Saturday, January 31, 2009

Caffeine withdrawal to be included in DSM-5?

According to John Hopkins University if you miss your morning cup you will experience caffeine withdrawal:
"Results of the Johns Hopkins study should result in caffeine withdrawal being included in the next edition of the DSM or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, considered the bible of mental disorders, and the diagnosis should be updated in the World Health Organization's ICD, or The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. (emphasis mine)

"Caffeine is the world's most commonly used stimulant, and it's cheap and readily available so people can maintain their use of caffeine quite easily," says Roland Griffiths*, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. "The latest research demonstrates, however, that when people don't get their usual dose they can suffer a range of withdrawal symptoms, including headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating. They may even feel like they have the flu with nausea and muscle pain." "
"We teach a systematic method of gradually reducing caffeine consumption over time by substituting decaffeinated or non-caffeinated products. Using such a method allows people to reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms," says Griffiths
*Roland Griffiths has been a consultant to pharmaceutical companies, the International Food Information Counsel, the International Life Sciences Institute, and the legal profession on issues related to caffeine effects, withdrawal and dependence.

It seems that caffeine is highly more addictive than SSRIs or any other psych-drug.
I hope they start researching the best drug to cope with all these serious withdrawal symptoms and dependence.

Friday, January 30, 2009

No matter what is happening try not...



............................................................................................................to fear.

.......keep going........

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wellsphere scandal - 1800 "contributers"?

Do you consider yourself a contributer?
Gianna wrote a post on Wellsphere and it's merger to Healthcare that is a must-read for those who are member of this thing.
I've spend the whole week sending e-mails to Mr Rutledge asking him to get my content out. I've just left a comment on his blog asking it again.
I didn't sign anything giving Wellsphere intellectual property rights and I believe that nobody did.
"Over the past year, Wellsphere has experienced tremendous growth, having grown from less than 100,000 monthly visitors to a current run rate of more than 4 million monthly visitors (yesterday we served more than 160,000 visitors to our site in one day!). At the same time, our Health Bloggers Network has become the world’s number one community of health writers with more than 1800 active contributors serving our users daily. Over the past year, Wellsphere has experienced tremendous growth, having grown from less than 100,000 monthly visitors to a current run rate of more than 4 million monthly visitors (yesterday we served more than 160,000 visitors to our site in one day!). At the same time, our Health Bloggers Network has become the world’s number one community of health writers with more than 1800 active contributors serving our users daily." (emphasis mine)
This is from Dr. Rutledge site.
I believe we work to hard the other way and we don't want such connections. Now I've spend time, energy and, of course, emotions writing this post because I don't want to be part of any site that sells drugs.
They have deleted an answer I wrote on SSRIs. I'm sure it's because I didn't say how wonderful these drugs work.

Update: I've just received an e-mail form Mr. Rutledge telling me that my profile and content was deleted.

There are many bloggers posting on all of this. Lee Ann, whose blog is about diabetes, wrote her experience and some of her friends here:
"...It wasn’t only those of us who had entered the unsavory agreement who felt screwed. Wellsphere apparently has lifted content such as vlogs posted on YouTube without attaining the creators’ consents,... (emphasis mine)


I love strikes!
It's good to know that people still have the power to say "we are not happy!"
Today France is at the streets showing that they are not happy with Sarkozy's measures to handle the economic crisis.

Demonstrators in Nice, France, Today. (Lionel Cironneau/The Associated Press)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stop Ray Sandford forced electroshock - Mindfreedom

I'm perplex.
For months Mindfreedom is trying to stop Ray Sandford forced electroshock. You must have received this e-mail. I'm publishing part of this.
This is one of the reasons I'm tired. If an absurd like this cannot be stopped I don't know what these people are capable.
This is inhuman!

Another involuntary outpatient "maintenance"
electroshock for Ray Sandford is scheduled
for tomorrow, 28 January 2009.

How to do and learn more on the Ray Campaign

For links to latest news, Ray Campaign blog, to hear the NPR radio
story on Ray, and read Frequently Asked Questions about the "No More
Shock For Ray Campaign" go here:

To further participate in the MindFreedom campaign to support Ray,
current MindFreedom members are invited to get on the very busy
MindFreedom "zapback" e-mail list about electroshock, here:

Please act today!

Ray's scheduled electroshocks for this Winter and Spring are below.

Unless there's a miracle.

And maybe you -- and all of us -- are Ray's miracle.

* 18 February 2009

* 4 March 2009

* 25 March 2009

* 8 April 2009

* 29 April 2009

* 13 May 2009

* 3 June 2009

* 17 June 2009

Ray calls the MindFreedom office almost every day, including just
before and just after his forced electroshocks. He says forced shock
is always scary, that it's harming his memory and ability to
concentrate more and more.

Ray is asking us all to peacefully protest his forced electroshock.

The nightmare of involuntary electroshock over the expressed wishes
of the subject has happened regularly since the very first
electroshock in Italy in 1937. But now the atrocity of forced
electroshock has climbed over the institutional walls, and is out in
our towns and cities, in our neighborhoods and homes.

Do not let this become "normal."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm exhausted

That's all I have to say. I would like to visit some blogs but ...

I'll leave this Gaughin as an invitation for enjoying life something I forgot to do since July, 2008.
I have to regain strength.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I am getting out of Wellsphere

I've just send an e-mail to Mr. Rutledge, the owner of Wellsphere, asking him to remove my contents from this site.
You can find the reasons at the comments of this post I wrote and also at Jeanne Sather's "The Assertive Cancer Patient" blog at this post: "Wellsphere: Use the Content of My Blog for Free? (I Don't Think So ...)"
Thank you Gianna for the comment that led me to rethink about Wellsphere.

PS: I'm feeling migraine. I have some e-mail and other things to catch up. I'm sorry.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Easing the sadness

I've been too sad lately. I've been thinking too much on my "psychiatric life" and a horror show is constantly on my mind. When I lay down to get some rest I remember some strange feelings I experienced that I didn't know where did they come from.
When I took Halcion I had some hallucinations. I didn't see or hear anything but I remember experiencing strange sensations in my body like as if there was a kind of connection with objects. It's very hard to explain. I've stopped the Halcion but it didn't go away. But I was also changed to Rohypnol and I don't know if it helped. For another period of time there was some other strange feelings.
I'm trying to understand and the problem is that I cannot rely on anybody to help me. If I say this things to a psychiatrist I'm sure will be considered a crazy person.
I know I have to trust my instincts but sometimes it's too hard especially when you have so many memories.
I'm remembering withdrawal symptoms... I'm remembering many things.
I've experienced pot when I was 19 years old and I remember that only two drags were enough to make effect. I didn't like it and I stopped when I looked at a clock to find out that only 5 minutes had passed since the last time I looked and it made me feel strange because I thought that one hour had gone.
I never tried other drugs because I was too scary and I regret because I would have know that I was taking something to change my perceptions.
But when you take medicines and you feel side effects that you cannot understand and is told that "it's all in your head"; "my other patients don't feel it" or "it will go away" it's another thing.
I have sleep-walked as side effect.
There are some side effects I don't doubt. Others still haunt me and there are those I'm having to cope due to Effexor, Seroquel and Klonopin.
I'm still feeling the dizziness although I'm not taking the Effexor morning pill on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
I don't know if this sadness and lack of energy is related to this withdrawal. I was sweating too much but it has gone away.
I'm feeling sad. When I look back I see nothing but this constant struggle with psych-drugs. It's scary. I have never been diagnosed depressed or any other disease. The first time I went to a psychiatrist he said I needed therapy prescribed me some drugs to help me sleep and Klonopin.
The seeping pills I withdrew. But I kept on taking Klonopin and found out that I was addicted when I've spend three days without taking it and a friend of mine had to bring me.
That was when I've searched a psychiatrist to help me get off it and he has prescribed me diazepam and at one moment Tofranil.
I felt a huge amount of symptoms that was diagnosed by another psychiatrist as diseases and another psychiatrist... and so on.
It was when I started my long list of psych-drugs and practically stopped having a social life.
Hope I'm making myself clear. I'm writing to see if I can find some sense and to easy the sadness.
I believe many people must feel the same and some cannot make the difference between what is side effect or their own self.
I have some troubles trusting me.

Pharmacogenetics - FDA is working to develop PGx tests to help drugs remain on the market

I'm still trying to understand if pharmacogenomics will help creating new drugs or it will just be a way to make old drugs remain at the market. Reading the article "The 5 Myths of Pharmacogenomics" Pharmaceutical Executive I'm confronted with many arguments such as:

"For example, in 1998, FDA forced Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Aventis) to withdraw its $600-million-a-year anti-allergy medication Seldane (terfenadine) from the market because of pharmacogenomic differences in a very small segment of patients. Fewer than 0.5 percent of all people have a variant CYP3A gene that makes them unable to metabolize Seldane in the presence of the antibiotic erythromycin, resulting in severe cardiotoxicity. If the company had had a pharmacogenomic test to identify the small population of adverse reactants at the time, Seldane may have remained on the market. Consequently, Aventis was forced to focus its marketing efforts on another anti-allergy medication, Allegra (fexofenadine)." (emphasis mine)

"To rescue the product's $200 million in annual sales, GSK is currently working with FDA to develop a PGx test to identify patients likely to have the adverse reaction."

An what to think about Michael Adams-Conroy case? He was born with a gene deficiency to metabolize Prozac and that's why he died at the age of 9 years old. I'm sorry I'm not understanding.
I need help here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wanted - Serious woman

Katharine has posted this ad yesterday.

Pharmacogenetics - personalized psych-drugs

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genetic idiosyncrasies influence responses to drugs of each person. In 1995 Michael Adams-Conroy, a nine years old boy, died due to Prozac overdose. His parents were accused of giving him a premeditate overdose but it was discovered that the boy had a "CYP 2D6 gene defect" - lacked the enzyme that metabolizes the drug.

I've just discovered this site for DNA Drug Reaction Testing.
"Research shows that of all the clinical factors such as age, sex, weight, general health and liver function that alter a patient's response to drugs, genetic factors are the most important. This information becomes even more crucial when you consider the fact that adverse reactions to prescription drugs are killing about 106,000 Americans each year- roughly three times as many as are killed by automobiles. This makes prescription drugs the fourth leading killer in the U.S., after heart disease, cancer, and stroke." (emphasis mine)
I'm confused. So, adverse effects are due to genetics? Why are we having same side effects and withdrawal symptoms if...
I'm really confused especially after finding this article "The 5 Myths of Pharmacogenomics" which assures the Pharmas that they will not reduce their profits.
I'll be glad if anyone can help me understand it all.

Chromosome abnormality

Down syndrome
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Down syndrome
, Down's syndrome, or trisomy 21 is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British doctor who described the syndrome in 1866. The disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by Jérôme Lejeune in 1959. The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Often Down syndrome is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth as well as facial appearance. Down syndrome in a baby can be identified with amniocentesis during pregnancy or at birth.

What if mental illness was described as "chromosome abnormality"?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reclaiming your power during medication appointments with your psychiatrist

This article by Patricia Deegan Ph.D raises some issues about the difficult relationship between psychiatrists and patients and gives some advices on how to be more specific and active during meetings with psychiatrists.
It also raises some concerns about the effects of being on psych-drugs:
  1. Your questions are important. Anyone who has been on psychiatric drugs for a period of time is probably going to ask these important questions:
  • What am I really like when I am off these medications?
  • What is the "real me" like now?
  • Is it worth taking these medications?
  • Are there non-drug methods I can learn to reduce my symptoms instead of using medications?
  • Have my needs for medications changed over time?
  • Do I have tardive dyskinesia that is being masked by the neuroleptics I am taking?
  • There are no long-term studies on the medication I use. Am I at risk? Do I want to take the risk of not knowing the long-term effects?
  • Am I addicted to these medications?
  • Has long-term use of these medications resulted in memory loss or decreased my cognitive functioning?

There is nothing crazy about having such questions. What is unfortunate is that most mental health professionals do not recognize that these questions are to be expected. A recovery oriented system would have detox centers and other supports available so that people could plan a rational withdrawal from medications in order to explore these important questions.

Trust yourself. You know more about yourself than your psychiatrist will ever know. Begin to trust yourself and your perceptions. Sometimes I found it hard to trust my perceptions after being told that what I felt, thought, or perceived, was crazy. Part of recovery is learning to trust yourself again. Even during my craziest times there was a kernel of truth in all of my experience. If you are experiencing unwanted drug effects such as a feeling of apathy, constipation, loss of sex drive, double vision, or the like, trust your perception. Don't let others tell you that such side effects are "all in your head." Check with the pharmacist, or with friends who have used the drugs, and check the books or the Internet. Chances are that you are not the first person to have these drug effects.

(read it here. I've found this article in 2005 and the only problem I find is using Dr. Bob's Psychopharmacology Tips as a resource to learn about medications.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless You

President Bush is leaving the White House

I never thought I would cry. I'm joining the crowd that is at this moment celebrating. I'm feeling... I don't know what to say.
All I want is: never look at the White House in fear.
I hope this wish comes true.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Not a word of contradiction!" is said to some children

This post is dedicated to all of those who struggle with sad memories from childhood. It's from Franz Kafka's Letter to his father. There are some excerpts here.

"The impossibility of getting on calmly together had one more result, actually a very natural one: I lost the capacity to talk. I daresay I would not have become a very eloquent person in any case, but I would, after all, have acquired the usual fluency of human language. But at a very early stage you forbade me to speak. Your threat, "Not a word of contradiction!" and the raised hand that accompanied it have been with me ever since. What I got from you—and you are, whenever it is a matter of your own affairs, an excellent talker—was a hesitant, stammering mode of speech, and even that was still too much for you, and finally I kept silent, at first perhaps out of defiance, and then because I could neither think nor speak in your presence. And because you were the person who really brought me up, this has had its repercussions throughout my life. It is altogether a remarkable mistake for you to believe I never complied with your wishes. "Always contrary" was really not my basic principle where you were concerned, as you believe and as you reproach me. On the contrary: if I had obeyed you less, I am sure you would have been much better pleased with me. As it is, all your educational measures hit the mark exactly. There was no hold I tried to escape. As I now am, I am (apart, of course, from the fundamentals and the influence of life itself) the result of your upbringing and of my obedience. That this result is nevertheless distressing to you, indeed that you unconsciously refuse to acknowledge it as the result of your methods of upbringing, is due to the fact that your hand and the material I offered were so alien to each other. You would say: "Not a word of contradiction!" thinking that that was a way of silencing the oppositional forces in me that were disagreeable to you, but the effect of it was too strong for me, I was too docile, I became completely dumb, cringed away from you, hid from you, and only dared to stir when I was so far away from you that your power could no longer reach me—at least not directly. But you were faced with all that, and it all seemed to you to be "contrary," whereas it was only the inevitable consequence of your strength and my weakness."

This is specially for you my dear friend who is haunted by some memories but dared to stay far away from them and has turned into a great man.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Half an hour as an "inmate" on a mental institution - Repost

I wrote it in April, 2008 and felt like posting it again. I'll never forget have being restrained for no reason.

I’ve remembered this “story” yesterday and now I have to tell. I went to a psychiatrist of a mental institution that is in front of my house. He changed all my prescription. I looked at it and said to myself “-This is not a good idea!” But we trust physicians more than our instincts. Now I know I have to trust my instincts more than physicians.
He took away 200 mg of Seroquel and reduced the Efexor dose and changed something I cannot remember.
I’ve spent three days without sleeping.
On the third day I felt terrible. If I spend 1 day without sleeping I feel as if I was drunk. I don’t function normally and with all my energy.
So I went to see the psychiatrist. I was crying and feeling terrible. He looked at me and said “-You have to be hospitalized. I’ll try to find a bed for you.”
He didn’t say why I had to be on that place. He just said I had to spend 3 days there. I’ve said I had a dog… lol as if he cares.
He finally found the bed and I was taken to the ward by a nurse. I don’t mind and have good relations with people who are on mental institutions. They talked to me with respect and asked “-What are you doing here? What’s your disease?”
I don’t know.
I smoke and after 20 minutes I felt like having coffee. I went to the door that separate normal people from crazy ones and it was half opened.
I asked with a calm voice: “-I would like to have a coffee.”
There were two people who were sat with their back towards me. They didn’t reply.
I asked again, and again. They didn’t even look back. I started to feel nervous and angry. I said in a louder voice: “-I want to have some coffee.” No reply.

They talked to each other and it seems to me that they were saying something like “-These crazy people are such a bore!” I started to hit the steal door with my ring and I said that I wanted to have a coffee…

It was when one of them said; “-You cannot go out. You’re an intern now.”

I beg your pardon! ?

I hadn’t signed anything claiming I wanted volunteered psychiatrist treatment. I started screaming that I wanted to have the coffee.

All of a sudden a woman appeared. She was a giant for me. She restrained me from my back. I said: “-Wait! I’m not crazy and I’m here…” not a good sentence when you’re on a mental institution ward. A patient said: “-They want to use her as a guinea-pig!” I remember it quite clearly, even the voice. She saved me! Also my dog for I kept remembering she was alone.
So I said I wanted to talk to the psychiatrist that had made a questionnaire after I was put on this ward. She had asked me if I… heard voices. That was the first and only time a psychiatrist asked me this question and it gave me the exact measure on how these psychiatrists knowsnothing about anything. You can tell by a person way of expressing and so many other signs whether the person is a psychotic or a neurotic. I can tell! How can it be that a psychiatrist cannot distinguish after years working with these diseases
? I can even tell when someone is playing crazy. Yep! There are people on this street that behaves as if they were crazy because of the two mental hospitals we have here. They do it to ask for money.

After the giant finally stopped restraining me – I can tell you that it’s one of the most invasive ways to treat anyone and you feel terrible, you feel as if you are nothing - I’ve got my cell phone and said I was going to call my lawyer.
After three minutes the psychiatrist who asked me if I hear voices appeared and I told her I wanted to get out of that place.
She said supper was on the way and I don’t remember what else for the door was opened and I went straight home.

I’ve cried, and I’ve cried and I’ve cried… This is such a terrible experience to be restrained. Jesus! If they did it to me because I asked to have a coffee I cannot imagine how they treat people who are passing trough a crisis.

The psychiatrist who told me I had to stay there didn’t appear. I met him for a second time after being put on the ward.

He told me: “-you’ll have to stay here for 2 months.”

I beg your pardon! ? Wasn’t it 3 days?

I took my old prescription and things got back to normal. I slept and felt fine again.

I still see this psychiatrist and I never asked him about it all. I’ve just talked to him when I was feeling fine and went to talk to the psychiatrist who asked me if I hear voices.

I acted like a lunatic. I told her I hadn’t signed anything; and the whole thing was a bad use of power;… I don’t remember…; told the parent with a daughter to be careful with that hospital because… I was very angry to be in a mental institution…. and she got nervous because she knew that it was a huge… mistake? Can we say it is a mistake?

The next section I reported the psychiatrist who had the brilliant idea to put me there. He apologized. At least he apologized.

But I have no idea why all this has happened and it makes me wonder what happen to those people I use to visit on this ward when they are not having sun.

I’ve reported it to the government.

Of course I’ve got no reply.

Wellsphere on trial

Gianna has left this comment and I would like to know what do you think about Wellsphere:

Blogger Gianna said...

I'm sorry but Wellsphere is a load of crap that comes after us with ass-kissing emails about how wonderful we are...and they're all form letters...the same line of crap to everyone...

I never put any of their stuff on my site...

They just want free content and when I asked if they were going to have pharma ads the guy told me eventually they would...

They'll tell anyone they're hot shit just to get the content...

I don't like having my ass kissed by people who haven't even read my blog...

January 14, 2009 10:47 PM

For those who are at the site: Why did you join? Thank you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Was your diagnosis accurate?

I have noticed that many people have been diagnosed more than one time and it was changed along the years.
Has your diagnosis changed?

Just found this software and for $ 44.99 "simply check the checkboxes with positive answers and press buttons to follow instructions to a diagnosis".

Mental Health Blog Awards - not being voted

I've just check the 20 top voted on Wellsphere and it's sad to see that there's not a single blog on mental health.
At the 2008 Medical Blog Award Philip Dawdy's
Furious Seasons and Stephany's Soulful Sepulcher, under the category Best Patient's Blog, are not being voted. The blog that has 888 votes till now ButYouDontLookSick is written by many people, has sponsors and looks more like a site than a blog.
Awards are not only a way of getting personal recognition.
I see it as an opportunity to go beyond the mental health circle:

"I think having these awards is good for raising awareness for our advocacy blogs; that's why I entered so many contests! to help keep mental health awareness out there. But, it can be disheartening at times, feeling like (me for example) am talking to no one or making a difference at all."

It's being hard to advocate. Mindfreedom is trying hard to end the forced outpatient electroshock Ray Sandford is having to endure every Wednesday.
I hope that these and some other facts don't let advocates feeling that it's almost impossible to raise awareness.
I hope this is an advice that something must be done.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lies 2 - double-bind - mixed messages

I have wrote a post on lies. I was thinking about a post about double-bind, a concept that Laing has taken from Bateson, and how it can be traumatizing when you are continuously exposed to it .
Yesterday Matthew wrote a comment that I think says a lot about lies and some of it's effects:

Ana said...

Double-bind is when you receive two opposite messages in one statement:
someone tells you "Hug me." in words but with the body or in another way you can see that "Don't you dare to hug me." is also being said to you.
This is the simple way to explain it.
It's quite disturbing specially when you're a child and is not aware of it.

January 12, 2009 5:48 PM

Radagast said...

""Mixed messages," is another term, meaning more or less the same thing, I think. Funny, isn't it? Our understanding of body language, and so on, is probably quite accute, but we've become obliged to rely only on the written and spoken word and, more to the point, upon what we can prove. If one was to make an accusation, and say that whilst people were saying "appropriate" things, their behaviour pointed to an entirely different course of action, it would be denied, in that childish way that some people deny the blindingly obvious (which explains the tedious correspondence I've had with the "powers" that be. Words are such tricky things: one can lie with them, and yet we all know when we're being bullshitted, but for some people, their way of life demands that that lying routinely is entirely "normal". And then, when one is presented with somebody whose actions and words are entirely congruent (ie, they behave in a way that is entirely consistent with what just came out of their mouths), we wonder at the positive psychological effect that that has!

Speaking personally, I'm tired of being lied to, and I'm tired of people pretending that when they don't do what they said they'd do, they deny ever making the promise, or just ignore me. I dunno, it just seems so counterproductive!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are we becoming borderlines?

Andy Alt has left me a link to this article "The Mystery of Borderline Personality Disorder", Times Mag, Jan. 08, 2009 by John Cloud.
I'm puzzled by the reasons borderline diagnose is increasing and scary about what is going to happen with symptoms.
I have nothing more to say. We were anxious and turned depressed. Then bipolarity age appeared strangely enough without mania. What now? Are we borderlines? Are we going to commit suicide under which diagnosis?
I'm getting more and more confused but it's good to know that Harvard claims that some patients improve in a year and to spice things up it's the disease Winonar Ryder played in Girl, Interrupted.

"Borderlines are the patients psychologists fear most. As many as 75% hurt themselves, and approximately 10% commit suicide--an extraordinarily high suicide rate (by comparison, the suicide rate for mood disorders is about 6%). Borderline patients seem to have no internal governor; they are capable of deep love and profound rage almost simultaneously. They are powerfully connected to the people close to them and terrified by the possibility of losing them--yet attack those people so unexpectedly that they often ensure the very abandonment they fear. When they want to hold, they claw instead. Many therapists have no clue how to treat borderlines. And yet diagnosis of the condition appears to be on the rise."

"A 2008 study of nearly 35,000 adults in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that 5.9%--which would translate into 18 million Americans--had been given a BPD diagnosis. As recently as 2000, the American Psychiatric Association believed that only 2% had BPD. (In contrast, clinicians diagnose bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in about 1% of the population.) BPD has long been regarded as an illness disproportionately affecting women, but the latest research shows no difference in prevalence rates for men and women. Regardless of gender, people in their 20s are at higher risk for BPD than those older or younger.

There are several theories about why the number of borderline diagnoses may be rising. A parsimonious explanation is that because of advances in treating common mood problems like short-term depression, more health-care resources are available to identify difficult disorders like BPD. Another explanation is hopeful: BPD treatment has improved dramatically in the past few years. Until recently, a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder was seen as a "death sentence," as Dr. Kenneth Silk of the University of Michigan wrote in the April 2008 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. Clinicians often avoided naming the illness and instead told patients they had a less stigmatizing disorder.

Therapeutic advances have changed the landscape. Since 1991, as Dr. Joel Paris points out in his 2008 book, Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, researchers have conducted at least 17 randomized trials of various psychotherapies for borderline illness, and most have shown encouraging results. According to a big Harvard project called the McLean Study of Adult Development, 88% of those who received a diagnosis of BPD no longer meet the criteria for the disorder a decade after starting treatment. Most show some improvement within a year."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Talking to myself

My mind is asking those questions that have no answer and must be avoided but I cannot stop it. These are some of the things that are coming to me:
-Why don't you do something?
I don't know what to do.
-You never knew what to do but you kept going.
I cannot stop remembering all side effects I felt and withdrawal, all this horror story seems to have destroyed me in a way that I'm not sure of myself like I was before taking these drugs.
-Will you spend the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself?
I don't know. I'm the same but another person at the same time. My values, my dignity all I stand for are the same. But it seems I have lost my dreams. I feel adrift.
-Don't full yourself. You were born adrift. Don't you remember?
Yes, I remember but this part I've worked on psychoanalysis and it doesn't affect me as it did. Now I'm feeling sad because I don't know how these drugs are affecting my mind and I feel that they are in some way. I was feeling angry, very angry now it's just sadness and this future I can't see and scares me and this present that is being hard.
Things that I like the most lost its way and I don't know how to connect with them again and circumstances are so difficult.
-Get a life!
That's the problem.

Vote for me - helping me spread the "news"

I never pictured myself saying something like "Vote for me". lol
But those who are avid readers of this blog have already noticed that there's a badge on the left top. I don't understand 1) why on earth they have chosen my blog to be part Wellsphere; 2) why they have me as a patient expert; and I don't understand many other things that has happened since I'm doing this blog.
I must be doing something right.
If other people are telling we have to believe. I'm not only asking for vote but, dear Lord!, I have voted for myself.
I have to confess that even knowing how hard it's deep inside there's a hope that our voices will be heard.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

For Matthew

The Tyger
William Blake

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what the grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

This is very famous, I know. But it's rhythm is great and... it's great.
(Matthew, it's saved as draft for some time. I wanted to put a beautiful picture, write something inspiring.
I can wait no longer.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Good Morning Vietnam - One of those strange posts of mine

Adrian Cronauer: Look, tweedledee, it's an actual event.
[referring to the blood on his shirt]

Adrian Cronauer: What do you think this came from? Shaving? It's the truth. I just want to report the truth. It'll be a nice change of pace.

Sgt. Major Dickerson: What's going on here?

Adrian Cronauer: Sir, will you listen to me?

Sgt. Major Dickerson: [reads the story] This is not official news, airman. As far as I'm concerned, it didn't happen.

Adrian Cronauer: It did happen.
Sgt. Major Dickerson: You shut your mouth!
Adrian Cronauer: What are you afraid of Dickerson? People might find out there's a war going on?
Sgt. Major Dickerson: This news is not official.

CNN Health Expert - Dr. Charles Raison - Emory University and Eli-Lilly's speaker

I first became aware of CNN health site when Andy Alt left a comment with the link of his answer to Dr. Charles Raison Q&A on Cymbalta.

Andy's answer was not published neither was mine that remembered that 5 volunteers were killed during Cymbalta clinical trials, Traci Johnson one of them.

Mr. Charles Raison, CNN health expert, is on the staff at Emory University and works for Eli-Lilly:

I don't know the circumstances that have led you to ask about Cymbalta, but in general I think data strongly show that for most people with depression, agents like Cymbalta can be extremely helpful and the benefits outweigh the risks. Nonetheless, all antidepressants are serious medicines that need to be started and administered under the care of a clinician with experience using these agents.

Note: Dr. Raison serves on the speakers' bureau and on advisory boards for Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Cymbalta.

I'm sure that both comments were not published due to excess of comments on CNN Health site. I'll remain at BCC.

Errata: BCC? I meant BBC. :)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

SSRI - list of 58 withdrawal symptoms

This is the most complete list of SSRIs withdrawal symptoms I have found till now:


1. Crying spells
2. Worsened mood
3. Low energy (fatigue, lethargy, malaise)
4. Trouble concentrating
5. Insomnia or trouble sleeping
6. Change in appetite
7. Suicidal thoughts
8. Suicide attempts
9. Anxious, nervous, tense
10. Panic attacks (racing heart, breathless)
11. Chest pain
12. Trembling, jittery,or shaking
13. Irritability
14. Agitation (restlessness, hyperactivity)
15. Impulsivity
16. Aggressiveness
17. Self-harm
18. Homicidal thoughts or urges
19. Confusion or cognitive difficulties
20. Memory problems or forgetfulness
21. Elevated mood (feeling high)
22. Mood swings
23. Manic-like reactions
24. Auditory hallucinations
25. Visual hallucinations
26. Feeling detached or unreal
27. Excessive or intense dreaming
28. Nightmares
29. Flu-like aches and pains
30. Fever
31. Sweats
32. Chills
33. Runny nose
34. Sore eyes
35. Nausea
36. Vomiting
37. Diarrhea
38. Abdominal pain or cramps
39. Stomach bloating
40. Disequilibrium
41. Spinning, swaying, lightheaded
42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling
43. Unsteady gait, poor coordination
44. Motion sickness
45. Headache
46. Tremor
47. Numbness, burning, or tingling
48. Electric zap-like sensations in the brain
49. Electric shock-like sensations in the body
50. Abnormal visual sensations
51. Ringing or other noises in the ears
52. Abnormal smells or tastes
53. Drooling or excessive saliva
54. Slurred speech
55. Blurred vision
56. Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches
57. Feeling of restless legs
58. Uncontrollable twitching of mouth
Reading these words does not give an idea of what does it really is to feel these symptoms.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Van Gogh - Dr. Gachet

The right painting, that was confiscated by the Nazis as degenerated art and sold in 1990 to a Japanese industrial for 82.5 million U.S. dollars who died in 1996, is missing.
Van Gogh had given it to Dr. Gachet.
The left painting is the copy Vincent has made to himself and is now at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris France.
There are too many ironies in all of this.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Bill Lichtenstein, Infinite Mind producer, has left a comment

On November 25, 2008 I wrote this post:

The Infinite Mind - disease awareness campaings?

As always I'm informed by Philip Dawdy and it was on Furious Seasons that I became aware of the radio show "The Infinite Mind" hosted by Fred Goodwin. According to this post the radio show reached 1 million listeners a week. You are all aware that Sen Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) went after Goodwin because he has received support of eight labs and the radio show is going off the air - read this post by Philip Dawdy.
I cannot help myself asking how is it be possible that a show on mental illness can reach 1 million listeners a week. Why on earth are people so concerned with it?
Depression is the first subject that comes to my mind. I've noticed that people are no longer sad or tired. We are depressed and stressed and both words are already part of daily vocabulary.
Words are powerful. Putting these words in circulation to describe normal feelings is of great help to turn them into diseases and make people think that there's something that could help them. Not fearing disease's name and even making them being repeated over and over again creates a culture where it's easy to believe that it's not a big deal being sick.
Almost the same has happened with bipolarity. So many celebrities are being claimed to be bipolar that the old manic-depressive psychosis lost it's sense and the division bipolar 1 and 2 is not known. Being bipolar sounds to be glamorous and cool.
I'm asking myself how many of those who have listened to "The Infinite Mind" have searched a GP or a psychiatrists because they thought they were depressed.
Perhaps "The Infinite Mind" has helped, without the intention, what is described on "The Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry" on the topic they approach Disease awareness campaigns:
(continue reading)

Today I've got this comment:

Bill Lichtenstein said...

I am writing as executive producer of The Infinite Mind regarding your posting on the show's audience size.

The Infinite Mind was not a mental health show. It focused on the art and science of the mind, mental wellness, neuroscience and the mind body connection.

Most of our 200+ programs over 10 years had little to do with mental health, with show topics including Satisfaction; Hearing; Body Clocks; Altruism; Perfect Pitch; Genius; Animal Companions; Multitasking; Writers' Block; and Weather and the Mind, among many others.

Guests on the program included leading neuroscientists and clinicians, as well as notable public figures, including authors John Updike, William and Rose Styron, Fran Lebowitz, Annie Lamott, Robert Bly, and Joyce Carol Oates; actors/actresses Carrie Fisher, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Edwards, Margot Kidder, and Lily Tomlin; comedians Robert Klein, Eddie Izzard, Margaret Cho, and Richard Lewis; batting champ Wade Boggs; former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; business writer James Cramer; mental health advocate Tipper Gore; Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; and musicians Aimee Mann, Jessye Norman, Judy Collins, Suzanne Vega, Black Eyed Peas, and Emanuel Ax.

It was this combination of topics and guests that resulted in the program being the most listened to and honored health and science show on public radio.

Bill Lichtenstein

I want to thank Mr. Lichtenstein for the comment.
I love William Styron not only because of "Sophie's Choice" but also because of his book "Darkness Visible" which is a wonderful book on how he has recovered from depression. It was on 1985, before Prozac, that his disease started and he explains how terrible was his experience with Halcion. He was prescribed a high dose of this benzodiazepine plus Valium and Ativan.
Halcion has affected him deeply and had a huge contribution to his suicidal ideations one of the reasons he went to hospital. He was so depressed that ECT was considered as a treatment but fortunately he started recovering.
It's a great book and is written with wit and an astonishing comprehension on the depression condition and it's treatments. I hope he's in peace. He died in 2006.
Good to know that Jessie Norman was on the show. I like her performing Carmen and Seiji Ozawa is a great conductor. But I prefer Tatiana Troyanos and Plácido Domingos.
It's a pity that in ten years Infinite Mind has hosted five authors, five musicians, four comedians and so little actors and actress.
Creative people have a lot to say about fighting demons. Sometimes more than neuroscientists do.

This is the man...

I had in mind when I've wrote yesterday's post. It's explaining psych-drugs harms to people who have no connections with psychiatry and has never been prescribed any drug.
Never heard about a family member or a friend who has been on a benzodiazepine.
Okay! Benzodiazepine is too much to ask.
Only took it once in his life.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Try to explain psych-drugs harms without looking like a paranoid

From time to time I catch myself trying to explain the problems we are discussing about psych-drug*.
I look like a lunatic. When I listen to what I'm saying and put myself on the place of who I'm addressing my speech I can understand that it's hard to believe what I'm saying.
Physicians receiving money to prescribe; a drug that has made a healthy 19 years old girl hang herself during clinical trial and has also killed four other volunteers is on the market; people have to search the internet to find help to withdraw because their physicians don't know how to withdraw;
antidepressants don't help major depression, are being over prescribed and have side effects that are hideous; these drugs are highly addictive and people who got out off them report feeling they still feel side effects; clinical trials reports are manipulated by pharmas and they conceal all side effects; teenagers are being prescribed dangerous drugs; a baby has been diagnosed...
It's hard to believe. I would not believe that it's possible and would think that a person making such statements is not trustworthy. I would think that this person is quite paranoid.
Have you ever felt the same?

Friday, January 02, 2009

I'm feeling great!

It's a miracle. Desperate times, desperate measures. I've tried something totally out of the withdrawal protocols. I've already said that since I started the Effexor XR instead of the tablets I'm feeling side effects. I had to do something. I decided not to take the morning pill once a week and now I'm not taking the morning pill on Wednesdays and on Thursdays.
It seems it's working.
Yesterday I started to feel good. Today I'm in heaven! I cannot believe. I'm jumping. Yep, jumping like a child. I love to dance and I love jumping since I was a little girl.
I'm not dizzy. Wow! I'm not dizzy.
Better: I'm not suicidal! I'm not depressed, I'm not feeling urges to burn my skin with cigarettes or through myself out of the window and the fog that detached me from reality has disappear. My legs are not jelly and now I feel them on the ground and coordinated to my hip. Sounds don't bother me. I can sing.
Better: I can concentrate now, I'm reading and I can understand what I'm reading. I thought I was getting stupid. Really, I'm a bluestocking and without reading I'm not myself. I thought that I was never be able to read again.
For the last 9 months I was feeling terrible and now I realize that it was really Effexor side effects.
I'm not feeling that my brain was kind of moving, something very strange. That kind of ataxia, my right side not connected to my left, has disappeared.
I'm responding to music! I can dance again. I'm happy for no reason.
I'm alive. I hope it last, Jesus let me be like this!
Today is my grandma's birthday. I don't know the day she passed away in 1998. I was withdrawing so it was easy not to check the day and I did all the effort not to do it so I don't even know which month she died. Since I was a girl I thought that I didn't want to know about this day.
I didn't go to her funeral and I have already said to my family I will not go to any funeral except mine and I don't want any kind of this stuff. I want to be cremated, Period. A body means nothing and I don't fear my own death.
So I can celebrate my grandma's birthday today jumping.
"Grandma, as you can see I've had my nails done just like you used to do. I can focus now and I promise I will never let my nails be that way again.
Happy birthday grandma!"