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The Chemical Imbalance Theory: Still Being Promoted

cpuusage

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The Chemical Imbalance Theory:

The fact is that there are no psychiatric drugs that normalize brain neurotransmitter function. Indeed, the opposite is the case. Every psychiatric drug on the market today produces abnormal brain function. So either Drs. Williams and Landa aren’t aware of this, or they are advocating that therapists should deceive their clients on this very fundamental issue.

Unfortunately, but perhaps inevitably, this kind of patronizing disrespect is still widespread in psychiatry, and is fundamentally incompatible with the lofty rapport-building and therapeutic sentiments expressed earlier in the article. Therapeutic rapport and systematic deception are mutually exclusive.

The very eminent psychiatrist Ronald Pies, MD, has written that the chemical imbalance theory is a kind of “urban legend” – never promoted by well-informed psychiatrists. Well, Dr. Williams, according to his bio, has been on the faculty at Columbia University for forty years! He has authored more then 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals and standard textbooks in the fields of psychiatry and neurology. I think it is reasonable to suppose that he would meet Dr. Pies’ standards for being well-informed, and yet here he is advocating the promotion of the spurious chemical imbalance theory!

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Dottyone

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My Psychiatrist used the chemical inbalance theory to explain why he was putting up my Quitiapine to 600mg a day last week, he seemed quite convincing i have to say, and it makes perfect sense in theory, but I am sure their are lots of patients that would never second guess or ask questions to a Psychiatrist or other Dr.

I dont know what to believe, for now I just keep taking the tablets.

I dont want to be on Medication for long not at these levels.
 
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letalis

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When I was hospitalized, my doctor also explained schizophrenia in terms of dopamine imbalance.
 
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Rose19602

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They explain depression and advocate the use of SSRI's using the same "chemical imbalance" theory.

Once I had it explained to me that the majority of serotonin receptors are in the gut, and then the heart I wondered why I had been taking a drug that blocked the response?

You can find these receptors in the brain as well - the hypothalamus (I think!) - but can the drug discern which receptors to act on and which to ignore? I doubt it, if the physical symptoms I've ended up with (heart problems) have anything to do with it!

Also my heart no longer works properly, and my MH deteriorated to include symptoms I previously didn't have after 5 years on ADs......

This tells me that whatever these drugs do is insufficiently discriminating and therefore potentially risky.

They may well have created a chemical imbalance rather than resolving one IMO!!
 
Mark_01

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If a schizophrenic with severe symptoms is given Risperidone and the symptoms go away, what has just happened?
 
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Dottyone

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If a schizophrenic with severe symptoms is given Risperidone and the symptoms go away, what has just happened?
Probrably just painted over some inbalances but not removed the inbalances mark, my signature is pretty much a good description of what I mean.

I am in the same boat as you on meds, need them, rely on them, but have worrys
 
Mark_01

Mark_01

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Worries are legitimate, I have them, too. But I know the consequences of not taking my medications and I fear those consequences. Who knows? It may all be in my head.
 
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letalis

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I thought science was supposed to educate society — not deceive them.

It would be remiss to ignore the ideological underpinnings driving scientific research. Evolutionary psychology frequently justifies racism, patriarchy, and social and economic inequality. Biological psychiatry betrays an inherent faith in eugenics.

Psychiatry is, in and of itself, a fraudulent enterprise, designed to subjugate and exclude undesirables. It invents the illnesses it purports to cure.
 
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Mark_01

Mark_01

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I thought science was supposed to educate society — not deceive them.

It would be remiss to ignore the ideological underpinnings driving scientific research. Evolutionary psychology frequently justifies racism, patriarchy, and social and economic inequality. Biological psychiatry betrays an inherent faith in eugenics.

Psychiatry is, in and of itself, a fraudulent enterprise, designed to subjugate and exclude undesirables. It invents the illnesses it purports to cure.
Then they invented my illness in 1957; I think that is when I saw my first psychiatrist. And the cure didn't work.
 

cpuusage

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If a schizophrenic with severe symptoms is given Risperidone and the symptoms go away, what has just happened?
You have put someone in a drugged state that they may find helpful - there is no mystery to it.

Medications can potentially be very helpful for some people, especially initially. No one knows what is exactly going on with it all, but it would seem that the class of anti-psychotic drugs effect brain function in such a way as to suppress distress. CBD & Morphine can have potentially very beneficial effects as well. Of course pharmacology has a place & can be helpful. Longer term use of these drugs does raise a lot of questions however.

There are questions & problems with simply drugging everyone - these are a very powerful class of drugs with some potentially bad effects, especially longer term. Their efficacy is also very questionable over the longer term as well.

i don't oppose a potential wise use of medication when other things have been tried & as a part of a more comprehensive approach - i take issue with it being largely the only/primary approach & to the exclusion of other approaches. i think there is good evidence that there are lots of other ways of working with people & caring for them. Some people can fully recover & live their lives medication free. There is good evidence for the effectiveness of other psychosocial approaches to care.

Personally i would far rather have been able to access far more in the way of genuine therapeutic understanding & support, & been allowed to try & work through things, instead of just being drugged.

i think there are far better ways of caring for & helping people - that is my own personal argument with it all.
 
rasselas.redux

rasselas.redux

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Paradox.. While there remain so many people that are dependent on maintenance treatments to survive, there will be numerous hard-line psychiatrists that lay claim to these people as examples of a chemical balance being fixed, however imperfectly and disregarding all the contrary evidence

It's generally how professionalism proceeds. Change happens when it becomes personally and professionally embarrassing to keep on with the old ways of thinking and talking...

But I would recommend against optimism with regards this centuries next grand foray into treatment innovations...

Brain chips, neuronal interfacing, implanted micro ECT devices, remote mood and behavioral tracking etc

NOT LOOKING good

Not knocking psychology but I still think the best people to help others in distress are peers and those outside the system, while it retains its drug obsession approach and the overall institutional approach of maintaining distance and not connecting on a more simple humble human level

Typing a bit odd grammatically due to using touchscreen keyboard but I got my point over
 
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Mark_01

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People like Philip Hickey, PhD, worry me. They are very willing to take away from me what is working. And this is all based on what they believe to be true, and they are not worried about the consequences of their actions. What if some doctor with an anti, anti-psychotic drug, agenda took me off my medications and I became homeless again because of what he did? Do you think the good doctor is going to admit his mistake and do everything he can to get me back into secure housing? To answer my own question, I seriously doubt it. Normally, people like him would blame me for not accepting the great decision he made on my behalf and that it is my fault for failing to follow his great and wonderful advice. Then he would leave his office, go home to his family, and get a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed. And I am back to living in a shelter or sleeping in some doorway because shelters can be more dangerous than living on the street.

I went through this back in the 80's with hospitals in the Palo Alto Veterans hospital system. One of the hospitals was Menlo Park VA hospital (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). They all said my problems were in my head (there's a laugh). They never offered medications. They didn't care I was one of many homeless Veterans of my generation. Back then, they still hated us Vietnam War Era Veterans, and didn't want us in their clean hospitals mixing with the good Veterans from WWI, WWII and the Korean War. Should be mentioned that after the first Iraq war the Veterans Hospitals started treating us Vietnam Era Veterans like human beings.

So please forgive me for not trusting Dr. Hickey and doctors who think like him. They never mention the homeless people who are placed in a program where they are fed, cleaned up, given "evil" anti-psychotics and go on to living in a stable environment like a safe house or a small apartment of their own.

Maybe I am clinging to unnecessary drugs that I no longer need. And maybe they are hurting my body in ways that I do not know. I have very dangerous and self-destructive thoughts in my brain. Every day I feel at war with myself with opposing ideas. Prior to drugs, my life was in constant turmoil; with drugs, I am stable. The thoughts are still there, but I am not running away from them. Maybe I don't need the drugs anymore; but God, I am scared of not taking them.
 
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letalis

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If the money we spent on pharmaceuticals was diverted to housing programs, psychological and psychosocial support, social work, and job programs, we would make a genuine difference in people's lives. A pill is not going to give someone a place to live, a job, or psychological support.

The mental health industry is designed to support the current capitalist paradigm of care — make a profit on the most vulnerable members of society.
 

cpuusage

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Maybe I am clinging to unnecessary drugs that I no longer need. And maybe they are hurting my body in ways that I do not know. I have very dangerous and self-destructive thoughts in my brain. Every day I feel at war with myself with opposing ideas. Prior to drugs, my life was in constant turmoil; with drugs, I am stable. The thoughts are still there, but I am not running away from them. Maybe I don't need the drugs anymore; but God, I am scared of not taking them.
As per the post by Latalis - to me it isn't either/or, it's about having comprehensive & humane approaches to care & treatment.
 
Mark_01

Mark_01

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So it is all just my imagination, and there is nothing really wrong with me, and I just need an appoint with a well-intentioned social worker who is into meditation, herbal cures, and group hugs?
 
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