In her 1984 boot camp graduation photo, Adrienne Fitts is smiling. Her hair is neatly groomed, her Navy cap and dress whites are spotless and she is regulation fit and trim.
Flash forward to 2001. Fitts, now a retired Gulf War veteran, struggles with a mental illness called schizoaffective disorder. She is 90 pounds heavier and has developed type 2 diabetes. She is certain her regimen of antipsychotic drugs ("there are so many") caused the diabetes as well as high blood pressure.
In April 2006, Adrienne Fitts suffers a stroke……
"Twenty-five percent of people in a primary care practice have a psychiatric illness," says Wayne Katon, M.D., vice chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral science at the University of Washington School of Medicine…….
Patients have options, Goplerud says. "Talk to your physician about other medicines that might be used."
Speaking up is vital to your mental health…….
Fear of the stigma of mental illness can keep patients from speaking up, says Chris Koyanagi, policy director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Some "are reluctant to tell primary care doctors about their psychiatric medicines: 'I just don't want my regular doctor to know.'"…….