Friday, January 17, 2014

Informed Consent

It's about INFORMED CONSENT. Psychotropic drugs--anti-depressants, tranquilizers, and others, are being prescribed en mass, to mentally weak and susceptible patients. In 1989, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I asked my doctor for Valium. He prescribed it and after she died, I kept taking it. In 1999, I had, what I now know, was my first full-blown panic attack. I was hospitalized in a psych. hospital for 6 days. In that brief time, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was put on Klonopin and other psych. meds. Over the last 14 years, I sure did act bipolar. I experienced severe depression coupled with violent rages. Five doctors later, I'm told to stop Klonopin, "it's bad for you," by a new pdoc. I am now 13 months off ALL MEDS. I have suffered severe withdrawal symptoms, as well as protracted withdrawal symptoms. However, since stopping Klonopin, NO MOOD SWINGS, NO DEPRESSION, NO RAGES. I've been an RN for over 30 years. I believed the doctors. In spite of all the side-effects I religiously took my medicine. Eventually, I was robbed of my career and my lifestyle. Today, emotionally, I feel the best I've felt in 14 years. Physically, I’m still suffering. I feel like shouting from the rooftops, "Walk away from this poison!" I know some are genuinely helped by medication, but how many are HARMED? Pros and cons of psychotropic medications aside, I believe there needs to be more education—for doctors and patients and more warnings. Patients are in a very vulnerable place when they’re prescribed these medications. Patients' rights include “informed consent.” If I wasn’t fully aware of the dangers as an RN, what chance does a lay person have?

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