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So I was watching some TV the other night while folding and hanging clothes, and a commercial came on for Abilify.  I always perk my ears up for the drug commercials, as they provide great material to talk about in the office, and to write about if worthy.  I actually had to stop and make sure my wife hadn’t changed the channel to Saturday Night Live re-runs, as it sounded like this commercial must be a skit.  It wasn’t.

This is the list of what I heard…

Now you can call me crazy, but I will surely call you a risk taker if you would choose to use abilify after that commercial.  ”Oh, but Dr. Eric, you just don’t know how bad it was for me before abilify”.  To which I would have to say, you need to get into a support group, you need to surround yourself with people who want you to do better and who are willing to sacrifice for you.  And guess what, these people exist.  My office and my gym are full of them.

Seriously, I have never seen such a committed group to other people’s well being as the members at my gym.  No, it isn’t a “Christian CrossFit”, though there are many Christians in it, but Christian or not, people who are focused on their wellness in a CrossFit gym, tend to be focused on everyone else’s wellness too.  It is pretty crazy how hard they will work to help those around them get it.  And when I say get it, I mean get all sides of it.  My office, similar boat… once people are on board with life change, they want everyone to be on board with life change.

So if you don’t want to watch the commercial, let me give you the risks associated with this “anti-depressant add on”.  Yep, this drug is considered an add on to the antidepressant.  Basically saying, if you can’t feel less depressed from an anti-depressant, lets go ahead and add dosage, vs. rest on the idea that perhaps we cannot medicate everything away.

  1. call your doc if you have increased thoughts of suicide

  2. elderly patients have an increased risk of death or stroke (which means younger patients will likely suffer damage to arterial walls as well)

  3. high fever, stiff muscles, confusion = a life threatening condition might be present

  4. high blood sugar can result, and in extreme cases can lead to coma or death

  5. white blood cell decreases that can be serious (lead to death due to infection)

  6. seizures

So why struggle with depression when you could have all of this?

Abilify, Aripiprazole is designed to treat schizophrenia, but depression is commonly lumped in as a normal use, as well as to treat autism.  Problem is that most people who use it to treat disease, are not truly diseased, but suffer from acute episodes of depression from an event in life.  I would suggest that you actually let yourself feel your depression for an acute phase, as it will allow you to adapt and grow.  This is God’s method, otherwise anti-depressants would grow on trees. (I understand again, that many of you will be slightly offended by this, and that is not my goal, I just want you to know that what you think is a solution, is possibly more dangerous and life threatening than the problem you are trying to solve).

Pubmed has a warning box that suggests that you should know that you need this drug, and it points out that a typical schizophrenia patient has hallucinations or delusions.  Not simply a lack of desire to go outside today.

I hate stepping on people’s toes, and getting them upset with me, I know this will upset some people, but I also know that it might just save a few too.  If you are a person who sits in agreement with this article, I would ask you to ask yourself, would you sit in agreement if your world collapsed around you?  How do you know?  I don’t write this from a smug standpoint.  I write this from a commitment to an ideal and a philosophy, which is why I know that if the worst possible things happened in my life, I would still hold fast to these statements.  I hope you can gain knowledge and insight that will help improve and safeguard your life.

Be well – Dr. E

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