Threat to society?? Please, kiss my threatening arse
Posted Feb 19 2009 4:05pm
This past Sunday, I was having lunch with my Mom, who was looking over a newspaper as we sat in our booth at Panera Bread. She had come across an article on Seroquel (one of the meds I take), and pointed it out to me. I read the article, which discussed how the company -AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals -that manufactures this medication is arguing that they should not have to release research documenting certain side effects of the drug. Their excuse, as to why they should not have to release the information was that people with Schizophrenia would learn of the side effects, then stop taking their medication, and become threats to society. Yes. Threats to society. And it is 2009, folks.
Let me just point something out here to the makers of Seroquel, the people who read this blog, and the world at large. I am not a freakin' threat to your society, my society, or all societies in existence. I don't hate you, don't want to hurt you, have never wanted to kill you, and won't become your murderer tomorrow. Also, I am not a serial killer. Movies that present people who supposedly are "psycho" as crazed murderers, and who use mental illness and the label of Schizophrenia as synonymns to "PSYCHO KILLERS", do not represent me. Again, I am not a serial killer. I am not even a one-time killer. I am so not-a-killer that I actually detest killing bugs. I am a vegetarian because I do not want animals to be killed so that I may eat them. I am an anti-war, pacifist activist who has marched one Washington to protest killings of peoples in other parts of the globe. I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER. I am not a killer. I am not a threat to you.
I don't want to eat your kids. I don't want to poison your oatmeal or chocolate milk. I don't want to break into your home in the middle of the night and slit your throat. I don't have a backyard, but even if I did, there would be no bodies buried there. I don't want to kill anyone. I don't want to kill you. I am not a killer. And I have Schizophrenia.
Dear staff members of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, though I take your products into my body every day, and though I do fit the criteria for a person who has been psychotic and had all the symptoms of Schizophrenia, I don't pose any threat to you, to future generations, to the universe at large, or even to any other galaxies where you might dream I was born. I am no threat, have not ever been a threat, and will never be a threat to anybody on this planet with the lone exception of one person: myself.
I have been a threat to myself, like many people with mental illnesses. Like so many before and after me with Schizophrenia, I have tried to kill myself multiple times. I almost "succeeded" in that. I have never tried to kill you, or anybody else other than myself. I have not ever longed to kill or harm anyone else either. I am no threat, just like most people with mental illnesses, to anybody, other than myself. Most people with mental illnesses don't kill anybody. Of those who do kill someone, the large majority kill themselves - not anybody else. The large majority never even attempt to kill anyone else. Ever.
We are not threats to you, or your world. We have mental illnesses, sometimes obvious ones, and sometimes not so obvious ones, but we function, day-to-day in your schools, your offices, your homes, your neighborhoods, and your grocery stores, without ever harming anybody at all and without murdering an ant. We are people.
That's right, Big Pharma. I am what is known as a PERSON. P-E-R-S-O-N. Not a psychopath. Not a serial killer. Not a danger. Not harmful. Not a threat. A HUMAN. H-U-M-A-N. HUMAN. Just like you.
So, if there are some side effects to some medications that I happen to be injesting on a daily basis, well, guess what? I deserve to know what those side effects are. If there is a danger that I am going to be obese because I take a certain medication, and a danger that I might also become diabetic, I deserve to know that to. In fact, I currently am obese and at risk for developing diabetes, because of Seroquel, Risperdal, and other antipsychotic medications I've taken. When doctors prescribed these pills for me, they did not bother to warn me about the possible consequences and side effects of taking the pills for years, or, perhaps, for life, as the case may be. They did not show me the research you all did which proves these pills could cause a life-threatening, lifelong condition in my body, which may or may not be just as bad as the Schizophrenia itself. In other words, your cure is just as evil as my cause for needing your cure, possibly. But you don't want me to know that. You say you don't want me to know because I'll come kill your rabbit and eat your foot while you're sleeping in the night. But really, what is this all about, Big Pharma? Is it not, after all, about the bottom line?
I believe it is. I believe it is about money $$$$$$$$$, pure and simple. The bottom line that is the bottom line of so many societal ills, is still the bottom line of this story. Big Pharma doesn't want to lose dollars from Schizophrenic people who refuse to continue to pay big money for dangerous drugs. So Big Pharma, instead of ADMITTING this fact, sets out to paint a big, scary picture about people who use Big Pharma's medications. And those people are people with mental illnesses, who are so easy to paint lousy pictures of. So Big Pharma tells the public that they should all be scared of the unmedicated Schizophrenic people who are going to come and slice off their cats' ears in the night, rather than admit that Big Pharma is illegally poisoning people without telling them so.
This is an old story, just with a new face. I have been on so many harmful psychotropic drugs over the years, I don't even know that I could count them all. I have taken them, willingly, under the auspice that they would do me more good than harm. They sometimes worked; they often did not work. But, regardless, I credit these pills with saving my life, and restoring my sanity - no small task. I give them A LOT of credit for that, and I frequently argue against the stupid fools who claim pshychiatry is evil, because I know it's not all evil. I know it saved me. I also know, however, that I DESERVE TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MEDICATIONS I AM INGESTING EVERY DAY. I deserve just as much information on that as a person with cancer would get about their chemotherapy before they decided whether or not to go through with having it. I deserve to know the possible long-term consequences, and the day-to-day possible side effects of every single drug I ever take. I deserve to know, just like you do, just like the doctors do, just like Big Pharma knows. I deserve to have all the facts laid out before me, with which I can make a knowledgable, wise choice.
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals can call me all the names they want to contrive, but I can point out the facts. AstraZeneca is killing me with their wonderful drug, because I am now overweight, at a higher risk of diabetes and heart attacks, and I was never even told that I might gain a ton of weight if I began taking this medication. I should have been told. We all should have been told. Every single person I know who takes antipsychotic medication has, generally, gotten fat on them. And that's a lot of people. I've met a lot of people who take these medications. None of those people are too skinny these days. No, quite often, in fact, they are obese. And being obese is not exactly healthy. I, myself, have made the choice to take the meds, even though I know now that they made me obese. But I deserved to be able to make an INFORMED CHOICE, with the information laid out in front of me, five years ago. I may not have chosen to take medication, if I had known I'd end up fat. But, I am HUMAN, and not a lab rat, therefore, I HAVE A RIGHT TO MAKE THAT CHOICE.
AstraZeneca can, quite frankly, kiss my threatening, Schizophrenic ass.