ANTIDEPRESSANT: MILITARY SUICIDE: IRAQ/KENTUCKY

Paragraph 16 reads:  “Depression first struck in the
summer of 2002, and Ala admitted himself to Ten Broeck Hospital, now called The
Brook. He was prescribed an anti-depressant, his parents
said, and later in the year saw a doctor at Fort Knox who determined he was fit
to stay in the Guard. He was deployed the next year to the Middle
East.”

Paragraphs 20 through 23 read:  “But in 2004, they began to
notice troubling signs. Arylane Ala said her son always wore black and went on
binges with vitamins, nutritional supplements and workouts. Sometimes he
would hide, saying he heard helicopters.
And he would get
extremely agitated while driving, occasionally slamming his car
into park, and running away, disappearing for hours or even
days.

In June 2005, Ala was hospitalized at the Louisville
VA Medical Center and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which the
VA later ruled service-connected, which made him eligible for financial
benefits.

He was prescribed lithium, but his parents said he sometimes
skipped his medication. At nursing school, he highlighted passages about bipolar
disorder in his psychiatry textbook, writing “me” in the
margins.

Finally, after a fight with his fiancee that resulted in her
obtaining an emergency protective order against him, Bryan Ala went to his
parents’ home. The Alas said he promised not to do anything rash. But after they went to work on Aug. 10, 2007, he took a rifle from
under his father’s bed and ended his life.

SSRI Stories note:

Antidepressants Can Cause Bipolar Disorder to Develop.  This is
stated in many scientific studies.  Bipolar Disorder Can Contribute to
Suicide.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090913/NEWS01/909130330

Suicide takes growing toll among military, veterans

By Laura Ungar • lungar@courier-journal.com
September 13, 2009

As soon as Arylane Ala walked into her house that day
in 2007, she saw blood ­ a red pool stretching from the coffee table to the
fireplace. Then she saw her youngest son face down on the floor, an antique
rifle by his side.

She didn’t approach his body, she said: “I didn’t
want to see his face … his expression.”

Four tumultuous years after
serving in the Middle East with the Kentucky Air National Guard, 25-year-old
Bryan Ala of Louisville took his life ­ part of a rising number of military

and veteran suicides as the Iraq war continues and fighting intensifies in
Afghanistan.

“Life goes on after you lose a child,” said Bryan’s father,
Rich, 60. “But sweet is never as sweet as it was. The sun’s never as bright.
I’ve got a hole in my heart that will never heal up.”

The federal
government estimates that 5,000 veterans commit suicide each year, and Dr.
Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said suicides
among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans could top combat deaths.

He made the
statement last year at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric
Association and cited a study by Rand Corp., a nonprofit research organization,
showing as many as 20 percent of veterans returning from these conflicts will
suffer major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and seven in 10 won’t
seek help from the departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs.

The toll
is also rising in the active military, with the Army reporting the most
confirmed suicides ­ 140 last year. Locally, Fort Knox reported five
confirmed suicides in 2008 and 2009. Fort Campbell reported 24 suspected or
confirmed suicides in the same period and in late May suspended regular duties
for everyone for three days so commanders could better help soldiers at
risk.

Driving these numbers are pre-existing mental illnesses,
post-traumatic stress disorder and relationship or financial problems worsened
by long or repeated deployments, say mental health experts, who also point to
the stigma against seeking help in a culture known for toughness.

Many
families and veterans organizations argue that more needs to be done to stop the
deaths. And military and Veterans Affairs officials say they are taking the
problem seriously, beefing up mental health resources and suicide prevention
programs.

“We’ve got to hit it head on,” said Maj. Gen. Donald Campbell,
Fort Knox commander.

In July, Fort Knox played host to Maj. Gen. Mark
Graham of Georgia and his wife, Carol, who told a standing-room-only crowd about
the 2003 suicide of their son Kevin, 21.

The ROTC cadet at the University
of Kentucky suffered from depression before his sister found him hanged from a
bedroom ceiling fan. The Grahams, who have made military suicide prevention a
personal cause, shared Kevin’s story before attending a ceremony dedicating a
building to their other son, Jeffrey, who was killed in action in Iraq in
2004.

“We lost two sons,” said Mark Graham, who spoke again on Aug. 21 in
Frankfort. “Both our sons died fighting different battles.”

History of mental illness

Mental illness also proved
too strong an enemy for Bryan Ala.

Growing up, he was adventurous and
loved caving, rock-climbing, fishing and going to the shooting range with his
father, a Vietnam vet. At 18, Bryan Ala joined the Air National Guard to help
pay for college, later enrolling in the University of Louisville’s nursing
school.

Depression first struck in the summer of 2002, and Ala admitted
himself to Ten Broeck Hospital, now called The Brook. He was prescribed an
anti-depressant, his parents said, and later in the year saw a doctor at Fort
Knox who determined he was fit to stay in the Guard. He was deployed the next
year to the Middle East.

Capt. Stephanie Fields, deputy state surgeon for
the Kentucky National Guard, said soldiers are not deployed if they have been
diagnosed with depression less than three months earlier because the soldier
needs to show stability. But otherwise, she said, decisions are made on a
case-by-case basis, according to Army policy, by a treating physician who
consults with the soldier’s commander. If they are deemed too ill to deploy, she
said, they may still be able to stay in the Guard. Fields said soldiers have two
mental health evaluations before deployment.

Rich Ala said he worried
that serving abroad might aggravate his son’s depression, but didn’t say
anything because he figured his son was an adult who could take care of himself.

Bryan Ala spent six months as a medic in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab
Emirates and Qatar, where his job was to care for an air crew and help at a
military field hospital. He didn’t talk much with his family about what he saw
during his tour, beyond the different cultures and the harsh conditions of a
desert tent encampment.

Back in the United States, he served another six
months as a medic with a hospital group at the Kentucky Air National Guard base
in Louisville, and his parents said everything seemed fine.

But in 2004,
they began to notice troubling signs. Arylane Ala said her son always wore black
and went on binges with vitamins, nutritional supplements and workouts.
Sometimes he would hide, saying he heard helicopters. And he would get extremely
agitated while driving, occasionally slamming his car into park, and running
away, disappearing for hours or even days.

In June 2005, Ala was
hospitalized at the Louisville VA Medical Center and diagnosed with bipolar
disorder, which the VA later ruled service-connected, which made him eligible
for financial benefits.

He was prescribed lithium, but his parents said
he sometimes skipped his medication. At nursing school, he highlighted passages
about bipolar disorder in his psychiatry textbook, writing “me” in the
margins.

Finally, after a fight with his fiancee that resulted in her
obtaining an emergency protective order against him, Bryan Ala went to his
parents’ home. The Alas said he promised not to do anything rash. But after they
went to work on Aug. 10, 2007, he took a rifle from under his father’s bed and
ended his life.

Combat haunts vet

Psychologist Lanny Berman,
executive director of the American Association of Suicidology in Washington,
D.C., said the military generally does a good job screening out people with
severe mental conditions.

But he said many soldiers suffer pre-existing
depression or develop mental illness during or after service ­ magnifying
everyday stresses and compromising already disrupted relationships.
(4 of 4)

Berman, who serves on a federal task force to prevent military suicides,
said the Iraq and Afghanistan wars pose the particular challenges of long tours
and close-range combat, and many veterans suffer post-traumatic stress
disorder.
Advertisement

Army Sgt. Cecil Harris of Pikeville, Ky., was one of them.
After serving in Iraq in 2003, he was flown to Germany with respiratory
problems, severe headaches and a bacterial illness, said his mother, Sharon
Harris of Louisville.

But long after the physical healing began, she
said, his combat memories haunted him, and he was diagnosed with PTSD at the
Lexington VA hospital.

In May of this year, in the midst of a divorce, he
called his mother in Las Vegas, where she was working as a traveling nurse. He
talked about difficulties with a new medication.

On May 17, Harris, 33,
was found hanged from a beam of an apartment under construction in
Danville.

His mother recalled his last words to her:

“Promise me,
Mom, if something happens to me, that you’ll be my voice to the boys who come
back so they get better medical treatment.”

Care gets beefed up

Military and VA officials said
they are trying to do just that.

Nationally, the VA has suicide
prevention coordinators in each of its hospitals and in 2007 started a suicide
hot line for veterans that has received more than 120,000 calls. The Louisville
VA Medical Center provides mental health care and outpatient group sessions for
once-suicidal veterans.

Joe Verney, suicide prevention program manager at
Fort Campbell, said his was the first Army installation in the continental
United States to create a council of leaders from medicine, religion, behavioral
health and other disciplines, in 2007, and to hire a suicide prevention
coordinator, in 2008.

The base also contracts with 29 behavioral health
professionals available for round-the-clock, anonymous consultations, and trains
soldiers in a suicide-prevention program called “Ask, Care, Escort,” which
stresses accompanying others to help.

Fort Knox officials said they are
taking similar steps, trying to eliminate the stigma against seeking
help.

“Our Army is clearly moving in the right direction,” said Mark
Graham, who used to command Colorado’s Fort Carson. “But it’s not moving fast
enough.”

The changes come too late for the Alas, who argue that mental
health needs to be treated like physical health, with the ill getting intensive
treatment.

Arylane Ala said problems with mental health care in the

military and VA reflect problems in the larger civilian culture. “Mental health
in general … should be more readily available,” she said. “People should be
treated more frequently. Having a (psychologist) to speak with every three
months is not enough when the illness is serious.”

Two years after their
son’s death, she and her husband often visit his ashes at a cemetery near Fort
Knox, placing plastic toy soldiers nearby to symbolize his service.

“You
hope nobody goes through the loss of a child,” said Arylane Ala, her eyes
filling with tears. “Life’s not meant to be that way.”

Reporter Laura
Ungar can be reached at (502) 582-7190.

799 total views, 2 views today

PROZAC: Woman Develops Hypomania: Later Diagnosed as Bipolar as They All Are!

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): This little piece on antidepressant-induced bipolar disorder ends with the following questions: “What about you? If you went to the doctor for depression, were you prescribed an antidepressant alone? Were you asked if you’d ever had “high” moods? Did the antidepressant bring on mania or hypomania?”

When you consider that the rate of diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder increased by 4000% in a recent 10 year period that the numbers of those answering a resounding YES to those questions is VERY HIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have publicly stated over and over again and will say it once again, “Antidepressants are the biggest CAUSE of Bipolar Disorder on the planet!”

1. Mania is a continuous series of mild seizures in the brain.

2. Seizures come from over stimulation of the brain.

3. ANTI – depressants, or the opposite of a depressant – a stimulant.

4. The over stimulation of the brain (especially from the shock of abrupt withdrawal from an antidepressant) leads to mania and the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.

Fourth sentence reads: “. It takes hindsight to see that what I thought was “normal” behavior in response to Prozac was in fact at least mild hypomania.”

http://bipolar.about.com/b/2009/08/31/bipolar-depression-and-antidepressants.htm

Bipolar Depression and Antidepressants

Monday August 31, 2009

My first psychiatric diagnosis was major depression, and my first psychiatric medication was Prozac. It was prescribed by my GP, not by a psychiatrist. I had a one-week follow-up visit, and then I was turned loose. It takes hindsight to see that what I thought was “normal” behavior in response to Prozac was in fact at least mild hypomania. Someone even called me “the poster child for Prozac.” This was in 1994, and I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until 1999, after another antidepressant did a similar thing.

What about you? If you went to the doctor for depression, were you prescribed an antidepressant alone? Were you asked if you’d ever had “high” moods? Did the antidepressant bring on mania or hypomania?

382 total views, 1 views today

BIPOLAR MEDS: Suicide of Aristocrat: England

Paragraphs four & five read:  ”

He said:  ‘He was a very lovely chap, but had a problem with bipolar disorder. He had hit a low and decided it was enough.”

“‘He’d been ok for years, but recently he’d had a turn for the worse. I think something may have gone wrong with his medication and he decided life wasn’t worth living’.”

http://woodandvale.london24.net/woodandvale/news/story.aspx?brand=NorthLondon24&category=Newswoodandvale&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newswoodandvale&itemid=WeED06%20Aug%202009%2011%3A34%3A26%3A387

Tower block death victim identified as aristocrat

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk
06 August 2009

Milo Douglas
Sanchez Manning

AN ARISTOCRAT whose son leapt to his death from a Paddington tower block has described the depression he suffered from as “a black hole of misery”.

Milo Douglas
Lord Milo Douglas, 34, is believed to have thrown himself off the nine-storey Reading House on the Hallfield council estate last month.

Speaking at the family home in Maida Hill, his father David, the 12th Marquess of Queensberry, told of his son’s ongoing struggle with bipolar disorder – also known as manic depression.

He said: “He was a very lovely chap, but had a problem with bipolar disorder. He had hit a low and decided it was enough.

“He’d been ok for years, but recently he’d had a turn for the worse. I think something may have gone wrong with his medication and he decided life wasn’t worth living.”

The 79-year-old added that his son’s condition was like “another country – a black hole of misery”.

Lord Milo was pronounced dead by paramedics after his lifeless body was discovered in front of Reading House at 6.30am on July 21. His death followed a similar incident at nearby Exeter House a year ago.

His father said he did not have any links to the Hallfield Estate but had gone there with the intention of killing himself.

Despite his recent downward spiral, the Marquess said he had no clue that his son was planning to take his own life.

He revealed that Lord Douglas had left his job as a fundraiser for Action Against Hunger a few months earlier, but said this was because he was looking for a change.

Paying tribute to his son’s good character, he said: “He was the most natural, kind and loving person of all the people I know.

“He was hugely loved and I never heard anyone say a nasty word against him. He was the least malevolent person I ever met.”

Lord Milo attended the private Dauntsey’s School, in Devizes, Wiltshire, before going on to Manchester University to study history. He comes from an extensive family of eight brothers and three sisters and is second in line to the historic title of the Marquess of Queensberry.

His mother Alexa is a former model and was his father’s now estranged second wife.

His lineage dates back to 1637 and his ancestors include the ninth Marquess, John Sholto Douglas, who endorsed the Queensberry Rules of Boxing in the 19th century and famously brought criminal proceedings against Oscar Wilde.

He accused the writer of having an affair with his son, Bosie, Lord Alfred Douglas, a crime for which Wilde was eventually jailed.

The controversy surrounding the family was renewed when it emerged that Lord Milo’s stepsister, Carrie Carey, had married two of Osama Bin Laden’s sons – Salam Bin Laden, who died in an air crash in 1988, and then Khaled Bin Laden.

440 total views, 2 views today

Over 81% Took An Antidepressant or ADHD Med Before Being Diagnosed Bipolar

WOW!! This certainly makes the connection between the use of these drugs and Bipolar Disorder obvious! But is this suppose to be a big surprise?!

From my new DVD, Bipolar, Shmypolar, Are You Really Bipolar or Misdiagnosed Due to the Use of or Abrupt Discontinuation of an Antidepressant?, let me give you a quick synopsis.

An ANTI-depressant is the opposite of a depressant and is what?

That is correct. It is a stimulant.

What is bipolar? It is a continuous series of mild seizures.

What produces seizures? STIMULANTS, like antidepressants and amphetamines – Ritalin, etc.!

Chemically inducing Bipolar Disorder to create a whole new customer base for the new and high priced atypical antipsychotics is not the least bit difficult when you start patients out on stimulant medications, like Ritalin and antidepressants. That is especially true when given to a young patient with yet growing and developing, and therefore more vulnerable, brain!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org & www.ssristories.drugawareness.org
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? Our
Serotonin Nightmare and audio: Help! I Can’t
Get Off My Antidepressant ()

Sixth sentence reads: “During the year before the new diagnosis of bipolar disorder, youths were commonly diagnosed as having depressive disorder (46.5%) or disruptive behavior disorder (36.7%) and had often filled a prescription for an antidepressant (48.5%), stimulant (33.0%), mood stabilizer (31.8%), or antipsychotic (29.1%].”

http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/60/8/1098

Psychiatr Serv 60:1098-1106, August 2009
doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.60.8.1098
© 2009 American Psychiatric Association

Article

Mental Health Treatment Received by Youths in the Year Before and After a New Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder
Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H., Stephen Crystal, Ph.D., Tobias Gerhard, Ph.D., Cecilia S. Huang, Ph.D. and Gabrielle A. Carlson, M.D.

Dr. Olfson is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10032 (e-mail: mo49@columbia.edu ). Dr. Crystal and Dr. Huang are with the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, and Dr. Gerhard is with the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, both at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Dr. Carlson is with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, New York.

OBJECTIVE: Despite a marked increase in treatment for bipolar disorder among youths, little is known about their pattern of service use. This article describes mental health service use in the year before and after a new clinical diagnosis of bipolar disorder. METHODS: Claims were reviewed between April 1, 2004, and March 31, 2005, for 1,274,726 privately insured youths (17 years and younger) who were eligible for services at least one year before and after a service claim; 2,907 youths had new diagnosis of bipolar disorder during this period. Diagnoses of other mental disorders and prescriptions filled for psychotropic drugs were assessed in the year before and after the initial diagnosis of bipolar disorder. RESULTS: The one-year rate of a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder was .23%. During the year before the new diagnosis of bipolar disorder, youths were commonly diagnosed as having depressive disorder (46.5%) or disruptive behavior disorder (36.7%) and had often filled a prescription for an antidepressant (48.5%), stimulant (33.0%), mood stabilizer (31.8%), or antipsychotic (29.1%). Most youths with a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder had only one (28.8%) or two to four (28.7%) insurance claims for bipolar disorder in the year starting with the index diagnosis. The proportion starting mood stabilizers after the index diagnosis was highest for youths with five or more insurance claims for bipolar disorder (42.1%), intermediate for those with two to four claims (24.2%), and lowest for those with one claim (13.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Most youths with a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder had recently received treatment for depressive or disruptive behavior disorders, and many had no claims listing a diagnosis of bipolar disorder after the initial diagnosis. The service pattern suggests that a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is often given tentatively to youths treated for mental disorders with overlapping symptom profiles and is subsequently reconsidered.

Related Article:
August 2009: This Month’s Highlights Psychiatr Serv 2009 60: 1009. [Full Text] [PDF]

682 total views, 1 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Psychiatrist Goes Nuts: Diagnosed Bipolar as They All Are!

Paragraphs 6 through 9 read: “Munn lost his license to practice psychiatry in Montana in 2003, after having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his patients. His marriage dissolved around the same time. Already being treated for depression, Munn’s condition was rediagnosed, and with the help of counseling and medicine, he rebuilt his life into one where he’s succeeding while living with a mental illness.”

“Anti-depressants didn’t help the manic side of Munn’s bipolar disorder. At times his thoughts raced. He didn’t sleep. He had grandiose ideas ­ like how to fix the entire mental health system in the state of Montana.”

“And he believed he could do anything he wanted.”

“’I felt rules didn’t apply to me. That would be grandiosity,’ he said. ‘But they do. And that’s accepting that you have a mental illness’.”

http://www.helenair.com/articles/2009/08/02/top/55lo_090802_mh2.txt

Psychiatrist brings himself back from the brink of suicide

By JOHN HARRINGTON – Independent Record – 08/02/09

Eliza Wiley Independent Record – Nathan Munn has fought back from some very low places. Rather than ending his life, the psychiatrist chose to seek treatment for his bipolar disorder and began a new career teaching psychology courses and developing a mental health direct care program at University of Montana-Helena.
In 2003, with his career and home in very public shambles, Nathan Munn nearly committed suicide.

But rather than end his life, the psychiatrist chose not to pull the trigger one fateful night. He subsequently got treatment, including psychotherapy and medications, for his bipolar mood disorder.

Now, Munn is an instructor at the University of Montana-Helena, teaching psychology courses and developing a mental health direct care program that trains students how to be direct caregivers, counselors and other types of mental health professionals.

“I’m really thankful for my job at UM-Helena,” said Munn, 49, in a candid interview last week. “And I hope that my story can be of some inspiration along with my teaching. It’s my intention that I’m still helping in the community, but now with education as opposed to direct providing of psychiatric care.”

Munn admits somewhat nervously that his past is still “hard to talk about.” He chooses his words carefully, often pausing between sentences. He’s told his humbling story before, and maybe it’s getting a little easier ­ but not much. Remorse hangs deep in his eyes.

Munn lost his license to practice psychiatry in Montana in 2003, after having an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his patients. His marriage dissolved around the same time. Already being treated for depression, Munn’s condition was rediagnosed, and with the help of counseling and medicine, he rebuilt his life into one where he’s succeeding while living with a mental illness.

Anti-depressants didn’t help the manic side of Munn’s bipolar disorder. At times his thoughts raced. He didn’t sleep. He had grandiose ideas ­ like how to fix the entire mental health system in the state of Montana.

And he believed he could do anything he wanted.

“I felt rules didn’t apply to me. That would be grandiosity,” he said. “But they do. And that’s accepting that you have a mental illness.”

Mental illnesses are by no means limited to those on the fringes of society. Millions of Americans of all walks of life ­ blue collar and white, laborers and professionals ­ live daily with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar mood disorder and other diagnosable and treatable conditions.

Mike Larson of Dillon is director of the State Bar of Montana’s Lawyer Assistance Program, which was created in 2006 after several attorneys committed suicide in Missoula.

“Lawyers, from the first call in the morning to the last e-mail at night, are busy dealing with everyone else’s problems,” Larson said. “So what do they do when their own problems kick in?”

Larson said that from a population of 2,800 members of the bar in Montana, he takes calls from eight to 10 new clients a month, around a third of which are related to mental illness, with another third dealing with chemical dependency. He said many lawyers are reticent to call the program, either out of fear that others will learn of their treatment and their careers will suffer, or from simple denial.

“There are a lot of stereotypes out there about what mental illness is, and there’s that whole component of not wanting to be under the stigma of mental illness,” Larson said.

For Munn, day-to-day life means a regimen of a mood-stabilizing drug and an anti-depressant, acknowledgement of and taking responsibility for the mistakes he made and a resolve to move forward knowing the illness will likely be with him for the rest of his life.

“It’s not like there’s one day that you no longer have a mental illness,” he said. “On appropriate treatment, it can be in remission. And you stay on your meds and you do the psychological work necessary, and you move forward.

“I hate to say it because it sounds like it’s bragging, but it takes courage. You have to face this, you face what you did, you face having a mental illness, and you accept other aspects of your life.”

Munn doesn’t hide from his condition, and hopes that sharing his story will comfort others who find themselves in similar positions.

“One of the main things I want to say is when you have a mental illness, you have to acknowledge that that’s there, and that you have it,” he said. “I have a bipolar disorder, I am not bipolar. It is something that I have, it is not something that I am. A lot of people say, ‘I am bipolar.’ Well, what does that mean? You don’t say, ‘I am congestive heart failure. I am sinusitis.’ It’s not who you are, it’s what you have.”

Just as there are ways to characterize people living with mental illness, there are productive ways to discuss the illnesses themselves, Munn said.

“(People) talked about the dark recesses of the mind. That’s not the way to talk about it,” he said. “The term ‘dark recess’ has such a negative connotation, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that’s not it. They’re not dark recesses. It’s neuropathology. It’s limbic system disregulation. And it’s the cognitions, the thinking that goes along with it.

“That’s a tough thing for people to get, but I think it’s crucial for people to get that as they’re recovering from a mental illness, that our brains and our minds are the same thing. So when I have negative cognitions, when I’m thinking that people would be better off without me, that’s the psychological part.

“And that’s a key point for people, is that what you’re thinking psychologically and what your brain is doing physically, we don’t know how it’s the same function, but it is the same function. The subjective psychology that you’re feeling as a person with a mental illness, is the psychological aspect of the biological process, and yes, it is a real illness. The idea that a psychological illness is somehow not real is just absurd. That’s crazy.”

Many mental illnesses can be directly traced to chemical imbalances or other physical abnormalities in the brain. But having a mental illness can’t by itself be an excuse for any actions, good bad or otherwise.

“You don’t want to use it as an excuse to justify behaviors. You have to take accountability. Personal accountability is necessary for recovery, it just is,” he said. “It takes humility, it takes a lot of work, it takes compliance.

“I made huge mistakes. My choices were horrible. Despicable, really, is the term to use. I hurt a lot of people. I hurt patients that I had, the person herself and her family, and of course my family. I feel sorry and apologetic about that every day. Especially for my children, I feel horrible and always will.

“One of the points I would like to make is, yes, I have this bipolar disorder. To deny I do would be to deny I have a mental illness. But I also completely accept responsibility and accountability for my actions. And that’s a very important point: recovery requires personal accountability. Yes, I have a major mental illness, and yes, I am responsible for my actions. Those aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Treating a mental illness isn’t a guarantee of happiness. Life still presents challenges, and treatment gives those suffering from mental illness a better chance at facing those challenges head-on and coming out ahead.

“Life has struggles, with or without a mental illness,” Munn said. “Having your mental illness treated doesn’t mean your life is wonderful. You’re still going to have the struggles that everyone has. But you’ll also have wonderful things. I’m a grandfather. And that’s wonderful. If I had killed myself, I wouldn’t have known this joy of having a granddaughter.

“You have to accept mental health care of various types, and you need to know that it’s worth it, that treatments are available, the science is there, people do recover, illnesses do go into remission. Of all chronic illnesses to have, having a mental illness is not bad. Treatments are available, and you can live a long, good life having your mental illness treated.”

Larson of the Lawyer Assistance Program acknowledged that people need to want to treat their illnesses.

“There are a lot of people out there that still need the help that haven’t come forward or recognized they need the help,” Larson said. “Not only are they in denial that they have a problem, they’re in denial that everyone knows they have a problem.”

And even if the disease goes into remission or becomes manageable, a person must be diligent, even when things are going well.

“It’s not something you mess around with. And that’s OK,” Munn said. “Mental illnesses are chronic illnesses. People have the idea that, ‘Oh no, I’m going to be on medications for life.’ Well yeah, you are. And that’s all right, you have a chronic illness. There are a lot of chronic illnesses, not just psychiatric ones. And people who have those, like type 1 diabetes, will be on insulin. It’s accepted. So it’s a chronic illness, you accept that.”

And the more acceptance there is, across a broader swath of Montana at large, the easier it will be for people to summon the strength to get the help they need, to confront the illness, and to assume the places so many of them deserve as productive members of society.

To view the complete series on mental health care services in Montana, click here.

John Harrington: 447-4080 or john.harrington@helenair.com.

550 total views, 1 views today

Study Links Older Bipolar Drug to Fewer Suicides

9/17/2003 • Study Links Older Bipolar Drug to Fewer Suicides

Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, senior author of the study and director of the psychopharmacology research center at George Washington University Medical Center

Journal of the American Medical Association

The new study, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that patients taking Depakote were 2.7 times as likely to kill themselves as those taking lithium. Earlier studies by others had also found that lithium could prevent suicide, but today’s report is the first to compare suicide and attempted suicide rates in lithium and Depakote users. The study was based on medical records of 20,638 patients aged 14 and older in Washington State and California who were treated from 1994 to 2001.

9/17/2003

Study Links Older Bipolar Drug to Fewer Suicides

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/17/health/17SUIC.html

Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, senior author of the study and director of the psychopharmacology research center at George Washington University Medical Center

Journal of the American Medical Association

The new study, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that patients taking Depakote were 2.7 times as likely to kill themselves as those taking lithium. Earlier studies by others had also found that lithium could prevent suicide, but today’s report is the first to compare suicide and attempted suicide rates in lithium and Depakote users. The study was based on medical records of 20,638 patients aged 14 and older in Washington State and California who were treated from 1994 to 2001.

Lithium, an old and inexpensive drug that has fallen out of favor with many psychiatrists, is better than the most commonly prescribed drug, Depakote, at preventing suicide in people who have manic-depressive illness, researchers are reporting.

People with the illness, also called bipolar disorder, swing back and forth between bleak spells of depression and periods of high excitability that may run the gamut from euphoria to rage. From 1.3 percent to 1.5 percent of people in the United States suffer from bipolar disorder, and their risk of committing suicide is estimated to be 10 to 20 times that of the rest of the population.

Perhaps because patients are more likely to seek medical help when they are depressed than when they are manic, the disorder is often misdiagnosed at first as depression alone, but antidepressants are not the correct treatment for bipolar disorder and may in fact make it worse.

The new study, published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that patients taking Depakote were 2.7 times as likely to kill themselves as those taking lithium. Earlier studies by others had also found that lithium could prevent suicide, but today’s report is the first to compare suicide and attempted suicide rates in lithium and Depakote users. The study was based on medical records of 20,638 patients aged 14 and older in Washington State and California who were treated from 1994 to 2001.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals, a maker of lithium, paid for the study, but did not influence the findings or the way they were reported, the authors said.

The study included 53 actual suicides and 383 attempted suicides that led to hospitalization. But the researchers, as well as Depakote’s manufacturer, cautioned that because this study was based only on patients’ records, it was not conclusive.

Precisely how lithium might prevent suicide is not known, although it is believed to help regulate levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences mood.

“Lithium is clearly being underutilized,” said Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, the senior author of the study and director of the psychopharmacology research center at George Washington University Medical Center. The drug can save lives, he said, adding, “The real tragedy is that a lot of young psychiatrists have never learned to use lithium.”

Lithium, which can smooth out the highs and the lows of bipolar disorder, was first used in the 1950’s, and in the 1970’s was the first drug to be designated a “mood stabilizer” by the Food and Drug Administration. But the drug has been around for so long that its patent has expired and generic versions exist, meaning that lithium cannot generate substantial earnings for industry, Dr. Goodwin said. Drug companies promote newer, more profitable drugs like Depakote.

Some difficult cases referred to Dr. Goodwin turn out to be people who have never taken lithium because their psychiatrists, often under 40, never thought of prescribing it. But Dr. Goodwin also emphasized that lithium did not work for everyone and that other drugs like Depakote were also needed.

Dr. John Leonard, a spokesman for Abbott Laboratories, the maker of Depakote, questioned the findings. Dr. Leonard said that studies looking back at patients’ records were inherently flawed and not as reliable as studies in which patients were randomly assigned by researchers to take one drug or the other. He said conclusions could not be drawn from the data, and doctors should not base treatment decisions on it.

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Serotonergic Poisoning on Paxil

“My teeth no longer feel like my teeth and I have horrible electrical feelings in my mouth.”

I was being treated for a bipolar depression with St. John’s Wort, and my doctor prescribed Seroxat (Paxil). This was in June 1999. I became seriously ill within three days and then had all sorts of drugs thrown at me for my “depression.”

All these brought various horrors with them. In fact I suffered “serotonergic poisoning” for 22 months.

There was no acceptance of my constant statement that Seroxat was responsible (although I was taken off it after a while). There are no words to describe what it felt like. I could so easily be dead, for several reasons.

I feel terribly disabled now with a variety of neurological damage caused by the experience. e.g.. My teeth no longer feel like my teeth and I have horrible electrical feelings in my mouth. This is called ‘OFD.’ Of course I am receiving medication for this.

In summary I could say that my life is wrecked, but I try not to make sweeping statements for my own sake.

I am progressing as bravely as I can and want to make as good a recovery as possible. This is the only way, otherwise I would truly despair, and if I have any choice in the matter I am not going to let this win. This is the real me talking, rather than the drugs.

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Hope through alternatives even after long-term use of Prozac

 

“The doctors said that I needed the drugs to pull through. I finally said, ‘No more drugs!'”

 

My name is Tammy.

I was diagnosed with bipolar depression about seven years ago. I have been in and out of the mental ward three times in the seven years.

This may be kind of long, but I feel that it is very important for those who have this condition. I would like to let you know that there is away to heal from this, other than the use of drugs.

I was under doctors’ care with the use of drugs — lithium, Prozac etc. These drugs did nothing for me. I still sheltered myself from life outside the home. Was afraid to speak to anyone about what I was going through. I slept all the time, had nothing that interested me at all, just sat and watched TV. If I slept, then nothing could go wrong and I would not have to face reality.

I had to give my children to the state foster care system. This was the hardest thing I ever had to do. My children where very young and did not understand why we where not together. We told them what I was going through, but at the age they where they did not understand. I still managed to visit with them when I was allowed to. I cried when I left them, for they were in different homes. This made me feel even more alone.

I would cry sometimes all day and for no reason. I had no control. Was unable to do my job at work so they let me go. Now, no job no children. I had to move back to my parents’ home. A home of nothing but abuse.

The doctors said that I needed the drugs to pull through. I finally said, “No more drugs! They are not doing me any good.” So I took myself off all drugs. The doctor said that she would not recommend me doing that but she could not make me take them. I have managed to deal with this for years. No friends, no family, no fun.

Till I met Bev. I met her at a very tiring time in my life. My mother was diagnosed with (cholangio Carcinowa), Bio-duct cancer. Grandfather had died a month before my mother. I was a mess. Went to work and all anyone had to say was “Hi, how are you?” and I would fall all apart.

This gal Bev saw that I was not alright, so she began giving me some of the Young Living Essential Oil supplements (mentioned in Dr. Tracy’s book and tape on withdrawal and rebuilding). I took them and she would come around later and asked me how I felt. I did feel better but was not sure if the supplements were the reason why I could work.

Bev took me to a massage therapist and I had an emotional release done. Boy, after that was done I did not think that it worked. As we left I told Bev get me home — I really needed to get home. Not sure why I had to get there but just get me home. I had a business appointment right when I got home. I called and canceled it, felt that I could not do it right then.

A few hours passed and I was at home when I started to have a large crying spell. I cried so hard that I had dry heaves. I could not keep anything down and could not sleep. Could not sit still, this went on all day and night. Called Bev to tell her I was afraid and what I was going through. The next day I felt as though nothing at all happened to me. I was better than fine, I was happy and could not wait to go somewhere. My concentration improved, I got out doing things again.

Bev helped me with my diet, supplements, the essential oils, etc. This is what I feel saved my life. This was my last chance, for I had tried everything and nothing worked. But the Young Living Essential Oils products worked!

I have a ways to go but feel that Young living will see me through all the changes. I hope that this will help other people to believe that there is something out there that will work and without drugs. I am stronger than I ever have been and I owe it all to Young Living Essential Oils.

Thank you, Bev and Young Living, from the bottom of my heart! You saved me!!!!!!!!

Tammy

2/18/2001

This is Survivor Story number 1.
Total number of stories in current database is 34

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Tegretol Destroyed My Life And My Family

“I wanted to withdraw from life on this drug.”

 

Day by day, we are beginning heal. I’ve had a lot of POST TRAUMATIC things happen since Daryl Foster died who was my very best friend of 12 yrs.

He went hypomanic after taking Zoloft for 3 1/2 weeks and we didn’t find Daryl for 3 days in 105 degree heat. If I had not gone manic myself on Zoloft, none of would have known as to why Daryl died.

Five weeks after Daryl’s death, Karen, my very best friend, her sister Dalene and her little boy CJ Noyce were murdered by Dalene’s husband by arson. He is now currently spending life in prison without parole.

I had been sent to the hospital as I was under a lot of stress not to mention that I had been overdosed without my knowledge with METHAMPETAMINE. Now when they got me to the ER they never asked me if I had taken it, they just assumed that I was Bipolar and off my medication, which was not true as I never have been on anything for Bipolar.

Once admitted to the hospital, things got really bad as they were loading me up on high quantities of this poison–TEGRETOL, and I just lost all ability to function. THE SIDE EFFECTS were mania, MY TEETH CLENCHING SO BADLY IT MADE MY JAWS ACHE. EXTREME INSOMNIA, DEPRESSION. I COULDN’T CONCENTRATE ON ONE TASK. This drug , caused frequency in urination. I was very AGITATED FROM LACK OF SLEEP. LOUD NOISES MADE ME VERY NERVOUS & UPSET. MY SHORT TERM MEMORY WAS EFFECTED TO THE POINT THAT I NEVER KNEW WHAT DAY IT WAS.

I also wanted to withdraw from life on this drug. I am not Bipolar or Bi-nothin as I tell everyone. I was so drugged after being admitted into the hospital that I couldn’t walk and talked like a drunk, I actually feel down with my food tray that I lost my balance and fell to the floor and hit my head.

I had to stay on this drug for 4 months because if I didn’t, it was threatened that I would be sent to a state hospital! We also got hit by a Tornado this year and last but not least, I just got out of the hospital yesterday from a car accident and have whip lash.

If you ever have any questions or just want to write you may e-mail me at LAURA73289@AOL.COM

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 87.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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8/8/1999 • Antidepressant discontinuation-related mania: critical prospective observation and theoretical implications in bipolar disorder.

8/8/1999 • Antidepressant discontinuation-related mania: critical prospective observation and theoretical implications in bipolar disorder.

Goldstein TR, Frye MA, Denicoff KD, Smith-Jackson E, Leverich GS, Bryan AL, Ali SO, Post RM
Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

J Clin Psychiatry 1999 Aug 60(8); 563-7 quiz 568-9

These 6 cases suggest a paradoxical effect whereby antidepressant discontinuation actually induces mania in spite of adequate concomitant mood-stabilizing treatment. These preliminary observations, if replicated in larger and controlled prospective studies, suggest the need for further consideration of the potential biochemical mechanisms involved so that new preventive treatment approaches can be assessed.

Antidepressant discontinuation-related mania: critical prospective observation and theoretical implications in bipolar disorder.

Goldstein TR, Frye MA, Denicoff KD, Smith-Jackson E, Leverich GS, Bryan AL, Ali SO, Post RM
Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

J Clin Psychiatry 1999 Aug 60(8); 563-7 quiz 568-9

These 6 cases suggest a paradoxical effect whereby antidepressant discontinuation actually induces mania in spite of adequate concomitant mood-stabilizing treatment. These preliminary observations, if replicated in larger and controlled prospective studies, suggest the need for further consideration of the potential biochemical mechanisms involved so that new preventive treatment approaches can be assessed.

BACKGROUND: Development of manic symptoms on antidepressant discontinuation has primarily been reported in unipolar patients.
This case series presents preliminary evidence for a similar phenomenon in bipolar patients.

METHOD: Prospectively obtained life chart ratings of 73 bipolar patients at the National Institute of Mental Health were reviewed for manic episodes that emerged during antidepressant taper or discontinuation. Medical records were utilized as a corroborative resource. Six cases of antidepressant discontinuation-related mania were identified and critically evaluated.

RESULTS: All patients were taking conventional mood stabilizers. The patients were on antidepressant treatment a mean of 6.5 months prior to taper, which lasted an average of 20 days (range, 1-43 days). First manic symptoms emerged, on average, 2 weeks into the taper (range, 1-23 days). These 6 cases of antidepressant discontinuation-related mania involved 3 selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), 2 tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and 1 serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Mean length of the ensuing manic episode was 27.8 days (range, 12-49 days). Potential confounds such as antidepressant induction, phenomenological misdiagnosis of agitated depression, physiologic drug withdrawal syndrome, and course of illness were carefully evaluated and determined to be noncontributory.

CONCLUSION: These 6 cases suggest a paradoxical effect whereby antidepressant discontinuation actually induces mania in spite of adequate concomitant mood-stabilizing treatment. These preliminary observations, if replicated in larger and controlled prospective studies, suggest the need for further consideration of the potential biochemical mechanisms involved so that new preventive treatment approaches can be assessed.

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