Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Comments by sleves

Showing 26 of 26 comments.

  • I live in the Midwest, but have worked in the Southwest, West Coast, Southern East Coast and Northern Midwest. Never in any huge city, I’ll admit. IMO, you are asking for problems of all sorts when you live in big cities – traffic, crime, racism, bad attitudes, snobbery, etc.

    Where I have been and what I have seen is what I base my experiences on. Our legal system works well here, and has where I have visited. As someone who gets to sit in with doctors when they do evaluations, I get to see what people open up and say that they won’t admit to their lawyer or the judge. More often than not, our patients get the benefit of the doubt and aren’t “forced” to be treated… they end up off meds, and back in our hospital, sometimes dozens of times, after doing things like “shooting the cartel members” who are walking sown the sidewalk in their home towns. These are people who have never tested positive for substances of abuse or been on psych meds. In their paranoid psychosis, they know to ask for a jury trial (which our hospital cannot afford), so they go on their paranoid, hallucinatory way.

    Our treatment team isn’t careless, nor is it paternalistic. I believe that as the older doctors retire, we will all see less and less of that.

    I’m sorry that you guys have different experiences – something I’ve said all along. I don’t appreciate being attacked, and being called delusional because I have a different perspective. I was just trying to spread some hope to the patients out there who feel that they could use some help, and the ones we have helped already. If we are a minority, that is what it is.

  • Stephen,

    I appreciate your tone a great deal… nothing gets someone to see your side and possibly change their mind like insulting them 🙂

    Please see my post below, on how our team treats chronic forms of schizophrenia – and how they come in to us after years (sometimes decades) never having been medicated. I don’t know how the argument stands up that psychiatric medications can cause disease in someone when they were never on them, or how it explains the chronic patients in asylums. I’m guessing that neither of us have been to an asylum in the 1700 or 1800’s though, so I can’t truly use that as an argument. All we can do is try to diagnose based on their documented behaviors.
    Fortunately, unfortunately, whatever, we don’t see a lot of acute psychosis where I practice in the US, and these patients do seem to improve on their own according to the literature. That’s a very good thing. Again, as I posted below, many of my colleagues agree with Whitaker on the “smallest dose and for the least amount of time possible” when referring to psychiatric medication treatment. I’m guessing that that’s the same way most practitioners feel about the meds they use.

  • John,

    I take sporadic breaks for lunch and to clear my head. I’m quite busy otherwise, but I think it’s been an educational experience for me to get on here and see the comments posted. I appreciate the conversations on here, though I do not appreciate your suggesting what I do with my time or that I don’t know the science. I can tell you that I have been doing some more intensive literature searches and study on the illness we talk about, the medications used for these illnesses, and the outcomes on all of the above. The data have been quite revealing to me, but have not led me to the same conclusions as you. By the way,this includes looking into the resources that Whitaker used in his book and intelligent rebuttals of his findings and criticisms on his techniques. Sorry if this bothers you.

    Just so you know, I practice in the US, and so I’m not sure that I know how psychiatry and psychology are practiced in other countries… I’m assuming your not from the US as you use non-American English spellings of certain words. I know we bastardized English, so there’s no judgment there. If you live in a country that has socialized medicine, then I certainly cannot speak to any of your experiences.

  • Kim,

    Please see my post below. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression also cause brain damage. Circuits are rewired making diseased states more likely after one recovers, and there is evidence that there is atrophy of brain areas in the untreated patients of these disorders. I will agree with you that there is an alteration made to the brains structure secondary to psychiatric medications, but I’m not sure if they are good or bad when the patient is stable and no longer quite as psychotic. Tough to say, though most professionals would say that it is worthwhile.

    Kim, you can call the drugs what you will, but I’m certain most people on this site use alcohol, marijuana, nicotine, and caffeine, all psychoactive drugs. Are they legit and Rxs not?

  • I see your point, and I’m sorry you don’t like my all caps. Please see my post where I try to clarify that we see only insidious onset schizophrenia and they don’t get all the way better, and they come to us having never taken psychiatric medications.

  • I’m aware of the rule of 3rds of Schizophrenia (where a third get better, a third don’t, and a third stay the same), and I should have been clearer when I wrote that we have never seen anyone return to premorbid functioning with schizophrenia – we don’t see long duration of onset schizophrenics return to premorbid functioning. These patients come to us very sick, and leave not much better. Most all of them come to us after their families have suffered for years without ever seeking help – and this includes no history of medication usage. How these patients don’t end up at least in the ER from time to time baffles me, but there you go.

    Fortunately, it’s estimated that only 1% of the population has schizophrenia (worldwide, not just in the US), so we don’t see many legit cases. I’m not sure if it truly would then be only 0.33% with the long duration of onset, but that would make it much, much lower. We do see a ton of cases of substance related and medical condition/medication induced psychosis, and maybe some of the 1/3 rd who get totally better were these type of patients who were actually misdiagnosed? We have the opportunity to appropriately diagnose substance abuse disorders and medical conditions causing psychosis, and we don’t use medications at all for these patients unless they attempt to harm themselves or others – and only then we do PRN usage of drugs (like people use Benadryl PRN for allergies or sleep). I don’t know if that’s scary to you all or not. The way mental healthcare practitioners understand it is that short term use of antipsychotics doesn’t do all that much to the brain – it’s weeks and weeks of usage (just like antidepressants) that leads to beneficial effects. Medications are assumed to changes receptor density, change receptor sensitivity and perhaps genetic expression of proteins. Some parts of neurons take months to communicate from the end of the axon back to the cell body, so we’re not sure how the meds work. On the flip side, with partiall understanding of these MOAs, then it would be safe to assume that being off of the medications would return the brain to its former state.
    Pyschotropics/psychoactive/toxins – whatever you want to call them have effects that are used to try to help people get better. A lot of authors of really good psychiatric texts agree with Whitaker in that psych meds need to be used sparingly and for short duration if at all possible. I never heard of Whitaker saying don’t use them at all. Sure, they can have awful side effects, but murdering your family and lighting yourself on fire isn’t a healthy way to be either. Constantly being suicidal isn’t either, and I’ve met patients who have had ECT who feel better. I’m sure there are people who don’t need it who have received it, but I can’t speak to that. I don’t know of anyone around here who does it because it’s not lucrative at all, and the malpractice makes it not worth it. We did have it, but lost the services. I am aware of the side effects of ECT, with memory loss being one of the most concerning, but there is literature on how to reduce that with how many probes are used, their location and the amount of charge used.

  • Emmeline,

    I appreciate your comments. I’m not saying that drugs are inherently good or that doctors are. The same goes for everyone and everything. Being that drugs are just chemicals, they can’t be good or bad and they make no choices themselves. Doctors try to apply the chemicals to fix the problem the patient reports. The doctor’s motives may be his or her own, but most human beings, in all professions are doing their best. Arrogance really bothers me as well, so when I find a doctor I can’t work with, I find a different one. It may not always be that simple, I understand that, but I felt I had to post here because the argument seemed too one sided. For all the evidence that is reported, there is evidence in personal experience that makes me believe psychiatry and mental health is a worthwhile field to be in. It’s expanding its knowledge and working towards a better future. It is hard to escape a past of horrors, but that’s what every group must do – learn from mistakes and move on.

  • John, you say the majority of people you know who were forced were harmed. That’s your experience. Mine is the opposite. The majority of people I know have mostly good experiences. We rarely force people to do anything, and it’s rare that anyone is forced. Some physicians do not practice this way, and I will acknowledge that.
    I’m not trying to minimize your experiences, but make known that there is a different perspective. That is all. I have the benefit of seeing dozens of patients a day, so I feel I can say that I have a valid perspective as well. I’m not trying to say that you did not.

    A lot of our patients do have emotional and sexual abuse as children, but we do our best for them. We don’t force anything on or into them. They chose their treatments as part of a team and changes are made of things don’t work or they don’t like them. What I have tried to say is that the places I have worked don’t practice any differently than we do. I’m sorry that people experience bad things, but that doesn’t make all people bad.

  • I only took that tone when people here claimed to have the only truth. I believe that you all had bad experiences, but to say all mental health professionals are essentially evil is offensive. I’m not claiming to have the ultimate truth – I have mine, and you have yours. Repeated claims that MIA members are the only ones who are correct is just as wrong and close minded as they claim me to be. I don’t think any of you are crazy.

  • I work full time and have little free time to correspond on a more intensive basis with you. You may feel however you wish, and may call me disingenuous all day long, but I am not willfully ignorant about what you claim to be widespread. I am in no way trying to minimize or invalidate anyone’s experiences, though the posters on this site have no quarrel with minimizing mine, and calling my reality delusional and intentionally ignorant.
    To pretend that you and your small number of psychiatrists and psychologists have an understanding beyond the many more professionals who realize the dangers of mental illness and the medications used is beyond stupid. They are caring, and quite brilliant. They do research too. Not all psychiatrists dole out medications like you claim. I have seen some who do, but more that don’t. You and your MIA cohort are individuals amongst millions of patients each year.
    Until you, Nancy, have to tell the patient’s family why you believe their family member shouldn’t be on the medicine that brought them back from a full blown psychosis or the brink of suicide caused by depression, you will have no idea what good the drugs can do. Even if the pharmaceutical companies don’t give a crap about human beings, they and their reps don’t write the prescriptions, the doctors do. ALL doctors understand the limitations of drugs, diet, exercise, talk therapy, and they are working towards better treatments, because doctors and their treatment teams see what actually works and what does not. We have never seen a schizophrenic return to premorbid functioning, but when they are not actively hallucinating, homicidal, and they can smile at you again, that’s a HUGE difference to everyone who knows them.

    Medicine and healthcare is very complex, and not full of idiots as you may believe. Most of us are overworked. If you don’t get the warm fuzzies from your doctor, and don’t feel like you have the time to talk with them, remember that the rest of the country expects these professionals to make less, take more time with patients, make no mistakes, and borrow more than $250 a year (if you are a doctor) to earn the privilege to give up weekends, and good nights of sleep because people don’t stop getting sick. Yeah, they may make “good” money, but it’s less and less every single year, and there are more and more rules and more and mores consequences. Doctors have to quit private practices, where they could spend all the time they want with patients, but because their population of patients don’t pay cash and have coverage that actually costs the doctor money, their landlord charges more because they are a doctor, they have to hire more staff to sort through all the red tape, and furnish an office with overpriced equipment, you may not get to see them for 2 hours each visit. It’s unprofessional for any professional to complain like that. I know this because it’s not an uncommon story. These doctors go to big companies who mandate short visits and who overbook their schedules on top of that. They don’t have time to sit back and think of how they can screw up anyone’s life.

    I have more personal experiences with a variety of providers, nationwide, and have met thousands of patients being served in all fields of medicine. For you and your cohort who have bad experiences, however terrible, to tell me that you hold THE special knowledge about how things really work is offensive. Thinking that you know me, my colleagues or our motives is quite arrogant. I could call all patients on this site borderline because they sound like it, but it doesn’t make it right or even true. Because all of you have had bad experiences doesn’t mean it’s always true. I DO NOT DOUBT THAT UNFAIR THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE, but I don’t not believe that it’s the norm. That’s the tone of this blog and the comments on it.

    By the way, I have clicked on the links and read some of the information on the site – that which I do not have to pay for. It comes across as an almost cultish belief about conspiracy theories, and I don’t have the kind of money to buy books and CEUs from proud authors who charge more than the standard publisher would for a similar type of book. And as to renting them from the library, I called my local library and they cannot justify the price for a book only one person has requested.

    If I watched the news all day long, I would believe the world truly is a bad place. They report on the evil deeds of a minority, and the beliefs of a very vocal minority. I have lived in the world, and it is not a bad place.

  • I’m sorry to hear that you are a professional sick person. Sometimes our bodies and minds betray us, and the medical establishment makes things worse. Unfortunately there is no God-like knowledge about the human organism, so treatments are never perfect.

    I know a patient, in a very poor medical state of health, and they direct their focus at making due with what they can achieve, learning to live the best life they can with their new limitations, and step away from the victim role. Despite their disabilities; and they have many, they have a good outlook on life and enjoy it to the fullest. It’s hard, but it makes them a happier person. I get to talk to this individual every week and it’s always a pleasure and makes a difference in my life.

    This person was also a nurse, and saw many bad things as a nurse, but that wasn’t the doctrine of Nursing or what they were taught in school. That was a few bad apples practicing as nurses. They don’t bash the nursing profession, or even the individuals who were “bad and uncaring” nurses. I know a great number of nurses myself, and there are many personalities which clash at times – between other nurses and between the nurse and their patients. I also know grocery store clerks who are permanently in a bad mood and ones who look like they are high on life all the time. It depends on the individual and how they chose to act in the situation. We don’t know what’s going on in their heads, so how can we say that they are mean, cruel, hateful, uncaring, willfully neglectful, etc., and therefore the whole profession is that way as well?

  • My salary sucks. I could change professions quite easily with my undergraduate degree and make much more money. I do what I do because I actually see change. I get thanked by long time psychiatric patients who have failed the no medication experiment and who are quite healthy otherwise. if they have bad reactions to medications, these are reported and the medications we use change. They understand that theirs are not curable illnesses, but ones that are more amenable to talk therapies and medications.

  • I don’t see intentional mistreatment of patients by my colleagues. I have seen intentional mistreatment of people in other professions, and it appears to be for the enjoyment of the individual carrying it out, but that is rare.

    If I have a disagreement with the treatment of a patient, then it is discussed as to why the treatment plan is the way it is, and usually there is good logic behind it. I haven’t witnessed antisocial personalities in the mental health field so far. I’m sorry that people here report that they have.

  • You have quite an extreme view about this subject. All I can say (to repeat myself from above) is that I have worked with literally hundreds of psychiatrists, social workers, therapists, lawyers, judges and more than THOUSANDS of patients, and I have not come to the same conclusions. The patients who would tend to agree with your opinion, in my experience, may not be as vocal or well written as you are, but NEVER have I seen the unjust taking away of rights, forced medication on a patient, or removal of children from a patient’s care without significant consideration by all parties involved.

    I’m glad you think my flowery speech could sway people to the darkness of psychiatry, but I have too many personal experiences to tell me that yours is the unfortunate exception where harm was done and a worse outcome was met. Yours and perhaps thousands of others. I will acknowledge that thousands are a lot – but tens to hundreds of thousands are much more.
    I know that the DSM is flawed, as does everyone, but it is the best tool to use to describe behavior and define illness – it’s not meant to label someone. It has to be used so that other professionals know what the others are talking about and so that your insurance pays your medical bills. After all, chronic high blood sugar is not a diagnosis, but when millions of people suffer from some form of insulin resistance, chronically high blood sugars, nerve and vascular damage from that chronically high amount of sugar in the blood stream, and resolution of symptoms and reductions in long term effects of the disease phenomenon, you can call it diabetes. All human behavior is observable and follows patterns. As much as we are all individuals, they way we are is nothing truly unique. Yes, diagnosing may comes across as labeling, but it’s not meant to. More patients adopt the label by themselves, even when their doctors tell them they are a person, not a mental illness or other disease. It is not the fault of the doctors when patients use the diagnosis to explain/excuse their behavior. The ideal treatment for many people is not taking medications, but working out your issues with the help of others. We use medications when we have to, not as a first step. Some doctors may behave as you say they do, but not all.

    As to your claim that all doctors victimize patients who suffered from abuse as children, I totally disagree. A large percentage of our patients are females who were abused as children and we know it’s not their fault. It’s not their fault that they learned poor coping skills as a result. We call them poor because the patient’s usually have the problems relating to others, not the other way around. It’s usually not a problem of “I’m the only normal one and everyone else is a jerk”. But how could you not think that way, after all, when your parents were the ones who were supposed to teach you how to be a well adjusted, happy and functioning member of society. All of these patients come in asking for benzodiazepines in order to help “stabilize” their “bipolar disorder”, but we know this is not real treatment. Rapid mood swings throughout the day, generally being pissed off, forming quick and intense relationships that inevitably fail, thinking that all people are all good or all bad, self harm to relieve stress and sometimes with the hope of accidental death, wild displays of yelling and physicality to get attention of others, being extremely manipulative in the way you speak and behave, etc, is not bipolar, it’s the way people learned to cope. the sad thing is that most of these patients think the fault lies outside of their control… It’s misperception, and why professionals use CBT and DBT change the way people THINK and BEHAVE, because the brain chemistry and architecture is mostly intact. Doctors know that meds are of minimal benefit for people who suffer like this. The problem is that meds are of some help, and when you (the doctor) are viewed to be perfect, and with GOD-like knowledge (when you do not), you get sued when the patient accidentally bleeds out from cutting and you didn’t start a medicine that is of SOME benefit. Also, when children of these patients begin to adopt these behaviors and form poor attachments themselves, someone must step in so that the intentional or unintentional cycle of abuse. Professionals also get sued for not stepping in, because, as a whole, society has put that burden of doctors, lawyers, etc, and they are held accountable for not stopping something that is WRONG. I’m sure mistakes are made by well intentioned people, and I’m sorry to whoever is a victim of a mistake like that- but it’s not the evil intentions of anyone that drives people to do what they do.

  • humanbeing

    I cannot say that I’m particularly offended when you write the word profession in quotes as you did, or when you assume that I plug my ears to ignore my colleagues purposeful mistreatment of patients. I’m almost certain that you mean it to be offensive, however. This site is full of individuals with admittedly terrible experiences, but just because you and others have, there are plenty who have not. Don’t resort to calling them less intelligent or ignorant to the truth, because the truth of something as subjective as one’s own experiences belongs to each individual.

    I have never said I’m a psychiatrist. I work with a TEAM of healthcare professionals which includes social workers, case managers, psychologists, recreational therapists and, yes, psychiatrists. It’s a team approach. I am curious as to what your profession is, humanbeing, so that perhaps I could make unflattering generalizations, and hateful accusations in order to show you that no one, and no group of people are all good or all bad.

  • I believe that you feel that way do and have experienced what you have, but the only patient’s I’ve ever met who have had their children taken away are abusing them physically, emotionally, sexually, or by neglect, OR they are addicted to illegal drugs and the children suffer the consequences of their parent’s actions. I don’t know where the posters on this website live, but it truly sounds like there are terrifying places out there.

    As for having caretakers, that’s no easy feat to accomplish where I’m from. The courts would rather err on the side of giving people the right to care for themselves and their children than take them away. That’s even in the case of patients who jump out of moving vehicles and tear off their clothes in public because they are frustrated. They tell the court that they are doing “fine”, and unless their children are filthy when they go to school (if they go), covered in bruises, malnourished, etc., they get to live with family.

  • I agree with a lot of what you say. Even the current DSM and psychiatric/psychological textbooks give introductions to their books by stating that they have to use DSM, as it’s the best we have, but they also say that the DSM is greatly lacking. We all observe human behaviors, not samples in petri dishes, and each individual experiences and reacts to their surroundings in their own unique way – but when you average out large samples, certain characteristics and trends present themselves. That’s where DSM has something right. Also, application of medications for this situation or that have been tried out over decades, and that’s where agreed upon therapies come from.
    Psychiatry and psychology are working on more biologically based models to know how to better treat patients, and target therapy appropriately. This is what all areas and specialties of medicine do. Yes, psychiatry did become medicalized, which is a criticism from even a great number of psychiatrists, but when the catatonic depressed patients, the autistic, the schizophrenic and the manic patients didn’t respond to psychotherapy, or have medications available, they weren’t treated well by anyone – society, the legal system or medicine.

    I have worked with THOUSANDS of patients, and doctors who have worked with thousands of their own, so this is where I draw my conclusions from. I understand that there are thousands of former psychiatric patients who are very unhappy with their experiences, but again, I repeat myself, I have seen more who are happy and have been in the system for decades. They are not threatened by the legal system where we practice, and they come back again and again for things like ETC, because therapy, healthy diets, exercise, change in jobs, and every medication under the sun still haven’t made them not want to commit suicide. That’s why, at least the professionals I have worked with, do what they do. That’s all I want people new to psychiatry to read.

    I will readily admit that it’s a different story when people suffer from conditions that would be better treated by CBT/DBT than medications. People who have had terrible rearing and subsequently have awful, unfulfilling lives and relationships. Through no fault of their own, the love and learning that they needed when a human infant/sponge wasn’t given and it’s no surprise that they feel the way they do – with extremes of normal emotions most others don’t experience. Medications don’t really help all that much, but none of these patients want to hear that they would be best served by learning to cope the way others do, and learn to view things in a different way.

    I’m not a fan of big pharma at all. They have their own agenda for sure. But I will take a $4 a month blood pressure pill that I know works, not CoQ10, garlic, and other meds that would cost me over $100 a month, coming in 20 large bottles where I have to take 5 capsules 10 times a day, and it only drops my blood pressure by 1 or 2 points. If that makes me a proponent for big pharma, then oh well. I have seen too many stroke patients, heart failure patients, and heart attack patients to chance my future to prove a point. Hypertension can be environmental, but it can also be genetic – not just a fabrication of the medical community or big pharma. What I’m saying is that there are real reasons to use medications and they do save lives. I’m sorry that the people who are upset with that feel the way they do.

  • I glad everyone has an outlet to share their stories. They sound like they were involved with less than caring doctors and had serious side effects. That’s not the norm. I’m just worried that the people new to mental health treatment will be scared off. I have met too many people who thank God and their doctors for saving their lives, and they’d take a dry mouth any day. I could write horror stories of reactions to foods that people had eaten, and make them sound so graphic that no one would ever want to eat those foods ever again, but that would be wrong because most people don’t have food allergies, and all chefs aren’t bad cooks and bad people.

  • I’m not saying anyone is delusional or that what they say happened didn’t. All I’m trying to do is tell other people on this website, who are not already disillusioned, that all doctors aren’t bad and that psych meds are actually helpful for people willing to try them. If they don’t work, then find a doc who will switch them and work with you.

    As to ignoring what happens next door and ignoring my patients, I don’t do that. If they have issues with abuse or mistreatment, then they need to report it. Our facilities take that very seriously. Or, report it to authorities and then it’s in the laws hands. What you describe as a nurse ignoring a heart attack I can’t speak to, but either that is a bad nurse, or something else that you may not have realized was going on. I know you can only base your opinions on your own experiences, but this is a large world and many people in it – most of them happy with the care they have been given. Seeing thousands of patients with our treatment teams have given me a totally different view that yours and I think that it’s also worth sharing

  • And Donna, although they are not personal attacks, using words like “minions”, “enablers”, “pontificate” & “infomercials” when referring to people who wish to give their side of an argument is more than a little excessive. I get that you are upset, but implying that only unintelligent people do not agree with the feeling of MIA members is untrue. I’m not claiming to be intelligent, by the way, but professional researchers and scholars have done research, which is not the “tons of research and homework (done) by many MIA members of the real experts”, and they feel psychiatry is a worthwhile venture..

    None of our psychiatric patients (yes, they come to us forcibly by law enforcement and WILLINGLY) “extol” anything. It is with humbled thanks they express their appreciation for our HUMBLE attempts at healing them. This is even after we explain the risks of side effects found in “The Physicians Desk Reference, patient inserts, and billion dollar law suits against Big Pharma and FDA black box warnings.” I am a cheerleader for our patients, not for big pharma or the evil, untenable entity that is supposed to be modern day psychiatry.

    I am willing to read Peter C. Gotzsche’s book about big pharma, but I do not have $40 to pay for it. That is an unreasonable price for any book that is not being used as a college text.

  • I have worked at over a dozen hospitals, all over the country, and none of them practice the way the way it is made to sound here. Nor have I met any doctors who go into psychiatry to get their control freak/sadistic kicks by tormenting people. I’ve met hundreds of doctors, by the way. Getting into medical school is too hard just to practice mad scientist on people. It’s easier to be your run of the mill sociopathic cult leader. I don’t doubt that there are bad doctors and bad ways to practice, but to generalize is totally unrealistic. Unfortunately, all of the patients that feel their lives were saved by mental health professionals don’t post their good experiences. And I’m sorry you feel that you were force fed meds, but unless you are a danger to yourself or others, no doctor can force you to take meds where I’ve been. You have legal rights, and the right to appeal your forced hospitalization.

  • Forced psychiatry may be the way some doctors practice, but that it the paternalistic way that a lot of doctors have practiced medicine in the past. Now, most doctors that I know are being taught NOT to be paternalistic. I’m sorry that you found doctors who were not willing/able to make you a part of the decision making.

    Xanax is an awful drug, and is addictive. It is prescription alcohol in my opinion. It is a depressant, so there I’m not surprised that you got depressed on it. That was a bad choice of a drug for you, and a bad choice for anyone IMO. I don’t consider that a good tool as part of a psychiatrists toolbox, and it seems to be the med of choice for annoyed family doctors who don’t want to deal with mental health issues. Benzodiazepines cause more problems than they fix.

  • Minion? No. Big pharma can try to win customers (docs) to write for their drugs, but if you have the chance to go to any responsible physicians office, and watch their prescribing practices, you will see that no amount of free dinners will make them write for a drug that doesn’t work.

    Biopsychiatry is still a big area of unknowns. The people trying to use their understanding of mental illness and apply treatments to it are not a group of fools. They are very educated, and driven – often a lot of them who lost family members to mental illness or who suffer from it themselves. They are trying to do their best. These are professionals who see dozens of patients every day, and are able to learn from each patient as to what works and does not. You can read all the printed literature you like, horror stories from SUBJECTIVE internet sites, but most patients don’t experience the things that some of the members here seem to have. No one can tell me that treating people with mental illness by using drugs is a bad thing. I could list dozens of patients I’ve worked with personally, who’s minds have betrayed them, and only medications bring them back. Try to tell families of schizophrenic patients who have killed family members, lit themselves on fire, and then tried to disembowel the surviving family with their owns hands, that you are going to take the patient off of medications. It’s not going to work – even with a full warning of side effects droned out to them.

  • I do believe patients when they complain of side effects, and our team works on finding a medication that works for them – if they want to be on any meds at all. My opinion is that if you can do without medications, then that’s best. That goes for anything, including treating diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
    A lot of what can help patients who find their way to psychiatrists would be really good therapy, or even a full time life coach, but that’s rarely available to the patients we see. Patients ask psychiatrists for meds to help deal with negative emotions, and there is a scientific basis for believing that mental illness is actually an abnormally functioning brain, and that the medications used can help to treat that. Unfortunately, medications cannot change how people think about things, and usually that is the reason seek help. Negative thoughts = negative emotions. When people get stuck in that loop, the idea is that meds can help out – not cure you. They never cure anyone.

    I cannot tell you how many patients come in asking for benzodiazepines because of stress or what-have-you, and our team NEVER writes for these drugs unless someone is coming off of alcohol. I believe that 99% of the usage of drugs like this only worsens a patient’s situation. I’ve never met anyone who is actually doing better on years or even moths of Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, etc. They are depressants. If you want to talk about an industry that profits on altering peoples minds and causing societal ills, then you should start with the industry of adult beverages. Alcohol is naturally occurring in nature, and it’s more damaging than psychiatric drugs in my opinion.

    I’m sorry that people feel “raped” by their treatment, but that’s not every doctor, or therapist, or NP/PA. And to comment on the idea of blaming a female who was raped once and hates all men, of course no one would – but if you flip that and say that all people of a certain race/religion/culture are all bad because a single individual hurt them in some way, well then, the problem is with that person if they still haven’t worked through it years later. Its a normal biological and psychological reaction to be gun shy from any bad experience, but it’s still bigotry.

    I hope that everyone is able to find a doctor/treatment team who respects their opinions.

  • There’s an awful lot of generalization and demeaning comments on this page. I stumbled across it hoping for information on what side effects patients MAY experience if they are stopped from Seroquel abruptly. Instead, I have found extremes, not necessarily related to psychiatric medications, and a whole lot of hatred towards doctors.
    As in all professions, there are good and bad. It would be unfair of me to call all auto mechanics idiots when the mechanic who changed my brakes didn’t fix the problem, and then praise “the only smart and honest one” who found the bearing problem and actually fixed the squeaky wheel. I could analogize all day long, especially about well meaning green/granola/naturopathic/herbalists/etc. who prescribed me some supplements which caused the side effects of severe GI distress, dehydration due to polyuria and sent me to the hospital for fluid boluses. I have no hatred or disrespect for them, as they were trying their best to treat a concerning issue I had at that time.
    Psychiatrist treat those who want help. Given that the author lost family to depression and suicide, the physicians probably had good concern to treat her with medications. After all, had they not, and had she harmed herself, they would be pursued mercilessly by her family for financial compensation due to the doctor’s “stupidity”.

    What I have learned is that each body is unique, and they all react differently to different medications. Not all side effects occur, and not all potential side effects listed are necessarily related to that drug. Spreading misinformation, in an attempt to terrify people away from medications that can be life saving is irresponsible and misguided. Many of the patients I see have few to no side effects from their medications and they feel that the medications, used appropriately, have saved their lives.