Friday, December 4, 2020

Comments by APenNameAndThatA

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • As happens with criticisms of psychiatry, this story has some valid points but it rather over eggs the custard.

    Saying that BPAD and manic behaviour cause each other is perfectly reasonable. There are two different types of explanation: descriptive explanation and mechanistic explanation. Saying that the behaviour is caused by bipolar disorder is more of a descriptive explanation as it is the name given to a syndrome. If someone asks why it is light outside, the answer is that it is morning, but morning is defined by the sun coming up: circular but not a problem as it is a descriptive explanation. If someone replied that the earth had rotated and exposed them to the sun’s rays which were reflected and detected in the eye, then that would be a mechanistic explanation.

    The story over eggs the custard in saying that the psychiatrist would have only mentioned the behaviour. They would have excluded other causes of manic behaviour, such as drug use, medication side effects (!) and delirium.

    That rather detracts from your good point that calling a side effect an illness is stupid and offensive.

    But there again, there is over egging hinted at. The question which you raised, but have not answered, is, “Would a manic episode have happened eventually?” (This is the difference between causation and precipitation, by my use of the words). I don’t think that you need the study you mentioned to answer the question you asked by saying, “no”.

    I suppose that if you kept things neat you would write too little to have a blog.

    P.S. I’m a psychiatrist. I was searching the net to see what the risk of causing an elevated mood if someone is given antidepressants when they have a family history of BPAD.