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Dreamspirit

What would be Ayn Rand's position on Psychiatry?

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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?

The difference is that the psychiatrists' claims are positive while Dreamspirit's claims are negative, and the burden of proof is always on the one making the positive claim. It's like a priest claiming you're possessed by a demon and then demanding that you prove him wrong, which is impossible.

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.

Certain things are practically guaranteed to cause mental problems and sleep deprivation is one of them. During Hell Week of SEAL training for example, trainees have to endure sleep deprivation for about five days, and it's not uncommon for them to have hallucinations. I guess they too have some kind of mental disorder that keeps them from sleeping. <_<

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Evidence has been provided by psychiatrists though and some of it has been linked to in this thread even. At this point, it is up to those who disagree to specify what they think is wrong with the evidence provided, which may mean providing some evidence of their own which contradicts the stuff while still being scientific. Right now, some people are damning all of the field of psychiatry based on a couple anecdotes (a fair portion of which, aside from the OP's experience, may be the result of biased sampling, just going looking for reports of bad experiences with psychiatrists rather than any reports in general), lack of omniscience, the fallacy of misleading vividness, hearsay, and unsupported assertions. None of this constitutes invalidating the evidence provided in favor of psychiatry. The most proven is that not every experience with psychiatrists is super happy fun time, but nobody was disputing that.

As for the Op's case, Hell Week isn't a good comparison. Though that week does provide examples of how sleep deprivation can distort thinking, there is no question as to the cause of their lack of sleep or which came first. In the OP's case it was a bit of a chicken and egg incident, with the two (lack of sleep and bizarre mental state) correlated, but which if either caused the other is not so clear because unlike in the Hell Week case, why exactly she hasn't been able to sleep in five or so whole days isn't obvious. She didn't just not sleep at night, she didn't sleep AT ALL. I'm a night owl too, but if I'm having trouble falling asleep at night I either sleep during the day or else after one or two sleepless days I will crash out from exhaustion one night finally anyway. So, though sleeplessness for that long can cause bizarre thinking, what is causing the sleeplessness? If sleeping pills had been tried and failed, it would seem that it may be necessary to find out and treat the underlying cause. (Funny enough, not only can lack of sleep cause weird thinking, so can sleeping pills if you don't make enough of an effort to go right to sleep once you take them.) I'm guessing the psychiatrist inquired into things like stress, documented family conditions, illnesses, and other medications and whatnot, as those are standard questions one has to fill out before an initial visit with a psychiatrist. If stress had been high I figure they would have asked about that first, but even for something like depression, which I know can cause sleeplessness, I'm ignorant of any documented incidents of depressed people not falling asleep at all for that long of a period of time. What did end up happening anyway in that situation though? Clearly, she's slept some time since then of course, but I'm wondering how the final resolution came about. Has normal ability to sleep been resumed?

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Right now, some people are damning all of the field of psychiatry based on a couple anecdotes

It's not just anecdotes which cause a significant amount of skepticism about psychiatry, but the psychiatric establishment's major flip flops on classifying diseases/disorders. Homosexuality, for instance, was once long considered to be a disorder, but now it isn't. Narcissism was also considered to be a disorder, but the DSM committee has recently declared that it isn't. And those are just a couple examples.

Note, this is different than the psychiatric community changing its mind on the cause of a disorder and/or effective treatment. That is to be expected in any medical science. Instead, they can't even agree on which phenomena are disorders and which aren't. This is the equivalent of cardiologists coming out and saying, "Oops. We were wrong about cardiac arrhythmia. It's not a disorder like we thought it was. Sorry." If this happened, cardiology would start to have its doubters as psychiatry does today.

With respect to sleep deprivation, I suspect that it may be sort of a feedback loop: Patient experiences mental/emotional trauma that could be major or minor, loses a little sleep over it, which amplifies the patient's sensitivity to said trauma, which in turn causes them to lose more sleep, and so on and so forth. While this could apply to any emotional trauma, I think it's especially true for bullying, which the OP was experiencing since, as the case with Korean POWs shows, sleep deprivation makes a person more open to suggestion, which would have made her more sensitive to the bullying.

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I did list more than just anecdotes, just the other things weren't good enough either. :P

"but the psychiatric establishment's major flip flops on classifying diseases/disorders. Homosexuality, for instance, was once long considered to be a disorder, but now it isn't. Narcissism was also considered to be a disorder, but the DSM committee has recently declared that it isn't. And those are just a couple examples. "

Such is the nature of science. People learn more and adjust any mistakes made from ignorance accordingly. It is a self-correcting endeavor. Witness similarly how many times the recommendation for positions to lay a baby down to sleep in have changed. One period it is on their back, then no, it should be on their side, et cetera. I don't think one should fault the field because they've come out and admitted they were wrong before, that they may have previously had some things which were biased and that they want to clear that up now. Generally though it has for quite a while been the case that each condition includes a stipulation that one only qualifies for a disorder if it is interfering with one's life, so this prevents a lot of potential for shenanigans. They can call whatever they will a disorder, but as long as that requirement is in all the diagnostic criteria, nobody has to worry about being dragged in and labeled disordered when they're having no trouble and are satisfied with themselves/their life.

By the way though, was narcissistic personality disorder ever really an issue of psychiatry anyway? I don't recall hearing there being any medications or other kinds of physical treatments given for it, so this sounds more like it was just in the realm of psychology.

"With respect to sleep deprivation, I suspect that it may be sort of a feedback loop"

It's a thought. Need to do some kind of investigation on the issue though before it can hold much weight.

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Evidence has been provided by psychiatrists though and some of it has been linked to in this thread even. At this point, it is up to those who disagree to specify what they think is wrong with the evidence provided, which may mean providing some evidence of their own which contradicts the stuff while still being scientific. Right now, some people are damning all of the field of psychiatry based on a couple anecdotes (a fair portion of which, aside from the OP's experience, may be the result of biased sampling, just going looking for reports of bad experiences with psychiatrists rather than any reports in general), lack of omniscience, the fallacy of misleading vividness, hearsay, and unsupported assertions. None of this constitutes invalidating the evidence provided in favor of psychiatry. The most proven is that not every experience with psychiatrists is super happy fun time, but nobody was disputing that.

As for the Op's case, Hell Week isn't a good comparison. Though that week does provide examples of how sleep deprivation can distort thinking, there is no question as to the cause of their lack of sleep or which came first. In the OP's case it was a bit of a chicken and egg incident, with the two (lack of sleep and bizarre mental state) correlated, but which if either caused the other is not so clear because unlike in the Hell Week case, why exactly she hasn't been able to sleep in five or so whole days isn't obvious. She didn't just not sleep at night, she didn't sleep AT ALL. I'm a night owl too, but if I'm having trouble falling asleep at night I either sleep during the day or else after one or two sleepless days I will crash out from exhaustion one night finally anyway. So, though sleeplessness for that long can cause bizarre thinking, what is causing the sleeplessness? If sleeping pills had been tried and failed, it would seem that it may be necessary to find out and treat the underlying cause. (Funny enough, not only can lack of sleep cause weird thinking, so can sleeping pills if you don't make enough of an effort to go right to sleep once you take them.) I'm guessing the psychiatrist inquired into things like stress, documented family conditions, illnesses, and other medications and whatnot, as those are standard questions one has to fill out before an initial visit with a psychiatrist. If stress had been high I figure they would have asked about that first, but even for something like depression, which I know can cause sleeplessness, I'm ignorant of any documented incidents of depressed people not falling asleep at all for that long of a period of time. What did end up happening anyway in that situation though? Clearly, she's slept some time since then of course, but I'm wondering how the final resolution came about. Has normal ability to sleep been resumed?

I personally think the chemical imbalance theory has some merit but not even as close to as much as they say. I have no proof of this because I wouldn't know how to look for it in medical journals, and I'm not sure there even are any medical journals on it, but here is an example. You've got an adolescent boy with anxiety about talking to girls. He may have something in the environment that sets it up (divorce/troubles at home or being rejected a lot)and over the years he builds up a fear of women that gets very intensely ingrained in his psyche when it is vulnerable (growing and changing, doesn't have fully developed lobes etc.). Over time, these disoriented or funny ways of thinking/habits (avoiding women, having anxiety attacks etc.)set chemical patterns in his brain as it matures and thus becomes what psychiatrists call social anxiety disorder. These patterns can be somewhat reversed naturally most of the time, but my theory is, in this pill popping society people find it convenient to label themselves with a disorder instead of working hard to face life (and with the seemingly knowledgable drug dealers behind white coats reinforcing that they have a genetic problem they become even more convinced).

I never had sleep problems except for when I was a kid/adolescent. When I was a kid, I either had extreme insomnia or very deep, healthy sleep patterns. I think this has to do with having a very active mind, but I'm not sure this is entirely true because when I was a baby, I was an unusually big sleeper. I was very very stressed out during that time because to begin with I am a sensitive person, and people gave me crap about it, so I started kind of disassociating myself. The bullying (rumor spreading and threats) caught me at a vulnerable time and was the straw that broke the camel's back. I didn't stay awake completely 5 days, you misunderstood me, I probably slept for about 2-4 hours maybe twice in that time. The sleeping patterns got worse over time, they didn't just spring out of nowhere. I had insomnia and irritability for months, but not extreme insomnia which caused the full on craziness. They were trying to give me sleeping pills but I laid in bed and they NEVER worked. I was neurotic (meaning excessively emotional, irritable, anxiety ridden, rapid thoughts etc.) before the sleep problems, but now that I have reached the 18 mark, I know this was due to the extremes in hormones from my growing body (I grew 5 inches in the course of 2 years). I can't even remember in detail what it was like before I turned 17, I can only have a slight idea of the big picture that the changes were so great. Fluctuating hormones, smaller frontal lobes, the stress of adolesence, and the maturation of the brain all play a part in this sort of teenage neurosis I think. I had an increased need for sleep which my parents didn't understand (they thought there was something wrong with me cause I was sleeping like 12 hours but I believe my body physically needed this sleep, and it had nothing to do with being depressed or whatever). I was also being emotionally abused by a teacher every morning which made me not want to get out of bed (my parents didn't understand the extent of the emotional abuse until I told them about it later) who called me stupid and yelled at me in front of the class cause he had a personal vendetta against me. It is also worth noting that I sniffed some nail polish and inhaled some spray on makeup in that frame of time (I had been wearing the makeup for a couple of weeks when my neurotic behavior started to become apparent).

I certainly have no family history of mental illness among non-elderly adults or children, there isn't a single person, close or extended anywhere with a psychiatric diagnosis unless you count my autistic cousin which is kind of a different thing if you ask me. I had never taken any drugs, except for melatonex when they were trying to get me to sleep and a couple of antibiotic treatments here and there.

So, if you ask me, brain chemicals ARE responsible for mental deficiencies but the problem is psychiatrists don't have a good grasp of how this relates to environment, personality tendencies/abberations (ie. shyness or sensitivity which are only traits), and therfore cannot really determine what is normal and what is not. The DSM is basically a book of thinking disorders that could apply in some way or another to 99% of people. The purpose of it is not to truly help people, it is to make money on drugs, and if you REALLY study the history of psychiatry (ie. miltown and valium), this will be apparent in a lot of ways. It was also bolstered around the idea that there is a "collective mind."

Most psychiatrists would prescribe a narcissistic or personality disordered person SSRI's just simply because they think that they become improved most of the time by taking them. They aren't really improved or cured, their brain is just partially shut down.

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I have no proof of this because I wouldn't know how to look for it in medical journals, and I'm not sure there even are any medical journals on it . . ."

You're going to going to a college in the near future, right? In that case, college libraries typically have access to huge collections of medical journals, both in physical form and searchable in specialized search engines. They may have arrangements with other libraries too that if they don't have the article themselves, they can get it loaned to you from another library. If you look up keywords like "insomnia" and "mania" - the two things in question in your case - you can probably find relevant info. :)

"These patterns can be somewhat reversed naturally most of the time, but my theory is, in this pill popping society people find it convenient to label themselves with a disorder instead of working hard to face life . . ."

Labeling a problem doesn't make it go away, regardless of the cause. It would still be very unpleasant to live with that kind of problem, so I don't think this is going to make anybody give up trying who hadn't given up already. It may make it easier though to find information on things they can do to try to help them in efforts to tackle the issues getting between them and developing relationships. Labeling and working on the problem are definitely not mutually exclusive.

Only about two to four hours of sleep in those five days? That definitely still is abnormal even for insomnia. Sounds like you were both stressed and in a rather wacky hormonal state. The stress would be ideal to fix first, but how to make that suddenly subside so you could sleep again is hard to say. Maybe you just needed a higher dose of the sleeping medication or a different one. I can see though where they were coming from at least that by the time they saw you it would seem like being in a case of bipolar mania seemed plausible. Bipolar meds may have been a more realistic way to calm the stress down right away than fixing the stressful life issues, which would tend to take a while longer to fix meanwhile you still can't sleep and are quite degenerated. Bipolar meds really do suck though long term. They do basically just force you to minimize the extremes you experience. I do know though what you mean about insomnia building up over time. I had insomnia for years. It wasn't so bad at first. By the time I finally went to a doctor about it I could be exhausted and lay in bed all night and never fall asleep. That I had a lot to think about, much of it interesting, and that I had a lot of stress seemed relevant, though I think the stress got worse with time too and so did the sleep. I never got as bad as you did though in terms of how little sleep I got in how much time and I definitely responded to the sleeping medication, if anything responding too well and having a darn hard time staying awake and needing my dose lowered.

Now, SSRIs on the other hand, I haven't heard of SSRIs being what is used for narcissism or personality disorders. SSRIs I've generally heard used for depression. I've been taking an SSRI for seven months now after one new stressful event made existing depression bad enough that I suddenly had insomnia again, worse than ever, in addition to inability to eat suddenly. The pills fixed my sleeping and eating problems, but otherwise, I haven't felt them changing anything at all. No change. Neither for better or worse. It's just the same as it has been for all too dang long now. No shut down. I'f you're referring to the process referenced in the SSRI name, that's just aimed at slowing a process down which seems to be overactive and thus causing trouble. This means it only aims to put a brain back to normal functionality, not shut it down.

As for the DSM, I mentioned earlier it has a necessary condition that things be getting in the way of your life, so that should take care of a lot of potential for abuse. Also, psychologists and psychiatrists aren't allowed to go around just trying to diagnose people they know, which would perhaps drum up more business. Doing that would put their licenses to practice in jeopardy. People have to come to them with a problem and asking for help. I'm not aware of the history of valium and miltown though which you are referring to.

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I have no proof of this because I wouldn't know how to look for it in medical journals, and I'm not sure there even are any medical journals on it . . ."

You're going to going to a college in the near future, right? In that case, college libraries typically have access to huge collections of medical journals, both in physical form and searchable in specialized search engines. They may have arrangements with other libraries too that if they don't have the article themselves, they can get it loaned to you from another library. If you look up keywords like "insomnia" and "mania" - the two things in question in your case - you can probably find relevant info. :)

"These patterns can be somewhat reversed naturally most of the time, but my theory is, in this pill popping society people find it convenient to label themselves with a disorder instead of working hard to face life . . ."

Labeling a problem doesn't make it go away, regardless of the cause. It would still be very unpleasant to live with that kind of problem, so I don't think this is going to make anybody give up trying who hadn't given up already. It may make it easier though to find information on things they can do to try to help them in efforts to tackle the issues getting between them and developing relationships. Labeling and working on the problem are definitely not mutually exclusive.

Only about two to four hours of sleep in those five days? That definitely still is abnormal even for insomnia. Sounds like you were both stressed and in a rather wacky hormonal state. The stress would be ideal to fix first, but how to make that suddenly subside so you could sleep again is hard to say. Maybe you just needed a higher dose of the sleeping medication or a different one. I can see though where they were coming from at least that by the time they saw you it would seem like being in a case of bipolar mania seemed plausible. Bipolar meds may have been a more realistic way to calm the stress down right away than fixing the stressful life issues, which would tend to take a while longer to fix meanwhile you still can't sleep and are quite degenerated. Bipolar meds really do suck though long term. They do basically just force you to minimize the extremes you experience. I do know though what you mean about insomnia building up over time. I had insomnia for years. It wasn't so bad at first. By the time I finally went to a doctor about it I could be exhausted and lay in bed all night and never fall asleep. That I had a lot to think about, much of it interesting, and that I had a lot of stress seemed relevant, though I think the stress got worse with time too and so did the sleep. I never got as bad as you did though in terms of how little sleep I got in how much time and I definitely responded to the sleeping medication, if anything responding too well and having a darn hard time staying awake and needing my dose lowered.

Now, SSRIs on the other hand, I haven't heard of SSRIs being what is used for narcissism or personality disorders. SSRIs I've generally heard used for depression. I've been taking an SSRI for seven months now after one new stressful event made existing depression bad enough that I suddenly had insomnia again, worse than ever, in addition to inability to eat suddenly. The pills fixed my sleeping and eating problems, but otherwise, I haven't felt them changing anything at all. No change. Neither for better or worse. It's just the same as it has been for all too dang long now. No shut down. I'f you're referring to the process referenced in the SSRI name, that's just aimed at slowing a process down which seems to be overactive and thus causing trouble. This means it only aims to put a brain back to normal functionality, not shut it down.

As for the DSM, I mentioned earlier it has a necessary condition that things be getting in the way of your life, so that should take care of a lot of potential for abuse. Also, psychologists and psychiatrists aren't allowed to go around just trying to diagnose people they know, which would perhaps drum up more business. Doing that would put their licenses to practice in jeopardy. People have to come to them with a problem and asking for help. I'm not aware of the history of valium and miltown though which you are referring to.

I am in college, I am 19 years old, why wouldn't I be? I didn't mean that I don't know where to look for basic medical journals, I meant that it would be hard to find one proving my point. It would be very hard to find a medical journal criticizing the medicating of people based on the idea that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain because drug companies do bogus research (ie. doing bad clinical trials till the cows come home and choosing two that show it is effective and safe) and hire ghostwriters that publish things under the name of a respected doctor in favor of their drugs. Those are just two of the many examples of why you can't trust the psychiatric field. It's just a basic big picture theory based on personal experience, which I think is much more grounded in reality than what the medical journals say, because they can't even begin to understand people for their experiences and who they are.

I was not given bipolar meds, I was given something for "moods" which I think, based on my research, would most closely resemble something they would give a person with borderline personality disorder (which I saw written stuff about in his notes). They give borderline personality disordered people low dose antipsychotics and SSRIs that are approved for treating anxiety problems (ie. zoloft) temporarily when they are under stress. What makes me mad the most is that he was not telling my parents where he was coming from with the medication and REALLY there was a diagnosis, but he covered up the details so they would blindly cooperate. They didn't even really have an idea of what they were giving me. The antipsychotic med isn't even supposed to have results until after 1-2 weeks of use and the SSRI takes 8-10 weeks. I was getting better even before I started taking them, but my moods were still sick to him, even though I was asking to get a part time job and go back to school, perhaps because I told my female therapist that I wanted to sue the people in the hospital for the way they treated me. Giving me dirty looks, "baiting" me etc., keeping me in longer than necessary (I was too naive to realize that they problems I had were simply rooted in lack of sleep). The psychiatrist even admitted at the end that the medication had no effect, so there you go. After a couple months of the SSRI, I was yawning constantly (like every 30 seconds), couldn't do math (which I figured out is due to a lack of hormone which helps with problem solving; it went away right after I discontinued it), couldn't exercise because I felt fatigued/lethargic, and became very agressive with strange people which is VERY unlike me. Those are actually just a few of the side effects, and the doctor would not listen to me when I tried to tell him about this, he just interrupted me and dominated the conversation. I felt no different except for the side effects, I was still the hostile, angsty pain in the butt teenager I'm afraid.

I don't know why sleep medications didn't have the effect on me that they should have, but I would just lie there, physically unable to fall asleep and most of the time my thoughts weren't even racing. All I know is, I've pretty much outgrown the insomnia problems, although I do know that I am still resistant of sleeping medications.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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For correcting simple sleep problems in the past I have taken low doses of the hormone melatonin, available over the counter at GNC stores nowadays. Melatonin is the naturally occurring hormone in your own body that is supposed to cause sleep so boosting it a bit temporarily is logical, and I found it worked. Cheap, safe, effective, and no doctor required.

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For correcting simple sleep problems in the past I have taken low doses of the hormone melatonin, available over the counter at GNC stores nowadays. Melatonin is the naturally occurring hormone in your own body that is supposed to cause sleep so boosting it a bit temporarily is logical, and I found it worked. Cheap, safe, effective, and no doctor required.

That's what was reccomended for me, but along with some of the other ones I tried, it had very little effect and actually exacerbated my problems. I'm sure it is effective for most people though.

I hope everyone realizes that I'm not having these problems now, I have just been studying psychiatry and psychology because I am interested in getting into activism against the promotion of drugs for children and teens. Given my personal history, it is something I feel strongly about, and it pains me to think of all the helpless children being damaged by this epidemic.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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That's what was reccomended for me, but along with some of the other ones I tried, it had very little effect and actually exacerbated my problems. I'm sure it is effective for most people though.

I hope everyone realizes that I'm not having these problems now, I have just been studying psychiatry and psychology because I am interested in getting into activism against the promotion of drugs for children and teens. Given my personal history, it is something I feel strongly about, and it pains me to think of all the helpless children being damaged by this epidemic.

Given the things that you've said as well as your experience with psychiatry, I recommend that you check out Dr. Thomas Szasz's writings. You can get some sense of his views by reading his various articles on his site, on the "Szasz Materials" link. Beyond those various short articles, he's written several books. I would recommend The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement and Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences.

by Dr. Szasz. Edited by Trebor

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by Dr. Szasz.

Dr. Szasz says in that video that ADHD is not a disease. I've also seen in one presentation of an ADHD researcher showing difference in brain functionality and smaller size of the front part of the brain that controls executive functioning. Do some doctors overdiagnose ADHD? Sure. Are meds a good idea for children? Probably not, because of the lack of knowledge of developing brains.

It only seems to me people make claims that are justified in the context, but take that claim to a wider level than warranted. I'd really prefer some examples beyond anecdotal of bad psychiatrists on a wide scale, and more specifics to the negative effects about meds and other treatments. When I did try to bring in a point to be discussed (ECT), that was basically ignored, even though it is probably a very good example of a psychiatric treatment that is misunderstood, yet is completely humane, voluntary, and necessary in severe cases. We all can make many claims as layman and look to authorities like Dr. Szasz as you mention, but it is also important to understand existing treatments and how these treatments can be wildly misunderstood as abusive when they're not. What should be advocated is increased objectivity in psychiatry, rather than advocating making a pariah out of all psychiatrists.

Since I looked at the video you linked, I would appreciate if you watch part of this video about ADHD, or at least 41 minutes until about 46 minutes:

Edited by Eiuol

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Rand indicated that psychology is in its very early stages of development, and psychiatry, one branch of it, is heavily influenced by the concepts of Sigmund Freud, who is often credited as being the father of psychiatry. Freudianism is another form of mythology and is far from being scientific. Freud draws upon religous and secular mythology, and his methodology is exceedingly prolonged and may be counter-productive. His colleagues, which he later denounced, such as Jung and Adler are variations on a theme, and concepts like Jung's of the so-called "collective unconscious" would have been rejected out of hand by Rand. I also find that many people in psychology use the term "unconscious" when they should be using the concept "subconscious." There is an important distinction between the two that has philosphical as well as medical implications.

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Dr. Szasz says in that video that ADHD is not a disease. I've also seen in one presentation of an ADHD researcher showing difference in brain functionality and smaller size of the front part of the brain that controls executive functioning. Do some doctors overdiagnose ADHD? Sure. Are meds a good idea for children? Probably not, because of the lack of knowledge of developing brains.

It only seems to me people make claims that are justified in the context, but take that claim to a wider level than warranted. I'd really prefer some examples beyond anecdotal of bad psychiatrists on a wide scale, and more specifics to the negative effects about meds and other treatments. When I did try to bring in a point to be discussed (ECT), that was basically ignored, even though it is probably a very good example of a psychiatric treatment that is misunderstood, yet is completely humane, voluntary, and necessary in severe cases. We all can make many claims as layman and look to authorities like Dr. Szasz as you mention, but it is also important to understand existing treatments and how these treatments can be wildly misunderstood as abusive when they're not. What should be advocated is increased objectivity in psychiatry, rather than advocating making a pariah out of all psychiatrists.

Since I looked at the video you linked, I would appreciate if you watch part of this video about ADHD, or at least 41 minutes until about 46 minutes:

I understand that you think that opponents to psychiatry are over generalizing, throwing the baby out with the bath water, as it were, and I think you make some valid points, such as, I think it was you, pointing out that the fact that some medical treatments appears violent or repulsive cannot be taken as proof that it is wrong or bad treatment. I agree. Trying to resuscitate someone by cutting open their chest, prying their ribs apart and massaging their heart would, in another context, appear quite monstrous.

Actually, even Szasz is not anti-psychiatry, depending on what is meant by "anti-psychiatry." From Wiki on Thomas Szasz:

"Szasz has been wrongly associated with the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He is not opposed to the practice of psychiatry if it is non-coercive. He maintains that psychiatry should be a contractual service between consenting adults with no state involvement. In a 2006 documentary film called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death released on DVD Szasz stated that involuntary mental hospitalization is a crime against humanity. Szasz also believes that, if unopposed, involuntary hospitalization will expand into "pharmacratic" dictatorship. He's basically against involuntary psychiatry. If people think that psychiatry has something to offer them, they should be free to purchase psychiatric services, even what may seem to be the most shocking kinds of so-called therapy."

Or, here, "

in another short YouTube video, a rather strange informal interview at a cafe it looks like. He states that he is not anti-psychiatry.

To understand Szasz, you'll have to read him. If I could, I would try and present his arguments, but I am not capable of reducing his argument(s) to a few relatively brief posts and thereby convince you or anyone of much of anything. His various articles, being relatively short, on his "Szasz Materials" link are good as an introduction to his views and arguments, but they are not complete arguments. Better are his books. I suggest, if no other, his book, The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement. (You might find some of the reviews there on Amazon interesting.)

You can even read some portions of that book online via Google books here. (Hopefully that link will work, if you're interested.)

Same with his book, Insanity: the idea and its consequences

Szasz is a prolific writer on the subject, and he's been a thorn in the side of psychiatry since the 50s. He's a good writer, enjoyable to read and I think that if you give him a chance you'll find him to be quite interesting and enlightening, and that book, The Manufacture of Madness, gives a good historical overview of the development of psychiatry. I think it is important to understand the history of psychiatry if one is to understand it today and understand just what his argument(s) is.

I did watch the entire video you suggested. I cannot argue with the man's presentation on ADHD. All of his claims as to the correlations or causes of ADHD in the brain, genetics, etc. still start with the premise that there is a disease called ADHD. Is there? In other words, there was already a conclusion that there is a disease called ADHD. The research has been in trying to explain it, to find its cause in the brain, in genetics, etc. That, to me, begs the question: Is ADHD a disease? Are there mental illnesses? Etc.

Give Szasz a chance. Start reading and see if he captures your interest, motivates you to understand what he has to say.

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I am in college, I am 19 years old, why wouldn't I be? I didn't mean that I don't know where to look for basic medical journals, I meant that it would be hard to find one proving my point. It would be very hard to find a medical journal criticizing the medicating of people based on the idea that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain because drug companies do bogus research (ie. doing bad clinical trials till the cows come home and choosing two that show it is effective and safe) and hire ghostwriters that publish things under the name of a respected doctor in favor of their drugs. Those are just two of the many examples of why you can't trust the psychiatric field. It's just a basic big picture theory based on personal experience, which I think is much more grounded in reality than what the medical journals say, because they can't even begin to understand people for their experiences and who they are.

I was not given bipolar meds, I was given something for "moods" which I think, based on my research, would most closely resemble something they would give a person with borderline personality disorder (which I saw written stuff about in his notes). They give borderline personality disordered people low dose antipsychotics and SSRIs that are approved for treating anxiety problems (ie. zoloft) temporarily when they are under stress. What makes me mad the most is that he was not telling my parents where he was coming from with the medication and REALLY there was a diagnosis, but he covered up the details so they would blindly cooperate. They didn't even really have an idea of what they were giving me. The antipsychotic med isn't even supposed to have results until after 1-2 weeks of use and the SSRI takes 8-10 weeks. I was getting better even before I started taking them, but my moods were still sick to him, even though I was asking to get a part time job and go back to school, perhaps because I told my female therapist that I wanted to sue the people in the hospital for the way they treated me. Giving me dirty looks, "baiting" me etc., keeping me in longer than necessary (I was too naive to realize that they problems I had were simply rooted in lack of sleep). The psychiatrist even admitted at the end that the medication had no effect, so there you go. After a couple months of the SSRI, I was yawning constantly (like every 30 seconds), couldn't do math (which I figured out is due to a lack of hormone which helps with problem solving; it went away right after I discontinued it), couldn't exercise because I felt fatigued/lethargic, and became very agressive with strange people which is VERY unlike me. Those are actually just a few of the side effects, and the doctor would not listen to me when I tried to tell him about this, he just interrupted me and dominated the conversation. I felt no different except for the side effects, I was still the hostile, angsty pain in the butt teenager I'm afraid.

I don't know why sleep medications didn't have the effect on me that they should have, but I would just lie there, physically unable to fall asleep and most of the time my thoughts weren't even racing. All I know is, I've pretty much outgrown the insomnia problems, although I do know that I am still resistant of sleeping medications.

Ah, I must have confused you with somebody else. I know somebody else around here who is relatively new has mentioned going to college soon. Sorry about the mix up. I certainly didn't mean any kind of insult.

Now as for the comments on medical journal bias, what evidence then do you have for this? Do you have evidence against any particular related articles in question? Do you even have any statistical analysis to show that this is a widespread problem? Do you have anything beyond maybe a couple articles this was proven about and speculation based on rampant generalization? You may perhaps say, "No, there's no more evidence because guilty parties would cover it up," but the same could be said about people and murder, that some people have been proven to be murders and that if they were guilty, others would deny it and hide evidence too and that wouldn't justify assuming all people were murderers or even likely murderers.

Borderline Personality Disorder? I don't recall that involving mania, which you'd said they thought you were experiencing. Borderline is a pretty serious problem though. Do they even generally diagnose personality disorders before adulthood is reached? People go through a lot of changes before a certain point in their lives. Ah, wiki says that they usually do diagnose it in adults, but sometimes in adolescent too. I can understand though that combination of medication for borderline treatment, just not why they thought you had it. I don't recall it involving mania or anything about long periods of sleeplessness. In fact, in the same wiki article, "Bipolar depression is generally more pervasive with sleep and appetite disturbances, as well as a marked nonreactivity of mood, whereas mood with respect to borderline personality and co-occurring dysthymia remains markedly reactive and sleep disturbance not acute.[33]" You haven't mentioned having any of the other common issues in borderline personality disorder either.

As for getting better and how long the medication takes to work, if you did have bipolar or BPD, those are chronic conditions, so you would be given meds anyway on the basis of preventing future episodes of deterioration. Why were you seeing a psychiatrist though if you were already getting better? Somebody who had multiple episodes this bad I could understand going anyway, because they too could expect relapses, but that wasn't the case with you. Parents had you go maybe? Why not try a regular doctor first though if this hadn't happened like this before? Did they figure since one sleep medication hadn't worked before that there was nothing else a regular doctor could do? That doesn't mean a psychiatrist could fix it though unless they already thought it wasn't just a sleep problem. Odd incident all in all . . .

SSRIs can make you sleepy, this is true. Not sure if that would help you sleep though or not. Sleeplessnes does happen to depressed people often who are often given SSRIs. I had that problem, inability to sleep, as one reason I finally started taking SSRIs myself. I did get back to my normal ability to sleep after starting to take them, though it's hard to say if it was due to them or not as the night before I started taking them I did get to sleep finally, but only after great exhaustion and spending the night over a friend's house to try to calm me down a bit. As for this, "which I figured out is due to a lack of hormone which helps with problem solving" - that I'm unfamiliar with. Mind telling me about that? It seems kind of odd to have such a thing in a medication given to people to try to help them be able to deal with problems. It does sound like your psychiatrist sucked though in general. The one I've been seeing hasn't treated me like this at all.

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Somewhere in the course of this thread (I don't recall which post) confusion on the difference between psychiatry and psychology. Look at the suffixes- Psychiatry is medical treatment, psychology is science/theory. For example my wife has a degree in clincal psychology, her main focus has been assessment oriented. Other branches of psychology might deal with a more therapy oriented approach.

It's unfair to judge psychiatry by the mistakes of Freud, just as it would be a mistake to judge any science or discipline by a primitive example.

I'd agree that drugs are over-prescribed for just about any malaise - but that has more to do with larger societal issues. As to the over medication of children- that is on their parents or caretakers. Forced medication still fairly rare in this country but in most countries that have progressed more quickly into socialism/statism it is fairly common.

A movement began in the 1970's against what is known as "involuntary treatment" treating it as a civil rights violation. Since the major Supreme Court decisions of that decade involuntary treatment of an adult requires a court order and a compelling case must be made that the person is a danger to themselves and others.

Currently many "progressivists" are working to roll back those advances blaming the lack of ability to force treatment for the rise in homelessness, suicide and other social problems in low income demographics. It makes sense that these collectivists and statists believe that forced treatment is reasonable and moral since at the very foundation of their system is the belief that a person has no right to their body, mind, soul or self.

So in a nutshell... Ayn Rand's position on psychiatry? I'm sure she would advocate for reason and against force.

On the side of reason she believed in man's ability to solve problems through reason. Organic problems in the brain cause many mental disorders. In cases such as these you treat it as any other medical problem and use all the best science at your disposal to solve the problem.

On forced treatment it is obviously wrong to force anything upon a person who has not initiated force. That leaves the question of the violently mentally ill. If they are violent that means they are initiating force and have therefore opened themselves up to suspension of certain rights. To what extent? I'm not prepared to answer that.

Psychiatric and psychologial treatment have become very expensive however. Most private medical insurance companies allow for little or no psychotherapy. This means their final (and cheapest) option is drug therapy. So drugs will often be given when something as simple as cognitive behavioral treament therapy would have served much better.

I'd say the answer is if a doctor is trying to get you on these drugs that you will need to be very careful and take responsibility for your own well being. What kind of assessments did they use? Was their testing thorough? What is the diagnosis? Did they offer a range of treatment scenarios or just hand you the drugs? Has the doctor treated you respectfully? Are you potentially in any danger?

If you do have some form of mental/emotional/psychological impairment it will be hard to rationally judge that you have that impairment because-well- you're too impaired to know. If you have one or two very close, very trustworthy friends you may want to ask them their honest opinions about your recent activities and behaviors. And you'll have to be willing to try to accept information you don't want to hear

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Borderline Personality Disorder? I don't recall that involving mania, which you'd said they thought you were experiencing.

There's a fair amount of overlap between borderline and bipolar.

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I did watch the entire video you suggested. I cannot argue with the man's presentation on ADHD. All of his claims as to the correlations or causes of ADHD in the brain, genetics, etc. still start with the premise that there is a disease called ADHD. Is there? In other words, there was already a conclusion that there is a disease called ADHD.

I get what you're saying, so the next step would be to discuss the actual people who are diagnosed, talking about specific instances. I looked at some pages in that book, and it seems interesting, so I'll read it, just as soon as my giant list of books to read is much smaller.

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Ah, I must have confused you with somebody else. I know somebody else around here who is relatively new has mentioned going to college soon. Sorry about the mix up. I certainly didn't mean any kind of insult.

Now as for the comments on medical journal bias, what evidence then do you have for this? Do you have evidence against any particular related articles in question? Do you even have any statistical analysis to show that this is a widespread problem? Do you have anything beyond maybe a couple articles this was proven about and speculation based on rampant generalization? You may perhaps say, "No, there's no more evidence because guilty parties would cover it up," but the same could be said about people and murder, that some people have been proven to be murders and that if they were guilty, others would deny it and hide evidence too and that wouldn't justify assuming all people were murderers or even likely murderers.

Borderline Personality Disorder? I don't recall that involving mania, which you'd said they thought you were experiencing. Borderline is a pretty serious problem though. Do they even generally diagnose personality disorders before adulthood is reached? People go through a lot of changes before a certain point in their lives. Ah, wiki says that they usually do diagnose it in adults, but sometimes in adolescent too. I can understand though that combination of medication for borderline treatment, just not why they thought you had it. I don't recall it involving mania or anything about long periods of sleeplessness. In fact, in the same wiki article, "Bipolar depression is generally more pervasive with sleep and appetite disturbances, as well as a marked nonreactivity of mood, whereas mood with respect to borderline personality and co-occurring dysthymia remains markedly reactive and sleep disturbance not acute.[33]" You haven't mentioned having any of the other common issues in borderline personality disorder either.

As for getting better and how long the medication takes to work, if you did have bipolar or BPD, those are chronic conditions, so you would be given meds anyway on the basis of preventing future episodes of deterioration. Why were you seeing a psychiatrist though if you were already getting better? Somebody who had multiple episodes this bad I could understand going anyway, because they too could expect relapses, but that wasn't the case with you. Parents had you go maybe? Why not try a regular doctor first though if this hadn't happened like this before? Did they figure since one sleep medication hadn't worked before that there was nothing else a regular doctor could do? That doesn't mean a psychiatrist could fix it though unless they already thought it wasn't just a sleep problem. Odd incident all in all . . .

SSRIs can make you sleepy, this is true. Not sure if that would help you sleep though or not. Sleeplessnes does happen to depressed people often who are often given SSRIs. I had that problem, inability to sleep, as one reason I finally started taking SSRIs myself. I did get back to my normal ability to sleep after starting to take them, though it's hard to say if it was due to them or not as the night before I started taking them I did get to sleep finally, but only after great exhaustion and spending the night over a friend's house to try to calm me down a bit. As for this, "which I figured out is due to a lack of hormone which helps with problem solving" - that I'm unfamiliar with. Mind telling me about that? It seems kind of odd to have such a thing in a medication given to people to try to help them be able to deal with problems. It does sound like your psychiatrist sucked though in general. The one I've been seeing hasn't treated me like this at all.

I was not diagnosed with borderline (in fact I technically wasn't diagnosed with anything), but I sneaked a look at his notes and I saw the word everywhere, with a lot of little abbreviations and things related to the medication he was trying to push that I didn't understand. All I could gather was, is that he thought it was possible that I had it and was just keeping a record in his notes to use in the future. I actually do have a lot of the features of a person with that so called thing, especially when I was that age. I could never be sure about my plans for the future (which is quite normal IMO), had binge eating or disordered eating, identity problems (ie. I would act like I was a different person every day), would do the opposite of what people say, irritability, benign short lasting delusions (which is a symptom of so called BPD), and excessive anger towards family members (verbal). I was very angry at my parents for not listening to what was going on (wouldn't believe me when I said a teacher was being abusive), and I guess that's what brought on the emotional disturbance. I was also resistant of treatment exactly the way a BPD person would be, although manic people are as well (but in his opinion, I wasn't manic when I got out of the hospital, so I guess that's why he was investigating personality disorders). But the main hallmark of a BPD person is their extreme depression, and I don't have depressive tendencies at all (although I did have some symptoms back then).

I was actually legally forced to see the psychiatrist, and part of his excuse for medicating me was that I wouldn't talk to him or the therapist. They contacted DSS and threatened to take me away if my parents didn't give it to me. My therapist was an evil, nasty, ugly bitch that I hated and she gave off a vibe that infuriated me (and it turned out she was friends with the principal of the school I went to). I didn't really understand the purpose of therapy, so all I did was talk about random unrelated things and how angry I was about what the people in the hospital did to me. I also foolishly told her that I wanted to sue the hospital (the psychiatrist I was seeing was the head of the adolescent wing). The psychiatrist wasn't even going to give me medication before that. I didn't feel comfortable talking to the doctor, because he of course had forced me to do a lot of uncomfortable things that I thought were irrational (like telling my problems in "group therapy" *rolleyes*) so naturally I just made up whatever random crap I could think of to pass the time. Later it started to become a game and I tried to make his job as hard as possible. The problem was that it wasn't exactly a good time to understand what was going on around me so I could say the right thing.

It was not just sleepiness, the yawning almost became like a sort of tic because I started to do it when I wasn't even tired.

Yeah, that certainly is odd, that's right. I'm not sure of the exact hormone (I found it a long time ago but can't find it any more) but dopamine transmitters do play an important role in memory and problem solving (I also found that I was very very unorganized when on that pill compared to when I was off it). When you're giving it to someone who doesn't even have a so called imbalance exactly and it's getting rid of the neurotransmitters needed, then yeah, I don't see why it doesn't make sense for them to have trouble functioning. And I'm not just making this up, it is very exact. When I was on the medication, I was making F's and D's in algebra and the second I went off it, I bumped right up to A's and B's. I had so much trouble at the beginning of the semester and the very people who were shoving it down my throat to make me "better" were actually making life harder for me. They don't even know all the harmful effects of SSRI's and don't have to report them anyway. The only things that doctors know about the side effects is what other doctors choose to report about them basically.

I kind of wonder how people who work in psychiatry could possibly defend the existance of BPD as a disease brought on by malfunctioning in the brain, because if it was it wouldn't only occur in women. The defining characteristic of BPD is emotional unstableness which the overwelming majority of men do not have at all (even mentally ill ones). So how can they even investigate a cluster of symptoms that basically only occur in women as being a disease with a specific cause? That doesn't make sense to me at all. There are differences in the way women and men think, but I doubt a so called chemical imbalance could only occur in one gender. Btw, I am aware that there are rare cases of it in men, but if it were to be a real disease it would clearly show an extremely overwelming dominance in women.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying it would make sense if it DID primarily happen in women or are you saying it would make sense as a disease if it did NOT happen primarily in women? I will say though, I could imagine a disease which is a hormonal problem and mostly happens to jut one sex since there are already known cases of women and men both having certain hormones, but having different amounts normally. Women and men both have testosterone and estrogen, but different amounts and how much would be healthy for a woman to have of each would be unhealthy for a man and vice versa.

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Wait, I'm confused. Are you saying it would make sense if it DID primarily happen in women or are you saying it would make sense as a disease if it did NOT happen primarily in women? I will say though, I could imagine a disease which is a hormonal problem and mostly happens to jut one sex since there are already known cases of women and men both having certain hormones, but having different amounts normally. Women and men both have testosterone and estrogen, but different amounts and how much would be healthy for a woman to have of each would be unhealthy for a man and vice versa.

Not happen primarily in women. It might make more sense as a disorder if the symptoms weren't so specific to women is what I'm saying. I know what you're saying, and there are even a lot of differences in the way men and women think as far as brain structure. This can lead to some so called mental disorders occuring a little more often in either gender (there are not many pathological disorders that occur primarily or exclusively in either sex unless they involve private parts). ADD occurs a lot more often in boys than girls and OCD occurs slightly more often in women than men but you'll see that all the disorders that make the most sense (not saying I'm convinced at this point), such as schizophrenia and bipolar, occur about equal in both genders.

So, you're saying that if a woman has too much testosterone, she's unhealthy? This is simply not true from what I know. She might be hairy and unattractive, but she's not unhealthy. Also, sometimes you might not even know if a woman has too much testosterone. There are women with a testosterone imbalance who are very feminine and pretty. It is likely that women who produce a lot of boys have a lot of testosterone, but it's not proven. It is more obvious when men have too much estrogen, especially with their behavior, and they'll probably have man boobs. So, I'm not sure it's unhealthy as much as it is undesirable.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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Here's some info I got on a quick Google search about hormone imbalance issues in men and women. Not an exhaustive, be all, end all answer, but it's something: link

Oh, of course other hormones can cause problems, but testosterone is not directly harmful, just undesirable.

A couple of years ago (and still do on occasion), I suffered from what I call "adrenaline attacks," which made my whole body feel like it was buzzing, like an electrical feeling almost (very powerful I can really tell when I'm having one) and psychologically I felt very powerful and strong, resulting in me saying stupid things that got me in trouble. I got goosebumps and chills up my spine and had a sort of distorted self image of myself. This is part of why I think bipolar is a myth. Someone could be really unhappy about their life situation (not clinically depressed), have a recurring adrenaline imbalance (brain produces adrenaline innapropriately from the stress), become what the DSM calls manic from the adrenaline, and then come back down. Adrenaline has addictive qualities to it, once you know how it feels sometimes you can't not get adrenalized. It took me years to come down off of it, I probably got addicted to it in adolescence when my hormones were already really crazy.

When I was 14, it felt good at first but then it happened every day, and I couldn't control it. I started to freak out. I didn't know that I was high on adrenaline and that that was the reason for my disoriented thoughts. When I got past 16 things got dramatically better which I think can only be attributed to puberty being completed. I was much calmer and clear headed.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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My opinions do not have to have evidence, because they are just my opinions and I would never state an opinion of mine (or of anyone else's for that matter) like it was a fact.

I can't think of anything much worse that you could say that would damage your credibility on this forum than the above statement. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable for your opinions to be entirely whimsical, it just won't serve you well in a discussion forum devoted to being objective.

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If you think someone said something outrageous there are three possibilities:

1. You misunderstood.

2. They weren’t speaking precisely.

3. They intended the outrage.

Assuming the person is otherwise fairly reasonable – which I think applies in this case – which of the three is the least probable?

How about a little goodwill?

Dreamspirit is not obligated to present evidence for her opinions. It’s perfectly acceptable to state something without giving one’s reasons for believing it. Of course if you want to convince those who disagree you’ll need to argue your case, but that’s a separate issue.

Edited by Mark2

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Oh, of course other hormones can cause problems, but testosterone is not directly harmful, just undesirable.

Not true. The article linked even says low testosterone in relation in relation to estrogen levels in a male causes bone loss, amongst other things. Similar effects from imbalances can occur in females.

Someone could be really unhappy about their life situation (not clinically depressed), have a recurring adrenaline imbalance (brain produces adrenaline innapropriately from the stress), become what the DSM calls manic from the adrenaline, and then come back down. Adrenaline has addictive qualities to it, once you know how it feels sometimes you can't not get adrenalized. It took me years to come down off of it, I probably got addicted to it in adolescence when my hormones were already really crazy.

Well, yeah. And if medication can fix that... you've got psychiatry! (Or at least, when it's adrenaline as a neurotransmitter.) Even if we're just talking about the adrenal gland here, the same principle applies: if you can spot a biological cause, medication may be a good choice. Although considering we're talking about teenagers, that's one reason why medication may be a bad option.

I'm curious, why were you legally forced to see a psychiatrist? As far as I know, legally speaking, that only happens with people who are a threat to themselves or others.

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