Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Anti-Placebo Effect: Lengthy Lecture.

Posted by JohnL on October 31, 1999, at 7:38:04

In reply to Re: Anti-Placebo Effect, posted by Kathy on October 31, 1999, at 4:00:53

>> My talk therapist and I parted company soon after this impasse. I know she was angry and frustrated because she couldn`t help me, but losing her hurt more than anything else in my whole life.

I know that feeling of comfort and reassurace a therapist can give. Kind of like a cocoon. Sometimes we get drawn into that and continue paying for service that in fact isn't really helping much. But face it, all that time and money and you're still in trouble? I respect my therapist so much because after 6 weekly visits of frustrating progress, he was honest in suggesting we might not make further progress in a meaningful way without medication first. He strongly insisted on medication first. Then therapy continuation later. Obviously honest and compassionate, because he lost money while I was out getting attention with medicine instead. I think your therapist has milked you dry and I cannot for the life of me understand feeling any loss in bringing that unsuccessful relationship to an end.

>>As for my P-doc, I can`t imagine ever being brave enough to ask him this--as it is I don`t sleep at all the nights before my appointments. I`m always in so much terror that he`s going to imply that I`m a fool to keep trying meds, that it`s my own fault I`m depressed.

If that's the case, you definitely have the wrong pdoc. There are others ya know. Who pays who anyway? And it's YOUR fault? Ha. That pdoc should go back to school and start over.

>> I realize I`m projecting (I paid $40,000 for therapy that didn`t work,but I did get that much out of it). But I don`t know how to stop.

Not so hard. Just say stop. Enough already. Wipe the board clean. Get a new pdoc. Ditch the therapy for a while. You've got the rest of your life to go back to it if you want. Your previous approaches and your current medical support is lacking. Make some calls. Ask around. Plenty of choices. Never too late to start fresh. Sometimes it's best just to throw out the old and start with something new. Like instead of pouring tons of money into an old car, sooner or later it's best just to drive it to the junkyard and go buy a new one.

>> I really admire all the people on this board who truly believe that depression is just a biochemical thing.

It's a clinically proven fact, not a belief. Thousands of scientific studies prove it. It is a biochemical thing, intertwined with the psychological. Who's been feeding you such nonsense? Is diabetes a biochemical thing? How about a skin disorder? Bone marrow depression? Mental retardation? What makes one believe the brain is somehow off limits and immune to having a biological problem?

>> I have so much shame about my depression.

That's a classic symptom of depression. Depression 101.

>> Deep down I believe I`m depressed because I`m bad and I`m bad because I`m depressed, that I deserve to be depressed because I`m shy and fat.

More classic textbooks symptoms. A therapist would want you to believe there are deepseeded problems to solve by talk. That's so they can keep making money. But you describe classic textbook symptoms of depression that are indeed relieved with medication alone.

>> Seven yers of therapy didn`t touch this belief, even though I know intellectually there are plenty of people who are shy and fat but not depressed.

I'm skinny shy and tall. Body size doesn't have that much to do with anything. A lot of people are overweight because they are depressed, not vica versa. Overeating is yet another classic textbook symptom that represents a form of self-medication. Depression causes the overeating. Then the shame of fatness worsens the depression. What a vicious circle. Antidepressants can and do break that vicious cycle. Even if one remains fat, the shame can be tamed. And then one can actually get out of the dark hole and do something about it.

>> For the people who`ve been lucky enough to find meds that work-do they really change your deep down beliefs about yourself?

Actually yes. A shy person can become comfortable in a crowd. Confident speaking with a boss. Proud of oneself. In control. Content instead of worried. Huge issues become small and easily manageable. Negative thought patterns take a back seat. Without even trying. The burdens that weigh you down suddenly become lightweight.

>> That seems so impossible-as science fictionish as being able to pop a pill on a flight to Paris and suddenly being able to speak French.

Try popping a pill of heroin or LSD. That's an extreme example, but imagine what that would do to you. You might indeed speak French! :) (joking) Is that science fiction? How about a sleeping pill. Science fiction? How about insulin for a diabetic. Science fiction? On and on and on. You know, antidepressants can and do actually reverse all the feelings you describe. All by themselves. Then, once you're brain is on an even keel, all the talk therapy begins to have a real impact. You can accomplish in one session what used to take 20 sessions. Take leaps forward instead of tiny steps.

Sorry, don't mean to be so straight forward here. I just get so irked when therapists and doctors inadvertently lead patients astray. I've been in your shoes and it still angers me how much time was wasted in futile efforts. A good therapist and a good doctor would have had your life back in order many years ago. Maybe not cured, but at least 90% better than you are now. Maybe indeed totally cured. It's not too late. Forget them all. Go out and get a new team. You've tried the other approach already. So try this one instead...get stabilized on a good medicine first with a new doc. Then go back to the talk therapy. Drugs first, talk second. Then come tell us how wonderful you feel and how you wish someone would have guided you that way in the first place. Like my therapist told me, focus on finding a med that I can tolerate at therapeutic doses and that works. If that isn't accomplished FIRST, nothing else will work. That's my experience anyway.




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