Over 33 months of suffering now and three weeks of my window blowing in the wind not sure whether to stay open or slam shut! It seems to have settled on open for the moment.
On television I see the crisis of the Syrian refugees and my heart goes out to them. How minuscule our problems seem in comparison to theirs. Yet there are similarities. They seek a life free from oppression and we seek a life free from prescription medication. Benzos have caused our oppression and trying to escape this is our crisis, two situations so diverse yet both caused by the actions of other human beings.
In our case the other human beings are unfortunately the doctors who should do no harm. With recovery I find my emotions and my determination to make this suffering count for something burns deeply inside me. I can sit back and do nothing or I can do my best to get my own crisis heard. I believe we have to start the attack at the grass roots where the problem is caused.
I have a letter from my General Practitioner written in answer to my husband who complained of my treatment. I've replied to each of his observations with the truth of the situation. It shows the lengths the medical profession will go to prove we are anxiety filled individuals with a ‘mental illness’. They often try hard to cover their own inadequacies and who can blame them as Benzodiazepine side effects and withdrawal goes against everything they’ve learnt in medical school. The Medical dictionary of prescription drugs is their Bible and listening to the patient doesn’t have its place in their brief consultations. There is a drug for everything and a label for every illness which their patients can then be burdened with for the rest of their lives. Find a drug to ‘cure’ their label and close the door. I don't dislike my GP, he does his best and is only reflecting the usual beliefs that our doctors have ingrained in them but, ‘admit to their own mistakes and lack of knowledge, never’!
Briefly some points I picked up on. It may help in 'educating' your own doctors.
1. In the UK prescription medication should be reviewed every six months with the patient. The prescribing doctor should be fully aware of the side effects of the drug and of its interaction with other drugs and inform the patient of these at each review.
2. The doctor must listen to the patient and support them if side effects do occur. He can only do this by full knowledge of every drug he prescribes. He should never prescribe a further drug to overcome the side effects of the first drug without research and discussion with his patient.
3. He should maintain a clear and accurate record of a patient’s visits and the outcome of each visit. If the patient is seen by another doctor in the practice then that doctor must pass on a full record of the visit to the patient’s regular GP.
4. If a patient is referred then a full discussion regarding the observations and treatment advised by the outside specialist must take place afterwards by the GP with his patient.
5. Patients should not have to carry ‘labels’ around with them for the rest of their lives. These labels often refer back to a medical problem suffered decades ago. This leads to mistakes being made when further diagnoses are required. `Once branded with anxiety or depression then, according to many doctors, you never recover. Further complaints that can’t be clearly diagnosed are due to that label even though made when you were a teenager and now 70 years old!This is laughable if it wasn’t so sad and so damaging.
6. Doctors must use the term ‘mental illness’ with extreme caution. There are, in reality, only a small minority of people who may suffer from true mental problems. The fact is that the labels they seek to apply to many of us are just that labels to cover their own inability to discuss a real problem such as bereavement, preferring to say it’s depression and so dish out a pill.
7. Again on ‘mental illness’ there is growing concern that the labels applied to various so-called ‘illnesses’ are just that labels with no foundation and no objective proof. There is no blood test for a Generalised Anxiety Disorder, it was just a name conjured out of thin air by a group of old men sitting around a table. Doctors must not label patients with these subjective descriptions.
8. Where benzodiazepines are concerned they must be prescribed for no longer than two weeks. There is no situation where the patient should be given these drugs for longer than this unless it’s life-threatening. Patients can become dependent even in this short time so even two weeks use must be observed carefully.
9. Patients must never be given benzos on an ‘as needed’ basis. This is dangerous and leads to kindling and a severe withdrawal syndrome. It takes just two tablets a month to cause dependence. (I will look up dosages for those two tablets).
10. Patients must be supported in a long, slow taper from Benzodiazepine drugs and in fact from any drug prescribed for any length of time.
I’m going to have to stop there as I could go on and on! The problem is huge, too huge for my foggy brain really. I will write further about all this on a main page when I can. For now it’s a start.
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