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messed up situation, where to turn?

By needinghelp - 23 November 2013 41

I’m seeking the help of the hive-mind to try and get further help.

From around age 18 on I was repeatedly prescribed extremely high doses – including what I now know were overdoses, of a particularly nasty psychiatric medication, all the while being led to believe I was taking ‘normal’ doses. I’d been on something different earlier on and was advised by the doctor (and pressured by parents) to take this other drug – unbeknownst to me I went from the minimum dose of one drug to the maximum dose of another. I was healthy, academically and socially successful at the time this was done – everything was going well after a lot of problems in earlier years. I was however in what I now know was a dysfunctional and at times abusive family situation and ended up back there repeatedly over the years as my life fell apart.

After the switch I gradually went insane, getting worse and worse as time went on, did a lot of terrible things, made crazy decisions regarding university and career that don’t make any sense and have led me to ruin. For years and years I had terrible insomnia, couldn’t concentrate, just degenerated intellectually – all the while I was told I was suffering worsening depression. I was repeatedly told I needed to take this medication for life. I never recognized the importance of the ‘switch’ that happened when I was in year 12, and never associated what was going on with the drug everything just crept up, a lobster boiled slowly.

I’m now in my mid 20s – I’ve finally gotten off the drug, though I’m still suffering a whole lot of problems which I’m trying to seek treatment for  – however the worst of the issues are lifting as the months go by.

It is abundantly clear (acknowledged, with caveats by a psychiatrist) that these problems were caused by the drug, however nobody seems to care and I’ve had doctors basically call me a liar as far as the symptoms I’m suffering now. The moment medication history is mentioned they get ultra-defensive, outright deny I could be suffering any long term effects at all.

In terms of my life I’m ruined, have been in and out of unemployment for the better part of 3 years, studied something that doesn’t even make sense to me – I can’t really remember the past 8 years properly, am socially isolated and on the verge of homelessness. I’m still extremely confused and I can’t understand how much time has passed.

I’m getting some help for the immediate issues, but I’m never going really recover from this and desperately need help with longer term things – I’ve contacted a couple of law firms but nobody will touch it because of statutes of limitations. There’s meant to be a role here for the ACT human rights commission, but I don’t really know how to put together an effective complaint and whether it’s even worth it.

Where can I go for this? I desperately need help from someone or an organization that can act as an advocate and help with figuring out what to do now and actually doing it.

I tried ADACAS but it’s not really their area, though they were very helpful in other ways.

What’s Your opinion?


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messed up situation, where to turn?
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sportsmum 10:10 pm 26 Nov 13

It seems pretty clear that you need to see a highly qualified, experienced psychologist or psychiatrist who you trust and click with to work through these issues. Brain chemistry is no joke, but as others rightly point out, you are young and there is plenty of opportunity for you in the future to bounce back from this. There are a number of threads on here about good psychs. I suggest you look up one or two of those and see if you find one you like. Certainly wallowing in your pain is not the way forward (even though it might feel impossible to escape). So many people have been where you are, albeit for different reasons, and they have found their way back to a positive and normal life. You can too with the right help and support.

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