Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Tom Cruise Is Not Alone

It may come as a surprise to some people, but for decades psychoanalysts and psychiatrists have faced off in a lingering debate -- talk therapy or drugs?

Traditionally at the end of their psychiatric residencies in medical school, and after passing the tests for board certification, the two professions diverged at a crucial fork in the road. The Freudian wannabes headed for an Institute for Psychoanalysis in a major city where they were indoctrinated in Sigmund's couch potato rituals and underwent their own analyses -- a requirement for all newbies.  The psychiatrists headed for the locked wards, put on their white lab coats, and learned the pharmacology of mental illness.

As a child growing up in a home where Freud was the L. Ron Hubbard of our family belief system, using drugs to control disturbed behavior was tantamount to holding a baby underwater until it stopped crying.

Drugs were an anathema. "They only mask the symptoms."  Sound familiar?

Over time, the lines have blurred.  The analysts prescribe talk therapy and drugs.  The psychiatrists prescribe drugs and talk therapy.

While Tom Cruise hardly seems credible as a whistleblower, there is one guy with credentials up the giggy who has sounded the alarm

His name is Joseph Glenmullen, M.D. [www.glenmullen,com]  He is a Harvard trained psychiatrist. One of the pill pushers. His book, Prozac Backlash, first published in 2000, has a subtitle which says it all:

"Overcoming the dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and other antidepressants with safe, effective alternatives."

It's an excellent book if you want a scientifically substantiated argument backed with clinical evidence that bascially warns people to be afraid of these drugs. 

Be very afraid.

He worries about internists prescribing the drugs like pain relievers. Then simply renewing the prescription time after time without evaluation. He worries about neurological damage after using the drugs for more than a year.  He worries about not using the drugs in conjunction with talk therapy.  In short, he worries about the abuse that is starting to show up.

There is a big difference between using drugs for clinical depression, bipolar disorder, post partum psychosis, paranoia, or schizophrenia, and using them when you're struggling with a bad job or going through a divorce. 

I read the book three years ago.  It made me realize how many people are being unnecessarily controlled with these popular behavioral medications and experiencing serious neurological side effects. 

Take your grandma who is sad after grandpa dies.  She gets put on Zoloft and after awhile she begins to exhibit shaking symptoms that look like Parkinson's disease. And memory loss. So everyone thinks she's just suffering from being old.  But it's the Zoloft.  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Dr. Glenmullen's testimony has been instrumental in getting a warning about the possibilitiy of suicide included with these seritonin boosting drugs.

So, Tom Cruise may seem like a bizarre and inappropriate person to be on an anti-antidepressive drug mission. 

But Dr. Glenmullen isn't.


robbush6 said...

So are you saying I'm not crazy, I just need swimming lessons? I'll give you some time to think about it and get your lab coat back from the cleaners.

ccancu said...

My doctor for ladies put me on Paxil because it would cut down my pain.  He patted my arm as he explained that these anti-depressants often help people like me .. .  you mean creative, expressive women with chronic pain???

I knew one clinically depressed person that was becoming suicidal and he improved immensely on an anti-depressant, but that's a pretty Xtreme situation.  I think people who are desperate and clinically depressed may NEED these drugs on a limited basis, with monitoring.  Everyone reacts differently to most any medication.  This one works on your brain, baby!!!  

The doctor told me that there are very few side effects and I should feel BETTER in a few weeks.  It was clear to me that he was passing out Paxil scripts to women who cried in his office, had chronic pain, told him they were down and didn't know why.  I'm sure there were some other criteria.

I changed doctors.

whsprdphsh said...

After living my entire life in the far depths of clinical depression with sudden violent outbursts of psychotic mania; being essentially controlled by my emotions and made a locked prisoner in a solitary cell with my body and actions under the control of a chemical imbalance and no way to communicate to the outside world what was going on, subsequently overdosing in a suicide attempt (I didn't want to die, it was just that when I was awake my phobia's and psychoses made it like a walking nightmare because I couldn't control myself and there was always this noise in my head, this incessant static, like from an old tv, and going to bed brought no rest as the static remained, I could never sleep and with the exception of 3 dreams until the age of 20, all I had were terrible, horrible nightmares.  I had to get out of it, I had to find peace.  That's all I wanted: peace.), clinically death and subsequent resusetation I have found and adamantly believe that the cocktail of meds I'm on are saving my life on a daily basis.  And I can see it in the times when I run out or forget to take it and my symptoms reoccur within hours.
No, I don't plan on being on medication my whole life, but I will stay on it until I'm capable of controlling myself, and even then I'll have to take some when I get out of order.
See above for another opinion:


jevanslink said...

We're talking apples an oranges.

It sounds like you have struggled with problems which clearly indicate psychotropic medications to control. As I'm sure you know, one of the problems with getting people to take them is that they have some nasty side effects. But, clearly, they do work.  And they help.  Often in conjunction with talk therapy.

I am talking about the abuse of antidepressants for the Worried Well.  People who go to their internists, not a psychiatric professional, and want a quick fix for the blues or their unhappiness with a crisis in their lives. Or something to make grandma perk up.  

Not the debilitating clinical diagnoses you describe.  

Mrs. L


whsprdphsh said...

I have Bipolar Disorder with psychoses, major depressive disorder, social phobia, borderline-borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, panic attacks and generalised anxiety disorder.  Some people would look at that list and go "she can't have all those things... obviously the doctor who diagnosed her was a quack.... she's just fine.

Now, how would the opinions of these people change when I told them that it was a team of doctors at Johns Hopkins Universtiy, after weeks of observation, extensive interviews with those close to me and intense therapy with me, that diagnosed me with those syndromes?  

All of my illnesses are the result of a chemical imbalance in my brain which causes physical changes. These changes can be seen on CT-scans, thermal scans and MRI's as the thoughts and feelings change in an untreated person.  Depression and bipolar disorder have been proven to be the result of impaired functioning of the pumps that control the neurotransmitters, namely dopamine, seratonin, and norepinephrine.  These chemicals control your emotions, your conscious thought does not.  In someone with a chemical imbalance like bipolar disorder, the manic stage causes a surge in neurotransmitters and depression is a state where  the neurotransmitter level is low. Normal is when the neurotransmitter pumps are able to keep the in and out flow at an equillibrium.

I take medication not to get rid of my "symptoms".  I take medication because my body does not work properly.  My medication maintains my neurotransmitters at a level so that I'm able to finally function in this world.  Now I know what real emotions feel like (and yes, you definitely can feel emotions while on psychotropics) and the part of me that was trapped inside is now in control and I can be the beautiful, unique person I am.

jevanslink said...

You're defending a position that needs no defense.

Frankly, you sound like you're bragging.

Luckily I'm not a trained professional and I can say those things.

Mrs. L

robbush6 said...

What is this? The after party from the 4th of July rainout? Or is it a shit storm of crazy?

In my opinion, there are two kinds of crazy. The people that think they are. And the people that think they're not.

Disclaimer: "I'm not licensed to say this and nobody asked."

salemslot9 said...

Alot of people take pills as a quick fix
I didn't say all people
alot of people don't want to do the work
eat healthy & exercise
no "happy" meals :(

barbaramck said...

What's next? Inner-utero (sp?) genetic testing for stereotyping?

Just a thought from a person who controls her daily nervous breakdowns by talking to a friend,

Barb @>--------

PS: I saw Brook Shields' interview with Oprah. I seriously wanted to smack her for saying she felt like throwing her newborn daughter against the wall; now that is Post Partem to the extreme. I believe in "Meds" for anyone "Who Believes" they are helping them, But, through personal experience -My twin sister was "Diagnosed" with Bipolar disorder that I'm Sure she has had ALL her life. BUT!! instead of prescribing "Counseling" ( her HMO wouldn't cover costs) they put her on a little magic pill -several, actually- I'm stumped. It is neither here nor there and not for me to judge, but, she hasn't really changed, in the slightest of ways, from my point of view. To talk to her though, you'd get a completely different take on the subject.

suzypwr said...

Caution is good  - and situational depression is not the same as clinical depression. Valium started all this, I think. Our first Feel Good Pill. If I remember right, it's actually a muscle relaxant.

Maybe instead of wondering if we need talk therapy or drugs - maybe we should wonder what is going on in our country that so many people are depressed.


dcmeyer420 said...

Thanks for speaking out about this topic. While it can be denied that some people benefit from psychotropic drugs, there are number of people who just have to deal with life instead of medicating themselves.  

lamove04 said...

Whoah... glad I caught this one!  

Here's a fact:  for me, when I was unmedicated and undiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 (psychotic mania):  hospitalization 3x, exactly four years apart, with many cycles of extreme hypomania and instability in between.  WITH diagnosis and meds: NO hospitalizations for the past 7 years and minimized mood cycles, much more stabilty.

I agree with your distinction between prescriptions for the "worried well" and those with serious illnesses, but unfortunately people like Tom Cruise, and even some of your other commenters here do not get or make that distinction.  In my opinion, spend a night in a psych ward before you call yourself an expert on psych meds. (not you, Tom Cruise) --Albert

spunkyxmasangel said...

I'm just making the assumption that neither one of these men have been pregnant.  I didn't like Brooke's comments during her Oprah interview but believe me,I can understand.  I have a 3 year old godson and I'm home with him full time while his mom's in school and at work and there are days I send him to bed early just because I'm scared I'll loose it and something bad will happen.  I'm a firm believer in both drugs and talk theraphy.  People who haven't expierenced depression are under this mistaken impression that Prozac or ANY anti-depressant is a "happy pill" and fixes all your problems and it's far from it.  The pills are used to even the person out.  They aren't an instant fix and any doctor who prescribes them that way should have their license revoked.  People like Tom Cruise shouldn't be giving out medical advice though. He seems greatly disturbed to me.

artloner said...

We're talking apples an oranges.

I am talking about the abuse of antidepressants for the Worried Well.  People who go to their internists, not a psychiatric professional, and want a quick fix for the blues or their unhappiness with a crisis in their lives. Or something to make grandma perk up.  

Not the debilitating clinical diagnoses you describe.  

I thought I'd cipher on this one for awhile before I commented.  I agree with the problem Internists pasisng out this stuff to people with their very own personalized Pez dispenser, it shouldn't happen.  I think where we hear the backlash is from people who do indeed have chronic debilitating problems that get caught up in the net of stinging, glib comments from those who don't know what its like to wake up every morning of your life and sincerely wish you hadn't.  Dimishing social contacts, disappearing family and inability to handle seemingly simple daily tasks amplify this already difficult problem. I support the aforementioned Worried Well problem, but is talk therapy the answer?

We live in a society that absolutely screams "I Am NOT My Brother's Keeper"...would it hurt to give a little time out of our oh so busy schedules to talk to that Brother every now and then? Or is that the shrink's problem?

I love ya, L.  ;)

sharronwl8 said...

Im a mother and I agree with Glenmullen fully and competely. I have experience the worst thing a mother can when it comes to prozac and haldol among other things my son has been forced against his will to take for the last five years or so. I have a son Joseph Hanson he's in Anoka Regional Treatment center right now suffering for nothing when he could be here in Willmar, MN. with me where he wants so desperately to be more that life itself. They won't allow it so they can have complete control over his life. Unbelievable isnt it how they ruin and run things. His social worker Brent Erickson call him and put in a word for my son to let him be with me and off the drugs. 1-651-266-4391 He's too lazy to drive here to see him so he choses to keep him in that county close to his St. Paul where I was born and raised. I'm so upset that I can't even express my feelings much any more. I hope this can help us get the advocacy and the backup we need to get rid of the control they have over him. His attorney is Richard Cohen the senator who
isnt looking out for his best interest at all. My e-mail is sharronwl8@aol.com
They wont listen to me and how it all happen when he took some St. Johns Wort he was trying to come off the prozac and did it wrong now he's committed for the rest of his life they want him on drugs thats so evil I think. Sharron Hanson