Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Schizophrenia Medications

Celebrities lived in Dolly's closet.   Parades occurred regularly on the street in front of her house.

Dolly's anxiety controlled her every move.  Medication followed diagnosis of schizophrenia.  The doctor prescribed an anti-psychotic to alleviate many of her symptoms.  She began to relax.  The anxiety that sent her under the table or into a corner for most of her day ended.

At the same time, Dolly began to gain weight.  Dolly's birth family was thin to average size in weight.  They were not happy with the weight gain that some of Dolly's medications made happen.  Although Dolly now could enjoy life, the family did not like her increasing size.  Soon, her parents insisted that the medication that most controlled her symptoms be discontinued.  Dolly's anxiety increased and the old symptoms returned.

I tell this story because many psychotropic medications have the side effect of weight gain.  It is truly a trade-off.  Is quality of life more important than an overweight or obese individual?  Most of the times in my experience quality of life reigns.  The disabling condition can be modified by effective medication.  The resulting weight gain from some of these powerful medications is not too much of a problem to discontinue their use.

The study of the mind and science has increased dramatically in the past decade.  People now see mental health diagnoses more and more like any other disease.  The example has been used ad naseum that a diabetic would not be refused their insulin, so why would a schizophrenic be refused their anti-psychotic?  In years to come, I hope that research finds medications that do not have severe side effects, so that both quality of life and quality of health can be maintained.

Dolly is doing well right now.  Not sure what medications she takes.  Sometimes compromise must happen.  Quality of life is difficult to achieve when suffering from mental health issues for so many reasons, just one of them being the side effects of the anti-psychotics.

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