Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Would like everyone's opinion.... » SLS

Posted by galkeepinon on July 31, 2003, at 0:26:59

In reply to Re: Would like everyone's opinion...., posted by SLS on July 30, 2003, at 7:02:57

Scott, I just wanted to commend you on this post. Thank you so muchh for this! Thoughtful post.

Thanks again!


> The best answer to this question may be “either and both”.
> Many of us here have been diagnosed as having a mental illness.
> Mental illnesses are not mental weaknesses. The diagnoses that we
> are most familiar with include:
> 1. Major Depression (Unipolar Depression)
> 2. Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
> 3. Dysthymia (Minor Depression)
> 4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
> 5. Schizophrenia
> 6. Schizoaffective Disorder
> 7. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
> 8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
> 9. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
> 10. Panic Disorder
> All of these disorders have one thing in common. They are not our
> fault. Each disorder has both biological and psychological
> components. We all begin our lives with a brain that is built
> using the blueprints contained within the genes we inherit from
> our parents. Later, hormones change the brain to prepare it for
> adulthood. It is continually being changed by the things we
> experience. The brain determines the mind as the mind sculpts the
> brain. Unfortunately, the brain can also be changed in negative
> ways by things such as drugs, alcohol, injury, and chronic
> stress.
> How we think and feel are influenced by our environment. Probably
> the most important environment during our development is that of
> the family, with the most important time being our childhood. We
> all have both positive and negative experiences as we travel
> through life. How we are as adults is in large part determined by
> these positive and negative experiences. They affect our
> psychology, our emotions, and our behaviors. All of us can be
> hurt by unhealthy negative experiences.
> Some of us are also hurt by unhealthy brains. Medical science has
> long recognized that many mental illnesses are actually
> biological disorders. Even Sigmund Freud, who we know for his
> development of psychoanalysis, proposed a role for biology in
> mental illness. He was, after all, a neurologist. The first solid
> evidence for this concept in modern times came with the discovery
> of lithium in 1947. Lithium was found to cause the symptoms of
> bipolar disorder (manic-depression) to disappear completely,
> allowing previously disabled people to lead normal lives. Lithium
> helps to correct for the abnormal neurotransmission in the brain
> that is the cause of bipolar disorder. Subsequent medical
> discoveries included the observations that the drug, Thorazine
> (an antipsychotic), successfully treated schizophrenia, and that
> Tofranil (an antidepressant) successfully treated depression.
> Again, these drugs help to correct for the abnormal biology of
> the brain that accompanies these disorders.
> What about psychology? What role does it play in mental illness?
> This can be a
> two-way street. The abnormal biology that occurs with some
> mental illnesses affects our psychology – how we think, feel, and
> behave. On the other hand, our psychology can also affect our
> biology. As we now know, the emotional stresses and traumas we
> experience change the way our brains operate. This is especially
> true of things we experience during childhood. These stresses can
> trigger the induction of abnormal brain function that leads to
> major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other
> major mental illnesses. In order for this to happen, however,
> there must be a genetic or some other biological vulnerability to
> begin with.
> Unfortunately, there are still too many people who cannot bring
> themselves to believe that the most common mental illnesses are
> actually brain disorders. However, the vast majority of our top
> researchers in psychiatry and neuroscience do.
> The National Institutes of Health, the federal government’s
> official repository of medical research, has made available to
> the public free publications describing the current research into
> psychiatric disorders. They include descriptions of the
> biological and psychological aspects of major mental illness.
> Each press release and research publication begins by stating
> emphatically that these are indeed brain disorders.
> NIMH Public Inquiries
> 6001 Executive Boulevard, Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
> Bethesda, MD 20892-9663 U.S.A.
> Voice (301) 443-4513; Fax (301) 443-4279
> TTY (301) 443-8431
> It is important to remember that not all psychological and
> emotional difficulties are biological in origin. Again, we are
> all products of our environments – family, friends, enemies,
> school, work, culture, climate, love, war, etc. Environments that
> are unhealthy often produce unhealthy people. However, this, too,
> is not our fault.
> In conclusion, regardless of the cause of our mental illnesses,
> it is important that we treat both the biological and the
> psychological. We will all benefit most if we do.
> - Scott




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