For me, Veterans Day produces contrasting and sometimes painful emotions. Yet for others, this day to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces may be cathartic and welcomed. In the following paragraphs I share some of my personal experience as a woman who was enlisted in the military from 2001 to 2009 and reflect on some of the challenges I face as a researcher doing work with a population that I am a part of.
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.