The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

PSI, Texas Red Dirt, and The Pursuit of Unhappiness

I interrupt my regularly scheduled blogcasting for the following, self-indulgent announcement. If you don’t know anything about country music you may want to fast forward. Unless you love to hate Postpartum Support International or anyone who supports pregnant and new moms taking dangerous psychotropic drugs, or unless you enjoy making fun of the DSM (“Diagnostic” and “Statistical” Manual of mental disorders, a.k.a. the billing bible of psychiatry), in which case you may wish to humor me.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

What is psychiatry if not the pursuit of unhappiness? The logic of those who want to screen the entire population and find those “at risk” of mental illness is basically this: that people can’t be left to their own devices, people cannot ask for help if they need or want it, and that it is the job of our government to ensure that all people are targeted by psychiatry and offered preemptive “help.”

I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that lately I have been very depressed. Why, might you ask am I admitting to this on my Bitter Pill blog? Shouldn’t I be afraid that someone will come and try to give me meds?

No, because quite honestly the cure for this depression has already been discovered and administered in my case. It’s amazing. I have the world’s shortest case of depression ever. In fact I’m not really sure if depression is the best word for it. I think after poring through my copy of the DSM IV (funny how much that reminds me of actual I.V. bags) I’ve decided that none of the four thousand and fifty disorders listed fits me, and I’d like to propose an entirely new disease.

“Scientists” are being called tomorrow to develop the proper brain scan and hormone theories for this one. I know what really causes it but I’d like to know which brain chemicals are associated and therefore which medication I can market to my fellow critics who may soon contract this disease.

Name and abbreviation nominations for this disorder are now being accepted on The Bitter Pill blog. Let me give you a rundown of this disease and its symptoms, along with the cure that has worked for me so far. Whoever submits the winning entry will receive one frosty mug of Shiner, or in the alternative, a piece of pizza.

Symptom one: extreme disappointment

Symptom two: frustration

Symptom three: sadness

Symptom four: denial

Symptom five: anger

Symptom five: changing the station

Criteria: these symptoms are intense and can last for between two weeks and several years or longer.

If you are confused, here is a chronological explanation.

***

1987:

- Prozac hit the market.

- Postpartum Support International was founded.

2001:

- Melanie Stokes was drugged with four triple drug cocktails within a period of about 3 months and electroshocked until she eventually jumped off a building.

- Andrea Yates killed her children under the influence of Effexor.

- A couple of Congressmen decided to introduce The MOTHERS Act.

2004:

- I had my run-in with Zoloft and psychiatry because I was considered “at high risk” of postpartum depression due to a screening I was never told was being conducted on me. Hmm, that reminds me of a certain screening / drugging program…

- Manie McNamee was born, and almost died due to Paxil.

- The FDA issued a black box suicide warning on antidepressants.

2008:

- I started fighting the MOTHERS Act along with thousands and thousands of other people. Published a YouTube video with my story that has had to this date over 44,000 views on YouTube alone, not counting embedded views.

- The MOTHERS Act fight was covered all over the media on TV, internet news, radio, and in various newspapers.

- The MOTHERS Act was slipped into an omnibus package which was subsequently killed.

- Indiana Delahunty died from Effexor.

- Wade Bowen, a modern Texas Red Dirt semi-legend, held a golf tournament and concert which raised $84,000 for Postpartum Support International in one day, along with Stoney LaRue, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and the Randy Rogers Band and others. He then posted what is, in my opinion, an incredibly lame YouTube video with a song called Turn on the Lights. The video does remind me a little bit of my own YouTube video except that it’s about 100 times less interesting and the slides keep repeating the same photos over and over, and the music isn’t as good. This song would never make it onto my iPod playlist. Sorry Wade.

Some reporter from a local Texas paper actually called me prior to the fund raising event to ask for my reaction. At the time I was upset about The MOTHERS Act, but had no idea who Wade Bowen was so I just assumed he was a famous golf star and philanthropist with mental health problems who wanted others to take drugs too.

I had heard of Cross Canadian Ragweed and decided to put them on my short list of people not to support, which includes a few obligatory and fun nicknames for each person or group on the list.

To the reporter I simply stuck to The MOTHERS Act, but had I known how much I would one day like to listen to country music I might have thrown in an “aww shucks” or a “dangit” as well regarding these musicians.

- The MOTHERS Act died with the end of the Congressional session.

2009:

- TIME Magazine covers The MOTHERS Act, with a paragraph about my story.

2010:

- The MOTHERS Act passed in the Health Care reform bill (Despite a total lack of consent of the governed, this highly controversial program was passed within another bill – health care reform – which was hotly contested and is currently the subject of lawsuit after lawsuit based on allegedly unconstitutional provisions. The MOTHERS Act arguably had far more people protesting it than supporting it, but that’s not going to stop it from becoming law thanks to back room deals.)

- Wade Bowen buys a new website for Postpartum Support International.

***

By this point in time I must confess it has been really difficult to avoid Cross Canadian Ragweed. Although I really like their music, I force myself to change the station if I realize that they are playing. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, since I boycotted them two years ago, I don’t actually know which songs are really theirs so, at times I can plead ignorance with my conscience.

It’s kind of like how I can’t listen to Queen in the car because I had a car accident while listening to “We Are The Champions” by Queen when I was sixteen. Call it OCD if you want. I don’t care. This avoidance of bad luck serves me well.

I had forgotten all about Wade Bowen until I read that he purchased a new website for Postpartum Support International (check it out and tell me it does not look like they ripped off the look from some drug company website or drug ad), and by this point in time I knew who he was from listening to Texas Red Dirt music on 95.3 The Range in Dallas.

Last weekend, I am happy to say that I attended a concert at the Fort Worth Stock Yards featuring Stoney LaRue, and I had one last hurrah enjoying “Oklahoma Breakdown” performed live.

A couple of weeks ago, however, I went to a concert with the Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen. The entire time I was there I kept thinking, “I can’t believe I am here giving money to Wade Bowen.” Then I left after 45 minutes of being bored and annoyed, partly because I felt like I was listening to a lamer version of my iPod, and partly because I felt an intense inner ethical conflict that practically forced me to put my pool stick down and walk out.

Only two days ago did I stumble again onto the article about the Wade Bowen benefit concert and realize that both Stoney LaRue and the Randy Rogers Band were at that event. Now not only do I have an intense disliking for Wade Bowen (not as a musician), but I also now have to contemplate that both the Randy Rogers Band and Stoney LaRue were at that benefit concert in 2008. Now every time I listen to “Oklahoma Breakdown,” instead of being happy I will have to be sad. And when I listen to “In My Arms Instead” I will have to decide whether to continue listening to one of my favorite songs or go change the station.

Like so many other problems that I have a duty to discuss on this blog, this particular, albeit minor, problem can be blamed almost entirely on psychiatry. This just adds to the already long list of diseases, excuse me, disorders, that they have created.

===

Dear Stoney LaRue,

Once upon a time, I stood two feet from you and requested Oklahoma Breakdown for some old lady’s birthday, and you did not oblige. Given that this is your biggest song, I just don’t get you. But I do know how to quit you. It’s Friday and you’re gettin’ tore up, goin’ down by the river in the back of my truck, remember one time, you said it was alright, gonna get juiced down by the riverbed tonight.

(Translation: I have taken your albums and thrown them in the river. I am now drinking a Shiner.)

===

Dear Randy Rogers,

Why is it that I love your music so much on the radio / iPod, yet I was so incredibly bored at both of your concerts I attended, that I left after 45 minutes? Maybe you should consider spicing it up a bit.

Regardless,  I’m deleting you from my facebook account as a band I like. I’m gonna break these chains around my broken heart – not gonna let you wear your crown this time around. There will have to be no more “Kiss Me In The Dark,” I swear I’m gonna change the station or hit forward on my iPod. I am also trashing that guitar chords printout I have for “In My Arms Instead.” And we both know it’s not worth another try, but it’s worth one more goodbye.

===

Dear Wade Bowen,

I actually don’t know any of your songs to parody. Sorry.

===

Dear Cross Canadian Ragweed,

You are great. Truly great. However since I don’t listen to you anymore, there’s really not much to say other than that  I’d like to suggest Shiner over Zoloft. It has way fewer side effects. And the warning label on beer actually tells women that they shouldn’t drink it while pregnant, unlike the crap that your friends over at PSI like to write online about antidepressants.

===

So this is me declaring my selective independence from Texas Red Dirt. I promise from now on that I will still listen to select other Texas Red Dirt bands who don’t go around supporting awful programs and websites that deal in deadly misinformation.

See what I mean by cured?

Filed under: antidepressants, Congress, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, PPD, Pregnancy, suicide, , , , , , , , , ,

Two $50 Flower Gift Certificates *** RAFFLE!

Two $50 Flower Gift Certificates *** RAFFLE to benefit The Indiana Star Foundation **** – Two Drawings – We have two $50 flower gift certificates to raffle off!!! (donated by http://www.proflowers.com/) – For the next week you can buy raffle tickets (for $5 each) by donating to the cause here:

http://pledgie.com/campaigns/6067.

To enter, just use PayPal (through PayPal you can use your bank account or a credit card) on our Pledgie page, and then email amy@uniteforlife.org with your contact information and # of raffle tickets you bought, so we can send you the gift code if you win!!!

Filed under: antidepressants, PPD, Pregnancy, , ,

For Indiana Delahunty on her birthday

To Indi from your daddy http://tinyurl.com/mgpoyd
and mommy http://tinyurl.com/laf6wh

Family Photos http://tinyurl.com/mg7y6h

Filed under: antidepressants, Christian Delahunty, Congress, experimentation, mothers act, PPD, Pregnancy, , , , , , , , ,

Check out updates to the MOTHERS Act Campaign Center Links

http://uniteforlife.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/numbers-email-campaign-and-outreach/

Scroll down to the NEWS section.

Filed under: mothers act, , , , , , , , , , ,

Flyer for April 22 Global Protest of MOTHERS Act

FLYER Screenshot (Front on left, Back on right) – this would also work as a fax to Congress.

http://www.box.net/shared/by8tu4able


FLYER for printing

FRONT:

http://www.box.net/shared/a7nlvgnzcn

BACK:

http://www.box.net/shared/ybrdqsr82g

Filed under: Christian Delahunty, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, mothers act, , , ,

In Memory of Indiana (Effexor Baby)

I recently got in touch with a woman who signed the petition against The MOTHERS Act after reading the comment that she had lost her 6 week old daughter and believes it was Effexor that caused her death. Luckily I was able to find her on Facebook because Care2 doesn’t give me the emails of the people who sign the petition unless I have to verify their identity.

I am working on a story and video about this, but I just can’t finish it today, and I can’t sit here and not scream at the top of my lungs to the world about this little baby.

Christian Delahunty is Indiana’s mom and she was told by her doctor that Effexor doesn’t even pass to the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However when she was induced one month before her due date because of problems with the pregnancy, Christian’s OB called down to the NICU to tell them to be ready because an Effexor baby would be coming.

This is Indiana.

Bath time

Bath time

With Mommy

With Mommy

sweet baby

sweet baby

Sleeping with a butterfly on her head

Sleeping with a butterfly on her head

Indiana in a tie dye dress

Indiana in a tie dye dress

Indiana with Dad

Indiana with Dad

Indiana's Funeral

Indiana's Funeral

Indiana was found not breathing and rushed to the hospital. She was revived and put on life support, but her brain was deteriorating and it was too late for her.

Drug company studies and FDA reports confirm that SIDS, coma, seizures, stillbirth, birth defects, miscarriage (“spontaneous abortion”), and an increase in neonatal deaths are linked to exposure to antidepressants. All you have to do is look at the drug label for Effexor and see the animal studies to understand the effects on babies.

“[T]here was a decrease in pup weight, an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first 5 days of lactation, when dosing began during pregnancy and continued until weaning. The cause of these deaths is not known.”

c.

See also (a warning about often fatal serotonin syndrome – serotonin being the brain chemical researchers think is involved in SIDS due to its role in regulating breathing and sleep and wake cycles. Serotonin Syndrome is what most likely killed Heath Ledger and we know that these drugs can kill adults and children, and are especially hard on babies who have a hard time metabolizing the drugs and who have immature blood-brain barriers): http://www.fda.gov/CDER/drug/infopage/effexor/default.htm

And http://anxiety.emedtv.com/effexor-xr/effexor-xr-and-pregnancy.html

Also, here is a website where you can look through all the MedWatch Reports for a four year period of 2003-2007 (select Effexor and you find 6 reports of SIDS among the other infant deaths and other reports): http://www.psychdrugdangers.com/MothersAct.html

We know that these reports represent the tip of the iceberg, with the FDA estimating that between 1-10% of actual adverse events being reported.

I can’t imagine how hard this must be for Christian and her family but I am so glad that she reached out and wants to tell Indi’s story. I was telling my husband today how lucky I felt that our kids are safe and healthy. My doctor told me it was safe to breastfeed Isaac on Zoloft and that I could stay on it during pregnancy. There were times when it seemed like Isaac had stopped breathing and I would nudge him to make him start up again. Like many moms out there at the time I thought I didn’t know better than my doctor and that I could trust him.

Please take this as a warning of what could happen if you use antidepressants when you’re pregnant and breastfeeding. Christian says that Indiana was in and out of the hospital after she was born so obviously this was more than just a random case of SIDS. This is just one example of a mom who went on antidepressants after the birth of a previous child for PPD and the loss of a loved one (her mom) and then stayed on them at the recommendation of her doctor. How many others out there are like her?

I know this deserves more time and a much better write-up, but I feel like I can’t keep this off the blog even though Indi’s story is much bigger than just this post. Here’s hoping that this will somehow reach someone else in time to save their baby. I know that is all Christian can hope for and will help Indiana’s purpose to be realized.

You’ll be seeing more about Christian and Indi and their family very soon.

Filed under: "prevention", antidepressants, Christian Delahunty, Congress, Effexor in pregnancy, FDA, FDA Warnings, Indiana, Julie Edgington, Manie, Melanie Stokes, MGH, mothers act, Paxil in pregnancy, PPD, Pregnancy, , , ,

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