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<nettime-ann> [link] Pillophilia site at pills.cf.huffingtonpost.com
Millie Niss on Mon, 13 Feb 2006 01:08:47 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime-ann> [link] Pillophilia site at pills.cf.huffingtonpost.com


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Please visit http://pills.cf.huffingtonpost.com/

"There's Elavil and Thorazine and Lithium and Mellaril
Abilify and Topamax and Loxitane and Tofranil..."

Tom Lehrer famously set the periodic table of elements to the tune of 
the famous "Modern Major General Song" from Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates

of Penzance.  Now, Millie Niss has produced a version of the song 
listing psychotropic drugs...  The site 
http://pills.cf.huffingtonpost.com/ contains a music video based on this

song (directed by Millie Niss, starring Elana Shneyer, music performed 
by Michael Szpakowski), links to a Flash application which plays the 
song and displays the lyrics, and a Flash-based interactive database 
giving information on the pills mentioned in the song.

Please pass the link on to anyone who wants a laugh or is seriously 
concerned about the extent to which contemporary society turns to 
mind-altering drugs to solve all its ills...  The site will also be of 
interest to mental health consumers who rely on these drugs to treat 
their illnesses, as it gives factual information and true stories about 
a large variety of psychiatric drugs. 

The site does not condemn psychiatric medication as such -- the site's 
creator has benefited from some of these drugs in a modest way and she 
knows many others who lead fuller lives thanks to antidepressants or 
antipsychotics.  But she has also witnessed dangerous overuse and misuse

of psychotropic medications, which can exacerbate mental illness and 
cause life-threatening medical problems. 

Referring to a mood stabilizer which worsened a close friend's severe 
diabetes, her endocrinologist said "You can be stable in your grave!"  
Another friend got good results from years of Lithium treatment, but 
now, in her early sixties, she has kidney failure, as well as thyroid 
and parathyroid disease which require surgery -- and every specialist 
she has seen is convinced that the Lithium caused these medical 
conditions.  The young woman who acts in the video on the website was 
given antidepressants and steroids by doctors who did not communicate 
with each other, and she developed psychotic mania and was hospitalized 
for a month on a locked psych unit....and she has no family history of 
severe mental illness and had no personal experience with it aside from 
the kind of painful but common depression which a majority of people 
will experience some time in their lives.  A friend of a friend died at 
age 38 from Lithium toxicity...after years of dangerously high lithium 
levels which his doctor failed to notice but which were plainly visible 
in his medical records.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg...medication errors are 
now among the most common causes of death in the United States.  
Non-life threatening misuse of mild altering drugs has turned our 
schools into dispensers of stimulants, has transformed the mental health

professions into mere pill-pushers who do not offer individualized
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