Archive for the ‘Schizophrenia News’ Category

The Drug Advisor Fiasco

Just ignore the fact I’ve neglected this beautiful place for so long, I’m sorry.. again..

On the recent Dr. Nutt fiasco, this Telegraph reader has it right, in my opinion:

Professor Robin Murray published one of several family studies that show that cannabis induced psychosis is indeed associated with a positive family history of schizophrenia.

One draws the conclusion that schizophrenia, or its early effects before it becomes clinically diagnosable, is causing the cannabis smoking rather than the other way round. (For some reason Professor Murray ignores his own study and others that support the fact that “cannabis psychosis” is indeed familial.)

The deeper malaise is the need for the Labour Party leadership to portray themselves as the great protectors of the British people, so that they can win votes. The party leadership have convinced themselves that, by creating a moral panic about cannabis, ecstasy and crime, they will be seen as our saviours.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/6480486/Science-is-on-the-side-of-drug-adviser-sacked-to-make-Labour-look-like-saviours.html

Schizophrenia Simulation Features in Second Life

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The BBC reported on the 19th March that Dr Peter Yellowlees of the University of California has created a password-protected area in Second Life (not First Life!) that allows the user to experience a simulation of a hospital through the perceptions of a sufferer of Schizophrenia.

The linked BBC article does extend the discussion into general Schizophrenia topics, such as stigma and interpretations:

“Schizophrenia is a kind of modern day leprosy.

“I do feel that the general public’s worst misconception about schizophrenia is that it somehow remains in their minds an intractable degenerative condition that we can’t treat – and this is so far from the truth.

“I would say stigma is probably one of the most important issues because it affects people’s lives in such a devastating way.”

Well said, Dr Yellowlees. Whilst I do believe the ‘Armageddon scenario’ is much of the time out of context and reason, aspects of how external figures may interpret the condition do make things harder than they need to be.

The entire article, and Dr Yellowlees’ comments, all seem extremely balanced and fair (to me). It ends with a quick comment from a patient, in regards to people’s perceptions of the condition and how he feels about it:

His patient Nick agreed. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after his A’ Levels and said he is frustrated by the way people portray his condition.

“People on the whole aren’t really interested, and if I do talk about schizophrenia, they often look a bit worried and decide to turn away.”

Medication (and the Lilly Story)

As you may be aware, yesterday it was reported that Lilly, the company behind the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa (Olanzapine) had been actively promoting it for uses other than treating ‘psychotic disorders’.

I was once prescribed Olanzapine. In fact, it was the first anti-psychotic I was given. The timeline was like so:

  • First ever appointment with a Psychiatrist – 5mg / day prescribed.
  • Second appointment, one week later – 10mg / day prescribed.
  • Third appointment, 3 days later – 15mg / day prescribed.
  • Fourth appointment, 5 days later – 20mg / day prescribed (this is the maximum dose, for anyone.)
  • Fifth appointment, 1 day later – admission to the Priory North London.

I would like to point out I was 15 years of age, and these drugs have never been officially tested on under-18’s.

Looking at that in bullet-point form, it disgusts me. The medication was given next to zero time to ‘kick in’ before it was upped. And upped. And upped again. And once more. These types of drugs can take a long time to have any positive effect, but the side-effects are almost instant.

I was taken off Olanzapine after I complained of ‘zombiness’, i.e. constant tiredness, lack of motivation, and continuous hunger. I am now prescribed Abilify (Aripiprazole).

But I do not take it. I have took Abilify once since March 2006, and that dropped my blood pressure down to such a level that I passed out on a railway platform. Surprisingly to the doctors, and unsurprisingly to me, my ‘symptoms’ have reduced greatly since I stopped taking them, and I live a much happier life. I don’t, necessarily, suggest anyone else not taking their medication. I do not have enough knowledge about the subject, nor am I a trained professional, to give that advice.

I’ve always always allllways seen my ‘condition’ as something which is only treatable through self-determination, and changing cognitive patterns within my mind. Talking to anyone, psychologist or not, helps me. More than any tablets have, ever.

There is a tendency among doctors in the UK to feel that prescribing meds will ‘sort the problem out’. A one-stop-fix, if you like. The eagerness of professionals in this country to give out extremely strong medication to under-18’s, or to anyone for that matter, scares me.

I do like Lorazepam though, but that’s a different story 😀

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Update: Police Chase in South Africa

As I commented on previously, a man in South Africa was arrested for fleaing from police with their blue lights and sirons in full flow. He has reportedly been on medication for ‘Schizophrenia’ since 2004, and has now appeared before magistrates in a South African court. Something that wasn’t originally reported was that five police vehicles were damaged in the chase. A quote from the new article:

Deena Naidoo led police and Road Traffic Inspectorate and municipal traffic officers on a wild car chase for 40km on the N3 on Saturday night, side-swiping their cars in the process.

Five police cars were damaged during the pursuit.

According to his attorney, Naeem Essop, Naidoo had been on medication for schizophrenia since 2004 and had been boarded from his job as a deputy director at the uThukela District Municipality in Ladysmith.

A common trait in many circumstances like these is hypocrasy. Before a ‘patient’ hits crisis point, they are treated as they are not in control and need decisions to be made for them (which is possibly sometimes the case). But as soon as something actually happens, the buck is passed, once again, and the ‘patient’ is suddenly the ‘criminal’ who did wrong.

Major new, worldwide, approach and thought needs to be applied in my opinion.

Two Sickening News Pieces

OK, one is a Press Release. But sickening never-the-less.

Abilify has now been produced in liquid form, ready to be force-injected into any sectioned patient who coughs out of place. It has been said that this is ‘seen as an early Christmas present for egoistic nursing staff in psychiatric hospitals’. (Note: this has only been said by me..just now..).Abilify

As well as that HAPPY-OH-SO-HAPPY news, a man in South Africa is being reported on because he has schizophrenia. Of course, this wouldn’t be a story if he wasn’t mentally ill. This quote is the worst I’ve seen in a while:

“We cannot have people like this driving on our roads. Not only did Naidoo endanger his life and that of his pursuers, but he also placed the lives of innocent motorists at risk.

“This cannot be accepted,” Govender said.

Ignorant, shameful thing to say. If you had done your job, he wouldn’t be speeding from the police, would he? Buck passing at it’s finest (considering buck passing is a common theme, this guy deserves a dipstick-award).

Sorry for any harsh comments there, needed to vent.

MRI Scans and Schizophrenia

Several sites reported yesterday that research into MRI scans taken place in Edinburgh University shows changes in scans taken 18 months apart. The subjects of the scans were those with a family background of Schizophrenia. Here is a quote from IrishHealth.com :

A team at the University of Edinburgh discovered that the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans they had carried out on a number of patients had revealed changes in the brain tissue of some of those patients before they developed schizophrenia.

Over a 10-year period, the team had followed 200 young people who were at high risk of developing schizophrenia because two or more members of their family had already been diagnosed with the illness.

I’m assuming this type of research is being done to help create some kind of vaccine, which whilst typing that seemed extremely under-whelming. I’ve no idea why, maybe because it is psychological and to me, a vaccine suggests otherwise. Anyone any thoughts?

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My Approach, My Story, This Blog – Part 2

A few months ago, I posted about my approach to this blog. I have been thinking, and I believe I should be separating the two types of content involved in this blog.

Personal, Open, From-the-heart Commentary and Thoughts
I will be starting a new blog, probably self hosted, that will be raw, open and from-the-heart content with a purpose to give an insight into mental health, and it’s effects. This will be the blog to read for those that are truly wanting their eyes to be opened, and to learn (almost first-hand) what it’s like to distrust your mind. Part of me wants to put a disclaimer, the other half says it needs to be seen whoever you are.

Spelling-corrected and thought-out Commentary and Discussion
This blog here then, will be more for ‘professional’ (for want of a better word) content, that will report and discuss news and happenings in the MH world. The more ‘thought-out’ postings here – whereas the blog previously mentioned will be more poems, short stories, random postings of interest etc..

I hope this format will suit all. The domain is being registered as I type and I’ll post here once it’s all set up. Thanks for your continued support.. it’s appreciated so much.

Matt

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