THE CASE OF POOR JIMMY
Below I am giving you a case which I will pick apart to show you how utterly inappropriate this patient’s management was, and how appalling his physician’s behavior became when he was confronted with new and innovative therapy. It demonstrates the powerful life-altering and brain destroying effects of the SSRI’s and the AAP’s and it serves to underscore many of the worst problems we have in the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS) such as physician apathy, ignorance and arrogance. It should serve as a warning to you to avoid, if possible, any psychiatric medication and the CSCS entirely.
We’ll call him Jimmy. I am convinced that if he had never started taking psychiatric medications he would be healthy and a completely different person today. That is of course if he had developed good defenses for his addictions like working out, managing stress and eating properly. It all started going bad for Jimmy when the addictionologists got a hold of him during treatment for alcoholism. This was about 20 years ago. Sure he had a problem as many do with alcohol and it is probably the worst drug addiction there is due to ethanol’s toxicity. Of course he was depressed what alcoholic isn’t? Deal with the ethanol first and the psych problems go away on their own.
Try telling that to an addictionologist. These folks are sometimes psychiatrists, always MD’s, who specifically treat the growing number of chemical dependency patients. The only problem is that they love their legal drugs and like imbeciles at a banquet they will glom, pick and pinch every pharmaceutical they can obtain and stuff you with them as they see fit. Had his initial addiction doctor been one of those rare health-guru types rather than a fat, probably mentally ill himself, out-of-shape DIB (Doc in the Box), Jimmy would have been “forced” into a gym rather than mental jail. If he had become fit instead of fat, his future would have certainly needed shades as it took a radiant turn. Then I woke up and remembered the opium I smoked called hope. Certainly nothing more than hope around here because it’s the Commercial Sick Care System the CSCS, that Jimmy’s trapped in where people don’t get better.
I remember Jimmy wrestling with the idea of getting on pills for his problem. He finally gave in and that was the beginning of the destructive process and the total transformation of him into a different species over the next two decades. Were it not for me recognizing the toxicity of serotonin syndrome he would have been driven insane or killed years earlier with the overuse of these mind altering meds and our story would end there.
Instead the forces that be decided to slow-kill Jimmy. Rather like open pit BBQ; keep him roasting low and slow in a make believe life where all of his spontaneity and creativity was extinguished.
It’s more common than not that psychiatrists will prescribe layer upon layer of drugs without a second thought using one to ameliorate the others side effects and so forth. To give you an idea of how out of control Jimmie’s situation was, which is played out on a daily basis with over 35 million across the planet, he was eventually put on five serotonergic drugs at one time, five! Needless to say he developed Serotonin Syndrome (SS) which (as I mentioned earlier) I was fortunate enough to have been in town to recognize and treat. It’s been known to occur with monotherapy-the use of just one serotonergic drug. With five serotonergic drugs on board you can usually predict that he would become toxic on these medications. It could have easily ended badly.
Jimmy was so nuts at this time that he went all over town writing bad checks and stealing money from his friends and family. When I was finally able to talk to him he was in a panic. Either he was crying or laughing at any given moment, sweating like a wet monkey, shaking and hyperventilating. I gave him a very powerful acupuncture treatment made famous by the ancient physician Sun Si Miao which completely stabilized him as I discontinued all serotonergic drugs. He may have ended up dead or in jail if I hadn’t been around to catch it.
Just think of all those people out there getting the exact same chemical punishment from some desk jockey shrink, P-DIB. The only difference is that those poor souls are helpless. Someone who cares is not around to save them. So they get locked up and treated with more drugs as any good psychiatrist prefers.
YOU WILL BECOME UNRECOGNIZABLE TO YOURSELF AND FAMILY
Dr Breggin mentions the above phrase in Gary Nulls movie the Drugging of Our Children. It refers to the failure of modern psychiatry. How even well intentioned psychiatrists eventually destroy patients with the overuse of these drugs. They can even render them insane. Eventually I got Jimmy off all but two psych meds but they were two very potent and very dangerous drugs to be chronically taking. Those two were Prozac and Seroquel.
It had been close to 20 years that Jimmy has had his mind taken from him. Jimmy was a very smart guy his IQ must have been 160 or higher. He would have made the best trial lawyer in the state but God and the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS) had other plans for him. Now, he is addled, dull, glassy eyed, fat and worn out like an old girdle your Jack Russell now sleeps on. He shuffles due to the side effects of the atypical antipsychotic Seroquel and his diabetic neuropathy (again thanks to Seroquel). He’s tremulous and displays akathisia which is an inability to sit still. All of these effects are from these two drugs neither of which he needed to be on because neither class has been shown to work better than placebo. Over time the wonderful drug Seroquel gave him the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus or DM type II. I recall telling Jimmy how bad these drugs are and how important it is to wean yourself off of them as soon as possible. No sooner did I say that and several months later he had a major heart attack. And I do mean major. On arrival to the ED he was found to be pulseless-basically dead. Luckily he was resuscitated successfully and did very well post infarct without any complications, pretty amazing when you think about it. It hardly mattered since he was addicted to Seroquel which will continue feeding his metabolic syndrome and the inflammatory spinoff diseases. He could not get off of it. Recall from the above list how antidepressants and antipsychotics promote metabolic syndrome, bleeding, heart attacks and strokes.
That brings us to the present case scenario. Jimmy is now 56 years old with a history of long standing diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM type II), status post heart attack, obese approximately 70 pounds overweight, severe peripheral neuropathy with diabetic foot ulcers, metabolic syndrome, central sleep apnea, history of anxiety, alcohol abuse with liver disease, and ADD. He is currently taking D amphetamine salt combo for ADD, glipizide for blood sugar, Seroquel and Paxil for anxiety and depression, Ativan for breakthrough anxiety, triple antihypertensive therapy including two diuretics (water pills) and an ACE inhibitor, and Crestor a statin.
Jimmy expressed an interest in getting on testosterone (T) and thyroid medication, if indicated, after a discussion we had. Since his doctor most likely didn’t know much about supplementing with T, Jimmy asked if I would contact him and provide some information. So I sent a very solicitous letter to his personal doctor explaining how I thought I could help Jimmy-as a team player-to lose weight and get off the one medication that I felt was doing more harm than good-Seroquel. Testosterone is known to reduce anxiety and many of the manifestations of hypothyroidism are psychiatric so it only makes sense that you would want to replenish those powerful mood-altering hormones if it turned out that you were deficient in them. Moreover, by doing this we could achieve better control of his metabolic syndrome, to help him lose weight, correct his dyslipidemia, and help reduce his blood pressure medications since all of these problems can manifest with low thyroid and T. I suppose any doctor would probably be a little ruffled if some doctor he doesn’t know contacts him and basically insinuates everything he’s doing is second rate. At least that must have been his feeling at the time. I certainly did not intend to ruffle feathers. Since this patient is a blood relation I am completely in my bounds to suggest these changes but I was not in any way demanding of them nor at any time did I lose cordiality. As you’ll see however that wasn’t enough.
From his doctor’s standpoint, the doc in the box, (DIB) standpoint, AKA the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS) viewpoint, Jimmy is seen as a collection of independent diseases for which each has an independent treatment as I explain in my chapter on the CSCS. Jimmy’s medical problems are not viewed as manifestations of a deeper dis-ease (a vastly sickened endothelium, hormonal deficiencies and profound inflammation). Therefore, each problem such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar are treated piecemeal. The management is done using drugs.
There are other approaches like diet and lifestyle changes but we both know that these are just words thrown about like so much twaddle without being taken seriously in western medicine. In the end many patients within the CSCS never have the root causes of their diseases addressed directly.
Unless like some berry-intoxicated grizzly falling over her own offspring, the DIB lucks out and ends up accidentally addressing the root problem by correcting low thyroid with the right medications. But that’s not often enough. Modern allopathic medicine usually works only on the symptoms of disease, integrative medicine addresses the root or let’s just say that I always try to address the root cause first which isn’t all that hard to do once you understand the causes of modern diseases of affluence. That’s an important distinction to remember.
Perhaps because of my holistic training in traditional Chinese medicine along with the wisdom I have finally acquired in western medicine, and the fact that I saved my own ass from (cardiologic) execution, I approach the patient from the deepest level first. It is here that I must try to figure out a way to address and hopefully heal, the innermost layer or root cause of disease. In Jimmy’s case, as it is in every case of first world disease, his root problem is chronic inflammation. It’s beyond the scope of this article to cover it here but I beat it to death in my book with an entire chapter on inflammation, what it is and what it does. Treating the root is common in Chinese medicine but a little strange to a western clinician.
I also see some of Jimmy’s medical problems being accentuated by several prescription drugs that he currently takes which is considered heresy in western medicine.I have a section in my book which I have devoted to a theory of mine on how inflammation is generated and supported through the use of several classes of toxic prescription drugs such as the statins, SSRI’s, AAP’s, vaccines and insulin. Other sources of inflammation come from the environment when drinking municipal water, exposure to heavy metals and other reactive species like Al and fluoride, Industrial Dinners, sun avoidance, and a few others. In other words you’ve got to clean house if you ever wish to be truly healthy. Don’t worry I cover it all very clearly on how to regain your health in my book.
My approach while somewhat different and a little cutting edge isn’t really anything new. But it does require a different mindset, one with the goal of really understanding why Jimmy is sick in the first place, while reducing his medications, augmenting his declining hormones and making him whole. It requires healing his sick endothelium with wellness as the ultimate goal. As such you cannot be on 9 toxic meds, 70 pounds overweight, eating junk, hormonally sunk and ever hope to be healthy. Common sense right? Yet the DIB’s office is full of these people and they never get better; their lives are clinics on the slow trajectory toward morbidity.
I used to tell my sick patients, some of them taking over 24 medications per day: “your doctor had his chance and look what he did to you, now let me have my chance.” That usually got them to listen to me.
Jimmy was deficient in both thyroid and T as I had predicted. If you are low in thyroid hormone you will develop hypertension, get fat, be depressed and or anxious and have a high LDL or “bad” cholesterol. That’s all of his problems right there! I call thyroid the great imitator since its deficiency in the body can look like many diseases. Testosterone works in much the same way by helping to correct elevated cholesterol while burning body fat and maintaining lean muscle tissue. T also gives the patient a sense of well being and is very calming. A much different picture than the erroneous one of “roid rage” wouldn’t you agree? Low T looks more like the grumpy old man pealing to get out of his yard. I suggested that he put Jimmy on a trial of transdermal testosterone (T) ointment from a compounding pharmacy along with Armour thyroid. I gave my reasoning and quoted a few studies in case he wasn’t familiar with T and its multitude of effects.
In my approach the first and major objective was to wean him off of his Seroquel, the atypical antipsychotic which had already made him obese, given him diabetes, and delivered a major heart attack. It turns out that Paxil and Prozac both can give up to 70% of patients taking them anxiety! One of the reasons Jimmy was taking this junk was to eliminate anxiety. These drugs were keeping Jimmy sick.
Next week I’ll get into more detail on Jimmy’s case, the toxicity of the AAP’s and pharmacologic “push me pull you’s.”