I could have a much needed vent about how irritated I am by the whiplash weather changes, by the incessant brats my kid calls friends eating me out of house and home, how my kid has Swimmer’s Ear and one would think she is dying…I could do all that and more. Instead…I am going to share some wisdom that was recently bestowed on me by my shrink.
Yeah, I was blown away, both by the fact he had something to say that made sense and also, that my dumb ass never put two and two together before.
First off, he suggested I try some magnet therapy thing, sort of like ECT very lite. Except it requires six weeks of trips sixty miles out of town five days a week and that’s only IF I qualify for it and if insurance covers it. I balked. I can’t get the fuckers to spring for ADD meds that work, I can’t imagine what hoops of flame would be involved getting this magnetic therapy (about thirty grand, he told me, most insurance now will cover it…eventually.)
So I asked about Rexulti. He said No. I asked why, since many are having good results with it acting quickly. He explained that he is very reluctant to prescribe any med that has not been on the market for at least ONE year, allowing for more accurate reports of side effects. Rexulti is basically a molecule shaken, not stirred, from being Abilify. Seriously. The patent on Abilify ran out, so the pharma company moved ONE MOLECULE in the formula, thus making it AN ALL NEW DRUG!!!! That they can charge hundreds of dollars for til the patent on it runs out, and turn around and repeat this again, and again.
Basically, people…We are never getting truly new meds. We are being handed variations on the past drugs that worked then quit, or failed or had too many side effects. Look it up yourself, these itty bitty molecular changes made to pre-existing drugs thus making them all new meds. There’s nothing new here at all. Just…”revamped”.
Disheartening as that is…He asked what has worked for me other than Prozac and Cymbalta and I said Effexor. Venlafaxavine.
I asked about Pristiq.Not tried that one.
Guess what? Pristiq is Effexor, shaken, not stirred. Seriously. Desvenlafaxine. THREE fucking letters changed, new brand name, one molecule different formula and voila! BILK THE CRAZY PEOPLE FOR ALL THE CASH AND HOPE THEY HAVE TO OFFER!
Sadly enough…I said I’d roll the dice with Pristiq as it is generic now thus likely covered by my crap insurance. (One week on 50 mg, no side effects other than very bizarre dreams.) I have not ruled out the magnet therapy thing, but it’s gonna have to be closer than sixty miles away. That’s three hundred miles a week driving, plus cost of gas. It’s not that I’m unwilling to roll the dice on it. It’s just financially impossible.
BUT for once…in like…ever..I came out of a doctor appointment feeling not just validated, but educated and informed.
I expressed my frustration at all the med failures and how people view me as malingering yet there are so very many of us out there in this same boat…
To my shock, he said he would never spend a half hour talking to me if he thought for one minute I was malingering.
He went on to toss out some pretty astounding numbers at me.
Estimated 30 million people depressed/bipolar/etc thus taking psych meds.
Even by pharma’s own stats, 10 million of those are medication resistant.
YES, TEN MILLION OF US.
I have only ever had one other psych doc make me feel like I’m not some loser. He actually took the time to inform me, educate me, hear me. SEE that this is soul devouring, being on this medi go round.
Now that I know basically no medication is really new these days…They just change a tiny thing to a preexisting med, enough to get a patent as “new”, and maybe just maybe we are all building up a tolerance to this regurgitated shit. There’s nothing new going on, just a chair or side table being rearranged, so to speak.
I, ever the cynic, assumed all doctors were in bed with big pharma due to the samples passed out and alleged kickbacks received for pushing certain medications over others.
My doctor said he had samples of Rexulti I could have IF I wanted to take the chance. He just made it abundantly clear that he personally is not comfortable giving out a drug that’s not been on the market for one year, minimum.
Mind you, he didn’t sign a blood oath or provide certified documentation, but he explained all the phases of developing new drugs (not just for psych, but all drugs) and how while it may take years to get to human trials…Generally, they are only given to a thousand people, data is compiled, and FDA gives approval to go to market. With little more than the limited reports of side effects from their animal studies and human trials to back up what is being handed out to people blindly. At this point, he does not know enough of about Rexulti side effects and long term use to prescribe it to ANY patient.
He explained to me that back when Viagra came out (yeah, we all know what that one’s for and usually not for psych issues) they had studied its effects so limitedly…It wasn’t until years later when male users developed life threatening heart problems did it become clear Viagra was the culprit.
Now that’s gotta give food for thought, right? No way to know if any med will turn out “bad” or have poor outcome but with the drive through FDA process of current days…It’s amazing there aren’t more lawsuits. Test a thousand people, write down their results, and unleash it on 30 million mentally wonky people?
Are we really the ones who are mentally wonky?
I am loathe to add to the “big pharma is evil” movement because face it, we need medications. For every condition, we need medication. This cannot be circumvented.
It still does make you think, wonder, fear, and perhaps…Want to do some of your own research on this whole matter. Inform yourself. Educate yourself. Do NOT assume “FDA approved” means you won’t sprout horns and start lactating Dr. Pepper.
I have been unfair to my psych in past posts and for that I am sorry. He actually does care. He does know his stuff. He took the time to educate me.
Just wanted to toss out that food for thought for y’all.