Happy 4/20. Anyone celebrating? Dabbin’ it up? Tokin’? Post stories below.
On a more serious note . . .
I’d like to connect with all of you out there who have had some sort of trauma in your life, any kind. If anyone is willing to share their story (email or comment, I don’t care), I’d be really interested in hearing when you first really, really realized you were being/ had been mistreated or abused and how important that was in your journey onward.
From what I’ve experienced in the last few days is that it’s like having new eyes. It’s like bringing a half circle to a close.
Many of you are aware I’ve been writing for what seems like centuries. Many of you are aware I write more often than I speak. Many of you are not aware that when someone else reads my writing in front of me, I cringe a little. Many of you are not aware that when they read it out loud, I have to physically cover my ears and leave the room.
I always thought this was an anxiety thing. I’ve been anxious since I could form a conscious memory (about 5 years old), so everything is anxiety, right?
Oh how fucking wrong can I get?
Speaking to a stranger on the internet last night, I came to a very sudden realization that my writing is tied to freedom: freedom of ideas, of opinions.
When I was a child, I was inexplicably taught (verbally, physically, emotionally) that children–or at least, me–should be seen and never heard. I wasn’t allowed to voice an opinion. When I did, I was met with “you just think you know everything and you know nothing”. I was met with “I didn’t ask you.” I was ignored, I was talked/shouted over, I was bullied verbally and physically into silence. I still am met with that.
So when I’m in groups or class or even one-on-one with someone, I’m also met with that familiar anxiety “Symptom” of a blank mind. I was told when I was a child this was because I have an over-active amygdala. I was told that was due to high serotonin levels. So they gave me medications to lower the serotonin. That was before the study showed LOW levels of serotonin also contributed to anxiety. Pointless.
Anyway, I can confidently say now this is not the main cause of my blank mind.
Because even when I’m not anxious, my mind goes blank. Even among people I’m generally comfortable with, my mind goes blank. Why?
Well, it’s been taught not to begin a thought because that thought will only get shot down. I’m wrong all the time. No one will care what I have to say, so it’s not worth saying. Everyone else’s thoughts are greater than mine. Only speak when you’re spoken to. If someone “doesn’t ask you” about yourself, your life, your opinion, your anything, don’t talk about it because they don’t want to hear it.
I don’t consciously think those thoughts, I never have. But somewhere in this brain of mind it’s being thought the moment I’m put in a situation where analysis and opinion are encouraged. People can say “Feel free” to give input all they want: it’s not going to make me feel free because I haven’t been free–I haven’t been free because I didn’t recognize what I was taught, how I was treated, wasn’t what everyone else is taught or how they were treated.
I am 21 years old and I have never seen conflict resolved without violence, not until I started working at the respite house. Conflict, in my head, was always resolved through violence, arguments, and then never revisited again–apologies? What are those? Consensus? What does that even mean?
I subconsciously thought that was how things were supposed to be.
This has been a hard revelation for me. It’s been hard because it brings up a lot of things from the past and it makes me see many things in the present that are still the same. It’s been hard because I now realize how deep seeded this is and how much effort I will have to put in, not to mention courage, to step away from this kind of subconscious oppression of myself.
It won’t happen over night. I’m not going to be able to step into my next class or team meeting or training or practice group or conference and integrate into the crowd just because I’ve had a fucking revelation.
Does anyone else with a troubled childhood/ abusive childhood find themselves oppressing themselves without knowing it, just because it’s what you were used to? I have a feeling I’m not alone in this.
Back to the point. When people read my writing out loud, what they’re reading are the only free thoughts I’m allowed to have. Silent ones, but free nonetheless. When I hear them out-loud, I must be subconsciously expecting what happened in the past to happen in the present. I will walk away, snatch the words from them, make noise to overpower their voice, whatever I have to do not to hear my own thoughts out loud. This goes for fiction writing, non-fiction writing, any kind of writing.
I’m silencing myself.
That’s a hard thing to swallow. I’m not sure where I’m going to go from here. Within the last two days I’ve basically taken my entire life, cracked it open with a hammer, dumped all the contents out into a pile, and kicked them across the room.
If anyone out there has had a similar experience or major revelations regarding the traumas of their past, my email is list on this page. Please send one. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. Any stories, one-liners, comments, whatever, I just need to know this is the beginning of something that will better my life in the long run, and I need to know it’s a process we all have to go through at some point.
The FDA had approved Fanapt and Saphris four or five years before I did a post on them two years ago. Let’s recap. Please. Let’s.
You should sense some tension in that first sentence. If you don’t, then I’ll just tell you: there’s tension in that first sentence.
Treatment target: people labeled with schizophrenia.
Two clinical studies got this drug FDA approved. One was a six-week study, one was a four-week study.
In the six-week study (42 days) there were 706 people. Let’s keep in mind that the minimum amount of days for a clinical trial to be considered relevant is 30. Three long term efficacy trials were conducted at once (source). Each individual trial lasted ten weeks. That’s “long term”. I wonder how long those of you who have been put on Fanapt have been on it at this point. If my sarcasm hasn’t been evident yet, look harder.
Fanapt was concluded to have the same long term efficacy of HALOPERIDOL.
Fanapt is an atypical anti-psychotic, meant to have a lower risk of EPS and Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). Whether or not that’s true is up for debate. Haloperidol is a first generation anti-psychotic. It’s infamous for EPS and TD. Why? It’s been around longer.
Both are the same level of “effective” (whatever that means). How much between first-generation and second-generation has changed, then?
The four week study had 604 guinea pigs. This study was 28 days. They must have done it in February. A loop-hole? “We can’t control the days in the month, this should be an acceptation to the rule, waa, waa, waa, cry, cry, whine, whine until we get our way”. That’s what they do. Remember Alex Gorskey?
Fanapt had similar efficacy to the control antipsychotic used in the study.
Let’s move on.
Treatment target: People labeled with schizophrenia, in a manic episode, or a mixed bipolar 1 episode.
Oh this is rich.
This study agrees the effects are minimal, if they exist at all in terms of Saphris.
Three short-term studies got this approved for schizophrenia. Each 6 weeks. Listen . . . my laughter is making it impossible to type. Okay, okay listen to this:
- Controls: Haloperidol (the 2nd chemical lobotomy), Olanzapine (Zyprexa; Atypical), risperidone (Risperdal; Atypical).
- 174 lab rats
- Conclusion: Saphris was superior to the placebo (i.e, sugar pill). I think this deserves a standing ovation. Or should we wait until the end? Let’s wait until the end.
- 448 enslaved
- 5mg dosage twice a day was apparently superior to the placebo (let’s clap for this, fantastic, good job, amazing), but 10mg twice daily did not surpass the placebo. Something is weird about that.
- The drug could not in any way be distinguished from the placebo. One of the active-controls (probably ‘the chemical lobotomy’ again) was superior in every way. Whatever superior even means to these people.
Let’s breathe and, as promised, stand and clap and whistle if you can. Why am I bringing all of this up? Why am I digging up old news like it was your childhood kitty cat who’s been buried under the rosebush by the fence? Well, let’s think about it.
They put so much effort into pushing out antipsychotic after antipsychotic (i.e, Invega) and recycling the same drug labeled with a new name (Haldol vs Fanapt/Saphris) that they have to start creating drugs to fix their first mistakes: the lifetime effects of TD.
The FDA, this month, right now, approved the first drug for TD. It’s called : Ingrezza (valbenazine). I found this out, of all places, from NAMI’s twitter.
Let’s do this one more time, shall we?
- Side effects: So far, one: Somnolence (drowsiness). Let’s give it a few years.
- 234 unfortunate souls with TD and “underlying schizophrenia”, whatever that means.
- The group which took Ingrezza showed a “statistically significant change” in their TD symptoms versus the Placebo which is all they have to compare this to at this point.
I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: it’s pretty much the motto of this website at this point; I’m not anti-medication. I’m not anti-psychiatry. I’m anti-stupidity. And this is stupid. It’s stupid because we all know very well when a drug is made to treat something, that drug–when coming off it–will exacerbate the something. That leaves you trapped, regardless of the side effects. And when you’re trapped, you feel helpless. And when you feel helpless, you’re reminded how sick you are even if you’re not sick. When you believe you’re sick, you limit yourself. When you limit yourself, these companies make billions and you make an indent in your couch.
You should be used to my bluntness by now. I shave it down for no one, and I never will.
If this drug does what it says it does, and it can “cure” the people who have been damaged by drugs like Haldol, wonderful. I’m going to count on that not being the case. I will count on it making a good 200 billion dollars though.
I’m looking for the logic here. So much effort into the production of antipsychotics, so little effort into the dynamics of the mental health system. I’m willing to take a huge, very educated guess and say that many people on anti-psychotics could, with proper support and belief and understanding of themselves, live without anti-psychotics as a daily ritual. Sometimes I don’t know how I do it, but I do. The more people who are able to do so, who are supported and not oppressed, the less TD there will be, the less need there will be for new TD drugs.
Neurocrine Biosciences, if you’d like a cure for TD, there you go. Need more information? Hit me up at 1-800-DELUDAMOL. I’m sure you’re familiar with the number.
Wording. How important is it?
If you ask a sociologist versed in symbolic interactionalism, they’ll probably put some importance on it. That’s what they spend their life studying after all: linguistics and symbols and blah, blah, blah, my God why do people choose the careers they do? What does Blah, Blah, Blah symbolize? My boredom or my complete illiteracy of symbolic interactionalism? The world may never know.
I read a story the other day off of Facebook from that website The Mighty (of whom I’ve lost any sort of respect for, see this post) about a woman with a rare disease that causes fatty tumors to grow just below the skin on several areas of the body. It’s obviously extremely painful. My explanation of this disease does not give it justice. The only relief she gets during particularly unbearable flare-ups is an unwilling but necessary trip to the E.R.
The doctors easily chalked up her “hysterics” to “just anxiety” that’s “all in her head” and refused to listen to her when she cried for pain medication. She kept telling them what she was experiencing and the nurses said “this is what the doctor wants you to try, this is what we’re trying” and handed her anxiety medications.
Eventually she had to come back to the hospital via ambulance and the doctors apologized for not believing her. Yes, her disease is rare, but let’s break down the two portions of the medical field that ultimately failed her this night.
The ER is often flooded with people looking for a legal high. No one can deny that. It happens so often, doctor’s first suspicions go towards “Drug addict” when someone comes in begging for pain medication. My dad has conned plenty of doctors. It’s not that hard. All these people crying wolf have essentially weakened the trust on the physical side of medicine. Likewise, the overcrowding, the lack of funding, the lack of doctors, the long hours, and, as a result, the lack of compassion, weakens our trust on their judgement and level of care.
The ER is often flooded by people with anxiety. Panic attacks are huge in the ER. Other things are as well: one man started screaming they were taking his ribs and started throwing all the hospital shit around, hopped over the bed like a fucking PRO (I’m pretty sure the guy was superhuman; he probably believes that too), and started trashing the counters. A bunch of nurses ran to him, some doctors as well, and another nurse shouted across the hall for someone to get the Haldol.
They’re not not used to mental health. But they do have one job and one job only: Calm. Them. Down. And when you’re a physician in a busy ER room, that means assumptions and quick medications.
The problem here–well, there are a lot of problems. But one problem I see next to all the sociological issues (i.e, funding, hours, system of management . . .) is a problem rooted in stereotypes and the way we speak about mental health. If what you’re taught in medical school is that something like anxiety is primarily biological but still somehow just “all in their head” then when you see it, you think you know all about it. When you think you know all about it, you think you can recognize it anywhere. And when you think you can recognize it anywhere, you start confusing Dercum’s Disease with a Panic Attack.
It’s also very easy to ride off someone who has a “mental disorder” because it’s a “disorder”. They’re sick. Let them be sick, give them medication, and get them out of here. Go with the quickest fix: the motto of this era.
I said a long time ago people need to stop calling for “mental disorders” to be treated like physical problems because that already happens–and that’s not a good thing people. That’s why we have categories for people’s “broken brains” to fit into. That’s why psychiatry is a “medical” discipline. Mental health has been treated like physical sickness since the DSM 3.
If you snap your shin bone, a surgeon goes in, puts some plates in, some screws, you go through recovery, and you know what? The person next to you who also broke their shin bone had the same procedure. Sure, maybe theirs was a little different: their shin bone is a different size, their blood pressure was a little higher, maybe they’ll have more pain after the surgery and in recovery e.t.c. But the procedure is the same, the plates are the same material, and the reason both surgeries were generally low risk and successful were because those surgeons have done that same thing hundreds of times–you got lucky with the experienced ones.
If you have a psychotic break, and your neighbor has a psychotic break, they are going to be 99.999999999999999999% different. If not that, 100% different. The brain isn’t a shin bone people, you can’t slap the same old treatments to everyone and expect different results! That’s insanity. That’s treating mental health like physical health. So keep campaigning. You’re wasting your time, it’s already like that.
The more mental health is medically categorized, the more it’s shoved into a tiny box of qualifications, the more disregarded we’ll be. Because that little box you get shoved into has a label on the side of it and when the top is closed, professionals don’t really get a chance to see you. You think having a mental health diagnosis gets you taken seriously? Please, spare me the bullshit. You’re not looking for someone to agree that you’re sick and broken and ill. You’re looking to have someone acknowledge what you go through is very real and painful. You’re looking for healthy validation of your feelings.
That often doesn’t come with diagnosis.
What do people say after they get told what “disorder” they have? ” I get it now. I knew something was wrong with me!”
If having a mental health diagnosis made a difference for the better, Dercum’s disease wouldn’t have been the new word for “panic attack” so quickly.