Re: Science Saturday: The Mental Illness Epidemic (John Horgan & George Johnson)
Logic, reason in the house.
More of my selective copying from the Carlat piece. I just couldn't not. This is the best representation of this point of view I could ever hope to read or dream up myself.
Ah logic. Ah reason. Thank you Mary.
The problem with medication is not so much the fact that it is used on patients, as with the prevailing medical model that assumes that the patient presents with a condition best controlled with drugs, or with institutionalization plus drugs.
Research since the days of Loren Mosher and Soteria, for example, has indicated the florid symptoms of schizophrenia usually subside within about six weeks, whether drugs are used or not. A more recent example is Open Dialogue treatment in Finland, which relies on medication quite sparingly and results in impressive long-term recovery rates. It might be objected that in the "real world" psychiatrists have few options but to give medication, but that's different from evidence that medications are, in general, required.
I think we need to keep in mind that it is our systems of care that lack options, and not that medications are definitely "necessary." They may be at times the only option people can see because our systems of care are defective. Why else have ex-patients and consumers formed protest groups demanding legal rights and alternative methods of treatment? The formation of these groups is beyond strange. It may help put this in perspective to ask whether there are similar groups demanding legal rights and better methods of treatment for cancer patients, or diabetics, or patients with heart disease. I think not.