invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

while i’m away March 14, 2008

Once again, I’ll be taking a break. I’m starting a job next week and will be working those hideous 12-18 hour days until mid-May. and although I rarely blog these days I’m still following stories in the mental health (and beyond) world.

Here are few worth reading:

Antidepressants found in drinking water of 24 US cities

Mental health parity bills have now passed both houses of Congress. Here’s hoping the Senate and House can compromise. I prefer the House version for a variety of reasons you can find here at my blog. The White House opposed the House bill, saying it “would effectively mandate coverage of a broad range of diseases.” I can’t even begin to describe how this infuriates me! Not that it will help, but I urge everyone to email or write the President, letters to the editor and members of Congress—demand an end to this discrimination.

The famous UK study published in the journal PLoS Medicine finds antidepressants are barely more effective than placebos in treating most people with depression.

I have two friends that recently decided to quit smoking (one was successful and one was not) However, they were both prescribed Chantix-the one that quit successfully had few side effects. The one who is still smoking went a bit crazy on the drug. It was very frightening and I begged her to quit taking the pill. Before taking Chantix she rarely suffered from depression and never anxiety, one week into Chantix she experienced extreme agitation, anxiety and depression. Her lovely doctor then added Wellbutrin and Buspar for the anxiety and depression and Miraplex (for her restless leg syndrome) Next thing you know-she was on the edge. I urged her to find a new doctor, go off the pills and treat the side effects from the multiple pills with acupuncture. I’m happy to say with the help of acupuncture and vitamin supplements she’s doing much better. Studies have found Chantix causes suicidal thoughts amongst other things and it angers me our doctors are not only ignoring the data but prescribing more drugs to treat the side effects of Chantix. We live in a sad, pathetic, sick country these days.

It is no secret I am not a fan of antipsychotics after my experience with Seroquel. We are no longer a Prozac Nation-we are a Seroquel/Zyprexa Nation and that is frightening. However, it’s nice to see an alternative to the nasty drugs used to treat dementia in nursing homes. Lately antipsychotics have been heavily and ignorantly used to treat the elderly and now one nursing home in the Bronx is treating patients with aromatherapy, long soothing bubble baths and massages. Way to go! Click here for the story.

Antipsychotics cause brain damage? Read on…

Here’s a reason why we should boycott the Olympics.
(a warning to animal lovers-it’s incredibly sad)

I watched “In the Valley of Elah” recently and highly recommend it. Here’s the true story behind the film and what should have been a real wake up call to anyone who doubts our soldiers are in dire need of mental health care.