Amid the shadows cast by psychiatric drug harm, emerges Melissa—a compassionate guide offering non-medical solace to those profoundly impacted by prescription drugs and their families. Melding the wisdom forged from her own journey with contemporary research on patient prescription drug harm, Melissa’s coaching reverberates with a message of unwavering hope.
Melissa’s voyage was preceded by a tenure in nonprofit psychiatric and developmental disability crisis management, a period of her life marked by liaising with doctors, clients, and families.
The trajectory of Melissa’s existence shifted dramatically when an antidepressant, taken as directed, ushered in unforeseen tribulations. Her doctor’s negligent tapering advice further deepened the abyss. In an alternate reality of informed consent, Melissa might never have embarked on this journey. Alas, she bore the brunt of severe and debilitating adverse drug effects that spanned years.
The catalyst for her antidepressant prescription was feelings linked to her job; a seemingly innocuous decision resulted in weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and the emergence of a drinking problem—side effects that shadowed her. Unfathomably, akathisia—an inescapable and life-threatening movement disorder—entered the picture, shrouding her existence in agony.
Without a compass in her tumultuous landscape, she turned to the medical sphere in search of answers. Misdiagnosed with a severe mental ailment, the true culprits—adverse drug effects—eluded doctors’ grasp. A psych ward became her haven, accompanied by prescriptions for more drugs: antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines—a choir of paradoxical reactions ensued.
Her plight only deepened as dystonic full-body involuntary muscle movements joined forces with Akathisia, birthing an orchestra of suffering. Amidst the chaos, Melissa’s revelation crystallized: the drugs were the enemy. Fueled by a fierce will to heal, she ventured forth unmedicated from the psych ward’s confines.
Enduring months of debilitating torment, Melissa found a beacon of hope—an accurate diagnosis from a physician attuned to prescription drug harm. Healing commenced, though it proved an uneven path. Amidst recovery, an extraordinary miracle unfolded—a natural conception, against odds scarcely greater than a whisper. Yet, she faced HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelets) syndrome during pregnancy, a life-threatening complication that culminated in a harrowing emergency C-section at 34 weeks. In defiance of adversity, a healthy baby entered the world—a testament to Melissa’s resilience.
Melissa’s journey echoes the symphony of survival. She wields her experiences to illuminate the path for others while championing deprescribing methods to mitigate patient harm via her YouTube channel and as an esteemed guest in interviews with subject matter experts.Although residing in Canada, Melissa extends her support worldwide, embracing virtual platforms to connect with individuals seeking coaching and guidance. Melissa’s academic foundation was cultivated at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Sessions with Melissa are for withdrawal coaching only. She cannot and will not serve as your medical provider. Upon booking, you will sign a “Coaching Agreement” where you must acknowledge that in working with you, Melissa serves solely as a coach, and in no other capacity.