A Multitude of Recoveries Through Alternative Mental Health Treatments
I wanted to write about my experience with Alternative to Meds Center. I came to ATMC for assistance in withdrawing from antidepressants. Before I came to the Center I was experiencing extreme adverse side effects from Prozac and was unable to work, socialize or even get out of bed. I had no idea what was going on and thought I was going crazy and would never be well again. When I went to my doctor for help, my doctor continued to increase my dose and then added benzos to help offset the side effects of the Prozac. My doctor had no answers for why I was feeling this way or experiencing any of these symptoms. I eventually came to realize on my own that it was the Prozac that was affecting me so badly. My doctor then told me to go ahead and go off cold turkey. I knew better and attempted to taper myself off the medications, way too quickly, which in turn created more symptoms and side effects. I was desperate and scared. I called an addiction hot-line hoping they could point me in a direction that would help me withdrawal from this medication. The woman on the phone told me she knew of a great place and had someone call me back. I received a call back within two minutes. Diane called me and told me about the Alternative to Meds Center and she explained why I was having some of my symptoms. She put my mind at ease immediately. Finally, someone who could give me some answers and knew what I was talking about and going through. I got on a plane two days later and arrived at ATMC. The house was beautiful and my driver was very reassuring. I was very scared to be so far away from home and felt desperate to return home. I quickly went to a staff member who shared with me that he knew how I felt and explained his story to me and how he was able to safely withdraw from his medications. I felt very reassured. I continually went to different staff members who had no problem dropping what they were doing to explain what was happening and what to expect. This was a very important piece of my recovery. I was taught how anti-depressants worked and the importance of nutrition, not only for recovery but for the rest of my life. I helped in the kitchen with a fantastic cook who taught me various ways of healthy cooking, not to mention his innate ability to cheer me up and pull me out of a pit. We had various speakers come in who only enhanced this program. The entire staff at ATMC was incredible. I cannot express this enough. Each and every staff member had something helpful to offer me, even if it was to get me out in the community and talk about regular life and not to focus on withdrawing. I asked for regular counseling sessions and my counselor never hesitated to talk with me. He helped me find support groups for when I returned home and never judged me or my feelings. This meant a lot to me. The owner/founder was also very involved and encouraging. He knew what we were all going through and it made this program even more helpful. I am so grateful for the program he has started and continues to improve upon. The doctor I worked with was incredibly helpful. He not only offered me information about my complications but he was compassionate and listened with interest in what I was saying. The blood tests and food allergy tests were also very extensive and informative and put some “science” into what I was experiencing. I would recommend this center for anyone who is considering going off psychotropic medications of any kind. This is definitely a serious endeavor and should not be done on your own. The side effects and withdrawal symptoms I experienced at home were torturous and I wish I had not tried to taper off by myself. But I was glad I could go to ATMC to get help with this traumatic experience. They helped me in so many ways and I am forever grateful. Always remember to ask questions and seek help. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. I am someone with strong convictions and am not someone who would write a testimonial if I didn’t believe in what I was writing about. I feel it is important to say this and let folks out there know that they are NOT alone and there is help and hope. I searched endlessly trying to find someone who knew what was going on and how I felt and I found them. Thanks to the entire staff at ATMC. I am so very grateful to ALL of you!!