Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit


Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Sunday, June 25, 2017

What if We're Wrong About Antidepressants?





Sometimes it's good to step outside the bubble of one's opinion and venture into the bubble of another's. If more people and cultures would do this, the world would possibly be a much safer place.

So, what if we, as public health advocates, have been wrong about the lack of efficacy and safety of psychiatric drugs? Let's say for the sake of healthy argument, that we are wrong and antidepressants:

1. Are not addictive
2. Are easy to withdraw from
3. Are safe for children to take
4. Are used to rectify a chemical imbalance

What we are left with is the opposite of the 4 points above. By conceding them we are ignoring a hell of a lot of scientific evidence. (but hey, some people still think the earth is flat despite overwhelming evidence showing it's not.)

1. We've been told by pharmaceutical companies and drug regulators that antidepressants are not addictive, they acknowledge that "some people" may find discontinuing from them "problematic" but, they claim, "Addiction is characterized by a number of different criteria which includes craving, which includes increasing the dose of drug to get the same effect, and a number of other features." However, the English dictionary describes it somewhat different. it states: a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal.

2. If drug companies and drug regulators play semantics over point one then point two can be backed up by their claims in point one. It has to because point two raises the issue of withdrawal within the meaning of the true definition of addiction. The medical definition of withdrawal is: A psychological and/or physical syndrome caused by the abrupt cessation of the use of a drug in an habituated person. The therapeutic process of discontinuing a drug to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal. There are many forums on the Internet where users of antidepressant drugs have sought help because they have had, or are having, extreme difficulty withdrawing. With pharmaceutical companies and drug regulators making claims that these are easy to withdraw (ahem, 'discontinue') from, these people, seemingly, have nobody else to turn to except fellow-users of these medications. Furthermore, drug companies and regulators  don't use the term, “withdrawal symptoms,” preferring instead to use, “discontinuation symptoms.”

3. Health care professionals still prescribe SSRI's to children, they do so 'off-label'. By doing this they are telling us that SSRIs are safe for children. I mean, who would give a child a dangerous drug if they thought it was dangerous for them, right? However, what's perverse about this is those same health care professionals have access to the product labelling which states, amongst other things, that there are warnings "about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24."

4. When SSRIs first hit the market the manufacturers needed a selling point. They didn't just want those who were extremely depressed taking their drugs, they wanted to cast the net wider. This practice has continued throughout the years with new 'brain disorders' springing up, almost on a yearly basis. ADHD, OCD, and Bipolar spring to mind here. So, where did they spring from? Well, in a nutshell, they came from man, or rather a group of men. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. Created in 1952, it listed 106 disorders. It's third edition listed 265 disorders and it's fourth edition listed 297 disorders. The current DSM, after coming under heavy fire regarding the labelling of normality, hasn't increased the number of disorders per se, instead they have added subtypes to the previous disorders. For instance, caffeine intoxication and “caffeine withdrawal” are now listed as a disorder in the latest edition of the DSM. So, too much coffee or Red Bull, in essence, means you have a mental disorder.

The 'chemical imbalance' was a marketing campaign by pharmaceutical companies, the first being Eli Lilly who sold and marketed Prozac. Over time, this theory has gained momentum and has become an almost accepted fact. Even today, despite the chemical imbalance theory being debunked as a marketing strategy, we see the product label making claims that "It is thought that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, or depression may be caused by a chemical imbalance. Remarkably, there is not one shred of scientific evidence that supports this claim. It's called indoctrination. It happens all the time, yet we, take it on faith because we can't be bothered to do our own research or we put our faith in those who make these lavish claims. Here's a few instances of indoctrination.

1. Three Wise Men
We see them depicted on Christmas cards, we see our children play them in Nativity plays, we see endless books telling us about these three guys. Truth of the matter is, nowhere in the Bible does it specify there were three.

2. The Great Wall of China
Because of it's enormous structure you can see the Great Wall of China from space. I actually thought this one was true. Surprisingly, it's not visible from space, no single structure is visible from orbit. The visible wall theory was debunked after China's own astronaut, Yang Liwei, said he couldn’t see the historic structure. There was even talk about rewriting textbooks that support this theory. To date, that's not happened.

3. Bananas Grow On Trees
Another one that had me stumped, until I researched it. Bananas actually grow on herbs, a perennial herb; in fact, it is the largest of all herbaceous flowering plants.

4. Bats Are Blind
Another myth. Bats can actually see almost as well as humans. However, at night, their ears are more important than their eyes.

These are just four examples of how we, without researching, believe in facts that aren't facts at all.

Now, I'm betting that these four examples of untruths will be used in the pub or in quizzes. I'd bet all the money in my bank account that no such pub quiz would ever include the chemical imbalance myth though. Because many still believe it to be true despite having no evidence to prove it.

With the first four points covered, is it worth researching points 5 to 8?

5. Antidepressants do not cause psychosis
6. Antidepressants do not induce akathisia
7. Antidepressants do not cause people to self-harm
8. Antidepressants do not induce suicidal thinking and, almost definitely, do not induce completed suicide.

You can find Google here.

Bob Fiddaman












Friday, June 23, 2017

Prozac: Three Blind Mice






Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?


Most believe the author of Three Blind Mice was a teenager named Thomas Ravenscroft. The origin of the words, according to many historians, stem from Queen Mary I and her staunch Catholic beliefs. due to her violent persecution of Protestants, she was known as 'Bloody Mary'. The reference to 'farmer's wife' in Three Blind Mice refers to the huge estates she possessed. The 'three blind mice' were three Protestants convicted of plotting against Queen Mary I.  She did not have them dismembered and blinded as inferred in Three Blind Mice, she had them burnt at the stake! 

Ah, don't you just love the morals and ethics of religion! Even today we still see people being killed in the name of something that cannot be seen or heard. History shows that religious books have been responsible for many deaths, or rather the way religious scriptures are been interpreted. The Three Blind Mice rhyme has similarities to a recent study in Japan.

The study, sponsored in part by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., involved mice pups bred to mimic the distinctive behaviors and brain abnormalities seen in autism. After inducing autistic traits, the mice were fed Prozac. The authors claim Prozac caused dramatic improvements in the animal's social interactions and communication patterns. The Prozac, which was administered through the mother’s milk for 19 days. Furthermore, according to the study, "newborn mice got a daily injection of Prozac in their first six days of life, the treatment appeared to restore normal vocalization patterns and reduce anxiety-like behaviors well into adulthood."

The study is littered with assumptions and seems to promote a chemical imbalance theory that both humans and mice allegedly have. The study doesn't seem to explain what was done to impair the animal's brain function. What it does claim is that Prozac improved the brain damage the researchers caused. 

It claims to show that Prozac cleared whatever was induced in the mice so, in essence, this could just possibly be one drug counteracting another drug.

The spin in this study is obvious. The authors have induced a series of brain abnormalities in mice pups then made claims that these abnormalities are almost identical to the abnormalities found in people with autism.

Here's the irony: Toxic exposures during pregnancy, such as the use of antidepressants, can disrupt brain processes before birth and shortly afterward. So, if antidepressants can disrupt the brain process before and after birth, why not treat that with, um, another antidepressant!

It must have been a slow news day at the Los Angeles Times whose health corespondent, Melissa Healy, ran with the study. Her article is littered with assumptions. She claims Prozac, "is thought to elevate mood and quell anxiety by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the spaces between certain types of brain cells." I suspect her article is mainly a reprinted press release.

The key word here is "thought." Anything that follows it can, and should, be taken with a pinch of salt. It's clever marketing because our eyes are drawn to the science when, in actual fact, there is no science, it's just supposition.

Furthermore, the jounalist states, "Research on humans suggests that, during early brain development, those who will go on to develop autism have unusually low levels of serotonin in critical areas of the brain."

Now, here's a game for you all. What is the keyword in the above sentence?

Answers in the comments section or on my Facebook page please.

Science is an intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. This Japanese study has done none of that.

Don't you just love the morals and ethics of clinical trials and unscientific journalsm reporting!

Full study here.

LA Times article here.

Bob Fiddaman









Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mother Reveals Shocking Truth Behind Daughter's Death!




Take a good look at the beautiful young woman pictured above. Heather Blower was just 18 when she was found hanging in her bedroom by her sister, Heidi.

Earlier today I was alerted to a post that featured Heather and Heidi's mother, Paula.

I was halfway through the post when I had to stop. Tears were welling and I had to dry my eyes. Anger was also rearing its ugly head because the incompetence highlighted in Paula's guest post is all too familiar.

One would have thought that after 11 years of researching and blogging about this I'd be almost immune to the pain and suffering felt by those left behind when they lose children under such tragic circumstances. The tragedy here is heightened because of the ignorance of apparent health care professionals and a spineless regulator who have been alerted to stories like this time and time again and done absolutely nothing!

Heather was dragged through the system, her mind, body and soul tortured by raving lunatics who chose to ignore obvious signs of antidepressant adverse reactions.

Once dead and with her lifeless body barely put to rest, those same health care professionals thought it their duty to target Heather's surviving sister, Heidi. They offered her antidepressants, this was refused. They then, with their infinite knowledge of  "we know better than you", recommended that Heidi be moved into an apartment because, they told her mom, “you’re stopping her having antidepressants and getting well.”

The guest post is difficult to read, it will make you sad and, hopefully, make you angry enough to share it far and wide. If you have health care professionals in your family or if you have them as friends then you have a moral and ethical duty to tell them (not ask them) to sit down and actually let this sink in.

Paula has shown courage for speaking out, a courage that comes in the face of adversity. It's time for us all to show courage. It's time for us to say enough is enough.

Losing Heather is featured on the brilliant AntiDepAware website here.

Bob Fiddaman


Monday, June 19, 2017

UK Figures See Rise in Antidepressant Use in Under 18's





Data obtained from The Guardian newspaper has revealed that over 166,000 consumers under the age of 18 were given antidepressant medication between April 2015 and June 2016, including 537 aged six or under.

These figures really shouldn't shock and are, more than likely, underestimated. Quite why the Guardian is only revealing statistics for those 18 and under is a mystery. The current recommendations is for antidepressants not to be used in treating anyone 24 and under - so we have a absence of data here.

To offer balance, albeit in the form of professionals with links to the pharmaceutical industry, the Guardian quoted David Taylor, who is a spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He claimed, “Antidepressants are only used in children in circumstances where there is clear support from robust clinical trials. Adolescents with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder may be prescribed antidepressants, and fluoxetine is used in depression.”

Robust clinical trials?

Where are those 'robust' clinical trials he refers to?

Offering balance, Dr Antonis Kousoulis, a clinician and assistant director at the Mental Health Foundation, said the figures show “we are failing to provide a choice of age-appropriate psychological treatments at the point of the need”. He continued, “GPs over prescribe antidepressants often because of the long waiting lists for specialist services,” adding. “But the evidence that these medicines are effective in children is not as comprehensive as is it for‎ drugs for other conditions.”

Surely we can't use long-waiting lists for psychological treatments as an excuse to put children and adolescents in danger?

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also weighed in with, "antidepressants should be given only to teenagers and children with moderate or severe depression."

This goes against the recommendations of both the manufacturers of these drugs and the limp-wristed regulatory agency who claim to protect the public from harm from unsafe drugs.

NICE also claimed, "Fluoxetine (Prozac), which is sold under the trade name Prozac, is the only drug recommended for younger people, but other medication can be used as second-line treatment if fluoxetine does not work."

Really, other medication can be used?

I've long had a beef about the word 'recommendation'. In a blog post of mine from 2014, "Not Recommended", I highlighted how this term is, in essence, nothing more than a legal requirement. It protects the pharmaceutical industry and the regulator because they can always claim, after an antidepressant-induced death that, they have both warned about antidepressant use in this age group. It covers them legally and the only ones left to blame are the prescribing doctors who, in their defence, will claim there's a long waiting list for psychological treatments so "I had to prescribe something."

What they are prescribing are a series of mind-altering drugs known to cause suicidal feelings and, in many instances, suicidal completion. With comments and advice from the likes of NICE, the Mental Health Foundation, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society doctors in the UK must be as confused as I.

It's crystal clear, to me at least, that the warning needs to change. "Not recommended" needs to be dropped and replaced with “must not be used” in children and adolescents.

Of course, it would be too much to ask the British drug regulator (MHRA) to come out and oppose the prescribing of these drugs to kids. Recent communications between the MHRA and myself shows MHRA wants citizens to pay them for information regarding suicides in SSRI clinical trials - see MHRA Seek Payment For Info on Deadly Drugs.

If a regulator is reluctant to release the full information about these drugs then what hope do doctors have when deciding whether or not they are safe? Oh, I know, the "not recommended" cop out!

What is startling about these recent figures is that 537 consumers, aged six or younger, were prescribed these mind altering drugs. But don't expect any response other than, "We have warned practitioners that these groups of meds are not recommended for this age group."

The Guardian article can be read here.

Bob Fiddaman






Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Trump Nominates King & Spalding Attorney






Who is Christopher A. Wray?

Well, he's a litigation partner in King & Spalding's Washington DC and Atlanta office.

And who, I hear you ask, are King & Spalding?

Well, they're the law firm who just got spanked in Chicago. They defended GlaxoSmithKline, arguing that their antidepressant, Paxil, did not cause the suicide of Stewart Dolin.

The jury saw through the weak defence and found Glaxo liable.

Prior to joining the firm, Wray served from 2003 to 2005 as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, the same department who, in 2012, slammed down a $3 billion fine after GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to a whole host of federal crimes.

So, what duties does one who becomes director at the FBI have to carry out?

Well, he's basically responsible for its day-to-day operations.

The FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.

So nice to know that one of King & Spalding's biggest and wealthiest clients, GlaxoSmithKline, may now have someone to oversee any future criminal behaviour of theirs.

This shit just writes itself.

Nice move, Don.


Bob Fiddaman




Monday, June 05, 2017

MHRA Seek Payment For Info on Deadly Drugs







Well, true to their word it took the MHRA 20 working days to answer my Freedom of Information request.

As you will see from my response I'm going to need the help of you, the public, on this issue.




My response:

I received your claim that releasing the information requested would be too costly for your office. Given that human lives are at stake (a value far greater than your work hours), I request the following:

1) Please estimate the amount of money you require in exchange for obtaining this information.

2) Please separately estimate the number of hours of work you might have to complete to "research" and answer each of my Freedom of Information questions.

I will set the wheels in motion for public crowd-funding so the answers to these questions can be in the public domain. The same public that have a right to fully informed consent can then decide whether or not they think antidepressants are safe and effective based on the information you seem reluctant to release.

I look forward to working with the public to raise your requested funds.


Bob Fiddaman







Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Special - An Open Email to Robin Young



Last Thursday, psychologist Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber was given 10 minutes of airtime on WBUR, a National Public Radio station based in Boston.

Gerstenhaber was interviewed by Here & Now's host Robin Young. I say "interviewed," but it was more like a free infomercial for antidepressants.

The 10 minute program which can be listened to here, was a classic example of a one-sided shtick regarding the safety of "antidepressants" such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. Gerstenhaber offered tidbits of information which she claimed to be true. In fact, nothing she said appeared to be true. Neither could she back up her ludicrous claims that prescription drugs cannot cause suicide.

To date, more than 36 comments have been left on the WBUR page and all have gone unanswered by Gerstenhaber and host Robin Young.

One such person who felt compelled to leave a comment was Kristina Gehrki. Kristina has been featured on this blog in the past here and here.

In honor of U.S. veterans and Memorial Day, today she emailed the host. Her open letter, published here in its entirety, includes some interesting analogies. It's powerful. Perhaps Robin Young will have the decency to reply?

Here's the email (Published with the permission of Kristina Gehrki)

--

Honoring US Vets, Active Duty Servicemembers & Families through Accurate, Unbias Reporting

Robin Young, Cohost of NPR/WBUR "Here and Now"
890 Commonwealth Avenue, Third Floor
Boston, MA  02215
email: info@wbur.org

Dear Ms. Young,

Today is Memorial Day. Given your father was a United States Marine, I'm sure you are reflecting on his service. As a Marine wife for many years, I share your connection to the Corps and appreciation for veterans, servicemembers, and military families. Here's an old photo of my daughter, Natalie, age three at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.


When reading your bio after last Thursday's NPR radio program I learned we have several other commonalities: We both have journalism backgrounds, been recognized for our efforts on behalf of children, and worked on White House related communications.

However, today I'm contacting you about something we don't have in common--something I hope we never do: I lost my daughter at age 19 to prescription-drug-induced death.

Natalie was suffering from akathisia and Serotonin Toxicity, severe adverse drug reaction (ADRs) caused by SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) Dr. Roger Lane, a Pfizer scientist for the company that made the product (Zoloft) that caused my child's demise, has stated "the subjective components of akathisia are distinct and overwhelming." In another peer reviewed medical journal Lane went on to note "It may be less of a question of patients experiencing fluoxetine (Prozac)-induced suicidal ideation, than patients feeling that death is a welcome result."  (SSRI-Induced extrapyramidal side-effects and akathisia: implications for treatment - Roger M. Lane)

Further, Dr. Robert Temple, former director of the FDA's office of medical policy, has said "that analyses of 15 clinical trials, some of which were hidden for years from the public by the drug companies that sponsored them, showed a consistent link with suicidal behavior." (Harris, New York Times, 9/14/04, p. A01)

Yet on your show last week it appears your guest, Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, withheld this information.  Doctors who don't want to harm their patients would benefit from being better informed.

Natalie's doctor didn't recognize Natalie's symptoms as ADRs. She assumed Natalie was ill with various difficult-to-classify disorders. Natalie unwittingly documented her ADRs despite erroneously being told they were signs of unspecified illness and not ADRs. (You can learn about our avoidable tragedy here & here)). Informed of Natalie's violent death, her doctor screamed, "Oh my God! Oh my God! It doesn't make sense; she wasn't depressed." Natalie's doctor, who didn't communicate the risks related to the product she promoted, said she prescribed Zoloft because Natalie was "too focused on dieting and exercising."

Your program last week never mentioned "akathisia." It featured one guest, Gerstenhaber, with one agenda. Gerstenhaber didn't discuss the adverse side effects and withdrawal problems associated with the "antidepressant" drugs she promoted. Neither of you disclosed Gerstenhaber and her Columbia University project's financial and professional ties to these product manufacturers.

Perhaps this collective failure was simply an oversight? Whatever the reason, it is unethical. It is also poor journalism to cover this critical topic by excluding scientific research, medical experts and consumers whose views and lived experiences are far different from those expressed by a solitary guest. These troubling omissions can cause avoidable suffering and death of our nation's vets, servicemembers, and children.

Suicide is, literally, a life and death topic. More than 22 veterans die by suicide every day, many of whom were prescribed drugs that carry the FDA's Black Box warning stating these products can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. Like my family, many are never informed of the products' risks vs. benefits and never receive Informed Consent; Therefore, their basic human right to medical freedom of choice is effectively denied.

Your father and all our vets served to protect Americans' right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Tragically, for some unsuspecting consumers, SSRI drugs rob them of life, liberty and happiness.

Today as we honor our nation's vets, I also remember those who died from terrorist attacks. Some victims of the September 11th World Trade Center attack jumped to their deaths. No decent person would ever state these deaths were "suicides." Rather, these innocent victims jumped to escape a burning building. It is a similar situation when consumers die from self-sustained injury while suffering prescribed akathisia and psychosis. These iatrogenic deaths are not "suicides" in the traditional sense of the term; I use the word "suicide" only because the English language hasn't yet coined a definitive term to describe such death. Prescripticide is likely the most accurate term. And so it is: My teenaged daughter, Natalie, died from prescripticide, as do many veterans.

To hear your guest, Gerstenhaber, claim SSRI drugs have few risks and great benefits conjured up an analogy about peanuts.Years ago I left journalism to pursue a fulfilling profession in education. At the start of every school year, I received district letters alerting me of students with peanut allergies. These serious allergies could result in my students' deaths. When I hear Gerstenhaber dismiss the risk of SSRI drugs and tout all the supposed benefits, I think about peanuts and my students. What would I tell a parent whose allergic child died in my class because I cavalierly chose to bring students a special treat containing peanuts? How would the parent of the dead child react if I replied, "Peanuts are healthy for most children. They are high in protein, easy to swallow, cheap and widely available. Sorry your child died. But remember, for most of my students, these peanuts were a healthy snack."

I've worked with children and teens for decades and recently paid my respects to fallen servicemembers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Many of these casualties were teenagers--the same age as my students--when they died. As I stood at the wall, I pondered how long a wall would be if a similar memorial honored victims of medical error and ADRs. Given that the broken U.S. medical system is the leading cause of death and injury, few visitors would have the stamina to walk such a great distance when paying respects to lost loved ones.

Today some vets who survive akathisia and other ADRs bravely share their experiences. Dave Cope, a Navy veteran, shares his avoidable suffering in an open Letter to Congress. Cope attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) near your WBUR office and, like fellow MIT grad, Dr. Kelly Brogan, would have been an appropriate source for last week's program. Another Boston-area resident and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, Robert Whitaker, could have also been invited to share his research. Clearly, you need not have ventured far from your office to find reliable sources for more balanced programing.

Since Natalie's death in 2013, I've met many intelligent people whose loved ones also suffered ADRs and died iatrogenic deaths--people with no financial motives nor conflicts of interest. Their loved ones were pharmaceutical executives, lawyers, marketing professionals, doctors, teens, and children. In the interest of public health and responsible journalism, I respectfully request you host a follow-up program in which medical experts and families can share independent research, personal ADR experiences and fatal outcomes.

You can reach me at akathisiamatters@gmail.com should you wish to do so.

Semper Fidelis,
Kristina Kaiser Gehrki

--

"Netherworld," from the film 'Letters from Generation Rx' by Kevin P. Miller.

'Netherworld' is told from the voice of Natalie Gehrki and her mother Kristina.





Back story

Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber - Incredulous!






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Psychiatrists Launch Antidepressant Withdrawal Video




Want to know how to get off antidepressants?

Dismiss this 'educational' video, it appears as if it's been put together by people who really haven't a clue what they are talking about.

The video, as far as I can make out, is a result of an online survey carried out by The Royal College of Psychiatrists. I'm almost certain that I took part in the survey but can't actually remember? Six years of Seroxat (Paxil) use kind of kills memory cells.

Watch the video. My comments are beneath.



"Antidepressants help many people." - How many? How do they help them? Describe, in detail, how they act on the brain and, furthermore, how that action helps 'lift' depression, anxiety etc.

"After overcoming depression some find coming off antidepressants quite difficult." - Some? How many exactly, what are the figures? In any event, how does one know one has overcome 'depression' if the antidepressants are designed to make consumers feel like they aren't depressed?

(Paraphrasing) - "They might find their depression returns." - How do they know this, how do they know whether it's a return of the depression or whether it's a side effect of withdrawal?

"Deciding when to stop is really important, talk it over with your doctor first." - Herein lies a major problem. Dr's have been told by pharmaceutical companies and medicine regulators that these drugs are safe and effective. They have also been told that, despite there being warnings of antidepressant-induced suicide, these feelings only occur in a small number of people and, it's not the drug, it's the 'underlying illness'.

"If you've had one episode of depression it's best to stay on your antidepressants for six months to a year after you feel better." - Yes, they really do advise this but don't go into any detail as to why? So, in essence, they are telling us that despite feeling better carry on taking your antidepressant for a further 6 months to a year. So, if you have a clean bill of health, carry on taking something that will give you no benefit at all, right? To use an analogy, treat your headache with paracetamol and once the pain goes away continue taking paracetamol for 6 months to a year (despite you not having headaches anymore.)

"If you stop too soon, your depression is more likely to come back." - Ah, I see. So, by taking tablets to treat depression, even though your depression has cleared, it appears The Royal College of Psychiatrists are now claiming antidepressants 'prevent' further episodes of 'depression'? - Since when have antidepressants been used to help prevent the illness, I thought they were prescribed to help with depression and not prevent it? At this rate, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, would like to see us all on antidepressants, even though we have no depression.

"If your problems have been going on for sometime, your doctor might advise you to stay on antidepressants for longer." - So, if you have been taking antidepressants for a year or so and your problems still exist then the antidepressant is still working but it needs time to 'kick in', right? How many other drugs that have been licensed get such a carte blanche?

"Most people don't have troublesome side effects when coming off antidepressants, but some do." - Figures, what are the figures? Is this statement based on 8-12 week clinical trials or is it based on the post-marketing surveillance of these drugs?

"Most people said that their symptoms lasted up to six weeks." - This figure seems to be based on the online survey carried out by The Royal College of Psychiatrists. For transparency, it would be beneficial to see these figures produced by The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

"Talk to your doctor, they can help you make a plan, when to stop, how quickly to reduce the dose and who to contact if you have any problems." - So, doctors have had specific training in antidepressant withdrawal? How much training, who trained them? Who do doctors suggest you contact if you are having withdrawal problems?

"You may have some physical symptoms or your depression may return." This is really quite comical. On one hand you may have physical symptoms of withdrawal but it could be your depression returning. The doctor, who remember has had limited training regarding antidepressant withdrawal will, more than likely, tell you to restart. Once you do your withdrawal symptoms will magically disappear. Here's the rub, folks, your doctor will tell you that you was experiencing a return of the illness and not antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. Round and round you go.

"Ask your friends and family for support and maybe take some time off work." - Those same friends and family will not know anything about drug withdrawal - yes, they may spot signs of suicidality but won't make the connection that it could be the drug causing the suicidal feelings - they will assume, just as many doctors do, that it's the 'underlying illness'.

"Reduce your dose slowly, this helps to reduce symptoms." - Symptoms of what? How slowly. Where's the guidance here?

"Stay in touch with your doctor throughout the process." (of reducing) - I agree with this statement to an extent. However, this can be impractical for many people and they may send an email to their doctor or phone them. Doctor's then will have to make a decision to either continue the reduction process or, as in the case of Natalie Gehrki, increase the dosage. Natalie's story is here & here. Again, what training have doctors had to spot signs of worsening depression opposed to worsening symptoms of drug side-effects?

"Keep a diary of your symptoms and doses." - Have you ever tried writing when going through severe withdrawal? I could barely lift a pen, let alone write.

"Be prepared to stop the reduction or increase the dose as necessary." - Why? Is this due to the drug causing the symptoms or a return of the illness?

--

So, The Royal College of Psychiatrists have skipped over the most important issue surrounding antidepressants - suicidal thoughts, actions and completion. There is no reference to the condition of akathisia, a condition caused by prescription medications, in particular, antidepressants.

Here is a video, that is also animated, it was created by MISSD,  - it tells you all about akathisia.




So, after watching these two videos, who would you like to seek more advice from? The Royal College of Psychiatrists, who, it appears, are giving us more questions than answers, or MISSD, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring victims of prescription drug induced akathisia by raising awareness and educating the public?


Bob Fiddaman




Saturday, May 27, 2017

Paxil in the News Again - Seven Deaths






PAXIL - Death one

It's a rare occasion when I can sit down on weekends and relax. Two news stories that I wish to share with you today can't really wait until Monday. A third, is a news story from 1998 that collectively ties in.

First off, GlaxoSmithKline, the company who had their arses kicked in Chicago back in April this year, have now decided to, once again, put Wendy Dolin and her family through the mill. Not content with the jury's decision, that ruled Paxil (also known as Seroxat) and GSK responsible for the death of Wendy's husband, Stewart, they have now filed a motion for a new trial citing, amongst many things, the trial "was not fair" and that Wendy "did not meet her burden at trial to prove her failure-to-warn claim and her allegation that generic paroxetine caused Stewart Dolin to take his own life."

Furthermore, GSK, just as they did at trial, are blaming Stewart's doctor for prescribing Paxil and also the FDA for apparently refusing to update the suicide warning on Paxil.

GSK are also, it appears, blaming the judge for not properly instructing the jury.

The motions states, "In contrast, the Court denied GSK a fair opportunity to cross-examine Plaintiff’s experts for bias and to present relevant evidence. In addition, Plaintiff had the final word at trial with expert testimony that went far beyond any proper “rebuttal.” These many errors resulted in extraordinary prejudice to GSK, jury confusion, and ultimately a verdict unsupported by the weight of the evidence. A new trial is required."

It was expected that GSK appeal the decision, let's face it, their highly paid law team of King & Spalding defend Paxil cases by the dozen and, even when settling or losing, they always claim that "Paxil has benefited millions of people worldwide", or words to that effect.

If GSK get the green light for a new trial it will mean further distress for Wendy Dolin and her family. More subpoenas, more questioning, more mud-slinging.

King & Spalding lost the case because a jury of men and women ruled against them. To save face, and to show GSK how they lost because it was an unfair trial, Messrs Bayman & Davis (King & Spalding) wish to bring their circus to town once more.

Stewart Dolin jumped to his death after Paxil induced akathisia, a condition that GSK, and other pharmaceutical companies, have played down for years.

I'll keep you updated on developments.


PAXIL - Death two & three

Back in 2011, 29-year-old Renske Hekman, from Baflo, Netherlands, was brutally murdered by her boyfriend, Alasam Samaria, who had picked up a fire extinguisher in the hall of her apartment and beaten Renske to death. He then shot a police officer dead.

Renske's father, Eddy Hekman and his daughter's killer, Alasam Samaria, have, in a remarkable twist of fate, now joined forces and wrote a book together. The book, Een coupé verder: over het drama van Baflo, wat eraan voorafging en wat erop volgde (The tragedy of Baflo, what preceded it and what followed), highlights Samaria's use of Paxil, particularly on the day he murdered, or was induced by Paxil to murder, Renske.

The book shows how on April 13, 2011, Samaria's psychiatrist tripled the dose of Paxil. At the scene of the crime police said of Samaria that he looked like "a zombie with empty eyes."

Just as in the Dolin Vs. GSK trial, evidence was shown how Stewart acted out of character. He had no previous history of wanting to kill himself. Paxil, like a lot of other SSRIs, can induce psychosis and consumers can, at times, feel not only suicidal but homicidal too.

PAXIL Death four, five, six and seven

In 1998, the town of Gillette, Wyoming, became infamous for all the wrong reasons.

Donald Schell (60) shot to death his family members, Rita Schell, Deborah Tobin, and Alyssa Tobin, before turning the gun on himself. Nobody knew, at the time, why such a loving man would carry out such a heinous crime.

Step forward surviving son-in-law, Tim Tobin, who brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Glaxo because Donald Schell was, basically, 'normal' before he started taking Glaxo's wonder drug, Paxil. The jury in the Tobin v SmithKline Beecham (SKB) trial concluded that Paxil could cause someone to carry out suicide or homicide and that the drug was in fact a proximate cause of the deaths in this case. Glaxo were fined around $6.4 million.


The Tobin verdict - Click to enlarge

At the time of the verdict, Charles F. Preuss, a lawyer for the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, said the verdict was "a surprise." He added, ''This issue was raised in the early 90's, and since that time all the scientific articles have concluded that these antidepressants do not cause suicide or homicide or suicidal thoughts,'' 

Once again, GSK in denial, even after being held liable.

Seven deaths. One drug.

One would have thought the evidence, however, is clear...

Bob Fiddaman
Author of "The evidence, however, is clear, the Seroxat scandal."


Related

Dolin Verdict

The Guardian - Experience: I made peace with my daughter’s killer, by Eddy Hekman

New York Times - Tobin Verdict

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber - Incredulous!



 Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber

Dr. Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber is a visionary scientist, humanitarian, and philanthropist with a long-standing commitment to saving lives. Her focus on preventing death by suicide.

At least these are the claims of her bio found here.

For simplicity I will just refer to her as Posner.

Posner caused quite a stir earlier today when she was a guest on a radio show broadcast by WBUR.

She claimed that science shows prescription drugs 'Don't cause people to be suicidal.'

Posner, presumably from the area of Idontgiveadamn, which is situated on the planet Zog, obviously has some sort of delusions of grandeur, at least that's what her bio would suggest.

A humanitarian?

A long-standing commitment to saving lives?

What the program-makers, and, indeed, Posner, failed to mention was her ties to the industry. Back in 2009 Posner added her name to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (JAACAP)

The JAACAP is infamous for the ghostwritten Paxil 329 study and despite many calls for it's retraction the journal are steadfast in not removing the fraudulant 329 study.

In 2009 Posner listed her following interests after adding her name to the Depressive Symptoms and Clinical Status During the Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters (TASA) Study.

Here we get to see the reasoning behind her claims on WBUR.

"Dr. Posner has received research support from the following pharmaceutical companies, as part of an effort to help execute the FDA suicidality mandates/requests: Amgen, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, i3 Research, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, H. Lundbeck A/S, Medtronic, Merck & Co., Next Wave Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk A/S, Orexigen Therapeutics, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Schering-Plough Corporation, Schwarz Biosciences/UCB, Sepracor, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Vivus, and Wyeth Research."

Furthermore, the Columbia Lighthouse Project at Columbia University, of which Posner is the founder and director, receives funding from pharmaceutical companies. Again, this was not mentioned by the program-makers at WBUR or, indeed, Posner herself.

The interview is unbelievable, nae incredulous.

Give this a listen, the usual 'underlying illnesses' is rolled out.

She also claims that suicides have risen since black box warnings in the US, Another fallacy that has been debunked many times.

On anecdotal reports of people dying by antidepressant induced suicide she said, "the greatest risk of suicide is a month before starting treatment, what is causing the risk is the medication not having  chance to work yet." Posner also claimed that she worked alongside the FDA and stated that there was not one suicide reported.

Hmm, she's either lying or the FDA didn't feel that she was important enough to give that information to.

Strange because I was present at the recent trial in Chicago where Paxil was implicated in the death of Stewart Dolin. The  jury heard about the following suicides during Paxil clinical trials. All the subjects were taking Paxil at the time of their death. (See Plaintiff's Exhibit 347)

Female, 56 - Suicide.
Unknown gender - 50 - Suicide by hanging.
Female, 42 - Suicide by overdose of doxepin.
Female, 18 -  Suicide.
Female, 58 - Suicide by hanging.
Male, 24 - Unknown if it was suicide - Patient was hit by a train and killed
Male, 34 - Suicide
Female, 48 - Suicide
Female, 46 - Suicide by hanging.
Male, 54 - Suicide, jumped under a train.
Female, 67 - Suicide - on the fourth day of the study she threw herself out of a window.
Female, 32 - Suffocation due to vomiting.
Female, 33 - Suicide, jumped from 4th floor balcony.
Male, 65 - Suicide by an unknown method.
Male, 23 - Suicide.
Female, 31 - Suicide.
Unknown gender , 86 - Suicide by hanging.
Male, 46 - Suicide/Homicide - on December 14, 1998, the patient went to the home he shared with his estranged wife and shot her, he then turned the gun on himself.
Male, 40 - Suicide.
Male, 35 - Suicide (Shot himself)
Male, 19 - Suicide (Shot himself)
Female, 58 - Suicide by hanging.

80% of these suicides were carried out by patients over the age of 30. (Back story)


Plaintiff's Exhibit 347


This is gut-wrenching to listen to as I know, and have met, many parents, husbands and wives who have lost loved ones to antidepressant-induced suicide.

WBUR need to either add Posner's conflict of interests or invite parents onto their show to rebut the outlandish claims you are about to listen to.




Feel free to leave a comment beneath this post or on the WBUR website here.


Bob Fiddaman




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Under Cover Terrorists




There's so much hatred doing the rounds lately - I guess it takes an act of violence on children, innocent children, to get people riled.

And rightly so.

Terrorist Salman Abedi, who carried out the abhorrent act in Manchester two nights ago has been condemned by many. He walked into a foyer knowing what he was about to do, he did so because, it is believed, he had taken the written word from an ancient scripture literally. He probably believes that his actions will be rewarded by some fairy in the sky. "Here you go, Salman, here's some virgins for you, great job."

Many people, including friends and family, hang their hat on the mythical, Let's face it, there's no concrete evidence that God, any God, exists, yet we see throughout history how many atrocities have been carried out in the name of God.

Personally, I'm an atheist. As such, I avoid being manipulated by indoctrination of fairy tales. Not having a God in my life suits me just fine.

The world I move in has seen many child killers, but the public apathy suggests it's okay to kill children and, indeed, adults, if the perpetrators are multi-billion dollar industries.

During the past two days Facebook has seen people voice their shock and horror over the Manchester atrocity. Folks who normally post photos of what they are about to eat or weather updates have been so shocked and moved that they have voiced their opinions and condemned the actions. The Manchester atrocity was enough to get people enraged.

What if I told you that back in 2012, a white coach driver by the name of Geert Michiels carried out an act or terrorism? What if I told you he had no affiliation to any terrorist cell? Michiels deliberately drove his coach into a tunnel wall killing 28 passengers, 22 of whom were children. Would you still be inclined to vent your outrage on Facebook or any other social network?

Geert Michiels, 34, didn't have a weapon of destruction strapped around his body, but he was driving one.

But hey, he had no motive, no indoctrination, no manipulation of the mind... or so we are led to believe.

What if indoctrination came in the shape of a pill, what if that pill changed your outlook on life, on society as a whole? Wouldn't such a pill be snapped up by terrorist organizations such as those responsible for the events in Manchester? If one can manipulate the mind of a 22 year-old by preaching quotes from an ancient book then such a gift as one simple pill could speed up the process of manipulating someone who was once normal into a mass killer.

A full investigation into the coach crash was carried out by Swiss Chief Prosecutor Olivier Elsig, the results of which were inconclusive. He ruled out the involvement of a third party, shortcomings in the road surface or the tunnel infrastructure. Excessive speed, alcohol or technical problems with the vehicle were also ruled out. He, at no point, could determine whether or not Geert Michiels carried out an act of homicide/suicide with the vehicle.

From the investigation, and subsequent independent investigations, it was learned that Michiels was taking or withdrawing from Seroxat at the time of the crash. Seroxat is better known as Paxil in the US and Canada and Aropax in Australia.

It's become widely known that Seroxat can cause suicidal thinking in some people who take it, it has also been proven, in US Courts, that Seroxat was responsible for, not only suicide but homicide too.

Seroxat, by the manufacturers own admission, can cause a symptom called akathisia, in a nutshell, akathisia is a disorder, induced by SSRI medications, which can cause a person to experience such intense inner restlessness that the sufferer is driven to violence and/or suicide.

Seroxat was Geert Michiels 'bomb'. The drug caused adverse reactions that triggered a series of events in his brain. It was his indoctrination by proxy that eradicated his normal empathy and induced atypical thoughts of killing his passengers and himself. This became his mission in a split second. We know from the recent Dolin Vs. GSK trial that akathisia can be switched on and off in a second. We also know that for persons experiencing akathisia death can be a welcome result. This statement was made by Dr. Roger Lane who, in a 1998 article on akathisia, said, "It may be less of a question of patients experiencing fluoxetine-induced suicidal ideation than patients feeling that 'death is a welcome result' when the acutely discomforting symptoms of akathisia are experienced on top of already distressing disorders." - At the time, Roger Lane was working for pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer.

Pfizer make Zoloft, an akathisia-inducing drug.

Yet we see no world-wide condemnation of pharmaceutical companies or indeed those who are supposed to regulate the drugs you and I take.

22 people died in Manchester. - Salman Abedi's mind has been manipulated by indoctrination.
28 people died in Sierre. - Geert Michiels' mind had been manipulated by Seroxat.

I anticipate that Facebook posters won't be spreading the Sierre story far and wide.

Bob Fiddaman

Back stories

Did Seroxat Trigger the Fatal Sierre 2012 Bus Crash?

Sierre Bus Crash Revisited

Did the Sierre Bus Driver Have a Pre-Disposition to Seroxat?

What is akathisia?

Advocates Against Prescribed Akathisia

Guest Post: Let's Bring Akathisia Out of the Darkness







Friday, May 19, 2017

Guest Post by JulieAnn Carter-Winward





I've been traveling a lot lately and am very tired. A recent death of a dearly beloved aunt has meant that I'm putting blogging on hold for a while. Being apart from my partner, whom I love dearly, is also difficult to cope with but it's only for a short time so at least we both have something to look forward to when we meet again in a month or so.

Just as well that I have a guest post to offer readers today.

It mentions the "A" word, you know, the one that many doctors, regulators and industry insiders like to 'play down', like to pass off as nothing more than an 'inner restlessness'.

For once, it's not about SSRIs, it's about a drug that I am not totally familiar with.

The guest post is well worth the read, it's part one of two.

~ Bob Fiddaman


Train Wreck: How Mental Health Care Got Derailed
By JulieAnn Carter-Winward



Have you ever been punched in the gut? Or fallen, had the wind knocked right-the-hell outta ya? Yeah, me too. It can be a humbling experience. But if you know me at all, you’d know: I am anything but humble.

My name is JulieAnn Carter-Winward, and I live in the U.S. of A., where everything “right” comes from, (“herb,” pronounced “erb,” not “herb” with an “h,” you hoity-toity Brits.) I’m kidding, of course. I pronounce it like British folk because, well, there’s a “h” in it.

AH, but I digress: yes, “humility” is a virtue of which I possess very little—and that’s actually sort of ridiculous, because I have countless reasons to be humble. I mean…I suck at a lot of stuff. Seriously suck.

My lack of humility, we could even call it pride or—dare I say it? Hubris—yeah, okay so I’d thought the sin of hubris would be what would eventually buckle my legs and knock the breath clean out of me.

I could not have imagined that my nemesis would be an innocuous, little, round, white pill.

BUT, although Mr. Fiddaman’s blog has focused on SSRIs up until this point, I need to tell you: this little pill was not an SSRI. 

Just like “Charcoal gray is the new black” or “Spoken Word” is the new “Beat Poetry,” or “Fifty Shades of Gray” is the new “Housewife Porn,” (shudder), the new SSRIs are the “second-generation atypical anti-psychotics,” or AAPs. Why? Because drug companies are now claiming AAPs can do what SSRIs cannot, and have not done: treat depression.



Bob Fiddaman has diligently revealed the truth behind the smoke, mirrors, dollar bills and coins behind antidepressant clinical trials, research, (rabid) prescribing and use—all to shed light on the potential lethal consequences of these medications: drug-induced akathisia.

But SSRIs are merely one way to whack the backs of an unsuspecting public’s knees; people searching for the “Little Pill that Could.” The “I think I can, I think I can,” or, more aptly, the “I think it will, I think it will…” hmm, will what?

Make this constant sadness disappear from my life!

Help my son get his life back together. I want to see him smile--it’s been so long.

Get my husband back to his old, jocular self again.

When it comes to antidepressants, these are all wishful thoughts at best, placing hopes in an engine powered by promises, not proof. Thanks to people like Mr. Fiddaman and others, SSRIs have been exposed for what they truly are: engines that not only can’t get you over the hill of unhappiness, but won’t—and on top of it, could very well derail you emotionally or those you love, within days, weeks, or months.

Enter AAPs. Yes, there are some new pills in town, and they’ve been approved by the FDA for not only bipolar depression, but run-of-the-mill, #1-cause-of-disability-in-America-today depression as well. AAPs are the new “add-ons,” booster meds, or, as I like to call them, the caboose medication to add to your impotent drug train, traversing the uphill battle of depression. 

Yet, AAPs, like an errant caboose, can whip around and bite you in the ass when things go the wrong way—knocking you to the ground, breathless—that, or six feet under it.

I should know. I was tied to the tracks.

If you’ve read Bob’s blog long enough, you’ve read tragic, heartbreaking stories of Wendy Dolin as well as other survivors left behind in the wake of loss, after drug-induced akathisia drove their loved ones to take their own lives. I have read stories of people who have had akathisia (past-tense); I felt the horror of their experiences in their words, the utter agony they recall with dread, almost as if they fear it a specter, and to invoke the very name of it would recall its visitation upon them again. Yes, thanks to Mr. Fiddaman’s diligence, SSRIs, and those who manufacture, sell, and prescribe them, are getting an uncomfortable spotlight shined right in their faces.

Today, however, right here and now, you are reading the words of someone who has tardive akathisia; “tardive” means “late appearing,” and in the medical field, that means the side effect doesn’t manifest until after the drug has been discontinued.

I stopped taking the AAP, Latuda, (lurasidone HCl, made by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd., and marketed in the U.S. by Sunovion,) almost 11 months ago, and I still battle akathisia, daily. The emotional pain, the quivering muscles but along with the persisting akathisia, I have developed other neurological movement disorders, and they appeared nearly 7 months after discontinuing Latuda: tardive dyskinesia and tardive dystonia.

What makes me rather unique is that for some people, the drug masks “inner akathisia,” the emotional pain, while the patient is on it. Not always, but sometimes. For example, akathisia can also be a withdrawal symptom. Just ask anyone who has tried to get off benzodiazepines. But Latuda did not mask my pain, and it grew, over years, until I was frozen with pain almost every day. I have lived with inner akathisia pain, for over a decade. I have been SSRI-free for years. The only medication I took with akathisia as a known side effect was the AAP, Latuda.  

But I don’t know that “living” is the correct word to describe what my life had been, and some days still, is like. More accurately, I white-knuckle my way through most days. Before my diagnosis last summer in 2016, I lived with a pain with no name, a pain so relentless, there were days when I could barely walk upright. It was misdiagnosed as “agitated depression,” “treatment-resistant depression,” and “severe panic and anxiety,” but no medication gave me relief.

I knew, knew in my BONES, that it wasn’t psychological. This was not a job for my therapist. No, this was physical, biological, and my doctor and I knew it had to do with medication. But he had no idea what “inner akathisia” was. I not only wanted that train to derail, I almost derailed it myself, more times than I care to admit here.

Akathisia dogs my every step; places a pall over every feeling and thought I have, every day. My mind can’t wrap itself around the pain at times—a pain like akathisia should be fatal. At the very least, it should have the compassion to BE fatal and allow the sufferer to die a death that is not self-imposed. It is hell on earth, and it has nothing to do with gods or devils.

I get whacked, despite the drug’s absence, and no one knows why it persists, other than I was on AAPs for 13 years, or how to help me. Am I now, then, finally humbled?

Hell no. I’m pissed.

And as a wise man once wrote…well as the guy who made the magnet on my refrigerator wrote: “It is unwise to anger a poet.” Oh, it’s a little different than that. 

I’ll fix it.



There. All fixed.

When Bob invited me to write about my experience, I had to laugh a little. Write about it? Hell, I’ve been writing about it for years. Years and years—as in, I have so many poems and stories about the mysterious “Pain” that dogged my daily existence, that I have an entire BOOK of writings about akathisia, a book I’m compiling as we speak. So yes, Bob, I’ll write about it, and this is the intro.

If you’d like a broader spectrum/look-see into the history of antipsychotic medications, and the evolution of the drug companies with regards to mental health, as well as my personal take on it and my experiences that led me to this point, please visit my webpage at:


Hopefully, in and of Bob’s good graces, I’ll be writing a bit more next month to address and inform you all about an upcoming awareness project premiering at the end of June. It’s a short YouTube film. I hope you will not only find it engaging, but that you will all help me spread the film’s message like a wildfire across the info-kindling that is the ether.

Thank you for reading. It’s time for me to step away. The Pain-- it’s here. So familiar, and yet it feels fresh and new, every day. Like a wound that is never allowed to heal. A torture, where every day a masked man comes and gouges out the same place on my body. I’d beg him, beg him, to please, give me another pain, in ANY other place.

I often think about that. I think about him, agreeing, but giving me this choice:

 “All right, instead of gutting you in the bloody hole in the upper part of your stomach, I will slash your arms and legs to shreds. But here’s the catch: I will only do that if you let me slash your limbs for a decade. If you refuse, I will continue gutting the usual spot, but only for one more week. Choose.”

Truth be told? I don’t know what I would do. I think I would choose the decade of limbs being slashed. If it meant my gut would be spared one more blow? God help me, I’d consign to the former. The pain…I can’t describe in words. I am undone by it; but I have work to do, and I need to help those who I can help. I need to keep holding on, and I will.

 So yes, I’m sinking, here and now, down to my knees…

…but so help me God, I will not allow my chin to drop—  

not until the makers of Latuda KNOW ME BY NAME.
 
 
~J.A. Carter-Winward


Please contact me if you would like a guest post considered for publication on my blog.