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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Medication and Violence: what we are afraid to talk about

For the record, I am all for the proper use of psychotropic medications.  I know a great number of people who benefit from them.  But, with all things, there is no panacea or universal solution to the problems of mental illness.

What I am against is the silence regarding the side-effects of some of these medications.  people need to know about the potential problems these medications can cause.  Here's an example:

There have been whispers for years about some people 'freaking out' while being treated with antidepressants.  It is no wonder: brain chemistry is a difficult thing to regulate when you are healthy, but imagine what it is like when your chemistry is 'off.'  Throwing more chemicals into the mix does not always yield predictable results.

My fear is that no one wants to look at the truth: if you are going to tamper with brain chemistry, you ought to do it in a safe place.  This means people who need medication should start their treatment in an in-patient setting, and then get routine mood testing.  This way, adverse side-effects can be observed and then prevented.

Of course, this is not only a great inconvenience to most of us, but it would also stretch the present medical system beyond the breaking point.  So, the 'powers that be' really don't want to discuss the problem.  So, we will continue to whisper and speak in hush tones about how many of these massacres appear to be connected not just through guns, but through commonly-prescribed medications that are mis-managed.

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