We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Sad to say, Psychiatric meds cannot really fix anything, just ameliorate and prevent. But that is true of many meds. I do not think that our meds have anything to do with the underlying problems whether in the soul, in the genes, or in the wiring. As I am wont to say, a headache is not an aspirin deficiency disorder.
Our ability to control or prevent psychotic episodes is remarkable, but still the patient is never fully well. Quit the meds, and it can return.
I was diagnosed as bipolar about 25 years ago, and hospitalized with psychotic episodes around the time of diagnosis.
I was put on 1500 mg daily of basic cheap lithium carbonate and remained on that dose for about 12 symptom free years.
Then a new doctor took the dose down to 900 mg and I experienced two more episodes in succession.
For the last 10 or so years I have been on 2100 mg a day (I am a very large guy and drink gallons of water each day). These years have been asymptomatic in spite of several extremely difficult life events.
I don't believe that the good doctor was saying that medication doesn't work, but instead was making the point that "... but the patient is never fully well." As true 'fixes' are likely beyond the current capabilities of pharmaceutical science. The best, in some cases, is pallative care, which I am glad to hear works for you.
XRay, the good doctor has been riling against medication and saying it doesn't work for several years.
And he's right in so far as a lot of those meds are placebos, or handed out like candy to shut up patients who with a little care and listening could probably be helped (a lot of "mental disorders" can be solved through lifestyle changes, are temporary conditions caused by stress for example) without any medication whatsoever except maybe some sleeping pills for a few weeks and a bit of herbal tea.
But that's not where the big money is for psychiatrists, the big money is in the kickbacks they get from prescribing drugs, in vast quantities.
And for a lot of patients those drugs merely suppress the symptoms.
While in some cases, like Tom's, that's probably all that can be done, in many cases it just hides the true condition which could be solved by doing what the doc's supposed to do, be a councilor and provide an ear for the patient to vent his frustrations, then give advise on how to go about changing the conditions that cause those frustrations.
Would all patients listen? Of course not. Would all those conditions be easy to resolve? Of course not. And in the interval medication might be beneficial for those patients.
But to put people on anti-depressants (for example) for the rest of their lives when say a change of jobs or moving to a different city would take away the cause of their depression is irresponsible to say the least.
J. T. : You wrote, "While in some cases, like Tom's, that's probably all that can be done".
I don't understand the basis of that comment. What I was trying to get across was that, apparently due to drugs, my life for the last ten years seems to be substantially the same as if I had no bipolar diagnosis.
In the last ten years, I've built a substantial company, lost a young child, and been divorced after a 28 year marriage, and started a very successful relationship after that marriage. So "all that can be done" seems to me to be a "cure" other than I still take the pills every day and see the doctor every 6 months.
Acting like psychiatric illness is forever is a huge disservice to those affected. It has affected me in some small ways- I understand I would not be able to get the medical cert for my pilot's license now and I have been turned down for life insurance, much to the distress of my then wife.
My expensive no insurance accepted psychiatrist certainly gets no kickbacks from prescribing lithium carbonate, which costs about $9 a month even for the massive dose I take. He does spend up to an hour listening to me but my perception is that he is listening for signs of irregular thoughts, not trying to counsel me.
I'm sure the psychiatrists I work with would like to see some of those kickbacks, Mr. Wenting. Yours is a base accusation that shows ignorance. Some psychiatrists do indeed make a lot of money in speaking fees, but most make a decent but not stunning salary working many hours in difficult conditions. Prescribing vast quantities? How much is a vast quantity of Depakote? (You had an opportunity to say something like "medications are overprescribed," or some such mild thing, but you preferred the rhetorical flourishes of sneering at others.)
Whatever do you mean by "suppress the symptoms?" If I am depressed and medication makes me un-depressed, how is that different from what a dermatologist or a cardiologist does?
Herbal tea. Come work one shift at my acute psychiatric facility and see how far that goes. Try some chamomile on a schizophrenic who believes you're the antichrist and see how safe that keeps you. Watch how medication, and only medication, works with many conditions, time after time, case after case.
Assistant Village Idiot