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Mad in America: Rethinking Mental Health

The Mad in America podcast, hosted by James Moore, examines mental health with a critical eye by speaking with psychologists, psychiatrists and people with lived experience.

When you hear such conversations, you realise that much of what is believed to be settled in mental health is actually up for debate. Is mental health a matter of faulty biology or is there more to it? Are the treatments used in psychiatry helpful or harmful in the long term? Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable? With the help of our guests, we examine these questions and so much more. 

This podcast is part of Mad in America’s mission to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care and mental health. We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change. 

On the podcast over the coming weeks, we will have interviews with experts and those with lived experience of the psychiatric system. Thank you for joining us as we discuss the many issues around rethinking mental health around the world.

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May 30, 2017

This week we talk to Meghann from the USA. Meghann describes starting antidepressant drugs for OCD at the age of 9, how she came to consider her withdrawal and ow she feels now, 2 years after finishing with the drugs.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Meghann was first prescribed Paxil for OCD at the age of 9 because therapy was ineffective
  • How she took those drugs until the age of 26
  • How Meghann felt labelled by her diagnosis when she looks back now
  • How other issues started to arise in addition to the OCD including depression, weight gain, confusion and mood swings
  • How bullying at school over the weight gain caused by her antidepressant led to Meghann experienced body image issues
  • How she felt that she would never be able to manage without the drugs
  • How, in her early 20s, anxiety started to creep in as well as the other issues
  • That Meghann felt that the drugs did nothing but hold her back
  • How OCD affected Meghann’s day to day life
  • How reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker changed Meghann’s whole view of psychiatric drugs
  • How insurance considerations led to Meghann thinking about stopping her drugs
  • How, 2 years after stopping the drugs, Meghann feels near fully recovered
  • How having a support system in family and friends is crucial
  • How Meghann’s withdrawal was isolating and very difficult and she was fighting what she was going through
  • How Meghann feels that she was recovering from a brain injury while withdrawing from the drugs

Podcast show notes:

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© James Moore 2017