Anti-psychotics-anti-depressants = brainwash?

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Seph
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18 Jun 2011, 12:24 pm

JohnyJohn wrote:
Why because they have not been evaluated/approved by FDA?Can't they just have medicinal uses objectively and not placebo?What about ancient remedies?


Scientific testing is the bottom line. And there actually are some studies out there indicating the efficacy of some natural solutions so I don't discount the possibility.


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18 Jun 2011, 12:25 pm

JohnyJohn wrote:
What about natural remedies like fish oil,coconut oil and st.john's wort?


st johns wort is bogus, it's a placebo.


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18 Jun 2011, 12:41 pm

Well I don't know about that, as they do help some people.......but they certainly did not help me that is for sure. They made my problems worse, I literally had to immediatly quit taking them and even after just a little over four weeks they left lasting damage it seems. I mean maybe there where other factors but I've felt more paranoid ever since the day I threw them away. It was worse on that day of course....but it's still worse then it was before the anti-depressants. I find it a little bit concerning.



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18 Jun 2011, 12:44 pm

Seph wrote:
JohnyJohn wrote:
Why because they have not been evaluated/approved by FDA?Can't they just have medicinal uses objectively and not placebo?What about ancient remedies?


Scientific testing is the bottom line. And there actually are some studies out there indicating the efficacy of some natural solutions so I don't discount the possibility.


It does not help when pharmacuetical companies pressure the government not to fund testing on less socially 'approved' methods of treating illness......I mean if something else works they don't have as much corporate power anymore. So I would say yes scientific testing is the best way to figure out if something is effective, but when the funding does not exist......that cannot very well take place as much as it needs to, to get such things approved.



Seph
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18 Jun 2011, 12:51 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
Seph wrote:
JohnyJohn wrote:
Why because they have not been evaluated/approved by FDA?Can't they just have medicinal uses objectively and not placebo?What about ancient remedies?


Scientific testing is the bottom line. And there actually are some studies out there indicating the efficacy of some natural solutions so I don't discount the possibility.


It does not help when pharmacuetical companies pressure the government not to fund testing on less socially 'approved' methods of treating illness......I mean if something else works they don't have as much corporate power anymore. So I would say yes scientific testing is the best way to figure out if something is effective, but when the funding does not exist......that cannot very well take place as much as it needs to, to get such things approved.


I tend to agree.

/dreams of a day when healthcare and profiteering are divorced.


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18 Jun 2011, 1:34 pm

Surfman wrote:
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


Thank you.

I agree that a lot of the newer, much less tested, medications are definitely driven by money. As the older medications become available as generic formulations the drug companies produce newer drugs that they can continue to sell for full price. And of course the whole thing is parasitically latched onto the insurance industry.

This is interesting: http://casesblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/t ... tions.html

You can bet that most pharmaceutical manufacturers see all of those generics in the top 10 and consider them lost revenue.



lauraflight757
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18 Jun 2011, 1:48 pm

I am on 300mg of Effexor XR, 400mg of Seroquel XR and 2.5mg of Klonopin. I also take 100mg of regular Seroquel and 2mg of Ativan as needed. The Effexor XR has helped my severe anxiety and depression, the Seroquel XR has helped my severe anxiety, depression, irritability and aggression. The Klonopin and Ativan help with my severe anxiety. I don't feel brainwashed and I think that anyone who does feel that way should reevaluate with their psychiatrist the doseage of their medications or even their need for such medications in the first place.



aelf
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18 Jun 2011, 2:24 pm

It seems to me that the concepts underlying anti-psychotics and anti-depressives are strongly culturally based, and so I am inclined to reflexively view those medications as "brainwashing" agents of cultural conformity.



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18 Jun 2011, 2:38 pm

aelf wrote:
It seems to me that the concepts underlying anti-psychotics and anti-depressives are strongly culturally based, and so I am inclined to reflexively view those medications as "brainwashing" agents of cultural conformity.


I would like to see more explanation of this.



Seph
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18 Jun 2011, 2:50 pm

Verdandi wrote:
aelf wrote:
It seems to me that the concepts underlying anti-psychotics and anti-depressives are strongly culturally based, and so I am inclined to reflexively view those medications as "brainwashing" agents of cultural conformity.


I would like to see more explanation of this.


Seconded. Elaborate please.


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aelf
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18 Jun 2011, 3:00 pm

Verdandi wrote:
aelf wrote:
It seems to me that the concepts underlying anti-psychotics and anti-depressives are strongly culturally based, and so I am inclined to reflexively view those medications as "brainwashing" agents of cultural conformity.


I would like to see more explanation of this.


Well, as wikipedia says about mental disorders:
Quote:
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual components.


...following from that kind of reasoning, your psychological and behavioral patterns are judged to be functional or dysfunctional at least partially based upon how normal they are to the culture in which they occur.

Essentially, the idea that psychoses and depression are caused by "dysfunctions" in the brain is predicated on the idea that the psychoses and depression are themselves dysfunctional in the the first place. Implicitly then, the culturally consensual idea of what is real determines what thoughts are psychotic by opposition, and so it only makes sense to judge certain thoughts or perceptions as psychotic if you are unwilling to question the consensual reality of the culture at large. The same is true of depression. It is widely recognized that people who feel depressed when they "have a reason" to be sad (grief, divorce, etc) aren't *actually* suffering from depression, they're just sad about something that it makes sense to be sad about. But to say that depression is a brain dysfunction is also to imply that there is nothing that it makes sense for them to be sad about (in their lives, on a day to day basis). Which itself is to imply that one is unwilling to call into question the value structure of the surrounding culture in which the depression takes place.

Like a conclusion is what you have when you stop questioning, mental dysfunction is what you have when you cannot or will not question the sanity of the environment in which it occurs.

This is probably a jumpy post, because I am trying not to write ten pages of exposition on this. Hopefully, that made sense.



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18 Jun 2011, 3:02 pm

Before I answer, do you have anything that would be considered to be a mental illness?



aelf
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18 Jun 2011, 3:15 pm

Verdandi wrote:
Before I answer, do you have anything that would be considered to be a mental illness?


I am sure that I would be conventionally considered to have at least one mental illness or dysfunction. Both psychosis and affective problems would most likely be present in any professional assessment I obtained. And in addition, I seem to have certain commonalities with people on the autism spectrum, though again, no official diagnosis there.



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18 Jun 2011, 3:27 pm

aelf wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
Before I answer, do you have anything that would be considered to be a mental illness?


I am sure that I would be conventionally considered to have at least one mental illness or dysfunction. Both psychosis and affective problems would most likely be present in any professional assessment I obtained. And in addition, I seem to have certain commonalities with people on the autism spectrum, though again, no official diagnosis there.


I don't consider autism a mental illness.

Anyway, the reason I asked is because having mental illness is not a walk in the park, or just a matter of having a perspective different from the cultural norm. I do not like my anxiety, depression, or panic disorder at all. The experience of each is unpleasant and often consumes time and energy just trying to cope with them. If I medicate my panic attacks, is that cultural brainwashing or am I improving my ability to function so I don't get stuck spending potentially hours a day trying to ignore and banish the sense that death is imminent from any of a half-dozen possible conditions that I probably don't even have? Is it cultural brainwashing if I don't want to get caught up in a series of increasingly bad worse-case scenarios that may never happen when I consider doing something new or spontaneously? Is it cultural brainwashing if I don't want to get stuck in a depressed mood and ruminate about how to kill myself?

I want to understand how these are strictly cultural constructs and what role personal agency and choice plays in these things?



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18 Jun 2011, 4:59 pm

Verdandi wrote:
I don't consider autism a mental illness.


I apologize if I came across as implying that I considered autism to be a mental illness. If it is not clear, I don't consider autism, psychosis *or* depression to be mental illnesses. I'm just using the terminology that is familiar in this culture, and as regards autism was trying to explain why I'm on this board although some other non-autistic diagnoses would probably be considered applicable to me.

Quote:
Anyway, the reason I asked is because having mental illness is not a walk in the park, or just a matter of having a perspective different from the cultural norm.


I also apologize if it seemed as if I was implying that I thought that having the things we're referring to as "mental illnesses" were a "walk in the park", or otherwise being blown out of proportion by you or anyone else who lives with them (including me). I don't think that. I myself have suffered greatly as a result of them, and I certainly don't want to trivialize anyone's experiences. I am merely trying to communicate that I see things in a different way than the standard cultural judgments and theoretical structures.

Quote:
I do not like my anxiety, depression, or panic disorder at all. The experience of each is unpleasant and often consumes time and energy just trying to cope with them.


I have similar experiences along these lines.

Quote:
If I medicate my panic attacks, is that cultural brainwashing or am I improving my ability to function so I don't get stuck spending potentially hours a day trying to ignore and banish the sense that death is imminent from any of a half-dozen possible conditions that I probably don't even have? Is it cultural brainwashing if I don't want to get caught up in a series of increasingly bad worse-case scenarios that may never happen when I consider doing something new or spontaneously? Is it cultural brainwashing if I don't want to get stuck in a depressed mood and ruminate about how to kill myself?

I want to understand how these are strictly cultural constructs and what role personal agency and choice plays in these things?


To clarify, I would say that (in general) the cultural construct here is the idea that experiences such as you are describing are the result of something "wrong" with the person having those experiences, rather than something "wrong" with the situation that those experiences are in reaction to. Indeed, the cultural consensus seems to be that the experiences aren't really in reaction to anything at all.

To simplify and go back to an earlier example I used, sadness due to a loved one's death is not considered a dysfunction in the way that "chronic depression" is. Conventionally, the culture recognizes that there is something for the survivor to be sad about, and so there is no judgment made as to something being wrong with them for being sad. However when a person is characterized as being "chronically depressed" and having a "mental illness", there is implicitly a *lack* of recognition that there is anything for that person to be sad about, and as a result the experience of the emotion is blamed upon something being wrong with them, some flaw in their brain (or soul, in earlier times).

My point, I suppose, is that it only makes sense to label an emotional reaction dysfunctional when it does not seem like a reasonable reaction to the person's situation, and it only makes sense to label an emotional experience as being *a state and not a reaction* when you cannot see anything in their situation that it might be a reaction to. Because for the most part, it seems to me that emotions generally serve as a kind of abstract, high-complexity perceptual system similar to intuition. The hurt that a person might feel if they find out they have been cheated on is not a physiological pain; it is a pain about something more abstract than that, wrapped up in the abstract thing they call their life. But it's still an emotional experience in response to something that is happening, something that is *wrong* with their situation.

If the person experienced that kind of emotion all the time, without any obvious cause, of course it would seem to imply that there is something wrong with their emotional systems, right? The problem is that whether or not there is an "obvious cause" in their situation/environment is a judgment which is heavily culturally conditioned. For example, if a woman is upset about the way she and other women get treated in a patriarchal society, is she sad or is she mentally ill? You and I might be able to clearly point out patriarchy as an obvious cause there, but that kind of thing might be invisible to a person raised within that culture. That's the thing about cultures: the rules by which they operate are generally invisible and unquestioned assumptions to the people in that culture. If a person can't question the value structures of their society, then they are left to conclude that there is something wrong *with them*, rather than something wrong with their society.

But to you and me, living in the modern world, I think it's safe to say that it's quite possible for a women in a repressive patriarchy to be sad all the time, for a black slave born into slavery to be sad all the time, at least to the same extent that many people diagnosed as 'chronically depressed" are. If you take as a given the value of the societies those people are living in, then their emotional conditions are clearly dysfunctional and indicate that they are flawed people. But if you *don't* assume the value of their societies, then it seems obvious that their emotional conditions are responses to their social conditions. From one perspective, these people are mentally ill. From another, they're quite sane and perceptive.

Now if you take that outlook and train it on current, modern, advanced liberal society, what do you see? Large numbers of people are depressed. Conventional wisdom would say that there is something wrong with all of those people. Well, of course it does, because conventional wisdom comes from the culture, and the culture generally won't say there's something wrong with *itself* that all those people are reacting to.

What I'm saying is that I am not convinced that these "illnesses" are dysfunctions. When I look at the world and history and see so many cultural conditions that seem to me to be obviously dysfunctional, I am more inclined to look for the source of the problem in the culture and not the person. Because when I consider emotions, I look at them first as high-level abstract judgment/perception systems, like in the cheating case I mentioned earlier. It only makes sense to me to consider them to be problems caused by flaws in the individual if I conclude there are no problems for them to be reacting to in their lives. And for me, that's a huge stretch. So huge that I'm not willing to conclude such a thing, given what I have seen of the world so far.

None of this is a personal moral judgment about you or what you do or do not do to cope with the world you live in.

I work with my hands. Lots of people who work with their hands get repetitive strain injuries. From a physiological perspective, the pain they feel is kind of a message that says they are damaging their bodies by doing what they are doing over and over again. The response that most people in my culture have to this phenomenon is to treat the pain so that they can go back to doing the things that damage their bodies; they behave as though the pain were the problem and not the activity.

Absent the proper context, this behavior seems wildly insane. Of course, when you add in the context that these people are doing this in order to continue to make money, in order to continue to eat, in order to continue to live, well, now it makes sense. But it only makes sense when you have that cultural context, not otherwise. Behavior that would seem clearly insane is rendered quite reasonable by cultural context and conditioning.

And I feel much the same way about perceptions of what is reality as well, and hopefully you can infer what a similar argument about psychosis would look like, because I really don;t want to have to type it out.

I get the feeling that I have just repeated myself several times, and I hope it was at least in the service of making myself a little more clear. Please let me know if that is not the case.



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18 Jun 2011, 5:06 pm

You made yourself a lot clearer. Thank you.

I think I've been having a lot of brain fog today, too.