Archive for July, 2008


I recently requested records from my early treatment.  Much of the doctors’ version of the timeline and notes were similar what I recalled, but several things surprised me.  In particular, I hadn’t recalled how relentlessly my psychiatrist in college (who I started seeing about a year after diagnosis) pushed zyprexa, and what he was pushing it for…anxiety.  It doesn’t surprise me that this was in 1999 and 2000, just the time when lilly is getting in trouble for big time off label marketing for, among other things…anxiety.  

After I’d been seeing this doctor, who I’ll call Dr. Happy, for about a year, he started offering me zyprexa for my lingering anxiety, much of it triggered by performances (I was a musician).  I’d been on and off of xanax and klonopin, and at the time had xanax available for “emergencies” that I avoided taking, because believe it or not, I generally tried to avoid taking drugs, even advil.  You wouldn’t know it considering where I ended up.  I could get pretty darn anxious, but…Zyprexa…how in the world did he justify pulling out an antipsychotic with a hideous side effects profile, even considering what what they knew at the time?  For two complete years, at every single visit, Dr. Happy offered me zyprexa.  He insisted I take a sample bottle home with me just in case, and frequently reminded me that I could take it PRN (i.e. as needed, who prescribes zyprexa PRN??) in various stressful situations (e.g. finals, recital, exams…yeah…zyprexa before an exam…I’m sure I would have done great).  For two complete years I refused.  I really felt the three meds I was on were enough, and that I could muscle through.  And  I did muscle through fine.  I was a worrywart but my grades were great, I was successfully working on two degrees, I had close friends and could maintain reasonable relationships.  After two complete years of saying no, one day I finally said yes.  One thing that struck me was that in the records, I don’t seem any more stressed at that point than all the times I said no.  Maybe less.  I think I just finally gave up.  Even Dr. Happy’s notes say I was only mildly to moderately anxious.  Then why the big guns?  



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