I'm Tabita and this is my story:
In the spring of 2010, my daughter, Rebecka, started to feel depressed and lost a lot of weight. Almost immediately, Rebecka's well-meaning health care providers recommended that she take an antidepressant (Zoloft) to "kick-start" the treatment process.
What followed was a year-long nightmare of the most unimaginable sort as my husband and I watched our funny, bright daughter transform into a psychiatric patient. Rebecka was hospitalized numerous times for suicidal ideation and psychosis—unable to function in the real world. Her psychiatrists treated new symptoms with additional psychiatric medications, but instead of improving, Rebecka's health deteriorated rapidly.
As the year progressed, we started to question the wisdom of the dominant mental health care system, which puts pills front and center, and eventually worked up the courage to ask the psychiatrist to take Rebecka off all medications. Within weeks, Rebecka's suicidal and psychotic symptoms disappeared completely.
A couple of years ago, we published a book, Her Lost Year, to tell our story, but also to describe what we learned about psychiatry in the US and the culture of medication as a first, rather than last, resort. Today, Rebecka is a sophomore in college—and thriving!