How To Live A Medication Free Life

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How one med-based decision can change everything

Within one month of strict dietary commitment, detox, and meditation, her unrelenting panic attacks had disappeared. Kate was on three psychiatric medications, recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital and my office was the last stop before electroconvulsive therapy.

Having resolved the blood sugar instability underlying her diagnosis of panic attacks, we could now begin the process of careful psychiatric medication taper.

But this was not in the cards for her.

The last I heard from Kate, she was hospitalized for ascending paralysis after having elected to receive the flu shot.

Our plans were derailed by the reintroduction of a pharmaceutical product and the attendant Russian Roulette of that decision.

Believing in your body is the key to resiliency

In my practice, the most important criteria for clinical success is a shared belief system. I learned the importance of this approach from my mentor, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, who put terminal cases of metastatic cancer and degenerative diseases into long-term remission for 27 years of his career. I also have followed a literature that supports his philosophy. These medical studies demonstrate the fact that “expectancy” is the most powerful driver of outcomes.

I believe in the power of the body to heal when properly supported. This support comes in the form of self-care but also a mindset that is aligned with the body’s full potential and acceptance around what is. It is founded on trust and results in powerful fearlessness.

In many ways, fears that arise around health can be seen as tests of belief. It’s easy to see a given circumstance as an exception, an extreme, or a one-time concession...but each and every health experience we are delivered is a dance with our own belief system and a reflection of the trust we have cultivated in our own bodies.

When you truly believe in your body’s capacity and wisdom, with all of your being, then you will pass these tests with flying colors. When you are in the process of transforming, however, there may be a threshold of fear that leads you to violate your own stated philosophies or personal desires for your own health and wellbeing. One of the most critical tenets of growth is integration - bringing what you say, believe, and do into alignment. This involves identification of the ways in which we are claiming one thing and doing another - say claiming to believe in the sacredness and emergent design of the body but seeking to commandeer and manage it with pharmaceuticals when sufficiently afraid.

Illnesses and community-cultivated fears (Zika! Swine flu! Ebola!) may reveal to us our blindspots and unintegrated zones. But in order to live life in the ever-coveted flow, we need to push ourselves beyond the comfort zones of our mind, shed layers of story, and Ego in order to become all that much more ourselves.

This is why I hold space for Pharma-free living.

My friends, family, and patients know that I walk the walk.

No meds, no how.

That includes everything from painkillers

to antibiotics to birth control to chemotherapy.

Is refusing Pharma an act of feminism?

My patients have been injured by pharmaceuticals. In some ways, they’ve lost years of their lives to the arrested developmental space that medication left them to stagnate in. Then they commit to a process of medication withdrawal which can sometimes bring them to their knees. Amazingly, despite this commitment and journey, I still get questions about medicating colds and flus and aches and pains.

It’s as if there is a “long enough” or “bad enough” or a complex of symptoms that “could be something terrible” that trips the wire of conditioning leading them to say, “will I be sorry if I don’t take medication this one time?”

Here’s the thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no free lunch with Pharma.

When you take a pharmaceutical product, you are sending your body and your psyche a clear message - “you DON’T got this”. As a woman and a feminist, I’ll take it a step further. You are sending your body the message that we need the products of an oppressive patriarchy to manage our unwieldy, unruly, messy selves. Our broken bodies and bad genes. We need the man to help us to stop feeling what feels bad.

But feeling is our femininity. Feeling is what guides us. Feeling is what tells us what we need to know - it delivers a vital message about imbalance, misalignment, lack of full expression.

So either you trust this as part of your process or you don’t.

But sometimes all it takes is a friendly reminder that a woman aligned with her body - who has truly made a truce with it - can access limitless reservoirs of healing energy. This is the reclamation I am interested in, for all of us. Once we understand that our symptoms and illness have meaning, that they are sending us a message, and we trust our body’s capacity to move through it when supported, we become unstoppable vessels of revolution in today’s biocontrol society.

Make your decision with ALL available information

These are my meta-considerations, but ultimately, I believe first and foremost in informed consent. I understand that it is not my role to tell anyone else what to do. But it is my role to reflect back to my patients, and readers, their own held beliefs so that in times of struggle, they can be true to themselves without succumbing to the horror story their mind is telling them.

Informed consent requires that you know more than what the very corporate purveyors of a product would like you to know. More than what coopted regulatory bodies like the FDA and CDC would like you to know. More than media, the last bastion of checks and balances, now lost, would like you to know.  Here are some cliff’s notes to review the next time your fear brings you to a place of self-violation through pharmaceutical interventions big and small:

Antibiotics

By far the most alluring of all of the poisoned apples, antibiotics ride a mindset of fear while fostering the illusion of the quick fix. What if my ear infection invades my brain? What if this pneumonia kills me? What if my UTI attacks my kidneys?

Just talk to one woman who has been “floxed” to understand that a simple round of antibiotics can change your life forever. And to develop a deeper respect for what it is to support the body through a process of recalibration through infection. Any traditional pediatrician will tell you that we grow from our infectious illnesses and that there is probably more to the story than bad bugs are bad.

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Birth Control

Living with unbalanced hormones is no way to live. I don’t want that for you any more than you do. What I want is for you to get to the root of your hormonal imbalance - sugar addiction, thyroid sluggishness, constipation, or an overwhelmed liver.

Take it from someone who took birth control for 12 years straight, all the while thinking it was Western Medicine’s gift to women. The stuff is totally toxic. It strips us of essential nutrients, drives inflammation, and leaves us a shadow of ourselves because you cannot take the hormones out of the woman without taking the woman out of the woman.

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Vaccines

If there’s one pharmaceutical product that can decimate your existence in one single dose, it’s vaccines. In no way personalized to the needs of your body - read, gender, age, weight, immunologic history, stress level, exposures, family history - vaccines are the sacred cow of an industry that literally regards you as a potential cash register sale. And, they are potential drivers of psychiatric struggles like depression.

I have tremendous faith in the potential for the body to heal when naturally supported, but the seeming failures in my practice are adult women injured by vaccines. There are simply some that I have not been able to help. They were living typical lives before that one fateful day when everything changed - including one college student who is now non-verbal and completely dependent on her mother for care.

Don’t buy into the lore, don’t make assumptions, and understand that the philosophical underpinnings of the vaccination program are predicated on an antiquated perspective: warring against and attempting to eradicate bad germs. Science has left that childlike notion in the dust, and so should we.

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Tylenol and Advil

Seemingly benign, over the counter pain-killers take the edge off, right? Why suffer if you don’t have to? Unfortunately there is no free lunch with Pharma and interfering with our fevers, aches, and pains comes with a cost. Tylenol is a liver toxicant of epic proportions and Advil is a gut bomb we are just beginning to understand.

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We don’t know how to mitigate or undo the offenses of these products, so once you fall victim to the Russian Roulette of side effects, you are journeying on your own without a map. Every time you say no to pharmaceuticals, you are saying yes to your body and it remembers. It becomes easier and easier over time to ride the waves of your experience. Reclaim your power and don’t let your mind give it away, ever again.

Interested in step-by-step support to help you optimize your health?

Vital Life Project is a community for like-minded wellness seekers in search of a better way to live with vitality in a world that can make it challenging to move toward this goal. This monthly membership provides guidance and accountability to help you make small changes in mindset and daily routine that can lead to radical shifts in health reclamation. Click below to learn more.

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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More