Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Psychiatric Drugs: an Increasing Portion of Prescription Costs

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Rising prescriptions for psychiatric medications are partly a result of longer-term treatment and increasing population, according to an article by Joanna Moncrieff and Stephen...
life unarmed

Life, Unarmed

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When I was born, everyone was expecting me to have arms. The doctor's mind raced; how am I going to tell this mother and the father that their son has hands but not arms? If he's missing so much in his extremities, mustn’t he also be missing a mind? My mom looked into my eyes and knew - in a way that only mothers know - that I had a mind, and spirit.

SSRIs and Benzodiazepines Associated with Problems in Infants

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Infants exposed to SSRIs and benzodiazepines during pregnancy show impaired neurologic functioning in the first month after birth, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. While infants exposed SSRIs alone showed neurobehavioral effects throughout the first month, those exposed to an SSRI and a benzodiazepine had more significant problems.

Why World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day?

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I am participating in World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day today, and you should too, because you know somebody right now who is taking a benzodiazepine and that person might just be dealing with chronic health problems, unaware that they are result of taking the medication as prescribed.

Slew of New Studies Spot Links Between Psychiatric Medications and Bone Loss, Fractures

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Four different studies conducted in different ways examining different groups have linked use of certain psychiatric drugs to bone fracture risks and negative impacts on human bone development.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

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Members of the group Benzodiazepine Recovery have created a video about the often debilitating symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Video →­

Report Calls For Policy Changes In Response To Dependence and Withdrawal From Prescribed Drugs

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Statistics from the UK reveal that prescriptions for painkillers and antidepressants continue to rise despite concerns over dependence and debilitating withdrawal effects. The British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science has released a report that acknowledges changes to medical practice, research and policy necessary for addressing the dependence and withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants.

Death Grip: Then and Now

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From what I’ve learned, it seems that the minute you walk into a psychiatrist’s office or have the misfortune to be locked up on a ward is the minute you’re given a diagnosis and medication(s), and perhaps even electroshock. There is no “normal”; “normal” is not allowed. You have a “lifelong disorder” of whatever ilk, and it must always be medicated. This is the paradigm.

“Benzo Blue”: a Song of Protest and a Search for Liberation

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In commemoration of World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day coming on July 11th, I am providing an early first time debut at Mad in America of a new song and music video titled “Benzo Blue,” along with a brief commentary on the evolution and significance of this song.

More on Benzos and Cognitive Damage

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There is mounting evidence that benzodiazepines are causing Alzheimer's Disease. I cannot imagine any genuine medical specialty ignoring or downplaying information of this sort. But psychiatry, with the perennial defensiveness of those with something to hide, promotes the idea that they are safe when used for short periods, knowing full well that a huge percentage of users become "hooked" after a week or two, and stay on the drugs indefinitely.

Discontinuing Psychotropics Reduces Falls in Elderly

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Australian researchers look at the literature on the effect of psychotropics on falls in the elderly; largest effect of any randomized trial was achieved...

Can Education Level Predict Prescription Drug Misuse in Young Adults?

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A new study examines the extent to which patterns in prescription drug misuse and substance use disorder symptoms can be predicted by education level

The Unmedicated Life

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It has been 7.5 years since I got off benzos, the drug that damaged me the most, and 6.75 years off all meds; the final medicine I tapered was a tricyclic antidepressant, nortriptyline, in autumn 2006. Since that time, I have not taken another psychoactive medicine, nor have I had any desire to. Neither have I sought out therapy or the like. Personally, I’m sick of labels, sick of the industry, sick of talking about my “problems,” sick of navel-gazing, and would just rather live.

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in Older Adults Used in Rural and Low Income Areas

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Benzodiazepine prescription practices may be in response to an epidemic of distress, rather than being used to treat specific mental health diagnoses.

Benzodiazepines Associated With 3.5x Greater Dementia Risk

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Researchers in the U.K. find in a 22-year prospective study of 1134 men, 103 of whom took benzodiazepines regularly for one or more period...

Benzos Alter Fish Behavior

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Drugs that pass into the water supply can alter the behavior of fish, according to a paper published today in Science magazine. Experiments using...

Psychiatry: We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Mental Health

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My name is Leah Harris and I'm a survivor. I am a survivor of psychiatric abuse and trauma. My parents died largely as a result of terrible psychiatric practice. Psychiatric practice that took them when they were young adults and struggling with experiences they didn’t understand. Experiences that were labeled as schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. My parents were turned from people into permanent patients. They suffered the indignities of forced treatment. Seclusion and restraint. Forced electroshock. Involuntary outpatient commitment. And a shocking amount of disabling heavy-duty psychiatric drugs. And they died young, from a combination of the toxic effects of overmedication, and broken spirits.

Some Common Psychiatric Medications Associated With Pneumonia

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Pneumonia cases in the elderly are strongly associated with use of anticholinergic medications, including benzodiazepines and tricyclic antidepressants.

Playing the Odds, Revisited

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It is hard to believe that a year has gone past since I posted Playing the Odds: Antidepressant Withdrawal and the Problem of Informed Consent. The feedback I received underscored the more controversial aspects of SSRI toxicity.  Common themes concerned the abrupt onset of new symptoms 3 to 12 months after stopping the drug, reinstatement of the drug failing to help withdrawal related symptoms, the possibility that withdrawal-related symptoms can persist indefinitely and concerns about using benzodiazepines to help with tardive akathisia.

In Case You Missed This

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On November 12th, 2015, the third anniversary of the day that I abruptly stopped taking benzodiazepines, my dear friend, J. Doe, published a two-part article here on Mad in America examining the language that is commonly used to describe benzodiazepine (benzo) iatrogenesis. I wanted a summary of these articles captured in a Youtube video so that those in the thick of benzo neurotoxicity could tune into these ideas in a way that might be more easily digestible. I hoped more benzo sufferers would begin to question how they describe (and allow others to describe) an illness that remains decades behind in understanding and recognition. I also wanted to draw attention to the content again in hopes that more medical professionals would read and understand the crucial distinctions in language surrounding this problem.

Little Victories on Breezy

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In my most recent blog post, “The Unmedicated Life”, I attempted to answer a question I’m frequently asked by other survivors — “How did you get better from psychiatric medication damage/withdrawal?” But there is also a part two to the question that I didn’t address, which is, “How did you know when you were better?”

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

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A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

PTSD and Psychiatric Medication Linked to Dementia in Older Veterans

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Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and taking SSRIs, novel antidepressants, or atypical antipsychotics are more likely to develop dementia.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Linked to Polypharmacy, Benzos, and Race

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Research from London and Taipei finds that neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is associated with the number of different antipsychotics used (polypharmacy), rather than the overall...

Patients More Likely to Refuse Drug-Only Treatment, Study Finds

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The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published a study finding that patients assigned to drug-only treatments were more likely to refuse treatment, and more likely to drop out before treatment completion, than patients assigned to psychotherapy only.

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