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Psychiatry, drugs, science, me, and Scientology, too.

Page-Page- Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
This has been a long time coming. I'd planned to let you guys know exactly whats been going on with me for a while now, but not until I was on more solid ground. But today my boss forced me to step over a few lines, and I need some additional input.

For those of you who don't know but still care: I've been a Scientologist my whole life. I was born into it, and it's always just been that thing that we do. However, I grew increasingly ambivalent as the years wore on. I can't really pinpoint even an approximate recovery timeline, though the last 18 months or so have been my most active and enjoyable.

First, let me address the whole Anonymous, and to a lesser extent Xenu, angles. My reasons for moving away from Scientology had nothing to do with either of these. It started before Anonymous took interest, and I've not more than skimmed over Xenu.net. At this point in my life, in my thinking, I believe that many of the Xenu.net/Operation Clambake assertions may be wholly valid, but they aren't going to help me since they're just too easy for a believer to gloss over. I should know, because I've been there, done that.

What influenced me, and I hope this doesn't surprise anyone too much, is Science. I fell in love with Science, with knowledge, with wonder. My formal schooling was not extensive. I left public school after grade 6 and, though the idea was that I'd be homeschooled from then on, there were a lot of things that stopped this from really happening. Mostly, I just hated school and nobody ever convinced me that information was valuable in and of itself. So I remained profoundly (to my mind) ignorant for most of my childhood. I know this helped me as a Scientologist, because it's implied and accepted that the public school system is, at best, worthless. And often more sinister than that. I've since learnt that this isn't unique to Scientology, either, and the reasons are, while not complicated, various and mostly pointless.

But, and this is where it gets a little surreal, I read Bill Bryson's A Short History Of Nearly Everything last year, and in the process I was forced to think about things I'd never bothered with and make decisions I'd never prepared for. It just became obvious to me that A: Science makes sense, and B: it didn't square with what I'd been told my whole life. It wasn't long before I was expanding on that, realizing that I just didn't know enough about almost anything, certainly not enough to make any sort of rational decisions. I then moved on to a few meatier texts, though in the interest of expedience I've kept the subjects narrowed down to the ones I felt were most relevant to my situation. Mostly physics and biology, with some history (it's my new favourite subject, and I despised it when I was in school) as I feel is needed.

Now I've decided that there are two things that are important to me: Context and Ignorance. It's simplistic, but I honestly feel that almost every problem or debate I've encountered in my life (so far) arises from the lack of one and the abundance of the other. Strangely, the more context I get (in regards to life and philosophy), the more ignorant I feel. And I feel more at peace with that idea than I have with almost anything else in my life. At the very least I told myself that I could never say that Scientology works best if I didn't know the degree to which other things worked, or even what they were. It was sudden logic and rationality that actually made me a little giddy.

To make a long story slightly shorter I'll skip past many of the specifics. Scientology, despite what it claims and what Scientologists think and say, deals in the same kind of revealed wisdom as any other religion. Things are because LRH said they are, and thats all you really need to know. And for most of my life thats all I did know, and all I cared to know. But my friends weren't content with that. None of them are Scientologists, I've never gotten along really well with other young Scientologists, and they thought I was better than that. I'm more grateful for their efforts than I've ever told them, and I really should. In the end I couldn't continue to make Science and Scientology fit, and I was starting to agree more with one than the other. That's almost the whole of what happened.

There was help, of course. I've read through Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, listened to debates. I always approached with an open mind, and I was never disappointed. There were exciting and good ideas all over the place! Wonderful.

So I find that I'm trying to fill in an education that I never really wanted when I was younger. Thank God for audiobooks. I'm trying to learn. I've got most of it down to a point where I can shoot down arguments raised, at least toward things like evolution and physics, and the scientific method, and I'm listening to a series of lectures on Psychology, its history and ideas (really, really good). Things have been moving along fairly smoothly, until recently.

Now, as you'd probably guess from my statement about being born into Scientology, most of the people I know are also Scientologists. I could take or leave almost all of them. But my mother is, and my boss is. I haven't told my mom. I'm just not prepared for that. I still live with her and I'm not quite in a position to move out. Besides that, I'd basically be telling her that she waisted the last 30+ years of her life (not as much money, since she was on staff at the local churches), and that I wasn't going to participate. That would be breaking her heart twice over, and I'm just not up to it yet. She's not dumb, though, and she's starting to suspect things.

My boss is another matter. He's been my foil for this latest period of my life. He's a nice guy, and I like him. I'm pretty sure he likes me. He's the only one who really knows about my change of heart, because I finally broke my self-imposed silence with him. In our drives to and from work he'd always have a story or a thought about Scientology; he listened to LRH lectures at work and wanted to talk about them. He was just a Scientologist, and it's a major part of his life. Mostly I'd just sit there and nod and grunt, but over time I wore down and my grunts became less agreeable, and eventually I just started to disagree, always with small things. I've never told him I'm not a Scientologist anymore, and he's never asked, but he treats me like that now. We still talk, but now it's him against me.

Initially there were some good breakthroughs. I managed to explain evolution. My biggest breakthrough was when I got him to say that Psychiatry was just another religion (thus condemning religions), but that doesn't include Scientology. Now, he's not dumb and I'm not an asshole. So I let a lot of things slide, and he has his own problems and thoughts about Scientology. I don't talk about organizational problems because there's no real data that I can reference to him, at least not from any source that he'll acknowledge or read. He's brought up things like the cost on his own, but he always manages to rationalize them. I'm not going to go there.

But I don't want to just get out, even though it would be the easiest thing to do. I want to be able to help people, especially my family. That's why I try and learn, because I need to be able to defeat any and every argument and objection they raise. I need to get them to the point where they're forced to be critical and honest about their beliefs, where they have to make a decision one way or the other with full knowledge of where each path leads. I'm not there yet.

And that gets me to today. I've been a little more outspoken recently, since my boss has let it be known that he knows about my atheist tendencies. It hasn't been a real problem, but today something set my boss off. We were having another discussion, and this time it came around to Psychiatry, and Scientologist's attitude toward it. I don't really know enough yet to detail exactly what Psychiatry and Psychology are, or even what the differences are. But my boss has personal experience with it. His father was put on some Psych drug when my boss was a kid, and he's reportedly a mess because of it. It made him depressed and suicidal, screwed up his life, all that sort of thing. He's told me about others he's met with the same problems. Across the board, every person he knows who's had anything to do with Psychiatry has been screwed over in some way, always by the drugs.

The arguments get kind of circular. He says Psychiatry is bad because it drugs people for no reason, and the effects are all negative. He'll admit that all Psychiatrists aren't bad people, but all the ones who drug are. And that there is a significant percentage who completely disagree with drugging. But he doesn't think that most of them do prescribe drugs, or that the drugs ever help anyone. It gets muddy. I guess most don't prescribe drugs, and many disagree with it, but then what's the problem? You read any Scientology pamphlet on it and Psychs are one bill away from force feeding every man, woman, and child in the Western world Rittalin 3 meals a day. Then he says that he doesn't necessarily hold the viewpoints of Scientology, and all his evidence is anecdotal. Then he started taking shots at my work, pointing out mistakes I'd made. I realized that I'd obviously struck a real nerve. Eventually we got to the point where he was nearly shouting at me to produce a real, live person who hasn't been screwed up by Psych drugs, while I was shouting back that anecdotal evidence is not scientific. That's when we got to my house and I got out of the van.

So here's the thing: I disagree with rampant drugging. I know there are doctors who disagree with it. But are they a fringe minority, and why do they disagree? Do they disagree with drugging completely, or just think there's too much drugging? Where can I get my hands on studies and stories in support of either side? And should I even bother? (I'll find that out tomorrow.)

I guess that was the longest way possible to ask you what you or others thought about Psychiatric drugs and their potential and actual misuse, or even if they have a use. I'm going to keep trying to learn about this sort of thing, because I find it valuable, but I think it's about time I got some outside input, because I'm bound to overlook things and make mistakes, and I no longer want to be talking about things from an avowed position of ignorance. To the degree that I don't know, I stay shut up.

And if anyone has any questions, I'll try and answer.

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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I find it borderline criminal to impose some sort of stigma on psychotropic medication. This only deters people from getting help. Neurophysiology isn't some new-age science, it's well established. To ignore that your brain has a flux of hormones, chemicals, and neurotransmitters flushing through it makes you akin to a Phrenologist of the middle centuries.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    It should also be noted that often times people have an underlying condition that needs treated with a psychotropic drug. When the drug doesn't work, or the condition worsens, pedestrian laypersons immediately blame the drug and not the underlying illness. For example, the rise in suicides in anti-depressant patients can be largely attributed to an increased motivation (i.e. the drug is working) but a lack of healing the psyche, thus resulting in a depressed patient that finally has enough energy to kill oneself. Seriously, people, nothing upsets me more than the criminalization of psychiatry. If you don't even understand the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, why argue such a position?

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Also, calling a school of science a religion, makes you a tool, a huge tool, like the same kind of tool that in a whiny voice says "Evolution is just a religion". Religious ontology is the substance of faith and not evidence. Science is the essence of evidence, both objective and empirical.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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    GaineGaine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Psychiatrists are the ones that are able to prescribe medication. Like any drug (prescribed or not), psychiatric ones do have a risk of abuse. I've got a lot of ignorance toward the professions as well, but I'm learning more about them everyday. Two of my close friends have recently begun seeing psychiatrists, so I'm trying to keep up with what is going on with them.

    As I don't have numbers or science to aid you, I can give you some anecdotal evidence - any psychiatrist worth his or her salt will tell their patients (especially first time patients) that they need to keep an eye out for any and all changes they notice to themselves while on any drug they are prescribed. Is it doing what it is intended? What side effects are they experiencing? What changes do others notice in them? The patient is encouraged to keep a log of any issues they have, and every appointment go over it with the doctor. If necessary, the doctor will change dosage, medication, or whatever needs to be done to get the patient healthy. If someone's doctor isn't doing this (like everyone your boss knows, apparently), they need to go to a different doctor.

    More anecdotal evidence - one friend is noticeably more calm on his medication (he had severe anxiety issues which led to depression which led further down that whole spiral), but he certainly isn't a zombie or even a different person. He found a good dosage that, combined with therapy, has allowed him to calm down in social situations, relax, and enjoy his time with his friends. Bad side effects from the medication? Increased sweating. The other friend misses his meds pretty often, but when he's on them his temper has a much longer fuse, though he does get a lot hungrier.

    While you mention not using arguments from xenu.net or clambake, I believe they both have decent defences of psychiatry you can use, or at the very least some additional sources to check out.

    Congratulations, by the way, on getting to a happier place in your life. It won't be an easy transition, but it will be worth it in the end. Best of luck to you.

    Gaine on
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    GrombarGrombar Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hey, easy, Fuzzy; sounds like a lot of this is relatively new to him.

    Page-, congratulations on going your own way.

    If you're interested in another perspective on the CoS, from a man who wore many, many hats over the course of decades, this is a very good read.

    Grombar on
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    DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Alrighty, well reality check time:

    All those people seeing psychs, do you think they did that on a whim or did you think they had problems?

    What I'm saying is that it's damn easy to blame the drugs, rather than the problems those people had going in.

    Derrick on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Wow monster of a OP there :)

    To start I applaud your attempts to learn more about science and the world general. it's never easy to challenge our previously held world views especially ones we've held since childhood.

    Since you're being quite honest here I'll try to do the same. I am currently on anti-depression medication. I've suffered from moderate to severe depression for most of my life. I had some bad experiences with medications as a teenager and was very ambivalent about psychiatric medications for a long time. It took me nearly breaking down completely to seek out care again as an adult. I've been on them for about a year and they do help. Not entirely of course but it takes the edge off and makes my moods more manageable. It's not a magic cure or anything.

    There's some myths about psychiatric care that are really negative. They do prescribe drugs but decent ones don't force them people's throats. I have disagreed with my doctors many times. They really have no choice but to go along with you. So far i have had luck and not disagreed enough with a doctor to switch but I would and could if I needed to. Lots of doctors and patients miss that treatment of any kind should be a dialog.

    nexuscrawler on
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    PicardathonPicardathon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I needed the anti-depressants I am taking today.
    Need them need them Need them.

    Also, about 90% of the people on this particular subforum is going to say that Scientology is a giant cult
    designed to take your money, but this forum isn't nice about religion anyway.

    Back on track: I started on social work and things like that for a year when my shit hit the fan around 7th grade, and I didn't make any progress. I don't know how much of it was genetic and how much of it was circumstance, but I was nervous to the point where I was barely able to operate. Even though I could talk about the consequences of my anxiety, and some of the sources, the truth is that I was the kid of two extremely nervous parents and got the bad parts from both. I needed anti-depressants because I was unable to live otherwise.
    I know, that's an anecdote to fight an anecdote. A good piece on the subject of medicating people (specifically children) is on Frontline
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/medicatedchild/
    Basically, some people need the drugs, some people don't, but any epidemic about drugging people has been greatly exaggerated by the Church of Scientology for its own purposes.
    Also, I fear greatly for Will Smith and his family.

    Picardathon on
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    EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If a person visits a psychiatrist then either they, or another individual sees a problem in them. If a friend/acquaintance comes up to you and is all like "I'm on citalopram for my anxiety issues" you're gonna start looking for some changes in character that are different that when you first met them. And if you're raised in an environment that is very negative to psychiatry you're gonna have a pretty biased opinion when you realize there may be some changes in their personality.

    EskimoDave on
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    AdrienAdrien Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    This is sort of a personal topic for me, though not for the normal reason. I've said this before, but my mother is a psychiatrist. She goes to work every day and saves people's lives, and I mean that literally. Portrayals of psychiatry in popular culture irritate me; people saying shrinks are evil makes me irrationally angry. You know how it is with mothers.

    Anyway, a lot of the misinformation around psychiatry, and especially psychopharmacology, is just because our understanding of the brain is at least several decades behind the rest of mainstream medicine. It's medicine, but there's a lot of "You seem to have this problem. No, we have no idea why. Try taking this, it sometimes helps. No, we have no idea why." That's more or less literally accurate, too; if we knew why these things happened, it would be neurology, not psychiatry.

    Psychiatry is a guessing game. There are very few real cures, and the treatments are all about percentages. As an example, there is no cure for schizophrenia. The symptoms might come and go, but if ya got it, ya got it. Medication can more or less eliminate the deleterious symptoms in about half of sufferers. For half of those that remain, it can get them down to levels which are manageable with other techniques. The quarter left out? You guys are shit outta luck. We can try to teach you to cope.

    So I'm not really clear on what you're looking for here. But I will tell you this: For every anecdotal story you can find about someone who experienced a paradoxical reaction to a psychiatric medication, I've got a dozen about someone who did something like try to stab their brother, went to the hospital for a few days, and then got better. This is a full-time job for a lot of people.

    Adrien on
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    SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Saying that all psychiatric drugs have a negative effect just means you haven't met enough people. My dad descended into a pretty deep depression, which lasted for quite a while, but through the use of some anti-depressants, he was able to return to his normal self. If all the results were bad, then we probably would have done away with psychiatrists long ago.

    SageinaRage on
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    Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I understand you completely, Fuzzy. Two years ago, not so much.

    What it is, really, is this: Once I've exhausted most of the textual arguments against Scientology then Psychiatry bashing is the fall back position. Similar to how if you press a Catholic enough they'll default to "well, even if it weren't true, it helps people," or some similar argument. This is where I get stuck, because even if I could factually disprove most of Scientology (and I think I can), then they still go back to there being no alternative, as if that's enough reason right there to stick with it. "Psychs don't have the answers, they can't cure anyone. At least we're doing something about it."

    That, and the drugs. The drug issue is pushed, hard.

    In this case I think anecdotal and personal stories may help. My boss flat-out told me that he wasn't interested in studies. That was in the heat of the moment, so I'll see if he's calmed down some tomorrow. I say", "Anecdotal evidence is not science. Just because every car I've seen today is purple does not mean that all cars are purple today." He says: "I have personal stories, my father, people I've met, etc.," which is very hard to argue with, especially for someone like me who's just barely scratching the surface of modern mental science. I could try and explain something like heuristics, or the effects of attention on the audio cortex, but that doesn't really help me in this case. He's willing to admit that, to a point, psychologists know some things, but as soon as drugs get involved then he retreats. I tried bringing up the use of drugs to treat epilepsy, but I guess that's a different thing.

    I suppose I can keep on about how in-exact it is right now, how it will probably always be that way, but that kind of logic doesn't hold up so well against cold, hard ingrained "facts."

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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    More anecdata for you:

    A couple of years ago, I was going through fairly severe PTSD. I was afraid to leave my room, hell, to leave my bed sometimes, because it felt like the fear was going to swallow me whole. I felt as if someone was stalking me all the time, watching me walk across campus, staring in my window. I would dissociate at times, "waking up" hours later with only a vague idea of the passage of time. Trying to sleep led to nightmares so terrible that I woke up screaming multiple times every night. I hallucinated, partly from the PTSD and partly from the lack of sleep. I had panic attacks so severe that I literally thought I was dying; my heart would race, I would alternately freeze and sweat buckets, and I would shake all over until I could get to what I thought was a safe place. My grades dropped like stones, and I went from a nearly straight-A college student to one who failed her classes over and over. I'd always struggled with depression and it came roaring in to fill the spaces between panic; I was so ashamed of myself for failing so badly. Throughout this all, I had no idea what exactly was going on with my head; I thought perhaps I was just insane.

    Through a long series of events, I started seeing a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with PTSD and put me on a rather shockingly complicated regimen of medication. Suddenly, I could sleep though the night dreamlessly. The high level of constant anxiety that had dogged me for a year was no longer so constant, and the panic attacks went from multiple occurences per day to maybe two or three per week. The extra sleep and the relief from the huge amounts of panic-chemicals rushing through my brain all the time let me start to examine what had happened in therapy, and as I began to process everything, the hallucinations and fear of being followed began to diminish. After a great deal of work, I was able to get better enough to not need the medication anymore. I'm not perfect now, but I'm so incredibly more functional than I was before seeing the psychiatrist.

    Part of the reason people need psychiatric drugs is that the brain is a physical structure, and the chemicals in it can get into bad ruts. For example, part of my problem was that I was scared, so my brain threw up a bunch of panic chemicals, which lingered and made me get scared more easily, leading to more panic chemicals, and so on. It was very much a vicious cycle. Medication helped break that cycle chemically, allowing me a respite from panic for long enough to get past the original fear. The drugs aren't miracles, but in combination of therapy, they can provide hope for people who can't change their brains on their own.

    Trowizilla on
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    DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    How about anecdotal evidence from studies? :)

    I work in psychiatry, on several research projects involving Social Anxiety Disorder. Of the 19 people who have so far gone through the treatment branch of the study (taking sertraline), one stopped after only a week because of side effects, two experienced side effects bad enough that they had to stop taking the medication midway through the 3 month treatment course, even though it was helping their anxiety. Five only experienced mild relief of anxiety symptoms after 3 months. The other 11 had marked decreases in their anxiety and related symptoms. I worked directly with these people as they were going through treatment, and it was frequently quite remarkable how much better they got on the drugs.

    Of course there are some psychiatrists who push drugs too easily. Unfortunate but true. There's also the problem that many psychotropic medications are only effective in subsets of patients (sometimes as low as 50% or possibly even less). Compound this with the fact that science hasn't even pinpointed the exact method of action for many drugs and you have a situation that's fairly easy to ridicule. But that still doesn't change the fact that the drugs do work in many cases, observably and provably. Anyone who completely denies the entire field of psychiatry based on some anecdotal evidence of some people they knew who didn't get better is an idiot.

    Daenris on
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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I wish I could find the article; There was a fascinating neuroscience piece on Prozac and how it threw off neurology for a good ten years. Apparently the brain can atrophy just like any muscle, and the causative agents in fluoxitine might not in fact, be the SSRI's. There's a popular theory that many neurological drugs work by restoring the brains neurons to a healthier state. This might account for the reason why it takes about a month for an anti-depressant to kick in. Also, I fucking love my Prozac. A year of therapy got me to emotional neutral, and Prozac helps me take the edge of my depression. The way I look at it, my brain over-reacts to negative things and launches a lot of "unhappy" chemicals. Anti-depressants, by no means, enable my success, but they do assist greatly in helping me manage my coping skills and quality of life.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Psychiatry is science.

    Now Psychology on the other hand, things get a bit fuzzy. Psychologists are still taught all kinds of outdated or evidenceless theories. Pop psychology is even worse. A whole lot of "the masses" still think Freudian ideas are legit. I think this is where some of the animosity towards these fields comes from.

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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Another isue that is often exageratted is side effects. Basic anti-anxiety drugs and anti-depressants have relatively few side effects. They can be nasty but they almost always pop up quickly and the patient can be switched off the drug. there's tons of options and most people find something that works for them.

    nexuscrawler on
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    Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Psychiatry is science.

    Now Psychology on the other hand, things get a bit fuzzy. Psychologists are still taught all kinds of outdated or evidenceless theories. Pop psychology is even worse. A whole lot of "the masses" still think Freudian ideas are legit. I think this is where some of the animosity towards these fields comes from.

    Actually, at least in Scientology, it's the opposite. Psychiatry is baseless, fraudulent, and criminal. Psychology is mostly harmless, and even slightly useful.

    I know a lot more about psychology at this point (not pop psychology, mind you), than I think I know about psychiatry, and I find it to be very interesting. Not everything is applicable, and I'm not up to modern methods, but I've been introduced to a lot of great ideas, a lot of philosophy, especially on the nature of the mind and morality. But, like I said, I'm mostly going through a 10 year old lecture series and I'm not even up to Freud yet.

    Can anyone recommend interesting books or lectures on psychiatry or psychology? Especially if it's geared more to the public. It's something I'd like to learn more about, for sure.

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    WagsWags Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Psychiatry is science.

    Now Psychology on the other hand, things get a bit fuzzy. Psychologists are still taught all kinds of outdated or evidenceless theories. Pop psychology is even worse. A whole lot of "the masses" still think Freudian ideas are legit. I think this is where some of the animosity towards these fields comes from.

    I'm going to disagree. I'm in a Psychology program right now and to not call it science or say it teaches outdated ideas is unfair. In my own experience I can't think of a single prof who has seriously taught us any outdated theories aside from the "well this is where this came from. Freud was onto something about childhood experiences affecting adult behaviors. However he was in left fucking field in implying little boys are learning to deal with the fact they want to bone their moms."

    I agree, the concepts can sometimes be fuzzy. That is because so much base knowledge of psychology is still being figured out. It's a very young science, especially in comparison to things such as mathematics and medicine. Theories and specifics are fuzzy right now. However the method is not. Current psychologists very much want to distance themselves the evidence-free and baseless approach of the early psychodynamic era. Heck, this started even back in, I think the 70's, with Carl Rogers who was huge on making sure we track outcomes and data on patients in order to measure the effectiveness of therapeutic approaches and and only use those ones that can be proven reliable. Actually, a scientific approach to behaviour and learning began even earlier at the beginning of the 20th century with Thorndike and animal learning.

    I guess point is, I agree that the specifics of theories aren't set. However the method is scientific and the focus is on evidence. Or gathering that evidence. I really don't think it's fair to imply that psychiatry is more of a science then psychology. It's simply an older one. Science isn't just about have the right answer right now, but it's more about the method you use to find that answer.

    Wags on
    The gods certainly weren't role models in our sense, unless you wanted to model a Mount Olympus trailer park.
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    Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Psychology is a very interesting field, sociologically speaking. The response of the field as a whole to the Behaviourist debacle has been to try and super-sciencify the field and make it as data driven as possible and minimise the role of theory. To the point that many psychologists will confuse experimentum crucis when navigating between theories as simply being a matter of increasing the datapoints.

    The case of Pylyshyn and Friends versus Kosslyn and Co is extremely fascinating and visual image processing. And shows that with their super-focus on datapoints that the psychologists (Kosslyn et al) are missing the forest for the trees.

    Apothe0sis on
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    Apothe0sisApothe0sis Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Also, WTG Page-.

    This is the kind of conversion stories I like to hear, and that I can actually understand. Your love of knowledge is something to be admired.

    Apothe0sis on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Fair enough Wags. I agree.

    JebusUD on
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    TreelootTreeloot Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Page- wrote: »
    I guess that was the longest way possible to ask you what you or others thought about Psychiatric drugs and their potential and actual misuse, or even if they have a use. I'm going to keep trying to learn about this sort of thing, because I find it valuable, but I think it's about time I got some outside input, because I'm bound to overlook things and make mistakes, and I no longer want to be talking about things from an avowed position of ignorance. To the degree that I don't know, I stay shut up.

    It's very difficult to understand just how beneficial psychiatric drugs can be if you've never needed them yourself. I take Sertraline for my anxiety problems and I'm not supposed to drink alcohol while taking it. One of my buddies offered me a beer shortly after I started taking it. I turned him down and explained I couldn't take it because of my anxiety medication. He responded completely seriously with "I think I'd rather have anxiety than not drink."

    It was an ignorant comment, but I wasn't offended or bothered by it. He's never had to deal with anxiety, so he doesn't know how difficult it can be. Even though I've had anxiety problems, I can't quite understand where someone with OCD or anorexia is coming from.

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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I always wonder whether things need to be medicated as much as they are, or if traditional and behavioral therapy would work better.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
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    Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah I think it's pretty safe to say I'd be dead right now if not for my daily little pink pill.

    Raiden333 on
    There was a steam sig here. It's gone now.
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    First of all, it's good to see a convert. Welcome to the real world.

    Secondly, bring me evidence of "rampant drugging" and then we'll talk.

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I always wonder whether things need to be medicated as much as they are, or if traditional and behavioral therapy would work better.

    It's always a concern. My mother is bipolar though so I know the positive effect of medication, as well as how it can go bad when you have to switch meds and they don't work quite right or have nasty side effects. Overall, for her anyway, it's a net positive.

    Derrick on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Derrick wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I always wonder whether things need to be medicated as much as they are, or if traditional and behavioral therapy would work better.

    It's always a concern. My mother is bipolar though so I know the positive effect of medication, as well as how it can go bad when you have to switch meds and they don't work quite right or have nasty side effects. Overall, for her anyway, it's a net positive.

    Oh im sure they work. I know they have a positive effect too. But if it could be done without the medication wouldnt that be better?

    I'm not so much concerned with runaway or rampant drugging. Just wondering if there isn't a better way.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Derrick wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    I always wonder whether things need to be medicated as much as they are, or if traditional and behavioral therapy would work better.

    It's always a concern. My mother is bipolar though so I know the positive effect of medication, as well as how it can go bad when you have to switch meds and they don't work quite right or have nasty side effects. Overall, for her anyway, it's a net positive.

    Oh im sure they work. I know they have a positive effect too. But if it could be done without the medication wouldnt that be better?

    I'm not so much concerned with runaway or rampant drugging. Just wondering if there isn't a better way.

    See, here's what you're missing: firstly, the ideal is tandem use of drugs and therapy, and secondly, neurologically speaking, there's likely not much of a difference between behavioral modification and medications. Prozac helps depression (this is a new hypothesis, and seems like the accurate appraisal of the situation) because it helps you create more brain cells, which effectively combats depression. Behavioral modification would lead to behaviors that favor neurogenesis. Same damned thing.

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Just wondering if there isn't a better way.

    The thing is that human beings tend to have limited resources, and in the off chance that there is a "better way," many many people do not have access to them. This is true even of the richest people. Yeah, sometimes you can counter a chemical problem with a non-chemical resource (which creates a compensating chemical just the same, only naturally), but you have hella better odds with just taking the chemical directly.

    --

    Hippie: Hi5 <3

    Incenjucar on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    See, here's what you're missing: firstly, the ideal is tandem use of drugs and therapy, and secondly, neurologically speaking, there's likely not much of a difference between behavioral modification and medications. Prozac helps depression (this is a new hypothesis, and seems like the accurate appraisal of the situation) because it helps you create more brain cells, which effectively combats depression. Behavioral modification would lead to behaviors that favor neurogenesis. Same damned thing.

    Yes, but one is recurring and costs money recurrently. The other is permanent and a one time expense.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    Umm, do you realize how long severe depressive disorder patients spend in therapy even with medications?

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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Umm, do you realize how long severe depressive disorder patients spend in therapy even with medications?

    No

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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    There is very rarely such things as one-time, permanent behavioral modification unless you're talking about some pseudoscientific pop psychology crap that doesn't work anyway. About the only thing that can be treated as such is a phobia.

    Many people with debilitating psychological disorders are going to be spending protracted periods of time throughout their lives in therapy, depending on availability of funds, of course.

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    There is no such thing as a one-time expense when dealing with psychological problems unless you have some little phobia or something someone needs to get past.

    Chemical psychological issues are permanent. You DEAL with them, you don't simply remove them.

    Incenjucar on
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    There is very rarely such things as one-time, permanent behavioral modification unless you're talking about some pseudoscientific pop psychology crap that doesn't work anyway. About the only thing that can be treated as such is a phobia.

    Many people with debilitating psychological disorders are going to be spending protracted periods of time throughout their lives in therapy, depending on availability of funds, of course.

    Hmm. I suppose.

    So the more heavily effected would probably be better off with the drugs, while the lighter ailments may be better of the other way.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm Fulton, you are Dean.

    Bash Brothers!

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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Chemical psychological issues are permanent.

    I can't say I know for sure, but I don't think they are all permanent.

    JebusUD on
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    There is very rarely such things as one-time, permanent behavioral modification unless you're talking about some pseudoscientific pop psychology crap that doesn't work anyway. About the only thing that can be treated as such is a phobia.

    Many people with debilitating psychological disorders are going to be spending protracted periods of time throughout their lives in therapy, depending on availability of funds, of course.

    Hmm. I suppose.

    So the more heavily effected would probably be better off with the drugs, while the lighter ailments may be better of the other way.

    No, not really. I was medicated for my depression after my mother's suicide, which was diagnosed as dysthemia at the time. I'm not terribly sure of the accuracy of the diagnosis, but I have had a handful of depressive periods with fair frequency throughout my life. In any case, it's nowhere near a severe form of depression, but you know what? When I lost absolutely all motivation to actually work in college, the best answer I had at hand was my psychiatrist prescribing a temporary solution for the duration of the "attack."

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    WagsWags Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I can agree with you on that Apoth. Pyschometrics really aren't my thing but seem particularily guilty of that. I'm in this to get into counselling psych and see how the theories apply and play out with peeps outside of a data set. I'm very much against the super sciencey approach myself.

    Note, when I say this, I don't mean evidence based approaches to things. I mean that it seems many academics have a hard on for measuring minutiae of behavior or personality, and refining that minutiae to the point where it really isn't applicable to things, but boy did you get a lot of data points and complicated statistics to publish. It's like my clinical class put it: "Alot of psych's today have made these really great tools for measuring hat size. They've put so much into it, and focused so much on every little detail that we have a valid and reliable tool to measure for a truly awesome hat. Problem is this poor soul needs new shoes." I can honestly almost hear them having a meeting and proclaiming "what we need more of is science!"

    Behaviorism is unfortunately a little bit stuck too, many of them are so focused on gaining data points that what they are doing ends up being insanely simplistic, but easily measured. They kind of don't further anything and are kind of stuck in a cycle with themselves. And unfortunately as psych as a whole is sorting itself out right now a lot of the different theories and approaches kind of refuse to acknowledge each other or that their own approach could benefit from incorporating ideas from the others.

    I kind of see a catch 22 in how some of the psych associations are doing things, at least when it comes to therapies, as they are only endorsing and allowing therapies that are tried and tested in practice. Which I for the most part agree, I mean it is people who are affected by this. But if new therapies are never allowed in practice, where they are tested, how can they ever get data to see if they are valid or not? It seems like kind of a stagnant stance to take to me.

    It does seem a little more hopeful for counselling/educational/applied psych things as they tend to have a different culture than straight up Psychology; what with seeing some of the self help books out there and the new ideas and approaches that they are mixing.

    Sorry, I probably derailed this thread from it's original intent. I like talking psych too much.

    Wags on
    The gods certainly weren't role models in our sense, unless you wanted to model a Mount Olympus trailer park.
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