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cinephile

Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please.

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manymoretodays

:)

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btdt

ok, my question is this. We all at one point ended up in a psychiatrists office looking for relief. I know these drugs are dangerous, but doesnt how I ended up on them in the first place pose a question? So, you go through a withdrawal, but what about the problem I had that landed me on meds in the first place?

 

Antidepressant use does not always start in shrinks office to treat depression often the drugs are given for a pain and that is how I got railroaded into this messed up existence.  I was given prozac for pain and was told by the prescriber it was a new form of anti inflammatory.  I had taken anti inflammatory type drugs before and they never affected my mind.  One wk of prozac use had me in emerg suicidal too afraid to tell them of the hallucinations it caused.  

 

This was over 30 years ago and today these type drug are listed to treat many things off label as well as many things on label that have nothing to do with mental health.  I think the use of these drugs for pain was one of the wake up calls because they made so many people crazy.  Prozac is the most complained about drug in the history of drugs. 

 

When I was asked at emerg if i was taking any new drugs I told them an anti inflammatory the name I could not recall it was completely discounted... what did I get...more drugs that is what ... 20 years worth of antidepressants reactions wd ect I had no idea a drug could make a person crazy not a legal drug at least... I learned everything the hard way.  

 

So chemical imbalance from my research the term was make up by a marketing firm that serviced pharma and in a wink of an eye it caught on and scientists and shrinks all over the world were spewing nonsense with the general population eating it up... including the media.  

 

Prozac made the cover of Time!! 

 

Pharma's marketing for these drugs has always been fantastic too bad the drugs were not as good as they say... too bad they cause a chemical imbalance in the drug takers brain's... it is all really too bad a tragedy.  One day years from now history will document it as exactly that a global tragedy. 

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direstraits

I'll never forget when Prozac came out and watching The Phil Donahue Show, proclaiming the new breakthrough in antidepressants,with NO SIDE EFFECTS!what a bunch of BS...if it sounds too good to be true....

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Lindux

So this means I shouldn't trust my doctor who is saying the opposite?

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scallywag

Blindly not trusting your doctor is no better than blindly trusting your doctor. Inform yourself.

 

To learn more about why the chemical imbalance theory was never credible, get your hands on Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, an investigative journalist. You could also search for videos of his talks on youtube, or check the website madinamerica.com

 

Browse our Journals and scientific papers forum to find the work that has been done. link to Journals and scientific papers

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Lilu

If someone starts waving their impressive credentials at you and preaching the chemical imbalance, biopsychiatry, brain scan gospel - what are the best articles and/or studies to direct them to?  

When I mention that chemical imbalance is a myth and send them to madinamerica.com or davidhealy.com, they say, oh that's not a reputable medical site, and I get attacked for spreading pseudoscience and promoting stigma against mental illness.  I am trying to enlighten people about the truth, but I'm the one who gets crucified in the process.

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scallywag

Lilu,

 

You can do some research of your own. Libraries and web search will be a great help to you:

 

In Whitaker's book, Anatomy of an Epidemic he discusses the original flawed and extremely limited study up on which the hypothesis is based. There may also be references to later studies and articles discrediting it.

 

Healy's website will have links to his published articles.

 

It's possible that the Mad In America website has the entire discussion with links to articles and studies published in reputable peer-reviewed journals.

 

Just doing a search on "site:madinamerica.com "serotonin hypothesis" I found a link to this abstract of an article by David Healy published in The BMJ, formerly known as The British Medical Journal.

http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1771

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Madeleine

If someone starts waving their impressive credentials at you and preaching the chemical imbalance, biopsychiatry, brain scan gospel - what are the best articles and/or studies to direct them to?  

When I mention that chemical imbalance is a myth and send them to madinamerica.com or davidhealy.com, they say, oh that's not a reputable medical site, and I get attacked for spreading pseudoscience and promoting stigma against mental illness.  I am trying to enlighten people about the truth, but I'm the one who gets crucified in the process.

 

If someone has "credentials" they believe they know more than you. I would just not bother trying to persuade them.  It will be virtually impossible to do so. The only time they might change their minds is if they have personal experience or someone they love or are close to does. Then, if they find what they think are "cures" are not helping, then they will look for other options/explanations.  Otherwise it won't happen. 

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powerback

totally agree madeleine ,it gets to a point at witch why are we constantly wanting ignorant people to understand what we are going through.stop seeking validation in these people I reckon

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ChessieCat

I agree with Madeleine and Powerback.

 

Trying to convince people who are set in their ways/thinking can be like talking to a wall.  And it can end up being very stressful and that type of stress is not helpful.

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Lilu

If someone starts waving their impressive credentials at you and preaching the chemical imbalance, biopsychiatry, brain scan gospel - what are the best articles and/or studies to direct them to?  

When I mention that chemical imbalance is a myth and send them to madinamerica.com or davidhealy.com, they say, oh that's not a reputable medical site, and I get attacked for spreading pseudoscience and promoting stigma against mental illness.  I am trying to enlighten people about the truth, but I'm the one who gets crucified in the process.

 

How do you  ignore comments such as these and not try to prove this person wrong?

 

Viktoria Dolgorukava the chemical reason for depression is that some people don't produce enough seratonin or don't absorb it correctly. there is a very clear chemical reason for this. so in essense people who are on anti depressents already have faulty wiring, this is why the depression medications help. If you are talking about the need for increased dosage overtime there has been o studies that i am aware of htat have shown this. on the contrary people who stay on anti depressents seem to have no long term affect on the brain as has been demonstrated by multiple brain scans.
 
Viktoria Dolgorukava my father is a leading researcher in teh field of depression and since I was 12 years old i have attended medical lectures, including in the fellowship program he used runs at nyu. I also have a very high functioning IQ and the combination of the two make my knowledge of this more than a normal layperson's knowledge. and yet, i can tell you, i know very little. this is just one person's opinion which is irrelevant when it comes to the area of big science. but having attended hundreds of meetings by researchers, even those paid by big pharma i can guarantee you they are not looking to screw people over so they can make more. most doctors whoever is paying them, especially very highly qualified doctors are more interested in making real scientific progress than in getting paid. if they could come up with a therapy that didn't involve drugs but produced the same effects, so they can publish and be famous, they would.

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apace41

Easy.

 

You realize that Viktoria is a pretentious windbag who deserves to remain in the dark with her equally ignorant father.

 

Why do you feel the need to correct her misimpressions that clearly won't be correctable?

 

Life is too short -- ignore her pomposity and move on.  There's nothing to see there.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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Altostrata

Lilu,

 

One of the most distinguished among the "conventional" psychiatric world has acknowledged it here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1190-ronald-pies-says-doctors-tell-patients-the-chemical-imbalance-lie-as-a-favor/

 

Alto posted this to you -- did you read it?

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

Lilu, you can't convince everyone. Doctors are notoriously wooden-headed. If you become frustrated, move on to physicians with whom you can talk.

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Lilu

Easy.

 

You realize that Viktoria is a pretentious windbag who deserves to remain in the dark with her equally ignorant father.

 

Why do you feel the need to correct her misimpressions that clearly won't be correctable?

 

Life is too short -- ignore her pomposity and move on.  There's nothing to see there.

 

Best,

 

Andy

That's funny. Pompous windbag. Haha.

 

I don't know, why I'm so hell-bent on proving the truth to people.  The truth shall set you free, right?

 

She just really got to me. The way she assumed that I was nothing, and knew nothing and she was so superior. Ugh.  Sometimes when people come at me with such a condescending cocky attitude and throw out "facts" that I know too well to be complete nonsense, I just get enraged!  Something comes over me and I just want to squash their smug ignorance.  

 

I don't know, it's like a trigger or something. It actually reminds me of the uncontrollable temper tantrums that I had a few times while deep in withdrawal.  With enough stress and usually conflict with someone, I would erupt like a volcano. I'd bang on the table, yell, and then cry. It was pure survival mode. Like a cornered and provoked cat who lashes out with teeth and claws.  Is it possible that what I'm experiencing now is some kind of remnant from my withdrawal?

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Lilu

I agree with Madeleine and Powerback.

 

Trying to convince people who are set in their ways/thinking can be like talking to a wall.  And it can end up being very stressful and that type of stress is not helpful.

Yes, it was very stressful and triggering. It ruined my mood and my sleep for a few days.

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apace41

Is it possible that what I'm experiencing now is some kind of remnant from my withdrawal?

 

Yes. Very common for people to have things they lock onto and can't release in withdrawal. I have several such things that did not exist before or if they did they were very small things. Not to the extent they exist now. It's kind of an OCD thing.

Work on acceptance and letting it go.

Best,

Andy

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Lilu

Is it possible that what I'm experiencing now is some kind of remnant from my withdrawal?

 

Yes. Very common for people to have things they lock onto and can't release in withdrawal. I have several such things that did not exist before or if they did they were very small things. Not to the extent they exist now. It's kind of an OCD thing.

 

Work on acceptance and letting it go.

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

But I went back on medication 2 years ago. So technically, I haven't been in withdrawal for a while.  But it's like I just can't get back to how I was before withdrawal. I do have an OCD thing going on where after interacting with people, my conversations with them, loop over and over in my mind for a couple of days afterwards, depending on the intensity of interaction and topic. I first noticed this tendency while I was tapering my medication and in withdrawal, but it seems to still be happening.  

 

I guess the damage that withdrawal does to our nervous systems, even going back on medication can't fix. We expect way too much from medication.  My dad still says, "But you're taking an antidepressant, how can you still be depressed?!!!"

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powerback

... I went back on medication 2 years ago. So technically, I haven't been in withdrawal for a while.  But it's like I just can't get back to how I was before withdrawal. I do have an OCD thing going on where after interacting with people, my conversations with them, loop over and over in my mind for a couple of days afterwards, depending on the intensity of interaction and topic. I first noticed this tendency while I was tapering my medication and in withdrawal, but it seems to still be happening.  

 

I guess the damage that withdrawal does to our nervous systems, even going back on medication can't fix. We expect way too much from medication.  My dad still says, "But you're taking an antidepressant, how can you still be depressed?!!!"

 

hi lilu u are not alone I have these thoughts also after interacting with people ,I'm becoming better at controlling and allowing what winds me up ,its very interesting were it stems from ,we have to be aware and more guarded how we let people get into our heads and if that means staying away from certain people and conversations so be it .

 

are we feeding some internal anger in our subconscious by always engaging in behaviour that winds us up and hurts us .there could be something going on with the ego and how it is damaged and hurt by the pain of withdrawl and what it does to us ,Eckhart tolle has some amazing insights into the ego .

 

I avoid most conversations at certain times and it really works ,I don't believe I'm being weak and not participating in life ,I'm really not well and I have to do these things to protect myself .there is some things that I really believe I'm correct about in my circle ,but what ever it is about humans is no likes to be wrong ,however silly .

Take care

PB

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Lilu

Yes, PB, I think you're right about the subconscious forces driving us.  I think for me it always goes back to growing up in a chaotic environment due to emotional abuse from my rageaholic dad.  After reading the book "women who love too much" I learned that women like me continue to create conflict and drama in their lives, because the adrenaline from makes them feel alive, and is the only thing that keeps them from sinking into a depression.  

 

But yes, maybe wanting to be right is so strong due to a very fragile ego that stems from life-long low self-esteem issues.

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powerback

sadly we cant control what we are born into ,but we can learn about our behaviour and were it stems from ,that's why the chemical imbalance theory  is rubbish and when i finally stopped listening to it i started to learn ,and i love researching my past and everything about my behaviour when i was a child until now .

 

at the beginning i  resented my father for not being the Alfa male role model i think i deserved but i realised with all my research that he had he's own  struggles and he did he's best with what he had .Eckhart tolle and gabor mate really helped me understand ,i really recommend listening to them .gabor is a genius  at describing the family environment and dynamic . 

 

it took me a while to admit to myself that i grew up with terrible low self-esteem and when i was 15 years of age alcohol filled that void for a long time and gave me the illusion of confidence ,I've got countless memories of set backs and not being allowed participate in activities for what ever reasons as a kid that really affected me ,i only allowed myself  to delve into these painful memories when i did the research on the ego and everything else that comes with it .

 

we really need to learn serious compassion for ourselves i reckon and i welcome that for all of us

PB

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JanCarol

Finally, the article I've been waiting for:

 

What to say to your friends who love their "meds:"

 

https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/06/aggregrate-vs-anecdote-med-lovers/

 

Effectively - if you are doing well on your meds - you are an outlier, not in the aggregate.

 

You may not be doing well and not even know it due to withdrawal vs. relapse, and may find you are taking the drugs just to prevent withdrawal.

Point #5 is worth quoting in full:

 

Quote

5. “Well, you should support my CHOICES.”

Then there is this other misunderstanding of aggregate. People who say, “You are pro-choice for mental health, so you should support my choice to use psych drugs.”

 

My response: Well, it’s hard to support an uninformed choice that has been made on false assumptions. IF:

  1. The drugs don’t beat placebo (see Irving Kirsh’s info on this),
  2. And the drugs hurt more people than they help (you can compare NNH to NNT for most drugs, this is the best way to communicate tradeoffs),
  3. And the drugs expose people to serious risks of agitation-induced suicide and violence and horrible withdrawal syndromes,
  4. And the disease labels connected to the drugs increase stigma and make people lose hope,

And you are not told this BEFORE you choose drugs and labels, then how valid was your ability to make that choice? We support people whose choices disagree with ours, but we do try to help people figure out where those choices may have been misinformed.

 

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nz11

Thanks for posting JC

Had to laugh when i read this as it is exactly what happens in these public debates we have seen when the performing pro  drug seals get wheeled out

 

And you say, “We should have more people with lived experience at the table,” and they say “Oh, we do.”

Meaning: “We are going to count the long term admin people who now feel safe enough to come out with their recovery story.” Meaning this admin person is a novice advocate who has not been an advocate before and has not interacted with the advocate community and does not know the perspectives and viewpoints of the advocates.

Or: “We are going to grab some random patients off the clinic floor and say that they are the voice of the ‘consumer.'”

......

Look at the scatterplot ..(couldnt paste image)

 

See that cluster around what appears to be some regression line of best fit in which it is labelled 'average responders little benefit or harm'.

Well i would like to push back against that and say you could well be looking at those deeply harmed and trapped spell bound and addicted, caught in the revolving door of psych drugs. These are the 70%of people on psych drugs who dont even have psych issues but what they have is an iatrogenic  drug addiction but stealth.

 

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RainbowDbc
On 1/11/2014 at 5:43 PM, Lilu said:

FINALLY!!!   I have been looking for an explanation as to why repeated and/or chronic stress reduces one's ability to cope with stressful events or triggers.  Since the "chemical imbalance" theory has been disproven or not proven, this at least provides an alternate explanation.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/09/study-stress-shrinks-the-brain-and-lowers-our-ability-to-cope-with-adversity/

I do believe that brain shrinkage might not be completely erroneous but not being able to cope with stress is a complex issue I dont think it has one explanation only. I also believe the brain can grow back justbthe same way as it shrunk altho Im not a doctor neuroplasticity works both ways. Exercising confirms neurogenesison the long run. Exercising also naturally blocks certain chemicals that relate to cortisol. I personally am a completely different person without exercise it does correct your moods thought patterns and stress response. Its also as natural as it can get provided youre not takibg in anything to suppress anxiety, your body rewards you on its own. Exercise is underestimated and forgotten now a days and its essential to well beingness. Regards

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Madeleine

Interesting. Thanks.

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ChessieCat

This is excellent.  Thanks for sharing.  It might just help someone wake up to the gobbledygook that is psychiatric diagnosis.

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Why

Psichiatry is based on tautologies just like many others big lies wich are given as certain.

 

neo-darwinist theories are another example.

 

But once you wake you can telk the BS from the truth

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ChessieCat

 

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ChessieCat

And Part 2:

 

 

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Viridian

A question about this forum's stance. I understand the basis for the general hostility towards the "chemical imbalance" theory, and I also understand (and share) the anger that many feel about how this theory is used by clinicians to justify handing out psych drugs like candy. What I have a slightly harder time following is the path from "chemical imbalance is a load of BS" to "depression is a mood." As the many threads on managing cortisol levels, gut flora, diet, exercise etc on this website attest, mood is profoundly chemical. Since joining this forum a couple of weeks ago, I've also found new physical concepts such as "neuro-emotions" and "limbic kindling" to be extremely useful in understanding my own emotional states.

 

I suppose my question is this: does the rejection of "chemical imbalance" also mean a wider rejection of physiological explanations for mood-related phenomena? Or is the issue more about how this specific theory is being used?

 

I'm asking this partially out of personal interest - I'm currently completing a PhD thesis on pre-modern bodily experiences of emotional suffering - but also so that I can calibrate my own place in this community going forward. I'm here because I want to get off this drug, and because I share this forum's view that the current pharmacological paradigm is broken, corrupt, and dangerous. I'm also largely convinced that the chemical imbalance theory is either totally wrong, or that the reality is so much more complex as to render the term meaningless - so please don't think I'm here trying to defend it.

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Altostrata
Posted (edited)

Hello, Viridian. Unless you believe we are all ethereal beings detached from our bodies, "mood" would have to occur somewhere in the body. It is nominally physiological.

 

However, it is a complex symphony of perception, assumptions, neurological processing, biological predisposition, psychosocial history, and last but not least, "will." None of these have biophysiological correlates.

 

Furthermore, when I say I am "depressed," the sensations I feel may be quite different from your own subjective experience of "depression." Your experience of "depression" might be because your parents were always mean to you while mine is because I'm getting divorced. Yours might be from a disease state, such as a brain tumor, while mine is because my cat died.

 

Actually, grief is a very good example of how a mood might have physiological manifestations but no physiological or psychological abnormality. One day you're perfectly fine, going along, never any shadow of a psychological or psychiatric disorder, then you lose a loved one. You are overcome by a sense of loss and grief, with weepiness and loss of sleep. Have you passed from a normal state to a diseased state?

 

There are physiological manifestations of emotion -- often culturally determined -- separate from the emotion itself. For example, there are biological explanations for the production of tears, tracing the trail of neurotransmitters and other hormones through the glands and into the composition of tears. But that does not explain the emotion.

 

If you look at the modern history of psychiatry, you will see an erosion of the concept of "depression." Currently, it can apply to any low mood, even one that is fleeting, and is used to justify prescription of drugs called "antidepressants" for any problem causing the least amount of emotional distress. The current psychiatric definition of "depression" is so vague as to apply to anything.

 

The "chemical imbalance" theory is the biochemical companion to the contemporary diagnosis of "depression," it never had any substance other than being a theory, like the ancient theory of humors that "explained" human disposition. It was very handy, however, for pharmaceutical marketing of antidepressants, those psychoactive compounds that sometimes improve "mood" -- as subjectively described by those taking them.

 

The drugs actually do have physiological effects, usually resulting in downregulation of particular neuroreceptors and widespread dysregulation of other hormonal systems, there being no wall between neurohormones and other hormones. (You might as well think of antidepressants as hormonal treatments like steroids.) The sales pitch is based on a phony theory of "chemical imbalance," but the drugs actually cause chemical imbalance, they do not correct it. 

 

As to our explanations of cortisol, etc., if you look closely, you'll see we're talking mostly about the sleep cycle and normal rise of cortisol in the morning, which is naturally stimulating -- it gets you out of bed. We also talk of abnormal hypersensitivity to this and other natural hormonal cycles, caused by iatrogenesis. We are discussing the abnormal effects of withdrawal syndrome. We don't know exactly how this happens, but the general description we use is neurological dysregulation, not "chemical imbalance."

 

The effects of psychiatric drugs on the nervous system and body are far too complex to be traced to a simple "chemical imbalance."

Edited by Altostrata
revised

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