A Pilbara Panoptic

Views through the cyclone screens

Posts Tagged ‘SSRI’

Pills and Bills in the Pilbara

Posted by MugPunter on February 2, 2009

What a shame it is to follow the feel-good story about Slumdog Millionaire with a whinge about pharmacueticals and the cost of going to the doctor in some places.  (I know, I’m lucky that there is a doctor to go to and lucky that I can afford to pay the bill, and lucky to live in a country where the taxpayer subsidises it.)  I went to a certain medical center in the Pilbara, Western Australia, which doesn’t need naming, a couple of days ago just for a script renewal.  I must have been in there for five minutes at the most.  The cost was $98 (that’s 3033 Indian Rupees for those who want to know), which they insisted be paid before going in to see the doctor.  There’s a notice pinned up at the reception desk telling everyone that the center hasn’t had any price increases for two years previously.  Rather amusingly, I thought, there were also numerous notices pinned up around the reception desk and waiting room, which I don’t remember seeing on my last visit, proclaiming that any abuse of staff at the center wouldn’t be tolerated.

What annoys me even more is the silliness of having to go to a doctor when there’s nothing wrong with me, just to get a piece of paper so that I can legally purchase drugs that I’m only really taking because of the withdrawl symptoms I experience if I stop.  (The taxpayer subsidises pharmaceuticals here too, by the way.)  A few years ago, a doctor put me on these SSRIs because he thought my sleeping problems had something to do with anxiety and/or depression.  My guess is that my day-night continuous shift roster has more to do with it.  Anyway, after missing a couple of days of the pills I experienced the withdrawl symptoms which SSRI takers, as I later learned from the internet, know as “brain shake”.  I wish I’d known about this beforehand.  Isn’t this the same as what illegal drug dealers do?  The pharma corporations are on a good screw here if you ask me.  And do you think you can find a doctor who recommends weaning oneself off these things?  One doctor I saw was almost visibly excited when I told her that I was taking them.  “Happy pills”, she called them!

One wonders what percentage of the total amount spent on doctors and pharmaceuticals in Australia, by individuals and the taxpayer alike,  might be put to better use.  And just out of interest, does anyone know why there doesn’t appear to be nearly as many anxiety or depression sufferers in Dharavi, Mumbai?


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