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Why would they ever want to find a cure for mental illness?


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Not wise from the economic point of view - the pharmaceutical companies would lose all their customers; the mentally ill. And who controls the development of medicines at the moment? That's right, the companies. It's much more profitable to keep people on meds that 'ease' the symptoms, but won't cure the illness.

 

Call me paranoid, I'll call myself a cynic.

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Heard this before and I just don't buy into it, and I would consider myself pretty cynical about the world and people in general, especially corporations. There will always be more people developing mental illness at any given time and any company that 'cured' it would be rolling in money for as long as people are being born with shitty genetics or whatever, as I see it. 

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Some can't be cured. There's situational MI as well.

I wonder, though, why it's better to have a bunch of MI people isolating at home (we tend to live in poverty) who can't afford much of anything, than it is to have people who are happy and healthy and can contribute to society?

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I agree that mental illness is too complex for a cure to be found.  Mental illness is both situational and biological... and you can't always avoid the situations that are going to trigger MI.  The pharma companies might make better drugs that cure some people, but I don't think that there will be a situation where everyone with a particular illness will be cured. 

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The "cure" likely is a maintenance med and not just one for everyone but better ones for different people. Pharma IS putting money into drugs because it makes them more money. I don't buy the conspiracy theory. Requires too much cooperation amongst rivals. That said, there certainly could be a lot more money put into research but cancer and diabetes and whatnot affect more people, so, ya know, reality. We're not at the top of the pecking order.

Edited by AnneMarie
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The first time I sought professional help, I asked the counselor how many times I had to go. I thought I'd go three times or whatever and would be cured of my depression. Just by talking. ha ha, silly me. The truth is there is a lot of stuff that helps, but nothing that is a quick fix.

The experts (ha ha) can't even define the illness, especially with something like depression. How many people are wrongly diagnosed or not even diagnosed, except for the purposes of insurance paperwork? Until they can give a pinpoint, detailed diagnosis, how the heck are they (you know, THEM) supposed to come up with a "cure."

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Please tell me you are not implying that someone has a cure but is not releasing it. In terms of where our understanding of the human brain is, science is truly in its infancy. The fact that someone is making money by making us feel better shouldn't be repugnant at all. In fact, be grateful that we have those pharmaceuticals. Without them many of us could not function or might even be dead.

And trust me, when a cure shows up on the horizon nothing will stop it. Someone above mentioned Jonas Salk. Perfect perfect perfect example. At last estimate, he lost over $7 billion in profits by making his vaccine publicly available. There will always be people like that.

Your cynicism here seems a tad misplaced.

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1.  If you take a medication that "cures" your mental illness, you will most likely have to take it on a regular basis for the rest of your life.  Doctors would not be out of a job.  They would still be doing "med checks" just like they do now.

 

2.  There are a lot of environmental factors that play into mental illness--it's not JUST a biochemical issue.  All of those therapists will still have jobs.

 

3.  Psych wards are there to treat people on a short-term basis.  Those people include the recently diagnosed or the previously undiagnosed.  They will still be around.

 

Really, this whole line of thinking is just idiotic.  I'm not sure why I keep bothering to respond, but the reasoning just isn't there.

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I'm grateful for meds.

My dad is a geneticist.  So I know a bit about the topic.  The idea of "curing" all MIs ATM is simply laughable.


I am merely grateful I am not living out my life rolling around in straw on some overstuffed "mental health ward".   If we remember how it WAS, we might get more grateful.  I pay out of pocket for some meds, and I'll tell you what, I'm STILL grateful.  It's a treatment I NEED, and without it, I'd be fucked.

I don't blame big pharma for their prices..... developing a new med costs a GREAT DEAL.  I don't approve of some of their PRACTICES, but hey, they gotta make money like everyone else...

Anna

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I am hopeful that the pharmaceutical companies and mental health professionals are not so cynical as to not want a cure so they can continue to  profit financially.  

 

From an overall economic standpoint, mental illness and related symtoms must cause billions of dollars per year in lost productivity.  Most corporations and even mental health care providers want the economy to be healthy.   If you look at the big picture, if someone is debilitated by a mental illness and living mostly on disability, they are not able to afford to buy many things and can't participate fully in the economy. 

 

I am excited about the prospects of neuro-psychiatry and the new "BRAIN" project, where scientists will learn more about "normal" and "special" brains and perhaps be able to use that info to the benefit of mentally ill people.. 

Edited by FlamelessCandle
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As others have said:

1) a 'cure' would still make tons of money

2) tdocs and pdocs would still have jobs, IP treatment would still play a roole similar if not identical to what it does now

3) the questions of what MI is, how it develops, how it presents, is incredibly complex and nuanced; as amazing a field as neuroscience is, the field is still in its relative infancy.

4) Jonas Salk. Smallpox. Antibiotics. Oh, you seen what Jimmy Carter often dedicates his life to these days? How about that a Canadian centre is currently engaged in human trials for an HIV vaccine now? Heard that? HPV vaccine, hey this helps prevent some cancers!

Are there some greedy people running big corporations out there? Hell yeah. Are patent laws in some countries on medications rather, IMHO, ridiculous? Yeah. But I'm a flaming leftie, politically. Thing is, that sort of thing, those sorts of things, are quite horrid on their own and already visible for all to see. There's no need to go hunting down elaborate conspiracy theories when there's plenty of visible evidence that already explains why things are the way they are. Occam's razor and all that.

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Also it is worth noting that patents for big pharmaceuticals do expire. In ten years the generic brands can compete making the time to make back profits limited. It takes up to and over $500 million to develop a drug for the market meaning it is a substantial and potentially risky investment if they can't make it back. With such limited guarantees of profits such companies are not necessarily going to be tied down to treatment medications only, they will equally be lured by potential cures, which they could initially get a lot more money from.

That said I don't believe there is a medicinal cure for mental illnesses. Maybe there could be some sort of gene therapy but that is just a sci-fi pipe dream right now. The complexities of the brain are still relatively little understood. The body is like a machine so it's mechanisms are easier to grasp whereas the brain is like a mind-matter interface, a black box if you like. As mental illnesses are manifestations of this black box they are harder to understand as connections have to be made between how neurones and synapses and chemical balances/pathways work with how the mind thinks and perceives the world.

This is not going to happen in our lifetimes or our children's' lifetimes because it is scientifically out of our reach and likely impossible if not highly highly improbable.

Edited by nightbutterfly
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Not totally paranoid. Big money makes people evil, but...

As someone said, there are so many types and variations of MI. There isn't going to be one singular cure. We tried that already- by lobotomizing tons of people- and it cured 'em, but was it a solution? I'll take my bipolar symptoms and my health care bills over that any day.

I do feel that I have- at times- been the victim/guinea pig of a pdoc who was under pressure to try out something new that there were a lot of samples of laying around the office. I think the big money puts a lot of pressure on health care providers to try things that aren't necessarily "the best" things. I don't, however, think there's one magical cure out there and that someone's keeping a lid on it. There can't just be "one" cure.

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I guess what's better for the world ?

- A bunch of people who are 'unwell' and can't work on welfare or going in and out of hospitals wasting their lives away and with a *chance* of passing on ' their mental illness ' to their kids or grandkids or great grand children?

OR

- Everyone well and working (hopefully) and taking part in society.

If you forget about the money lost OR gained from a cure... It's best if everyone is well...

Edited by heavendj4
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