Experts now believe that up to 25% of cases of gynecomastia may be caused by drug side effects. In addition to swelling breast tissue, adolescent males and men may experience pain in their breasts, discharge from their nipples, and tenderness. The true costs of these side effects cannot be measured simply in terms of medical discomfort. Adolescent boys (and men) who develop gynecomastia may be at higher risk for getting bullied. Research suggests that bullying can have permanent, negative effects on self-esteem, earning potential, and even lifespans.
The psychological trauma of gynecomastia can stay with people for years, affecting their ability to have healthy relationships, build successful careers, and contribute positively to the society.
Gynecomastia may even cause people to use and abuse alcohol or drugs. Harvard University psychiatrist and addiction expert, Lance Dodes (“The Heart of Addiction” and “The Sober Truth“) argues that feelings of helplessness drive addictive behaviors. Dr. Dodes believes “addictive acts serve as a way to restore a sense of power when a person feels helpless. The drinking, gambling, cleaning, eating expresses the great anger people feel at being made powerless, and at the same time the act itself restores a sense that they can control their own feelings through their own actions. Once people understand their addictive behavior, then, as with any behavior, they are finally in a position to master it. Trying to change one’s behavior without understanding it is like trying to fight a tiger while wearing a blindfold.”
Gynecomastia sufferers often feel depressed and helpless because of their condition. Per Dr. Dodes’ argument, these feelings might put them at high risk for abusing drugs or alcohol.
The point is that the indirect costs of gynecomastia matter, and they can be substantial.
Depending on what happened, the victim (and/or the victim’s family) may be able to seek compensation for medical costs and lost wages (past, present, and future) as well as for emotional problems, pain and suffering and decreased quality of life.
For insight into your Risperdal case, call the Davis & Crump team now at 800-277-0300.
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How Johnson & Johnson’s Antipsychotic Sparked a Mini-Epidemic of Gynecomastia,” enter your name and email below.