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Re: Bandage Theory (Peter and Gil) Peter S

Posted by Cam W. on May 23, 2001, at 17:26:38

In reply to Cam: Bandage Theory, posted by Peter S on May 23, 2001, at 13:36:51

I have worked in pharmacy for more thn 17 years and I have yet to find any cures from medications. The only "cures", where some disease is actually fixed, is through surgery. All the heart meds, cholesterol meds, insulin, psych meds, etc., do not cure anything. Even antibiotics don't cure an infection, they just control the growth rate of bacteria so that the body's defense mechanisms (immune system) can destroy the adult bacteria that are not currently dividing (antibiotics kill only dividing cells).

Psych meds don't cure, but they can help lead to remission. This is confounded by the fact that many people go into spontaneous remission and ultimately recover (eg. reactive depression) and the pill is given the credit. As for side effects, all meds have side effects. Side effects are only effects of the drug that we don't want at that time. One man's side effect is another man's treatment effect. I have seen people go through a number of cholesterol meds and heart meds, having debilitating side effects (yes, even on the newer ones), similar to the way many of us have to go through antidepressants. If psych meds did cure, then one wouldn't have to take them forever. The best thing that you could say about psych meds is that they either "put a floor under our feet" or "plant our feet on the ground." This allows us to do the work necessary to become productive members of society.

I think that one of the reasons that it looks like drugs for the brain are lagging behind drugs for other medical conditions is that most of the drugs for cholesterol or heart are acting on systems whose mechanisms have been figured out. Our knowledge of the working of the brain is far from complete. It is hard to make a drug that will act only where you want it to; the brain just doesn't work like that. Disparate areas of the brain are intricately linked and playing with one part affects all the parts.

Yes, I know I did over-generalize on people not working to overcome their psychiatric problems, but I still believe that the television and 50 years of patent medicine commercials have given a majority of the Western public the attitude that you can cure all your problems by taking a pill (actually the "take a pill to cure your ills" advertising is hundreds of years old. Yes, baby steps are the only way to monitor our successes and yes, it can be a long drawn out process, consisting of many road blocks and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But still, we have to scratch away, not give up, and not blame the meds. I apologize to those out there who are truly working to overcome their problems and are trying to lead relatively normal lives. I would hazard a guess that the people who frequent this board are more likely to be working on their treatment (rather than being a passive patient) because just logging on to this site means that one is looking for answers or knowledge.

To really get a handle on therapy, one must be able to work on their disorder in spite of these limitations. One must work with their doctor as a partner, not as a passive follower of doctors orders (yes, many docs are to blame for not allowing patients a say in their treatment). A patient's attitude and imput is very important to the success or failure of a treatment regimen.

I do stand behind the "Bandage Theory" and I still do think that a majority of people do not work to function at the highest possible level that they can. I guess I am a believer in the laziness of man. For a good example, just look at the failure of Soviet communism.

I hope that this shows my position a little clearer and I apologize to those who were upset by my original posts. Again, everything I say on this board is refutable; I don't hold a corner on the "being right" market. I guess now would be a good time for a caveat.

CAVEAT: Never trust my advice without a second opinion. I am as wrong as the next guy; especially in a science as inexact as psychiatry. This is another reason that I like this board. If I do make a mistake, someone out there is bound to catch it.

Fumbling along with the rest of you. - Cam




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poster:Cam W. thread:63214