Joined: Feb 2012
Machine: PR System One REMstar Auto (DS560)
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: ResMed Mirage Swift II
CPAP Pressure: 12.5 - 18.5 cmH20 (auto range)
CPAP Software: SleepyHead
Other Comments: Have diabetes Type II
Location: Illinois, USA
RE: CPAP and Sleep Aids
On the issue of mood-altering drugs, I read in several places that up to 1/3 of all American adults have recently taken or are currently taking mood-altering drugs.
I have relatives who currently take mood-altering drugs, and from what I've seen, they are no longer "themselves" after taking these substances. In many cases, they seem way overly "happy" and giggle or laugh for no reason at all (at inappropriate times as well) and often are incapable of carrying on a logical conversation (they often make bizarre statements or veer off on strange tangents during a conversation). Yeah, I suppose it helps them feel less depressed, sad or anxious, but these drugs make them act like whacked-out lunatics incapable of carrying on a rational conversation without seeming "strange" to the person they're talking to.
Interesting article I found just from a Google search... I'm quoting the first part of the article, because the last part is attempting to sell health program, but I think the info in the first part is interesting at least:
The Drugging of America:
Debunking the myths and propaganda about
anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications
As if there are not enough pressures inherent to living in the 21st century, there is an alarming political and economic crisis going on in this country that very few people have acknowledged. It has to do with drugs. And I’m not talking about the selling of drugs in our nation’s streets. I’m referring to the selling of drugs in doctors’ offices nationwide.
Americans are needlessly being debilitated by medications prescribed by their doctors. Rather than treating the cause, well-meaning physicians are treating the symptoms of stress with hundreds of millions of prescriptions for anti-depressants and tranquilizers worth billions of dollars. The current stress management drug "cocktail" appears to be a mixture of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, such as Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil with Xanax, Klonopin or Ativan. These drugs are not a panacea. They are both psychologically and physically addicting and can produce serious side effects, some which include withdrawal, rebound anxiety, insomnia, and mental and physical dysfunction (the same symptoms they are supposed to provide relief from). In addition to those just mentioned, the list of possible side effects for these drugs is extensive. The 2000 Physician’s Desk Reference lists symptoms ranging from headaches, nervousness, sweating, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, rash and itching to chest pains, bleeding, fainting, disorientation, confusion, muscle spasms, tremors, seizures, numbness, hair loss, memory loss, impotence and weight gain.
Did you know that:
* According to a recent survey half of psychiatrists admitted to prescribing an anti-depressant after seeing a patient for less than three minutes.
* Psychiatrists admit that antidepressants are over prescribed for people who don’t need them.
* 80% of Prozac prescriptions are written by general physicians who lack psychiatric training.
* Anti-depressant prescriptions account for $11 billion in annual revenues to pharmaceutical companies.
* Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications rank 5th and 10th respectively, of all drugs prescribed in the US.
* Underwrite 30% of the American Psychiatric Association budget;
* Spend approximately $10,000 per physician per year on "education" — in fact, the majority of physicians learn information about drugs from drug salespeople and drug advertisements;
* Provide financial and other incentives to physicians for prescribing their drugs in the form of free gifts, trips, meals and entertainment;
* Influence the uneducated public to ask for drugs with sophisticated TV and print advertisements that glorify the effects of prescription drugs;
* Are quietly acquiring managed care companies as well as companies that administer the prescription-drug component of health insurance plans;
* Pay private clinics, organizations and universities that conduct drug trials for them
The economic consequences behind the increasing trend to prescribe this type of medication are hard to miss. With billions of dollars at stake, what kind of tactics will these companies employ to protect their financial interests?
Especially when one considers that pharmaceutical companies underwrite 30% of the American Psychiatric Association budget and spend multi-millions of dollars on sophisticated advertising and public relations campaigns to promote these drugs. Another alarming fact is that pharmaceutical companies are quietly acquiring managed care companies as well as companies that administer the prescription-drug component of health insurance plans. This translates into more pressure for drug therapy. And what about conflict of interest?
Even more troubling is the fact that many of these drugs are being prescribed by general physicians who are not trained in understanding relevant symptoms or providing critical support services that should accompany drug treatment. Often, the only knowledge physicians have about these drugs comes form reading marketing literature provided by the drug companies themselves.
Even when tranquilizers, antidepressants and other mood-altering drugs are prescribed by trained psychiatrists, it is often done without considering options to drug therapy. For the most part, psychiatrists then simply monitor the patient by requiring 15-minute office visits every few months. The bottom line is that most doctors don’t stop to consider whether there are other effective, non-invasive lifestyle, and psychotherapeutic strategies that might be employed. They simply don’t know any better than what the pharmaceutical companies tell them. So the treatment of choice is to tell the patient to pop a pill. And not just one pill or one kind of pill.
The FDA and Drug Approvals
Now consider how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve these drugs. The drug companies themselves are responsible for conducting drug trials and reporting the results to the FDA. Drugs like Prozac, Xanax and others, although prescribed to millions of people on a long-term basis, are approved by the FDA based on test results with as few as 100 subjects taking the drug for as little as four weeks. Internationally known psychiatrist and author Peter Breggin has long been an outspoken critic of this process. In his books Toxic Psychiatry and Talking Back to Prozac he describes in detail the serious flaws in these studies and in the drug approval process itself.
Breggin reports that Xanax, originally purported to be a safe, nonaddicting, antianxiety drug, was tested on 226 subjects for a period of eight weeks. In reading the actual research report he found that the drug company counted only the first four weeks of the study. The drug company discarded results from subsequent weeks, which showed that in a comparison between subjects receiving the drug and those receiving a placebo (sugar pill), the drug subjects experienced "severe withdrawal and rebound reactions, including an increase in anxiety and in phobic responses, plus a 350 percent greater number of panic attacks." Xanax has since been proven to be highly addicting and associated with death when combined with alcohol or other sedatives."
"Chemical Imbalances" are Unfounded
Would it shock you to know that the case for psychiatric drugs has never been proven? In fact, there is no real proof that chemical imbalances exist in the brain or that they cause "mental illness." Current theories about serotonin levels and their effects on mood are based on inference only. As we practitioners know, there are no medical tests to measure these supposed chemical imbalances. In his book, Broken Brains or Wounded Hearts, Dr. Ty Colbert extensively examines the evidence supporting the medical model of mental illness and concludes:
"... the truth is that researchers have never discovered a single defective gene or accurately identified any chemical imbalance that has caused an emotional disorder; nor have they ever proven that brain abnormalities are responsible for even one emotional disorder. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health openly admits that the causes of schizophrenia, depression, mania, anxiety and hyperactivity are unknown."
Warning: Withdrawing suddenly from psychiatric medications can cause serious emotional and physical side effects and should be undertaken with medical supervision.
Treating the Symptoms Not the Cause
Prescription drugs as a treatment for stress, anxiety and mild to moderate depression are only a "Band-Aid" approach. Although drugs may provide short-term relief, it reduces people’s motivation to understand and overcome their underlying problem. In some cases, people are being prescribed medication when they are going through normal stresses of life — as if it were abnormal to feel grief when we lose a loved one or a job, or to feel anxious when we make life changes like getting a divorce or raising children. For some people, taking a pill translates into a personal belief that there is something elementally wrong with them, or that they are incapable of solving their own problems. It encourages people to numb out their bad feelings, just as they would with over-eating, smoking, alcohol, and street drugs. At its worst, taking pills teaches people that they are helpless to cope with their feelings without the help of mood altering drugs.
Not everyone wants to or needs to take a pill to manage stress, nor is it in their best interest to do so. The current "instant fix" being prescribed by physicians is leaving people feeling powerless over their own bodies and hopeless about their ability to control their lives.
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