Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

Re: Article on Brain Laterality and Emotions

Posted by Adam on November 11, 1999, at 23:35:42

In reply to Article on Brain Laterality and Emotions, posted by Noa on November 11, 1999, at 13:22:27

Thank you for posting the article, Noa.

Starting around the time I was 15 I began to develop a preoccupation with the shape of my face. I have
a slightly longish nose and a bit of a receding chin, but am "normal" looking in all respects and even
"cute" to some (aren't we all:)) Anyway, with time I became increasingly uncomfortable with my own reflection.
I began to develop a positive loathing for the shape of my face, and a near constant preoccupation with it.
I started spending whatever time I could checking my reflection in private, holding mirrors at different
angles or using two mirrors to check a profile, while in public averting my gaze if I saw myself in a
refelctive window or the boy's room. I became fearful of what others thought of me, of my appearrance, if
they might be disturbed or disgusted by my deformity. It consumed hours of my time. I lived with this
for roughly seven years, and it is still a wonder to me that I ever dated or dared to go out in public some
times. It hurt some of my relationships, because if I did feel close enough to someone to talk about my fear,
I often sought reassurance that I was OK, and this was often distressing and bizarre to the people I opened up
to. It was torture. To have this combined (and doubtlessly contributing to) depression made me feel suicidal

I briefly sought psychatric treatment while in college, but didn't discuss much of my disorder. After graduating,
I started a job at the National Institutes of Health. I was living alone in a new city (D.C.), feeling badly at
times, and started seeing another psychiatrist. For the first time really I opened up about my illness, and
described my preoccupation with my face, which made me so uncomfortable I literally was squirming in my seat.
After a few brief visits he concluded that I was severly depressed and partially delusional, that I probably was
suffering from a form of psychosis and felt I should try an antidepressant and a neuroleptic. I walked out of his
office with a prescription for Tofranil (which I had tried briefly before)and some other drug I can't remember now
and didn't go back. I spent the next week in a state of near shock. Me, psychotic.

About few weeks later I attended a talk (given as part of a summer lecture series for student interns at the NIH)
given by Dr. Judith Rapoport on obsessive compulsive disorder. Body dysmorphia wasn't discussed, but I felt such
a surge of recognition for some of the things she described I was beside myself. I had no idea, had never heard
of OCD before, had not the slightest inkling of how significant my being there would be to me. After the talk I
immediately went back to my lab, got out a phone directory, found out where Dr. Rapoport was. I met with her the
next day and within a month I was enrolled in a study at the NIMH on OCD. (Susan Swedo, MD was the PI) Part of
the study involved brain imaging (PET and MRI), other neurological tests, and behavioral therapy. It was, I think,
a lifesaving experience.

Though I am a little disapointed that OCD isn't diagnosed today at least in part using some of the imaging methods
that were utilized in the study, at least it and other phsysiological probes of mental disorders (such as the work
Noa cited)are being utilized in research, and hopefully will make it to the clinic before too long. I can think of
no other branch of medicine where potent drugs that can profoundly affect our biochemistry are prescribed on a regular
basis using only a series of questions as a diagnostic guide. Granted it was 1992, but that I could be diagnosed as
psychotic and prescribed a medication whose side effects included tardive dyskinesia based solely on one man's
impressions (I was never even given a standard diagnostic questionnaire) for an illness I did not have is astounding.
What would have become of me if I had not seredipetously been at Dr. Rapoport's talk I don't know. To this day I know
of no robust physiological test (besides maybe for thyroid or cortisol, which provide little useful information
in most cases) that the average psychiatric practitioner has at his or her disposal to help adequately treat a
neurological disease. We need such tests incredibly badly.
> Last week I posted a message about this article about neuroscience findings of brain laterality and emotions. I found the site for the online version, in case anyone is interested.




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Medication | Framed

poster:Adam thread:15015