Has medicalization gone too far?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
muni
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by muni » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:33 am

odysseus wrote:
My own diagnosis is called "Buddhist".
:tongue:
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they never be disassociated from the supreme happiness which is without suffering.
May they remain in the boundless equanimity, free from both attachment to close ones and rejection of others.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by muni » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:38 am

In the psychology is a disorder often not to point by a label which was done before by categories and their symptomes. But now seen as not suitable or useful. Mostly disorders are a mixture of some symptomes ( compounded) and can only be called disorder when they are disturbing/affecting the person or/and others. So is me told, anyway.
This disturbing behaviour from the buddhist point is then to help, and not to judge as a person.

:namaste:
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the cause of suffering.
May they never be disassociated from the supreme happiness which is without suffering.
May they remain in the boundless equanimity, free from both attachment to close ones and rejection of others.

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lorem
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by lorem » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:34 pm

Ambrosius80 wrote: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.
My son was diagnosed at 3 and then has had a behavioralist (UCLA daycare), speech, teacher aid, etc. Early intervention is important. The common criteria for autism is 3 years old and no speech (at least for teachers at schools)

I later found out my great aunt/great cousin (???) didn't speak till she was 6. That was back in the dust bowl era I think. Maybe after because they left for CA.

Careful personality sounds iffy but would need to read DSM. Some OCD sufferers will just stand at a crosswalk and never cross. I mean there is a middle way here.
I should be meditating.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Nemo » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:44 pm

The numerous failed models of neurochemistry that have been used for the last century would point to quackery. After centuries of utter failure why do we now suddenly "get it". That would correlate with significantly better outcomes. That is debatable indicating the current model is still only a well disguised guess.

Repurposing Buddhist teachings has been effective in CBT. But technically that is not classical science as why they work is not understood in any coherent way. If you are honest the field is still in it's infancy. I think of it as alchemy becoming chemistry. The lack of morals in it's practitioners makes it likely to fail in the long term. The use of current discoveries in social manipulation, marketing, propaganda and torture makes the entire field suspect. You do not want the professionals developing better ways to waterboard in your head.

What I saw being done in the army was pretty monstrous. I'll never trust the field again till every single one of the scumbags lose their license. Not get promoted to APA advisers.
Medicine used for pure evil is not medicine any longer. To quote the president of the APA, "The goal of such psychologists’ work will ultimately be the protection of others by contributing to the incarceration, debilitation, or even death of the potential perpetrator, who will often remain unaware of the psychologists’ involvement.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/11/ ... rture-case" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://firedoglake.com/2009/04/28/how-a ... rrogations" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:18 pm

Lindama wrote: 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.
Interesting; Johnny thought I said all of it is quackery...
Could you say more about how you think modern psychiatry/psychology can benefit Buddhism? Thanks (hope I´m not starting a flame war now).

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:22 pm

Nemo wrote: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/11/ ... rture-case" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://firedoglake.com/2009/04/28/how-a ... rrogations" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Such cases are scary. There´s something rotten if these practitioners are suddenly "experts on the mind" after 6 years in college and now also in charge of national security.

For my part, I never met any shrinks or head-doctors when I was in the army. I guess I was lucky, but it still went well. lol

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:23 pm

This thread has faded out. But I´ll finish it by sharing this funny and untraditional discussion of psychiatry, since this is what we´re debating. It´s mystical, don´t you think? And don´t get mad... lol

http://casketkrusher.bandcamp.com/track ... -destroyer

Image

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Lindama » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:39 pm

odysseus wrote:
Lindama wrote: 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.
Interesting; Johnny thought I said all of it is quackery...
Could you say more about how you think modern psychiatry/psychology can benefit Buddhism? Thanks (hope I´m not starting a flame war now).
this is such a big topic, books can be written.... well, that gets me off the hook for being right. :smile: And, over the years, I've mostly forgotten the passion and the details of what I have said in the past ... I'm tired of talking.

To start, I heard Johnny say that many in Buddhism discount psychology as necessary, sometimes to the point of calling it quackery... in my experience, I have also seen this. Firstly, this is only partially true, there is the Abhidharma and perhaps the Platform Sutra which offer insights into the workings of mind... forgive, I am not a scholar. Still, I have not heard these talked about often. I have always wondered how polarity can arise in a spiritual system without noticing that this is the very thing that creates suffering, personal and ideological, in a system that professes to be beyond polarity. Ofc, many see beyond. I do not think awakening is a prerequisite for a basic understanding of how we function as human beings.

I also have my bias in my original post which was quite mildly stated. Essentially, I take a dime view of any medical model (mental or physical) which, by definition, focuses on pathology. What is mostly lacking IMO in this discussion is a holistic, functional view... it gets mentioned but the attention goes to the authoritative handling of suffering, diagnosis and treatment... the good, the bad and the ugly. And, much can be said about that. The scientific model will not provide a holistic approach, best we know that up front. It can provide information about the physical paradigm, not much else. Likewise, a purely spiritual view may or may not carry a holistic view. Is it fair to say that many lean in the direction of escape... into the paradigm of the non-physical and even the exclusively physical moment. So, polarity and reductionism arises and the arguments go on.... then add in policial and corporate power drives and we have a fine kettle of soup. :shrug:

Taking a step back, this is a great thread... it includes a wide array of thought. Every view has some merit, without labeling right or wrong. I actually thought that the article by Lew Rockwell was quite informative once I got over his bias to reduce everything to scientific proof. IMO, his argument fails when he tries to pin it on the failure of science, still he also makes a lot of good points and observations that we would do well to consider. Lew is an anarchist, anti-war, anti-anti.... his bias needs to be taken into account when reading the article and can perhaps neutralize the reactivity. He carries a partial view, as most of us do. Here's, perhaps, a good example of how western thought/psychology can inform Buddhism... seeing our own bias in operation. pro and con, etc... Don't need to look too far to see how meditation does not necessarily provide self-reflection like this. ofc, this is as individual as it gets, but I have witnessed stunning displays of unconscious behavior in sangha.

Perhaps, we can talk about no self from the perspective of the many selves at work in a being... my particular reactivity is worth knowing about... when I am operating in my fearful child mode, my parental mode, my two year old tantrum and egoic mode, my adult and true human, etc.... We operate at the effect of various patterns we carry. It is easier to see my VP boss acting like a possessive 2-yr old than it is to see myself... until we begin to practice life and/or mediation. What would it be like if I did not insist on a diagnosis and a cure... if I take responsibility for who I am, how I operate. This is the beginning of what I call growth and maturity... this is just not typically talked about in Buddhism, to my knowledge. The success or failure of this project is not the point, it is simply a way we can choose to live. I think seeing ourselves in this light can be preliminary to dropping obstacles on the path. Compassion for life and/or awakening that does not depend on success or failure. I can accept what Lew Rockwell is saying as material for insight and consideration. Who is it that needs to reject Lew bec of a perceived power of idea over me... when my adult can weigh his words according to my experience without any defense arising, taking/leaving the content. How greed is viewed dimly in life, greed can arise unseen when trying to finance a new temple. We could call this critical thinking, yet so many emotions can also be at play.

This is the flavor of what I mean by "western psychology" as a contribution to Buddhism. I'm not suggesting the current organizational models of DSM and psychiatry. Western human studies carry an extroverted view since ancient times which is informative when not taken literally. There is a mystery of east and west that is no mistake... each compliments the other. I suspect at the deepest level that I have no idea how an eastern sensibility operates, and vice versa. Skillful living does not magically happen. We can learn to see the sign posts and look deeper, when we choose. Knowing that there is nothing outside of me has vast implication and potential for inquiry. I am not suggesting that this also does not happen in Buddhism and what we call psychology.... each teacher and therapist has their own style. When i was studying, the mantra was "get your license, then you can bring yourself to the work". (I didn't) It turned out that the most valuable of what I was learning was not found in my formal education. There is no measure for that, anymore than we can measure the competence of spiritual teachers and therapists. I do not necessarily exclude pathology from this view. it is multi-factorial depending on our own comfort level going beyond labels, beyond consensus reality.

The implications go much farther than these words and there is no answer. Can we rest in that? A few pieces for consideration: King of Hearts, the movie. Emotional Intelligence, a book by Daniel Goleman, Buddhist teacher. (have not read it tho it's on my list).
linda
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not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by greentara » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:58 pm

If we can't see through this, there really is no hope: an insidious attempt to legitimate both science and spirituality placing them hand-in-hand, part of society's self-deluded urge to continually hoist psychology as truth to the highest altar. There is no scientific basis for the spiritual - it can't be measured it's just called "money" or straight out greed is good - and the scientific "truth" about "reality" is simply manipulation or social engineering. What's even more amusing is that behind the scenes at scientific places like Harvard for example there is a complete compromise of scientific opinion because it's been found that many scientists influence the results of their experiments and there is no objective reality to investigate.
If you look at the mystery of the placebo affect, as yet no doctor or scientist has been able to fully explain or understand it.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:12 am

IMO the primary thing western psychology has to offer Buddhism is some clinical therapies and methods that normalize people enough that they can engage in some broader path of fulfillment, and can simply help to heal the current state of people who need it. There is actually quite a bit of evidence that this is so, despite some people's weird insistence that there is no clinical evidence for therapies, or the misleading claim that therapies they are only as effective as placebos - a claim which shows itself misleading when one realizes that the same is true of plenty of western medical treatments for "physical" disorders.

I don't think there's much that western psychology can "give" Buddhism, but I do think that some therapies (EMDR for instance is something i'm interested in) function roughly as "secular" versions of therapeutic practices that have been around a long time, and are definitely useful to stabilize people who are suffering. Unlike (apparently) a lot of Buddhists, I don't see this competitiveness between the the two at all, because psychology has such modest aims in comparison to Buddhism..so essentially, it's some tools to help people heal and relatively evaluate dysfunction. Of course, this sort of thing only matters to you if you are someone going into the field, or someone who might want to use one of the therapies, from a Buddhist perspective I think western psych could be seen as skillful means. The world of western psychology is also pretty diverse of and within itself. A humanistic treatment model differs greatly from a psychodynamic model etc..

There's plenty of bad stuff in the world of psychology, psychiatry, drug companies etc., of course. That said, I don't believe that modern western psychology, or psychiatry, is some kind of conspiracy to do anything malicious to anyone, and like most parts of samsara most of what is wrong with it stem from the same unintended consequences to "do right" as anything else. IMO there is good there too, and there are ethical, compassionate practitioners, who have a positive effect.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is not just re purposed Buddhism I don't think, and in fact has a long history of development prior to the (pretty recent) work of some Buddhist methods being integrated into western psychology..so I am not sure where that claim comes from. You can certainly draw some real similarities, but implying it "comes from Buddhism" somehow is incorrect to the best of my knowledge. The cognitive schools acknowledges some roots in older thought, but I am not aware in any way that it is simply "restructured" Buddhism..it's more accurate to say that the Buddhist view of mind easily accommodates (and is broader than) the claims of CBT, as I understand it.
But technically that is not classical science as why they work is not understood in any coherent way.
I mentioned this earlier, but I believe this criticism is not valid, as it assumes abstract non-physical concepts can be conclusively "proved" in the same way that broader conclusions in western medical science can be. It seems like this is an error because western medical science is exclusively biological in outlook, and western psychology most definitely is not. Specifically, all one can do with something like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to "prove" it is test it's efficacy clinically, which is certainly done. The only option to make it "scientific" in the way you are requesting here is to do things like brain scans, which leaves the theoretical realm of cognitive explanations and enters the biological one. Further, you are also somewhat incorrect in general, as cognitive and behavioral schools of thought in fact DO have explanations as to how they work, they simply aren't biological explanations, and thus not empirically verifiable in the same way. In clinical studies, CBT is SO much more effective than many of the other approaches though, there is enough to recommend it as no-brainer in a functional sense.

I actually agree somewhat on the silliness of the neurochemical explanations though, pretty much everything can be summed up by high or low serotonin and dopamine it seems, lol.
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:01 pm

I´d like to say a long post in answer to the last answers, but I have to think it through. But for a starter, I ´ll say this: These people think they can be friends with the Buddhists? Just forget it..! :roll:

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Nemo » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:13 pm

CBT looks no more effective than Shamatha. One is 100$ an hour and the other is free.
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article ... nd-anxiety" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also no one seems brave enough to take on the moral failings of the profession. If it's discoveries are used for pure evil like torture, breaking the minds of political prisoners and controlling the populace it is a detriment to society and not a boon. Army was developing drugs to interfere with memory consolidation when I left among other darker things.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:21 pm

:zzz:
Nemo wrote:CBT looks no more effective than Shamatha. One is 100$ an hour and the other is free.
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article ... nd-anxiety" 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;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
You expect a Buddhist to disagree with that? Whatever the case though, on the whole there is very good clinical evidence for CBT in comparison to other modalities accepted by modern psychology, that also should come as no surprise to Buddhists...so I am not sure what you are trying to prove..I don't think you have a very accurate picture of where things stand currently in terms of western psych.

Far as moral failings of the profession, those are actually taught in school, and the debate about things like DSM classification and overuse of medications are current debates, right out in the open..so again, I don't think your perception of the field as a whole is particularly accurate. You act like things you are complaining about (which are valid) define the entire profession, and they don't at all.

Your arguments are akin to suggesting never getting vaccinated due to the tuskegee experiment.

Science by itself has poor moral compass, I agree with you on that, but I don't believe it's specific to psychiatry or psychology.
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:45 pm

odysseus wrote:I´d like to say a long post in answer to the last answers, but I have to think it through. But for a starter, I ´ll say this: These people think they can be friends with the Buddhists? Just forget it..! :roll:
Not having any knowledge of the field, and holding incorrect notions about it, sort precludes your ability to even meaningfully reply to much of what I wrote anyway, so that's ok.

Far as being "friends" there are already a number of well known, and less well known Buddhist with education in Western psych.....Some of them are of the modern, sort of Buddhist-lite bent, but others are quite traditional in some respects.
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Nemo » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:56 pm

I think the field is really full of itself for what has traditionally been a pseudoscience and definitely needs to be taken down a notch and develop an ethical backbone. From my perspective some seriously evil shit is not just tolerated but highly rewarded.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:59 pm

I addressed the claims of pseudoscience in the earlier post, same conversation over and over again, have fun, it's all good.
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:23 am

Putting it simple, this profession can´t inform Buddhists in any way. I have been diplomatic about it, saying that in some severe cases they can help to get you on your way. But they fashion with which they´re acting like an ultimate authority on the human psyche, it just makes them look like morons. What a bunch of losers and they think they´re enlightened? Enough said for now.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:33 am

odysseus wrote:Putting it simple, this profession can´t inform Buddhists in any way. I have been diplomatic about it, saying that in some severe cases they can help to get you on your way. But they fashion with which they´re acting like an ultimate authority on the human psyche, it just makes them look like morons. What a bunch of losers and they think they´re enlightened? Enough said for now.
You didnt know enough about the field to even know that there are schools of thought beyond the biological, and iirc correctly you made some comments aboit disorders being "all social". It's one thing to criticize something you know about, quite another to make a straw man of something you clearly just don't know much about.
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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by odysseus » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:35 am

Nemo wrote:CBT looks no more effective than Shamatha. One is 100$ an hour and the other is free.
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article ... nd-anxiety" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"
I don´t know how they wrap in the mindfulness of Buddha into a psychotherapeutic method. But to equate mindfulness as in Buddhism with CBT, I find it a low form of marketing for a too simple way of "good-feels". These folks are over their heads, obviously.

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Re: Has medicalization gone too far?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:39 am

:offtopic: :/
odysseus wrote:
Nemo wrote:CBT looks no more effective than Shamatha. One is 100$ an hour and the other is free.
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article ... nd-anxiety" 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;"
I don´t know how they wrap in the mindfulness of Buddha into a psychotherapeutic method. But to equate mindfulness as in Buddhism with CBT, I find it a low form of marketing for a too simple way of "good-feels". These folks are over their heads, obviously.
With all due respect, I think you are actually in over your head in this whole conversation, as you keep minterpreting thing being said, or completely missing important points, prseumably due to having no real knowledge of what you are talking about. Again there's plenty to criticize, if you actually knew what was there to criticize regarding the intersection of psychology and Buddhist practices.
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