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Re: Cam: Bandage Theory Peter S

Posted by JahL on May 25, 2001, at 11:30:50

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

Peter. Thank you for expressing so well what I am too angry to put into words right now. I don't take Cam's words personally; he knows nothing about me or my struggles (this much is obvious). To be quite frank tho' it's an insult to all the hard work I've put in over the years. Like coming top of the year @ a school already biased towards intelligent pupils. Like being only the 3rd pupil *ever* to score perfect grades @ my college. Like earning a place @ a top 5 uni. All this required hard work & amounts to some achievement bearing in mind I was seriously ill (ADD a component) thru' all of it.

[ "What's that? Right. Burying my head in books to avoid confronting my emotional demons. OKaaaay. Actually, tried working, heavy socialising, girlfriends.You name it. Still v. depressed. So what gives???" ]

Therapy wasted over 2 years of my life & $10,000 I didn't have. I was more depressed at the end of it. Not for lack of effort. Tried group, interpersonal, cognitive, behavioural etc. And you know what? The only people I saw get 'better' were those who had a clear case of 'enviromental' depression (ie recent loss of a loved one), and a girl whose speed-induced psychoses gradually faded with time (she no longer used). Of course the therapists were only too happy to claim the credit for that one. She wasn't cured; she just gained acces to a caring, supportive group who encouraged her to stay away from the drugs, allowing the psychosis to resolve (no bad thing of course). At best the majority of patients were cajoled into a grudging acceptance of their condition, & perhaps gained a little self-knowledge.

The fact is psychoanalytic theory looks great on paper but has little real-world application. The main problem? Mixed up causality. I have **nothing** to be depressed about so why do these individuals continue to invent obscure & frankly bizarre explanations as to why I am? Also it's seen as politically correct (ie virtuous, 'natural', involves taking 'responsibility'; or more accurately, *the blame*) & so is protected from criticism.

Many years ago it made sense to believe the earth was flat. We'd all fall off the edge of the world if it wasn't. "Surely". Then some brave individuals posited that actually the world is round. Of course they were condemned & ridiculed for their views but gradually science caught up with theory & Einstein 'discovered' gravity. Case closed. I believe there are still many 'flat-earth' believers in relation to psychiatry.

I reckon I could quite easily discredit psychotherapy (or more accurately, its bold claims) in its entirety, but the severe mental retardation & agitation I suffer from (due to my *biological* illness, & I think I wld know) would prevent me doing so in either a lucid or civil manner. And perhaps this isn't the board for it anyway.

Anyway, (more than) enough said.
Thanks also to those who posted along similar lines. We must continue to educate those who'd have it that we are in some way responsible for our mental illness. Yes, hard work & endeavour are rec'd but this is so for all people, whether mentally ill or not. It's certainly no answer for serious mental illness.

"Walk away Jah."
"Okay I will. This is doing my stress levels no good. Thanks & Goodbye. J."

========================================================================
> 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.


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