Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Comments by Elsie

Showing 28 of 28 comments.

  • I’m still confused. It is my understanding that this newest paper focuses on severe depression only (what they call “major depression”) but somehow they distinguish between mild, moderate and severe types of “severe depression”. This is ridiculous because when depression is “major” it already means that it is severe. Unless I’m missing something here?

    Personally, I don’t believe the drugs do much good even for severe depression (not in the long run anyway) but that’s not even the main issue here. My point is their terminology is unclear and confusing, and so are their conclusions. Wasn’t it Cipriani himself who said that “all debate is now over” and “we now have the FINAL answer” back in February? If his answer was final, then he shouldn’t be saying different things now. The Lancet study admitted antidepressants don’t work for mild depression so they can’t change their mind now just a few months later and then also add that the guidelines for prescribing should be changed.

  • I read the text in the study more carefully and what it actually says is that antidepressants work equally well in “mild, moderate and severe MAJOR depression”. So they are actually only talking about MAJOR depressive disorder but then go on to separate three types of it. This is very confusing because depression itself is already divided into three categories which are also referred to as mild, moderate and severe. People reading the article will think that the drugs work for all types of depression and that they are just as effective for each of those types, not just for severe depression.

  • Actually, the purpose of this study seems to me they wanted to prove that antidepressants ALWAYS work, for every type of depression, not just for severe cases, rather than to confess they don’t really have a clinical effect in severely depressed people. That’s what I read in their conclusion:

    “We may expect as much benefit from antidepressant treatments for mild, moderate or severe major depression. Clinical practice guidelines will need to take these findings into consideration.”

  • Why doesn’t Allen Frances take a stand against the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK then? I mean officially, like in an open letter or something. The RCP is in total denial about withdrawal from antidepressants, and they recently deleted the results of their own research into the matter because the results were not in favour of the drugs, which put them in a difficult position since ‘The Lancet’ had just spread the lie that “antidepressants work” and that “we should prescribe them 6 times more than they are prescribed now”. Dr. Frances should act now and support all those who sent a complaint to the RCP. He should also demand that ‘The Lancet’ retracts Cipriani’s article, the lies it tells, and the dangerous message it gives to society. Antidepressants ruin lives. That is the opposite of saying that they “work”.

  • David Nutt is also completely delusional. He is convinced that the whole world will want to drink his benzo cocktail and quit all alcohol. That’s right: ALL alcoholic beverages on the planet. It will happen within a decade or so, he says. How dumb and crazy can one be to believe such a thing? Not to worry, he says. He’ll take out the addictive part from his concoction. Good luck with that, dr. Nutt! Why can’t they just make non addictive benzos then? Totally nutts if you ask me.

  • David Nutt, is that the one who wants to put all of us on benzodiazepines? He actually believes all alcohol in the world can be replaced with a drink he invented, which is nothing more than a benzo cocktail. The real “nutty professor”, that’s what I call him.

  • I’m sorry, but there is NO way that antidepressants are more addictive than benzodiazepines and that antidepressants withdrawal is worse than coming off benzos. Some say it can be just as difficult in certain patients, but worse, and worse in general at that? Get out of here! Also, gut-brain inflammation is NOT a well-recognized driver of psychiatric pathology. Recognized by whom? I have not seen any evidence for that. Aren’t you just reducing everything to biology again by blaming the body? Emotions and social problems are a much safer bet when looking for explanations for mental illness.

  • Why does Allen Frances say then that the increase in autistic cases is due to looser diagnostic criteria and not because more people are becoming truly autistic? He wrote the DSM himself so he should know. The problem with a “spectrum” is that with some effort you can put virtually anyone on it, so it is only fair that the concept of a spectrum is criticized. Soon, none of us will be normal (or as you say “neurotypical”). What is normal anyway? Clearly the author of this article is not a classic case of autism or she wouldn’t have been able to write the article. Like AT ALL. As for neurotoxins including psychotropic drugs, the damage they cause is very real but it is no more than that. No need to suggest it causes autism or makes it worse. It’s just brain damage, and it can happen to anyone. Finally, those lab results the author talks about are totally worthless. No psychiatric illness can ever be measured with lab results. That goes for autism too.

  • The term “clinical” is another thing that bogs my mind. What does that mean anyway? Isn’t that just “because the doctor says so”? It’s like when you go to the doctors and say you feel depressed, and the doctor replies: “Oh, I see. I think you have a depression. Now it’s clinical because I “diagnosed” you.” What “diagnosis”? I just told you myself I feel depressed 2 seconds ago! You simply repeated it!

  • All those tests are designed so that anyone taking them comes out as being “depressed” or “mentally ill”. There is no diagnosis for “normal personality” in psychiatry anyway, so it’s impossible not to get diagnosed with something. And if you don’t tick all the boxes they just add “not otherwise specified”. “Depressive disorder not otherwise specified” is so vague and meaningless that I don’t know any person who doesn’t fit the description. Who is perfectly happy all the time then? No one.

  • Same here. I have never understood how psychiatrists – or anyone for that matter – can say they can see the difference between sadness and “clinical depression”, whereby the latter is supposed to be caused by a chemical imbalance. As if there are two kinds of depression: the one caused by emotions or social circumstances, and another one that appears out of nowhere and so it must originate in the brain or the body. There is no “nowhere” because everyone has a past, everyone has emotions, and there are always circumstances.

  • I keep reading about different types of depression, like “minor depression”, “moderate depression” and “severe depression”. My question is: how objective are these categories? And how does one assess which type of depression the patient belongs to? Sounds kind of arbitrary to me. It’s one thing to state that antidepressants work for the severely depressed (which may be true or not). But who decides what defines severe depression anyway? Because if it’s impossible to tell with certainty that a person is “severely depressed”, how can one conclude with certainty that this patient will respond to antidepressants? I’m sure most doctors and psychiatrists are convinced that any patient who has symptoms of depression must be automatically severely depressed.

  • My point is that 8-week trials don’t give any clues on how a drug performs, because any psychoactive substance is likely to have an effect, some positive and perhaps desired, and some very bad. One could compare antidepressants to benzodiazepines as an acute treatment for depression and I’m willing to bet the benzos will actually come out the better of the two! Especially if the depression is accompanied by anxiety, tension and insomnia. Actually, antidepressants take some time to “kick in” so it is 100% certain that benzos perform better in short-term trials. Obviously, it would be insane to tell people that we should all use more benzos when we’re depressed as that would be quite catastrophic to say the least. Yet psychiatry is now promoting antidepressants without considering the long-term outcomes, which do not speak in favor of the drugs. Not to mention the same dr. Cipriani concluded only 20 months ago, also in The Lancet, that antidepressants are not suitable for the use in children and teens, which clearly contradicts the “antidepressants work” conclusion of his recent meta analysis, but nothing about this contradiction is mentioned in his latest paper, nor in the media coverage.

  • Is everyone forgetting that benzodiazepines also “work” when you first start taking them? But then they turn on you and become your worst nightmare and destroy your life. So even if antidepressants do “work” for the first couple of weeks (and that’s a big “if”), that doesn’t mean anything. The wording by The Lancet is extremely misleading. They might as well have said that it’s good to take benzos since they “work”, because for about 1-2 weeks they acutally do! In fact, I bet benzos work much better for depression during those 1-2 weeks than antidepressants do. And so does alcohol, and probably many illicit drugs.

  • Why does “healthy diet” always need to include suppliments like micronutrients, according to these experts? I just don’t get it. Wouldn’t the results have been the same if the “ADHD children” had eaten more fruit and veggies and other healthy foods, which already contain all necessary nutrients? Promoting a healthy diet or promoting supplements is NOT the same. There is no need for supplements if your diet is healthy.
    Also, the behavior that is now labelled as ADHD is much too complex and can have many different causes, hence the treatment is also complex and different for every case. By simply reducing it to a vitamin deficiency or whatever you call it, you are doing exactly the same as what psychiatry has always done by reducing all mental problems (or even normal behavior and normal emotions) to a simple chemical imbalance. I see no difference. And I don’t believe that supplements have no side-effects either.

  • I’m not sure if I understand this correctly, and I’m doing my best to present positive criticism, but like all the articles written by this duo, they give me the impression that all mental problems basically come down to a lack of nutrients, or eating the wrong foods (e.g. gluten) and nothing else. Other factors are never taken into account. And the solution is always taking supplements, as if there is no other way out either. This sounds really stupid and short-sided in view (and I stress that this is just my personal opinion).

    For one, even if a lack of nutrients could be identified as a cause of aggresion and violence (which this study doesn’t do; it just says the nutrients improve the behavior, which is not the same as identifying the cause for the behavior), there can be many other causes too. Second, nutrients can easily be found in plain food. So why not suggest a healthier diet instead of promoting supplements? Third, the “no side-effects” argument for supplements such as micronutrients is also very weak, and many will disagree. It is well known that anything that actually has an effect on the body can go both ways, so there is always the potential of side-effects, if not in the short-term, then at the very least in the long-run. This study doesn’t look at long-term outcomes. Fourth, the supplement industry is big bussiness too. There’s lots of bias, lots of fake science, lots of lies, lots of lobbying, lots of promotion, and lots of covering the truth, just like in any business that tries to sell its product.

    I particularly have a problem with this sentence: “The nutrients chosen were based on knowledge of biochemistry and the nutrients known to be essential for combating oxidative stress, improving neurotransmitter synthesis and glucose metabolism. More specifically, the researchers identify elevated copper relative to zinc as playing an important role in the expression of aggression.”

    This sounds very much like the theories psychiatry has been producing for decades to explain mental illness. Everything is reduced to biochemistry.

    Also, this trial wasn’t blinded, so the results remain uncertain. This uncertaintly is not reflected in the conclusion of the authors but it should.

    What about therapy and counseling for learning how to deal with aggression? I would think that aggression is usually the result of unresolved psychological issues, e.g. frustrations, trauma, or something of that kind. Then again, who am I to say. I don’t have a PhD or anything.

  • Did anyone notice that the same Martine Hoogman who conducted the study also writes in her conclusion that ADHD must be understood as a brain disorder “just like major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder”? Wow, that woman really is a genius! Like the female Einstein. I must have missed something then. When did science prove that those three can also be seen in the brain? Or did she make that up too?

  • Many people recover from depression spontaneously without treatment, i.e. they recover with time (I believe David Healy says 80% recovers within several months, and he’s like the biggest expert on depression; the rate might be lower in this study because the patients had “major depression”, whatever that means, and the study only lasted 12 weeks). This was not taken into account here. Also, blaming gluten and dairy or the abscence of supplements for the group that didn’t get better sounds ridiculous to me. What you should look at, is whether or not they had psychological support and received some kind of therapy. That is after all still the main recommended treatment for depression, and definitely your best bet for recovery. How can you draw conclusions about the influence of diet on depression if you don’t look at other factors like therapeutic interventions?

    I am the first one to support the idea of eating healthily but I don’t like how the alternative mental health movement is trying to blame gluten and dairy for just about every problem on the planet, and how they are promoting dangerous supplements when there are is hardly any science that proves their efficacy. Mainstream psychiatry made the huge mistake of reducing mental illness to chemical imbalances, i.e. a biological problem. Aren’t you doing exactly the same with this whole gluten thing and all the “vitamin deficiencies”? I just don’t get it. Not everything is about food, and it’s certainly not gluten that is destroying the human race. Just my opinion.

  • As someone going through protracted benzo withdrawal I agree with most of what is said in the article, except the part on using supplements to ease the symptoms. None of the major benzo experts including Heather Ashton recommend supplementing because at best supplements are useless, and they are potentially harmful. This also seems to be the experience on the online support forums for most people. For the few who claim to benefit from supplements, I wonder how much wishful thinking, placebo effect or just coincidence is in the game (they might just have a window while taking the supplement and then wrongfully conclude that the supplement is working). I’m 100% certain that oral GABA does NOT work in benzo withdrawal, and if any of the others DO work, it’s because they act in a similar fashion to benzodiazepines, in which case they should be avoided. You might as well pop a benzo again or drink some alcohol.

    I understand that, as a psychiatrist, one is trained to prescribe and suggest something in the form of the pill, whether it be a chemical or something “natural” (supplements are never 100% natural; for one, the concentrations of the substances in them do not occur in natural foods). But personally, I would not bet on supplements to get through this horrible thing called ‘benzo withdrawal’. Not to mention the psychological and possibly physical dependence that develops when using supplements. That cannot be the purpose when you are trying to come off an addictive substance.

  • This topic is so important because not only antipsychotics don’t seem to improve long-term outcomes in psychotic patients (in fact, they worsen the prognosis, as Robert Whitaker has shown) but even more frightening is the fact that the vast majority of antipsychotics that are now being prescribed are given to people with no psychotic complaints whatsoever. I know so, because I received 4 of them for plain insomnia. Virtually any symptom can lead to a prescription for these drugs today. What on earth possesses the profession of psychiatry to use heavy-duty drugs with severe side-effects for things like insomnia, everyday stress, exam nerves, loss of a loved one etc.? This is not about finding an effective treatment for schizophrenia anymore. I even doubt if it ever was. It’s about creating the biggest possible market for a class of drugs that are actually more toxic than the benzodiazepines, albeit less addictive and probably easier to come off of (I’m in severe protracted withdrawal from multiple benzos right now and I have a hard time believing antipsychotics could be even worse than this, but you never know; I was very lucky I only took those 4 antipsychotics for a relatively short while). Everyone should watch this video. Now tell me it’s really about helping people get relief from their psychosis. Since when is insomnia the equivalent of hearing voices? The only voices I ever heard were those of my doctors telling me to swallow all their toxic drugs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq1xzZw9n-I

  • What’s the point of criticising psychiatry for their over-simplifying things and their medicalizing the human experience with nonsens talk like “chemical imbalances” and miracle drug solutions and such, when clearly some of these critics are doing exactly the same by searching for a similar miracle solution in fad diets and food supplements unsupported by science (neither by common sense). Surely stress, anxiety, depression and mood issues have many other causes than just a lack of vitamins, minerals and amino acids??? What about the social context? Difficult life events? Maybe it’s because we are not feeling at our best emotionally that our bodies digest foods differently? Simple example, I know that when I’m nervous my stomach is easily upset. That has nothing to do with what I’m eating but rather with the emotional state I’m in. In a more relaxed state my stomach is just fine.
    I am not against diets as such. Eathing healthily has helped me tremendously. But why should we add stuff to what nature already offers us in the form of plain foods? It doesn’t make sense. There shouldn’t be any need to take extra supplements if you are eating the right foods already.
    As for taking supplements when in withdrawal or post withdrawal from benzodiazepines or other psychoactive drugs, just read on the support forums for a couple of minutes and you’ll see that supplements are very poorly tolerated in general. They haven’t cured a single person from the withdrawal syndrome. Only time heals.

  • I can’t believe the people behind madinamerica, who are always so critical of psychiatry and its so-called “research” and “clinical studies” because they’re manipulated, unreliable and essentially invalid, would now publish this article on supplements and micronutrients as if it were pure science that they work and cure conditions like chronic insomnia, anxiety and mood disorders. Apparently, the “evidence” is in a small-scale study with 17 participants, most if not all of whom are probably firm believers in the benefits of supplements anyway (placebo effect, anyone?) and the improvements are all self-reported, so it seems, instead of objectively measured. Also, it is very dangerous to promote or even suggest supplements to a person who is either taking psychiatric drugs or who came off them recentely. Since coming off my prescribed drugs, I cannot even tolerate most natural foods including super healthy ones like broccoli, let alone supplements. One day a friend offered me fruit juice she bought at the store. I thought: ok, what harm can it do? Within 10 minutes after drinking it I had to lie down because the whole room was spinning and I felt like I was going to collapse any minute. So I asked my friend to show me the bottle and yep, there it was: fruit juice with added vitamins and minerals. So there you have your negative adverse events. No supplements for me, thanks! I’ll stick with natural foods like vegetables, fruit, meat and fish (meaning the ones I can tolerate since psychiatry ruined my brain and body).