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Is psychiatric medication of seniors too casual?

Posted by Squiggles on August 21, 2006, at 11:26:17

I am concerned about the number of
tranquillizers and antidepressants
that are being liberally prescribed
to octagenerians. At this age, people
become concerned and frightened by
symptoms which they interpret as
morbid. Everyone is afraid of death.
However, the ADs and tranquillizers
may cause further withdrawals or
side effects, especially when drs. are
not there to oversee how they are taken,
if they are forgotten, whether there is
withdrawal or overdose, if motor skills
are watched, etc. I am not talking about
Alzheimer's and such degenerative diseases
of old age.

The word of the doctor is like the word
or God for some seniors who have multiple
disabilities, and there is not much I can
do as a simple layman when I *see* what
the doctors do not - e.g. withdrawal confused
for brain tumour, car accidents from
sedative-induced sleepiness, etc.

I am not suggesting that all doctors are
ignorant, but I fear that the laissez-faire
attitude of some in prescribing psychiatric
drugs at this age, amounts to a pacifier
for whaqt are legitimate complaints of the human
condition, near the end of life.

I hope doctors get a course in geriatric
medicine. Maybe Dr. Bob can open up
a file here.

Thanks for reading.





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