Article: Antipsychotic Meds Prompt Zombie-Like State Among Patients
Posted 06 February 2015 - 08:07 AM
From the article:
"The issue here is the extent to which people with a mental illness have been conditioned into accepting the disabling effects of psychotropic medications without protest," Prof Morrison says.
"The ability of mental health staff to forestall protest arises from the guilt communities thrust upon the sufferer.
"Without this guilt and shame, would mental health consumers and their loved ones be so ready to accept that a life of zombie-like consciousness and physical discomfort is preferable to hearing voices, or would they be demanding more intensive efforts to develop 'cleaner' medications?"
The study advocates creating a standardised rating scale for assessing and monitoring side-effects and better communication between practitioners and those taking medications.
The research suggests psychosocial treatment methods should be explored, such as relaxation and distraction techniques, which have been proven to improve quality of life.
Researchers also recommend giving patients more say in what medications work best for them, empowering them with a sense of meaning, purpose and self-esteem.
Posted 06 February 2015 - 11:52 AM
Glad you are back. Great article.
"People using antipsychotic medications experience adverse side-effects that reach into their physical, social and emotional lives, and cause a level of fear and suffering that is difficult for anyone else to fully comprehend," Murdoch Professor Paul Morrison says.
"Disturbingly, researchers found participants often exhibited 'a culture of hopelessness' where acceptance was dominant, which they warn can destroy an individual's will to recover."
It's very good, but there's an additional aspect that needs to be addressed, and that's the culture/attitude-- worldview-- if you will, of front-line representatives of the medical industry. There needs to be a reformation of sorts-- an attitude change--within the medical community; patients didn't cause the author to write the article. At this late date there are so many physicians who haven't even read the notes in the box as it relates to withdrawal protocol. If the first level of sanctuary is to be found in the doctor's office, too often there's no comfort there.
It strikes me that physicians too are staggering around beneath this broader blanket of cultural stigma toward mental illness.
Posted 06 February 2015 - 01:57 PM
I don't know where these researchers found their patients but as a member of various mental illness groups I know that accepting the "zombie-like" effects of drugs is no longer the case
More and more patients and groups are demanding alternatives and more acceptable levels of medications and their doctors are working with them to find the "minimum dose" to keep symptoms under control.
Yes initially the goal is to get the "episode" under control which often starts with high doses if said episode is extreme but this is followed by a gradual tapering down to find a maintenance dose that allows the patient to live a full productive life,
Times are changing as the stigma of having a mental illness decreases. It is only the older generations who are still afraid to stop hiding their imagined "defects" while younger generations are seeing this for what it truly is, an illness.
Point to note - I am on these Antipsychotic medications, Do I sound like a zombie?
Posted 06 February 2015 - 02:00 PM
Years ago I was committed to a state mental hospital. They had me, and the other patients, on such high doses of mind altering medications and an inexpensive, high carbohydrate diet, that should be illegal.
The term is called institutionalized. We were all overweight and zombies most of the time. You could sleep all day if you didn't feel like getting up. The groups offered on the unit were just ADL's (adult daily living skills such as brushing your teeth every day and showering at least twice a week). Along with the zombies were occasional outburst of rage. At least once a day a patient on my unit of around 20, would be put into 4 point restraints.
When admitted to a private hospital, your discharge plan began the day you were admitted. (Not even close to enough time to receive any rehabilitation. Most meds they pushed on you have not even begun to work before the insurance companies pushed you out the door.)
State hospitals are different. They expect you to be there for a year. Many patients live there and will for life because they are convinced that they could never live outside the hospital. It is very rear for a patient to "run away" from a state hospital. Once you have been there long enough, you don't want to leave. Not because it is so nice living there but because you feel that is all you are capable of doing.
I personally was taking 100mg of Seroquel as soon as I woke up, another 100mg with lunch then 300mg at bed. 25mg of this drug can knock out a man twice my size. I gained over 70 pounds while inpatient. I stopped taking Seroquel because of the weight gain and lost all the weight I had gained. Then I developed fibromyalgia and was put on Cymbalta. I gained around 60 pounds while on it and was once again a zombie.
I was also taking several other medications including benzo's, cholesterol lowering drugs and asthma treatments. The hospital lifestyle made me sicker than I ever was
Posted 06 February 2015 - 02:38 PM
I wasn't a member of a mental illness group-- I was just given the pills with no further followup appointment suggested by the physician. I did make a couple of appointments, but I can't remember why. After a couple of years I was a zombie with no avenue of complaint-- zombies can't speak-- and there was just a tiny ember within my consciousness that emitted this message: "Withdraw or die!"
Months before I had mumbled something to the doctor about coming off the drugs and the phrase that resonated from that visit was, ". . . you could be on medication for the rest of your life . . . you appear stable . . ." There was no alteration of dosage discussed. There was no strategy I could detect; I felt like an inconvenience set adrift.
I recall the physician reading the report from the psychiatrist and he said something like, "Wow there's a lot of heavy stuff in here. You wouldn't want anybody getting ahold of it; better shred your copy." While my doctor is a generation younger than I, he seemed more shamed by the report than I was.
I note that in the socialized medical system of Canada, there is neither dental nor mental coverage. If you need to see a psychiatrist or psychologist you are on your own-- judging by its non-funding, mental health is clearly not valued in Canada-- now that's not only a deep institutionalized stigma toward mental illness-- it's a government mandate!
The government of a democratic state represents the will of the people. Therefore, what must we conclude if the citizens of a nation vote NOT to fund mental health?
Posted 06 February 2015 - 05:41 PM
In the states, you don't go to a state institution for very long before they label you mentally disabled because private insurance won't pay for you to be there. At that point you apply for medicare and disability payments. The hospital staff are kind enough to fill out the paperwork for you so all you need to do is sign. Once you are "disabled" the social security department sends paperwork to you to give to your doctor/psychiatrist to monitor weather or not you still meet the requirements to be disabled. In my case, I will be "disabled" for life due to the nature of my PTSD and compounded by my autoimmune disease.
No matter how depressed I get, I will never allow myself to be institutionalized again. Private hospitals are necessary in the event of a crisis but they can't keep you long enough to obtain enough coping skills to resolve anything. Without outpatient therapy, you will be no better off.
When I first got out of the institution, I saw my therapist 3 times a week and and an agency bring my medication to my house every day. (After over a year and a half of inpatient care, I still couldn't be trusted to take my pills as prescribed). I'm still with that therapist but now only go weekly. The agency that was bringing my meds would not come a lot of the time so I was not taking them regularly. It's a wonder that I made it through that period. that is around the time I nearly succeded with ending my life. One week in ICU then 5 days in a private hospital. I decided then that I would never attempt again.... So far so good
Posted 06 February 2015 - 07:30 PM
Thank you both for your support.
I know I wouldn't be doing as well as I am if it were not for this forum. This is the only place where there are people that believe my pain and depression are from withdrawal because if you have not been through it, you just can't understand.
I have been insecure my entire life. Always full of self hate and never believed I deserved anything nice. When the ACT agency wouldn't bring my meds, I convinced myself that they wanted me to kill myself or at least they didn't care if I did. It was a hellacious time for me and my family. At that time I needed to be put into "zombie" mode. It was the on;y way to keep me from hurting myself.
I'm ready to start living again. (If I say it enough times, maybe I'll believe it ) Right now my shoulder hurts so much I wish I could knock myself out. I'm tired of talking to the doctor about it and getting nowhere.
I think I put myself in a bad mood by remembering the bast. The joint pain is adding to my misery.
Good night friends
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