Inner Compass Conversations

About Inner Compass Conversations

Inner Compass Initiative believes that within each and every person lies an innate wisdom — an “inner compass.” This wisdom helps us navigate the difficulties of being human in a confusing world. For many who have lived out the medical model of “mental illness” and its various pharmaceutical, institutional, legal, and professionalized apparatuses, connection to this inner wisdom can often be forgotten, lost, or taken away. Our mission is to help people find their way back to this inner compass, so they can take fresh steps into a new future based on that wisdom.

The aim of Inner Compass Conversations is to provide a space within our closed Facebook group (link here) where we can talk about the immediate and longer-term concerns, challenges, and questions facing our community when it comes to psychiatric drugs and associated diagnoses. On an ongoing basis, we’ll also bring in the voices of guests to share a wide range of additional experiences and insights as well. Inner Compass Conversations Facebook group is a closed online space where our community can support each other - engaging together in discussion and dialogue about questions we’re facing, along with topics explored in our weekly video conversations and online posts. 

 

Our Guiding Principles and Values 

  • We believe that most individuals’ inner crises emerge, develop and/or persist in relation to social circumstances, and that working to establish more just, equitable, creatively diverse, and environmentally sustainable societies is vitally important to all of our mental, spiritual and emotional well-being.

  • We believe that the knowledge, approaches and contributions of people who are not medical or mental health professionals — such as current and former psychiatric patients, artists, political thinkers, cultural critics, philosophers, and spiritual seekers — are too often marginalized or ignored in public discussions about meeting the spiritual, mental and emotional challenges of being human.

  • We believe that we all have a right to make our own choices about how to take care of ourselves, but that true, legitimate choice is only possible when based on being fully informed about both short and long-term trajectories of an intervention, along with a clear awareness of and access to the full range of available treatment options and alternatives. 

  • We believe that we all have a right to protect the integrity of our own minds, spirits and bodies against forced or coercive psychiatric intervention. 

  • We believe that the decision to take, reduce, or come off psychiatric medications is a profoundly personal one that must be guided by the unique timing, wisdom and circumstances of each individual. 

  • We believe that we all have the right to access sources of information and counsel that are independent of profit and power motives. 

 

Who Should and Shouldn't Join

The Inner Compass Conversations Facebook group welcomes individuals at any stage of psychiatric drug withdrawal (from people currently on psychiatric drugs and considering coming off them, to people who’ve been off them for many years) along with their family, friends, and critically-minded practitioners looking to better support them. More broadly, we also welcome anyone grappling in some way with the problems of today’s mental health system. 

This group, however, is not for everyone. If you are someone who currently, firmly believes in any of the below statements with no interest in questioning or rethinking them, we ask that you not join at this time and instead consider exploring the Learn/Unlearn section of the Inner Compass Initiative website:

  • “Forcibly giving people psychiatric drugs against their wills is sometimes necessary for their own good.”

  • “Anyone who feels harmed by psychiatric drugs or who experiences symptoms of withdrawal upon trying to come off them must have been using them "inappropriately," “abusing” them, or showing signs of being an “addict.”

  • “Licensed medical or clinical professionals are the only people who should speak about general approaches to safe and responsible psychiatric drug tapering.”

  • “Mental disorders have been scientifically proven to be biological diseases that require medical interventions, and the only sources for valid, trustworthy perspectives on mental disorders and treatments are medically trained doctors and mental health professionals.”

  • “People who resist their psychiatric diagnoses or the treatments given to them by medical doctors or mental health professionals only do so because they lack insight into their illnesses.”

  • “It is offensive, irresponsible, and/or dangerous when people publicly challenge the scientific validity of psychiatric diagnoses or the safety and effectiveness of common psychiatric treatments.”

Additionally, no one under the age of 18 may join Inner Compass Conversations. Parents who wish to connect with others about how to better support their child are welcome to join. 
 

Group Pledge

By joining and continuing to participate in the closed Inner Compass Conversations Facebook group, I agree to abide by the following guidelines, and I understand that if I violate the guidelines, I may be dismissed from the group: 

  1. I understand that nothing shared in the Inner Compass Conversations Facebook group should be taken as medical advice, and that group admins and members do not claim to be medical professionals. 

  2. I understand that Inner Compass Initiative is not anti-doctors or anti-medication, but pro-informed choice.

  3. I understand that it is up to me to always ask questions, do my own research, be my own advocate, and consult with trusted family members or practitioners before making health-related decisions for myself.

  4. I respect the principles of confidentiality and agree not to share anything posted inside Inner Compass Conversations outside of the group unless I have the expressed permission from the one posting the message to do so. 

  5. I understand that different people arrive at critical perspectives on all things “mental health” on different timelines, in different ways, from different backgrounds, and accompanied by different experiences, resources, opportunities, and belief systems. I pledge to treat all members of Inner Compass Conversations with respect, care, compassion, and understanding, and to meet respectfully all members wherever they may be on their personal journey - just as I hope and expect for the same respect and understanding from them in return.

  6. I will do my best to speak only from personal experience (e.g. “I did this and this is what happened” or, “This is what I would do if it were me”) and will refrain from giving prescriptive advice or guaranteeing specific outcomes (e.g., “You should do this” or “If you do X, Y will happen”). 

  7. I will not make specific, direct recommendations that others start taking supplements, prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, or any kind of psychoactive substance. I understand that the central nervous systems of many people who are on/coming off/off psychiatric drugs are highly sensitized, and that various supplements, drugs, and substances can be destabilizing. 

  8. I will not ask other members to share medications, or offer to share medications with other members, nor will I post about illegally obtaining medications or drugs via online sources.

  9. I will not use Inner Compass Conversations to promote professional, commercial, political, or religious services or organizations.

  10. I understand that admins reserve the right to remove any post with or without cause or explanation. I understand that this Pledge may be amended at any time, and that the admins will inform the group of any change.


Visit our closed Facebook group here.