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SSRIs are based on placebo -- new study

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apace41

Here is a link to Kelly Brogan's blog where she summarizes a current study indicating that the benefit of SSRIs is almost exclusively from the placebo effect.

 

http://kellybroganmd.com/antidepressants-can-work-but-only-if-you-believe-they-will/?utm_source=Kelly+Brogan+MD+Newsletter&utm_campaign=89aa7b427c-Antidepressants+Can+Work&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d0f977a8c5-89aa7b427c-121773301

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Newbeginning

This is controversial though. Other studies show they can help if the depression is more severe, but are not useful in less severe cases. I don't think the research is conclusive about it being "all placebo".

 

The relief from anxiety and severe numbing of all emotion people get from antidepressants is not placebo. The drugs obviously cause deep chemical changes in the brain. Otherwise this site wouldn't exist. That's not placebo, and neither is 100% of the effect of antidepressants on the symptoms of depression. Some is placebo (especially in less severe cases), but not all. 

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nz11

Thanks for posting Andy.

 

The thing that I want to know about this is what did they do with the patients at the end of the study? CT everyone. If they did that then wow they will be suffering. 

 

 

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Newbeginning
16 minutes ago, nz11 said:

Thanks for posting Andy.

 

The thing that I want to know about this is what did they do with the patients at the end of the study? CT everyone. If they did that then wow they will be suffering. 

 

 

 

These studies typically last 2-4 months. Some people get withdrawal after that long, but not everyone. They typically taper people though. That's what the med leaflet says to do. While many drs don't do it, researchers have a different type of liability. Causing harm to research participants by not following clinical guidelines would be unacceptable to the institutional review boards that monitor the ethics of the studies. They simply wouldn't allow it. I know this because I work in research.

 

That is not to say participants are never harmed, but to cold turkey them against clinical guidelines would be too much. These things are closely monitored, so anything done against clinical guidelines sends a huge red flag to the institutional review boards that have to approve every study procedure. Every participant in a study can also contact the board and complain, and those complains are never ignored.

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nz11

okay so whats the follow up time period. For we all know that wdl symptoms can be delayed for months. I also believe wdl symptoms can be delayed for a year or more, I have seen it and I believe I have experienced it.

I doubt whether patients are followed up for that length of time.

Clinical guidelines, clinical guidelines ... they are very amiss in what they recommend. Who puts those together ..highly paid pharma hired hands who have wriggled their way into positions of influence.

If you have a leaflet handy can you tell me what the taper protocol is. 

 

You raise some interesting points. 

These drugs numb a person in a similar way that alcohol does only imo it would be much safer to take alcohol.

Anything that leaves a person numb is going to give an improvement on any subjective rating scale questionnaire. 

Stockholm syndrome will also  give an improvement. This could be as powerful as placebo. In hindsight I know I was effected by it. 

 

6 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

Other studies show they can help if the depression is more severe, but are not useful in less severe cases

Don't fall for it the literature is hopelessly poisoned, even for the most severe of depressions [whatever that is]  there is not a scrap of evidence these drugs work. (Healy 2013)

The company trials dare not take the risk that they get beaten by a placebo so do you know what they did they erred on the side of a much higher or more poisonous dose. Then when the drug gets to market the higher dose is called the therapeutic dose and anything smaller is refused to be made available. 

 

3 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

those complaints are never ignored

oh..."Come on man" 

Do you really believe this. 

Any  complaints regarding adverse consequences of treatment are dismissed as anecdotes.  Or just simply not noted or blamed on the patients 'prior condition'

Why would they take seriously complaints in trials when so much is at stake. Refer paxil trials in Yugoslavia. read Breggins court deposition. Why do trials in this country? Doesn't that send up a red flag? Perhaps one can get away with a little more than one normally would right?

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Newbeginning
20 hours ago, nz11 said:

okay so whats the follow up time period.

 

If you have a leaflet handy can you tell me what the taper protocol is. 

 

You raise some interesting points. 

 

These drugs numb a person in a similar way that alcohol does only imo it would be much safer to take alcohol.

Anything that leaves a person numb is going to give an improvement on any subjective rating scale questionnaire. 

Stockholm syndrome will also  give an improvement. This could be as powerful as placebo. In hindsight I know I was effected by it. 

 

Don't fall for it the literature is hopelessly poisoned, even for the most severe of depressions [whatever that is]  there is not a scrap of evidence these drugs work. (Healy 2013)

The company trials dare not take the risk that they get beaten by a placebo so do you know what they did they erred on the side of a much higher or more poisonous dose. Then when the drug gets to market the higher dose is called the therapeutic dose and anything smaller is refused to be made available. 

 

oh..."Come on man" 

Do you really believe this. 

Any  complaints regarding adverse consequences of treatment are dismissed as anecdotes.  Or just simply not noted or blamed on the patients 'prior condition'

Why would they take seriously complaints in trials when so much is at stake. Refer paxil trials in Yugoslavia. read Breggins court deposition. Why do trials in this country? Doesn't that send up a red flag? Perhaps one can get away with a little more than one normally would right?

 

I think the follow-up period depends on the type of study (the risks involved and the length of the study). If it's a drug that is "considered safe" like an FDA approved antidepressant, they probably don't follow people up for the next year. On the other hand, research participants can raise a concern about harm caused by the  study at any time. They will have little credibility if they show up a year later claiming withdrawal only started a year after the study. The idea that withdrawal can start that late is not recognized, as you know. But frankly, I highly doubt someone who has been on a drug for 2 months will get withdrawal after a year. My guess is that those scenarios are more common after long term use. 

 

The leaflets don't specify a protocol, because that's left to the dr's discretion (who is supposed to consider many factors in prescribing a taper, such as length of time person has been on the drug). But all the antidepressants leaflets clearly state these meds should be tapered, so it would be really hard for an institutional review board to approve a research study that will cold turkey people. 

 

The drugs numb some people and agitate others. But I disagree with you that alcohol is safer. Alcohol changes the brain, increases the risk of dementia and can cause death through severe liver issues. Not to  mention that alcohol use is involved in many social problems: domestic violence, gun violence, child abuse, sexual assault, etc. are all more prevalent when a person addicted to alcohol is involved. 

 

You're contradicting yourself when you say the meds numb people (and hence can sedate anxiety and bad mood), but also they they're not better than placebo. Placebo doesnt numb like alcohol. These meds do in some people. I'm one of them. I had severe anxiety. The meds numbed it. Along with all my other emotions and motivation. But it was no placebo. A placebo effect doesn't last years. 

 

The literature has many issues with conflicts of interest with big pharma, but to say every study is  flawed is incorrect. You're citing Healy to support your claim that it's placebo even in severe cases. Well, Healy is a researcher and what you cited is a research article. If you believe his study is accurate, then you know not all the literature is garbage. Do you have the name of the article so I can check it out please?

 

You kind of answered your own question. Why do trials outside of the US? Precisely because how strict the review boards are here. But harm still happens. All I'm explaining is that claims are taken seriously. But you still have to make a case that the intervention caused you harm. 

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nz11

Hi NB

Well you are clearly more knowledgable than I am on this topic.

 

Several times you have said I have contradicted myself however you are doing the same:

58 minutes ago, Newbeginning said:

All I'm explaining is that claims are taken seriously. But you still have to make a case that the intervention caused you harm. 

 I am sorry but I see it a different way, claims are not taken seriously. 

I guess I have to agree with you on the alcohol however your paragraph on alcohol could easily be a paragraph about the damages and harms that ssris do. Simply replace alcohol with the word ssris. That word would be right at home there.

 

The Healy quote is not from a study its from his book Pharmageddon. Its well worth obtaining. 

 

Heres the thing about the placebo arguement. Yes it is true that 5 out of 10 on the drugs actively responded. This is what the drug companies use as  propaganda.

But this is what they don't tell you, they don't tell you the base rates ....in 2006 the FDA asked companies making ads to submit all placebo controlled trials. And this is what they discovered 4 out of 10 people get better within a few weeks whether treated or not. So essentially only 1 in 10 people respond to the ad. Don't you think that with this knowledge it would be better to not prescribe this stuff. Especially given the harm done by these dreadful chemicals...dependence has been taken to a whole new galaxy, birth defects, pssd, traumatizing wdl wymptoms, and there is heaps more, and don't forget more die on treatment than on placebo. These drugs cause suicide.

 

nz11

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Newbeginning
9 hours ago, nz11 said:

 

 I am sorry but I see it a different way, claims are not taken seriously. 

 

I guess I have to agree with you on the alcohol however your paragraph on alcohol could easily be a paragraph about the damages and harms that ssris do. Simply replace alcohol with the word ssris. That word would be right at home there.

 

The Healy quote is not from a study its from his book Pharmageddon. Its well worth obtaining. 

 

Heres the thing about the placebo arguement. Yes it is true that 5 out of 10 on the drugs actively responded. This is what the drug companies use as  propaganda.

But this is what they don't tell you, they don't tell you the base rates ....in 2006 the FDA asked companies making ads to submit all placebo controlled trials. And this is what they discovered 4 out of 10 people get better within a few weeks whether treated or not. So essentially only 1 in 10 people respond to the ad. Don't you think that with this knowledge it would be better to not prescribe this stuff. Especially given the harm done by these dreadful chemicals...dependence has been taken to a whole new galaxy, birth defects, pssd, traumatizing wdl wymptoms, and there is heaps more, and don't forget more die on treatment than on placebo. These drugs cause suicide.

 

nz11

 

Hi NZ,

 

I don't disagree with you. From *our* perspective, knowing what we know about antidepressant withdrawal, taking the claims seriously would involve believing the person, and at least investigating whether the cause of the symptoms could be the med used in the drug trial. The problem is that all the review board has to determine what caused the harm is the person's perception AND current scientific evidence. If current scientific evidence doesn't support the fact that these drugs can cause withdrawal this severe that can last this long and can start this far out--then they don't have that knowledge to use to protect the person's rights. 

 

The review boards are not on big pharma pockets. Neither are all drs or all researchers. Many of these people are simply ignorant of how withdrawal really works, but their intentions may be in the right place. The main problem in these cases is that the research literature (in this area) is severely biased and lacking, as you pointed in your other post.  

 

I want to look at the studies that found antidepressants can work in severe depression again. Then see if I can find a summary of Healy's analysis of this literature. I'm interested in seeing the merit on both sides. So Healy believes antidepressants are never to be used in severe cases? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't he still like ECT for severe cases? If so, he's deluded if he thinks that's any less damaging than short term use of an antidepressant (around 6 months). Most people get problems after repeated/long term use of antidepressants. Some get problems right away when there's an adverse reaction, but not most. 

 

But before you jump on me lol, I'm referring to severe cases where nothing else is working and the person is either suicidal or having severe issues functioning (that is, for a crisis). Another possibility in this case would be cannabis, but until thats approved, it is what it is. And, again, no repeated/long term use of cannabis or antidepressants, or anything else that can cause long lasting alterations of the brain. Anything that causes that can cause harm, in my opinion.

 

I'm not sure I understood your point about base rates. If the meds help 1 in 10 and are useless to those who would recover with no intervention within few weeks, that does not mean they don't work or are no better than placebo. It means they are way over-prescribed, and they only work for some people (probably the most severe). 

 

 Would it be better not to prescribe them at all because of the risks involved (including suicide) AND the fact that they only help a subset of people? Well, yes and no. In my opinion, they should be reserved for crisis situations/severe cases, and only used when other safer methods fail, and only short term with very cautious monitoring for adverse effects and signs of negative brain changes.

 

As someone who has experienced severe depression and anxiety (before i touched any drugs), I know for a fact that safer things like lifestyle changes or therapy are sometimes not enough. And depression kills people too. Suicide is not just the result of drugs. Severe depression and anxiety exist in the absence of drugs too.  So, what do we do with people who are suicidal, do not get better in a few weeks, and do not respond to safer methods? In my opinion, short term use of drugs is justified in this case, but the patient needs to know about the risks involved (including withdrawal) and monitored closely.

 

I realize you disagree, but what would you do in such cases? 

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apace41

Great discussion, NZ and NB.  Here is a paper by Breggin on Healy and ECT:

 

http://criticalpsychiatry.blogspot.com/2012/02/peter-breggin-falls-out-with-david.html

 

It's from 2012 but unless Healy has changed he was an ECT advocate at that time.  I agree that is worse (or at least as bad as) long term med use.

 

I appreciate the insights you bring to this issue, NB, as I have never really dug into the question of "crisis level depression" and meds to see if this is, in fact, a viable use for the meds.  I think the Brogans of the world would say that if someone is acutely and actively suicidal they would be more likely to prescribe a short course of benzodiazepines to get calm them through that period because of the immediacy of action (as opposed to A/Ds that take longer to have any effect) and the better studied effects of the meds.

 

I can't speak for her or any others but I seem to recall her saying something along those lines.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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nz11

Thanks for posting that Andy. You find some good stuff.

I didn't know that about Healy. sigh!

 

1 hour ago, Newbeginning said:

but the patient needs to know about the risks involved (including withdrawal) and monitored closely.

This isn't happening and will never happen because the doctors are not in a position to be able to inform. 

 

1 hour ago, Newbeginning said:

what would you do in such cases

Give someone a big hug and take them fishing?

 

This is why I really like Breggin. 60 years of practice and never prescribed a drug , never had a suicide or violent act under his care. 

The 'magic' need for the 1 out of 10 should be found in the therapist ...empathy honesty and empowerment.  Giving someone a dangerous drug is not empowering them. 

Unfortunately the doctor is now a conduit for dangerous chemicals rather than one of empowerment.

What about encouraging that person to examine the context of their own life. What has happened? What might be changed? Or even more radical are there times when suffering is to be embraced. 

Whitaker makes a great comment -the APAs disease model encourages an internal narration that robs one of a sense of self agency and of resilency. The solution to distress modern psychiatry tells us is found outside oneself rather than inside.....one can one do other than take a pill.

Anyway I really like Breggins approach. He's simply The best.

 

 Did you read the article Andy posted above ..did you spot this comment from  Breggin :

There was no mention of human service, caring approaches, such as psychotherapy or family therapy, or even of exercise which has also proven as effective as or more effective than antidepressants. He also failed to mention that placebo has proven as effective as or more effective than both antidepressants and ECT — without producing any brain damage.

 

Thanks for posting your thoughts NB

And thanks for posting that Breggin article Andy.

 

Oh yeah NB I just want to push back on something you said earlier

13 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

I highly doubt someone who has been on a drug for 2 months will get withdrawal after a year

I see it a different way to you ...I believe it can,  often triggered by a situational stressor. 

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Kristine
On 14/12/2017 at 7:08 AM, nz11 said:

This is why I really like Breggin. 60 years of practice and never prescribed a drug

Hi NZ, I'm a fan of Breggin as well 😊 In the interests of accuracy Dr Breggin has stated "On rare occasions, if anxiety, agitation, or insomnia is a big part of the withdrawal reaction, I might prescribe diazepam (Valium) 5mg, starting with one-half tablet, to see if it helps. I would limit this to two or three doses per day for no longer than a day or two".

 

Breggin, P. (2013). Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal: a guide for prescribers, therapists, patients and their families. New York, Springer publishing company. p 202.

 

I am not critical of this.  Many patients present to Dr Breggin requiring help with withdrawal which has been caused by the prescribing of psychotropic medication by another health professional.  Unfortunately, he is left to pick up the pieces when these patients are abandoned by the original prescribers. 

 

Cheers. K

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nz11
6 hours ago, Kristine said:

I am not critical of this.  Many patients present to Dr Breggin requiring help with withdrawal which has been caused by the prescribing of psychotropic medication by another health professional.  Unfortunately, he is left to pick up the pieces when these patients are abandoned by the original prescribers

Exactly

Did you notice further down the page he then says   “I rarely resort to this alternative”

im sourcing my statement about breggin from his own words in a video conference. Although I can’t give you the ref. It may be from a CEP seminar from memory. So those are his words not mine.

if you stop and think about the fact that withdrawal can go on for years so if it comes to prescribing a benzo for one or two days then really why would you bother.

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Newbeginning
On 12/13/2017 at 12:01 PM, apace41 said:

I think the Brogans of the world would say that if someone is acutely and actively suicidal they would be more likely to prescribe a short course of benzodiazepines to get calm them through that period because of the immediacy of action (as opposed to A/Ds that take longer to have any effect) and the better studied effects of the meds.

 

Hi Andy and NZ :) . The problem with this is that benzos seem to alter the brain very fast. A significant number of people will develop physical tolerance to them after use longer than 3 weeks. When depression/anxiety is severe, it doesn't usually get better on its own in a few weeks, so the person may still need crisis intervention when it's time to remove the benzos.   Medical guidelines indicate benzos should not be used longer than 3-4 weeks.

 

It's very hard to say because there is no reliable research on this, but it seems to me short term use of an antidepressant is safer. It seems to take them longer than benzos to affect the brain negatively. Repeated use is a different manner. If one uses antidepressants for 6 months but does it multiple times, the brain can develop similar negative changes as what we see in some people who have been on these meds for years. 

 

As for Dr Breggin prescribing a benzo for 2 days "when there is agitation or insomnia in withdrawal": How exactly would this be effective when we know people can suffer from withdrawal insomnia and agitation for many months, if not years? Seems to me, Dr Breggin here is referring to withdrawal cases that are not as severe or protracted. Which begs the question: what does Dr. Breggin propose for these cases? Cases of severe anxiety/depression OR severe withdrawal that last months and don't respond to therapy, lifestyle changes or empathy/connection/support?

 

We also have to be realistic about the social context in which we live. How many of us have months to "wait it out" when we have severe anxiety or depression that affects our functioning? How many of us can take months off from work, or have someone in our lives that can help take care of our kids or other people who depend on us for months? How many of us can afford to stop functioning for months?  This is part of the reason why people rely on fast acting numbing pills. That, and not understanding the true risks involved with pill taking. 

 

We obviously need better safer treatments, but lets not forget that most people can't just wait it out (or even wait for therapy to work) for months. Blame it on a society that is not supportive to mental health. But this is the reality we live in, at least in Western countries, and even more in the US where the whole concept of "work ethic" is a big part of society and culture. 

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Newbeginning

I should clarify: I am a big believer in the power of human connection and psychotherapy, and I firmly believe it is a lot more effective and way safer than pills in the long term. I also believe they are the best approach for mild to moderate cases.

 

It's in severe cases and crises situations that I think they may not be enough for everyone. Unless one is rich and can just take a vacation to a short term drug-free residential treatment.I say rich because even when insurance covers some of those centers, you also have to pay for babysitters/caregivers, be able to get off work for months, have enough savings to do without income for months, etc.   

 

I also don't know how much psychotherapy can help with severe anxiety/depression from withdrawal. I can only speak about my experience here. I was in an intensive outpatient program during my latest phase of severe withdrawal. That's the most intensive level of care you can get short of an inpatient/residential program. I was getting 7 hours of psychotherapy a week, including group therapy, with some of the most supportive therapists I've ever met. I did it for 6 months while in severe withdrawal, then continued after I stabilized from withdrawal.

 

It certainly prevented me from harming myself or ending up in the ER where they would have drugged me more. It certainly helped me persevere and not give up, in spite of feeling hopeless and suicidal almost daily for 6 months. But my withdrawal anxiety and depression did not improve until withdrawal resolved with time. In fact, I was so unstable that I couldn't apply any of the skills I was being taught. When others in group were learning how to regulate their emotions, I was unable to. I could only distract and soothe because my emotions were too intense to even try to regulate them in other ways.

 

Once withdrawal improved, I started benefiting much more from this program. I am now able to learn and apply the emotion regulation skills we are taught. So, for some of us, severity of symptoms is a huge factor in how we respond to therapy....

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apace41
2 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

Hi Andy and NZ :) . The problem with this is that benzos seem to alter the brain very fast. A significant number of people will develop physical tolerance to them after use longer than 3 weeks. When depression/anxiety is severe, it doesn't usually get better on its own in a few weeks, so the person may still need crisis intervention when it's time to remove the benzos.   Medical guidelines indicate benzos should not be used longer than 3-4 weeks.

 

Fair points, NB.  I think the thought process would be to get them through the acutely suicidal stage and then try to help them move forward with diet, exercise and coping mechanisms that would carry them beyond that stage.  There are no really good answers in my view and it is hard to ascertain whether those helped by ADs when in that state outnumber those who are harmed because the ones that are harmed "were mentally ill" and that's why they had an adverse outcome.

 

2 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

We obviously need better safer treatments,

 

This is the answer if you apply the "sick care" model of the West.  I don't know if such an animal will ever truly exist.  The time frames for testing are so short in the desire to get the meds to market quickly that the adverse effects tend to come out much further down the road.  The only true solution is the holistic, societal one, where we teach our children to learn self-care and coping skill the way they learn ABCs and 123s.  And where clean up our food supply and environment.  And reduce stress on a global level.  In other words, if we can prevent the acute depression and anxiety that seems to plague the world.

 

That ain't gonna happen in my lifetime or, very likely, before the inevitable self-destruction of civilization as we know it.

 

On that happy note...

 

have a nice weekend!

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Newbeginning
10 hours ago, apace41 said:

 

There are no really good answers in my view and it is hard to ascertain whether those helped by ADs when in that state outnumber those who are harmed because the ones that are harmed "were mentally ill" and that's why they had an adverse outcome.

 

 

This is the answer if you apply the "sick care" model of the West.  I don't know if such an animal will ever truly exist.  The time frames for testing are so short in the desire to get the meds to market quickly that the adverse effects tend to come out much further down the road.  The only true solution is the holistic, societal one, where we teach our children to learn self-care and coping skill the way they learn ABCs and 123s.  And where clean up our food supply and environment.  And reduce stress on a global level.  In other words, if we can prevent the acute depression and anxiety that seems to plague the world.

 

 

 

Not sure I understood what you meant. Why would "mentally ill" people be the ones who are harmed? Anyone can be harmed by the meds. In some studies, people who have no diagnosis of depression develop side effects or withdrawal after a short med trial. Or do you mean they are considered to be mentally ill, so they are not given credibility when they report harm?

 

The thing is, those who benefit are considered "mentally ill" too (I dont like that term). 

 

But yes, there are no easy answers. I think the main thing we should all strive for is true informed consent. People should be free to choose meds if they desire, so long as they are clear about the risks. Something that is not even remotely happening now.

 

I don't know that this ideal trauma-free world will ever exist, but we could certainly start by teaching every kid in school coping skills, mindfulness, etc. And by providing parents more resources to parent in a healthy way. They do this better in Europe already. We also need drug-free interventions to be used and recommended in liu of drugs. Up until 2 years ago, my insurance only covered 20 sessions of therapy a year, but I could get all the drugs I wanted. Why is it the profit of insurance companies and not my health needs that determine what treatment I have access to? Policy changes like this can go a long way. 

 

 

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apace41
4 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

Or do you mean they are considered to be mentally ill, so they are not given credibility when they report harm?

 

This was what I meant.  Not particularly articulately stated, perhaps, but that was the point.  If someone who is diagnosed with something (we won't call it "mental illness")

 is given an AD and then self-harms, it can't be the med -- has to be because they were diagnosed.

 

4 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

I don't know that this ideal trauma-free world will ever exist, but we could certainly start by teaching every kid in school coping skills, mindfulness, etc. And by providing parents more resources to parent in a healthy way. They do this better in Europe already. We also need drug-free interventions to be used and recommended in liu of drugs. Up until 2 years ago, my insurance only covered 20 sessions of therapy a year, but I could get all the drugs I wanted. Why is it the profit of insurance companies and not my health needs that determine what treatment I have access to? Policy changes like this can go a long way. 

 

I was being somewhat facetious.  Given the current corporate state of "make more money or else" in the US, I can't see much positive change in this regard because the vast majority of of the day to day lives of most Americans are controlled by corporate America.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Newbeginning
7 hours ago, apace41 said:

 

This was what I meant.  Not particularly articulately stated, perhaps, but that was the point.  If someone who is diagnosed with something (we won't call it "mental illness")

 is given an AD and then self-harms, it can't be the med -- has to be because they were diagnosed.

 

 

I was being somewhat facetious.  Given the current corporate state of "make more money or else" in the US, I can't see much positive change in this regard because the vast majority of of the day to day lives of most Americans are controlled by corporate America.

 

 

 

Yes. This is part of the stigma attached to having mental health issues. We automatically become less credible, which is ridiculous. But it's also a situation in which it is indeed hard to determine what causes what (is it the depression? adverse reaction? withdrawal? something else?). The problem is when causes other than the original condition are not even considered. Even when the symptoms are purely physical and only started after med was started, many drs and researchers will still insist it can only be the original condition--which is irrational. 

 

I knew you were exaggerating. I'm not as hopeless though. I think small incremental changes are possible. If we change policies and we raised public awareness, we can change a lot of this. Wont be ideal, but will be much better. 

 

Not saying this to brag, but I'm giving my 2 cents myself with my dissertation. It's on the experiences of chronic/recurrent depression among Latina women in the US. The goal is to address the huge gap in the research literature on depression, 99% of which is written from the perspective of the Medical Model, with very little written on the mental health of minority groups. Instead, I'm asking people what depression is like to them, what wisdom and strengths they already have, what has helped them (or harmed them), and how the totality of their life experiences/developmental/life history affects and is affected by their experiences of emotional health and emotional struggles. 

 

In research perspective is everything. When you do a study using the medical model, there are some research questions that never even get asked. Certain interpretations of results that are never considered, etc.  We need a different approach, and even if I never work on research again, I wanted my dissertation to reflect that :)

 

Happy holidays to you :)

 

PS: Do you like soccer or just how the ball looks? lol I grew up in Southamerica and soccer is the only sport I watch lol

 

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Shep
16 hours ago, Newbeginning said:

Not saying this to brag, but I'm giving my 2 cents myself with my dissertation. It's on the experiences of chronic/recurrent depression among Latina women in the US. The goal is to address the huge gap in the research literature on depression, 99% of which is written from the perspective of the Medical Model, with very little written on the mental health of minority groups. Instead, I'm asking people what depression is like to them, what wisdom and strengths they already have, what has helped them (or harmed them), and how the totality of their life experiences/developmental/life history affects and is affected by their experiences of emotional health and emotional struggles. 

 

In research perspective is everything. When you do a study using the medical model, there are some research questions that never even get asked. Certain interpretations of results that are never considered, etc.  We need a different approach, and even if I never work on research again, I wanted my dissertation to reflect that :)

 

This is quite impressive and very important research, Newbeginning. 

 

As you do your research, if you come across scholarly articles about the issues you are researching, please add them to the Journals section here on SA. Many members and guests are using that section to learn more about studies, especially studies that invalidate the current practices of the medical model. 

 

From journals and scientific sources

 

What you're writing about is so very important and the fact that you're getting your information directly from the Latina community with that specific and valuable lived experience, wow, that is very exciting research! It will definitely add depth and insight to the narrowly-focused research (and very biased research) that is currently out there.

 

Have you come across the great Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire? His book Pedagogy of the Oppressed has been used worldwide within circles of people trying to find their "voice". Not only did this book hold significance in Brazil, it's been used in the US by the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, the psychiatric survivors movement of the 70s, and many people  all over the world have found it helpful in framing these kinds of discussions when, as you so wisely note, "Certain interpretations of results that are never considered." When the interpreters of such studies have their own agenda, that effects the results that they discover and the results they chose NOT to discover. This agenda also carries weight in who they chose to include in studies and who they do not. 

 

I'm about halfway through the book Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness and the level of bias found in the current medical model is frightening. 

 

Yes, we do need a different approach. I wish you well on your dissertation. It sounds like a very valuable contribution that will help the cause of navigating toward a different - and a much better - approach by giving "voice" to the Latina women in your study.  Very exciting and important work. 

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Newbeginning

Thank you so much Shep!!

 

I almost gave up on my dissertation more than once when I was in the worse waves of withdrawal, but I'm feeling better and determined to finish :)

 

I'm familiar with Freire's approach to teaching and empowering communities . While I'm not using his method, I am doing a qualitative study, so some of the philosophical bases are similar to his work.

 

The theories/conceptual frameworks I'm using are Lifespan Developmental theory, Strengths theory and the Trauma-informed approach, as well as concepts from the mental health recovery and psychiatric rehabilitation movements. 

 

Research is not my thing, but if I'm going to put all this energy and time and money into doing a doctoral dissertation, it better be something I believe in, which can be (hopefully) valuable to our community.  

 

My experience with the shortcomings of the medical model and withdrawal/med damage (including what I learned in this forum from others' experiences) certainly informs the questions I ask in the interviews, and the way I will interpret the results of the study.

 

Thanks for the encouragement! It means a lot! 

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Shep

That really sounds amazing, NB. I hope you find your dissertation to not only be a great addition to the academic literature, but also, put yourself on a healing path. 

 

I've noticed that a lot of people going through these forums who go into advocacy, set up websites, write letters, and in other ways get involved in various projects of these sorts seem to do better with their own recovery. There's a sense of empowerment that comes. 

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