Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Saw my first TV ad for a schizophrenia medication today

I always said I’d know that stigma of schizophrenia had lessened when I saw my first ad for schizophrenia medication. Well, I saw my first one today for Caplyta. It was a bit anticlimactic.

Oddly it seemed to be aimed at “consumers” not caregivers. I’d watched a progression from “add-ons” to depression medications which were also antipsychotics to bipolar “depression” medications (also antipsychotics) to tardive dyskinesia medication to this one. Not sure how to feel about this.

Thoughts?

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I saw that today, too. Was watching TV with my son, and was wondering what his reaction would be. He has been told both that he has schizophrenia and that he doesn’t (he does have auditory hallucinations, which have improved), and is not on any medications. He smirked a little when they read out the long list of side effects, though to be fair it seems like every single medication for any condition sounds like it will kill you on the spot.

I think this is actually the second time I’ve seen an ad for an antipsychotic - the first one I saw featured two young women in a car having a conversation about schizophrenia. In the ad, IIRC, they were both diagnosed? Maybe it was just one of them.

At any rate, I kind of like that these ads are aimed at consumers, and I liked the normalization and exposure, showing people doing normal everyday things.

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How does your son’s auditory hallucinations improved without any medication? My son also has voice but refuse to take medication. I am worry about him every day.

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He started hearing voices a little over 2 years ago now. 2018 was really rough. But slowly over the last two years, he’s improved and figured out ways to cope. He would think of a sentence and focus on it, trying to hear his own voice in his head, drowning out the other voices. It took awhile and didn’t always work at first, but now he can push them away more easily, even with just a light humming. I suppose it’s a form of meditation in a way.

He said for a long time he felt like he couldn’t hear his own true voice in his thoughts, and he felt meds (which he tried for very short times, like 3 weeks and 1 week) just made him feel like that but more so. Like for him they didn’t banish the voices, but just made him too lethargic to fight them.

I wouldn’t say he’s out of the woods, and I do feel like his moods and behaviors are a bit cyclical, but right now he’s in a good phase. His mood is upbeat, and he’s funny again. His sleep patterns are still pretty messed up and he doesn’t have much in the way of a social life. But then neither does anybody else right now. :smirk:

As to whether he truly has schizophrenia or not - I’m really not sure. He obviously has something, and he has been in the hospital twice out of state, where they immediately diagnosed him with Sz, but I did feel it was more of a checklist sort of thing - you hear voices, therefore you have it. He went to a FEP program nearer home and they were less sure, finally diagnosing him with a less severe sort of psychotic disorder. I’ve come to believe that it’s all the same thing, but on a spectrum, like autism. Coincidentally (or not), both he and I believe he’s got Asperger’s, as well.

Weirdly, the ad that prompted this post is on right this minute, on MSNBC, ha ha.

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Thank you for sharing your son’s story. My son never want to admit that he has voice which make me more concerned.

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Saw a new one today for Fanapt. It depicted two attractive and put together women in a ride share going to an art opening and seeing an ad for the drug on a bus shelter. They mention experiencing voices at college and paranoia in an urban environment and say they are doing much better now. The tag line was “The good thing to know is we’re not alone.”

I teared up on the tag line. That’s the one thing I wanted to hear as I started recovery. It wasn’t until I saw Elyn Saks’ TED talk that I’d heard of anyone with an experience anything close to mine. The ad seemed a bit fanciful and contrived and targeted at higher functioning people with SZ, but I like that these ads are portraying a spectrum of people and experiences and normalizing them.

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Here’s a copy of the ad on YouTube:

Disappointed in the stigmatization in the comment section. Would respond, but I kind of feel “what’s the point?” I suppose that’s why the drug manufacturers don’t post official versions of these ads.

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My daughter has done well on the anti-psychotic Abilify (when she takes it). This has been advertised on TV as a “top up” for depression. Pretty weird.

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Yes, Abilify was advertised as an add-on to antidepressants for quite a while, then they mentioned it as a treatment for “bipolar depression” (as opposed to disorder), and then the patent ran out and ‘poof’ the ads disappeared. Vralar (made by the same company as Abilify) took over and started to amplify the manic part of “bipolar depression” and Latuda chimed in.

Even though these are all antipsychotics, they’ve avoided mentioning Schizophrenia until these new medications came along. Still no mention of schizoaffective disorder, my guess is they’ll avoid the word disorder completely and either not bother to make a distinction or come up with a euphemism.

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Yes! That’s the one I was trying to think of before! Thanks for posting the video.

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