Having one’s psychiatric care withdrawn as mine has been, needs to be understood as the gross injustice it is. It threatens a person’s mental and physical health.

When medications aren’t monitored or kept to a level that helps a person’s functioning rather than hindering it, a life can be seriously impacted. I’ve been on four different psychatric medications for many years. As far as I can remember, only the lithium was reduced—in the fall of last year.

I’ve lived with hand tremors for years now. They have gradually gotten worse. Last July I had to give up the photography I loved and was known for. Starting around 2014 (?) I needed walking sticks to walk any distance. A cane followed. Now I am using a walker due to unsteadiness on my feet. I’ve had to give up almost all travels with my husband. Many times I’ve been close to falling.

I’m grateful to a neurologist who’s keeping an eye on me. Two months ago she told my general practitioner that I need to have a psychiatrist supervise me as I come off carbamazepine—the possible cause of these physical disabilities. But my GP did not refer my to a psychiatrist as she had advised.

A month later, I insisted that he refer me again to the hospital’s mental health department. He did so, but failed to specify that the reason was for a needed medication adjustment.

When I checked recently—a month later—I was told that they had not been made aware of the med change needed. My next assessment would be another two months down the road.

As I wrote previously, I had to go to the emergency room a couple of days ago to locate someone who would find me the care I needed.

I’ve been told that older people need less medication, though I’ve had almost no reductions in the past. And now I wonder how many other problems in my day-to-day life are caused by too much medication. My poor memory? My disorganization? My frequent sleep throughout the day?

Could all this be improved by taking less medication? I look forward to finding out.

I hope and pray I get a psychiatrist who knows what he’s doing.