Mental illness was once a subject not often discussed among African Americans, but in recent years, conversations are more open, and people are more comfortable explaining what is happening with them and how their medication makes them feel.
Symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia
One byproduct of mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression that is not well known amongst patients until it happens is Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). It is the involuntary and abnormal movements of the jaw, lips, and tongue. Classic symptoms include facial grimacing, sticking out the tongue, sucking, or fish-like movements of the mouth. In some cases, the arms and/or legs may also be affected by involuntary rapid, jerking movements, or slow, writhing movements as defined by the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
Drugs and Tardive Dyskinesia
These symptoms are brought on by prolonged use of antipsychotic drugs known as neuroleptics that block dopamine receptors, which are chemicals in the brain that cause movement. Tardive Dyskinesia will not occur in all who take antipsychotic drugs, but those that do, it can be life-changing.