Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lame misuse of antipyschotics

There is a sad storyin the New York Times today of an abused, neglected boy. What caught me eye was this:

About age 12, Mr. Harris-Moore was determined to have several psychiatric conditions, including depression, attention deficit disorder and intermittent explosive disorder, according to a later psychiatric report. He was prescribed antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs.

So he was prescribed antipsychotics, but psychotic wasn't one of his labels. This practice is so widespread it's hard believe in what it is exactly that antipsychotics do. If the drugs are supposed to be needed, what is an antipsychotic supposed to do for someone who doesn't have psychosis? What does an antipsychotic do for people who do have psychosis?


  1. it shuts down brain function...just like it does in "psychotics"

    antipsychotic is really not a true name. It would be more accurate to simply call them neuroleptics...which is what I generally do, though I will also throw in the word antipsychotic lest people don't know what I'm talking about

    many "psychotics" don't find they do a thing for psychosis in any case.

    the fact is they restrain the brain...for they tend to mute any behavior or feeling anyone that respect they can be used broadly as a damper on experience and are

  2. It's true "neuroleptic" is the term of choice these days, but it also disguises the original target group - people with psychosis. So, the more widespread the term neuroleptic is, the less people will question what they are taking and why. Just a thought - I may be completely out of touch on this one.

  3. I don't think that you are out of touch on this. I think there is a constant fuzziness laid over the whole issue of just exactly which symptom the prescribed psych drug is targeting. With psych meds, they are piled on, overlapping so, like bipolarblast said, the brain essentially shuts down.
    Whew. We all have experienced that moment when the meds kick in. It is both relieving and disturbing. UGH. It makes me sick what they did to this twelve year old. No doubt the drugs were not approved for use in children. Off label use is rampant, too.

  4. I have schizoaffective disorder (a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia). I suffered from psychosis for years as I tried different antipsychotics. It took me a long time to find one that really worked and did not cause any side effects.

    It also functions as a mood stabilizer, so I am able to take just one drug now to treat both my moods and my psychosis. I'm still a very emotional person but I have not had a major depressive or manic episode in years.

    Naturally, I'm happy with its mood stabilizing properties in addition to its original purpose. The fewer drugs I need to take, the better.

    I have a couple of friends who have bipolar disorder without psychotic features. Both of them tried the same antipsychotic I'm on now but only for its mood stabilizing properties.

    One of them feels great and is still taking it. It was completely ineffective for the other one and it also made her physically ill.

    I guess time will tell how well antipsychotics work as mood stabilizers for people who are not psychotic.

    Antipsychotics are also prescribed as "major tranquilizers." I don't use them for this purpose and I would have reservations about trying it.

    My antipsychotic was so sedating when I first began to take it that it would just knock me out and I'd sleep forever. My body has adjusted to it over time, though, and I have built up quite a tolerance.

    It still works as an antipsychotic but it is no longer sedating at all. Had I taken it for its sedative properties alone this drug would not have been useful for very long.

    Those are the three different uses I know of for antipsychotics.

    As I said, I am happy with mine but I would never have tried it for an "off-label" purpose alone. I only risked taking it because I was virulently psychotic and I could not stand to live that way.

    I know other people feel differently and I am not judging or criticizing those of you who use these drugs for reasons other than my own. Your input would add a lot to this topic.

  5. It's hard to argue with success. You are fortunate in that you are on one drug only and are reasonably happy with it. Assuming that you are otherwise healthy and able to work full time, then your personal decision is right for you.

  6. I agree with your argument too's good for all those who take neuroleptics cavalierly to know it's a jack hammer of a drug an "anti-psychotic"

    the reason I don't like calling them antipsychotic is because they don't have a precise mechanism of action that halts psychosis and in that regard the name is misleading...and just outright false as well.

    they can stop some people's psychosis just as the person above speaks to...but it's not because it targeted the psychosis in the brain it targets the whole brain and dampens all brain function...

    anonymous got lucky in that it did what he or she wanted...not so with all too many people.

  7. I like what Bruce Levine wrote about anti-psychotics on bipolarblast's blog. He reported that the soldiers said the anti-psychotics made them "stupid." That one word pretty much sums up what they do. They make you stupid. God forbid that there be any people running around who are smarter than the shrinks.

    One of your commenters said they worked for her. And that's all fine and well. But what works for one may not work for another. I thank my lucky stars that I had enough sense to walk away from psychiatry 14 years ago.

  8. bipolarblast,

    With all due respect, my brain function is neither "muted" nor "dampened."

    Yes, I can and I do work. I am also physically fit and active. The same goes for the other two people I mentioned who tried the same antipsychotic (or neuroleptic, if you prefer).

    You're absolutely right when you say that the action of antipsychotics is too hit-and-miss. The same is true of most (if not all) psychiatric drugs.

    If I could have known ten years ago precisely which drug would eliminate my psychosis and kill the voices, I would not have wasted years of my life trying the ones that preceeded it and struggling to live and function with the residual voices.

    I am also aware that people can be overmedicated and improperly medicated. Before I began reading various "mental health" blogs, I had no idea that anyone took more than one antipsychotic at a time. I asked my doctor about it and we both think it is a bad idea.

    It seems to be a surprisingly common practice, though. I've read your blog and I know that you have been overmedicated and improperly medicated. You may have been misdiagnosed in the first place.

    (I have not read every entry and I am not sure exactly where you stand on this issue. Please correct me if I am mistaken.)

    What happened to you was wrong and I understand why you are skeptical of psychiatric drugs in general.

    I hope that drugs like mine will target and control symptoms more directly in the future, too. Right now there is a lot of progress to be made in the field of psychiatry.

    (This includes but is not limited to psychopharmacology.)

    I apologize if I seem to be nit-picking but I need to set the record straight: I am not slow. Not physically, not mentally and definitely not emotionally. Not at all.

  9. bipolarblast - Your comment is correct, "the doctors never came clean re the antipsychotics not having a precise mechanism of action that halts psychosis and in that regard the name is misleading...and just outright false as well."
    As a consumer, I rightfully expected that the drugs my son was given would fix him. When the drugs failed to do that the doctors would never consider just dropping the drugs. Of course they led me and others on with the nonsense of it just being a question of finding the right drug. I figured after five drugs had been tried sequentially that they were dreaming. Then, of course, they will label the person as "treatment resistant" and as I said in another blog comment, they will then try to con you into clozapine, the drug for the "treatment resistant." Bottom line: Become treatment resistant by resisting drug treatment.

  10. Ms. Forbes,

    Psychiatrists are medical doctors and they have been trained to find medical solutions for psychiatric problems. This usually means prescribing medication in conjunction with talk therapy.

    They think they're doing the right thing by prescribing drugs--I don't think they have any reason to "con" people.

    If you and your doctor reach an impasse where medication is concerned by all means stop seeing that doctor.

    If you know that you do not want medication but you'd like to participate in talk therapy, you would probably be better off seeing a therapist with a Ph.D (they cannot prescribe medication) instead of an M.D. (they can prescribe and will probably want to).

    My mother had a very successful course of talk therapy as a young woman. She was terribly sad because two of her closest family members had just died (at young ages) and several others with whom she had been close decided to boycott her wedding to my father (because they were Catholic and he was Jewish).

    She was not, however, mentally ill. She never needed or wanted medication. All she wanted was for someone to listen to her and to help her sort things out.

    Her therapy went very well. Her doctor was a good listener and he did not try to medicalize her problems. She saw him for as long as she needed to and he did not fight her when she decided it was time to stop seeing him.

    A lot of people whose unhappiness is situational would benefit more from the treatment she got than the treatment I'm getting.

    (Of course, my mother did not have schizoaffective disorder and was never psychotic. As you pointed out, though, neither are some of the people who wind up on medication.)

    There are many different non-M.D. therapists to choose from and many different types of non-drug therapies. You know far more about them than I.

    I also know that you see mental illness as more of a social and environmental problem than a medical one. An M.D. seems like a bad fit for you and for others who feel the same way.

  11. Yes, it's true, an M.D. is a bad fit for people like me who see mental illness as more of a situational, life coping problem than a brain disease. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with a "major mental illness" (my quotes)the diagnosis almost guarantees drugs, therefore psychiatrists to treat you. Especially at the beginning. Later, it is more likely that people can make decisions about how they want their treatment to go, but at the beginning, you end up in situations that seem hard to extricate yourself from.

  12. Re the con and doctors thinking they are doing the right thing. First of all, doctors are just as conned by the drugs as the rest of us. The closer the doctor is to medical school age, the more he/she is conned. That being said, when the drugs don't work, when the patient doesn't get better, when the parent says this isn't working, let's get real, the doctors then become part of the con by insisting on the same course of action for something that hasn't worked before. Isn't that also the definition of insanity?

  13. Ms. Forbes,

    I'm not sure I'd call it insanity--it's more like they have tunnel vision, which can be bad enough.

    I had to try a few different drugs before I found the one that helped me the most. Looking back, however, I have to acknowledge that the first few drugs I tried actually were somewhat effective (if problematic).

    They weren't good enough and they gave me some troublesome side effects, but they did lessen the intensity of my psychosis even though they didn't get rid of it completely.

    These drugs worked well enough to make me willing to try others. I thought I might be on the right path. I just wasn't sure exactly where I was or how to get exactly where I wanted to be.

    Psychiatrists may have enough success treating people with drugs that they persist in prescribing them for everyone, even when a patient is not improving and has lost interest in that line of treatment.

    We are all unique individuals with indivdual problems. This includes people who share the same diagnosis. We respond differently to different treatments but doctors sometimes lump us all together and treat us accordingly.

    If I'd tried five different drugs in a row and none of them had worked or had caused truly harmful side effects I would have lost my enthusiasm for medication, too.

    I'm glad you and your son have found other types of treatment which are more helpful. I wish you both the best of luck.

  14. IMO, the biggest problem is how to define "effective". What effect do we want the drugs to have? Both the term "neuroleptic" and the term "major tranquilizer" describe the pharmacological effect of this class of drugs very much to the point. Now, the question for both shrinks and society is whether they want people to be "majorly tranquilized", their "nerves (make that cognitive abilities, emotions, etc.) taken hold of"? Well, sure. Who wants to have the peace and quiet of neo-liberal consumer ego-centricity constantly disturbed?! It's tough enough that there still are people out there, who simply won't buy that any doubt about the infallability of the current status quo in society clearly is a sign of "mental illness". All these environmentalists, human rights activists, and sorts, you know. Which leads us to what the desired effect for the identified "mental patient" then is. Being shut up (and actually, sometimes a minimum of neuroleptics - or other psych drugs - combined with a sufficient amount of propaganda can do the job, obviously), being re-adjusted to the status quo, being "normalized", or... ?

  15. Anonymous - thanks for sharing your experience. It is important to hear it. I agree with Marian about the use of the term "effective" when it come to psych meds. Nobody knows what "effective" is really supposed to do in the context of regaining one's well-being.

  16. A P.S. to my previous comment: Many consumers will say that what they want is to get rid of the "symptoms", and to be able to live a life as "normal" as possible. But these very same consumers will also often tell people about the absolutely ridiculous idea, the "delusion", they had, while still in acute "psychosis", that what they experienced was a landmark experience, of immeasurable importance, and that they were hellbent to not have anyone take the experience from them, but to go through it, and understand its meaning.

    The "I so want to be normal!" or "All I want is to live a normal life!" usually doesn't take over before after these people were psychiatrized. And told over and over again, until they believed it themselves, that their landmark experience is a, completely meaningless, disease, and that their belief that it is a landmark experience, is nothing but another symptom of this disease...

    So, if people say they want nothing but get rid of the "symptoms", is this their very own, genuine wish, or is it maybe rather what the system (society) wants them to believe they want?

  17. A "normal" life can be very boring and unenlightening.

  18. In a somewhat angry, and unenlightened judgemental remark to my therapist I once mentioned the "stupid sheep", referring to "normal" people. "You're right," she said. "But you know, it's the stupid sheep who live happy lives." Yeah, I guess so. As long as they remain unaware of their "stupid sheepiness", at least. But becoming aware of it of course means you're not a "stupid sheep" anymore...

  19. Marian,

    My psychosis was a "landmark event," all right. But I would have given anything if someone or something could have taken it way from me.

    I was a healthy, intelligent and functional young woman. I wouldn't have described myself as "normal," however. I questioned what I learned in school and I questioned and rejected many of society's rules. I had a strong and inquisitive mind.

    I never would have guessed that the mind I was so proud of and counted on so much would betray me. But it did.

    The voices came without warning. The were loud, threatening, and obscene. They told me they could see my every move and hear my every word. They told me they would rape me, cut me, burn me and disfigure me until I was unrecognizable as human, let alone myself. Then they would kill me when they were through.

    I knew what schizophrenia was and a small part of my mind stayed rational and told me I was sick. The voices were so loud and insistant and sounded so real that I believed them over the rational part of my own mind.

    It wasn't my mind anymore. It had been hijacked.

    I spent the next few years hiding in my parents house and trying a few different antipsychotics. They quieted the voices a bit but the did not eliminate them.

    I was just well enough to take a few tentative steps outside. I did a bit of volunteer work but the walk and bus ride made it a huge ordeal.

    While I was cowering at home my friends and former peers were busy buliding impressive careers, getting married and having children. I sent them congratulatory cards and gifts but I couldn't face them in person. I felt like such a loser it would have been humiliating.

    I eventually got lucky and the third antipsychotic really worked. The voices went away. I only hear them a few times a year now. There is no force behind them and they no longer scare me. I just brush them off and they go away again.

    I don't feel sedated (I did at first but my body soon adjusted). I'm not "slow" and I'm certainly not "stupid." I have more energy than I have since I was a child now, because I don't have to spend it all fighting the voices.

    I can work and I have friends and a social life. I can enjoy my family now and my parents are my friends--not merely my protectors and caretakers.

    That might not sound all that impressive. I lost a few important years of my life and I'm still trying to catch up to where I belong.

    Come to think of it, figuring out where I belong is as hard as getting there.

    As happy as I am that the voices are gone, I still face the same problems everyone else does. I still feel scarred by the terrible fear I used to live with. I have to face the fact that some weird, malfunctioning part of my mind was the origin of all those threats and all that ugliness.

    That's what I hate most of all. I'd like to blame an external source for the voices but I can't. They came from me even if I don't understand how or why. I'm trying to figure it all out and it is hard, upsetting work.

    That's only one of the things I am trying to figure out. I have a lot to figure out and life is not all peace and quiet for this "neo-liberal stupid sheep."

    The end of my psychosis was a wonderful thing for me but I am still very much my own individual, flawed person. My work is far from over.

  20. Anonymous wrote: "I knew what schizophrenia was.."

    What is "schizophrenia"? You know, I didn't know what "schizophrenia" was. All I knew was that human beings, like all life forms, react to their environment. And that extreme environmental circumstances can (and should! for the sake of survival) provoke extreme reactions. So, when I experienced extreme states of mind, I knew that they had been caused by extreme circumstances in my past, and I didn't settle for the "It's all in your head (= brain & genes)"-bs. I also knew that the unconscious can't be diseased. Consciousness can, as it is in Alzheimer's. The unconscious - no. And it is the unconscious speaking in "psychosis"/"schizophrenia".

    My mind had been hijacked too. But not by a mysterious disease. And while my voice (it's primarily one) told me things very similar to what yours told you, in time I understood that when it for instance asked me to off myself, what it really meant was that I needed to change my life situation drastically. The language of the unconscious, and thus that of voices, is to be understood metaphorically, not literally.

    Another thing the voice did, just like yours, was that it, in its own words, shouted the same messages at me, I'd received from my parents (the internalized, and then, as it was too painful to accept, externalized [= split off, as in "schizophrenia"] external source), notably my mother, over and over again during my entire upbringing. My parents were rather sophisticated people, so obvious verbal abuse was not their thing. The abuse was neatly wrapped up as loving kindness. And if the voice hadn't spelled out to me what it actually was that had been wrapped up in utter loving kindness, I'd maybe never seen through the charade. I'd stayed best friends with mommy, forever grateful that at all she'd put up with this liability, this flawed person (= brain diseased loser), and popped one pill after the other, just to please her.

    I'm not friends with my parents. I regard it a little too unhealthy to be friends with abusers. (That said, I'd made instantly friends with them, if they'd admitted to the abuse.) I'm angry, I grieve, and I don't feel guilty about it. Not anymore.

    I lost 40 years of my life. Not to "psychosis", but to the self-denial my mother had tricked me into, and that had made "psychosis" a necessity. I don't fight the voice, I didn't fight "psychosis". I embraced both. They, my unconscious, made it possible that I eventually, after 40 years, could liberate myself from being the victim (nothing "malfunctioning" about my mind) and become alive. While all the bio-model does is keep people victimized, victims of their allegedly "malfunctioning" mind, for the rest of their lives, or at least for as long as they believe in it.

    (The problem with all this is sort of the same as when you try to explain to people what "enlightenment", or, since I'm into horses, what "being one with the horse" means. If you haven't experienced it yourself, you won't understand. However, while I haven't met anyone yet, who'd say "No thanks!" to enlightenment, or to the experience of being one with the horse, I see lots of people, who say "No thanks!" to freedom - from "mental illness" - and life. Mind-boggling.)

  21. Marian,

    If you're happy hearing voices and you embrace your psychosis that's fine. I had just hoped that you would be able to understand why I feel differently.

    I have a lot of things I care about, too--the way you care about horses. My voices never talked about those things, though.

    I don't believe schizophrenia is solely a medical problem. I do believe that something malfunctioned and caused me to hallucinate.

    The nature of the voices and the things they said, however, may have reflected the fear and disgust I felt for my body that as a result of trauma I experienced when I was very young.

    That's one of the things I'm trying to work out now. Other people may be able to work these things out while they are actively psychotic but I really need a clear head for it.

    (I want to make it clear that my parents never abused me--I'm referring to someone else. My family was my refuge from that situation and what had what had happened.)

    As much as I love my family, though, they are not my primary reason for getting and (hopefully) staying well. I just wanted my life back. Well, I did get a life and I won't take it for granted the way I did when I was young and had yet to be sick.

    I didn't exactly get my old life back, though. This life is different. I'm older and I have many more responsibilities.

    When you live like an invalid no one expects anything from you--now that I'm better they do. I'm glad they do, since no one wants to be seen as useless or a burden but sometimes I forget how old I am and I just want to have fun. Silly, self-indulgent fun.

    I do have fun, but I can't act like a child anymore, even if though I still feel like one sometimes. Building a life is very, very hard. I think it's hard for everyone, not just mentally ill people.

    I know you don't approve of medication and that's fine. I won't try to change your mind. I just wish you would try to understand that people like me take it because we want to live our lives. We are not trying to escape from life.

    There is much, much more to life than voices and delusions. There is for me, anyway.

  22. Anonymous: Sorry to hear, that you, although you know that you have been abused, still blame yourself (your biology, which doesn't make a big difference, you're still the victim). Not least also because it plays down the severity of abuse: there's no abuse severe enough to cause a reaction as severe, as terrifying, as "psychosis". - BTW, I don't say every "mentally ill" person necessarily was abused by their parents. However, in the case of "psychosis" a fundamental (or ontological, as Laing termed it) insecurity in being needs to be present. Too fundamental than to be caused by others than one's primary caregivers, who usually are one's parents. And another thing is that abuse and neglect isn't limited to what our culture defines as such. Abuse and neglect is what causes a person to react to it. To say that the cause for someone's reactions is "schizophrenia", a brain disease, a malfunctioning mind, is to say that the reaction to the abuse itself is the abuser: blame the victim.
    Just because I do hear voices it doesn't mean my life is all voices and - uhm - "delusions". I don't regard "delusions" as especially delusional, btw. It's a misleading term.

    Life, well... If the pills give you what you want, fine. But ask any, hm, let's say Zen master, whether it's possible to achieve enlightenment while you're on any psychoactive, mind-altering substance, if it's acid or Zyprexa, and the answer will be no.

    I don't want to change your mind either. All I want is to have whoever comes by this thread and reads it know that there's another, different perspective on these things than the usual one, and that the usual one indeed has rather destructive implications.

  23. P.S.: "Life" can mean very different things. It can mean formal, superficial things, like getting an education, a career, a family, a nice house, a nice car, nice cloths, nice kids... Or it can mean being alive, being in touch with and conscious of oneself, one's being. When I use the term "life" I usually use it in the sense of "being alive".

  24. Marian,

    That's just it--I AM alive. By my definition, anyway. You're always saying that it's wrong to define "living" by the standards other people set, so why should I care what a "Zen master" or any other religious figure thinks?

    I don't think my illness itself is a reaction to the abuse. I believe that I was set to start hearing voices at 24 (a typical age for the beginning of schizoaffective disorder).

    I do, however, believe that my life experience influenced the tone and content of the voices.

    Religious people who become schizophrenic tend to believe that the voices they hear come from God. They often believe they are prophets. People who have been traumatized are likely to hear voices that reflect either their own bad opinions of themselves or things that their abuseres may have said and done.

    I don't find it terribly useful to give all the blame to biology or to one's family. We are all dealt different hands and it is up to us to save our own lives by whatever means necessary.

    For me those means are medication and psychotherapy. Other people find other ways.

    I don't really see my life as "usual." My treatment is not "usual" either--at least not by this blog's standards.

  25. Marian,

    I forgot to mention that I agree with your last statement: "life can mean many different things."

    (I don't believe that all the things you call "superficial" actually are. Time will tell.)

    What I mean is that I am a very different person than I was ten years ago and I have no doubt that things will continue to change and I will continue to change as well--hopefully for the better.

    I read several posts from your blog today and while some aspects of our lives are completely different, we also have some things in common. I admire your dedication and commitment to your personal truth.

    I'm a lot younger than you and I am still struggling to find my way. You may disagree with some of my opinions and the methods I use but please do not condemn me. I really am trying...

    Have a good summer and enjoy the horses.

  26. Anonymous: I don't condemn you. Buddhism, Zen or other, isn't as much a religion, as it is a philosophy. So, a Zen master isn't a religious figure, but a philosopher. Why you maybe should listen to what, for instance, a Zen master has to say, among other things about saving our own lives (and you're right, it is indeed our own responsibility to liberate ourselves from others' definitions of us): because psychiatry's own science has shown "medications" to be, at best, ineffective (the placebo effect is real), at worst fatally poisonous. Read Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic. Why do you want to do that to yourself? You're not saving your life, you're destroying it.

    Maybe your current life situation doesn't leave you any other option than to take psych drugs. I respect that. I know lots of people, whose life situation doesn't leave them any other option. But at least they acknowledge, that drugs aren't the answer, if you really want to save your life.

    24 isn't the typical age for the onset of any "mental disorder". It's the typical age for major life changes to occur...

    It isn't about blame. It's about recognizing abuse where it happens, and recognizing its destructiveness. The bio-model trivializes abuse, covers it up - no abuse can be as destructive as to cause such an extreme reaction as "sz", it can't be society, it must be the individual who is to blame. Even if you employ the stress-vulnerability model, you still blame the individual. And, btw, who says that, if your biology is "different", defective, in the first place, that the abuse you've been the victim of, wasn't an understandable, excusable reaction to you being "different"? - See? This is what the bio-model does. No one would say such a thing? I've heard people say it. Why is it that we ask the "mentally ill" person to take responsibility (for having "insight" and remembering to pop their pills), while at the same time we let the abusers off the hook big time by telling them that, no no!, whatever they did to us, it wasn't that bad as to cause this terrible "illness"?

    Taking the full responsibility for oneself, not leaving any of it to other people (like shrinks) or things (like psych drugs), is an awesome experience. Why deprive someone from having this experience by blaming ourselves for their actions towards us? I think, we have another responsibility here. And we're failing to live up to it in as far as we define ourselves as "mentally ill" in a biological sense.

  27. Another thing, talking about abuse: while bio-psychiatry is a system of blame, oppression, and revenge rather than a system that helps people take responsibility and liberate themselves, the same is true for the prison system. Our entire society/culture is a society/culture of blame, oppression, and revenge. "Responsibility" only exists in it as a euphemism to cover up the true nature of what is going on. Not in its genuine sense. - And I find it interesting to which extent it upsets people to hear about thieves getting their hands chopped off, while everybody believes our own laws and punishments to be so much more just.

  28. Marian,

    I've already read "Anatomy Of An Epidemic." It is an interesting book but Whitaker's findings do not reflect the reality of my personal situation.

    If you went to see a doctor and and told him that a drug you had tried either did not work or was causing you bad side effects, wouldn't you want him to listen to you and believe you?

    You probably would not want him to say "Of course your medication works. Read this book--the author's findings will show you that it does."

    Wouldn't that be extremely ignorant and annoying?

    I have a similar problem with you. I am telling you that my medication is effective and has improved my life immesurably. Your response is to tell me that I'm wrong and that I should read a book which will tell me why and how I am wrong.

    I would rather trust my personal experience and make my own decisions than have a self-appointed "expert" (doctor, reasearcher, philosopher, or blogger) tell me what to do.

    I am not an expert on anyone's mental illness or treatment other than my own. You are not either, but you lack the humility it would take for you to understand that.

    I think that is unfortunate, but it's really not my problem.

    That's really all I have to say on the subject at this point--we've been beating a dead horse.

    Goodbye and good luck.

  29. Anonymous: So, when a self-appointed "expert" tells you what you want to hear that's "science" then, and when it turns out that the actual science tells quite a different tale, the person who brings this to your attention lacks humility... I see...

    Btw: Try and tell your shrink that you're convinced you're not suffering from any chemical imbalance in your brain, and that therefor you don't think any drug is right for you, and look what happens... There's a huge probability that your, up to that moment, oh so compassionate shrink will turn into an ignorant and annoying (to say the least) know-all, who'll tell you that studies have shown this, and studies have shown that, and if you believe anything different from what these studies (allegedly) have shown, it's a clear sign that you are not quite right in your head.

    And I never said, your drugs weren't effective. I only said, that the placebo effect is real. So, yes, they are effective...

  30. Marian,

    You missed my point, as usual.

    Anyone with any point of view can find a book or self-appointed expert to back it up.

    Someone who thinks people should take medication can quote E. Fuller Torrey or Kay Redfield Jamison. Someone who thinks they should not can quote Robert Whitaker.

    I don't try to back up my feelings or ideas by claiming that "experts" agree with me. You're the one who does that. First it was a "Zen master," now it's Robert Whitaker.

    I could do it, too, but it would be a waste of time.

    "Science" says different things depending on which scientist you talk to. I know what works for me because I am living my life and I've learned much more from trial and error and personal experience than I have from any scientist or from my doctor, for that matter.

    Speaking of my doctor--she is a nice, agreeable woman who performs a service for me in exchange for money. That's all. I never called her "oh so compassionate!"

    She is a good doctor but my life will never be as important to her or anyone else as it is to me.

    My life is just that, MY LIFE. It is both smaller and larger than anything you or anyone else has to say about it. It is not the basis of a philosophy or some hackneyed political statement.

    It is just my life. I love it and I am living it in a way I could barely even imagine ten years ago. That is enough for me--I don't care what other people do or what personal choices they make.

    That bothers you and I will never understand why. I have never told you how to live your life. I have not criticized the choices you've made just because they are different from mine. You are the only one who has done that.

    Your happiness does not and cannot negate mine.

    Mine must negate yours in some way, though. If it didn't you would not be motivated to keep coming back here, criticizing someone you do not know and will never know or understand.

    You are much, much older than I am but you need to grow up and get a life. Your own life, that is. Stay out of mine and stop commenting on it.

    (If you can, that is. I doubt you can or will.)

    I tried to end things with you on a polite and gracious note a few days ago but it was totally wasted. So now I am just going to end this.

    If you had any grace at all you would end your attack on me, my values, and my life right now. You won't, though. I'm sure you'll come right back with a remark that is as ignorant and offensive as usual.

    This is the end. Goodbye now. Go bother someone else.

  31. Anonymous: You can end the discussion as many times as you like. If you don't have anything more to say, fine, then don't. I have. And if anyone can stop me from saying it here, it's the owner of this blog.

    Why come here and comment on others' viewpoints (and lives) when no one may comment on yours, or they're accused of attacking you? I never attacked you. I just wonder, time and again, why on earth someone chooses to believe in the, compared to the possible alternatives, a lot more hopeless message biopsychiatry tells, and feels the need to defend it here, where its hopelessness - and its unhealthy consequences - is discussed openly.

    All I've done is point consequences out to you - and, and this is even more important to me as I see that you prefer to concentrate on the personal attack you choose to turn this into, rather than on the matter as such, to others, who haven't yet made a choice, or who wonder, if they made the, for them, right one. All I want for people is that they can make a truly informed choice, and as far as I am concerned, there's a lot more to consider in that regard than what is explicitly mentioned in print in the safety information passage of the drugs' prescribing information, with some of the consequences not only being of a medical sort, but also, and very much so, of a political, societal, psychological, existential one, yes. It won't go away just because some people can't face it. And if you can't face it - and it's not that I wouldn't understand; as a friend once pointed out to me, it's very, very tough to have a viewpoint questioned that one had to fight as hard to accept as most people had to fight to reach acceptance of biopsychiatry's viewpoint - then don't. I can't and won't force you, or anyone else. But since I believe in freedom of speech, I won't stop speaking out.

  32. "This is the end. Goodbye now. Go bother someone else." Anon

    Anon has quite a few things to say about Whitaker over at amazon's forums. The writing style is exactly the same, even to this:

    "We are all unique individuals with indivdual problems. This includes people who share the same diagnosis. We respond differently to different treatments"

    Have a look at the 2 star review of Anatomy of an Epidemic.

  33. Hello, "Anonymous"

    You told me you'd been following me all over the internet and it seems you were right. I'm not sure whether I should feel flattered or creeped-out that it meant so much to you and that you spent so much time on me.

    You're right about my writing style. I have no doubt that Rossa Forbes knows exactly who I am.

    And I stand by the quote you attributed to me:

    "We are all unique individuals with individual probelms. This includes people who share the same diagnosis. We respond differently to different treatments."

    It's too obvious to be a very interesting statement but I still believe it's true. I know some of you disagree, but that's all right.

    I won't be back, but I wish you all well--even those of you who've been a bit confrontational.

    Sincerely, "Anonymous"

    (Hey! We have the same name!)


I am no longer approving comments. All I ask is that you be respectful of others and refrain from using profanity.