CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PHARMACY –
Aug. 10, 2022 – ‘And I am sorry to have kept you waiting but we contacted your clinic in Ireland to double check things and your prescription checks out. So, here you are. However, rather than give you a two-month supply, there is enough here for one.’ Please come back to see me in one month’s time, I would like to see how you are getting on before giving you more.’
I left the clinic gobsmacked. I was trying to digest the fact that a clinician had openly told me that I was being given a toxic amount of drugs to take, trying to get my head around how one jurisdiction can prescribe a dosage claiming it to be safe when another has no problem stating it’s a toxic dose and that they would never normally prescribe it. Toxic in what ways exactly, I wasn’t altogether sure, though I had some idea given my experiences having taken this dosage for nearly a decade at that stage.
About six months before moving to Sweden in January 2007, along with regularly attending the local clinic to get my prescription, I had begun meeting regularly with an alternative psychiatrist called Michael Corry. Following a chance meeting, we were exploring the possibility of me coming off medication. My motivation? Though I wasn’t staying in acute wards all that regularly, I felt my cognitive ability had dulled over the years and that life was completely on hold before meeting Michael and asking if he could help. ‘Not everyone can do it,’ Dr Corry would remind me regularly at the start of our sessions, before reassuringly affirming ‘but I think you can.’
Any notion of coming off meds was put firmly on hold when the opportunity to move abroad came up suddenly. I was very aware that each of the three times I ended up in acute psychiatric wards, these stays followed elated states I experienced while abroad. So, I was intent on not putting my family through that again when going away this time. Going to Stockholm was for me at this time, a chance to make a go of things again in a new place where very few knew me, the city represented a place where I felt I could relearn how to stand on my own two feet again. I decided before buying my ticket to Stockholm that I would stick with the stability that my prescription seemed to offer for the time being at least.