(The following is a true story written by Dr. Sosin about an amazing success we recently experienced with one of our patients. A testimonial link is provided at the end.)
THE DRUG BOX
January 12, 2008
Once there was a girl who was put into a box.
When she was five months old she had meningitis. She began to lose her hearing. Within the next few years she became completely deaf. She was taught how to lip-read, and she could sign, and she became able to speak intelligibly in the guttural voice that deaf people have. In her childhood she loved to read books and write stories.
When she was three years old, she began to have seizures. They seemed to be a consequence of the meningitis. She had big, grand mal seizures, and small, petit mal seizures. She was given medications for the seizures, which controlled the grand mal seizures although she sometimes still had the small ones.
When she was twelve years old, her brother committed suicide, and she found his body on her bed. In the course of time her parents divorced, and she spent most of her time with her mother.
Behavioral problems occurred. She would become agitated and angry. She pushed and hit other people. She was hard to control. It was unclear whether she had emotional problems or an underlying brain disorder. She was taken to neurologists and psychiatrists. She was prescribed drugs. When her condition failed to improve, new drugs were given. Often she received several drugs at one time. These drugs were antidepressants, anti- psychotics, sedatives and tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, and anti-seizure medications. Eventually she had been given every drug available for her condition. She did not improve.
She had complications from the drugs. She was admitted to the hospital many times, for behavioral problems and for drug reactions. At the age of sixteen she had neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a severe reaction to psychiatric drugs including seizures, confusion, fever and coma. The drugs were changed.
When she was sixteen, her mother brought her to see me. Her mother knew that I would not give her more drugs, but would try to help get her off drugs. We worked with nutrition and nutritional supplements. Some were given orally and some by injection. She continued to see psychiatrists and neurologists, and her drugs varied. She still had spells of extreme agitation and anger. She would stare ahead and not respond to questions. Some doctors thought these were seizure episodes.
She was hospitalized and forced to have more tests. She was held down for a spinal tap. The diagnosis was unclear. Her mother was told her brain was deteriorating, that she would get worse, and probably die. She had stopped reading and writing stories. She seemed confused and disoriented. She would come to the office and pour out a stream of ribald language, about sex and anger.
I thought, if this is what she is like on drugs, how terrible would she be without drugs. I did not know that drugs had created what she was, had changed her and destroyed her awareness, her humanity and her judgment. Her world was confined to a box, a box of drugs.
She was given a higher dose of one drug and gained sixty pounds in three months. She developed diabetes. Her liver was inflamed, and the doctors stopped the drug and gave her a different one. She lost sixty pounds and the diabetes went away. She wouldnt eat, and she vomited all the time and lost more weight. She looked emaciated and sick, and still she was angry, and she hated everyone. She lined up knives on the floor in her room. Her mother took them away and locked them up.
I had tried to reduce her drugs, but she would become more unmanageable and the doctors would raise the dose. There was no place she could go to get off drugs, because she would only be given drugs of a different kind. She was a 22 year old woman with no purpose, no happiness, no interests, only a pitiful existence in limbo between life and death.
A new detoxification facility had opened, for which I was a medical consultant. I told her mother that so far nothing had worked, that I did not believe this was a fatal disease, but that the drugs might be her problem and we should stop all of them. Her mother asked about the seizure medications. I said this was a desperate situation, and we needed to stop everything.
The detox was difficult. She would take her clothes off, refuse to eat, rant and rave. She threatened to kill herself. She was too difficult to manage. The center did not have a locked facility, and had no way to handle suicide risks. We sent her home. We had tried.
Her mother pleaded with the center to take her back. She signed papers releasing them from all liability. They took her back.
Shortly after resuming the program, she refused to take any drugs at all. Her detox was abrupt and complete. She was off all drugs, for the first time since she was three years old. She had minor seizures every several days, staring episodes lasting only seconds and of no consequence. She went home.
She came to the office a few weeks later. She had returned to her school, where she had friends, and she enjoyed it. She had gained twenty pounds. She was relaxed and content. She had a beautiful smile. Her mother was beaming. She had come out of the box. Finally she had her life back.
The drug box is a prison without walls or manacles. For some people it is a living death. With the best of stated intentions, it offers the worst of results: the extinction of dreams and perceptions, the crushing of personality and affection, the enforcement of an empty, useless existence. It does not protect. It is the oppressor.
Allan Sosin, M.D.
Please CLICK HERE to read the accompanying testimonial