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  1. #1
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Default Misunderstanding depression

    Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? | Society | The Guardian

    ....

    The manual was sent out to doctors across the US and they began to use it to diagnose people. However, after a while they came back to the authors and pointed out something that was bothering them. If they followed this guide, they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed and start giving them medical treatment.

    .....

    The grief exception seemed to have blasted a hole in the claim that the causes of depression are sealed away in your skull. It suggested that there are causes out here, in the world, and they needed to be investigated and solved there. This was a debate that mainstream psychiatry (with some exceptions) did not want to have. So, they responded in a simple way – by whittling away the grief exception. With each new edition of the manual they reduced the period of grief that you were allowed before being labelled mentally ill – down to a few months and then, finally, to nothing at all. Now, if your baby dies at 10am, your doctor can diagnose you with a mental illness at 10.01am and start drugging you straight away.

    .....

    We act like human distress can be assessed solely on a checklist that can be separated out from our lives, and labelled as brain diseases. If we started to take people’s actual lives into account when we treat depression and anxiety, Joanne explained, it would require “an entire system overhaul”. She told me that when “you have a person with extreme human distress, [we need to] stop treating the symptoms. The symptoms are a messenger of a deeper problem. Let’s get to the deeper problem.”

    .....

    We all know that when you take selfies, you take 30 pictures, throw away the 29 where you look bleary-eyed or double-chinned, and pick out the best one to be your Tinder profile picture. It turned out that the drug companies – who fund almost all the research into these drugs – were taking this approach to studying chemical antidepressants. They would fund huge numbers of studies, throw away all the ones that suggested the drugs had very limited effects, and then only release the ones that showed success. To give one example: in one trial, the drug was given to 245 patients, but the drug company published the results for only 27 of them. Those 27 patients happened to be the ones the drug seemed to work for. Suddenly, Professor Kirsch realised that the 70% figure couldn’t be right.

    ......

    This led Professor Kirsch to ask a more basic question, one he was surprised to be asking. How do we know depression is even caused by low serotonin at all? When he began to dig, it turned out that the evidence was strikingly shaky. Professor Andrew Scull of Princeton, writing in the Lancet, explained that attributing depression to spontaneously low serotonin is “deeply misleading and unscientific”. Dr David Healy told me: “There was never any basis for it, ever. It was just marketing copy.”

    .....

    It turns out that, in the same way, all humans have certain basic psychological needs. We need to feel we belong. We need to feel valued. We need to feel we’re good at something. We need to feel we have a secure future. And there is growing evidence that our culture isn’t meeting those psychological needs for many – perhaps most – people. I kept learning that, in very different ways, we have become disconnected from things we really need, and this deep disconnection is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety all around us.

    .....

    To them, finding an antidepressant didn’t mean finding a way to change your brain chemistry. It meant finding a way to solve the problem that was causing the depression in the first place. We can do the same. Some of these solutions are things we can do as individuals, in our private lives.

    .....

    If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life.
    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    “It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.”

    ― Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays
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  2. #2
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    I came across this article a bit ago too. Thanks for posting it.

    Depression as a chemical imbalance or illness of the brain is one of the most viciously defended and perpetuated misconceptions in society today. It does a great deal of damage both societally and individually. There's no need to pathologize humanity. The deepest and most horrific pain and suffering is still a human experience - it's not wrong or abnormal. People don't need to be cured, they need to be loved, helped, empowered, and taught how to do self-therapy. We have lost so much as a society due to the way drug companies have manipulated the fabric of what people hold to be the truth. Psychiatrists have ultimate power to be arbiters of reality - no one questions their definitions of what is and isn't true, normal, or even morally right.

    Now people fear emotion, they're afraid of themselves, they feel broken, they don't want to feel. They believe they'll never recover so they don't try. Their autonomy is taken right along with their humanity. The worst part is that the system in place to help them is not equipped or able to help them. It's clear as day that it continuously perpetuates suffering. I have never seen a happy person who's involved in the mental health system as a patient. I've never seen anyone recover that way and by recover, I mean learn to deal with their emotions, work through the trauma inherent in living that all people experience, and grow and develop as a person. I have, however, met people who were formerly in the system who decided to liberate themselves, and who are now able to grow and understand themselves and learn how to manage their struggles, whether those struggles include mood swings or hallucinations or anxiety or whatever else.

    There's a link between ridiculous levels of political correctness and the prevalence of psychiatry. Psychiatry is in itself an ideology, not a science, and it's a means to control reality, to make people sanitized, appropriate, and controlled. It's similar to political correctness in those ways, and I think the link is causative.

    The brain is constantly changing. It "rewires" itself when you interact socially with others, when you exercise, when you do anything. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the body and mind in both psychiatry and regular medicine. Why, if mental illnesses are brain diseases or a neurotransmitter problem, do people see psychiatrists and not neurologists? Isn't it a bit redundant? Not to mention most psych drugs are neuroleptics, meaning they cause brain damage.

  3. #3
    silentigata ano (profile) /DG/'s Avatar
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    I just skimmed and don't intend to get into a big debate, but I think it is not unreasonable to presume that certain cases of low moods can be explained by environmental causes.

    That is not to say therapy and medication is pointless. But I'm sure there are some people receiving medication that may not necessarily need it. And I'm sure there are people not getting down into the environmental causes when they should.

    An interesting topic to spectate.

  4. #4
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    I think part of how the field of psychiatry developed is because regular medicine has a twisted view that there is a difference between mind and body, so that anything emotionally influenced is viewed as unreal. Because of that, they needed to create a way to legitimize emotion by giving it a physical cause and saying that patterns of emotion are neurotransmitter issues or what have you.

    But in reality, there is no separation between mind and body. Anything emotional is physical and anything physical is emotional. Even cancer can be an emotional illness because trauma and strong emotion for extended periods has an inhibitory and damaging effect on the immune system. The reason cancer is regarded as "real" by doctors is because we can see it, we can measure it. A lot of doctors don't believe in what they can't see or test, which is ridiculous, because medical technology and innovation is very far from having a complete understanding of the body or a definitive way to measure or see all its structures and processes.

    In an ideal world, doctors would stop propagating the split, therefore allowing people to view their experiences with strong and extended negative emotion and the like as legitimate without needing to believe in the chemical imbalance theory. In an ideal world, doctors would treat the whole person, meaning all aspects of them emotionally, physically, and spiritually, for any concern from depression to thyroid issues to emotional trauma to diabetes to a sprained ankle.

    There are many many articles about chemical imbalance theory being untrue written even by sites such as Psychology Today and the National Institute of Health. Anyone who truly values science and the scientific method and has integrity does not believe in that theory anymore, and it's sad to see people who are supposedly scientists entrapped in that ideology still.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magpie View Post

    The brain is constantly changing. It "rewires" itself when you interact socially with others, when you exercise, when you do anything. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the body and mind in both psychiatry and regular medicine. Why, if mental illnesses are brain diseases or a neurotransmitter problem, do people see psychiatrists and not neurologists? Isn't it a bit redundant? Not to mention most psych drugs are neuroleptics, meaning they cause brain damage.
    A brain scan would be much more objective than those tests they make people take. And all people with hallucinations should have a brain scan since it could be caused by a tumor or some other neurological thing.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Smilephantomhive View Post
    A brain scan would be much more objective than those tests they make people take. And all people with hallucinations should have a brain scan since it could be caused by a tumor or some other neurological thing.
    Definitely. Well said Smoo.
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  7. #7
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    Psychiatrists are often individuals with a myopic, materialist worldview that shuns deviation from an imagined social norm of behavior who seek to subconsciously punish those deemed their psychological inferior via an arbitrary political document of dubious value called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which has gone through a variety of fluctuations and publications since its original compiled in 1952 (which included homosexuality). It is all about the money for these people and there are kickbacks and bonuses for every drug prescribed to a patient. That they are able to get away with this is only because of the degree to which scientism (and consequentely, peer reviewed "research" usually funded and carried out by politically motivated individuals and foundations) has become the guiding moral compass and truth for millions of misguided people.

    ‘Dozens of mental disorders don’t exist’ - Telegraph

    In his riveting tale of how psychiatrists “medicalise” human suffering, Gary Greenberg recounts that, in 1850, a physician called Samuel Cartwright reported a new disease in the highly respected New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal. Cartwright named it drapetomania, from the ancient Greek drapetes for a runaway slave; in other words, here was a disease that “caused Negroes to run away”. It had one primary diagnostic symptom – “absconding from service” – and a few secondary ones, including “sulkiness and dissatisfaction just prior to flight”.

    Drapetomania was, of course, consigned to the dustbin of medical history. It never made it into the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the leading authority on mental health diagnosis and research. But, Greenberg suggests in his scathing critique of the DSM, it might well have done – had the manual existed at the time.

    After all, he notes, homosexuality was listed as a “sociopathic personality disorder” when the DSM was first published in 1952, and remained so until 1973. “Doctors were paid to treat it, scientists to search for its causes and cures,” he writes in The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry. “Gay people themselves underwent countless therapies including electric shocks, years on the couch, behaviour modification and surrogate sex.”
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  8. #8
    Mastermind Fieldmarshal Sacrophagus's Avatar
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    You can be the happiest person ever, visit the psychiatrist, with the brightest of moods, and he'll still say "Hum, I'm afraid you have depression."

    Happened to me a little while ago until I learned how to deal with my struggles myself, through meditation and NLP.

    You have a case of blues? You're depressed, man.
    Your teenage son has problems fitting in? You can treat his depression with these drugs.
    You had a miscarriage? Take this medication so that you can treat your shameful woeful state and go back being a functional individual.

    The stigma of depression is what prompts some people to take drugs as a quick fix. They feel guilty, because society enforces that "happiness is a choice", and that those suffering have made the wrong one.
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