Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 525148

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Re: Life is a chemical imbalance

Posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 13:08:11

In reply to Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 12:00:04

Another aspect of the matter is that, even is some mental irregularities are traced to genetic causes, obviously not all mental difficulty is genetic.

In some contexts, it is important for a person to understand they suffer from lingering stresses. Especially among inmate populations and among some recovering substance abusers, genetic factors might be present, but many of these people started life in traumatic environments that most likely effected the way they see the world now. Understanding that anger control problems today are related to childhood circumstances can help explain to a person why they might not be as well prepared for some environments as are others. Childhood trauma might very well effect chemical balances later in life, but reference to the chemical aspects might not best describe relevant social, cultural and contextual factors that a person must now learn to navigate, whether they use meds or not.

 

Chemical Imbalance - generalizaton or specific? (nm)

Posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 13:15:40

In reply to Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by Racer on July 8, 2005, at 19:26:04

 

Life is a search for ballance. so

Posted by linkadge on July 11, 2005, at 16:20:00

In reply to Chemical Imbalance - generalizaton or specific? (nm), posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 13:15:40

We all try to seek ballance in our lives. Life can be difficult if thats what you are implying, that does not mean that the brain (when working properly) does not have the capability to deal with an extrordinary amount of insult.


I agree with much of what you say. But remember that these drugs showed their benefit first, and then the theory was implemented to try and explain the workings.

Weather or not a sick patient is willing to accept improvement in the absence of a perfect and complete understanding is their choice alone.

So is the theory air-tight ? Of course not. It really comes down to a personal choice. If a particulat drug helps me, then I have to carefully weight the known with the unknown.

Linkadge


 

I Agree With Link and Racer nm (nm) linkadge

Posted by Phillipa on July 11, 2005, at 18:32:12

In reply to Life is a search for ballance. so, posted by linkadge on July 11, 2005, at 16:20:00

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance

Posted by SLS on July 11, 2005, at 20:49:10

In reply to Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 12:00:04

CHEMICAL IMBALANCE?

Major Depressive Disorder = MDD
Bipolar Disorder = BD

> It's just that I've never felt too persuaded by this chemical imbalance assertion. Which chemical is imbalanced?

Scientists don't yet know the exact series of brain abnormalities that exist in people with MDD or BD that lead to the expression of these disorders, but empirical observation yields evidence from several diverse disciplines that something just ain't right. Something remains in an anomolous state of dysregulation during not only the state of depression, but also in the biologically vulnerable individual who is not in a state of depression (trait).

In actuality, neuroscientists have identified MANY chemical abnormalities in the brains and bodies of MDD and BD patients. They just haven't reached the point of putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together yet.

All of life is a chemical process. The brain is perhaps the most complex assemblage of chemicals in the universe. Anything abnormal it its function is thus the result of a CHEMICAL IMBALANCE. The term is accurate.


- Scott

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance SLS

Posted by FredPotter on July 12, 2005, at 0:33:24

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by SLS on July 11, 2005, at 20:49:10

Hi Scott So depression is a particular modality of imbalance. For a severe kind of imbalance that is brief and temporary we need only listen to music, say something heavy on emotion such as a great aria from Tosca

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance

Posted by SLS on July 12, 2005, at 9:42:08

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance SLS, posted by FredPotter on July 12, 2005, at 0:33:24

> Hi Scott So depression is a particular modality of imbalance.

I was talking specifically about MDD and BD.

> For a severe kind of imbalance that is brief and temporary

What kind, specifically? What triggered or is producing this depression?

> we need only listen to music, say something heavy on emotion such as a great aria from Tosca

For some people who describe themselves as being depressed, this is true, I'm sure.

For people who experience ultradian rapid cycling BD, their mood states change over the course of hours and not days or weeks. Nothing exogenous seems to interrupt this cycle. Their biology is autonomous and self-perpetuating.

One of the reasons it is so difficult to discuss the topic of "depression" is that this one word is used to describe many things. It means different things to different people, and people often generalize their own experience with it to those of others. What's more, the interaction between the brain and the mind is complex; the two being virtually inextricable. This is why psychotherapy or other exogenous influences can produce biological changes in the brain. These changes often help change the course of MDD. It can help bring about a remission, and is especially helpful to prevent relapse once remission is achieved.


- Scott

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal

Posted by Jakeman on July 12, 2005, at 20:52:07

In reply to Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 12:00:04

They featured a guy on the 60 minutes program the other night who developed Parkinson's at the same time he gained the ability to compose great works of classical music.

There are yogis who roam the streets of India getting their substanance from handouts. In this country those people would be labeled homeless and possibly insane.

In many tribal societies some of those who the west we would call schizophrenic are considered shamen.

My point I guess is that we in the industrialized west are overconcerned with the ideal of normalcy. No doubt that mental illness DOES CAUSE extreme pain, suicide. It has happened in my family. I just wish we could all could relax our views about what is correct. Perhaps being wrong in the head is very valuable. Perhaps if my uncle who killed himself in the 60's had todays medications he would still be alive. At the same time, if he did not feel condemned and ostracized maybe he could have lived with his depressions and delusions and flourished in his own way, hopefully with the the love and support of his family and community. But we are where we are.

Our psychiatrists and therapists are substitutes for something that's been lost. I don't blame them, they do they best they can.

Thanks for your all's posts. Great discussion.

warm regards ~Jake

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal

Posted by Declan on July 13, 2005, at 1:05:07

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal, posted by Jakeman on July 12, 2005, at 20:52:07

"Our psychiatrists and therapists are substitutes for something that's been lost".............Thanks for that Jake.
Declan

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal Declan

Posted by linkadge on July 13, 2005, at 6:59:33

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal, posted by Declan on July 13, 2005, at 1:05:07

I agree that our society is incomplete. It is the sensitive people who are bothered enough by it to become depressed. The "well" don't give a rats behind about whats really missing and go on in their lives in presuit of pleasure.

For instance, cutting in children is on the rise. That scares the hell out of me. That scares the absolute hell out of me. They're not imballanced, but we are trying to shove our rat race lifestyle in their face but they can't handle it. So when adults feel like lifes more than they can handle, they simply have to watch a comercial to undergo the (admittedly short lived) paradigm shift that maybe they are seeing the world wrong, and that the problem is in their preception. And that prozac will fix it, and make their problems go away.

There are a few outcomes to this.

a) They will natuarally adapt to their situation
(ie get better on their own) attribute it to
the AD

b) They will never adapt to their situation
and blame it on the AD

c) They will be stuck as a perpetual memeber
of the "placebo of the month" club

Its like "The emperors new cloths". All the adults sat there and pretended something was there, but it took a kid to point out the obvious.

There are square pegs in this community. And when we try and ram them into round holes stuff is going to come up.

Its all about creating socially aceptable personalities. Thats why serotogenics are so popular because serotonin civilizes people.

If there are chemically imballenced people, they are few and far between.

Just like I don't believe that half the class should be on ritalin. If half the class is "chemically imballanced" that says something about the system.

Linkadge

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal linkadge

Posted by ed_uk on July 13, 2005, at 13:32:57

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, what is normal Declan, posted by linkadge on July 13, 2005, at 6:59:33

>Just like I don't believe that half the class should be on ritalin. If half the class is "chemically imballanced" that says something about the system.

Is half the class on Ritalin? LOL, what school do you go to?!

~Ed

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance

Posted by saltate on July 14, 2005, at 0:47:57

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by so on July 11, 2005, at 13:08:11

On the whole "chemical imbalance" thing- the phrase is an oversimplification to make the concept useful for things like insurance and advertising purposes. To respond to Link's question about serotonin specifically, I think it is incorrect to get hung up on the concepts of more or less when you're talking about a complex system that has literally billions of cells are integrating and processing data. A good analogy is, lets say you cant drive a car. You might ask "Am i going too fast or too slow?" This is similar to the "do i need more or less serotonin" question. Drivng faster or slower does not mean you are driving correctly. You have to speed up sonetimes, slowdown other times, make turns, and come to abrupt stops. This is more what your serotenergic cells have to relearn how to do. They have to become better drivers. The reasons why specific medications help some people by increasing their intracellular levels of serotonin is unknown, but we do know that the increase in and of itself will not alleviate depression. The process is much more complex and frankly it is beyond the current scope of our knowledge about the brain to give a real "explanation." The best we can do is detect correlates, i.e., we can observe that certain receptor types downregulating corresponds with decreases in depression. This is not a "cause". To use the driver analogy, it is more like we noticed that you now check your rearview mirror, before switching lanes... and this somehow correlated with you being a better overall driver.. it is a small piece of the puzzle, but not a direct cause and effect.

 

Re: Life is a chemical imbalance

Posted by linkadge on July 14, 2005, at 6:26:12

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by saltate on July 14, 2005, at 0:47:57

SSRi's might just serve to enhance gabergic neurotransmission, and to essentially tame down certain limbic regions.

Linkadge

 

Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing

Posted by banga on July 14, 2005, at 18:11:42

In reply to Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by Racer on July 8, 2005, at 19:26:04

Sorry to interject here from nowhere--I have been gone from the board for quite a while and just happened to look in...

And why have I been gone?? you ask. Because my depression has *lifted*, and most of the anxiety along with it. Why, you ask? How?? Something change in my life? Nope. Listening to the right music, yoga? Nope. So its good therapy?! Nope.

It is medication.

With help from this board and a lot of trial and error, I have found a combo that works.
Believe me I have done everything to try and help suicidal depression (and it does run in the family, and genetic research *does* indicate mental illness is in many cases an heritable disease)that has wreaked havoc in my life.

Can other things help? Of course. Can't meds harm you? Of course. Do we know why or how meds work? In many cases, we dont know all the details, only glimpses of possibilities....

There is much that we do not know in this world. Not that we ought not try to understand, but just because we do not understand something does not mean we need to avoid it completely.

We *DO* need to be informed as well as possible, and be willing to take the challenge of taking charge of our health care, and make choices we can work with, given the info we can get.

I knew, and know, that there are downsides of drugs. I know they are far from perfect. They are not for everyone.
They do not work for everyone.
But They do work for some.

I evaluated the situation. My options. I researched. I weighed the risks and benefits.
And chose to try medication.
And I was, eventually, rewarded. I would not be sitting here writing up the last chapter of my dissertation, on the brink of becoming "Dr. Banga", and *choosing* a job from offered possibilities, were it not for the medication I am taking. I would not be enjoying life and having fun going out for coffeee with friends, or looking forward to a new puppy.

I would not be alive. Period.

And my cousin would not be living happily with a new child and husband despite her severe Bipolar. Had my mom had believed meds could help, maybem just maybe she would still be alive.

So I respect the people who choose other options, and do not wish to take meds, they ahve a basis to have reservations. I am sorry that some have been harmed. Medications truly are not without drawbacks. They are not to be taken lightly. People have argued well here regarding the pros and cons and what is or is not known about medication.

But I also respect those who do choose the help of medications, and who have the courage to pull through their suffering enough to keep trying to find what will work. In fact, I respect that courage more than anything in this world.

Hang in there, don't give up until you find what works, whether it is meds or something else. Maybe someday we will find beter solutions than the choices we have now. But for now, choosing meds is a respectable, and can be a successful, choice of action.
And hello and thanks to everyone here, esp. Ed of course.
Thank you for your attention. Sorry for the long post.

I need to get back to writing the thesis now.

Banga

 

Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing

Posted by linkadge on July 14, 2005, at 18:42:08

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by banga on July 14, 2005, at 18:11:42

I've been that optamistic before. I'd like to believe (and like to hope) it will last for you.

Linkadge

 

Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing

Posted by linkadge on July 14, 2005, at 18:46:03

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by banga on July 14, 2005, at 18:11:42

I would take meds, but being off them, and seeing the residual mess they leave. Seeing how they mess up my brain, I cannot start them again.

Just because you are happy, does not mean that your brain is not disolving slowly benith all the meds.

Thats what people think. The meds starts working, and they feel better, so they get all posative about the meds, and start assuming they're safe etc.

I don't think they're safe. I think they're only margnially effective, and therefore I am staying away from them for the time being.


Linkadge

 

Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing

Posted by banga on July 14, 2005, at 19:46:42

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by linkadge on July 14, 2005, at 18:46:03

> I would take meds, but being off them, and seeing the residual mess they leave. Seeing how they mess up my brain, I cannot start them again.
>
> Just because you are happy, does not mean that your brain is not disolving slowly benith all the meds.
>
> Thats what people think. The meds starts working, and they feel better, so they get all posative about the meds, and start assuming they're safe etc.
>
> I don't think they're safe. I think they're only margnially effective, and therefore I am staying away from them for the time being.
>
>
>

Yes, and I ought to have stated just how many times the meds worked for a tad, and then did not. and they ought never be the first course of action IMO. They were not in my case.

I did NOT say they are definitely safe, I said it is a risk-benefit analysis one needs to make, in their own case.

But I would be dead, period,
had I not tried and tried and tried even when I was without hope. And I mean that. I need not quote how deadly a disease depression, bipolar, and other mental disorders are. Mental illness, according to the from World Health Organization analyses, account for more job loss hours than ALL other classes of diseases COMBINED. Not that work is a measure of life, but the message is--mental illnesses are crippling diseases.

Dont forget alcoholism is usually associated with mental illness, they ought to have ALSO counted in the many deaths and illnesses caused by persons self-medicating.

Let's say they alter things chemically permanently in my case, well, at least I get a few more happy years in life than I would have had without them. So my quick answer to the brain fry comment --for my own case-- is: so what?
Thats how bad it was. And my cousin would be hospitalized for life without meds. So her dillemma...psychosis, or life?

Again, I understand you have had an awful time. and meds are *not* without drawbacks and dangers, I *never* said that. I am not assuming their safety and DAMN if only I did not need meds.
And DAMN, if I only did not have a mental illness at all.

But I do. And I chose medication as a reasonable course of action, in my case.


Ok no more long posts from me.

 

Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing banga

Posted by Racer on July 14, 2005, at 22:57:19

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by banga on July 14, 2005, at 19:46:42

I liked both your long posts. Congrats on your D! Whoohoo! Dr Banga! (What sort of doctor? As of today, I've got a little urge towards entomology, but I know I'll get over it if I look at pictures of bugs -- just a little inspired by reading Holldobler and Wilson...)

Also, like you, I look at the cost/benefit analysis of meds. For me, that takes a huge self-lecture about it, and a lot of support from friends. My experiences with meds have been less than stellar, and I have often thought that life is not worth what the drugs do to me.

Then I'll find a med that actually works. And then it seems worth it, for the most part. Daily headaches? Still better than the alternative.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful input on this matter.

 

Re: Life is NOT a chemical imbalance SLS

Posted by Racer on July 14, 2005, at 22:58:05

In reply to Re: Life is a chemical imbalance, posted by SLS on July 12, 2005, at 9:42:08

Life is a cabaret, my chum...

 

Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing

Posted by banga on July 15, 2005, at 12:56:11

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing banga, posted by Racer on July 14, 2005, at 22:57:19

> I liked both your long posts. Congrats on your D! Whoohoo! Dr Banga! (What sort of doctor? As of today, I've got a little urge towards entomology, but I know I'll get over it if I look at pictures of bugs -- just a little inspired by reading Holldobler and Wilson...)
>


Thanks--after I posted I thought geez I hope people did not think I was bragging....the point was meant to be--that 8 months ago none of this woud be remotely possible for me, to attain what for me was meaningful personally. Now it is in reach again.
I will have a doctorate in psychology. Irony, no? But I am not intending to do therapy -oriented work, never meant to, I am a research-oriented person.

 

Re: To Linkadge

Posted by Denise1966 on July 15, 2005, at 15:37:28

In reply to Re: Regarding the whole Chemical Imbalance thing, posted by linkadge on July 14, 2005, at 18:46:03

Linkadge,

I don't understand why you contribute so much to drugs messing up your brain, surely you're brain must have been pretty messed up for you to start taking them in the first place??

I have had ten really happy years of memories that I wouldn't have now if I'd never taken antidepressants, I had relationships that I know I would never have been open to had I not taken medication and I got a really good job that I would never had got. ok so maybe I could still have done those things but my memories of them would not been so good because I wouldn't have enjoyed any of it. The five years prior to my starting any medication were sad, lonely and wasted.

My depression started at 17 for no apparent reason, I'd never taken any drugs prior to that so what messed my brain up?

Denise

 

Re: To Linkadge

Posted by linkadge on July 15, 2005, at 16:58:08

In reply to Re: To Linkadge, posted by Denise1966 on July 15, 2005, at 15:37:28

I will admit that I have a family history of depression. But all my relatives never suffered from depression for more than say 6-8 months.
Few of them used medication.

Depression does get better on its own. Antidepressants speed up the recovery initially, but then they just end up messing you up and making you dependant on them, and make you much worse than when you started.

They're kind of a bandaid soln.

I just wish I had gone through it like they all had. At least they're better, not on drugs, and can walk in a straight line.


Linkadge

 

Re: To Linkadge Denise1966

Posted by Phillipa on July 15, 2005, at 18:00:57

In reply to Re: To Linkadge, posted by Denise1966 on July 15, 2005, at 15:37:28

I want to know what messed up my brain. It started at age 22 with panic attacks. Treated with valium and mephrobomate. As my self esteem increased, own Aerobic Dance Business, Nursing School, a little modeling I was able to give up all meds for a while. I was happy! Move along in years. Now I'm in my 40's late, and married to another guy living in North Carolina. Thyroid goes. Anxiety up. Benzos again, then antidepressants none of which worked. Then again l0mg of paxil worked along with xanax and beer for a few years. Then my thyroid got worse and first trip to the hospital. Paxil changed and put on Disability I don't know why even today. I really felt okay. Since that time it's been 8years of hell. Menopause made anxiety so bad i couldn't tolerate any AD. Now I just don't seem to respond to anything. So that's why I'm trying to get off all meds. I really wish there were a magic pill. Fondly, Phillipa

 

Re: To Linkadge Phillipa

Posted by Jakeman on July 15, 2005, at 21:16:03

In reply to Re: To Linkadge Denise1966, posted by Phillipa on July 15, 2005, at 18:00:57

>I really wish there were a magic pill.

Phillipa I think we're all looking for the magic pill.

warm regards ~Jake

 

Re: To Linkadge Denise1966

Posted by ed_uk on July 16, 2005, at 8:08:57

In reply to Re: To Linkadge, posted by Denise1966 on July 15, 2005, at 15:37:28

Hi Denise,

When you responded to dothiepin (Prothiaden), what dose did you take? Have you tried it again at a high dose, say 225mg?

~Ed


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