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Re: Doc Gave Me an Antipsychotic - Am I crazy?

Posted by Mark H. on October 16, 2000, at 23:07:51

In reply to Doc Gave Me an Antipsychotic - Am I crazy?, posted by GLYN on October 16, 2000, at 19:33:12

Dear Glyn,

St. James is right, as usual. You're not crazy, and it is questionable from a medical standpoint for your physician to shun the benzodiazepines, which are relatively benign and highly effective in the treatment of anxiety, while prescribing one of the oldest major tranquilizers, a powerful anti-psychotic that is notorious for causing a serious nerve disorder with long-term use (look up "tardive dyskinesia"), for simple anxiety.

Doctors who refuse to prescribe Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, etc., generally do so out of fear and ignorance. The exact same type of "let's just play it safe" thinking led to gross *overprescribing* of these same medications in the 1970s. However, there is plenty of room in between giving them to everyone for everything and not giving them to anyone because some people become addicted and blame their doctors when withdrawal proves to be an unpleasant experience (duh!).

A competent physician will be willing to let you try different anti-anxiety medications, since that is the ONLY way to find what will work best for you. Some people feel stupid or woozey on one medication, while others feel "normal" when they take it. There is no way that I know of to predict what type will work best for you, but giving you thioridazine to save you from Valium seems rather strange, to put it politely.

There's an excellent psychiatric self-test offered at the Canadian site (or perhaps it's -- check the other if the first doesn't work). Although you can take a single section, my advice is to take the whole battery -- it only takes about 45 minutes altogether. I was surprised at its accuracy.

Then, dear Glyn, please find a competent psychiatrist. Your doctor is doing you a disservice.

Best wishes,

Mark H.




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