When I have been blocked or censored from internet sites or Facebook pages for voicing an opinion that may not agree with the particular agency, I realize that I must have hit on something that is real and true that those groups or people do not want others to know about.
This censorship is destructive and prohibits progess, learning and collaboration and understanding. This is very disturbing to me especially when this censorship is practiced by those who claim to be neurodivergent and advocate for self expression.
The most recent issue is in regards to an opinion essay written in NOS Magazine which claimed coercion and forced ingestion of a new type of medication and how this will be used to put people in institutions. The author claims that these psychiatric meds will be used with no consent and the side effects will be ignored while the client will be forced to be tracked with the medication.
The scenario that the author describes is far from reality and it is clear the author does not understand how the medication sensor works or how it could be a benefit for those who may choose this type of medication. The author writes from a perspective of paranoia and persecution.
I did reply to NOS Magaine on their Facebook page regarding the essay “Human Rights Lawyer Shain M. Neumeier explains the terrifying implications of Abilify MyCite, a new drug that tracks compliance” and my comment was visible for one day. The magazine editor even replied and stated that they publish point/counter point opinions and gave me information on submitting my counter point. Both of those comments are now removed from the Facebook page and I have been blocked from interacting with that page. My comment that I posted to the NOS Blog post was not approved by the moderator.
If the magazine publishes point/counter point opinions then why do they censor comments that may have a question or concern with what they wrote – particularly when it applies to the neurodivergent population?
My comment on Facebook was clarifying facts about the medication and that monitoring needs to be done for medications, side effects, bodily systems for ANYONE taking these medications – not just for the neurodiverse population. A very different picture than waht Shain M. Neumeier painted.
I am awaiting a response from the editor explaining to me what was offensive and violated thier publishing rules. My expectation is that I will not get a response.
Below is my opinion about this medication and a link to the New York Times article that Shain M. Neumeier referenced also in the NOS Magazine opinion essay.
This is certainly an interesting viewpoint on medication. The presumed restrictions and violations that this author writes regarding issues of “tracking medications” especially for neurodivergent people, seems absurd to me.
This is not about “forcing” people to take medications against their consent, or to cause people to experience undue side-effects. When taking these medications, people need to be monitored – no matter what “type” of person you are. This is one such tool that can be used – by choice – for those who desire it.
Many medications are monitored with blood levels to ensure that the person has at least a therapeutic range and certainly that they do not have toxic blood levels of a certain medications- not just medications that are prescribed for mental health issues. Other illnesses may be monitored by a variety of blood tests – glucose, red blood cells, platelets, ammonia, potassium, magnesium – just to name a few bodily functions that are monitored when taking medications. Again, this has NOTHING to do with being neurotypical or not – it has to do with being a human being and taking medications responsibily and appropriately to receive the best benefit.
In fact, many people may not even be aware that they have toxic levels of medications in their system and these monitoring tests are used to assess a person’s health and well being.
Also this author is assuming that this monitoring is “involuntary” – that is not necessarily the case. In fact, I had a patient once who requested to have surveillance of his medication administration to ensure that he was taking it correctly because he had stopped his medication and experienced psychotic episodes. He didn’t want that to happen again and wanted to stay out of the hospital. This was a method that worked for him. Again, it was his choice to have this electronic monitoring done of his medications.
Read the article regarding Abilify MyCite as referenced in the NOS article. Below are a couple of quotes –
“Patients who agree to take the digital medication, a version of the antipsychotic Abilify, can sign consent forms allowing their doctors and up to four other people, including family members, to receive electronic data showing the date and time pills are ingested.
A smartphone app will let them block recipients anytime they change their mind. Although voluntary, the technology is still likely to prompt questions about privacy and whether patients might feel pressure to take medication in a form their doctors can monitor.”
It is odd that a medication that is used primarily for schizophrenia has this digital technology and it may not be the optimal population for this. The article also addresses this issue.
“Asked whether it might be used in circumstances like probation or involuntary hospitalization, Otsuka officials said that was not their intention or expectation, partly because Abilify MyCite only works if patients want to use the patch and app”.
Some people will welcome this additional tool to help them remember to take their medication – others don’t need that reminder or would not want to use it. That is their choice.
This could also be a useful tool to ensure that the caregivers are providing the medication as prescribed. I know that my son lived in a facility in which the nurses signed off on medications they say they administered. I questioned them many times since my son was not recieving the expected and intended benefit of the medications which then led to more complications, stronger and more medications being prescribed. Finally, after he moved out and some of his conditions improved dramatically (the new caregivers were administering the medications appropriately) I requested the dispensed records from pharmacy, I realized that I was correct in my concern.
Such a system as with the Abilify MyCite would have picked up the extreme medication errors that my son experienced.