I’d like to offer a tribute and thanks to Gianna Kali for the incredible work she has done at Beyond Meds over the last four years. She has not only created a major resource on recovery but has done so during a difficult and often debilitating withdrawal from prescription medications. Recently she announced the end of her frequent posting at the blog but leaves Beyond Meds in place. It’s one of most helpful resources on the web for anyone trying to find alternative forms of care for mental health disorders.
What gives her blog a special power are the many posts about her own harrowing experiences with psychiatric diagnosis and forcible medication early in her life. That was followed by years of over-medication with drugs that proved toxic to her system and severely damaged her health. While writing prolifically at Beyond Meds, she was also undergoing the physical and mental strain of withdrawal from six commonly prescribed drugs. The list of symptoms she’s had to live with is long and would sap the energy of most of us simply to manage. Despite this personal strain, she has kept the blog going, often posting several times a day. Her dedication has been a constant source of inspiration for me.
She is one of the most forceful advocates on the web for the right of everyone facing a diagnosis of mental disorder to be fully informed and empowered to make all choices about care. She constantly challenges the coercive nature of the present mental health system, whether as overt as involuntary treatment or as covert as the pervasive influence of drug advertising. Yet, as she often emphasizes, she’s not inflexibly anti-med but first and foremost pro-choice.
Beyond Meds has a remarkable collection of recovery stories and links to other extensive collections. This is one of the most important sections of the site, certainly the one I turn to most often, especially for the spiritual dimension that runs through these stories.
I want to say how deeply grateful I am to Gianna and wish her the best of health following the successful completion of her withdrawal last February. If you’re not familiar with Beyond Meds, I urge you to take a look – and also listen to an interview with her on Madness Radio.