I'm going to give you a controversial answer, but please don't reject it out of hand. The stuff I am telling you is now widely reported in news magazines and consumer reports etc - mainstream stuff. Those science editors are concerned that biological psychiatry has made a lot of false promises. the treatments are not effective for most people, it appears, and may be causing great harm to many.
I tried 25 different medications, alone and in combos, and ECT, and none helped, and most pills made me worse after a few weeks, but I might get a placebo bump up for a couple of weeks. My brother had similar experiences, but gave up sooner with medication solutions because he got severe Tourette's disorder from lithium or prozac or the combo (don't know, but the problem developed suddenly, is severe, and permanent - this happened 10 years ago).
Well, it turns out that drug companies do a lot to manipulate their studies to make it LOOK as if their pills work good, and when the NIMH does large studies, they can't get people to recover from their depression even with state of the art treatment, or get bipolar folks to stabilize. but the results of the study will get a bunch of spin to make it LOOK like it was a success. what the studies really show is that medications do not work well for most people. since many of the pills, especially antipsychotics, cause great harm, if they only help a little bit or not at all, it is not worth it for such a patient to take them.
In my case, most meds made me have an internal agitation that was unbearable, and I was more suicidal than ever. 10 months ago I gave up and discontinued my meds (I told my doc) because the meds clearly made me more argumentative with my husband and were not helping. after about 5 months, it became clear I was getting better, and after 8 months or so, the improvement was dramatic. I am still horribly depressed, but the ANGUISH feelings, and the agitation, are less. I no longer feel compelled to claw my face off or stab my chest open with scissors. I think this was akasthisia, although my psychiatrist seems unwilling to discuss if that was the problem.
Anyway, if you want to read some scientific stuff that shows you this side of biological psychiatry, read Irving Kirsch's stuff on antidepressants are really placebo treatment (his view is gaining widespread acceptance, this was in consumer reports even) and for more info, go to madinamerica.com where Robert whitaker lays out a lot of research that has been spun to make these drugs look good, when they don't really help much, and may make you sicker in the long run.
in any case, I hope things go better for you. It's ok to email me for more info. i'm just another patient, but I used to be a geophysics PhD student until prozac ruined me. Or maybe I just got sicker - no way to re-run the course of my life. I'm disabled by bipolar depression now, for 15 years.
PS Irving Kirsch's stuff is gaining acceptance, robert whitaker is controversial, but another guy, John Iaonnidis, is pointing out that MOST medical research is worthless, and because he is not going after only one field (psychiatry) he is very popular at medical conferences and his views are widely accepted and his reputation is not being attacked. It isn't just psychiatry - statins and stents are oversold, too, and I just read a big article that for most patients, digital mammography is a waste of money, etc. I think psychiatry as a field is very defensive, because the public doesn't really view them as doctors, so they more viciously attack people who question their research, and maybe cardiology isn't so bad. but that is conjecture on my part.
I've had bipolar for about 30 years
· 9 years ago