The New Business Model in Psychiatry

I checked myself yet again at the hospital. It became my full time job really.

Shame on me, I ain’t strong enough to survive outside more than a few weeks. But is it really my fault?

Not more than 24 hours later, yes you know it, I checked myself out. I wasn’t scared of the environment this time. I liked the room. I even met a couple of people with whom I could have a decent conversation – shout out to K, L, N and N!

My problem was the medical body. My sessions with them were more of open ended questions like in qualitative research. I felt time had no essence to them. Like progress cannot be measured daily.

When I went to London, and I am not being payed to say this – if you only knew how expensive it actually is to get treated there out of pocket – every single word I said was taken seriously. Every little side effect was looked at. I was seen as a person; a real person and not a spoiled brat complaining for no reason.

Secondly, the doctors would not dwell endlessly on what to do. They took calculated risks. Because if they agreed to the status quo then nothing would happen.

I was always reassured and never ever did anyone tell me this drug or this method works for 20% of the patients. I was given hope – in abundance and also had the opportunity to chat with other patients who are now truly healed.

While I was completely fitting the box of patients in the clinic, my individual voice and needs were immediately heard.

That is why I felt I was wasting time at the hospital and that is why I left 24 hours later instead of staying for a whole 10 days.

My business teachers at university always said a good product or service starts by answering a customer pain.

Very well, mental illness is filled with customer pain; be it the patient herself or her family members.

I have been treated and admitted to hospitals both in Paris and Cairo. Although the settings could be strikingly different; there are major similarities.

Patients have little control over the course of their treatment; unless they happen to well read – and still that could be interpreted as a personality disorder.

Here, business people, here is a business model for you to follow. Instead of keeping the one patient coming back for 10 years, you can have thousands of them and most likely very happy ones too. Am no mathematician but get your excel sheets out and do the works. It doesn’t need a genius to tell you where the money is; and coincidentally health too…


When the dream catcher fails to catch all your dreams

So I went all the way to London. I am from Egypt you see, I had to pay good money for a visa, and lots more for accommodation and living expenses. One hefty sterling pound costs 23 Egyptian pounds. You get the picture.

Any-who. We travelled, out of pocket. We did everything by the book. We stayed in the nicer areas. By we I mean my husband and I, and later my sweet father. We ate out, he took me shopping. He transferred money to me weekly even though he was already paying for most of the stuff.

He isn’t a millionaire. He isn’t a business man. He is just a loving father.

Twenty five days we stayed in London. Day in day out. My husband visited every single second he had. He took me out even to the west end.

I cried in their arms and laughed some more.

I was not prepared however for what the doctor told me one fine morning.

He told me Nour you have to go home. I didn’t comprehend. What home? Like the place we are renting out here in London? No? Home as in Cairo? As in the Middle East, pyramids and all? Why!! I am following your words by the book. Doctor Zamar your words are my command like literally.

Why summon me and tell me this?

It figures the bloody Prozac is giving me horrible withdrawal symptoms. He can’t treat me with them taking place. It is nothing personal he said but rTMS won’t be efficient. Nothing would work.

His plan was to fly me home and give me back Prozac and instead of weaning me off cold turkey; to tapper it off gradually.

Trivia: do you know that they don’t sell Prozac in smaller doses than 20 mg in many countries?

Guys, people of the pharmaceutical world stop lobbying against recreational drugs and kindly start putting your **it together with psychotropics.

An Arabic word comes to mind to describe the situation “Haram”; it roughly translates to “god forbidden”.

God forbids this bullshit companies are selling to us the millions of us this shit as pain relief…

God forbids you to prescribe us shit that will literally make us want to end our lives

God forbids you from making zillions hurting us and also making us dependent on you with every cell of our body.

We don’t need strong will to quit the poison you are selling us, we need a miracle.

I was willing to undergo Electric Chock Therapy ECT- which would basically erase what is left of my poor memory- just to get rid of the effect of the antidepressant in my body. That my friend is like asking me to deep fry my hand to get rid of a mole. It is that illogical. But I was willing to; cross my heart. Doctor bless him said it would be useless.

So now after quitting dear Prozac – the sweet antidepressant that is almost given over the counter – and I swear to god given to “normal” people who just want to lose weight; I am back to square one. I am taking it again. And will reduce the dose every 10 days.

I can’t give you more feedback about my new treatment as it came to a halt.

But for the love of god, for the love of Jesus, of Moses, Mohamed, and Buddha; NEVER take antidepressants if you might be suffering from a mood spectrum disorder.


Gaining weight being Bipolar II due to Effexor

So honestly I have no aim here but telling the truth, which sometimes hurts. I hate this topic, but here I go.

My height is 165 cm. I Weighed at the start of my antidepressant treatment – my wrong antidepressant treatment Effexor (Venlafaxine) – 58 kilograms. Now, this was the era of sleeping 18 hour straight and walking like a zombie for the rest of the day.

Fast forward a few months and weight gain started, slowly but surely. I reached 61, then 62, and then summer holidays were here. Regiment was honestly pizzas and limoncello, pina colada and so on. I reached 64. Still I was ok.

Now my dear dear doctor who wrongly prescribed Effexor was telling me: “Come on, control yourself”. I told him, there is nothing else I am trying to do but this. He didn’t really care, or maybe he wasn’t able to believe me. Anyway, last time I had seen him, I had reached 68, he had inevitably increased my dose to 225 mg per day – said to be the highest dosage for outpatients.

I completely and solely relate my binge eating and my bulimic tendencies to bloody Effexor. According to Mentalhalthdaily Effexor can not only increase your appetite to eating more carbs, it also plays with your fat storage, does hormonal and metabolic changes and guess what ? Bloody Effexor improves your taste buds also plays a major role in shooting up your eating in social situations.

Of course individual differences play a role and so does the interaction with other drugs, your dosage and time span and so forth. They need to get their back covered if you know what I mean.

But this brings we to weaning off this horribly addictive drug. It takes forever. When I used to read accounts of people suffering months after quitting and saying that their metabolic rate got screwed up, I thought they were exaggerating. Bit by bit I found myself in this dilemma.

Now I am taking other drugs (of course) to remedy this metamorphosis. I take Revia and Baclofene but with so far very little if no result.

Apparently I have to resort to psychotherapy to overcome my newly acquired eating disorder.

I will keep on writing to give tips and tricks about how to get out of this situation when you cannot take Prozac and co, quite known to induce mania and mixed episodes in bipolarity.