Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Life is a chemical imbalance

Posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 12:00:04

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by FredPotter on July 10, 2005, at 23:59:06

I won't weigh in here regarding the propriety of various psych drugs, though basic research will show that historically drugs once touted as the best of the best have later fallen in esteem. Drugs once presumed to be the best available have later been recognized as not the best approach, and such evolving understanding is likely to continue, even regarding some drugs in wide use these days.

It's just that I've never felt too persuaded by this chemical imbalance assertion. Which chemical is imbalanced? Is it a deficiency or an excess of that chemical? What is it imbalanced against? If there is too little serontonin to satisfy an increased number of receptor sites, are the chemicals imbalanced or has the architecture of neurons become "imbalanced"? Is diabetes a "Chemical imbalance"? Is liver disease a "chemical imbalance"? What about Alzheimers, with its atropy of neural networks? We can accurately describe the atropied networks as assemblages of imbalanced chemicals.

If most diseases result from some sort of deficiency or excess of various chemicals, how is "chemical imbalance" any more descriptive of diseases related to a particular organ such as the brain? As one writer points out, the term "Chemical imbalance" seldom if ever appears in scientific literature. It more often appears in contexts intended to encourage clients to comply with medical advice, or to encourage associates of a client to support medical advice. For the majority of clients and families it might be useful rhetoric, but for me, it hints that someone is offering a remedy they cannont fully explain, and it tends to alert me that there is more to the explanation than I am being offered in a cursory reference to a "Chemical imbalance". Without a more detailed explanation of how a drug is expected to cause an intended effect, I am unlikely to swallow any drug intended to alter my mental outlook.




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