Has medicalization gone too far?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
Locked
User avatar
Ambrosius80
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:20 pm

Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Ambrosius80 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:35 pm

I think that most mental conditions, syndromes and disabilities are diagnosed too lightly nowadays. I am not saying they do not exist at all, but consider this:

My friend was diagnosed Aspergers as a kid (Aspergers syndrome is a mild form of autism). He was a really shy and nervous guy, who usually avoided eye contact when he spoke, and had a limited set of expressions and points of interest. Almost always he failed miserably with girls, other guys and in most social situations in general.
I had not seen him for three years since high school, but when I met him again last month, he was like a whole new person. He could actually converse, had a sense of humor and looked me straight in the eye. He told how his life had changed from that obsessed Star Trek fanatic to a perfectly ordinary guy. He told me he now has a girlfriend, a job, studies at an uni, and has two pet dogs. He told me how he considered taking up hiking in addition to his basketball hobby. I was so surprised I asked if he had gotten a better medication that could explain his dramatically changed behavior. He told me he had abandoned medication altogether almost two years ago, and had simply decided to learn how to be more social and daring! :shock:

That experience changed my view on things. Even more so, today I read about a woman whose diagnose was apparently "careful personality disorder". According to the newspaper, such "disabled" people even have their own organization!

My point is, do you think that commonly diagnosed syndromes like Aspergers, disabilities like "careful personalities" (lol) or even mental illnesses like narcissism are simply personality types that have developed because of the individual has received the wrong kind of attention as a child? I know real disabilities like autism and sociopathic personality disorder also exist, and that there is little one can do about them. One can hardly alter their brain construction after all. I am talking about individuals who can most often be perfectly functional persons in this world, but have some form of mental diagnose.
"What we have now is the best. He who can never be satisfied is a poor man, no matter how much he owns.

What you have results from karmic causes that you created, and what you'll gain hinges on karmic causes that you're creating."
-Master Sheng Yen

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8118
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:02 pm

It's more a problem with pathologizing everything, rather than seeing them as points on a continuum. There are plenty of professionals who seem to feel this way also. A lot of interesting research in the sociocultural area of psychology seems to point towards the often self-fulfilling prophecy of labeling people as their pathologies.

Mental illnesses are very real though, most people with something like asperger's cannot "self-recover" like that, especially people with something that severely limits their interactions with the outside world. Explanations could range from ones we would accept here, such as karmic explanations, to any of the main schools of thought in psychology. One promising thing (to me at least) is that spirituality, some kind of spiritual path, is coming to be seen as helpful thing these days in treatment. Plenty of people are also moving away from the notion that biological explanations, and their (usually) attendant method of medicating is the best course of treatment for everyone..though of course, there is a lot invested, both in terms of money and pride in the biological model, so it's slow going.

Also, to some degree we can alter our brain chemistry.
I am talking about individuals who can most often be perfectly functional persons in this world, but have some form of mental diagnose.
Yes, it happens. Lots of people get pigeonholed into our over-pathological, shame based system of mental illness currently, but the world of abnormal psychology is quite varied, there are different approaches and different schools of thought. I think what you are saeeing is the self-fulfilling prophecy bit, and the idea that someone needs to be "cured" of something that might be better viewed as a problem of management.

I also think that positive psychology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is a good development, not in a Buddhist sense, as it's goals are squarely aligned with a "better samsara", but IMO for many sufferers a better samsara, i.e. a happier, more stable life, would be a welcome change.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

odysseus
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:13 pm

Mental illnesses exist. But some funny-men have developed a 500 pages book of mental disorders (DSM-V), so it´s hard to escape pathologisation of whatever, even for the creators of this book themselves. :zzz:

My own diagnosis is called "Buddhist". Best regards from your secret psychiatrist. lol

madhusudan
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:54 pm

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by madhusudan » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:23 pm

Medicine is big business. The medical research establishment is totally rotten with grant money, among other things. But, all in all, the mental health field is the most corrupt. Here be a link: http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/05/jon- ... sychiatry/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8118
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:32 pm

Guy can come up with all that, but doesn't even know the difference between psychiatry or psychology, amazing.

That was one of the worst, most uninformed screeds i've read yet on mental health, and that's saying something.
that article wrote:So let’s take Dr. Barkley to school. Medical science, and disease-research in particular, rests on the notion that you can make a diagnosis backed up by lab tests. If you can’t produce lab tests, you’re spinning fantasies.

The above can only, and would only really apply to a completely biological model of mental illness. While prevalent these days, such a model has only really been around since the 50's, and competes with a number of other models to explain mental illness. Because of this, many disorders don't have the sort of easily obtainable empirical evidence that exist in the rest of western medical science - which is by nature biological. this is really simple if you actually study the history and currents of abnormal psychology, not mysterious at all. Thinking it is mysterious or unusual, simply displays an intense ignorance of the field, including it's self-criticism. I love it when Buddhists present this sort of thing as damning proof of the "lie" of psychology...mainly because one could turn around and do the exact same thing with Buddhism in terms of demanding empirical abstraction as the only real direct proof of efficacy..so apparently what's good for the goose, is in fact, only good for the gander when it serves one's biases.

I'm going to make this my last post, because frankly I find many Buddhists (ironically, to me at least) don't know the first thing about the history of the western study of the mind, but feel just fine criticizing it, and basically making up nonsense about it. There is a lot to criticize for sure in the world of mental health, LOTS of areas for improvement..and lots of areas where skepticism is needed, but if you don't actually know the history and current modes of thought, you are just randomly firing criticism and nonsense at straw men, just like the article posted.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

User avatar
Paul
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:12 pm

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Paul » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:46 pm

Ambrosius80 wrote:I read about a woman whose diagnose was apparently "careful personality disorder".
I am not a doctor, but I can say with confidence I don't have that.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

odysseus
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:53 pm

There is no excuse Johnny, for making everything biological. It just looks like pure materialism. Most of mental disorders are not brain defects, they come from social issues.

Even if Buddha was the best psychiatrist, there has been 2000 years of philosophy of the mind by Western thinkers. It doesn´t seem like modern doctors pay attention to them and just go on with their own interpretation without actually healing people. This is the exact reason why people are skeptical to their mode of thinking and treatments.

User avatar
lorem
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:27 pm
Location: Fresno, California

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by lorem » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:56 pm

Out of deference for my teacher I will take the middle way.

Oxytocin is a whopper man.

EDIT I don't think we have enough understanding of the brain yet. So a lot of conjecture.

Another one: adrenaline can screw you up also.
Last edited by lorem on Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
I should be meditating.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8118
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:58 pm

odysseus wrote:There is no excuse Johnny, for making everything biological. It just looks like pure materialism. Most of mental disorders are not brain defects, they come from social issues.

Even if Buddha was the best psychiatrist, there has been 2000 years of philosophy of the mind by Western thinkers. It doesn´t seem like modern doctors pay attention to them and just go on with their own interpretation without actually healing people. This is the exact reason why people are skeptical to their mode of thinking and treatments.

Yeah..you are missing my point here, please slow down and read what i'm saying:

Firstly the "2000 years of Western philosophy" HAVE influenced psychology, and one only needs to learn the smallest bit of western psychology to know this.

Secondly, that people who DEMAND biological proof for mental disorders, simply don't understand psychology as it exists today.

Thirdly, that it's supremely ironic for Buddhists to claim psychology is "fake" based on the fact that many diagnoses have no biological component.

Again, it's just ignorance of what you are criticizing.
This is the exact reason why people are skeptical to their mode of thinking and treatments.
No, most people are skeptical because there are big problems with mental health treatment, they have had bad experiences, and they would rather make up their own answers to why that is, than to actually know about it, because it's easier. I don't blame them for feeling the way they do.
Most of mental disorders are not brain defects, they come from social issues.
This is incorrect, most disorders one can find have multiple components, social, biological, cognitive, etc.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

odysseus
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:07 am

I´m not clear about your point Johnny. Buddhists don´t say psychology is quackery. Medicine and psychotherapy can help some people. Nobody demands physical evidence for a mental disorder, but it´s obvious to any non-medical layman that current ways of dealing with mental illness is not up to par with reality.

It´s said that in the West, we enjoy material fortune but we also have the biggest number of mental illnesses. True, but what we´re talking about is the general practice of labeling everything as a mental illness.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8118
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:13 am

odysseus wrote:I´m not clear about your point Johnny. Buddhists don´t say psychology is quackery. Medicine and psychotherapy can help some people. Nobody demands physical evidence for a mental disorder, but it´s obvious to any non-medical layman that current ways of dealing with mental illness is not up to par with reality.

It´s said that in the West, we enjoy material fortune but we also have the biggest number of mental illnesses. True, but what we´re talking about is the general practice of labeling everything as a mental illness.

Lots of Buddhists on here in fact, have equated the entire mental health profession with quackery, and that's what i'm addressing. As well as the irony of Buddhist demanding biological markers for anyone's study of mental afflictions, which again they have, and which the article posted earlier does. If you don't feel that way, cool.

And I agree the mental health system is inadequate, however, it's unclear whether you even know what the scope of "current ways of dealing with mental illness" are, if you don't have that knowledge, other than some general statement about over-medication (which the field of mental health itself is aware of) what are you criticizing?
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

odysseus
Posts: 1117
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:31 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote: what are you criticizing?
OK, I see your connection now.

What I´m criticising is the view of mental illness as mostly biological and that it can be removed with only chemicals. The psychiatric medicines we have today can be a temporary support in severe cases, but in the end we have to look beyond only the physical and keep a holistic view of these illnesses. It´s very difficult to trace a person´s life and see why he received a mental illness. I´m not talking about any "karmic destiny" but I mean that we need to see the person´s experience to find the reason for his unfortunate state of mind. When we see the reasons, we can develop remedies. Remedies that are both based on regulating brain physiology and his daily life experience at the same time.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8118
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:43 am

odysseus wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote: what are you criticizing?
OK, I see your connection now.

What I´m criticising is the view of mental illness as mostly biological and that it can be removed with only chemicals. The psychiatric medicines we have today can be a temporary support in severe cases, but in the end we have to look beyond only the physical and keep a holistic view of these illnesses. It´s very difficult to trace a person´s life and see why he received a mental illness. I´m not talking about any "karmic destiny" but I mean that we need to see the person´s experience to find the reason for his unfortunate state of mind. When we see the reasons, we can develop remedies. Remedies that are both based on regulating brain physiology and his daily life experience at the same time.



Yes..that is worthy of criticism.

However, there are some disorders (schizophrenia and bipolar for example) that so far, there are very few effective options with other than medication, simply because nothing else has been particularly successful. In addition, these days even those disorders are being treated differently- with a combination of approaches, rather than just medications...at least if competent attempts at treatment are involved! In particular anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication are over prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders..especially when other therapies exist that have been shown to be as ore more effective, but (and this is the part that always make me puzzles about the criticism I see) this is something the field itself is aware of. It's even in textbooks, the notion that we are over medicating and should change course..so it's not as if this is news to anyone, nor is the current or future DSM uncontroversial in the range of stuff it pathologizes.

The bolded bit is exactly what people aim to do today in terms of therapy at least, for the most part. There are big problems not only with understanding causality, but also with resource allocation, improper use of prescriptions (for instance, I don't really cotton to general practitioner MD's handing out meds, and have never quite understood why this is done, other than money interests and laziness), etc. That said, there are more schools of thought than people realize, and the mental health field is far from the monolithic monster that some people present it as, IMO.

The idea that the mental health field as a whole only relies on altering brain chemistry is simply incorrect, in fact hugely so. If you want to go after that you need to go after psychiatrists and MD's specifically, and with regard to over prescription of anti-depressants and stuff like xanax, ADHD meds etc..not paint the whole field as being one thing.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

User avatar
lorem
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:27 pm
Location: Fresno, California

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by lorem » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:06 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I don't really cotton to general practitioner MD's handing out meds, and have never quite understood why this is done, other than money interests and laziness), etc.
Score. Same with pain meds but if you could get a referral and get help immediately wouldn't be such big problem. But some people who really need help languish in our system for intolerable amounts of time.
I should be meditating.

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9259
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by DGA » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:37 am

Highly relevant:

http://pbsamerica.co.uk/frontline-the-medicated-child" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
lorem
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:27 pm
Location: Fresno, California

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by lorem » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:50 am

Jikan wrote:Highly relevant:

http://pbsamerica.co.uk/frontline-the-medicated-child" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Yes can agree. Teachers want my son medicated. It is pushy, pushy, pushy.

EDIT The thing that scares me about medication is what happens to a developing child's brain. Other thing is I'm a Friend of Bill so don't want to start the kid early on a path of getting used to anything near self-medication.
I should be meditating.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8118
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:03 am

lorem wrote:
Jikan wrote:Highly relevant:

http://pbsamerica.co.uk/frontline-the-medicated-child" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Yes can agree. Teachers want my son medicated. It is pushy, pushy, pushy.

EDIT The thing that scares me about medication is what happens to a developing child's brain. Other thing is I'm a Friend of Bill so don't want to start the kid early on a path of getting used to anything near self-medication.

Medicating kids for our convenience is ludicrous really. I'm just waiting for the day somebody tries to diagnose my daughter with "oppositional defiant disorder" or something..them I get to tell them that I want her like that, lol. This is one area I do think things are very awry, the educational system and the way it pathologizes kids who even mildly deviate from the norm.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

User avatar
lorem
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:27 pm
Location: Fresno, California

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by lorem » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:09 am

:good:
I should be meditating.

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 1111
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 5:53 am
Location: California

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Mkoll » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:21 am

I don't read Mercola's website anymore, but I read this article years ago and it left an impression. Here's the relevant excerpt, with the most relevant disorder for this forum highlighted. :tongue:
Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D. wrote:My journey into DSM-IV made me think I had fallen into Alice’s rabbit hole.

Normal Human Experience Now Masqueraded as “Disorders”

Do you have difficulty sleeping after drinking coffee? The problem isn’t a product of your poor judgment in guzzling java immediately before retiring. You are a victim of 292.89 -- Caffeine-Induced Sleep Disorder F15.8. If you reflect on your shyness while tossing and turning, the problem could be the epidemic of 300.23 -- Social Phobia F40.1. Don’t worry. Drug treatment is available.

Unfortunately, if you’re thinking about your place in the cosmos or spiritual issues, you’ve got V62.89 -- Religious or Spiritual Problem Z71.8, and I couldn’t locate a drug for that.

Bad parenting is about to become a thing of the past. It’s not your fault, or your child’s fault. Besides the ubiquitous pandemic of ADHD, there are other disorders you may not be aware of.

Your ill-behaving child may be suffering from 313.81 -- Oppositional Defiant Disorder F91.3. If your child often argues with adults, loses their temper, deliberately annoys people, etc., you’re dealing with ODD. Of course, this must be differentiated from 312.8 -- Conduct Disorder F91.8, and 312.9 -- Disruptive Behavior Disorder Not Otherwise Specified F91.9.

Should the problem be getting along with a brother or sister, the condition is V61.8 -- Sibling Relational Problem F93.3. And should you argue with your spouse about whether the child should be grounded or drugged, you might be looking down the barrel of V61.1 -- Partner Relational Problem Z63.0.

If math homework is a challenge, be sure to check for 315.1 -- Mathematics Disorder F81.2. You must be careful not to confuse this with a V62.3 -- Academic Problem Z55.8. If things are OK in the math department, but you have a teen experiencing uncertainty about life goals, career preferences, values, loyalties, etc., you’re dealing with 313.82 Identity Problem F93.8. This has been downgraded from a “disorder” in DSM-III-R, to a mere “problem” in DSM-IV. I’ll bet that makes you feel better.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

User avatar
Lindama
Posts: 673
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:26 pm
Location: Forestville, CA usa

Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Lindama » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:14 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote: ....
Medicating kids for our convenience is ludicrous really. I'm just waiting for the day somebody tries to diagnose my daughter with "oppositional defiant disorder" or something..them I get to tell them that I want her like that, lol. This is one area I do think things are very awry, the educational system and the way it pathologizes kids who even mildly deviate from the norm.
right on, except I would say medicating kids is criminal, plain and simple.... and heart breaking since modern society is causing dysfunction in our children, real and imagined. I have a job where I talk with parents nationwide about their children's reading... it is shocking how many children are medicated in the US .... and how few parents understand this and refuse.

As far as the DSM, throw it out.... it is there to create jobs for those who swim in those waters and who need labels. I was on the way to psychologist before I came to my senses and quit, ABD. Ofc, there is mental illness, what if we take it on a case by case relationship.... the current discussion is considering adding a pathology to the DSM for ppl who are non-conformist. That about says it all... it is a political phenomena. I have seen drugs fail after a lifetime in friends... they just do not work indefinately, if at all.... read the studies. This is true of psychoactive drugs as well as other pharmaceuticals... the culture wants a magical pill... they get a fake bec there isn't one.

As far as Buddhism and psychology... an understanding is needed. I see it as the West's gift to Buddhism to integrate soul and psychology with Buddhism... it is needed and can't be ignored any longer.
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

Locked

Return to “Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests