Saturday, June 25, 2022

Comments by ElementalSalt

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • Well if you’re having homicidal or suicidal fantasies, urges, an inner or auditory voice urging you on, hopefully you’d be open to a medicine to banish such ideas and impulses.

    Our commenter shares that he’s a schizophrenic, so I’m surprised he was on lithium anyway. Maybe he had been misdiagnosed.

    If you’re a true Type 1 Bipolar and you have repeatedly wrecked your life during mania with psychotic features, you decide to try lithium therapy, you actually ask for it. And for a lot of us it is the single most effective medicine at preventing manic episodes and reducing the rate of suicide. Yes, it has some nasty side effects, a narrow therapeutic index, the potential to damage the organs and with acute toxicity unchecked, kill. But make no mistake, mania running wild is more dangerous. THe last time I had to be hospitalized it was at gunpoint. I emerged to discovered I had given away over 10,000 to various people, mostly complete strangers. An earlier manic episode had already cost me a career that spanned well over a decade. One manic episode ended my relationship and led to me spending thousands of dollars just to win back the right to see my son.

    So, my hands shake and I take beta blockers and even those don’t work all the time. Still going to take lithium. And I’ve lost hair and gained weight, still going to take lithium. And I had to start taking another medicine to control polyuria and diabetes insipidus, but lithium is still worth it so far. Cause being completely out of my mind was interesting once upon a time, but now it’s just harming my family. While I wouldn’t mind getting wrongfully shot by some terrified cop in our city, I want to see my son grow up. A settlement wouldn’t do as much for him as a stable father will.

    For a long time I had the anti-psychiatry mindset and had read the best people from that school of thought, Szasz’s The Untamed Tongue for example. Thing is, those psychiatry critics are almost never actually profoundly mentally ill. So sure, psychiatry sucks in lots of ways, but at this moment it’s better than nothing most days.

  • Ruth and Alice,
    I’m truly sorry for your suffering. I don’t wish to open a debate with you, perhaps a dialogue. You describe these years of frustration as the mental health services turning your daughter’s crisis into a lifestyle. This certain seems to capture the experience for many, but I humbly submit that if you and your daughter can’t come to terms with what actually began the long nightmare you’ll make little progress. Your own words note that your daughter came very close to killing herself before ever being stigmatized by the system. And yes, some meds do run the risk of suicidal ideation and attempts, but do you know what else greatly predicts a suicide or attempt? A previous one.

    “The beginning of wisdom is calling things by their right name.” – Confucius I suggest an accurate diagnosis early on would have been key to a proper treatment program. Here in the States a suicide attempt will be stabilized in the ICU of the hospital and then transferred to a psychiatric hospital for at least a week. At the second hospital the patient will meet with at least one psychiatrist every single day but you would also have been encouraged to visit. I won’t pretend that all psych hospitals are great here, I know firsthand that’s not so, but a young woman who has done that is usually extended a great deal of compassion. Before your daughter could even be released after such an event there would need to be a treatment plan and she’d have to have no ideation whatsoever.

    As for the ineffectiveness of drugs, yes, this is the reality, but not just for our diseases, but many. And the mind is far more complex and mysterious than the pancreas or kidneys. In this case I don’t believe the failure of Big Pharma is some greedy conspiracy, but the simple fact that they aren’t capable so far of understanding any of the processes at work.

    Best wishes going forward!