Crusoe, We Say, Was Rescued

December, 29, 2014 | 10 Comments


  1. Reskewed?

    This could be the Paps of Jura…or, is this, just pap?

    The final definition of suicidal behaviour and self harm…my favourite is parasuicide………

    GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development – Worldwide Epidemiology
    Appendix 3. Suicidal Behaviour Definition

    The code list below provides details of the final definition of suicidal behaviour and self harm used to select potential events on the GPRD. The list of GPRD medical codes to define suicidal behaviour was developed in the following steps:

    1. An initial search of GPRD MEDCODE descriptions was conducted using a list of
    suicide keywords. This keyword list was based on the terms used by clinical
    investigators on the case report forms (CRF) in GSK Paroxetine clinical trials.
    Potential codes were selected where the GPRD text description contained any of the
    following text strings: “angry”, “attempt”, “attempted suicide”, “cut”, “deliberate”,
    “drug overdose”, “gas”, “hang”, “hung”, “idea”, “intent”, “jump”, “mutilate”,
    “overdose”, “parasuicide”, “plan”, “self”, “self damage”, “self harm”, “self inflict”,
    “shoot”, “slash”, “suic”, “suic”, “suicidal ideation”, “suicidal plans”, “suicidal
    thoughts”, “tend”, “think”, “thought”, “threat”, “viol”, “wish”. All searches were
    conducted to allow codes to be identified if the text string appeared anywhere in the
    text description. Searches for multiple words identified a match if the words appeared
    in any order, so “self harm” would return matches on “self harm”, “self-harm”, “harm
    self”, “harm to self” etc.

  2. Thank you Dr Healy for opening my eyes.
    It’s just a pity that those of us who want to see the truth are still in the minority.
    The majority stumble on blind and unaware.

    I am finding it fascinating yet frightening discovering this murky world of pharma that I stumbled into six months ago when my life was turned upside down by my sons SSRI withdrawal.
    I felt powerless and lost in the aftermath and still do but reading your blog and knowing that there are people like you speaking out for people like my son gives me hope.

    Billiam James illustrations are so powerful, he really does paint a thousand words.

    Once again Thank you for all you do and I wish you all the best for 2015.

  3. Thank you for mentioning the peripheral neuropathy caused by cipro and levaquin – fluroquinolone antibiotics!

    So many drugs are damaging mitochondria that peripheral neuropathy is becoming the norm. It’s sad.

    This is a very interesting article about mitochondrial dysfunction. It mentions peripheral neuropathy and topoisomerase interrupters, but it comes short of noting that topoisomerase interrupting drugs like fluoroquinolones deplete mitochondrial DNA and lead to peripheral neuropathy.

    Here’s an article on the mtDNA depletion caused by FQs –

    Thanks again for noting the damage that FQs can do!


  4. I feel too many Doctors are completely oblivious, possibly by choice, to the harm they are doing by handing out tablets that can cause so much damage to their patients. What on earth is going on/? I agree with Lisa when she says it is a ‘murky world’. Patients are so vulnerable.

  5. Thank you so much Dr. Healy for your incredible work. I have been on psychiatric medication since my early twenties and around five years ago wanted desperately to come off all my medication. I am now 63. About two years ago my psychiatrist agreed to take me off my medication but I literally had to decide by myself how this would be done as he had no idea how to carry this out without me incurring the massive withdrawals. As a result I became delusional and paranoid and was put back onto medication. This is where I remain and at present it looks like it will be increased. My battle is still going on but I have not given up although it is tremendously difficult to withdraw with no support whatsoever from my MHT.

    I think this is very common today with quite a great deal of medication and withdrawals take a dominant factor in a patient deciding to stay on treatment. Doctors and nurses seem oblivious and seem also not to be concerned at what is actually happening to their patients.

    Thank you so much once again for your wonderful work.

  6. I have peripheral Neuropathy. I had a mastectomy 5 years ago. When I came round after the operation I told the Doctor my hands and feet were numb. I was told it was a side effect of the anaesthetic and would wear off. It didn’t. It took a 2 year fight to see a Neurologist. He stuck needles into my arms and legs, then said “Are you a diabetic?” No I’m not. “Did you have Chemo?” No I had Radiotherapy. He then diagnosed PN, but didn’t know why I had it. I didn’t have any of those medicines nor had antibiotics prior to the operation. . Suicide has crossed my mind when I have a bad day and it feels like I am walking on broken glass. Gabapentin eases the foot problem but doesn’t cure it. My own Doctor believes I may have been oxygen deprived during the operation as I also lost around 30 years of memories. Has anyone else developed PN like this? PN is bad enough without having an answer to why I have it. Recently the num feeling has spread up my shins, which is worrying.

    • Beryl

      Can you get your medical records and find out the name of the anaesthetic – no one ever knows the name of the drug they are given to fall asleep – and so no reports ever get filed on this group of drugs that can cause psychosis, delirium, peripheral neuropathy and lots else besides.

      Worth checking what drugs you are on now – some may be contributing to it. Gabapentin can be pernicious – relieving pain and some problems but often at a cost of causing more of what it appears to be relieving


  7. Hi David

    I spent quite a lot of time over Christmas reading posts from your blog that I hadn’t read before – stimulated by the last Crusoe, and the woman with the hot/burning hands. When you put my Olanzapine posts on the Rxisk website, with a sub heading “hot heavy foot” – I thought that was because it was so bizarre (and funny). Now I discover it was because burning hands and feet were very well known – just not to me. Or my psychiatrist.

    Reading the posts was a mixed experience – you write so well and I desperately wanted to put a comment on each of them, but got weary – what would I say each time? Yes, this happened to me? Yes, Pharma is every bit as bad as you describe? Yes, if you take a Rxisk report to your GP or consultant – the shutters will come down.

    I find online sharing of experiences helpful and depressing. Such a wealth of experience and anger – some of which moves me to tears. But in the end – where does that end up? The online world is essentially transient – a topic will generate interest for a week or so, and then die. It is very life enhancing to feel that one is not alone – but in the end we remain isolated voices because we lack the warmth of human contact.

    We cannot see the other person’s tears, or observe their body language, or access subtleties of voice inflexion – or carry on finding out more about each other’s circumstances. What led us to your blog usually remains unknown. We do not know whether other commentators are medics, scientists, lawyers, victims or a combination – although it is often possible to tell those who have been directly harmed.

    I used to find the insane world of “below the line” comments on a published newspaper article amusing – until Clare Allen, the Guardian writer on mental health matters, was harried and abused. I wonder how much that contributed to her year of severe depression – and consequently find myself wondering what sort of a world we live in when strangers can do that to a brave person who has written so movingly of her experiences. There seems to be a profound and frightening lack of respect for human dignity, difference and opinion online.

    I have thought regularly about starting a blog myself – but who would read it, other than people like me. It would be akin to health and diet advice read by the thin and fit – the already converted. Those who stalk the Internet ready to challenge dissident voices probably would, but solely to undermine what I wrote.

    Although I suspected that a great deal of internet information was monitored, manipulated and “lost” by the pharmaceutical industry – discovering one example, Formerly 98 was a shock to me. I thought he was just a nuisance – a bit of a sad geek, ably chased off by you when he was the first to comment on my description of withdrawal from olanzapine. Recently I wanted to check the meaning of a “surrogate outcome” in a trial – thought the Wikipedia entry was a bit odd, so went onto the editing forum – to find Formerly 98 lurking there. Which led me to his Wikipedia editor’s profile – and the fact that he is currently rewriting the entry on the pharmaceutical industry.

    Who is he? Has he got a cushy retirement job doing such things on behalf of industry? Who did he/does he work for? – these are all rhetorical questions. But I have developed a profound mistrust of almost all sources of information.

    And social media – the power of Twitter is awesome – witness the chivvying of the unrepentant rapist footballer, Chad Evans. But Twitter storms are just that – they boil up, crackle furiously and dissipate. What use are they really in the long term? Too much Twitter gives me a hung over feeling. And nuanced debate is simply impossible in 240 characters….

    Rxisk and your blog are outstanding in that discussion usually remains on course and relevant. But many others I start with interest, then dip out, feeling slightly sick, when the debate degenerates into a bitter argument between people who are mostly on the same side, but seem unable to tolerate variations in viewpoints. (This was reinforced when Bob Fiddaman, for whom I have great respect, referred to two commentators on his blog who had well nigh destroyed his desire to carry on – just this Christmas).

    I found a similar thing in the service user movement in the 2000s – destructive internecine arguments (two hours of a support group meeting were spent hurling insults because one member’s surname had inadvertently been left on the minutes of the previous meeting…minutes which were only ever going to be read by members of the group….).

    So, writing (and policing) a blog is probably beyond me although I would be extremely happy to contribute to the Rxisk website at any point.

    I think that all I can realistically do, is to bash on writing my book. Maybe it’s an age thing – my children, in their 30s, are much more comfortable gaining their information online. For me – power lies in words on a page, which can be read, marked, reread, kept or passed on. Borrowed from a library, put on student reading lists, reviewed in a newspaper or on the radio. And because the story is mine, I control the narrative – I won’t have to break off and defend myself.

    I used to sob, “Where are the people like me?” when I was struggling to stay afloat in the mental health system. And afterwards, when I was coming to terms with the aftermath. They are there, I know, but if the seroxat supporters group can’t coordinate with the benzo buddies – and certain activists spit with rage about you because you have a different view about ECT – we all just remain brief bursts of electronic activity, as isolated from each other as stars in the galaxy.

    I wrestle with the major problem of just how the patients’ revolution you have written about could ever happen in a world where discussion and tolerance seem debased. (Witness the rapid polarization of debate about Charlie Hebdo, and freedom of speech). Extreme stances are assumed and defended to the death: psychologists utterly reject medical explanations, psychiatrists and doctors will not concede harm done by medication, supporters of RCTs cannot see the dangers they pose. Nothing, nothing is ever that simple.


    • Sally

      Agree its difficult to see where a revolution will come from if people nitpick about finer points of this or that drug But the common experience across drugs is of not being listened to – of being powered out as some peer supporters put it. This is really what RxISK is about – trying to find common ground in drawing attention to the ways the system dehumanizes us but more important in finding ways to restore some humanity to it. Those of use who get given drugs are the ones who suffer but the system is becoming increasingly intolerable for doctors also.


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