“What Can ‘Lived Experience’ Teach Neuroscientists?”

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In Discover, Neuroskeptic critiques the premise of a journal article that declared that “neuroscientists who research mental health problems ought to listen to the views of people who have experienced those conditions.” Are people who are depressed and/or taking antidepressants really more qualified to understand the neuroscience of depression, he asks.

“All of this is sensible enough, but there’s a major blind spot here,” comments Neuroskeptic. “Stratford et al. talk as if scientists and patients (or ‘consumers’) are two distinct groups. But what about the people who fall into both categories? What about those neuroscience researchers who have experienced mental illness themselves? I am one of these people. I’m currently well, but I have a history of depression and I still take three different antidepressants.”

What Can “Lived Experience” Teach Neuroscientists? (Discover, May 20, 2015)

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Some of us with “lived experience,” especially those who are dealt with in an “us vs. them” manner, will walk away from the medical community due to such disrespectful behavior on the part of the so called “professionals.”

    And we’ll research medicine ourselves. Albeit, not just in the psycho / pharmacutical industry publication biased journal articles. We know what our symptoms were, so will search for other patients who suffered from the same symptoms as well. And we eventually become those who are interviewed by people in other fields, and asked at the end of the interview, “how does it feel to know more than the doctors?”

    I was taken aback when asked that question initially. But eventually realized the interviewer was correct. I was capable of learning not just from the journal articles, but also the patient accounts. Whereas the “professionals” did not have the insight into common patient experiences to see the flaws in logic within the journal articles.

    The founding fathers of the U.S. had a wisdom that seems to be lacking within certain “professionals” today. They claimed “all people are created equal,” for good reason. To obtain wisdom, one must respect the opinions of all, and be able to judge or surmise the truth based upon all viewpoints.

    Medicine used to be properly called an art, because the medical community of old had the wisdom that they were not all knowing, all people are different, thus will react differently to treatments, so listening to the patient and basing treatment upon the patient’s perspective was the art behind healing people. EBM claims to be “science” that’s trumped the art of being a doctor. EBM has resulted in death by medicine being the number three cause of death.

    How long will it take for the medical community to learn EBM is propaganda by a greed only inspired pharmacutical industry, and return to the wisdom of old, that medicine is a truly still just an art, where properly communicating and respecting your patients is the only way to actually heal another person?

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