Compulsive Behavior Side Effects?

More often than not we hear or read about me discussing taking personal responsibility and being personally held accountable for our words and actions. This post won’t be any different. I found it humorous that I was sent the link to the below information and shortly after reading it I heard a damn commercial for the same thing. Odd what we hear on the radio @ 02:30 am while driving my happy ass to work. Anyone, I would assume, who watches television or listens to the radio has seen or heard at least one Ambilify commercial. True or not? Having a son who suffers from mild bipolar disorder we have been bombarded with samples and prescription answers which will somehow magically transform behavior. I tell you from my personal experience, we don’t use my son for a testing ground so big pharmaceuticals can make their billions at the cost of my son’s mental well-being. So, when I saw this bullshit about the lawsuit towards the makers of Ambilify I merely smiled to myself because we all know there is not one single perfect medication with no side effects. While my son has never taken Ambilify, we did research it extensively, just as we have done with many others.

But why are we here right now? But why did I choose to write about it right now? It’s simple, this is another example of people who cannot be responsible for their own actions. It’s about people who blame someone else for their own behavior because they acted without self control. It’s because people want the quick fix. It’s about people who choose to not read the small print or they choose to ignore the small print. Yes, I find this lawsuit as being fucking stupid because people made bad choices but don’t want to take responsibility for their own decisions. But then we know in our society nobody is forced to be held accountable, it’s always somebody else at fault. Bullshit! If we fuck up we just sue someone because we can profit from our lack of responsibility. Or have we forgot that coffee from a fast food joint is extremely hot and will burn the fuck out out your crotch if you spill it? People are dumbasses. Let this be yet just one more example.

The following information was originally found here and provided by a leading contributor to The Scorpion Army. I don’t have any express or otherwise permissions to copy this story from the above linked website or to use it on my blog as part of a post which includes my personal opinion. Hopefully they understand I do not support the lawsuit efforts but do not hold the above website responsible for posting this story. In the end, if they wish that I remove it in part or completely it will happen swiftly and immediately. The two pictures were borrowed from the internet using Google. Remember, I neither gain or loose anything by sharing the following information, it’s just being shared because I found it truly interesting.

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Abilify has been linked to compulsive behavior side effects, such as pathological gambling, binge eating and hypersexuality. These behaviors are thought to be triggered by the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

One of the most popular treatments for a variety of mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,  makes billions for Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company. It was the top-selling drug in the U.S. in 2013 with sales of over $6.4 billion. The drug works by either increasing or decreasing dopamine or serotonin in the brain when there is an imbalance, and this makes it useful for a variety of approved and unapproved uses.

However, the drug is also linked to disturbing compulsive behavior side effects that can wreak havoc on the lives of patients and their families.

Among these side effects, compulsive or pathological gambling can be financially crippling, and it can destroy lives. People in the grip of compulsive behaviors will do anything they can to continue the chosen activity, even if it means ignoring the rest of their lives and withdrawing from friends and family.

This side effect in particular may lead to lawsuits against Bristol-Myers and Otsuka America, claiming the companies did not properly warn patients and doctors of this serious side effect.

In addition, reports of other side effects include compulsive eating, shopping and even sex addiction.

How Abilify Causes Compulsive Behavior

While doctors aren’t exactly sure how Abilify (aripiprazole) works, they believe it acts on receptors in the brain for chemicals that regulate mood and behavior. These chemicals are neurotransmitters called dopamine and serotonin.

handful of medications

When the dopamine system is stimulated in response to a particular activity, people will feel a high from it or a feeling of pleasure. This reward system normally ensures that we continue to eat and do other things we need to do to survive. In people with mental disorders, these systems are stimulated excessively, or not enough.

Researchers think Abilify may over-stimulate dopamine reward receptors in the brain – called dopamine 3 (D3) receptors – and trigger compulsive behavior.

Compulsive Gambling

Several case studies focused on a connection between aripiprazole and compulsive behavior, also called pathological behavior, especially in the case of gambling. One French study published in 2013 by Gaboriau, et al., examined several people who checked into a clinic because of their compulsive gambling behaviors. Study authors looked at eight individuals who took Abilify as part of ongoing medical treatment. Researchers found the drug caused seven of the eight patients to lose control of their gambling habits.

After discontinuing the drug or greatly reducing the dose, patients regained control of their compulsive behaviors, researchers wrote.

Another 2011 case study by Cohen, et al. found similar results in patients treated for schizophrenia. No patients in this study had a history of pathological gambling. Soon after taking the drug, they began gambling uncontrollably.

Similarly, a 2011 British study conducted by the National Problem Gambling Clinic found a relationship between Abilify and the drive to gamble in some patients. Doctors described one case in which a patient took the antipsychotic and “was preoccupied with thoughts of gambling and his gambling activity became both impulsive and involved extensive planning in obtaining funds to gamble, including the use of crime.”

Another patient said gambling became “a reason to live” after he took the drug.

In all cases, gambling problems resolved after discontinuing Abilify and switching to another drug.

Just Playing With My Pachinko Balls

pachinko

Say it, pachinko, say it real slow so it just rolls off your tongue, pachinko. Now your asking, what’s pachinko (パチンコ) and why am I saying it? The overly simple description pachinko is that it’s a Japanese vertical pinball game. The rules are simple, shiny silver balls are fired from the top before cascading down through series of pins tumbling downward, most balls would disappear while a few may got into special holes that activates slot machines. The goal of the game is to gain more balls which can be exchanged for prizes. The operation of the game is actually really mechanical leaving the player with very little to do except defining the speed and rate the balls are fired upwards into play. It truly is a game of luck.

What does any of this have to do with me personally? Good question. I’m very glad you asked. Before I lived in Japan I had never seen a pachinko machine or pachinko parlor. Unless you count the pachinko game they would play on occasion on The Price Is Right way back when. However, the exterior of the pachinko parlors around where I lived reminded me of times I had visited Reno and Las Vegas which meant one of two things, casino or strip club. I had driven by a few pachinko parlors for the first year or so of living in northern Japan and never had an interest in finding out what was really going on inside these always packed 24/7 buildings. Biggest reason was money, we were poor and didn’t have spare money to go and gamble away.

One day that all changed, I had been out walking around an area called Green Pole Road which was basically an array of small shops, restaurants, and open farmers market. It had a mix of many things depending on what mood you were in. It was also host to most of the festivals and parades that came through Misawa. Anyway, I heard the noise of the pachinko parlor around the corner ahead of where I was walking. So, I decided to poke my head in and check out what pachinko was. The very first thing that alarms one’s senses is that it is freaking unbelievably loud. I can’t even dream up a way to describe how loud it was, just very loud, trust me I listen to heavy metal cranked up to the max, I know loud. No time to stand in the door tho, I was brushed ahead and seated immediately, seems I was blocking traffic while I was looking for the 4 seconds I stopped.

pachinko-balls

I had some Yen so I decided what could it hurt. I was shown how to play and away we went. I was sitting only a matter of 10 minutes when lights, bells, whistles, and a cascade of balls made a noise so deafening that it made my whole body vibrate. Immediately an attendant came by with small plastic tray to be used to fill up with the balls. This went on for a few minutes and then as fast as it began it was over, except I had over 70 plastic trays packed full with shiny chrome balls. Now what? Exactly what I was thinking. Soon enough another attendant pushed through and began stacking the trays of balls into a flatbed dolly. He pulls my arm and was telling me something I couldn’t even hear. So, I just followed him to the cashier. The dumped all of my winnings into a counter, not unlike a machine that will count/sort change, and when it was all done it spit out a ticket with the quantity of balls. How many was it, don’t know exactly, but is was an assload of them for sure.

Then one guy, resembling the way an auctioneer would move his hands fast and talk fast, started showing me everything I could trade my winnings for. Start with a cheap plastic lighter and work your way up to some high dollar houses with every appliance, car, food, drink, tobacco product, known to man up for grabs. I guess I had a look on my face that I was interested in any of the exchange prizes so I was handed my ticket and walked out the front door. Before I could even begin to wonder what just happened another man leads me to the building next door. The reality of it is we went down the alley and stopped at a very nondescript door where we waited for a few moments before the small window opened. The receipt was taken from my hand and handed to someone I could not see, then the window closed. After a few minutes the window opened and the hand shoved out a plastic bag in my direction. The guy outside takes the bag and shoves it inside my jacket and points for me to go.

When I looked in the bag I saw it was full of money, allot of money. How much? Well, when I went to the credit union and did the currency exchange I was given just shy of $6500.00. Oddly enough I had only spent under $25.00 playing the game. After some checking I found out while there was all the cloak and dagger secrecy, gambling for cash is illegal in Japan. But, gambling for prizes is not, nor is selling your receipt (for a cut I found out). That would the first and last time I went to a pachinko parlor to gamble. However, when my parents came over for their visit I did take my dad, he won as well, but only a couple of hundred dollars. Oddly enough I don’t like gambling, I can think of a zillion different things I “should” be doing with my money, like paying bills. So, there you go, a little deeper into my life in Japan. I have many tales to tell about Japan, it was a very fascinating place to live, work, and raise a family.

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