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How a Digital Tool is Helping Me During My Mental Health Journey

Carlos is a participant in a patient ambassador program at Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., made up of people dedicated to sharing their stories about their journey with serious mental illness and treatment. Contact us to learn more about this opportunity. Call 1-844-815-0984. Email

I’m 44 years old and live with major depressive disorder (MDD), and it always feels somewhat risky to open up about it. I never know how people will react or if they will look at me differently. 

I started noticing symptoms of MDD after being promoted to my dream job in my early thirties. I was the perfect candidate for the role! I worked in the banking industry and was good at protecting people’s money and their security. However, after working in my new role for some time, I started to lose interest in a position I worked so hard for and dreamt about. I was losing focus at work and lacking motivation to perform well. I was fixating too much on one or two negative aspects about my life at a time and had difficulty shifting my attention to certain tasks, including the work I love doing.

My friends didn’t really understand what was truly going on, and many thought the symptoms I was dealing with—changes in my mood, sleep schedule, and energy—were due to burnout and that I only needed some rest. Thankfully I was able to find a psychiatrist, who was able to notice the signs and diagnose me with MDD. However, when I reflect back on my journey with depression, it really started much earlier, back when I was a teenager. Sometimes it can take years to properly pinpoint MDD as the root cause.

After eleven years of working together, my psychiatrist let me know that he was retiring, which was devastating to me. He had played a key role in helping me identify triggers and discover different coping mechanisms over the years. We tried so many different medications, and we had finally gotten me to a good place where we felt like my medications were working. It took a long time to establish that trust, and now I needed to start all over. I began to shut down after the news, unable to keep up with my daily routines. 

There is a stigma attached to talking about mental health, which made reaching out for help really difficult for me. The concept of starting over with a new doctor was scary to me, I didn’t know if I could do it. It was actually my dog, Wynter, that noticed my lack of energy and absence of routine and gave me a nudge (literally) to find that new psychiatrist. I knew I had to do something when I started to see how it was impacting his life too. I didn’t have the energy to play with him, which often left him scratching at the door in frustration — that wasn’t OK with either of us.

I remember reading the profile of one doctor, who marketed his approach as cutting edge and patient-centered. After I started working with him, I quickly realized he was the best fit for my needs. He recommended adding the ABILIFY MYCITE® System, to my current antidepressant. ABILIFY MYCITE® (aripriprazole tablets with sensor) is a prescription medicine of an aripiprazole tablet with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor inside it used in adults for the treatment of schizophrenia; treatment of bipolar I disorder alone or when used with the medicine lithium or valproate for acute (short-term) treatment of manic or mixed episodes, or maintenance treatment; and the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) along with other antidepressant medicines. The ABILIFY MYCITE System® is meant to track if you have taken your ABILIFY MYCITE®. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE® can improve how well you take your aripiprazole (patient compliance) or for changing your dose of aripiprazole. Please read full INDICATIONS and IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION below, including BOXED WARNING for Increased Risk of Death in Elderly People with Dementia-Related Psychosis and Increased Risk of Suicidal Thoughts or Actions. 

He said using the system would empower us with ingestion data and provide visibility into my activity level and my assessment of sleep quality and moods. 

I decided to give it a shot, and I’m happy to say that I still use it today. I record my daily data, which helps me to have a more productive conversation with my psychiatrist during appointments. It also helped me build that client-therapist relationship and trust. Viewing the data in the system makes it easier for me to remember important points and to share more about my experience with MDD. I feel like I play a more active role in my own treatment with the information and insights I get from the app.

In addition to confirming my medication ingestion, another aspect that I have found particularly helpful reflecting on seeing how my moods fluctuate during the month. Reviewing this data with my psychiatrist helped us identify exercise as an important part of my journey.

Only functions related to tracking drug ingestion have been evaluated or approved by FDA.

MDD can be a challenging journey, but with the support of my psychiatrist and treatment like the ABILIFY MYCITE® System, it has been a manageable one, and I’m grateful for that! Everyone’s treatment journey is different, what works for me may not work for someone else. It’s important to have these discussions with your psychiatrist to find what works best for you.

ABILIFY MYCITE® (aripiprazole tablets with sensor) 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 mg


ABILIFY MYCITE is a prescription medicine of an aripiprazole tablet with an Ingestible Event Marker (IEM) sensor inside it used in adults for the:

  • Treatment of schizophrenia
  • Treatment of bipolar I disorder alone or when used with the medicine lithium or valproate for:
    • acute (short-term) treatment of manic or mixed episodes
    • maintenance treatment
  • Treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) along with other antidepressant medicines

The ABILIFY MYCITE System is intended to track if you have taken your ABILIFY MYCITE. There may be a delay in the detection of the ABILIFY MYCITE tablet and sometimes the detection of the tablet might not happen at all. If the MYCITE APP does not indicate that you have taken your medicine, do not repeat the dose. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE can improve how well you take your aripiprazole (patient compliance) or for changing your dose of aripiprazole. ABILIFY MYCITE is not for use as real-time or emergency monitoring.


  • Increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis: Medicines like ABILIFY MYCITE can raise the risk of death in elderly people who have lost touch with reality (psychosis) due to confusion and memory loss (dementia). ABILIFY MYCITE is not approved to treat patients with dementia-related psychosis.
  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts or actions in children and young adults: Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children and young adults within the first few months of treatment and when the dose is changed. Pay close attention to any changes, especially new and sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings and report them to the healthcare provider. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE is safe and effective for use in children.

Do not take ABILIFY MYCITE if you are allergic to aripiprazole or any of the ingredients in ABILIFY MYCITE. Allergic reactions may include: rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue.

ABILIFY MYCITE may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Stroke (cerebrovascular problems) in elderly people with dementia-related psychosis that can lead to death.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare and serious condition that can lead to death. Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have some or all of the following signs and symptoms of NMS: high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure.
  • Uncontrolled body movements (tardive dyskinesia or TD). ABILIFY MYCITE may cause movements that you cannot control in your face, tongue, or other body parts. TD may not go away, even if you stop taking ABILIFY MYCITE. TD may also start after you stop taking ABILIFY MYCITE.
  • Problems with your metabolism such as:
    • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and diabetes. Increases in blood sugar can happen in some people who take ABILIFY MYCITE. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. If you have diabetes or risk factors for diabetes (such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes), your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before starting ABILIFY MYCITE and during your treatment.
      Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms of high blood sugar while receiving ABILIFY MYCITE:

      • feel very thirsty
      • need to urinate more than usual
      • feel very hungry
      • feel weak or tired
      • feel sick to your stomach
      • feel confused, or your breath smells fruity
    • increased fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) in your blood.
    • weight gain. You and your healthcare provider should check your weight regularly.
  • Unusual urges. Some people taking aripiprazole have had unusual urges, such as gambling, binge eating or eating that you cannot control (compulsive), compulsive shopping and sexual urges. If you or your family members notice that you are having unusual urges or behaviors, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Decreased blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension). You may feel lightheaded or faint when you rise too quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Falls
  • Low white blood cell count. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests during the first few months of treatment with ABILIFY MYCITE.
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Problems with control of your body temperature so that you feel too warm. Do not become too hot or dehydrated during treatment with ABILIFY MYCITE. Avoid getting over-heated or dehydrated. Do not exercise too much. In hot weather, stay inside in a cool place if possible. Stay out of the sun, and do not wear too much or heavy clothing. Drink plenty of water.
  • Difficulty swallowing

ABILIFY MYCITE may make you drowsy. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how ABILIFY MYCITE affects you.

Before taking ABILIFY MYCITE, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have or had diabetes or high blood sugar in you or your family; your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before starting and during therapy with ABILIFY MYCITE
  • have or had seizures (convulsions)
  • have or had low or high blood pressure
  • have or had heart problems or stroke
  • have or had low white blood cell count
  • are pregnant or have plans to become pregnant. It is not known if ABILIFY MYCITE will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breast-feeding or have plans to breast-feed. ABILIFY MYCITE can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you receive ABILIFY MYCITE
  • have or had any other medical conditions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. ABILIFY MYCITE and other medicines may affect each other causing possible serious side effects. ABILIFY MYCITE may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how ABILIFY MYCITE works. Do not start or stop any medicines while taking ABILIFY MYCITE without talking to your healthcare provider first.

The most common side effects of ABILIFY MYCITE in adults include: restlessness or need to move (akathisia); dizziness; nausea; insomnia; shaking (tremor); anxiety; constipation; sedation

These are not all the possible side effects of ABILIFY MYCITE. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are encouraged to report side effects to Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. at 1-800-438-9927 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or


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JANUARY 2022 12US22EB0003

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