Psychiatric Drugs

But it’s Zyprexa and its side effect of increased appetite that particularly shadows Slater. Her mouth waters at the mention of food. She scoops marshmallow fluff out of a jar and downs several enchiladas at a time heaped with mole sauce. Now at 160 pounds on her 5-foot frame, she is diabetic and in kidney failure, her mouth thick with thirst and her urine thick with sediment. “A single warning from a single doctor when I was in the depths of despair,” she writes, “could not adequately convey the message that by swallowing this new drug I was effectively agreeing to deeply damage the body upon which I rely to survive.” Her attempts to withdraw from medications have proved disastrous....
- MAGGIE JONES, A Reckoning With an Imperfect Science in ‘Blue Dreams’, NYT, APRIL 3, 2018

Many who try to quit say they cannot because of withdrawal symptoms they were never warned about. ...

The drugs initially were approved for short-term use, following studies typically lasting about two months. Even today, there is little data about their effects on people taking them for years, although there are now millions of such users.

Expanding use of antidepressants is not just an issue in the United States. Across much of the developed world, long-term prescriptions are on the rise. Prescription rates have doubled over the past decade in Britain, where health officials in January began a nationwide review of prescription drug dependence and withdrawal.

In New Zealand, where prescriptions are also at historic highs, a survey of long-term users found that withdrawal was the most common complaint, cited by three-quarters of long-term users.
- Benedict Carey and Robert Gebeloff, Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit, NYT, April 7, 2018

Today, psychopharmacology is a multibillion-dollar industry and an estimated one in six adults in America is on some form of psychiatric medication (a statistic that doesn’t even include the use of sleeping pills, or pain pills, or the off-label use of other medications for psychological purposes).
- Jamieson Webster, The Psychopharmacology of Everyday Life, New York Review of Books, November 19, 2018

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