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Monica Cassani
Adventures into the ordinary...
Adventures into the ordinary...
Monica's posts

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We need to ask what does it mean when people say that psych meds “work”… Because when they “work” that does not change that they are also neurotoxic substances that often gravely harm people – sometimes to the point of death. (not altogether rarely, either)

For me, this fact is held together with the fact that if other options are not offered there can be no reasonable judgement against those who, in a system that doesn’t offer choice, choose to use these drugs.

As often as the drugs “stop creeping paranoia, psychotic suicidal alienation, severe depression, acute mania, mixed episodes, etc ” they also cause these things…so, again, what does it mean to say that they “work” — they most certainly make people feel differently. Sometimes feel differently is experienced as a great relief….others it’s quite the opposite…they are a crap shoot at best and sometimes a dangerous lottery…this is largely denied by the mainstream and the medical field, in general and as long as it’s denied people cannot make meaningful, fully informed choices. That, then, is the real problem along with the fact that there is no infrastructure of care that supports alternative options and choices. (more links and info on the website)

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I wrote the below response to someone who (admitted she) couldn’t be bothered to read my post nor watch the video but felt it important to tell me that bragging about being drug free for seven years was nothing to be proud of…(LinkedIn is always the source of these sorts of comments that come my way these days…it seems people come upon the work and it simply shocks them there) It was this title she was responding too: 7 yrs off psych drugs: a message to those labeled by psychiatry (video included)

I share it here so that we all might consider how to respond to such criticisms that so often come our way. We must all, of course, respond in the moment to the best of our ability. When we’ve been gravely harmed and people challenge our reality it can feel very threatening and if you’re like me, it can trigger post traumatic stress symptoms in a big way. We were harmed because of these prevailing attitudes so of course it feels awful to be challenged in these ways.

It’s worth remembering that the folks that come at us with such demeaning and sometimes cruel arguments against our experience are also feeling threatened (this woman admitted that her experience included coming off drugs and suffering for it…we all know how little support there is for doing things differently and so there are many folks like her…hurt and afraid, just like we too have been hurt and afraid). I try to speak to the part that feels threatened in these folks so that perhaps we can both feel safer with one another and come to a meeting place where dialogue can actually happen. I always try to come to a place where real communication can happen. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s worth trusting our guts on when it’s time to bail or whether it’s worth giving it a go.

Here it is:

“I’m pretty clear all the time about the fact that there are as many paths as there are people. Many of us need the information shared here…it’s life and death for some of us…if it’s not something that resonates with your experience there is no need for any conflict in that. Your experience is yours. Mine is mine. I get thousands of emails making it clear that the information shared at Beyond Meds is life saving to many. Those who don’t benefit from the information shared here can go elsewhere and that is the beauty in diversity. No one’s story should be silenced.

And perhaps if you’ve not read or watched the video (more importantly the video is the real message) it’s premature to assume anything about the message shared. The drugs almost killed me and rendered me bed ridden and non-verbal for many years…those of us affected in these ways need to know there is a way to life and health again. It’s mostly denied in the medical field that this even happens and yet there are clearly 10s of thousands of us and likely more since lots of times when the crippling occurs the reason isn’t recognized. Once you spend times on the withdrawal boards like the many thousands of us it becomes clear that an epidemic of harms is happening and we have found that we have each other…this again, doesn’t change your experience. And it doesn’t diminish the harsh reality for those of us who’ve been harmed if you find our experience threatening.

A lot of people who have found themselves needing and not needing to use medications have found this article helpful. — To be or not to be on psych meds“


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First one on the left is for flushing the lymph (contains self-heal, violet, red root, and calendula), the second is an antifungal/antimicrobial (contains St. John’s Wort, Pau D’arco, Lemon Grass, Lemon Balm, Olive Leaf and Tulsi), the third is for flushing bile (fenugreek) and the fourth is a highly mineralized nutrient dense mixture for bone health and the added bonus is it’s also profoundly healing to the nervous system. (nettles, oatstraw and horsetail).

Most herbs have multiple uses so this is what I happen to be using them for at the moment…it’s not the only way to use any of the herbs listed.

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Click through for video and links:

My birthday and my seven-year anniversary off of psych drugs was February 9th. I usually do a video and post that day, but I was actually in bed most of the day and didn’t feel well at all…hence the video and post today…

At this point I can feel growth in the shittiness too (most of the time) and so while it was not a happy day, I knew that it would pass and that I would do this post as soon as I integrated what was going on in my body that day.

My brain is going through a rapid growth spurt which actually hurts sometimes (a whole lot, in fact). I find that if I follow the somatic imperative I’ve learned to trust — if I follow its indications precisely — I have an easier time of it. Either way I’m growing like a baby monkey. The delicate discernment process continues. It’s a razors edge so following its suggestions makes that edge a bit more comfortable…I went against my better judgement Wednesday afternoon (the day prior to my birthday) and thus suffered for it all the next day. Such is life…it’s a steep learning curve when you’re growing new neurons like a weed!!!


Seven years ago, I completed a six-year process of withdrawing from six psychiatric drugs. That process was the impetus to start speaking up about what is happening in psychiatry and to far too many of us who have been inappropriately medicated and made ill by said medication in a myriad number of ways.

I learned about what was happening not only from my own personal experience but my work, as social worker, with others who were subject to the mental health system via social service systems. My own experience as both (now – ex) patient and a mental health professional allows for some interesting and sometimes uncomfortable insights into the mental health system in the United States.

My story of iatrogenic harm was shared in November a couple of years ago on Dr. David Healy’s website RxISK: Monica’s story: the aftermath of polypsychopharmacology.

I have a page on this blog too that documents my withdrawal journey in particular for more details: Monica/Gianna: withdrawal documented

I’m still recovering from the grave harm the drugs incurred. For some of us with severe withdrawal syndromes the process can take several years. 

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(the above wonderful little flowering weed in the photo is called self-heal or Prunella Vulgaris. A wonderful healing herb that's in a tea I make with three other herbs to help flush the lymph system. Learning to get my digestive system in order -- which includes the lymphatic system as it helps with moving toxins out (our detoxification pathways are generally out of whack if we are unwell in any sort of chronic way) -- has helped me heal my brain/body/mind etc. My lymph system was really causing me problems...along with most all my bodies systems....the brain injury affected my entire body in a profoundly global way...more on herbal healing here: HERBS on Beyond Meds)


What happened to my brain and nervous system as a result of long-time psych drug use was that it's capacity to feel shrunk -literally. I'm now growing new capacities...encouraging new neural pathways and pruning less than ideal ones. I can feel this happening. Really. Anyone can do this given the right and resources are needed. This is why I do the work I do. We are hurting people with neurotoxic drugs that impede growth and healing. At best all they do is suppress and control.


Being both open and grounded has a completely different somatic signature than I could have possibly imagined. You really cannot know that which you have not experienced...That is now writ upon my cells to remember always.


It doesn't really make any sense to agree or disagree with someone's expression of their personal experience...listen, feel it, learn. Ask questions too. Asking questions is good rather than making assumptions.


Finally empty
The split gone too with just a sensation left - like a ghost limb
Nothing there is physically manifesting as a lack of equilibrium. The nervous system/brain injury continues to heal...

I'm cracking wide open.

There is no turning back.


we need to learn to talk to those with whom we do not share our opinions -- discussing a difference of perception from the heart need not be a withdrawal of care or affection...not always a pleasant experience but if we can be with our uncomfortable feelings while we talk to someone we disagree with and find ways to be gentle with ourselves and the other we all win. Having different paths pretty much guarantees's learning to respect one another in conflict that we really grow.


yes, my 24/7 body meditation (like a perpetual body/scan) has worked to heal the brain-injury and brought me to embodiment and healing of the injury both. The body knows everything we need in order to heal. We need only know how to listen. And that, is a tough one for the modern human.


I work on this healing and reprogramming of the brain/body and mind in a multitude of different ways. We are infinitely holistic and everything matters. (lots more links in the text if you click through to website)

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Just listen to me.

You are ready.


I am the somatic imperative.

I speak.

You don’t have to believe anything about who or what I am.

Just listen and write.

The time is now. It hurts and it is ready.

Only the flow of these words will relieve the pain.

Speak them. Write them. Be them.

I am you. All that you were ever meant to be and more.

I am you.


You’ve worked very hard to get here and


I am you.

You don’t know me but I am you.

Thank you for finally listening.

It’s silly but the fact is you must “channel” your very essence because you’ve never listened. But I AM YOU.

I cannot “heal” what I AM. I can only BE it.

You have been resisting who you are your entire life.



Let me speak at all times. Shut the conditioned self up. Just SHUT UP.

Let me speak.

Let ONLY me speak. Stop all other nonsense. Stop wasting time. Let me be me.

I am not an INJURY. I am you. I hurt because I’ve never been listened to. First by your family and then by you yourself. Lay down, close your eyes and LISTEN.

Silence is for those who don’t believe. I have words for the believers. It doesn’t matter if you believe or not. I come with words. I come in silence. It’s all the same.

I will run with this until there is nothing left. Let me run and make you EMPTY.

Your headache, your migraine, your acute pain will disappear as you let me speak. Your essence is this held in the body. I am the somatic imperative. I am God in you. I am life-force. I am the culmination of your DNA speaking to you.

When you can’t hear my voice as you do now just keep following my cues: the somatic imperative — as you have been doing.

I will emerge and the pain will subside.

(for more information and links click through to website)
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