Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Session - Session One

Winter/cold season is not my friend. I have a low immune system so I get sick easily and I also find myself wanting to sit and do nothing when it is dreary outside. Yes, I have depression too!

I will finally be writing about the 3 sessions I attended at the NAMI conference. They were more technical than I would have liked but I did learn some things in each session.

1ST SESSION - "METABOLIC SYNDROME, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND SHORTENED LIFE SPANS: COULD YOU BE AT RICK?" presented by Benjamin Chan, M.D.

Seriously is it not bad enough that someone has mental illness and needs to take medication, but now we need to worry if the medicine will kill us! Geeze Louise!

I didn't know what Metabolic Syndrome was so this class was helpful.

Okay, so I learned that Thorazine was the first "typical anti psychotic" medicine on the market to treat mental illness. It was great at first and was prescribed to everyone. BUT, the side effects started happening; one of which was Tardive Dyskinesia. So at the time Thorazine was the drug of choice even though it blocked a lot of the good things from the body which is need to live a long healthy life.

In the 1990's Atypical anti psychotic medicines were developed. These were thought to be better, but again severe side effects such as a loss of white blood cells that help fight infection were linked to some of these medicines.

Another negative side of any medicine is that they use them in "off label use". This is when they are made for a certain purpose but doctors prescribe them for another problem.

So what did I learn? The most important thing I learned from this class is to get Kenny to the doctor for a complete physical!

He needs to be monitored for the medicine he is taking.

What should be monitored:
  • Weight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Fasting Blood Sugar
  • Fasting Lipid Profile
The worst medicine offenders for Metabolic syndrome in individuals with mental illness are (listed worse to least worse according to Dr. Chan) -
Clozaril and Zyprexa
Seroquel
Risperdal Invega
Abilify
Geodon

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

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