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Award-Winning Documentary ‘Medicating Normal’ Film Screening & Panel Discussion

Tuesday, March 14 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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Join Hill Center for a film screening and panel discussion about this award-winning documentary. 

Millions of people worldwide take prescribed psychiatric meds daily. Medicating Normal follows five people whose doctors prescribed pills to help with common problems such as stress, insomnia, anxiety & grief. The arguments extolling the benefits of the drugs are often the only ones presented in the media. Medicating Normal tells another story, one rarely reported. It is a story of harm done.

Combining cinema verité and investigative journalism, Medicating Normal follows the journeys of a newly married couple, a female combat veteran, a waitress and a teenager. Our subjects struggle with serious physical and mental side effects as well as neurological damage which resulted from taking the drugs as prescribed and also from attempting to withdraw. Says one psychiatrist, “There’s not a chemical on the planet, to my knowledge, that can require years to taper – not Oxycontin, not crack cocaine, not heroin, and not alcohol. But psychiatric medications, any tapered patient will tell you, can take sometimes years if possible, at all.”


An official selection for multiple international independent film festivals, the film is a must-see for audiences involved in mental health and prescribing, including medical students, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists concerned their treatments are causing harm. It’s also a film every American with any connection to psychiatric medication urgently needs to see.” -Christopher Lane: Side Effects, Psychology Today July 2020

The Panel:

Joseph Tarantolo, M.D. Board Certified Psychiatrist (Panel Moderator) is a graduate of Mt. Sinai Medical School and a board-certified psychiatrist. He has been in practice for 33 years on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where his practice is dedicated to psychotherapy and helping patients withdraw from psychiatric drugs. Dr. Tarantolo has helped hundreds of patients come off psychiatric drugs through individual and group psychotherapy, herbal remedies, meditation, nutrition, and spiritual counseling.

Dr Chuck Ruby, psychologist, Director ISEPP Dr. Ruby earned his Ph.D. in 1995 at Florida State University. He is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years of military service as a criminal, counterintelligence, and counterespionage special agent and investigative psychologist in many capacities across the globe. Since his military retirement in 1999, he has been a psychologist in private practice in southern Maryland. He is currently the Director and General Manager of the Pinnacle Center for Mental Health and Human Relations, a large private group practice that offers a variety of evaluation and therapy services. Dr. Ruby addresses emotional and behavioral problems as natural human responses to life distress, rather than as dysfunction or disease. He helps people use their inherent abilities in reorganizing and reconstructing their lives in order to help them find a sense of contentment.

Dr Mary Vieten, Navy, Retired Commander, Psychologist, Chair of the Board, ISEPP is a psychologist and U.S. Navy Commander with the Select Reserves. She has a private practice in southern Maryland where she serves clients who are military, paramilitary, veterans, and civilians who are exposed to high risk environments like police work and combat situations. She encourages clients to pursue trauma recovery work outside the medical model and educates them on the dangers and ineffectiveness of psychiatric drug treatment. Dr. Vieten is ISEPP’s Director of Operation Speak Up, an effort to critique and challenge the government’s medical model treatment of those who suffer from traumatic experiences. In furtherance of this, she recently developed the Warfighter Advance program. This program offers a free, weeklong retreat to veterans and military members who suffer from the traumas of war, using a non-medical, non-clinical, non-defect, and non-drug model.

Ms Angela Peacock, Psych Medication Consultant served in the US Army from 1998-2004 and was medically retired after one tour in Iraq. She was medicated for post-traumatic stress since that time, going on and off benzodiazepines several times under a doctor’s care until coming off for the final time in January 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and graduated in May 2019 from Washington University in St. Louis- Brown School of Social work with a Masters in social work. As a 2019 Veterans of Foreign Wars-Student Veterans of America, Legislative Policy Fellow, she is advocating for change in Benzo policy at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is embarking on a community outreach effort to improve medication and health literacy among military veterans and their family members. Angie chats about her experiences of being prescribed benzodiazepines, her journey off multiple medications, her continuing work in veterans advocacy and her thoughts about the film Medicating Normal.






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Tuesday, March 14
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Hill Center DC
921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington,DC20003United States
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