Thursday, February 27, 2020

Comments by Miranda Spencer

Showing 13 of 13 comments.

  • Thank you for this deconstruction. The final quote blew me away. The il-logic of it can be seen if we replace “psychiatric disorders” with “flying pigs”:

    “In our ongoing project to study and justify the nature of flying pigs, we ought to be broadly pragmatic but not lose sight of an underlying commitment, despite the associated difficulties, to the reality of flying pigs.” (p 5)

  • I can’t speak for MIA in this case, but I just retweeted Leah Harris’ tweet of this shameful obit to the New York Times on my personal account. It included this comment: @nytimes, an obit is supposed to honor the dead’s accomplishments, not make attacks they cannot answer nor be “objectively balanced.” Remove Dr Shorter’s nasty comments from this, please!

    Feel free to retweet me or send your own tweet.

  • I hadn’t realized Lady Gaga was on something as heavy as Zyprexa (olanzapine). When she starts gaining 80 lbs and experiencing rigid muscles, tremors, and inability to think straight–it pains me to think of it, she’s a very talented, bright woman–perhaps she will awake to her poisoning and join us on the survivors’ side.

    Neo_liberalism, Dr Caplan was on the DSM task force and left in disgust. Check out her book, They Say You’re Crazy for her detailed discussion of that period.

  • I’ve ordered the book and look forward to reading it. In addition to its being an important addition to the canon of critical psychiatry books, it bears witness for people like me. Back in 2008, I was prescribed a high dose of this dangerous drug on the basis of a very quick and superficial intake after being told I was likely manic because I was highly agitated and could not sleep. Within days I was suffering tremors and inability to remember a conversation from five minutes ago. As I began to feel worse, I wound up in the ER and had to have the drug flushed out of my system. I was very lucky I was not forced to stay on it and experience the longer-term effects.

    As I understand it, at that time many other people were prescribed it as casually. Though Lilly had to pay a fine, the drug is still out there and being forced on people with impunity.

  • I understood it to mean that well before people wind up at the doctor for their symptoms, negative experiences and exposures have already begun triggering changes in their brain and body. IE, a state of overwhelm starts a physical disease (or emotional dis-ease) process.

    Is that right, Dr. Stillerman?

  • Very good points, anomie.

    It chills me to read that Princeton University is perpetuating the unscientific chemical imbalance hypothesis and actively encouraging struggling students to take “meds” without also mentioning counseling and other supports.

    Consider, though: Princeton is located in central New Jersey. Central New Jersey is an epicenter of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Collaborations between the two abound: https://cefr.princeton.edu/industry

  • Sunbelt Wellness, as you well know, ketamine (as distinct from eskatamine) is increasingly being used as a treatment for depression and PTSD, among other things. If you have an issue with the study itself I suggest you take that up with the authors.

    Reporting on new scientific findings should never be silenced because you think those findings might be stigmatizing; that’s censorship. Science is science; we may not always like what it tells us, but it gives us more information with which to make decisions.

  • To Scary Black Kitten’s comment, I understand being leery of any biological explanations pointing to physical imbalances, given the myths perpetrated by psychiatry. But as someone who benefitted greatly from functional medicine myself when I was having a mental health crisis more than a decade ago, I think it’s a mistake to reject any and all medical explanations for our suffering.

    One important difference between the standard chemical-imbalance concept and the concepts of functional medicine is that the former has little evidence to back it up (including no blood tests) while the latter does. Our nutrition status and other health issues do affect how we feel emotionally and mentally, which is why too often medical problems are misdiagnosed as “mental illness.” Vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, can lead to brain fog and even psychosis-like symptoms. Too little or too much estrogen can wreak havoc with one’s mood, as most menopausal women can tell you.

    Also, psych drugs do not actually fix anything in our brain or elsewhere, whereas diet and nutrition and hormones (etc.) actually can correct underlying health issues, so a person is better positioned to address life problems that may be causing emotional distress and disability.

    Physical “imbalances” of this nature are real, but they are not the whole story. So while functional medicine may sometimes be necessary, it’s not always sufficient to lighten our soul’s burden.

    As to the cost, I was able to buy all the supplements and such prescribed to me because I was lucky enough to be economically privileged, with good health insurance. (I also had a doctor who knew the right codes to use for me to get at least some reimbursement.) As Elizabeth said, the only way to overcome the very high cost of tests and ‘treatment’ is for insurers to start covering them, which could save a tremendous amount of money in the long run. Or maybe we will get Medicare for All or even single-payer healthcare (one can dream)…

  • Yes, I agree with you!

    Since, as I say, we are trying to reach a broad audience here — especially parents whose child has most likely received an OCD diagnosis–we use the term because it’s familiar to them and they will probably be using that as their search term. When editing, I often will phrase it as “diagnosed with” XX, rather than having XX, because the former is a fact and the latter is an opinion. It certainly is tricky, because by repeating the term OCD one in a sense reinforces it, and on the other –by conceptualizing it as an imaginary gremlin–it reframes the problem from a medical one to more of a “problem in living.”