Death By Side Effect

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About Carl Pettit

Carl Pettit is a writer, illustrator and musician whose education and travels have taken him all over the world. When not out exploring, or pondering the universe, he finds time to produce fiction for both adults and children. You can catch up with him on his blog, or twitter.


  1. I get upset whenever I see ads for anti psychotic drugs like Abilify and Zyprexa being marketed for people with depression. I have a family member who is schizophrenic, and takes these drugs to control her delusions and hallucinations. In her case, they are life savers. But they come at a terrible cost, including metabolic changes that put her at risk of diabetes and have contributed to her weight gain of over 100 pounds in just a couple years. She’s also had neurological side effects. Personally, I’ve suffered from episodes of major depression so I know what a struggle it is to find relief. But the VAST majority of people with depression do NOT need powerful antipsychotic meds. These drugs are not in the same class as normal antidepressants like Prozac or Wellbutrin (which are also powerful drugs that I believe may be over prescribed, but that’s another issue)…. Abilify, Zyprexa and other antipsychotics are very, veryserious meds. If they were marketing the drugs for people with psychosis I’d have fewer problems with it — in fact, such a marketing campaign might be almost a public service to encourage psychotic people to take their meds, which is a good thing. But truly psychotic people are not a profitable demographic. They are too sick, too marginalized, and often living on disability or other public assistance and lack health insurance. People with middle-of-the-road depression, on the other hand — ka-ching!! These are the people the drug companies want. They are people who are suffering but who are functional and they have access to doctors and insurance to pay for these meds. Many depressed people become disappointed with standard SSRI’s — they really aren’t a miracle cure. They don’t fix the underlying issues that contribute to depression. But many people still hold out hope for the silver bullet pill that will stop their emotional pain so they are very vulnerable to this kind of misleading advertising.

  2. It's all relative says:

    And always good to keep in mind is that side effects of drugs are so named and marketed in that manner because they do not represent the desired effect of why the drug is being prescribed/marketed. In reality there are no “side effects”. They are all effects of the drug.


  1. [...] Pettit writes at the Good Men Project: I’ve noticed over the years how commercials have become longer and louder, and how the number of [...]

  2. [...] Pettit writes at the Good Men Project: I’ve noticed over the years how commercials have become longer and louder, and how the number of [...]

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