Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Psychdiagnonsense I - Oh boy!

Once again I had to face the idea that psychiatric diagnoses would be scientifically valid and for the diagnozed a good thing to happen. As a result, I spent the past weekend discussing the matter on my Danish blog. Here's the first part of the discussion.

The idea was uttered by someone whose blog I quite frequently visit, and whose overall - critically - political/social views I widely share. Of interest in the context might be, that the concerned blogger has a diagnozed teenage (?) son, who obviously is on Ritalin, while both blogger and son experience diagnosis and "treatment" as helpful - so far.

Which essentially made me react, was the concerned blogger's call for more children to get diagnozed, the diagnozing procedure to be speeded up, and thus to provide access to psychiatric "treatment" for far more children, than those who already are psychiatrized in today's Denmark - which actually already is a disturbingly large number - tendency: skyrocketing - and, in my opinion, far too disturbingly large a number, as I regard one single psychiatrized child to be one single psychiatrized child too many. Especially when the treatment includes drugs, which it almost always does. As drugs, apart from electroshock, are the only "help" psychiatry as such can provide, while the industry becomes increasingly reluctant to let go its hold of and refer even children to really helpful but with psychiatry competing treatment options like therapy without, first of all, seeking to keep them dependent on its own "services", i.e. drugs.

Another reason for me to react was the unlimited trust in psychiatry as a true science, that had produced scientific evidence of existential crises to be genetically caused biological illnesses, I had observed. Not least because it also made me, as mentioned a frequent reader - and commenter - at the concerned person's blog, a genetically defective, sick-in-the-head individual. Oh boy! Well, this, of course, was my ego feeling hurt in its pride. Why I abstained for a day to write the announced post about the matter, working to get a grip on myself, or my ego, again. No matter how indirect a statement about me being defective and sick in my head, it still can be a major trigger to my ego - trigger like in trauma, yes - and it takes its time to retrieve the Buddhist calm that is so wonderfully indifferent to whatever others might think about me and my brain.

Nevertheless, I posted a short entry, providing some basics in regard to the question, if there really is scientific evidence for psychiatry's claims about the genetic/biological nature of existential cirses:

Robert Whitaker, Mad In America. Review here. Interview with Robert Whitaker here. Both very informative, while one, of course, doesn't get round reading the book in order to get the whole argumentation.

Mary Boyle, Schizophrenia. A Scientific Delusion? Review here. The ultimate disclosure of psychiatric "science" to be junk-science.

Finally, there is Bruce Lipton's lecture "The Biology of Perception", that can be viewed as a playlist at YouTube.

The maybe fastest way to get an idea of how "scientifically proven" psychiatry's claims are, is to just have a look at Big Pharma's websites:

"The symptoms of schizophrenia are thought to be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain." (my italics) - From abilify.com

"Doctors and researchers believe that it ["bipolar disorder"] may be caused by chemicals imbalances in the brain." (my italics) - From seroquel.com

"It is believed that ADHD is caused by either a lower level, or an imbalance, of chemicals, called neurotransmitters." (my italics) - From concerta.net

"There are many theories about the cause of depression. One of the most commonly accepted theories suggests that two naturally occurring substances, serotonin and norepinephrine, are believed to affect core mood and pain symptoms of depression." (my italics) - From cymbalta.com

"Two natural chemicals in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine, are thought to be linked to this condition, as well as to other anxiety disorders and depression. Prescription medications that affect these chemicals may help eliminate the symptoms of GAD." (my italics) - From effexorxr.com

The list is long. There is virtually not one among all these sites, that doesn't make use of a wording like the one, I italicized in the quotations.The question is, would anyone, especially a company that wants nothing more than sell its product, hedge their bets like this, always the risk included, that people stumble over it (although most people unfortunately don't), if there was any scientific proof of the statements to be true?

BTW: I like that the responsible people at AstraZeneca obviously aren't even capable of correct spelling - I used the copy-paste-method for the quotations. Makes me wonder how capable the people are, who are responsible for the company's research...

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