All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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31 Days of Bipolar: Day 18. Dear Big Pharma…

Day 18: If big pharma was actually listening, what would you say about bipolar meds?

medication

Dear Big Pharma,

So, what exactly was going through your minds when you created medication for bipolar? Were you actually trying to create something with so many side effects it would take a novel the length of War and Peace to list them all properly, or was that just a happy little outcome for you callous and heartless individuals?

I mean really, weight gain. You think this is an acceptable side effect for people with mental health issues? You do realise that many people who suffer from mental ill-health have self-esteem issues, don’t you? What do you think weight gain is going to do to their self-esteem? Do you seriously think it’s going to improve it? Of course not! It’s going to make it ten times worse you ridiculous individuals!

And suicidal ideation!? I am so pissed off with this particular side effect you’ve forced me to illustrate it with an exclamation mark and a question mark! At what point did you think it was a wise and noble idea to create a medication for someone suffering from depression that has a side effect that makes them more depressed and potentially suicidal. Do you not see the problem there? Really? Because most people who are forced to take this medication sees the problem quite clearly and these people are considered insane by large (and ignorant) portions of the greater population. So if they can see the problems inherent with your side effects, why can’t you?

As for side effects as serious as pancreatitis, I mean c’mon! No-one wants to spend three weeks of their life in a hospital bed, solely because they were taking medication that you deemed safe for someone to take. How is it safe when they end up in hospital for three weeks?

I refuse to believe there is nothing you can do about this side effect issue. Personally I think it’s a wonderful money-maker for you, forcing people to take medication to counteract the side effects of their initial medication; a situation I myself have been forced into in the past.

And while we’re at it. Does medication really need to be so expensive? Granted I can’t really complain about this as being on the disability pension and the holder of a magical pension card, I get my medication for $6.10 a script, but if I wasn’t, I’d have to remortgage my future house in order to afford one months worth of medication.

They’re tiny, almost insignificantly small, tablets; how much do they really cost to make? A few cents? A dollar? I’m willing to bet it’s nothing close to the price that you slap on these medications, the price that you force sick and needy individuals to pay in order to improve their quality of living.

You see we people afflicted with a mental illness have no choice about taking medication. It’s not something we do for fun, it’s not something we do to warm the cockles of our hearts. We have to take these medications in order to function as a healthy and happy individual. So we’re forced to pay for them. We don’t have a choice. But you know that, don’t you, you know you have a nice little captive audience to keep you merrily in business. Of course you do. But even so, I still believe you could do something about it, just like you could do something about your side effect con.

Okay. Mini rant over. You may return to ripping people off and making their lives a living hell. It is, after all, what you do best.

Regards,
Addy


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Day 22: My (not very high) opinion of psychiatric medication!

For anyone who is interested, my current medication regime is:

Sodium Valproate (Mood Stabiliser): 1000mg Daily
Citalopram (Anti-Depressant): 20mg Daily
Olanzapine (Anti-Psychotic): 10mg Evening, 2.5mg Morning
Oxazepam (To aid with sleep): 7.5mg Nightly
Phernergan (To aid with sleep): 25mg Nightly
and
Vitamin B12 (Supplement): 100mg Daily
Vitamin D (Supplement): 2000IU Daily

I’ve been taking this regime of medication for the last two months, and I have to say, my hatred of psychiatric medication is as strong as ever. I hate what it does to me, I hate the side-effects and I hate how it makes me feel nothing like ‘me‘.

Six reasons I hate psychiatric medication…

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1. Weight Gain

For someone with body dysmorphic issues, even the slightest weight gain can cause chaos in their minds. Over the last two months I have gained nearly five kilograms. The fact I’ve been going to the gym three times a week, eating healthily, banning soft drinks and cycling in excess of 100km a week doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to my weight. In fact, right now, I have begun to believe I will be a blimp for the remainder of my life.

Seriously, I hate how I see my body almost as much as the social anxiety that eats away at my soul!

2. Side Effects

Since I’ve been on this medication I’ve noticed an escalation of my self-harm urges and suicidal ideation. I’ve experienced a plethora of physical symptoms (including diarrhea, nausea, dry mouth, trembling limbs and unquenchable thirst) and, as previously mentioned, the somewhat odd incidents of sleepwalking that have never happened to me before.

3. Sex

Granted, I’m not fortunate enough to have anyone in my life who wishes to take a tumble betwixt the sheets, but I am a thirty-something male who, on occasion, does enjoy partaking in some ‘private time’ to assist with stress, happiness and general nurture.

However, since I’ve been on this medication, I’ve been unable to reach or maintain an erection, thus rendering another source of pleasure obsolete.

4. They’re not “happy pills”

I hate when people refer to anti-depressants as ‘happy pills’, because they’re not. If they were, I would feel happy after taking one. I don’t. In fact…I feel nothing!

It’s one thing stabilizing moods so that I’m not oscillating between mania and depression, but it’s another thing entirely to render me so zombified I feel nothing. For the last two months I’ve felt no sadness, no happiness, no excitement, no joy. Nothing. It’s just been me, feeling nothing like “me“, every day for every week for the last two months. It’s soul-destroying.

And wholly unpleasant.

5. My people hate medication more than I do

This is a major issue for my people. They hate me being medicated as they believe I’m trying to medicate them out of existence. This causes an increase in the abusive and negative content of all of them. In fact, they would be much happier if I wasn’t taking any medication and believe I would be too.

6. Financial burden

I’m not a rich man. In fact, I’ve shared numerous times in the past that I basically live in abject poverty and, once rent and bills have been factored out of the equation, it’s a challenge to feed myself properly from week to week let alone afford anything ‘fun’. So the added burden of the cost of my medication has had a massive impact on my already frustrating life.

This has been Day twenty-two of the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge. Apologies for two ‘six of the best’ posts in a row, but I wanted to write a list of the reasons why I dislike psychiatric medication and I like things occuring in sixes! :p