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  #21  
Old 04-27-2010, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ishara View Post
Um, I feel that you're only covering off one side of things here.

I know people who are severely clinically depressed AND bi-polar, and I can tell you first hand that the drug cocktail they take - and it is a cocktail - works wonders for them. My friend was suicidal. She wanted to kill herself she was so sad, so tired, so done with hurting everyone around her with her mental illness. She committed herself voluntarily and her doctor inside the institution was able to help her with a system that made her mental illness manageable, in conjunction with therapy and other coping mechanisms like exercise and healthy eating. But make NO mistake, those other pieces would not have totally solved the problem.

I have no doubt whatsoever that the dangers and illusions of the big drug companies are as they you say they are - BUT, I think that by implying that drugs are not helpful to anyone bu the company that sells them is disingenuous.
I know it was buried in there kinda deep, but I did mention Bipolar I (which by definition includes clinical depression) and schizophrenia as being among certain cases where drug therapy typically is necessary. Your friend's treatment program is right on - including the drug component. Im sorry if I sounded unempathetic to that situation.

Also keep in mind that I was once again being US-centric (apologies). Your more advanced health-care structure has different implications than ours down here.

I'll quote the relevant bits of my first post to demonstrate that I do understand your point:

Quote:
DISCLAIMER: Drugs are sometimes necessary for treatment and certainly have life-saving potential. I am not here to say "never use prescription drugs." I AM saying understand what you are getting into - weight the pros and cons. Because there are always cons, no matter what the drug industry wants you to think.
Quote:
Again. This is not to say that sometimes pills are necessary (i.e. for the most part, schizophrenia and Bipolar I do, in fact, require drugs - for ever - for treatment).
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  #22  
Old 04-28-2010, 12:06 AM
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Yup its entirely anecdotal and therefore invalid to this discussion that I watched two people I care about more than most of the rest of the world pop pills for years, not have them do ANY good, and actually see one of them punch their own ticket and the other essentially shut down. But no, anti-depressants are the magic happy pill that saves lives! Anyone who thinks differently based upon personally observed results is just feeding misinformation based upon misdiagnosis and anecdotes! Anyone who honestly thinks that can fuck the hell off.
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  #23  
Old 04-28-2010, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sinistrum View Post
But no, anti-depressants are the magic happy pill that saves lives! Anyone who thinks differently based upon personally observed results is just feeding misinformation based upon misdiagnosis and anecdotes! Anyone who honestly thinks that can fuck the hell off.
That's actually the definition of anecdotal, yes. That doesn't change how shitty it was for you and your loved ones, though.
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  #24  
Old 04-28-2010, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
Not to be a dick but why not we all have a nice adult conversation?

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.
The explanation I've been given by psychiatrists is that antidepressants tend to take care of the lack of motivation problem that comes with depression before they take care of the depression so suddenly the person who wasn't killing themselves because they lacked motivation doesn't have that little problem anymore.

Anyways, antidepressants and other stuff should really only be used in conjunction with therapy and close monitoring.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:08 AM
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So, my feeling is that anti-depressants don't out perform placebos in cases of mild depression, so if they're not that effective overall it's more because they're overpresrcibed than because the drugs themselves don't work. Of course, I could be massively wrong, but my experience/anecdotal evidence suggests anti-depressants can/do work in cases of severe depression. What both my doctor and my therapist-type person said to me was that anti-depressants don't fix the problem, they just mask it long enough so that you can do the other stuff (therapy, lifestyle changes, whatever) that actually will fix it.

Sini, sorry to hear about your friend.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Firseal View Post
What in the heck is wrong with people that they delude themselves into believing they need this crap?
IMO, it's the "I'm so special, I need attention" syndrome. It expresses various ways, teen rebellion being the most well-known version. But grown-ups can't behave like teens and still expect to be taken seriously by their peers (or anyone, really) so something else is needed. And voila, you've got your workaholics, shopaholics, sex addicts, octomoms, hypochondriacs and what have you.

And then there are the people who actually have a serious medical condition.

and/or doctors who can't be bothered to properly diagnose their patients.
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  #27  
Old 04-28-2010, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ivhon View Post
Ill start with the heartfelt warning first, so that it is not discounted by the rant to follow

If you or a loved one are taking prescription medications for anything, ALWAYS have a detailed conversation with your MD before quitting. Too many people quit medications cold turkey or just stop refilling prescriptions (EDIT: because they don't know not too). With many of the popularly advertised drugs on the market, this can have harmful, permanent and even fatal side-effects. MD's and pharmacists don't always relay this information, and even when they do, it is easy to forget. Just please make it S.O.P. to talk to your prescribing physician about how to go off of a particular medication (doing some of your own research doesn't hurt, either). In particular (simply because I know more about these drugs), anti-depressants (SSRI's AND SNRI's), anti-psychotics (including Abilify - which is now prescribed as a booster for anti-depressants...see rant below) and anti-anxiety meds (especially ESPECIALLY benzodiazapines which include: xanax, clonopin, valium and several others). In the case of benzos, if the patient does not go on a (long) weening process to get off the medication, serious long-term mental health consequences can occur. Modern anti-depressants do not cure depression - they only manage symptoms for so long as they are taken (if that). So when you go off, the depression comes back. If you go off cold turkey, it frequently comes back worse than it was to begin with. Same with anti-psychotics. When depressive symptoms, in particular, come back in force there can be a much higher incidence of suicidal ideation.

DISCLAIMER: Drugs are sometimes necessary for treatment and certainly have life-saving potential. I am not here to say "never use prescription drugs." I AM saying understand what you are getting into - weight the pros and cons. Because there are always cons, no matter what the drug industry wants you to think.

Ok, ranting.

Here is the thing about Big Pharm. They might make something that will help you. But that is NOT what they care about. They care about turning $$$'s. Actually helping you is a secondary concern (that, of course, helps them market more drugs). Don't forget, they use the exact same strategy as the crackdealer on the corner (i.e. "try some for free, c'mon...it'll make you feel better") - they just have corporate dollars and legitimacy to extend their reach beyond the streetcorner. Why am I ranting?

Because it occurred to me that I actually feel sorry for the insurance companies sometimes. Here's why. I mentioned Abilify before. You see this advertised on TV as something that might (emphasize might) help your depression when your standard anti-depressants aren't enough. Abilify, though, was developed as a second-generation (or atypical) antipsychotic. And it is pretty effective for its originally intended use (reduces primary symptoms of psychosis [hallucinations and delusions] with far fewer and less debilitating side-effects than first-generations anti-psychotics). Here's the thing, though. It is ridiculously expensive and 3rd party systems (insurance) make people with schizophrenia jump through hoops to obtain medication (much cheaper to put them on 1st generation meds). Not to mention that as a group, people with schizophrenia find it hard to hold down a job - meaning worse or no insurance and not much money. Which means few people can afford atypical antipsychotics like Abilify. Which means not much Abilify gets sold for its intended market (just checked - Abilify is also used for Biploar I - which has the same job-loss considerations as the psychotic disorders). Which means that Bristol-Myers needs to go find another market for Abilify...oh, hey...here's a study (that we funded) that shows that Abilify + anit-depressant is more effective for treating depression than anti-depressant alone. Boom. Now Bristol-Myers can market Abilify as an anti-depressant booster (which is how you see it advertised on TV...not for Schizophrenia or Bipolar I) and can make lots of money. Why? Because depressed people can hold down jobs better than schizophrenics or manics. Therefore 3rd party will pick up the tab more readily. But wait...it only works as a booster, not as a standalone anti-depressant. So now 3rd party is paying for TWO drugs instead of one. Which means everyone's premium goes up so that Bristol-Meyers and its stockholders can make their numbers.

All of that is beside the fact that an increasing body of research (as discussed in other threads) demonstrates that anti-depressants do no better for treating depression than placebo.

Again. This is not to say that sometimes pills are necessary (i.e. for the most part, schizophrenia and Bipolar I do, in fact, require drugs - for ever - for treatment). But not for everything and not without risk. The drug companies care about the bottom line - not you. They make it worth while for managed care to push their product (NOT saying that all MD's are corrupt). Be your own advocate when it comes to medicine...don't just pop some pill because you saw a commercial on TV that told you to ask your doctor about it.

/rant off
I don't disagree with everything. Just want to make a point.

1. Big pharm makes those products because there are people who will use them. They aren't responsible for the prescriptions anymore than McDonalds is responsible for fat people. They make a product and have very little control over how that product is used. Nothing is free...nothing. If they want to make drugs, then they have to have the money to make them, that requires that they sell drugs.

ASIDE: Years ago when I heard that drug companies were going to start advertising on TV, I thought it was a bad idea. Turns out I was right. We are overmedicated as a society for this reason. People can't "push away from the table." I've seen people who take a pill that gives them a headache, so they take another pill, that one makes them nauseous, so they take another pill that keeps them awake, etc. It's the same thing as my buddy who stops by Krystals on the way home from work and gets a 20 pack to eat and then eats a full dinner when he gets home, plus a bunch of other crap before he goes to bed and never moves off the couch all night except to get more food and then whines that he weighs 380lbs, has gout, his knees and hips hurt all the time, he can't sleep because he feels like he's being crushed and his CPAP isn't helping his apnea anymore and he has to take 15 lortab a day just to be that functional. Get off your ass, it'll help.

I just don't agree that all the blame can be placed on Big Pharm. I think it's a trap that a lot of people are falling into because of the political mood in our country. If you don't like something, you turn it into a demon so you can take it out. Big Pharm, Big Insurance, Big Wall Street, Big Carmaker, blah, blah, blah. Everybody hates Big...unless it's Big Government, then you fall in line and love it. That just seems so wrong to me.
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  #28  
Old 04-28-2010, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sinistrum View Post
Misdiagnosis and misinformation my goddamn ass. You could try asking my mother just how "successful" anti-depressants are. After all she's been on them for twenty some odd years. Though you'd first have to visit her at her nursing home where she's essentially a non-functioning human being because of her mental state. At the ripe old age of 59 too. But hey, you keep telling yourself they work. You can also keep telling yourself that they don't do more harm than good. You could ask my friend Megan about that, yanno, if she were still alive and hadn't killed her self three weeks ago in part due to the fact that she was on a noxious drug cocktail of anti-depressants and sleep aids that doctors proscribed to her in tandem. Worked wonders for her. I mean, its not like she's got anything to be depressed about now, right? What a bunch of goddamn bullshit.
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Originally Posted by Sinistrum View Post
Yup its entirely anecdotal and therefore invalid to this discussion that I watched two people I care about more than most of the rest of the world pop pills for years, not have them do ANY good, and actually see one of them punch their own ticket and the other essentially shut down. But no, anti-depressants are the magic happy pill that saves lives! Anyone who thinks differently based upon personally observed results is just feeding misinformation based upon misdiagnosis and anecdotes! Anyone who honestly thinks that can fuck the hell off.
Sini, I'm really sorry that you've had such negative encounters. Really. But to attack my perspective/ opinion on the sole basis of those encounters is hardly fair. What I'm trying to say is that I too had a friend who was very sick. And she was lucky enough to find the right combination of drugs and treatment to help her get better. I'm sorry that your friend wasn't able to do the same. It's obviously a tragic loss, regardless.

Taking a giant step back from the personal realm though, the scenario of two sick people, one getting better with some meds and one not, is exactly what I'm talking about. The person who didn't get better isn't faking - they just haven't found the right drugs or combination of drugs.

I guess I'm just shocked at the stigma/ attitude towards mental illess in general. (And Ivhon, thanks for clarifying - but the Canadian system is not better, and in some cases may be worse off actually. Your drug companies have lobbies that push for approvals and exposure to get their products out there - and regardless of their overall motives, some of the drugs are helping some of the people. That's better than none, in my opinion.) Mental illness, be it Depression, Bi Polar, Schizophrenia etc. is a DISEASE. You can't just "buck up" or "get over it." You wouldn't expect someone to "get over" an amputated leg, would you? These are not people who want to be unhappy, suicidal or vegetative.

To return to anectdotal evidence, I read blogs. Like a lot of them.

At least 3 belong to women with significant mental illness: Dooce, Moosh in Indy, and Breed 'em and Weep. Dooce, similarly to my friend, committed herself after post-partum depression so bad that well...suffice it say she committed herself. She was immeasurably helped by the drugs that were given to her and s a HUGE advocate for both mental health awareness and the fact that sometimes you can't do it on your own. Moosh in Indy was so mentally ill during her long sought after pregnancy, so sick that she tried to commit suicide and was committed. Again, the drugs she was given - in combination with other things - helped her immeasurably. Breed 'em and Weep...well she's suffering. Reading her right now is hard. She has not found what is working and it is clear that she wants to be better, but cannot get there. I don't see the words of an attention seeker (and before you even go there, she's had the blog for YEARS and is just coming to terms with how sick she's been throughout). I see the words of a very sick, very unhappy, very honest person.

Those to me, are the faces of mental illness that I see most days. Anecdotal sure, but Id like to think that these three women protray both sides of the coin. It's just not as simple as sugar pills.
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  #29  
Old 04-28-2010, 09:35 AM
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Depression is something which is probably over diagnosed, and definitely over-medicated.
Some people could just be having a bad run of luck, and instead of just talking to someone, which would likely do an immeasurable ammount of good, they get given a handful of pills. The sadder part is they probably ask for and prefer the pills because its the easier way out.
In cases where a person legitimately has depression counselling is usually the best solution. Pills should only be used as a supplementary, or only in really extreme cases. Unfortunately, a bottle of pills is cheaper than regular psychology sessions.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:38 AM
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Sini- you are speaking from an extremely emotional life experience, and I would just like to gently point out that so was Ishara. You saw loved one's lives ruined, Ishara saw loved one's lives saved.

Both are anectodal and laden with emotion, and firm conclusions for or against anti-depressants can't come from here, but from objective evidence only.

Ishara- it isn't the stigma attached to mental illness, it is a valid debate on the mixed evidence regarding anti-depressants. There is a very real placebo-effect going on, which has been shown in almost all clinical trials, but is not reported. It goes against my personal experience as well, my mom transformed from a hyper-sensitive, uber-depressed woman to a fun loving, relaxed woman when she started anti-depressants. So to read the data is jarring to my perceived reality, but that is why objective data and analysis is important, because it points to the truth.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/232781
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Last edited by Brita; 04-28-2010 at 09:46 AM.
  #31  
Old 04-28-2010, 09:56 AM
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Wow. So many good points and posts. I would like (and feel I need to )give a quick "Reader's Digest" response if I may.

-I work in mental health and have for 11 years.

-Mental illness is unlike any other illness in that you have to consider SO MANY confounding variables (past influences like childhood, present influences like freinds/family, individual biochemistry, personality, drug use, lifetime's worth of good or bad habits, diet, exercise, other physical conditions).

-I actually agree with some of the negative assessments of Big Pharma, but I've also witnessed miracles firsthand as a result of their products

-Mental illnes IS trial and error. Given the list of confounding variables that can affect treatment, I think it is AMAZING that the mentally ill do as well as they do these days. (In Alabama, long term patients in state hospitals is down from a high in the 60's of something like 10-15 thousand to less than a thousand statewide. Many of these people have or are living independently in the community

-I also know that NONE of my clients who needed and was willing to take medication went without it. REGARDLESS of payor source. There are ways

-I really hate to hear about cases like Sini. There are people who just do not respond to available therapies and sometimes there is no acceptable reason why. I have witnessed those firsthand too and it is heartbreaking.

-Rx commercials are a load of HORSESHIT. I don't care how well a pill works, it is only a tool. Period. The action of the medication (at its best) allows the person the opportunity to learn to cope with life, with less symptoms than before. No treatments are perfect and mental illness treatments less so than others.

I only interject here because this area is something close to my heart and unlike politics, I actually know a little something about this. I would encourage people to not give up on treatment simply because 3 or 4 or 5 trials didn't work for you. No shit...I've seen #6 be the charm. I don't say this to pump up Big Pharma either. I have no stake in them either way, but if there is a chance to improve suffering, it should be taken if the risks are reasonable.
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  #32  
Old 04-28-2010, 10:04 AM
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The person who didn't get better isn't faking - they just haven't found the right drugs or combination of drugs.
Even more bullshit. You can't pop a pill to be happy. That has to come from within. Pretending otherwise, is at best, offering false hope that an external source holds to the key to your mind, and that hope will always ultimately fail because its simply not true. At worst, its convincing yourself to take out right poison, which is what anti-depressants actually are. If your friend survived depression, she did so entirely on the basis of the strength of her own person. It had nothing to do with the garbage they were pumping her with, except perhaps with the afore mentioned placebo effect.

And to say that my friend and my mother "just didn't find the right combination" of drugs is probably one of the most fucking insulting and insentive things I've ever seen someone say about them. Drugs were not the solution to either of their situations. They were significant contributing factors to their personal self-destruction. They were betrayed by the hope that this garbage you are helping to peddle offers them, and for you to sit their and pretend like it was simply a matter of it not being used right disgusts me.
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  #33  
Old 04-28-2010, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
I don't disagree with everything. Just want to make a point.

1. Big pharm makes those products because there are people who will use them. They aren't responsible for the prescriptions anymore than McDonalds is responsible for fat people. They make a product and have very little control over how that product is used. Nothing is free...nothing. If they want to make drugs, then they have to have the money to make them, that requires that they sell drugs.
Rhetorical Point: Snake Oil salesman makes those products because there are people who will use them. This is exactly what is going on with Abilify, for example (not every drug, but a lot of them). People are being sold that a drug is going to make them feel better when it almost certainly wont (unless they are psychotic). Access to studies is of course nearly impossible to get unless you are part of a university - and that wont get you access to corporate studies. Of course, the pharmaceuticals have complete protection against a lawsuit (provided the drug can't be proven to be doing harm) because they can simply say that not all drugs work for all people (true)...here try this one now.


Practical Point: Of course they have to make drugs and make money. There is a non-sequitor in corporate apologist thought. The argument you are using here (and which is used continually whenever regulation is suggested) is that if you regulate at all, you remove the ability for a company to make profit. Not true. Witness that the same label drugs are sold at fractions of the retail cost anywhere outside the US. You can still make a profit. Just be responsible when your product is advertised to help people and save their lives. And no, it doesn't all come back on Big Pharm, either. Insurance and Managed Care act irresponsibly and god KNOWS that our quick-fix-for-free-and-no-work cultural mindset confers quite a bit of individual responsibility. However (and this is to the point below), I disagree with the idea that the individual is always completely responsible at all times and the corporation is always let off the hook, even when they mislead, lie and misrepresent.

There is a middle-ground where we need to take a good look at our cultural flaws AND look at making sure that the rich and powerful do not exploit the weak and powerless - because history has shown that the rich and powerful will ALWAYS exploit the poor and powerless given the opportunity to do so.

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ASIDE: Years ago when I heard that drug companies were going to start advertising on TV, I thought it was a bad idea. Turns out I was right. We are overmedicated as a society for this reason. People can't "push away from the table." I've seen people who take a pill that gives them a headache, so they take another pill, that one makes them nauseous, so they take another pill that keeps them awake, etc. It's the same thing as my buddy who stops by Krystals on the way home from work and gets a 20 pack to eat and then eats a full dinner when he gets home, plus a bunch of other crap before he goes to bed and never moves off the couch all night except to get more food and then whines that he weighs 380lbs, has gout, his knees and hips hurt all the time, he can't sleep because he feels like he's being crushed and his CPAP isn't helping his apnea anymore and he has to take 15 lortab a day just to be that functional. Get off your ass, it'll help.
Right with ya, pal.

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I just don't agree that all the blame can be placed on Big Pharm. I think it's a trap that a lot of people are falling into because of the political mood in our country. If you don't like something, you turn it into a demon so you can take it out. Big Pharm, Big Insurance, Big Wall Street, Big Carmaker, blah, blah, blah. Everybody hates Big...unless it's Big Government, then you fall in line and love it. That just seems so wrong to me.
I don't place all the blame on Big ____. I place perhaps most on Big ____. I cross the 50% line because they knowingly take advantage of the idiocy and irresponsibility of we the people (for which I give plenty of blame) to market and encourage the self-same stupid behavior. They created the quick-fix, money-for-nothing, gimme-a-pill culture and they maintain it. We are stupid to buy into it, but Big ____ doesnt get a pass for that.

As for Big Government, I am for Big Government right now because that is the only thing that can put a check on Big Business. Big Business has been unchecked for too long, gotten too fat and too powerful. THAT is why we are in the mess we are in and - as even Alan Greenspan says....now - market forces demonstratably cannot stop it.

However, it is cyclical - which is something that I think gets overlooked. Sometimes you need big govt., sometimes you need small govt. Historical circumstances dictate it. To every thing, turn, turn, turn.
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  #34  
Old 04-28-2010, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Basel Gill View Post
Wow. So many good points and posts. I would like (and feel I need to )give a quick "Reader's Digest" response if I may.

-I work in mental health and have for 11 years.

-Mental illness is unlike any other illness in that you have to consider SO MANY confounding variables (past influences like childhood, present influences like freinds/family, individual biochemistry, personality, drug use, lifetime's worth of good or bad habits, diet, exercise, other physical conditions).

-I actually agree with some of the negative assessments of Big Pharma, but I've also witnessed miracles firsthand as a result of their products

-Mental illnes IS trial and error. Given the list of confounding variables that can affect treatment, I think it is AMAZING that the mentally ill do as well as they do these days. (In Alabama, long term patients in state hospitals is down from a high in the 60's of something like 10-15 thousand to less than a thousand statewide. Many of these people have or are living independently in the community

-I also know that NONE of my clients who needed and was willing to take medication went without it. REGARDLESS of payor source. There are ways

-I really hate to hear about cases like Sini. There are people who just do not respond to available therapies and sometimes there is no acceptable reason why. I have witnessed those firsthand too and it is heartbreaking.

-Rx commercials are a load of HORSESHIT. I don't care how well a pill works, it is only a tool. Period. The action of the medication (at its best) allows the person the opportunity to learn to cope with life, with less symptoms than before. No treatments are perfect and mental illness treatments less so than others.

I only interject here because this area is something close to my heart and unlike politics, I actually know a little something about this. I would encourage people to not give up on treatment simply because 3 or 4 or 5 trials didn't work for you. No shit...I've seen #6 be the charm. I don't say this to pump up Big Pharma either. I have no stake in them either way, but if there is a chance to improve suffering, it should be taken if the risks are reasonable.
I don't entirely disagree, here. I'm just on a different spot on the continuum. Probably comes from my training, since I will not ever be able to prescribe (and don't want to). I don't deny that drugs can help in more severe cases, but as you say, they do not teach preventative, maintenance or coping skills. I have learned to manage my problems - and they have been severe at times - without pills. It was much more difficult and tearful than just popping a pill...but in the long run, it will be much cheaper and I am better for it. Not everyone can, though.

Anyway, the main point is to be sure that you know WHAT the drug does, WHAT the side-effects can be, HOW you are supposed to use it and how to stop using it. That last bit is frequently overlooked and can cause a WHOLE lot of damage. Hence the original warning.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:31 AM
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Even more bullshit. You can't pop a pill to be happy. That has to come from within. Pretending otherwise, is at best, offering false hope that an external source holds to the key to your mind, and that hope will always ultimately fail because its simply not true. At worst, its convincing yourself to take out right poison, which is what anti-depressants actually are. If your friend survived depression, she did so entirely on the basis of the strength of her own person. It had nothing to do with the garbage they were pumping her with, except perhaps with the afore mentioned placebo effect.

And to say that my friend and my mother "just didn't find the right combination" of drugs is probably one of the most fucking insulting and insentive things I've ever seen someone say about them. Drugs were not the solution to either of their situations. They were significant contributing factors to their personal self-destruction. They were betrayed by the hope that this garbage you are helping to peddle offers them, and for you to sit their and pretend like it was simply a matter of it not being used right disgusts me.

I somewhat agree with part of what you are trying to convey here. Its like giving a carpenter a hammer. The hammer won't build the house, the carpenter still has to participate and want to build it. The pills (in some cases of legitimate depression, bi-polar disease, etc) are that hammer. You still have to want it. There is never a magical solution. You usually need medicine AND long-term counseling/mental health consults. I think that is what Sini is getting at here.
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  #36  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:23 AM
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I am really with you guys on alot of these points. With all due respect to Sini's experience, the statement at all anti-depressants (for example) are poison is almost as reckless as the drug companies saying it will cure you. Neither statement is true.

Fact: the brain is an organ like any other and it can fail. Your pancreas doesn't make insulin, you get diabetes (or a form of it), so you take insulin to live. If your brain doesn't make the correct neurotransmitters or the correct amount, you can get all manner of mental illness, people try medications to help.

The issues here are that no one is certain about exact methods of action of many medications, no one can rule out EVERY confounding variable, no single human is going to react like very other.

In Sini's case (assuming as many other variables were accounted for as possible), then maybe the medications were poison. This is true for many people in many cases such as allergic reactions. So...that assessment in that case seems accurate.

I also agree that certain things like depression, bipolar, ADHD, etc. are overdiagnosed rather than the doctor telling the person that they may need to cope with life, parent better, etc. That happens sadly.

Brain disorders are hell to deal with, treat, sort through, not to mention what the person with the disorder themselves has to deal with.

I just worry about the growing trend to stop any traditional treatment because of things that people hear on talk shows, or by word of mouth, misinformation, etc.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:36 AM
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Ishara- it isn't the stigma attached to mental illness, it is a valid debate on the mixed evidence regarding anti-depressants. There is a very real placebo-effect going on, which has been shown in almost all clinical trials, but is not reported. It goes against my personal experience as well, my mom transformed from a hyper-sensitive, uber-depressed woman to a fun loving, relaxed woman when she started anti-depressants. So to read the data is jarring to my perceived reality, but that is why objective data and analysis is important, because it points to the truth.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/232781
Fair enough - I can't speak to the placebo-effect, but I'll agree that my percieved reality is strongly influenced by the successes I've seen.

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Originally Posted by Sinistrum View Post
Even more bullshit. You can't pop a pill to be happy. That has to come from within. Pretending otherwise, is at best, offering false hope that an external source holds to the key to your mind, and that hope will always ultimately fail because its simply not true. At worst, its convincing yourself to take out right poison, which is what anti-depressants actually are. If your friend survived depression, she did so entirely on the basis of the strength of her own person. It had nothing to do with the garbage they were pumping her with, except perhaps with the afore mentioned placebo effect.

And to say that my friend and my mother "just didn't find the right combination" of drugs is probably one of the most fucking insulting and insentive things I've ever seen someone say about them. Drugs were not the solution to either of their situations. They were significant contributing factors to their personal self-destruction. They were betrayed by the hope that this garbage you are helping to peddle offers them, and for you to sit their and pretend like it was simply a matter of it not being used right disgusts me.
Sini, I'm hoping you know me well enough to know that I would never be insulting or insensitive to you or your loved ones - especially in the context of a disagreement like this one. If you interpreted my comments to be hurtful, I apologize for that.

I will not, however, apologize for the belief that I have in regards to treating mental illness with both drugs and other means. I am not peddling anything. I am merely stating, that in my belief, I see a continued need for drug-related treatment for matters of brain-related mental illness. Nor am I saying that drugs are the only solution. I am saying that they can be a positive contributing factor to recovery and stability.

I can see that you're coming at this from a deeply personal place, and that you may not be able to see that I am as well. Being angry and saying hurtful things to me isn't going to address that issue, and I wish you'd stop.

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Originally Posted by Basel Gill View Post

Fact: the brain is an organ like any other and it can fail. Your pancreas doesn't make insulin, you get diabetes (or a form of it), so you take insulin to live. If your brain doesn't make the correct neurotransmitters or the correct amount, you can get all manner of mental illness, people try medications to help.
This. This is what I've been trying to say (unsuccessfully).
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  #38  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Basel Gill View Post
I am really with you guys on alot of these points. With all due respect to Sini's experience, the statement at all anti-depressants (for example) are poison is almost as reckless as the drug companies saying it will cure you. Neither statement is true.

Fact: the brain is an organ like any other and it can fail. Your pancreas doesn't make insulin, you get diabetes (or a form of it), so you take insulin to live. If your brain doesn't make the correct neurotransmitters or the correct amount, you can get all manner of mental illness, people try medications to help.

The issues here are that no one is certain about exact methods of action of many medications, no one can rule out EVERY confounding variable, no single human is going to react like very other.

In Sini's case (assuming as many other variables were accounted for as possible), then maybe the medications were poison. This is true for many people in many cases such as allergic reactions. So...that assessment in that case seems accurate.

I also agree that certain things like depression, bipolar, ADHD, etc. are overdiagnosed rather than the doctor telling the person that they may need to cope with life, parent better, etc. That happens sadly.

Brain disorders are hell to deal with, treat, sort through, not to mention what the person with the disorder themselves has to deal with.

I just worry about the growing trend to stop any traditional treatment because of things that people hear on talk shows, or by word of mouth, misinformation, etc.
I worry about this, too. But the flip-side is a growing trend (at least in mental health) to restrict practice to only the most statistically effective (as defined by limited criteria) treatments when, as you say, there is such an enormous range of individual response. I find this to be dangerously limiting. Drugs and CBT are tools....so are family interactions, group, psychoanalysis and existential therapy. What I see going on (increasing emphasis on drugs and CBT) is forcing the patient/client to fit the tool, rather than the other way around as it should be.

EDIT: The trend above is explicitly driven by bottom-line considerations from the insurance companies.
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  #39  
Old 04-28-2010, 11:51 AM
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I worry about this, too. But the flip-side is a growing trend (at least in mental health) to restrict practice to only the most statistically effective (as defined by limited criteria) treatments when, as you say, there is such an enormous range of individual response. I find this to be dangerously limiting. Drugs and CBT are tools....so are family interactions, group, psychoanalysis and existential therapy. What I see going on (increasing emphasis on drugs and CBT) is forcing the patient/client to fit the tool, rather than the other way around as it should be.

EDIT: The trend above is explicitly driven by bottom-line considerations from the insurance companies.
Agreed. I am a part of this daily and see it. You are right about that.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:09 PM
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I guess I'm just shocked at the stigma/ attitude towards mental illess in general.
I suppose I should have clarified, since I was fervently agreeing with Ivhon about the motivations of the drug companies. Of course medications are important and helpful in many people--maybe even most people who are treated with them.

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Mental illness, be it Depression, Bi Polar, Schizophrenia etc. is a DISEASE. You can't just "buck up" or "get over it." You wouldn't expect someone to "get over" an amputated leg, would you? These are not people who want to be unhappy, suicidal or vegetative.
And again, that's not what I was trying to imply by any means at all. However, it is drug companies in conjunction with medical doctors that have tried to medicalize all forms of mental illness. By that I mean they push to find a biochemical/neurological etiology that can be treated medically or more often pharmacologically. I believe that Big Pharma and probably many medical doctors push this perspective as preferable to psychological/behavioral therapy without drugs. In many cases this is irresponsible at best and malicious at worst, and puts otherwise healthy people at risk.

(This is tangential, but I also believe that in some cases there is a push to call something a disease in order to absolve a level of responsibility on the part of the individual. In so doing, said individual is more likely to rely on chemical therapy because his or her initiative to work for a solution has been removed.)

Call me cynical, but that's how I see it.

None of my views invalidate or demean mental illness or the necessity of medication.
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