothing more than constructs put together by committees of experts.  He continued, “America’s psychiatrist in chief seemed to be reiterating what many had been saying all along; that psychiatry was a pseudo-science, unworthy of inclusion in the Medical Kingdom.”

The point at which he tied this to “The Rats of NIMH” was when he implied that Insel himself was a rat (the word rat being used to mean “bad guy”) intending only to advertise the NIMH’s billion dollar baby, RDoC, a research project intent upon realizing the dreams of biopsychiatry and fueling a resurgence of research and development for a psychopharmaceutical industry beginning to despair of its future.

As much as I appreciated Gary Greenberg’s article, I feel it incumbent upon me to rescue the Rats of NIMH (who rescued Mrs. Frisby), both to save their reputations and to raise the story itself to its rightful position.  It is the perfect allegory for the psych survivor movement.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading Robert C. O’Brien’s 1972 Newbery Medal winning book, “Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH,” here are the Cliff Notes.  Trapped in cages by the NIMH, a group of highly intelligent rats who were the subjects of experimentation, fooled their captors into believing they are less than exceptional and bide their time as they study copiously and plan their escape.

Once emancipated they flee to the countryside, and underground they build a peaceful civilization employing all the latest technology.  A generation passes, and only two of the original group that escaped remain when their leader, Nicodemus, agrees to come to the aid of Mrs. Frisby and her son (who are badgers not rats) in honor of those who came before.

Meanwhile the rats are diligently working on “The Plan” to abandon their dependent lifestyle and form their own independent farming colony.  In devising this plan there is a philosophical divide among them and a group of the rats defects.  This incident attracts the attention of a group of men who plan to exterminate the rats.  In the end, despite adversity, two casualties and the loss of their home, the rats survive.

The parallels here to the psychiatric survivor movement are eerie to say the least.  Even stranger, as I write this remembering how I first read this story to my children it is almost as if I had been reading my destiny.

My own captivity spanned nearly two decades, and indeed I was no more than a lab rat ingesting chemicals that not only were experimental, but reserved for those of us considered less than human (“mentally ill”).

When finally I began to understand the oppression I had been subjected to, as a result of researching both the drugs and the history of psychiatry on the internet, and reading Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” I had to keep a tight lid on what I was learning so as not to experience further coercion.  In secret, I connected with hundreds of other lab rats like myself, many of whom had been organizing to save others.

Like the Rats of NIMH our movement is divided.  There are those of us who are willing to remain as consumers in the mental health system, or work as “peer specialists,” while at the other end of the spectrum there are those who will not rest until psychiatry ceases to exist as a medical specialty. And, while we argue and debate, new laws are sweeping the country whose explicit intention is to force chemical compliance which has been documented to shave at least 25 years off the lifespan of anyone who is captured.

In my daughter’s tiny bedroom as she hugged her stuffed rabbit, Hester, the “Rats of NIMH” was an exciting storybook adventure.  In the New Yorker Magazine, “The Rats of NIMH” was a metaphor for collusion and corruption between government and medicine.

In the world of surviving psychiatry, “The Rats of NIMH” is an allegory for a group of people despised as diseased rodents who are becoming resilient survivors capable of making a more compassionate and  sustainable society for all.  Badgers included.


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Ratify The Treaty for Human Rights America!!

How do we stop the growing infringement of Civil Rights and the political hand of oppression that Psychiatry represents? How do we challenge laws spreading around the country based on the myths of mental illness.? How do we convince our friends and neighbors that it is no conspiracy theory that anyone can disappear from their homes without warning and no one is accountable?. That their families will have no access to them. That any one of us can be poisoned and brain damaged under the guise of medical treatment. Our children taken from us at the whim of a doctor for refusing to poison our own children. How do we drive this message home? Clearly, the accounts circulate the internet; a police officer who tells the inconvenient truth about department corruption, a mother whose child spirals downward and finds a holistic practitioner facing jail time, a mother electroshocked after saying something hospital staff doesn’t like after giving birth….all these have been reported from reputable sources. The words Gestapo and Soviet repression are terms people are getting used to, their shock value fades into the paralysis of apathetic fear. While we are distracted by the insanity of a faction of the House of Representatives shutting down our government, and rallies waving a confederate flag in front of the White House where our first Black president lives with his wife and children, it may be easy to simply say that our country has gone insane and there is nothing we can do but take care of ourselves. But there is no such thing as safety when your neighbor can suggest you need to be “evaluated” and, based on that hearsay, you can be whisked away from your home. There is no safety when doctors collude with courts over invented diseases to force you to take drugs that invade your consciousness. The only real safety is doing everything we possibly can to change this; and right now there is something we can do. The United States, our Beloved country, is refusing to ratify an international Human Rights treaty. It’s true. Why? Because all people would have the same human rights and the mental health laws which abridge those human rights would be subject to appeal. Drug companies would lose their captive experimental lab rats (you and me and all our children), courts would have to treat all people with equal standards. Reports of human rights abuses (like solitary confinement and forced drugging and indefinite detainment) would be made to the United Nations, and our country , which claims to be the world leader in human rights, would be exposed for its’ crimes. The United Sates would be held accountable before the rest of the world. We can work together to get this treaty ratified as so many other countries have done in the name of human rights. We can create a grassroots movement to ratify this treaty without “Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations”. These are no different that the days of slavery when Black people were exempted for being less than human. There can be no reservations. Human Rights are Human Rights. There can be no understandings that some people deserve less. There can be no Declarations that make any human being less than human. Let’s work together to be that country that distinguishes itself not for SAYING it stands for human rights, but by SHOWING the world who we want to be. Please sign this petition, but don’t sit back and consider that you’ve done your part. Be creative. Educate your community. Bring this to the attention of others by writing letters, using the forums available to you to speak. In the name of your own humanity. This is for all of us.

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Time for The Times

October 2013;What Times are The New York Times? They are TIMES when real science and actual data doesn’t matter or even interest the editors, who will print anything that drools out of the mouths of those who pay for the title “Expert”. For example, most recently;”But for those who do not take their medication, don’t recover from their first episode of illness and don’t seek treatment and support from professionals, they are vulnerable to homelessness, incarceration and death, he said.”. So let’s break this down, shall we? What happens to those who don’t take their medicine? Either they feel far better, realize they’ve been victims, and take pains never to be seen by a “mental health professional” again. OR, they become disabled by discontinuation syndromes they were told did not exist. In those cases they may be “institutionlized” and force drugged (including by court order) and told that they had “relapsed” because “professionals” don’t recognize discontinuation syndromes. And finally, some people’s body chemistry has been so changed that they cannot get off the toxic poison that was prescribed to them as “medicine”, and they are forced to deal with these drug pusher docs who continue to tell them they are defective for life. Finally, there are a few lucky people who have strong family resources and support, who use the drugs for restoration of sleep and for a brief window of respite (zoning out can be helpful in a crisis for a short time; in DBT therapy this is referred to as distraction….DBT distraction is not chemical assault however). Last claim; people who don’t recover from a first break. In Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic” a meta analysis of data shows that the places that have the highest recovery rates are places where people do not have access to drugs. The places where the most people do not recover from first break psychotic episodes are far and away the places where people are told to take these drugs for the rest of their short lives. Last claim; people who don’t seek “treatment” and “support” from professionals are vulnerable to homelessness, incarceration and death???? In America today, almost anyone is vulnerable to homelessness, incarceration, and death. Mental “Illness” is not what’s wrong with them, it is what happened to them. It’s TIME for the TIMES to wake up to the facts.

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Land of Oz (The Bitter Pill blog)

The Land of Oz

by Nancy Rubenstein Del Giudice

When Dr. Oz announced on his popular mainstream television show, “Depression is not a disease,” and that not only can SSRIs lead to disaster for many but that the Serotonin theory of depression is fraud, the silence was thundering.


There were no reports on the news. Talk of John Stewart, yes, but not Dr. Oz.  This is no joke.
No congressional sub-committee was convened to investigate for purposes of prosecution, no recalls were announced from the FDA… and the beat goes on.
Out popped the pills from manufacturing plants.  The Italian coffee machine turns itself on as the alarm sings and the drug rep dresses for a full day of selling doctors on friendship.
At the television station, life goes on as usual.  The show is what matters.  People are thankful for the pharmaceutical sponsors who pay them well and treat them so finely.
My point is that Dr. Oz’s show was orchestrated.  In my humble opinion.
Here is a list of 10 issues:
1.  It has been known (well known to those who cared to find out) that the Serotonin Theory was debunked as far back as the 80s, and possibly earlier.  Check out Robert Whitaker and Ann Blake Tracy on this.
2.  No, Dr. Oz did not organize a small coup and fool the sponsors (who make the drugs) by deviously airing this important public announcement.  It was scheduled and advertised, and the pharmaceutical companies paid for it.
3.  Check out the timing.  The patents have run out.
4.  They have a new theory which probably refers to the new Ketamine drugs; same old fraudulent science based on the false notion of pathology.
5.  They have pictures!  Oh goody brain scans!  They are SO interesting that I don’t even care that there are no control groups.  WAIT A MINUTE, this is not science! And…..there is no science in the brain scan industry.  Lots of pretty pictures of flickering brains, but let’s be real.  Apply basic scientific method and you’ll find absolutely nothing.  We just don’t know enough about the brain.
6.  Is it possible that Dr. Oz has known for a long time that these drugs cause suicide, violence, depression, and mania?  Well, put it this way; I hope he did.  Because if he didn’t, and he is a practicing cardio-thoracic surgeon, if he doesn’t understand these drugs and their metabolic effects… then isn’t he a danger to his patients?  One out of four or five of his patients are taking an SSRI.  Cold turkey withdrawal from an SSRI can CAUSE a heart attack, so to suppose these drugs are not relevant to a heart surgeon simply doesn’t make sense.
7.  If these drugs are so bad (and they are), what does this say about the branch of “medicine” that relies upon them; the psychiatric profession.
8.  If depression is not a disease (though in some cases depression can be a symptom of a real disease), then aren’t doctors who tell their patients that it IS a disease (in order to gain their compliance) culpable?  They should be.
9.  The most dangerous times for people taking antidepressants is either in the beginning (where many are told their adverse reaction is so called mental illness) and in withdrawal (see Beyond Meds, a highly informative site).  Dr Oz’s show is likely to have caused at least a few people to cold turkey and maybe a couple of physicians to cut off prescriptions.  That happened in Britain with Benzodiazapenes and this continues to be a public health disaster.  The show was irresponsible.
10.  Where is the tipping point?  Could this be an “ah ha” moment that politicizes people?  The pharmaceutical companies don’t think so. They expect the American public to “baaah” along like the sheep we are.  If you are not already an activist, it is time to become one, and welcome to the matrix.
I may not be Sue Grafton, but this is not the Land of Oz.  This is America.  So let me end with a quote from a great American to inspire us all in our quest for good health and freedom.
“Genius is common sense in it’s work clothes”  Ralph Waldo Emerson
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After Seroquel

Nancy Rubenstein

June 25, 2012

The topic of this article is Seroquel withdrawal: the process of withdrawal and the consequences of having taken this particular chemical for over ten years. In my case, essentially since it came on the market in 1997. In the thunder of stories breaking loose regarding psych drug withdrawal, I am hearing next to nothing about Seroquel and I feel a moral obligation to offer up my story for the common good. Be forewarned; it ain’t pretty.

In 2009, I discovered, as countless people have, that I had been massively misled. I learned that over a decade of suffering (including the loss of my children over suicidality) was not, in fact, suffering from an actual disease, but instead, the “side effects” of the drugs purported to treat it. The story of this betrayal by the medical community may be one for another time. Let me stick to the subject of Seroquel, and cut directly to the chase.

For many years I took 1,500 mgs of Seroquel as part of my cocktail. By 2009, I was down to 300 mgs of Seroquel and 2 mgs Ativan. It was at that point that I got “fired” by the mental health system of Asheville, North Carolina. It was not an acceptable choice to wean off the rest. My psychiatrist said to me, “People like you don’t get off meds.” I didn’t believe her. I had been doing a lot of research on my own. Since I was already an activist (being lied to often tends to politicize people), I had support within the psychiatric survivor community. You know who you are. Thank you.

I took my last dose of Seroquel in late November of 2010. Two weeks later I was rushed to the hospital with severe abdominal pain and bloating. If a competent neurologist had been there at the emergency room, he might well have remarked to the doctors who directed me to have a radical hysterectomy; “you idiots. She just got off a drug that acts on neurotransmitters. Ninety Seven percent of neurotransmitters are in the gut. This is drug withdrawal.” However, no neurologist was on the scene. Just me in severe pain, my partner Jim in extreme fear, and a bunch of men in white coats who project the certainty that they know everything (aka doctors). I had an unnecessary hysterectomy.

A month and a half later, visiting Alaska’s “neighboring state,” Hawaii, minus my uterus and ovaries, the same thing happened, and my health began a downward spiral. My sightseeing on the beautiful island of Maui was largely restricted to urgent care centers and the one hospital emergency room. I had highly resistant bacterial infections (a good clue that my immune system was not functioning well) and extreme reactions to food and chemicals (like cosmetics, alas). The best four hundred dollars I have ever spent (not covered by insurance, and Why IS that?) was a food sensitivity blood test. BINGO. I was off the charts on food as I had known it. Dairy, grains (not just gluten), yeast, corn, soy. Yes, all my vegan dreams down the drain. Oddly, or perhaps not, I received this information as the best possible news. This was something I could act upon, and since I love creative challenges, I began writing a cook book. My first title (suggested by Jim) was the “I’m Allergic to Everything Cookbook.” Now, a year later, the title may well be, “No Grains, No Pains.” The issue of sustenance, post Seroquel, was relatively easily addressed.

The issue of insomnia, was to put it oxymoronically, a nightmare. For more than a year I was lucky if I got three or four hours of sleep, and I went days (nights, really) in a row with absolutely none. I could not yawn. I was never tired. My body was fixed in a state of fight or flight that created severe inflammation, agitated exhaustion, and severe irritability. There were periods of crisis, but the clumsy interventions only made things worse (Ambien, which did not work and Haldol, which gave me 24 hours of uncontrollable facial movements).

My primary care provider is an advanced nurse practitioner at a “progressive medical center.” Avante specializes in naturopathic medicine. My treatment has focused on amino acids, vitamins, medicinal herbs such as passion flower, bio-identical hormone replacement, and melatonin.

I also have consulted regularly with my friend Ken Thomas, author of the book, “Side Effects; The Hidden Agenda of the Pharmaceutical Cartel.” Ken started Nurses for Human Rights and has worked tirelessly to help people recover from the harm caused by psychotropic drugs.

As of June, 2012, I am sleeping six or seven hours fairly regularly, although any stress whatsoever can easily set me back. Yawning brings me great pleasure and unexpected gratitude. Suffice to say that sleep is the body’s greatest treasure and the biggest challenge in both preserving mental health and surviving Seroquel withdrawal. The last issue I will discuss with you, patient reader, is the one that seems the least heard of, but the issue that has changed my life forever.

In 2010, while weaning off Seroquel, I developed photosensitivity. Progressively, I lost the ability to read, look at computers, TV and movie screens, and in July, 2011, I could no longer keep my eyes open long enough to drive safely.

Several eye doctors told me there was nothing wrong. It was suggested in writing that, “as I became more emotional my eyes got worse.”

This May, 2012, The Boston Center for Sight captured microscopic images of “striking damage to the corneal nerves.” This condition is called “Corneal Neuropathy.” It is considered progressive and permanent.

The label on Seroquel has, for two years now, stated that patients on Seroquel should see their eye doctor every six months. It lists as a side effect, “eye pain.”

What the label doesn’t say is that forty percent of the body’s pain receptors are in the cornea. In summary, Seroquel withdrawal is a misnomer. The damage my body has sustained as a result of ingesting this toxin is an unfolding phenomenon of unknown destination.

Drug companies are unlikely to fund studies on a subject that could result in their drug being taken off the market. I don’t see the FDA as an entity separate from the drug companies.

In my experience, after researching this topic for over two years, the only book out there worth having is “How to get off Psychiatric Drugs Safely,” by James Harper, available through “The Road Back” website. Regarding the supplements recommended, which are now sold separately to avoid conflict of interest, I would just caution that I don’t think the Omega 3′s are strong enough, that the Body Calm (which is Montmorency Cherry) can be agitating to some people who may be in an advanced state of oxidative stress. My concern with their probiotics is that they may not be appropriate for everyone. For people with small bowel overgrowth (est. between 17-30% of the population) most probiotic formulas fuel unwanted bacteria. There are similar problems using some probiotics for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis. For people with these conditions, there are companies that make diet specific probiotics.

Overall, James Harper is the most comprehensive truth teller out there about the science of how these drugs act, what withdrawal can be like, and how to get through it. It is critical to keep in mind that every person is different. Three things are always the same; doctors know nothing about withdrawing from psychotropic drugs, there is no existing research, and there is no safe place of refuge. As bleak as this sounds, it is the truth.
What I hope for is that my story will coax out of obscurity some of the others like myself, who took the bait when Seroquel first came out, who followed the regime of high doses as recommended for over ten years, and have been Seroquel free for more than a year. These accounts will help the millions of people who now believe that “Seroquel is the new Sominex.”

There will be two distinct groups of people to answer my call. One group will be people who had actual symptoms of mania or psychosis before they were “treated” with psychotropic drugs. The second group, the one to which I belong, is the group of people who were experiencing a depression during a difficult life transition (Divorce, mid-life crisis, death of a loved one, etc.) and were misled into believing they had a chemical imbalance that required medication, “just like a diabetic requires insulin.”

Either way, these two groups have important stories. Let us fill this silent abyss with the voices of experience.

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“Healing From Psychiatry; Remembering What Matters” by Nancy Rubenstein Del Giudice

In May of 2010, with the limited skills of the original Hotmail as my only toolbox, I began this blog. Having woken up to the reality of the Matrix of Psychiatry, I had begun to fight back. It began with uncovering the first bold lie, regarding one of the essential ingredients of my polypharmaceutical cocktail; Seroquel.

To accurately explain the intensity of my reaction upon learning the truth about Seroquel, let take my reader back in time to my Internship at Tufts Graduate School Counseling Program Days. It is 1979, and I have just completed a two semester Internship at 735 House, a Residential Treatment Center for Adolescants. It is time for me to find my Internship for the following year, and I’m exhausted, discouraged by the Insanity of 735 House (the Director and the policies, not the residents), and I arrive at an interview at a Clinic where I plan to work with “Schizophrenic” Patients.

The most shocking thing about this Clinic, is not it’s general shabbiness. It is not that the staff seem uncaring, because they don’t….which is why I want to work there. What is shocking is Tardive Dyskenisia (sp?). Every single patient has it; a degenerative neurological syndrome involving, most obviously, gross involuntary movements of the tongue and face. TD turns “Schizophrenic” people into absolute lepers. And it is entirely drug induced. Already, in my education, I had enough information to take the stand that this status quo was an unnecessary tragedy. This mass drugging was already underway in 1979……and long before that….in the “treatment of schizophrenia”.

Flash Forward; It is 2008, the Psychs have had me in captivity now since 1997(?), and I am completely brainwashed (sic)….on oh- so- many levels. I am sitting before my “Doctor”,whose name is Nancy Lehman (October Road, Asheville, NC) and she says to me, “We need to do a Tardive Dyskinesia Screen”.

WHOOOOAAAAAA DOGGGGIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!@@**###????? In WHAT UNIVERSE did I agree to take a DRUG that has even the remotest possibility of causing Tardive Dyskenisia???????????????? And the answer is; NOT IN THIS ONE.

I reviewed in my mind all the “Education Groups” I had been subjected to in hospitizations (for my worsening organic brain disease). I looked through all the written handouts I had saved, listing the “side effects” of Seroquel…..and GUESS WHAT? Not a single group handout had expressed the truth that drug companies had, in fact, known for decades. Seroquel was marketed originally, based on the lie that it did not cause TD. Another “Side Effect” that did not appear on any of my Handouts was Diabetes. Or weight gain.

Sitting across from Nancy Lehman that day two years ago, I controlled my reaction; as I had learned to do many years before in The Mental Health System. It is the very basic survival skill everyone learns. I feigned a relaxed response. Had I expressed my outrage, I would have been given more drugs, or even hospitalized for “agression”. This is de rigeur now in the Soviet Union…..forgive my error, I meant The United States. Everything is a symptom; something to be made to go away with drugs.

It was a “moment of consciousness” for me. An epiphany. Like hitting a massive boulder, and somehow seeing the point of impact in time to “bounce”, I left the offices of October Road with a sense of resolve growing. It felt reassuringly like the way I used to feel when I knew I was about to write a song ( a memory from the distant past). In the back of my mind, pieces were falling into place. And when I returned to my apartment in West Asheville, I went directly to my computer and met the best friend and companion of my entire life: The Internet.

I am beginning this blog again on New Year’s Eve 2010. No longer in Asheville, North Carolina, I am in a place far away from that day I have described. I mean that on many different levels, and my purpose in this blogging is to explore all of that and give voice to this journey, which is, unfortunately, not at all mine alone. And because I have the voice to speak, I consider it my duty……and my honor.

For all of those who have needlessly suffered the torture and betrayal I speak of, and for all those who have died in vain…..and for all those who have loved them and fought for them, who carry on this fight to save the future of our Children….YOU are in my prayers for this New Year. May THIS ONE be the year our entire society wakes up from its’ Drug Induced Nightmare. May THIS YEAR be the one in which we take to the streets in mass demonstrations to end the oppression and the tyranny of greed. May this be the year we all take personal responsibility for the fate of our neighbors and friends. Amen.

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Welcome from Nancy Rubenstein Del Giudice.

Dear Readers,

I began blogging in 2010 while living in Asheville, North Carolina, still processing the shock of learning I had been a victim of medical fraud. The specific type? Psychiatry. Am I an evil Scientologist? No, I am not a Scientologist, but I know people who are, and none of them are evil. Besides that, I find it offensive to hear people discredited on the basis of religion. That might go over on the Bill Maher Show, but it’s an affront to the nature of our democracy (which hangs by a thread in 2013). So those of you who come to this blog prepared to scream, “Scientologist”, please reconsider that ignorant response to important issues. Aside from the debate over chemicals, the issue of Psychiatry is about basic human rights, and civil rights.

Like many people who discover the truth about both Psychiatric Diagnosis, Psychiatric drugs,and the brain damage of electroshock, I was ill prepared to come off the drugs after more than ten years, but clear that my life depended upon doing it. In the absence of any informed support from professionals who prescribe the drugs, I had to educate myself. Three years later (2013), my learning curve has intensified, but the upshot is that there exists no responsible research from the medical profession.

In this blog, I will be posting articles I have written which are published elsewhere, as well as writing about my own continuing journey and my perspectives on current events, historical contexts, and cultural phenomena. Everything is interconnected. Those who would like to contact me may do so at

Health, Freedom, Responsibility and Compassion……..this is what it’s all about.

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