Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Side effects, side effects

Trick-cycling for Beginners:
Allow me to tell you about some of the side effects I have experienced over the years.

One drug made me sleep for up to 20 hours a day.
One caused violent headaches and nausea if I forgot to take a single dose.
One made my mouth so dry that no amount of water or chewing gum could prevent my lips and cheeks from constantly sticking to my teeth from lack of saliva.
One caused restless legs. If you have never experienced this, I'm not sure that I could begin to describe the frustration of lying in bed and feeling uncontrollably compelled to shake your legs like a marionette. If you don't, it's like being tickled in restraints...

I owe those horrible pills an awful lot. I would not ask anyone to risk subjecting themselves to the potential side-effects of medication if I didn't consider it necessary. They improve many people's lives beyond measure. Anti-psychiatry opinion that psychotropic drugs do more harm than good is a dangerous myth.

My message is this: Patients - tell your doctor about the side-effects, especially if it's bad enough to make you want to stop taking the medication. I wouldn't advise following my example - don't just quit the medication without a discussion. There may be alternatives. Don't compromise your own health.

Doctors - ask your patients about side-effects, especially the embarassing ones. Most of your patients won't want to say anything about them. Have some empathy. You might think the side-effects of meds are minor in comparision to the alternative, but it is not you taking the stuff. Please listen.

Oh, and by the way - don't bother recommending prunes. They don't work.


Blogger Raine said...

LMAO to the prunes. Thanks for this post. It is VERY needed. I can almost name off the drugs you have taken by the side effects you have just described. I am now facing a new round of trying this and that and I get to choose between gain a zillion pounds and possibly loose alot of hair or some other side effects which dont come immediately to mind because they arent as horrifying to me as being bald and grossly obese LOLOL. I look at the price of these drugs even with insurance paying part, the side effects and lack of any positive benefit so far and seriously consider giving it all up. You picked just exactly the right moment to post this for me. Thank you

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They improve many people's lives beyond measure. Anti-psychiatry opinion that psychotropic drugs do more harm than good is a dangerous myth."

Hey, shrinkette--who's the myth-maker here? Take psychotropic drugs for depression. Is there really any evidence based protocols that have been proven more effective? Indeed, a lot of evidence shows sugar pills--or at least cognitive therapy--do as good a job.

The confidence you have in your own knowledge is distression. You have no idea how/why people are depressed and stop being depressed? To claim otherwise is quackery. Hasn't the over-confidence of psychiatry done enough harm--the lunacy of Freudianism, lobotomies for people with bad coughs, treating homosexuality as a disorder . . .

7:41 PM  
Blogger Shiny Happy Person said...

This is not Shrinkette's writing, it is mine.

All psychiatric illness is not depression, you know. If you'd like to continue this argument, I invite you to do so at the source of the post.

1:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Click for Eugene, Oregon Forecast