invincible summers

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

unusually busy year July 20, 2008

Filed under: life — clementine @ 1:56 am
Tags: ,

I will not be posting over the next month as I’m out of town (again)

It’s been an unusually busy year and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. I am very thankful for this considering how many people in this country are currently unemployed or soon to be so.

It’s not very often that i work during the summer months because I can’t stand the heat!! However, it’s difficult to turn down the work and I love the script.

Be well everyone

 

old news but worth the read July 19, 2008

Filed under: antipsychotics,FDA — clementine @ 12:05 pm
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From Psychiatric News:

Three years after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instituted a black-box warning for all second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) medications about increased risk of death in elderly dementia patients, a similar warning is being added to the labels of first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) such as haloperidol and perphenazine.

The FDA announced its decision in mid-June after reviewing two epidemiological studies, both conducted in Canada, that were published in 2007. The two studies found mortality rates in elderly patients taking FGAs to be comparable to or higher than the rates in patients taking SGAs.

In a study by Sebastian Schneeweiss, M.D., and colleagues, the mortality hazard ratio in the FGA-treated elderly patients was 1.47 times that of SGA-treated patients within 180 days after starting the antipsychotic prescription. Included in this study were more than 37,000 people in British Columbia aged 65 and older who were started on antipsychotic medications. About one-third of these patients received FGA prescriptions, and the rest were given the newer SGAs. The study was published in the February 2007 Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The other study, reported by Sudeep Gill, M.D., M.Sc., and colleagues and published in the June 5, 2007, Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted in patients with dementia aged 66 years and older in the province of Ontario. From public health databases, the authors constructed and compared three cohorts of FGA users, SGA users, and nonusers of antipsychotics based on dementia patients’ status as community-dwelling or long-term-care residents. They ended up with a total of 27,259 pairs of antipsychotic-using and nonusing patients who were matched in demographics and clinical status.

Click here to continue reading.

 

a life without meds July 8, 2008

It’s odd- I thought maybe my life would be very different when I stopped taking the Lamictal. In the past, whenever I went “off my meds” I would usually find myself feeling manic within a few weeks or months. It’s been almost eight months off the medication and I actually feel very slow. I feel as if I’m underwater. I feel less creative (which isn’t a good thing in my business) and very tired. One indicator is, I used to post here frequently. They were almost always personal blogs but not so much anymore. I’m afraid to post anything of my own in fear it will not make sense. and to put it bluntly, the words aren’t there anymore. They are in my head but I can’t get them out. It’s very frustrating. I have noticed a lot of blogs have a two year life span- and maybe that’s where I’m at. I’m still trying to figure it out. I admire those that are able to write so honestly and eloquently every day. Like Stephany and Gianna. I desperately miss that release.

I must admit it’s been a relief- not getting to that manic phase (knock on wood!)
Anyone who’s ever been medicated for a mental illness, in particular bipolar, can relate. It’s a scary place sometimes and a place I really don’t want to visit again, at least not long term. And when I say long term, I mean more than one day.

Most doctors will tell you, it’s not a smart move choosing a life without meds. I, however, beg to differ. I’ve said all along, I’m not anti-meds. I have witnessed first hand the wonders of western medicine. My sister would not be alive today without it. My two nieces (both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis) would not be alive without medication and their brilliant doctors. I’m simply against meds that don’t work! Period. And those medications just happen to be 90% of the antidepressants and antipsychotics for those living with a mental illness. I’ve seen them work. I’ve seen them help my friends during a bad period in their life. But for those of us born with a mental illness it’s altogether a different story. We rarely recover. We rarely get better. We just learn to live with it. And that’s sad considering the pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars advertising and so little on research.

For years 20+ I gave it my best shot. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars. Saw the best therapists and psychiatrists with the same result every time. I tried Prozac, Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil and the list goes on…Talk therapy, group therapy, mental hospital, in patient and out patient. They all worked temporarily. And some really made me sick. Dare I say, sicker?

We should not be forced into learning to live with our mental illness. We deserve better.

 

head fake July 7, 2008

Filed under: antidepressants,depression,mental illness — clementine @ 11:57 pm
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interesting article at boston.com:

How Prozac sent the science of depression in the wrong direction:

Prozac is one of the most successful drugs of all time. Since its introduction as an antidepressant more than 20 years ago, Prozac has been prescribed to more than 54 million people around the world, and prevented untold amounts of suffering.

But the success of Prozac hasn’t simply transformed the treatment of depression: it has also transformed the science of depression. For decades, researchers struggled to identify the underlying cause of depression, and patients were forced to endure a series of ineffective treatments. But then came Prozac. Like many other antidepressants, Prozac increases the brain’s supply of serotonin, a neurotransmitter. The drug’s effectiveness inspired an elegant theory, known as the chemical hypothesis: Sadness is simply a lack of chemical happiness. The little blue pills cheer us up because they give the brain what it has been missing.

There’s only one problem with this theory of depression: it’s almost certainly wrong, or at the very least woefully incomplete. Experiments have since shown that lowering people’s serotonin levels does not make them depressed, nor does it does not make them depressed, nor does it worsen their symptoms if they are already depressed.

click here to read the entire article.