Antidepressant

Withdrawing from Psychiatric Medications

You've been diagnosed with a mental disorder and have been in treatment now for years. You've done both psychotherapy and psychiatric medications, and now it's time to try to live life drug-free. You've successfully ended your psychotherapy treatment, but now you're looking for advice and information about how to end your psychiatric medications.

My first suggestion to you would be to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist. Nobody should go off of any medication without first getting their doctor's consent and, hopefully, cooperation (or, if not their consent, at least their grudging acceptance that it's your body and you can do with it what you want). Ideally, you're seeing a psychiatrist for your psychiatric medications and not just your family doctor. If you are just seeing your family doctor, you may need a little more help than someone seeing a psychiatrist, because psychiatrists have much greater familiarity with helping people get off of the medications they previously prescribed to them. (In my experience, I've found many family doctors simply have little clue about the idiosyncrasies of discontinuing psychiatric medications, because of their unique tapering properties.)

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Antidepressant

Sex on Antidepressants

A while back, a reader asked me if I'd cover the topic of intimacy complications with regard to antidepressants.

Ah. Yeah. Every time I write about this controversial topic, I usually get hammered by the left, right, and center. This is obviously delicate ground, so let me tread lightly.

In a recent Johns Hopkins Health Alert called "The Challenge of Antidepressant Medication and Intimacy," I read this:
While sexual dysfunction is a frequent symptom of depression itself (and successful treatment of depression may eliminate it), antidepressant medication can sometimes worsen or even cause sexual problems. In fact, sexual dysfunction is a potential side effect of all classes of antidepressants.
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Antipsychotic

13 Myths of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of those mental disorders that many people seem to confuse with something else, such as multiple personality disorder. It's a very simple yet very terrifying condition, characterized by usually having a combination of hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations can involve any of your five senses, but in schizophrenia, usually involves seeing or hearing things that aren't really there (like hearing other people's voices inside your head telling you to do something...
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Anorexia

10 Ways to Manage Your Weight on Psych Meds

Awhile back, a Beyond Blue reader asked me to address the problem of weight gain and medication. "How do you deal with this yourself?" she asked me.

I'll be perfectly honest -- it's a battle. As someone with a history of an eating disorder, I've had to work very hard on getting to a place where I eat when I'm hungry. For that reason, I won't go near drugs like Zyprexa, because...
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Antipsychotic

9 Myths of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder has been the focus of attention in recent years, as a new slew of psychiatric medications have been developed to help treat it. Such medications drive pharmaceutical marketing and increased educational efforts surrounding bipolar disorder (for better or worse).

But many myths surround bipolar disorder -- what it is, what it means, and how it's treated. Here's to busting a few of the most common ones.

1....
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Zyprexa Redux

If you haven't been hiding under a rock in the past few years, you've probably heard about Zyprexa (olanzapine). It's an atypical antipsychotic psychiatric medication used first to treat schizophrenia, then extended to include the treatment of different types of bipolar disorder. There's nothing...
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Did Eli Lilly Downplay Zyprexa’s Health Risks?

A New York City federal judge ordered drug company Eli Lilly to unseal confidential documents concerning the popular antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (Olanzapine) this past Friday, after a lengthy legal dispute. Yesterday’s New York Times reports: The decision by Judge Jack B. Weinstein of Federal District Court came as part of a ruling that gave class-action status to a case brought by insurance companies, pension funds and unions that want Lilly to repay them billions of dollars they spent on the drug. They contend...
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