Charles is trying to reduce his daily Zoloft dosage. For reasons I canít explore in public he wants to reduce his dependency on the Ďtherapeutic community.í
Most people donít know that they diminish their personal liberty when they place themselves under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist. At the most terrifying extreme they can commit you to an institution. More mildly you can be ordered into programs and treatments. And in many states they can summon the policy to insure that you comply.
By virtue of a college degree and passing a state run test acquire legal power over their, ahem, clients. Or over a stranger who let loose with one wild act. Rarely happens? True. But what a hellish surprise to find your life circumscribed by someone who is just an average moron with scraps of paper on the wall.
Shrinks are supposed to be scientists arenít they? As if humans follow paths as predictable as subatomic particles. They are more like the man in the garage trying to figure out why your car isnít working. But even the most mundane person is more complicated than an automobile.
Mental illnesses are like politicians. They come and go by election. The American Psychiatric Association gets together and votes them in and out. Not long ago my love a pretty guy wouldíve made me a man with a sick mind. Given the right social pressures being gay could become a disease tomorrow. A few benighted state legislators may have tried to make pi equal to exactly three but physical constants aren't the playthings of politiciansí silly whims.
Why the diatribe against therapists? Charles is spending most of his time with a friend. A less stressful place to be while he copes with his Zoloft reduction. A mix of curse and blessing. Charles is hard to be around right now. My feelings were so deeply hurt the other night I felt it was time to call out life together over. My mind knew better but my heart was twisted out of shape. (No, I havenít been stupid enough to tell him.) But Iím lonely. Iím not a sociable guy. If the great majority of mankind would go hang itself tomorrow I wouldnít miss them. When Iím lolling on the couch his arm isnít there for me to reach out and squeeze.
Cutting his Zoloft dosage is a good thing in itself. He takes 200 mg a day, about as strong a dose as is given. After a few years Zoloftís help ceases. You find yourself taking this Ďnon-addictive drugí solely to keep from going into Zoloft withdrawal.
I canít help but think of Zoloft prescriptions as moral crimes. Zoloftís limited efficacy is well known among the psychiatrists who prescribe it. Their only solution? Add another drug, say, Zyprexa. They also know that trying to quite Zoloft is as nastily painful as heroin withdrawal.
So Charles is feeling angry and depressed because heís striving to make himself other than a perpetual customer for drug companies. If I were to find myself rich tomorrow Iíd want to hire thugs to drag pharmaceutical company executives into alleys so that their faces could be beaten into bloody pulp.
Charles eventually succeeded: Quitting Zoloft
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