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Re: Correcting an Imbalance or getting high?

Posted by huxley on July 19, 2012, at 19:28:17

In reply to Re: Correcting an Imbalance or getting high?, posted by Tomatheus on July 19, 2012, at 11:26:58

> Huxley,
> When a person is in a state that's characterized by an absence of thought and energy and accompanied by hypersomnia and a difficulty enjoying things, I think that the culprit for that person's difficulties most likely rests with that person's biology. Seeking to attain a level of energy that is consistent with the level of energy that a person has known for much of his or her life is hardly getting high. It's seeking wellness.
> Whether medications correct biological problems or heal depression is a different issue from whether people with affective disorders have biological problems in the first place. There are a lot of drugs used in medicine that don't heal or correct the underlying biological problems causing the conditions that the drugs are designed to treat. Take high blood pressure for example. There are a lot of different factors that can cause high blood pressure, but can doctors tell their hypertensive patients exactly what's causing their blood pressure to be high and/or prescribe a medication that corrects the very cause of the problem? I don't think so, at least not in most cases. The thing is that just because high blood pressure medications don't heal or correct the underlying cause of the high blood pressure (or at least the likelihood of the medications correcting the underlying cause is slim in most cases) doesn't mean that individuals with high blood pressure don't have a biological problem. They do, and it's obvious because high blood pressure can be measured. Now, the symptoms of depression and other psychiatric disorders can't be measured in the same way that high blood pressure can be measured. The measurements of one's energy, for example, are taken by the patients themselves and then relayed on to the doctors treating them. But the point that I'm trying to make is that high blood pressure is obviously a biological problem, despite the fact that the medications used to treat it are highly unlikely to do any healing or correct the underlying cause of the problem. The fact that blood pressure medications don't heal or correct imbalances isn't used as an argument to invalidate the fact that high blood pressure is a biological disease, and I don't think that the fact that psychiatric medications probably don't usually heal or correct imbalances should be used as an argument to invalidate the idea that affective disorders have biological underpinnings.
> Although there may be some cases where a psychiatric medication does correct an imbalance, it would be my guess that in most cases medications medications don't heal or correct imbalances. Usually, psychiatric medications treat symptoms. In the case of depression, antidepressants increase energy levels, boost mood, reduce sleep disturbances, and otherwise reduce the symptoms of depressive disorders. The goal is to manipulate a person's symptoms so they're at a healthy, normal level -- not to get a person to feel high, hypomanic, or manic. Sometimes patients do end up feeling hypomanic or manic from antidepressant treatment, even when they don't have a history of manic or hypomanic symptoms. This is just one example of many of how psychiatric medications are imperfect treatments for mental disorders. But does the fact that the medications are imperfect have any bearing on whether or not the disorders being treated have a biological basis to them? I think not.
> I'd be interested in reading your responses to your own questions. To what extent to you think affective disorders are biological problems? And do you think that patients with affective disorders have legitimate symptoms that might be treatable with psychiatric medications, or would you say that those with affective disorders are really just trying to get high? And if you're of the opinion that those with affective disorders are just trying to get high, what do you make of the complaints that patients make regarding their symptoms? Are the patients liars? Have they been conned by someone into believing that they're unwell? Do they have legitimate symptoms that are based in something other biology (and if they do, how do you know?)? How would you explain the symptoms that those with affective disorders experience?
> Tomatheus

Good post Tomatheus.
My thoughts are.

- Yes there is a biological problem, what else could it be.

- We don't understand the chemistry of the body and mind. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out when doctors have little idea what a drug will do when administrated. It could do anything from make you manic to suicidal. They are hoping that it does the right thing.

- We like to pretend we know what we are doing with meds. tinkering with dopamine agonists and antagonists like we are find tuning a motor.
I think a more apt analogy is more like bludgeoning a motor with a hammer.

- We can't correct an imbalance when we can't detect the imbalance. We might get lucky and correct a chemical defect but really we are (bad choice of words) getting high. Or using drugs to change our state.

- When you talk about blood pressure. You are talking about something that is tangible. That can be measured.

Most or all of psychological disorders cannot be meausred in a tangible sense. It's an opinion.

One person might be given 4 or 5 different diagnoses by different doctors.

For depression, you might get an Anti Psychotic, a mood stabaliser, an AD, a stimulant...

You might get all of them stacked on top of each other if you are unlucky.




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