Lets talk about your meds?


ARC_Talk_About_Meds_Banner_Marie

Introduction

When I got an email from Judy Cohen of the American Recall Centre, I knew I was definitely doing a fine job with my mental health advocacy. I don’t follow statistics or evaluate the impact of my blog posts by likes/comments. Those sure motivate but I just don’t know how to follow them. I however feel elated when I get an email like Judy’s. It is an acknowledgment of a special order.

So, what do we read on the banner or the title of my post for this Monday morning? Huge, Judy asked me to talk about my meds. I told Judy I didn’t take any conventional meds but that I had a brother who took enough to last two generations of my family and who probably died ‘around those meds’. Judy urged that I could talk for him or better still give some advice…

The serene and reassuring doctor
The serene and reassuring doctor

Here are Judy’s guidelines

ADVICE FOR OTHERS:

Read the side effects very well. Please Caregivers, don’t have blind faith in ‘almighty psychiatry’. If you think there could be an alternative treatment or you have a combination of meds and others, please do the most you can to make it available for your loved one. If you are not so comfortable with the effect of the medication or the dosage, quantity and all: Please insist or shout out, there are so many advocacy groups out there. I have recently come across some and I do know that they exist because some medecine have caused unfathomable damages. My family (basically my mum), did all she could while it was in her power to do so. This is basically when my brother was in Cameroon and there the system isn’t as rigid, leaving a ‘leeway’ to the guardian or parent to get and be involved in their loved one’s treatment.

WHAT’S a GOOD QUESTION TO ASK their DOCTOR?

Doc, must I take so many meds? Those doctors are not gods: It is your right to ask them questions: You see, some of them may just be as clueless, they study, precribe and mark charts but if they had to be in your shoes and have your fired brain for just a day, they’ll think again!

Nothing to worry for heaven's sake, these luns drive me mad!
Nothing to worry for heaven’s sake, these luns drive me mad!

WHAT DRUG INTERACTIONS TO BE AWARE OF?

I will use only the most recent drug interaction my brother was on which from every indication were a very poor combination:

He was prescribed Risperdal, whose side effects include but are not limited to: Drowsiness, dizziness, drooling, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain;

He was prescribed Zyprexa whose side effects include but are not limited to: Constipation, dry mouth, increase appetite, weight gain and stomach upset;

And that Zyprexa taken in use with Benadryl could lead to a stroke or heart failure;

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND BENEFITS?

I know only of risks. Well maybe because I lost my brother and that preceding his demise he was rushed to the ER at least twice for heart complications. As for benefits, probably only what the prescribing doctors would bother to tell you or as you can read on the notice/cum dream of in your countless hours lost to sleep.

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE TAKING?

I think if my brother knew he would literally become a simpleton, a ‘cabbage’ due those very meds, surely he wouldn’t have become as med compliant. If you would end up ‘addicted’ to the same meds which ‘ruin’ you, then you may not be that willing in taking them.

Conclusion

Judy told me the following: ” I know medication safety is a topic that often goes unnoticed and to get readers even thinking about their own medicine will make a tremendous difference!”

I wish it weren’t true that medication safety is a ‘feared’ subject – but that’s a lame wish maybe? So you dear and gentle readers/followers of mine, what do you think about all this? Is it worth talking about one’s meds? Is worth looking out for alternative treatments or a safe and affordable combination of the both? I have taken pain killers and anti-depressants before, heck I regularly take pills for cramps – but I don’t consider those MEDS enough to warrant my sharing any pale personal experiences. Thank you!

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Lets talk about your meds?”

  1. Marie Angele, to the advise you have given, I will talk about what I hold very dear to my heart. My son was worried about the side effects of the meds and asked his cousin who is a medical Doctor if he should take them. This happened after he had been assigned 2 nurses to witness him swallow the meds when the team realised that he could read the side effects and ask questions. He stopped talking to his cousin when he asked him to take them. By the time he asked the question he was still able to resist but when the last advise failed to help he succumbed and remained faithful until he died with the “medicine box” by his side and on the gas cooker “the source of the food” which he needed every so often as a result of the side effects of the meds. I wonder if there is an easier way out in a system like the one that “killed” my son with meds!!!!. I raised a flag but was ignored. He fought it his way but found no way out. May be the only way out is to resist the system altogether. I read the WHO action plan on Mental Well Being. I find some praises being given to the “so-called” developed countries with respect to progress in welfare and care to the mentally ill under the pretext that they make considerable investment in the sector. My concern is about the quality of their laws and procedures and above all the rights of the mentally ill. Any law and right without a conscience is worse than the absence of law or right. I think that the welfare systems in the “developed” countries need complete overhaul to include more common sense and good conscience. Otherwise, many “beneficiaries” will be “victims”.
    The bureaucracy and poor or willful misinterpretation of laws and rights in situations where life threatening decisions need to be made especially when the patient is from the “poor” neighborhood will make a good research topic, if none has been carried out.

    1. Mama,

      Rights of the patients (mentally ill), only go as far as their charts. These charts are filled by people who have barely a minute to spend with the patient. There is super bureaucracy when you the patient/now victim largely due to the coktail of meds, dare to challenge your label, protocol etc. When it the system’s ‘rights’ to restrain you and take you away, they read it to you as you are led away.

  2. Beautiful article, great sharing point, my goodness, yes, meds meds meds, all come with side effects, and if you take enough, you need to take some meds to counter the effects of the meds you are taking to help you, and then if you dont, then you create a new problem different from the primary complaint. Hmmm, yes, these meds are needed, but I dont know if many doctors advice combining them with encouraging med-less management of stress and depresion as well as other well known mental health imbalances. Thanks for sharing Marie, a blessing to some.

    1. Ok Sherri,

      I concur. I have never had a pleasant ride with meds and four years ago, I had been on a few meds and put on such weight and couldn’t walk nor think straight. I really wished not to wake up again. An angel came to my rescue and got me to start workouts and positive thinking. I changed my diet too and although I paid another huge price or better still made a big sacrifice, I can say I am dwindling now between coping and thriving. I now only take meds for those ‘cramps’ and I really can’t wait for meno… 🙂

  3. MA,

    I love your posts on medications. I am also a victim of those side effects. Remember me telling you about a certain Doctor whom Papa Shey asked me to see in Douala concerning my HP. Indeed, he told me my HP is not so bad and he even prescribed some medications.

    I had promised to persevere and finish them and i finally did. Those meds had so many side effects including the ones you mentioned in your post. I hated the meds but however when i took them, they took to absolute effect. My hearing improved so well.

    The Doctor had asked me to return to him after the medications are finish. But i don’t want to be prescribed the meds anymore. I instead prefer but hearing aids.

  4. DEAREST MARIE,

    Oooh, have you opened a big can of worms here for me…I now believe, having read and read and read Robert Whitaker’s two books, Joanna Moncrieffs two books, plus any number of other books and articles, that MOST psycho-active drugs are simply BOGUS. Should I say that again, in simpler words that everyone can understand? Psycho-tropic drugs have NEVER been properly researched, if researched at all, and were foisted on the public in the entire world through a strenuous MARKETING campaign that was the bulk of the “research”…They have actually FAILED to find any drug that works better than a placebo. And the drug of choice that they usually use instead of a placebo these day, because at least in the case of schizophrenia, it is now considered “illegal” not to treat with something, is a drug, Haldol, that the United States Congress in the 1970s declared to be an instrument of TORTURE when used on persons declared mentally ill in the Soviet Union (note that they made no such reservation in the case of American mentally ill, for whom it may have been equal torture, but who cared because it was deemed acceptable to torture them while “treating” them!)

    But I am off the subject. Or am I? I do not ask people ONLY to look at side effect or interactions these days. I ask them to delve deeper and be INTELLIGENT as possible, NOT LAZY. Do you know, for instance, that most anti-diabetes drugs increase the tendency for a person to massively gain weight, thereby INCREASING your tendency to remain diabetic? To me this is simply an obscenity…I knew this was true when I was put on Glucophage while taking Zyprexa…I knew it made no theoretical sense even as the doctors tried to persuade me of the magic behind the “new research.” But if a drug affects your insulin levels, you know it will affect your appetite, no matter what. And glucophage, as it increases supposedly your insulin levels lowers your blood sugar, for good reasons maybe, but this also causes extreme hunger as people who take it know, and so you eat and eat and get even fatter than before. BUT most people with Type 2 Diabetes are already overweight, as I was on Zyprexa, so this is INSANITY with a Capital I…isn’t it???

    But the worst thing was they ordered me to take it for my health, and lied that the “research shows it decreases the appetite..” which nobody in their normal NON deceitful mind would ever DREAM of saying…

    My point is that I do NOT believe a word the doctors or the researchers or anyone connected with drugs or herbs or pharmaceuticals says now. They are all in it for nefarious purposes. I doubt EVERYTHING i hear. EVERYTHING I am told and and am trying to get off of everything I possibly can. The only drugs I do trust, because they are simple, and were developed in a different day and age, are 1) antibiotics, 2) simple steroids like prednisone, which are both good amazing drugs with terrible sad side effects…I know because they both help me and hurt me but I am willing to suffer the short term cost benefit ratio that NO one lies to me about…3) aspirin,,,which has amazing benefits and also some drawbacks too.

    Sorry to go on so long. I would write my own blogpost on this, and maybe I will too., You have gotten me all fired up! Thank you so very very much for your support always of Wagblog. I consider you one of my best!

    1. Dear Pam,

      No need to be sorry for a long comment. Men, we are here for each other right? The aim of this post was to generate such comments and reactions. I feel you, please go ahead and write a post which I will share to the ends. 🙂

  5. Dear Marie, might I ask you something that I have been curious about since reading your blog? Your book might answer this, but until I get my new glasses, I am no book reader!

    Why was your brother, bless his heart, taking psychiatric medications when he suffered from EPILEPSY??? I mean, many people suffer from seizure disorders, even serious ones, and do not get put on multiple antipsychotic drugs. Esp not risperdal as well as zyprexa! I am aware that frequently, people with schizophrenia suffer from temporal lobe seizures in addition, but it seems like your brother had something other than TLE. no?

    I ask because sometimes I think that (and I do not want to suggest this unless it has occurred to you…but) if he had been an American light-skinned , that is to say, and you know what I mean, Caucasian light-skinned person from “here” he might have been better attended to. It just boggles my mind that if indeed he originally suffered from epilepsy, why was he shunted into the mental health system at all???? This is the real tragedy, that he was not treated soley as a neuro patient, but was stigmatized and destroyed for a “mental illness” he never even had.

    Did you consider this? That the drugs they gave him CAUSED his so-called mental illness, and not the other way around???

    LOVE always.,

    Pam Wagner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s