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Old 01-08-2020, 08:08 AM
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Mental health gaining such traction lately


What has changed on this planet in the past year that Mental Health has become such a hot topic.
Many organisations have mental health first aiders. They are just people with 2 days training who act as MHFA and all they can do is signpost where you should go to seek help. Almost every public body and private organisation makes a big deal about mental health.

So whats the dope on this. Why is worrying about receiving a postal delivery suddenly a mental health issue. Why is inability to cope with daily lifes problems a mental health issue.

Has the world literally gone mad?
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:55 AM
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What has changed on this planet in the past year that Mental Health has become such a hot topic.
Many organisations have mental health first aiders. They are just people with 2 days training who act as MHFA and all they can do is signpost where you should go to seek help. Almost every public body and private organisation makes a big deal about mental health.

So whats the dope on this.
No idea what you're going on about in the rest of your post, but "Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity."
https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:07 AM
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I gather the OP's issue is (and I admit I'm only guessing here) that mental health issues might be going from being dramatically under-diagnosed to being possibly over-diagnosed... maybe?

So just wear a big button on your shirt that says SANE and the postal workers or whoever will probably leave you alone.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:32 AM
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Many organisations have mental health first aiders. They are just people with 2 days training who act as MHFA and all they can do is signpost where you should go to seek help.
Ted Bundy was a volunteer at a suicide hotline.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:58 AM
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I gather the OP's issue is (and I admit I'm only guessing here) that mental health issues might be going from being dramatically under-diagnosed to being possibly over-diagnosed... maybe?
...
I agree. I also think there has been a blurring of the line between what are expected emotional responses, as opposed to treatable pathologies.

IMO&E, some significant portion of Americans welcome a "diagnosis" to explain their unfavorable circumstances/experiences. There is an increasing perception (justified or not) that people are "fragile" and significantly/permanently affected by all manner of "stresses."

There also is SOME aspect of some elements of the for profit medical community wishing to aggressively diagnose/treat.

Basically, I think people are (as a whole) tougher and capable of recovering from stress than many groups portray. I think life is challenging even for the most stable/capable people. And I think the pursuit of "happiness" is a PR lie which creates more discomfort than ease. But, if a pill or talking to someone makes you feel better, more power to you.

Finally, this current administration is quite stressful for a good portion of Americans. And the past decade or 2 of change and war have been stressful for people experiencing economic displacement, or fearing cultural/societal changes from what they were used to. Changes to the status quo may be needed and welcome by most, but to people invested in the old system, the stresses they experience are real.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:43 PM
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Weakness is power, disadvantage is advantage


Lionel Shriver, a 2nd wave feminist, has argued this 'mental health traction' is the result of the continued subdividing going on in intersectional and identity politics circles. When people embrace their own fragility, focus primarily on disadvantages against real or imagined oppressors as their main source of strength, there will be an ever-growing number of tribes proclaiming powerlessness. Not only is it a dismal and adversarial way of going through life, there's no incentive or reason to embrace the self or find inner strength.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:05 PM
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What has changed on this planet in the past year that Mental Health has become such a hot topic.
Many organisations have mental health first aiders. They are just people with 2 days training who act as MHFA and all they can do is signpost where you should go to seek help. Almost every public body and private organisation makes a big deal about mental health.

So whats the dope on this. Why is worrying about receiving a postal delivery suddenly a mental health issue. Why is inability to cope with daily lifes problems a mental health issue.

Has the world literally gone mad?
Whatever you are noticing about general trends and "mental health first aiders", I haven't noticed at all. As far as I know, worrying about receiving a postal delivery is not necessarily a mental health issue. Inability to cope with daily life is (anxiety). I would have said the same thing in 2018.

~Max
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:28 PM
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There are many causes:

1. The pharmaceutical industry profits by medicalizing everything. If someone is shy, the industry doesn't get any money from his shyness. But convince the same person that he has "social phobia" and you can sell him Prozac or Zoloft. There's a strong profit motive behind redefining personality traits as mental illnesses.

2. Mental health is now the preferred way to deal with problems that were formerly handled in other ways. How does a 5th-grade teacher deal with a kid of throws temper tantrums or otherwise disrupts the class? A few generations ago, the teacher would literally beat the kid. That approach is no longer allowed, so a new approach was needed. Today a kid exhibiting the same behaviors gets taken to the school's mental health professional, starting a process that leads to a diagnosis of ADHD or something like that and putting the kid on drugs. (The pharmaceutical industry profits from this as well, of course.)

Similarly, a few generations ago it was an accepted fact of life that some kids were smart and others were less smart, which was also known as being stupid. Nowadays it's completely unacceptable for parents, teachers, or basically anyone else to ever say that any child is stupid. Hence certain diagnoses also serve the purpose of euphemistically classifying not-so-smart kids.

3. The current system gives individuals motivation to describe their life and problems in terms of mental health problems. If a college student is simple having difficulty completing a paper/science lab/whatever, there is no mechanism for involving the college administration and preventing the student from getting a bad grade or failing the class. If the same college student rephrases the problem by claiming that the paper/lab/whatever is causing stress, or is traumatizing, or contributes to anxiety, then there's grounds for involving the administration and having the paper/lab/whatever delayed or cancelled or otherwise modified to ensure a good grade.

https://www.the-american-interest.co...ic-university/
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:01 PM
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Nowadays it's completely unacceptable for parents, teachers, or basically anyone else to ever say that any child is stupid.
Maybe in your corner of the world, but not in mine. In my experience it is frowned upon but not completely unacceptable to say one kid isn't as smart as other kids. In school, the nature versus nurture debate is presented as having a consensus somewhere in between the two extremes: both nature and nurture affect human behavior, or rather that the two are so intertwined that it doesn't really make sense to distinguish between them at all.

What is completely unacceptable is to tell a child that they are a lost cause, that they can't or shouldn't be a better person than they were yesterday.

~Max
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:20 PM
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Very good post, ITR. What I personally find so frustrating is that factors such as you describe receive insufficient attention in the media. To admit that such factors predominate in some cases IN NO WAY questions the very existence of diagnosable and possibly disabling mental and emotional impairments in others. But I have seen very little discussion/study attempting to parse out the percentages. To the contrary, there seems to be considerable social (and industrial) pressure against suggesting that the factors you describe influence any significant portion of individuals claiming mental/emotional distress.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:27 PM
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Mental health gaining such traction lately
Good to hear, because it's really not a bad album.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:44 PM
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There are many causes:

1. The pharmaceutical industry profits by medicalizing everything. If someone is shy, the industry doesn't get any money from his shyness. But convince the same person that he has "social phobia" and you can sell him Prozac or Zoloft. There's a strong profit motive behind redefining personality traits as mental illnesses.

2. Mental health is now the preferred way to deal with problems that were formerly handled in other ways. How does a 5th-grade teacher deal with a kid of throws temper tantrums or otherwise disrupts the class? A few generations ago, the teacher would literally beat the kid. That approach is no longer allowed, so a new approach was needed. Today a kid exhibiting the same behaviors gets taken to the school's mental health professional, starting a process that leads to a diagnosis of ADHD or something like that and putting the kid on drugs. (The pharmaceutical industry profits from this as well, of course.)

Similarly, a few generations ago it was an accepted fact of life that some kids were smart and others were less smart, which was also known as being stupid. Nowadays it's completely unacceptable for parents, teachers, or basically anyone else to ever say that any child is stupid. Hence certain diagnoses also serve the purpose of euphemistically classifying not-so-smart kids.

3. The current system gives individuals motivation to describe their life and problems in terms of mental health problems. If a college student is simple having difficulty completing a paper/science lab/whatever, there is no mechanism for involving the college administration and preventing the student from getting a bad grade or failing the class. If the same college student rephrases the problem by claiming that the paper/lab/whatever is causing stress, or is traumatizing, or contributes to anxiety, then there's grounds for involving the administration and having the paper/lab/whatever delayed or cancelled or otherwise modified to ensure a good grade.

https://www.the-american-interest.co...ic-university/
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc

I disagree with virtually all of this. Getting a child diagnosed, let alone getting that diagnosis accepted at school is extremely difficult. Even when you have clinical diagnoses, the pattern is inertia, grudging acceptance with bargaining down to a lesser diagnosis, and then, if you're lucky or persistent, some sort of attempt to meet the needs of that student. From that point, it's the rule rather than the exception that the school will not meet the requirements of the 504 or IEP that they have agreed to.


The system as pertains to children is extremely broken.


For adults, the only change I have noticed are calls to accept that mental illness exists and that people who seek help for mental health issues should not be stigmatized. I believe that attempts to foist this onto the pharmaceutical industry are attempts to stigmatize a real concern by dismissing actual diagnoses as being made primarily for the benefit of drug companies rather than individuals.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:37 AM
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I agree wholeheartedly with IRT, having had some run-ins with that sort of thing. Another factor I see is people getting diagnosed with mental problems solely to get on the government's dole as "permanently disabled" and not have to work. I was diagnosed with "situational depression" told to stay in the same situation and take drugs, and get on disability.

Fortunately, I had much too much self-price to go that route, and took a temporary part-time holiday job as a store cashier. That was over six years ago, and I'm now permanent full time.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:57 AM
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More than a smigden of it has to do with the epidemic of "shooter" events -- events where someone (or a small handful of people) with gun(s) kill and terrorize people apparently for the sheer hell of it.

The 2nd Amendment / gun rights people, justifiably worried that their political opponents the gun control people will seize on these as reasons to push their agenda (and they, too, are of course justified in so doing), try to deflect attention to the alleged psychiatric condition of the people perpetrating the violence. i, e., "Hey everybody, the problem isn't the availability of lethal firearms, the problem is that these batshit crazy psychos aren't being locked up, we need more shrinks!"

Also in the background is the plain fact that if you can ascribe people's unhappiness, lack of fitting in, tendency to be disruptive in some fashion, etc, to some kind of wiring problem in their brain, that erases any possible POLITICAL understanding. It means they aren't unhappy because they are an oppressed minority or a misunderstood marginalized identity, nope they're unhappy because they HAVE DEPRESSION. Or it means they aren't squirmy and rebellious because the classroom is an oppressive coercive environment geared to churn out obedient order-obeying robots for the system, oh no, not at all, they're like that because they have ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER. And they should be taking pills which will make them less disturbed disturbing.


Finally there's the economic factors. Instead of blaming homelessness on the lack of cheap ways to be safely indoors, we can blame it all on deinstitutionalization. The smelly people you are stepping over aren't casualties of a competitive and oligarchical distribution of resources, there's something wrong WITH THEM. I mean, must be, cuz who would want to live like that unless they were sick in the head?
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:01 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly with IRT, having had some run-ins with that sort of thing. Another factor I see is people getting diagnosed with mental problems solely to get on the government's dole as "permanently disabled" and not have to work. ...
I should clarify that my "concerns" in this area are not solely w/ people seeking disability benefits or other "special treatment." Instead, I'm appalled at the frequency with which people/media discuss such things as anxiety and depression - in all of their forms - as though they are ALL unavoidable and treatable pathologies. (YES - I readily acknowledge that such things as disabling anxiety and depression exist.) What I perceive is a blending of the moods with the pathologies, as well as what are considered appropriate/acceptable responses to both.

Life is hard. Any number of complicated social/business/health interactions can cause stress - no matter what your wealth, intelligence, social supports.... But I believe people have considerable agency as to the extent to which they allow themselves to get involved in, prepare for, and respond to such stressors. There impresses me as a trend more in the direction of "someone ought to take care of me" and "it isn't my fault", from, "Damn, that sucked/I fucked up. Now what do I have to do to make things better? And, in the meantime, I have to continue meeting my minimal obligations."

Just one example. High school and college kids have ALWAYS faced various stresses. Their bodies and minds are changing, they are constantly exposed to new information/situations/experiences. There are countless opportunities for self doubt and insecurity. Job/life futures have always been uncertain. But more and more recently I'm hearing of social (and other) anxiety among young adults discussed as a pathology that ought to be treated and accommodated. I think that trend/tendency tends to infantilize people, and excuse them from responsibility.

And you always used to hear of the "cop" phenomena - where if 1 cop was involved in a shooting, EVERY cop felt they had been threatened. Now, it seems as tho people seek out ways to suggest they were personally involved/affected anytime something bad happens. "Jeez! I'm terrified. I visitied the twin towers once." Or "My neighbor's friend knew someone who worked there." Or, "I work in a high rise in another city." Or, "I saw it on TV."

Depression is another one. The APA recently removed "bereavement" as a diagnosis. Sure, it is hoped that you will be depressed when a loved one - or a pet - dies. But I'm regularly seeing such experiences cited as explaining PTSD or MDD.

And take the military. Yes, armed conflict has always been stressful, and service-related trauma woefully under-addressed. But my personal (and minority) opinion is that the HUGE number of post 9/11 military applications for VA and other disability reflect a pendulum that has swung well past what is reasonable.

In at least SOME subset of emotional stress cases (we could debate how many), I believe the individual has SOME control (we could debate how much) over how they respond. In other words, do you "give in" to your feelings of self pity/helplessness/anger/whatever, do you pretend it never happened, or - like most people - do you make use of the resources available to you to figure out how to continue struggling on.

I think people - as a whole - are a lot tougher, and able to recover from stress, than a lot of modern commentary gives them credit for. Moreover, I think at least some elements DON'T LIKE TO ADMIT that they recover so readily from stressors such as a loved one's death. We are fortunate that we are so wealthy, and have the resources to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves, instead of needing to get out there and put food on the table tomorrow.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:04 PM
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Let's no forget the legal system and it's "yeah....but" excuse mongers. Yes, I killed my wife and eight children, but I was mentally ill. Any excuse to shift the blame and avoid jail time.

During the middle of the wrong multiple personality craze three time loser, homophobe, rapist criminal Billy Milligan claimed a lesbian alternate personality of his abducted, raped and robbed three women. He got found not guilty by mental illness and spent 10 years in a mental health facility instead of going to jail as a three time loser, having two prior convictions.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:40 PM
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Let's no forget the legal system and it's "yeah....but" excuse mongers. Yes, I killed my wife and eight children, but I was mentally ill. Any excuse to shift the blame and avoid jail time.

During the middle of the wrong multiple personality craze three time loser, homophobe, rapist criminal Billy Milligan claimed a lesbian alternate personality of his abducted, raped and robbed three women. He got found not guilty by mental illness and spent 10 years in a mental health facility instead of going to jail as a three time loser, having two prior convictions.
Reciprocally, I would suggest that many victims of rape and robbery, if given the choice between having the perpetrator of the crimes against them kept locked away for a decade or subjected to the average incarcerative penalties leveraged by the criminal justice system, would decide that 10 years is about as long as they could hope to have such a criminal put away.


Having said that, yeah, we can't have it both ways. I don't think involuntary psychiatric detention without criminal-court levels of proof of illegal behavior should be allowed to continue; but that also means we get held responsible for our criminal illegal actions on the same basis as anyone else.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:42 PM
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Some people push the envelope, saying the very act of murder is "insane"... Or that people commit certain acts due to brain chemistry, which they cannot control. Then there's the whole "free will" thing. But such positions (currently, at least) remain at the pretty extreme end.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:20 AM
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As John Douglas of the FBI Serial Killer Unit wrote: I've never known of a person claiming to have a multiple personality who committed the crime being diagnosed BEFORE they were arrested.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:12 AM
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Basically, I think people are (as a whole) tougher and capable of recovering from stress than many groups portray. I think life is challenging even for the most stable/capable people. And I think the pursuit of "happiness" is a PR lie which creates more discomfort than ease. But, if a pill or talking to someone makes you feel better, more power to you.
I agree that people are inherently tough and resilient. But I don't think people who are concerned about trauma and its effects believe that people are so fragile that they cannot recover to a functional level. They just believe that trauma makes people function in suboptimal and maladaptive ways. Treat trauma effectively and people might actually do more than just "function".

We all know people who are functional but are disappointing in some shape or fashion. Now maybe some of these people are just lazy sacks. But I think it is reasonable to assume that many are psychologically burdened. Like, the person who was abused growing up and copes with the trauma by overeating, which then makes her depressed, which then costs her career and relationship opportunities. That person is strong in that the abuse didn't cause her to literally shrivel up and die. But maybe if she'd had help dealing with that trauma when it had happened, she would be healthier and yes, happier. And so would her children.

People have been taking "pills" in some shape or form since the beginning of human history. We seek out anything that soothes pain and elicits pleasure because we have inherited a brain that has been programmed through billions of generations to do exactly that. So it isn't a PR lie that we all want to be happy. It's just now it's more socially acceptable to talk about this desire.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:01 PM
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There are many causes:

1. The pharmaceutical industry profits by medicalizing everything. If someone is shy, the industry doesn't get any money from his shyness. But convince the same person that he has "social phobia" and you can sell him Prozac or Zoloft. There's a strong profit motive behind redefining personality traits as mental illnesses.

2. Mental health is now the preferred way to deal with problems that were formerly handled in other ways. How does a 5th-grade teacher deal with a kid of throws temper tantrums or otherwise disrupts the class? A few generations ago, the teacher would literally beat the kid. That approach is no longer allowed, so a new approach was needed. Today a kid exhibiting the same behaviors gets taken to the school's mental health professional, starting a process that leads to a diagnosis of ADHD or something like that and putting the kid on drugs. (The pharmaceutical industry profits from this as well, of course.)

Similarly, a few generations ago it was an accepted fact of life that some kids were smart and others were less smart, which was also known as being stupid. Nowadays it's completely unacceptable for parents, teachers, or basically anyone else to ever say that any child is stupid. Hence certain diagnoses also serve the purpose of euphemistically classifying not-so-smart kids.

3. The current system gives individuals motivation to describe their life and problems in terms of mental health problems. If a college student is simple having difficulty completing a paper/science lab/whatever, there is no mechanism for involving the college administration and preventing the student from getting a bad grade or failing the class. If the same college student rephrases the problem by claiming that the paper/lab/whatever is causing stress, or is traumatizing, or contributes to anxiety, then there's grounds for involving the administration and having the paper/lab/whatever delayed or cancelled or otherwise modified to ensure a good grade.

https://www.the-american-interest.co...ic-university/
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc
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Very good post, ITR. What I personally find so frustrating is that factors such as you describe receive insufficient attention in the media. To admit that such factors predominate in some cases IN NO WAY questions the very existence of diagnosable and possibly disabling mental and emotional impairments in others. But I have seen very little discussion/study attempting to parse out the percentages. To the contrary, there seems to be considerable social (and industrial) pressure against suggesting that the factors you describe influence any significant portion of individuals claiming mental/emotional distress.
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Some people push the envelope, saying the very act of murder is "insane"... Or that people commit certain acts due to brain chemistry, which they cannot control. Then there's the whole "free will" thing. But such positions (currently, at least) remain at the pretty extreme end.
Since this is a science free thread, not that science has many definitive answers when it comes to how the brain works, lets remind people that blaming the victim of a brain related disease is about as ethical as blaming a victim of any genetically related disease or condition. You cant free will yourself out of out of balance brain chemistry. Pharma actually helps millions of people deal with depression. In fact, isnt blaming big pharma for the uptick in mental awareness a symptom of paranoia?
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:43 AM
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Isn't saying Big Pharma isn't interested in getting as many people as possible on as many drugs as possible to increase their profits a sign of delusion.

How can taking drugs help situational depression? Isn't changing the situation the real answer? The answers I go was drugs help cure the depression so you can change the situation and that taking prescribed drugs is better than going on street drugs!
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:08 PM
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Isn't saying Big Pharma isn't interested in getting as many people as possible on as many drugs as possible to increase their profits a sign of delusion.

How can taking drugs help situational depression? Isn't changing the situation the real answer? The answers I go was drugs help cure the depression so you can change the situation and that taking prescribed drugs is better than going on street drugs!
People take painkillers for the physical pain suffered from an injury or illness. Injuries and illnesses often resolve over time, but this fact doesn't stop people from treating their symptoms so they can function better in the interim

Lots of people fall into depression after suffering a job loss. The depression keeps them from applying for jobs and presenting their best in interviews...which only exacerbates their depression. Now, it is all well and good to scold someone for being a lazy ass. But does it do anything? If encouraging that person to get therapy and take medication works better than tongue-clucking, why shouldn't we be for it?

I don't have the kind of job that puts up with emotional or mental defectiveness. When the phone rings, I am expected to be articulate, clear-minded, and calm. Before I started taking meds, I wasn't reliable in these areas and I suffered because of it. Therapy helped my self-confidence, but it didn't help my thought problems at all. If I had been averse to taking medication, I would still be doing data entry shit and hating my life.

A lot of people hate their lives but they also refuse to take medication because they don't want to be a slave to Big Pharma. But then they wind up being a slave to Budweiser, Yellow Tail, Philip Morris, Frito-Lay, and their weed guy. While being a giant pain the neck for everyone around them. How is that any better?



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Old 01-13-2020, 01:14 PM
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It might be bleed over from all of the recent attention the VA and military has given mental health, with even Congress demanding something be done to lower the number of veteran suicides which is currently just under two dozen per day! When the government is pouring so much resources and funding into treating and understanding mental health, I think it's natural for the civilian and commercial sectors to be affected. Just a thought.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:32 AM
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Comparing anti-depressants to pain killers is ludicrous. Pain killers do not take four to six weeks to have an effect and four to six months to have a full effect. If I had gone the drug route, what was I supposed to do until they kicked in.

I know someone who is a smart person and I enjoy talking to her. She is on disability, takes five drugs a day, yet is a slave to Phillip Morris and Frito Lay, smoking and eating up a storm. Yet when I told a "counselor" that my method of dealing with depression is to get a cup of coffee and take a walk, she told me I was self-medicating and should be in rehab! When I told her those drugs made me suicidal, she informed me "That's a psychological effect. That's invalid."
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:35 AM
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I have a friend who pops a Xanax to help her calm down before she does any public speaking.

Sixty years ago it would have been socially acceptable for a man in her position to take off the edge by smoking a cigarette and pouring himself a drink.

To help me take the edge, I devote two hours a day to exercise and watch a lot of TV.

All of these coping measures wage a cost.

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Old 01-15-2020, 11:24 AM
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Big Parma does not want anyone to cope with mental illness any other way than taking prescription drugs. Mental illness is always caused by living clean and sober and can only be helped by their miraculous "medications" that have absolutely NO side effects whatsoever, work instantly, and always help everyone that takes them.

Or so they would have you believe.

I'd rather be a slave to the 7-eleven coffee bar than Big Pharma. As I tell people "You don't want to know me without coffee. I don't want to now me without coffee."
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:56 AM
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Psychiatric pharmaceuticals are not demonstrably safer than street drugs either. Nor less habituating. They probably do have better quality control and a lower risk of precipitating a hostile police response, although in the latter case not by as large a margin as you may presume.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Isn't saying Big Pharma isn't interested in getting as many people as possible on as many drugs as possible to increase their profits a sign of delusion.

How can taking drugs help situational depression? Isn't changing the situation the real answer? The answers I go was drugs help cure the depression so you can change the situation and that taking prescribed drugs is better than going on street drugs!
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Comparing anti-depressants to pain killers is ludicrous. Pain killers do not take four to six weeks to have an effect and four to six months to have a full effect. If I had gone the drug route, what was I supposed to do until they kicked in.

I know someone who is a smart person and I enjoy talking to her. She is on disability, takes five drugs a day, yet is a slave to Phillip Morris and Frito Lay, smoking and eating up a storm. Yet when I told a "counselor" that my method of dealing with depression is to get a cup of coffee and take a walk, she told me I was self-medicating and should be in rehab! When I told her those drugs made me suicidal, she informed me "That's a psychological effect. That's invalid."
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with a clearly ignorant therapist. How she could have been unaware something so widely known is beyond me. And of course, antidepressants are not a cure-all: they're only one possible--and often effective--tool. That doesn't make them useless or an evil product of the big, bad pharmaceutical industry. I've known people who were suicidal until they got on antidepressants.

I'm unclear how being a tobacco addict and junk food eater is tied to that poor woman's being too depressed to work. Are you saying that the woman would not be depressed if she quit smoking and eating junk food? It's great that drinking a cup of coffee and going for a walk helps you. Kudos to you for figuring out what works for you that doesn't require meds, and I'm sure you know how fortunate you are that those were sufficient coping techniques. They're not for most people.

As for situational depression, it's a no-brainer that getting out of the situation is the solution, not medications. Sometimes people can't get out of the situation, such as people who have chronic, incurable diseases. Or the situation is one that will take a lot of time and therapy to get out of, and the depression interferes with getting out. And sometimes GP's who, due to a severe shortage of mental health professionals, have become the de facto dispensers of meds, medicate for situational depression. That doesn't mean, however, that a significant percentage of people on antidepressants are on them when they don't need to be.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:28 AM
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It seems like a lot of the bashing of Big Pharma comes from people who have had bad experiences with it. But every solution has a long line of people who were either burned by it or not helped by it.

I am close to someone who has a number of mental health and neuropsychiatric issues. She is highly functional and doing the damn thing, as the youngsters say. She takes a multi-pronged approach. She takes prescription drugs on a "as needed" basis. She is a heavy weed smoker and drinks quite a bit. She also sees a therapist. Is she a slave? I mean, I guess you could say she is since she is putting money into many entities' pockets. But if spending money for useful services is the definition of a slave, then we are all slaves. The coffee addict is no more virtuous than the Wellbutrin user. Both are taking a mind-altering substance.

Ideally, at the first sign of mental unwellness, we would all be able to take a time-out so we can regroup and make the lifestyle changes needed to return back to equilibrium. How many of us have the ability to do this, though? Even those of us with paid sick leave and good health benefits aren't so lucky. So naturally we look for stop gap measures and bandaides. If someone is suicidal but it will take them four weeks to get an appointment with an psychologist covered by their network and another six weeks for talk therapy to make some headway, then it makes perfect sense for that person to take an antidepressant in the interim. Make it easier for people to get help through non-medical interventions and maybe people won't run to the pharmacy so often. But we need to accept that even under ideal conditions people are going to still run to something. All the scolding and sanctimonious lecturing in the world won't stop people from drinking, smoking, and eating their pain away.



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Old 01-16-2020, 02:56 PM
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I would never gainsay someone for taking what gets them through what they gotta get through, and that includes psychiatric medication.

I'm opposed to the pharma + psych establishments continuing to make claims that aren't rooted in reality about these drugs, but as long as it's with fully informed consent I wouldn't criticize anyone for taking them. They obviously work well for some people some of the time at a minimum. It's also firmly established that for other people they do an unalloyed harm.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:08 AM
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As someone who's suffered from depression almost all my life, I applaud the openness and awareness of mental health issues making it less of an issue to admit you're suffering from depression or stress and getting the necessary help.

Everyone has the right to express your opinions, but please keep in mind that not everything is a scam or overhyped. Depression and other mental issues is real and serious, and just because you don't know personally know someone who suffers from it (I'm really good at hiding my depression), doesn't mean it's not real.

Help is available
Speak with a counselor today
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255

International Suicide Hotlines. Note that all the lines aren't just for severe depression, but there if you just want to talk.
https://ibpf.org/resource/list-inter...icide-hotlines

Last year, there were four notable celebrity suicides due to depression, two of them, Sulli and Goo Hara were well known Kpop stars. Goo's suicide was especially shocking because after her friend Sulli's death she stated in a live Instagram message: "I will live hard and work hard for you." . Months later, she took her own life. As I said, those of us who of suffer from depression are good at hiding it.

Since their tragic suicides, a number of Kpop stars are being allowed to take a break due to anxiety, stress and overwork, something that prior to last year wasn't allowed by the agencies due in part to pressure from fans. Prior to last year, unless they physically or mentally broke down on stage, Kpop artists were expected to keep up their hectic schedules which often means strict diets (gotta look good!) and little or no sleep for days during their promotions.

Last edited by lingyi; 01-17-2020 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:18 AM
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It's also good to acknowledge that we live in an extremely stressful society which seems more or less engineered to induce crippling depression, anxiety and PTSD in even the most stable of personalities. I think we'd all be taking a lot fewer drugs if there was a massive shift to a better work/life balance, people could afford to live on any job's salary and getting an infected hangnail does not mean an automatic choice between death and bankruptcy. Bad living conditions lead to bad mental states and rather than get all judgy judgy about how our fellow people choose to handle their stressors maybe start working to make the ambient shit level a lot lower?
  #34  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:21 AM
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What has changed on this planet in the past year that Mental Health has become such a hot topic.
Many organisations have mental health first aiders. They are just people with 2 days training who act as MHFA and all they can do is signpost where you should go to seek help. Almost every public body and private organisation makes a big deal about mental health.

So whats the dope on this. Why is worrying about receiving a postal delivery suddenly a mental health issue. Why is inability to cope with daily lifes problems a mental health issue.

Has the world literally gone mad?
And when the next mass killing occurs people will be yelling "Why didn't someone reach out to them!!!"

IMO, the more said about mental health issues and alternatives and lifting the stigma of opening up about it and getting help, whether medication or just talking to someone over the phone or in person.

Edit: My family lived by the motto: Don't make lingyi mad!, not because of any danger to them, but the damage I did to myself. Cutting, punching walls, banging my head against the wall and with a brick. But only my ex girlfriend managed to get me to see a doctor and get the help needed to make it through the past 25+ years without major physical harm to myself.

I'm in the closet except on this forum about my mental issues (I think about and plan my suicide every single day!), but hope that reducing the social stigma of coming out will help others.

Last edited by lingyi; 01-17-2020 at 02:26 AM.
  #35  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:45 AM
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I disagree with virtually all of this. Getting a child diagnosed, let alone getting that diagnosis accepted at school is extremely difficult. Even when you have clinical diagnoses, the pattern is inertia, grudging acceptance with bargaining down to a lesser diagnosis, and then, if you're lucky or persistent, some sort of attempt to meet the needs of that student. From that point, it's the rule rather than the exception that the school will not meet the requirements of the 504 or IEP that they have agreed to.


The system as pertains to children is extremely broken.


For adults, the only change I have noticed are calls to accept that mental illness exists and that people who seek help for mental health issues should not be stigmatized. I believe that attempts to foist this onto the pharmaceutical industry are attempts to stigmatize a real concern by dismissing actual diagnoses as being made primarily for the benefit of drug companies rather than individuals.
I cant disagree with a word of this. While on the other hand..

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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I agree wholeheartedly with IRT, having had some run-ins with that sort of thing. Another factor I see is people getting diagnosed with mental problems solely to get on the government's dole as "permanently disabled" and not have to work. I was diagnosed with "situational depression" told to stay in the same situation and take drugs, and get on disability.

Fortunately, I had much too much self-price to go that route, and took a temporary part-time holiday job as a store cashier. That was over six years ago, and I'm now permanent full time.

This is the death-knell of an endorsement on a post about a theory involving pharmaceutical medicines and mental health.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:52 AM
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As our understanding of our minds and bodies improves as does our ability to diagnose and provide methods of treatment.

The mind if the final frontier, medically speaking, and it appears to be the most mysterious/difficult to diagnose when it goes wrong. We used to just drill holes in people's heads and hope for the best. Now we know better.

I don't think it has to be any more complicated than that. We care about people's mental health more now because we have greater capacity to care, both technically and ethically.

Last edited by Fake Tales of San Francisco; 01-17-2020 at 07:52 AM.
  #37  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:27 PM
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It seems like a lot of the bashing of Big Pharma comes from people who have had bad experiences with it.
Which would be me. But my beef was not just with the pharmaceutical industry ( I refuse to use the phrase Big Pharma and I wish it would go away) but the entire process.

It was a little over 20 years ago. I was physically and mentally healthy, well-adjusted, running my own business and at the top of my game.

Then a bunch of bad stuff happened all at once. My sister was killed rather horrifically in a fire and my fairy tale romance with a gorgeous millionaire crashed and burned. I went to the doctor because this stuff was keeping me up at night and the lack of sleep was killing my concentration. I would like to note for the record that I never had anything remotely resembling thoughts of self-harm or feelings of worthlessness. My only symptoms were sleeplessness and lack of concentration. I was still as full of myself as ever:

So she prescribed an anti-depressant and gave me the trope about it taking 4-6 weeks to work. I took one 10mg Paxil. Immediately, I felt like I’d snorted a gram of cocaine and dropped a quarter hit of acid. I was ecstatic, euphoric in a high energy trippy sort of way. It worked in the sense that I wasn’t depressed anymore, I guess. But it didn’t help the “I can’t sleep” thing. And the thought “that nothing was supposed to happen for 4-6 weeks” occasionally worked it’s way through the euphoria.

I called the doctor, expecting to be told to stop taking the drug. But instead I got cheerleading, I was told to keep taking it and the effect would change. So I did. And it did. After a few weeks I plunged into what was probably my first REAL depression.

So she put me on another drug. Same thing, a couple of weeks of euphoria and a plunge into depression. I went through the cycles with Zoloft, Prozac and Lexapro. Then she switched me to Wellbutrin which sucked everything remotely positive out of my head and made me an angry vicious and violent person. Within a week I was on the verge of losing my job and my relationship with my family.

I threw it away and stopped going back to the doctor. There are two things I know for sure. One is that there was absolutely nothing medically wrong with me when I first walked into the doctors office and two is that it took years to regain my emotional stability. I was still way more emotionally labile than I used to be for a long time.

My miracle drugs turned out to be yoga and meditation, although I really had to make an effort to haul my ass up and do it for the first few months. I was amazed at how absolutely curative it was, I guess I had expected that it might help me cope. But I was totally unprepared for how it restructured my thought patterns and made me well.

I just wish I hadn’t waited for 10 years after the medical experiments to try it.

I do recognize that these drugs might work for some people. But, within the medical profession and society in general there is a general reluctance to admit that they frequently don’t work and suggesting that someone might be better off not taking them is considered dangerous heresy.

And, IMHO — “takes a several weeks to work” and “you might feel worse before you feel better” are BIG red flags when I hear them used in regard to a natural / holistic therapy and I still can’t believe how many people buy it without question when they hear it from a doctor.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-17-2020 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:04 PM
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I had a similar experience, Ann, I took one dose of Paxil and spent the next two days absolutely convinced I was on the verge of dying. It's not like I'm inexperienced with drugs, either, I've taken all kinds of legal, illegal and other drugs and I know how to separate myself from the experience until it wears off but dayum, that shit was not fuckin' around. I concluded that this class of drugs was unlikely to be helpful to me.

On the other hand, I've known quite a few people who react just fine to them and the bipolar people in my family are absolutely helped by taking lithium and that starts regulating them within days, not weeks or months. My daughter was major league pissed off when she had a bad reaction to Wellbutrin (made her incredibly itchy all over) because the salutory effects to her head space were nothing short of miraculous and she's never yet found another psych med that works as well for her.

I figure the difference is that my depression and anxiety are mostly a result of major trauma rather than brain chemical imbalance whereas the bipolar/ADHD people in my life require a very different method of regulation. The ADHD kids are learning how to use Adderall very sparingly during times when focus is very important instead of taking it every day at a large dosage. Like anything else, different people react differently to psych meds and a little bit of experimentation and adjustment goes a long way to finding a regimen that works. It's disingenuous to claim that psych meds "don't work" and equally so to insist they "always work." Body chemistry differs, and a smart person learns their own body and mind and uses observation to establish what works for them. Anyone who just goes to a family practice doctor, gets a generic scrip at a standard dosage and expects that's just gonna fix their shit is living in a la la land. Psych meds should be used in conjunction with therapy and dispensed by a mental health professional who can monitor physical and mental response to the regimen.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 01-17-2020 at 05:07 PM.
  #39  
Old 01-17-2020, 05:17 PM
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Ann Hedonia, yep, that's a horrible experience. You went to the doctor looking for help with sleep and concentration problem and ended up with a host of other problems.

My own negative experience with the medical establishment has instilled me with the belief that most psychiatric meds should only be considered when you're in an emergency situation or when other strategies just aren't feasible for you. I believe this not because I think meds are "lazy" or inherently more dangerous than the other substances we take to make life easier, but because I believe meds are always going to be a blunt instrument. They may help one symptom but in the process create news ones. I went through like five psychiatrists because almost all of them couldn't appreciate the "bluntness" of the meds they were giving me. I'd tell them that such-and-such was making me feel like crap, and rather than course-correcting, they would double-down on their choice to prescribe me such-and-such by telling me to just "hang in there". A couple told me that I wasn't even feeling the way I was feeling or that the side effects were due to something else besides the meds. On multiple occasions I heard "That's not a known side effect of that drug". And because I was afraid of coming across as a "difficult" patient, I wouldn't argue with them. But inside, I would want to scream "YES IT FUCKING IS! IT IS ON THE FUCKIN' SIDE EFFECT LIST ON WEBMD! FUCK YOU AND YOUR WHITE COAT AND YOUR STUPID CLIPBOARD!"

But while I'm a huge advocate of therapy, therapy was also excruciating for me at times. Many of my therapist's prescriptions were no more effective than the meds I took, and some of them also made me feel like crap. Like yoga. For four years I would dutifully go to yoga class because my therapist was such a huge advocate. Overall, it was a positive experience, but it took a long time for me (more than a year) to not feel miserable after each class. I stuck with the classes because I did feel physically better, but psychologically I was in the terlet. I remember coming home after some classes feeling super depressed because I was sad about my performance in class. And then I'd feel sad that I was sad, since gurus tell you aren't not supposed to care about such trivial things. And I felt like I couldn't tell my therapist about those feelings because she was such a big believer in it and surely she would shame me for not being zen enough. However, she ended up not giving me a hard time once I told her I didn't want to do it anymore.

So my journey has taught me there is no quick fix and that yeah, sometimes it actually does get worse before it gets better...since you have to try a bunch of shit that probably won't work until you land on the thing that does work. I think if we weren't so constrained in our healthcare choices, then this process could be less painful. Like, I was very fortunate to have health benefits that afforded me a crazy amount of visits with my psychotherapist, and I was lucky to have a psychotherapist willing to charge me a reasonable fee once I went over the allotted number of sessions. I was also lucky that I liked my psychologist right away. If I had had to shop for psychotherapists the same way that I had had to shop around for psychiatrists (waiting months before I could get into someone's appointment book), I probably would have landed in someone's mental hospital before it was all said and done.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:19 PM
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Ann Hedonia, yep, that's a horrible experience. You went to the doctor looking for help with sleep and concentration problem and ended up with a host of other problems.

My own negative experience with the medical establishment has instilled me with the belief that most psychiatric meds should only be considered when you're in an emergency situation or when other strategies just aren't feasible for you. I believe this not because I think meds are "lazy" or inherently more dangerous than the other substances we take to make life easier, but because I believe meds are always going to be a blunt instrument. They may help one symptom but in the process create news ones. I went through like five psychiatrists because almost all of them couldn't appreciate the "bluntness" of the meds they were giving me. I'd tell them that such-and-such was making me feel like crap, and rather than course-correcting, they would double-down on their choice to prescribe me such-and-such by telling me to just "hang in there". A couple told me that I wasn't even feeling the way I was feeling or that the side effects were due to something else besides the meds. On multiple occasions I heard "That's not a known side effect of that drug". And because I was afraid of coming across as a "difficult" patient, I wouldn't argue with them. But inside, I would want to scream "YES IT FUCKING IS! IT IS ON THE FUCKIN' SIDE EFFECT LIST ON WEBMD! FUCK YOU AND YOUR WHITE COAT AND YOUR STUPID CLIPBOARD!"

But while I'm a huge advocate of therapy, therapy was also excruciating for me at times. Many of my therapist's prescriptions were no more effective than the meds I took, and some of them also made me feel like crap. Like yoga. For four years I would dutifully go to yoga class because my therapist was such a huge advocate. Overall, it was a positive experience, but it took a long time for me (more than a year) to not feel miserable after each class. I stuck with the classes because I did feel physically better, but psychologically I was in the terlet. I remember coming home after some classes feeling super depressed because I was sad about my performance in class. And then I'd feel sad that I was sad, since gurus tell you aren't not supposed to care about such trivial things. And I felt like I couldn't tell my therapist about those feelings because she was such a big believer in it and surely she would shame me for not being zen enough. However, she ended up not giving me a hard time once I told her I didn't want to do it anymore.

So my journey has taught me there is no quick fix and that yeah, sometimes it actually does get worse before it gets better...since you have to try a bunch of shit that probably won't work until you land on the thing that does work. I think if we weren't so constrained in our healthcare choices, then this process could be less painful. Like, I was very fortunate to have health benefits that afforded me a crazy amount of visits with my psychotherapist, and I was lucky to have a psychotherapist willing to charge me a reasonable fee once I went over the allotted number of sessions. I was also lucky that I liked my psychologist right away. If I had had to shop for psychotherapists the same way that I had had to shop around for psychiatrists (waiting months before I could get into someone's appointment book), I probably would have landed in someone's mental hospital before it was all said and done.
In retrospect, I see several reasons why I was given the medications that I was given.

This was in 1999, IIRC. The SSRI drugs were blockbuster medications and were being heavily advertised. Some psychologists and doctors were stealthily promoting the idea that these drugs were good for everybody and could make you “better than well”. I know that had a lot to do with why I so eagerly accepted the prescription and I suspect it had a lot to do with why my doctor prescribed it so easily.

The other reason just really goes to the way we view disease, wellness and medication.
There was absolutely nothing biologically or medically wrong with me when I first went to the doctor. All I needed was a couple of weeks worth of sleeping pills.

But it is seems pretty much verboten to give out medication to someone without a diagnosis. This leads to a lot of over-diagnosis. Because you can’t go to the doctor and say “Sometimes I have low energy days”, can you give me a little something.”
So that patient may manage to get an ADHD diagnosis.

And now I’m going to rag on the pharmaceutical industry a bit. While they are just doing what any private enterprise must do, trying to get as many people as possible to use their products, that really isn’t in the public interest. And they have been instrumental in guiding the diagnostic criteria for these medications.

Which is extraordinary loose. It’s usually a short yes/no quiz that sounds like it came out of a woman’s magazine. And if someone has decided before their doctor visit that they want this medication, the quiz makes it ridiculously easy.

I think these medications have helped lots of people with serious conditions. But I think they have been inappropriately marketed to people with less serious conditions and that marketing falsely minimized the risks and overstated the effectiveness of the drugs for less serious conditions.

And I want to clarify something. When I expressed my skepticism about “gets worse before it gets better” and “takes several weeks to work” I was not referring to the healing process in general. I was specifically referring to people that make those claims with regards to the effects of a single medication.

Because I could sell you pretty much anything as a cure for the flu if I could get you to believe that it takes two weeks to work. And lots of conditions, including mild depression can sometimes be self-limiting.

I have done therapy twice. I had one horrible therapist and one really good one so I can appreciate those challenges.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 01-17-2020 at 06:22 PM.
  #41  
Old 01-18-2020, 12:42 AM
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Thinking about my closet depression and the "hot topic" that mental illness has become. My worse years were during the 70's and 80's and NEVER did anyone try to force me in to therapy until my girlfriend finally convinced me to go for anger management which was/is driven my by depression. Have a child that's in jail, that's bad. Have a child that needs mental health care? That's REALLY BAD!

I can't stress enough how bringing and keeping mental health issues in the public eye and ears can only help those that can benefit from care. Yes, there's some that either abuse the system or are misdiagnosed, but to borrow from Ben Franklin and Voltaire, Better a hundred people with no mental illness seek treatment, than one WITH a mental illness go untreated.

BTW, I've spoken about this before, but my anger/depression was diagnosed as a chemical imbalance from bainging my head from as young 5 years old when I was locked in "The Dungeon" (the bath/shower stall) for hours when I didn't go to school. I was in therapy and on a low dosage of Prozac for about 6 months. During my last session with the Doctor, who said he had done a much as he could for me, I asked if I had to stay on Prozac. His answer was, if I felt I could handle things without it (having tamed my mood swings) I could stop. If I didn't think I could handle it, I'd have to stay on it the rest of my life. I chose to stop and found the spirituality to keep me going for the past 25+ years.

Edit: The final straws that made my girlfriend force me into therapy was that I broke the windshield on one car from the inside with my hand, bent the floor mounted gearshift on another car and punched the fire extinguisher and mount off the concrete pillar it was attached to. Oh yeah, I'm a tiny guy, 5' 4" and 150lbs back then. "Don't make lingyi mad".

Last edited by lingyi; 01-18-2020 at 12:47 AM.
  #42  
Old 01-18-2020, 12:59 AM
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To be clear, I'm in no way boasting about the what I did physically. I'm talking about them as an example of how someone much bigger and stronger and mentally unable to handle him/herself could potentially cause great harm to others if he/she tries to stay in the closet because of the stigma of seeking mental health.

Edit: I hit the fire extinguisher because one of my subordinates ticked me off royally. She reported me to my manager saying "lingyi was out of control!". He later told me his answer was: "If lingyi was out of control, he would have hit YOU instead of the fire extinguisher!" Nothing ever happened from her complaint.

Another story I just remembered. In the late 70's, my cousin bought a rifle and wrote out a detailed plan with sketches about how he was going to return to his high school and who he was going to shoot and in what order. I was the only one he shared his "plan" with and of course I didn't say a word about it. Remember, going to jail for murder was still a whole lot better than going to see a psychiatrist! When my Aunt found the rifle and his manifesto, she called the police and he went "somewhere" for a week or so. When my parents asked me what I knew about it, all I said was "I knew all about it" and nothing was ever said again. When I saw my cousin later, he told me that he wasn't actually going to anything and we left it at that. Thankfully, as AFAIK, he's still happily married with children.

Last edited by lingyi; 01-18-2020 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:47 AM
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Sorry for the flood. But another memory of the stigma of even discussing mental health issues was like during my youth. There were no rehab hospitals, or at least were never discussed. The only place people with mental issues were supposedly sent to was the "Red Roof House", the Hawaii State Hospital in in the mountains of Kaneohe. As a kid, it was a 'fact' that no one who entered there ever came out. We'd kid each other about being sent to or having spent time there, but every once in a while, some kid would own up to knowing someone there and the joking immediately stopped.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:40 AM
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I disagree with virtually all of this. Getting a child diagnosed, let alone getting that diagnosis accepted at school is extremely difficult. Even when you have clinical diagnoses, the pattern is inertia, grudging acceptance with bargaining down to a lesser diagnosis, and then, if you're lucky or persistent, some sort of attempt to meet the needs of that student. From that point, it's the rule rather than the exception that the school will not meet the requirements of the 504 or IEP that they have agreed to.


The system as pertains to children is extremely broken.


For adults, the only change I have noticed are calls to accept that mental illness exists and that people who seek help for mental health issues should not be stigmatized. I believe that attempts to foist this onto the pharmaceutical industry are attempts to stigmatize a real concern by dismissing actual diagnoses as being made primarily for the benefit of drug companies rather than individuals.
Unfortunately a lot of the medications which have been successfully used for adults cannot or should not be used for children. They are still growing and their needs are much more complex. Which makes it even more difficult to find a good solution for a child who needs treatment.

Coincidentally I was discussing suicides with colleagues last evening. November 2019: coworker's spouse. September 2018: former coworker. May 2017: Coworker

There have been some very famous victims of suicide in the past 5 years. We are better able to understand that depression is not always simple, and even causes pain to those who we would think have successful lives.

Yes, probably Prozac and some of its cousins were oversubscribed. But there is a big problem that not enough people are getting the help they need before it is too late.

Adding stigmatization to the equation doesn't help. It means that people who could be helped by therapy and/or medicene are not willing to admit they need help. Because they might lose their jobs, their friends, their families.

Until this changes, give mental illness all the attention it needs. Then maybe we could do more research. One of the complaints is that mental illness is not measurable. Maybe it is, but we just don't have the technology.

And I'm keeping part of the quote from lingy, with bolding from me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
...

I can't stress enough how bringing and keeping mental health issues in the public eye and ears can only help those that can benefit from care. Yes, there's some that either abuse the system or are misdiagnosed, but to borrow from Ben Franklin and Voltaire, Better a hundred people with no mental illness seek treatment, than one WITH a mental illness go untreated.

...
  #45  
Old 01-18-2020, 06:52 AM
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lingyi is right, IMO. There are people who have engineered a nice little scam telling folks they are mentally disturbed when they're not. But there're so many people suffering from things that neither they, nor their doctors, wholly understand. The suffering is bad, bad, bad. It is.

We must not throw out all the cases of folks who are truly hurting just because some people are faking their illness. It's like opiates and pain: people are faking it, but there are others in pain who will benefit greatly from opiates.
  #46  
Old 01-18-2020, 10:18 AM
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What? Other people had bad reactions to one dose of a psychotropic drug? I was told that any such occurrence was a psychological reaction and "not valid." (direct quote).

Odd that I had no history of any mental illness before someone told the cops I was suicidal and ended up being forced to do drugs. I'm proud I didn't take the experts word and did not do any more prescription drugs to this day.
  #47  
Old 01-18-2020, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I'm proud I didn't take the experts word and did not do any more prescription drugs to this day.
I hope you're not suggesting that those who DO take prescription drugs (psychiatric or otherwise) should be ashamed.
  #48  
Old 01-19-2020, 02:47 AM
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Let's bring in the experts. A major meta-analysis of over 500 studies of anti-depressants was published in The Lancet in 2018.

Carmine Pariante, professor at The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrist summarized it [emphasis mine]:

Quote:
This meta-analysis finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants, clearly showing that these drugs do work in lifting mood and helping most people with depression. Importantly, the paper analyses unpublished data held by pharmaceutical companies, and shows that the funding of studies by these companies does not influence the result, thus confirming that the clinical usefulness of these drugs is not affected by pharma-sponsored spin.
So much for the ol' Big, Bad Pharma conspiracy theory.

Most people take anti-depressants for one-two years. So those people who are on anti-depressants for many years are the exception, not the norm.

For mild depression, other methods such as exercise, meditation, and yoga are probably still the best bet. But for moderate or severe depression, anti-depressants can be a lifesaver...literally.
  #49  
Old 01-19-2020, 01:11 PM
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Another memory. I went to therapy and was on Prozac in the early '90's. The first thing I said when he recommended Prozac was: "Oh, the killer's choice!" because there had recently been some killings after the person went off Prozac. The doctor said it would help mellow my mood swings, no super highs or super lows. Real, placebo or a combination of both, it did help me even out my mood swings. During my last session when I chose not to continue taking it, I told the doctor I understood why people sometimes went on a killing spree after going off it. At least for me, it kept me on a even keel. He told me it would a take few weeks or even months for the drug to completely clear from my system.

A few months later, my Dad unexpectedly passed away and a couple of months later, my girlfriend finally left me (in part because I started to revert back to my old ways). I'll never know if it was the residual effects of the Prozac, but there's no doubt I couldn't have made it through that time if I hadn't gone to therapy. I returned to therapy for a few months after that, with two different doctors, the first for only a few sessions before she said she couldn't continue with me and the second more neurotic that I was. I meet her a years later and she left the profession.
  #50  
Old 01-19-2020, 03:24 PM
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What has changed on this planet in the past year that Mental Health has become such a hot topic. ...
Let's hold for a minute on discussing what is and is not effective treatment for mental illness and how we might address root causes, metal health is a "hot topic" both because of increased awareness and increased mortality from mental illness.
Quote:
... From 1999 through 2017, the age-adjusted suicide rate increased 33% from 10.5 to 14.0 per 100,000. ...

... Since 2008, suicide has ranked as the 10th leading cause of death for all ages in the United States (1). In 2016, suicide became the second leading cause of death for ages 10–34 and the fourth leading cause for ages 35–54 ...
Suicide is also the second highest cause of death among postpartum women.

Less important to absolute numbers but more important to public perception are mass shootings associated with mental illness.


Attempting to do something about the second leading cause of death for ages 10 - 34 is important. And the model that works for public health initiatives, be it colon cancer or heart disease or whatever, is prevention, early detection, early treatment, and developing better treatments.

Prevention requires both identifying the root cause for the increase of true disease and being able to do something about it. Speculations about root cause and prevention are however likely beyond the scope of this thread. I certainly have mine.

A push for early detection, which involves among other things destigmatization, is perhaps what the op bemoans.

What is and is not effective early treatment is also a big debate. It does not automatically mean medication. There are a variety of evidence-based approaches but funding for their application and availability of those services by quality providers is insufficient for the need.

Better treatment is a work in progress. It includes new classes of medication and better non-medication approaches.


The question is less why it is "gaining such traction lately" than why we've been so horrible about handling mental health as a serious issue, even now.
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