Why "exit questionnaires" are completely worthless

Many facilities boast that they help x percent of patients and boast of astounding treatment success rates. However, if they are basing this on exit studies, they are flat out lying. Here’s why:

Have you ever been handed a questionnaire on your way out of hospital, just as you are being released? You want to get out, right? Patients have no clue whether their answers to these questions are going to be read prior to their discharge. If they fear their answers will affect their discharge (even if papers are being written up) for sure, they aren’t going to fill out “yes” to any questions that might end up delaying their discharge. Even patients who are outright pissed upon discharge will certainly not admit they are depressed, confused, lethargic, suicidal, or in any way worse off than when they came in.

That I know of, many facilities use these exit surveys to assess success rates. Whether or not they use an outside agency doesn’t matter, because in the patients’ minds, they want to get out, and if they think there’s any chance what they write will cause continued imprisonment, they’re not going to admit how they really feel.

If you were told Abilify is an "antidepressant enhancer," you've been lied to!

Abilify is not an antidepressant nor is there any such medication classification called “enhancer” for antidepressants. It is an antipsychotic drug, or, perhaps a better name would be “neuroleptic.” It is one of the ones in the same category as Clozaril, Risperdal, and Seroquel.

The first neuroleptic was Thorazine, a phenothiazine drug. Other phenothiazines include Mellaril, Stelazine, and others. Haldol is an older neuroleptic that isn’t a phenothiazine. All these drugs were marketed for psychosis, and any other use, such as “anxiety” or “insomnia” is off-label that I know of. All of these are not used so much, maybe because they aren’t marketed. They all come out in generic so Big Pharma doesn’t profit off of them.

Agreeably, there are a few differences in the side effects you might get from Abilify. Like Geodon and Latuda, Abilify is not known to sedate. In fact, it can give you insomnia if you take it at night. Abilify can also cause mania in some people, or akathesia, which is often what leads people to suicide.

So you might wonder why your doctor flat out lied to you. Doctors know you’ll be more compliant if they just let you assume it’s an “enhancer.” Also, many professionals such as social workers are misinformed. They pick up the concept of “enhancer” from their patients, or from the media.

While Abilify may, or may not, enhance other drugs, and even be FDA approved to enhance antidepressants, the truth is, calling it by any other name will not change Abilify’s chemical composition. Those TV commercials that say Abilify “enhances” your antidepressant are deceptive, since they do not reveal the whole truth.

Every single one of these drugs can cause suicide, just like the antidepressants. They can permanently damage your heart and cause your brain cells to deteriorate. Some dry out your mouth, causing dental carries. Along with dry mouth comes constipation and dry skin.

Abilify can cause unwanted weight gain in some patients. They say it doesn’t, but then they found that a minority did, indeed, gain weight. It can cause Tardive Dyskenesia as well.

I’m not saying Abilify won’t help, nor am I saying you should get off of it. Just think about the long-term effects. When you are 60 and in poor health due to psychiatric drugs, you might feel quite differently about your cocktail than you do now.

No matter how carefully you think your doctor is monitoring you, and no matter how upfront you think your doctor is being with you, most patients come to the stark realization that they’ve been duped, often decades later. Don’t fall for it!

Sources: My own reading of these warnings, my own experience taking these drugs, my own experience observing others (patients and practitioners both), drug company inserts, lectures I have attended.

 

Dress up scary for Halloween!

What’s the scariest thing to dress up as? How about dressing up as a Mental Health Professional! Just think of the ways such people are scary! Others will back off as soon as they see you coming!

Such folks have their unique Weapons of Mass Destruction. Ah, can we count the ways?

Threats serve to scare people into continuing their “services” even though it’s not really logical to do so. A decently effective threat might be, “You must stay in ‘treatment’ otherwise you will relapse.” That’s pretty much what they say. They’ll tell you you need “treatment” due to your shortcomings and limitations. Their fear is that you’ll get better and won’t need them anymore. Yikes, they’ll have no one to control and boss around. What to do?

Most people who insist on staying in treatment are actually addicted to it, horribly addicted. Take it from me as I went through it myself. Never mind the drugs people are having so much trouble getting off of. Therapy is so addictive, and this is rarely mentioned in the official literature. Obviously they don’t want us to know! As soon as you start therapy you become dependent, increasingly so as time goes on.

I’ve been reading a book on this that so far confirms my own self-observations and observations of others. Much as you insist you aren’t addicted, you most likely are.

This book is called Beware the Talking Cure. The book explains the dependency. Not only that, but once dependent, a person will loosen ties with those they connect with outside of the therapy relationship. I have seen this happen and it’s sad. I’ve seen therapy break up marriages because the patient is halfway married to the therapist, and this goes for any gender combination.

I’ve heard people say they aren’t getting anywhere in therapy, or even getting worse. What’s the therapist’s solution? Increase frequency of therapy! So you’re hooked, and the proposed solution to being addicted is more of the addicting activity. Makes sense, eh?

I’ve seen it in others and in myself, too. As therapy becomes more central in a person’s life, they see the therapist as “friend” inside their minds. Because the friendship need appears to be satisfied by therapy, other healthy and supportive relationships get put on the back burner.

We all know what happens to those back burner friends. You’re not there anymore, unavailable to them. Don’t expect your friends to stick around. Many do not.

Well, pal, now you are stuck. You do have a friend, a person you confide in, but if that’s your therapist, you’re hooked, especially if you do not have anyone else.

I hear stuff like, “My therapist keeps me alive.” I feel like rolling my eyes but I don’t. When I said that stuff, the exact same line, I was definitely addicted. Not only that my therapist was making my life worse by isolating me in the therapy relationship.

As my friends dropped away, each departure was victory for her. Not only that, but each time she rationalized by telling me that the person wasn’t a good friend to begin with. If the person who has left is your spouse, the therapist might try to convince you that his/her leaving was for your own good. No, not quite…for the therapist’s own good. I have seen enough fine marriages break up due to one person being in therapy to make me sick.

While I agree that it isn’t so morally sound to have an extramarital affair, let’s look at this from the spouse’s point of view. You’re in therapy, have been unavailable to him/her, so do you really expect him/her not to be tempted? Also, consider that you, too, are having an affair…with the therapist.

If therapy isn’t helping, then I’d say END IT. Don’t stick with therapy that “keep you on an even keel.” Isn’t therapy supposed to be about improving lives? If there’s no improvement, then that therapy is harming you.

What happens when you try to leave? You might get a call from the therapist trying to win you back. Once I remember a therapist who generally was not available nor reachable by phone nor page spent an entire half hour trying to get me back! I had never spent that much time on the phone with her before. How ironic! I guess she was desperate. I suppose if that’s how she felt maybe she needed “treatment” herself. Better yet, another source of income.

If I were supervising therapists, I’d call each of them into my office and make sure they have a plan to end therapy once the patient is better. I’d make sure each of them intended to help the patient get better, rather than sustaining that patient in his/her sickness, as so many tend to do.

I keep wondering as to which method is best suited for ending therapy addiction. Cold turkey, taper, or find a substitute addiction that might be less harmful than therapy addiction. Kind of like nicotine patches for smokers.

When you try to quit, the therapist may insist on several sessions of “termination.” I can promise you that these “termination” sessions can drag on endlessly and even suck you back.

If therapy is not helping why continue with this harm just for the therapist’s sake? She/he is getting paid. And if they’re as mentally stable as they claim to be, trust me, she’ll get over it.

Halving a pumpkin (zapallo) for sissies like me

Have you ever cut a large gourd, winter squash, or pumpkin only to find that it’s rock hard. Many of us find that we ended up slicing a part of ourselves in the process! Oops! That was certainly not the intention!

I agree that such larger members of the squash/zapallo family are certainly out to get us! In many countries, this time of year you bet they are! Just look at those faces on them!

Let’s not allow those pumpkins to take advantage of our generous nature! Stab ’em, cut ’em in half and let them know who is boss!

Here’s a method for us sissies who in previous attempts, sliced ourselves instead of the squash:

First, please do not torture yourself thinking you might not have enough elbow grease to get the knife through the squash. Don’t even bother.

Put your squash/pumpkin/zapallo straight into the oven, whole. Please first puncture it a little bit with a knife, just poke holes. Depending on the size, I’d say medium oven will do. If you wish, cover loosely with tin foil.

Now, wait….And wait. Don’t go check your email because you’re bound to forget the zapallo exists. I’d say you should take the zapallo out of the oven a little bit after it feels hot to the touch. Do not overcook or the fruit (edible part) will end up too mushy.

Now, it’ll be so much easier to cut it in two. Stab it (do this with conviction, of course) and now, once your knife has gone clear through into the pulp, carve all around. At the end of 360 degrees, make sure the lines match up. Now, it’s sliced in half.

Scoop out the seeds. Here’s where you will be quite appreciative that it’s only half-cooked.

You’ll notice that the fruit is not cooked, but it’s softer, not as soft as butter but certainly easier to manage.

Now, cook the entire thing. turn it cut side down on a pan. sometimes you might want to add water, but much of the time it can be cooked without any water in the pan. It depends on what type you have.

These can also be microwave-cooked if you have a microwave. Please be sure to stab it very well prior to microwaving. No one will appreciate it if your pumpkin explodes inside the microwave. I told you those faces are scary and they’re all out to get us.

Now that you have found out, kindly believe all the conspiracy theories out there, especially the unreasonable, illogical ones, batten down the hatches, pull the shades, and fire well before being fired upon. This is a setup, folks. Happy Halloween.

Registry of Mental Patients

Hey, Halloween is coming! Since Mental Patients are so scary, why doesn’t the government go on an all-out “safety” campaign and write up a list of all us mental cases. That would be so useful, so by Christmas, the Registry will be so widespread that even Santa won’t bother coming down your chimney.

Well, well well well. Fewer mouths to feed, eh? Tell Santa to go get some food from the food pantry if he comes by. Who wants cookies from a nut case, anyway?

If athletes that are doped get disqualified, what about those that dope their intellect?

Here’s the news about the latest in athelete doping:

http://www.outsideonline.com/1969286/how-bad-distance-runnings-doping-problem

What about chemical intellectual enhancement? How many college students use speed and other chemicals, assuming that the drugs will get them better test results, enable them to stay up all night, or win at a chess competition?

Why should MD-administered drugs be okay, while obtaining the exact sane drugs on the street isn’t? If someone wins a chess game while on prescribed drugs that are supposedly medically necessary, will that person be stripped of their title? Doubtful. Yet this might be the same chemical sold on the streets.

Sure, you might win. You might run faster for a while, or think your mind is quicker. With these chemicals comes serious risk to our bodies that we are quick to ignore in our quest for immediate gratification.

It’s well-known that coffee or caffeine will improve running speed. As do water, carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Apparently if a runner goes much further with chemical enhancement, such drug use will be considered either illegal or against the rules of athletic associations enough to disqualify or even penalize the runner.

Such debates involve legal and ethical hair-splitting, moral considerations, and financial stakes. For most of us, though, who won’t be winning marathons anytime soon, we must each consider this individually, weigh the risks and benefits, and hopefully make a responsible choice for ourselves.

Canada psych fraud….

Check it out:

George Glumac, Kitchener Psychiatrist, License Revoked, but now offering psych “treatment” online

 

This seriously endangers many people. Even if he doesn’t ever make sexual advances on a patient again, the dishonesty is appalling.

I imagine the people who go there are kids, too. Lost teens afraid to say a word to their parents.

I don't understand these wannabe writers who dislike writing

If I were going into auto mechanics, you bet I like to fix cars, otherwise I wouldn’t want to be an auto mechanic. Does this make sense to you? It does to me. I dislike working on cars and have no desire to be an auto mechanic. That’s why I am not one.

If you hate to write, why are you even calling yourself a writer? Why are you struggling, white-knuckling it, hating yourself for not writing (which is the norm for you), when really, you should be doing something you love to do? Why bother?

On the other hand, if writing gives you a high, if you can hardly wait every day to sit down and write, if you have to work hard to tear yourself away from your writing to do necessary stuff like eat and sleep, if you miss the bus because you were too busy writing, if your food burns because you were concentrating on your writing, if you’re writing in your head all day long even when you don’t have a pencil and paper to write down the plethora of ideas you think up, then I am sorry to say you are stuck being a writer.

Those of you who aren’t writers, I do not recommend a writing coach who might supposedly force inspiration into you. It will not work. If you aren’t motivated, I doubt such expensive cures will do anything at all.

Those of you who aren’t writers, who can’t seem to find a spare moment to write, then maybe it’s not a priority for you. Either make it priority, or stop calling yourself a writer. I’m tired of hearing these woeful stories of “Oh, my kids, my work…” Jeepers, if you’ve been at work all day long and you’re really a writer, you probably are going through withdrawal and are dying to get to a writing instrument, pen or pencil, or keyboard to relieve that itch.

Non-writers go home from work, turn on the TV, clean the house, do anything but write, then whine about how they do not have time to write. Writers, on the other hand, can’t help themselves but be magnetically pulled toward their hopeless addiction. They’re writing on the bus ride home, in the bathroom, in the break room, during lunch, and if they could, in the shower, too.

That’s not to say people who are writers go through spells of difficulty. I have heard of these difficulties, that some call “blocks.” I can recall one such block I had between around 2002 until sometime in 2005. I believe the drug Seroquel caused this block. I have not had a block since getting off that drug.

The block was specifically inability to generate text. Another word for ability to generate text or ideas is ideophoria. I have heard that ideophoria runs on a continuum.

My guess is that if you want to increase your ideophoria, look at what chemicals you are putting into your body and see if any are blocking your idea-creating ability. Note if you are fatigued. Some people write more at night, and others blossom in the morning. This does not necessarily mean being tired is a cause of blocking. Some say that at the end of the day they have too much on their minds, all the crap that happened during the day. Others find writing a welcome way to end the day.

Some say certain foods will increase your ability to generate text. Nanowrimo speaks of coffee and “junk food.” The Nano writing folks have long discussions about whether coffee is a plus or whether it should be left out. I’ve heard talk about those “energy drinks” but I know for sure they give me a tummy ache.  Many writer friends of mine say alcohol won’t help you write at all, but it might make you think your next bestseller is right around the corner. One of my favorite writing teachers said not to rely on substances at all to get you writing.

This was back before the days that Ritalin got popular. I have never taken that nor anything like it. Friends of mine claim “Ritalin makes me better.” That’s funny, these same friends were great prior to Ritalin and they’re just as fine now, except they’re addicted, sadly.

What about motivation? From what I hear, people in any field can lack motivation. I kinda don’t understand that, though, mainly because I have so much motivation I don’t know what to do with it all. Except take action.

I do not understand the “group writing” bit. Why do some people like to write with other writers present? I prefer solitude, but maybe that’s me. Let’s just say the last thing I want is to be distracted by human proximity while I’m busy doing what I love.

If you don’t want to write, don’t write. Do something else, please. Or hire a ghostwriter, some hopeless addict like me.