This page is still being worked on. The text below has been salvaged from the old articles.
First there’s the stigma. There seems to be a hierarchy of craziness, and while it’s bad enough to be labeled as mentally ill with depression or panic/anxiety it’s a hundred times worse to be bipolar and a million times worse to be schizophrenic. Would everyone please get the fuck over it already? Illness is illness, we are not possessed by demons and nobody is going to catch our cooties, as these are not contagious illnesses. Genetically transferable to children, perhaps. Unpleasant to be around, definitely. But not contagious. OK, we can certainly drive our friends and relatives crazy with our behaviors, but it’s not a long-term crazy like we have. Anyone with one mental illness most certainly shouldn’t be looking down on someone else with another mental illness for being crazier than thou. Stigmatization ends at home. Yet plenty of people in the heavily stigmatized bipolar spectrum are resistant to taking antipsychotics because they’re not, you know, psychotic.
Next there’s the cost. While the older typicals aren’t that expensive, the newer atypicals are some of the most expensive drugs in the psychiatric pharmacopoeia. If you’re paying for these drugs out of pocket it’s possible that a prescription for Saphris could exceed your mortgage.
What is a big deal is to avoid alcohol with antipsychotics. Turns out it’s not as big of a deal as I thought it was. It’s stupid to drink heavily while taking antipsychotics, like I did when I was first on Risperdal, as I still think some occasional heavy drinking contributed to my nervous breakdown on or about my birthday in February of 2002. Yet it’s smart to take antipsychotics if you drink heavily all the time. What? APs can keep you from frying your brain due to excessive drinking. Your liver might explode sooner, but at least you might have it together enough to be living in an SRO instead of a cardboard box when you get to that point.
Mixing alcohol and benzodiazepines can be fatal. Mixing alcohol and anticonvulsants is weird. Mixing alcohol and most modern antidepressants is generally not a big deal.
However, mixing alcohol and any crazy med is always going to be unpredictable. Here is an example of what a couple of glasses of wine and a low dosage of Seroquel (quetiapine) can do to someone in distress and looking for support on an Internet support group. Normally this person can type proficiently:
siorry jmy popst lioikds l;ielk i am druikn
i dont driglk
i am toooo tired ot tyo;pw
i dolnt droinkkkkk
mky yese asre all mlessed ujp form anothner drugnnnnnnnand i haove a sevfer
healtdcalcl]] myua got toe er donot nfelel l ewelll at allllllllll
strfated birth donltroel pil;ls as fewa daYs ago
tye agian tomoerowow
Then, twenty minutes later:
theklank s brina
i have nbmb halnds and at heatdacah e
form new pillllllllllls well lsee dr tabout that domtoorrow
what isss keoppera?
caleed nursre aboutj mmmmy porblem wriantnng and wiath the bumv b’handedss
wils se dorctor tomeorw
headabke very bnead anow to gbed now
gonit wondw worry pplaese
One great thing about antipsychotics is that you can take them as required (or PRN in medical shorthand). Feeling just a bit too anxious or manic? Try some Risperdal (risperidone) or Zyprexa (olanzapine) instead of increasing your normal amount of benzos or mood stabilizers / anticonvulsants. Once you feel stable, you can just stop taking the extra antipsychotics. Let me stress the extra part. If an antipsychotic is your primary medication and you’re feeling just great you have to keep taking your maintenance dosage, whatever that may be. Now you can discuss with your doctor about taking a lower dosage and seeing how that works out. These meds are very flexible when it comes to dosages. Go up, go down, in the long run it turns out to be OK as they are far less picky than the anticonvulsants.
Even though I was skeptical at first and thought the real reason for pushing antipsychotics for bipolar and anxiety was money, I’m starting to come around to them. On the bipolar side of things several act as true mood stabilizers for some people, helping with both mania and depression. They are perfect for the non-compliant, which defines the schizophrenic and bipolar, as some have long half-lives and they work just fine if you stop taking them and start up again. The combination of atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants is being shown to be the best thing since sex to combat bipolar depression and refractory unipolar depression.
The withdrawal has been likened to taking small amounts of psychedelic drugs. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up to individual experience. Others get rebound symptoms for a day or two, sometimes longer and that’s about it. Of course, that’s for issues where it’s OK to stop taking meds at some point, like panic/ anxiety disorders. The big problem is that the bipolar and the schizophrenic are the worst about stopping their meds because they think they’re cured when their symptoms stop. Wrong answer! Your symptoms stop because the meds are working. As of the early 21st century there are no cures for these disorders, just management of symptoms. The good news is you can just start right back up on the atypicals and get back to where you were in controlling your symptoms.
Tips on Taking or Discontinuing Antipsychotic Drugs (APs) by Jerod Poore is copyright © 2011
Page created by: Jerod Poore. Date created: 12 July 2011 Last edited by: JerodPoore
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All information on this site has been obtained through our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles, the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets, and from sources that are referenced throughout the site. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away.
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1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?
[begin rant] I rent a dedicated server for Crazy Meds. It’s sitting on a rack somewhere in Southern California along with a bunch of other servers that other people have rented. The hardware is identical, but no two machines have exactly the same operating systems. I don’t even need to see what is on any of the others to know this. If somebody got their server at the exact same time, with the exact same features as I did, I’m confident that there would be noticeable differences in some aspects of the operating systems. So what does this mean? For one thing it means that no two computers in the same office of a single company have the same operating system, and the techs can spend hours figuring out what the fuck the problem could be based on that alone. It also means that application software like IP board that runs the forum here has to have so many fucking user-configurable bells and whistles that even when I read the manual I can’t find every setting, or every location that every flag needs to be set in order for a feature to run the way I want it to run. And in the real world it means you can get an MBA not only with an emphasis on resource planning, but with an emphasis on using SAP - a piece of software so complex there are now college programs on how to use it. You might think, “But don’t people learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in college?” Sure, in order to create stuff. And in a way you’re creating stuff with SAP. But do you get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Photoshop?
Back in the Big Iron Age the operating systems were proprietary, and every computer that took up an entire room with a raised floor and HVAC system, and had less storage and processing power than an iPhone, had the same operating system as every other one, give or take a release level. But when a company bought application software like SAP, they also got the source code, which was usually documented and written in a way to make it easy to modify the hell out of it. Why? Because accounting principles may be the same the world over, and tax laws the same across each country and state, but no two companies have the same format for their reports, invoices, purchase orders and so forth. Standards existed and were universally ignored. If something went wrong it went wrong the same way for everyone, and was easy to track down. People didn’t need to take a college course to learn how to use a piece of software.
I’m not against the open source concept entirely. Back then all the programmers read the same magazines, so we all had the same homebrew utilities. We even had the forerunner to QR Code to scan the longer source code. Software vendors and computer manufacturers sponsored conventions so we could, among other things, swap recipes for such add-ons and utilities. While those things would make our lives easier, they had nothing to do with critical functions of the operating system. Unless badly implemented they would rarely cause key application software to crash and burn. Whereas today, with open source everything, who the hell knows what could be responsible some part of a system failing. [/end rant]