Dinah, ClinkShrink, & Roy produce Shrink Rap: a blog by Psychiatrists for Psychiatrists, interested bystanders are also welcome. A place to talk; no one has to listen.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
My Wish List For 2008
Dinah is off to a warm sunny place this week, leaving Roy and I to care for the blog.
Much as we (I) like to tease Dinah about talking too much, the fact of the matter is that it's nice to know she's here taking care of the blog when real life intrudes on my blogging capacity, which lately has been pretty often. So in her absence I thought I'd put together a list of things I would like for 2008:
I'd like a never-ending list of topics to blog about that really catch my interest.
I'd like Dinah to have good-hair days, every day, all year round.
I'd like Roy to keep getting the latest and coolest Mac gadgets so I can enjoy his geekhood vicariously.
I'd like Dinah to have her own iPod. Really, she deserves one.
I'd like to have an organized and coherent podcast. I really believe this can be done and that we should do it, or try to do it, at least once.
I'd like a list of good non-crunchy food to eat during our podcast tapings.
I'd like pet-sized mikes for Monkey and Max so they don't feel left out during our podcasts.
I'd like Blogger to start showing our little icon pictures again when we comment. I miss seeing my little guinea pig behind bars.
I wish my patients would behave every day, all day, for a full year. (Hey, I can dream can't I?)
I wish someone would give me an office. Or maybe just a telephone. (I did get the heat turned on a few weeks ago---I'm making progress.)
I wish someone would explain to me how "pregnant pigs" came to be one of our post labels.
I wish all our listeners and readers would continue to find My Three Shrinks a comfortable place to learn, ramble and rant. It certainly has been for me.
Finally, I wish the best of all good things to both of my co-bloggers. I've had a wonderful time with both of you.
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Clinkshrink, I bet if you ask your faithful readers for topics, you would get a bunch (maybe not interesting though). Here's mine: I have been taking antidepressants for 30 years, with great results. Every time I have tried to reduce them or stop them I crash and burn. Have the antidepressants actually altered my brain? ( I have read "Listening to Prozac" twice). Would I be a different person if I had not taken the meds so long? Is my brain fried? (it doesn't *seem* fried.) Has anyone ever studied long term effects of antidepressants apart from weight gain? thanks
Awww Clink, such nice warm and fuzzies!!! I also wish that you'll get an office or a phone - maybe your prisoners will somehow get word of this blog through the underground and shape up (or maybe I'm delusional!).
Nonetheless, thank you for all that you contribute :)
Hi Anna, great question. The real issue is the effect of having a longterm illness. It's pretty well known that a good predictor of future episodes of affective illness is the number of previous episodes and the time between episodes. In other words, repeated episodes of the disease itself causes chemical changes in the brain that can make the illness harder to treat over the long term. Medications can help prevent this if started early in life.
In short---without the longterm meds you might be a different person now, but not necessarily a healthier one. The meds protect people from "brain fry" (great term, I may start borrowing that) rather than cause it.
For those of you who are into reading the research literature, here's a Pub Med link to the kindling phenomenon in mood disorders:
Rach, thanks for the kind words.
With all due respect to Clink Shrink, I have a different take on the issues you raised with antidepressant.
As one who is gradually tapering off of a psych med coctail due to concern about long term side effects, including hearing loss, tinnitus and memory loss (many more but I won't mention) after being on them 12 years, the danger is that you think they are helping only to realize how numb they make you to everything. This may not be your experience but the fact that you are asking about long term effects but feeling you aren't be effected is causing me to raise this point.
In spite of all the side effects, I still thought they were doing great things only to realize as I lowered the dose, how brainwashed I was.
The reason you crash and burn when you try to stop them is that you are tapering too fast. Again with all due respect to Clink Shrink, most psychiatrists are clueless about this issue. On the Paxil Progress Boards, which is run by a nurse who almost lost her son to a Paxil induced suicide, the recommendation is 10% of the current dose every 3 to 6 weeks.
As a result, it stands to reason that when you taper too quickly, you are going to get what looks like a return of the illness leading psychiatrists to erroneously conclude you need to be on meds for life.
But don't take my word for it as you might want to check out this link about being on meds long term worsening depression.
I am not a doctor or medical professional but my understanding is that when you are on these meds long term, your brain learns to outsmart the med that it is getting. Kind of like getting antibiotics one too many times.
As far as long term side effects, unfortunately drug companies will never pay for the long term studies that most eople would accept as scientifically valid. But you might want to read Joseph Glenmullen's book, Prozac Backlash as he provides plenty of references about patients who suffered long term damage while on the drugs.
After 12 years, I had a hand tremor which I understand is an indication of neurological damage. Fortunately, it has disappeared.
I am not writing this post as a scare tactic but simply because I wish someone had written the same type of post for me. Well actually, I probably wouldn't have believed them as I wanted to believe that these meds were so wonderful in spite of the damage they were causing. I would have completely fallen for posts like the one written by Clink Shrink.
By the way, now that I am slowly tapering off of them, I am doing better than I ever did on meds. I can have human emotions and not fall apart. I totally reject the fact that I ever had a mood disorder as my condition was part of being human.
Obvioiusly, you will have to make up your own mind as to what is best for you. But I felt it was important to present the other side of the story. I think this blog for letting me express that opinion.
PS - I am not a scientologist so everyone is clear about that
I also wish good things for my co-bloggers.
Like smooth, silky hair for Dinah.
And a Get Out of Jail Free card for Clink to use whenever she needs a break from prison life.
And clear, easy-to-hear, well-organized, and promptly produced podcasts for all of our listeners.
[that was really from me... not Dinah... a Blogger hiccup.]
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