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"Recovering" from Mental Illness

Pionart

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I'm speaking from experience here. I've had many long conversations with mental health professionals regarding myself and it ultimately comes down to their word against mine.

If they demonstrated to me that they actually understood human psychological functioning to a degree that warranted their claims, then that would be fine, but they have indicated a lack of insight time and time again.

But of course, they can claim that I lack insight without proving it, and they have the power to enforce the "treatment" they want to, regardless of the effects it has on me.
 

Drapeaux

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Psychiatry does not have the level of evidence associated with it that medicine does. Honestly, you seem to just be buying into the narrative that the mental health system is propagating without really thinking critically about it.

I've heard it said that there are no objective tests that can be conducted to determine if a patient does in fact suffer (or "suffer") from schizophrenia or not.

So, suppose that schizophrenia is a real thing that a person either has or does not have. Now, suppose that a person has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic, but it was a misdiagnosis. Suppose that what the psychiatrist thought of as schizophrenia was in fact an appropriate reaction to circumstance and there was no chemical imbalance.

In that situation, the imagined conversations that I just posted could easily approximate the actual conversations between the psychiatrist and patient.

Patient: "I'm not schizophrenic." (correct)
Psychiatrist: "Yes you are, but you don't know it because you lack insight." (incorrect)
Patient: "Well, prove that I have schizophrenia then."
Psychiatrist: "There are no objective tests to prove it, but I am a medically trained professional, I know."
Patient: "Ok fine, maybe I'm schizophrenic then, but so what, just let me live my life!"
Psychiatrist: "No, you must be medicated with anti-psychotics for the rest of your life. You can either accept this willingly, or unwillingly."


Surely you must recognise that even if psychiatric diagnosis is valid a lot of the time, it is also invalid a lot of the time. Try reading about anti-psychiatry, or alternate paradigms related to psychosis like spiritual emergency.

Even in medicine, in a lot of cases there is a list of symptoms doctors look for and use in absence of giving a test. It's called a clinical diagnosis. Doctors look at the patient's history and symptoms to match them to an objective diagnosis that can be evidenced with a test but often doesn't need to be, just like mental illness can be evidenced with a brain scan but often doesn't need to be, since it's already apparent enough from the history and symptoms. There would be no history and symptoms in either case without a functional issue stemming from the person's physiology. Someday it would be amazing if everyone going for psychiatric care could get a brain scan, but that research is still in its infancy, not to mention it would be very expensive. But as the field advances, I'm sure it'll happen. In the meantime, so many people find improvement from meds, and reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters would not be effective if a person didn't have a deficit in the first place. That in itself is proof of a structural pathology.

I agree that there are misdiagnoses, which is unfortunate, but it's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater by focusing on rare exceptions to try to delegitimatize a majority of correct diagnoses. That's dangerous. I also think that if a person really does not have schizophrenia, it will become apparent with time, and their diagnosis will be adjusted. It's likely that if someone was diagnosed with that, then they have had some incidence of psychosis, which would need medical treatment regardless of whether it's stemming from schizophrenia or bipolar or something else.

It's strange that you claim psychiatry does not have sufficient levels of medical evidence and then bring up "spiritual emergency," which has no evidence at all. It's just belief in something that disregards reason and rationalization entirely.
 

Frosty

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I can only speak for myself but my mental illness just means pain and fear and I would chose to recover from it in a heart beat

Some glorify mental illness and I suppose thats fine for them. But mine has only been painful and limiting.

Antispsychotics suck. But it also sucks to- well- lose my chance at life. If I were to look at it objectively- from before I had the illness- and choose the life I want to have- it wouldnt be one that involves me in and out of hospitals or otherwise unable to care for myself. And the thing is- my illness is bad enough for that to definitely be a life that is more than on the table for me without drugs.

Im sick. And its a sickness. Yes occasionally hypomania and mania and even psychosis- can bring unexpected gifts- but its not worth the pain for me. I just want to live a real life. And that means keeping aware of all the potential influences that can pull me away from that.

Im just speaking of my own experiences. Yes. Mania and psychosis can bring a level of empowerment while im experiencing them. Drugs can do the same thing. It doesnt mean either of them is a good thing in my experience- because after both states are done- you are left staring at the mess youve made and thinking... just what have I done.

And that experience is heart breaking
 

Pionart

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Even in medicine, in a lot of cases there is a list of symptoms doctors look for and use in absence of giving a test. It's called a clinical diagnosis. Doctors look at the patient's history and symptoms to match them to an objective diagnosis that can be evidenced with a test but often doesn't need to be, just like mental illness can be evidenced with a brain scan but often doesn't need to be, since it's already apparent enough from the history and symptoms. There would be no history and symptoms in either case without a functional issue stemming from the person's physiology. Someday it would be amazing if everyone going for psychiatric care could get a brain scan, but that research is still in its infancy, not to mention it would be very expensive. But as the field advances, I'm sure it'll happen. In the meantime, so many people find improvement from meds, and reuptake inhibition of neurotransmitters would not be effective if a person didn't have a deficit in the first place. That in itself is proof of a structural pathology.

I agree that there are misdiagnoses, which is unfortunate, but it's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater by focusing on rare exceptions to try to delegitimatize a majority of correct diagnoses. That's dangerous. I also think that if a person really does not have schizophrenia, it will become apparent with time, and their diagnosis will be adjusted. It's likely that if someone was diagnosed with that, then they have had some incidence of psychosis, which would need medical treatment regardless of whether it's stemming from schizophrenia or bipolar or something else.

It's strange that you claim psychiatry does not have sufficient levels of medical evidence and then bring up "spiritual emergency," which has no evidence at all. It's just belief in something that disregards reason and rationalization entirely.

Look, the fact is that legitimate spiritual experience, and healthy personal development, are being construed as being "mentally ill" because they do not fit the worldview of the people who are creating the diagnoses.

If you do not see this, you either haven't looked, or you are blind.
 

Drapeaux

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I can only speak for myself but my mental illness just means pain and fear and I would chose to recover from it in a heart beat

Some glorify mental illness and I suppose thats fine for them. But mine has only been painful and limiting.

Antispsychotics suck. But it also sucks to- well- lose my chance at life. If I were to look at it objectively- from before I had the illness- and choose the life I want to have- it wouldnt be one that involves me in and out of hospitals or otherwise unable to care for myself. And the thing is- my illness is bad enough for that to definitely be a life that is more than on the table for me without drugs.

Im sick. And its a sickness. Yes occasionally hypomania and mania and even psychosis- can bring unexpected gifts- but its not worth the pain for me. I just want to live a real life. And that means keeping aware of all the potential influences that can pull me away from that.

Im just speaking of my own experiences. Yes. Mania and psychosis can bring a level of empowerment while im experiencing them. Drugs can do the same thing. It doesnt mean either of them is a good thing in my experience- because after both states are done- you are left staring at the mess youve made and thinking... just what have I done.

And that experience is heart breaking

I hope you find the right meds that work for you and don't leave you feeling like you've made a mess of things. A lot of people function completely normally once their psychiatrist finds the right combination, so don't give up hope.

Look, the fact is that legitimate spiritual experience, and healthy personal development, are being construed as being "mentally ill" because they do not fit the worldview of the people who are creating the diagnoses.

If you do not see this, you either haven't looked, or you are blind.

I'm unsure what you mean by legitimate spiritual experience, and I don't think healthy personal development has ever been misconstrued as mental illness.
 

Frosty

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Its sad to me that lots of members who would have had something to say in this thread are gone.

Like [MENTION=1180]miss fortune[/MENTION], [MENTION=20829]Hard[/MENTION], [MENTION=33903]Hummingbird Spirit[/MENTION], [MENTION=26674]Forelsket[/MENTION], and several others. Just a sad observation Im making.
 

Drapeaux

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Its sad to me that lots of members who would have had something to say in this thread are gone.

Like miss fortune, hard, crystal winter dreams, norrsken, and several others. Just a sad observation Im making.

Can you invite them back to comment?
 

Pionart

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I'm unsure what you mean by legitimate spiritual experience, and I don't think healthy personal development has ever been misconstrued as mental illness.

I'm unsure why you'd be unsure about it, and yes it has. The fact is that when a person is operating at exceptionally high levels of functioning, they often present themselves in ways which are "unusual", and mental health diagnosis is heavily based on adhering to ideals of normalcy.

Consider this. Carl Jung was a schizophrenic, and I think it's reasonable to say that much of his insight came as a result of his psychosis. If he was put on "therapeutic" doses of anti-psychotics for life instead of being able to go through psychosis, do you think he would have been able to develop his ideas to any where near the level that he did?
 

Frosty

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Can you invite them back to comment?

I can mention them but most have left the forum and I dont think plan on coming back.

But Ill mention them for you and see what happens
 

Drapeaux

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I'm unsure why you'd be unsure about it, and yes it has. The fact is that when a person is operating at exceptionally high levels of functioning, they often present themselves in ways which are "unusual", and mental health diagnosis is heavily based on adhering to ideals of normalcy.

Consider this. Carl Jung was a schizophrenic, and I think it's reasonable to say that much of his insight came as a result of his psychosis. If he was put on "therapeutic" doses of anti-psychotics for life instead of being able to go through psychosis, do you think he would have been able to develop his ideas to any where near the level that he did?

Most schizophrenic people are not able to engender the type of creative and philosophical work Jung did. Their lives are very difficult, they suffer immensely from their condition, and they would be much better able to contribute to society with their gifts and talents if they were being treated. Mental illness itself isn't what made Jung a genius. He was a genius despite his mental illness. And yes, he probably would've benefited from antipsychotics. They likely would've made him even more productive, not less.
 

Tilt

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Can you expand on this more?

No matter how you slice it, experiencing mental illness affects how you view the world. You csn work hard to reduce symptoms to not meet the diagnostic criteria, but it can still have subtle, lingering effects long after the fact.
 

Pionart

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Most schizophrenic people are not able to engender the type of creative and philosophical work Jung did. Their lives are very difficult, they suffer immensely from their condition, and they would be much better able to contribute to society with their gifts and talents if they were being treated. Mental illness itself isn't what made Jung a genius. He was a genius despite his mental illness. And yes, he probably would've benefited from antipsychotics. They likely would've made him even more productive, not less.

Please show me evidence that anti-psychotics make people/schizophrenics more productive.*

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Also, you seem to be suggesting that psychosis did not give Jung insight but rather hindered him in developing insight. This requires some form of demonstration.

--

*For evidence that they do the opposite of that, see the following:

Recovery in Remitted First-Episode Psychosis at 7 Years of Follow-up of an Early Dose Reduction/Discontinuation or Maintenance Treatment Strategy: Long-term Follow-up of a 2-Year Randomized Clinical Trial. | Psychiatry | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network

Results The DR patients experienced twice the recovery rate of the MT patients (40.4% vs 17.6%). Logistic regression showed an odds ratio of 3.49 (P = .01). Better DR recovery rates were related to higher functional remission rates in the DR group but were not related to symptomatic remission rates.
 

Pionart

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From being on anti-psychotics, I can say that they greatly hinder my functioning.

Yet, the professionals treating me would say that they definitely improve my functioning.

So how do we know who's right? The people who have all the training but don't know much about me, or the one who's actually living my life?
 

Pionart

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Mental health diagnosis is a controversial topic. I can't claim it's generally invalid with certainty, you can't claim it's generally valid with certainty, because at this stage in the development of psychology we just don't know.

What I think is ethically clear however is that, unless there is some really clear reason why not, a person should be able to decide on their own course of treatment (i.e. have the ability to accept or refuse, not be forced into it).
 

Drapeaux

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Please show me evidence that anti-psychotics make people/schizophrenics more productive.*

--

Also, you seem to be suggesting that psychosis did not give Jung insight but rather hindered him in developing insight. This requires some form of demonstration.

--

*For evidence that they do the opposite of that, see the following:

Recovery in Remitted First-Episode Psychosis at 7 Years of Follow-up of an Early Dose Reduction/Discontinuation or Maintenance Treatment Strategy: Long-term Follow-up of a 2-Year Randomized Clinical Trial. | Psychiatry | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network

The study you linked doesn't measure productivity, and nor does it show that antipsychotics cause a decrease in productivity. The study instead shows that people treated with antipsychotics short term achieve a higher statistical rate of long term recovery than those kept on a maintenance dose, but it doesn't prove that the people who were treated in the short term recovered due to not being on the antipsychotic anymore, or that the people still on it who haven't recovered have been held back by medication. It's likely that the people who were only on the antipsychotic in the short term were more able to reach a state of recovery because their psychosis was transient or non-severe to begin with. It's also possible that short term usage for these people fixed their chemical imbalance, and they wouldn't have recovered at all without having been on the med for a period.

Schizophrenia can lead to disorganized thought, difficulty concentrating, and inability to function. Of course without those qualities a person would become more productive. You are the one who claimed psychosis did give Jung insight, something which you have failed to demonstrate or prove yourself. The fact remains it's more likely that it didn't, and his insight was made in spite of his condition, and that is supported by the majority of people with schizophrenia.

Mental health diagnosis is a controversial topic. I can't claim it's generally invalid with certainty, you can't claim it's generally valid with certainty, because at this stage in the development of psychology we just don't know.

What I think is ethically clear however is that, unless there is some really clear reason why not, a person should be able to decide on their own course of treatment (i.e. have the ability to accept or refuse, not be forced into it).

It depends on the individual in question, and their circumstances.
 

Pionart

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The study you linked doesn't measure productivity, and nor does it show that antipsychotics cause a decrease in productivity. The study instead shows that people treated with antipsychotics short term achieve a higher statistical rate of long term recovery than those kept on a maintenance dose, but it doesn't prove that the people who were treated in the short term recovered due to not being on the antipsychotic anymore, or that the people still on it who haven't recovered have been held back by medication. It's likely that the people who were only on the antipsychotic in the short term were more able to reach a state of recovery because their psychosis was transient or non-severe to begin with. It's also possible that short term usage for these people fixed their chemical imbalance, and they wouldn't have recovered at all without having been on the med for a period.

Schizophrenia can lead to disorganized thought, difficulty concentrating, and inability to function. Of course without those qualities a person would become more productive. You are the one who claimed psychosis did give Jung insight, something which you have failed to demonstrate or prove yourself. The fact remains it's more likely that it didn't, and his insight was made in spite of his condition, and that is supported by the majority of people with schizophrenia.

It speaks about functionality, I assume that's related to productivity, isn't it? Also, it was a randomized trial... wasn't it? That's what it says. And this idea that short-term treatment fixed some supposed chemical imbalance goes against the idea that life-long treatment is necessary.


It depends on the individual in question, and their circumstances.

Under what circumstances is forced treatment warranted?
 

Pionart

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Schizophrenia can lead to disorganized thought, difficulty concentrating, and inability to function.

Here are some of the side-effects of anti-psychotics:

Fatigue
Difficulty thinking
Difficulty concentrating
Reduced emotion
Sexual dysfunction
Reduced sociability
Dysphoria
Avolition
Reduced creativity
Reduced spirituality

And more.


My theory is that in at least a substantial number of cases, what is called psychosis is actually a particularly high level of functioning, and anti-psychotics reduce this psychosis by reducing a person's level of functioning.
 

Drapeaux

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It speaks about functionality, I assume that's related to productivity, isn't it?

It can be, but I think we can all agree that if psychosis caused exceptionalism, every schizophrenic would be like Jung and every bipolar person would be like Van Gogh. That is clearly not the case. In fact, the vast majority are not, and what's more, there are geniuses who don't have any mental illness, thus demonstrating further that genius is not correlated to mental illness, but happens in rare cases both for those with it and without it, in spite of whatever struggles they may have.

Also, it was a randomized trial... wasn't it? That's what it says. And this idea that short-term treatment fixed some supposed chemical imbalance goes against the idea that life-long treatment is necessary.

It depends on the individual and the severity of the condition. I don't think anyone would claim life long treatment is always necessary for everyone. In fact, that's what this thread was supposed to touch on before it got so badly derailed.

Under what circumstances is forced treatment warranted?

When someone is a danger to themselves or others, or when a person cannot function or take care of themselves, or when they are experiencing some reality altering state like psychosis, mania, or dissociation, broadly speaking.
 

Drapeaux

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Here are some of the side-effects of anti-psychotics:

Fatigue
Difficulty thinking
Difficulty concentrating
Reduced emotion
Sexual dysfunction
Reduced sociability
Dysphoria
Avolition
Reduced creativity
Reduced spirituality

And more.


My theory is that in at least a substantial number of cases, what is called psychosis is actually a particularly high level of functioning, and anti-psychotics reduce this psychosis by reducing a person's level of functioning.

I'm aware of the potential side effects. And you can believe that I guess, just as you believe in spiritual emergency, but belief does not make truth.
 

Pionart

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You are the one who claimed psychosis did give Jung insight, something which you have failed to demonstrate or prove yourself. The fact remains it's more likely that it didn't, and his insight was made in spite of his condition, and that is supported by the majority of people with schizophrenia.

Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious - The New York Times

He worked on his red book — and he called it just that, the Red Book — on and off for about 16 years, long after his personal crisis had passed, but he never managed to finish it. He actively fretted over it, wondering whether to have it published and face ridicule from his scientifically oriented peers or to put it in a drawer and forget it. Regarding the significance of what the book contained, however, Jung was unequivocal. “All my works, all my creative activity,” he would recall later, “has come from those initial fantasies and dreams.”

Q.E.D.
 
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