Tom Cruise uncontrollable

A while back, I wrote about Tom Cruise and how Scientology has warped his brain, as evidenced by his interview with Matt Lauer. Now, via Black Triangle, I've found another version of the transcript, which I like much better. I think the pictures add so much to the transcript of the interview, don't you?


  1. OK, Orac, you're a doctor, so you might know this one. Cruise kept calling anti-depressants and Ritalin and such "anti-psychotics". My understanding is that anti-psychotics are drugs like Haldol and Thorazine. Other drugs like Zoloft, Ritalin, and even Lithium are not anti-psychotics.

    And last I knew, for a lot of non-psychiatric drugs they don't monitor blood levels, and for some psychiatric drugs they do (lithium), so why was he going on about blood level for Ritalin like that was some sort of damning evidence?

  2. Because he has no clue what he is talking about?

  3. i'm not a doctor, but i have some second-hand experience with the psych industry. (i.e., i've had occasion to visit my spouse in a locked ward, and might yet have to again.)

    most antidepressants in most applications are not antipsychotic. (in fact i don't think any of them are, but since i'm not a doctor i'd better hedge.) there's been some experimenting with off-label use for most of the common psychotropics, and some of it has been quite successful, so it wouldn't surprise me if someone out there was taking an antipsychotic for depression alone, even if the FDA hasn't actually blessed such a use as yet.

    once an off-label usage gets promoted to regular, on-label status, however, it can get hard to define just what pigeonhole a drug falls in. depakote (valproate) used to be an anticonvulsant (epilepsy drug) until off-label use proved it effective for bipolar disorder, and now it's one of the most common mood stabilizers as well; so which category do we put it in?

    lithium blood levels are monitored because therapeutic doses of that are fairly close to liver-toxic levels, i believe. also, its mental side effects vary greatly with dosage, so you want to stick to the lowest effective dose to improve quality of life; hence constant monitoring.

    i've never heard of anyone having blood levels of ritalin (or any other stimulant) monitored. i'm not sure how that would be practical, since most of the stimulants don't really accumulate in the system; a dose of them tends to "wear out" within hours, not days. i suppose it's possible, but stimulants for treating ADD/ADHD really seem like a fairly "tame" therapy as the psychoactives go. they have far fewer side-effects, far clearer benefits, and far easier withdrawal symptoms than (for example) many of the antidepressants, or even some of the antipsychotics.

    (thorazine, by the way, isn't used much these days. it has too many side effects, and has been replaced by newer drugs like risperdal and zyprexa. those still have issues of their own - many patients hate them, and not without reason - but they aren't nearly as bad as thorazine, which nowadays tends to be an emergency-use "rescue" type of drug.)

    any medication is to be taken carefully and with full knowledge of what you're putting into your system, of course; always read up on your drugs. that said, from what i've seen of modern psychiatry, ritalin and its stimulant kin are BB guns, not heavy chemical artillery. heavy artillery in this world would be, for example, effexor or most of the antipsychotics.

  4. "Because he has no clue what he is talking about?"

    Yeah, I know, just wanted to make sure that I was clear on anti-psychotic/not anti-psychotic.

    "lithium blood levels are monitored because therapeutic doses of that are fairly close to liver-toxic levels, i believe."

    First, sorry about your spouse.

    Lithium blood levels are monitored, but my psychiatrist seemed mainly concerned about kidney function (though I don't doubt it messes with all sorts of things). I took Lithobid (Lithium) for 3.5 years, and I had to have blood draws. (I discovered it was a mistake to have a lemonade beforehand, duh, as that shot up my insulin and concerned the psychiatrist so I had to get retested...) And yeah, it is good to stay lower in that range; at 1200mg I was in the range but throwing up after four days of regularly taking it, while at 900mg I was still in the range but just slightly nauseous sometimes (generally if I had had alcohol).

    I was just wondering if anyone knew why Cruise was going on about blood levels as if not checking them indicated psychiatry was voodoo. I thought it was only for more serious drugs, whether psych or not. But I think I'm searching for rationality in an irrational mind.

  5. "I think I'm searching for rationality in an irrational mind."

    Tommyrot, balderdash, and likewise poppycock! Tom Cruise is an intelligent man who knows his subject. He is not the sort of person to believe nonsense - he is an insightful and critical thinker as well as one of the greatest actors of our times, and as a Scientologist is a follower of a rational faith. I had my doubts about the use of antipsychotic drugs such as Rotolin but the carefully worded, well-thought-out, and grammatical arguments advanced by Cruise in this interview have gone a long way to convincing me of the rightness of his position.

  6. Mostly, I think it's becuase Scientology is a nutbar religion.

    But yeah. The only reason to monitor the blood level of anything is if you're worried that blood level might reach dangerous levels.

    You do it for Lithium, because it could get poisonous. A diabetic does it for insulin/blood sugar, because he has to keep it steady.

    Someone with blood pressure problems doesn't care what his blood level of his medication is, he cares what his blood pressure is.

    I wonder if Tom Cruise checks his blood level before taking aspirin.

    And having said that, I'd best apply my ward against Scientologists: Xenu, Xenu, Xenu!


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