An interesting article about the misinformation that has been given to the public about psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
Mad in America has been pushing this. Of course Whitaker likes to court controversy and be provocative . It increases his audience base. Sorry too intelligent to buy into the hype and blind adulation over everything ‘Whitaker’.
But it isn’t just Whitaker. The director of the National Institute of Mental health agrees with him.
“the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Thomas Insel, announced - without mentioning you - that he agreed with your conclusion that psychiatry’s standard treatment for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses needs to change so as to better reflect the diversity in this population. Citing long-term treatment studies that you had previously documented, Insel came to the same conclusion that you had: In the long-term, not all, but many individuals who have been diagnosed with psychosis actually do better without antipsychotic medication.”
The practice of assumption is a major defect in today’s society.
Those whom are good at heart also trust the word of others. As a consequence, the “others” can do the unthinkable to intentionally make more and more money. 1% of a nations population did not gain 50% of a nations wealth by sheer luck. They did the unthinkable right under the noses of the good unsuspecting folk.
The pharmaceutical industry has clearly made no exception to this rule.
I dunno…my meds really work, I just don’t believe in the whole anti-psychiatry thing. I think alot of people who have less luck with meds just want to blame the whole system… not being on meds at all didnt stop me from functioning, but I was in mental agony and every day was hell.
Thanks, Caroline! There’s been so much fuss about Whitaker that I’m happy to see this slant on him!
I think we should sympathize those whose meds are not working,I used to be anti psychiatrist a lot before finding the right meds and on the road to recovery,I would never want to lose the state now that I had.
Last appointment with doctor,I complaint if sexual dysfunction,my doctor mention taking off my mirtazapine,given the status I had now I would never agree of going off either my abilify or mirtazapine,besides I only been on mirtazapine for 3 months and been doing well for only a month,rather live with the sexual dysfunction besides there is Viagra to help out
Would never wanna live in those hellish state of life again,I swear
I have seen with my own eyes the dramatic changes in a person severely ill when they take anti-psychotic medication. People brought back from the abyss, with a pill. Just walk into any psychiatric facility, it happens every day.
I’m sure most of these anti-medication zealots have little experience dealing with those who are truly and severely mentally ill.
It is misinformation/hype to say that Insel totally agrees with Whitaker who via his website pushes many articles by people who are totally opposed to medication . These reflect Whitaker’s true position as opposed to the more measured one he makes out to support.
Insel has not been converted to an anti meds zealot but acknowledges that some people may be helped by long term meds while others may not. Much of this stems from Wunderink’s fairly recent research.
It is possible to agree with a more judicious use of medication without adopting Whitaker’s position wholesale.
As someone said on another forum many of these people who push a strong anti meds agenda, as opposed to one accepting the right to treatments tailored to the individual and what he/she wants/works for him/her, often come over as those with brief reactive psychosis or what is termed as ‘good prognosis’ schizophrenia.
I would like to state that i am not a fanatical supporter of medication or a fanatical opponent of it . I hold a moderate position with regards to medication use and am not opposed to alternatives for those who want to go down that route. I am opposed though to those who are happy and helped by meds being relentlessly scaremongered into thinking they are weak for taking meds.
My own experience of taking meds has been something of a curate’s egg. In that it has helped with some things and not with others, and been benign in certain ways and not when it comes to others. I certainly think for many people meds alone is not good enough.
It is regrettable in my case that i have never had non judgemental/supportive psychotherapy and social skills to help with those things medication has had minimal effect on(social interaction,social anxiety, social skills).
I usually have to out right ignore all the debate and take my meds. When I don’t take my meds I DO end up right back in hospital worse then before in about a month.
I’m sorry there are those who like to rant on and on about how horrid meds are. They aren’t in my shoes and don’t know how horrid MY life is without meds.
Let them rant and lecture… I will take my pills and go on to my job and pay my rent and enjoy my swim.
It does make me sad when people are talked out of meds who need them. I can only hope that people get to experience enough lucid that they can make their own decision. Some do very well with meds… some don’t need them.
I’d like to see a more case by case methodology, not just a damnation of the whole system.
I really like that statement
I believe that for some alternatives like diet and supplements can help a lot. I also believe that for some medications are needed. My son is doing very well at the moment and I attribute that to a number of things. Boundary setting, better diet, less marijuana and alcohol and yes medications. Although he is on the least amount of medications to what he has been in the past and still doing his best in about 4 years. I think treating a person is the best approach and using whatever is available to help with symptoms. I don’t believe in an all or nothing approach from any field.
We’re on the same page there. I’m working with my doc to lower my dose. Yes, I do need the meds. But I needed the CBT as well, I needed the management classes and the coping classes and the stress therapy and the SZ support group and the education about what I’m trying to tame and a much better diet and more exercise and a little bit from each column.
I don’t think Whitaker is totally anti-meds. I think he believes that they should be used more judiciously. Not meds for everyone across the board. And use meds for acute symptoms sometimes rather than using them for life all the time. Also, the lowest dose possible. For the record, I do take meds, but I hope to cut them back a little bit, a little bit at a time so I don’t get withdrawal psychosis.
I have a friend who is very anti doctor and anti meds. He’s been through hell and back with medication not working or causing horrid side effects that he has just sworn off medication all together. He knows i’m for medication as long as it helps the individual but it took a lot of tweaking to get this far so i’ve been through hell with meds and without but would rather my meds help a little then not at all.
Meanwhile the criticism can no longer be ignored even from the neurobiological point of view. In magnetic resonance imaging of people “at risk” for schizophrenia it has been shown last year that the disease begins with elevated glutamate in the hippocampus, followed by degeneration of the overactivated cells.
The same is done by antipsychotics, so in an accompanying opinion article in the same issue the author writes that these drugs may drive the patients further into psychosis.
These results should at least lead to a rethinking of the off-label use of these drugs. That they are useless for people at risk for schizophrenia is well-established by studies.
Many of the medications work - the problem is that there are too many side effects that come along with stability, there is a price to pay - improved mental health but failing physical health. They need to step up with the safety of these meds.
I would love to see an effective drug like Risperdal that poses little to no risk on physical health - I am at my wits end, I am confused as to which med to take next. I cannot continue on Risperdal, it is destroying my body and physical health.
Abilify for example was excellent on my physical health, but did nothing for my mental health - why cant we have both, we deserve this much
If Whitaker’s position was moderate it would be reflected in the articles that get posted on MIA. However the undeniable truth is that a lot of articles are not just understandably cautious about meds, but strongly opposed to them and mainstream psychiatry in general…
If there was a more balanced set of articles i would be more willing to see Whitaker as a moderate and sensible critic of psychiatry.
I don’t agree with the anti meds and anti vaccination groups. I wonder how they sprout up at all?
Honestly, I did not take the time to read all of this article, because I get to a point where I’ve read too many in a day and I just quit.
I am opposed to hyperbole either pro or anti meds . Th truth is that whilst helping some they don’t do much for others. Also as @Wave says there is a trade off for many between symptom alleviation and adverse physical effects. I accept that they are an imperfect tool but to say they are no tool at all, as some do, is to overstate things.
What is disturbing is that there has not been much progress in producing more effective antipsychotics. More recent research has called into question whether the atypicals are better than the first generation antipsychotics. Even in terms of side effects it would seem that all that has really changed is the types that people are most likely to experience.
I think our experiences of medication can shape our attitudes. Certainly if i had experienced severe physical effects, as some have, I might have a more negative view and reluctance to continue down that route.