Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Cam: Bandage Theory

Posted by Peter S on May 23, 2001, at 13:36:51

In reply to Re: It doesn't get any better than this?, posted by Cam W. on May 23, 2001, at 2:44:09


I would be very careful about your use of metaphors and of judging others for not trying to change.

Back in the 50s some bright psychoanalyst thought up the notion of a "schizophrenogenic mother": the idea that mothers cause schizophrenia by sending their children mixed messages. This notion has since been discredited, but it has caused a great deal of damage to many well meaning and loving parents. You seem to be implying that those who continue to be depressed are too lazy to put in the work to rid themselves of their "aberrant thinking and dysfunctional coping mechanisms". I don't think this kind of thinking is constructive to finding real solutions to what is a very complicated phenomenon.

My point is that it is extremely easy for psychologists and wannabe psychologists to sit in their arm chairs and think of explanations for mental illness. Some of these ideas may have a degree of validity in certain cases and some may be pure hogwash. Many times the ideas that tend to be accepted depend on the promotional abilities of the theorist, or what is trendy at that moment in history.

The psychodynamic idea that depression is caused by intrapsychic conflict and the cognitive idea it is based on cognitive distortions both may be true to a lesser or greater extent in certain cases. However depression and mental illness are too complicated to be reduced to simplistic theories. The idea that anti-depressants are only bandages that cover over "real" issues sounds nice- but do you have any actual evidence to support your "bandage" theory?

I personally have spend thousands of dollars on therapy and huge quantities of time and effort working with my thoughts and feelings and have seen very little actual results from my work. The only thing that worked were anti-depressants- unfortunately they pooped-out.

I am in favor of any theory, medication, or treatment that contributes to our understanding of mental illness or works to ease people's suffering. Someone who says that they have "the answer" and that medications are a waste of time or are taking the easy way out is being counter productive.

BTW Cam I've read your posts before and I generally find your contributions very helpful. I also greatly respect your knowledge of pharmaceuticals. I don't mean to be overly critical and I hope this will stimulate some dialog about these questions.

Peter S.

> I find it funny (and ironic) that people expect a pill to make them "normal". Perhaps the psychiatric community isn't explaining what they do, in an understandable manner. Antidepressants (and all medications) are only bandages. They do not "cure" anything. Antidepressants help one function better in society, but the amount they are able to help one function depends on how much work one is willing to do to "get better". One can't take a pill and "fix" yourself. The only way to do that is to change your aberrant thinking and dysfunctional coping mechanisms. It has been my experience that few people are actually willing to go through the pain of changing themselves and would rather blame their situation on medications (it's easier than working on one's problem).
> My view - Cam




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