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Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Chris Weatherall

Before coming to Alternative to Meds Center I was in the mental hospital for a manic episode. I’ve been struggling with my bipolar diagnosis for 6 years and have been on and off medication ever since 2012. I felt helpless and thought that medication would be the only way to manage my manic symptoms. I have always been able to deal with the depression but it was the mania that was the most disruptive to my life. The medication that I was put on would cause severe weight gain and depression and would not allow me to function as well as I would like to.

I had been med-free up until my stay in the mental hospital on July 5, 2018. While at the hospital I was prescribed a series of meds which included Thorazine, Zyprexa, Haldol, Cogentin, lithium, and Depakote, and left the hospital only on Haldol, Cogentin, and Depakote. Thankfully I am now med-free. I tapered off of Haldol, Depakote, and Cogentin at ATMC and now feel stable. ATMC provided a safe space for me to re-evaluate my life and reconnect myself with who I am, where I fit in the world and what I need to do to create safety and security for myself. Coming here was not easy, as there were many times I just wanted to leave and give up, simply because I could not handle the changes that I needed to make here. However, I found an independence and a confidence that I did not know I had and everyone at ATMC was so patient and able to meet me where I was at.

Life at ATMC was idyllic. I was able to do everything that I needed to do to heal. ATMC cultivates an environment promoting mindfulness, self-compassion and love. This allowed me to dive into self-reflection and understand what it means to have patience and perseverance. The grounds were always so well-kept and everything was so clean, it truly was a hermetically sealed, healing environment, as the Program Director, John, would always put it. The staff is truly one of a kind. I have never met such a group of people as compassionate, patient, and as loving as the staff of ATMC.

At ATMC I was always supported. The staff was great at providing opportunities for me to work towards stability. What helped me here was always keeping a positive outlook and the constant encouragement and reminders to keep faith in myself.

I cannot give enough thanks to everyone here. I absolutely love every member of the staff! It is difficult for me to single out anyone as they all helped me so much during my time of need as I struggled with how I was ever going to believe in myself again. The ATMC program truly works and, in my experience, you will find your success in your struggle.

– Jackie

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