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Aripiprazole Shortage in the UK

By HealthNo Comments
Aripiprazole 5mg Box

Aripiprazole is an antipsychotic medication that prevents visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations.

It is a medication I use to prevent auditory hallucinations, that is to say that it prevents me from hearing things that are not there – including bleeping sounds of the Microwave, Washer and my cats meowing.

I went to pick up my prescription from the Chemist this week to discover that there is a national (in the UK) shortage of Aripiprazole in the 10mg and 5mg strengths.

It started several months ago with a shortage of the 10mg strength, so I was switched to the 5mg strength. Now they are also in short supply. My Chemist wasn’t able to tell me the reason why or when this shortage is likely to be resolved.

My daily dose is 20mg of Aripiprazole so my GP has ordered me the 15mg strength and advised me to use the last of my 5mg strength to make up the dose. This will last me a couple of weeks, whilst he awaits for further information.

If this goes on for several months, then there will be no option but to switch me to a different antipsychotic medication. The thought is anxiety provoking. Aripiprazole is a 2nd Generation antipsychotic. Others in the category include Quetiapine and Olanzapine, both of which have side effects including being highly sedative and weight gain. Plus I’ve been on large dosages of Quetiapine without good effect.

For now I will have to wait and see what happens. My mental stability depends on me being on the right medication to balance my neurotransmitters.

Write soon,


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Mental Health Focus: Treatment & Recovery

By HealthNo Comments

Each week throughout January I’ve written a Mental Health Focus to help #EndTheStigma around mental health and to encourage others to talk openly and honestly about their own mental health. These posts have been partly inspired by Ruby Wax’s TED Talk (see 5 Brilliant TED Talks About Mental Health) and partly by the Time To Change Campaign.

In this blog post I want to write about treatment options and discuss recovery.

Treatment Options
Treatment options vary depending on the individual, but may include:

  • Medications – such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety, mood stabilisers, antipsychotics or other medications to manage associated symptoms (such as sedatives in the short term to help a person sleep if they have been suffering with insomnia). This may be one medication or a combination of different medications.
  • Talking Therapies – such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling or psychotherapy.
  • A combination of medication(s) and talking therapies.

Treatments maybe prescribed by a GP or by the GP making a referral on to services that provide Talking Therapies. For most people they will be treated in their community.

Only people with severely poor mental health, usually where they are deemed a risk to themselves or others maybe treated as an inpatient on a hospital ward. This hospital admission might be on a voluntary basis or by sectioning someone under the Mental Health Act (1983).

This is what the Mental Health Foundation write about recovery:

In mental health, recovery does not always refer to the process of complete recovery from a mental health problem in the way that we may recover from a physical health problem.

What is recovery?
For many people, the concept of recovery is about staying in control of their life despite experiencing a mental health problem. Professionals in the mental health sector often refer to the ‘recovery model’ to describe this way of thinking.
Putting recovery into action means focusing care on supporting recovery and building the resilience of people with mental health problems, not just on treating or managing their symptoms.

There is no single definition of the concept of recovery for people with mental health problems, but the guiding principle is hope – the belief that it is possible for someone to regain a meaningful life, despite serious mental illness. Recovery is often referred to as a process, outlook, vision, conceptual framework or guiding principle.

(From: Mental Health Foundation, Last Accessed: 31st December 2014.)

I have recovered from past episodes of poor mental health, as have other people I know. Although I have recovered from these episodes, I know that I have to keep a close eye on my mental and emotional health.

Some people have more difficulty with recovery than others. My hope is that as medical research improves our understanding of how the brain functions, this will improve our treatments of mental health conditions – meaning people with mental health conditions will suffer less, that it will be easier for them to recover and that they will spend more of their lives in recovery.

This is my last Mental Health Focus blog post. I’m sure that as time goes on, I’ll write about mental health again. How do you manage your own mental and emotional health? Leave a comment below.

And remember…
If you are experiencing an episode of poor mental health, two useful websites are: Mind and SANE. If you are feeling suicidal please visit your nearest A&E Department for crisis support.

Blog soon,



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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Book Review: Gaysia – Adventures in the Queer East by Benjamin Law

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Gay, ReviewsNo Comments
gaysia-benjamin-law-book-cover Journalist Benjamin Law is an Australian with Asian roots. In Gaysia, he takes us on a tour of Asia showing us all things gay across the continent.

Benjamin with his warm and engaging writers voice takes us to: Bali to meet the money boys and explore the cheap tourist destination; Thailand to see the world of trans Lady Boys in Miss Tiffany’s Beauty Pageant; China to interview gay men and lesbian women who often marry one another; Japan to explore the explosion of non-sexual Drag Queens on TV and the underground lesbian subculture; Malaysia to meet Christian and Muslim fundamentalists who claim they can cure homosexuality; Myanmar were HIV positive people are so poor that only one in five can get life saving treatment; India to interview people in the LGBT rights movement and to meet a man that claims he can cure homosexuality with yoga.

Benjamin’s description is perfect, covering the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and sensations of each place and experience. This makes the reader feel that they are sharing his adventure from start to finish. Benjamin documents his observations and interviews well; but for the majority of the book he holds back from experiencing first-hand what it is like to be gay in the countries that he visits. Whereas it wouldn’t have been practical or appropriate in some countries, it would have been great to see Benjamin dressed as a Drag Queen in an attempt to get on Japanese TV. Benjamin does make up for this, by attending his first Pride in India in the final chapter of the book. It would have been pleasing if he had included some glossy photos in the book of places he’d visited and possibly people he’d met.

Gaysia starts with relatively light-hearted subject matter but quickly moves on to more heavy subject matter. Emotive subjects such as: the lack of civil rights, the lack of access to HIV medications and gay cures all gave a negative impression of being gay in Asia. But this is a real and honest account of what being gay in Asia means, and was usually told to him by the gay people of Asia he interviewed.

Gaysia is travel writing, but not a holiday guidebook. Instead it is a captivating in depth look at Asian societies, cultures and subcultures of the gay sexual minority group. Gaysia is educational, enlightening and a must read for anyone whose interested in travelling to the Asian continent to experience gay Asia or anyone who loves Asian culture, food or places.

Gaysia is available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,



I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:

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