Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: about the chemical imbalance concept

Posted by Emme on August 21, 2004, at 13:37:49

In reply to about the chemical imbalance concept, posted by RH on August 19, 2004, at 15:03:59


First off, I'd like to say that I agree with the above poster about using the term "happy pills". It makes me feel like those of us who take them are being judged as taking the easy way out, which we're not. We take them to get us out of emotional hell to the point where we can do the things we need to do to become happy. I think if you took a poll here, you'd find a lot of people who'd rather not have to take medicine and put up with side effects, etc.

It sounds to me like your're drawing an unnecessarily tight division between biological and psychological causes of mood/anxiety disorders. They're not mutually exclusive and the interplay between them is complex at best. Studies have shown that optimal results are obtained with a combination of therapy and medication. Even if there were someone completely free of major problems in their past, they might need counseling to help cope with the impact of the illness on their life.

The balance between biochemical and psychological issues won't be the same for everyone. Mood/anxiety disorders are heterogeneous. They manifest themselves differently in everyone and the etiology for one person may be different than someone else's. Likewise, different pharmacologic approaches are needed for different people.

You might have:
- a person without major psychodynamic issues who has a mood or anxiety disorder anyway. (Although I suspect it would be tough to find anyone no issues. We all have baggage of some sort.)

- another person who has an inborn vulnerability that is never expressed because they don't experience *enough* psychological distress.

- a third person with an inborn vulnerability that is triggered by distress or trauma. The biologic component of their illness is no less real than for a person with allergies who happens to end up standing in a field of ragweed.

- a fourth person who has undergone psychological stress but doesn't have depression or anxiety because their particular makeup allows them to escape it. And so on....

I think underlying psychodynamic issues needn't be thought about in terms of moral judgments. You don't need to do that in order to be effective. You need to figure out and address what's going on that isn't healthy for the individual or those around them. Isn't that what's going on with your example of the woman who dances nude? Would it make more sense to say "Your nude dancing is immoral." or to find out why she's dancing nude and say "this isn't good for you for these reasons...." Maladaptive behaviors aren't necessarily immoral.





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