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Neuroscientist connects his own addiction to workings of the brain


Phil
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I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post this here, please let me know Alto if not.

I found this article quite interesting as it is a neuroscientist's experience of taking street drugs.

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/10/08/neuroscientist-connects-his-own-addiction-to-workings-of-the-brain/

 

Also interesting is that they briefly mention the function of serotonin as "soothing overactive neurons".

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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He's drunk the neurotransmitter Kool-Aid.

 

Even in addiction, there's a lot of debate about the dopamine association.

 

Looks like it was the reporter who put in the pop psychiatry about serotonin, not the neuroscientist.

 

(His book about addiction sounds like trash.)

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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Interesting, but I have to say I get concerned about "addiction" as a term related to SSRI/SNRI withdrawal. There have been plenty of people open to say they have gotten off of anything from Etoh to street drugs and it was nothing like tapering from psych meds.

 

I too always read anything where reference is made to serotonin, dopamine, neuroscience, etc., but I can tell you I never "crave" Effexor. I don't look forward to taking it, want to take more....I've got to believe we are dealing with something far beyond what addiction specialists believe and understand.

 

I have a concern that even as this topic [antidepressant survival] does become more understood people will try to label and rathole us up in the "addiction" box so that they can pretend the world makes sense again. This is the world of psychiatry as I know it - those who want to hide behind a number, a statistic, a test, a "proven theory"....even though it is that paradigm that has gotten us to this point of innocent people being harmed.

 

That being said, we do use the term withdrawal and I do not know what else could be used. Good topic for discussion perhaps? Crocus

xxxx

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Medicine is very adverse to calling physical dependence on antidepressants "addiction." If you are talking to a doctor and you call it "addiction," they will tune you right out.

 

(In the UK, they seem more liberal about using "addictive" relative to antidepressants.)

 

In the US, "addiction" is a medical-legal term and antidepressant dependence does not meet the definition, which includes craving and drug-seeking behavior.

 

There are doctors who reject the concept of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms because they think withdrawal happens only with addictive drugs.

 

What I say is antidepressants cause physical dependency and that cause withdrawal symptoms, which is absolutely technically correct -- but a lot of doctors still don't understand the concept of physical dependency in a non-addictive drug.

 

Here's an example of the usage of "physical dependency" from a Time article about addiction to prescription drugs:

Indeed, it is impossible for a doctor to "make someone" into an addict. Even if the doctor tied the person down and injected him or her daily with heroin or other strong opioids, only physical dependence could be created. That means the person would suffer withdrawal symptoms when the doctor stopped, but whether such victims genuinely became addicted would be determined by their own actions after that point.

 

What to call withdrawal is a good topic for discussion. Would you like to open a topic on it?

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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Indeed, it is impossible for a doctor to "make someone" into an addict. Even if the doctor tied the person down and injected him or her daily with heroin or other strong opioids, only physical dependence could be created. That means the person would suffer withdrawal symptoms when the doctor stopped, but whether such victims genuinely became addicted would be determined by their own actions after that point.

Well, that he doesn't know how he's done it in, doesn't mean he hasn't done it.

 

It is absolutely possible to 'create' an addict, it's that it only happens by accident and to people susceptible to this creation.

 

Parkinsons drugs have this problem. See this story: Man sues Glaxo for turning him into impulsive, risk-taking sex fiend... addict. Accidentally, of course. If they knew how they were doing it, science would have a detailed and accepted understanding of reward-triggered behavior, impaired impulse control, delayed gratification, etc ...

 

Anyway, the writer's first sentence remains correct in the legal sense. Once a patient stops taking medication promoting addictive behavior, they will stop the behavior. At least, I'd assume so since I have. The fact that the writer's subsequent sentences betray the fact that he or she doesn't understand why the first sentence is correct is the noteworthy element of the passage.

 

Alex

 

ps - Yes, I agree it's best not to refer to psychiatric medications as 'addictive' since technically, in the US, they do not fit the criteria. A great advantage to being on that side is being party to the creation of the definitions in the first place.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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I agree, his comment regarding how addiction develops is questionable. I only used that as an example of how "physical dependency" is differentiated from "addictive."

 

I guess if you're physically dependent, know it, and distressed about it, you're not addicted. If you're physically dependent, in denial, and drug-seeking, you're addicted.

 

Which means addiction is an attitude or maybe a lack of knowledge about what's happening to you, not a brain disease. And maybe a culturally determined attitude, at that.

 

Well, in the "brain disease" area, including addiction, there's a lot of hooey. Best to stay out of that morass when you're talking about antidepressants and withdrawal.

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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Well, in the "brain disease" area, including addiction, there's a lot of hooey.

 

Hear, hear!

 

"Brain diseases" ... golly ... When science decides to attack brain diseases, innocent people's brains finish up on the losing end of the stick. This 21st century obsession with making all form of malfunction and distress "diseases of the brain"... I just don't know what to say. Flabbergasting.

 

I wish they'd just pause, take in a little oxygen and try to recall the oath of Hippocrates... then go from there.

 

Alex

 

ps - I linked out to some news items but a word in the URL got astericked out making the URL invalid to the browser... to read the story replace *** with a word for homosexual that rhymes with 'say'.

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Maybe nobody likes the word addiction. People who took medication to address a symptom or condition do not, I suspect, want to be now labeled as 'addicts'. Doctors and manufacturers, obviously, do not want their medications labeled as 'addictive'.

 

However, I would prefer to use the more negatively connotated terms "addictive" and "withdrawal" because I think they'd inspire a distaste and this would serve as an inherent deterrent to drug-naive folks, keeping some off medication altogether possibly.

 

I also think that withdrawal is the best word to describe discontinuation syndrome. If I walked up to a stranger and described my ordeal, the word he'd probably offer to describe the part after my discontinuation would be 'withdrawal'. That word has a colloquial meaning and needs not a lot of explication.

 

Of course, no one goes 'drug-seeking' or 'self-escalates dosages' for lexapro, effexor or risperdal, etc. But I also take valium. I have the same response to Valium that I had to Effexor. I more or less don't notice it, unless I don't take a dose or (heavens) a couple of doses. I don't 'seek' it nor do I increase me dose. Yet, valium is an addictive drug that many have abused. The fact that I don't abuse it, that means I am not also addicted to it?

 

Using the man on the street once more. If I walked up to Joe Average and described my Valium predicament, he'd say I was 'addicted to valium'... fine by me, sure feels that way.

 

I understand why many parties dislike these terms, but I use them in reference to myself. In all the ways that should matter most when contemplating addiction, I was to a far greater degree 'addicted' -- it's been more damaging to my life and challenging to suspend use -- to effexor than I was to crack cocaine. That my effexor dependency fulfills fewer criteria of addiction than my crack cocaine dependency, seems irrelevant in light of the fact that, had I had my life to live over again and HAD to take ONE of the two, I'd easily opt for crack and save myself of the effexor. So if that's true, what's the good of the label?

 

Anyway, I'm sorta rambling. My brain's all puffy.

 

Hope people are feeling well, today.

 

Alex.i

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Man Claims Glaxo Drug Made Him *** Sex Addict, Says Report

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20030148-10391704.html

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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Alex, I understand your comparison completely. I, however, prefer to differentiate AD neuroendocrine dysregulation toxidrome (threw everything in I could!) from any other dependencies, tolerance, or addiction. I do think there are striking similarities to the benzo story.

I attempted a detox of opiates and benzos -- all at prescribed doses -- at a University Hospital and was treated like a street drug seeker. I hope your experience was better, but to treat prescribed and used as directed drugs the same as illegal or illegally-obtained drugs is to further punish the patients for taking a legal, prescribed drug. The pharma companies should pay for the treatment and damage AND reimbursement all past prescriptions!!! Ok, I'm getting really angry now!

I left AMA after 3 days and got off opiates w my pain doc (it was psychs who insisted I detox the opiates 'b/c they interfere w ADs' OMG! ) That was so traumatizing, I want to sue them.

 

I best calm down now.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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