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Is mental illness real? http://wp.me/p5nnb-9hJ


GiaK
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Some of you might find this musing of mine interesting...the upgrade to the site makes transferring posts far easier!! yay

 

Is mental illness real?  

There is often a debate that goes on between those who embrace psychiatry and those who are critical of it…and everyone inbetween for that matter too…as to whether or not mental illness is real.  The spectrum of where one stands on the issue of psychiatry is really very broad and diverse though people like to believe it’s always an either/or proposition. Little in life is that black and white even if it’s easier to imagine it to be the case.

 

So. Mental illness. Is it real?

 

As I suggested above the answer is not a simple yes or no.

 

The issue I personally have with calling these phenomena illnesses is that it implies that there is a distinct and unique pathology at root of all these descriptions. That’s patently clearly not true if one pays attention to each individual…it’s become clear to me both as a mental health professional and one who experienced something that got labeled bipolar disorder, that that which is labeled schizophrenia, bipolar, ADHD (etc, etc) can have completely unique etiologies from person to person…and without a holistic view of such phenomena (because in truth there is generally many multiple factors leading to such manifestations) it’s likely to be a complete non-starter to meaningfully make changes.

 

I undiagnosed myself a long time ago, by the way, because the illness model made zero sense to me personally. And I now experience nothing that closely resembles the clinical descriptor that I was told would be a life-long disease. In fact the only illness I have is iatrogenic from the medications given to me for said mental illness.

So while I have no issue with the fact that people suffer from deep and profound emotional, psychological, spiritual issues…I generally won’t call them illnesses simply because they are not the same as more clearly physically manifested dis-ease. Also, clearly, in my case, I came to harm due to such prevalent beliefs and the resulting barbaric treatment I received. The fact that I am hardly alone means we do need to consider how the treatment of such “illness” is harming so many people. That said, I do not deny that there are very real physical components to such mental and emotional manifestations…diet and exercise, meditation etc are often enough to cure…if given half a chance…attending to the body, the physical, is most often a critical part of anyone’s healing and total well-being.

 

Another thing to consider is trauma which can impact the body in very real and deeply physical ways. There is more and more science backing this up now.  See: For Trauma Survivors (info on trauma and the body) and The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

 

And then there is the fact that many people dealing with emotional distress find the “mental illness” label helpful to them at certain junctures of their lives. I sure as hell feel no need to force them to my way of thinking. I trust people to find their way in their own time and often times their way will not look anything like my way. Such is the nature of life and being human. If it’s a descriptor others find helpful while traveling through their own personal hell, I will respect that. Just as I’d like those people to respect my views which helped me get through.

 

However you want to consider mental health issues, they’re real. They can disable and people need support. That is something most people can agree on and it seems a starting point for mutual respect.

 

I provide information here for if and when people find it helpful. If they find it unhelpful there is no need for them to hang around. This is at the heart of being non-coercive. I aim for a deep allowance for others to do as they will as long as they are not imposing on others.

 

Original post: http://wp.me/p5nnb-9hJ

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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I wish this debate would consider the possibility that symptoms and mental illnesses aren't purely synonymous. For example, your depression or psychosis could be (and are!) very, very real, but it doesn't mean you necessarily have a definitive, lifelong condition. Also, let's say mental illnesses were mainly biological, which in some select instances might be what is happening, why does this require an automatic biological treatment? When they draw the comparison between diabetes and mental illness, they forget that some cases of diabetes can be treated with diet and exercise.

 

I see so much harm from the medical model, even in people who claim to be helped by it. I read a blog yesterday written by someone who identifies as "mentally ill," and the piece basically attributed every decision and consequence to the disease. Reading it, I wanted to shake the writer and say don't you understand how you are depriving yourself of agency and identity.

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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I see so much harm from the medical model, even in people who claim to be helped by it. I read a blog yesterday written by someone who identifies as "mentally ill," and the piece basically attributed every decision and consequence to the disease. Reading it, I wanted to shake the writer and say don't you understand how you are depriving yourself of agency and identity.

In existential psychology/philosophy it is said to be people's freedom that terrifies them the most.  Some people will do anything to escape from this freedom and the anxiety that it produces, including turning themselves and their experiences into (unfree) objects.  With its increasing determinism, diagnostic psychology becomes a way of achieving this kind of "relief".  The price as you say is quite high, for it really means surrendering your sense of self.  

 

I read an extremely interesting essay about this a few weeks back, I'll see if I can find it.  

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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