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Has rationialism hurt Bipolar understanding?

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TheHeartHasAVoice

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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

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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

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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.
 
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TheHeartHasAVoice

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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

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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.
 
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Lovemusic

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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

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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

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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

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Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
7
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
 

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