You! Stop It RIGHT NOW: ADHD meds and Psychosis

Alright, everyone STOP.

I found something to rag on already? Damn, it must be a divine plan for me to come back to this blog.

I need to stop this shit before it gets out of hand. I can’t even get through ten posts on my reader on WordPress without seeing: “ADHD medication may increase the risk of psychosis”. And I can’t read one fucking article related to that without getting this bullshit statistic of “rates of ADHD have increased by *enter bullshit number* within the last year”.

Let’s tackle this one stupid point at a time.

First of all, let’s review: The ADHD medications which are being talked about are stimulants. They are not, and let me repeat this, THEY ARE NOT CLEARED FOR NOR RESEARCHED FOR CHILDREN CONSUMPTION, and yet they are given to toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and people under 25. What do all those age brackets have in common? Their brains are still developing.

Some idiot doctor is quoted in this article saying “We compared amphetamines [Adderall and Vyvanse] to people who were prescribed methylphenidates [Ritalin and Concerta]. We found that the Adderall type drugs had an increased risk of psychosis”.

Wow, you guys! Really? Is that what you found? And did something similar happen when you asked people to mainline some meth? Bump some cocaine twice a day? And moreover, did you ask a thirteen year old to do it?

Someone please just take a bat to my fucking head so I don’t have to read this nonsense anymore. No one should be surprised that a type of amphetamine that has a very similar chemical structure to illegal amphetamines is causing something illegal amphetamines cause in otherwise healthy people quite fucking often.

If anything they need to take this opportunity to learn from this. They already fucked up multitudes of people’s lives. So do us all a favor. Do something you should have been doing from the beginning. Scan the brains of your patients before you put them on this shitty medication and scan their brains afterwards, when they decent into brutal, prescription induced psychosis, and publish the results. And tell us exactly what these psychiatric medications are changing in our brains.

But you won’t do that. That would harm your fucking business.

Now, obviously, not everyone experiences this side-effect. Don’t get fooled–that does not mean the structure of your brain doesn’t change. Let me share an article I posted on my job’s facebook page. And let’s really, really talk about this.

This article here is posted on Mad In America. It’s essentially an interview with a man who was on psychiatric medication, anti-depressants, and has his doctorate now, in medicine, and doing research on behalf of medication withdrawal. It was found in some studies that as much as 1/40th of a general starting dose of an antidepressant immediately effects every serotonin synapse, 70% of which are in your gut.

So let’s think about that. I was started out on 10mg on my antidepressant back in the day. 1/40th of that is .25. .25mg of that antidepressant would have had an immediate effect on me. Would I feel it? Probably not. But your body and your cells and your synapses would. And over time, eventually you would too.

Adderall is an amphetamine and therefore directly effects serotonin levels. The recommended starting dose of Adderall for adults is 30mg. Not quite sure how they came up with starting dose for anyone other than adults considering it’s never been researched on children.

.75mg of Adderall will have an immediate effect on your system. Think about that.

We have absolutely ZERO clue as to what any of these psychotropic medications do to our brains. That’s not me hating on the system, that, my friends, is simply a fact. The research is biased, often perpetrated by bribed researchers, and the media is so inept at reporting truth half of what the studies actually say are never reported. Don’t believe me? If you’re in college, take your university library card, get on the database, and go read some real journals. Trust me, if you understand statistics a lot of these studies will ultimately disappoint you.

On a child, on an underdeveloped brain, even half of 30mg is going to have a lasting effect on them.

This idea that ADHD is rising is also bullshit. Why? Firstly, doctors get paid to prescribe these medications. They get little kick backs from pharmaceutical companies. So, if you come in with your child who has a few tantrums a day and has trouble sitting in school, that doctor isn’t going to ask you what the nature of the classroom is or the nature of the household (i.e, whether or not the child is being stimulated in school, whether or not there’s enough physical activity, whether or not the child’s diet is overdosed with sugar, whether or not the child is glued to electronic devices, whether or not your parenting just sucks ass).

What this is doing is invalidating the people who really do have deficits in their attention. You could go in a doctor’s office and say you’re having trouble focusing and walk out with a fucking Adderall prescription.

Recesses are being taken out of schools or the time outside is being shortened. You think that’s not going to affect a child? Even though I was silent throughout my school years, when it was raining and we weren’t allowed to go outside I got fucking restless. Why? Because I was a fucking kid. That’s why.

I feel bad for the children who really can’t focus, who literally spend every day and every night fighting their brains, trying to finish a paragraph in a book they’re assigned to read. While their classmates talk out of turn one time and are suddenly given a prescription.

Then everyone wonders why, when that child turns 13, she has a psychotic break.

For example, I have attention problems. I start things and I don’t finish them. I space out when people are talking and then randomly blurt something. I’m either very interested in one thing, or interested in nothing. But I function like every other person. I love school, and learning, and my attention issues have never been a problem for me, even as a child. I didn’t grow up with the t.v on every second, with a smart phone in my hand, eating freaking Frosted Flakes with extra sugar. Whenever a psychiatrist asks me if I have attention problems I always say no because I’m not going get punched with a label I don’t need when there are people out there who literally have breakdowns because they can’t focus.

Everyone STOP this MASS HYSTERIA. And think CRITICALLY. Please don’t believe everything you read–including me. Go research for yourself.

And stop trying to find quick fixes for every little hiccup in your life. Because quick fixes don’t exist.

Hell Is A Whirlpool

Warning: Partially Nonsensical rant coming. I should make a partially nonsensical page on my blog to separate it from the sensical things. Hmm.

Businessman with worried expression

It’s five in the morning and I just arrived home. Stress is by far my greatest nemesis.

I am someone who thinks very quickly, constantly, naturally. Contrary to what some people believe, that does not make me smart. I don’t know where the notion comes from: oh she’s a quick thinker, she must be Einstein.

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If I were Einstein, I wouldn’t struggle with math as much. And oh boy do I struggle with math. Although I’m one to pay attention to detail, because my head is constantly full to the brim with things to think about (things to do, things I could do, questions about reality, questions about non-reality, things I could make, build, extort, things I could become famous from but probably never will but that doesn’t stop me from obsessing over it, e.t.c), the small parts of math like the addition of a fraction in the middle of an integral for a work function gets thrown out the window.

It’s plagued me since I was in elementary school. It takes me longer to process math than any other subject, and I’ve noticed as I take tests and do homework, my mind gets lost in the sea of other brilliant/not so brilliant/ mildly psychotic thoughts and when I look at my answer and the back of the book and yank my hair out because the answer is wrong, it takes me another half an hour to notice I wrote “1/2” instead of “1/12” or I subtracted where I should have added.

It sounds minor, but it costs me a lot of points on tests constantly. In high school my teacher always shook his head at my tests and said “it’s always the tiny stuff with you.”

And it is. It is the tiny stuff with me. Thanks for pointing it out and never helping me come to a solution for it.

I won’t talk bad about him, he was one of the best teachers I had and the last I heard he fell into a really, really, dark depression after his wife left him.

When stress hits, my thoughts that already go 300 mph hit the speed of sound and all around my brain I have these little sound barrier breaks like this:

jet-fighters-war-planes-backgrounds

If you know anything about physics or sound, or if you’ve seen one of these guys live or on YouTube, you’ll know you see the plane whizz past and hear the boom just a second or so later.

Imagine one thousand of those things passing over your house in different directions, consistently.

In this metaphor, in case you’re wondering, the physical plane represents one thought, and the boom represents my consciousness of it. I feel I’m always a split second behind my brain. It’s got so many things I want to do, so many things I need to do, so many things I probably should do but aren’t, so many things I probably shouldn’t do and still aren’t, so many real things, so many imaginary things, so many imaginary things that could be real and visa-versa.

I got a brain scan and through some improved technology, they managed to take a picture of the physical thoughts in my head. They were partying:

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As you can imagine, my memory is both shit and brilliant at the same time. To hold all these thoughts and ideas takes an incredibly amount of attention and as a result, my attention suffers. It’s a cruel world.

As you can imagine with my natural state being full of thoughts, with anxiety making my thoughts more obsessive, and stress making them quicker, I can’t sleep for shit.

As you can imagine, with all the above, I can’t relax.

And as a result, I shut down. Physically and mentally.I am currently in the middle of a shut down. Even the smallest thing, like handing a paper to my professor, becomes a monumental task I sit in my room and obsess over and somehow my brain convinces us it’s worse than climbing out of a trench in the middle of a war.

I also talk to myself a lot more often during this period with a tendency to twitch and/or smack myself. It’s not something I can really control, it all just happens, and I look crazy in the store: another reason I hate going places.

I. Am. Tired.

I don’t know why I’m still writing.

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I get a little break from it all with marijuana. I think I’ve said this before, but I don’t smoke often anymore, only when I feel I need to, and often it helps me sit down and realize I need to do one thing at a time and not beat myself up over tiny fucking shit.

It’s funny the progression of everything though. Smoking, I can sense a difference in the way my thoughts are formed; they’re a little more linear, they don’t slam into each other, and often I can go a full stretch of time without feeling overwhelmed by thoughts or suspicions or paranoia or even anxiety.

The anxiety deficit requires more than a few bowls though, which usually results in that very obvious “high” look and sound. If I’m not careful, I fall over the rim of normal marijuana high into the “people are in the bushes, keep watch” marijuana high, and that kind of high is some straight bullshit. That’s not fun, that’s the exact opposite of what I want when I’m high.

That didn’t start happening until two or three years ago. It’s a reason I cut down drastically.

And I can feel the high wear off when the first thought slams into the next. Then I’m thrust back into a whirlpool of hell in my head.

That’s where I sit right now.

My playlist tonight you ask?

That’s not my whole playlist.

But those were the last four songs I listened to.

Going to another Tech Concert in eighteen days, anticipating the new album 12/9/16. What a wonderful way to say farewell to 2016.

In case you were wondering, I’ve been a Tech N9ne fan since I was ten years old; so eleven years ago.

I’ve also been a Korn fan since I was 10 years old. They have a new album dropping October 21st if anyone was wondering.

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In case you’re thinking “Jesus, what kind of ten year old was she?” (the answer is an awesome one), I also listened to the fucking Cheetah Girls, so you know, go figure man.

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Odd

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You know those days you go into therapy and you wonder if you will ever understand things, and then a couple words are exchanged and sudden realization pulses through your vein and hemorrhages in your frontal lobe?

Sometimes you can have moments in therapy that were slightly uncomfortable that you needed to have in order to breathe again.

I will try and rehash the experience. Unfortunately, dissociation took over and I can’t remember half of the conversation.

Firstly, you all know how I feel about diagnosis by now. It’s been a year. Which, congratulations on this blog and all of my followers who have been here from the beginning, and those who have been here recently, I appreciate every person who reads, likes, comments, or even just skims. Writing has been my only true connection to the human population I am apparently apart of (I still think I’m an alien), so when I say I’m grateful for you all, I mean it.

Anyway, if you’re new, I basically hold a middle finger to DSM and ICD-10 diagnosis.

bird-comeback-emoji-fangirling-favim-com-2590219And in particular, I hold ADHD on a special “fuck you” throne, simply because it’s handled so carelessly. They diagnose the children in elementary school because they won’t be quiet in class, and ignore the fact that schools are taking away recess and parents aren’t well versed in handling a child or well versed in what a nutritional diet is, and teachers aren’t fucking psychologists and don’t have the right to say “well, I”m going to recommend this child be checked for ADHD because she keeps interrupting me”.

Then comes the medication. Then comes behavioral issues, irritation, and the Zombie effect.

Then they say “ADHD is rising in America” and people believe it because they only see the surface. Because they don’t see that just because diagnosis is increasing, doesn’t necessarily mean true ADHD is.

So I don’t hold the idea of ADHD particularly high.

That does not mean I feel every diagnosis is fake. In fact, I’ve always noticed an abundance of the characteristics in myself, and that was confirmed yesterday in therapy. Yes, I do have some of the characteristics. It makes it very hard to focus or think. Is that part of a larger picture and not ADHD? Possibly. Who knows. The point is, for those with a true diagnosis of ADHD, I understand your pain, and it’s frustrating that the reality of the issue is hidden beneath a behemoth of misdiagnosis.

But when we began speaking about people and how difficult it is to express my ideas (even when I have them) . . .

and this is where it gets rocky. I don’t remember the conversation. 

I remember we spoke about perhaps not being positively reinforced as a child when it came to my ideas and therefore I developed a sense of “well, what does it matter what I say?” and it became a subconscious habit.

Then I remember we started talking about people and my connection–or rather, disconnection to them.

And that’s where it ends.

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A Clear Representation Of My Awareness

I remember staring at the bookcase in the back of the room and everything essentially melted away. I didn’t feel present any longer. I couldn’t pinpoint where my body was and the experience of sitting in that room didn’t feel real and whoever was speaking for me wasn’t me. It was like a light switch had been flicked . . .

Off.

I don’t remember what was discussed. I can remember the physical aspects of the room because I’ve been there so many times.

If you didn’t know already, if you’re a newcomer, I have a problem with dissociation. It creates breaks in reality for me when things get uncomfortable, when my anxiety is high, and although I am completely fascinated by the brains ability to find creative ways to protect itself, sometimes I wish it would fuck off.

I remember feeling like a few things were spilling out of me, things I didn’t normally say. Nothing too heavy, but just general things I keep pent up often. That was the feeling I got, but I wasn’t speaking.

I don’t believe I was tortured as a child. Put in bad situations, witnessed bad things, yes, but I was not tortured or horribly abused. I do not have Dissociative Identity Disorder, in case you were wondering.

Sometimes I am just absent.

And the rest of me handles whatever situation it feels I cannot.

That makes me feel like there are parts of me hiding things from me.

What makes talking about being disconnected from people and not really understanding why so traumatic that my brain feels the need to block me from the rest of the conversation?

I left feeling a little relieved, like I’d had some major realization.

I just wasn’t there for the realization.

That’s like getting invited to a party, arriving at the house, ringing the doorbell, and realizing they gave you the wrong address on purpose.

It’s a little odd.

 

Head-Up-Your-Ass Syndrome Is Dangerous

I know I’m going on a bit of a spree talking about fraudulence within drug companies, particularly those of the psycho-pharmaceutical nature (what a brilliant name for them) but I’ve been coming across so much bullshit lately that I feel it a crime not blasting them over the internet. They deserve it; I refuse to feel guilt for anything I say.

I came across this article in the New York Times.

If you’re in the U.S I’m sure you’ve heard plenty on the anti-psychotic Risperdal from those lawyer commercials that pop up and for five minutes talk about how it causes Gynecomastia (boys develop female breasts) and how much money you could get if you file a settlement.

A few days ago, or a day ago, I have no sense of time in this reality, I talked about researchers and corporate bastards lying about the effects of their drug. Well, this article gives you a blatant fucking example of it.

In case you don’t read it, I’ll give you a quick summary in my own words:

  1. Johnston and Johnson’s sneaky ass got caught hiding the information about boys suffering from Gynecomastia and the elderly having strokes (the market they advertised most to). They pleaded guilty for being fucking rats and paid 2 billion dollars.
  2. Out of their 30 billion dollar profit on that drug alone.
  3. Alex Groskey, the chief marketer of Risperdal and the prince of douches, got promoted to C.E.O of Johnston and Johnston. Want the full comprehensive story? I haven’t read it yet but it’s here.
  4. It all started when J&J’s old patent on a previous anti-psychotic ended and all the little executives were all curled up in the fetal position with their heads up their asses at the end of their silk sheets on their bed made of the skin of their customers, weeping like bitches about their plummeting sales. One schemer pulled his head out, looked up to the sky, saw light for the first time in 20 years, and released Risperdal.
  5. The FDA wasn’t having that shit, and said Risperdal wasn’t any better than their other piece of shit, and would primarily be marketed for adults with schizophrenia.
  6. The executives shoved their heads back up their asses and wept. That’s a small market. They wanted money! They wanted it! They wanted it, they wanted it, they wanted it!

Executive Assistant C.E.O.
Executive Assistant C.E.O.

C.E.O of J&J at the FDA conference.
C.E.O of J&J at the FDA conference.

7.Another guy pulled out his head, looked at the sky, cried at the beauty of the world and decided he wanted to be a part of the destruction; they “reinvented” Risperdal to target seniors and children.

8.They paid doctors and got Texas (Damnit Texas, really?) to replace their generics. In numbers, the state paid 3000 dollars for each Medicaid patient rather than 250 dollars.

9.They got nursing home company doctors to prescribe Risperdal. All profits would be shared with the nursing home (#kickback).

10. FDA said “people are dying, dumbfucks!” J&J nodded and went out to a bar to watch the game. Why would they care when they’re more powerful than an organization that’s supposed to be their regulatory boss?

11. Another guy pulled his head out with a “pop” sound (he’d been stuck for a while), and suggested tossing “lollipops and small toys” in sample packages of Risperdal for children.

12. And here we see Risperdal being a 3 billion dollar a year profit drug. They must be so proud.

And a shout out to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for wanting to honor this great man, Alex Gorskey with an award for being a “man of integrity” and such a wonderful “corporate leader with a sense of social responsibility”. A round of applause, please.

My celebratory speech to Alex.

A moment of silence for the elders who suffered fatal strokes who otherwise wouldn’t have.

A moment of grievance for the boys struggling with Gynecomastia who probably never needed such a heavy drug in the first place.

And most of all, a moment of remembrance to a time when humanity meant something and money meant nothing.

None of this means stop taking Risperdal if you’re on it. This is one of the many cases where the drug itself is not horrible, but the people marketing have the intelligence of Stephan Hawking and the compassion of Jeffery Dahmer. They fit the criteria for Antisocial Personality better than most people diagnosed with the personality.

Let’s face an obvious reality here: these companies are too powerful, too profitable (same difference) for any one, two, three, people to take them down. I don’t care if you have a whole campaign against them, unless you have their money and private investigators snapping pictures of their fraudulent labs, and a hit-man willing to wack a few of the top executives (just enough to scare the rest of the company), you can’t do anything besides be entertained.

But the public can, evasively. How do you put a fire out? Get rid of the oxygen. Stop feeding these assholes. That DOES NOT MEAN stop taking your medication. In fact, that would be the worst thing you could do. What it DOES mean, especially for those of you who have never been on these types of drugs and probably never will, is pay attention.

If little Jimmy’s teacher is coming up to you and saying you need to get him checked for ADHD because he won’t sit still, don’t freak the fuck out and take him to a psychiatrist who will put him on seven different meds to “control his behavior”. Investigate. There are plenty of ways to help kids with ADHD (a very, very COMMON MISDIAGNOSIS) without medication. You know, start by not letting him play on the Ipad and watching all those YouTube videos that record over 60 frames per second. I’ve spoken with a lot of students my age and younger who have a ADHD diagnosis who say sure, they have medication in the back of their closet, but use it only for emergency and have developed ways, with help from their parents and psychologists, to cope with their symptoms.

It’s kids who are a huge victim here because their parents are uneducated. They want the best for their children, but they’re scared; they don’t know a thing about the brain, about corporations, about publication bias, and they don’t have to. All they need to know is that mental disorders (especially ones without psychotic features of any sort), are a product of psychological, cognitive, and biological factors. If your teenager is depressed they probably don’t need medication. Some do. The majority does not. But the majority are medicated. Doesn’t make sense.

If your kid is seeing demons climb up the wall and feeling snakes in their stomach and hearing helicopters from the FBI over their house, they might need a small dose of something. A small dose. Not five drugs. A small dose. The other thing we don’t know shit about is how these drugs, fit for adults, act on the developing brains of teenagers and children.

I hear teenagers being diagnosed Bipolar 1 and Borderline. There are few legitimate bipolar 1 cases in teenagers, I’ll tell you that much right now. I saw one legit case of a seven year old in the midst of mania and I was terrified. So it does happen. But not as often as statistics on the news tells you.

Borderline has a criteria that you should be 18 or older to be diagnosed, and for good reason. If a teenager has anger outbursts, is self-harming, is impulsive, hasn’t formed an identity, is all these other things, they’re most likely unsatisfied with something in their life. They’re most likely depressed; depression shows up differently in a brain that hasn’t got a full frontal lobe yet.

But tag a label on them and now they’re more borderline than ever because you told them they are.

I’m not anti-meds, I’m just frustrated.

There’s only one song fit for this  situation: