Monday, August 8, 2022

Comments by Erin

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I think there is a different way to look at Stevie’s comment. [Obviously an incredibly sensitive issue, and though I did not know Matt at all, I can see from what has been written about him here that he was an intelligent young man, a searcher, and interested in looking OUT to help others, which is incredibly laudable when one is in the kind of pain he obviously found himself.] That said, if you look at Bradford’s caustic response to Stevie’s post, what Bradford appears to be saying is to chalk everything up to every psychiatrist being evil, “inventing bogus diagnoses to sell drugs and labeling to stigmatize.” This is dangerous thinking: you swing the pendulum so far the other direction it loses all meaning. It’s not that there aren’t very real problems with psychiatry and psychiatric medications. But the issue is complicated, multi-faceted, indelibly personal. A few years ago, in the throes of a terrifically abominable postpartum depression, I read Laura DeLano’s story. I was moved by it profoundly. As a person with a very real emotionally abusive childhood and subsequent psychiatric care since my mid-twenties after a second horrific depressive dip, including drug treatment–someone who did find the labels wanting and does have real issues with the way medication is sometimes handled–I ultimately stopped reading here because of how MIA seems to demonize all forms of drug treatment and psychiatry. It’s just not that simple. There are different ways of dealing, as many ways are there are individuals. I believe Stevie’s comment is noting that there are some psychiatrists within the profession–I’ve known several–who are not just cramming medication and diagnoses down patient’s throats without care or listening; but rather trying to help patients unravel the trifecta of biology/psychology/sociology, and not always with medicine. It was my psychiatrist who got me focused on changing my diet and exercising to alleviate depression. Yes, I believe that over-prescribing is rampant. It drives me crazy that so many primary doctors who do not know what they are doing hand powerful addictive psychiatric drugs out so freely without explaining how hard it is to stop these medications. There are enormous problems within the psychiatric community, and one is trying to hit every problem with a biological hammer. In my own situation, I am frustrated at the very real limitations of medication. But that doesn’t mean everyone within psychiatry is nefarious or misguided. My psychiatrist will not see a patient just for drug treatment. He requires talk therapy too, as he considers medication one possible tool. You lose readers and potential followers when you so angrily cling to this very one-sided view of psychiatry. You say you want a respectful discussion. Your writers and bloggers are obviously intelligent, thoughtful people. Stevie, IMO, was respectfully voicing a different point of view. Maybe applying it to the very fresh, real, horrific situation of a recent suicide was not the place to do it. But I went back and read Stevie’s general comments, and I would say that he is pretty courageous, as a psychiatrist, to come to this site and try to explain “the other side.” It just doesn’t smack of some horrible drug maniacal money grubber. Open yourself up for a minute. That’s the only way a conversation can occur. If you are only preaching to your own choir, how can you be effective with people different than you?

  • Laura,

    I am reading this post and the comments with tears rolling down my face. I am, to put it bluntly, scared shitless. I don’t know what to do anymore. I want to be a good mother to my two beautiful children. I want to be a good wife to my sweet husband who I have put way too many times through the wringer. I was diagnosed with depression/ADHD/anxiety in twenties, and am taking Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Adderall, and Klonopin for sleep (could be worse, right??!). My son is almost 9, my daughter is 2, and I had a horrifying postpartum depression after having her that still seems to crop up way more than I care to admit. These drugs did help me then, that’s certain–but what is less clear is what is happening now, why my gut is in an uproar, why I feel so heavy? My psychiatrist is wonderful but sounds like Ben–he thinks I’ll go off the deep end without the medication. I have over the past 2 months cut my klonopin down from 1 mg to .5, and that has been harder than I can convey, but I just felt like it was making me worse. So where to go from here? How do you find support in this? I have to admit I want to be able to believe in the “expert” who knows what is best for me, outside of myself, because the idea that “they” don’t know is utterly terrifying. That leaves me then, doesn’t it? Not the person identified as “sick”, but me, whoever she is. And right now I don’t know who that is.