Our story., Random

The non-pursuit of happiness.

Happy womanThe non-pursuit of happiness. “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open” John Barrymore.

There you have it, just when I least expect it, it creeps in (uninvited I might add) and smacks me round my gobsmacked gob!

Today was the usual run of the mill day; there I was, for once minding my own business, standing in the kitchen after collecting the kids from school, when it happened. Lucy was rabbiting on about planting her acorn tree in the garden, Henry was doing his usual worrying about his maths homework, when there it was; I realised I was happy, or maybe content is a better description. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Four years and one month since my lovely son died and I was just resigning myself to looking at my miserable face staring back at me from the bathroom mirror, when today my heart felt ‘not quite’ so heavy. Do you know how mind-numbingly boring it is being miserable?

I knew it was coming of course; I tried hard to ignore it, I’m not bloody ready, but lately the sadness was lifting whether I liked it or not. This, of course doesn’t mean that I won’t cry in Tescos or embarrass myself at the motor tax counter ever again, but the endless need to fight Lundbeck, the corrupt medical system and even more corrupt Irish psychiatry was being overridden by walks on the beach, feeding the ducks or teaching the kids how to ride a bike (a seemingly impossible task). It doesn’t make me less sad about the way my son died or the fact that he caused the death of an innocent young man, some things can never be unseen or unheard unfortunately, but I’ve resigned myself to it and understand the circumstances.

I certainly won’t be letting Lundbeck off anytime soon (actually not ever) as my son deserved so much better. I wonder sometimes if Ulf Wiinberg (CEO of1111 Lundbeck) sleeps well at night? Probably, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Shane’s face and all the other victim’s faces must make the odd appearance in the pharmaceutical cesspit that lurks in the furthest recesses of his mind. That reminds me, a new book by Peter Gøtzsche ‘Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare‘ has recently been published. Chapter two is freely available here and deals with SSRI induced suicide. If you can’t face reading the whole chapter, then pages 224-229 deal with Lundbeck corruption which you might find interesting.

Lundbeck’s latest symposium is happening soon in Monaco (November). I see that Professor Tim Dinan from UCC Cork is making an appearance, although the European Medicines Agency assured me that Professor Dinan will not receive any honorarium for his trip to Monaco or any of the other Lundbeck sponsored symposia that I brought to their attention; so no worries on the ‘independence’ of their scientific advisors there. Phew, that’s such a relief!

Anyway, getting back to my original point, somehow I feel that this shift in mood would make Shane the happiest of all. Now I think the ducks are waiting for me.

Newspaper and internet articles

A nation of zombies?

mannequinsThis week the  revelation that we are eating horse and pig with our beef burgers has come as a bit of a shock. Although I have to say, surprisingly, it hasn’t come as a huge shock for many, and a commonly held opinion is ‘Ah well, sure if you’re willing to eat parts of a cow, there’s not too much difference’. Surely that is completely missing the point? We are entitled to know exactly what we are buying. Whether we, as consumers, pay 10 euro or 10 cent for a beef burger, it’s supposed to be beef and if we wanted a filly burger, we’d have asked for one! Apart from the fact that if the company who sells the product cannot vouch for the content (and therefore any contagious diseases), it’s false advertising. Vegetarianism is looking increasingly attractive.

It the same with antidepressants. The name itself is false advertising. If I wanted a product which can double  the rate of suicide and cause worsening depression, not to mention heart-attacks and strokes, surely I’d have bought myself a gun? A game of Russian roulette would at least minimise the suffering. Or maybe I wouldn’t do the job properly and end up physically disabled too. Then even worse, I could be forced by the Irish judicial system to roam this world until my ‘natural’, undignified, and painful death, as shown in a recent Irish case. In my opinion, this brave woman is being discriminated against because she is disabled, by the very system which purports to do ‘justice’.

Maybe, as a consumer, I’d be one of the lucky ones, where that antidepressant would do the job which the name implies, and I’d live happily ever after, discarding the drugs after a few months. Then again, I could be the one who can’t get off the drugs, the one who is addicted and any attempt to stop the drug leaves me with debilitating side effects, unable to function, love, or care either way.

Or maybe I’d be on them for life, thinking they’re doing a great job but everyone else is thinking ‘there’s something not quite right’ with Leonie? It’s quite possible that has been said already, but if so, it’s down to life experiences and genetics, not any prescription drug. You know the type though? That woman or man who speaks a little too loud, unaware or uncaring of people around them? The one that isn’t aware of personal or societal boundaries. That woman you meet at the shop who wants a full-blown conversation with you, despite having never met her before? Or the one that always seems to be on a different planet and just that little bit ‘different’? The one who never did illegal drugs, doesn’t drink but yet has slightly slurred speech and a slightly longer reaction time to others.

Over-prescribing and prescribing dangerous medication for every twinge is rampant globally, not just in Ireland. The only winner is the pharmaceutical industry, not the patients or their families. Be informed, read the leaflet, or in the case of the Irish Medicines Board, go to the FDA website where more information is provided. Don’t be turned into a unwitting drug company zombie. Whether this rings a bell or not, the importance of finding a good doctor should never be underestimated.

If your current doctor hasn’t the time to listen, maybe it’s time to find another one!

Irish Times, Assisted suicide case

The Telegraph, Horsemeat in burgers.

EMA, Suicide/Aggression with ssri’s Link 

Antidepressants and Violence; Prof. David Healy et al, here or download here.

Suicidality, Violence and Mania Caused by SSRIs; Dr Peter R Breggin here.

Drugs associated with violence. Here.