Make your own free website on Tripod.com

welcome to anxieties 102!

lifestyle medications

Home
anxiety disorders
anxiety disorders with depression
generalized & social anxiety disorders
panic disorder
obsessive compulsive disorder
post traumatic stress disorder
phobias
depression
how it all works
children
teens
young adults...
women
men
seniors
lifestyle diet
lifestyle exercise
lifestyle sleep
lifestyle relaxation
lifestyle counseling
lifestyle medications
disasters
archived info!
trauma

Listening to Madness

Why some mentally ill patients are rejecting their medication and making the case for 'mad pride.'

By Alissa Quart | NEWSWEEK

artwork from mentally ill people....

Hall and Icarus are not alone in asking these questions. They are part of a new generation of activists trying to change the treatment and stigma attached to mental illness. Welcome to Mad Pride, a budding grassroots movement, where people who have been defined as mentally ill reframe their conditions and celebrate unusual (some call them "spectacular") ways of processing information and emotion.

Just as some deaf activists prefer to embrace their inability to hear rather than "cure" it with cochlear implants, members of Icarus reject the notion that the things that are called mental illness are simply something to be rid of. Icarus members cast themselves as a dam in the cascade of new diagnoses like bipolar and ADHD. The group, which now has a membership of 8,000 people across the U.S., argues that mental-health conditions can be made into "something beautiful." They mean that one can transform what are often considered simply horrible diseases into an ecstatic, creative, productive or broadly "spiritual" condition. As Hall puts it, he hopes Icarus will "push the emergence of mental diversity."

Embracing "mental diversity" is one thing, but questioning the need for medication in today's pill-popping world is controversial—and there have been instances in which those who experience mental extremes harm themselves or others. Icaristas argue that some of the severely mentally ill may avoid taking medication, because for some the drugs don't seem to help, yet produce difficult side effects. And while some side effects like cognitive impairment are surely debilitating, others are more subtle, such as the vague feeling that people are not themselves. Icaristas call themselves "pro-choice" about meds—some do take their drugs, but others refuse.

Mad pride has its roots in the mad-liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s, when maverick psychiatrists started questioning the boundaries between sane and insane, and patients began to resist psychiatric care that they considered coercive. But today the emphasis is on support groups, alternative health and reconsidering diagnostic labeling that can still doom patients to a lifetime of battling stigma. Icarus also frames its mission as a somewhat literary one—helping "to navigate the space between brilliance and madness." Even the name Icarus, with its origin in the Greek myth of a boy who flew to great heights (brilliance) but then came too close to the sun (madness) and hurtled to his death, has a literary cast.

Although Icarus and Hall focus on those diagnosed as mentally ill, their work has much broader implications. Talking to Hall, I was acutely aware just how much their stance reflects on the rest of us—the "normal" minds that can't read through a book undistracted, the lightly depressed people, the everyday drunks who tend toward volatility, the people who "just" have trouble making eye contact, those ordinary Americans who memorize every possible detail about Angelina Jolie.

After all, aren't we all more odd than we are normal? And aren't so many of us one bad experience away from a mental-health diagnosis that could potentially limit us? Aren't "normal" minds now struggling with questions of competence, consistency or sincerity? Icarus is likewise asking why we are so keen to correct every little deficit—it argues that we instead need to embrace the range of human existence.

While some critics might view Icaristas as irresponsible, their skepticism about drugs isn't entirely unfounded. Lately, a number of antipsychotic drugs have been found to cause some troubling side effects.

There are, of course, questions as to whether mad pride and Icarus have gone too far. While to his knowledge no members have gravely harmed themselves (or others), Hall acknowledges that not everyone can handle the Icarus approach. "People can go too fast and get too excited about not using medication, and we warn people against throwing their meds away, being too ambitious and doing it alone," he says.

But is this stance the answer? Jonathan Stanley, a director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit working to provide treatment for the mentally ill, is somewhat critical. Stanley, who suffers from bipolar illness with psychotic features, argues that medication is indispensable for people with bipolar disease or with schizophrenia. Stanley's group also supports mandatory hospitalization for some people suffering severe mental illness—a practice that Icarus calls "forced treatment."

Scholars like Peter Kramer, author of "Listening to Prozac" and "Against Depression," also take a darker view of mental extremes. "Psychotic depression is a disease," Kramer says. As the intellectual who helped to popularize the widespread use of antidepressants, Kramer is nonetheless enthusiastic about Icarus as a community for mad pride. Yet he still argues that mental-health diagnoses are very significant. "In an ideal world, you'd want good peer support like Icarus—for people to speak up for what's right for them and have access to resources—and also medication and deep-brain stimulation," he says.

For his part, Hall remains articulate, impassioned and unmedicated. He lives independently, in an apartment with a roommate in Oregon, where he is getting a master's in psychology at a psychoanalytic institute. He maintains a large number of friendships, although his relationships, he says, are rather tumultuous.

Nevertheless, it's not so easy. Hall periodically descends into dreadful mental states. He considers harming himself or develops paranoid fantasies about his colleagues and neighbors. Occasionally, he thinks that plants are communicating with him. (Though in his mother's Native American culture, he points out, this would be valued as an ability to communicate with the spirit world.)

On another night, I had dinner with eight Icarus members at a Thai restaurant in midtown Manhattan. Over Singha beer, they joked about an imaginary psychoactive medication called Sustain, meant to cure "activist burnout." It was hard to imagine at the dinner what Hall had suffered. While he and his "mad" allies were still clearly outsiders, they had taken their suffering and created from it an all-too-rare thing: a community.

source site: Newsweek Online

medications.... be cautious with them!

click here to send me an e-mail!

it's in the news on the web....

medications.... be cautious with them!
webmd

 
 
 
 

healthscout news

Taking depression drugs? Tell your dentist - News

Shape,  Sept, 2003  by Alice Lesch Kelly

Some medications for depression can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and oral yeast infections. Here's why: Dry mouth is a common side effect of some of these drugs, and since saliva washes harmful bacteria off teeth and gums, these bugs can proliferate in a dry mouth. "Make sure your dentist is aware if you take antidepressants," says Gall T.

Galasko, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. Preventive measures such as drinking extra water, getting fluoride applications, scheduling more frequent dental exams or using salivary stimulants such as sugarless gum or lemon drops can help.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

source site: click here

medications.... be cautious with them!

Facts About Antidepressants

A new study says some antidepressants are mostly ineffective, but many previous studies show the opposite.

 
By Debra Fulghum Bruce, PhD

A controversial new study suggests the widely prescribed antidepressants Prozac, Paxil and Effexor work no better than placebo for most patients who take them, and many depression experts now cry foul.

What does the new study say about the ineffectiveness of antidepressants?

In findings published in the February issue of the journal PloS Medicine, researchers conclude that when taken as a whole, the data show that only a small group of the most severely depressed patients benefit from taking one of the antidepressants.

For less severely depressed patients, the antidepressants were found to work no better than placebos, leading the researchers to conclude that most patients who take antidepressants probably shouldn't be on them.

Does this study contradict numerous positive studies on antidepressants?

Yes, it does. In a statement, American Psychiatric Association President-elect Nada Stotland, MD, maintains that studies like this one, which compare a single drug to placebo, do not accurately reflect the way doctors prescribe antidepressants today.

Stotland says many people who are depressed do not respond to the first antidepressant they try. "It may take up to an average of 3 or more different antidepressants until we find the one that works for a particular individual. Therefore, testing any single antidepressant on a group of depressed individuals will show that many of them do not improve."

What do other findings show about using antidepressants?

Numerous studies support the benefit of antidepressants in improving mood, increasing ability to function socially, and easing physical complaints of joint pain, insomnia, and low energy.

According to Ronald R. Fieve, MD, psychopharmacologist and professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, its not unusual for an antidepressant to take 2 to 6 weeks to have an effect on a patient's mood.

"People must realize that we've come a long way in reducing the side effects of antidepressants since first prescribing the tricyclics," Fieve says. "And while drug companies have reduced medication side effects with the newer [antidepressants], there's still not much improvement with onset of action or efficacy."

Fieve notes that in his practice, a good number of patients dramatically come out of their depression within 10 days to two weeks. "About 65% see improvement on the first antidepressant, and 85% of patients succeed on one to three antidepressant trials."

Why wouldn’t an antidepressant work?

According to Fieve, sometimes the doctor chooses the wrong antidepressant, or the right antidepressant in the wrong dosage, or does not administer the antidepressant for at least 6 weeks at the highest dose tolerable to achieve full therapeutic results.

In addition, if the depressed patient has problems with alcohol or drug abuse and takes an antidepressant, the medication isn't getting at the real problem. There are also patients who are heavily medicated on tranquilizers who wonder why an antidepressant doesn't work to ease their depression. Coming off the tranquilizers may improve mood, Fieve says.

medications.... be cautious with them!

Can alternative treatments help in treating depression?

For minor depression (dysthymia), Fieve says that exercising regularly, reducing stress, and improving sleep can help patients relax and feel better.

But what about those with major depressive disorder? "Medications are necessary," Fieve says. "Psychotherapy is also a useful adjunct in combination with medications."

What about teens and antidepressants?

The latest findings published in The Journal of the American Medical Association show that depressed teens who don't respond well to the first  prescribed antidepressant medication begin to improve if they are switched to a different antidepressant medication and also offered "talk" therapy.

The combination -- switching medications and offering talk therapy -- works better than simply changing medications, the researchers found, although switching medications alone also offers improvement.

What are the common signs of depression?

Symptoms of depression vary per person but may include depressed mood most of the day, particularly in the morning, diminished interest or pleasure in activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleep, fatigue or loss of energy, impaired concentration, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt, among others.

Teens and children with depression may experience apathy, social withdrawal, weight loss, insomnia, fatigue, isolation from family and friends, a drop in school performance, and even drug or alcohol abuse.

Fieve said there are standard guidelines for diagnosing and treating a host of mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar depression, and others published in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition – the DSM-IV.

What causes depression?

The causes of depression are many. For some, depression occurs after loss of a loved one, a change in one's life such as getting divorced, or after being diagnosed with a serious medical disease. For others, depression just happens, possibly because of their family history. Medications can cause depression, and nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major depression.

How do most doctors treat depression?

Standard treatment of depression includes antidepressants and/or psychotherapy, as well as a multifaceted program of diet and lifestyle changes and alternative therapies. Experts believe that different treatment approaches work for different people -- and it's not easy to predict what might work.

What if my antidepressant doesn’t seem to work?

Talk to your doctor. You may need to try a different type of antidepressant until you find the right fit and may need additional treatment, such as talk therapy. Just like with any chronic medical condition, it takes patience and perseverance to get the best outcome with depression.

source site: Web Md

May 4, 6:53 PM EDT

FDA Seeks Antidepressant Suicide Warning

By ANDREW BRIDGES

Enter secondary content here

 
you've been visiting anxieties 102...
please have a great day & take a few minutes to explore some of the other sites in the emotional feelings network of sites! explore the unresolved emotions & feelings that may be the cause of some of your pain & hurt... be curious & open to new possibilities! thanks again for visiting at anxieties 102!
 
emotional feelings - emotional feelings, 2 - emotional feelings, 3 - emotional feelings 4 - feeling emotional - feeling emotional, too - feeling emotional, 3 - feeling emotional, 4 - sorry to report that extremely emotional no longer exists! it was a sad surprise for me, believe it! now there is feeling emotional five! It's a work in progress, but you're welcome to visit when you have the chance!- your unemotional side - your unemotional side 2 - the layer down under - more layers down under - the layer down under that - the self pages - night eating - teenscene - angels & princesses - changes 101 - more changes - different religions - parental alienation - life skills 101 (not published yet) - physical you 101 abuse 101 - children 101 - try recovering 101
 
anxieties 101 - click here!
anxieties 102 - you are here!
 
almost 30 sites, all designed, editted & maintained by kathleen!
 
until next time: consider yourself hugged by a friend today!
 
til' next time! kathleen
 
 
thank you for visiting anxieties 102!