Daily Archives: April 16, 2015

Putting Drugs in Your Mouth: How the pharmaceutical industry deceives us all for profit

Originally posted on The Life in Writings of Emily Simone Lukaszek:

A *slightly* biased old research paper.
Please see my accompanying commentary “Big Pharma and a Bipolar Life” here: https://emilysimonelukaszek.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/big-pharma-and-a-bipolar-life/
Putting Words >Drugs in Your Mouth
How the pharmaceutical industry deceives us all for profit

 By Emily Simone Lukaszek

 December, 2007

In the 1980s, the early stages in recognising the pharmaceutical industry, praise for their discoveries was heartfelt.  The dedication of Dr. Bert Spilker’s book on drug discovery and development reads:

To everyone in the drug industry who helps discover, develop, produce, and market new drugs of medical value.

A lot has changed since then.  Namely the term “medical value” dropped off somewhere along the way as the industry stumbled upon the door to personal gain.  Between 1980 and 2003 in the USA, the industry dominated charts, ranking by far the most profitable industry, with drug sales tripling in that time span (Angell, 3).  It now rakes in some $200 billion…

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Big Pharma and a Bipolar Life

Originally posted on The Life in Writings of Emily Simone Lukaszek:

     In the 90’s, at the young age of ten, a child psychiatrist considered medicating me for my severe depression and suicidality. In the early 2000’s, at the age of fourteen, I was finally put on medication by my family doctor. It was supposed to help my eating disorder symptoms. The first one I received some negative side-effects so I was put on another, which I remained on -unmonitored- for over a year.

     What noone knew during this time was that from as early as seven years old, a life-long illness of Bipolar Disorder was budding. It began with the morbid depression, and then one day I simply woke up…happy. Reflecting now, this would appear to be my first hypo-manic episode, at the end of sixth grade. What many don’t know is treating Bipolar Disorder with anti-depressants can spike the person into mania. This is quite probably…

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Do you have ADHD?


Be alert that these children can grow up to have bipolar.

Originally posted on a simple blog:


This list is an overview of what ADHD symptoms in children may look like. It is not meant to be used for diagnosis. Only a trained doctor can provide a diagnosis.

  • Symptoms of Inattention

  • Often makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details (Examples: overlooking or missing details or handing in work that’s inaccurate)
  • Often has difficulty paying attention to tasks or while playing (Examples: difficulty remaining focused during class, conversations, or lengthy readings)
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction)
  • Often fails to follow through on instructions, schoolwork, or chores (Example: starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked)
  • Often has difficulty organzing tasks and activities (Examples: messy, disorganized work; poor time management)
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort, like schoolwork or homework
  • Often…

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On Silliness and Tickling Muses

Okay, I couldn’t help myself. The first line of today’s poem for NaPoWriMo just stuck in my head. ...Have you ever had something leap out, fully formed a la Athena, and plonk itself on the page?

Terzanelle (About My Cat’s Butt)

My kitty's butt is nothing like the moon, and when I'm working she must interpose...

Depression Plus Physical Pain Equals Lump

The chest cold kicked my ass. And while it was annoying, it wouldn’t have been so bad except I was coughing so hard, I pulled some muscles in my side and for four days simple movement has resulted in me shrieking in pain. I barely made a peep in labor sans pain meds, so if I am crying out loudly…it hurts like a mofo.
And when I am depressed and in pain…Well, suffice it to say, I’ve been in bed at 7 pm for two nights straight and avoiding people to the nth degree. Between the depression and pain, I am only going to go off and burn some bridges. Besides, I’ve got all these people making demands of my for their own agenda and I dared to mention not feeling so well and now the shit is flying. “You ignore me.” “You’re not there when I need you.”
Um…Let’s see..Last time I had a major meltdown with tears and everything and leaned toward one of those friends, they told me to take my histrionics and get out of their house.
So I am supposed to drop everything cos they are bored yet my needs get thrown out a door?

I was thinking maybe it’s just me and my damage and moods that are so down on people.
Yesterday taught me I am dead on. My kid has survived the lice rumors and has made new friends. Unfortunately, one little girl yesterday kept saying, “If you don’t let me have your Dora kitchen, I won’t invite you to my birthday party.” Then it was, “I’m going home if I can’t have this sticker book.” And “I’ll be your friend if you give me candy.”
The kids are as bad as the fucking adults in this town. It’s like they’re all soulless ferals wearing socially acceptable masks.
If I am wrong, please explain to me how being made to give your stuff to people and forgo your own needs for their benefit is a friendship.

The good news today is…the pain in my side is much much better. Tender and the coughing has died down so I am on the mend that way.
Depression wise, I think I’d be better of popping Tic Tacs. I don’t think the prozac is doing a thing. If possible,I feel more depressed.
Guess that was the trade off. Focalin calms me down (as calm as I get, anyway) and makes me lucid again but now the depression is stepping up to the plate to kick my ass.
Arguing with it is pointless.
I put one foot in front of the other and I shamble about like a zombie. It’s all I can do.

I wrote this amazing post earlier, or I thought so. It was a good piece, actually. Then something bad happened,either with my net connect or wordpress, but I clicked publish…and it vanished. No draft, no clicking the back button…Gone.; An hour of my life and words that made sense just fucking gone.

My dad called and I’m back in “listen inattentively” space. “Uh huh…yeah…Okay…Uh huh…” He doesn’t notice cos it’s all about him, anyway.
It’s just usually a sign that I need to step back and avoid people for a few days. I’m volatile emotionally. I feel like I’m getting fucked over by everyone in my life and whether it’s fact or half truth or total psychological distortion…It’s bridge burning territory and I need to back off for a few days.
Which results in burned bridges anyway.
Fuck, can’t anything ever go smoothly?

Now I’m gonna spend the next few hours trying to convince myself to take a shower and maybe face the mt vesuvius of laundry that’s needed folded for three weeks.

I don’t need a Magic 8 ball to tell me it looks unlikely.

I quit drinking Dr. Pepper

I am completely blown away by the effects of the right medicine. I go to therapy about every 6 weeks. I’m not sure if there’s a reason or not. But I’m not a crisis patient. I hope to never be in crisis again. 

I drank Mountain Dew like water for years, until I had my daughter. Something changed and it just wasn’t good anymore. So..I switched to Dr. Pepper. Ever since there has been very little else that I drink. I don’t know how scientific it is but I have read that many people with bipolar also have a never ending kind of thirst. I had never really thought about it before but that was me. 

Until about a week ago. Now while I’d like to say I’m a super hero slowed down wih pure will power that isn’t what happened. About 3 in the after noon I realized that the Dr. Pepper I had gotten at about ten at sonic wasn’t gone yet. I actually had the thought ” what’s wrong with me I can’t believe that?” Anyway, the next day I got up and went the whole day without drinking any, just water. I sometimes have these experiences and think I must be losing it. It seems to simple and I wonder why I just naturally can quit things without even thinking about it. And then as crazy as it seems it hit me that I start Lithium a little more than 6 months ago. I knew it was working that it was allowing me to get back to me and to have the control I have craved over my thoughts and actions. I don’t say that because I don’t have responsibility for everything I do. But to say that it seems it’s so much easier with the right meds. 

So for the last week I have had little to no Dr. Pepper daily and I feel really good. I don’t have the need for it anymore. Maybe it was my crutch or part of my habit and as my world changes so is the way I live my life. I am completely in awe. I sit and wonder how it is even possible that a pill is allowing me to live life closer to what is in my head instead of whatever emotions I am caught up in. I still have to be diligent and pay attention. But I am so greatful there are people who are smart enough to figure out medications that can be used to help us. 

In the next couple weeks smoking will be coming to an end. I have already cut way down and I’m excited to open this chapter. And I have faith in my ability to keep not smoking this time instead of give in to the devil. It’s hard to explain that it is/was a compulsion. Trying to quit and thinking about quitting in the past lasted all day. I was miserable and terrified and I alays ended up smoking again. I know this time will be different, I’m not scared, I am proud. 

Before I close a personal request. Our daughter currently lives about 2 hours from us with her boys. She got divorced a year and a half ago and is seriously considering moving to be closer to us. It’s a very hard decision as she spent most of her teenage years where she is at and it’s a hard move to make, even if you know you need to. I would like to request prayers that a clear path will be seen and opened so that she will be clear what direction she needs to take. She’s an amazing mom and I would love nothing more than having her and the boys in the same town. But it needs to be what’s best for her and what will bring the greatest blessings. I appreciate any words you could send up on her behalf. 

Be blessed!!!


Yet another blessing in my life is my spiritual mentor, Jo.  She and I have been friends for about twelve years now, and she is one I can always count on for spiritual guidance.  She loves the Lord with all her heart and knows Scripture backwards, forwards, and inside out. She always ready to greet me with a blessing on our monthly visits at various coffeehouses and lunch places.  She is very active in her church, leading worship as a keyboardist, often with songs she’s written herself.  She also leads divorce care groups and is a licensed professional counselor, serving as the head of the counseling ministry at her church.  We can talk about mental health issues from the same perspective, herself being a survivor of child molestation.

I asked her several years ago if she could be my mentor because I so admired her walk with the Lord.  She challenges me to walk closer to Jesus by example and by direct encouragement, knowing that when I get low, I am prone to wonder if God really is there for me.   She’s always ready with an uplifting word whenever we meet.  We have children in the same age ranges  and have gone through all the upheavals of adolescence together as moms (considering we first met at a Mothers of Preschoolers meeting, it’s ben a long road together! :) )

All of my friends are blessings, but these four ladies holds special places in my heart.  I hope all of you have friends like this you can call upon for counsel, understanding, and fun as I do.

a-z challenge: o

Again with the shoulda tagged my entry (ooh-er missus) adult content. Oh oh oh oh oh OH OH OHHHHHH!!! Does anyone actually make those noises, or is it just a When Harry Met Sally thing? Sopranos too, I guess.

Anyroad up…. is for oceans. After yesterday’s linkdump I am fed up with research again, so this post will be a thumbsuck and off the top of my head sort of thing. And then I will go and find songs to inflict upon you.

And with the magic of time travel, aka scrolling up, here’s the o is for ocean playlist, which I cobbled together by raiding my brain, my ipod and then google. The selection process when I didn’t already know the song went as follows: I had to have heard of the band and I had to actually like the song. Not an exact science and certainly not a cogent, cohesive or indeed comprehensible playlist.



My mother ticked them off the way she did with islands and birds, the way she said sea haar (fog), with enormous relish and satisfaction. Her favourite seas were warm and turquoise and her favourite thing ever, was floating in them. Words and the sea and the sky sing to some people and if they call you, that’s that. You can relocate, but you’ll wither.

(Dalai Lama means ocean of wisdom.)

I live on the edge of the Indian Ocean now, I’ve also lived by the Atlantic (on two different continents), the North Sea and on a strait that used to be a river until … blah blah blah geology and stuff. I love the sea. I ought to be using the words sea and ocean more accurately, but I’m not, because common usage, laziness and the fact that I like the sound and the shape of the word sea better. (Seas are smaller and usually hang out between an ocean and dry land, bitching about sizeism.) I don’t need to ramble on about what oceans are though, you guys have all met them before.

(Local crappy radio station plays OMD’s Seven Seas every fecking day – well, every day that I put the radio on, which is occasionally on the way to town. I’ve never liked that song.)

il_570xN.461659544_569kThe sea (ocean!) here isn’t great for swimming, it gets deep very close to shore, the currents change according to whether the sea is constructing a sandbar, or there’s one already there; it’s not good for diving, because the water is murky. I think it’s cold, because I grew up further north where the sea is warm, but the people futher south would mock me and point to their own frigid oceans (they have two). It is, judging by the amount of people doing it and the harvest they get, a good place for rock/surf angling. There are mussels on the reefs, and rock formations that look as though lava and its bubbles solidified fast there. There’s a natural tidal pool, some flat sand and sand dunes; I saw bushbuck tracks all the way to the pool once. There are dolphins in it all year round, and whales for a season. I have seen humpbacks, southern rights and orca. The best thing is that it’s quiet. Really, really quiet. It’s a nause when the foul weather buggers up the wifi mast on a sand dune (with plants on it) and the salt on cars and the rust and things growing mould and fresh produce not lasting very long and the west wind howling  … and all of that gets filed under trivial or downright cool when contrasted with the many benefits.

nwbd-23-5-13Sometimes a team of tag and release guys come from an institution, and fish for sharks. They don’t come every day and they don’t land a shark every time, but it feels like xmas when it happens. They seem to catch over on that side, where all the rocks are, and then they bring it in, which can take a few hours, walking with rod and a looong line, off the rocks, up the beach, cross the dirt road, along the grass car park, on to the other beach, frequently standing way up the sand dunes, a good way from the sea. By that stage, as you can imagine, anyone anywhere on the beach has moved to where the fishermen are, and we message our mates who aren’t there, so that they can come and look too. When the shark reaches the shallows, the two dudes wade out to pull it in carefully (for the sake of the shark and of them too). The shark plays dead, we all crowd around, the shark gets weighed and measured (but never found wanting) and the guys show and tell us stuff and make sure we don’t get too close. Last time I saw a shark caught, I got asked to hold the rod (there is no clean way of saying that), and I immediately squeaked quiiiick take a photo of me as though I caught it. That was a big Zambezi – what you might know as a bull shark. I cannot resist the urge to research any more.

The bull shark, also known as the Zambezi shark or, unofficially, as Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a requiem shark commonly found worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. Wikipedia

Okay how freaking cool is the term requiem shark? *adds it to vocabulary before
fainting with joy* That’s the first time I’ve ever thought of a wiki as poetic (a migratory, live-bearing shark of warm seas, sometimes also found in brackish or fresh water, mid 17th century: from obsolete French requiem, variant of requin ‘shark’, influenced by requiem).

They’re aggressive bastards and they can shark around in very, very shallow water. We call the, Zambezi sharks after the Zambezi River, because tootling up rivers is another one of their terrifying skills. They have rows of scary teeth and the most recent news item I found is Bull shark swims into Florida family’s back garden. Personally, I’d move inland damn fast. They can eat other sharks and they barf up their food to distract predators. You wouldn’t want your daughter to marry one. Why the fuck I’m telling you all about the nastiest shark in the oceans, imstead of prettier beasts, I do not know.

ocean text typography icebergs artwork 2560x1440 wallpaper_www.artwallpaperhi.com_16Afterthought – we have whales, dolphins, birds, otters and fish too. Apparently it’s also got a sick break or a something or other wave erm cough idk, surfer stuff … the fish is great, the nearest restaurant is shite, where I live boasts one shop (in Britain it’d be a corner shop, idk what to compare it to anywhere else) and a sort of a hall, which is magic, because on different days of the week, it becomes a library, a social venue, a clinic. When I first moved here, it took ages for me to stop bitching about the nearest town (too far), the surrounding foliage (too dull a green), the service (abysmal), the people (short as hobbits and often racists and godbotherers, which are highly irksome when combined) … in short (as short as the population), I bitched a lot. Since then I got over my assholish self, enjoyed living away from sound and fury, began to love the brave and stunted trees, the tough aloes, euphorbia – everything that manages to survive in shit soil on crappy water and in nasty winds, the service stopped mattering at all, I met lovely people and I learned to tell the racist godbotherers from the nice ones.

Ocean-and-Sea_Daydream-62_Blue-480x416I live a fairly reclusive life, that mostly suits me. I see many sunrises over the sea and many sunsets while sitting on my front steps. I can hear the sea at night and not much else; a few hours away, is one of the best places to see elephants. Even when bipolar is kicking my ass, I know and thoroughly appreciate how fortunate I am. Got fuckall money, but a ridiculously lovely lifestyle.

Ode to the Sea
(Pablo Neruda)

(Read by Ralph Fiennes)

Surrounding the island
There’s sea.
But what sea?
It’s always overflowing.
Says yes,
Then no,
Then no again,
And no,
Says yes
In blue
In sea spray
Says no
And no again.
It can’t be still.
It stammers
My name is sea.

It slaps the rocks
And when they aren’t convinced,
Strokes them
And soaks them
And smothers them with kisses.
With seven green tongues
Of seven green dogs
Or seven green tigers
Or seven green seas,
Beating its chest,
Stammering its name,

Oh Sea,
This is your name.
Oh comrade ocean,
Don’t waste time
Or water
Getting so upset
Help us instead.
We are meagre fishermen,
Men from the shore
Who are hungry and cold
And you’re our foe.
Don’t beat so hard,
Don’t shout so loud,
Open your green coffers,
Place gifts of silver in our hands.
Give us this day
our daily fish


4 Reasons Wristbands for Mentally Ill Folk is a Really Bad Idea

nametagYesterday, the news broke that a Tory (Conservative Party) candidate for Parliament in Cambridge, Chamali Fernando, suggested at a hustings that mentally ill people could wear wristbands to communicate our disorders. She said wearing wristbands indicating the nature of the person’s condition would be helpful to professionals as they often could not explain themselves (from The Tab). Let’s take a minute to pick over why this is a terrible, terrible, not great idea… in list form!


1. It would increase stigma: While there are any number of us that are out and ‘proud’ about our assorted mental disorders, a lot of people aren’t. Nor should they have to be. Having such an obvious label would likely end up with people avoiding the bearer rather than encouraging them to educate themselves on what their situation is.

fw2. It would make sufferers more vulnerable: Unless people around the bearers made a point to operate with compassion and educate themselves, the person wearing the bracelet would find themselves lacking in support that might have otherwise existed if they had continued to pass as ‘normal’. And, of course, with disorders like schizophrenia, ‘everyone knows’ that they’re all dangerous murderers… oh, wait.

3. It’s insulting: While there is some validity in suggesting that some people might be unable to communicate their distress, that’s a fairly small minority. Even if she didn’t mean it as a catch-all for everyone, her words demonstrated to me that she generalised the situation too much. That circles back around to the first point — stigma comes from ignorance, and however ‘well meant’ the suggestion was, it comes from a presumptive, uneducated place called Stigmaland.

4. It’s exhausting: It’s one thing for people you trust and are comfortable with knowing that you have a mental illness, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing when it’s the rest of the world. The people you are close to, who are in your space space, aren’t going to hover over you like you’re going to ‘go crazy’ at any second. If everyone in a work space knew about a co-worker’s mental illness, there would be the very real risk of ‘well-meaning’ people looking for signs of episodes in every tiny little thing. This is one of those very real problem areas where people start to dismiss one’s valid and real feelings (especially negative ones) as being due to their mental illness. So really, that would be a total backfiring, putting the onus of explaining things on the ill person, and/or having to pretend even harder to be ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ just to get left alone.

But is it a completely bad idea?

No, there was some intended compassion in the suggestion, and in some cases, people might actually find this a reasonable way to make sure they aren’t beaten and incarcerated. I’ve seen some people suggest it’s no different from a Medical Alert bracelet, and at its heart, the idea is about the same.

The issue is she suggested colour coding for disorders, which really. REALLY. We are people, not easily labelled disorders. As those of us amongst the Bipolaratti know, you can have the exact same diagnosis as someone else, but your experience is vastly different. Some of us have it pretty good, others have it pretty bad, but we’re still all on the bipolar spectrum. Knowing that someone has bipolar because of their red and blue bracelet wouldn’t tell an authority whether or not the bearer was high or low, or how high or how low, or whether or not they rapid cycled or had comorbid personality disorders (though I guess you’re supposed to bangly with the comorbids *cough*).

What do you guys think?