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What effect do you think the BRAIN initative will have on mental illness in our society?


Finn
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The mainstream wisdom out there is that mapping out and fully understanding the brain is going to allow scientists and subsequently doctors to better "treat" these diseases of the brain. And maybe it will. Or maybe it will further push us over the edge into a world where every thought and emotion is purely the derivative of chemical and brain structure. And maybe it is, but our minds are more. We have parts of our brain that can't be mapped, that can get sick and can't be understand and fixed through manipulating chemicals. I consider myself a reasonable person, but I'm coming out on the side skeptical of science.

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I think the big research psychiatrists will suddenly find multi-million-dollar reasons to do brain scan studies.

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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But brain scans don't necessarily mean anything. Take for instance the research that shows similar brain structure in "schizophrenia" and artistic personalities.

 

My concern is that it will oversimplify mental illness and mental health.

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Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

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Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

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Exactly. It will be a big waste of taxpayer money.

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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I too am very skeptical about this and what truly is the motivation behind it. The combination of Big Government and Psychiatric/Neurological Science is scary. I have little trust in the altruistic presentation of this initiative. The days of "do no harm" have long since left us, as well as recognition of the dignity of those who are weak and vulnerable. I have much concern that such "research" will be used to further manipulate our brains and not for our well-being.

 

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Brain mapping can only provide limited information. The big concern I have is how it will be used and DISTORTED for financial gain which I promise it will be. This stuff always is. Look at all these horrible drugs they've come out with just from information on neurotransmitters and what the outcome has been - dangerous drugs and big pharma getting rich with nobody actually considering that having info about the brain vs. screwing with how the brain works based on that info are two very different things and the later is what has happened and screwed over a great many people only to make a few very wealthy.

 

So yeah, brain mapping will be abused just like any other ragged little bit of information they get. In fact, I can promise you there are teams at all the big pharma corps that are figuring out what direction to go with new drugs based on bits of info they have already gotten. We'll be seeing these drugs in the next decade and yet they will be based on what? A map of what portion of the brain lights up during certain experiences? Yeah, there's no way that can possibly go wrong. I honestly have become a proponent against these so called scientific advancements since they always lead to someone looking for a way to make money off of them without considering the long term effects.

 

Science is already too far ahead of what those with power and who want to get wealthy are capable of morally using in an ethical and HELPFUL way. This will only add one more log on that fire.

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The thing that gets me is that most people think the neurotransmitter theory is accurate, and that staying on psych drugs is beneficial to long-term functioning. I have a degree in psychology. They teach you this in school! If you try to explain to people that anti-psychotics or anti-depressants aren't actually the solution people want them to be, they point out someone who is "obviously in need of medicine." And it is like beating your head off a wall...

 

Consider this piece though, which argues their are no new drugs being produced. At least it acknowledges meds aren't the miracle they are generally considered to be...

Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
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The combination of Big Government and Psychiatric/Neurological Science is scary

Agreed!

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Government spending is always an investment of sorts.  The question is what kind of return is expected for this massive investment in brain research.  The answer I think must be more mental illness diagnoses to subsume more social ills, or more efficient 'treatment' of the  current illnesses, as others have said.  Is mental health explicitly mentioned anywhere in the initiative?

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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^It is.

 

But remember "treating" mental illness has been tied to a lot government action this year.

 

The question is what kind of return is expected for this massive investment in brain research.  The answer I think must be more mental illness diagnoses to subsume more social ills, or more efficient 'treatment' of the  current illnesses

 

 

I think partly this massive investment is just for the sake of knowledge--much like the space program. There is the possibility for new treatments as a result. More knowledge about brain function is good; a single-minded obsession on neurobiology as our entire existence is bad.

Tapering Zoloft, Dec 2014

Started Lamictal

Re-started Zoloft mid-Oct 2014, 25-50mg

Stopped Zoloft end of Sept 2014

Started Zoloft July 2014, 50mg

Stopped Prozac from 3mg May 2014

Stopped Effexor Dec '13 Started 10mg Prozac

Reinstated Effexor 15mg on Nov 2013

Stopped from 21mg on Oct 2013
Effexor 112.5mg, since Dec 2012

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