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A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...

 
Mark In NYC
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User ID: 400833
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08/05/2008 09:51 PM
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A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...
ABILIFI - A Wonder Drug? Could it really work?


I have a dear dear friend who has for many years been suffering with severe clinical depression. In spite of five years in therapy and having tried every antidepressant known to man, nothing worked. In fact the depression was getting worse and worse.

He was literally slipping away, not into death, but into a catatonic-like state where he slept 18 to 24 hours per day, didn’t eat much, did not shower except when someone told him he needed to, even quit brushing his teeth. He lost interest in EVERYTHING he ever loved, from painting and art, to antiques, to even his pets. He would forget to feed them! This was totally out of character for this man and all his friends were appalled. None dared hope he would get better after the first couple of years and most drifted away when their phone calls were not returned and their letters and invitations were not responded to.

Two very high priced “experts” on psychotropic drugs tried their chemical magic on him. One turned him into a raving lunatic who didn’t even remember his name, much less where he lived, or who his family were. That one wound him up in a psych ward when the LAPD found him wondering the streets of Beverly Hills and hauled him into Cedars because he was nicely dressed and obviously not a vagarant.

The other “expert” in New York City – again a psychiatrist with an expertise in psychotropic drugs, prescribed yet another cocktail. This one simply made him suicidal in an open way. He tried three times in a week to kill himself, and the third time nearly was the charm. The cuts on his wrists were lengthwise, not across, and they were deep enough that he lost over half the blood in his body before he was found, taken into Siani medical center in NYC and sutured, given blood, kept in ICU for 2 days, and then discharged to their psych ward for observation.

Two weeks ago, his therapist – who’d confided he was nearly ready to throw in the towel and recommend a course or two of electro-shock treatments as the only remaining viable option – decided to try this patient on a relatively new drug called ABLIFI.

Within a week he was awake again. This is after six or seven months of near catatonic stupor. A few days later he was painting. He wants to go out of the house for the first time in over a year. He thinks he feels okay to drive again! He got up and baked cookies for the first time in two years last night! In short, he seems to have been snatched out of the jaws of insanity by this single drug. It’s interesting to note that they discontinued all other medication he was on before ordering this. His therapist felt that if it was to have a fair trial, it would be necessary that he have nothing else on board that could counter or interfere with it’s action.

Of course it’s too soon to tell if the effects will be lasting or not. His family is living with the fear that it may not be lasting and yet they are truly hoping that it is. The use of this drug for ‘drug resistant severe depression’ is an off label use. It’s intended use is to help treat people with bi-polar syndrome and /or maniac depressive syndrome. Lately, however some psych’s have noticed that this stuff will somehow pull people out of the depths of depression when nothing else has touched their illness.

For him, for now anyway, it is truly a miracle. I write this in hopes of encouraging others who may have themselves suffering or family or friends suffering with a drug rresistant debilitating depression, to consider trying this stuff and try it STAT. The next step for my friend would have been shock treatments with or without his permission because with his history of depressive illness, he could have been committed and treated without his consent on the grounds that he is a danger to himself, if left untreated. This drug has helped him avoid that horrible option, which many times can cure depression but at the cost of erasing half the patient’s personality and turning the patient into a semi-zombi who may or may not eventually regain his memories. In short, Electro Convulsive Therapy is better than letting them kill themselves, but not a whole lot better.

ABILIFI. In some cases it may present an option and a treatment modality that simply did not exist before. In this case – for my friend – it is nearly a miracle. I’ve got my friend back and you know, I really missed him, and yet I stood silently by feeling helpless and powerless to battle this disease.. All I could do was visit, let him know he wasn’t absolutely alone and encourage him as best I could. But that encouragement was apparently enough to get him to the point where this medication was tried, and NO ONE – LEAST OF ALL THE PATIENT- DREAMED IT WOULD WORK THIS WELL.

Once in a while in this world, something comes along that actually helps. It's rare, and it may be divinely inspired (probably is due to the rarity of it happening) but when it happens, it can remind even the most cynical of men that there are still miracles in this world - both large and small.

Tonight, I'm playing cards with him, Bridge! He hasn't been able to play bridge in four years. It's so nice to have him back!
Life really is a banquet - and truly - most poor sucker are starving! Enjoy the ride baby.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 272356
United States
08/05/2008 10:04 PM
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Re: A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...
Is your friend schizo, that's what abilifi is made for.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 473982
United States
08/05/2008 10:29 PM
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Re: A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...
Is your friend schizo, that's what abilifi is made for.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 272356


It's for bipolar disorder... not schizophrenia.

It also looks like it might good for severe, intractable depression :)
wonderful
User ID: 479017
United States
08/05/2008 10:32 PM
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Re: A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...
I am very happy to read this, congradtulations.
Enaid

User ID: 310721
United States
08/05/2008 10:41 PM
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Re: A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...
I wish him well.
Personal responsibility - try it sometime. Quit blaming others for your bad choices. Consequences happen.

:enaid11:
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1550123
United States
09/20/2012 02:36 PM
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Re: A FRIEND BEGINS an "IMPOSSIBLE" Recovery...
Old but good info for anyone needing help.

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