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Dreamspirit

What would be Ayn Rand's position on Psychiatry?

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If I were going to take time out of my busy day to multi quote for a person who simply doesn't pay attention carefully to what I'm saying, I would have already done it. No one is forcing you to read it, so either read it or don't.

Oh, I just meant you had a massive quotation about a post right before you, and you were responding to the totality of it all at once.

I did not claim anything that isn't already obvious, such as that the existance of mental illnesses have not been proven yet.

What is obvious to you isn't obvious to me. I mention claims here because this is a discussion about truth and whether or not psychiatry is any worthwhile of a science, so I'm treating anything that is said here as a claim or wondering about what might be true (or false) upon further discussion.

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By definition, a delusion is any type of false notion. By definition, a hallucination is a delusion that would appear perceptible. Obviously, these are very broad definitions which could be interpreted to mean seeing things from the corner of one's eye, hearing subtle sounds, or just thinking anything falsifiable; however, the distinction's applied to one's mental status, and how well it corresponds to reality.

I agree, a delusion is any type of false notion, by definition. In essence, a delusion is a false identification, a failure on the conceptual level, not on the perceptual level.

That you subsume hallucination under delusion ("a delusion that would appear perceptible") is interesting. Hallucination then would be a false identification (delusion) of perceptual data.

There's no such thing as a false perception, and it is not possible to perceive something that doesn't actually exist. If something does not exist yet one thinks (concludes) that one has perceived it, then one is mistaken, for whatever reason.

I think a lot of confusion comes from failing to distinguish what is perceptual versus what is conceptual, especially with respect to conceptual identification of perceptual data (at least with respect to sensory hallucinations). Strictly speaking, all perception gives us, deterministically, is evidence of existence. Identification is conceptual, not perceptual. Yet we conceptualize our perceptual data and automatize it so that when we perceive, our perceptions, if we are focused and attentive, call up our automatized conceptual knowledge or conceptual errors. We can err on the conceptual level, but not on the perceptual level.

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You say that I need to provide evidence for my CLAIMS?

If you are offering only unsubstantiated opinions, then how are you different from the psychiatrists that you describe, that offer medication without proof for their assertions?

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Oh, I just meant you had a massive quotation about a post right before you, and you were responding to the totality of it all at once.

What is obvious to you isn't obvious to me. I mention claims here because this is a discussion about truth and whether or not psychiatry is any worthwhile of a science, so I'm treating anything that is said here as a claim or wondering about what might be true (or false) upon further discussion.

There is evidence that DSM disorders do exist, but they are not proven to exist. Just because there are some common physical symptoms among people with supposed depression, doesn't prove that they behavior or thoughts are really part of a disease. They really cannot diagnose someone based only on symptoms. They have to be able to measure the imbalance somehow, like through a blood test to even start to make it a real science. I personally believe that most mental disorders are not illnesses at all, just individual personalities and tendencies society dislikes for whatever reason that are influenced by the person's inner drive or sense of life (ie. supposed bipolar people are usually very spirited). Teachers dislike the fact that some kids are disruptive and don't pay attention, and BAM ADHD is the new hip diagnosis. It's all about changing someone's unique ability to reason so that they behave in a certain way. Things like alzheimers, autism, and mental retardation are all very real medical conditions though.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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If you are offering only unsubstantiated opinions, then how are you different from the psychiatrists that you describe, that offer medication without proof for their assertions?

Excuse me, but I do not imprison and/or experiment on people based on my unproven theories. BTW I am not offering only unsubstantiated opinions, if you ask any psychiatrist about the causes of mental illness, they will say things like, "We don't know as much as we should." Many of the things I said were based on fact, you can look them up and discover them yourself if you so please, but I don't see the point in putting a link when you can do your own research and find that the things I'm saying do have truth in them. Otherwise I will clearly state, "IMO..." Most of my opinions are based on personal experiences or observances, I am only putting them out there for the sake of clarification of where I'm coming from. I do not wish to force my opinions on anyone else, I just think what I think. Ayn Rand had plenty of opinions herself, such as that homosexuals are psychologically immoral. But did she believe there should be means to forcefully prevent it? No.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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You ask me how I can be an objectivist and make claims without evidence but how can you possibly be an objectivist and believe that insanity is proven to be a sickness in the body?

Objectivism makes no claims about insanity apart from upholding the root validity of sense perception and whatnot. Ayn Rand may have expressed her opinion on the subject, although I haven't encountered it yet, but Objectivism proper has nothing to say on it.

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Objectivism makes no claims about insanity apart from upholding the root validity of sense perception and whatnot. Ayn Rand may have expressed her opinion on the subject, although I haven't encountered it yet, but Objectivism proper has nothing to say on it.

I didn't say it made any claims about it, but to an objectivist, psychological problems (such as anxiety or depression) have yet to be proven to be irreversible diseases in the body. There is a letter about it on the first page of this thread with Rand's very words on the subject.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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I didn't say it made any claims about it, but to an objectivist, psychological problems (such as anxiety or depression) have yet to be proven to be irreversible diseases in the body. There is a letter about it on the first page of this thread with Rand's very words on the subject.

This post has several problems with it. First, anxiety and depression in their psychiatric manifestations can be treated with medications. I don't know if this does any good if there is a good reason one ought to be depressed or anxious because of one's life circumstances, but the medications exist. Second, there has been some progress since the time of Ayn Rand so she not a reliable authority on the state of the art in a non-philosophical science. (Her arguments against coerced treatment are still strong.) Third, why is the word irreversible in there? Medicine treats some illnesses and broken limbs just to help people heal faster, for example, even when they would likely heal on their own over time.

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... anxiety and depression in their psychiatric manifestations can be treated with medications.

Naturally, but are these valid treatments, are the medications helpful or harmful? That’s the disputed point here.

Certainly these medications exist. Assuming they are beneficent instead of malevolent, the fact that they are over-prescribed is clear too. The executive secretary where I used to work once held a birthday party for her son with eight others attending. From talking to their mothers she learned that five of them were on Ritalin. That’s a small sample and you can’t draw the conclusion that 5/8 of public school boys are on Ritalin, in fact the actual over-all percentage is less, but you can conclude that a lot of them are. Do 20% of boys really suffer from whatever Ritalin is supposed to help? How did the boys 50 years ago, when by all accounts kids were happier and learned more, cope without Ritalin?

Not that that everything was rosy fifty or a hundred fifty years ago. After about two months of first grade (no kindergarten back then) little Thomas Edison came home in tears: his teacher said he was “addled.” His mother home-schooled him from that day on. What are the chances of a Thomas Edison getting dosed with Ritalin today? Many parents get browbeaten into it, being far too trusting of school authorities and doctors in white smocks.

... there has been some progress since the time of Ayn Rand so she [is] not a reliable authority on the state of the art in a non-philosophical science.

Perhaps Ayn Rand would be the first to admit that she was not an authority on non-philosophical subjects, but one doesn’t need to be an authority to recognize a confusion of categories: mental and physical, psychological and physiological. It’s true that the latter can -- very crudely -- influence the former, but when it comes to something subtle like depression or anxiety the notion of a drug for it is suspicious on its face. The history of so-called experts in psychology is replete with their malicious horrors -- ‘blunders’ doesn’t cover it.

... psychological problems ... have yet to be proven to be irreversible diseases in the body.

I gather from earlier posts that “irreversible” here means “not self-curable.” Perhaps not put as well as it might be but the point is clear: psychological problems are not diseases in the sense of the flu or diabetes. Even if some apparent psychological problems are caused by a physio-chemical problem, to repeat, it’s unreasonable on its face that something subtle like depression or anxiety is often of physio-chemical origin.

The analogy between healing a broken bone and recovering from depression is only that, an analogy, and of very limited applicability.

Here’s a good book on the psychiatric use of drugs:

Toxic Psychiatry by Peter Breggin, M.D.

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"It’s true that the latter can -- very crudely -- influence the former, but when it comes to something subtle like depression or anxiety the notion of a drug for it is suspicious on its face."

You should go check out the postings on Noodlefood where Diana talks about her hypothyroidism. She mentions all kinds of things about how the physical problem of thyroid malfunction and subsequent deficiency of some hormones lead to various complications, among which were persistently miserable emotional state, being set off to cry by even the tiniest of things she knew shouldn't be such a big deal. This kind of emotional state impact is known to happen often from this condition of bodily malfunction. She has been on treatments supplementing her deficient hormones for a while now and has found that adjusting levels of these hormone supplement dosage will, unsurprisingly, make all those same symptoms get better or worse. If you want to say that this doesn't count because it is just replenishing natural substances of her body back to normal levels, that's the same thing anti-depressant medications are made for, just targeting different deficient chemicals. Furthermore, both depression and anxiety problems include physical symptoms too. Depression makes people feel very low on energy. It makes one get exhausted from even the simplest of tasks and not just want (as in "gee, I really don't like the sound of get out of bed and back out into the rest of the world with its difficulties awaiting me"), but need much more sleep. As for anxiety, this article I saved very recently talks about how most of the diagnostic criteria for this condition is actually about physical symptoms.

Now, I don't know much of anything about the causes of anxiety disorders, but you seem to have a little misunderstanding about the causes of depression and thus why anybody would think to try to use chemicals to address the problem. In most cases, some bad things happen in a person's life first and they get upset like a normal person, which makes perfect sense. However, depression sets in when the brain seems to get stuck in misery mode, going from reasonable and appropriate sadness to a long, drawn out funk where typically people have these mistaken, irrational beliefs about hopelessness of their predicament which are stubbornly persistent. It can be a major, major uphill battle to try to talk somebody out of these beliefs when their brain just doesn't have what it needs for a normal, functional response. Pills alone don't solve the original problems that upset somebody, they just get somebody's brain unstuck from the "life sucks and then you die" mode by restoring deficient chemicals so that then they can re-examine their situation and get things back into a proper, rational perspective, whether this is achieved with or without additional professional psychological counseling or not. The pills don't make you happy again by themselves, they just make it possible to resolve issues with some effort. Or at least, that's how it is if you get a type and dosage of medication that work for you. It's not uncommon that some trial and error has to be applied in getting the right medicine by going through a process of elimination to see which things somebody is deficient in, since you can't exactly just look and see what the exact source of the problem is.

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I haven’t followed bluecherry’s link – don’t care for Diana’s blog – but her story as told in his post illustrates my point. When something physical has a mental effect it is a coarse, unsubtle one.

Note that Diana’s physical problem did not primarily involve the brain. Psychoactive drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or Haldol would only have damaged her health. I gather the problem was with her thyroid gland.

... to say that this doesn’t count because it is just replenishing natural substances of her body back to normal levels, that’s the same thing anti-depressant medications are made for, just targeting different deficient chemicals.

The two are quite different. Thyroid excretions have been identified and the cause and effect known. Mucking around with brain chemistry is a shot in the dark.

Pills alone don’t solve the original problems that upset somebody, they just get somebody’s brain unstuck ...

This insinuates that pills are part of the solution. Comparing the brain to a car stuck in the mud and drugs to ramming it, is a revealing analogy. The knowledge about and action of many medicinal psychiatric treatments are just that crude.

Surely there are benign ways to take a person out of themselves, nondestructive ways, ways that don’t involve electric shocks, metabolic shocks, or other physiological assaults.

Doubtless some people are beyond help and the best a doctor can do is control them for the safety of others. But the doctor shouldn’t fool himself into thinking he’s doing it “for the patient”. A straightjacket and padded cell would be far better for the man than Haldol. After the former he will recover in short order as good (or bad) as he was before.

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Note that Diana’s physical problem did not primarily involve the brain. Psychoactive drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or Haldol would only have damaged her health. I gather the problem was with her thyroid gland.

What do you mean not primarily the brain? Yes, the problem was with her thyroid gland, which is the point; to say that the physiological only crudely affects the psychological is wrong. And to clarify, it says hormone treatment, not psychoactive drugs.

This insinuates that pills are part of the solution. Comparing the brain to a car stuck in the mud and drugs to ramming it, is a revealing analogy. The knowledge about and action of many medicinal psychiatric treatments are just that crude.

It simply makes no sense to me why people write off all psychoactive drugs because some (many?) psychiatrists prescribe them poorly or because not everything is known about psychiatric treatments. A car stuck in the mud analogy used by a layman doesn't mean that simplistic level is as much as psychiatrists know. If brain chemicals ARE being processed by the brain incorrectly or inefficiently, emotions or thought patterns most people deal with fine may require drugs to fix that. Since knowledge in the field of psychology isn't as advanced as other fields of medicine, so drugs should only be used in severe cases. Yes, in *some* cases, pills are part of the solution, if for no other reason than the brain is understood *enough* to be able to make a dent on recovery. Like any medication, you just have to decide if symptoms or disease are severe enough to warrant bearing the side-effects.

Edited by Eiuol

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Primarily, first, as in first the cause, then the effect. With Diana’s thyroid treatment, first the thyroid problem was solved, consequently the other problems caused by it were solved.

With Prozac and Haldol the side-effect is the effect.

Again, Haldol is a controlling drug. It debilitates the taker. It may be more comfortable for those surrounding the taker that he be degraded, but the doctor shouldn’t fool himself into thinking he’s helping the guy.

Prozac and other SSRIs temporarily cut back communication within the brain. In other words they just gum things up, render the taker less than fully conscious. That’s how they work, it’s what they do and what you get.

Not long ago doctors defended “insulin therapy” – artificially induced insulin shock, or hypoglycemia – as beneficial to the victim. Then there was electro-shock, which is making a comeback today, and worse “treatments” that the psychiatric establishment has endorsed over the years. The stock of the psychiatric profession is way down so don’t take their word for how beneficial something or other is.

At this time if a person needs to be restrained, physical restraint is far better for him.

If someone is in such a bad way that he must be physically restrained forever to prevent him from killing himself, he’d be better off left alone. If he really is a threat – not just an inconvenience – to others, then he must be physically restrained forever.

Then if a mistake be made – or the man railroaded into that situation by his enemies – he can enjoy a speedy and complete recovery. Forced administration of Haldol and similar drugs is analogous to the death penalty. After a while it’s as difficult to undo.

Wouldn’t you prefer to live in a society where you could not legally be forced to submit to psychiatric treatment, even if you were alleged to be a criminal?

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What do you mean by cut back communication? I'm not claiming to know a lot about SSRIs, but they don't stop communication from going on. Communication is altered by changing how brain chemicals are reabsorbed in order to make more serotonin available. Of course, the side-effect of any drug is literally speaking the effect, but so is every drug in existence. I was only using the term in the usual sense of stuff not directly connected to the disease/issue.

It would help if you said why psychotropic drugs are categorically bad. You're giving reasons, but not any particular facts. You're supposing that a brain is always capable of working properly if volitionally directed properly, therefore, psychotropic drugs are never good. However, just like any other organ, a brain can malfunction. For the people where nothing else works, it is more than likely in their interest to try out a drug, since in those cases, it is more likely to be primarily problem with the brain.

Perhaps there was reason long ago to defend insulin therapy. And there is still reason to use electroconvulsive therapy today. Just because the treatment sounds scary doesn't mean it is witchdoctor science. To me, it sounds like you're making judgment calls based on knee-jerk reactions prior to gaining sufficient knowledge.

Wouldn’t you prefer to live in a society where you could not legally be forced to submit to psychiatric treatment, even if you were alleged to be a criminal?

I'm not sure why you bring this up. I agree that it is improper to forcibly submit someone to psychiatric treatment, even to force criminals to submit. I don't know where that happens in the US anymore, though.

Edited by Eiuol

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I'm not sure why you bring this up. I agree that it is improper to forcibly submit someone to psychiatric treatment, even to force criminals to submit. I don't know where that happens in the US anymore, though.

You've got to be kidding me. When I was 14, and in a sleep deprived state, I simply said a bunch of gibberish and found myself forcibly commited (almost forcibly commited to a very bad place, but my parents stopped it) against my parents will to the hospital for a week. I was not given any medication for the first couple days, but I slept and after that I had left that state and started intellectualizing/challenging everything. For example, a guy came in and said all this stuff about a belief in God and I asked why we should be lectured about something that is morally subjective to different people. Obviously nothing wrong with me, just sleep deprived and emotionally distraught/confused because of cruel rumors and long term bullying at school. After I got a couple nights of sleep, I was not bat crazy any more but I was of course still upset about what had happened to me and being forced in there was like being bullied again. I was an innocent, blonde normal looking little 14 year old girl that they saw when I was sleep deprived and automatically assumed that I would have a permanent mental disease my whole life (this is actually what they told my parents initially and later could not even begin to diagnose anything in me). IMO psychiatrists and mental doctors use biology only when it benefits their theories. In their opinion, extreme sleep deprivation alone is not enough to cause craziness (when it clearly is) and a doctor that I was forced to see must have thought I have some slight underlying genetic tendency towards bipolar. I read what he had written in my file and he put symptoms of biplar I, anti social personaltiy disorder, borderline personality disorder hahaha, it's just like a bully really. Yet, he had told my mother there was no diagnosis, but he was experimenting with giving me drugs that are probably what you would give a so called borderline person. Even though I had no diagnosis, I was STILL forced to take pills in therapy which my parents fought. My psychiatric and therapy appointments became a game and I would be a different thing every day just to make their jobs harder, not actually talking about what was bothering me, which is what therapy was supposed to be for. It got to the point where I was actually being emotionally abused by the psychiatrist and he was enraged. Instead I was treating them like I had treated the bullies at school, because they were no different, perhaps worse. I was just a naive child, interrupted and mislead by quacks.

After I took the pills for a couple months and started developing extremely agressive behavior and fatigue (and this was only on half of a beginning dose) my parents had to fight to be able to take me off them, and eventually did so against the frantic attempts of the psychiatrist to get my parents to "cooperate." First he had insisted that I could just take that tiny amount for a year and that I wouldn't need any more, then he changed his opinion around and told my parents that it wouldn't have any effect unless they switched to the full dose for a couple of years and possibly long term. The only explanation he gave my mom for medicating me was one word, "moods." I didn't feel like a human.

The only reason my parents didn't sue was for the purpose of keeping it private.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors muck around with so-called neurotransmitters. I use the crude phrase “muck around” advisedly.

You’re supposing that a brain is always capable of working properly if volitionally directed ...

Obviously that premise is wrong and I never supposed it. There might be an organic problem such as a disease. A diseased organ is not going to function properly.

For the people where nothing else works, it is more than likely in their interest to try out a drug ...

It’s their funeral, they can try whatever they want. The trouble is they can’t trust many psychiatrists’ advice.

... since in those cases, it is more likely to be primarily problem with the brain.

In fact most depression is psychological in nature, not a physical problem. Positing “nothing else works” turns the advantage of drugs into a vacuous tautology.

Perhaps there was reason long ago to defend insulin therapy.

Perhaps? I know about insulin therapy from reading about its use on James Forrestal, the first U.S. Secretary of Defense. The nurses notes of his stay at Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1949 make horrifying reading. (I got interested in Forrestal because of an interest in government corruption. It’s now certain he was assassinated, though he made so many enemies it’s hard to tell by whom.)

... there is still reason to use electroconvulsive therapy today.

I’m afraid I can’t reply to that with even a semblance of courtesy.

As for Dreamspirit’s story, it makes me very angry. She shouldn’t have had to go through that experience. I’m glad it had a happy ending even if justice wasn’t done to the MALICIOUS psychiatric IDIOT, like dropping him down a well or something. I mean a well you wouldn’t be drinking from anytime soon.

Edited by Mark2

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Obviously that premise is wrong and I never supposed it. There might be an organic problem such as a disease. A diseased organ is not going to function properly.

Yup, exactly. That's my whole point.

I’m afraid I can’t reply to that with even a semblance of courtesy.

Why? It's a voluntary procedure for very severe cases of depression. It's a very serious treatment to be sure, but the side-effects do pay off in some cases where a person is BARELY functional.

Look, I'm not supporting bad psychiatrists. What I don't like is people writing off an entire medical field because of bad practitioners.

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In their opinion, extreme sleep deprivation alone is not enough to cause craziness (when it clearly is)...

I think you may be onto something. I'm a medical transcriptionist and I've typed plenty of psych reports. Sleep deprivation is one common denominator I've noticed among patients. Granted, I realize this is merely anecdotal evidence and it could be a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" type paradox in that sleep deprivation could be the cause or the effect of mental illness.

It's also worthy of note that sleep deprivation was one of the techniques used to brainwash Korean POWs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_control#The_Korean_War_and_the_origin_of_brainwashing)

And speaking of sleep deprivation, it's almost 6:00 a.m. and I better get to bed. ^_^

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That's my whole point.

My point is not Eiuol’s. Eiuol assumes that depression is an organic problem. I was referring to – and this was obvious to the astute reader – demonstrably organic problems.

Is depression ever and primarily an organic neurological problem? Psychiatrists don’t seem to know. The arguments I’ve seen run along these lines: Nothing was wrong with him except he was depressed. We tried this drug that messes with his biochemistry. He seemed better. Now we can push him around.

It’s as stupid as that. Except that I added the last bit. Even without the last bit it’s stupid.

Eiuol doesn’t want “people writing off an entire medical field because of bad practitioners.” People should write off the entire pseudo-medical field of electroshock and every practitioner. Though they all ought to be prosecuted for mayhem and sent to prison, unfortunately that’s very unlikely to happen. However suing individual ones for a substantial sum has been done and should be encouraged.

This whole subject is depressing.

People are routinely brow-beaten and coerced and tricked into alleged psychiatric treatments. Why trust anything people associated with this say?

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...

It’s as stupid as that. Except that I added the last bit. Even without the last bit it’s stupid.

...People should write off the entire pseudo-medical field of electroshock and every practitioner. Though they all ought to be prosecuted for mayhem and sent to prison, unfortunately that’s very unlikely to happen. However suing individual ones for a substantial sum has been done and should be encouraged.

This whole subject is depressing.

People are routinely brow-beaten and coerced and tricked into alleged psychiatric treatments. Why trust anything people associated with this say?

I could not agree more. The road to hell is indeed paved with "good intentions."

Dr. Karl Menninger's letter to Dr. Thomas Szasz (including Dr. Szasz's brief reply to Dr. Menninger).

Edited by Trebor

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Is depression ever and primarily an organic neurological problem? Psychiatrists don’t seem to know. The arguments I’ve seen run along these lines: Nothing was wrong with him except he was depressed. We tried this drug that messes with his biochemistry. He seemed better. Now we can push him around.

You're just creating a plausible and sometimes-occurring narrative. Anecdotal evidence is the only thing we've got here, which only indicates that *some* psychiatrists are pretty bad. No other information has been provided; outside sources are relevant. Science cannot be discussed without scientific facts. Please take a look at the link I gave on the first page and evaluate what that person said. Let's evaluate the people who actually DO make claims about the nature of depression, suggesting that there is a problem with the *brain*. The scientific method is absent from the claims you are making. The scientific method is present in the medical field of psychiatry.

So what if all things are not known about depression? Does that mean you just say to however many people who have not been able to treat depression with non-psychiatric means should not try medication? Certain medical options are taken in ANY medical field take extreme measures even if everything about a disease is not known. An objective thing to do is take an action based on existing knowledge, informing the patient of *why* the medication is being given, informing the patient *how* it works, and informing the patient that the particular disease has many unknown factors to it.

You didn't even say what's wrong with ECT.

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I personally don’t have to prove my claims to Eiuol, and in this case I’m not going to because the subject is disgusting.

Why is argument even necessary? What happened to reduction to absurdity when you don’t even have to reduce it?

I’m here to help you by applying several high voltage jolts of electricity across your skull, sending surges of high current through your hapless brain, to make it all better.

You can’t satirize this horror.

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I’m here to help you by applying several high voltage jolts of electricity across your skull, sending surges of high current through your hapless brain, to make it all better.

Surgery is like that. You're put to sleep and some doctor rips your body open with knives, moves some things around, sometimes putting metal objects inside your body, to make it all better.

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From a panel at San Diego's Comic Con, via Huffington Post

Batman Villains Psychoanalyzed By Mental Health Experts

The point is to distinguish between psychopaths and psychotics.

He's quick to add: "This is the type of message that we want audiences to understand. Just because a behavior is aberrant or considered 'crazy,' it does not mean that the behavior is the result of mental illness."

My own take on this is that psychotics are the proper subject of psychiatric interventions, psychopaths are not.

also interesting:

"Batman villains, both serial murderers and non-serial murderers alike, are frequently referred to as 'insane' in the comics, but insanity is actually not a psychiatric or mental health term, but a legal concept," he said. "In the real world, only 1 percent of criminal cases plead not guilty by reason of insanity; only 20 percent of those 1 percent are successful."
Edited by Grames

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I think you may be onto something. I'm a medical transcriptionist and I've typed plenty of psych reports. Sleep deprivation is one common denominator I've noticed among patients. Granted, I realize this is merely anecdotal evidence and it could be a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" type paradox in that sleep deprivation could be the cause or the effect of mental illness.

It's also worthy of note that sleep deprivation was one of the techniques used to brainwash Korean POWs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_control#The_Korean_War_and_the_origin_of_brainwashing)

And speaking of sleep deprivation, it's almost 6:00 a.m. and I better get to bed. ^_^

It's actually interesting, because my body is somewhat resistant of sleeping pills, especially when I haven't had much sleep lately or had chaotic sleeping habits. I used to try to take a sleeping pill for one or two nights once in a blue moon if my sleeping habits got really crazy, so I could get up early, but it actually made me stay awake longer. And in the hospital, they gave me two heavy duty sleeping pills when I couldn't fall asleep at about the average time at night to go to bed, and I was like awake until 4 in the morning. Since birth, I have always had a strong tendency to need a lot of sleep. When I was a baby I would just sleep and sleep and sleep and as a kid I loved going to bed. But I have always had a tendency to be nocturnal which is why I have such a problem sleeping like everyone else. They have done studies on whether being a night owl or a morning person is biological.

Yeah, and I think quite likely, since I hadn't slept for like 5 or 6 days (I had actually tried melatonex which had no effect) my brain was starved and my thinking was like the way it would be in a dream or something. But the doctor assumed that the reason I couldn't sleep was because I was suffering from "mania" (rolleyes). I also think that the lack of dreaming could have caused it, because it is a necessary psychological function to get rid of incoherent and ridiculous thoughts during that time.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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