#Antipsychotics – Long term effects #Electroboy

Like many of us who agreed to take ‘anti-psychotics’ Andy Behrman (Electroboy) has changed the way he thinks about these.

Since publishing Electroboy speaks out I have been asked about research into how people who have taken these drugs for years cope when they eventually get off the drugs. I do not think there has been much research – as a reader can you tell me of some?

My own personal experience is that it is tough. In many ways my life has been more difficult since my first day visiting a psychiatric ward and being given a small cup of orange liquid and a nurse saying, “Drink this. It will help you feel better.”

It was years later that I discovered the cup contained chlorpromazine. That drink was a turning point in my life as when my parents came to visit me I was suffering memory loss and confusion from the psychosis it induced in me. The effect of the drug was to convince them that I had become severely unwell. It was my first and to date most severe experience of psychosis… But then surely an ‘anti-psychotic’ is supposed to lessen psychosis and not cause it? Well, not really. As with other psychiatric drugs ‘anti-psychotics’ are essentially sedatives. See: The Myth of the Chemical Cure by Joanna Moncrieff

I am sure such the practice of nurses tricking people into taking their first fix of a drug, (without saying what it is) is now strictly forbidden in the UK. There again  student nurses are mainly just given the drug company information about the drugs and not a chemist’s perspective, so those offered the drugs are unlikely to have any idea just how long-term the consequences of that first dose are likely to be.

So 42 years on I am still suffering everyday from the first addiction to an ‘anti-psychotic’ and from the one started in a more violent way years later… being held down by five nurses while the sixth injected the drug into my bum! The ward manager looked on and seemed to be crying… now I understand why.

I am now getting by without the drugs, but most nights it is just getting by. It does not seem I will ever fully recover from the damage the drugs did to me. If you are thinking that you need psychiatric drugs please don’t rush into getting them. If you have a choice make some lifestyle changes and stay away from the drugs.

Andy Behrman’s one minute on Utube about #abilify

Following on from the words Electroboy (Andy Behrman) wrote about Abilify here is the video he made when he stopped being a spokes person in favour of this antipsychotic.

This does not mean that this drug is any worse than any other. It just means everyone needs to be cautious about drugs and just because it is on prescription does not make it good for you or even necessarily ideal for anyone.

In favour of Abilify…
1) It slows down thinking so if fast thinking is causing you trouble then this will help to correct what can be seen as an anomaly. Doctors who monitor psychosis know that immediately after taking a tablet they are likely to see less psychosis for a while. Although the patient may find the fast thinking comes back if they suddenly stop taking it.
2) It will seem to help patients sleep. Probably any anti-psychotic will do this. It kind of goes with slowed down thinking. Many will say that the sleep quality when taking antipsychotic is not as good, but then if you have been getting into trouble by being awake while others are sleeping there could be an advantage. Maybe also look into visiting a sleep clinic or specialist for advice, as well, as there are a lot of things that help sleep without such powerful and often very unpleasant side-effects.

And the concerns about Abilify…
Elderly people with psychosis related to dementia (for example, an inability to perform daily activities as a result of increased memory loss), treated with antipsychotic medicines including ABILIFY, are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. ABILIFY is not approved for the treatment of people with dementia-related psychosis (see Boxed WARNING).

Antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some children, teenagers, and young adults, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are themselves associated with an increase in the risk of suicide. Patients on antidepressants and their families or caregivers should watch for new or worsening depression symptoms, unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient’s healthcare professional right away, especially if they are severe or occur suddenly. ABILIFY is not approved for use in pediatric patients with depression (see Boxed WARNING).

Contraindication: Patients should not use ABILIFY if they are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in ABILIFY. Allergic reactions have ranged from rash, hives and itching to anaphylaxis, which may include difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue.
Serious side effects may include:
• An increased risk of stroke and ministroke have been reported in clinical studies of elderly people with dementia-related psychosis
• Very high fever, rigid muscles, shaking, confusion, sweating, or increased heart rate and blood pressure. These may be signs of a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but serious side effect which could be fatal
• Uncontrollable movements of face, tongue, or other parts of body, as these may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD may become permanent and the risk of TD may increase with the length of treatment and the overall dose. While TD can develop after taking the medicine at low doses for short periods, this is much less common. There is no known treatment for TD, but it may go away partially or completely if the medicine is stopped
• If you have diabetes, or risk factors for diabetes (for example, obesity, family history of diabetes), or unexpected increases in thirst, urination, or hunger, your blood sugar should be monitored. Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), in some cases serious and associated with coma or death, have been reported in patients taking ABILIFY and medicines like it
Lightheadedness or faintness caused by a sudden change in heart rate and blood pressure when rising quickly from a sitting or lying position (orthostatic hypotension) has been reported with ABILIFY.
Decreases in white blood cells (infection fighting cells) have been reported in some patients taking antipsychotic agents, including ABILIFY. Patients with a history of a significant decrease in white blood cell (WBC) count or who have experienced a low WBC count due to drug therapy should have their blood tested and monitored during the first few months of therapy.
ABILIFY and medicines like it can affect your judgment, thinking, or motor skills. You should not drive or operate hazardous machinery until you know how ABILIFY affects you.
Medicines like ABILIFY can impact your body’s ability to reduce body temperature; you should avoid overheating and dehydration.
ABILIFY and medicines like it have been associated with swallowing problems (dysphagia). If you had or have swallowing problems, you should tell your healthcare professional.
Tell your healthcare professional if you have a history of or are at risk for seizures, or are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Also tell your healthcare professional about all prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking or plan to take since there are some risks for drug interactions.

While taking ABILIFY, avoid:
• Drinking alcohol
• Breast-feeding an infant

Most common side effects (≥10%) from all clinical trials involving adults or pediatric patients include:
• ADULTS: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, an inner sense of restlessness or need to move (akathisia), anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness
• YOUNGER PEOPLE (6 to 17 years): Sleepiness, headache, vomiting, extrapyramidal disorder (for example, uncontrolled movement disorders or muscle disturbances such as restlessness, tremors and muscle stiffness), fatigue, increased appetite, insomnia, nausea, stuffy nose, and weight gain
It is important to contact your healthcare professional if you experience prolonged, abnormal muscle spasms or contractions, which may be signs of a condition called dystonia.
For patients who must limit their sugar intake, ABILIFY Oral Solution contains sugar.
For patients with phenylketonuria or PKU, ABILIFY DISCMELT® (aripiprazole) contains phenylalanine.
If you have any questions about your health or medicines, talk to your healthcare professional.

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If you have concerns, talk to family and especially to those mental health professional who better understand lists of side effects – certainly do not only rely on what you read on the internet.

Electroboy Speaks Out

electroboy 2003

Click to buy Electroboy 2003 from amazon.co.uk

When Andy Behrman’s book (Electroboy 2003) was published, for many people around the world he became ELECTROBOY! I certainly found Electroboy easier to remember than Behrman.

Something Andy and I (in Stop Paddling/Start Sailing 2004) have in common is we both wrote about treatments we saw as acceptable, only to discover psychiatry is less scientific and more flawed than we ever could have imagined. For me, it was Zyprexa®/Olanzapine and Lithium gradually destroying me, whilst Andy came up against Abilify®/aripiprazole.

Another horrible side effect for me was the problems that I experienced with my cognitive skills, which actually reminded me so much of my experience after electroshock therapy. One day while at lunch, I gazed blankly at a friend and could not for the life of me remember her name although I had known her for more than a couple of years. I was often confused and agitated over simple things: a misplaced piece of paper, whether I had taken my dogs out for a walk or not and even focusing on a simple conversation. Abilify, my new “wonder drug” was failing me and I was embarrassed to tell anyone, even my wife…‘ Andy Behrman 2006

Read the article here… http://www.electroboy.com/article17-electroboy-abilify.shtml (850 words)