In this post writer Kelli Maria Korduki chronicles her encounters with the psychiatric profession. She vividly captures the way the complexity of her and her life was reduced to a set of symptoms to be measured, rather than treating her as a person to be understood. Along the way, none of these professionals appeared to pay attention to the healthy parts of her. She learned to see herself as broken, in need of fixing.
We’re revisiting a past article by Dr. Allen Frances, a prominent psychiatric “insider” who now spends his time railing against the overprescribing of psychiatric medications. Here he talks about the New York Times article which connected the proliferation of “ADHD” in kids to the profiteering by the drug companies. This is a wake up call to parents and professionals alike. Frances says, “as it stands now, we are doing an uncontrolled experiment on our kids with no clue about the long term effects of the meds on their brains and behavior.”
From today’s New York Times: “Long-term use of antidepressants is surging in the United States, according to a new analysis
We have become a nation of fixers. We want to fix stuff as soon as its broken, including our moods. We don’t have much tolerance for ambiguity, or lack of resolution. Or emotional pain. What’s the problem with that, you might ask? Because often our attempt to “fix” our moods, or our pain, ends up making the problem worse, or more long-lasting. Here’s another way to do it.
Our current cultural model for conditions like anxiety and depression uses language like “chemical imbalance”, implying that suffering is related to our brain chemistry. In this post, Dave Keith offers another perspective that looks at our moods as dynamic states related to the context of our living patterns.
Many doctors feel under pressure to prescribe medications to patients with even moderate anxiety or depression. But it doesn’t have to be that way: Here’s a case of a physician with courage and imagination who takes an unexpected path to help her patient.
In this post, Dave Keith reflects on how he came to understand psychosis as a symbolic expression, embedded in a person’s relationships and experiences. This offers an alternative, dynamic and life-affirming perspective on what is often considered the “destiny” of mental illness.
“Chemical Imbalance” has become a generally accepted way to think about psychological conditions like depression and anxiety. But David Keith offers another perspective: In fact, emotional problems may be a sign of mental health.
These days kids are reflexively and routinely given stimulants like Ritalin if they are designated as having ADHD. Dave Keith offers an alternative perspective: He works with the family relationship patterns in order to treat the child. The side effects are good.
The logic of “chemical imbalance” persuades both patients and practitioners that context and subjective experience are not important. But that logic interferes with the understanding the person’s pain, and what it’s made of.