The Maudsley Bipolar Disorder Project: the effect of medication, family history, and duration of illness on IQ and memory in bipolar I disorder.
This article presents evidence that psych meds make us sicker.
“Patients on treatment with antipsychotic drugs had a lower current full scale IQ, lower general memory scores, and lower working memory scores. A family history of affective disorders was associated with a higher full scale IQ, but not with either general or working memory measures. Duration of illness was negatively associated with general memory scores, but had no effect on either IQ or working memory measures.”
If you haven’t read Kay Redfield Jamison’s “<a href="Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament“>Touched With Fire; Manic-Depressive Ilness and the Artistic Temperament” run out and get a copy. She is a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins and is bipolar herself.
“I believe that curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do. I believe, in short, that we are equally beholden to heart and mind, and that those who have particularly passionate temperaments and questioning minds leave the world a different place for their having been there. It is important to value intellect and discipline, of course, but it is also important to recognize the power of irrationality, enthusiasm and vast energy. Intensity has its costs, of course — in pain, in hastily and poorly reckoned plans, in impetuousness — but it has its advantages as well.”
Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Author and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University
in “The Benefits of Restlessness and Jagged Edges”
NPR Morning Edition, June 6, 2005
PSYweb has a list of the DSM-IV Diagnosis Codes. Notice that there are a lot of psychiatric diagnoses caused by psych meds. This makes it totally clear that your meds can make you sicker, a good argument for doing the minimum meds to make you functional vs. medicating yourself into oblivion.
The following are a few examples of iatrogenic (physician-caused) psychiatric disorders:
- Opioid-Induced Mood Disorder
Yes, pain meds can make you look like a bipolar.
- Neuroleptic-Induced Acute Akathisia
He’s agitated, let’s give him more neuroleptic. Neuroleptics are old-fashioned antipsychotics such as Haldol.
- Amphetamine-Induced Psychotic Disorder, With Hallucinations
Some of the ADHD meds they give to kids, including Ritalin and Adderall, are amphetamines. Can you imagine turning your kid into a Speed Freak?
- Sedative-, Hypnotic-, or Anxiolytic-Induced Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety from anti-anxiety pills? Some of the benzodiazepines can even induce hypomania, however there doesn’t seem to be a diagnosis code for it. Maybe in the DSM-V. Or maybe not. I hear it’s being written by Big Pharma.
Another cool thing on psyweb is a Mood Disorder Flow Chart that is able to distinguish bipolar disorder from the other mood disorders. A real kick in the head is the question “Symptoms Psychotic in nature, occur at times other then during Manic or Mixed Episodes?”
This seems to imply that bipolars don’t have psychotic depressions, but other mood disorders do. Note that the only the 296 numbers are mood disorders, and only a few of those are called bipolar disorder. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
A couple of years ago I did a decision tree for the bipolar disorders based on the DSM-III. It’s a little different from the DSM-IV-based version.
Psyweb also has a decision tree for differential diagnosis, and that’s a better choice than the mood disorders tree, even for diagnosed bipolars. This tree helps you figure out whether you have another psych diagnosis masquerading as bipolar, something that a 15-minute psych eval will definately miss. That would be truly disastrous, being treated for life for bipolar instead of dealing with something less severe. Have fun!
I think I’m going to invent Seroquel jimmies for ice cream.
Pretty much any psych med by itself will affect sex drive. I see folks taking a half a dozen of them, and then another med or two to counteract the side effects. The pdocs tell us that they DON’T because they don’t want us to quit taking them.
Perhaps we should refer to our meds as a “pharmaceutical chastity belt.”
Anything that tweaks your dopamine down is going to get rid of the emotional spark required to have something resembling a sex life. And anything that tweaks UP serotonin receptors does so at the expense of dopamine receptors. See this article, Notes on Anhedonia and SAD.
For men, there’s also the problem of peripheral blood flow – a strictly mechanical problem. Can’t get the old hydraulics to run, eh? Viagra and Cialis work by improving blood flow. Heck, coffee dilates the blood vessels too, and if you brew it at home it’s way cheaper than an ED pill. Diabetes is common cause of ED, so antipsychotics that affect blood sugar (most of the atypicals) might contribute to it.
Maybe the whole idea is to give us drugs that prevent us from breeding lots of little bipolars.
people who experience
each other on the internet
for advocacy and support
I don’t know where to start to talk about Sylvia Caras. Award-winning mental health consumer advocate, speaker and author, founder of the Madness group and of People Who, Grandma, and a really together lady. I really look up to her – and if you know me, I don’t look up to anyone!
Sylvia recently accepted two of my blog articles for inclusion on the People Who site. Do stop over and look at what she is doing for us.
From an article on PubMed:
“Patients on treatment with antipsychotic drugs had a lower current full scale IQ, lower general memory scores, and lower working memory scores.”
I submit that psych meds actually make you less capable of effectively participating in your treatment, or even in life.
Why are they doing this to us?