I’m always relieved to discover new research on possible concrete “causes and contributions” to various so-called mental illnesses, a label we’re stuck with, because too many “experts” still believe that certain behaviors aren’t “physical” but supernatural in origin; murky psychic-emotional deformities that require arcane knowledge to understand and treat. Is some therapy constructive? Sure; having a person “captive” in a room for 30 minutes in an awkward “relationship” with a stranger may loosen thought processes that are otherwise guarded or unconscious. I have been told by several therapists, however, that “clients” rarely say much; how helpful is that? How boring? I guess the financial reward must make the effort worthwhile.
Whatever may lighten the load on those people who live with “mental illness” is welcome by people, who to this point in American social history, have been treated very badly, with ineffective “management” by psychiatrists (massive prescribing of sledgehammer drugs) and psychologists “amusing themselves” by playing around with whatever nice packets of bullet-point nonsense they read in college: cheerleaders for obsolete “old guy” theories. Their dogma has no relation to the severity of what is going on in the suffering human body and mind.
A rational, scientific, approach to “mental suffering” is BADLY NEEDED. This must include careful and meticulous life histories of patients; not checking off 3 out of 5 “bullet points” on lists of incoherent “symptoms” drawn out of a hat; phony symptoms that result in “diagnosis” of made up disorders, the criteria for which change daily. A “welcome” event at first for many “seekers”, only to be followed by the disappointment of endless waiting for useless appointments, disinterested and distracted therapists, and/or being drugged into submission for the remainder of one’s life, or until a court order expires.
I was diagnosed bipolar at age 36 after 22 years of searching desperately for an explanation for my subjective “mood state” and outward behavior. A prescription for lithium changed those “living conditions” so dramatically for the better, that I embraced medication as a lifelong “sentence” with little hesitation. This necessitated being “bound to” a psychiatrist, or to be under the “surveillance of” of a psychiatrist to obtain lithium – a necessary arrangement; medications are powerful interventions to the “normal” brain environment and must be monitored, but the “monitoring” is rather crude: a blood level measured at one point in time cannot accurately follow the fluctuating levels of lithium in the blood that may occur each day, week in, week out – nor can changes in “mood and activity” be eliminated: the top and bottom extremes are “chopped off” a graph of “high and low peaks” – a nice sine curve that is one’s supposed “bipolar” path.
The monitoring doctor cannot possibly “quantify or qualify” the effects of a chemical sledgehammer on the brain-body by anecdotal hearsay from parents or spouses, the patient, or the psychiatrist’s own once-every-three-months-ten-second-interview with the patient. Or worse – as is common, a “report” from a psychologist who “sees” the patient on some regular basis, and though not qualified to do so, makes “recommendations” about drugs and dosages that the psychiatrist rubber stamps with renewed prescriptions.
The “treatment response” in any such incompetent scheme is to “try something else”, which in today’s psychiatry-psychology practices means adding “new” drugs and essentially “blaming” the patient for “whatever” is the source of continuing or additional symptoms; lack of results is attributed to unproven “progression” of his or her disorder or (illness, addiction, etc) and is due to “something in his or her brain”. It’s never the ineffective or dangerous medication. This is outrageous, and the result too often is a sample packet containing a “legal pharmaceutical medication” than that has been dropped off with misleading sales promotion materials at the practitioner’s ofiice; the “new” (or commonly old, but renamed) drug may have been approved exclusively for treatment of a specific condition, and not for bipolar, schizophrenia or any of the hundreds of diagnosis now current, but samples are handed over to the “patient” anyway – without a prescription being written. The measure of effectiveness would seem to be, that if the additional drug, or drug combination, doesn’t “kill the patient” it’s good to go!
I didn’t realize at the time of diagnosis that I had become an involuntary member of “experimentation on living human subjects” which is supposedly illegal (and is criminal, in my book), but because no one monitors the activity of psychiatrists (and bad consequences can be attributed to the patient, because everyone knows that people with mental illness are “crazy” and cause bad outcomes all by themselves: it’s unpopular, to say the least, to bring up the possibility that one’s prescriber isn’t paying attention to what the patient is telling them; is not reading warning labels, or is too lazy to keep up with ‘science’ that could inform their decisions.