controversy

Are Psych Meds Addictive? – Antipsychotics (Part 2)

→ June 28, 2011 - 14 Comments

Are Psych Meds Addictive? – Antipsychotics (Part 2)

In the first of this series I discussed antidepressants and addiction. Some people contend antidepressants are addictive; however, not only is the term “addiction” not defined medically, the use of antidepressants does not generally match the symptoms of any defined substance use disorder either. (More information on substance abuse and substance dependence.)

This time antipsychotics are up to bat. Are antipsychotics addictive? Are people dependent on antipsychotics? Do antipsychotics cause withdrawal?

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What Happens When You Talk About ECT?

→ March 25, 2011 - 32 Comments

What Happens When You Talk About ECT?

The Bipolar Burble thanks for everyone who took the time to read my electroconvulsive therapy primer and The Badger’s personal experience of ECT. Most people were really respectful in their opinions and asked great questions. As per the usual, however, electroconvulsive therapy is a controversial, contentious and polarizing topic that brings out people’s abusive side pretty quickly.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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Electroconvulsive Therapy Works (ECT, shock therapy)

→ March 20, 2011 - 44 Comments

Electroconvulsive Therapy Works (ECT, shock therapy)
Natasha Tracy and the Bipolar Burble welcomes Steven Schwartz, the BiPolar Badger as a guest blogger later this week. Steven will be speaking from the point of view of someone who has chosen to get electroconvulsive therapy treatments and is in the middle of his current series of electroconvulsive therapy treatments. 
 
[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

Electroconvulsive Therapy Primer

In preparation for Steven’s piece, I’ve written this primer.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the second most controversial medical procedure. (Abortion is the first.) Certainly when I write about ECT it seems to prove the controversy of this topic. And it doesn’t matter what I say about ECT, even if it’s not pro or con, people insist on expressing very strong viewpoints on the use of ECT. And yes, I have had ECT.

And generally the strong viewpoints are anti-ECT. They are from the ECT-is-torture crowd. A prevalent crowd online, to be sure, but someone needs to actually talk about the facts of ECT.

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Doctors Should Treat the Mentally Ill Without Consent

→ August 17, 2010 - 103 Comments

Doctors Should Treat the Mentally Ill Without Consent

Recently, I’ve come across several groups on Facebook and elsewhere that claim to be for the rights of the mentally ill. They talk about defending their rights through lawsuits, funding and online campaigns. They also support the banning of a doctor’s rights to give psychotropic medication / psychiatric treatment without consent. These are either well-intentioned people with little grasp of logic or just plain anti-psychiatry nutjobs.

I admit, I fell for one of these groups on first glance. But upon further reflection and research I’ve come to the conclusion that at best, these people are well-intentioned with little grasp of logic, and at worst just plain anti-psychiatry nutjobs.

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Antidepressant Comparison: Are Pristiq and Effexor the Same?

→ June 18, 2010 - 29 Comments

Does Pristiq Just Serve to Extend the Effexor Patent?

If you live in the US, you’ve probably seen all the commercials for the new and pastel-pink-coloured antidepressant Pristiq. (Yes, prescribed for depression.) Pristiq is new and has a huge marketing push behind it and is a selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. In other words, it’s an antidepressant that works on both serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. It is not the only antidepressant to do this, but SNRIs are a smaller class of drugs than those that just effect serotonin alone (like Prozac). (Although admittedly, there seems to be a suspicious number of SNRI antidepressants in development.)

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