i've been saying for quite some time that many of the medications prescribed to treat depression, bipolar and schizophrenia, in particular, the atypical antipsychotics, have been linked to diabetes. according to one study, the development of diabetes has been reported to occur anywhere from 10 days to 18 months after starting therapy. one theory is that diabetes might result from the weight gain caused by these meds. among the mentally ill, roughly one in every five appear to develop diabetes – about double the rate of the general population. this is frightening. i think i need another blood sugar test, immediately.
my maternal grandmother died from complications of diabetes. my father is diabetic. several doctors, after reviewing my family medical history have put me on atypical antipsychotics. finally, and only recently have i put my foot down. even after i voiced my concerns, the meds were still pushed. i wonder why. hmmmm.
recently, i was enjoying lunch with my sister and my father. we were in a hospital cafeteria because my mother had surgery the previous day. emotions were running high, yes, but at some point my sister mentioned a friend of hers who is a pharmaceutical rep. she spoke of how her friend spends her day. drops her son off at daycare. work. home by noon. lounges around reading US magazine, etc. etc. etc. i burst into tears. both my father and sister stared at me…asking…what is wrong??!! i grabbed my napkin and wiped away the tears…never making eye contact with them. and i never said a word. in the past, i have voiced my anger towards pharmaceutical companies with my family. maybe they forgot, i don't know. but this conversation really upset me. i spend a lot of money…so much money…it sickens me…on meds that DO NOT WORK most days. this has been going on for years…fifteen plus years. we still, after all these years, do not have meds that work. these pharmaceutical companies pay their employees very well, to work, say 4-7 hours a day, passing out meds that do not work. it is unacceptable. the money should be used for say, research. let's find a drug or several that work. is that too much to ask??? no, i think not. so, eli lilly, johnson & johnson, pfizer inc, bristol-myers squibb, novartis and astrazeneca, take note would you? it's about money with all of you and people are dying.
i quit the atypicals last fall. i'm currently taking a med, a very expensive med, with only two side effects-headaches and body aches. the thirty pounds gained on the atypical last year, gone. sleeping fourteen hours a day, no longer an issue. although, the headaches are an every day occurrence. starting around 3pm and lasting to about 11pm. nothing works. aleve, excedrin, aspirin. acupuncture worked wonders…but at 70/session, i can no longer afford it. and i worry, what are the long term effects of this drug? we don't know. right this minute it feels as if my head will explode. what exactly is this med doing to my brain?
when i read articles like this one or this one, i wonder why i continue to take a pill that does not work. of course, i will continue to take the pill, simply because i do not want to lose my mind. and i must be bold and brutally honest here, if it wasn't for the love and support of my family and friends, a career that i love and my curiosity of what will happen next in this life of mine—i would give up.