Mental Illness Doesn’t Exist

The words “mental illness” have become a code for people who don’t want to think or analyze. They chirp “mental illness” whenever reality baffles them as if these words actually explained anything instead of being first a means of social control and then a way for pharmaceutical companies to make piles of money.

There is no mental illness that just happens for no reason. It doesn’t exist. What does exist is the following:

a) a society that finds it impossible to accept difference and that prefers to pathologize it and medicate the non-conformist into oblivion;

b) psychiatrists who have no skills and can do nothing but follow this social mandate;

c) people who hand over the responsibility for their personal growth to a bunch of pills;

d) pharmaceutical companies that make out like bandits and keep promoting the “mental illness” meme.

The more wide-spread this meme is in a given society, the more infantilized that society is.

I know that many people have come to experience a profound emotional attachment to the pharmaceutical ads and the idea that there is no mental illness will make them angry. This only testifies to the power of such advertisement that prevents people from noticing the enormous liberating potential of the idea that there is no mental illness.

That is their right, of course. What really entertains me, though, are the earnest Liberals who have come to convince themselves that recognizing mental illness and respecting it as an identity-building construct is somehow a progressive act. It is especially hilarious to see them defend the mental illness label in the same breath as they condemn predatory capitalism.

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80 comments on “Mental Illness Doesn’t Exist

  1. I am skeptical that mental illness does not exist at all, but I believe that it is rare, and it is almost always best treated without drugs. The use of psycho-active drugs is just pure laziness on the part of psychaitrists.

    • ” it is rare, and it is almost always best treated without drugs”

      - Just like any illness, I believe.

      ” The use of psycho-active drugs is just pure laziness on the part of psychitrists.”

      - Exactly. It’s easy and the patient is soon zombified to a socially acceptable state. I’m horrified how often this happens and to completely normal people who have absolutely no need of any medication.

    • Actually it doesn’t exist. Ask a Buddhist about emotions and a Muslim about how to live one’s life correctly. Then you will see that Westerners/Christians/Capitalists are the most emotionally and socially stupid people on the planet. All the people have to be taught is about emotions, social skills, and how to live their lives well and those “diseases” won’t exist. Most “mental illnesses” are social skills to tell you that you or others around you are not living their lives right or are not emotionally well. They are actually social skills to anyone who is intelligent. I know for a fact!!

      • But God forbid anyone to be emotionally and socially intelligent in a Capitalist society. It might destroy Capitalism. Hahaha. (Not! Maybe then we could sell better products.)

  2. What about say bipolar disorder and schizophrenia? There are people with real diseases that can benefit enormously from drugs. I understand most people throw around the term ‘mentally ill’ to talk about depressed people or people who commit atrocities but I think it’s silly to pretend that no psychiatric diseases exist.

    • “There are people with real diseases that can benefit enormously from drugs.”

      ??? There are no drugs that cure these mental states. There are drugs that make them less noticeable to others at the cost of severe side effects to the patients, that’s all. This is precisely what I’ve been talking about when I mentioned social control.

    • I think even what is called ‘schizophrenia’ can have it’s origins in early psychological trauma. I believe Theo Dorpat provides an example where he treated such a patient who improved under his supervision.

      • There is also evidence that schizophrenics without who are released from psych facilities do better if they are alone in the world than those who return to their families. The co-dependence aggravates their condition.

      • I see. There is a really good journal article that seems to relate to extreme cases like schizophrenia:

        Godwin, Robert W 1991. Wilfred Bion and David Bohm: Toward a Quantum Metapsychology. . Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought 14 (4):625-654

    • @Liz- do you know that 80% of schizophrenics are zinc deficient? Yet hardly any prescribe them liquid zinc ! ( with liquid zinc a person can know imediately if they are deficient. It has a delayed taste response in those that are deficient) Give most of them zinc and they are back to “normal” . Those that continue with the medications over time end up demineralizing their systems and become even more deficient. No it does not help the 80% . Many people when withdrawing from heavy drugs be them legal or illegal often can have manic episodes- this is mostly due to the fact that the drugs over time have robbed their bodies of needed minerals. There is a new movement in psychiatry that is starting to address these issues and weening people of the heavy pharmaceuticals with minerals and supplements. And Its about time. Beliefs like yours need to change! Bi polar tests right now are all subjective! Until the blood marker tests are ready (they are being developed) there really is no proof that someone has bi polar disorder. Btw the psychiatrist who coined the terms ADD and ADHD six months before he died said it all BS ! In order to make pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatric industry rich. I do believe that mental illness exists yet it exists far far less “in reality”. Most of it is just money making BS. The new field is what needs to be promoted because most of the drugs just make people numb zombies lacking true emotions – and the drugs do very little in solving the real problems and most do more harm then good imo. Treatment needs to change and forced drugging needs to stop. The drugging of todlers is just insane! Childrens brains are developing to the age of 25.

  3. Evidence suggests that mental illnesses exist. Severe forms of autism, bipolar disease, schitzophrenia are three examples. Now these illnesses may be incurable. That is why drugs may be used. If the symptoms are not suppressed, such people cannot function at all. In some cases they may harm others. It is ludicrous to suppose that psycho-analysis can deal with all such illnesses. Moreover, if the individuals are not well–covered by insurance such treatments are prohibitively expensive.

    You are not trained in these matters so it is presumptuous of you to pass such categorical judgments. Each person to his own last.

    • “It is ludicrous to suppose that psycho-analysis can deal with all such illnesses.”

      - It can if the patient is willing. And if the patient is not willing, medicating him or her against their will is a method of social control.

      “Moreover, if the individuals are not well–covered by insurance such treatments are prohibitively expensive.”

      - No insurance covers psychoanalysis precisely because pill-pushers will never allow it.

      “You are not trained in these matters so it is presumptuous of you to pass such categorical judgments”

      - I don’t believe in abdicating the power over one’s own life to others. My opinion should exist alongside the very vocal opinions of pill-pushers. Then everybody can listen to a plurality of opinions and decide what works for them.

  4. The fact that drugs to treat mental illnesses are
    (a) not very good at the moment and
    (b) over-prescribed
    does not mean that ‘There is no mental illness that just happens for no reason. It doesn’t exist.’ We can have illness in other parts of our bodies, so why not in the brain?

    • “We can have illness in other parts of our bodies, so why not in the brain?”

      - I said “‘There is no mental illness that just happens for no reason.” An illness that happens for no reason is non-existent in both the mind and the body. Just like with a physical illness, say, a common cold, you can either find out why you keep getting colds and remove the reason or keep getting colds and mitigate the symptoms by gulping pills. That’s everybody’s own choice.

      • I’d say that like every illness, there must be a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors that produce the particular illness, so rarely just one or the other, unless the case is extreme. I believe studies show that those who develop schizophrenia have a much better prognosis if they are in the developing world.

      • who are these people diagnosing mental illness? are they GOD? they are ticking boxes and if you reach certain criteria for an illness then congratulations, you are labelled and offered pills. then you can just go along in life blaming every bad day you have on your illness. reality check: every body has bad days and some people have had bad up bringings and have trust issues. its normal, its a protection stratergie. anyone who goes around being gullible will sooner or later be tricked by some one they thaught they could trust. There isn’t one reality. Reality is different for every body and we ourselves have the power to recover and work on our selves. Learn to trust our intuitions and inner voices. If you’v had abusive parents then likley hood is you just attract abusive people in your adult life because it is all you know. rather than blame yourself for having a mental illness first check the people who you surround yourself with.

  5. Awesome post. Just awesome. Yes, some people have problems, fractured psyches, due to stress, but that is not at all the same as catching the ‘flu or succumbing to cancer. The model of mental illness is just wrong, when it is understood in this sense, that is according to common sense.

    I have been reading Ira Brenner about split personalities, recently. Interesting.

  6. Loved reading this post, and agree with your points here, especially (a) and (c). Also, mental illness is a great way for government to outsource society’s problems. See here: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/11/the_terrible_awful_truth_about_1.html

    “Do you want riots in the streets? How much does it cost to prevent LA (your choice) from catching fire? Answer: $600/month/person, plus Medicaid. Medicalizing social problems has the additional benefit of rendering society not responsible for those social ills. If it’s a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. Yay empiricism.”

    “The rise of psychiatry parallels the rise of poverty in industrialized societies…
    … It is the government’s last resort to a social problem it may or may not have created, whatever, but has absolutely no other way of dealing with.”

  7. Great post even though I am not sure that a illness cannot be a partially psychologically-caused state.

    Those who do not appreciate this post should read this carefully:

    “There is no mental illness THAT JUST HAPPENS FOR NO (you could add non-physical” REASON. It doesn’t exist.”

  8. To be fair, you titled the post “Mental illness does not exist” (with no qualifiers), and make repeated mentions in the penultimate paragraph of “the idea that there is no mental illness” (again, with no qualifiers).

    I appear to have misunderstood what you intended by ‘a reason’ in the sentence that David quotes. Given the context of the post and your anti-pharmaceutical stance, I interpreted your ‘reasons’ as excluding biological causes such as a genetic predisposition towards neurotransmitter imbalances, or the degeneration of neurotransmitter systems that accompany certain diseases (such as Parkinson’s disease). My apologies if this was an incorrect interpretation.

    In general, I agree with Musteryou about mental illness being the result of both genetic and environmental/experience factors. Treating/understanding the latter is therefore very important, so on this I think we agree.

    From a biological standpoint, the neurotransmitter systems involved are normally finely tuned and currently not very well understood, so to treat maladjustments in these circuits by flooding the whole system with a drug is rather like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. But if these treatments could be refined so they worked only on particular subcircuits, then I think they could truly help some patients. Just out of interest, what would be your view on the use of deep brain stimulation to treat, say, severe depression?

    • “To be fair, you titled the post “Mental illness does not exist” (with no qualifiers), and make repeated mentions in the penultimate paragraph of “the idea that there is no mental illness” (again, with no qualifiers).”

      - Titles of blog posts are routinely shortened for formatting purposes.

      “Just out of interest, what would be your view on the use of deep brain stimulation to treat, say, severe depression?”

      - Complete insanity. Why mess with a person’s brain when any analyst will reformat the sufferer’s tragic vision of the self within five sessions with absolutely no side effects?

      Of course, this presupposes a patient who is ready to let go of the depression as an identity-forming practice and a way of relating to others. Then there is the issue of the co-dependents who will also dislike letting go of this structure.

    • God, what people will not do to keep wallowing in their problems and martyrizing everybody around.

      This proves my theory that people who wallow in depression value it as an identity-forming and abusive devise. (In the spirit of fully disclosure: I used to be one of these folks. But at least I had the decency not to live with anybody at that stage. Those who wallow while living with human beings are abusive jerks who need to be dumped forthwith.)

    • Hohumdiddlidum. Being against authorities can also produce euphoria, supposing one handles one’s rebellion well. I take Georges Bataille and Marechera as examples. There will always be authorities, that’s the case. The point is, As Nietzsche might say, “Are you ‘against authorities’? If so, show me your RIGHT to go against authorities! Are you a new strength and a new right? A first motion? A self-rolling wheel? Can you even compel the stars to revolve around you?

      Alas! there is so much lusting for loftiness! There are so many convulsions of the ambitious! Show me that you are not a lusting and ambitious one!

      Alas! there are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.

      Free, do you call yourself? Then I would hear your ruling thought, and not merely that you have escaped from a yoke.

      Are you one of those who had the right to escape from a yoke? Many a one has cast away his last worth when he has cast away his servitude.

      Free from what? What does that matter to Zarathustra! But your fiery eyes should tell me: free for what?

      Can you give yourself your own evil and good, and set up your own will as a law over you? Can you be judge for yourself, and avenger of your law?

      Terrible is it to be alone with the judge and avenger of one’s own law. Thus is a star thrown into the void, and into the icy breath of solitude. “

  9. The label of mental illness, the “existence” of this idea, the attachment of this belief must be present in order for people to get the help they need. The proper help they deserve. Friends and family don’t want to do it. They have problems of their own. People want to get paid to help others. Insurance has to have a way of coding it and providing reimbursement. Doctors with medical licenses have to be able to give a diagnosis to provide this code. Free clinics or services that offer a sliding scale have to be able to receive donations and money from the government in order to thrive and provide these services. Good professionals have to be able to use a method under these labels in order to tailor an approach with existing established treatments (which also exist because of this label). But it has become distorted so that big pharma and doctors can prey on the troubled. To make more and more money. Because that’s what they care about. That’s it. Nevermind that drugs are not the answer. Drugs are never the answer.

  10. I completely disagree with you and find some of the things you’ve said quite offensive. I have suffered from Bipolar Disorder for many years. Bipolar, like Major Depression and Schizophrenia IS a biological and chemical disorder that can be measured through activity in the brain. One of the defining factors in diagnosing a mental illness is working out whether or not it causes the patient distress or will have a negative effect on society. In my case my disorder caused me great distress at times and that is why I decided to try medication. Medication is not an exact science and thus requires a lengthy trial period. It took me 2 years of going on and off, but I finally found a cocktail that worked well for me. That, along with regular maintenance therapy, a healthy diet and regular exercise has helped tremendously. If I did not have this mixture of drugs and therapy I would most likely be in a hospital ward. Would you tell a cancer patient that they weren’t sick and did not need medication? Or a Diabetic?

  11. I have Bipolar Disorder and without the help of drugs I would probably be in a hospital ward right now. I think a statement such as, ‘Mental illness does not exist’ is an extremely dangerous one, especially when conversing with someone who has an illness. These people are confused and distressed enough without people telling them they aren’t sick. The fact is, there are neurological illnesses and disorders that effect patients on a biological level. Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and Major Depression are all passed down through Genetic indicators. They have a serious effect on the function of the amygdala, which controls emotional memory and thought. Bipolar is a life long illness. It has caused me severe distress in the past and I made a conscious decision to take drugs. The drugs have worked and I can live a much happier and fulfilling existence.

    • Good to see someone with life experience wade into this ill-informed mess of an article. Like you Simcha, I have mental illness manifesting as severe anxiety attacks. This time last year I was on a hospital ward after a suicide attempt. Sadly, because of a waiting list for services, I had to wait to get counselling therapy. In that time I needed medication to manage my anxiety. Sadly when I decided to stop my medication I was found close to death after an overdose. The medication kept me functioning until I could get access to speaking therapy. Even now I do have to rely on Beta Blockers to manage my anxiety.

      So Clarissa, thanks for spreading the stigma that the use of medication is simply for the weak willed. In the UK suicides are on the increase because people do not get the help they need. Your way of thinking is not just ill informed, but down right dangerous.

      • It’s not about being weak willed or strong willed. In my view, it may well be about having the time and perhaps the good fortune (enough resourses) to address the source of the issue. This can take a lot of time and energy. Easier to dose up on a drug.

        Crises certainly will occur if one has faced some traumatic situations and it out of touch with oneself. But very few people are genuinely “mad”; out of control.

      • One always has a choice: assume the responsibility for your personal growth or delegate it to a pill. You are absolutely right, the concept of a “strong / weak will” (which is nothing but the favorite mantra of masochists) has absolutely nothing to do with this.

    • simach. personal question. you don’t have to answer. did you have a good upbringing. or do you think its just a brain abnormality you was born with?

  12. The source of my issues are biological. They always have been. That is what a mental illness is. Anything else is considered a Disorder of Personality, but I’m not going to get into whether or not that is a problem or not. I do not know enough about it. What I do know is, medication and a routine lifestyle is imperative to my wellbeing. Simply talking through my problems with a therapist or receiving CBT will not help me, I have already tried it. In fact, I took medication as a last resort, because I was literally losing my mind and nothing else would work. So if you are going to write off mental illness you may as well write off all illness and go spit on a bunch of cancer patients.

    • I do believe that all illness is psychosomatic in nature. I also know 3 people who were diagnosed with terminal cancer respectively 22, 17 and 7 years ago and who addressed the disease through resolving their psychological problems. They are all alive and well today even though the doctors only gave them months to live.

      I have to say that the unhinged and petulant tone of your comments offers proof for my contention that pill-guzzlers are all immature drama queens.

      • You’re spot on there. That’s like the time my mate lost his entire arm as a result of an office prank. We decided to bring in a spirit-healer and through the power of positive thought and will-power his entire arm grew back and it was even better than before. None of these stupid drugs or doctors had to get involved.

      • Too right. My cat kept whinging about not being able to be a human because of biological problems. I made him realise that his problems were all in his head and then taught him how to get over those problems without drugs. He then transformed from a cat to a human with the power of his mind only. He then went on to release a string of world-wide hit music singles before converting to Islam.

      • You probably think you are cute, Bragina, but you make an impression of a very stupid, cruel person. We are discussing very serious issues here and you are being a total jerk about an issue that causes very real human suffering. You’ve got to be a cruel, heartless prick to blabber idiotically about cats when people are talking about mental illness.

        Shame on you, you heartless freak.

    • It is this kind of magical thinking that creates mental health stigmas and belittle’s those who suffer from mental illness (or any illness for that case). Contrary to your belief, all illness is NOT psychosomatic. You may as well be saying you can cure AIDS through exposure to light and air or by doing some mystical dance.

      • I’m certain I did not state anywhere that all illnesses are psychosomatic. In fact, I did make a statement to the contrary on this very thread.

      • Buddy, relax, nobody is taking your pills away. You can keep guzzling them. And if you are older than 12, you might start getting used to the idea that nobody is obligated to applaud your choices all day long. You are a very immature, silly person whose entire worldview is limited by a pill. This makes you boring.

    • Although I don’t think all illnesses are psychosomatic, I am very cautious about taking any drug, unless I absolutely have to. If I do so, I will miss the chance of correcting a psychological or lifestyle imbalance. I am lucky enough to have a very strong mental constitution, capable of great endurance and quite some adaptability. My physical constitution is a bit more dodgy, though so I have to work on it.

      The problem with having a very strong mind is that I can impose tasks on myself that my body simply cannot handle. I need to be alert as to when I am doing this. Popping a pill would create a smokescreen that would prevent me from reading the reactions of my body accurately.

      In my twenties I suffered terribly from a very poor immune system and fatigue. Some of this is constitutional — being indoors for eight hours a day, under air conditioning, does not agree with me. But there was more than this. I had suppressed a huge amount of rage that I felt about losing my homeland, along with my migration experiences. Also my father had been treated me like a female gender caricature, due to his own traumas. This filled me with rage.

      I had no knowledge that I was extremely distressed and angry. I had repressed all of that and directed my hostility inwards. Consequently, I was putting a tremendous load on my body and it pretty much overheated and generally collapsed.

      By understanding
      1. That I was extremely enraged
      2. That there were logical reasons for this anger, that I needed to acknowledge in order to understand myself.
      3. That there is a link between mind and body

      I was able to heal myself.

      Of course, I still have some problems with being in unnatural, artificial environments. My whole being seems to rebel against being trapped indoors or in circumstances where my behavior is controlled by others. I have to avoid those situations, lest I direct my anger inwardly again.

      I’m glad I took the old-fashioned way to self-understanding, though, even though it took a lot of time. I have really great relationships with people and a good knowledge of my world and what I want from life, which I would never have had if there had been some easy, medical solution to my problems.

  13. MENTAL ILLNESS DOES NOT EXIST. I know this because I was hospitalized three times for so-called “depression” during high school, many years ago. No one can possibly be “cured” in that kind of environment. You are totally dehumanized. You’re on drugs the whole time, you have to wear a gown, and you can’t even open a window. You’re also strip-searched the moment you get there. I really hate my parents for having sent me there, and often fantasize about slowly torturing to death the neighbor who advised them to do it. Anyway, I’ll end by saying WE ARE PRODUCTS OF OUR ENVIRONMENT. If people have issues, the issue is usually related to a conflict with the environment. I grew up in a family of religious zealots and could never excel in school; the simple solution would have been for me to have been homeschooled, at least a few years. I was never “ill” in any sense of the word; I was just frustrated, because at that point in time, I was stuck between two equally disgusting environments.

    • I’m very sorry you had these horrible experiences, John. I think you are absolutely right and depression doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. It is a result of what is going on in a person’s life. And if that person is a child or an adolescent, his or her parents should find the strength to take responsibility for creating the kind of environment where their child gets depressed.

  14. Thank you, Clarissa. Pardon the tone in my last post. You’re only the second person I’ve come across, that’s actually acknowledged the myth of mental illness. I can assure you, the treatment is worse than the non-existent “illness.” After they gave me Prozac, there were many occasions when I had to sneak out of school because I couldn’t sit still. Luckily, I only took the stuff for a few months. I have no doubt that in the case of those who spend years taking pills, there is some kind of permanent cognitive or physical damage which results. The word you used was “oblivion” and that is spot on. You’re basically termed into a zombie. John Nash Jr. is a good example; after they pumped all those drugs into him, the man lost most of his creative abilities for 20 years.

    I don’t deny that some people are predisposed to certain kinds of behaviors, such as cannibalism and violence. I don’t condone these kinds of behaviors; on the other hand, I don’t believe they point to mental illness. I would say they are just instincts from less “civilized” eons in human history or else “genetic legacies” from the family tree. Why some people choose to act on their instincts, in response to stimuli from the environment, remains a mystery. It’s like asking why Mozart wrote sonatas at age 4. On the other hand, to claim that certain types of “irrational” thoughts and moods are the result of “chemical imbalances” is way off the mark. Atoms and molecules don’t speak or have personalities. Though I’m a dedicated atheist, I don’t believe science can explain why we think at all, save for some superficial explanation like neurons firing, or that the mammalian brain structure has “evolved” relative to complexity.

    I’ve hinted at the stigma associated with “mental illness.” The stigma, like the pills, is worse than the non-existent “disorder.” Whether you believe mental illness exists or not, the vast majority of society takes it as a sign of weakness and failure. As someone who despises sympathy in general, having to relive the memory of “involuntary hospitalization” 17 years ago is quite annoying. Freud was correct to lay so much emphasis on childhood, as it lays the foundation for much of our later perception of the world. I’ve come to despise doctors/hospitals, pills, psychiatry and religion.

    • You have had a horrible experience that you on no way deserved or provoked and you are handling this trauma with enormous dignity and courage that are to be admired. You have turned it into an opportunity to gain insight and have achieved more in that direction than most people do. Sadly, there are too many who are not prepared to hear this message and reject it.

    • I grew up in a next to perfect, happy middle class family. I have had a good education, several great friends, and overall I am get privileged.

      Three years ago, I attempted suicide. And I have suffered multiple panic attacks for seemingly small reasons, such as not wanting to answer a phone call from a college and having to pair up in a class where I don’t know anybody.

      Now, I am receiving counseling and I am taking SSRI medication (if you don’t know what that is, Google is your friend)

      Now, pray tell, if what I suffer from isn’t mental illness, what’s wrong with me?

      • I really like the mention of a middle class family in this context. Because that and being “privileged” are so totally relevant.
        Not.

        It’s no wonder that with this level of ignorance about themselves people hide from self-knowledge in medication.

      • For what it’s worth, your first paragraph would describe my existence up until 15 years old. However, I had been depressed/suffered from anxiety before that point too. It took quite a bit of therapy to figure out the ways in which my next-to perfect, middle class family hadn’t actually been treating me very nicely, and I’m working on that still. However, once I figure out one way in which something they did wasn’t ok, and the reasons why they did what they did, the symptoms associated with that particular thing disappear.

        Also, it’s hard to figure out the genetic causes of a problem that can also be explained by children reacting to and repeating to the behaviour of their adult relatives. I’m quite curious if there are any studies on depression in children who were adopted very very young – the presence of similar rates of depression in those kids to the depression rates of their parents would lend extra support to the genetic hypothesis, but I haven’t seen a study that does that yet. Might very well be possible though – depression is only my field in the sense that I’ve suffered from it.

        Also, I must complain a bit about the way you formulated “mental illness has scientific backup”. Science is a process, a way of figuring out stuff about the world. It does not back up the world itself, only claims about it. Your or my suffering is not a claim, it’s a thing that exists. Unless you mean to say “the theory of mental illness”, your formulation makes no sense. If you did mean that, and specifically if you meant it in the context of depression, I must again complain that depression is one of the worst understood mental illnesses there is, scientifically. We don’t really have a theory of it, we have a hypothesis of it being related to serotonin levels which has quite a few holes in it (depression sufferers don’t necessarily have lower than average serotonin levels, and, while SSRI meds help some patients, they do so after a few weeks at least, whereas serotonin levels increase almost immediately), a newer and much less tested cortisol levels hypothesis, and a bunch of meds that help 40% of patients (interestingly, the same rate that is helped by both CBT and psychoanalytical therapy), with side effects that some of these patients are ok with. What we don’t have is a theory in the scientific sense of the word, so you can’t really validly throw around “has scientific backup” because science isn’t yet sure it wants to back its current understanding of the subject up.

  15. You failed to answer my question. Why am I diagnosed with clinical depression when I have no trauma to seemingly explain it?

    It’s simple; it’s biological as well a genetic. Believe it or not, mental illness does have scientific backup. And if it’s a clinical problem, it’s only natural that it treated using clinical methods, such as medication.

    • You are diagnosed because it’s easier and more profitable to medicate you than to try to actually help you. Today people are diagnosed with disorders and medicated just because they are shy, socially awkward, anxious, restless, etc. They become a lifelong source of profits which is precisely why they are told that their issue is physiological and genetic.

      It always entertains me to see how passionately people defend their right to be fleeced by drug companies.

      • For many people, a diagnosis is the only acknowledgement they get of their suffering being valid. So this might contribute to them getting extra touchy about what they perceive as you attacking their diagnosis, especially if important people in their lives think they’re just doing it for attention/to manipulate those around them. Before anyone gets flamey at me in one direction or another, do notice that this issue is orthogonal to the issue of medication working or not working.

      • I don’t think you understand. I literally cannot function correctly without medicine. I get panic attacks, you know what that is? People compare it to a heart attack. I feel like I am dying when I get them. Why on earth would you want anybody to experience it?

        And for the matter, I don’t 100% rely on my medicine. A pop of lexapro isn’t a cure all. That’s why I work with my psychiatrist to cope with troubling thoughts. Before I was diagnosed, I thought I was some kind of freak incapable of living normally in the world. Today, I can live normally without my life being totally dictated by panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.

        Are medicines over prescribed? Probably. Nobody is claiming that they aren’t. There I a problem with people thinking that they’re “depressed” because they feel a little down. But that shouldn’t distract from the fact that people have it so bad that they want to commit suicide for seemingly no good reason.

        If I get physically sick from my anxiety, then I should not be called a victim of the pharmaceutical company from wanting to not feel sick. Because it helps.

        I highly advise that you talk more to people who have to visit psychiatric wards regularly. Because it’s people like you that make life worse for people who have mental illness.

      • I believe Clarissa has also suffered from depression and anxiety. So have I, while we’re at it – it’s the reason I finished college 2 years later than I should’ve. If meds help you, that’s awesome, and I’m really glad for you – I wouldn’t wish panic attacks on my worst enemy. However, they don’t work for 60% of patients. At least some forms of therapy have the same success rate as meds, and they sometimes work for people who don’t respond to medication too. From what I understand, though, there’s a movement away from the use of therapy, including insurance companies not covering therapy costs – which leaves many people suffering the same as you out to dry. I can understand why Clarissa, who fixed her problems with therapy, would be mightily pissed off at this attitude.

      • The medication helps for a while until the body gets used to it. Then heavier dosages need to be prescribed. Then a second drug to accompany the first. Then more meds to deal with the side effects. Then meds to deal with side effects of the anti-side effects meds. And so it continues. I’ve seen people who go down this road. Fifteen-twenty years later, there is barely any person left behind all the meds.

    • So have mine, of me. That doesn’t mean they haven’t occasionally fucked up big time tho. People aren’t angels or monsters, they’re, to use a cliche, people. With their own issues that influence the way they treat others, which sometimes creates matching issues in said others.

    • ” And thank you very much for insulting my family, who have been supportive of me, unlike you.”

      - Of all the weird comments I have received on this blog, this is probably the weirdest one.

  16. You know, I’ve found resveratrol is a very good substance for me to take. It does have certain psychoactive properties, in the sense that I would imagine speed does. I can focus better on it, without shifts in emotion playing too much part. I tend to be prone to panic attacks when I am dehydrated — a cycle that can start after losing water due to training hard and then being exposed to lots of pollen, which also depletes my moisture content. The drying of the membranes in the nose and ears leads to heightened reactivity to pollen, which in turn exacerbates the histamine cycle, leading to greater dehydration. But these days, I take resveratrol instead of caffeine in the mornings, and I am much less prone to that effect.

    Lucky for me I’ve solved my problem by and for myself, but can you imagine if I’d had to rely on outsiders to figure it out? With the prevalence of a reflex to label people mad these days, I would hardy fare so well.

  17. Pingback: Failing is an Option Now | Aden Ng Jun Xiang

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