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Truths

Let’s Get Technical For A Minute

America loves drugs.

It’s true!

People talk down to the heroin addicts living on the street but don’t understand there’s a high probability their addictions started with a much more familiar, socially acceptable Opiate substance you could get through any old lazy doctor willing to push out a prescription. It’s no secret, I hope, that doctors are indeed paid for pushing and promoting certain drugs. I doubt these doctors are bad people, but they are gullible, a tad greedy, and shockingly ignorant. Some of them are probably evil. Maybe a particularly insensitive antisocial personality manipulated their way through 12 years of college just so they could legally kill people. I don’t know. If I was antisocial and bloodthirsty, it’s what i’d do. Not to make anyone paranoid or anything.

Honesty is the best policy.

Regardless, these multi-billion dollar companies have a lot of competition within each other. It’s not about you at this point, it’s about them.  Because playing by the rules is way too hard for people with a brain the size of a needle head, bribery is the name of the game. Researchers get paid to put out false information. For example, if they’re researching a “new” drug and don’t conclude results of a best seller, they just, well. . . make it up. It’s very simple. Under fraudulent acts and publication bias, it happens every day. The FDA can only catch so many people. I hope it’s also not a surprise that half of the drugs you need a prescription for have generic, over the counter equivalents for half the price.

I can’t speak for biotechnology or biochemists, but in terms of psychiatry this becomes just as much of a life-threatening issue as it is for people with physical illnesses. We’ve somehow went from mental illness as a psychological issue to mental illness as a biological issue.

There are slews of new atypical antipsychoics with claims of being better than neuroleptics. You know, Latuda, Abilify, Fanapt, whatever. Even more so are being administered as monthly injections and used for people with depression rather than psychosis. Now, I’m not here to drug bash. Some people are helped tremendously, but others don’t ever notice much of a difference besides well . . .energy levels, anxiety levels maybe. They’re good sedatives that’s for sure, especially if your psychiatrist is rather generous with your dosage. And the sad thing is the only real difference between atypicals and neuroleptics is: we don’t know about the harmful side effects of atypicals. They haven’t been used long enough. We know Haldol and Thorazine are fucking ridiculous; We know about Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, we know that they put you in a pretty drugged up stupor, and we definitely know they and other neuroleptics cause EPS symptoms like Tardive Dyskinesia (irregular, involuntary jerking movements). They say these symptoms will go away with time but the truth of the matter is many people suffer with it for the rest of their life whether they continue the medication treatment or not. Cases are tried every day of people suing these companies for killing their autistic child with some heavy neuroleptic or permanently damaging their brain.

So what do we know about Fanapt? Well, it came out in 2009. You . . . you might experience some weird heat sensations, almost as if you were popping X, so if you knew anything about psychology you could guess it effects your hypothalamus. Tachycardia snuck in there as a possible side effect. Hm . . . you might get dizzy, have dry mouth . . . you know, the regular list of shit that probably won’t kill you or permanently damage you.

Then again, we don’t know what damage it causes because it’s only been out for six years.

And yet they keep coming out with more.

Saying “this is new, this is better, prescribe this one with this other one, and oh yeah this one!”

And the next thing you know you’re on three or four different drugs sitting on your couch wondering what happened with your life and why you’re still depressed.

Well let me tell you something quite obvious: the drugs have the same ingredients. There’s no doubt about it. They’re all binding with the same receptors. Because we don’t know shit about the brain.

There, I said it.

We. Don’t. Know. Shit.

So you are not a patient or a client of your psychiatrist or general practitioner (why do people go to a G.P for psych meds anyway???), you are a subjects in an experiment run by multi-billion dollar corporations.

That sounds really horrible. It’s not, if you really give it some nonjudgmental thought. You may pay for it with your life, but someone would have anyway. There’s no other way to find these kinds of things out other than test them.

Okay, take a breather.

Let’s take this to another level. If you’re publishing false articles in a psychiatric journal (for your own gain) about this new miracle drug, and clinical psychologists are reading it thinking “oh this sounds new and fun, I think it might work for my client” and prescribes it with a true belief it’s different from what they have been prescribing, than that makes everyone a liar and the client gets the raw end of a deal so raw it’s dripping three cups of blood per second.

Not to mention Insurance companies are steady fucking the shit out of the psycho-pharmaceutical companies ass until they both get off all over the walls. Then they sneak into your bedroom at night and stick the tip in without you ever noticing. But that’s a story for another day I suppose.

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I wrote this post because I’ve been noticing a lot of people write about SSRI’s and other such psychotropic drugs. As an aspiring psychiatrist I’m not anti-drug entirely, I’m anti-stupidity. And what goes on behind closed doors of these companies someone suffering psychosis or mania or depression will most likely never know. They take what their doctor says because, hell, it keeps most of them from running down the street screaming neologisms at the top of their lungs.

And here marks the death of the psychology of mental illness. May it rest in peace.

One last time, let me reiterate: we don’t know shit about the brain. And to prove it, I’d like to run through a quick personal story.

When my diagnosis was simply social anxiety I took an SSRI called Lexapro for nine months. I got off of it because of severe weight gain, cystic acne, night mares, and lack of success. I was also in therapy at the time. I left my therapist and got off the medication. Four months later I started having Panic attacks. Three years later and I sit here still will panic attacks, but with better control over them. I’d attributed these attacks to the progression of untreated anxiety.

Until.

I saw the article that changed my life.

A college in Finland found evidence of high levels of serotonin in the brains of people specifically with social anxiety disorder. You can check out information about it here.

The original belief was that anxiety in general is caused by not enough serotonin. So what do SSRI’s do? Inhibit re-uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin so that it puddles in the synapse. Well, if Finland’s findings are accurate to the majority of people, that doesn’t help someone like me. I’ve got enough serotonin floating around up there. No wonder that medication didn’t do jack shit but make me look like I slammed heroin.

So, if you look at this as a biological issue, it seems we’ve reached an impasse. Not all anxiety has to do with low levels of serotonin anymore. We put a hole in that ignorant bucket. I have a feeling we’ll be putting a lot more holes in a lot more buckets.

With more than 100 neurotransmitters identified, people can’t seriously believe this bullshit about having a drug treat one or three neurotransmitters and have it be a profound change in the brain without simultaneously screwing something up, can they? Brains are too complex for that petty shit.

That doesn’t mean put people on six different prescriptions, either, wise asses.

If you’ve ever at any point in your life taken several antidepressants and wondered why you were still depressed, why none of your medication for any mental issue has ever worked for you, or why your anxiety medication doesn’t stop your anxiety, I hope this provided at least a little insight.

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About AlishiaDee (378 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

7 Comments on Let’s Get Technical For A Minute

  1. Oh my God. THANK YOU. I will be following this blog in approximately .37 seconds.

    I feel like I have so much to say and ask questions about that commenting may not even be the right forum. Are you willing to share an email or some kind of contact info?

    Also, I would love it if you were to read a post I wrote recently about this issue (more generally and from a far less educated standpoint, but still) called When There Are No Answers. https://ananonymousoutsider.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/when-there-are-no-answers/

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THANK YOU!!

    Everything about this industry and the exploitation just makes my blood boil. The problem that really gets to me is that the way they operate now is so immensely profitable that, even with the cost of paying for all of those lawsuits from unexpected side effects, etc, the people at the top of the pharmaceutical companies are getting filthy rich, so there’s really no incentive for them to change. It’s completely unethical and blatantly exploits the common citizen, the government (through medicaid/medicare, assuming we’re looking at the US), and private insurance companies!

    Anyway, as you can see, obviously my knowledge on this subject (and hence my opinions) are almost entirely economic and political. Thank you so much for writing about this from the medical/psychiatric standpoint; I thoroughly enjoyed your post (plus, I feel like I’ve learned a bit more to justify my hatred of the industry further ^^;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading 😀 I agree with you, money gives them no incentive to change and it’s such a shame the medical industry has turned into a business more than anything. I’ve been run around so many times by medicare and welfare and social security and insurance companies that the only faith I have in the system now are in the doctors and researchers of the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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