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The Illusions of Psychiatry

Mental Health 2011

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#1 Palisades

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:14 PM

http://www.nybooks.c...agination=false

That should boil the blood of anyone shelling out big bucks to be medicated by a shrink.

Plus, from her last article for the New York Review of Books:

Quote

When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain’s concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug. ...

But the main problem with the theory is that after decades of trying to prove it, researchers have still come up empty-handed. All three authors document the failure of scientists to find good evidence in its favor. Neurotransmitter function seems to be normal in people with mental illness before treatment. ...

Carlat refers to the chemical imbalance theory as a “myth” (which he calls “convenient” because it destigmatizes mental illness), and Kirsch, whose book focuses on depression, sums up this way: “It now seems beyond question that the traditional account of depression as a chemical imbalance in the brain is simply wrong.” ...

Kirsch and his colleagues used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain FDA reviews of all placebo-controlled clinical trials, whether positive or negative, submitted for the initial approval of the six most widely used antidepressant drugs approved between 1987 and 1999—Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Serzone, and Effexor. This was a better data set than the one used in his previous study, not only because it included negative studies but because the FDA sets uniform quality standards for the trials it reviews and not all of the published research in Kirsch’s earlier study had been submitted to the FDA as part of a drug approval application.

Altogether, there were forty-two trials of the six drugs. Most of them were negative. Overall, placebos were 82 percent as effective as the drugs, as measured by the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), a widely used score of symptoms of depression. The average difference between drug and placebo was only 1.8 points on the HAM-D, a difference that, while statistically significant, was clinically meaningless. The results were much the same for all six drugs: they were all equally unimpressive. Yet because the positive studies were extensively publicized, while the negative ones were hidden, the public and the medical profession came to believe that these drugs were highly effective antidepressants.

Edited by Palisade, 23 June 2011 - 04:39 PM.

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#2 Nonny

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:27 AM

Thank you so much for posting this.  I'll read the rest of the article later, but for now, I'll just say that this is the kind of information I've been waiting for, because looking for it was too painful.  

As much as I would have liked to have had VA health care in 1983 when I so desperately needed it, I would not have received the psychological support I get now, so I grudgingly admit that 1994 was a better year for me to enroll (I was turned away in 1983, but the men who were treated for PTSD back then were not treated well or effectively).  In 1994 I was taken straight to Psychology, met my psychologist immediately, and was recognized as someone who needed talk therapy, no drugs.  

Transferring to a new VAMC in 1999, I faced group and drugs only therapy, but my psychologist at the old VAMC lobbied the new one for months to get me one on one.  It took years to get it right, and a psychiatrist who agreed I should not be drugged, but I still have to justify my talk therapy whenever the group em and drug em types try to corral the rest of us.  Most of my friends taking the meds wish they hadn't started, because giving them up is difficult and dangerous.
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

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#3 Themis

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 11:29 AM

Well, I talked and talked and didn't improve until I went on an anti-depressant.  So they work for me.
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#4 Nonny

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 12:37 PM

View PostThemis, on 25 June 2011 - 11:29 AM, said:

Well, I talked and talked and didn't improve until I went on an anti-depressant.  So they work for me.
Good!  What I object to is forcing meds on people like me, who suffer horrifying side effects, and are then told that we're making it up.  

Talk therapy is kind of a misnomer, though, since the talk needs to be followed by the patient's hard work.  My mental health care team supports keeping me unmedicated because they know I'll do the work. Besides, not every mental health care professional is good at one on one talk therapy, and not every good professional and motivated patient will be a good fit.  I am very lucky that I managed to find good ones at both of my VAMCs.  

BTW has your psychiatrist warned you of the potential effects of stopping your meds or cutting your dosage?  Because of the rising cost of meds, some patients have stopped or cut dosages, and that can have a devastating effect.  Whether a patient is likely to do this or not, the warning should always be given, and I suspect it seldom is.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#5 obsidianstorm13

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 04:55 PM

Ditto Themis and Nonny:  My Doctor over here in the UK prescribed them for me and has told me that I shouldn't just stop taking them.  SSRI's are my friends!



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