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it seems that despite my meds, my episodes come through and make me miserable. for the last few weeks it was a major depression. now i feel even. i know that in the next coming weeks i'll either maintain the even-ness for awhile before i slip again, or maybe go up a few notches.

i blame kindling, the theory that as bipolar disorder progersses, the cycles get worse and worse, and the episodes hit harder and harder. i've been bipolar for 21 years (and i'm 28). by now it is getting bad.

i talked to my tdoc about it and she said that my episodes aren't "breaking through" my meds, that i need to solve things on a practical, personal level before i can say my meds aren't working. i personally think that if i feel like shit after all the crap i take, then i obviously need a revision in my med menu.

the upping of my risperdal and lamictal seems to have worked for now and has brought me up, now let's see where this goes...

what are your experiences with kindling? do you believe in this theory? how do you think we should respond to the increase (if you believe in kindling) in our symptoms?

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According to many studies (peer-reviewed, reputable journals, as my prof at Harvard demanded) that I read this past spring doing a research paper on treatment modalities for depression, one disturbing fact that emerged is that while there is some variation between meds within the initial period of efficacy -- often no more than 4-8 weeks in the study, and even there not too much better than placebo -- studies going out to the 2-5 year horizon show no difference in relapse rates from medication vs no treatment at all, and various cognitive and mindfulness based treatments are very significant in reducing relapse rates this far out. Such studies are hard to organize just practically speaking (longitudinal, very large samples), never mind the problem that virtually all the funding and mindshare propoganda around mental health care comes directly from the pharmaceutical companies selling their wares.

These are facts. Undoubtedly ones which will be disputed by those who choose to believe what they have read (as do I), but nonetheless facts. The prof, who incedentally has been studying drugs for over 30 years, is head of 2 review boards for research at 2 major research hospitals and has taught at Harvard for years, said that my paper very well articulated the state of treatment and issues involved with understanding things like efficacy vs. effectiveness. I got an A.

Just saying.

I recommend the book Yoga for Depression. Read the first chapter or two at the bookstore and you'll understand why. It is not a yoga instruction book, but written by a woman who went to Kripalu back in 89 with bipolar and other psychaitric stuff and has not needed medication since, nor had episodes.

Also a fact.

I'm a little paranoid about censorship around here. So maybe the powers that be might notice, I am simply relaying facts and trying to be helpful to a friend in support of mental health issues. You could add the book to the CB library if you want. It's a good one.

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Hey Jem....

do you have the references for those studies? I'd really like to read them...I'm constantly looking for long term studies on medication use, because yes most are short term (1 year) funded by the big business drug companies.....

This is a very interesting topic to me! Especially since science has not yet established the long term effects of psychiatric medications.

IMO, those of us who take psych meds long term are part of a huge, uncontrolled experiment.

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Hi Jemini,

Did you come across any studies like that for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia (or other mental illnesses) while you were searching for ones on depression? If so could I have the refs? That would be useful.

Also could you talk a little more about the studies? I'm mostly interested in inclusion/exclusion criteria and dropout rates and reasons. Longitudinal studies are a total bitch to organize, and I'd like to see how these ones were managed. Particularly if they and the short-term studies are picking out different groups of people, and if both are picking out groups that don't resemble the overall set of people - that could be really informative wrt treatment decisions... Personally, I know I've kept an eye out for research I could participate in, and most of requires that I'm having a major episode and have never been on medication.

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...never mind the problem that virtually all the funding and mindshare propoganda around mental health care comes directly from the pharmaceutical companies selling their wares.

... The prof, who incedentally has been studying drugs for over 30 years, is head of 2 review boards for research at 2 major research hospitals and has taught at Harvard for years, said that my paper very well articulated the state of treatment and issues involved with understanding things like efficacy vs. effectiveness. I got an A.

If pharma is in control of all funding, and your prof has been in business for 30 years and runs 2 boards, and 3 hospitals THEN..... we must assume that he has thoroughly bribed and compromised and completely untrustworthy. He guided you to your assumptions only as a way to dupe you for pharmas purposes.

BTW, your grades are no indication of your knowledge or accuracy. We have plenty of people with no degrees who can provide accurate information.

a.m.

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Uh... right. He was bribed by drug companies to agree with me that the drug companies are seriously co-opting real awareness of the effectiveness of psychiatric medications and drowning out the research that looks beyond immediate efficacy or comparison to non-pharmaceutical treatments. Good point.

Believe what you like, I am posting another perspective for Loon and anyone else interested. I haven't read the rules in a bit, since they are constantly altered to suit the needs of the admins to control what people think, but I do not think it states that members must tow the line for pharmaceuticals.

I am, incedentally, in the planning stage of another site about mental wellness, and expect this site to link to CB as it is about the very large variety of approaches to mental health, not any single one. I am constantly reconsidering this as I keep getting attacked and censored here for having the audacity to remind people that there have always been other thoughts about mental health than taking lots of pills. Since the beginning of history, mental health has been sort of a big topic. There are other perspectives; deal with it.

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It really is intellectually dishonest to just cite "studies" and not allow others to veryify your sources.

The whole point of peer reviewed research is that it allows others to verify your work. Contrary to what you may think, I find big pharma and its efforts to politically influence the scientific process disgusting. That's why I read all this stuff myself rather than listen to physicians regurgitate lines fed to them by pharma reps. That's why this site is here. So we can read this stuff and share information and share our experiences. I am very much pro science and pro scientific method however. I do not believe that the peer review process has been totally sold out to the pharma companies. The fact that big pharma is trying to influence the process doesn't automatically make the process invalid. It just necessitates an extra degree of skepticism.

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so jem, is it your opinion that since i've been taking drugs since i was 18, there's no proof that they're still working, so i might as well be taking sugar pills, and my disorder is not being controlled?

perhaps. but i've always been changing meds. does that count? do you have to be on the same med and in effect build up a tolerance for it, and then switching helps?

i'm interested in brain scans. since we can't really do studies on huge populations over long periods of time, how about just using individuals and looking at their brains to see activity or lack of activity from the drug? i don't know if that would help us determine if the drugs are working or not.

so in effect, you are saying that there is an end to the loop of kindling, that the real trick may lie elsewhere?

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so VE, if i'm reading correctly, it would seem to me that the only way a treated BP person could kindle would be if their meds weren't actually working, which would take us back to jem's theory.

i need to know if my meds work!

i have an older friend who has been on lithium for 30 years. he recently switched to depakote because of liver issues. but he never had a problem on lithium.

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true, true...if it weren't for my meds i wouldn't be here.

but i'm asking if this gets worse over time. like if the meds don't help in time as much as they did in the first place, then the kindling would kick in and perhaps make the situation worse? i'm just going off of jem's assertion that our meds don't work so well in time, and that if untreated, bp will become worse in time. if the meds don't work right, then that is essentially leaving the disorder untreated. that is my question.

but for sure, without my meds i'd be dead- i credit lamictal with my life. you couldn't pry it from me for anything. i've sold my soul for it already!

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I recommend the book Yoga for Depression. Read the first chapter or two at the bookstore and you'll understand why. It is not a yoga instruction book, but written by a woman who went to Kripalu back in 89 with bipolar and other psychaitric stuff and has not needed medication since, nor had episodes.

Also a fact.

One person's anecdotal tale is statistically insignificant and tells us nothing. You and your Harvard professor ought to know that.

There are all sorts of "organic healing" tall tales out there perpetuated by those that are on the Tom Cruise bandwagon. I have seen many stories like this before and my bullshit detector always goes on high alert. It could be that these people were misled and merely believe (wrongly) that they have BP, it could be that they simply are in a period of normalcy with their illness (sometimes this can last years), or it could be that they have an anti-psychiatry agenda and are trying to exploit it to make a buck. The truth is, it gives people like me false hope of becoming med-free and is outright dangerous.

Depression/BP is a neuro-physiological disorder, and all the yoga, pilates and zen meditation in the world wont change that. Are these things bad? No, not inherently, and in fact they probably do some good. However, they are probably no more effective in treating BP than taking up a hobby in basket weaving or knitting. The point being, of course, is that any activity that can take one's mind off one's illness can bring therapeutic benefits. I wont dispute that, but I do dispute any "cure" by "natural" means. Now, long-term psychotherapy is another question.

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but i'm asking if this gets worse over time. like if the meds don't help in time as much as they did in the first place, then the kindling would kick in and perhaps make the situation worse? i'm just going off of jem's assertion that our meds don't work so well in time, and that if untreated, bp will become worse in time. if the meds don't work right, then that is essentially leaving the disorder untreated. that is my question.

Every person is different, as I *always* say, and their bodies treat meds differently. SO my guess would be, if you're on a med that is ineffective, or virtually so, a kindling effect could well occur.

This is why we look for the RIGHT meds that DO work. I mean, really, the answer is *that* simple. Sure, yoga et al are fine and dandy as adjuncts to a med regimen, but only for those who like them and will stick to it. Severe chemical imbalances just can NOT be fixed by exercise or meditation. Maybe it works for someone who's mildly depressed, but not to the point of needing meds--but then, that ain't us, right?

Think thusly: someone is diagnosed with Type II diabetes. They can control the disease initially through diet and exercise. Someone is dx'ed with Type I. Diet and exercise are necessary, indeed--but without outside medication, they die!

Maybe a bit of a stretch to compare the two, yes, but useful I think to point out how the "same" disease in two different people needs to be treated. It's a chemical thing; our brains don't process those little molecules correctly, and the meds (like taking insulin) attempt to correct that imbalance. Psychiatric medication is FAR from an exact science, so yeah, it's rare to find abything more than general satisfaction and "well, gee, I hate these but I hate being off them more!" Treatment options are far more numerous now, and rather better IMO, but we still are at a stage where it's guess and check and trial and error. It sucks but it's what we've got. FWIW, 6 years ago I was on the same insulin I'd been on for 17 years. It sucked, I could barely control my blood sugar, but I was alive dammit. Since then, I've been on newer, better insulins--and my blood sugars tend to be rock solid! (sans AAPs of course) So have a little hope, we're getting there, I'm sure of it. I mean--6 or so years from now I might not even NEED to take shots any more!

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According to many studies (peer-reviewed, reputable journals, as my prof at Harvard demanded) that I read this past spring doing a research paper on treatment modalities for depression, one disturbing fact that emerged is that while there is some variation between meds within the initial period of efficacy -- often no more than 4-8 weeks in the study, and even there not too much better than placebo -- studies going out to the 2-5 year horizon show no difference in relapse rates from medication vs no treatment at all, and various cognitive and mindfulness based treatments are very significant in reducing relapse rates this far out. Such studies are hard to organize just practically speaking (longitudinal, very large samples), never mind the problem that virtually all the funding and mindshare propoganda around mental health care comes directly from the pharmaceutical companies selling their wares.

These are facts. Undoubtedly ones which will be disputed by those who choose to believe what they have read (as do I), but nonetheless facts. The prof, who incedentally has been studying drugs for over 30 years, is head of 2 review boards for research at 2 major research hospitals and has taught at Harvard for years, said that my paper very well articulated the state of treatment and issues involved with understanding things like efficacy vs. effectiveness. I got an A.

Just saying.

I recommend the book Yoga for Depression. Read the first chapter or two at the bookstore and you'll understand why. It is not a yoga instruction book, but written by a woman who went to Kripalu back in 89 with bipolar and other psychaitric stuff and has not needed medication since, nor had episodes.

Also a fact.

I'm a little paranoid about censorship around here. So maybe the powers that be might notice, I am simply relaying facts and trying to be helpful to a friend in support of mental health issues. You could add the book to the CB library if you want. It's a good one.

Loon is bipolar or possibly schizoaffective, so your reference to studies on depression are not exactly relevant.

Scientologists always seem to be able to find a few experts or professors to support their campaign against big pharm and propaganda, so the theory of one professor really does not build a strong case. It's obvious you are anti-med and anti-psychiatry. Perhaps you have had a bad experience and for that I am sorry.

To suggest alternative approaches which do not include medication to someone who obviously requires it is negligent behavior coming from someone who claims to have such exceptional knowledge of mental illness.

Believe me, I tried yoga, relaxation therapy and whatever other bullshit I could think of for 20 years before I was diagnosed bipolar and the most it did for me was help with anxiety.

Honestly, I am smelling scientology here.

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when i was first given the dx, i engaged in a frenzy of research. and i came across an article which among other things talked about the bipolar brain and medication. there was a part which said that the brain will always seek and find a way to become itself again. at the time, i thought this was obvious. whenever i'm in the thick of something, i think everything is transparent and easy and easy to find. i assumed this article would just be easy to tap again...alas, a couple months later, i had trouble tracking down many a fine article--including this one. so, sorry folks. i can't link you.

so, if your brain will find a way to be the x-treme you that you are, going on meds is analogous to learning to run just as good with extra weights. or going to prison to learn how to be a better criminal.

i personally have wondered if if my meds are teaching me how to overcome them...and once you've trained, then without them, well, you're twice as strong, wacky, kindled.

these are just theoretical musings. i don't know "the facts".

7

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I just found something!

http://www.bpkids.org/site/PageServer?pagename=lrn_004

For patients with unipolar depression, we keep them on the antidepressant 6 months to a year after they have responded to it. With bipolar patients, it seems the brain is constantly trying to adapt to what you are doing, and the longer you are on the antidepressant, the longer it becomes likely that the brain is trying to counteradapt to it, so you might not want it there longer than absolutely needed.

very interesting. seems the bipolar brain likes to find ways to stay bipolar...

7

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OK, as I understand it, kindling operates on the manic end of things unless psychosis goes along with the depression. Each depressive episode after a new manic episode may be worse than the prior one, however. Ultimately stopping the manias should be the key to stopping the depressions and heed should be paid to the potential for some ADs to potentate manias.

Here's something related. This is on my "to research" list.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...t_uids=16542180

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Peter Kramer has a good book in which he talks about major depression, including kindling. He's a strong therapy advocate, and some of his other books are about therapy, but this one is mostly about sociology, biology, and medication. It's called "Against Depression" and I highly recommend it.

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I read some information--don't know where I got it, sorry--about kindling. Stated that in BP I there are many patients whose susceptability to subsequent episodes increases with time. And that repeated episodes seem to make subsewquent episodes more likely to occur spontaneously.

Also indicated that the kindling is more common in women, and this is what makes your meds poop out. Apparently a doc named Alan Swann has done a god bit of research on this. BP II seems to also get worse with time. The theory then becomes that you stop the cycling before it can start, rather than treating the symptoms after they start--which makes sense to me, medically. Its much like pain control--if you have constant pain, you will get much better relief if you take medication on a regular basis, not just "when you need it" because by the time you "need it" the pain impulses have had a chance to increase, and you are "puttting out a fire". Good pain control comes from taking medication on a regular schediule.

I would guess same thing with our "pain"

Personally, I know that from the time I began to notice the cycling, it got progressivly worse. And more frequent. I am pretty stable now, but I am 99% sure that if I were to go off my meds--or they got switched around, like they did last year, the cycling would start again, and would grow in frequency and in the way they affect me.

However, I am no expert, I just know that this is what happens to me. And my meds continue to work as well as can be expected.

china

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Here's how I look at it:

If you're not dead or in the hospital, the meds are at least partially working. I think sometimes we forget what we're like unmedicated.

Hmmm. So I guess my total lack of meds are working okay.

I shouldn't have bothered posting. No one actually considers what I *actually* say, just start assuming positions and attacking them. I encourage anyone to actually re-read my initial post, in which I recommended a particular book and stated my particular viewpoint.

However, since people are asking:

I did not cite research (anymore than VE or AM did) because I was not posting to start a war about psychiatry/anti-psychiatry. I *do* have the research studies (unfortunately my notes are all in another town at the moment). If anyone else has seen research demonstrating that any med is more effective than no treatment after 5 years, I would be interested to see that myself, as I was unable to locate any such research after spending a couple months looking through databases online and at Harvard's libraries.

Loon -- correct. Meds are not curing people. It is a very complicated illusion being perpetuated by powerful industry, whereby people end up on disability with a myriad of crazy symptoms and somehow believe this is "well". The course of disorders like bipolar is filled with episodes, and the ones who actually have the fewest relapses (which has been studied to be related to many factors, including cognitive style of parents, childhood truama history, diet, depth and type of therapeutic treatments, etc, etc.) are the ones who are the least visible in the long run to psychiatrists. Even the research that does not support medication as the best treatment still typically has this built-in bias: most subjects are recruited as having such-and-such disorder in large part on the basis of current diagnoses given by psychiatrists, which automatically diminishes the importance of people who in theory have the same root issues but do not subscribe to the psychiatric model.

I was on meds from age 16 to last year, and have had basically the same pattern I've heard from many people and read about over and over: pills would make things better (often), with or without annoying side effects, in the short-term. In the long-term, collapses of all sorts, which I would only later find were associated with those meds in marginalized or not-so-marginalized studies, would derail my life and force a change onto new meds (possibly a change to new doctors). This pattern is not healthy.

I'm responding to people's comments. Is all. I will retain my position; you will retain yours. I point out I too have read a lot of the research and books on psych meds and brain scans and neuroscience both in school and out of school, and I try to be open-minded. I am not attacking anyone's views or telling people they are crazy for not listening to me. I'm soberly explaining where I'm coming from. As I said initially, yoga can and does address many of these illnesses in a more lasting, real way. Ayurvedic medicine has described and prescribed treatment for mania and depression for a few thousand years, and I'm telling you, it has worked better for me than meds. You will *not* see any real research about this in peer-reviewed journals, for the simple reason that those who know it works are not trying to convince the corrupted and self-reinforcing close-minded western medical community, and those who don't know it works typically do not remotely understand the ayurvedic understanding of what we are as physical/mental/spiritual beings.

So anyway check out Yoga for Depression or don't check it out. I'm not a doctor, never claimed to be. I'm just sharing something that worked for me. I'm not dead, not in a hospital, not having hallucinations. I have good friends, I have love in my life, I keep struggling like everyone, but I'm not medicated and honestly I can't think of times when I was and things were objectively better than they are now. It's all about belief. I no longer believe in drugs. All they've ever done for me, in the end, was fuck me up.

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for me, based on he perpanderous of research, that it is likely that or pmeds do continue to help into the long term. now, the degree of help is unknown. however, VE is right in that as long as we'er here and not in the hospital, it seems that our meds help us at least to a degree. what degree is yet undetermined.

personally, i believe that alternative treatments are very viable. however, with a severe neurological disorder on the level of what i have, i have studied and found no herbal cure (herbals as an examle, because that's what i'm most familiar wtih) for bipolar disorder. the herbal books actually warn against the use of herbals for BP and suggest pharma options.

lamictal has been out long enough that i can probably ask my pnurse for ancidotal evidense that it continues or doesnt continue to work in bipolar patients. i'm just terrified that it won't work anymore and then i'm stuck wtih lithium again (and being the stupidest woman on the planet).

and what abuot lithium, a substance found naturally in our bodies? it has been around forever, is very widely RXed, and is very generic. drug companies aren't making money on lithium (to the extent they do on zyperxa or something). it also has seemed to work over the long-term for some people i know. but lithium is the first-line treatment for BP and every pdoc on the planet will whip our a script for it first when you're DXed. that's what happened to me! oh yeah, take some lithium! it will make you stupid as a college student, but take lithium anyway! lol i was lucky to remember to take my books to class, but that's another story ;)

so- i don't beileve that we can ignore the contributions of alternative treatments in the treatment of bipolar disorder. however, i also do not believe that we can ignore the contributions of pharmacuticals. so, it would make sense to me that we keep searching and asking questions, that we find people who have chosen to go in either direction, and see how they do over time. if we can't get real studies on it, because that is pretty much impossible, then we can at least watch people we know and see their experiences, however keeping in mind that we're all different and what works for joe may not work for me.

i know that for myself personally, that without my meds (and i'm so smart that i've tried this before), i get so crazy and loony that i wouldn't be able to sit still or keep my thoughts peaceful enough to meditate, and wouldn't be able to participate in any therapy beyond drugs. drugs have saved my life.

but over the long-haul, what do we expect from drugs? how do they work or not work for us? how do other options come into play when our meds aren't working anymore (if they do indeed stop working)? how do we keep ourselves well to the point where we need the minimum dose of drugs possible for us to keep us in line?

those are just some of the qusetions i have. my mom also rattles my cage all the time about my meds. i hate it when she does that! right now, if i went off my meds, it would be a totally scary experience for everyone. i did it last year and ended up in the hospital.

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Any med for over 5 years? Well, there is Lithium, which has been around long enough to have been studied for an extended period. Clinical trials are usually shorter than 5 years, so you are right in the fact that it is difficult to prove any longterm benefit of most meds beyond 2 years. A quick google can find you evidence supporting longterm lithium benefits.

Medication on Suicidal Behavior and Mortality of Bipolar Patients The Impact of Lithium Long-Term

Authors: M

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thank you dee, that sheds some light on the lithium situation. i don't believe there is any doubt about lithium. i tried today but couldn't get in touch with my pnurse to find out his lay opinion of the effectiveness of these meds over the long term (as i said, lamictal has been out since '94, so we should have some data now).

i would take lithium except it makes my thyriod go nuts, i lose my hair, and i get VERY,VERY stupid. worse than i usually am! ;)

yes, i'm interested in the long-term effects of lamictal...

here-- i just did a google search and came up with the FDA approving lamictal for long-term use in preventing episodes in bipolar 1 patients (that "long term" study was 18 months) and i have also found that evidense is mounting, because it has been out so long, that it is continuing to be effective for bp1 patients.

so it looks like i'm probably safe on that front...

now risperdal, we have no idea.

wellbutrin? the only thing i found is that it is not approved for treating bipolar depression, and bipolar patients should be evaluated on a continuing basis to determine the efficacy of the drug.

it is, along with paxil, the lease likely to trigger episodes in bipolar patients.

GIVE ME BACK MY PAXIL --------GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

loon

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Loon, I did come across an 18 month Lamictal study that had positive results.

Most studies on antidepressants and bipolar not so positive, but if you have your mood stabolizer base in order and have to switch AD's from time to time, is it really so bad?

I thought your pdoc gave you the red light on switching back to Paxil awhile ago. What happened with that?

Dee

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dee- he was sick of my med changes (i do change meds a lot) and wanted to keep me stable on WB. also he didn't want to hear my complaints about my sex life taking a nose dive! ;)

yeah, he said i'm stable on WB and there's no reason to change it.

i'm all in favor of a change though. i've taken paxil for years and it has always worked. it works when i quit and go back. it is the best stuff (along with zyperxa, which i can't have).

i've asked him before if WB is doing anything. he said yes. i used to take 450 and on the days after i went down to 300, i was weeping and very tearful. i was sitting, trying to hold back my sobbing in the SSA office (i was holding it back because of the security guard sitting there and i didn't want to get kicked out).

so the lowering of the dose did have an effect on me. does that mean it works? i don't know. i did just have a depressive state though and we increased lamictal and risperdal and not teh WB, because i go crazy on the 450 (too wired).

i think i'd like to switch meds. maybe my brain has already adapted to WB! it doesn't seem to adapt to paxil though. that stuff is great.

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Loon -- correct. Meds are not curing people. It is a very complicated illusion being perpetuated by powerful industry, whereby people end up on disability with a myriad of crazy symptoms and somehow believe this is "well". The course of disorders like bipolar is filled with episodes, and the ones who actually have the fewest relapses (which has been studied to be related to many factors, including cognitive style of parents, childhood truama history, diet, depth and type of therapeutic treatments, etc, etc.) are the ones who are the least visible in the long run to psychiatrists. Even the research that does not support medication as the best treatment still typically has this built-in bias: most subjects are recruited as having such-and-such disorder in large part on the basis of current diagnoses given by psychiatrists, which automatically diminishes the importance of people who in theory have the same root issues but do not subscribe to the psychiatric model.

You seem to be omitting the fact that there is also a natural bias in the selection of patients that participate in studies. Most studies are done in research hospitals with most of the patients suffering from more severe forms of mental disorders. Further to that there are a lot of people who get good help from their GP and quietly go on and live their lives.

You will *not* see any real research about this in peer-reviewed journals, for the simple reason that those who know it works are not trying to convince the corrupted and self-reinforcing close-minded western medical community, and those who don't know it works typically do not remotely understand the ayurvedic understanding of what we are as physical/mental/spiritual beings.
That comment is plain wrong. If you have a worthy paper you can get it published. Here is a list of grants that the Stanley Foundation gave towards non pharmacological research. A simple search on PubMed with the term CBT will also show that your conclusion is misplaced. Yes, money has a very large influence on what gets researched and therefore prescribed, but the Mogen Schou's of the world will always be around to keep things honest.

Mogens Schou:

My journey with lithium.

Bibl L

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Glen -- CBT != ayurveda. My comment had nothing to do with your reply. Ironically, you don't seem to have any idea what ayurveda is, which was what I said.

Dee thanks for study on lithium. Excellent point there. Some drugs are more effective than harmful, even in the long run, for many people.

Loon -- I wasn't advocating herbs as opposed to prescribed meds. These are all drug approaches to a problem that cannot be solved with drugs alone. Which is something ayurveda, yoga, and various Buddhist teachings address.

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Yeah, evil corrupt doc's give us meds that have no proof of efficacy, beyond that needed to fool the FDA for approval. And all those pdocs with longterm patients must some how have ability to recognize when meds work. Or maybe they do, but change when one quits.

And even if a drug worked for only five years and quit on the 1,825th day....isn't that good enough? ;0

JEMINI'S HOLY GRAIL OF PROOF!

The British Journal of Psychiatry 150: 175-179 (1987)

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AM -- the study you just cited fails to correlate the remission rate with the lithium. Remission rates for people *not* on any drug are pretty high too, and as that quote says, the remission rate was not correlated to lithium serum level. Numbers don't mean anything without controls and comparisons.

Within the 4-8 week period, many meds are touted as successful that have a 40% rate of efficacy measured on various scales of depression/mania. This usually is asserted even when the same study shows that 35% of people only taking a sugar pill have the same improvement. The further the time horizon, the smaller the difference between psych meds and placebo.

Yes, lithium helps stablize many people for long periods of time. No, the study you just cited, at least in that citation, does not prove or disprove this. And no, if a med stops "working" at the 5 year mark (whatever that would mean), I do not think this is enough to justify a 5 year dependency on drugs. Meds/drugs have a role to play; the sin of psychiatry is in selling the idea that the role is that they are the cure and that the conditions are by definition problems with brain chemistry and nothing more.

When I do get back over to my former residence, I will grab some of my research and will post an abstract or two, for research available online through PubMed and similar databases. I shouldn't *have* to do this to back up a simple recommendation that Loon look into a book about yoga, but I guess I asked for it in my post.

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Sorry Jemini, I AM CALLING BULLSHIT ON YOUR CRAP BS.

YOU AREN'T GOING TO KEEP MOVING THE GOAL LINE TO KEEP YOU LINE OF CRAP FLOATING. YOU AREN'T GOING NITPICK THE STUDY TO DEATH UNTIL YOU'VE DISSASEMBLED IT, PRETENDING THAT IT HAS NO MEANING.

YOU HUNG YOUR HAT ON THE STATEMENT THAT NO ONE DOES LONG TERM FOLLOW UP ON MEDS AND THAT THEY DON'T WORK. YOU ARE WRONG, STFU.

You weren't doing so well with your non meds back in August and September, when we were having to coax you each day. You keep repeating (to yourself) that you aren't hallucinating right now, but you weren't making a lot of sense a few weeks ago.

a.m.

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jem-

i was using herbs as a reference point, even though i realize that you didn't, because i am familiar with them and they are frequently used in alternative therapies. i didn't mean to suggest that you had talked about them.

edited to say- i beileve at the way the DSM puts certain orders on an axis, such as BP on axis one and BPD on two is a good way to see what is brain chemical related and what is more a result of reactive functioning. with axis 1 disorders, i think that while alternative therapies can help people overcome a lot of their problems, it comes down to the way your brain is designed. they have neurological imaging of the brains of people with bipolar disorder and normal brains. there are differences. there aer theories on why bipolar disorder exists. it is passed on in families. so we know we are dealing with an organic disorder. in my particular case, i was unemdicated from when i was 7 to 18, because my parents wanted it to be my choice to take meds or not. i ended up on lithium and serzone, then quickly paxil (serzone made me sick).

i agree that it is wrong and biased that the drug companies themselves "educate" our medical health professionals on their drugs and pretty much rule the FDA, and make tons of money off of us. sure, pdocs need to be more aware of when a drug is working and when it has stopped working. you can tell by someone's behavior if their drugs are working (or working well) or not.

can we change the way our brains function and the pathways in our brains through non-pharmacutical means? i hope so, but i don't know. i know that it does take years for counseling to effectively treat depression for example, whereas paxil takes a couple of weeks. drugs bring us to the top of the mountain where we can look down and see our lives like we could see clouds below us if we climbed the mountain, and we can evaluate from that vantage. i think that it is important to medicate right away. yes, other therapies are important and can maximize the long-term health of the patient, but it is unreailstic to expect that any alternative practice can beat a 2-week effectiveness rate.

i think it is important for patients, many of whom are so desperate by the time they go to their doctors for help, to receive treatment right away that gets them to the top of the mountain. from there they have the strength to participate in other therapies. what strength does someone have if they're so depressed they can't get out of bed, or so manic they can't stop their racing thoughts?i'm stressing that to even get to the point where other therapies aer useful and it is possible to participate in them, drugs are necessary.

and for axis 1 disorders, especially like sz, i think the evidense is in that long-term use of a drug (such as haldol) is necessary to keep people from hallucinating. while i haven't seen studies on either side of this debate, i strongly believe that it is highly unlikely that any kind of alternative treatment is going to cure sz. nothing will. the medication will only control symptoms.

i never got the impression from the drug companies or from my doctors that i'd be cured by my drugs; only that my symptoms would only be contained a bit better. i wasn't even told i'd be totally stable, just a lot better. and they're right.

i'm a good girl. i do my meditation and my journaling, and i see my tdoc. but i think if my drugs were taken away i'd be nuts. i was nuts when i was a kid growing up without drugs, and today i'd be just as crazy, if not worse, than i was back then.

and we'd have kindling, this worsening of symptoms over time when the disorder is left untreated. the brain likes to continue to do what it has always done. it likes to go back to its old ways if new ways are introduced.

while it is perhaps possible in the long term to change some patients to the point where they no longer need their meds, i'm staying on mine. i know from experience what a whack-job i am without them.

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Glen -- CBT != ayurveda. My comment had nothing to do with your reply. Ironically, you don't seem to have any idea what ayurveda is, which was what I said.

Jemini, are you serious, CBT != Ayurveda? Perhaps if your definition was formed after reading the opening wiki paragraph. Maybe it would be wise to check your facts first. Furthermore, using your definition that Ayurveda = CBT, do you not see the contradiction in what you are saying. I pointed out that studies are done and published wrt the efficacy of CBT (which you insist is synonumenous with CBT) while you insist that they are no where to be found. Kept down bey 'the man' as it were. While here, do you have any other conspiracy theories to share?

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My 1/2 brother was very non-med compliant. Hated taking them. BPI.

At the urging of his PASTOR who told him that if he TRULY BELIEVED then GOD would heal him. He took all those supplements, did all the exercise, went to church and AA and did all the bullshit and he really did believe because he wanted more than anything to NOT take meds.

He also jumped in front of an old lady's car on 29 JUL 2005 at around 4 AM.

Can you understand why some of us get a little upset at what you push around here when some of us are having a hard time TRYING to stay compliant with meds that we don't like? I may not be the only one in a position like this. Some may find it hurtful or even downright disrespectful.

But that's just one side of the coin, so to "speak."

- Maddy in NON-ADMIN mode.

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A couple of points.

1) Sand. Out. Please. Everybody. NOW. Use a douche if need be.

2) I'll keep the following rant short(er than I wanted it to be)...

Adding the letters "PhD" to the end of a prof's name doesn't make him a more intelligent or credible individual. Neither does adding cute little titles and board memberships. Looking at it from the inside, and I don't know if you agree with me, Jemini (given that you're an insider as well), most of the individuals who write these papers fit the data and interpretation to what'll get them grant money. Often the sleight of hand is subtle, other times, it's egregious.

My boss and the posse in my current lab have had to weed out so many bad (in terms of logic) papers while doing reviews that it's not funny.

Many of these papers were in "leading" journals, by the way (PNAS, JBC, JPhysio, and some others I can't think of at the moment). The FDA doesn't keep strict tabs... or tabs at all... on academic research labs. Nor does the NIH, who uses our taxpayer money to fund them. Regrettably, it doesn't look like the reviewers at top journals always critically analyze the authors' logic, either!!

I've seen things, I've seen them with my own eyes. I'm not going to comment on *what* or *where* I've found such sleight of hand manipulation; I've worked in a few academic labs and I've seen it firsthand.

Pharmaceutical companies operate on what makes them profit (examples being setting drug costs high enough to do so, and selecting therapeutic areas that will have a "hot" market to begin with). The FDA tempers down their chances of getting a major logical slip past the public. With every single page you write, you've got to have so many things signed that it's not funny. And if you slip, you're almost certain to be caught. And fined/fired if you did that on purpose.

[aside rant: I find it amusing that the FDA is such a pain in the ass to pharmaceutical companies, given that various administrations in the US, both Democrat and Republican, have been in cahoots with them to some extent.]

Academic labs also operate on the same principle. Profit is in terms of grant money, of course, but in most labs, there is no safeguard to data and interpretation. Rarely are there checks and balances or a system of organization. Since a vast majority of the research does not translate directly into patient treatment, it's assumed that there need not be super-strict checks-and-balances type controls on who writes what down for what data. And who interprets what as what. Most academic projects operate on a per-lab basis, despite being part of a large research institution. Some research teams on certain projects/studies/papers may exceed 100 faculty, staff, and students, but of course that is rare.

The idea of a research study is generally to bolster the lead researcher's ego. That was a bit cynical, and I know there are PhDs out there who have a genuine concern both for the science as well as its impact on humanity. Telling the funding organization what they didn't want to hear, though, does not get you money. Publish or perish. Even if all you publish is bullshit.

The above was just a discussion of why journal publications need to be taken with a few mines worth of salt. I'm going to be extremely up-front and criticize myself here, some of my opinions are due to the fact that I've had extremely bad experiences with authority (such as in doing my journal reviews) and find those in power to be untrustworthy, corrupt, and downright stupid. I historically have kept my mouth shut about it so that I can keep insurance to pay for my crazymeds with. Where I am now is much less prone to such stupidity, although there is a craniorectal insertion factor involved.

Sorry about all that, I am a bit triggery, I was discussing this exact same sort of stuff with a co-worker just a couple of hours ago before I left work for the week. 'Stuff' being how the hubris of academia and publications means nothing at all.

"Peer-reviewed", my ass.

But enough about the ad hominem shit. I would like to see full articles on some of these things (abstracts can be deceiving, no?). Reviewers who are ultimately in charge of what gets published cannot read into every single detailed word in the paper.

And about the yoga, it probably won't hurt! (Unless you stretch that one leg too far that way... yeah... that's... oh shit... AGH)

Oh where was I... never mind...

When my mind is a bit clearer on Saturday morning, I'll figure out something more useful to say.

And not only do I need to get this 2x4 out of my eye, I also need to get a beach's worth of sand out of my non-existent vagina...

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jemini,

you are a mindless, clueless, boring scientologist in a fucking monkey suit.

kill yourself. you're wasting our time.

-myrkky

uh that was just totally gratuitous ad hominem shit... you're bigger than that, dude...

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Jem:

I'm going to put my foot down and say that I consider posting anti-medication and anti-psychiatric propaganda to pose potential harm to our membership. If you want to continue to be welcome on crazyboards, you'll desist.

You're also banned from the med boards.

I'm all for a discussion of Madness and Civilization on the appropriate board. Here, this is very inappropriate.

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Sorry I forgot where I was posting this stuff.

I can't keep engaging in this discussion. The level of discourse is crap. Feel free to read into that that I don't know what I'm talking about and have been defeated by your superior debate and airtight grasp of the facts, but please refrain from further insults to me personally.

I do understand that this stuff is highly charged and sensitive to many here, and despite the constant ignorant harassment of certain people who oppose my views, I am sensitive to my own mental illness and fears about how I will get better. It is my FUCKING RIGHT to be opposed to psychiatry after going that route for more than half of my life and suffering the consequences. I have known people wh offed themselves while ON meds, okay? That doesn't mean anything.

I will try once again to refrain in the future from voicing my opinions in this place where I've had to be told by other assholes posting with impunity that I am crazy, that this is my fault, I should be on this drug and that drug, I'm headed for suicide, my relationships are based on manipulation and untreated personality disorders, etc, etc. I don't care how many pills you are on, you do not gain the right to insult me or harass me

I don't suppose the person telling me to kill myself will be reprimanded or banned, since that comment was clearly not disruptive or inappropriate. Thanks admins for your concern.

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Dude. By posting this stuff here you're pretty much like a black guy at a KKK rally. I don't know why you're surprised. I always halfway figured you were here because you liked the abuse. There are hundreds of anti-psychiatry forums on the net. You'd really be much happier at any one of them.

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I don't suppose it's understood here that what's one man's trash is another man's treasure.

"Family therapy" definitely worked for me; however, this sort of family therapy specifically involved moving 700 miles away from my family.

I guess people aren't willing to play into the "stress-diathesis" model of disorders?

We all have a genetic and biological predisposition to certain disorders, be it "mental" or "physical".

Just like how bipolars in general cannot be treated without medications, diabetics (type II adult-onset, specifically) cannot be treated without lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise.

I'm well aware of the above; I'm bipolar and require meds, and my father (age 55) was recently diagnosed with type II diabetes and now attends group counseling every other week for ideas on optimal lifestyle habits.

Looking at it the other way, I've helped moderate my bipolar disorder by thinking through my problems and giving forgiveness and overcoming emotions (a la CBT with a bit of psychoanalysis). And my father's side of the family has a severe genetic predisposition for diabetes.

Can we look at BOTH sides of the picture, for once?

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Can we look at BOTH sides of the picture, for once?

A popular viewpoint (and oddly one which is believed to be the underdog by many who hold it). It's one I usually see around here - we may talk more about meds, but that doesn't mean we're not paying attention to lifestyle.

What's happening in this thread, however, is Jemini espousing anti-psychiatry views and other people trying to call him on it. That's very different from one person espousing lifestyle and other people espousing meds. There aren't two valid sides in this argument; it's bullshit and people calling bullshit.

The other thing happening in this thread is you talking about subjects with unfounded confidence in ways that blur actual research and your own off-the-cuff personal theorizing, with potential damaging but at least misinforming results. Others then try to gently call you on it (and warn other people not to take you too seriously).

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and for axis 1 disorders, especially like sz, i think the evidense is in that long-term use of a drug (such as haldol) is necessary to keep people from hallucinating. while i haven't seen studies on either side of this debate, i strongly believe that it is highly unlikely that any kind of alternative treatment is going to cure sz. nothing will. the medication will only control symptoms.

Actually-- http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=904 --has brains scan pics og, amonongst other things, sz'x trreated with haldol vs. Zyprexa. And shows how, with treatment, the brain heals from the damage caused by untreated sz. (And Zyprexa wins)

Somehow I don't see yoga doing that. Yeah, meds are the key especially to the more debilitating MIs, IMO. In discussing my latest med change with my mom today, she asked me if I needed all them blah blah and hey, what would I be like off them?

She answered her own question when she said "Dead?" I added that jail was likely, hell, we KNOW that for sure!

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The other thing happening in this thread is you talking about subjects with unfounded confidence in ways that blur actual research and your own off-the-cuff personal theorizing, with potential damaging but at least misinforming results. Others then try to gently call you on it (and warn other people not to take you too seriously).

I suppose I should color-code between accepted research and my own (single statistical sample; p < 1) ranting. Now, if my opinions are simply too much to be released to the general public on CB, I'll keep my mouth shut in those regards.

Incidentally, I don't recall posting any accepted research in this thread. It's just all my own ranting. I should make that clearer. And if such viewpoint expression isn't warranted anywhere on CB, then I'll just not do that.

The perceived attitude "unfounded confidence" you speak of is probably due to my lack of command of the more societal aspects of the English language. I cannot spend 2 hours copy-editing every post I make, and perhaps this means that I should instead omit a lot of what I feel like I have to say. If what I have to say comes off as too convincing, and in fact, is not sufficiently supported, then it should not be said at all.

Much of me here is speaking out of disillusionment, although there's no way to separate reality from the little statistical sample size known as my life. Specifically, in this thread, my mind was already heading off in the direction of a long conversation I'd had with a co-worker regarding the ethics of academia; I was rather upset about the state of that institution to begin with, and my conversations with the co-worker this evening didn't make that any better.

In any event, I'll just keep my little "seedling" ideas in a hidden basket until I have the resources with which to research them in a formal and significant manner. On the purely biological side of my opinions, I'm in no position to be writing reviews (even well-researched ones), since I'd have to tag them with the name of my institution and head of the laboratory. Those factors notwithstanding, I could probably begin such endeavors towards the end of graduate school (expecting to finish in 2009 or 2011).

My Aspie mind tends to interfere in this whole thing quite a bit, namely due to its obsession with the letters P, H, and D. I apologize on behalf of my temporal lobe there, since it seems to not understand the general gestalt of the power of authority and established norms.

So bear with me until I can return to a less acrimonious state of coherence.

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I haven't posted in this topic yyet but somehow now feel the need to appologise for my posts elsewhere. I also suffer speakingoutmyarseitus and generally don't know I'm doing it. Some of us here have reality issues... I've lost the words for what I'm tryingg to say...

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dan--

I suppose a more haughty medical term for the condition that afflicts the two of us is known as rectophonia. I just made that up on the spot, BTW.

I suppose we should both take care to separate our intuitions from our researched facts while posting here, in any event.

(And in case you're wondering, don't you think that reality itself might have reality issues?)

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dan--

I suppose a more haughty medical term for the condition that afflicts the two of us is known as rectophonia. I just made that up on the spot, BTW.

I suppose we should both take care to separate our intuitions from our researched facts while posting here, in any event.

(And in case you're wondering, don't you think that reality itself might have reality issues?)

Indeed I think realities own instrinsic reality issues prompted a great deal of my reality issues. Personally I think anythinng in the vacinity of the planck length needs soome serious anti psychotic treatment... Best not to think abboout that stufff though... my head goes funny.

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Fous -

Thanks, I appreciate your willingness to make speculation vs. research clearer. Different colors is not a bad idea but users probably won't know what they mean, so I'd suggest a cut-and-paste explanation at the top. Or marking paragraphs with Research: and Herrfous' own speculation: blah blah blah. I'm still not sure that won't confuse people, but it might help.

Please note that I'd be a hell of a lot harsher to someone with a PhD, MD, etc.

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it is great news to hear that they have imaging of brains being healed by zyperxa! i'd love to see the same kind of tests for bipolar disorder! very cool!

it has always been my hope and dream, as it is for everyone here, that one day we won't need to be walking pharmacies anymore. i think that's where the hope of alternative treatments comes into play- the hope that somehow, some way, without subjecting our bodies to these meds, we'll be able to heal via other means. however, i am not anti-psychiatry. i take my meds faithfully and believe greatly in their value.

i don't even know how to answer anyone. my question was just about kindling.

VE- thank you for that great article. i think the findings that our meds can prevent further damage and stop the kindling process is great news.

jem- i do not disagree at all with the value of alternative treatments for bp or other disorders. however, as i've said, i'm not anti-psychiatry. i believe that both have their place in our treatment. and i do know someone who killed himself while on meds- my dad (i don't think his pdoc knew his ass from a hole in the ground, but that's a different story).

my question, and i guess the question we all have, is if our brains will continue to benefit from our meds in the long-term. we know that lithium benefits in the long-term, and it looks like lamictal does as well (glory be, my savior!).

and that begs the question- if we are taking our meds but using other methods to "teach" our brains new methods, is it possible after a certain time to not need them?

i personally believe, based on the evidense i've seen, that i'll always be on meds. however, there is huge hope that alternative treatments could stop the need to subject my body to chemicals every day.

the question is that if our meds don't work anymore at some point, then will we be susceptable to kindling? would we realize it (i guess if we went batshit we'd realize it pretty quickly)?

edited to say- maybe the "alternative treatments" thread would be a better place for some of these ideas, as this board is pro-psychiatry

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So, um.

To recap: not going to keep debating with people whose debate tactic is to insult and abuse me and yes, I see that I am stating some FACTS in the wrong place.

The book, Yoga for Depression, is written by a woman who went to Kripalu in 1989 and has been doing yoga since, has been free of meds since, and has not had a manic or depressive episode since. If anyone is earnestly looking for ways to eventually be free of the walking pharmacy, I recommend the book. If you think its premise is heresy or whatever, take it out on the author.

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I only choose to address one of your questionable points in your very vague argument. First, I have worked for the big pharms and coordinated studies for them--and they have more money than shit, and have great control over what meds docs use. They are no where near the good guys--

That being established, by personal experience, I can also vouch that MANY long-term studies are done on all kinds of drugs, including psych drugs, after they are approved by the FDA. These are called Phase 4 studies--and they are almost always done, especially on psych drugs.

Does this mean these drugs are always good? No. But you stated that no one ever did any follow=up studies, etc. and that is incorrect. Period.

Yes, some people are helped by non-medication techniques. But until you learn to write a decent research article, and/or site sources in the professional way to prove your "point" no one is gonna give a rats ass for your "facts" cause without backup, they are unproved. They are what real researchers call "anectdotal".

I suggest you enroll in a research and/or statistics course at a local college.

china

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this is a great addition to the options worth considering. however, i want to be at a place in my treatment where i know being off of meds isn't going to sabatoge my life first!

i have all these questions about kindling, and some of you have been very great with your replies. some have just evoked more questions. i'll go about trying to find more information on the net, though it has been hard to find good stuff...

so, to recap, what i am to understand is that we really don't know how long our meds will continue to help us in the long term, however we do have evidense from lithium and to an extent from lamictal that they do continue to work. we know that kindling happens when you do not treat your disorder. we know that at least in sz patients, if not also in bp patients, true brain healing takes place with the use of zypexa (if not with other drugs as well).

we also know that there is a body of information and a lot of people who have benefitted from non-pharma ways of handling their disorder.

my personal belief in all of this is that you have to be at a place in your treatment where it is "safe" for you explore non-med options, as you would probably be getting off of your meds. would that "safe" time ever happen for someone? i think that would be up to them to decide. ;)

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Ah sweet irony.

I just need to point out, I *DID* enroll in a research course at a local college, and I spent quite some time searching published research to find studies that met the following research criteria:

compared meds to no treatment and/or non-med treatment (any time period, but definitely culling out any that looked at several years' period)

used control groups properly to establish actual effects

The FACT I am citing is the one NO ONE HERE has actually refuted with ANY CITATIONS, including you chinacat, which is that I could not find a single study to support, ironically, what I assumed at the begining of my research would be the most supported view, which is that meds are more effective in the long run than not-meds.

As someone who does understand research, I think you can appreciate that the only citation given to oppose my "vague" assertion in this debate here, does not in any way say that meds are more or less effective than anything else, and therefore doesn't address my point at all.

The fact that I haven't cited any research is A) because as I have said, this debate is pointless here and I am not wanting more abuse, and B) not the slightest bit different than everyone here simply stating their opinion as loud and hostile as they can, and like yourself, not citing any research either.

Capiche?

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According to the stahl piece I linked to, in 1997 thee was substantial ethical controversy as to if repeating placebo bound studies was ethical as they deprive people of treatment. You won't find studies on the efficacy of aspirin either. Quite simply it's moving into the realm of settled science.

You're talking about long term effects. There are going to be no studies of someone on placebo for 5 years. That would be cruel.

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Uh, if we are all so stupid and vague, and just can't understand an obviously superior intellegence such as yourself, why do you waste your time and energy posting here?

Control groups are always used in REAL research--and often (cruel or not) they are placebo-controlled.

And so I see your life's work, here, kiddo--why don't YOU do this research, like a real scientist, and get it puvlished in a reputable medical journal? I for one would love to see your statistics, and your results.

But for now, I think maybe you need to get a life, or some sort of companion, and get out a bit more. You seem to be quite preoccupied with us poor, dumb bipolar folk, and obviously, we are not learning from your fine-sounding pseudo-research.

I for one am bored with all this, and am quite sure that if you don't get any more responses, you will take your toys and go home. (hint to others who may be tempted to fall into the trap of posting on this thread, as I was)

"night, john-boy-- ;)

china

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I still think that there is one major idea/possibility in psychology and neurology that really hasn't been discussed here.

In the theory as explained above in the article VE posted, psychological damage equates with physical damage in certain parts of the brain; this may perpetuate a vicious cycle. Antidepressants, then, may help "break the cycle" and greatly reduce overall damage.

Other side of the coin (in more than one way). Many studies have shown that yoga (or more accurately, meditation of the transcendental variety) significantly alters brain wave frequency during its performance. There is much controversy over whether this bears significant truth and relevance, and at one extreme, there are researchers out there who claim that transcendental meditation can outright cause a petit mal absence seizure.

**BEGIN PUBLISHED RESEARCH REVIEW ABSTRACT**

Transcendental meditation: A double-edged sword in epilepsy?

From J. Epilepsy & Behavior, Nov. 2006 edition

Transcendental Meditation (TM(

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Thanks Fous, that was very clear in setting things out and it also makes it easier to respond to you.

I think controlled trials are possible. They're not precise, but you get enough subjects and standardized procedures and use methods from the softer sides of psychology to get at introspective stuff, and you can get conclusions. (My officemate is

doing data analysis and follow-up on a study looking at how meditation affects subjective well-being.)

The biggest issue in alternative therapy, again, as chinacat had inferred, is the lack of controlled studies. And for all I care, the potential to even design controlled studies! How are you going to know where your Qi is going?

A lot of Reiki claims to be dealing with Qi, and its practitioners claim to be able to detect and manipulate it. Since I don't believe it exists, I don't believe we can "really find out" where it is and what it is doing, but peoples' experiences of it may still have effects, and we can get at those experiences.

Promotion of herbal supplements and meditation techniques amount to nothing more than taking medications and doing therapy. Exact same principle, except for the fact that the alternative medicine variant hasn't been proven in controlled trials.

This is a very good point, in the sense that "natural" stuff is doing a lot of the same stuff that meds and therapy do, but our ability to show whether they are effective or not is much greater for meds/therapy than for "natural" treatments; you have much less idea what you'll be getting with natural treatments. Another point I think people often miss is that "natural" doesn't equate to "gentler and more effective" nor does it mean that what you are getting is somehow less contaminated or less serious or makes you a better person for having avoided those nasty meds.

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and that begs the question- if we are taking our meds but using other methods to "teach" our brains new methods, is it possible after a certain time to not need them?

YES! this is the question I want answered! I am just like most everyone here..I desparately want to be "med free" one day.. But I hold out little hope. Like China stated..I wouldn't want to "deny myself treatment" ;) ..Could be cruel and unusual punishment indeed. and to tell you the truth I am too chicken to even contemplate it..

Jem..I hope you are ok. I hope you can go forever without meds..I wish I could be like that. But alas..I am HERE because of meds. I had a PLAN..I had PLACE..even a time..If my doc hadn't seen the signs and talked me into taking these pills..I would not be here..seriously. I guess that is why many people are speaking in such stern tones..because we are afraid someone on the cusp..the razor's edge MIGHT read your posts about how little value you place on meds, then decide not to take them..Really..there are just too many people who can tell you how this or that drug literally saved their lives for you to pooh pooh the whole idea..sorry. Not trying to make you mad or start anything with you..Just wanting to give you an insight as to why people are so damn testy about this issue..you surely already know this..right? So proof..no proof study or no study I guess most of us are just using our one personal experience as our guide.

But DAMN..there are some intelligent people in here! Thank you VE for the links..I have always wondered what "kindling" meant..I appreciate you for enlightening me. I wish I had your dedication to research..My brain is like Oh...a bunny..I can barely get through books and I freakin love to read.

In my book Jem you are aces..you are making someone I love very happy lately ..so whatever our differences in opinions may have..I will still think you are cool..

Now what were we talkin about again?..oh I need to visit the ADD board.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think we can all relate to hate taking drugs at one time or another. As I'm sitting here, I'm nausaus (sp?), have a bad headache, am trembling, and wondering if this Provigil is going to work for me or not. But I'm getting ready to bake a birthday cake and that beats anxiety so bad that my skin burns (before getting my meds closer to right), insomnia, 40 ECT treatments, staying in bed, and thoughts of suicide. There have been times I've wondered if going off all of my meds would make me feel better. I've always come to my senses. I really don't need anyone here encouraging me to not take my meds. The people on this board have been very sick and it looks as if most of us have benefited from medication.

Rhonda

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