I know, I know, you have probably seen the commercials, but I am new to television and I only just started to watch them…and I just saw one that has been running probably for years now with the sad little pill that gets people to “add Abilify” to their so-called “anti-depressant” in order to boost its effectiveness. I learned about this advertisement recently from a friend of mine who innocently enough told me, told me, that Abilify is “just another antidepressant”.
Excuse me? I said to her. Abilify is NOT an antidepressant.
“Yes it is,” she insisted. “I saw it on TV.”
“No, Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic drug, not unlike Zyprexa or Risperdal. I don’t know what you are talking about, calling it an antidepressant.”
That’s when she told me about the sad little pill commerical. Well, okay, so the pill isn’t sad, the woman in the commercial supposedly is, and when the nice doctor she sees, adds the nice little Abilify pill to her so-called anti-depressant, she perks right up like an obedient child and, wow, the two pills work like magic to make the world right again. WOWEE!
So again the public is sold two lies, or maybe three or maybe half a dozen. First we are sold the lie that antidepressants do something in the first place. WAIT A MINUTE. Okay, they do do something, I admit it. They change the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, yes, they do that. They alter something. Yes, and doing something, making a difference, altering anything makes people feel DIFFERENT and doing anything to change people’s feelings about ANYTHING when they are depressed can lead them to feel that it is better than doing nothing. ‘
But you have to understand that taking a mind altering substance to do something, anything at all, just to feel different, is not at all the same thing as actually treating a pre-existing chemical imbalance. And they know now that there is no such thing as a serotonin imbalance in the brains of depressed people. NO SUCH THING. In fact, they cannot figure out why people become depressed at all, but they do know that serotonin levels are not involved in any such simplified ways that the SSRI drugs purport to “treat.” Even Prozac researchers have admitted as much. Prozac researchers knew that their drug did not work way back in the 80s when Prozac first came out. They knew it induced suicidality in a large number of people, but they rushed it onto the market because Lilly needed a blockbuster drug, period to pad their pockets.
But that aside, the researchers to this day know that antidepressants do nothing to actually treat depression, because they have admitted that they do not understand what causes depression.
That said, does anyone who takes an anti-depressant understand what they are doing when their friendly psychiatrist or family doctor “ADDS ABILIFY” to their nice little psychoactive cocktail? Well, in addition to experiencing some or all the terrible but COMMON side effects of, say, Zoloft or Prozac (these are just those for Zoloft):
|Inability to have an Erection||Severe|
|Altered Interest in Having Sexual Intercourse||Severe|
|Chronic Trouble Sleeping||Less Severe|
|Low Energy||Less Severe|
|Excessive Sweating||Less Severe|
|Involuntary Quivering||Less Severe|
|Loss of Appetite||Less Severe|
|Weight Loss||Less Severe|
|Head Pain||Less Severe|
|Feel Like Throwing Up||Less Severe|
|Stomach Cramps||Less Severe|
|Feeling Weak||Less Severe|
they might well experience these COMMON side effect of Abilify:
|A Feeling of Restlessness with Inability to Sit Still||Severe|
|Feeling Restless||Less Severe|
|Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements||Less Severe|
|Chronic Trouble Sleeping||Less Severe|
|Increased Hunger||Less Severe|
|Head Pain||Less Severe|
|Feel Like Throwing Up||Less Severe|
|Throwing Up||Less Severe|
|High Amount of Triglyceride in the Blood||Less Severe|
These are the commonly reported side effects from common antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro: in terms of Psychiatric Disorders, to which one might be told to “add Abilfy”:
Frequent: impaired concentration, amnesia, apathy, depression, increased appetite, aggravated depression, suicide attempt, confusion.
Now, I ask you, everyone, DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A RECIPE FOR CURING DEPRESSION? Any fool would look just at the list of side effects and say, uh, I would be more depressed if I experienced even two of these….But doctors think that people will feel better if they take drugs like these two together, and put up with these side effects, just because they are told that “by adding abilify” and their depression will go away.
The point is, the doctors are IN THE DARK. They read mostly what you do, and they see the same commericals you do. Most of them have no more idea whether the drugs work than you do, and they only know what they are told by the drug reps and the drug companies….DO NOT BELIEVE THEM when they tell you that you have a chemical imbalance. They are either lying to you, or believing a lie they were told by someone else. ASK THEM questions, investigate. Ask precisely what is the correct balance, what are the correct numbers…Do not be sheep. What were the studies showing any proof? Who did the studies and who paid for them? Changes are you won’t get good answers, or if you do, your answers won’t make you any more secure than I am. Because drug companies pay for most of their own studies and they only pay for the results they want, ie what they want to hear…They do not want to hear that Abilify hurts patients, or doesn’t actually work, or that Abilify does not boost Zoloft’s anti-depressant IN-efficacy. No, they want to lie and “prove” a lie or else not prove it by not actually doing the study to prove anything. They want to market the drug and advertise things that have NOT BEEN SHOWN TO BE TRUE AT ALL. They want to market a lie, sell a drug and make money, without doing any research to prove anything, and pick up the pieces billions of dollars later, if at all.
I say, BULL SHIT
My advice? Don’t add Abilify. Add only Sunlight and Truth to everything.
10 thoughts on “ADD ABILIFY?!”
Thank you so much for reading this. It took me some time to write it and collect my thoughts about it, but it would so irritate me to see those ads on tv that I just had to do so. Thanks again.
this was brilliant
Diane, if anyone is foolish enough to read my bio and believe I am MEDICALLY qualified to offer an opinion about the treatment of their loved one, well then they are getting their medical advice from a poet and an artist, enough said? On the other hand, I know what I know from reading Joanna Montcrieff’s book The Bitterest Pills and Robert Whittaker’s fine books, Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. It seems that a great many psychiatrists do not wish to read these books, Why? Because they are badly written or by “nobodies”? No, hardly. Whitaker is a journalist, many years in the field of Medical writing esp. on the side of psychopharmaceuticals. Montcrieff is a British psychiatrist herself who has done research and journal review to discover what she has discovered. You only have to read Marcia Angell MD ‘s Book on the drug companies to know how little their “discoveries” can be trusted. And most psychiatrists who promote new drugs are on the take or beholden to these drug companies in some fashion…Look before you take. That’s what I am saying and do some research now that it is so easy on the internet where before it was a more specialized field and much much more difficult to get answers one needed. Find out about serotonin and the truth about the dopamine hypothesis. What is “bipolar disorder” and why are millions of people suddenly suffering from it, and permanently? It never used to be a permanent disorder and in fact it used to be very rare. Even Mania was rarely recurrent …until we started treating it with lithium and other so called miracle drugs. Then it became a CHRONIC DISABLING ILLNESS in many cases…Not so before. Yes, depression lasts, in many cases for a long time, But it is usually self-limited, in MOST cases. …It used to be that the doctors would tell a patient to wait it out, that in six months they would feel better. But now no one can wait, and now EVERYONE is depressed because no one knows the difference between sadness for a few days and deep dark black dog depression! This is absurd. Everyone IS on medication already, so don’t get me started. Ask around and you will find out the truth. America is the single most medicated country in the world and it isn’t making us any happier or better…So what is the solution, MORE DRUGS????NOT.
We need a national wash out and looking into our souls about what is really wrong with us. For one thing We do NOT have an epidemic of ADHD kids…we have an epidemic of DRUGS that need to be bought and sold and fed to children who do not need them!
Oh don’t get me started on that massive fraud of ADHD. It is a non existent condition, not an illness even, but it can cause bipolar illness and be treated in such a way that it brings on MASSIVE disability for life. GREAT…Who would do that to a child? Who? the drug companies that is who,…
That reply makes no sense. First of all, no one said anything about relying exclusively on drugs. Obviously therapy is imperative. That goes without saying. Second – depression is temporary? What fantasy world do you live in? Bipolar disorder never goes away once it has manifested, and if you think your own disorder will magically disappear forever if you get enough sunshine, we can add delusions to your diagnosis. Yes, medications can stop being effective – remember that little thing I said about not knowing everything, or even half of what there is to know, about the complex organ that is the brain? My depression has gone away for a long while now (mania too). But I in no way think the struggle is over. It’s never over. For any number of psychological reasons, even while on meds I could relapse. Or yes, these meds I’m on now can stop working. That’s normal, it’s not a lie perpetuated by psychiatrists, pharmacists, or pharmaceutical companies.
I’m not saying that everyone should be medicated – the way you’re saying no one should be medicated. I’ll repeat what I said – it’s a highly personal process. But this wholesale denunciation of any kind of medication for mental illness is ignorant and damaging to those who read your bio and think you’re qualified to offer an opinion and unequivocal advice. I’d compare it to parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids – but I probably shouldn’t, because you’d probably think that’s equally legitimate.
And for the record – I’m not, nor have I ever been, nor do I plan to be on Abilify. That’s not the issue, that’s not even what this rant of yours is about.
One, i would say that if hte drug works why did it “stop working”…Hmmm? And I did say that a change in the brain will make any depressed patient feel better, so if abilify changed something, anything, it made you feel better, as did ALL those other so called helpful drugs so long ago that “stopped working.” I do not believe that these drugs do anything but change our brains for the worse, frankly and I stand by my belief. However, in the individual case, belief, as you say, if EVERYTHING. so if you believe that Abilify actually helps your depression, bully for you. Serotonin has NOTHING to do with depression, that is to say, serotonin levels in depressed people’s brains have NOT been shown to be any different from anyone else’s so the SSRI’s are USELESS…square that with the Prozac and Zoloft claims, and with your claims that the drugs help and tell me it isn’t placebo? I think placebo is a very very important effect and incredibly powerful…I also think that a lot of people believe a lot of things that make the drug companies very very wealthy. But go ahead, and take whatever makes you happy. if it does make you happy. God bless you. I am not out to get you off the drugs, if they have really lifted your depression. Why would I do that? It is only that I have yet to hear from ANY single depressed person (and even Andrew Solomon, the poster child author for psychoactive depression drugs is a case in point) that ANY drug or combination has ever lifted their depression or helped them except temporarily…and I say to that, Depression is temporary, and life is long and hard and also temporary. I think it behooves all of us to try talk therapy with someone, (I chose a psychotherapist) who will have us look at our lives honestly and talk about things. NOT run away from difficulties and take a drug to to quick fix us. But if you prefer drugs that need adjustment and changing every so often and leave you reeling every few months, that’s up to you. I won’t fool myself into thinking that Abilify is either an anti-depressant OR an antipsychotic…It does something, that’s for sure, as it affects the brain, but it doesn’t do what they Say it does because Dopamine doesn’t cause psychosis and serotonin doesn’t cause depression. it ain’t that simple.
Abilify, or any single drug, may very well be more harmful than helpful to some or even most, or even all, people. But as someone who suffers from bipolar disorder, I have to say I grew more and more aghast at the ridiculous claims you’re making about the complete uselessness of any drug. I don’t know if what you say about seratonin is true. I will point you to a RECENT study done at Yale that is conclusive in identifying PHYSICAL brain differences between people with bipolar or schizophrenia and those without either one. As far as medication goes, my personal story discounts basically everything you say. Maybe for the first pill I tried, the difference it made me feel led me to believe my depression was gone, and so the removal of depression was actually purely psychological and not pharmaceutical. But then how do you explain the many times I’ve had to adjust dosages, switch meds entirely, because the medication STOPPED WORKING? If indeed any effect makes my ridiculous mind believe the depression has gone, what changed? NO ONE will claim that psychiatry is an exact science. Any psychiatrist – or pharmacist! – will tell you it’s trial and error because they’re still working on defining disorders and drugs. What works varies from individual to individual, not because it’s a placebo effect but because the brain is so complex that even the best medical minds cannot yet explain what’s going on. As to side effects being depression – I can’t speak directly to that, but I did experience something similar when, ignorant of the effects, drank too much alcohol which, when mixed with my anti-depressant, caused depression. Two points I’d like to make about that: are you differentiating between side effects that happen when used not as advised or without proper medical supervision? No psychiatrist will prescribe a drug and say, go – you’ll be totally fine with this. It’s a process that the psychiatrist and patient work through together, mindful of side effects and changing meds as soon as it becomes clear that this specific drug interacts with this specific patient’s brain in this specific way. Second, explain to me how it’s all psychological, when my depression in that case happened when I DID NOT KNOW about the predicted effects. If anti-depressants work only because people think they will, how do you explain their stopping to work or interacting badly with alcohol, if the patient does not think it will stop working or does not know about the interaction effects.
As to your parting comment about sunshine and truth – been there. Done that. Doesn’t work. And if you can so blithely suggest sunshine, you’re betraying a very limited knowledge of what happens in a depressed mind.
I was prescribed this toxic stuff. I took it at the smallest dose. I couldn’t even sit still.. I stopped it. You wrote a comment on Melissa’s blog.. Would you please e-mail me your e-mail address so I can discuss something I rather not say online. email@example.com.. From viewing my posts you can tell im not a evil person.
Knowing a few people on this horrible medication and after reading the side effects, myself, I would never touch this drug with a ten foot poll. The people I’ve known to have been on it, seemed to be doing worse, once the drug was started. No doctor has ever recommended this drug to me and that’s a good thing because my answer would be a straight up NO!
I’ve also done a lot of research on pharmaceuticals and I’ve read books by “whistle blowers” on this subject and you’re exactly right, doesn’t matter what they know can and will happen to millions of people, the FDA goes ahead and approves it, they make millions of dollars, then after so many million people die from the drug, that they knew could cause this, and they’ve lined their pockets rather well, that’s when it’s pulled off the market, if they even do that. It’s all about the money here in the good old U.S. of A. Do your own research on anything you put into your body before you decide if it’s a good idea or not. Thanks for sharing this well written post.
I agree Pam, it is nuts to add Abilify when a person is depressed. Pharma has gone too far in pushing their pills. I am glad there is medication for people who are severely depressed or suffer from other mental illnesses but I believe we have to take a more holistic approach to mental illness and I think it’s starting to happen. I hope you are doing well Pam.
Like ur article , aripiprazole is being marketed heavily these days