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Psychiatry

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:58 pm
by mkaobrih
I’m not convinced that this subject is not quackery. Lots of talk of serotonin levels when dispensing anti depressants but no blood tests on patients as to what their serotonin levels actually are before dispensing meds. I kind of think they are pretend doctors - grateful for a drug industry to fuel their diagnosis and make them feel like real doctors.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:10 pm
by Ygern
As far as I know different countries set different standards; but a general rule of thumb is psychologists are non-medical therapists (not allowed to dispense medication) and psychiatrists are proper medical doctors before they specialise in psychiatry which is why they are allowed to prescribe medication.

That said, there often is a lot of mumbo-jumbo involved in the field and one has to be on one's guard against doctors that prescribe a little too easily. But it really depends on the ethics of the individual involved, some doctors are very careful about this sort of thing. Actually even GPs can prescribe quite hard-core drugs for depression, and without specialised training in the field - I think some of them can do a lot of harm.

I think that a lot of the problem stems from the fact that so little is understood about the brain still. It's a field of medicine very much in its infancy and there is still a great deal to be learned. However, there is a lot of good done and many people with conditions that would otherwise destroy their lives are helped to live more or less normal lives. Any person who is able to swallow a couple of pills & go about their daily business rather than being institutionalised or worse would probably feel they have been saved by psychiatry.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:53 pm
by CatHerder
Check this out, interesting arguments... but CCHR is a front group for $cientology :shock:
http://www.cchr.org/contact.html#/video ... troduction

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:57 am
by bipedalhumanoid
I couldn't function as a productive member of society if it weren't for modern SSRIs. They work well for a variety of conditions but the dosage does seem a bit trial and error and as you say, there is no blood test. They just talk about your problems and prescribe the drugs.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:12 pm
by Lee
There is a good bit of scaremongering about this area I think. Its definately a field in its infancy as you say Ygern but I am with Biped, suffered very bad post natal depression and the tablets were a life saver. Some of it is a bit airy fairy and wah, wah, I didn't get hugged enough but the good outweighs the bad. Dunno what poor people with major psycosis would do if it was all dismissed as quackery which is what that Scientology crowd does. I really really have a problem with those guys. How they haven't been disbanded and their leader arrested is beyond me. Their idea of helping people with mental problems is barbaric, at least psychiatry has some record of helping people.
And a quick one to back up Ygern, my counsellor didn't prescribe my drugs to me, the doctor did that and I did have a health check before hand.
Actually, a bit of a side track, does anyone know about that crowd Anonymous, I have seen a few bits about them on the web, are they nutters or bona fide??
(its gas, I am still nervous about posting stuff up in case I look like an idiot, perhaps I need to go back to counsellor about self esteem issues!!)

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:49 pm
by mkaobrih
What you get treated for depends what’s in the dsm4. Homosexuality use to be a mental illness (according to the book) and I think at one time they wanted to add p.m.t. to its codes. It just doesn’t seem scientific. They cannot point to a brain scan or blood tests to back up their diagnosis. Yes - the drugs maybe useful but why is there no biology stuff to back them up? Psychiatry also harmed a lot of people, ecg’s lobotomies, loads of granny zombies and Valium addicts.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:27 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
mkaobrih wrote:What you get treated for depends what’s in the dsm4. Homosexuality use to be a mental illness (according to the book) and I think at one time they wanted to add p.m.t. to its codes. It just doesn’t seem scientific. They cannot point to a brain scan or blood tests to back up their diagnosis. Yes - the drugs maybe useful but why is there no biology stuff to back them up? Psychiatry also harmed a lot of people, ecg’s lobotomies, loads of granny zombies and Valium addicts.
They can actually blood test people to determine seretonin levels. The problem is that it isn't a lack of seretonin in the body that causes anxiety and depression. The issue is that the seretonin reuptake is too rapid. SSRIs are not seretonin tablets, they are seretonin reuptake inhibiters. They slow the absorption rate of seretonin in the brain.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:05 pm
by mkaobrih
But they don’t do any of these tests – A diabetic cannot just say to a doctor I’m a diabetic give me insulin. Tests are done to see if the person has this – not so with psychiatric drugs. They could at least do a test for low cortisol before reaching for the pad.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:10 am
by nozzferrahhtoo
There may be legitimate concerns about the field, I do not know, and I would not want to comment on a field I know little or nothing about.

However my 2cents would be to be wary of judging it based on its PAST mistakes, such as homosexuality being an illness and the use of lobotomies and shock therapies.

The reason I say this is that all our medicine, including what we call “mainstream” has a dark history. Some truly awful things have been visited on members of our species in the name of what we today call good medicine. From the deliberate infection of people with various diseases to observe the results, to the use of practises which caused more harm than they solved, to the mis/over use of what used to be powerfully good medicines like penicillin until their usefulness all but dried up.

Whatever issue we take with psychiatry today, I think we should take with it today as it is now. Not with its past crimes. If you were to indict it only on past crimes, then if you were to be honest enough to extrapolate that approach to all our fields of learning, I am not sure which fields you would leave standing innocent.

Having said all that, I will mention one thing that at least should illicit SOME sympathy for those who ARE testing drugs in the field. Testing drugs is a notoriously difficult thing to do, even when doing something as simple as testing an anti biotic. With such drugs you can objectively at least measure the results and see under a microscope that the level of bacteria has been severely culled (or not).

When testing drugs for conditions like depression there is a MASSIVE subjective element one has to account for. We are moving out of a field of X bacteria per CC of sample into a more subjective field of how the patient is FEELING day to day. Siphoning through the results of such tests must be painstaking work to say the least, especially as how a person with depression “feels” varies so drastically from day to day. Get on torrents and download and watch Stephen Frys short series documentary on depression and you will be as shocked as I was to learn how mind numbingly quickly a person suffering with some of these conditions can swing from moments of abject gloom to moments of incredible elation and creativity that marks the careers of people who suffer from it like Fry himself and Robbie Williams to name but two.

Getting ANY objective results in such a field is, to me, a remarkable achievement and I admire the feat, even if alas some of their conclusions are so bad as to raise your justified concerns about the field.

Re: Psychiatry

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:20 pm
by bipedalhumanoid