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Dreamspirit

What would be Ayn Rand's position on Psychiatry?

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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.

What do I care what others think of my credibility? I say something because I know it's right, not because it has a source that validates it. I'm not asking anyone to believe me, but in this case, I'm not sure the overwelming majority of information on psychiatry is accurate because the drug companies have a lot of power over how people think about it. You cannot prove that for example, drug companies conduct meaningless clinical trials on psych drugs because you are not there for one and no source is going to expose them because they don't see the whole picture. However, from a simple google search, you could see that the process that it takes for a psych drug to get on the market has many loopholes, one example being that it is pretty much totally unmonitored and the doctors can just simply not include some participants in the studies for pretty much any reason. I don't understand people that accept so called "evidence" such as medical journals or scientific studies as irrefutable even when the overwelming majority proves the point because that doesn't mean it isn't corrupt or falsified, especially when the drug companies have so much power. I don't see why I should have to provide a source about the details of what it takes for a psych drug to get on the market. That is basic knowledge.

It is not objective to trust a source solely on it's credibility, this doesn't mean it's not wrong. It takes a little more critical thinking skill to figure out the truth than some here have. If someone is interested enough in my opinions to want to know the reason for them, there is no reason why they can't do a simple google search and investigate them on their own. Some of the detail oriented people on here want me to give a source for every specific assertion that I make so that they can disprove it's credibility or argue against it with another specific source to make it look like psychiatry is indeed useful and necessary contrary to my opinion. What I am talking about is overwelmingly complex and broad and you cannot properly resolve it with such trifles whereas if you were to experience the other side more, you would see what was wrong with it.

For example, we were arguing over whether electroshock can serve a purpose for someone in certain cases. Eioul was arguing that if someone needs quick emergency treatment, it is helpful. Then Mark 2 was so disgusted with this assertion that he couldn't post about it anymore. This gets no further in answering the question objectively of whether psychiatry is actually really necessary and whether it truly helps people in the long run. I'm not anti-psychiatry or whatever, I am anti encouraging or forcing people to undergo medical treatments frivolously that have a potential psuedo effect or cause long term damage that could otherwise be solved in some other way (ie. fixing an underlying medical problem or living in a soteria house). Fact is, it is not necessary for a person to be tranquilized with electricity and risk brain damage just so that they are not depressed or a pain to deal with for a couple of weeks. The people who are taking care of the person are seeing it, because it costs time and money to hold the person when they're in that state, but not for the person getting shocked, who suffers brain damage for the rest of their life. There is no proof that a person can't get out of an extreme state of mind without biological interferance, so why would you want to damage a person rather than investigating other cures, like soteria house? It all boils down to the power of drug companies and doctors who want to get as much "bang for their buck" as possible. Traditional or alternative ways of helping a person cope with a thinking disorder is a pain in the ass for them and it is more economical to shove a pill down their throat or brain damage them so they don't know what's going on. You will find no specific scientific source that proves these things (I'd have to provide tons), you'd have to experience being in a mental hospital for yourself to begin to understand it, or just watch a movie like one flew over the cuckoos nest.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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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.

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.

I told you a thousand times, I was forced into it simply because I said a bunch of gibberish in the hospital room when I was sleep deprived. My parents took me there to talk to someone, not to stay overnight. I wouldn't talk to anyone, I wouldn't even get out of the car, because I didn't like talking to strange people about my private issues. I sounded very emotional and was imagining things, but I know for a fact that I wasn't dangerous and made no threats. It was not threatening, was not suicidal or self mutilating. I had assaulted no one. They never actually legally forced me to take medication when I was out of the hospital, but DSS threatened my parents with medical neglect for some reason, I don't know how they did it. It's possible that they thought I had been abused or beaten, but they had a lack of proof. In fact, that's probably part of why they held me in there for so long, they were trying to dig up something they could use against them. If my parents had refused, they would have taken me away in two seconds. For some reason it made them very angry that I wasn't taking on the role of the sick patient and that my parents were not too keen with the freaky psychological stuff, so they retaliated.

Well, no. I don't understand what you're talking about. So you believe that if a physical problem is producing behavior that is undesirable, you should simply numb the person's mind rather than figuring out a potential pathological cause for it? Just because a neurotransmitter is effected, doesn't mean it has a disease. Perhaps it's easier for the medical professionals, but it is of no benefit to the person, because they will keep having problems until the hormonal or organic problem is corrected and that medication has long lasting effect on the mind and body most of the time. There is no reason why I couldn't have simply had a bodily problem in which I produced too much of certain hormones in response to normal life stressors and that actually makes a lot more sense really because it would explain the gradualness of it and the fact that I have no personal tendencies or family history of any of that stuff (not saying I believe it's genetic anyway, but speaking in theory in a doctor's point of view). I also found out a couple years ago when I donated blood that I have a tendency to collect too much iron in my blood, which I think is linked to adrenal hormones in some way but I could be wrong.

I guess my question is, if a psychiatrist is a REAL doctor, why can't he distinguish symptoms of real pathological problems from "mental disorders?"

Edited by Dreamspirit

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Half of the harm that is done in this world

Is due to people who want to feel important.

They don't mean to do harm—but the harm does

not interest them.

Or they do not see it, or they justify it.

Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle

To think well of themselves.

T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

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I told you a thousand times, I was forced into it simply because I said a bunch of gibberish in the hospital room when I was sleep deprived.

I don't think any doctor is allowed to do that. Your parents can force you when you're a minor, and often justifiably so, but they can't be forced either. Even if abuse was suspected, I'm pretty sure a court order is needed (so says wikipedia). If your parents were coerced in the sense of being lied to, that would be just plain immoral and violates all sorts of medical ethical standards.

So you believe that if a physical problem is producing behavior that is undesirable, you should simply numb the person's mind rather than figuring out a potential pathological cause for it?

I meant IF the neurotransmitter is determined to be the problem - which may take a long time to determine - then medication probably should be used. If other stressors are the issue, and that is known as a fact, there is no reasonable sense in prescribing medication. Same with any other medical issue. Since diagnosing issues of other body systems are easier and quicker, those should go first. After that, if nothing still can be figured out, and regular therapy isn't doing much, it may be worth using medication.

Edited by Eiuol

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I don't think any doctor is allowed to do that. Your parents can force you when you're a minor, and often justifiably so, but they can't be forced either. Even if abuse was suspected, I'm pretty sure a court order is needed (so says wikipedia). If your parents were coerced in the sense of being lied to, that would be just plain immoral and violates all sorts of medical ethical standards.

I meant IF the neurotransmitter is determined to be the problem - which may take a long time to determine - then medication probably should be used. If other stressors are the issue, and that is known as a fact, there is no reasonable sense in prescribing medication. Same with any other medical issue. Since diagnosing issues of other body systems are easier and quicker, those should go first. After that, if nothing still can be figured out, and regular therapy isn't doing much, it may be worth using medication.

Well, they certainly did. My parents refused to take me to the worse mental institution they were going to put me in for months that was across the country, and they even begged me not to go to the little adolescent drug overdose ward right there, but the cops outside the door said if they wouldn't take me I would have to go in a police car. My parents had to track down the doctor, tell him a bunch of things about my past, and BEG him not to. The other psychiatrist that I was required to see as an outpatient said that it was actually a mistake and that I didn't belong in there, but he was still very slick. Maybe the nurse misinterpreted what I said to the doctor or maybe they are allowed to assume that someone is dangerous I don't know. based on my emotional gibberish, I guess they could have interpreted some of the things I said as sort of semi threatening, because it was very intense sounding and I think I did say something like, everyone hates me and is out to get me. But supposedly since there was no official diagnosis and I was under 18, I have no kind of limitations or anything like that in my background check but it is very upsetting remembering having to go through that.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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"Bipolar: Valid Label or Excuse?" by Dr. Michael J. Hurd

Dr. Hurd "gets" it; so too does Dr. Szasz.

It is quite possible that the different mental disorders are the way that people of certain metabolisms resolve inner turmoil. For example, I have what a psychiatrist would call bipolar tendencies (grandiosity, irritability, intense interest in one subject after another), but you couldn't possibly diagnose me as a full blown bipolar. It seems to run rampid in European people for some reason. My genotype produces less dopamine (associated with giving aversion to making errors, negativity) which could explain more grandiose thinking patterns. It is probably the result of multiple genes that influence hormones like dopamine, but I don't believe these chemical imbalances can influence someone's psychology in any signifigant way except in maybe very rare cases. And anyway, what is a NORMAL chemical balance? Humans aren't exactly the same and are evolved for different environments. On a gene test I scored 50% more likely to get it so those sort of thinking patterns must be associated with genetics. But the question is really whether it's a disease or just a benign abberation that people make out as bad.

Psychiatrists don't want to explain the phenomena of artistic manic people, because it makes it look like it's not such a big deal, since those people can control themselves and merely come across as a bit neurotic. They will make some excuse like, they are gifted but become artists because they're unstable or something. Interestingly enough it is "in vogue" to be bipolar right now. Have you ever heard of it being in vogue to have cancer or some other terrible disease like that?

Edited by Dreamspirit

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Another good one by Dr. Hurd:

"Addicted? Stop Waiting and Help Yourself"

"Why do most people falsely believe that addiction is a disease? Are they all simply lazy and dishonest? No. While some are, I maintain that most are not. The confusion and error is created, in large part, by superficial similarities between addiction and actual diseases.

Here are a few clarifying points. Many doctors and health professionals know the truth of them, but are afraid to say so because of political correctness. At this website, the truth always comes before fear of the opinions of others.

Superficial similarity between addiction and actual illness:...."

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I think I know what I may have been suffering from, something with neurological symptoms without a neurological cause, such as porphyria. Psych doctors are not really very well trained in exotic diseases, because they're more trained to think about the DSM, so they're more likely to go with plain ol manic depressive or something like that when a child that age is acting hysterical and strange. Fact is, my symptoms were really not manic depressive exactly (porphyria is actually sometimes confused with it when there aren't many physical symptoms) and even the doctors admitted this. They very defnitively said what I have is undiagnosable and not bipolar exactly although I was suffering from a "manic attack" temporarily (which I think he was using as something to distract from the real physical issue which he couldn't figure out).

Let me explain why I think what I had could have been Porphyria. You can inherit a latent porphyria that has no real signs or symptoms until there is some kind of trigger such as fasting (which I was doing, I was 25% underweight remember and eating only a few hundred calories a day), stress (very much), meunstral hormones (I had recently started my period), and too much iron in the blood (which I have been told I have a tendency to collect too much of). The symptoms of porphyria can include insomnia, anxiety or restlessness (I would have to pace around constantly and couldn't sit still because of my anxious thoughts), disorientation, paranoia, confusion, hallucinations, high blood pressure (when I was in the hospital I was marked "hypertensive" but normally my blood pressure is very low), dehydration (I remember I couldn't get enough water), painful redness, itching, and constipation. There are many more classic symptoms, but the ones listed are the ones I had at the time of the "attack." I had these weird skin rashes (and still do) that are extremely itchy out of no where, and then when I itch them just a little bit I get these weird bloody specks under a patch of my skin. It usually forms a little blood scar that lasts for a couple days or even a week. At the time, I also just felt like something was wrong with me, and it is a fact that people can often sense when they are diseased, for example, people with heart conditions sometimes randomely know that they have them even without symptoms.

Porphyria patients have temporary bouts of insanity, that can seem very much like manic episodes, but unlike bipolar people, their mental issues go away completely when they're not having an attack because their is no real neurological problem, there is a problem with the blood that effects the neurological system. With all the teen issues I had going on, I can very well see how it seemed like a mental illness, but it really wasn't, I'm quite sure it was a pathological problem in the body. Truly "Bipolar" people keep having serious problems with depression and moods, it never goes away and if you saw me when I was having an attack and when I wasn't, and then compare me to someone who is really bipolar you would see what I'm talking about. This is why even the shrink would admit it wasn't really bipolar (and they really want to diagnose), because I didn't act enough like the bipolar patients he had seen for it to be a correct diagnosis. I was very very confused, anxious, and paranoid, which was causing the emotional craziness and weird behavior. Confusion seems to be the main mental symptom in Porphyria.

It is also worth noting that at the time I had been tasting a metallic taste in my mouth and on my breath. I complained of this and I was given an MRI to check for a brain tumor *rolleyes*. That is not listed as a symptom but I'm sure since porphyria attacks have to do with a buildup of toxins in the body it very well could be. I did also have rather dark and concentrated urine despite the fact that I was drinking a lot of water, not as dark as a porphyriacs but darker than normal. But it would make sense for me to have a very mild version of it anyway given that I don't have it now.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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So you are a vampire? Do you have a reflection in a mirror?

I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about, porphyria is a very real disease usually caused by an inherited genetic defect. The symptoms are caused by a buildup of toxins in the blood.

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In addition to that medical problem, you could use a sense of humor transplant. :fool:

Until a compatible donor is found, I make this offering for therapeutic value:

Reviews & Ratings for

A Polish Vampire in Burbank

The vampire's name is Dupah. I'm already chuckling.

I take everything very seriously because I had older siblings that used to tease me all the time.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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Lol, I'm sorry you are an OCD grammar nazi nut.

I guess now would be a bad time to comment on the irony of diagnosing me with OCD in a topic where you decry the hasty diagnoses of modern psychiatry? :stuart:

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You say that like it's a bad thing.

I feel sorry for people that are preoccupied with things like that because they miss the big picture. I certainly wouldn't want to be that way. There is a boy I like that I used to spend time with, big strong strapping guy and he had all these weird neurotic obsessions, like the cleanliness of his water, how his food was cooked, etc. He couldn't do anything because he was so preoccupied with such unimportant things. It was also not just phobias, he wouldn't want to leave his house becase it was a certain temperature outside, not wanting to talk to someone because it might be "awkward" and other things like that. He was not gay but people were certainly starting to think of him that way because he was such a sissy. No one wants to be friends with him because it's weird and annoying, people feel restricted hanging out with someone like that. I guess a grammar nazi isn't really the same thing, but it seems like the same category to me.

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I guess now would be a bad time to comment on the irony of diagnosing me with OCD in a topic where you decry the hasty diagnoses of modern psychiatry? :stuart:

That was just a joke, I'm not really into psychologising you know, but I will update my opinion on the subject. I never meant to imply that I think there are no loonies and neurotics. And it's not that I dismiss the prevalence of psychiatric disorders completely (I might have thought that way before) but while studying some diseases and pathology my opinion is now that things like Schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD probably exist, but if they do, they are neurological problems. So called "psychiatric" DSM problems are probably either psychological or have a pathological cause in the body that is hard to diagnose (like porphyria). Anxiety is a medical malaise that probably has a physical cause in the body most of the time and in really severe cases probably a combination of bodily problems and neurological problems. The chemical imbalance theory is just like the old "humor imbalance" belief, it's a convenient way for doctors to explain diseases they can't figure out and develop "treatments" for them. Not all doctors want to cure patients, if they found simple cures then they wouldn't make as much money, psychiatric drugging is a billion dollar industry and it's easy as hell to sit in a chair and make a generalized diagnosis to write a prescription.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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It is the same category in Freudian terms (you don't wanna know which), but even in the same terms, someone careful with spelling, grammar and punctuation can be indeed just as healthy as a painter "obsessed" with form, light and shade. The key is how well that "need to be in control" works.

I've met OCDs who are not functional and therefore rather frustrated and giving the image of the opposite of cleanliness.

---

latest reply. We don't know for sure about chemical imbalances. I bet if I deprive you of sunlight for 2 days or more you'll begin feeling the evidence of a very particular chemical imbalance, low levels of serotonin. How can we know that this doesn't happen naturally (i.e. genetically) from birth to some individuals?

The fact that we don't know as much as the human brain as we know about the human lungs, doesn't mean we don't know anything and are hopeless to learn. It doesn't automatically mean that someone in a white coat knows best either.

This ratonal skepticism towards psychiatry I believe is healthy.

It consists of acknowledging the scientific advances, but at the same time not trusting someone just for his or her accreditation (ex. I'm doctor bonkers I'll use you as a lab rat but I'm going to phrase that some other way). It requires personal judgement, which paradoxically, can be a conundrum if the person is having judgement problems that could arise from in fact chemical imbalances.

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That was just a joke, I'm not really into psychologising you know, but I will update my opinion on the subject. I never meant to imply that I think there are no loonies and neurotics. And it's not that I dismiss the prevalence of psychiatric disorders completely (I might have thought that way before) but while studying some diseases and pathology my opinion is now that things like Schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD probably exist, but if they do, they are neurological problems. So called "psychiatric" DSM problems are probably either psychological or have a pathological cause in the body that is hard to diagnose (like porphyria). Anxiety is a medical malaise that probably has a physical cause in the body most of the time and in really severe cases probably a combination of bodily problems and neurological problems. The chemical imbalance theory is just like the old "humor imbalance" belief, it's a convenient way for doctors to explain diseases they can't figure out and develop "treatments" for them. Not all doctors want to cure patients, if they found simple cures then they wouldn't make as much money, psychiatric drugging is a billion dollar industry and it's easy as hell to sit in a chair and make a generalized diagnosis to write a prescription.

I was joking too.

And yeah, I don't think my ability to pinpoint spelling errors instantly prevents me from seeing the bigger picture. It makes me happy that I can recognize that it's a spelling error - and it helps me a lot when writing essays. And if I feel something is worthy of being disagreed with, I generally don't mention any spelling or grammatical errors I come across.

As for the topic hand, I wonder - is it possible that maybe, just maybe, philosophers may have a potential job market outside of colleges? Perhaps a psychologist can hire a philosopher as an assistant. Like.. maybe, all a depressed person really would need is to have a conversation with a philosopher. I really don't know how something like this would work out. But I will agree the modern psychiatry is too pre-occupied with medication as a solution. Obviously, this approach would not work right now.

Edited by Black Wolf

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edit:day late dollar short lol...

If I had the gene test done to test for porphyria, I might have had a case, but it is just on the verge of being too late, and the testing is very difficult and expensive. It just makes me very angry to think of all that happened to me and how I was mislead and pushed around.

Edited by Dreamspirit

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I agree with Dreamspirit.  The burden of proof is on the people who say that psychiatric drugs work.  First of all, where are the long term clinical studies showing that they benefit people in the long term and the benefits outweigh adverse effects not just on the brain but on every organ in the body the drug interacts with?  Just spend some time on google scholar, there are many scientists out there who question these drugs.  Just because a scientific view is popular and just because chemical imbalance theory is in the mainstream it doesn't make it correct.  There is evidence showing that SSRIs actually cause chemical imbalances, far from treating such a condition.  No one has ever aspirated CSF from a depressed persons synsapses and saw that there wasn't enough seretonin in there.  There is still controversy considering the most basic mechanism of how the brain works, how do you expect these people to understand mental illness from a biological point of view, much less treate it with a synthetic drug?  I don't think anyone should take these drugs without first reading ALL the literature from the people who are for AND against these drugs.  It may sound impractical but you just cannot do something like this based on trust of an authority figure.

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