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Re: Has anyone read the book Lost Connections

Posted by alexandra_k on January 24, 2019, at 19:15:31

In reply to Has anyone read the book Lost Connections, posted by radish on January 22, 2019, at 19:50:46

I haven't read it, but what you say about it, is interesting.

> The writer who is not a medical professional purports that anxiety and depression has overwhelmingly social and environmental causes related to modern life/late capitalism/past traumas/negative life circumstances instead of the brain chemical model.

They don't need to be one or the other.

For example, cholrea is caused by a cholera bug. People get cholrea after being exposed to the cholera bug. We can give people anti-biotics to kill the cholera bug, and there we go, we have fixed up their cholrea.

But cholrea bugs get into people when their water supply is contaiminated by inadequately treated toilet waste. So industrialisation and urban intensification results in people beign exposed to the cholrea bug. We can fix up some social problems to mean people aren't exposed to the cholrea bug, and there we go, we have fixed up the cholera.

Suppose that people are anxious because of urbanisation and so on... The ills of modern life... Living in these stressful environments where people are often powerless to get their very real needs met is something that can alter their brain chemistry and weaken their immune system. When people live in environments that are physiologically stressful their body needs to expend more energy to achieve homeostatis (to keep temperature regulated or whatever) and that results in cut-backs for other systems... like for immune system surveillance.

> And he is of the opinion that antidepressants are no better than placebo and cannot and have never worked for people.

Placebo is pretty effective. If 20 or so percent of people say they feel better after having a placebo asprin or a placbo antianxiety or antidepressant then... I'd take the placebo and hope I'm one of that group. It might be a slightly different story if I were taking out a second mortage on my family home to afford the placebo... But placebo effect vs real effect... They're both the same, to me.

> He thinks depressed and anxious people need to change their lives, or more broadly, that society must change, for these illnesses to improve on a mass scale.

Yeah, I agree, too. I've recently been reading World Health Organisation stuff on ill health and disability and United Nations stuff on the Sustainable Development Goals. And the focus seems largely (to me) to be on powerlessness. How many people simply don't have the power to obtain the resources they need / the things they know are good for them.

On the other hand...

I remember time I spend in hospital and some of the people there. Some of them, it seemed to me, were ill in a different way. I mean, some of them did have the things they seemed to need and also had good people in their lives. Of course I didn't know them really really well and did not talk to them deeper or over a longer period of time so it might be that things weren't so good for them if I looked deeper...

But it seems to me that just as some people are born or develop some kind of... Defect or abnormality... A limb that isn't there or doesnt' grow / develop normally... It makes sense that that could happen to neural regions or certain kinds of neurones or receptors or whatever. From a genetic abnormality or an enzyme decificiency or whatever. Something that won't be put right with having a high quality environment.

I think these sorts of cases were supposed to be what psychiatry is for / is about, really.

But then things sort of branch out from there... Because the presentation can (superficially anyway) look a lot like people who got there from enviornmental problems, mostly.

Like how some medical disorders can imitate people who are high on or detoxing from alcohol or illicit drugs.

So can be hard to know what's going on / what is likely to sustainably put it right.




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