Friday, May 24, 2019

Comments by JReal

Showing 8 of 8 comments.

  • A lot of this bias must come from the construction of the outcome measures themselves. If the illness they’re attempting to quantify is inherently subjective, any quantitative measures based on questionnaires is also going to be subjective. Basing quantitative calculations on such shaky qualitative foundations is bound to give spurious results that can be easily cherry-picked.

  • It’s clear that research on non-drug approaches to the treatment of psychoses is sorely needed. I don’t think it would be hard to find volunteers for such a study. The limiting factor seems to be funding, and access to these drug-naive patients that tend to get diagnosed in hospitals under the control of small groups of psychiatrists.

    From my own experience, I know that recovery is possible without the use of anti-psychotics. When I was first hospitalized, I was on another planet, figuratively speaking, for almost two weeks. I refused drugs, and managed to avoid any “emergency” doses. At a certain point, I simply snapped out of it. My delusions dissipated, logic and reason returned, and my immense fear gave way to relaxation. It was at this point that I agreed to take an anti-psychotic. I was ignorant that this would be a “life sentence”, and was under the impression it was an acute treatment.

    Since then I’ve tried to get off anti-psychotics twice, once tapering slowly and another time cold-turkey. Each time I ended up involuntarily committed and repeated the same pattern of strong psychosis for almost two weeks, spontaneous recovery, and agreement to take anti-psychotics again. While I’ve managed to avoid getting forced treatment, I’ve realized my situation is untenable for detoxing because I’m dependent on and controlled by my family who insists I be medicated and won’t hear any alternatives. One day it’ll happen, I just hope it’s before it’s too late. .

  • It truly is a tragedy. I’d even go as far as to say it’s a crime against humanity. Ultimately the children are the greatest victims, as they have no rights to refuse or be fully informed and don’t even get a chance to grow up before they become addled by drugs. You are right in criticizing the “illified” parents who outsource their obligations in exchange for an easy, but ultimately more harmful way out.

    Psychiatrists have controlled the whole discourse for far too long. It started with the politicians granting them state-sanctioned power to approve of and inflict the treatments of their own design. Then the propaganda blitz on the general public followed and gradually over decades their intellectual supremacy, fabricated illnesses, and debilitating “treatments” have not only been normalized but became increasingly more sought after. The profit motive, especially in light of big pharma, is so blatant as to be some kind of kafkaesque joke.
    People actually believe this is all scientifically verifiable practice instead of being confirmationally biased, normative, subjective social control.

    How to break their grip? It’s hard to say. People don’t want to believe that good “doctors” would be so intellectually bankrupt and corrupt. Without nearly as much financial backing as they have, the best we can do is try and spread the word, to resist peacefully and through the spread of dissenting information and anecdotes like on this site. Throughout history, righteousness and truth have often dwelled in the most marginalized corners until a certain critical mass that allows mass societal conversion can be achieved. Until that day comes, we have to keep working and keep telling our stories, making our arguments, and challenging the powers that be.

  • Thank you for drawing attention to these three methods of “cooking the books” in scientific research.

    Transparency is the only way to prevent these bad practices. Pre-registration is a great idea, but I would
    also go further by requiring researchers to publish their entire data sets at an easily accessible web location, not only in an unadulterated, pre-analysis form, but in the forms that their analysis and modeling is performed on. This would not only allow the statistical manipulations to be audited, but will allow others to conduct their own analysis of the data and present confirming or contradictory conclusions.

  • I feel as though computing averages and then fitting a random polynomial curve is really spurious. This would only make sense if the distribution of brain volumes amongst the whole sample is a symmetric normal. My guess is that the data tell a vastly different story, even within specific demographics.

    Brain research needs to be held to an extremely high standard of methodology and modeling assumptions, because if a “normal” brain is defined in a biased way, the consequences will be devastating.

  • Thanks for calling out a very important component of the pseudoscientific atrocity that is psychiatry.
    Let these researchers waste their careers and research funding on this fruitless quest. The fact that no biological pathology can be demonstrated in connection to this “disease” makes the idea that it is the result of the expression of even many genes at once is clearly a fantasy. Find the pathology first, if you can, then try to find the genetics that cause it. It’s heartening that they are now throwing all these fancy “big data” bioinformatic algorithms at the problem and failing so miserably.

  • Great piece.
    The blurred line between psychedelic experiences and psychoses has definitely led to many people being labeled mentally ill who should not be and those who are prescribed to be medicated for life who should not be. What muddles the mixture even more is the tendency for people to have flashbacks. Just because psychedelic consumption was not an immediate antecedent to a challenging experience doesn’t preclude their role in it. Even worse, “hallucinogenic use disorder” is a DSM diagnosis. The use of drugs is equivalent to mental illness in the psychiatric dogma.

    The major issue is that when people present as psychotic, it is viewed as a permanent condition that must be corrected by chronic use of “medication.” People who need ample time to recover along with the patience and compassion of others are instead given force and disabling drugs that make the condition permanent. Psychoses and psychedelic experiences are as unique as the people experiencing them and are inextricably linked to one’s environmental influences and stressors.

  • This article both empowers and frightens me. It’s nice to know that there are people out there resisting, but the more I learn about how Psychiatry serves as Legislature, Judge, Jury, and Executioner, the more hopeless I feel.

    My mother is a district court judge. She has regularly presided over the mental health calendar over about twenty years, a function I’m sure many of you are familiar with. A few months prior to my first psychosis, when I was home for winter break, she came into my room with a file and said something along the lines of: “I’m afraid if you keep doing those drugs, you’re going to end up like this.”

    What she gave me was an actual confidential case file of someone who was facing court-ordered indefinite detention in a psychiatric hospital, and more importantly court-ordered drugging. This file had in it an evaluation composed by the overseeing psychiatrist. I don’t remember every detail, especially since at the time I thought it was a joke to scare me straight. When I read it, I thought it was ridiculous. The most salient points were that the man was homeless, believed he was a greek god, and admitted to taking several hallucinogens. At the time I didn’t quite grasp the gravity of what I had seen

    How can believing you’re a greek god be used against you in a court of law? More importantly, how did the psychiatrist reach this damning conclusion? Did the man just blurt out “I’m a greek god!”, was he asked “Are you a greek god?” and answered “yes”?! In his hearing, was he put on the stand to swear over the bible and answer yes or no to that question? It is clear to me now that psychiatrists will not only use everything you say or do against you, but actively editorialize and decide what is an permissible thought or idea or a delusion.

    Can admitting to using hallucinogens to a psychiatrist serve as basis for indefinite detention and drugging? The fact that it appeared in that file makes me believe that it can and commonly is.

    Can you be detained indefinitely and drugged for being homeless? The fact that it was present in the file suggests to me that it can and commonly is.

    I don’t know the result of that man’s hearing, but I can only expect it ended with the psychiatrists getting what they wanted.

    A few months after I read this file, I experienced my first psychosis. A few months after that, my first forced hospitalization. I’ve been on anti-psychotics ever since. I’ve tried quitting them twice, but only ended up forced back into the hospital and getting defeated and just resuming “treatment”. Coincidence or random chance? You be the judge.

    I can handle the abuse from the psychiatrists, the police, the justice system. But the fact that my own mother is in on the joke haunts me to my core.