Saturday, April 6, 2013

Is Mental health Medicine really any different than street drugs?

In this photo my mother is angry with me for not coming to visit for a long time. We didn't have the money to make the trip to Hood River for about 2 months. She believes that I am her mother and that she is only 3 years old and I have left her to die. 
Is Mental health Medicine really any different than street drugs? 

That is the question that the article at this link poses -     Well that is how I took it.
In this photo she is pouting, we had started to leave to go out when she said that she was in too much pain.  I think she was just pouting. The towells she is holding is because she drools, that has happened for years.  And the gloves have to do with her delusion that taking them off the light will hurt her. If you see the polka dots on her gloves that is from paint. She fancies herself an artist. 

I posted this story on my facebook page and decided I should share it here - because it is an important issue we really should be considering.  I offer my mothers story, which I have written about here several times in the past but possibly never with this comparison.
Here is one of her artworks that I think is actually quite pretty. 

My mother had a nervous breakdown in about 1975. After that she was put through shock treatments, was institutionalized on and off and was continually put on experimental medicine. She was always taking medicine that had side effects and then medicine to solve the side effects and maybe even more medicine to solve those medicines side effects. 
She painted her bathroom window. I sort of like it.  Its cheery. 

By now she has probably spent about 1/2 of her life in mental health hospitals.  I'm writing this to you because I want to make a point. Between ADHD medicine, and anti-depressants, and all the other medicines that are our there and so easily prescribed from our doctors who get kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies does anyone even really know the long term effects of these medicines? 

When I was a child they said my mom had a chemical imbalance in her brain and all the medicines they gave her were to help her regain that balance. But I believe that after too many years of being on these medicines her brain finally gave way. Nowdays she lives in a 24/7 nightmare and never gets better at all. 

My mom has NEVER used street drugs. She may have tried marijuana in the 70's not sure, and she has rarely even drank alcohol, very rarely not even 1 glass a year. 

In the 70's they called it Manic Depression. She would sometimes get better for a year or so at a time.

In the late 80's they called it bi-polar. Still she could often get better for a year or so at a time.

But in the 90's she deteriorated even more and they called it bi-polar schizoid affective.  

By the 2000's she only got better for about 8 months in the year 2002. 

Now she never gets better. 

If you read or watch any programs about how street drugs, ecstasy  and meth work on your brain you will see that after extended use the serotonin levels in the brain don't refill anymore.  I believe that is what has happened to her.   

Are anti-depressants and street drugs really THAT different?