Lost and Found
A memoir of success at Narconon—detoxification of psycho pharmaceuticals.
Years of anxiety, panic, post-partum depression, and OCD, as psychiatrists had labeled it, came to a crashing halt at Narconon as I admitted to myself that I had a benzodiazepine addiction. A quick list of the psych drugs I was prescribed over a four-year period includes: Prozac, Xanax, Vybryd, Abilify, Ativan, Zoloft, Lexapro, Klonopin, Oxcarbazepine, Trintellix, and Cymbalta. Yes, that is not a quick list —and not a quick fix.
My panic attacks were getting worse. I was sleeping 16 hours a day, eating my weight in food, and I visited the ER at least once a month, convinced that yet another thing was wrong with me. Ultimately, I felt trapped. The meds were supposed to be helping but I was getting worse. Even music and light were overwhelming to me. The panic attacks were relentless and I was losing my mind.
The dark bedroom became my best friend, and of course, so was the bottle of Klonopin. (My psychiatrist informed me that it would be dangerous to miss a dose of that!) I wanted off the Trileptal (an anti-epileptic used for sedation / mood control/ anxiety) as I thought maybe that’s what was making me crazy but if I missed a dose of the Trileptal paired with the Klonopin, all I could do was cry and rock back and forth on my floor begging for a way out. No combination of these drugs was helping my sanity because, in an attempt to feel normal, I had entwined myself in a lethal combination of drugs that were making me lose my mind.
When I arrived at Narconon, I was greeted by Doctor Adi, who promised to work with me through the process of withdrawal. We started a taper-off that lasted two weeks, compared to the months at home it would have taken to detox from only one of the two medications I was on.
The withdrawal specialist kept me comfortable and provided for my needs during that two-week period. The side effects were not pretty but completely worth it. I had a bit of trouble sleeping after withdrawal, but sauna cleared that up within a week.
Now I was on a schedule and not sleeping 16 hours a day or feeling sickly and fatigued the way I had done prior to my stay and once the taper drug cleared my system, I had no crazy effects when stopping the Trileptal.
At Narconon, I also received the necessary vitamins I was deficient in after my pregnancy (my condition had declined even more so after the birth of my daughter). The mass anxiety was gotten into check with objectives. Doing objectives gave me an ability to concentrate, helped me extrovert and gave me clarity. I felt normal for the first time in years.
But would it continue?
I went into life skills and dealt with the circumstances that originally brought on a search for a psych med. Through life skills, I saw the lasting effects of normalcy. I knew I wasn’t crazy. I knew I could survive without the psych meds and, at last, things made sense.
“I wasn’t a victim anymore. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started learning how to do something about it.”
I wasn’t a victim anymore. I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started learning how to do something about it. Loud noise doesn’t make my heart race anymore; music doesn’t make me cry for no reason; the sun doesn’t make my head spin anymore. I am able to handle situations instead of collapsing in overwhelm.
I hope that through relating my experience, someone else can free their mind from the grip of psych drugs.