I see patients who walk in the door in distress. The only people who walk in feeling well are those who have been treated by someone else and are coming to continue treatment, either because their shrink moved, they moved, something changed.
Once in a while, someone comes in and they are in distress and they are already on psych meds and I look at the regimen and say "No wonder you feel badly, you're on way too much medicine" and I stop things. Mostly though, I start new medicines and I see people who were sick get better. Some people have problems with medicines, but not like I hear people talk about in our comments section. Here at Shrink Rap, people hate anti-psychotics. Very few patients tell me that very low dose anti-psychotics bother them. Medicines need to be added carefully, at low doses, and increased gradually. The patient is supposed to get better: it they don't, the medicine should be stopped. Sometimes people end up on a zillion medications, no better, and it's not clear why they are on them. See: Medications: The Good, Bad & Ugly, and You're Supposed to Get Better. These are some of my views on treatment and medications.
It's not unusual that patients come in and casually mention in the course of a therapy session, "oh, I stopped taking the meds." I ask why. Side effects? Felt they were no longer necessary? I ask if they feel better without them (some do, some don't). I'm here to help, and since I work in a totally voluntary setting, I may spout statistics, especially to someone with a high risk of relapse who was having no side effects and no problems with the meds and feels no differently off them-- but hey, you don't want to take medicines-- it's fine with me, and I'll hang out with you in therapy anyway.
Duane Sherry has been visiting us for a while now in the comment sections and he feels strongly that medications are the problem, not the answer, and that people who think they are better are wrong. He and I are seeing different before & after shots. He asks if I give informed consent (funny, I do) and thinks people should explore different options such as orthomolecular therapies. He's posted many links, and something gets troubling about the repetitive nature of it (at least to me) and something gets troubling about the accusatory tone, though he has really toned down the blatant --you're an idiot-- comments. Thank you, Duane, this has meant a lot to me.
So let me give Duane a moment here to get out his message of Meds are Harmful / Psychiatry Sucks here on the main page of Shrink Rap. Duane, you're still welcome to comment, but please stop with the repetitive links, and please keep the tone respectful. You might want to consider getting your own blog where like minded people can have a forum.
They provide temporary relief.
And that's all they do.
The greatest injury happens in their long-term use... They are addictive, because they meet the medical definition of physiological addiction in two vital areas:
a) Increased tolerance
b) Measurable effects during withdrawal
Have your patients look at the "side effects" more closely... Really look at what the drugs do.
Then see how many want to be placed on them.
Here is Duane's website...funny, no place for comments:
Here are some links Duane likes:
Duane, Please put any other links you'd like in the comment section of this post: your personal space on Shrink Rap. If you'd like, in future comments you can say "I'm putting links up in my space on Shrink Rap" and link back to this post and put them in the comment section here.
For the most part, we need to agree to disagree. I don't believe I am going to sell Duane on the idea that medications sometimes help people live better lives. And I don't think he's going to sell me on the idea that they should never be used.
To my co-bloggers: please forgive me.