A Patient's Viewpoint
I came to Dr. Madhava at a time where I felt deeply disappointed with the medical and psychiatric community. I was coping with dependency on both alcohol and benzodiazepines, and I wanted to safely stop using these substances. I had consulted with several different psychiatrists, and I had walked away from these experiences feeling disempowered, hopeless, and often times ashamed. It seems my situation was enough to scare off even the most experienced of practitioners due to the dual dependency; as a consequence, many of the doctors I consulted with felt wary of treating me, or they suggested I go to rehab instead. (The latter is something I’m uncomfortable with, given the rates of relapse, the tremendous costs, and the fact that many rehab centers address addiction as a spiritual affliction, often neglecting the physiological component after the acute withdrawal phase has passed.) I truly didn’t believe that rehab was going to help me, because I think most rehab centers fail to understand all the underlying factors that contribute to addiction.
I found Dr. Madhava through an online search for practitioners who used the Ashton protocol and the Sinclair Method — safe regimens for the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal and alcohol addiction, respectively. When I called her practice, Dr. Madhava herself picked up and took 20 minutes to consult with me. I felt immediately at ease; she was incredibly gentle and warm. In this brief conversation, it quickly became clear that she really cared about my situation. When I spoke, she would listen intently. I spoke about my predicament and goals, and she responded softly and surely, without any trace of judgement. This was so important to me. She explained her treatment approach in depth: she looks at the body holistically and attempts to restore any current imbalances. She does this by analyzing many different tests for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, inflammation, neurotransmitter imbalances, etc. Based on these results, she makes recommendations to help address these deficiencies and imbalances which 1) ameliorate the symptoms of withdrawal, and then 2) heal the body from the ravages of substance use. She is incredibly knowledgeable about how to treat addiction, and her ultimate goal for me was optimal health. Only after working with her did I believe this was a real possibility.
Dr. Madhava was the only practitioner who allowed me the autonomy to direct my own healing process. I am often anxious around doctors, but after a visit with her, I began to feel safe. She never doubted that I wanted to heal, and she allied with this part of me. Unlike many of the other practitioners I consulted with, she wasn’t suspicious of my motivation to get better, nor was she moralizing. It is hard to express what it’s like to be in treatment for addiction under the standard medical model: it can be painful and shaming. I was at a point where the psychological harm that was inflicted by the medical system was making me avoid getting any help at all. (This is extremely dangerous if one is experiencing alcohol or benzo withdrawal). This changed after I met Dr Madhava. I am so grateful I found her, because I am convinced she saved my life.
Right now, I am no longer physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol or benzodiazepines. My improvement has been remarkable. Dr. Madhava and I are currently in the process of optimizing my health, and I have never felt better in my life. She has helped me recover physiologically, but I am convinced she has helped me heal on deeper levels, too. I cannot thank her enough for being so kind, dedicated, and passionate.