MEDICATING NORMAL

July 6, 2021
Hosted by Dr. Patricia Halligan

[Download MP3] [itunes] [Bookmark Episode]

Guest Information

Episode Description

Meet the director and main subject of the award winning 2020 documentary, "Medicating Normal," a brave and honest film which focuses on the harmful effects of psychiatric medications. It follows the journeys of a newly married couple, a combat veteran, a waitress and a teenager whose doctors prescribed psychiatric drugs for stress, mild depression, insomnia and trauma. These people went on to suffer serious physical and mental side effects as well as neurological damage from taking these medications as prescribed and severe complicated withdrawal when they attempted to stop. Filmmaker and director, Lynn Cunningham, describes the motivation behind the documentary, advocating for millions of people world-wide who suffer because of the epidemic of overprescribing. These are people, she says, who didn't feel right on their medication, believed they were getting worse and were not believed by their doctors or families. Cunningham felt that "this is a story that has to be told." She objects to people with manageable human problems being put in a category of "mental illness" and created the documentary to create a forum for discussion. Angie Peacock, a main subject in the film and war veteran, returned from war torn Iraq in her early 20's. Suffering from trauma, she was immediately overmedicated by psychiatrists, and given multiple psychiatric diagnoses. And the whole time, she felt she was getting worse. "No doctor ever told me that it could be my meds that were making me sick." She describes years of excruciating withdrawal from benzodiazepines and other medications and how she managed to survive. Angie describes the loss of community, our culture's tendency to pathologize normal human problems of anxiety, depression and loss and offers advice to people looking to taper off their psychiatric medication.

RECOVERY…THE HERO’S JOURNEY

RECOVERY…THE HERO’S JOURNEY

Tuesday at 12 Noon Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

RECOVERY: THE HERO’S JOURNEY provides best practice information and support to people struggling with Substance Use Disorders/Process Addictions and Prescription Drug Dependence. We confront the stigma surrounding Opioid Use Disorder and Benzodiazepine Dependence, understanding that both are the direct result of an overprescribing epidemic. We discuss Buprenorphine, a first line, long term treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. We validate people struggling with Benzodiazepine Dependence (ie-Xanax/Klonopin), and offer resources and a recovery plan.

Experts explore Eating Disorders, Sex Addiction, PTSD, and the effects of today’s Cannabis on teens and young adults, offering guidance and resources to individuals struggling with these issues and their families. This podcast gracefully combines interviews with experts in the field and patient stories of recovery and redemption. The show is about connection, reclaiming personal integrity and hope.

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Dr. Patricia Halligan

Dr. Patricia Halligan

Dr. Patricia Halligan is an Addiction Psychiatrist, who specializes in the treatment of patients diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders, Prescription Drug Dependency and Process Addictions. She completed a residency in Psychiatry at Cornell-The New York Hospital, followed by a Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1998. Dr. Halligan is double board certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry and is a trained CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). Believing in the healing power of connection, she trained at the Center for Group Studies in NYC and runs modern analytic group therapy for people in recovery.

Dr. Halligan has been prescribing Buprenorphine in her private practice since 2003 and continues to be a strong advocate for patients with Opioid Use Disorder throughout the Opioid Epidemic. She has spent the last two decades in the trenches of two tragic epidemics caused by the overprescribing of both Opioids and Benzodiazepines.

Aware that the lack of addiction training in medicine has largely contributed to both epidemics, she has resolved to devote some time to teaching. She creates CME accredited addiction education videos and training workshops for health care providers. Dr. Halligan decided to create this show to support people who are taking the hero’s journey into recovery and their families. You’ll hear interviews with experts surrounding best practices, and embrace the elimination of stigma.

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