Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Magic Bullets II


Last month, I wrote about antidepressants and how, according to some people who make good points, they don't work nearly as well as, or in the way that, we think they do.

In a few hours, I have my monthly appointment with my psychiatrist, and I'm going to tell him I want off the ride. Not because reading things online has convinced me I don't have a real disease, or that I might as well be swallowing Mike & Ikes every morning, but because I know myself well enough to know that in the summer I feel up up up, and taking medicine that is also activating (that's the word that, for me, best describes what it's like to go from off medication to on) means insomnia and spending all my days like a zombie. I also have only written two poems in eight months (!). The fact that meds puts my poetic mind into hibernation fucks with my identity.

So I can't sleep. I have prescription sleeping pills that no longer help. So I'm up at night. And I'm on Jezebel.

Now, according to new research, autism has been linked with moms' antidepressant use.

According to the Wall Street Journal, researchers found a link between a mother's antidepressant use and giving birth to an autistic child. Specifically, "results indicated a doubling in risk of autism if the mother filled a prescription for antidepressants at any point in the year before delivery. The risk tripled if she filled the prescription during the first trimester of pregnancy."


Much more research is needed to solidify the link, but if it's true, what could this mean? Better stop your meds if you're trying to conceive? What if the pregnancy is unplanned? Should you visit a fortune teller and ask her to see into your future and tell you when you should stop?

One of the comments:

Don't worry, mothers were already ALWAYS GUILTY before this post. If your child has a chromosomal disorder like Katie Price's child, people will still reject the science and blame the fact she drank before she knew she was pregnant. If she hadn't drunk, they'd blame her shampoo. The mother is always to blame.


I sent the link to a friend of mine with depression, who also has a daughter on the spectrum. She wrote back:

there's been a lot of anti-d bashing lately, so it seems fishy. i think anti-d's have been picked up by people who don't have severe depression. so people who sought out doctors for depression (like you, like me) before depression was mainstream were willing to do anything. do bloodletting, do whatever, just help me. it's not like that anymore. of course these people aren't going to see some miracle happen. they weren't critically ill. but some people are really depressed. and anti-ds help them. you cannot deny that. it's absurd to deny it if you've ever been in a psych unit where people are very ill and you see a nearly miraculous improvement. i always think it's so strange when people say everybody's psyching themselves out by thinking anti-ds (and neuroleptics!) will work and then they do. in people who are psychotically depressed, there's no "psyching oneself out." psychotics aren't capable of metacognition. they're barely capable of cognition. they don't know whether they're taking a pill or if the queen of england is taking it. they can't distinguish a pill from their own mouth. also, what other treatment plan are you going to put these people on? the homeless guy who staggers in thinking he's being chased by helicopters. i really doubt he's going to be able to incorporate a macrobiotic diet and do 45 minutes of cardio. he's probably already doing the cardio from running from the invisible helicopters. i get very frustrated and emotional about all that. when people bring up the fact that people who take anti-ds and neuroleptics are left being "slow" and with facial tics and dead. they were incapable of human communication before. they were on the verge of killing somebody because they thought their lives were being put in danger by some unseen force. i think slow and ticky may be an improvement.

i don't know. what do you think?

1 comment:

Elisa said...

Leigh! Check it: for once fathers are being blamed for some stuff:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303936704576400161673484394.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop#