• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Has rationialism hurt Bipolar understanding?

T

TheHeartHasAVoice

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
513
Location
Australia
I was just reading a book on holistic health and it mentions how since the beginning of recorded history, Western medicine adopted either 'rationalism' (acquiring medical skills through reason) or 'empiricism' (acquiring medical skills through experience).

So empiricism is holistic and regards the whole person, their thoughts, emotions, body, spirit, environment, family etc whereas in a rationalist approach they would try and attack an illness by alleviating the symptoms of a disease rather than searching for the causes behind it. It's more singular.

The reason I ask this is because I noticed modern Psychiatry follows a rationalist approach where they just target symptoms but the more I study mania and depression, these symptoms in my opinion have meaning, a message to be listened to, something is being communicated. Therefore there is a reason these rises and falls happen. And I think a more holistic approach is suitable.

I do data logging on my moods and I can see this happening in action.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 
Zana

Zana

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
156
Location
England
Hadn't considered before this but you may well be on to something here. It's widely acknowledged that BP has a biochemical cause but the results of emperic studies with today's technology seem limited in my own research.

It could be that we simply don't understand enough about the brain (though we're getting there), or it could be we're missing something or following the wrong causal pathway.

Whatever the case, BP causes enormous emotional strain and often sufferers become more philosphical and/or spiritual. More considerate of the environment and people around them, and the many variables of our world and society. More holistic.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
931
Location
London, UK
I think rationalism and empiricism can be helpful in helping developing systems of care, medications and recovery plans and I strongly believe, we should be funding the mental health system a lot more to develop, improve care and develop evidence-based techniques to get people to achieve not only symptomatic but functional recover such that they may reintegrate into society.

However, I agree that excessive empiricism is counter-productive to answering the bigger questions of the human condition. I read a lot of philiosophy and find that there are many universal truths about the the mind which are not addressed in modern scientific research. As we progress, hollistic medicine should absolutely be researched and integrated into modern models of care. However, we as society need to take things step by step. Mental illness is still largely misunderstood by the everyday person which creates the need for simplified models to explain conditions in Layman's terms. I'm glad to see that slowly but surely, there is a conversation opening up about mental health, but its not enough. Politicians often talk of reform, but bring nothing new or of value to the table. Governements should put their money where their mouth is to improve access to care for all individuals (especially those who are most vulnerable and sick). Failiure to do so will certainly cause major consequences. The mental health epidemic will make COVID-19 look like a cake walk.
 
T

TheHeartHasAVoice

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
513
Location
Australia
Yeah interesting conversation. I was thinking also I should actually say rationalism maybe is being used excessively rather than it's bad. I have to be careful of labeling it bad as that is an extreme. It's not all that bad as some of the drugs are very useful. But I think there has been an imbalance which has resulted in an epidemic.

If the mental health care now balanced itself towards a more holistic approach I believe there would be better outcomes. But you are right it's hard to understand mental health and that's because you can't know a mans soul. What you can do however is treat him as a whole.

I also believe the terms "mental illness" and "mental health" are problematic because the mind is just where the pain manifests but you'll notice many times the actual source of the problem could be past trauma, bullying, financial problems or some other external source as opposed to a disease.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
931
Location
London, UK
Yeah interesting conversation. I was thinking also I should actually say rationalism maybe is being used excessively rather than it's bad. I have to be careful of labeling it bad as that is an extreme. It's not all that bad as some of the drugs are very useful. But I think there has been an imbalance which has resulted in an epidemic.

If the mental health care now balanced itself towards a more holistic approach I believe there would be better outcomes. But you are right it's hard to understand mental health and that's because you can't know a mans soul. What you can do however is treat him as a whole.

I also believe the terms "mental illness" and "mental health" are problematic because the mind is just where the pain manifests but you'll notice many times the actual source of the problem could be past trauma, bullying, financial problems or some other external source as opposed to a disease.
Again the imbalance theory is just a model, which by the way has largely been discarded in recent years, in favour of a more systematic approach to brain chemistry. Its a mystery how a common element such as Lithium or drugs used for epilepsy such as Lamotrigine can be used to treat a mental disorder. There are a lot of ins and outs which scientists are only just now begining to understand. But without a basic model, they would not have been able to undertake any further reasearch to expand on it. Its all a work in progress if properly funded I am sure that there will be a shift to hollistic medicine in the coming years and decades.

Yes, trauma etc plays a part in causing psychological distress to an individual, but some people can handle, others don't and the pressure causes the person to present pathological, morbid and chronic symptoms which are not able to heal by themselves without medical intervention. So I think it is accurate. Whether or not its useful, for the public perception of people with mental health problems is another topic. Its a complicated one so I won't delve into it right now. But suffice to say we should not mulch over semantics and rather focus on changing peoples opinion of the word, rather than the word itself.
 
L

Lovemusic

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Ireland
Yeah interesting conversation. I was thinking also I should actually say rationalism maybe is being used excessively rather than it's bad. I have to be careful of labeling it bad as that is an extreme. It's not all that bad as some of the drugs are very useful. But I think there has been an imbalance which has resulted in an epidemic.

If the mental health care now balanced itself towards a more holistic approach I believe there would be better outcomes. But you are right it's hard to understand mental health and that's because you can't know a mans soul. What you can do however is treat him as a whole.

I also believe the terms "mental illness" and "mental health" are problematic because the mind is just where the pain manifests but you'll notice many times the actual source of the problem could be past trauma, bullying, financial problems or some other external source as opposed to a disease.
 
L

Lovemusic

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Ireland
I believe society is totally lacking in understanding. I am perfectly stable, but when I was bullied at work lately people assumed it was something I had done, just because they knew I was hospitalise in the past. I overheard nasty comments when I went into local shops. I was totally blameless at work, just basically the victim of what you could only call mean girls ( only they were Middle-aged like me).Local gossips don't realise their behaviour alone can make people ill. I'm still very cautious f people now. Prejudice and stigma are still alive and well and living in Ireland
 
Heart_moon

Heart_moon

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
2,364
Location
UK
I was just reading a book on holistic health and it mentions how since the beginning of recorded history, Western medicine adopted either 'rationalism' (acquiring medical skills through reason) or 'empiricism' (acquiring medical skills through experience).

So empiricism is holistic and regards the whole person, their thoughts, emotions, body, spirit, environment, family etc whereas in a rationalist approach they would try and attack an illness by alleviating the symptoms of a disease rather than searching for the causes behind it. It's more singular.

The reason I ask this is because I noticed modern Psychiatry follows a rationalist approach where they just target symptoms but the more I study mania and depression, these symptoms in my opinion have meaning, a message to be listened to, something is being communicated. Therefore there is a reason these rises and falls happen. And I think a more holistic approach is suitable.

I do data logging on my moods and I can see this happening in action.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
mania and depression, these symptoms in my opinion have meaning, a message to be listened to, something is being communicated. Therefore there is a reason these rises and falls happen
i have had a bipolar diagnosis for 15 yrs now & the above is similar to what i experience too, i am 'working through' stuff & the end goal for me is to reach a 'better internal space' and a more functional human being with more capabilities than i started with before my bipolar experiences began.

So empiricism is holistic and regards the whole person, their thoughts, emotions, body, spirit, environment, family etc
This is key for healing & achieving wellness in the long term [IMO]

The treatment i receive from the N.H.S does use both approaches, however 'alleviating the symptoms' is there focus.
 
L

Lovemusic

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Ireland
I believe society is totally lacking in understanding. I am perfectly stable, but when I was bullied at work lately people assumed it was something I had done, just because they knew I was hospitalise in the past. I overheard nasty comments when I went into local shops. I was totally blameless at work, just basically the victim of what you could only call mean girls ( only they were Middle-aged like me).Local gossips don't realise their behaviour alone can make people ill. I'm still very cautious f people now. Prejudice and stigma are still alive and well and living in Ireland
 
R

Roxylox

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
129
Location
Ireland
Yeah interesting conversation. I was thinking also I should actually say rationalism maybe is being used excessively rather than it's bad. I have to be careful of labeling it bad as that is an extreme. It's not all that bad as some of the drugs are very useful. But I think there has been an imbalance which has resulted in an epidemic.

If the mental health care now balanced itself towards a more holistic approach I believe there would be better outcomes. But you are right it's hard to understand mental health and that's because you can't know a mans soul. What you can do however is treat him as a whole.

I also believe the terms "mental illness" and "mental health" are problematic because the mind is just where the pain manifests but you'll notice many times the actual source of the problem could be past trauma, bullying, financial problems or some other external source as opposed to a disease.
 
R

Roxylox

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
129
Location
Ireland
Around 15 years ago I mentioned to an ordinary GP l was attending briefly that I had Bipolar. I had been diagnosed 10 years previous to that.

She asked "What was the trigger?" I asked her is there a trigger. She answered that there is always a trigger.. Before then, despite having been hospitalized for about 6 weeks during my first episode, I had neve4 been asked or told about root causes.

In my case it had been the death of my father. My mother had died 10 years earlier of a sudden heart attack when l was 13.

My bipolar was completely stable for 25 years after that. When I had another episode factors were discussed just a little. Still I was put on an unsuitable med that sent me manic. I am now on Lithium. Six years on it is suiting me well, but even my husband wonders if the anti psychotic I was on had just been upped in dosage at the start would it maybe have resolved things. Perhaps some therapy would have helped.

Having suffered bullying last year I simply had to work through it myself. I believe I would have spiralled downwards if I hadn't taken it on myself to join some online groups like this one. Mental health services were very thin on the ground during the worst of the Pandemic. I think cases will spiral because of it alright.
 
T

TheHeartHasAVoice

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
513
Location
Australia
Around 15 years ago I mentioned to an ordinary GP l was attending briefly that I had Bipolar. I had been diagnosed 10 years previous to that.

She asked "What was the trigger?" I asked her is there a trigger. She answered that there is always a trigger.. Before then, despite having been hospitalized for about 6 weeks during my first episode, I had neve4 been asked or told about root causes.

In my case it had been the death of my father. My mother had died 10 years earlier of a sudden heart attack when l was 13.

My bipolar was completely stable for 25 years after that. When I had another episode factors were discussed just a little. Still I was put on an unsuitable med that sent me manic. I am now on Lithium. Six years on it is suiting me well, but even my husband wonders if the anti psychotic I was on had just been upped in dosage at the start would it maybe have resolved things. Perhaps some therapy would have helped.

Having suffered bullying last year I simply had to work through it myself. I believe I would have spiralled downwards if I hadn't taken it on myself to join some online groups like this one. Mental health services were very thin on the ground during the worst of the Pandemic. I think cases will spiral because of it alright.
Yeah. After being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I decided to study mental illness as a new trade I want to get into. But i'm not taking the typical path, i'm an independent researcher and I'm mixing in some computing science which has never been done before. What I do believe after all my research is that Bipolar symptoms are surface stuff. The drugs treat the symptoms (the surface). But underlying it all is where the depths of the ocean is. It's the deeper aspects that need investigation and that's why you can't even detect Bipolar Disorder on the brain or anywhere in the body. The pharmaceutical industry and Psychiatry say it's genetic or a chemical imbalance but it's been over 200 years and they have never found the cause. I say it's mostly emotional turbulence, poor health and simple things like that. Not a disease. I also believe if you give yourself the time and attention you can achieve optimum control over your moods and live a normal healthy life. It just depends on your case.

Just my opinion though.
 
R

Roxylox

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
129
Location
Ireland
Probably hard to gauge in my case. I do have factors like a good husband and family, a dog and a positive disposition. The lithium seems to suit me though. I would be afraid of trying other alternatives if the Lithium became toxic to me.

I would also be determined, and have managed to make a few tentative new connections. I definitely have to work hard on myself on an almost daily basis. I did read lately that the chemical imbalance theory has never been proven. My family were fed that stuff when I was first diagnosed, as were a lot of people I'm sure. Even my mental health district nurse dispelled the genetics theory. She said my three children ( now adult) were more likey to inherit my short - Sightedness than bipolar . One of them is short-sighted, none have bipolar - so far anyhow.
 
T

TheHeartHasAVoice

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
513
Location
Australia
Probably hard to gauge in my case. I do have factors like a good husband and family, a dog and a positive disposition. The lithium seems to suit me though. I would be afraid of trying other alternatives if the Lithium became toxic to me.

I would also be determined, and have managed to make a few tentative new connections. I definitely have to work hard on myself on an almost daily basis. I did read lately that the chemical imbalance theory has never been proven. My family were fed that stuff when I was first diagnosed, as were a lot of people I'm sure. Even my mental health district nurse dispelled the genetics theory. She said my three children ( now adult) were more likey to inherit my short - Sightedness than bipolar . One of them is short-sighted, none have bipolar - so far anyhow.
Do you have a problem with mania or hypomania?
 
R

Roxylox

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
129
Location
Ireland
Do you have a problem with mania or hypomania?
My first episode was probably pretty full- on mania, that was 31 years ago . Was stabe on minimum dose of chlorpromazine ( an anti- psychotic for 25 years after that, had my first and only major low in 2014 - my brother had died 2 years before, had been on meds that year for overactive thyroid. The following year 2015 had a Hypomanic attack, but I would put it down to having been prescribed a very unsuitable med. After that came Lithium. I am on 600mg dose of that and nothing more.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
1 Has anyone had their 1st mania episode at 40y? Bipolar Forum 2
S How helpful has this site been for you? I Bipolar Forum 48
B What has been your experience on Pristiq/Desvenlafaxine? Bipolar Forum 9
F Would love some help/advice understanding my first experience with someone who has bipolar - Bipolar Forum 21
T My Cousin has bipolar disorder and is a life threat to his parents Bipolar Forum 3
G Has anyone ever heard of this? Bipolar Forum 3
M My on/off partner has shown all signs of bipolar, and I need help & advice please Bipolar Forum 7
A I have bipolar 2 he has bipolar 1 Bipolar Forum 2
B Has anyone noticed reduced fitness since taking bipolar med? Bipolar Forum 17
S Has anyone ever changed from lithium to a different mood stabiliser? Bipolar Forum 14
HLon99 My psychiatrist has just shafted me! Bipolar Forum 73
N Has she taken her meds Bipolar Forum 2
A My son has suicide ideation, worse than I thought Bipolar Forum 4
F My fiancee has left the country due to depression and immediately received a Cyclothymia diagnosis Bipolar Forum 1
B A loved one has suddenly changed behavior Bipolar Forum 13
S Help My Husband has Bipolar and I dont know what to do Bipolar Forum 5
C Has anyone experienced High dosages of Quetiapine Bipolar Forum 16
P Has anyone had med changes by phone with pdoc? Bipolar Forum 13
jb5784 Has Bipolar Interrupted Your Education? Bipolar Forum 10
jb5784 Has Improving Your Health Helped You Bipolar Forum 2
P doctor has reason to beleive i have ASD /borderline personality disorder Bipolar Forum 3
S My husband has bipolar need advice Bipolar Forum 1
D Has anyone else experienced ridiculously powerful orgasms during mania or hypomania? Bipolar Forum 1
T Has anyone heard of this? Bipolar Forum 6
B My mum has bipolar Bipolar Forum 8
BLACKER Anyone has interview anxiety? Bipolar Forum 15
G Its been a rough winter. How has yours been? Bipolar Forum 36
K My mood has changed for the better. Thank God! Bipolar Forum 2
G How to support a loved one who has BD who chooses social isolation? Bipolar Forum 4
B Has my dad been abusing me? Abuse trigger warning Bipolar Forum 6
O Has anyone tried electroshock therapy? Bipolar Forum 2
Zardos Someone Has Taken All Of My Pills Bipolar Forum 1
Kerome Stephen Fry has bipolar I... Bipolar Forum 6
Kerome Mariah Carey reveals she has bipolar Bipolar Forum 9
R He has bipolar, I have GAD Bipolar Forum 4
D My head has gone Bipolar Forum 2
S I feel like a demon has posessed me at times. Bipolar Forum 16
A Mom has Bipolar Depression and she won't do anything about it... what now? Bipolar Forum 3
R bipolar spouses, how long has your partner not spoken to you for..? Bipolar Forum 10
A Has anyone been on Vraylar? Bipolar Forum 6
BorderlineDownunder Sinead O'Connor has gone missing in Chicago Bipolar Forum 4
F Study suggests bipolar disorder has genetic links to autism Bipolar Forum 3
E Which if my meds has the worst effect on memory and libido? Bipolar Forum 4
L Living with a partner who has cyclothymia Bipolar Forum 3
L My mood has dropped Bipolar Forum 4
B My girlfriend has bipolar Bipolar Forum 4
nonotme my money has run out. Bipolar Forum 7
ASDF209 Has anyone had their dreams go nuts once on new meds? Bipolar Forum 2
C Has medication ruined me? Bipolar Forum 15
calypso High has caused problems Bipolar Forum 25

Similar threads

Top