Personal blog of Dr Alex Mendelsohn

Tag: newblogpost

Previous article clarifications

The blog post discusses Alex’s experience as a psychiatric patient and their past experience as a physics researcher. They express concern about readers misinterpreting their writing as advice and clarify that they are not in a position to make recommendations. The post revisits and clarifies statements made in previous articles about the psychiatric system, particularly a Physics World article and a Lithium Story article.

In the Physics World article, Alex discusses their frustrations with the psychiatric system compared to the scientific rigour in physics. They acknowledge that their emotional state at the time influenced their writing, leading to oversimplification of complex issues. Alex clarifies certain statements made in the article, specifically regarding psychotropic drugs treating symptoms and the difficulty in diagnosing patients based solely on symptoms.

In the Lithium Story article, Alex discusses their experience with taking lithium as part of their treatment. They clarify certain points, including the dosing regimen they found most effective, their decision to trial lithium over other medications, and their concerns about potential renal effects. Alex also emphasizes that they are no longer taking lithium but found it helpful during their treatment journey.

Throughout the blog post, Alex emphasizes the importance of clear and precise language, drawing a comparison between the clarity in physics literature and the ambiguities they encountered in some psychiatric research papers.

Alex invites feedback and criticism, acknowledging their limited knowledge of psychiatry and their ongoing recovery as a mental health patient. They encourage constructive input with proper citations and references to support claims.

One of my worries when writing articles about the psychiatric system is that a reader will interpret arguments I make as a form of advice. I want to make clear I am not in the position to make any recommendations. I write from my current experience as a patient and past experience as a physics researcher to hopefully add a few insights where psychiatric research, lived experience and physics meet.

So, when someone seemingly mis-read and mis-interpreted my Lithium Story article, I was a little distressed. I re-read the opening paragraph of my article. While I was telling a story of my opinions at the time, I could see how it might have been possible to interpret it as a recommendation for twice daily dosing. This was not my intention. I am not against once daily dosing.

I realised this was an opportunity to look back and clarify past statements I have made in both my Physics World and Lancet Psychiatry articles.

Continue reading

Last winter I decided to disregard GMT and stay at BST: why isn’t this a thing yet?!

The blog post describes the experience of dealing with the time shift that happens twice a year due to daylight saving time. Alex decided to stick to British Summer Time (BST) and adjust half of the clocks in their house to GMT, instead of adjusting their medication schedule. Initially confusing, Alex became accustomed to this change and felt that their mood was significantly better due to the later daylight hours of BST. Alex argues that year-round daylight saving time could be a better option than switching back and forth between BST and GMT.

There are very few upsides to living with a severe mental illness. One of them is quite a bit of free time. Previous times the clocks have gone back have been a nuisance to me. Especially since I started taking antidepressants. For whatever reason, my brain is very sensitive to the time I take them. If I take my dose late, even by only half an hour, my reality is thrown from side to side like a ship in rough seas.

To be taken safely, my medications have to be taken a set time apart (therefore at fixed intervals in the day). This means that twice a year the time I take my medication shifts by an hour each day. Why don’t you take your medication at the same time all year round? I hear you ask…

Continue reading