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about the chemical imbalance concept

Posted by RH on August 19, 2004, at 15:03:59

In reply to Re: Larry, Re: about the chemical imbalance concept, posted by Simon Sobo, M.D. on April 26, 2003, at 6:51:22

Dr. Bob:

That's great info about the effects of "recreational" drugs and alcohol on OCD. I have been researching the "chemical imbalance" theory (fraud?) and have come to the preliminary conclusion that the various "happy pills" are just europhorics of one type or another.

I am still looking for the evidence that unipolar depression or bipolar do not have underlying psycho dynamic causes. All the unipolar and bipolars I know, a small sample group of about 5, all have issues that are evident to me, but of course, not to them.

I am quite experienced with the use of marijuana. It is definately a stress reducer or masker, and it helps relieve situational depression---so then why wouldn't it relieve clinical depression? I have read in posts at "Walkers In Darkness" that some of those there, who are unipolar depressed or bipolar, claim that pot works as well as any of the happy pills they have tried and that it's side affects are more preferable. Of course, many will not want to try pot because it is against the law and it may not be socially acceptable to them.

I know a woman, my neighbor, who is unipolar depressed, although she has never to my knowledge seen a pdoc. She doses herself with marijuana daily, and has anxiety as her little baggie gets low. But like a good patient, she "refills" her "presecription" with perfect regularity every Saturday morning. I don't think she has been without pot for more than 2 or 3 days per year for the last 20 years.

I don't recommend anyone treat their issues with pot. The point is that it seems to some of us who have not tried any happy pills that they are no more than that, happy pills. The underlying issues are still there.

For the chemical imalance theory to be valid, the following study would have to have been done. Do you know if it has and can you direct me to it. Namely, a large sample group of people with no signs of unipolar or bipolar depression would have to be followed for many years, starting perhaps as teenagers, and then when some presented symptoms of depression or mania, they would have to be screened for underlying psychodynamic issues. Only those that had none could be considered as possible evidence of the brain chemical imbalance being the cause, and not the effect.

But it may be difficult to establish underlying psychodynamic issues, as moral judgements have to be made, and many in the psych community go out of their way not to do that, thus I believe confusing the issue. For instance, I found a post at "Walkers in Darkness" where a woman on meds claimed that she also benifitted from dancing nude in front of men at a strip joint. Some pdocs would say good to that. But I would say that is an expression of her problem.

In a world of therapy that avoids making moral judgements of some kind, then many underlying causes will be overlooked, and in that case there would be no recourse except to take meds.

What do you think?





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