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Side Effects
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11/18/18 8:56 AM
In view of the attention being given to the side effects and potential dangers of meditation, I want to offer a warning about a relevant subject: the side effects of psychoactive prescription drugs, which I'll refer to herein as "meds." I say this is relevant because people experiencing negative, unbalancing effects from meditation are typically advised to seek "professional help." Well, one needs to be quite discriminating when choosing a therapist and quite conservative when considering a course of drug treatment.

The destructive effects of meds, both to individuals and society, are an under-appreciated and under-discussed crisis; and I suggest that this is not accidental, considering the political/economic power of Big Pharma. The latter is more than happy for the media to keep focusing on meditation and other spiritual practices.

Caveat: I am not a professional, so do your own diligence.

I can speak from experience only regarding SSRIs, but my advice is worth considering in general: 

1) Be a tough patient and demand a convincing argument as to why you need to start taking the drug your provider is recommending. Double this reluctance if he/she is recommending a combination of meds. Note that there might indeed be a compelling reason for you to agree to this: for example, if your life, or someone else's, is in danger (I'm thinking of antipsychotics, for example).

2) Ask lots of questions about what side effects to expect; and do your own research in this regard. Again, this is doubly important if a drug combo is being recommended.

3) Ask what the plan is for how long you should be on the meds and, more importantly, how you will wean yourself from them. Gradual withdrawal -- months or even years, depending on the dose and duration of usage -- is critical! And you will probably need care during that time. I know of no surer way to fuck yourself up than to stop taking long-term meds abruptly.

4) If your provider cannot address the above questions to your satisfaction, find another who can. Do not assume that the sheepskin guarantees competence or expertise.

I expect that others will find faults in my statements, and I welcome fact-based rebuttals. Again, I'm not an expert. But a serious discussion of this issue is way overdue in our society, and especially in the meditation community.

RE: Side Effects
Answer
11/18/18 9:37 AM as a reply to Ward Law.
I read a book called Anatomy of an Epidemic. It was basically a dry presentation of the data from the clinical studies. 
Tl;dr version is psych meds are ok for the short term where other things have failed. The chemical imbalance theory is busted. The drugs likely themselves cause imbalances. Every time a class a drugs was released, the number of social security recipients increased. Long term use will likely cause what it is trying to prevent even if it worked in the beginning.