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130 thoughts on “Can Psychosis be Prevented?

  1. Joe says:

    Now, I am really confused.

    quackdoctor on 24 Jul 2008 at 9:05 am wrote “I am not sure where you got the idea I practiced some form of health care or anything to do with it.”

    quackdoctor on 25 Jul 2008 at 1:19 pm wrote “Well I do have an interest in kids with neurological problems. … But I need the ability to use medications as well. I want to be able to take care of general health care as well. To treat infections, pain and the like. But no matter what I will never stop helping people with my hands as I learned in chiropractic.”

    So, which is it? Do you practice some form of “health care.” Do you acknowledge that chiropractic is not true health care? Not that it matters, you uneducated philosophy still does not relate to the question of whether psychosis can be prevented.

    It is quite clear that prophylactic, antipsychotic programs should be strictly experimental. And that point was well-made by Dr. hall.

  2. quackdoctor says:

    You clearly do not understand what I have attempted to articulate. I have not said anything like you say I have. You twist things deliberately or more likley you are so defensive of your island of reality that you cannot break free. It is like a kid who was a mother who is a whore. You can present him with the facts that his mother is a whore…Or may be a whore. But there is no way he will consider that Mom is a whore. Well you see Mom could not be a whore because she is Mom. Mom could never be a whore…Not Mom.

    And lastly. “Ass Head” is a quite legitimate term. Let me put it in a sentence structure.

    “Dr Jones was respected all over town as a wonderfull doctor. But when he prescribed calamine lotion for everything from diphtheria to palpatations he was suspect. Then when he prescribed the induction of “hysterical paroxysm.” for an enlarged prostate in the mayor’s wife we knew he was an ASS HEAD”

  3. Fifi says:

    quackdoctor – Why do you feel that you’d be more qualified (if you graduated as an MD) to prescribe medication than other MDs? Would you consider yourself qualified to prescribe psychiatric medications as a GP or do you intend to train in a specialty? Why are “they” evil but you’re “good”?

    Joe does seem to have caught you lying about not being involved professionally in health care. Why would you lie about that?

  4. Fifi says:

    quackdoctor – Let me offer you a soapbox. What is this radical new idea that you feel you’re sharing but nobody gets?

  5. Joe says:

    quackdoctor on 25 Jul 2008 at 3:06 pm wrote “You clearly do not understand what I have attempted to articulate. I have not said anything like you say I have.”

    I quoted you verbatim. It is in the record.

  6. weing says:

    Joe,
    He reminds me of a patient I had who was convinced he won the lottery. I was in the room as the results were being announced on TV and he had his ticket there. The numbers did not match to me, nor to others. To him they matched perfectly. I wouldn’t have believed such a thing was possible if I hadn’t seen it. The guy was not lying. He was convinced. Moral of the story? If you are absolutely sure of something, start doubting, as it does not mean you are right.

  7. quackdoctor says:

    “quackdoctor – Why do you feel that you’d be more qualified (if you graduated as an MD) to prescribe medication than other MDs?”

    Probably yes. Not all but most in a general sense. Yeah…sure. Why not? I am brighter than most people including MDs. So sure I would be more qualified than most. But certainly not all. But I do not prescribe medication and it is a science and an art. It takes time to get good at. But after I have paid my dues…Hell…What the hell. I will be more qualified than most

    “Would you consider yourself qualified to prescribe psychiatric medications as a GP or do you intend to train in a specialty?”

    Well it all depends what you mean by psychiatric meds. For simple things I think I could learn it. But for others only a psychiatrist should do that. As far as specialty. I supose I would train in internal medicine/family practice. I think.

    “Why are “they” evil but you’re “good”?”

    I do not understand this question. There is no evil or good in the world. I just have an opinion.

    “Joe does seem to have caught you lying about not being involved professionally in health care. Why would you lie about that?”

    Not at all. You have to read exactly what I did say to the letter. Remember I do a lot of depositions.

    “quackdoctor – Let me offer you a soapbox. What is this radical new idea that you feel you’re sharing but nobody gets?”

    To put down you conditioning and use your head. To think for yourself and question authority. To not be anal. And if you are out on a first date and have itchy balls don’t keep scratching them. And ask your date about their lives. Just don’t talk about yours. Tear down the churches. Find a better system than big Pharma. Get rid of drug advertising to the public and physicians. All medications in plain wrapping. No fancy boxes. Decriminalize drug possession and use. Make substance abuse a non criminal issus.

    Close most prisons. Make all health care free for all. Take down the borders between the USA, Canada and Mexico. Allow Americans free enterprise in Canada and Mexico and allow the people fom those countries free enterprise and jobs here. Eliminate liberal arts degrees and teach professions and trades. Limit incomes and redistribute wealth. Bail out Haiti no matter what it takes. Eliminate disposible diapers, toilet paper and limit plastic containers dramatically. Start growing commercial hemp in the USA again. Eliminate “jolly jumpers” and “walkers” for babies.

    Raise the minimum wage way up. Make most drugs non prescription like Mexico. Abolish laws that prevent women from going topless. Let drug addicts be able to obtain pharmaceutical grade heroin and clean needles easily. Legalize prostitution. Eliminate capital punishment. Cut China off from US support or trade until human rights are restored and animal abuse is halted. Give Tibet full support. Stop burying people and creamate only. Eliminate expensive cars, fancy cloths, jewlery and expensive watches. Eliminate ties. legalize home schooling in all states. Eliminate trophy hunting. Lower the drinking age to 18. Eliminate federal and state tax leans with a 5 year statute on collection.

    Allow gay marriage, allow bigomy, allow incest among people of legal age. Ban “Purity rings” or “Promise” rings in christian and other girls as it is degrading to women. Make marriage ceremonies optional. Discontinue blood tests for marriage. Encourage safe sex in teenagers and legalize it for couples of similar ages. Encourage mutual masterbation between teenagers to sexually express themselves and relieve tension and avoid pregnancy and STDs.

    So anyway you gave me a soapbox for my radical ideas so I gave you just some of them.

  8. steff says:

    I tore through The Center Cannot Hold last night and this afternoon. I finished it a little while ago, and the first thing I did was look up Elyn Saks so I could email her and thank her for writing the book. And thanks to you, Harriet, for the recommendation!

    Parts of the book definitely reminded me of my own illness. I’m completely astounded that she got through school the way she did despite being sick; I’m currently going back to college myself, and it’s exceptionally difficult. She did much better than I’m doing now. (And I’m considered “high-functioning”!)

    The book gave me hope that I can make through school and be successful. Thanks again for suggesting it.

  9. Harriet Hall says:

    Steff,
    Thank you for reading it and reporting back. I was impressed by the book, but I didn’t have any way to judge it. It’s reassuring to hear that it rang true for someone who has been there.

  10. quackdoctor says:

    “I was impressed by the book, but I didn’t have any way to judge it. It’s reassuring to hear that it rang true for someone who has been there.”

    Now Now…We all know that personal testimonies and accounts are meaningless..

  11. Harriet Hall says:

    “Now Now…We all know that personal testimonies and accounts are meaningless..”

    They are meaningless as scientific evidence, but they have value for understanding human experience. Novels and poetry are not meaningless; they just aren’t science.

  12. quackdoctor says:

    “They are meaningless as scientific evidence, but they have value for understanding human experience. Novels and poetry are not meaningless; they just aren’t science.”

    You mean there is meaning to the universe that extends beyond science?

    I think I will cry. And all this time I though the love I have for my child was just a product of neurochemistry.

  13. Harriet Hall says:

    Quackdoctor said,

    “And all this time I though the love I have for my child was just a product of neurochemistry.”

    It is! And isn’t neurochemistry wonderful?! It produces human consciousness, pleasure, language, memories… And it allows us to do science and to find our own purpose and meaning in our lives.

    There’s no “just” about it! It’s marvelous and awe-inspiring; far more so than some of the supernatural explanations that have been proposed.

  14. quackdoctor says:

    Well it is pretty incredible. But I am not sure there is not something beyond the material. I do not mean a god. But I have been looking into the concept of the Unified Field and the superstring theroies. They are very interesting. That as we reduce the universe we come to a point where there is organization but now a material reduction below it. That at the root of the universe is a unified field of intelligence. or “consciousnerss” But not what we know as consciousness. The theroies of Dr John Hagelin I find extremely interesting.

    That at the root of the universe is a cause that moves everything. That is the root of evolution. Not a “supernatural” thing but part of the nature of the universe. And there may well be more than one universe so there may be roots of this one that we do not understand.

    I suspect our consciousness is a combination of more than just neurochemistry. That there is a root beyond that which we understand as material that drives the neurochemistry. But I suspect a rock is more than just the product of the matter it contains. That there is a root. And the best explaination I have studied is the Unified field/superstring.

    And maybe I am wrong and maybe I am right. But I am in good company. Because Einstein suspected a similar thing. And of course there is no hard science to prove this. But I really do like John Hagelin’s theroies.

  15. Harriet Hall says:

    I wasn’t aware that Einstein suspected anything like that. I thought he expressed a sense of awe and reverence for the natural world rather than thinking anything supernatural existed. Do you have a reference?

    You may be right, but people have been looking for evidence for a long time without finding any. As far as I can see, the “unified field of intelligence” is nothing but myth or metaphor.

    Hagelin is one of those strange creatures: a good scientist who somehow went off the deep end. He is now talking religion, not science. The first thing I found when I googled him was “proposes vedic defense shield to prevent war.” He’s a follower of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    And the “cause that moves everything” sounds like Aristotle’s prime mover, which fails to explain what moves the prime mover.

    All this is philosophy and speculation. Let’s stick to science and medicine, please.

  16. quackdoctor says:

    Well yes you are correct in many respects. The deal is that science will bring us down to as far as we can go on the scale and pretty much prove the superstring and unified field. But as far as if it is consciousness or whatever that science will never prove or disprove. That as you say is philosophy.

    But I will say this. That the folks at Maharishi University are quite bright. The are a decent group. Their”religion”does in no way limit science. I mean so they way the universe is consciousness. But that is their observation. It really does not get in the way of science at all. I mean when rubber meets road the fact that I may believe that has nothing to do with science. I just say there is a conscious root to all scientific law. I and they beleive in evolution, the big bang, medicine. So the philosophy is not at arms with science in the least. We do not worship this consciousness or expect that it will over ride universal law. So one can “believe” in it and it really would not change how one approaches science or medicine. And I really do not think it is delusional like religion. I am not a religious person and I do not believe in miracles. But I do accept universal consciousness as true more so than not true. And you believe the oppsite. But it does not change science.

    Lastly you know I looked into Hagelin and looked into Maharishi University and it is a damn good school. The people are not crazy at all. They are quite balanced. The sudents meditate twice a day alone, excesize. Students get excellent nutrition. Classes are structured in a ver balanced fashion to give a well rounded life to the student. And I looked into TM and found it was not at all what I thought. It is a relaxation technique. And actually they are doing some quite interesting studies on electrical activity in the brain from it.

    From everything I could see these people are very functional people that are not deluded wackos at all. I mean it is not like “Liberty University” or some christian or Jewish school.

    So anyway I thionk these fols are level headed and in the final analysis they promote peace and harmony in the world. Consevation, ecology and preservation of the earth. They promote peace and tranquility between people. But do not believe in dogma like Bible myths and religion.

    I think if I was to be able to do college again I might go there. I like the structure, academics and balance of what they do. I think if you listen to hagelin he has not gone off the deep end because what he believes is at the root of the universe does not influence his physics at all…

    And what ever he is. he is also stll a damn good scientist.

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuuKBInwQRU

    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ31qkK4NoE&feature=related

  17. Jurjen S. says:

    Fifi wrote: Actually cognitive therapy is longer and more expensive than medicating a patient, it’s a time based therapy, which is why insurance companies tend to limit coverage of talk therapies but not medications.

    Well, that explains a lot of the hassles I’ve been having with my insurance company. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder a few months ago. Being a layman (albeit it a fairly informed one, or so I’d like to think), I don’t know what the precise criteria for diagnosing depression are, but I got the impression part (though by no means all) of the reason the diagnosis was “major” was to get the insurance company to cover some of the expense.

    My therapist thought I would benefit from a course of antidepressants, primarily to help keep me stable while we worked on fixing the problem through (cognitive behavioral) therapy. She referred me to an ARNP who concurred with the diagnosis and put me on trazadone (which is fairly mild as antidepressants go). The ARNP also recommended I start temporarily taking a (men’s) multivitamin to make sure that deficiencies in my diet weren’t part of the problem.

    So far, the only thing that my insurance has been willing to cough up for without reservation is the trazadone; both my therapist and my ARNP keep sending me letters to the effect that the insurance won’t pay for this item, or only pay so much for that item, so I keep getting hit with additional unexpected expenses (unexpected to my therapist and ARNP as well, I might add). I consider myself extremely fortunate that I can afford the added costs at the moment, but what I find particularly pernicious about the way this is happening is that it’s apparently impossible to get any clarity upfront about what the insurance will and will not cover. I can readily imagine that a patient who is on a tighter budget than I am is going to suffer more harm as a result of the insurance company’s capriciousness than that which the therapy is alleviating. In such circumstances, I can readily envision the patient saying “to hell with the therapy, just give me some antidepressants; at least my insurance will pay for those.”

    Of course, since the antidepressants treat the symptoms but not the cause (as therapy hopefully would), the patient might end up on meds indefinitely, so it strikes me that this policy is a case of being penny-wise and pound-foolish on the insurance’s part. Of course, health insurance companies seem to excel at that.

  18. Jurjen S. says:

    Quackdoctor wrote: For example in cases of depression how often does the psychiatrist not medicate and have the patient get more sunlight, eat better, exercise and make other changes?

    What makes you think the two are mutually exclusive? As I said in my previous post, my therapist and ARNP put me on antidepressants as a temporary measure, to help keep me stable while we worked on addressing the root cause via therapy. Given that I’d been having thoughts of suicide, I don’t think this was an injudicious course of action.

    It’s also important to note that the cause of the depression may lie in factors that are not as readily changed as “getting more sunlight and eating better.” Hell, I live in the greater Seattle area; if it weren’t summer right now, “getting more sunlight” could be a seriously tall order (which rather illustrates my point). The problems causing the depression might be work-related, or due to economic malaise, what have you. You can’t expect the patient to be able to just change jobs or houses, or move to another state (which involves both). In my case, the death of one friend and the (unrelated) incarceration of another played a role; these are not conditions that I have the power to change.

    These conditions that patients have to learn to cope with, and that process will take time; it is not inappropriate to prescribe antidepressants until that process can be completed.

    Fifi wrote: It should also be noted – for the benefit of any self styled new age energy healers out there who also consider themselves as “alternative” psychiatrists or are evangelical about vitamins – that the “pull up your bootstraps and get outside” strategy that Quackdoctor proposes is potentially lethal.

    Damn straight. At a very minimum, any response that boils down to “just snap out of it” is supremely insulting, because you’re essentially telling the patient that there’s not really anything wrong with him/her, and that he/she’s just putting it on. If effect, you are letting the patient know that you refuse to take him/her seriously, and when dealing with depression, that is one of the worst things you can do.

    I’m almost inclined to say I’d love to see the alternative “health care” community adopt such an attitude, because it would probably turn off a great many marks, excuse me, patients. I say “almost,” however, because I fear that for some patients, that rejection would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back with, as Fifi says, “potentially lethal” consequences.

  19. quackdoctor says:

    Again..True or not you do not address the question as to what the percentage of times a psychiatrist does not prescribe any drugs.

  20. quackdoctor says:

    “Fifi wrote: It should also be noted – for the benefit of any self styled new age energy healers out there who also consider themselves as “alternative” psychiatrists or are evangelical about vitamins – that the “pull up your bootstraps and get outside” strategy that Quackdoctor proposes is potentially lethal.:

    I have not proposed any such thing. You need to actually read what I say. I am against inappropriate medication. Not medication. I sugest you read what I say and be evidence based. Not over react simply because I advocate correct care. When people need drugs they need drugs and when they do not…Then they do not.

  21. daedalus2u says:

    Depression was the 11th leading cause of death (in 2005).

    As someone who has been depressed for decades, there are things that help a little bit. For me the things that help a little include eating turkey every day, sitting in front of a 500 watt quartz halogen lamp while I eat breakfast, a tablespoon of flax-seed oil, and watching my stress level.

    Those help a little, antidepressants help many times more, orders of magnitude more. For me, nothing has even been close to being as effective as antidepressants (other than increasing my NO level, but that is another story).

  22. Harriet Hall says:

    quackdoctor,

    Hagelin is the one who wanted to stop the war in Kosovo by sending 7000 yogic flyers. (The Maharishi folks are the ones who bounce on mats and convince themselves they are levitating.) He claimed that crime dropped in Washington DC during an experiment where thousands of people meditated. In his book “Voodoo Science” Robert Park pointed out that the murder rate hit its all-time maximum during that time and he characterized the study as a “clinic in data manipulation.” That study won Hagelin the Ig Nobel prize and considerable ridicule.

    He says things like “We have also found in other studies that in the geographic vicinity of such a meditating group, people experienced physiological changes—increased EEG coherence, reduced plasma cortisol, increased blood levels of serotonin, biochemical changes, and neurophysiological changes—as if they were meditating.” Sure, and I bet it lowers gas prices, too! :-)

    He may be a good scientist when he sticks to physics, but he has not applied the principles of good science to these other endeavors. He’s trying to co-opt science to support his belief system.

  23. quackdoctor says:

    “He says things like “We have also found in other studies that in the geographic vicinity of such a meditating group, people experienced physiological changes—increased EEG coherence, reduced plasma cortisol, increased blood levels of serotonin, biochemical changes, and neurophysiological changes—as if they were meditating.””

    Yes but DID the studies prove these things? (LOL)

    Well from everything I looked at Harriet I did not find the things that you did. I was only looking at some things I guess and they appear rational. I still am inclined to slant more toward accepting the unifie field and consciousness than I am not to.

    But if there are things I have missed I am willing to be wrong. I mean with this levitating do they really believe the material body doing it or is it some method to achieve something else. But I will look deeper into all this and if I find that Hagelin has totally flipped I will admit it..

    But the science that I do see(that I have seen) seems pretty rational. But if I am wrong I am wrong.

  24. Fifi says:

    Harriet – The “Flying Yogis” also like to get involved in politics – as the (now defunct) Natural Law Party in Canada. (If I remember correctly, the main Natural Law guy changed his name and is now a Conservative candidate!) There seems to be a very strong attraction between Neo-Conservatives and ambitious New Agers/cultists! I have to wonder about the connection – a common dislike of reality-based thinking? (Though Tony Blair did pretend to be a Labor leader until he was elected, and he and his wife are responsible for promoting all kinds of woo while getting swindled by various conmen and new age types.)

    “Quebec Tories hope to get lift from Natural Law Party founder
    It has been a while since the polls have given the Conservatives any kind of lift in Quebec, but one of their candidates might be able to help. Allen Faguy founder of Canada’s defunct Natural Law Party and veteran yogic flyer, is running for the Tories in the Montreal riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine. Now going by the name Allen F. Mackenzie (Mackenzie was his mother’s surname), he said his move to the Conservatives is consistent with his earlier espousal of levitation. Tory policies such as smaller government, less taxation and greater decentralization of powers “are all principles we find in nature as well,” he said. If he manages an upset, he’ll encourage MPs to practise meditation to “become more positive and harmonious. He also said in the 1997 candidates debate in Westmount (SITE that yogic flying “can bring down suicide rates and send up stock prices.”

  25. Fifi says:

    Jurjen – Thanks for sharing your story and my very sincere sympathy for losing your friend. I’ve been there so I can empathize, it’s a long dark walk through the valley of death and it’s always a lonely one when we’re missing the person who would have offered us a ray of light to see our way. This isn’t much of a consolation but I’ll offer it up because I found it useful to remember – the depth of our loss is also the height and breadth of our love. I’m glad to hear you’re getting the help you need and can afford it and manage the paper pushers.

    What strikes me as particularly barbaric/unethical/lacking in compassion about health insurance and mental health issues is that not all people who need treatment are capable of negotiating a system designed explicitly to give as little care as possible (because that’s how profits are made, by denying claims or only providing the cheapest options). Not everyone is capable of being their own advocate or has an advocate who can manage the bureaucracy for them. It all seems rather Kafka-esque! I could be wrong but I’m assuming that people who can’t cope end up not paying their insurance fees and just get dropped (after paying in when they were healthy, of course) – does anyone know how that works in the US?

  26. daedalus2u says:

    Fifi, that is exactly how it works. In general mental health coverage is no where close to the coverage offered or required for physical health. The only way you can get good mental health care is to pay out of pocket which most people simply can’t afford to do, even if they appreciate the value before hand. I have been lucky that when I needed mental health care I was able to afford it.

    I think it is more the problem of trying to apply an “insurance” model where it is inappropriate. Insurance is a way of distributing risk, many people pay in to cover the rare instances where a few of them have catastrophic costs that no one can afford individually, but which are rare. In the US, what is called health insurance is used for ordinary expenses, expenses which are completely foreseeable and predictable in advance such as well infant and child health care and preventative health exams. There is nothing unexpected or unpredictable about these health expenses. Paying for them with “insurance” only adds the cost of administering the insurance and the profit that the insurance company has to make.

    Using insurance to pay for things that are completely predictable is simply a boon for the insurance company. They know exactly how much it will cost, they charge accordingly and add their profit.

    Going to a single payer plan, such as the US government eliminates the middlemen of the insurance companies and deprives them of profits. Insurance is only needed when the economic entity is not large enough to weather the rare but catastrophic expense. The US government is the largest economic entity that there has ever been. The US government has no need what so ever to hire anyone else to provide it with “insurance”. It is lobbying by those insurance companies (paid for by the profits they are making) that is blocking any approach to universal health care that does not involve private insurance (which necessitates profits for those private insurance companies).

    Companies are not in business to provide compassion, they are in business to provide profits for their shareholders. Publically traded companies cannot put compassion above profits because doing so lowers the value of the company and the stock. People can then buy that stock, replace the directors with those who put profits first, the stock price goes up and those who changed the company from a compassion first to a profit first company have made a tremendous profit. A company that is not privately traded can apply what ever trade-off of compassion vs. profit that its shareholders want, but a publically traded company has to go to the lowest common denominator.

  27. Fifi says:

    daedalus – Thanks. I thought that might be the case for people who didn’t have friends or family to advocate and care for them – I assume that when this does happen the patient ends up on the street (or dead) or being cared for by the state (taxpayers)? Ultimately it’s in the highest interests (profit) of an insurance company if people with chronic conditions die quickly and cheaply. That may sound hyperbolic and unbelievable but from a purely logical and business perspective it makes total sense.

  28. Fifi says:

    Do premiums go up if you use your insurance like they do with other types of insurance?

  29. quackdoctor says:

    Well Einstein did certainly not believe in a personal God. Or one that interceded in peoples lives. It has been said by religious people that he did believe in a personal God and that is untrue.

    But he did believe in the unified field of all things. And he did imply that there was more to the natural world than it’s expression. For example he said…

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

    So the key to this quote is “reveals”. Indicating some root that was “revealed” by nature. Now not a “who” but a root. But whether this root exists or does not exist has little bearing on science. Because whether you believe universal law is without an intelligent field or not has no bearing on the laws of nature. As long as you do not believe that the laws of nature can be changed.

  30. Fifi says:

    There should be some internet term equivalent (but opposite) to the Argument ad Hitlerum for the appeal to a personal interpretation/extrapolation from Einstein’s quotes to support one’s spiritual beliefs, disbelief or disinterest in the god question. Particularly since he seemed to go to great efforts to try to avoid people doing this when his words kept being used for other people’s agendas. Argumentum ad Einsteinum?

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