the kilmer cure (thekilmercure) wrote,
the kilmer cure

  • Mood:

cocktail part one: joker face

Right now, I take Abilify and Effexor. To your face, a doctor will call Abilify a “mood stabilizer,” but it’s really from a class of drugs called “atypical antipsychotics.” It’s the same medicine they give to people with schizophrenia to calm them down. It’s a sedative.

A Still from 'Blind Horizon'
Val isn’t a morning person. Me neither, buddy.

And it’s a sedative with terrifying side effects. The metabolism is affected; patients gain so much weight, and are unable to shed it, that often that is their sole reason for dumping the drug. It’s a choice between being fat and well or thin and sick.

A still from 'Spartan'
It’s kind of a grim prospect, isn’t it?

And then there’s the big one. The big side effect—the trademark of antipsychotics—is called tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia is permanent, irreversible side effect, a movement disorder in which your body moves repetitively and without your involvement. Your body moves without your permission, and it does it all the time. You cannot not move. The movements are usually in the face, mouth, and jaw; Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight has tardive dyskinesia.

A still from 'Spartan'
Val has heard about enough. But wait, there’s more!

Atypical antipsychotics are so-called because they were developed specifically to make patients less at risk for tardive dyskinesia than the original (“typical”) antipsychotics. But studies suggest that, after sustained use, being on any kind of antipsychotic will likely result in tardive dyskinesia.

And, if you stay in treatment, you will be on drugs for your whole life.

Tags: bipolar disorder, drugs
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