Saturday, August 17, 2019

Comments by quercetin

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • When I look at all of the evidence to support the idea that long-term antipsychotic use affects those taking the medications in ways that are significantly harmful and that antipsychotics seem to (at least in a significant number of cases) worsen cognitive and functional long-term outcomes in those who take the medications, I find it deeply disturbing that it’s still legal where I live (and that’s in the United States) for mental health professionals to use coercive measures to essentially force patients who’ve decided against taking these medications to take them. In discussing antipsychotic medications, some of the strongest supporters of the coercive use of these pharmaceutical agents hardly mention the negative effects of the medications if they even mention such effects at all and mostly just emphasize that the medications tend to demonstrate clinical efficacy, at least in the short-term alleviation of certain symptoms of schizophrenia and related mental conditions. Rarely do these supporters of coercive antipsychotic medication use discuss older research that shows that subgroups of patients with schizophrenia respond poorly to antipsychotics, rarely do they make any mention of the high dropout rates in clinical trials that evaluate antipsychotics for their effectiveness and safety/tolerability, and almost never do they balance the positive things that they say about antipsychotics with the growing body of evidence to support the idea that long-term antipsychotic use oftentimes is harmful. I think that the authors of the study that’s discussed in the article that I’m commenting on did a good job of summarizing the evidence to support the idea that long-term antipsychotic use can be harmful in their “theoretical discussion” here: http://www.psy-journal.com/article/S0165-1781(16)30589-3/fulltext#s0095

    I’m not making the argument that antipsychotic medications don’t ever have beneficial effects or that they shouldn’t ever be used in the treatment of schizophrenia and related mental conditions, but what I am saying is that I think that there’s enough evidence to support the idea that the use of these medications (especially in the long term) can be and sometimes is harmful and that some of this harm comes in the areas of cognition and function, which are things that psychiatric treatments are intended to improve and not worsen. So basically, at least in certain cases, and at least as far as certain symptoms and certain outcome measures are concerned, I’m saying that there’s enough reason to believe that antipsychotic medications in some ways do the opposite of what they’re intended to do. And for this reason, when a patient evaluates the potential benefits and potential risks of antipsychotics and decides against taking the medications because of their risks, mental health professionals, the government, and the judicial system ought to respect this decision and also offer a range of alternative treatment options wherever possible.