I am reprinting an interesting comment to Dr. Sandra Steingard's Mad in America blog post entitled Why I Prescribe. The writer of the comment demontrates how fickle scientific "truth" can be. The option she refers to in her opening paragraph is the option to accept or decline meds.
Marianne on March 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm said:
I wish I had been given an option when I was 18 and heard voices. I am 62 now, and still hear them from time to time, but I have figured out what they are. I took “anti-psychotics” for years. They made me eat more and didn’t change the voices.
I had to go along with the doctors to get out of hospital, that is lie to them.
For several years, their theory was that schizophrenics had “too much dopamine”. In 1968, when I was started on phenothiazines, there was something called the Thorazine Shuffle, or “pseudo-Parkinsonism”.
One never hears that term now, even though the side effects still include Parkinson-like rigidity. I also found out that phenothiazines are actually pesticides and Parkinson’s didn’t exist before pesticides were used for killing pests. (Insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides).
Now there are so-called professionals telling people that Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical in the brain! I still have journal articles from the 1960′s and 1970′s with the theory that was the opposite, and also about when L-dopa was being used for Parkinson’s patients, with short-term effects.
Can you explain how dopamine went from causing schizophrenia to being the “feel good chemical” without some major tampering by scientists?
I also cannot find a doctor who will work with me to get off of drugs. A long history of a label has caused me extreme misery over the years.
If only someone had told me those voices were from inside of me, instead of ECT and meds, and counseled me that things would be ok…I was only 18. If only there had been some compassion.
on March 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm said:
Thanks for your comments. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter in the so-called pleasure and reward center of the brain. As Whitaker and others point out, there is no evidence that there is an abnormality of dopamine in the brains of people who hear voices or experience other psychotic symptoms. The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia – that there is too much dopamine in the brains of people who experienced psychosis -was proposed because the neuroleptic drugs are known to block dopamine. Over many years, scientists never found any evidence to support the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia.
Perhaps you could copy some of the articles from this website so you could discuss it with your doctor. Philip Thomas, MD posted an excellent blog on this topic today.