Latuda, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

Aaaaargh. So, there was this period during the marriage, the divorce and for a while after where I felt like my body was betraying me. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning because everything hurt. I had headaches and this and that, on and off, everyday for years. My period stopped.

I searched for answers and found none. My symptoms didn’t match up with anything. I went to an homeopath and took tests. My epinephrine levels and cortisol levels were through the rough. I was burning my body and my brain and my endocrine system so fast, I was pretty sure I was going to die. I thought I had a brain tumor.

Nobody believed me. Which is fine, because I was acting like a straight up monster. But if you had been inside of my body (hubba hubba…just kidding) at that time, you’d be a little testy, too. I was called a lot of things. But lazy was the big one. Lazy was the frequent one. Lazy was the favorite one.

Turns out, with this many years’ clarity, that it was all caused by one little pill called Latuda. Latuda is a drug prescribed for bipolar depression (I never even had bipolar depression…I was just around my abusers for so long that it felt like depression). I took this pill for years. And it affected my prolactin levels. Prolactin in a hormone put out by the pituitary gland. And in high enough doses, it can feel like, or even create, an autoimmune disease, just like I felt for years. It can wipe out a sex drive. A menstrual cycle. And the worst one, your ovaries. Just chemically sterilize you.

I’m not going to get into this, but chemical sterilization in mental health patients has a long and storied history.

There was nowhere in the medication any warnings about these side effects. Only later did Latuda mention prolactin in ads. Only after I suffered for years and sometimes paid up to $800 a month for this drug that wreaked havoc on my body and irrevocably changed my body.

Was it worth it? No. Not even a little bit. But I was chronically ill and constantly threatened with being institutionalized. So about all I can say is, “I’m still here.”

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