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What's wrong with psychopharmacology by Dr. Dan Sfera


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On his blog, The Psych Guru, Dr. Dan Sfera has posted his Intro To PsychoPharmacology, a PowerPoint presentation that attempts to explain the thinking behind psychophamacology.

 

His take is that bad emotions create bad "circuits" and that drugs interrupt these circuits, or something -- how drugs change the bad circuits is unclear.

 

The climax of the presentation (http://www.slideshare.net/Dansfera/intro-to-psychopharmacology) is on slide 29, which states

"Treatments for psychiatric symptoms can be selected or combined by identifying key neurotransmitters that regulate hypothetically malfunctioning circuits associated with specific symptoms."

 

In fact

 

1) The neurotransmitters have not been identified

2) No association of "circuit" regulation by neurotransmitters has been identified

3) As you say, the malfunction of circuits itself is hypothetical

4) No neurotransmitters can be associated with specific symptoms

 

Lastly, this theory completely disregards effect of environmental inputs on human emotions and behavior and completely discounts the ability of the individual to control those inputs, i.e. change habits leading to emotional distress.

 

Essentially, as Dr. Sfera has formulated it, the fundamental assumptions of psychopharmacology are merely a matter of belief, not science. The "matching" of drugs to symptoms must be an exercise in intuition on the part of the psychopharmacologist, sort of like faith healing, but with powerful chemicals.

 

In sum, a patient of a psychopharmacologist is no more than a lab rat in an uncontrolled and poorly planned experiment -- guided by faux "research" that has been hopelessly compromised.

 

Having exposed exactly where psychopharmacology has gone wrong, one hopes Dr. Sfera would direct his own practice to, as he has said (in comments on http://go.neiglobal.com/Blog/tabid/83/EntryId/16/Are-future-psychiatric-treatments-doomed-Be-careful-what-you-ask-for-you-just-might-get-it.aspx), "alleviating the pain and suffering of the patients" rather than exposing them to the insufficiently examined risks of medication.

 

Dr. Sfera's main business, however, is conducting clinical trials for drug companies: http://www.southcoastclinicaltrials.com/index.php/key-staff

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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The video by the nurse practitioner about being anxious regarding taking medication is a real trip. She recommends the typical coping mechanisms for anxiety such as meditation.

 

Hmm, maybe these should be recommended treatments before medications are prescribed. I was tempted to say that in a comment but I fear they will delete it.

 

http://thepsychguru.com/2011/07/anxious-about-taking-medications/

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Sure, post away. Dr. Sfera needs to hear from patients. He's very concerned about them.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Sure, post away. Dr. Sfera needs to hear from patients. He's very concerned about them.

 

He is about as concerned about patients as the Republicans are about jobs.

 

Sorry for my partisian comments but I just couldn't resist the analogy.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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"Treatments for psychiatric symptoms can be selected or combined by identifying key neurotransmitters that regulate hypothetically malfunctioning circuits associated with specific symptoms."

 

In fact

 

1) The neurotransmitters have not been identified

2) No association of "circuit" regulation by neurotransmitters has been identified

3) As you say, the malfunction of circuits itself is hypothetical

4) No neurotransmitters can be associated with specific symptoms

So basically, when taking all these points together, basically psychiatry is saying, "Your Guess is as Good as Mine." Huh. Learn something new every day.

 

His take is that bad emotions create bad "circuits" and that drugs interrupt these circuits, or something -- how drugs change the bad circuits is unclear.

LOL! Psychiatry's really throwing slop at the walls now, huh? We of course know nothing will stick...

Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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Sure, post away. Dr. Sfera needs to hear from patients. He's very concerned about them.

 

LOL!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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