Sunday, 23 March 2014

'Overcoming challenges in schizophrenia - a Scottish perspective', Janssen sponsored event September 2013

I was concerned to see this poster advertising a "meeting" 'Overcoming challenges in schizophrenia - a Scottish perspective' on 6 September 2013, in Stirling, with "speakers and catering sponsorship provided by Janssen" and advertising the psychotropic drug Xeplion (paliperidone):

Dr David Hall, NHS Dumfries & Galloway Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, lead for the Scottish Patient Safety Programme in Mental Health, chaired the programme and speakers included Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive, and Dr Mark Taylor, Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Lothian.
Here's what Wikipedia says about paliperidone (Xeplion):
"Paliperidone palmitate (trade name Invega Sustenna, named Xeplion in Europe) is a long-acting injectable formulation of paliperidone palmitoyl ester indicated for once-monthly injection after an initial titration period. Paliperidone is used to treat mania and at lower doses as maintenance for bipolar disorder. It is also used for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder." says that the Xeplion injection "helps to control schizophrenia".  

And if the person who has the label doesn't believe they have schizophrenia?  Then they can be declared to be "without capacity" and be compelled to take the drugs, said to have anosognosia, a lack of insight.  Fortunately I wasn't on a CTO and had the power to taper my drugs and make a complete recovery in 2004.  

Others in my family haven't been so fortunate when labelled with schizophrenia and submitted to being injected [remembering my mother's 3 weekly depixol injection - 25 years of having to pull her pants down]

In September 2013 I was heavily involved, voluntarily, in organising the Scottish Crisis & Acute Care Network conference 'Improving Pathways', of which Dr Hall is the co-chair.  Getting the venue sorted, the programme, the workshops, involving people with lived experience, preparing my presentation and workshop materials.  [see blog post of my talk]

I am very unhappy to think that at this time I was, and still am, an unpaid carer on £59/week, picking up the pieces after traumatic dehumanising psychiatric treatment.  [I helped support my son to taper the drug haliperidol which was forced upon him in Feb12 and he got drug free within 6 months]  While Dr Hall, Billy Watson and others were busy working in partnership with the big pharma company Janssen-Cilag, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson which has annual revenue of over $71 billion.

Drugs are not the answer to human distress, trauma and emotional pain.  They might give temporary relief but in the longer term they are fraught with difficulties, causing chronicity, physical health issues and shortened life spans.  Risperidone, developed by Janssen, caused me to be clinically depressed then the venlafaxine prescribed gave me suicidal impulses, bone loss.  

If I hadn't taken control of my own mental health, in 2003, then I could have ended up coercively treated in the community with Xeplion for schizoaffective
disorder.  A label that was unhelpful and inaccurate.  The drugs didn't work for me and I'm not the only one.  See the new website The Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry and the video testimonies from survivors, of the effects of, and the recovery from, psychiatric drugs and disorder labels.

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