Things My Psychiatrist Taught Me

I could have a much needed vent about how irritated I am by the whiplash weather changes, by the incessant brats my kid calls friends eating me out of house and home, how my kid has Swimmer’s Ear and one would think she is dying…I could do all that and more. Instead…I am going to share some wisdom that was recently bestowed on me by my shrink.

Yeah, I was blown away, both by the fact he had something to say that made sense and also, that my dumb ass never put two and two together before.

First off, he suggested I try some magnet therapy thing, sort of like ECT very lite. Except it requires six weeks of trips sixty miles out of town five days a week and that’s only IF I qualify for it and if insurance covers it. I balked. I can’t get the fuckers to spring for ADD meds that work, I can’t imagine what hoops of flame would be involved getting this magnetic therapy (about thirty grand, he told me, most insurance now will cover it…eventually.)

So I asked about Rexulti. He said No. I asked why, since many are having good results with it acting quickly. He explained that he is very reluctant to prescribe any med that has not been on the market for at least ONE year, allowing for more accurate reports of side effects. Rexulti is basically a molecule shaken, not stirred, from being Abilify. Seriously. The patent on Abilify ran out, so the pharma company moved ONE MOLECULE in the formula, thus making it AN ALL NEW DRUG!!!! That they can charge hundreds of dollars for til the patent on it runs out, and turn around and repeat this again, and again.

Basically, people…We are never getting truly new meds. We are being handed variations on the past drugs that worked then quit, or failed or had too many side effects. Look it up yourself, these itty bitty molecular changes made to pre-existing drugs thus making them all new meds. There’s nothing new here at all. Just…”revamped”.

Disheartening as that is…He asked what has worked for me other than Prozac and Cymbalta and I said Effexor. Venlafaxavine.

I asked about Pristiq.Not tried that one.

Guess what? Pristiq is Effexor, shaken, not stirred. Seriously. Desvenlafaxine. THREE fucking letters changed, new brand name, one molecule different formula and voila! BILK THE CRAZY PEOPLE FOR ALL THE CASH AND HOPE THEY HAVE TO OFFER!

Sadly enough…I said I’d roll the dice with Pristiq as it is generic now thus likely covered by my crap insurance. (One week on 50 mg, no side effects other than very bizarre dreams.) I have not ruled out the magnet therapy thing, but it’s gonna have to be closer than sixty miles away. That’s three hundred miles a week driving, plus cost of gas. It’s not that I’m unwilling to roll the dice on it. It’s just financially impossible.

BUT for once…in like…ever..I came out of a doctor appointment feeling not just validated, but educated and informed.

I expressed my frustration at all the med failures and how people view me as malingering yet there are so very many of us out there in this same boat…

To my shock, he said he would never spend a half hour talking to me if he thought for one minute I was malingering.

He went on to toss out some pretty astounding numbers at me.

Estimated 30 million people depressed/bipolar/etc thus taking psych meds.

Even by pharma’s own stats, 10 million of those are medication resistant.

YES, TEN MILLION OF US.

I have only ever had one other psych doc make me feel like I’m not some loser. He actually took the time to inform me, educate me, hear me. SEE that this is soul devouring, being on this medi go round.

Now that I know basically no medication is really new these days…They just change a tiny thing to a preexisting med, enough to get a patent as “new”, and maybe just maybe we are all building up a tolerance to this regurgitated shit. There’s nothing new going on, just a chair or side table being rearranged, so to speak.

I, ever the cynic, assumed all doctors were in bed with big pharma due to the samples passed out and alleged kickbacks received for pushing certain medications over others.

My doctor said he had samples of Rexulti I could have IF I wanted to take the chance. He just made it abundantly clear that he personally is not comfortable giving out a drug that’s not been on the market for one year, minimum.

Why?

Mind you, he didn’t sign a blood oath or provide certified documentation, but he explained all the phases of developing new drugs (not just for psych, but all drugs) and how while it may take years to get to human trials…Generally, they are only given to a thousand people, data is compiled, and FDA gives approval to go to market. With little more than the limited reports of side effects from their animal studies and human trials to back up what is being handed out to people blindly. At this point, he does not know enough of about Rexulti side effects and long term use to prescribe it to ANY patient.

He explained to me that back when Viagra came out (yeah, we all know what that one’s for and usually not for psych issues) they had studied its effects so limitedly…It wasn’t until years later when male users developed life threatening heart problems did it become clear Viagra was the culprit.

Now that’s gotta give food for thought, right? No way to know if any med will turn out “bad” or have poor outcome but with the drive through FDA process of current days…It’s amazing there aren’t more lawsuits. Test a thousand people, write down their results, and unleash it on 30 million mentally wonky people?

Are we really the ones who are mentally wonky?

I am loathe to add to the “big pharma is evil” movement because face it, we need medications. For every condition, we need medication. This cannot be circumvented.

It still does make you think, wonder, fear, and perhaps…Want to do some of your own research on this whole matter. Inform yourself. Educate yourself. Do NOT assume “FDA approved” means you won’t sprout horns and start lactating Dr. Pepper.

I have been unfair to my psych in past posts and for that I am sorry. He actually does care. He does know his stuff. He took the time to educate me.

Just wanted to toss out that food for thought for y’all.

 

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16 Responses to “Things My Psychiatrist Taught Me”

  1. heatherruark Says:

    Hi Morgue. Effexor worked well for me too…when I ran out of it, though, it was one of the worst experiences of my life. If you start it, please never run out, or plan on tapering down at the speed of molasses. I wan’t functional, seriously for 48 hours, and still had sight and hearing issues for 7 full days. The nausea and ringing in my ears, plus the blurred vision and brain tremors (it felt like my brain would shake inside my head) made me want to die for 2 complete days, and then the symptoms lessened over the next week. I couldn’t drive or go to work. One wicked withdrawal ride, but the drug itself helped me a lot.

    • Oh, I was the trial and error back in the 90’s on straight Effexor before the XR and all the info came out. My shrink at the time told me to just stop it cold. I did. I started hallucinating, became paranoid, started sleeping with a butcher knife under my pillow. I called his service, he was out, so I got the on call guy and he was flabbergasted I’d been advised to stop Effexor cold turkey. Taper,taper, taper off, he said.
      It got better but damn, being a test case and having the doctor from hell tell me withdrawal did not exist sucked.

  2. *looks at pill bottle, then at boobs* well fuck. I already have the horns though šŸ˜‰ In all seriousness though, I thought reading the included 3 foot by 3 foot insert was educating myself, because I assumed, and WANTED TO BELIEVE IT WAS NEW, that there’s sobering without the side effects like I had with Abilify. *Sigh* ignorance is NOT bliss here. This could be why I’ve put on 6 pounds in a month and my blood pressure is up-AGAIN. FUCK

    • Well you had mentioned how quickly the Rexulti hauled you out of the depression so I thought, I’m ready to lick hallucinogenic toads here…He really did educate me, though. I guess in my naive hope I’d prayed a few were in the pharma to help us so new meds were being created…Nope. Just rehashing old ones for the most part to get their brand name costs. Depressing.
      I know I had the bugs on my skin thing with Abilify so I doubt Rexulti would help me much. If it’s helping you more than hurting you…Stick with it.
      But yeah, those mini novels that come with the pills…Not even a prologue of the true story.

  3. I’m really glad you got a good psych

    • Thanks, Blah. I am glad, too, but I fear like the rest who have served their time in this hell hole, he will up and run off. That and all the insurance limitations often turn doctors really sour. Sigh. Nothing is perfect.
      Except your dragon. He’s hottttt.

  4. There’s gotta be a way for you to monetize this ever-increasing expertise. Degree in pharmacology? Pill-info-sheet editor?

    • I have spent thirty plus years trying to figure out how to turn my “quirk” into a career. Even with a bunch of therapists and “employment counselors” I’ve yet to figure it out. IF I could master “meal/zeal” in pill form…I think I’d be golden. I am tired of eating, I am tired of being down…Gimme nutrition and zeal and LEMME GET ON WITH LIFE.
      Ya know?

  5. I generally stay away from new meds as well, and for the reason that your doctor stated. However, at the rate I’m running through meds (one of the ten million here) I have tried new meds and it’s been a horrible experience.

  6. Yes I’m back, yes I’m commenting
    No…. I don’t have meds
    Why are you kicking me out…..

    I could give you tic tacs and call them something fancy?

    Too late, lost her

  7. I’m moody today, it was worse last night. Hope you are feeling OK today. Your remark lifted my spirits so thank you. Today I’m finding Boston is better therapy than Rascal Flatts. What music always lifts your spirits? ~DM

    • Angry metal always cheers me up. Except when my mood is too low for music which has been for the last 18 months.

      I’m in day 3 the flubola ’16 so I may just get desperate enough to get out my dirty little secret….Hanson’s “mmm Bop”. Nauseating, catchy, how can you NOT be cheered up against your will by that non sensical happy spewing crap? If nothing else…it may induce vomiting and make me feel better.

      On Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 11:48 AM, Take a Ride on My Mood Swing wrote:

      >

      • ewwwww. and you made me laugh. Here, I’ll get a shovel and then the mop and some hot soapy water for your floor. Today I saw John Hetlinger sing “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor,” (Drowning Pool). That was kind of awesome. My guilty pleasure is PCD, Spice Girls, Bananarama, or almost anything my daughter is listening to.

  8. No wonder I can’t take anything. And Rexulti caused me severe insomnia and depression. I took it about a month to 6 weeks when I finally whined enough my nurse finally took me off them. Don’t know what to try next. Abilify and Effexor two of the worst drugs I took.

    • Latuda and Seroquel were my worsts. Effexor and Cymbalta are the worst to withdraw from.
      It’s disheartening but nice to know I have an honest doc not blowing sunshine up my skirt. Med resistance in 10 million people puts it into perspective, though doesn’t help our frustration.

      • I was yanked off of Cymbalta and put on Effexor with no weaning. That combination really gave me problems and I couldn’t take the Effexor so had to stop that too. I forgot my problems with Latuda as well.

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