Akathesia is no big deal, right?

10mg Haldol Tablet

10mg Haldol Tablet

Let’s say you go into the emergency room, screaming in pain. You let the doctor know that there are drugs that will help you, but, unfortunately, like many pain drugs, they also are abused by some, so the ER doesn’t want to give you those drugs (another part of our war on drugs that has collateral damage – but heck, it’s only sick and disabled people, so who cares – we’re supposedly making a difference in drug addition, after all, and sacrificing the sick and disabled is worth that [yes, sarcasm]).

Then you make a mistake. You mention a past mental diagnosis – you know, something like autism. But it could have been any number of other labels – depression, anxiety, OCD, MPD, PTSD, etc. After all, you assume that they are asking all these medical questions of your past to help you, right? No, they’re trying to label you. And once crazy, always crazy. Even if complaining about something completely unrelated to crazy. Like pain.

But, with this new information, the ER staff says, “Oh, he’s crazy. That’s why he’s screaming. We need to calm him down.” NOT “we need to relieve his pain.”

Maybe they do some tests (more on that in a bit) on the off chance they are wrong. But while waiting for those results, let’s get the person to quit screaming. Now there are two ways of doing that: we can actually treat the complaint or we can do some other random shit. Treating the complaint is boring medicine. So let’s do random other shit.

Let’s say the person I’m describing above was given Haldol and told it was “for pain”. No, it was to sedate and shut him up. But crazy people don’t need to give consent, right? The result of this was a significant bought of akathesia – basically the person wanted to die right then and there. In other words, the Haldol made him crazy. But of course that’s not what that’s seen like – what it’s seen like is they need more sedation, not that they are having a bad reaction to Haldol (despite bad reactions being common – more on that later, too). Crazy people act crazy. It’s self evident. Oh, not just crazy. But also drug seeking probably because they are an abuser. Lots of crazy people are, after all.

And don’t even think about telling them it makes you react bad. The only reason you’ve been given Haldol is because you’re crazy, and just saying you don’t need or want it – or that it does bad shit to you – is proof you need it. Great, huh? Don’t believe me? Read M.D.O.D., which I quote:

If I read on the triage sheet that you are “allergic to haldol” I will duck and dodge and try not to see you. If someone has given you haldol you are either schizophrenic, in which case you need it or something like it and it’s really too bad you are allergic to it, OR, you are a freak, and one time when you were completely bat-shit crazy in the E.D. six people held you down and you got a nice intramuscular injection of this neuroleptic drug. You didn’t like it because it made you shut the fuck up and feel unpleasant hence you tell people you are allergic to it. No worries though, I’ve got more up my sleeve if you freak-out again. Lot’s more, but I’m not saying what so you can’t tell me you are “allergic” to it. Haldol, if you are crazy it makes you sane, if you are sane it makes you crazy. Beautiful.

Really, that’s a doctor posting something I think he thinks is funny and amusing. Clearly he hasn’t experienced the side-effects, nor does he see his patients as even remotely human. I wish this type of doctor was rare, but it’s not.

On those side-effects, read about one form of the drug. If you’re not willing to give someone a painkiller in the ER because of possible risk of bad things happening (contributing to drug abuse), why the heck would you give this, when you don’t have a patient relationship and the ability to monitor? Simple: They are crazy and you don’t give a fuck.

Of course that Haldol causes akathesia isn’t particularly new news. Here’s a 1984 study – yes, 30 years ago – 40% of patients experienced akathesia within 6 hours of a single dose. Within 7 days, 75% did. And it was severe – life threatening – akathesia in many cases. And for many people, NOTHING could treat the akathesia. Really about all you can do is sedate, wait for the drug to leave the bloodstream, and maybe restraint so they don’t act on their strong desire to die. That the doctor caused. The best quote in the abstract? “We believe these tallies to be important because akathisia causes much misery and often goes undiagnosed.”

But of course if you’re a hospital giving people Haldol and then walking them out the door, and the person kills themself a few hours later, that’s because they were crazy. You tried to help, after all.

I probably should take a minute and define akathesia. It’s life threatening – see this British Medical Journal case study (also drug induced, as are most cases of akathesia). Akathesia is hyper-arousal, typically also accompanied with severe restlessness and inability to sit still. This is seen as craziness of course. Unfortunately, much of the writing talks about akathesia being “uncomfortable”. It’s not uncomfortable. It’s life threatening. It can be the worst anxiety you’ve ever experienced. That’s not a comfortable thing – you just want it to stop.

Of course akathesia isn’t the only side effect of these drugs (and Haldol isn’t the only one, nor are newer drugs significantly different in side-effects, despite the best attempts of marketing to say otherwise).

Oh, the thing that they initially treated with Haldol? For the person I’m basing this article on – with many personal details changed – one of those “long shot” tests came back. Meningitis.

Haldol is not a treatment for meningitis. And the person’s symptoms were consistent with meningitis. But the Haldol nearly killed the person prior to getting proper treatment for meningitis. But until a supposed crazy person can prove their illness has nothing to do with being crazy, everything is because they are crazy. Everything. And they’re a drug seeker too.

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