September 15, 2004

Crazy Meds. Sane stuff for crazy people. [via oldtimey.]

"You need meds. You need the right meds. That's why I put this site together, to help you and your doctor and your pharmacist, the people with whom you should be discussing medications before you go looking them up on some stupid Internet site, get you the right medications as quickly as possible." Jerod Poore writes about the needs and facts of medicine for mental illness from the user's perspective. There's a forum, Crazy Talk, and a painful framed interface. But I found the sly wit and no-BS tone of the site to be refreshing and engaging. Alas, I can't remotely begin to evaluate the factual information presented herein. Anyone wanna take a stab at it?

  • This is an absolutely fantastic resource - while I don't have any mental health problems (well, not bad enough to be called such 8) - I know a number of people who do, who I've put onto this, and they love it. A lot of the valuable stuff is around side effects, which the literature or professionals will often tip-toe around when it comes to areas like weight gain and sex drive (which are "cosmetic" problems to too many medical professionals, but if you think you're helping a depressive in a relationship by fucking up their sex drive, think again...).
  • I've been on a number of those drugs *Amyltriptaline - made me gain weight *Elavil - made me gain weight and hallucinate *Effexor - God help you if you miss a dose, and suddenly shot my blood pressure up to 165/120 ( stroke time) *Nortryptaline - gained 10 pounds in a month Now on Wellbutrin, Prozac, and Seroquel, and the combo seem to suit me well. In my opinion, this guy knows his stuff. My dance card? Dysthymia, Complex PTSD, Chronic Nightmare Syndrome, BPD, and Generally Being A Semi-Depressed and Anti-Social Smartass. And big ol' prostitute.
  • But you what will happen when you find the right drugs? You'll become a better person. Really.
    This is a fairly versatile argument. You can replace 'drugs' with 'person', 'God', 'political party', 'fitness club', 'dog', etc. etc. to good effect.
  • moneyjane - that's probably because standard Effexor has a half life of 4 freaking hours! In less than a day you are running on empty, so if you take your morning dose and miss the evening, by the morning you are stuffed. Effexor SR worked for me, but at one point I touched 375mg...
  • *bows down and offers banana cream pie to mwhybark* Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
  • Awesome. I love the concept itself. More information, more accessible information particularly. Can't speak on the accuracy of the info, though I checked out the only thing I've been on (Wellbutrin, about half a year, dysthymia) and it matched what I knew, for what that's worth. Oh, but more accessible, no-BS information is a wonderful thing.
  • My wife in the past often sent me medical information about the condition I have and the drugs I use. I could never read them. For some reason my mind just wandered off, not wanting to grasp the information. This is the first time I actually read a whole article about my drugs and their side effects. Thank you.
  • My wife in the past often sent me medical information about the condition I have ... for some reason my mind just wandered off, not wanting to grasp the information. mare, the thing about having ADD is that oh look there's a squirrel.
  • My (now ex-) wife made me see a professional because she tought I had ADD. The doctor's opinion: I don't have ADD but I do have "a beatnik attitude" (his words).
  • Monkeyfilter: We're not depressed, we're anti-social smartasses with beatnik attitudes.
  • I used to think I had dysthymia or was major depressive, but when I look back, I just had a bunch of really crappy years strung together in a row. Turns out the problem really was the outside world, not my neurochemistry. I realized that if good things aren't happening to most people and they're unhappy about it, that's not depression, that's how people are supposed to feel. Humans have the emotions we do for a reason... Of course, true clinical depression makes people incapable of even enjoying good things, so that's a serious problem which should be actively treated and dealt with. I do believe, though, that just as many people with legitimate clinical problems are untreated or undiagnosed, there are a lot of people diagnosed with depression because they are justifiably unhappy with their current state of life, and if luck would start going their way and they took a more active role in forming their lives, they'd probably feel much better. This is sort of like the "Prozac-popping housewife" syndrome: being mentally and emotionally understimulated, and not working toward any self-actualizing goals makes us unhappy for very good, non-clinical reasons. This is not intended to mean by any stretch that anyone on Prozac needs to "just get over it," but there are some people out there out there who simply do need to take more charge of their human potential. The challenge to doctors is this: know thy patient. There are people who are unhappy because they have awful or too few friends, whose job is mind-numbing and spirit-crushing, and who are in an unhealthy romantic relationship. These people need coaching, motivation, and a bit of luck to change how they feel. Then there are people who are miserable because their brains don't function the way they should - people who need medication and therapy to improve their mental health. Many doctors just want to make the problem (read, patient) go away, so they apply the "here try this mind-altering substance and we'll see if it works" tactic to the healthy-unhappy and the ill-unhappy alike.
  • The right drugs really get you out of the weeds long enough to understand what's happening to you, and allow you to add things like exercise, diet modifications, etc. that help as well. Puts a little slack in your leash, is the way I see it. For me, the hard thing is not taking the drugs - it's accepting being mentally ill - one of those people. And that's where websites like this really help - it acknowledges the physical component of mental illnesses, then shows how you can deal with that reality in a practical way. Basically, it lets you know that like most other physical illnesses, you can have a mental illness and still be a smartass. For me, that's the moneyshot.
  • If you go to talk therapy at all, or if your MD isn't a jackass, they can suss out whether it's caused by external forces or something biochemical. (I don't understand going to a GP for mental issues, though. You don't go to a dentist for a pain in your foot. Maybe it's an insurance thing?) Though then, I think reading up on what meds an egregious pill-slinger has put you on could be useful in its own way.
  • I tried Welbutrin, Prozac, and Effexor over four or five years with little luck. Finally gave up and decided that I was depressed and nothing much could be done. At my family's urging (my mom and sister have been diagnosed as clinically depressed, my brother as bi-polar) I went back to the doctor who prescribed Lexapro in the morning with Seroquil to knock me out at night. Seems to be working pretty well. I actually wake up some days and feel like the day is going to turn out not only good, but great. I still have my down days, but they are far, far less in number than they used to be. I also find that I don't have the same worries that I used to, i.e. what other people think of me, stupid stuff like that. It's as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I am so grateful for that.
  • I completely agree Wirwilf and have known enough friends to have been offered psyhoactive medication after simple things like being laid off of work to believe that physicians should be separately accredited to make prescriptions for conditions which do not fall under their specialization. A GP (without some sort of special certification) should not be prescribing anti-depressants, and that's that. And I'm glad to hear that the current regime is working well for you, squidranch and moneyjane. Properly prescribed, medications should make you feel normal, and being a smart-ass is much better than being a dulled worker-drone. Except I guess for those unfortunate people for whom normal IS being a dull worker-drone.
  • Basically, it lets you know that like most other physical illnesses, you can have a mental illness and still be a smartass. For me, that's the moneyshot. moneyjane totally kicks ass. Just thought I'd point that out. (Wow. Just stepped away for a moment to learn more about moneyjane. Imagine that I'm saying what I said above, but twice as loud.)
  • Lexapro and Wellbutrin are my cocktail of choice. And working awesome I must say. When I asked my doctor why he was prescribing me Lexapro over anything else his wonderfully smartass comment was "Well, I own stock in that! I love my doctor.
  • that! Dammit! "....that"!
  • I'm seeing my doc this afternoon and hopefully will start the long process of going off Effexor. It hasn't worked for a few months, and I'm sick of gaining weight and going around in a fog. I'd rather have the panic attacks instead.
  • I took Celexa for panic disorder... it's the only thing that ever had a positive effect in that regard. I've been off of it for a year-and-a-half now, and it would seem that taking it for so long (3 years or so) altered my neurochemistry in some fundamental way, since I haven't had problems since. Many people relapse without medication, but so far that hasn't seemed to have been the case with me. There seem to be other psychiatric concerns right now, and I just need to get off my ass and go to a doctor to get evaluated. That's the most difficult part for me. moneyjane: For me, that's the moneyshot And never let it be said that MJ doesn't know moneyshots! [/smartass]
  • I wanna comment on Lexapro. For the first time I can be on an antidepressant and still feel a strong libido. It's frankly fantastic.
  • I think, squidranch, that is one of the major reasons it has become popular so rapidly.