or: crap all crazy meds have in common
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When, preferably before, taking any neurological/psychiatric medication (AKA “crazy meds” or “anti-crazy meds”), there are some things you should know.
There’s a huge paradox regarding neurological & psychiatric medications in the US and many other countries. Many people who need to take drugs can’t or won’t because the stigma - either cultural, or due to pressures and expectations of their families - is too great, and/or they don’t have the money.1 Yet there are also people who are needlessly taking meds thanks to Big Pharma’s2 marketing campaigns, especially to doctors, along with their disease mongering.3
And there’s always one study after another showing how antidepressants, or other crazy meds, only work for those of us with severe depression, or other brain cooties.
There are a plethora of self-diagnosis tests available online. Psych Central has more than you need. On official sites for medications you’ll find ten-question, multiple guess tests that are almost guaranteed to diagnose you as having whatever the med treats, and it’s recommended that you take a printout of that test to your doctor to, as the ads say, “Talk to your doctor about Panacea…”
Whether or not you need to take meds can be determined by a fairly simple test.
Have you been diagnosed with epilepsy?
- You need to take medication, or require other treatments that a neurologist deals with. Test over.
- If you haven’t been diagnosed, but have had one or more seizures, you need to see a doctor. Test over.
- If you’re not sure you’ve had a seizure This page has videos made by the International League Against Epilepsy with explanations of different types of seizures.
- If you’re positive you did not have a seizure, you don’t need to see a doctor. Test over.
- If you’re anywhere from unsure to certain you did have one or more seizures, you need to see a doctor. Test over.
Have you been diagnosed with, or experience migraines or other severe headaches?
- If you haven’t seen a doctor yet, make an appointment already. Test over.
- Either way, migraines and other headaches can be treated with all sorts of non-drug interventions:
- From avoiding certain foods to a complete dietary overhaul
- Various lifestyle changes
- Even acupuncture
- And some godawful headaches don’t respond to any medication on the market for most people, so you’re stuck with oxygen and something to knock you out.
- So maybe you do need to take medication and maybe you don’t. Not everything can be figured out with a stupid little test like this.
Have you been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder?
- You need medication. Test over.
- Getting a second opinion from another doctor is an excellent idea. A third opinion isn’t a bad idea.
- If both or all three say you have one or more of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder then you have at least one of those and you need to take medication for it. Test over.
Are you experiencing moderate-to-severe physical pain that…
- Makes it difficult to function on a daily basis?
- Is the symptom of what is generally considered a psychological problem, such as depression?
- Has no obvious source, such as waking up with the symptoms of a really bad hangover and muscle aches when you didn’t have any recreational drugs and/or physically challenging before you went to sleep.
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you need to see a doctor who will determine if you need meds. Test over. If you answered no to all of them, next question:
Are you able to function on your own every day? Can you:
- get out of bed
- get dressed
- go to work (if you have a job)
- feed the kids and/or other pets
- do the laundry
- make dinner
- leave your room/apartment/house whenever you want or need to
- and do so without taking two hours making sure the door is locked
- or without the help of alcohol or some other substance you’ve obtained without a prescription
- not max out your credit cards buying the materials for yet another life-changing project you’ll never finish
- fall asleep without lying awake for hours being afraid of everything that can go wrong
- or ruminating over everything that did go wrong in your life
- and blaming yourself for things you had absolutely no control over
- and reliving them
- in vivid detail
- over and over and over
That list can go on forever, but you should get the idea.
It doesn’t matter how many of those you answered yes to, especially since not every situation can be covered. If your life is a struggle or otherwise out of control, and you can’t make it through the day without somebody else to take care of the essentials most people can do themselves, and/or you just let it all pile up and not give a shit, then you probably need medication. What you really need to do is see a doctor who is qualified to prescribe those meds who will determine if you need one (or more) and which one(s) you need. At the very least see someone qualified to tell you if you need to see doctor or not. Test over.
If you can make it through your life on a half-assed basis without being a danger to yourself or others and just want it to be easier, there’s just one more question:
Do you have physical symptoms?
- If and when you feel panicked/anxious, does your heart race? Do you breathe rapidly? Do you sweat?
- If and when you’re depressed, do you feel cold to the touch? Do you feel pain? Do you actually need to sleep 11–14 (or more) hours a day?
- If and when you’re super-irritable, or on that shopping spree, or otherwise a little too energetic, do you feel warm to the touch? Do you move more quickly than you normally do? Are your senses heightened?
If you answered yes to any of the questions that applied to you, or, if you think about it, you have noticeable physical symptoms along with whatever is going on in your head, then you need to see a doctor. You may or may not need meds now, but if you’re manifesting physical symptoms it’s bad enough for you to need some sort of regular treatment, like a therapist. Test over.
Otherwise, you probably don’t need meds. A self-help book or two and/or a therapist of some kind, and maybe a few lifestyle changes are all you need. Thanks for stopping by Crazy Meds.
So, once you’re sure you need those often-lifesaving crazy meds that suck less than what you’re going through…
OK, it’s far from everything. These are things that most, if not all, crazy meds have in common. It doesn’t matter if you’re obsessed or depressed, schizophrenic or epileptic, bipolar or a migraineur, all of the above or none of the above, whatever meds you’re taking for whatever reason and condition, here’s the basic stuff everyone should know:
- Tips on How to Take Psychiatric/Neurological Drugs There’s more than “Don’t operate heavy machinery.”
- Tips on How to Stop Taking Psychiatric/Neurological Drugs You don’t want to wind up crazier than you were to begin with.
- Mixing Your Med Cocktail with Actual Cocktails You’re No Fun Anymore.
- Common Side Effects No matter which one you take, this will probably happen.
- Meds with Fewer Side Effects than Most If you look at the PI sheets, even Placebo has side effects.
- Dealing with Side Effects What you can do about common and most complained-about side effects.
- The Differences Between Brand Name and Generic Medications The bad news: we’ve been lied to about there being no difference between the two. The good news: most people aren’t affected by it. The bad news: it’s still worse than the FDA and generics manufacturers will admit to. The good news: It’s not your imagination if something isn’t right after you were switched from brand to generic. The bad news:
The FDA isn’t going to do anything useful about it.Update! The bad news as of 4 October 2012 is: The FDA promises they’ll do something useful about it, but I don’t believe them.
- Meds & Supplements Do you need to take any? Are there any you shouldn’t take?
- What You Should Know Before Buying Meds Online Fun fact: in 2009 90% of the ads for online pharmacies were for fraudulent websites. Not so fun facts: not only do fraudulent pharmacies use “crazy meds” and snippets from this site in their search term spamming, many of them appear ahead of us in Google’s and Yahoo/Bing’s search results.
- Bibliography Books, journals, websites, etc. used for these pages. Most of which have way more detail about far too many meds than you’ll probably ever need.
- How to read our Drug Guides. They make perfect sense to me…
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2 The nickname given to the pharmaceutical industry, especially the largest companies like Eli Lilly (or Lilly) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The name comes from the industry's lobbying group: the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhaRMA).
3 Where they make up an illness where one didn't previously exist, such as Cephalon's invention of Shift Work Sleep Disorder as a way to market Provigil and Nuvigil as expensive prescription substitutes for coffee.
What You Need to Know about Psychiatric & Neurological Drugs is copyright 2012 Jerod Poore
Page created by: Jerod Poore. Date created: 26 May 2011 Last edited by: JerodPoore on: September 26, 2013, at 03:05 PM
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Almost all of the material on this site is by Jerod Poore and is copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Jerod Poore. Except, of course, the PI sheets - those are the property of the drug companies who developed the drugs the sheets are about - and any documents that are written by other people which may be posted to this site will remain the property of the original authors. You cannot reproduce this page or any other material on this site outside of the boundaries of fair use copying without the express permission of the copyright holder. That’s usually me, so just ask first. That means if want to print out a few pages to take to your doctor, therapist, counselor, support group, non-understanding family members or something like that - then that’s OK to just do. Go for it! Please. As long as you include this copyright notice and the following disclaimer, I’m usually cool with it.
All rights reserved. No warranty is expressed or implied in this information. Consult one or more doctors and/or pharmacists before taking, or changing how you take any neurological and/or psychiatric medication. Your mileage may vary. What happened to us won’t necessarily happen to you. If you still have questions about a medication or condition that were not answered on any of the pages you read, please ask them on the Crazy Meds Forum.
The information on Crazy Meds pertains to and is intended for adults. While some information about children and adolescents is occasionally presented (e.g. US FDA approvals), pediatric-specific data such as dosages, side effects, off-label applications, etc. are rarely included in the articles on drugs or discussed on the forum. If you are looking for information regarding meds for children you’ll have to go somewhere else.
Know your sources!
Nobody on this site is a doctor, a therapist, or a pharmacist. We don’t portray them either here or on TV. Only doctors can diagnose and treat an illness. While it’s not as bad as it used to be, some doctors still get pissed off by patients who know too much about medications, so tread lightly when and where appropriate. Diagnosing yourself from a website is like defending yourself in court, you suddenly have a fool for a doctor. Don’t be a cyberchondriac, thinking you have every disease you see a website about, or that you’ll get every side effect from every medication1. Self-prescribing is as dangerous as buying meds from fraudulent online pharmacies that promise you medications without prescriptions.
All information on this site has been obtained through our personal experience and the experiences family, friends, what people have reported on various reputable sites all over teh intergoogles, the medications’ product information / summary of product characteristic (PI/SPC) sheets, and from sources that are referenced throughout the site. As such the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for real medical advice from your real doctor, just a compliment to it. You should never, ever, replace what a real doctor tells you with something from a website on the Internet. The farthest you should ever take it is getting a second opinion from another real doctor. Educate yourself - always read the PI/SPC sheet or patient information leaflet (PIL) that comes with your medications and never ever throw them away.
Crazy Meds is not responsible for the content of sites we provide links to. We like them, or they’re paid advertisements, or they’re something else we think you should read to help you make an informed decision about a particular med. Sometimes they’re more than one of those things. But what’s on those sites is their business, not ours.
All brand names of the drugs listed in this site are the trademarks of the companies named on the PI/SPC sheet associated with the medication, sometimes on the pages about the drugs, even though those companies may have been acquired by other companies who may or may not be listed in this site by the time you read this. Or the rights to the drug were sold to another company. And any or all of the companies involved may have changed their names.
Crazy Meds is optimized for the browser you’re not using on the platform you wish you had. Between you and me, it all looks a lot cleaner using Safari or Chrome, although more than half of the visitors to this site use either Safari or Internet Explorer, so I’m doing my best to make things look nice for IE as well. I’m using Firefox and running Windows 72. On a computer that sits on top of my desk. With a 23 inch monitor. Hey, at least you can make the text larger or smaller by clicking on the + or - buttons in the upper right hand corner. If you have Java enabled. Like 99% of the websites on the planet, Crazy Meds is hosted on domain running an open source operating system with a variety of open source applications, including the software used to display what you’ve been reading. As such Crazy Meds is not responsible for whatever weird shit your browser does or does not do when you read this site3.
No neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists or pharmacists were harmed in the production of this website. Use only as directed. Void where prohibited. Contains nuts. Certain restrictions may apply. All data are subject to availability. Not available on all mobile devices, in the 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society, or in all dimensions of reality.
‘Everything is true, nothing is permitted.’ - Jerod Poore
1 While there are plenty of books to help you with hypochondria, for some reason there’s not much in the way of websites. Then again, staying off of the Internet is a large part of curing/managing the disorder.
2 Remember kids, Microsloth operating systems are like TOS Star Trek movies with in that every other one sucks way, way more. With TOS Star Trek movies you don’t want to bother watching the odd-numbered ones. With Microsloth OS you don’t want to buy and install the even-numbered ones. Anyone who remembers ME and Vista knows what I mean.
3 Have I mentioned how open source operating systems for commercial applications is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of dumb ideas?
[begin rant] I rent a dedicated server for Crazy Meds. It’s sitting on a rack somewhere in Southern California along with a bunch of other servers that other people have rented. The hardware is identical, but no two machines have exactly the same operating systems. I don’t even need to see what is on any of the others to know this. If somebody got their server at the exact same time, with the exact same features as I did, I’m confident that there would be noticeable differences in some aspects of the operating systems. So what does this mean? For one thing it means that no two computers in the same office of a single company have the same operating system, and the techs can spend hours figuring out what the fuck the problem could be based on that alone. It also means that application software like IP board that runs the forum here has to have so many fucking user-configurable bells and whistles that even when I read the manual I can’t find every setting, or every location that every flag needs to be set in order for a feature to run the way I want it to run. And in the real world it means you can get an MBA not only with an emphasis on resource planning, but with an emphasis on using SAP - a piece of software so complex there are now college programs on how to use it. You might think, “But don’t people learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in college?” Sure, in order to create stuff. And in a way you’re creating stuff with SAP. But do you get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Photoshop?
Back in the Big Iron Age the operating systems were proprietary, and every computer that took up an entire room with a raised floor and HVAC system, and had less storage and processing power than an iPhone, had the same operating system as every other one, give or take a release level. But when a company bought application software like SAP, they also got the source code, which was usually documented and written in a way to make it easy to modify the hell out of it. Why? Because accounting principles may be the same the world over, and tax laws the same across each country and state, but no two companies have the same format for their reports, invoices, purchase orders and so forth. Standards existed and were universally ignored. If something went wrong it went wrong the same way for everyone, and was easy to track down. People didn’t need to take a college course to learn how to use a piece of software.
I’m not against the open source concept entirely. Back then all the programmers read the same magazines, so we all had the same homebrew utilities. We even had a forerunner of QR Code to scan the longer source code. Software vendors and computer manufacturers sponsored conventions so we could, among other things, swap recipes for such add-ons and utilities. While those things would make our lives easier, they had nothing to do with critical functions of the operating system. Unless badly implemented they would rarely cause key application software to crash and burn. Whereas today, with open source everything, who the hell knows what could be responsible some part of a system failing. [/end rant]
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