Driving my son’s snake, Todd, a 3ft python wrapped in a pillowcase, to a Brighton vet in August was child’s play compared to the rest of what had gone on that summer. My son, who is 32 and has Asperger’s syndrome, had been served with an eviction notice from his rented flat, having been on what was effectively speed for the previous eight months. Since early July, when his three young carers resigned, he had been visited by the NHS mental health crisis team twice a day. This team, with great skill, calling on him in twos, had managed to get him off what — for him, and for anyone associated with him — had turned out to be a pernicious drug, Atomoxetine.
Unfortunately, he loved being on it and I could see why; it made him feel confident (those with Asperger’s usually suffer from high anxiety and are prey to obsessions) and, unlike with Olanzapine, the medication he had previously been on for several years, with Atomoxetine he did not feel sleepy during the day and did not crave sweet foods or alcohol.