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Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:48 PM

I think I understand the anti-psychiatry BS on DU, now

Admitting that SSRIs and other psychiatric medications work would mean admitting that the mind and our thoughts are just the firing of neurons, and that is EVIL MATERIALISM and so is bad in the minds of many people and all the determinism and "scientism" that implies.

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Reply I think I understand the anti-psychiatry BS on DU, now (Original post)
Odin2005 Jan 2013 OP
Tobin S. Jan 2013 #1
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #2
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #4
Denninmi Jan 2013 #5
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #6
mopinko Jan 2013 #7
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #8
Tobin S. Jan 2013 #9
tama Jan 2013 #13
Denninmi Jan 2013 #14
tama Jan 2013 #15
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #16
tama Jan 2013 #17
Neoma Jan 2013 #3
Downwinder Jan 2013 #10
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #11
Downwinder Jan 2013 #12

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 05:53 PM

1. That may be one element to it

The idea that the mind is the brain does not sit well with a lot of people.

But I think the anti-psychiatry BS around here has more to do with big pharma. A lot of people around here don't want to admit that psychiatric meds work because that would be a validation of big pharma. A lot of people here will go to great lengths to cut that industry down.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:07 PM

2. Yup.

And they all conveniently ignore the fact that all the folks selling alternative "medicine" are in in for the money, too.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:34 PM

4. This also intersects what might be called myths about the strength of human fiber.

This is once again a consequence of how our culture creates resonating/reinforcing narratives about these things.

How many times do we here advice that says "Be Strong" or comments such as "I'm strong" or for that matter "Hillary is STRONG, she'll do fine, I'll tough it out, I can take it?

Large numbers of Americans, maybe near a majority, look at taking medication as some sort of character weakness.

A huge swath of the public looks upon illness as weakness, and looks on mental illness as weakness of character, and they want to deny the presence of EVERYTHING that connects one of their feelings with a mental illness. Even to the point of denying that mental illness is real.

Add in politically arousable people who see all MD's as pill pushers doing the predatory work of pharma and there is a critical mass, even on a liberal/progressive website, ready to declare any psychoactive medication as bad...

...especially if they can do it anonymously, while ignoring all the folks who access intoxicants to manage mood with purchases made over-the-counter in a bar or liquor store, or over-the-fender in an ally or drug house.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:22 PM

5. Self medication with alcohol or other drugs is rampant.

Yet that is mostly accepted without much question. I personally don't drink, and I don't begrudge those who do responsibly, but people who abuse it for the purposes of not having to deal with their lives are definitely using it in a psychotropic (right word, right?) manner.

Seems that is accepted, SSRI's aren't, even though at some point half of the population, I believe I've read or been told, has taken Prozac or Paxil for some length of time.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 07:51 PM

6. Alcohol is really commonly abused, it's addictive and it increases impulsivity

so it leads to all manner of problems that lead to "difficulties" with the law.

As over the counter remedies go, alcohol must have one of the worst side-effect profiles on earth.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 09:20 AM

7. character

i think one of the really big things that people don't get is, like tobin said, about the brain and the mind. about that great free will most of us were told we had, even tho our will actually ends up controlling very little in our lives. about ideas being the basis of our actions, even tho our thoughts are such a tiny bit of reality sometimes.
sorta like no matter how many times eye witness id convicts the wrong person, it just tears at the fabric of reality for some people to admit that it is among the worst sorts of evidence. they just can't see how you can be living in a "reality" that is distorted. they can't get their heads around it.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:52 AM

8. Yes, society gives us many narratives to fall back on...

Last edited Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:49 AM - Edit history (1)

they have the power of scripture though most could not be claimed to be divinely inspired.

Most of the narratives we common folk work with are accumulations of mostly vulgar assumptions collected from the street and workplace. We can't help but acquire these things, we grow to see the world--as to the best of our ability--we assume as ours what we think those around us see. This is one of the basic tenets of "post-modernism". Reality isn't real. It's at best an interpretation.

The assumptions we adopt frame our world view, they mold the prescription in the lenses we see thru. That prescription both focuses and distorts what we go about thinking is reality.

It's not just external things which perspective influences. Society teaches us how to dissect our being into parts such as mind-body-spirit which can be given meaning and health by distinct authority centers within society (psychiatrists, physicians, clergy).

Are there really 3 "mini-me's" within each of us? Almost certainly not, and to my ear such things sound remarkably primitive (on edit: because that's my position in the context of my culture and 'successful' navigation of the higher education my culture produced). But as the beer commercial says, if it works it's not weird, and shared beliefs work within cultural contexts.

For example, twelve step programs depend upon belief in some spiritually meaningful thing bigger than us. Do such bigger things really exist? Arguable, but certainly they do in the perceptions/universal view of many and 12 step programs have brought comfort to millions.

If we see it, and it works, it's "good", if we don't see it or think it doesn't work it's bad.

One of the most important things we can "see" as members of a gregarious species living in groups is 'deviance'. That's particularly true for beliefs and behaviors that challenge the validity our perspective and our sense of playing by the rules.

Deviant behavior that presents a threat/risk is deviance of the worst kind. Safety is a strong motivator. How to be safe is one of the greatest lessons of culture. And one of the greatest lessons of all is that when in doubt or uncertainty, retreat to a defensive posture.

Within our culture are entire systems of defensive beliefs that, in times of need, allow people to shield themselves from doubt and fear and around which they can gather (without much thought) to form defensive perimeters. These cliques unite their members with a sense of 'us-ness', correctness, and willfulness that facilitates hurling missiles of insults and disparagement at "others".

The folks on GD are acting like humans act. Yes, they are limited by their world view, which is threatened by notions such as grief is a mild disorder of depression, anxiety and adjustment. They fear being ill, they fear spending money for treatment.

Attempts to educate them, confront and threaten the things which define their reality. They MUST fight against that.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:24 PM

13. Primitive me


Yes, European civilizations often call indigenous non-European peoples "primitive". My cultural roots are "primitive" and yes, our people used to consider that life/soul consists of three parts or relations: 'spirit/breath', 'nature' and 'self'. Europeans also consider that our language has "poorly developed category of person and subject" (which mean literally "mask" and "thrown under", btw), as we can form sentences without subject and object, just with verb, and incline our verbs in "indefinite person", much of which is untranslatable into European languages where more analytic categories are obligatory and unavoidable.

Primitive world views are often characterized and animistic and shamanistic. "Animism" could be defined as extending 'theory of mind' ("the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one's own." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind) to whole of world and all of its parts, instead of e.g. just (some) other humans and possibly some animals. There seems to be a continuum of lot of individual and cultural variety how widely theory of mind is extended. Which view is already assuming and applying theory of mind very widely, as I just realized.

As you say, cultural norms differ and affect perceptions and how they are socially communicated. E.g. many children having imaginary friends seems to be universal phenomenon, and how various adult cultural norms and belief systems react and interpret those experiences varies a lot. As do sensual perceptions of those friends in various states of mind. And of course not all children lose or abandon their imaginary friends, and also many adults can also get and develop such experiences on various sensual levels, e.g. "auditory hallucinations" considered fairly common and normal phenomenon that contemporary Western psychiatry no longer considers psychopathology.

In "primitive" shamanistic cultures people showing similar symptoms that western psychiatry tends to diagnose as bipolar and/or schitzophrenic, are often considered signs of "shaman disease", talent and sensitivity and natural inclination to communicating with "imaginary friends" of spirit worlds, to learn from those experiences of communication and to use them for healing and other forms of help. Also Western studies show that children with imaginary friends learn from those experiences of communication e.g. communication skills, coping with adult worlds and expectations and receive psychological aid in various difficult situations.

"Primitive" shamanistic communities don't have absolutist negative attitude towards various mind-altering substances, as I presume is well known, but usually consider matters of mental problems (such as will to harm self and others) matters of the whole community being ill, not just of individual member of community, and criteria and habits and purposes for using mind-altering substances are tuned from that perspective, to heal the relation of the community with rest of nature and regain state of balance.

The "journey of soul retrieval" is a common feature of shamanistic practice, and I've come to interpret it to mean that the two aspects or relations of life/soul find some way meaningful and balanced reunion with the missing third aspect or relation to feel whole and healthy again.

In "primitive" animistic and shamanistic view answer to "some spiritually meaningful thing bigger than us" is of course and not just one thing but many inclusive layers of. As "spirit" comes from word 'aspirare', to breath, then e.g. atmosphere is obviously a "spiritually meaningful thing bigger than us". And we need clean and fresh air to feel well and healthy. Fumes from cars and factories etc. make us feel sick and unwell. And scientists say they are changing the whole climate in a way that will make life much more difficult for our children.

In tripartite "primitive" view it's very rational and clear that the self-relation can easily come ill when it has lost balanced communion with the nature aspect and especially if it can't even breath well, as all three aspects or relations need to be in balance to feel well and whole.

We have had school killings also in Finland, and there followed a big national discussion about guns, of course, and also about psychiatric medication, how it is used and for what purpose at the level of "things bigger than us". The head of national psychiatry said that his field is using new innovative psychotropic substances to keep people able to work and cure symptoms that don't allow people to work, as the state and it's institutions wish in their relation to a thing bigger than they, global economy. He didn't say anything about healing or a thing bigger than global economy, the biosphere and and the planet and the nature that from which our ability to breath and live depends from.

Many people in Finland, perhaps because in some ways we are still quite primitive, asked what is wrong with us as society and culture, when some members of our community behave in such way?

Have we lost our soul, a part of it? Which part and how can we retrieve it, to regain healthy balance? How did we lose it, originally, and where is it now?

Sorry for talking so long and taking too much of your time, if you had patience to read this far, in which case thank you for giving ear also to a primitive point of view.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

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Response to tama (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:59 PM

14. Thank you for posting that, it's fascinating and enlightening.

And rather ironic that societies casually dismissed as "primitive" under a Eurocentric world view sound like, based on your information, they are much better equipped to treat and heal their members with mental health issues than Western medicine seems to be able to do.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:11 AM

15. Thanks, Dennis


And thanks for your post on GD, which I just read. I was tempted to comment there but didn't, as I want to share my comment in supportive atmosphere and not appear as attacking.

Has your "vice" of "rampant consumerism" as you called it continued as it was before your experience, or has there been change in the habit and/or in the emotional reward it gives?

I'm all for enjoying the miracles of modern way of life and beautiful things, but there was time when I was over worried about our self- destrucive nature relation as society as whole and the future of our children, having become father of two beautiful sons. After an car accident I had an episode of experiences and taking a trip that was diagnosed as mild acute psychosis, when at the wish of my then wife I went see psychiatrists. I was given some pills which I ate for some time but didn't want to continue as long as the doctor recommended, and the few councelling sessions I participated felt like nice, but empty talk.

Soon after the marriage of 20 years ended in divorce and I left behind my old life, lived for some time in ecovillages which was wonderful and healing in many ways. Something similar to the first psychosis happened again, but that time I went through it just with support of friends and community and natural environment and self-confidence. Those kinds of experiences can be very exhausting and you need rest afterwards, and depression is one of natures ways to force someone to rest.

So from the the little taste I've had, I guess some of the art of shamanhood is to channel the creative energy into service of larger community instead of being a nuicanse, and that art happens by relaxing and loosening control and defense mechanisms instead of strengthening them, which can make some sense as opening up to and channeling larger inclusive information fields. Which each can experience very differently and which don't have to be anything dramatic. The ups and downs can be also paced differently, transformed into other geometric shapes and symbols, and be confined to ritual contexts. The world views of at least North-Eurasian shamanistic peoples are tripartite with clear "bi-polar" structure of "Middle", which is more or less the "normal" world, "Lower" which is very symbolic and feels heavy and intense and where we deal with our fears and shadows, and "Upper" which feels like very relaxing calm and soothing vibrations. At least that's how I came to associate those during drumming sessions I participated in. There are no clear boundaries and all three areas of experience are mixed with each other. But seems to work well for bi-polars, any case, turning their "weakness" into strength of community service...

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Response to tama (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:01 AM

16. I apologize for offending you,

it is a statement of my personal belief and placed within a statement which I had hoped suggested that I recognize my personal belief shouldn't be privileged.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:14 AM

17. No worries :)


You didn't offend me. The cultural tensions of the word "primitive" are bigger than individuals conditioned by those cultures, and contains energy that pushed me to express my thoughts and experiences in writing, so I thank you for that.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:11 PM

3. I've had a lot of success with my medication.

I also have no noticable side effects.

Oops! Am I not supposed to say that? Oh right, I went blind and I got blood clots. (Sarcasm galore.)

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Response to Neoma (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 06:48 PM

10. A side effect of my interferon (chinese hamster ovaries)

is that it turns my depression off like a switch. I told the manufacturer's nurse that and she was quite concerned.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:32 PM

11. Interesting. My roommate will start interferon soon for Hep C

and they told her it CAUSES depression.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:52 PM

12. My experience is that depression is an

immune system response. With MS, interferon stops the immune system from attacking the central nervous system. Before I got interferon I had tried Prozac, Effexor and Zoloft.

Be interested to hear her effects.

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