Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ketamine. Thanks media!

Having not slept last night (in spite of taking my medicine as prescribed...well, minus the Klonapin that I'm currently terrified of...) I am desperate for some control over my world and have a desperate need for productivity. How did I satisfy this? Catching up on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Not the most useful productivity, but it gave me a sense of accomplishment nonetheless.

As I was catching up on Twitter this article caught my eye. This is amazing and wonderful news for bipolar people who are in a lot of trouble and have doctors to watch over them. Sort of. As I've been following Thrive with Bipolar Disorder on Facebook and YouTube there has been a lot of important information about bipolar that I hadn't found through my scientific study. Namely, in bipolar I depression is not only an occurrence for people to live with, it is a necessary recovery time. I have bipolar II, meaning I have never experienced the truly debilitating mania those with bipolar I do, I just get the super fun manic/angry/irritable/impossible fun that I know my husband loves so much. So, this combination of information strikes a question in my mind...while it's wonderful these people are no longer so far down, what happens to that mania recovery time the brain needs? Beyond that, even as a person with bipolar II I have trouble with going too high when I've been low if meds screw with it. That's why I'm so scared of the Klonapin. It sends me into a depression in order to allow me sleep (which I desperately need at this point), but then in the days following I sleep waaaaay too much and then I'm sky high again. This article doesn't touch on that at all. Plus there are different stereoisomers of ketamine. As a chemist who has studied the stereoisomers in drugs and how to separate them for my seminar, as well as made separating agents in the lab many many years ago, I know this means the R enantiomer and the S enantiomer affect people differently. How many other people know that? That means this information is out in the public regarding a population of people who are prone to severe mood swings, impulsive decisions, addiction problems, and suicidal behavior without any disclaimer saying "SPECIAL K AND THE MEDICAL KETAMINE ARE TWO DIFFERENT DRUGS!!!!!!"

The media baffles me. First, they dehumanize mental illnesses like bipolar and schizophrenia by only reporting about people like Pedro Hernandez, who is clearly ill and has needed help his whole life, and the homeless that are implicated in disturbances or worse, then they post an article about a street drug with no regard for the information provided and the population it affects. This only shows how little people know and understand about mental illness and the devastating power they wield over the population at large, as well as the specific population the information is about.

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