The freedom to choose

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As someone who are up in 1970’s, 80’s & 90’s Northern Ireland, I recognise  the response of many to the news of events such as those in London Bridge last night. I remember the worry experienced until we knew that loved ones are unharmed and also the indescribable pain experienced by those whose loved ones had died. I remember the deep feelings of anger, dismay, confusion, hatred, fear and the deep seated desire for retaliation. In times of great fear and pain, I know all too well the desire to destroy, terminate, eradicate, those responsible, to punish and make them feel as bad as we were feeling. An attack had been carried out on one of our own and therefore it seemed the only reasonable act was to reap revenge and do the same to them.

As a counter attack was carried out, those from the opposing side would seek their revenge and so the cycle of anguish, pain, suffering, hatred and fear never ended. At the time, what I failed to recognise was that violence never solved anything. It was not through shootings, bombings, or any other form of violence that peace was realised in Northern Ireland, but rather, when the people of Northern Ireland had had enough and demanded change. It was through negotiation, by setting aside our perceived differences, recognising each other as fellow human beings and realising there is no-thing to fear, but fear itself.

Again, we are being presented with another opportunity to change and help realise that which we claim to want, peace and security. That, which can never be achieved through violence, regardless of what the press, media and our politicians of all persuasions tell us. As was realised in Northern Ireland, it is only through peaceful means that peace can be achieved. In the aftermath of violence, we always see and hear of apparently random acts of kindness, such as the homeless man in Manchester. In times of great fear, anger, hatred and resentment, these are the human traits we need to see more of. Those of compassion, love and a willingness to help our fellow human beings, without knowledge or concern for whatever perceived differences we may have. As we say in the 12 step fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, “Look for the similarities and not the differences”. This is how the peace and security we all desire will be achieved.


In my role as a member of the core group at the Museum of Homelessness I know that by far the question we get is how can I help? To me, this demonstrates that we do hold the human aspects like a desire for change, a willingness to help and the capacity to help others, regardless of any perceived differences we may have with them. Therefore, we have the human traits necessary to recognise the need for change and to bring about the change we say we want. In answer to this question, I always suggest that people do whatever they can. If it is feeding the homeless, do that. If it is to organise a great get together, do that. If it is to write words on a notice board, do that. If it is to return a lost item, do that. If it is to set up a new social network, do that. If it is to donate to charity, do that. If it is creating and/or sharing an inspiring video, do that. If it is donating something that will benefit someone else in need, do that. If it is to launch an online appeal, do that. If it is to acknowledge a homeless person with a few kind words, do that. If it is to pay someones train fare, do that. If it is to start a crowd funding campaign, do that. If it is to give flowers to strangers, do that. If it is buying a cheese burger, do that. If it is to pay for someones trip back home, do that. If it is to spread hope and encourage others, do that. If it is to buy a child a bag of sweets, do that. If it is to write a touching note, do that. If it is offering your limited time and energy, do that. If it is handing a random stranger an envelope, do that. If it is simply complimenting someone, do that. If it is changing someones tyre, do that. If it is to post an inspirational story on Facebook, do that. If it’s leaving money on someones car windscreen, do that. If it is setting up a food bank, do that. If it is returning an item to it’s rightful owner, do that.

I have learned that in all circumstances in life, no matter how seemingly awful, we always have a choice in how we respond. On both an individual and collective level, we can choose to spread hate, fear and pain, or we can choose to spread love, hope, inspiration and kindness. The choice is always ours.


The potential dangers of trusting your doctor



When I went from being a successful, qualified accountant working for an international company, going on at least three international holidays per annum, happily married, with a wide circle of friends, having an active social life and enjoying many of the wonderful things life has to offer, to being completely housebound, too terrified to walk outside my own door. I realised the potential dangers of trusting my Dr.

I have a long history of mental unwellness and as with everyone whom is/has had similar experiences, there are very clear and identifiable reasons for this, which I don’t propose to  go through now. During a difficult period in 2011, I went to see my GP whom I trusted having worked with them for seven years and they suggested re-commencing the anti depressant Effexor, which I had long since left behind. The “medication” did not help and each time I went back to see my GP, they would increase the dosage.

Things went from bad to worse. I was eventually forced to leave my job and in desperation, went to see a private psychiatrist, whom following a sixty minute consultation costing £300, diagnosed me as having bipolar effective disorder. Over the next twelve months, I was prescribed three different psychotropic drugs, none of which helped and eventually, the psychiatrist prescribed a known poison called lithium, which in lower doses, is alleged to be effective in managing the symptoms of bi-polar. Due to it’s toxicity, monthly blood tests were compulsory and over the next few months, my lithium levels fluctuated wildly and as a direct result and I made three serious attempts at committing suicide. I asked three different psychiatrists why my levels were fluctuating so wildly and indiscriminately, but none of them were able to provide a satisfactory explanation.

By now, I was a complete reclusive, has lost contact with all of my friends, had no work colleagues and my marriage was under serious strain, due largely to my absolute inability to leave our home, or complete even the most simple household chores. However, despite what must have been an extremely difficult time, my wife stood by me and continued working full time, doing all the cooking, cleaning and household chores and taking care of me. I know, I am a very lucky man and I am not sure I will ever be able to repay her for her continued love, support, dedication and for sticking by me. The woman is a saint.

On 13th November 2015, my GP came to visit me at home and when I told them I wanted to stop all medication, their response was to predict that I would be locked up in a medical institution within six months. Luckily, I ignored his threat and on that very day stopped taking the lithium completely. One month later, I registered with a new GP practice and in February 2016, we successfully completed my withdrawal from the anti depressant Effexor. Now, not only am I “medication” free, I am able to leave my own home, have a growing circle of new friends, actively involved in a charity and writing my first book. Thank you Dr “” for your arrogance, obnoxiousness, inaccurate prediction and for awakening me to my truth about psychotropic medication…… it does not work for me.

On my journey, I have read many stories, articles and books about the potential dangers of psychotropic drugs. I have learned how the entire discipline of psychiatric medicine has absolutely no foundation in scientific proof that any of the “conditions” for which Drs prescribe drugs even exist. New “conditions” are being created all the time and the way that happens is a group of psychiatric Drs get together and have a discussion about whether or not something can be described as a medical condition, which coincidently, the multi billion pound pharmaceutical industry just happen to have a “cure” for. Since psychiatric medicine has absolutely no foundation in science, the training for those in whom we put our trust is written by the pharmaceutical industry and based almost entirely on their broad catalogue of psychotropic drugs. As a result, we know that just as when we go to the barber we’ll get a haircut, go to a joiner and they’ll offer to make something, a builder will build something, a designer will design something, go to see a psychiatrist and they will prescribe a psychotropic drug.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am neither advocating nor suggesting that anyone currently taking prescribed psychotropic “medication” do as I did and suddenly stop taking it. The choices I made were my own to make and I accept full responsibility for them. What I am suggesting however, is that we all take individual RESPONSIBILITY for that which we put in our bodies, rather than blindly trusting our drs, whom without judgement, are basically just salespeople for the pharmaceutical industry in my humble opinion. As the same GP whom threatened me with incarceration once told me, he prescribes the medication, but it is entirely my free choice on whether or not I take it.

Useful links

My truth about psychotropic “medication”

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Since being labeled with clinical depression and borderline personality disorder at the age of thirty-one, after years in active addiction to a mixed and varied array of narcotics and alcohol, “More” having been my drug of chance, I have been taking the anti depressant Effexor. Actually, as of March 2016, had is a more accurate description of my relationship with the anti depressant, as I finally made the decision to stop taking it, having reached the same decision about the lithium I had been taking, since the more recent label of bi-polar was applied to me. Without doubt, these two decisions are among the best I have ever made. One because I made them of my own free will and second, because they freed me from the slavery and consequences that all too often come hand in hand with taking psychotropic drugs/prescribed “medication”.

For the purposes of clarity, I am not in any way suggesting that anyone else take the same steps as me and stop taking their “medication”, even though in my humble opinion that could be among the best things anyone could do for themselves, as I am not qualified to give such advice and take full responsibility for my choices/decisions.

Based on thirteen years personal experience, I can however assert that in my opinion, when prescribing psychotropic drugs, drs are effectively playing with a loaded gun, as they simply do not know how each individual will react to each drug. The consultant whom first prescribed lithium to me, could not possibly have known that within three months I would have become a complete reclusive, unable to hold an intelligible conversation and would be too terrified to set outside my own front door for the next eighteen months. They did not know that my lithium levels would fluctuate wildly and inexplicably, or that as a direct result of taking the drug and with it’s aide, I would make three separate attempts to end my life. In fact on a number of occasions, I have taken enough psychotropic and/or street drugs to kill an elephant, yet somehow I am inexplicably still alive.

Now “medication” free, I firmly believe that we have created a need that the pharmaceutical industry is neither sufficiently qualified nor experienced to meet, but only too happy to provide their vast array of “medications” to those among us willing to take them. They have provided the training for their army of “experts” (drs), who are frequently and continually bombarded by another army from the pharmaceutical industry, their sales reps, to sell them the “benefits” of the latest drugs, as well as having created a catalogue of “health conditions”, from anxiety “disorders”, to depression, bipolar related disorders, schizophrenic disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders and dementia, that conveniently match their equally extensive catalogue of drugs.

Even though psychiatrists freely admit that they cannot reasonably predict the reaction an individual will have to any prescribed drug, according to the council for evidence based psychiatry, more than 57million prescriptions for anti depressants were issued in England in 2014, representing a 7.5% increase on 2013 and more than 500% since 1992. 10.5m prescriptions for drugs used to treat psychosis were issued in the same period and prescriptions for stimulants, typically used to treat children with “hyperactivity disorders” also so an 8% increase to almost 1.2m prescriptions. In total, around 85 million prescriptions were issued for psychotropic drugs in 2014 in England alone. That should give us particular cause for concern, as “according to a study that is being referred to as one of the most comprehensive comparisons of commonly prescribed antidepressants so far, most of these drugs are ineffective and some might even be unsafe for children and teens who are suffering from major depression”.

In a piece of research first published by the Kings Fund in 2008, it was estimated that the annual cost will see an increase of 11% from £22.5 billion per annum, to £47.5 billion by 2026, with a negligible 0.2% decrease in the percentage of the population that will be diagnosed with a mental “disorder”. The research also predicts that the cost of lost employment will rise by 7.7% from £26.1 billion to £28.1 billion. Surely all of this this begs the question why we are spending so much money on psychiatric “services”, if they are predicted to have a negligible effect on the wealth and wellbeing of the nation?

I believe that at the root cause of the demand for psychotropic drugs and it’s increased provision, as evidenced above, is a dis-ease that has been created and it is the dis-ease of being unconscious to our true worth. Through capitalism, society is constantly bombarding us with messages that we are not good enough. The advertising agency is constantly re-minding us of the perceived “need” for the latest gadget, the alleged “benefits” of the latest new diet, how much sexier/happier/better we will feel and how much better our lives would be if only we wore the latest perfume from x, y, or z designer, owned the latest television set, mp3 player, apple product, designer shoes, bigger house, more comfortable furniture, faster car…………………….the list is never ending.

We live in a society where we are constantly being bombarded with messages that tell us we are not good enough, so little wonder that is how we sometimes feel. As with every-thing in life however, we always have a choice. We can choose to listen to the constant subtle messages from our television sets, continue reading the magazines with photographs and articles that re-mind us we are not good enough and we can continue to chase the never ending “need” for more that is designed and facilitated by capitalism.

Personally, I chose to stop taking the prescribed drugs,  sold my tele-vision set, stopped buying the magazines, now ignore the posters/billboards, stopped poisoning my body with “magic creams” and food that has no nutritional value, read articles from people and websites such as:  Dr Aseem Malhotra, Dr NA Mazhar, Dr Lissa Rankin, Jon Barron, Dr Kelly Brogan, Magnus Mulliner,  natural news, health freedoms, the alliance for natural health and decided to take more personal responsibility for my own wellbeing and to date, the results speak for themselves. I have more energy, am no longer too terrified to walk outside my own front door, am grateful for and enjoy life, have a wide and varied variety of interests and developed a new skill for writing.

A moment of clarity

I am not what happened to me quote

For most of my life, I have allowed my ego to determine whom and what I am. With apparently very good cause and justification, I took on the role of the victim a lot of the time. Having grown up in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s 80’s & 90’s, seen a lot of things I believe no conscious being should ever have to witness, experienced childhood abuse, a lot of school ground bullying and have been constantly criticised by my family of origin since I can remember, I believed I had earned my “right” to blame the victim card and assert my demands on society, that I be compensated for those experiences.

For years, I tried to escape everything that had happened through alcohol and drug addiction, but the relief gained was only ever temporary and eventually the consequences no longer justified the temporary gains, so on 26th August 2002 I made a conscious decision not to put another alcoholic drink or drug into my body and by the will of something more powerful and worthy than I believed myself to be at the time, I have remained free of street drugs and alcohol ever since. At the age of sixteen I made the first of many attempts to take my own life, believing all the messages I had been given since forever about being “as useless as tits on a boar”, “will never amount to anything”, “do not have two brain cells to rub together”and all the other equally vile and I now know untrue messages about myself that I was given.

When I got clean from the narcotics and alcohol, I believed the messages that the so called professionals were giving me about having a psychiatric illness and willingly accepted the “medications” they offered, none of which ever made me feel any better about myself and on many occasions, were part of the lethal cocktail of drugs I took on the many times I had decided that life was no longer worth living. Through many years of on/off psychotherapy, I began to build some confidence and belief in myself and eventually came to realise that NONE of the messages I had been given, nor the experiences I had had defined me and who I truly am, let alone having any form of relationship or resemblance with truth. Yet it was only when I decided to stop relying on others to take care of me and define who I am, when I decided to take responsibility for me that I came to know who I truly am and it was not any of the experiences I have had in life, all of which had happened a long time ago and it was only me that was continuing to re-create them in my own reality.

I now know that at a higher level of consciousness, I choose all of the experiences I was to have in this lifetime before even coming into this body, so therefore I cannot possibly be a victim, despite what my ego keeps telling me. I choose the individual members of my family of origin, to grow up in a war torn province and to have the experiences that I have lived so that I may come to know who I truly am. Therefore it is irrational of me to curse and condemn those who provided the experiences I had chosen at a higher level of consciousness before coming into this body. All of those who came into my path gave me exactly what I had chosen, therefore there is nothing to forgive. In fact, I love , bless and thank them for all that they have taught me about who I truly am, a spiritual being, creating a human experience and when I don’t like what I am experiencing, I am ALWAYS free to create something else.

So rather than get angry, ( which only ever hurts myself) criticise, judge or condemn any of those whom have brought me my life experiences, I bless them and say thank you for all that you have taught me. I am someone who does not believe in violence, so in childhood, I had the experience of violence so that I may reaffirm my belief. I am someone who believes I do not have the right to judge and criticise others, therefore on my life path, I have had the experience of others judging and criticising me, in order to reaffirm my belief. I do not believe in psychiatric medicine, therefore I have had the experience of taking it, in order to reaffirm my belief. I believe that my body is a temple and I alone am responsible for what I put in it, therefore I have had the experience of putting unhelpful substances into my body in order to reaffirm my belief.

Although for many years I have tried to be, I now realise that I am not the life experiences I have created, but rather a divine being, who choose and created those experiences at a higher level of consciousness, so that I may know who I truly am and that I believe, is the purpose of all of life.

Rather than fight against what you do not believe in, as a very wise man whom achieved what once must have seemed impossible said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Gandhi

Meeting my true self

I believe that humanity is going through a mass awakening process with regards to the fundamental truths of who we are and why we are here on this planet. This past weekend, I met my true self for the first time and I love him.

In November 2015, I made a decision to discard the labels that the medical profession had placed on me and declared my intention to stop taking prescribed “medication”. When I told him of my intention, my GP predicted that I would be locked up in a mental institution within six months. That was nine months ago and I have not been anywhere near, let alone locked up in a mental institution. My original intention on the day I told my GP, was to gradually taper off medication under his medical supervision, but when he threatened and tried to scaremonger me in that way, I decided to take matters into my own hands and stopped taking lithium that day. Three months later, I had a new GP and under his supervision, I also stopped taking the anti depressant venlaflexine, which I had been taking continually for almost nine years.

From moving away from my country of origin, to cutting all ties with my family of origin and deciding that a raging drug and alcohol addiction was no longer for me, I have made many excellent decisions in my life, but I believe with all sincerity that the best one I ever made was to stop taking psychiatric “medication” and discard the labels that had been attached to me by the medical “profession”. For the purposes of clarity, I am not in any way suggesting that anyone simply stop taking whatever “medications” they have been prescribed, but rather sharing my own experience of having done so. I did then and still take full responsibility for the choices I made, which most definitely were against medical advice. Something that my previous GP had said on an earlier occasion rang true and struck me like a flash of light. It was one of those “lightbulb moments” where suddenly everything became clear. He had told me that this is my body and while he can and will prescribe whatever drugs he thinks appropriate under the circumstances, it is  entirely my choice whether or not to put them in my body.

I am grateful that I experienced absolutely no il-effects of abruptly stopping the lithium and in fact, I very quickly began to think more clearly, felt more confident in myself, began to crave some of the foods I had once enjoyed and the “brain fog” was starting to shift. Understandably, there were some side effects when I finally stopped taking the anti depressant however and for about seven days, I had a sensation as if there were worms crawling through my blood, intermittent mild electric shocks and a slight feeling of nausea. I found meditation to be a very useful tool in getting through the initial few days and constantly reminded myself that this too would pass. There were times when I would get frightened and wonder whether or not I was doing the right thing and on these occasions I would remind myself that my body is reacting to not having something of which there was a constant supply for the previous nine years. It was going to take time for my body to adjust and to start doing what it was designed to do naturally.

Shortly after stopping the anti depressant, I came across Magnus Mulliner who has been a great motivator, inspiration and friend. Magnus introduced me to metabolic typing and really got me thinking about what I am/have been putting into my body. When my test results came back, I found out that I had extremely high levels of arsenic in my body and through a process of elimination and further investigation, I found that the arsenic was coming from the e-cigarette I had been using for the past five years. Magnus told me that in twenty three years of practice, he had never seen such high levels of arsenic. What I really liked about working with Magnus, was that he shares his extensive knowledge and wisdom, then left me to make my own choices about what action to take, if any. I choose to take onboard his suggestions and take advantage of the knowledge Magnus had shared with me. I had after all paid a substantial amount of money for the knowledge gained both from Magnus and the tests we had carried out, so to do otherwise would have felt like I had completely wasted my money.

It did take some time to finally let go of the e-cigarette, but one of the greatest gifts that Magnus gave me was a reminder that life is a journey. It had taken me forty four years to get to where I was and therefore it was going to take time to make the necessary changes, so we broke everything down into small, manageable goals. I started by eliminating the foods that were indicated in my report as being unhelpful to my body and I found that once I had set the intention to do so, the process was relatively simple and painless. The next step for me to to purchase and install an osmosis water filtration system and increase my daily water intake. Later on, I discovered the benefits of infusing my drinking water in raw fruits and vegetables, including the skins, which we normally throw away. With every small step, I quickly noticed benefits in my health and wellbeing. I had more energy, was sleeping better for longer, feeling less lethargic and it seemed the excess weight my body was carrying was just falling off naturally and this is without doing any strict kind of exercise regime. Six months down the line, I have lost 37lbs of excess weight, have substantially more energy, feel a lot more confident and better about myself, my body is doing what it was naturally designed to do, I meditate and give gratitude for all that I have everyday and have discovered a great passion for writing. In fact, I am currently writing my first book.

Last weekend, I had a profound spiritual experience. I saw that I have created all of my life experiences, including those I have judged as negative, someone else’s fault and the reason I did this, was so that I could come to know who I truly am. A spiritual being having a human experience. For the vast majority of my life, I have been acting/re-acting not from my true self, but from my false self, my ego. I now realise, that I am the creator of my own destiny and in all aspects of life, that which I choose, I create. Therefore, the aspects of my life which I do not like, I simply choose to change and that which I focus on, I create. For example, it is a great passion of mine to live in a society where everyone is truly equal and given an equal chance to prosper. I perceive that this is not currently the case, because that is what I believe and focus on. So in order to achieve my ambition, rather than fight/campaign against that with which I do not like/agree, which only re-affirms what is, I simply choose to focus my attention and energy on that which I do want.When I chose not to be in collusion with my family of origin, that is what I created. When I chose not to put copious amounts of narcotics and alcohol into my body on a daily basis, that is what I created. Equally so, when I chose not to put prescribed “medication” into my body and to pay conscious attention to the type of fuel I was putting into my body. It all comes down to choices and taking RESPONSIBILITY for myself and that which I create.

I realise that if anyone is going to change my perception of reality, it is not going to be Magnus, my GP, a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, spiritual healer, motivator, published author, or anyone other than me. This is why I have set the intention to host a national event in the spring of 2017 entitled “What kind of society do you want to live in?” because I truly believe that if we do not like the society in which we now live, each and everyone of us have the ability to change it. However, change will not come about by fighting against and focusing on what we already have, but rather by creating something different. I believe it is necessary that we know what it is we do want and this will be the focus of the spring event. If enough of us take individual responsibility for that which we create, we can change reality.

“Last weekend I met my true self and I love him” Damien Quigg