Blood tests, echocardiograms, waist measurements, and body weigh-ins comprise a cyclic apparatus of health checks at clozapine clinics. Most patients have a diagnosis of “treatment-resistant schizophrenia,” but their clinical records are mostly filled with cardio-metabolic concerns. Having a “clozapine belly”—as one patient described their weight gain to me—becomes normalized in the clinic waiting room.
Max has struggled with anxiety all his life. He uses a combination of two devices, one to measure his vital signs such as heart rate and breath, and a second that responds to irregular readings from the first. This second device provides a mechanical buzzing stimulus, and Max uses it for about ten minutes whenever he feels overwhelmed.