Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part II)

By MichaelCrawford in Culture
Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:59:52 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Here I continue the discussion of my mental illness that I started in Part I of this three part series.

Being schizoaffective is like having manic depression and schizophrenia at the same time. Part I described what it's like to be bipolar. In Part II I discuss my schizoid experiences, something I haven't written about much before.

In particular I explain visual and auditory hallucinations, dissociation and paranoia.


Contents

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

The Heebee-Jeebies
[top]

Be careful when you wrestle with monsters, lest you thereby become one. For, if you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss also stares into you.
-- Friedrich Nietsche

Now I want to tell you about the symptoms that schizoaffective disorder shares with schizophrenia - the disorders in thought.

I find this difficult. It seems I haven't ever written much, publicly anyway, about what it's like to be schizoid. I think right now will be the first time I have written about it at any length. I have found it difficult to communicate my experience as compellingly as I had set out to do. It's taken some time to understand why.

The problem I have is that it is dangerous for me to have the kind of experience that would allow me to write vividly about my illness. I have found in the past that to experience memories of my symptoms with too much clarity causes me to experience the actual symptoms again. It can happen that simply reflecting on my past in a deep way can bring about the insanity. This happened once during a time when I was corresponding regularly with a bipolar friend, and when I told her what it was like to really remember, she very anxiously pleaded with me to stop, let go and forget lest I be drawn into the darkness again.

After some reflection I realize that the danger is in remembering the feelings I have had when I've been symptomatic. There is no problem with recalling the events, looking at old photos from the time, or reading what I wrote when I was wigging. What is dangerous is remembering the feelings by actually feeling them again. Remembering that I felt afraid is OK, what is not is to actually feel the same fear I once felt. To write the best I could hope to I would have to recall the actual feelings again, and I think it is best I not do that.

For that reason I have found it necessary to approach this topic with a certain protective detachment that has resulted in the clinical tone my article has so far. I hope you can forgive me for it. I'm finding it a little more difficult to stay so detached as I write about being schizoid. Maybe I will be able to write more effectively here but just between you and me I find the experience more than a little frightening.

For a long time I have found it easy to admit to being manic depressive. I do it casually sometimes, even flippantly. Even before I decided to go public with my illness I was comfortable telling trusted friends that I was manic depressive. But I have always been much more reluctant to own up to actually being schizoaffective. What I said before, that I describe my illness as I do because no one understands schizoaffective disorder, is only part of the truth. The full truth is that even now, after so many years, I still find it hard to face the part of myself that is schizophrenic.

Many manic depressives will tell you that despite the pain it causes that there is something romantic about being manic depressive. As I said manic depressives are known to be intelligent and creative people.

However, despite its extremes, the symptoms of manic depression are mostly familiar human experiences. It is not hard to find completely healthy people who act just like I do when I'm either hypomanic or moderately depressed. It's just the way they are. Psychotic mania and psychotic depression are not so familiar, but they are different in degree, not in kind.

The schizoid symptoms I experience are just plain... different.

This really gives me a serious case of the creeps.

Hearing Voices
[top]

Yet it is in place to appeal to the fact that madness was accounted no shame nor disgrace by men of old who gave things their names; otherwise they would not have connected that greatest of arts, whereby the future is discerned, with this very word 'madness', and named it accordingly.
-- Plato Phaedrus

Auditory hallucinations are the key sign of schizophrenia. After the summer I was diagnosed, when I related my experience to a fellow UCSC student who studied psychology, he said that the fact that I heard voices by itself made some psychologists consider me schizophrenic.

Everyone has an inner voice that they talk to themselves with in their thoughts. Hearing voices is not like that. You can tell that your inner voice is your own thinking, that it's not something you're actually hearing someone saying. Auditory hallucinations sound like they're coming from "outside your head". Until you come to understand what they are, you cannot distinguish them from someone actually talking to you.

I haven't heard voices very much, but the few times I have is quite enough for me. While I was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Alhambra Community Psychiatric Center that summer of '85, I heard a woman shout my name - simply "Mike!" It was distant and echoey, so I thought she was shouting my name from down the hall, and I would go look for her and find no one.

Other people hear voices whose words express much more disturbing things. It is common for hallucinations to be harshly critical, to say that one is worthless, or deserves to die. Sometimes their voices keep up a running commentary about what's going on. Sometimes the voices discuss the inner thoughts of the person who hears them, so they think everyone around can hear their private thoughts discussed aloud.

(One might or might not have a visual hallucination of someone actually doing the speaking - the voices are often disembodied, but for some reason that doesn't make them any less real to those who hear them. Usually those who hear voices find some way to rationalize why the speech does not have a speaker, for example by believing that the sound is being projected to them over a distance via some kind of radio.)

The words I heard weren't disturbing in themselves. For the most part, all my voice ever said was "Mike!" But that was enough - it wasn't what the voice said, it was the intention that I knew to be behind it. I knew that the woman shouting my name was coming to kill me, and I feared her like nothing I've ever feared.

When I was brought to Alhambra CPC, I was on a "72 hour hold". Basically I was in for three days of observation, to allow myself to be studied by the staff to determine whether lengthier treatment was warranted. I had the understanding that if I just stayed cool for three days I would be out with no questions asked, and so although I was profoundly manic I stayed calm and behaved myself. Mostly I either watched TV with the other patients or tried to soothe myself by pacing up and down the hall.

But when my hold was up and I asked to leave, my psychiatrist came to me to tell me he wanted to stay longer. When I protested that I'd met my obligation, he replied that if I didn't stay voluntarily he would commit me involuntarily. He said something was seriously wrong with me and we needed to deal with it.

He told me I'd been hallucinating. When I denied it, his response was to ask "Do you ever hear someone call your name, and you turn, and no one is there?" And yes, I realized he was right, and I didn't want that happening, so I agreed to stay voluntarily.

Hallucinations aren't always menacing. I understand some people find what they have to say familiar and comforting, even sweet. And in fact another voice I think I heard (I can't be sure) came when I was hanging out by the nurse's station in the ICU. I heard one of the nurses ask me an inconsequential question, and I answered her only to be surprised to find her looking down at her desk, ignoring me. I think now she hadn't addressed me at all, that the question I heard was one of my voices speaking to me.

I became very determined that the voices were going to stop. They really bothered me. I worked hard to determine the difference between real people talking and my voices. After a while I was able to find a difference, although a disturbing one - the voices were more convincing to me than what real people actually said. The concreteness of my hallucinations' apparent reality always struck me immediately, before I ever heard what they said.

Some of my other experiences are this way too: the conviction of their reality always strikes me before the actual experiences do. People have often told me I should just ignore them, but I haven't had that choice, by the time I can make the decision to ignore something I have already been frightened by it.

After a while I decided I just wouldn't listen anymore. And after a short time the voices stopped. It only took a few days. When I reported this to the hospital staff, they seemed quite surprised. They didn't seem to think I should be able to do that, to just make my hallucinations go away.

Still the voices bothered me enough that for years afterwards it startled me to hear anyone call my name when I didn't expect it, especially if someone I didn't know was calling someone else who happened to be named "Mike". For example, there was someone named Mike who worked on the night shift at the Safeway grocery store in Santa Cruz when I lived there, and it would frighten me when they would call his name on the public address system, asking him to come help at the cash register.

Dissociation
[top]

At times, particularly that summer of '85, I would have the experience that I was not participating in my own life anymore, that I was an detached observer of, rather than a participant in my life.

The experience was like watching a particularly detailed movie with really high-fidelity sound and a wraparound screen. I could see and hear everything going on. I guess I was still in control of my actions in the sense that some guy who everyone else referred to as "Mike" seemed to be speaking and doing stuff from the same point of view as I was watching from - but that person was definitely somebody else. I didn't have the feeling that the part of me who was called I had anything to do with it.

At times this was frightening, but somehow it was hard to get worked up about it. The person who was feeling and exhibiting the emotions wasn't the one called I. Instead, I just sat back and passively observed the goings-on of the summer.

There was a philosophical theory that I had long been interested in, that I think I first encountered in a science fiction story I read when I was young. Although I was originally fascinated with it in a conceptual and academic sort of way, solipsism took on a terrible new importance to me that summer - I didn't believe anything was real.

Solipsism is the notion that you are the only being that exists in the Universe, and that no one else really exists, instead it is a figment of your imagination. A related concept is the idea that history never happened, that one has just this instant sprung into being with one's lifetime of memories readymade without the events in them ever having actually occurred.

At first I found this interesting to experience. I had always found ideas like this fascinating to discuss and debate with my schoolmates, and now I would talk about it with the other patients. But I found that it was no longer an interesting concept that I held at a distance, that instead I was experiencing it, and I found that reality terrible indeed.

Also related to solipsism is the fear that everything one experiences is a hallucination, that there is some other objective reality that really is happening but which one is not experiencing. Instead one fears that one is living in a fantasy. And in fact that is not far off from what many of the most ill psychiatric patients face. The concern I had is that (despite my experience of actually being in a psychiatric hospital) I wasn't really free to move around the ward and talk with the doctors and the other patients, but that I was actually strapped in a straightjacket in a padded cell somewhere, screaming incoherently with no idea of where I really was.

There. I told you this was creepy. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I once read somewhere that solipsism had been disproved. The book that claimed this didn't provide the proof though, so I didn't know what it was, and this bothered me tremendously. So I explained what solipsism was to my therapist and told him that I was upset to be experiencing it and asked him to prove to me that it was false. I was hoping he might give me a proof of reality in much the same way as we worked proofs in Calculus class at Caltech.

I was appalled at his response. He simply refused. He wasn't going to give me a proof at all. He didn't even try to argue with me that I was wrong. Now that scared me.

I had to find my own way out. But how, when I knew that I could not trust the things I heard, saw, thought or felt? When in fact my hallucinations and delusions felt much more real to me than the things that I believe now were really happening?

It took me quite a while to figure it out. I spent a lot of time thinking really hard about what to do. It was like being lost in a maze of twisty passages all alike, only where the walls were invisible and presented a barrier only to me, not to other people. There on the ward we all lived in the same place, and (for the most part) saw and experienced the same things, but I was trapped in a world I could find no escape from, that despite its invisibility was a prison as confining as Alcatraz Island.

Here is what I discovered. I'm not sure how I realized it, it must have been by accident, and as I came across it accidentally a few times the lesson began to stick. The things I felt, not with my emotions, but by touching them, by feeling them with my fingers, were convincingly real to me. I could offer no objective proof that they were any more real than the things I saw and heard, but they felt real to me. I had confidence in what I touched.

And so I would go around touching things, everything in the ward. I would suspend judgement on things that I saw or heard until I could touch them with my own hands. After a few weeks the feeling that I was just watching a movie without acting in it, and the concern that I might be the only being in the Universe subsided and the everyday world took on a concrete experience of reality that I had not felt for some time.

I wasn't able to think my way out of my prison. Thinking was what kept me imprisoned. What saved me was that I found a chink in the wall. What saved me was not thought but feeling. The simple feeling that there was one small experience left in my world that I could trust.

For years afterwards I had the habit of dragging my fingers along walls as I would walk down halls, or rapping my knuckles on signposts as I passed them on the street. Even now the way I shop for clothes is to run my fingers over the racks in the store, searching by touch for material that feels particularly inviting. I prefer coarse, robust and warm material, rough cotton and wool, dressing in long-sleeve shirts even when it is hot out.

If left to my own devices I would (and used to) buy clothes without any regard to their appearance. If my wife didn't help choose my clothes they would always be hopelessly mismatched. Fortunately my wife appreciates my need for tactilely appealing clothes and buys me clothes that I find pleasant to wear and that she finds pleasant to look at.

The importance of touch comes out even in my art. A friend of mine remarked once about my pencil drawing - pencil is my favorite medium - that I "have a love of texture".

It is typical of schizoid thought that a simple but disturbing philosophical idea can overwhelm one. No wonder Nietzsche went mad! But I will explain later how studying philosophy can be comforting too. I will tell you how I found salvation in the ideas of Immanuel Kant.

Paranoia
[top]

Just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Paranoia is the one of my schizoid symptoms that bothers me the most. While I've only heard voices a few times, if I weren't taking an antipsychotic drug called Risperdal the paranoia would happen frequently. As I'm sure you could imagine, being paranoid is distressing and so I'm very careful to always take my Risperdal. Visual hallucinations happen quite a bit too (when I'm not taking my medicine anyway) but except for startling me they happen suddenly, I don't find them as upsetting.

Paranoia is commonly thought to be the delusion that others are plotting against oneself, but it is a little more complicated than that. And you may be surprised to hear that even if one is self-aware enough to know that one is experiencing paranoia, to understand clearly that what one thinks is a delusion, it doesn't make the delusions go away.

The paranoid are commonly thought to be deadly dangerous. While there have been cases of the paranoid attacking those they thought had it in for them, most paranoids are perfectly safe to be around and in fact are commonly found living among you in society where they lead more or less normal lives. You don't have to be schizophrenic to be paranoid - it can arise as a neurosis, for example in response to early child abuse, and exist in a pure form without other schizoid symptoms like hallucinations.

I was interviewed in the March 30, 2000 edition of the Metro San Jose, in an article called Friends in High Places. I answered an ad seeking bipolar Silicon Valley engineers for anonymous interviews, but I told them they could feel free to use my name and even my photo. If you click the link, down towards the bottom of the page you will see me sitting on the driveway of the house I used to live in in Santa Cruz.

The article quotes me as saying "I can work effectively even when I'm wigging, even when I'm hallucinating, even when I'm severely depressed." And by wigging, I meant that I could develop software while severely paranoid. I've spent a lot of productive hours at the office, laboring at my computer, while trying to avoid thinking of the fact that a Nazi armoured division was holding maneuvers in the parking lot.

The article goes on to say:

"Programming is more tolerant of eccentric activity," Crawford says. "Even though I might have been weird, I was a good worker."

The essence of paranoia is that one's interpretation of events is deluded, not the perception of the events themselves. In the absence of hallucinations, everything a paranoid experiences is really happening. What the paranoid is mistaken about is why they're happening. Even inconsequential events take on a significance that is personally threatening. This makes it hard to know what is real. Although one can test one's sensory perceptions by, for example, asking other people, it is much harder to objectively test one's beliefs about why something is happening, especially when you don't feel you can trust what other people say.

For example, a stylishly dressed, attractive young woman approached me on the street one day in downtown Santa Cruz and bluntly said "it's all been a plot". It seems that there had been a conspiracy to rob her of her money. She explained it at some length while I listened in awestruck fascination:

She had a book checked out of the library, and meant to return it on time, but a diversion created by the conspirators delayed her. When she finally returned the book, she was assessed a fine. As evidence of the plot she cited the helicopter that flew overhead, spying on her as the left the library.

Anyone can have an unexpected delay and be charged a fine when they return a library book late. Helicopters fly over Santa Cruz all the time - I have no doubt that she really saw a helicopter. But what was special in her circumstances was why she was delayed: she did tell me what happened (I'm sorry I don't remember) but was convinced that the delay had been caused by those who plotted against her. Many people see helicopters fly overhead; what was special for her is the reason she felt the helicopter to be there.

I don't actually have such a hard time distinguishing most of my paranoid delusions from reality. It's because they're all so ridiculous - I really have spent a lot of time worried about the military coming to attack me. It's not that I hallucinate my attackers. If I look I can see they're not there. But when I turn away I feel their presence again. I know very well I experience paranoia and I try to tell myself it's not real, but I'm afraid that simply knowing it's a delusion is no comfort at all.

As I said I often feel the fear from my experiences before I have the experiences themselves. People try to tell me to ignore the paranoia but that doesn't help - first I feel panic, and only then do I think the men with guns are out there waiting for me.

The only comfort I can find is to face my fear. If a Nazi Panzer division is tearing up my front yard, the only recourse I have is to steel my courage and go outside to look for them until I'm satisfied they're not there (I have to search carefully - perhaps they're hiding in the bushes). Only then does the paranoia subside.

Walking around Pasadena late in the evening I was discharged from Alhambra CPC, I came across a large white stone, about three feet across and fairly round. There were some wrinkles in its surface. It looked just like an ordinary stone, but I knew it wasn't - it was someone waiting for me, crouching on the ground, and I feared him. It didn't look like a real person at all - it looked like someone wearing a very clever stone-like disguise.

I stood there paralyzed for some minutes, unsure of what to do, until I summoned all the courage I could muster - and kicked the stone as hard as I could. After that, it was just a stone.

Now about the little joke with which I introduced this section. Everyone, even perfectly sane people, have challenges they struggle against. You don't have to be paranoid to have enemies. Perfectly sane people get robbed, beaten and even murdered all the time. Probably the worst part of all about being paranoid is when the paranoid has a real enemy, and that enemy uses the paranoid's illness against them. You might beg others for help, but the person who is trying to hurt you is easily able to convince them that your complaints are just delusions, and so your pleas fall on deaf ears.

There is a very real stigma against mental illness in our society. Stigma can kill - I once received word from the wife of a European diplomat that his doctors refused to treat his heart condition because he was manic. He died in the hospital of a very real, unimagined heart attack.

There are people who harbour a deep seated hatred for the mentally ill for the simple fact that we are different. And these people do grievous harm to those who suffer, in large part by using the symptoms we exhibit to convince others not to support our cause, to convince them that the hatred we sense from them is all in our heads.

I have been at the receiving end of some of the worst of this stigma. That is why I write web pages such as this, to promote understanding in our society so that in a hopeful future day the stigma will be gone and we can live among you as ordinary members of society.

Geometric Visions
[top]

One evening as I was walking across a parking lot at the California Institute of Technology, I looked up to see a Yin-Yang symbol in the sky stretching from horizon to horizon. Shimmers of energy radiated from Mt. Wilson to the North. I felt a deep chord resonating through my body, the vibration of the Universe penetrating deep into my bones. I was as tall as giant striding across that parking lot that evening.

At that instant I Knew. I knew my Purpose.

I had been walking to my weekly appointment with my therapist in downtown Pasadena. I hurried on to our meeting, and when I arrived I excitedly explained my revelation to her.

"Mike," she replied, "you're not making any sense".

For a while after I cracked up at Caltech, and every now and then after that, I would see things like Yin-Yang symbols in the clouds. I would see other things too, like the energy waves from Mt. Wilson, which at the time was a powerful symbol for me. Sometimes the Yin-Yang symbols were animated, and would spin. The might be recursive, with smaller Yin-Yangs in each of the spots, and so on ad infinitum. I found that I could see them if I stared into the snow on a television set that wasn't tuned to a station.

After I dropped out of Caltech, I started pursuing various artistic endeavours. I learned to draw from Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and would construct crystalline latticeworks from painted wooden dowels.

I started to teach myself to play piano. I had a friend show me a few basic chords, and then I would just bang on the keyboard randomly until something that sounded like music came out. All the pieces I can play now I composed myself through improvisation - I still can't read music. Much later in Santa Cruz I took lessons from a wonderful teacher named Velzoe Brown, and learned to play quite a bit better, but still find interpreting musical notation difficult and tedious.

And I first got into photography in a serious way that Fall at Caltech. A housemate lent me a nice SLR camera, a Canon A-1, and I would walk around campus and Pasadena taking pictures. My sense of sight was vivid in those days and I found that photography came naturally. The expensive Canon could accurately meter a 30-second night exposure, so a great deal of my photos were ghostly shots in the dark. I still enjoy night photography.

I would photograph my hallucinations too. I would try to anyway, only to be disappointed that they didn't turn out when I got the prints back from the developer. However I can see even now where the seeds of my visions lay in the photographs. For example I would commonly see Yin-Yang symbols graphically floating in the sky, but in the photographs now I can see the hint of shapes in the clouds where one could easily imagine a real Yin-Yang.

Imagining what they see in clouds is a common game among children. But I would take it an extra step, as the shape would take on a stark reality that didn't look like a cloud at all.

Eventually the visions in the sky went away, but for much longer I was bothered by illusions that I would see out of the corner of my eye. Lots of people catch glances of things that aren't really there, that go away when you look straight on. But in my case they were rather more distinct than I think most people experience.

My illusions also are based on real objects. The most common (and bothersome) illusion I have is to see flashing police car lights where a real car has a luggage or ski rack. This would combine with my paranoia to give me the urge to dive into the bushes when such cars would drive by.

Risperdal is effective for me at eliminating the hallucinations. I found it very helpful in bringing me back down to Earth during my graduate school manic episode, but it is expensive and I resented taking it at the time, so I stopped for a few months. I finally decided to go back on Risperdal and take it faithfully one night while dining in a restaurant with a friend, only to be bothered by flashing blue police car lights and billowing red flames out the window to my left. Each time I turned to look, I would see only the headlights of cars driving up the street towards the restaurant.

In many ways I miss the visions. Not the squad car lights, but the many beautiful and inspiring things I saw. While living without visions is certainly more placid, it's not nearly so interesting.

The psychologist who did my intake at Dominican Hospital in 1994 told me that in many more traditional cultures, the schizoaffective people are the shamans. If you wonder why there are no more miracles as in the Biblical days, it's because we lock our prophets up in mental hospitals.

And my purpose? Very simple: my purpose is to unify Art and Science. In high school I had been active in the theater and the chorus, and also enjoyed literature and writing, but stopped all my artistic pursuits at Caltech because I had to study so hard. I felt the need to restore balance to my life, and I felt the need to bring that balance to Caltech itself, where I felt the lack of right-brain stimulation was damaging and depressing to both the students and the faculty.

I don't know why that didn't make sense to my therapist. It made perfect sense to a different therapist I saw a half a year later, just as I was about to get myself in a position to be diagnosed. I don't think it's such a bad thing to want to be a well-rounded person, or to want to restore balance to a society sufferring from a fetishistic obsession with technology.

In the end, I don't think it's such a bad thing at all that I changed my major to literature.

Next: How to Deal With Mental Illness
[top]

I will submit Part III to moderation once discussion of Part II has died down. In Part III, I will discuss what to do if you think you might be mentally ill: the importance of getting treatment as well as an accurate diagnosis, what else might be causing mental and emotional disturbances, seeking psychotherapy and how to build a livable new world for yourself.

I will explain why I am so bold as to write such things in such a public way, and finally I will cite some websites and books you can read to learn in greater depth what mental illness is and how to recover from it.

Copyright © 2003 Michael David Crawford. All Rights Reserved.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Of the people you interact with regularly, how many do you think need professional mental health treatment?
o 75%+ 14%
o 50-75% 1%
o 25-50% 5%
o 10-25% 20%
o 5-10% 17%
o 5% or less 28%
o I don't interact with real live humans 12%

Votes: 94
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Part I
o Part I [2]
o Living with Schizoaffective Disorder
o The Best of Both Worlds
o When Did it Happen?
o A Poorly Understood Condition
o Someone You Know is Mentally Ill
o Life on a Roller Coaster
o Melancholi a
o The Strange Pill
o A Risky Treatment
o What if Medicine Doesn't Help?
o In the Next Installment
o The Heebee-Jeebies
o Hearing Voices
o Dissociati on
o Paranoia
o Geometric Visions
o Next: How to Deal With Mental Illness
o Part III
o If You Think You're Mentally Ill
o Therapy
o The Reality Construction Kit
o Why am I Saying All This?
o Recommende d Reading
o [top]
o what I wrote when I was wigging
o solipsism
o my pencil drawing
o Metro San Jose
o Friends in High Places
o Geometric Visions [2]
o Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
o crystalline
o latticeworks
o to play piano
o ghostly shots in the dark
o the hint of shapes in the clouds
o Also by MichaelCrawford


Display: Sort:
Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part II) | 244 comments (206 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
Hearing voices (5.00 / 6) (#11)
by cyclopatra on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 04:31:01 PM EST

While I was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Alhambra Community Psychiatric Center that summer of '85, I heard a woman shout my name - simply "Mike!"

I have to admit this sort of creeped me out, because this happens to me all the time - people calling my name, or saying something to me, and when I look up there's either no one there, or no one who's there is talking to me. I always thought this didn't really "count" as hearing voices, though, because it's only ever my name, or a couple of words at most, unless I'm halfway between being asleep or being awake.

I never attributed malicious intent to them, though - although I did usually think that whoever was calling me was now thinking horrible things about me because I didn't respond.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email

Same here. (5.00 / 5) (#50)
by regeya on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 08:13:37 PM EST

I've had the same thing happen to me. To be fair, that happened mostly in childhood, which I'm told isn't that uncommon. Many children do what I did: clam up. We're embarrassed to admit that we might have seen something that wasn't there, or that we were wrong that mother was there when she wasn't.

I'm really starting to think that I should check myself in, though I've been able to identify that I only have problems when I'm fatigued. Unfortunately, during my teenage years, my paranoia caused me to lose sleep, which made things worse. To make matters even worse, my paranoia was of a pop-culture phenomenon--alien abduction! I'm even getting goosebumps admitting that I thought it had happened to me. What made matters worse is that, when I confided in friends, they described symtoms close to mine! It's pretty easy to write this off as bad dreams induced by bad movies being put out at the time; compound that wit the fact that books like Communion were coming out and my father has had a lifetime fascination with UFOs and whatnot, and you can see what happened. :-D I really should have gotten checked into a mental ward or something, because I even thought I saw Grays (yes, those daffy little tykes with the big heads and black eyes.)

Eventually, I got past that (believe it or not, moving away from "the farm" and to college helped) and until recently I wasn't having problems. I started getting paranoid again, though; of all things to set it off, it was the ridiculous movie Signs. Loved the movie, but it set me off again.

Somehow, stairways got mixed into this fear of alien abduction. Don't ask me how. When I'm feeling bad, I literally have to run past a stairway Naturally, I have another aversion nowadays: doctors! Don't ask me why, but I do. I have this irrational fear that some doctor is going to find something seriously wrong and that it'll turn my life completely upside down.

Believe it or not, I started taking 5-HTP a while back and it helped. I've been taking sleeping pills when I feel the creepy-crawlies at bedtime.

Recently, though, I had two instances when I was sleep-deprived when I thought I heard someone say, "Hey." Not loud, but loud enough to get my attention. Once a man, the second time a woman. Then, as suddenly as it came, it went and I feel more fine than I ever have. As far as I can tell, nothing out of the ordinary is going on *knocks on wood* but I'm strongly considering driving down the road to the nearest mental institution.

Gah, after I typed all that I realized that I'd never come to grips with how damn weird I am. :-D

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

it may vey well be more common than you think (4.33 / 3) (#52)
by juju2112 on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 08:57:13 PM EST

I used to hear voices calling my name all the time. It reached the point where I would ignore a real person when they called my name, because I assumed I was just hearing things again. Of course, I just chalked it up to "spirits", because at the time I was heavily into witchcraft. I had been actively trying to do new things with my mind, to stretch it in new ways.

Eventually, I discarded all that nonsense that I'd believed. At that time, I decided to just start ignoring the phenomenon (as well as several others), and it pretty much went away.

I don't think that I had these symptoms for any medical reason. Somehow, I did it to myself. I'm sure medical things do cause people to have auditory hallucintions. However, I truley believe that normal people can experience it, too, depending on their state of mind.

If it progresses to a more severe/significant experience, then I'd suspect a medical problem. But if your symptoms stay the same or go away, then I wouldn't worry. Plenty of other people experience the same thing, even though they don't admit it for fear they'll be labeled crazy.


[ Parent ]

the best way to get rid of voices (3.33 / 3) (#55)
by gdanjo on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 09:24:42 PM EST

Next time you hear the voice, answer it. Carry on a conversation.

Once you notice a strange look on other people's faces, then politely stop.

Voices hate it when you talk back to them :-)

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Heh. Talking to Nobody (3.00 / 1) (#65)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:01:44 AM EST

I read an interesting usenet post on alt.religion.wicca.moderated by Shez, the Old Craft lady. Apparently one of the rituals involves talking to the dead. She never says whether the dead are supposed to talk back. :)

Here is the post on Google Groups, and here is an excerpt:

If your alone you might feel silly at first talking to yourself, but you will find that feeling soon goes, and you start to feel comfortable and at peace with yourself and your grief.
Some can actually hear such spirits, others can make out a shape, but most people simply feel the presence of the one they love, and its enough.

Hm, apparently she does say some people can hear the spirits talk back, or even see them. A very interesting post, and a very intersting lady. I ran across her posts when doing research for Wicca years ago.



[ Parent ]
An Apology (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 11:48:20 AM EST

I was very tired when I wrote the above post. I had a vague memory that long ago I read a fascinating usenet post about Samhain which involved carrying on a conversation even if no other living person was in the room. I realize the title "Talking to Nobody" may be considered offensive because it implies there really aren't any spirits present during the ritual. Personally, I don't believe in spirits. However, I have to admit that I cannot disprove their existence, so in a way my lack of belief is a choice on my part. I hope no Wiccans out there took offense.



[ Parent ]
No! (3.50 / 2) (#71)
by Alt SysRq B on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 02:37:00 AM EST

Apparently that's actually the worst thing you can do. Never answer the "voices", ignore them as much as possible.
But i'm not a doctor, so my opinion could be well wrong.

[ Parent ]
I hear them (4.00 / 2) (#73)
by Anoymous 22666 on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 02:55:57 AM EST

occasionally, always when I'm half-asleep / half-awake and trying to go to sleep. It's always just my name I hear, and it wakes me up enough to look around. Then I have to start the process of going back to sleep again.

I assumed it was something to do with the semi-conscious state of sleep that I was in, but I'm not certain.

It's only happened a half dozen times or so, but all within the last few years. I wonder if I should be concerned about that...

I just farted... And I blame the fiction section. - Psycho Les


[ Parent ]
Hearing voices on waking up (4.00 / 2) (#77)
by x31eq on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:11:17 AM EST

I have actually checked this with a psychiatrist. He said it's normal, nothing to worry about.

[ Parent ]
Door bell (none / 0) (#79)
by mumble on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:52:50 AM EST

I have the same problem with the door bell. While 1/2 way between sleep and awake I sometimes hear a doorbell, and it sounds real. I wake up fully, listen and then realize I just dreamed it. It is quite annoying, because I really HATE being woken up from sleep.

-----
stats for a better tomorrow
bitcoin: 1GsfkeggHSqbcVGS3GSJnwaCu6FYwF73fR
"They must know I'm here. The half and half jug is missing" - MDC.
"I've grown weary of googling the solutions to my many problems" - MDC.
[ Parent ]
The only time I've ever had... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by synaesthesia on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 07:29:13 AM EST

...really vivid auditory hallucinations is after having taken Nytol. I tried it a couple of times when I was having sleeping difficulties but found that the experience of having my mother talk directly into my ear when she lives hundreds of miles away left me considerably more awake than before.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
Yep (none / 0) (#84)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 07:44:24 AM EST

Do a Google Groups search in the group alt.drugs for your favorite sleeping pill. Adverse effects for many are hallucinations and/or delusions, and the recreational trippers love to take advantage of it.



[ Parent ]
It's called a hypnopompic hallucination. (2.00 / 1) (#90)
by talnkyo on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 11:43:59 AM EST

It's called a hypnopompic hallucination.
----- This sig does not exist.
[ Parent ]
NLP (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by nomic on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 11:51:28 AM EST

I once knew a lady who studied neuro linguistic programming. I'm certainly no expert, and what I know is simply second hand. However, she once explained how hearing voices isn't so much of a problem. It is more of what you think of the voices and how much they intrude into your life that is the problem.

In one example, the person hated the voices and wanted them to go away. He perceived them as other peoples thoughts - the more people, the more chatter.

The first step was to suggest that the voices weren't so strange and to accept them without fear. A gift if you will, but out of control. Negative feelings about yourself for hearing the voices can in iteself be damaging and make it more difficult to come to terms with them.

Hearing the voices can be controled, but one has to learn how. This was done through learning to build a mental shield that would block the voices. With practice it could reduce the chatter. With more experience the shield becomes second nature in blocking the chatter until finally blocking them entirely.

With the voices under control, they can be handy. They can help with your intuition in understanding how you feel about certain people and in anticipating what they are thinking or what they are likely to do. In this capacity it is no longer an illness, but a feature of having extra insight that other people miss.

[ Parent ]

obligitory DSM IV post (none / 0) (#165)
by skullY on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 03:31:21 PM EST

I have to admit this sort of creeped me out, because this happens to me all the time - people calling my name, or saying something to me, and when I look up there's either no one there, or no one who's there is talking to me. I always thought this didn't really "count" as hearing voices, though, because it's only ever my name, or a couple of words at most, unless I'm halfway between being asleep or being awake.
This happens to me all the time too. I also get paranoia, but never to the extent that I can't function.

I researched it a bit, and found that I matched the DSM IV criteria for both Schizoid and Schizotypal personality disorder. After doing a lot of research, I've concluded that I personally don't need assistance (my particular case is somewhat mild) but some people may.

It sounds like you may also be mildly Schizotypal, as Schizoid has contra-indications of Schizotypal symptoms (hallucinations, paranoia, etc.) Then again, I have no professional training, and may be talking out my ass completely. (Or maybe the robot mind control lasers are making me talk out my ass. ;=)

At any rate, I found myself identifying with this article a lot. I have only mild symptoms, but enough that I find other cases with similar symptoms extremely fascinating. I personally "see" 20-30 police cars/day, just driving between home and work. Almost all of them turn out to be cars with something on the roof, or just cars with similar headlight patterns, but that doesn't make them any less real at the time.

--
I'm not witty enough for a sig.
[ Parent ]

I stopped reading DSM-IV descriptions (none / 0) (#167)
by cyclopatra on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 05:18:07 PM EST

...because I could match myself to way too many disorders. Maybe it's a whole other disorder - psychological hypochondria? Not to mention that so many disorders are comorbid with other disorders, there's a lot of room for overlap there...

Schizotypal does sound creepily like me - especially the bit about social anxiety stemming from paranoia, and 'metaphorical, overelaborate or stereotyped speech' - but I'll stick with the diagnosis I've got, since either way, the treatment I'm getting is helping :P

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Regarding the DSM (none / 0) (#170)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 07:23:14 PM EST

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a political document. The disorders listed within are made up by a committee. Frankly, some of the disorders are more valid than others.

For an example consider homosexuality. Up until 1973, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness in the DSM and was treated with psychiatric drugs and ECT. Then, suddenly, homosexuality was no longer a mental illness. Psychiatrists were told they should help a person come to terms with their sexual nature instead of trying to change it.



[ Parent ]
That doesn't mean it is political (none / 0) (#185)
by jjayson on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:15:07 PM EST

It simply means that as with anythying else (even all other sciences), views change as time goes bye. You might as well call an astronomy text book political because we used to believe that the Earth was the center of the universe. Labels like this do not help anything since with such vague application they become moot.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 0) (#202)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 11:22:01 AM EST

It simply means that as with anythying else (even all other sciences), views change as time goes bye. You might as well call an astronomy text book political because we used to believe that the Earth was the center of the universe. Labels like this do not help anything since with such vague application they become moot.

Okay, that's true, but even so..

During Galileo's time it was known that astronomical systems which place the sun at the center of the solar system were more elegant than those which center upon the Earth. However, because of claims in the bible to the contrary, it was dangerous to publicly promote such ideas. Galileo died because he was either brave enough or stupid enough, depending on your viewpoint, to publicly promote what astronomers of the time believed in private. So politics did play a role in the science of astronomy back in those days.

I believe there are politics behind the scenes in modern psychiatry and the mental health system. Political, religious, and other influences cannot be avoided because "mental health" issues touch upon some of the most basic questions in our society. And I think my example of the homosexuality issue shows how political psychiatry can get: homosexuality was once considered a mental illness and was treated with reparative therapy. When popular attitudes changed, so did the diagnosis of homosexuality as a mental illness.

Also acknowledged is the use of psychiatry for social control in the former Soviet Union. There was a special diagnosis known as "sluggish schizophrenia" which soviet psychiatrists gave to political dissidents to justify locking them up and drugging them. William Gibson referenced such political diagnoses in his Burning Chrome stories:

"Think what their testimony will be doing to us groundside," muttered Grishkin. "We won't even get a trial. Straight to the psikuska." The sinister nickname for the political hospitals seemed to galvanize the boy with dread. Korolev picked apathetically at a viscous pudding of chiorella.

Stoiko snatched a drifting scroll of printout and read aloud. "Paranoia with a tendency to overesteem ideas! Revisionist fantasies hostile to the social system!" He crumpled the paper. "If we could seize the communications module, we could tie into an American comsat and dump the whole thing in their laps. Perhaps that would show Moscow something about our hostility!"

The discrimination against people of color led Martin Luther King, Jr. to make a speech about the importance of "maladjusted" people:

They have certain words that are used in every academic discipline and pretty soon they become a part of the technical nomenclature of that discipline. Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any word in modern psychology-it is a word maladjusted, this is the ringing cry of a new child of psychology-maladjusted.

Now certainly all of us are desirous of living the well-adjusted life in order to avoid the neurotic and schizophrenic personalities, but if you will allow the preacher in me to come out now, let me say to you that there are some things in our social order in which I'm proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to continue to be maladjusted. (APPLAUSE)

I never intend to become adjusted to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to religious bigotry. I never intend to become adjusted to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism of the self-depleting effect of physical violence. In a day when Sputniks and Explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. It is no longer a choice between violence and non-violence, it is either non-violence or non-existence. And so I'm proud to be maladjusted. (APPLAUSE)

It may well be that the salvation of our world lies in the hands of the maladjusted and so let us be maladjusted if maladjusted as Prophet Amos, who in the midst of the injustices of his day could cry out in words that echo across the centuries, "Let judgment run down like waters and righteous like a mighty stream," as maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln who had the vision to see that this nation could not exist "half slave and half free," as maladjusted as Thomas Jefferson, who, in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted to slavery, would cry out in words lifted to cosmic proportions, "We hold these truth's to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights... (APPLAUSE)

Medical and other scientific theories were used in the past to justify the enslavement of people of color. Steven Jay Gould wrote about this in The Mismeasure of Man:

Cartwright did not end his catalogue of disease with dysesthesia. He wondered why slaves often tried to flee, and identified the cause as a mental disease called drapetomania, or the insane desire to run away. "Like children, they are constrained by unalterable physiological laws, to love those in authority over them. Hence, from a law of his nature, the negro can no more help loving a kind master, then the child can help loving her that gives it a suck." For slaves afflicted with drapetomania, Cartwright proposed a behavorial cure: owners should avoid both extreme permissiveness and cruelty: "They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children, to prevent and cure them from running away."

I like science and technology. I'm happy that genomes are being sequenced, and I can't wait to see what we discover in the future. I think it's perfectly plausible that genetics could predispose people to failing in certain ways when dealing with life and stress. However, I am keenly aware of the way science has been abused in the past to promote and justify certain interests, and I am aware of how I and others have been abused by less-than-scientific psychiatry in the present.

Also, I do think there's valid and important work being done in the mental health field. We have tools like PET scans which allow us to study the brain's functions in ways we never could before. We have new concepts like PTSD, the study of which has revolutionized the way we understand trauma.

And, um, wow, I got amazingly off-track from the original topic, didn't I? The point I was trying to make to cyclopatra is to not take the magic lists in the DSM too seriously. We aren't talking about well-defined diseases, and there's no point in worrying yourself crazy trying to match yourself up with symptoms. The criteria for mental disorders is purposefully vague for reasons which I won't go into here. If you really want to know whether you have a mental illness then I suggest going to a doctor. (However, even that is, to a certain extent, a subjective judgement call on part of the doctor.) As I said elsewhere, if your friends don't think you have a problem and you don't think you have a problem, then you probably don't have a problem. There's a lot of room for perfectly functional weird people out there. In fact, whether you're "functional" is probably the most important criterion behind a diagnosis.



[ Parent ]
Correction (none / 0) (#204)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 12:05:51 PM EST

I made a mistake in writing Galileo died because of his science. I was thinking of Giordano Bruno, the astronomer who was killed for his defense of Copernicus' heliocentric theory. Galileo was, however, forced to go into exile for the rest of his life.



[ Parent ]
First rate (5.00 / 4) (#30)
by glor on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 05:46:40 PM EST

Thank you for this excellent series. I look forward to part three.

I had a classmate for most of my undergraduate years who would come to classes for a few weeks at the beginning of the term, vanish, and show up for the final. One fall I saw him in October or November, for the first time in a month, and asked him where he'd been. His answer was that he had trouble sleeping. Then he elaborated: "Sometimes I hear voices. They tell me that I'm a terrible person, that I don't deserve to live, things like that. As long as I take my medicine it's actually kind of funny." That was the last time I ever saw him. No idea if he finished school or even if he's still alive.

Your descriptions of your hallucinations are terrifying on their own merit, but also partly because they're so eerily similar to what Joe told me that day, and what others have told me since. I can't fathom the courage that it took for you to write this, but I am deeply moved by it. Thank you and bravo.

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.

Wow (5.00 / 5) (#38)
by llimllib on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:35:26 PM EST

Thank you for this series of articles; it's truly wonderful stuff. To counter the people who have called the writing dry (and your own comment to that effect), I must say that I have been absolutely fascinated by the series. I don't believe that I've ever experienced mental illness, but I find your writing on the matter fascinating because it comes from a real first person perspective, while fiction is, well, fiction. Thank you.

That said, a couple of questions: You said that your visions were occasionally bad, but otherwise they made life interesting. How often were you having them when you were unmedicated? You mention seeing police lights and yin-yangs, were those your most common visions? What percentage of the visions were bad/benign?

Finally, in what sense would you, ideally, unify art/science? How does it compare to Robert Pirsig's vision of their unification in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?


Peace.
A simple penance you can serve (none / 0) (#39)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:41:42 PM EST

would be to vote for part III once I submit it, which will be in a few days.

I'll post a note here once I submit it to the edit queue.

It's OK though it's doing well in the voting anyway.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Damn. Mispost! (none / 0) (#40)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:43:21 PM EST

The parent comment was meant to be a reply to t_v's post just below.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I guess I'll forgive you... (none / 0) (#44)
by llimllib on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:50:55 PM EST

just this time though. Not a problem.


Peace.
[ Parent ]
Keep up the good stuff! (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by Dr Caleb on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:55:18 PM EST

Ever read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence".

I imagine you have. I your work here on par with that classic. My sister was recently diagnosed manic depressive and is overcoming some addictions.

This and your last contribution have given me insight into what people like you and her suffer with daily.

My mind is open, Thanks!


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Actually... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:50:36 PM EST

While I came up with the idea independently, what Pirsig said in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is very much the kind of thing I had in mind.

I read it a few years after I cracked up, and found what Pirsig had to say contributed in a big way to my healing process.

It also helped my programming. I've been meaning to read it again soon. Stuckness is a significant problem to me, I'm too often thwarted when I run into a bug.

Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance will be among the list of books I recommend at the end of part III.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I agree (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by llimllib on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:56:37 PM EST

Pirsig's stuff on stuckness is great. My copy is dog-eared at that section, I read it all the time when I get really stuck on a bug.

While we're on the topic of book recommendations, besides Zen and..., I'll say that the Tao Te Ching is my second-most used book, followed by the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy (which, now that I think about it, could make a lot of sense to a paranoid delusional person?)


Peace.
[ Parent ]
+1FP (5.00 / 6) (#42)
by bigbtommy on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 06:50:14 PM EST

One of the most moving and interesting (series of) stories on K5 for a while. Thanks for postin'.
-- bbCity.co.uk - When I see kids, I speed up
I've experienced similar things (5.00 / 5) (#49)
by curien on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 08:01:37 PM EST

Now, please don't think I'm saying, "Well, I'm paranoid too!" or, "Yeah, well everyone does that!" I'm not. I've experienced things similar to what you describe, but on a much smaller scale. I think they were mostly a childhood phenomenon, though they do still surface every once in a blue moon.

The thing that struck me most was your description of the rock. I've never been paralyzed with fear for minutes, but I've definitely felt sure for several seconds that something was not what it appeared to be -- it was about to leap out and get me. My boogeymen were not Panzer divisions, though; they were Imperial Stormtroopers (go ahead, laugh). They particularly hounded me in the bathroom. I've previously thought about it as some strange combination between fear of the dark and agoraphobia (and casually write it off as a child's normal fears), but your description of your paranoid Panzers is much closer to the mark. These people were coming to get me, but as soon as I could verify that they weren't present, they'd go away. I think I confuse this with fear of the dark and agoraphobia because open and dark spaces make it much harder to inspect my surroundings.

I'm fairly sure I'm not paranoid, and I doubt what I had felt was true paranoia, but I think I've had a taste of what you experienced. And I can say for sure that I'm glad I don't have to confront those kinds of personal demons.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt

boogie men (5.00 / 2) (#66)
by skelter on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:03:37 AM EST

When I was younger(less than six years old) and lived in a different city, there was a long hallway on the second floor with stairs going down in the middle. I dreaded crossing that staircase during the night when all that waited for me below was a pitch black that concealed the hulking forms of powerful and vicious wolves.

At the end of the same hallway, covering the door to my parents room, was a full length mirror that was in fact a doorway into a dimension of evil spirit stealers.

[ Parent ]

interesting (5.00 / 3) (#69)
by RJNFC on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:54:35 AM EST

The fears of the dark, mirrors, and the bathroom I find similar to my own childhood fears. Also religion, for some reason. Specifically the crusifixion, which probably has to do with the scary icons all over my family's catholic house scaring the crap out of me as a kid.

[ Parent ]
Actually, i have an opposite story (5.00 / 3) (#72)
by Alt SysRq B on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 02:48:21 AM EST

Yes, kids are afraid of the dark and of the unknown. I experienced that thing too.
However, i have a very precise memory of when it all started. I rememeber quite clear of not being afraid of dark at all (and i think i remember my parents saying i was quite unafraid of going outside after sunset) when i was very young. But one day a cousin of mine (some years older than me) explained me what ghosts are, and how you cannot escape if they come to get ya - "no, if you turn around and run there's another ghost", "no, if you go into your bedroom there's a ghost waiting for you", etc.
Somehow, that silly story shattered my self-confidence. From then on, i was really afraid of the dark. And that fright survived until well into my teen years. Heck, i feel a touch of fear even now, but very rarely and now it's more about down-to-earth things (i.e. i'm not as much afraid in the night of a cemetery as i am of a bad neighborhood).

Mind is a strange thing. Indeed, you must learn that "there is no spoon" in order to be able to deal with it.

[ Parent ]

When it all started.... (none / 0) (#75)
by NFW on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 03:43:25 AM EST

Was anyone else here traumatized by a movie called Poltergeist?


--
Got birds?


[ Parent ]

HELL yes (none / 0) (#118)
by cyclopatra on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:14:08 PM EST

although that wasn't the first, or the last, movie to make an indelible mark on my psyche.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Boogie men (5.00 / 2) (#74)
by Lennier on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 03:08:04 AM EST

Mmmm. I'd forgotten how utterly disturbing the world is like as a kid. Before the age of six, the house I lived in had a staircase I needed to climb at night to go to bed. Beside the staircase was a barometer in the shape of a WW2 biplane. Each night, climbing past that barometer I *knew* it was sentient, evil, and eternally swooping down to attack me. And then when I was around twelve I remember my older brothers reading and discussing books about UFO mythology (Charles Berlitz' "The Philadelphia Experiment" in particular) and being creeped out for years. Even glimpsing the face of the Grey Alien on the cover of Whitley Streiber's "Communion" scared the heck out of me. At age 14, I had a very frightening experience for about a year, in which I heard not exactly literal auditory hallucinations, but certainly internal mental self-talk that was hostile, scary, and not under my conscious control. At age 31, I can still find myself with that late-night creepy feeling if I've been reading too many fringe websites and then stand up and look at the window. I *know* there are no invisible alien eyes looking back at me, but a small hidden part of my mind remembers what that child of six felt, and flinches. The Greg Egan short story 'Transition Dreams' is ome of the scariest bits of fictional writing I know about the dark side of dreaming, and everything it represents.

[ Parent ]
The aliens (none / 0) (#169)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 06:36:35 PM EST

I should probably write this up as an article and submit it, but what the hell...

This is kind of like the "is real 'real', am I really in a straightjacket imagining this", but I've often wondered about UFOs- I mean, if it's flying and you don't know what it is, and it's an object, well...

But the folks who claim to have been abducted, are they just crazy? I always thought so. I mean, it seems illogical that we have the only planet capable of supporting life, but on the other hand it seems even more illogical that any alien civilization would ever know about us. Teensy little planet arond an average star, nothing unusual abouut our particular solar system ("mostly harmless")- and at the speed of light there are only a few handfuls of stars whose inhabitants, if they existed, could reach us.

Who would be interested in us?

And one day it occurred to me- WE WOULD!

Homo Sapiens has only been homo sapiens for a couple million years at most- a tiny slice of infinite time. What will we become in ten million years?

Our decendants will have engineered themselves, most likely, if we don't destroy ourselves first. And if you could reengineer yourself, what would you look like?

A large head to hold a large brain. Large eyes with perhaps telescopic and microscopic vision. No large muscles needed, even today. Chlorophyll skin so you could never starve.

You would llook like the little green men!

Now, time travel is impossible- but how much more impossible than faster than light travel? Especially considering time dialation at high rates of speed?

Imagine an archaeologist's delight if he could travel back in time to see how Neanderthols lived, and if homo sapiens wiped them out? To see the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel.

Would not our ten million years in the future decendants be curious about the discovery of nuclear fission and DNA? Is it a coincidence that UFO sightings started happening at about the same time?

Like whether or not we are strapped in straightjackets in a rubber room, conjecture of this sort would be about impossible to prove or disprove, short of catching one of the little bastards. But if you were to stand face to face with your ancestors of a hundred thousand years ago, with a firearm or even a knife, how easy would you be to catch?


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Interesting... (4.00 / 2) (#51)
by bobjim on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 08:13:46 PM EST

To be a genius is to think abnormally. To be mad is to think abnormally. Discuss.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
Actually, I _know_ I'm not completely sane... (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by Cheerio Boy on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 10:36:52 PM EST

As well as some similar things as are being described I had a hard time watching "A Beautiful Mind" due to how much I found in common with the character.

I'm not actively hallucinating mind you but many of the cognitive difficulties I experience are very close.

Thanks to the author for writing this BTW. I'm really enjoying reading it.

Now...all that aside. Being _completely_ sane in my opinion is not necessary. As long as you can manage your issues then AFIAC it's not a big deal. And honestly a completely sane person must have a hell of a time with the world we live in because it bugs the crap out of me. ;-)


[ Parent ]
Regarding _A Beautiful Mind_ (4.66 / 6) (#64)
by Alfie on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 11:37:44 PM EST

I came across a usenet post made by Edward G. Nilges to the newsgroup rec.arts.movies.current-films regarding this movie. Apparently, Mister Nilges knew John Nash from 1987 to 1992 and helped him briefly with a Microsoft compiler problem. He talks about decisions the director, Ron Howard, made when making this film. He also talks about the effects of the psychiatric treatments on Nash. Here is an excerpt:

Nash's concern, made clear in Sylvia Nasar's book, was that thorazine and shock therapies were an attack on his ability to merely concentrate, an ability that many mental health professionals do not seem to understand. Nash's concern happens to be shared by many people with mental health issues who can only fund treatment by retaining a white collar position which, in an increasingly computerized society, demands the ability to concentrate.

The post can be read in full at Google Groups or in my copy here on k5.

There is an error in the movie not addressed by Mister Nigles' post, as described here:

Nonetheless, many doctors continue to believe that schizophrenia "is a disease that's always there," Mosher complains. People like John Nash -- the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician whose recovery from schizophrenia was dramatized in A Beautiful Mind -- are "a thorn under [their] saddle," he says. Mosher was appalled by the way the movie seemed to credit the pharmacological industry for Nash's return to sanity. This occurs when a representative of the Nobel committee comes to visit actor Russell Crowe at Princeton in the early 1990s, and Crowe/Nash declares, "I take the newer medications." Mosher points out that in fact Nash has stated on numerous occasions that he has not taken any antischizophrenic medication since 1970.
Harding's study of the former mental patients in Vermont offers confirmation that a drug-free recovery like Nash's was no fluke. Half the subjects interviewed in the 1980s never took any psychotropic medication, and an additional 25 percent said they took it only sporadically. All of those who had fully recovered had long since stopped taking medication, the American Psychiatric Association's Monitor quoted Harding as stating in February 2000.


[ Parent ]
Hearing Things (4.33 / 6) (#53)
by sypher on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 09:08:09 PM EST

I think this series is excellent, it is a really useful education.

It's a shame you couldn't print this article and air drop it over the country, or at least get it into a mainstream daily. It really lays the cards onto the table.

I do have a question though, and that is related to the hearing of voices which I hope someone may answer.

Can you recognize these voices as being from a specific person you have met in your life, a voice from the TV, or do you think it is a construct of your sub concious?

Also, after reading the draft on Michael's website over the weekend, I went looking for some information about this in an attempt to answer my own questions about the condition, but couldn't really find an answer.

I am wondering if like (and I realise this is a really bad example), Anthony Perkins character in Psycho hears the voice of someone he knows, is that the way the condition works?

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
You know ... (3.60 / 10) (#68)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:52:45 AM EST

Although this is a nice, reasonably well-written comment, you are annoying me with all the random bolding. Why is Michael's name in bold? Does his name really amaze you that much that you have to break out a bunch of <b> tags?

Not only is it meaningless, but it hides a twisty kind of self-promotion. Look at me! Look at me! This comment has lots of Bold! And it breaks up your passages, making everything more difficult to read at once because you have to stop and doublecheck every over-emphasised word.

I guess that's all, man. Try to improve a bit next time -- like I said, the bolding really annoys me.

On the other hand, it might have been cool if you at least tried to work in a subliminal message or something.

 

[ Parent ]

Offtopic, but use italics instead of bold (nt) (none / 0) (#88)
by drivers on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 10:50:52 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Ignorance (4.87 / 8) (#54)
by gidds on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 09:11:52 PM EST

There is a very real stigma against mental illness in our society.

I'm sure you're right - and I suspect one of the main reasons for this is simply ignorance.  We don't know what it's like to have any of the various types of mental illness, and we don't know what to expect from those who do.  As a result, we're afraid, maybe for our own personal safety, maybe even that we harbour such symptoms ourselves.

So you deserve much respect for helping to reduce that ignorance.  It's a fascinating series, and although it can't have been easy to write, it's easy to read and very informative.  A big thank you.

Andy/

Ignorance and stigmas (5.00 / 4) (#76)
by pinwheel on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 04:54:35 AM EST

I'm sure you're right - and I suspect one of the main reasons for this is simply ignorance.

The ignorance can cause a lot of problems. I have an anxiety disorder, which years ago I'd told some on-line friends about. (Though I didn't know what it was called then.)

During a random Usenet flame war, the other guy said that my claims on what he said were paranoid delusions, and that I should seek help. Other people were completely taken in. They knew I was 'mentally ill', and one mental illness is the same as another, as far as they knew. Even a couple of close friends swallowed the paranoid delusions line whole, and started trying to 'help me to face reality'. When I wouldn't be 'helped', they started trying to force me to seek treatment. Eventually, I had to just leave the group altogether, and not see them again.

A few years ago, Google put up older archives of usenet. My 'delusions' are right there, just as I remembered.

The thing that hurts, is that I couldn't talk to these people any more. Some of them had been close friends, but now everything was run through the 'mental illness' filter. I couldn't disagree with anything they said, because that was 'just my illness talking', and they would start humouring me. I still miss a couple of them, after all these years. They no longer see me though, just what they think is my illness. And since they don't even know what my problem is, they'll fall for anything that they think fits.

These days, I just try to hide everything. It gets difficult when I fall into the depression that tends to follow a series of panic attacks, but it's better than seeing people cut themselves off from me because they're scared of what might be wrong with me.

[ Parent ]

Not Dry (4.75 / 8) (#56)
by Billthemarmet on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 09:38:30 PM EST

Your article is not dry in the least. I stumbled on it reading through rss feeds. I must say it is one of the bravest accounts I've ever run across. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression years ago, and if just ONE of the many published materials(pamphlets, books, medical journals) had been as intuitive as your description of depression or mental illness, I know I would have had a much easier time coming to terms with it.
Billthemarmet
I hate those damn medical pamphlets (5.00 / 3) (#94)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:00:38 PM EST

I have quite a collection of "informative" pamphlets that have been given to me by my doctors, that were printed by drug companies, mental health organizations and clinics.

And you know, I think they're all pretty damn useless, because they're so dumbed-down and sanitized.

I specifically had those pamphlets in mind when I wrote this article. I wanted to provide a real alternative, something that would provide some real meat, and would address the reader as if they had a brain.

Thanks for your post, I appreciate it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

A frequent (4.00 / 4) (#57)
by medham on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 09:39:47 PM EST

Though probably inaccurate analogy is that psychotomimetic drugs such as LSD produce temporary schizophrenic states. Thus, the common question: "Can you imagine if things were like this all the time?" heard most often at Glenn Campbell concerts and rave halls.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Also (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by NotZen on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:52:26 AM EST

The hallucinations on LSD are certainly similar to what he's talking about.  In my experience they come from seeing a small piece of an image and then having the brain extrapolate a whole image from it.  So seeing a white/black curve could easily produce a Ying/Yang and cloud patterns have produced both fractals and crystals for me.

[ Parent ]
talking about it makes it worse (2.33 / 3) (#58)
by bolthole on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 09:46:48 PM EST

huh. intersting.

Tourettes is like that too. Or it can be. depending on just how mellow and truely tic-free the person is.


Omission? (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by Cluster on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 10:06:04 PM EST

Michael, you mentioned Immanuel Kant and said you'd talk more about him... did you forget to include that, or is that scheduled for the last part?
As many others have already said, I was moved by your descriptive, powerful writing.

It's in the last part, sorry I should have said (none / 0) (#95)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:03:26 PM EST

It's in the section "The Reality Construction Kit" which will be in Part III.

I should have said "in part III" rather than "later". It's just that I only split this into three parts at the last minute, when I couldn't get the whole article to post - the whole thing is 105kb, but there appears to be a 64kb limit to articles.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

thanks (5.00 / 4) (#61)
by relief on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 10:46:00 PM EST

for these series, and especially the email you sent me, MichaelCrawford.

I now see that.. although I may suffer from manic depression, I certainly don't have schizoaffective disorder. These things you talk about, visions, paranoia, recursive concepts only happened a few times while tripping.

Which leads me to wonder, it must be pretty similar to low-dose shroom/acid tripping, this disorder. discuss

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.

experiences (2.50 / 2) (#62)
by jjayson on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 11:05:16 PM EST

The hallucinogenic experiences of a mood affective disorder is not even remotely close to a drug induced one from LSD, mushroom, DMT, or salvia.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Pray tell (4.50 / 2) (#81)
by synaesthesia on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 07:16:40 AM EST

Please elaborate. Many people would disagree with you. If it's not even remotely close, there must be some vast differences you can detail here.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
I can't explain (none / 0) (#117)
by jjayson on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:05:57 PM EST

However, the poeple that would disagree are always the ones that have never had a true mental illness. All these armchair psychiatrists here think that because they get paranoid or feel funny when they get stoned or that they get visuals from acid, then know what it is like to have schizophrenic experiences.

Trying to explain the experience would be like trying to explain what acid feels like. It just isn't going to happen very easily. However, the biggest difference is how you internalize the hallucinations, thoughts, and emotions. Another major difference is that you know when you are on drugs and expect to have your conscious altered, however, sometime that person you are chasing around the street corners that is beckoning you that doesn't really exists can be very difficult to determine. Part of the problem with bipolar patients is that every manic episode feels like the reality. When people try to explain that you are just having another episode that is never the case. This time, it is always real.

I really can't explain it any better than this on the spot. Sorry.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

There is no drug that makes you schizophrenic (none / 0) (#119)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:16:36 PM EST

While there are drugs that cause symptoms that are somewhat like what schizophrenics experience, the experiences are not the same.

My pschology student friend that I mention in the article said there is no known drug that mimics schizophrenia, or I think any biological mental illness. He said that if there were one it would advance research into the illness, because then understanding the action of this drug would make it easier to understand the chemical pathways in the brain that bring mental illness about.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

well perhaps (none / 0) (#120)
by relief on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:55:23 PM EST

some drugs do, but these drugs also cause many other side effects that mask the illness-like effects. you're saying there is no possibility?

considering how common schizophrenia is, i'm sure the mechanics behind the illness is relatively simple, and so are these drugs. i smell occam's razor.

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]

it's possible, but hasn't been found yet (none / 0) (#121)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 06:04:03 PM EST

I'm not saying that it's not possible that a drug analogue to schizophrenia can be found, but to my knowledge one hasn't been discovered yet.

I don't think the chemical pathways to schizophrenia are fully understood yet. I think they are starting to be understood for manic depression, I read something about that in scientific american a few years ago, sometime in the mid-90's.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

pure speculation (none / 0) (#126)
by jjayson on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:34:00 PM EST

Occam's razor has nothing to do with it. It is was so easy to simulate the effects of various mental illneses it would have already been found, no? They hadly know why drugs such as lithium work and it appears to be a very complex issue. Until something is found, please no more disinformation.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Lithium (none / 0) (#128)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 09:05:49 PM EST

Lithium is a nonspecific brain-disabling agent--it works the same on normal volunteers and animals as it does mentally ill people. I made a post elsewhere on k5 about its effects. Precisely how it works is unknown, though I believe glutamate may be involved, but its overall effects on people and animals have been well-studied. Read the excerpt in my post to learn more. Here's a section I elided from my original post:

Turning Down the Dial of Life

Studies of the impact of lithium on mental patients show the same mentally suppressive result found in volunteers. An October 1968 article by William Dyson and Myer Mendelson in the American Journal of Psychiatry captures the lithium effect in graphic terms. Describing lithium's action upon patients who are high or hypomanic, they wrote:
It is as if their "intensity of living" dial had been turned down a few notches. Things do not seem as important or imperative; there is a greater acceptance of everyday life as it is rather than as one might want it to be; and their spouses report a much more peaceful existence.
Turning down the dial of life! Getting people to accept life "as it is rather than as one might want it to be." Providing spouses a more peaceful existence. Many people would question these goals and the values inherent in them.

The chapter goes on to discuss lithium toxicity, its dangers to newborn and nursing infants, and permanent neurological effects, such as dysphoria, intellectual inefficiency, slowed reaction time, and lack of spontaneity. Memory loss is common after long term use.



[ Parent ]
Killer Tomatoes (none / 0) (#129)
by richarj on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 10:03:12 PM EST

Watch out the commies aren't putting lithium in the water. You know you sound very paranoid.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
I'm Safe (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 10:15:14 PM EST

See, I've figured out their methods. I used to wear tin foil hats until I realized that's exactly what they want! Indeed, the tin foil acts as an antennae to focus the CIA mind-control rays. There's no fooling me! Now I am completely free of mind-controlling radio waves as I listen to my Clear Channel station or watch a little CNN.



[ Parent ]
That was excellent! (none / 0) (#174)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:00:30 PM EST

Now I am completely free of mind-controlling radio waves as I listen to my Clear Channel station or watch a little CNN.

Now if I can figure how to mod people up...


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Bleh. (none / 0) (#131)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 11:44:16 PM EST

I have no words. I thought we were human beings. We were living creatures. How could they do things like that? --Auschwitz survivor

With regards to your disbelief, I sympathize--it's difficult to accept what human beings will do to each other. Occassionally someone tries to bring these issues to the mainstream. For example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer touched upon neurology/psychiatry's violence-initiatives in its "The Initiative" sub-plot. However, it had to change many of the realities to be digestable for the general public. In the Buffy version, demons were the subjects of experimentation, whereas in real life the psychiatrists and neurologists were planning to cut up the brains of poor urban people of color who were protesting and otherwise causing trouble. Supposedly the people of color were suffering from "brain disfunction". Here's an excerpt from the above link:

In a 1967 letter entitled "Role of Brain Disease in Riots and Urban Violence" in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Mark, Sweet and Ervin, much like current violence-initiative advocates, focused on individual vulnerability rather than upon larger social, economic or political factors. They asked, "if slum conditions alone determined and initiated riots, why are the vast majority of slum dwellers able to resist the temptations of unrestrained violence? Is there something peculiar about the violent slum dweller that differentiates him from his peaceful neighbor?"

Mark, Sweet and Ervin went on to suggest that this "peculiarity" was "brain dysfunction." They called for large-scale studies of the inner city to "pinpoint, diagnose, and treat those people with low violence thresholds before they contribute to further tragedies." In a supportive "Medical News" report a few weeks later, JAMA lauded Mark and Ervin's psychosurgery as a "public health" measure.

You can learn more in The War Against Children of Color: Psychiatry Targets Inner City Youth by Peter R. Breggin, M.D., and Ginger Ross Breggin. There is an entire chapter which covers the fate of Thomas R., a computer programmer in the 1960's who had electrodes implanted in his brain. Here's an excerpt:

The Fate of Thomas R.

In their book Violence and the Brain and elsewhere, Mark and Ervin described Thomas R.[1] as a young white man largely saved from epilepsy and completely saved from violence by psychosurgery. They mention no serious side effects.[2] The patient's mother, Mrs. G., read my criticism of Mark and Ervin in the Boston Globe and realized for the first time what had been done to her son. She wrote to me that in reality he had been reduced almost to a "vegetable."

From October 21, 1966, until June 30, 1967, Thomas's brain had been implanted with two dozen electrodes--and been subjected to multiple stimulations, followed by coagulations--the actual melting of brain tissue by means of heating the electrodes. A dozen electrodes were contained in each of two large sheaths. The bundles of electrodes were inserted in the back of Thomas's head, one bundle on each side, and then run the length of his brain to rest in the amygdala, a nerve center in the temporal lobe lying toward the front of the skull. Literally, his brain was skewered from front to back on both sides, and left in this condition for many months. The tips of the electrodes would be used to record electrical activity or to destroy surrounding brain cells.

To add to the Brave New World quality of the experiments, Thomas was outfitted with a remote-control "stimo-receiver" that allowed his doctors to record from his brain and to stimulate it electrically by remote control, without his awareness.[3]
  1. Also identified as Leonard K. in some of their publications. "Thomas" is a pseudonym. Every other detail of the story is accurate, and nothing has been disguised.
  2. For an example of citing no serious side effects, see Mark, Sweet, and Evrin, 1972. Mark and Ervin made the spurious claim that epilepsy causes violence. Moreover, according to the medical records I have reviewed, Thomas R. was never seen to have epilectic seizures prior to his surgery; but Mark and Ervin assert that one unnamed physician once witnessed a single psychomotor seizure. Brain wave studies (EEGs) before his surgery (for example, in the medical records on March 24, 1966) showed no abnormalities. Also, as pointed out in note 3 above, Mark, Ervin, and Sweet suggest their surgery might work on patients with no demonstrable disease, and they often referred to it as psychosurgery rather than neurosurgery for epilepsy. Furthermore, operations for epilepsy must focus on a specific, localized idea of the brain that is malfunctioning, while Mark always operated on the same place, a nerve center in the temporal lobe called the amygdala. It is a frequent site for psychosurgical operations. In Violence and the Brain, Mark and Ervin point out that lesions in the amygdala of an animal's brain tend to produce a taming effect in the animal.
  3. The device was in the early stages of development; thus, unlike several later patients, Thomas could not wander freely about the ward while being unknowingly stimulated and recorded. But while in the experimental room, he would be unaware of whether or not they were stimulating his brain.

"The Initiative" sub-plot in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of many attempts in various mass-media artworks to deal with the moral and ethical questions of the violence-initiatives. Michael Crichton's book, Terminal Man, and the corresponding movie were also loosely based Thomas R.'s story. THX 1138 also plays upon the theme of using psychiatry for social control. The ideas have become part of our culture without the general public realizing the extent to which they are based in reality.

I guess the main problem with popularizing this sort of thing is that it's so difficult for people to incorporate the possibilities into their everyday lives. Much the same problem is had by those who wish to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. People usually can't relate to such events until they have experienced something truly traumatic at the hands of other people. Then it begins to dawn upon them what human beings are capable of doing to each other.



[ Parent ]
Breggin (none / 0) (#157)
by richarj on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 07:44:09 AM EST

You keep quoting Breggin and his books I wonder if you could tell me what you think about this material?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
More on Breggin (none / 0) (#158)
by richarj on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 08:44:41 AM EST

Breggin was a scientologist. Did you know that? Do you know what that means? His wife was one aswell. If I where you I would take anything Breggin says with a grain of salt.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Breggin Was Never A Scientologist (none / 0) (#161)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 12:19:47 PM EST

Breggin worked shortly with Scientology back in the 70's. At the time he did not realize the Scientologists were a cult. He is not the only one who has been fooled. As soon as he learned of Scientology's nature, he severed all contact. Occassionally, people bring it up to discredit him. You can read more about it here. He has written:

In fact, I have nothing whatsoever to do with Scientology, a controversial religious group that frequently criticizes psychiatry. Instead, for the last twenty years, I have spoken out against cults in general, and specifically against Scientology.

And, indeed, Breggin has spoken out against Scientology on numerous occassions. His wife, Ginger, was a Scientologist at one point in time. However, she left the cult and eventually married Peter Breggin. You can read her testimony here. It is chilling stuff. I tend to respect other religions, but Scientology uses cult tactics to control its members, and I find that unacceptable.

The site holysmoke.org focuses on pointing out "frauds, fakes, fools, and flim-flam". Their entry on Peter Breggin confirms his opposition to Scientology, and gives a few useful links to people who want to become free of the cult, or learn more. I also suggest http://www.xenu.net/ for people who never realized how much of a cult Scientology is.

The claims of belonging to Scientology are a smear tactic used by Eli Lilly because Breggin revealed some harrowing details of the company practices in Talking Back to Prozac. Breggin has critized Scientology publicly for many years. For example, take his interview on PBS' Frontline where the interviewer asks him about testifying to congress about the dangers of Ritalin:

You've been accused of having something to do with Scientology. Is that true?

... I have nothing to do with Scientology. For approximately 25 years, I have conducted reform work with nothing to do with Scientology. There is no issue whatsoever about me and Scientology. I'm the editor-in-chief of a journal with 40 professional members on it. I'm director of a center with 200 professional people on the advisory council and 1,000 general members. I have taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins and George Mason. I have nothing to do with Scientology. It's a drug company PR campaign. ... I have the letters. If I had known you were going to go to this level of journalism, I would have brought the letters along where Eli Lilly tries to link people like me to Scientology.

And didn't they attack and make accusations about your wife?

My wife was a Scientologist, and is now so strongly anti-Scientology, that if I even took a phone call from a Scientologist, she'd be on my back. ... I don't want to take on the Scientologists. I've got enough trouble taking on psychiatry. ...

But when people see you alongside Scientologists at a hearing before a state legislature in Arkansas ...

I recommend personally that Scientologists not be brought to these hearings, but I have no control over that. I'm just an expert witness. I have no control over it. ... The average parent doesn't see that it's Scientologists who are against taking these drugs. It is strictly the drug companies and the media who bring up the Scientology issue. ... Let's talk about the lawsuits that have been filed against the Novartis, the manufacturer of Ritalin.

And the interview continues. Look at Breggin's resumà which I posted earlier if you doubt his credentials.



[ Parent ]
Breggin and Scientology (none / 0) (#177)
by richarj on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:28:07 PM EST

In fact, I have nothing whatsoever to do with Scientology, a controversial religious group that frequently criticizes psychiatry. Instead, for the last twenty years, I have spoken out against cults in general, and specifically against Scientology.

Why then did Breggin write a book that's main source of material was from a Scientology funded organisation? The CCHR's Prozac survivors support group. Where are the articles where he speaks out against cults and scientology? I can't seem to find them.

Here is another holysmoke.org link that says Breggin is involved with scientology

As much as you wish to support Breggin you will find a disconcerting amount of evidence against him. Is he being truthful or is he a liar. What about the ritalin cases? Link Link

You might be blinded by devotion to this subject but that doesn't mean you should take Breggin at his word. Check if what he is saying is true.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

Respecting a Person's Identity (none / 0) (#199)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 06:23:09 AM EST

I don't know what to tell you, except that Peter Breggin has made it clear many times that he is not a Scientologist. His books do not use Scientology as the basis for his arguments, nor do they reference Scientology materials. Quite frankly, I think its a smear campaign. http://ect.org/ has the same problem.

Also, I noticed you completely ignored the testimony of his wife, Ginger Breggin, against the Scientologists. The cult doesn't take kindly to such behavior.



[ Parent ]
Books and Facts (none / 0) (#200)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 07:15:50 AM EST

Also, Peter Breggin's books are fact-based as opposed to being, for example, a purely philosophical argument. In his books he has made some serious claims against pharmaceutical companies and quoted facts to back these claims. I do not have Talking Back to Prozac so I cannot comment on what he said about Eli Lilly, however, I do have six of his books, including Talking Back to Ritalin, and I can see quite a few instances where he made statements which can be fact-checked. If he were to use faulty facts or to distort the facts then he would be vulernable to a lawsuit in court. He would be sued by the pharmaceutical companies and would be forced to retract his work.



[ Parent ]
Breggin's Credentials (none / 0) (#163)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:12:40 PM EST

I don't always agree with Peter Breggin. I am an atheist who believes we are biochemical machines, for example, whereas he has spiritual beliefs. However, I find his work to be well-researched, and he makes his points convincingly and clearly.

As for his background, take a look at Peter Breggin's resumé. His credentials are pure establishment: Harvard, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, and so on.

What follows is the praise which comes at the beginning of the book he co-authored with David Cohen, Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications.

"In non-technical, easy to understand language, Peter Breggin and David Cohen bring an incredibly important and hardly ever recognized message to people who need to understand the dark side of psychiatric drugs and how to stop taking them. I heartily recommend it."

Candace Pert, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
Georgetown University Medical Center
Author of Molecules of the Mind
Washington, D.C.

"Confronting current psychiatric drug prescribing practice head-on is a daunting task--we owe Breggin and Cohen a vote of thanks for openly speaking the truth. Despite what the pharmaceutical companies would have us believe, we don't need `a better life through chemistry.' This book will help debunk this myth and provide practical advice on how to avoid psychiatric drugs and how to get off them."

Loren Mosher, M.D.
Soteria Associates, Former Chief of the Center for
Studies of Schizophrenia, National Institute of Mental Health
San Diego, California

"This book is long overdue. Drs. Breggin and Cohen make possible the practice of psychiatry with a conscience."

Bertram P. Karon, Ph.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan

"The modern medical approach to almost any human problem is to find a drug--a sort of magic bullet--to fix it. But many drugs do more harm than good, and some even cause the problems they are supposed to fix. And once on a drug, coming off may also be dangerous. In this clear and important book, Peter Breggin and David Cohen outline the problems and provide a step-by-step account of how to come off the drug which may be harming you."

Steven Rose, Ph.D.
Professor of Biologoy and Director, Brain and
Behavior Research Group, Open University
Milton Keynes, England

"This is a courageous, compassionate book, and a much needed antidote to the pro-drug bias of modern psychiatry and psychology."

John Horgan
Author of The End of Science and The Undiscovered Mind
Garrison, New York

"Your Drug May Be Your Problem is a clear, accurate, and thorough look at the dangers of psychiatric drugs, and a prudent outline of what steps to take for those who want to stop taking them."

Thomas J. Moore
Author of Prescription for Disaster:
The Hidden Dangers in Your Medicine Cabinet

Washington, D.C.

"I wish I had this book when I was trying to come off psychiatric drugs. How wonderful that you have provided this guide."

Kate Millett
Author of Sexual Politics and The Loony Bin Trip
New York, New York

"Working as a consultant, I am constantly looking for ways to help clients achieve a more educated view regarding psychotropic medication. Breggin and Cohen have assembled a gold mine of information to assist in this process. I can think of no other book that has done such a superb job of making such information accessible at any point of decision regarding taking or discontinuing psychotropic medication."

Tony Stanton, M.D.
Psychiatric Consultant
Bremerton, Washington

"This book is one of the most important things that has happened to psychiatry and especially to so-called `psychiatric patients' during this century. Having worked for more than 20 years with so-called schizophrenics--the main victims of the abuse by prescribed psychiatric drugs--I can say that Peter Breggin and David Cohen must be praised for the courage they have had to unmask many pseudo-scientific conclusions frequently present in supposedly scientific literature."

Alberto Fergusson, M.D.
Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, and Institute Director
Bogota, Columbia

"It has taken great courage for Drs. Breggin and Cohen to write this very significant book. ... As advocates for non-pharmacological approaches ... the authros have outlined a careful and highly responsible program for withdrawal from psychiatric medications."

Milton F. Shore, Ph.D.
Former President, American Orthopsychiatry Association
Recipient of the American Psychological Associations Award for
Outstanding Professional Contributions (1998)
Silver Spring, Maryland

"This book leads the way in explaining and redefining the growing pathology of the culture of psychiatric medications. It is a reminder of where we are and a non-medical prescription of where we can go."

Fred Bemak, Ph.D.
Professor of Counselor Education and
Section Head for Wellness and Human Services
College of Education, The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

"One hundred years from now, people will read current psychiatric textbooks with the same incredulity we have about blood-letting and snake oil. Your Drug May Be Your Problem will be remembered as the turning point and as the beacon that showed the way out of these dark days of widespread psychiatric drugging. Breggin and Cohen, like trusted friends, provide us with critical information we need to know in order to make informed decisions about psychiatric drugs, including when and how to stop taking them. They present it all within a coherent philosophy of lfe and health that makes the routine use of psychiatric drugs obsolete. If you have reached that inevitable point of being disillusioned with your psychiatric drug, this book will be your best friend and guide."

Douglas C. Smith, M.D.
Psychiatrist
Juneau, Alaska

"This innovative, informative, and easy-to-read book is a godsend for non-medical people such as parents, teachers, counselors, social workers, and psychologists who need to know the potential dangers of referring their children, students, or clients to physicians for psychiatric medication."

Clemmont E. Vontress, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Counseling
George Washington University
Recipient of the Counselor Educator of the Year Award (1995)
from the American Mental Health Counselors Association
Washington, D.C.

"Your Drug May Be Your Problem provides much useful and very practical information, and it is much needed considering that there is such massive propaganda by the pharmaceutical and medical industries about such drugs. The propaganda must be combated, and this book contributes to that effort."

Wolf WOlfensberger, Ph.D.
Research Professor of Education
Syracuse University
Director, Training Institute for Human Service Planning,
Leadership and Change Agentry
Syracuse, New York

"Your Drug May Be Your Problem is an honest and straightforward attempt to present a clear picture of drug effects, why we turn to drugs, their role in society, and more. It fills a real need in our current drug culture and in our current complete trust in the drug dispenser himself. The book's main import will be to serve as a counter-balance to the myth of a `miracle' drug cure. It's a must on everyone's bookshelf!"

Rhoda L. Fisher, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Syracuse, New York

"I recommend Your Drug May Be Your Problem as the number one self-help guide to coming off psychiatric drugs."

Steven Baldwin, Ph.D.
Sendior Editor, Ethical Human Sciences and Services
Foundation Professor of Psychology
School of Social Sciences, University of Teesside, Teesside, UR

"Anyone saying `yes' to psychiatric drugs, or wanting to `just say no,' should first say `YES' to buying and reading this essential, informative book. Breggin and Cohen's goal is empowerment of troubled people seeking help, not propaganda, pressure, or profit. This book questions, informs, warns, and leaves the reader far better able to choose wisely."

Thomas Greening, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School
Editor, Journal of Humanistic Psychology
Los Angeles, California

"I highly recommend this book to persons on psychiatric drugs, and to the physicians who prescribe them. These drugs are very powerful, either for good or for harm. TSince the actions for almost all of them are still unknown, the people who use them are being experimented on, mostly without their knowledge. Drs. Breggin and Cohen are experts on the negative effects of drugs. Their views should be just as widely knwon as the misleadingly positive advocations of the drug companies."

Thomas J. Scheff, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

"This groundbreaking book provides a comprehensive and honest source of information about adverse and withdrawal effects of commonly-used psychiatric drugs. It should be in the office of all medical and mon-medical `mental health' workers. It should also be read by anyone considering the use of psychiatric drugs and all those who want to stop."

David H. Jacobs, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist, Resident Faculty
California Institute of Human Science
Sand Diego, California

"Emotional maturity, self-confidence, and life competence come from struggling with stresses, fears, and adversities. When young people become addicted to drugs they remain emotionally immature until they quit and start learning to cope. Breggin and Cohen point out that the same is true of chronic users of psychiatric medications. It is not until the withdraw from the chemical dependency urged on them by psychiatry, that they can develop inner strengths for coping with life's difficulties."

Al Siebert, Ph.D.
Author of The Survivor Personality
Portland, Oregon

"Doctors Peter Breggin and David Cohen take the reader through the risky pathways of psychiatric medication with accurate information as a guide. Dr. Breggin was a voice in the night calling for responsibility with psychiatric medication. Now he leads an orchestra of protest."

Joay Haley
United States International University
Author of Leaving Home and Learning and Teaching Therapy
La Jolla, California

"Breggin has been a brave pioneer in not only pointing out but also meticulously documenting the ways that the `Emperor' of traditional mental health treatment is naked. His relentless raising of questions and documentation of false advertising and cover-ups by drug companies and various forms of abuse of patients by a variety of therapists is invaluable and irreplaceable."

Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.
Author of They Say You're Crazy and The Myths of Women's Masochism
Visiting Scholar, Pembroke Center
Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

"Nowhere does the false medical thinking, that there is a drug cure for almost all common diseases, do more harm than in the modern psychiatric argument that mental illness is easily diagnosed and then curred by a side-effect-free drug. Nowhere is the correct psychiatric thinking more evident than in the books by Peter Breggin. In them he explains clearly that patients with mental illness are in almost all instances suffering from their inability to connect with important people in their lives and need help in making these vital connections. He supports safe, drug-free counseling as a more effective way to help people, and I enthusiastically agree with this premise."

William Glasser, M.D.
Psychiatrist, author of Reality Therapy and
the forthcoming Reality THerapy in Action
Chatsworth, California



[ Parent ]
Interesting... (none / 0) (#175)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:10:22 PM EST

I am an atheist who believes we are biochemical machines

I'm a Christian who believes we are biochemical machines. No troll, no shit. I believe that if you think that science is at odds with the bible, you either don't understand science, the bible, or either.

Science asks how. Religion asks why. They are not mutually exclusive. And I will not try to convert you, that's up to God Himself.

Ask, and it shall be answered. Knock, and the door shall be opened. I knocked, I asked, I was shown. I don't expect you to believe me.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Sorry (none / 0) (#201)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 07:21:52 AM EST

I'm not one of those atheists who are rabidly anti-religious. I don't know why I'm an atheist except that's just how I turned out. I simply don't find myself believing in God or gods, etc. Many people whom I respect are religous, and I have found great truth and beauty in many religious works and writings. I only pointed out that I am an atheist to explain where I am coming from wrt to beliefs.



[ Parent ]
And I am not judging you either (none / 0) (#205)
by mcgrew on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 05:56:16 PM EST

Just pointing out that you, the athiest, can believe some of the same things that I, a Christian also believe.

I went a long, long time without stepping foot in a church. Too many wolves in sheep's clothing. I had a preacher for a landlord once who evicted me because he found out I liked beer! Not my idea of a Christian, and I'd posit that in that respect, you, the athiest, are a better and more moral person than that preacher.

Now I strive to be a sheep in wolve's clothing. A really BIG sheep with sharp teeth that the real wolves can respect.

Pat Robertson has done more harm to Christianity than any thousand athiests. An athiest can only harm Christianity (or Bhuddism or Islam) if he pretends to be a member.

Occam's razor leads me to God- I find it impossible that you, I, the house I live in, are all accidents of entropy. Mathematics do not allow for infinity.

I am doomed by my own imperfections, and there is only one salvation for me. I have no choice but believe the witnesses. And I have since witnessed, myself. I no longer need "faith" that I will live after my death. Instead, I can see a progression from where we were to where we can go. I have no doubt that I will be dug up and reanimated (although I don't know if I will remember this life).

Perhaps my faith is madness. If so, it is a madness I am very comfortable with.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Not quite (none / 0) (#241)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:55:01 PM EST

Science does ask why? Perhaps a different take on why to say the bible, or numerous other equally believable religious texts from around the world.

That aside the common way that Christianity interprets their particular book is thoroughly at odds with science. Of course the true question is what in the bible is literal and how can we tell? Christianity, and many other folk beliefs, are at odds with science because science has already destroyed and will continue to destroy their sacred cows, wiping out the dogmatic controlling aspect of their religion - I mean really some of the stuff in the bible is plainly written for the immediate times and is quite ridiculous today - how much of it is so?

Science cannot really comment on spiritual beliefs, e.g. is there a god? does it matter if there is? It may eventually show how these notions first arose in the brain or perhaps we'll find that there is just nothing there that can explain it.

[ Parent ]
Breggin (none / 0) (#242)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:59:04 PM EST

Do some better research. Breggin has made several fraudulant claims with respect to his supposed bona fides. Further his books contain numerous deliberate distortions and omissions - selective use of studies that in fact contradict his claims being just one. He certainly cannot be considered a reliable source of information based on this. Perhaps what he is really doing is promoting a means for him to make more money, i.e. you sitting in his office day after day, week after week, paying him by the hour.

[ Parent ]
Enumerate, Please (none / 0) (#244)
by Alfie on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 03:17:17 AM EST

Don't just blindly accuse. Your reply looks like boilerplate FUD, to be honest. I've read many of Breggin's books, including The Hearth of Being Helpful: Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence, and I find your suggestions to lack credibility. I have no doubt that a person writing so many books will eventually make a mistake or two. I certainly can't code a moderately complex program without the occassional bug or two creeping in. However, I do not doubt Breggin's sincerity nor his credentials.



[ Parent ]
ahem. occam's deep elusive razor. [nt] (none / 0) (#153)
by relief on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 06:04:26 AM EST



----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
Occam's razor (none / 0) (#176)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:12:13 PM EST

"Where's my damned styptic pencil?" -Occam

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

cocaine psychosis (none / 0) (#135)
by benzapp on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 12:54:52 AM EST

is indistinguishable from schizophrenia.  Your psychology friend doesn't know what he is talking about. Today, many substances which interfere with dopamine reuptake in the same fashion as cocaine are added to foods to enhance their taste. Just as you begin to crave the taste of cocaine after snorting a line, you begin to crave the taste of food which has those chemicals added to it.  This is the drawback with substances intended to cause an addictive response, they always result in elevated dopamine levels.

Just as the vast majority of people can use cocaine no problem (and did for quite a while before it was made prescription only), the vast majority of people can consume junk food and simply be addicted.  They crave the food and barely notice the feeling.  

Cocaine psychosis and schizophrenia are both conclusively linked to excess dopamine and both respond quickly to dopamine antagonist drugs (ie antipsychotics).  

It is completely understood what causes schizophrenia.  What the medical establishment refuses to acknowledge is the huge increase in the numbers of these disorders is obviously due to an external cause. Their refusal to identify that cause is wrong.  But, this will give them the time to develop drugs to cure this illness.

Interestingly, schizophrenic behavior was relatively rare in the 19th century compared to today, when cocaine was cheap and plentiful.  

[ Parent ]

AIP (none / 0) (#140)
by jjayson on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:40:22 AM EST

Yes, after I posted this I realized I made a statement that was too broad. In Michael's previous article in the series I talked about Amphetamine Induced Psychosis (AIP) a little. However, AIP in not from having a single dose of coke or meth. It takes a moderate, regular used years to have an AIP period. I have actually had friends that have gone through AIP before and know it only second-hand.

I won't bother talking about your tin-foil hat food additives claim. I have yet to see credible proof of that and instead if exists on the fringes, from what I have seen. Unless you have good medical studies? Or is there yet another massive conspiracy theory to cover up?
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Drugs in Food (none / 0) (#159)
by benzapp on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:54:44 AM EST

This is a good place to start.  Wheat and Dairy opioid peptides. Aforementioned beta-carbolines. These are available from the national institute of health, or medline.  Get thee to a library.

(1)Wang, M. et al, Two novel ß-carboline compounds from the maillard reaction between xylose and tryptophan. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 1999 / 47 () / 48-50. , Skog, K. et al, Analysis of nonpolar heterocyclic amines in cooked foods and meat extracts using gas chromatography-mass spectometry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1998 / 803 (1-2) / 227-233. , Herraiz, T. et al, Presence of tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acids in foods by gas chromatography-mass spectometry as their N-methoxycarbonylmethyl ester derivates. J. Chromatogr. A. 1997 / 765 (2) / 265-277. , Wakabayashi, K. et al, Human exposure to mutagenic / carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and comutagenic beta-carbolines. Mutat. Res. 1997 / 376 (1-2) / 253-259. , Herraiz,T.,Occurence of tetrahydro-ß-carboline-3-carboxylic acids in commercial foodstuffs, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 1996 / 44 / 3057-3065. , Papavergou, E. et al, Tetrahydro-beta-carboline-carboxylic acids in smoked foods. Food Addit. Contam. 1992 / 9 (1) / 83-95. , Sen, N.P. et al, Analytical methods for the determination and mass spectometric confirmation of 1-methyl-2-nitroso-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid and 2-nitroso-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid in foods. Food. Addit. Contam. 1991 / 8 (3) / 275-289. , Adachi, J. et al, Identification of tetrahydro-beta-carbolin-3-carboxylic acid in foodstuffs, human urine and human milk. J. Nutr. 1991 / 121 (5) / 646-652. , Rommelspacher, H. et al, Pharmacology of harmalan (1-methyl-3,4-dihydro-beta-carboline). Eur. J. Pharmacology 1985 / 109 (3) / 363-371. , Rommelspacher, H. et al, Is there a correlation between the concentration of beta-carbolines and their pharmacolodynamic effects ? Prog. Clin. Biol. Res. 1982 / 90 / 41-55. , Airaksinen, M.M. et al, Affinity of beta-carboline on rat brain benzodiazepine and opiate binding sites. Med. Biol. 1980 / 58 (6) / 341-344. , Proliac, A. et al, Isolation and identification of two beta-carbolins in roasted chicory root. Helv. Chim. Acta 1976 / 59 (7) / 2503-2507. (french)

(2)Biggio, G. et al, Stress and beta-carbolines decrease the density of low affinity GABA binding sites ; an effect reversed by diazepam. Brain. Res. 1984 / 305 (1) / 13-18.

(3)Skolnick, P. et al, New concepts in the neurobiology of anxiety. J. Clin. Psychiatry 1983 / 44 (11 pt 2) / 12-20.

(4)Walsh, T.J. et al, Intraseptal injection of GABA and benzodiazepine receptor ligands alters high affinity choline transport into the hippocampus. Brain. Res. Bull. 1993 / 31 (3-4) / 267-271.

(5)Fehske, K.J. et al, beta-Carboline inhibitor of benzodiazepine receptor binding in vitro. Brain. Res. 1982 / 238 (1) / 286-291.

(6)Krause, W. et al, Pharmacokinetics of two partial benzodiazepine receptor agonistic beta-carboline derivates in healthy volunteers. Arzneimittelforschung. 1993 / 43 (5) / 511-515.

(7)Rommelspacher, H. et al, beta-Carbolines and tetrahydroisoquinolines : detection and function in mammals. Planta. Med. 1991 / 57 (7) / 585-592.

(8)Lutes, J. et al, Tolerance to the tremorogenic effects of harmiline : evidence for altered olivo-cerebellar function. Neuropharmacology 1988 / 27 (8) / 849-855.

(9)Argypoulos, S.V. et al, The use of benzodiazepines in anxiety and other disorders. Eur. Neuropsychopharmacol. 1999 / 6 / 407-412.

(10)Loscher, W. et al, Withdrawal precipation by benzodiazepine receptor antagonists in dogs chronically treated with diazepam or the novel anxiolytic and anticonvulsant beta-carboline abecarnil. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1992 / 345 (4) / 452-460. , Eisenberg, R.M. et al, Effects of beta-carboline-ethyl ester on plasma corticosterone -- a parallel with antagonist-precipated diazepam withdrawal. Life Sci. 1989 / 44 (20) / 1457-1466.

(11)Little, H.J. et al, The benzodiazepines : anxiolytic and withdrawal effects. Neuropeptides 1991 / 19 / suppl. 11-14.

(12)Bianchi, M. et al, Peripherally administrated benzodiazepines increase morphine-induced analgesia in the rat. Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 1993 / 322 / 5-13. , Marescaux, C. et al, Bidirectional effects of the beta-carbolines in rats with spontaneous petit mal-like seizures. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) / 327-335.

(13)Tokuyama, S. et al, Blockade of the development of analgesic tolerance to morphine by psychological stress through benzodiazepine receptor mediated mechanism. Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 51 (3) / 425-427. , Weber, K.H. et al, Pharmacological and neurochemical properties of 1,4-diazepines with two annelated heterocycles ('hetrazepines'). Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1985 / 109 (1) / 19-31. Kaijima, M. et al, Hypnotic action of ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, in cats. Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiol. 1984 / 58 (3) / 277-281.

(14)Wettstein, J.G. et al, Respiratory effects of benzodiazepine-related drugs in awake rhesus monkeys. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 255 (3) / 1328-1334.

(15)Yasui, M. et al, Benzodiazepine inverse agonists augment long-term potentiation in CA1 and CA3 of guinea pig hippocampal slices. Neuropharmacology 1993 / 32 (2) / 127-131. , Cooper, S.J. et al, The beta-carboline abecarnil, a novel agonist at central benzodiazepine receptors, influences sacharin and salt taste preferences in the rat. Brain. Res. 1992 / 599 (1) / 144-147. , Kreeger, T.J. et al, Diazepam-induced feeding in ceptive grey wolves (Canis Lupus). Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1991 / 39 (3) / 559-561. , Cooper, S.J. ,Hyperphagic and anorectic effects of beta-carbolines in a palatable food consumption test : comparisons with triazolam and quazepam. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1986 / 120 (3) / 257-265. , File, S.E. et al, Actions of the beta-carboline ZK93426 in an animal test of anxiety and the holeboard : interactions with Ro15-1788. J. Neural. Transm. 1986 / 65 (2) / 103-114.

(16)Hege, S.G. et al, Psychomotor effects of the anxiolytic abecarnil : a comparison with lorazepam. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1997 / 131 (2) / 101-107. , Mumford, G.K. et al, Abecarnil and alprazolam in humans : behavioral, subjective and reinforcing effects. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1995 / 272 (2) / 570-580. , Duka, T. et al, Human studies on abecarnil, a new beta-carboline anxiolytic : safety, tolerability and preliminary pharmacological profile. Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 1993 / 35 (4) / 386-394.

(17)Stephens, D.N. et al, Bidirectional nature of benzodiazepine receptor ligands extends to effects on vigilance. Psychopharmacol. Ser. 1988 / 6 / 205-217. , Jensen, L.H. et al, Bidirectional effects of beta-carbolines and benzodiazepines on cognitive processes. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) 359-364.

(18)Borde, N. et al, Effects of methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid on memory impairments induced by chronic alcohol consumption in mice. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 1996 / 20 (8) / 1377-1387.

(19)Merlo Pick ,E. et al, A two compartment exploratory model to study anxiolytic / anxiogenic effects of drugs in the rat. Pharmacol. Res. 1989 / 21 (5) / 595-602.

(20)Chermat, R. et al, Interactions of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761), diazepam and ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate on social behaviour of the rat. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1997 / 56 (2) / 333-339. , Maestripieri, D. et al, Anxiety in rhesus monkey infants in relation to interactions with their mother and other social companions. Dev. Psychobiol. 1991 / 24 (8) / 571-581. , Hindley, S.W. et al, The effects of methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate on social interaction microinjected into the nucleus raphe dorsalis of the rat. Br. J. Pharmacol. 1985 / 86 (3) / 753-761.

(21) Vellucci, S.V. et al, The effect of midazolam and beta-carboline-3-carboxylate methyl ester on behaviour, steroid hormones and central monoamine metabolites in social groups of talapoin monkeys. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 86 / 90 (3) / 367-372.

(22)Coenen, A.M. et al, Effects of the beta-carboline abecarnil on epileptic activity, EEG, sleep and behaviour of rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1992 / 42 (3) / 401-405.

(23)Rodgers, R.J. et al, Are the analgesic effects of social defeat mediated by benzodiazepine receptors ? Physiol. Behav. 1987 / 41 (3) / 279-289

(24)Ushijiama, I. et al, Cocaine : evidence for NMDA, beta-carboline- and dopaminergic-mediated seizures in mice. Brain. Res. 1998 / 797 (2) / 347-350.

(25)Giorgetti, M. et al, Imidazenil, a positive allosteric GABA-A receptor modulator, inhibits the effects of cocaine on locomotor activity and extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens shell without tolerance liability. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1998 / 287 (1) / 58-66. , Goeders, N.E. et al, Tolerance and sensitization to the behavioral effects of cocaine in rats : relationship to benzodiazepine receptors. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1997 / 57 (1-2) / 43-56.

(26)Soltis, R.P. et al, Cardiovascular effects of the beta-carboline FG7142 in borderline hypertensive rats. Physiol. Behav. 1998 / 63 (3) / 407-412. , Serrano, A. et al, NMDA antagonists block restraint-induced increase in extracellular DOPAC in rat nucleus accumbens. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 162 (1) / 157-166. , Claustre, Y. et al, Pharmacological studies on stress-induced increase in frontal cortical dopamine metabolism in the rat. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1986 / 238 (2) / 693-700.

(27)Kureta, Y. et al, Influence of social dominance on self-stimulation behavior in male golden hamster. Physiol. Behav. 1996 / 59 (4-5) / 621-624. , Horger, B.A. et al, Selective increase in dopamine utilization in the shell subdivision of the nucleus accumbens by the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142. J. Neurochem. 1995 / 65 (2) / 770-774. , Concas, A. et al, Carbondioxide inhalation, stress and anxiogenic drugs reduce the function of GABAA receptor complex in the brain. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 1993 / 17 (4) / 651-661. , Simon, P. et al, Anxiogenic-like effects induced by stimulation of dopamine receptors. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1993 / 45 (3) / 685-690. , Deutch, A.Y. et al, Stress selectively increases fos protein in dopamine neurons innervating prefrontal cortex. Cereb. Cortex. 1991 / 1 (4) / 273-292. , Bradberry, C.W. et al, The anxiogenic beta-carboline FG7142 selectively increases dopamine release in rat prefrontal cortex as measured by microdialysis. J. Neurochem. 1991 / 56 (2) / 748-752. , Tam, S.Y. et al, Modulation of mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons by central benzodiazepine receptors. !. Pharmacological characterization. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 252 (3) / 989-996. , Tam, S.Y. et al, Modulation of mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons by central benzodiazepine receptors. !. Pharmacological characterization. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 252 (3) / 989-996.Zetterstrom, T. et al, Local administration of flurazepam has different effects on dopamine release in striatum and nucleus accumbens : a microdialysis study. Neuropharmacology 1990 / 29 (2) / 129-134. , Giorgi, O. et al, Ro15-4513, like anxiogenic beta-carbolines, increases dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex of the rat. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1988 / 156 (1) / 71-75. ,Biggio, G. et al, Changes in GABAergic transmission induced by stress ,anxiogenic and anxiolytic beta-carbolines. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) / 301-308. , Stanford, S.C. et al, A single dose of FG7142 causes long-term increase in mouse cortical adrenoceptors. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 134 (3) / 313-319. , Ida, Y. et al, The activation of mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons by FG7142 is absent in rats treated chronically with diazepam. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 137 (2-3) / 185-190.

(28)Wyatt, R.J. et al, Effects of antipsychotics, vitamin E, and MK-801 on dopamine dynamics in the rat brain following discontinuation of cocaine. Psychiatry Res. 1998 / 80 (3) / 213-225.

(29)Fernandez-Guasti, A. et al, Anxiolytics reverse the acceleration of ejaculation resulting from enforced intercopulatory intervals in rats. Behav. Neurosci. 1991 / 105 (2) / 230-240.

(30)Ojima, K. et al, Flumazenil reverses the decrease in the hypnotic activity of pentebarbital by social isolation stress : are endogenous benzodiazepine receptor ligands involved ? Brain. Res. 1997 / 745 (1-2) / 127-133. , Duka, T. et al, Effects of ZK93,426, a beta-carboline benzodiazepine receptor antagonist on night sleep pattern in healthy male volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1995 / 117 (2) / 178-185.

(31)Murphy, B.L. et al, Dopamine and spatial working memory in rats and monkeys : pharmacological reversal of stress-induced impairment. J. Neurosci. 1996 / 16 (23) / 7768-7775.

(32)Duka, T. et al, Human studies on the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist beta-carboline ZK93426 : antagonism of lormetazepam's psychotropic effects. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1988 / 95 (4) / 463-471. , Dorow, R. et al, Clinical perspectives of beta-carbolines from first studies in humans. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) / 319-326.

(33)Fanselow, M.S. et al, The benzodiazepine inverse agonist DMCM as an unconditional stimulus for fear-induced analgesia : implications for the role of GABAA receptors in fear-related behaviour. Behav. Neurosci. 1992 / 106 (2) / 336-344.

(34)Holley, L.A. et al, Dissociation between the attentional effects of infusions of a benzodiazepine receptor agonist and inverse agonist into the basal forebrain. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1995 / 120 (1) / 99-108. , Hill, T.J. et al, beta-carboline and pentylenetetrazol effects on conflict behaviour in the rat. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1992 / 42 (4) / 733-736. , Shekhar, A. et al, Anxiogenic effects of noreleagnine, a water soluble beta-carboline in rats. Neuropharmacology 1989 / 28 (5) / 539-542. , Shibata, S. et al, Effects of benzodiazepine and GABA antagonists on anticonflict effects of antianxiety drugs injected into the rat amygdala in a water-lick suppression test. Psychopharmacology 1989 / 98 (1) / 38-44. , Adamec, R., Modelling anxiety disorder following chemical exposures. Toxicol. Ind. Health. 1994 / 10 (4-5) / 391-420. , Hodges, H. et al, Are the effects of benzodiazepines on discrimination and punishment dissociable ? Physiol. Behav. 1987 / 41 (3) / 257-264. , Corda, M.G. et al, Long-lasting proconflict effects induced by chronic administration of the beta-carboline derivate FG7142. Neurosci. Lett. 1985 / 62 (2) / 237-240.

(35)Jones, B.J. et al, Microinjections of methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate into the dorsal raphe nucleus : behavioral consequences. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1986 / 24 (5) / 1487-1489. , File, S.E. et al, Actions of the beta-carboline ZK93426 in an animal test of anxiety and the holeboard : interactions with Ro15-1788. J. Neural. Transm. 1986 / 65 (2) / 103-114.

(36)De Boer, S.F. et al, Common mechanisms underlying the proconflict effects of corticotropin, a benzodiazepine inverse agonist and electric foot shock. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1992 / 262 (1) / 335-342.

(37)Maiewski, S.F. et al, Evidence that a benzodiazepine receptor mechanism regulates the secretion of pituitary beta-endorphin in rats. Endocrinology 1985 / 117 (2) / 474-480.

(38)Funayama, Y. et al, Effects of beta- and gamma-carboline derivates of DNA topoisomerase activities. Mutat. Res. 1996 / 349 (2) / 183-191.

(39)Medina, J.A. et al, n-(3H)Butyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate, a putative endogenous ligand ,binds preferentially to subtype 1 of central benzodiazepine receptors. J. J. Neurochem. 1989 / 52 (3) / 665-670. , Novas, M.L. et al, Proconvulsant and 'anxiogenic' effects of n-butyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, an endogenous benzodiazepine binding inhibitor from brain. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1988 / 30 (2) / 331-336.

(40)White, G. et al, Benzodiazepine site inverse agonists can selectively inhibit subtypes of the gamma-aminobutyric acidA receptor. Neuroreport 1995 / 6 (9) / 1313-1316. , Corda, M.G. et al, Functional coupling of GABAA receptors and benzodiazepine recognition site subtypes in the spinal cord of the rat. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 169 (2-3) / 205-213.

(41)Petersen, E.N. et al, Chronic treatment with lorazepam and FG7142 may change the effects of benzodiazepine receptor agonists, antagonists and inverse agonists by different mechanisms. eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 133 (3) / 309-317.

(42)Laurie, D.J. et al, Flumazenil induces localised increases in glucose utilization during diazepam withdrawal in rats. Brain. Res. 1993 / 631 (2) / 277-286. , Little, H.J. et al, Chronic treatment with a benzodiazepine agonist in vivo increases the actions of the benzodiazepine partial inverse agonist FG7142, on the hippocampal slice in vitro. Brain. Res. 1992 / 573 (2) / 243-250. , Bitran, D. et al, Gestational exposure to diazepam increases sensitivity to convulsants that act at the GABA / benzodiazepine receptor complex. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1991 / 196 (3) / 223-231. , Sannerud, C.A. et al, Behavioral effects of benzodiazepine ligands in non-dependent diazepam-dependent and diazepam-withdrawn baboons. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1991 / 202 (2) / 159-169. , Little, H.J. et al, Chronic benzodiazepine treatment

increases the effects of the inverse agonist FG7142. Neuropharmacology 1988 / 29 (4) / 741-745.

(43)Rogers, C.J. et al, Benzodiazepine and beta-carboline regulation of single GABA-A receptor channels of mouse spinal neurons in culture. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 1994 / 475 (1) / 69-82. , Malatynska, E. et al, Bidirectional effect of beta-carboline agonists at the benzodiazepine-GABA-A receptor chloride ionophore complex on GABA-stimulated 36Cl-uptake. Brain. Res. Bull. 1992 / 28 (4) / 605-611. , Pankaj, V. et al, Effects of prenatal exposure to benzodiazepine-related drugs on early development and adult social behaviour in Swiss mice -- 3. Inverse agonists. Gen. Pharmacol. 1991 / 22 (1) / 53-60. , Yakushiji, T. et al, Effects of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine compounds on the GABA-induced response in frog isolated sensory neurons. Br. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 98 (3) / 735-740. , File, S.E. et al, Low and high doses of benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists respectively improve and impair performance in passive avoidance but do not affect habituation. Behav. Brain. Res. 1988 / 30 (1) / 31-36.

(44)Malatynska, E. et al, beta-Carboline interactions at the benzodiazepine-GABA receptor chloride-ionophore complex in the rat cerebral cortex. Brain. Res. Bull. 1989 / 22 (5) / 845-848.

(45)Ngur, D.O. et al, Modulation of GABA-stimulated CL-flux by a benzodiazepine agonist and 'inverse agonist' after chronic flurazepam treatment. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1990 / 176 (3) / 351-356.

(46)Mathis, C. et al, Characterization of benzodiazepine-sensative behaviors in the A/J and C57BL/6J inbred strains of mice. Behav. Genet. 1994 / 24 (2) / 171-180.

(47)Moore, H. et al, Age-dependent modulation of in vivo cortical acetylcholine release by benzodiazepine receptor ligands. Brain. Res. 1992 / 596 (1-2) / 17-29. , Kochman, R.L. et al, Aging does not alter the sensitivity of benzodiazepine receptors to GABA modulation. Neurobiol. aging 1986 / 7 (5) / 363-365.

(48)Kemmerling, W., Toxicity of Palicourea marcgravii : combined effects of fluoracetate, N-methyltyramine and 2-methyl-tetrahydro-beta-carboline. Z. Naturforsch. (C) 1996 / 51 (1-2) / 59-64.

(49)Marley, R.J. ,Chronic administration of beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid methylamide by continous intraventicular infusion increases GABAergic function. Neuropharmacology 1991 / 30 (3) / 245-251. , Porceddu, M.L. et al, Increase in nigral type 2 benzodiazepine recognition sites following striatonigral denervation. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1985 / 112 (2) / 265-267.

(50)Rago, L. et al, Behavioral differences in an elevated plus maze : correlation between anxiety and decreased number of GABA and benzodiazepine receptors in mouse cerebral cortex. Naunyn Schmeidebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1988 / 337 (6) / 675-678.

(51)Priolo, E. et al, Panic-like attack induced by microinfusion into the locus coeruleus of antagonists and inverse agonists at GABA-receptors in rodents. Funct. Neurol. 1991 / 6 (4) / 393-403.

(52)Huttunen, P. et al, Anatomical localization in hippocampus of tetrahydro-beta-carboline-induced alcohol drinking in rat. Alcohol 1987 / 4 (3) / 181-187. , Rommelspacher, H. et al, Harman induces preference for ethanol in rats : is the effect specific for ethanol ? Parhmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1987 / 26 (4) / 749-755.

(53)Allen, A.M. et al, Effects of lorazepam tolerance and withdrawal on GABAA receptor-operated chloride channels. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1992 / 261 (2) / 395-402. , Buck, K.J. et al, Modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-operated chloride channels by benzodiazepine inverse agonists is related to genetic differences in ethanol withdrawal seizure severity. J. Neurochem. 1991 / 57 (6) / 2100-2105.

(54)Mehta, A.K. et al, Chronic ethanol treatment alters the behavioral effects of Ro15-4513, a partially negative ligand for benzodiazepine binding sites. Brain. Res. 1989 / 489 (1) / 93-100.

(55)Buck, K.J. et al, Reversal of alcohol dependence and tolerance by a single administration of flumazenil. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1991 / 257 (3) / 984-989. , Buck, K.J. et al, Benzodiazepine agonist and inverse agonist actions on GABAA-receptor-operated chloride channels. 1. Acute effects of ethanol. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 253 (2) / 706-712. , Buck, K.J. et al, Benzodiazepine agonist and inverse agonist actions on GABAA-receptor-operated chloride channels. 2. Chronic effects of ethanol. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 253 (2) / 713-719.

(56)Sanna, E. et al, Ex vivo binding of t-(35S)butylbicyclophosphorothionate : a biochemical tool to study the pharmacology of ethanol at the gamma-aminobutyric acid-coupled chloride channel. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1991 / 256 (3) / 922-928. , Ehlers, C.L. et al, EEG effects of Ro15-4513 and FG7142 alone and in combination with ethanol. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1990 / 36 (3) / 607-611.

(57)Wu, W.J. et al, Suppression of splenic natural killer cell activity in a mouse model for binge drinking. 2. Role of the neuroendocrine system. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1996 / 278 (3) / 1331-1339.

(58)Arora, P.K. et al, Suppression of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity by FG7142, a benzodiazepine receptor 'inverse agonist'. Immunopharmacology 1991 / 21 (2) / 91-97. , Petitto, J.M. et al, Suppression of natural killer cell activity by FG7142, a benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist. Brain. Behav. Immun. 1989 / 3 (1) / 39-46. , Arora, P.K. et al, Suppression of the immune response by benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists. J. Neuroimmunol. 1987 / 15 (1) / 1-9.

(59)Palluotto, F. et al, Structural-activity relationships of 2-aryl-2,5-dihydropyridazino(4,3-b) indol-3(3H)-ones at the benzodiazepine receptor. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 1996 / 4 (12) / 2091-2104. , Campagna, F. et al, 2-aryl-2,5-dihydropyridazino(4,3-b) indol-3(3H)-ones : novel rigid planar benzodiazepine receptor ligands. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 1993 / 1 (6) / 437-446.

(60)Lufty, K. et al, ACEA-1328, an NMDA receptor antagonist, increases the potency of morphine and K50,488H in the tail flick test in mice. Pharmacol. Res. 1998 / 35 (4) / 587-590.

(61)Mukhin, A.G. et al, Mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptors regulate steroid biosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1989 / 86 (24) / 9813-9816. , Pellow, S. et al, The effects of putative anxiogenic compounds (FG7142, CGS8216 and Ro15-1788) on the rat corticosterone response. Physiol. Behav. 1985 / 35 (4) / 587-590.

(62)Yerbury, R.E. et al, Novel benzodiazepine ligands : palatable food intake following zolpidem, CGS17867A, or Ro23-0364, in the rat. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1989 / 33 (2) / 303-307.

(63) Lista, A. et al, The benzodiazepine inverse agonist DMCM decreases serotonergic transmission in rat hippocampus : an in vivo electrophysiological study. Synapse 1990 / 6 (2) / 175-180. , Lista, A. et al, Benzodiazepine receptors modulate serotonine neurotransmission in the rat hippocampus : in vivo electrophysiological evidence. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 254 (1) / 318-323. , Pawlik, M. et al, Quantitative autoradiograph of (3H)norharman ((3H)beta-carboline) binding sites in the rat brain. J. Chem. Neuroanal. 1990 / 3 (1) / 19-24. , Pei, Q. et al, Both systemic and local administration of benzodiazepine agonists inhibit the in vivo release of 5-HT from ventral hippocampus. Neuropharmacology 1989 / 28 (10) / 1061-1066. , Lista, A. et al, Modulation of the electrically evoked release of 5-(3H)hydroxytryptamine from rat cerebral cortex : effects of alpidem, CL218,872, and diazepam. J. Neurochem. 1988 / 51 (5) / 1414-1421. , Rovescalli, A.C. et al, Endocrine effects of 5-methoxytryptoline, 5-hydrotryptoline and tryptoline, putative modulators of rat serotonergic system. J. Endocrinol. Invest. 1987 / 10 (1) / 65-72. , Forchetti, C.M. et al, Evidence for a tonic GABAergic control of serotonin neurons in the median raphe nucleus. Brain. Res. 1981 / 206 (1) / 208-212.

(64) Nakane, H. et al, Stress-induced norepinephrine release in the rat prefrontal cortex measured by microdialysis. Am. J. Physiol. 1994 / 267 (6 Pt 2) / R1559-1566. , Ida, Y. et al, Anxiogenic beta-carboline FG7142 produces activity of neuroadrenergic neurons in specific brain regions of rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1991 / 39 (3) / 791-793. , De Boer, S.F. et al, Effects of chlordiazepoxide, flumazenil and DMCM on plasma catecholamine and corticosterone concentrations in rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1991 / 38 (1) / 13-19. , Stanford, S.C. et al, Effects of single or repeated administration of the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142 on behaviour and cortical adrenoceptor binding in the rat. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1989 / 98 (3) / 417-424. , Yang, X.M. et al, Behavioral evidence for the role of noradrenaline in the putative anxiogenic actions of the inverse benzodiazepine receptor agonist methyl-4-6,7-dimethoxy-beta-carboline-carboxylate. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1989 / 250 (1) / 358-363. , Fletcher, A. et al, A proconvulsive action of selective alpha 2 adrenoceptor antagonists. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1988 / 151 (1) / 27-34. , Chopra, K. et al, Benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142-induced delayed behavioral depression in mice. Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 1988 / 294 / 56-63. , Stanford, S.C. et al, Chronic disipramine treatment prevents the upregulation of cortical beta-adrenoceptors caused by a single dose of the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 139 (2) / 225-232. , Stanford, S.C. et al, Effects of chronic treatmentwith benzodiazepine receptor ligands on cortical adenoceptors. Eur J Pharmacol. 1986 / 129 (1-2) / 181-184. , Fung, S.C. et al, Multiple effects of drugs acting on benzodiazepine receptors. Neurosci. Lett. 1984 / 50 (1-3) / 203-207.

(65) Oades, R.D., Differential measures of 'sustained attention' in children with attention-deficit / hyperactivity or tic disorders : relations to monoamine metabolism. Psychiatry Res. 2000 / 93 (2) / 165-178. , Donovan, A.M. et al, Thermal response to serotonergic challenge and agression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder children. J. Child. Adolesc. Psychopharmacol. 1999 / 9 (2) / 85-91. , Spivak, B. et al, Circulatory levels of catecholamines, serotonin and lipids in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Acta. Psychiatr. Scand. 1999 / 99 (4) / 300-304. , Oades, R.D. et al, Plasma neuropeptide-Y levels, monoamine metabolism, elektrolyte excretion and drinking behavior in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1998 / 80 (2) / 177-186. , Ernst, M. et al, Selegiline in ADHD adults : plasma monoamines and monoamine metabolites. Neuropsychopharmacology 1997 / 16 (4) / 276-284. , Halperin, J.M. et al, Serotonin, agression, and parental psychopathology in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry 1997 / 36 (10) / 1391-1398. , Cook, E.H. Jr. et al, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and whole-blood serotonin levels : effects of comorbidity. Psychiatry Res. 1995 / 57 (1) 13-20. , Castellanos, F.X. et al, Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1994 / 52 (3) / 305-316.

(66) Andersen, S.L. et al, Sex differences in dopamine receptors and their relevance to ADHD. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2000 / 24 (1) / 137-141. , Vallone, D. et al, Structure and function of dopamine receptors. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2000 / 24 (1) / 125-132. , Faraone, S.V. et al, Neurobiology of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biol. Psychiatry 1998 / 44 (10) / 951-958. , Carey, M.P. et al, Differential distribution ,affinity and plasticity of dopamine D-1 and D-2 receptors in the target sites of the mesolimbic system in an animal model of ADHD. Behav. Brain Res. 1998 / 94 (1) / 173-185. , Ernst, M. et al, Selegiline in ADHD adults : plasma monoamines and monoamine metabolites. Neuropsychopharmacology 1997 / 16 (4) / 276-284. , Hanna, G.L. et al, Urinary catecholamine excretion and behavioral differences in ADHD and normal boys. J. child. Adolesc. Psychopharmacol. 1996 / 6 (1) / 63-73. , Pliszka, S.R. et al, Catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder : current perspectives. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry 1996 / 35 (3) /264-272. , Castellanos, F.X. et al, Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1994 / 52 (3) / 305-316. , Sverd, J. et al, Methylphenidate treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in boys with Tourett's syndrome. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry. 1989 / 28 (4) / 580-582.

(67) Anderson, G.M. et al, Adrenomedullary funtion during cognitive testing in attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder. J. Am. Acad. child. Adolesc. Psychiatry. 2000 / 39 (5) / 635-43. , Biederman, J. et al, Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a noradrenergic disorder. Biol. Psychiatry. 1999 / 46 (9) / 1234-1242. , Ernst, M. et al, Selegiline in ADHD adults : plasma monoamines and monoamine metabolites. Neuropsychopharmacology 1997 / 16 (4) / 276-284. , Halperin, J.M. et al, Noradrenergic mechanisms in ADHD children with and without reading disabilities : a replication and extension. J. Am. Acad. child. Adolesc. Psychiatry. 1997 / 36 (12) / 1688-1697. , Pliszka, S.R. et al, Catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder : current perspectives. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry 1996 / 35 (3) /264-272. , Hanna, G.L. et al, Urinary catecholamine excretion and behavioral differences in ADHD and normal boys. J. child. Adolesc. Psychopharmacol. 1996 / 6 (1) / 63-73. , Castellanos, F.X. et al, Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1994 / 52 (3) / 305-316. , Pliszka, S.R. et al, Urinary catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with and without comorbid anxiety. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 1994 / 33 (8) / 1165-1173.

(68) Mueser, K.T. et al, Conduct disorder ,antisocial personality disorder and substance use disorders in schizophrenia and major affective disorders. J. Stud. Alcohol. 1999 / 60 (2) / 278-284.

(69) Tsuchiya, M. et al, Enkephalinergic neurons express 5-HT3 receptors in the spinal cord dorsal horn : single cell RT-PCR analysis. Neuroreport 1999 / 10 (13) / 2749-2753. , Siniscalchi, A. et al, Inhibitory effect of noiciceptin on (3H)-5-HT release from rat cerebral cortex slices. Br. J. Pharmacol. 1999 / 128 (1) / 119-123.

(70) Schlicker, E. et al, Noiciceptin inhibits norepinephrine release in the mouse brain cortex via presynaptic CRL1 receptors. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1998 / 358 (4) / 418-422. , Quirarte, G.L. et al, Norepinephrine release in the amygdala in response to footshock and opioid peptidergic drugs. Brain Res. 1998 / 808 (2) / 134-140.

GROUP 2

(1) Teschemacher ,H. et al, Milk protein-derived opioid receptor ligands. Biopolymers. 1997 / 43 (2) / 99-117. ,Teschemacher, H. et al, Chemical characterization and opiod activity of an exorphin isolated from in vivo digests of casein. FEBS Lett. 1986 / 196 (2) / 223-227. , Chang, K.-J. et al, Isolation of a specific mu-opiate receptor peptide, morphiceptin, from an enzymatic digest of milk proteins. J. Biol. Chem. 1985 / 260 (17) / pag. 9706-9712.

(2) Fukudome, S. et al, Gluten exorphin C : a novel opioid peptide derived from wheat gluten. FEBS Lett. 1993 / 316 (1) / 17-19.

(3) Max ,B., This and that : an artefactual alkaloid and its peptide analogs. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 1992 / 13 (9) / 341-345.

(4) Dutta, A.S., Small Peptides, Chemistry, Biology and Clinical Studies, Amsterdam 1993 / 550-556, 560.

(5) Coletti-Previero, M.A. et al, beta-Carboline and diazepam effect on the degradation of enkephalin by the human blood aminopeptidase. Biosci. Rep. 1983 / 3 (1) / 87-92.

(6) Loscher, W. et al, Withdrawal precipation by benzodiazepine receptor antagonists in dogs chronically treated with diazepam or the novel anxiolytic and anticonvulsant beta-carboline abecarnil. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1992 / 345 (4) / 452-460. , Little, H.J. et al, The benzodiazepines : anxiolytic and withdrawal effects. Neuropeptides 1991 / 19 / suppl. 11-14. , Eisenberg, R.M. et al, Effects of beta-carboline-ethyl ester on plasma corticosterone -- a parallel with antagonist-precipated diazepam withdrawal. Life Sci. 1989 / 44 (20) / 1457-1466.

(7) De Boer, S.F. et al, Common mechanisms underlying the proconflict effects of corticotropin, a benzodiazepine inverse agonist and electric foot shock. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1992 / 262 (1) / 335-342. , Maiewski, S.F. et al, Evidence that a benzodiazepine receptor mechanism regulates the secretion of pituitary beta-endorphin in rats. Endocrinology 1985 / 117 (2) / 474-480.

(8) Witherly, S. from Nestlé in : Solms, J. et al, Food Acceptance and Nutrition. London 1987 / 403.

(9) Aoshima, H. and Y. Tenpaku : Modulation of GABA receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes by 13-L-Hydroxylinoleic acid and food additives. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry 1997 / 61 / 2051-2057.  Aoshima, H. ,Effects of alcohols and food additives on glutamate receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes : Specifity in the inhibition of the receptors. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry 1996 / 60 / 434-438.  Aoshima, H. et al, Effects of aliphatic alcohols and food additives on nicotinic acetylcholin receptors in Xenopus oocytes. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry 1994 / 58 / 1776-1779.

(10) Totsuka, Y. et al, Structural determination of a mutagenic aminophenylnorharman produced by the co-mutagen norharman with aniline. Carcinogenesis 1998 / 19 (11) / 1995-2000. , Wakabayashi, K. et al, Human exposure to mutagenic/carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and comutagenic beta-carbolines. Mutat. Res. 1997 / 376 (1-2) / 253-259.

(11) Solyakov, A. et al, Heterocyclic amines in process flavours, process flavour ingredients, bouillon concentrates and a pan residue. Food Chem. Toxicol. 1999 / 37 (1) / 1-11. , Skog, K. et al, Analysis of nonpolar heterocyclic amines in cooked foods and meat extracts using gas chromatography-mass spectometry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1998 / 803 (1-2) / 227-233. , Stavric, B. et al, Mutagenic heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA's) in 'processed food flavour' samples.Food Chem. Toxicol. 1997 / 35 (2) / 185-197. , Wakabayashi, K. et al, Human exposure to mutagenic / carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and comutagenic beta-carbolines. Mutat. Res. 1997 / 376 (1-2) / 253-259. , Galceran, M.T. et al, Determination of heterocyclic amines by pneumatically assisted electrospray liquid chromatography-mass spectometry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1996 / 730 (1-2) / 185-194. , Gross, G.A. et al, Heterocyclic aromatic amine formation in grilled bacon, beef and fish and in grilled scrapings. Carcinogenesis 1993 / 14 (11) / 2313-2318. , Sugimura, T. et al, Mutagenic factors in cooked foods. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 1979 / 6 (3) / 189-209.

(12) Wakabayashi, K. et al, Identification of new mutagenic heterocyclic amines and quantification heterocyclic amines. Princess Takamatsu Symp. 1995 / 23 / 39-49.

(13) Ashida, H. et al, Tryptophan pyrolysis products, Trp-P-1 and Trp-P-2 induce apoptosis in primary cultured rat hepatocytes. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 1998 / 62 (11) / 2283-2287. , Sasaki, Y.F. et al, In vivo genotoxicity of heterocyclic amines detected by a modified alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis assay in a multiple organ study in the mouse. Mutat. Res. 1997 / 395 (1) / 57-73. , Sugimura,T. et al, Mutagens in food. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 1995 / 43 / 404-414. , Manabe, S. et al, Carcinogenic tryptophan pyrolysis products in the environment. J. Toxicol. Sci. 1991 / 16 (suoppl.1) / 63-72.

(14) De Flora, S. et al, Modulation of the potency of promutagens and direct acting mutagens in bacteria by inhibitors of the multidrug resistance mechanism. Mutagenesis 1997 / 12 (6) / 431-435.

(15) Skog, K. et al, Analysis of nonpolar heterocyclic amines in cooked foods and meat extracts using gas chromatography-mass spectometry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1998 / 803 (1-2) / 227-233. , Ashida, H. et al, Tryptophan pyrolysis products, Trp-P-1 and Trp-P-2 induce apoptosis in primary cultured rat hepatocytes. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 1998 / 62 (11) / 2283-2287. , Sasaki, Y.F. et al, In vivo genotoxicity of heterocyclic amines detected by a modified alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis assay in a multiple organ study in the mouse. Mutat. Res. 1997 / 395 (1) / 57-73. , Galceran, M.T. et al, Determination of heterocyclic amines by pneumatically assisted electrospray liquid chromatography-mass spectometry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1996 / 730 (1-2) / 185-194. , Yamaguchi, K. et al, Presence of 3-amino-1,4-dimethyl-5H-pyrido(4,3-b)indole in broiled beef. Gann. 1980 / 71 (5) / 745-746. , Yamaizumi, Z. et al, Detection of potent mutagens, Trp-P-1 and Trp-P-2 in broiled fish. Cancer Lett. 1980 / 9 (2) / 75-83. , Sugimura, T. et al, Mutagenic factors in cooked foods. Crit. Rev. Toxicol. 1979 / 6 (3) / 189-209.

(16) Bartsch, H. et al, Black (air-cured) and blond (flue-cured) tobacco cancer risk. 4 Molecular dosimetry studies implicate aromatic amines as bladder carcinogenesis. Eur. J. Cancer 1993 / 29A (8) / 1199-1207.

(17) Hammons, G.J. et al, Effects of chemoprotective agents on the metabolic activation of the carcinogenic arylamines PhIP and 4-aminobiphenyl in human and rat liver microsomes. Nutr. Cancer 199 / 33 (1) / 46-52.

(18) Sasaki, Y.F. et al, Colon specific genotoxicity of heterocyclic amines detected by themodified alkaline single cell gel

electrophoresis assay of multiple mouse organs. Mutat. Res. 1998 / 414 (1-3) / 9-14. , Grivas, S., Synthetic roots to the food carcinogen 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo(4,5-f)quinozaline (8-MeIQx) and related compounds. Princess Takamatsu Symp. 1995 / 23 / 1-8.

(19) De Marini, D.M. et al, Mutation spectrum of cigarette smoke condensate in Salmonella : comparison to mutations in smoking-associated tumors. Carcinogenesis 1995 / 16 (10) / 2535-2542.

(20) Sugimura, T. et al, Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, and Comutagenic Aromatic Amines in Human Foods. Natl. Cancer Inst. Monogr. 1981 / 58 / 27-33.

(21) Matsumoto, T. et al, Determination of mutagen amino-alpha-carbolines in grilled foods and cigarette smoke condensate. Cancer Lett. 1981 / 12 (1-2) / 105-110.

[ Parent ]

Drugs in your food (none / 0) (#178)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:31:06 PM EST

Today, many substances which interfere with dopamine reuptake in the same fashion as cocaine are added to foods to enhance their taste.

The chemical you are referring to is called monosodium glutimate (sp?) and indeed, it is in many (most) foods in America and probably the world. I believe it originated in China but could be wrong. You can buy it by the jar at the grocery store, its trade name is "accent".

If you eat any kind of potato chips, corn chips or tortilla chips except plain, you get MSG. You'll find it in nearly any food that comes in a bag or a drum or a jar. Most dips have it. Much frozen stuff has it. Most anything premade that has meat or tomatos in it also has MSG. Check the labels on your food, you will find it.

Many (including myself) are very sensitive to it.

Like the serititonin uptake inhibitors, it takes a couple of days to take effect (except for its flavor enhansing qualities), and its effects are usually effects in mood. Most people whose moods it affects (and not everybody is affected) get easily annoyed or even angered.

Glutimate is one of the neurotransmitters (and no, I don't know what its normal purpose is) but it, like dopamine and seritonin, are necessary- in the correct amounts. Like the other neurotransmitters, glutimate is manufactured by the body itself in the proper quantities. The wrong quamtities will play havoc with your emotions or mind.

Monosodium Glutimate is glutiate "with a pinch of salt". It doesn't take much to knock that soduim ion off of its molecule.

Interestingly, since I have been taking taking Paxil, I can eat stuff with MSG in it!

"Drugs are bad, MMkay", the man said as he munched his barbecued doritos.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

More acid (none / 0) (#173)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 08:54:17 PM EST

Trying to explain the experience would be like trying to explain what acid feels like.

That is an excellent post. I'd mod you up but I don't mod anyone. I used to explain to ppl who wanted to know what acid was like was that explaining what LSD is like is like explaining the color red to someone who has been blind since birth.

Now I just tell them "don't bother". Acid can be fun, it can be horrible. Its only true message is "don't take acid, fool."

If you want to experience alternate realities, there are alternates that do not endanger your sanity.

You can get there if you walk, but it takes a little longer -Led Zepplin


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Marijuana Apparently Can Cause Schizophrenia (none / 0) (#122)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 06:05:31 PM EST

David Oaks has written an entry for mindfreedom's oral histories section about how cannibis use combined with stress while at Harvard led to him being committed for schizophrenia. His story has a happy ending, though, because he got out of the biopsychiatric system and joined a psychiatric survivors group then graduated with honors from Harvard. What follows is some excerpts from his oral history:

Brief History: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a Lithuanian-American working class family. Ever since I was a kid I was interested in social change. I put out an underground newsletter when I was 9 and when I was 13. As a teen in the early 1970's, I was fascinated by the counterculture and activism for youth rights, peace, environment, etc. I knew something wasn't right with our society. The high school I attended was a Jesuit all-male college prep, which wasn't the best for learning social skills, but which I appreciated for their academic commitment.

I won some scholarships to attend Harvard, including one from my father's Teamster's local union. But I didn't fit in at Harvard, and I was under a lot of stress. Now and again I ingested too much cannabis, to which I'm highly sensitive. I stopped sleeping.

My behavior and speech became erratic and attracted attention from the Harvard authorities. During my first interview with a psychiatrist, I silently recalled seeing a poster some months back on a wall in Cambridge. The poster was from the psychiatric survivors movement, and it raised some important concerns about the psychiatric system, and psychiatric drugging. That one poster gave me a foundation to remain skeptical during my early psychiatrizations. I'll always remember that breaking the silence just once with a poster can make a big difference to someone who is feeling isolated.

During my sophomore, junior and senior years, Harvard and my family checked me into various psychiatric facilities five times. My two longest stays were at McLean Hospital, which is often voted as one of the best institutions in the world.

I did indeed have some challenges in my life and I needed support. For whatever reason, I had been entering altered states that were sometimes delightful, sometimes painful, but that all had some validity to my life -- just as dreams often do. There were times when I thought the CIA was making my teeth grow, or that a UFO was appearing in my living room, or that God was talking to me via the radio, or that the performers on TV were directly talking to me. I learned a lot from those states of mind.

A dozen psychiatrists diagnosed me as a psychotic. I was told I would have to stay on psychiatric drugs the rest of my life, like a diabetic on insulin. I was told that I was genetically flawed and had a permanently broken brain.

[...]

I remember sitting on my bed. A staff member repeatedly insisted I "take my medication." They pushed a cup of liquid psychiatric drugs in front of me over and over and over. And over again. I finally said, "Okay, I'll take the medication." The staff person breathed a sigh of relief and handed the cup to me, which I took... and proceeded to pour on the floor.

Very quickly I experienced my first gooning: The staff dragged me into a solitary confinement cell, held me on a bare mattress, forcibly injected me in the ass, and then left me in the cell.

When I got out of the cell I felt so overwhelmed. Staff wanted me to clean up the liquid Thorazine that I had spilled on the floor. In an act of defiance to try to shock my captors, I used one of the few things I had that was my own -- I used my hair to clean up the spill.

I ended up in the solitary confinement cell -- which they called the quiet room -- at other times, too. It was during one of those stays that I remember looking out through one of those impenetrable metal window screens... I pounded on the screen with my fist and vowed to do something for human rights once I got out.

[...]

There's more to David's story--follow the link to read his whole history. As I mentioned, he did get out of the system and finally graduated, and he has spent his life improving human rights for mental health consumers. You can learn more at MindFreedom.

Sadly, the ones who most often stigmatize and abuse mental patients are the biopsychiatrists who are given authority and power over every aspect of the patients' lives. They often tell patient, despite the complete lack of any scientific evidence, that he or she is genetically inferior and has a broken brain and will need to be on medication for the rest of his or her life.

With respect to marijuana use, there have been many articles in the news lately linking marijuana use with schizophrenia. I'm not sure how much to belive the articles since the mass media has been used to demonize marijuana with half-truths and lies before. You can find a New Scientist article on the topic here, and a google search for marijuna and schizophrenia will yield many more results. The New Scientist article claims:

The new analysis revealed a dose-dependant relationship between the frequency of cannabis use and schizophrenia. This held true in men with no psychotic symptoms before they started using cannabis, suggesting they were not self-medicating.


[ Parent ]
Bad science. (none / 0) (#125)
by jjayson on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:31:56 PM EST

First, he assumes that marijuana is what caused his metal illnes. He might as well as accuse water as having an effect too. While it  is true that some drugs can awake a dormant condition, it does not cause it.

Second, people with mental illness have long been known to self-medicate themselves so drug use is very prevelent in the population. Considering the onset can come slowly (it doesn't just happen overnight), many will start unknowingly self-medicating themselves year before they are ever diagnosed.

Third, that doesn't meant that the symptom of being stoned are anything like the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar, or other illnesses. From personal experience, I can tell you they are not.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

I Kinda Agree (none / 0) (#127)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:44:12 PM EST

At the time when I was diagnosed, I didn't feel stoned at all. Granted I've only tried marijuana twice, but it wasn't anything like being high. However, that doesn't exclude the possibility that marijuana can cause symptoms matching schizophrenia in some people. Stuff like this article tries to paint marijuana as a scary drug which can cause mental illness. There are tons of such articles on Google, but then again, could just be the psychiatrists rolling out the pseudoscience to help with the drug war.



[ Parent ]
"Tell your children!" (none / 0) (#180)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:46:12 PM EST

There was a movie in the 1930s called "Reefer Madness". You can find it on tape, but it is hard to find in the video stores. If you have DSL or cable, you can usually find it on the Kazaa network.

It was made as a propoganda film to help Harry Anslinger convince Congress to outlaw marijuana. Anslinger didn't give a rat's ass about "guage", he wanted more money for heroin enforcement. Since the only people who were smoking pot were Mexicans, Negros, and a few white musicians, it was an easy sell to congress.

Note that every single person in the movie is lilly-white.

Dopers watch it for a good laugh.

One of the films main premises was that it drove you mad. Government propaganda isn't a whole lot different 70 years later!


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Carts and horses (none / 0) (#179)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:38:59 PM EST

Many mental illnesses are caused by environmental factors, but not Schitzophrenia. Schitzophrenia is believed to be an inherited disease- if one of your folks has it, there's a good chance you will too.

Like Mr. Crawford noted, you may be "normal" (if there is such a thing) for much of your life until some stress triggers it.

More likely is that schitzophrenics are drawn towards marijuana, as well as other drugs. All the schitzophrenics I knew drank like fish. Does that mean that alchohol causes schitzophrenia?


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

self medicating (none / 0) (#192)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 11:36:08 PM EST

I have heard that one reason schizophrenics drink a lot is that alcohol suppresses the hallucinations.

It's common for people with various mental illnesses to try to treat their symptoms with drugs and alcohol.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Self treatment (none / 0) (#206)
by mcgrew on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 06:10:35 PM EST

It's common for people with various mental illnesses to try to treat their symptoms with drugs and alcohol.

I had a British friend a few years ago with (imo) one of the funniest web pages on the internet. He thought he was "manic depressive" but had never sought treatment.

He feared that his creativity was caused by his illness, and told me when he had a bout of depression a bit of "whacky tobacco" straightened him out.

After a very bad spell with the physical weakness he said accompanied his depressive bouts, he saw a medical doctor. It turned out that he was not, in fact, bipolar but suffered from muscular dystrophy.

The last I heard from him, he was in a wheelchair, barely strong enough to use a keyboard. I fear he is no longer alive (I miss corresponding with him).

So this is a caution to those who think they may be mentally ill- it may not be a mental illness, but a physical one.

At any rate, I have since heard that marijuana does, in fact, lessen the damage somewhet and relieve the symptoms of MS.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The importance of accurate diagnosis (none / 0) (#210)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 08:15:02 PM EST

So this is a caution to those who think they may be mentally ill- it may not be a mental illness, but a physical one.

I talk about this in Part III, about some of the other illnesses other than psychiatric ones that can cause mental disturbances.

Brain cancer's a big one.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

inherited (none / 0) (#197)
by jjayson on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 01:36:49 AM EST

From what I have heard, the issue is still out. Such things as bipolar, people are thought to inherit a disposition to it, however the evidence for the same in schizophrenia appears to be too recent to have solid backing from what I know. However, I don't keep up on schizophrenia reading as I do with bipolar.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
ok. (2.50 / 2) (#63)
by relief on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 11:24:35 PM EST

But.. that doesn't help me understand. I'd seen symbols stretched over the sky while tripping. Paranoia, more than just fear of dying from the drugs, is real too. ?

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
Wow. (4.60 / 5) (#67)
by sethadam1 on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:22:11 AM EST

These have been some of the best and most interesting pieces I've had the pleasure of reading during my tenure at K5.  I'm very thankful to Michael Crawford for sharing this with us.  

The experience I'd like to share is as follows: my hallucinations, brought on by extracurricular nonsynthetics during my college days, manifested themselves in variety of forms.  While the traditional conception of hallucations is a pink elephant, in reality, hallicincations are much closer to reality.  Generally, they aren't inventions of the mind, but an error in perception, and sometimes just a minor one.  A pattern of stones might present itself as a dog, for example.  Or the clouds may appear to be a staircase.  The ground or walls may appear to be breathing.  Solid objects may seem to be moving.  The key to hallucincations are not the visuals, but the mental acquiesence that comes with them.  You're convinced you can speak to the stone dog or climb the cloud staircase.  Breathing grass hills don't seem especially alarming to you.  

Frequently, though, you are aware of the strange nature of  your perception.  You understand, and quite clearly, that the walls taking breaths of some sort is a completely ridiculous notion, but you're strangely compelled to accept what you're sensing.  As such, I'd define hallucinations as not only a misperceived sensual cue, but also the inability to properly mentally comprehend them.  

This is all quite fascinating.  Thanks again Michael.

--
Adam
http://flipsource.org    

Excellent (4.75 / 4) (#70)
by nomic on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 02:30:35 AM EST

This is a most fascinating series. Thanks for sharing. As with many here, the similarities and differences of your accounts help clarify my own experiences.

In college, I came to a stark realization. Mentally, I could become anything I wanted. The possibilities were frightening. By allowing my mind to wander, to pick at grievances and to imagine physical actions, in the right situation those could instantly become reality. I realized a very serious responsibility. If I wasn't carefully about what I allowed myself to perceive, I could eventually convince myself of any action as being necessary.

In one particularly hard period of my life, I continually had to watch what I was thinking and ask myself, "Is this helping?" If not, then force myself to think of something that would. For really bad moments I'd tell myself, "Don't think about pink elephants." Inevitably I'd think about pink elephants instead of the destructive thoughts.

Recently I went to see a therapist a couple friends had recommended. I explained my current issues and what I was doing. He was quite interested in how I was handling them. Then he surprised me. He congratulated me on how well I was doing and encouraged me to keep up the good work.

I wonder what it is like for other people. The difficulty is finding a common metaphor. Some way to relate our own experiences of being human. Especially when we reach the unusual experiences within our minds. How your mind tries to untangle the torrent of information sent to it on a regular basis. I've certainly had a few odd experiences.

It's been noted that people commonly have an "inner voice" that is recognized as your own thought. I experience this chatter constantly. But I also have "inner visions" yet I never hear of this. I can play with images just like playing with speech or sounds. Is this common?

When working on hard programming tasks, I can "perceive" it has half visual/spaciel and half something else and explore the possibilities. If interrupted, it takes a while to recover and be able to speak or relate to the physical world.

Fortunately, I'm not prone to hallucinations. I can control the voices and visions. There have only been a few issolated cases where I lost that control. No more terro card reading for me. Though I've been prone to paranoia and feeling as though people are watching me at night. These are minor and easilly taken care of. The trick is not obsessing on it.

the malleable mind (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by juju2112 on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 09:15:45 AM EST

In college, I came to a stark realization. Mentally, I could become anything I wanted. The possibilities were frightening. By allowing my mind to wander, to pick at grievances and to imagine physical actions, in the right situation those could instantly become reality. I realized a very serious responsibility. If I wasn't carefully about what I allowed myself to perceive, I could eventually convince myself of any action as being necessary.

I think this is true of everyone to a lesser extent. The problem is they're never aware of it. I've always said that you can convince yourself of anything if you try hard enough. That's why we have things like False Memory Syndrome, or people who're convinced they've been abducted by aliens. Or even people who think they've seen or heard ghosts. The mind really is quite malleable, I think. If you tell yourself something enough times, it becomes reality to you.

I've also managed to reach a state where I can completely ignore my inner voice when it tells me, "That's not a very good idea". It's like, there's this mental barrier that prevents you from doing all sorts of crazy shit, and once you realize that the limitation is all in your head, you can just do whatever you want.

Am I on the right track here, or are your experiences in a different vein? What sort things did your mind allow you to "become"?

[ Parent ]

Right on target (5.00 / 1) (#114)
by nomic on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 03:43:48 PM EST

Yes, your description matches very well. Though I must pick on one detail. It's not so much "...you can convince yourself of anything if you try hard enough." For me, it's not about trying, but about allowing. Trying doesn't always work. But if I pay attention, I can choose to allow it. When I'm not paying attention, I just don't realize I have the option. Every so often, I need to stop and do some basic house cleaning.

But you're right, it's possible to work yourself into the right state where the potential is available. Repetition of a thought isn't the only way.

What sort things did your mind allow you to "become"?

Interesting question. Yes, I've experimented with the possibilities. I'm glad I did. It helped me come to grips with some interesting possibilities. Those that I now understand and respect far greater than before. Yet, I'm not comfortable explaining them in such on open forum. Fortunately, I've known some interesting people to help do this with some restraint.

If you're thinking LSD, then you are way off. I hardly need it and refuse to ever try. I don't want to potentially damage what I have.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#162)
by Anonymous Hiro on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 12:23:49 PM EST

If you get to the "there is no spoon" stage, then that's really something :).

[ Parent ]
solipsism (none / 0) (#182)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:55:44 PM EST

I wonder what Michael though of "The Matrix"? Mr. Crawford, did that movie "wig you out" as you put it? It did me (well, maybe for five minutes) and I'm not schitzoaffective. Also, what about "12 Monkeys"?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The matrix (none / 0) (#191)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 11:34:46 PM EST

I actually haven't seen the matrix yet. I've wanted to. It's just that my wife doesn't like sitting in movie theatres much, so we don't get out to movies very often. Sometimes we watch movies on video. We're planning to watch the matrix soon.

I did see twelve monkeys and found it pretty disturbing.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Matrix (none / 0) (#208)
by mcgrew on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 06:18:39 PM EST

If you were disturbed by 12 monkeys, I think you'll find that the matrix is VERY disturbing. Watch it with your wife if you do watch it.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What is the Matrix? (none / 0) (#214)
by richarj on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 12:35:21 AM EST

I didn't find the Matrix disturbing like Twelve Monkeys I found it rather enlightening, I also found "Dark City" similar. I have watched the Matrix many times and have encouraged other people with Social Phobia/Anxiety to watch it. Perhaps it is different for us because we are held back by fear and the movie is a perfect metaphor of that?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
The Cell (none / 0) (#231)
by Casioitan on Mon Apr 21, 2003 at 06:26:48 PM EST

... whatever you do, dont watch 'The Cell.' Trust me on that one ... they should put a damn warning label on that movie.

[ Parent ]
Inner visions are normal (5.00 / 2) (#98)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:10:32 PM EST

That's just your right brain thinking. Your right brain also thinks with non-verbal sounds too.

When you create art or compose music, that's your right brain doing the thinking. But to do that, you have to quiet the chatter of the left brain.

Some people have a dominant left brain hemisphere, and they tend to work in technical fields. Some people have a dominant right brain, and they are more artistic.

I am convinced that I really have a dominant right brain, but that my left brain is smart enough that I was guided by society into scientific studies. I feel it is my right brain's starvation for stimulation that led to my crackup at caltech.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Similarities (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by nomic on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 03:27:00 PM EST

I find it interesting how well I can relate to much of your accounts. I experience depression, mania, and even something similar to schizoid. However, I see a difference between 'visions' and 'sounds' vs. what I actually hear and see. It's like a sixth sense and I can choose to trust or distrust it. Sometimes the visions are very helpful. Other times, I need to just disprove them and stop the negative thinking.

In the most extreme cases I've seen the earth open up and try to swallow me whole. I could 'see' it, but knew it wasn't by normal vision. I also responded effectively to combat the 'attack' and resolve the issue. There have also been cases of insomnia where I felt attacked, but was able to address the threat through a form of meditation I learned.

Is this normal? It at least seems functional. Do other people have such perceptions? How do you handle them?

[ Parent ]

paranoia (4.50 / 4) (#78)
by auraslip on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 05:12:02 AM EST

is a natrual defense mechanism. Using our imagination to find differant ways a situation could be dangerous is a very good way to keep ourselves safe. At night and in other situations where we are weak, we are more paronoid. Remeber being a scared kid in bed thinking of all the scary stuff in under the bed?  
you probally suffer from 3 things:
1)your mind cannont control the healthy amount of paranoia
2)you mind misinterperts you paranoia, and thinks it is real
3)which is complicated by the fact that your mind thinks that you are in a "weak" situation.

If this is a bit confusing it is probally becuase I can't properly clarify my throughts at 4am.
124

anxiety and cognition (4.50 / 2) (#89)
by drivers on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 11:08:19 AM EST

Actually, as I was reading the article, I was thinking about how if you had anxiety which is a physiological phenomenon, it could make you think paranoid thoughts (and paranoid thoughts feed the anxiety). This was stengthened by the fact that Michael said he felt the fear before he had the delusions. The same loop can apply to depression. Your depression gives you a mental filter, maximizing the importance of negative events and thoughts and writing off positive ones, spinning neutral ones into negatives... this physically makes you sadder. I have a book called Feeling Good (which I was recommended for a different reason) which talks about ways to identify these distortions to help with depression, anxiety, guilt, etc. Actually, here's a list of cognitive distortions from his book.

[ Parent ]
Feeling Good (4.66 / 3) (#101)
by richarj on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:25:02 PM EST

Feeling Good is a excellent book for Depression or people who suffer from anxiety type disorders. I got it years ago and still study it to help me deal with Social Phobia. I had heard of Cognitive Techniques being trialled for people with say Schizoprenic Delusions but I do not know if it is effective. Although to me the delusions sound kinda similar to my fears I don't know if it is the exact same mental process at work.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
paranoid (none / 0) (#239)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:38:34 PM EST

Unfortunately real paranoia goes well beyond what people who have never experienced it think. As Mike says the fear hits first and no amount of rationalising or recognising that there is nothing to fear does any good. There must be a way to frighten an average person in a way that would make them realise the intensity of the fear.

[ Parent ]
paranoid (none / 0) (#240)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:40:01 PM EST

Unfortunately real paranoia goes well beyond what people who have never experienced it think. As Mike says the fear hits first and no amount of rationalising or recognising that there is nothing to fear does any good.

There must be a way to frighten an average person in a way that would make them realise the intensity of the fear.

[ Parent ]
Damn stones... (3.50 / 2) (#80)
by PhyreFox on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 07:16:12 AM EST

"It looked just like an ordinary stone, but I knew it wasn't."

Betcha ten bucks it's the control box for a cellphone tower. ;)

have you heard of/tried any particular foods.... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by mreardon on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 07:36:23 AM EST

....to attempt to ameliorate your condition?

I am thinking in particular here of Udo's Oil or even better organic hemp seed oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:20:30 PM EST

I once read a study in which bipolar patients were given large amounts of fish oil capsules, from deep sea cold water fish.

Such fish oil contains large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have a very of beneficial effects on health.

The study showed a correllation between taking the fish oil and avoiding manic episodes. I discussed this with my psychiatrist, and he was familiar with it, and thought it would be a great idea if I took fish oil.

I never really did though. One reason is that the beneficial dose is quite large, something like ten large capsules a day (I don't recall exactly).

The study was preliminary and the authors admitted to some problems with it. One is that the sample size was small, only a few dozen patients. Another is that the study participants were able to tell whether they were getting fish oil or placebo, because the fish oil had such a strong taste and smell. Finally, they ran out of the fish oil, which had to be specially prepared for the study, so they terminated the study early.

I'd be very interested to hear about any followup studies.

Also, St. John's Wort is believed to contain a natural antidepressant, but I don't take it because the dosage can't be carefully controlled. I worry that it might make me manic.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

tryed essential oils ? (not essential fatty acids) (5.00 / 2) (#109)
by chro57 on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:42:37 PM EST

About essential fatty acid : Omega 3 may also be found in cheap flaxseed oil. Tryed it : a bit of amelioration, but not so fantastic.

But it is not what I want to speak about.

I want to get your attention on essential oils, which are plants extract. Have you tryed the so-called aromatherapy ?

I have have been depressed, have been taking antidepressant (serotonine reuptake inhibitor, cytalopram). As you explained, it take a long time to have effect and has a lot of secondary effect. I used it for months.

I was introduced to essential oils. thymus vulgarus had an impressive effect on me. (3 drops a day, ingested mixed with normal oil or the taste is horrible.) I felt immediately better. A couple of day later I abandonned cytalopram. Since four month, now.

Also my skin looks better.

My only worry is long term toxicity, although the rare vaguely trustworthy litterature says there is no problem.

As for hearing voices, especially my name called, or phone ringing, or other attention catching sounds, I think it is normal. Just the stupid neural network catching from time to time matching patterns in the random noise. We spent so much time in silence, facing a computer screen, that our ears are badly trained.

Thank you for sharing you experience. I wish you good health and success in your software company.

It is my first post on Kuro5hin :-)

[ Parent ]

flax versus hemp (none / 0) (#151)
by mreardon on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 04:26:57 AM EST

flax does not quite have the same omega-3:omega-6 ratio as hemp and so needs to be balanced with other oils ( as in Udos Oil for a suggestion ) to ensure maximum usage by the body.

"Hemp seed oil may be nature's most perfectly balanced oil. It contains an ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6's [linoleic acid] to omega-3's [alpha-linolenic acid] for long-term use, and provides the omega-6 derivative gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)." Udo Erasmus- "Fats that kill, fats that heal".

[ Parent ]

organic hemp seed oil is far better than fish... (none / 0) (#150)
by mreardon on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 04:22:44 AM EST

Oragnic hemp seed oil is better even than fish for bipolar and depression.It is free of mercury and other heavy metals that a lot of fish oils now contain from polluted waters.

"Hemp seed oil may be nature's most perfectly balanced oil. It contains an ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6's [linoleic acid] to omega-3's [alpha-linolenic acid] for long-term use, and provides the omega-6 derivative gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)." Udo Erasmus- "Fats that kill, fats that heal".

Make sure it is cold pressed, nitrogen packed, organic, and stored in the fridge. If you can't get hemp seed oil, try Udos Oil.

Another consideration might be to make sure that the hemp seed oil is free of THCs. THCs might mean you fail a drug test if they do those at your place of work.

"OUCH! It was my salad dressing - honest!" might not get you through if this occasion should arise.... :-)

[ Parent ]

It is food which (none / 0) (#133)
by benzapp on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 12:47:07 AM EST

causes this condition.  Ever wonder why the wealthy upper classes frequently were insane?  It is due to excessive consumption of heat damaged proteins. Prior to the 20th century, cooked meat was a rarity and soup was the standard meal.

When you cook meat, new substances originate. Many of these substances are psychoactive.  A common substance would be a class of peptides known as beta-carbolines.  To make a long story short, these substances interfere with the breakdown of dopamine in pretty much the same way as cocaine.  Is it any wonder the symptoms described in this essay are virtually indestinguishable from cocaine or amphetamine induced psychosis?

Especially today, many specialized beta-carbolines are chemically designed as flavor enhancers.  It is these same substances, added to junk food which causes obesity.  Just like with cocaine, many people can use it just fine merely getting addicted. Some people however have profound negative reactions.  The average American simply craves these substances found in prepared foods, but for some people a psychotic reaction is the result.

Many of these same beta-carbolines are added to tobacco products.  

google for some info its out there.  

 

[ Parent ]

Interesting (none / 0) (#136)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:15:40 AM EST

Never heard of them. According to this PubMed abstract, beta-carbolines like harman are found in small amounts in cooked meats and fish. However, I don't see any indication that they are present in doses high enough to cause addiction or an adverse reaction.

Hm. The Food Safety Consortium page at the University of Arkansas has some research on "Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs)" which it explains are carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds found in fried, grilled, and broiled meats. The page discusses how spices affect the production of HCAs and what it calls co-mutagenics, harman and norharmon.

Could you post more about this, including cites so that we may check your claims? Some basic definitions of terms would be helpful, too. :)



[ Parent ]
Here is a good start. (none / 0) (#160)
by benzapp on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:57:02 AM EST

All these are available from medline.

(1)Wang, M. et al, Two novel ß-carboline compounds from the maillard reaction between xylose and tryptophan. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 1999 / 47 () / 48-50. , Skog, K. et al, Analysis of nonpolar heterocyclic amines in cooked foods and meat extracts using gas chromatography-mass spectometry. J. Chromatogr. A. 1998 / 803 (1-2) / 227-233. , Herraiz, T. et al, Presence of tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acids in foods by gas chromatography-mass spectometry as their N-methoxycarbonylmethyl ester derivates. J. Chromatogr. A. 1997 / 765 (2) / 265-277. , Wakabayashi, K. et al, Human exposure to mutagenic / carcinogenic heterocyclic amines and comutagenic beta-carbolines. Mutat. Res. 1997 / 376 (1-2) / 253-259. , Herraiz,T.,Occurence of tetrahydro-ß-carboline-3-carboxylic acids in commercial foodstuffs, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 1996 / 44 / 3057-3065. , Papavergou, E. et al, Tetrahydro-beta-carboline-carboxylic acids in smoked foods. Food Addit. Contam. 1992 / 9 (1) / 83-95. , Sen, N.P. et al, Analytical methods for the determination and mass spectometric confirmation of 1-methyl-2-nitroso-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid and 2-nitroso-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid in foods. Food. Addit. Contam. 1991 / 8 (3) / 275-289. , Adachi, J. et al, Identification of tetrahydro-beta-carbolin-3-carboxylic acid in foodstuffs, human urine and human milk. J. Nutr. 1991 / 121 (5) / 646-652. , Rommelspacher, H. et al, Pharmacology of harmalan (1-methyl-3,4-dihydro-beta-carboline). Eur. J. Pharmacology 1985 / 109 (3) / 363-371. , Rommelspacher, H. et al, Is there a correlation between the concentration of beta-carbolines and their pharmacolodynamic effects ? Prog. Clin. Biol. Res. 1982 / 90 / 41-55. , Airaksinen, M.M. et al, Affinity of beta-carboline on rat brain benzodiazepine and opiate binding sites. Med. Biol. 1980 / 58 (6) / 341-344. , Proliac, A. et al, Isolation and identification of two beta-carbolins in roasted chicory root. Helv. Chim. Acta 1976 / 59 (7) / 2503-2507. (french)

(2)Biggio, G. et al, Stress and beta-carbolines decrease the density of low affinity GABA binding sites ; an effect reversed by diazepam. Brain. Res. 1984 / 305 (1) / 13-18.

(3)Skolnick, P. et al, New concepts in the neurobiology of anxiety. J. Clin. Psychiatry 1983 / 44 (11 pt 2) / 12-20.

(4)Walsh, T.J. et al, Intraseptal injection of GABA and benzodiazepine receptor ligands alters high affinity choline transport into the hippocampus. Brain. Res. Bull. 1993 / 31 (3-4) / 267-271.

(5)Fehske, K.J. et al, beta-Carboline inhibitor of benzodiazepine receptor binding in vitro. Brain. Res. 1982 / 238 (1) / 286-291.

(6)Krause, W. et al, Pharmacokinetics of two partial benzodiazepine receptor agonistic beta-carboline derivates in healthy volunteers. Arzneimittelforschung. 1993 / 43 (5) / 511-515.

(7)Rommelspacher, H. et al, beta-Carbolines and tetrahydroisoquinolines : detection and function in mammals. Planta. Med. 1991 / 57 (7) / 585-592.

(8)Lutes, J. et al, Tolerance to the tremorogenic effects of harmiline : evidence for altered olivo-cerebellar function. Neuropharmacology 1988 / 27 (8) / 849-855.

(9)Argypoulos, S.V. et al, The use of benzodiazepines in anxiety and other disorders. Eur. Neuropsychopharmacol. 1999 / 6 / 407-412.

(10)Loscher, W. et al, Withdrawal precipation by benzodiazepine receptor antagonists in dogs chronically treated with diazepam or the novel anxiolytic and anticonvulsant beta-carboline abecarnil. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1992 / 345 (4) / 452-460. , Eisenberg, R.M. et al, Effects of beta-carboline-ethyl ester on plasma corticosterone -- a parallel with antagonist-precipated diazepam withdrawal. Life Sci. 1989 / 44 (20) / 1457-1466.

(11)Little, H.J. et al, The benzodiazepines : anxiolytic and withdrawal effects. Neuropeptides 1991 / 19 / suppl. 11-14.

(12)Bianchi, M. et al, Peripherally administrated benzodiazepines increase morphine-induced analgesia in the rat. Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 1993 / 322 / 5-13. , Marescaux, C. et al, Bidirectional effects of the beta-carbolines in rats with spontaneous petit mal-like seizures. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) / 327-335.

(13)Tokuyama, S. et al, Blockade of the development of analgesic tolerance to morphine by psychological stress through benzodiazepine receptor mediated mechanism. Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 51 (3) / 425-427. , Weber, K.H. et al, Pharmacological and neurochemical properties of 1,4-diazepines with two annelated heterocycles ('hetrazepines'). Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1985 / 109 (1) / 19-31. Kaijima, M. et al, Hypnotic action of ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, in cats. Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiol. 1984 / 58 (3) / 277-281.

(14)Wettstein, J.G. et al, Respiratory effects of benzodiazepine-related drugs in awake rhesus monkeys. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 255 (3) / 1328-1334.

(15)Yasui, M. et al, Benzodiazepine inverse agonists augment long-term potentiation in CA1 and CA3 of guinea pig hippocampal slices. Neuropharmacology 1993 / 32 (2) / 127-131. , Cooper, S.J. et al, The beta-carboline abecarnil, a novel agonist at central benzodiazepine receptors, influences sacharin and salt taste preferences in the rat. Brain. Res. 1992 / 599 (1) / 144-147. , Kreeger, T.J. et al, Diazepam-induced feeding in ceptive grey wolves (Canis Lupus). Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1991 / 39 (3) / 559-561. , Cooper, S.J. ,Hyperphagic and anorectic effects of beta-carbolines in a palatable food consumption test : comparisons with triazolam and quazepam. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1986 / 120 (3) / 257-265. , File, S.E. et al, Actions of the beta-carboline ZK93426 in an animal test of anxiety and the holeboard : interactions with Ro15-1788. J. Neural. Transm. 1986 / 65 (2) / 103-114.

(16)Hege, S.G. et al, Psychomotor effects of the anxiolytic abecarnil : a comparison with lorazepam. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1997 / 131 (2) / 101-107. , Mumford, G.K. et al, Abecarnil and alprazolam in humans : behavioral, subjective and reinforcing effects. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1995 / 272 (2) / 570-580. , Duka, T. et al, Human studies on abecarnil, a new beta-carboline anxiolytic : safety, tolerability and preliminary pharmacological profile. Br. J. Clin. Pharmacol. 1993 / 35 (4) / 386-394.

(17)Stephens, D.N. et al, Bidirectional nature of benzodiazepine receptor ligands extends to effects on vigilance. Psychopharmacol. Ser. 1988 / 6 / 205-217. , Jensen, L.H. et al, Bidirectional effects of beta-carbolines and benzodiazepines on cognitive processes. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) 359-364.

(18)Borde, N. et al, Effects of methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid on memory impairments induced by chronic alcohol consumption in mice. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 1996 / 20 (8) / 1377-1387.

(19)Merlo Pick ,E. et al, A two compartment exploratory model to study anxiolytic / anxiogenic effects of drugs in the rat. Pharmacol. Res. 1989 / 21 (5) / 595-602.

(20)Chermat, R. et al, Interactions of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761), diazepam and ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate on social behaviour of the rat. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1997 / 56 (2) / 333-339. , Maestripieri, D. et al, Anxiety in rhesus monkey infants in relation to interactions with their mother and other social companions. Dev. Psychobiol. 1991 / 24 (8) / 571-581. , Hindley, S.W. et al, The effects of methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate on social interaction microinjected into the nucleus raphe dorsalis of the rat. Br. J. Pharmacol. 1985 / 86 (3) / 753-761.

(21) Vellucci, S.V. et al, The effect of midazolam and beta-carboline-3-carboxylate methyl ester on behaviour, steroid hormones and central monoamine metabolites in social groups of talapoin monkeys. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 86 / 90 (3) / 367-372.

(22)Coenen, A.M. et al, Effects of the beta-carboline abecarnil on epileptic activity, EEG, sleep and behaviour of rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1992 / 42 (3) / 401-405.

(23)Rodgers, R.J. et al, Are the analgesic effects of social defeat mediated by benzodiazepine receptors ? Physiol. Behav. 1987 / 41 (3) / 279-289

(24)Ushijiama, I. et al, Cocaine : evidence for NMDA, beta-carboline- and dopaminergic-mediated seizures in mice. Brain. Res. 1998 / 797 (2) / 347-350.

(25)Giorgetti, M. et al, Imidazenil, a positive allosteric GABA-A receptor modulator, inhibits the effects of cocaine on locomotor activity and extracellular dopamine in the nucleus accumbens shell without tolerance liability. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1998 / 287 (1) / 58-66. , Goeders, N.E. et al, Tolerance and sensitization to the behavioral effects of cocaine in rats : relationship to benzodiazepine receptors. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1997 / 57 (1-2) / 43-56.

(26)Soltis, R.P. et al, Cardiovascular effects of the beta-carboline FG7142 in borderline hypertensive rats. Physiol. Behav. 1998 / 63 (3) / 407-412. , Serrano, A. et al, NMDA antagonists block restraint-induced increase in extracellular DOPAC in rat nucleus accumbens. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 162 (1) / 157-166. , Claustre, Y. et al, Pharmacological studies on stress-induced increase in frontal cortical dopamine metabolism in the rat. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1986 / 238 (2) / 693-700.

(27)Kureta, Y. et al, Influence of social dominance on self-stimulation behavior in male golden hamster. Physiol. Behav. 1996 / 59 (4-5) / 621-624. , Horger, B.A. et al, Selective increase in dopamine utilization in the shell subdivision of the nucleus accumbens by the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142. J. Neurochem. 1995 / 65 (2) / 770-774. , Concas, A. et al, Carbondioxide inhalation, stress and anxiogenic drugs reduce the function of GABAA receptor complex in the brain. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 1993 / 17 (4) / 651-661. , Simon, P. et al, Anxiogenic-like effects induced by stimulation of dopamine receptors. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1993 / 45 (3) / 685-690. , Deutch, A.Y. et al, Stress selectively increases fos protein in dopamine neurons innervating prefrontal cortex. Cereb. Cortex. 1991 / 1 (4) / 273-292. , Bradberry, C.W. et al, The anxiogenic beta-carboline FG7142 selectively increases dopamine release in rat prefrontal cortex as measured by microdialysis. J. Neurochem. 1991 / 56 (2) / 748-752. , Tam, S.Y. et al, Modulation of mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons by central benzodiazepine receptors. !. Pharmacological characterization. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 252 (3) / 989-996. , Tam, S.Y. et al, Modulation of mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons by central benzodiazepine receptors. !. Pharmacological characterization. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 252 (3) / 989-996.Zetterstrom, T. et al, Local administration of flurazepam has different effects on dopamine release in striatum and nucleus accumbens : a microdialysis study. Neuropharmacology 1990 / 29 (2) / 129-134. , Giorgi, O. et al, Ro15-4513, like anxiogenic beta-carbolines, increases dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex of the rat. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1988 / 156 (1) / 71-75. ,Biggio, G. et al, Changes in GABAergic transmission induced by stress ,anxiogenic and anxiolytic beta-carbolines. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) / 301-308. , Stanford, S.C. et al, A single dose of FG7142 causes long-term increase in mouse cortical adrenoceptors. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 134 (3) / 313-319. , Ida, Y. et al, The activation of mesoprefrontal dopamine neurons by FG7142 is absent in rats treated chronically with diazepam. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 137 (2-3) / 185-190.

(28)Wyatt, R.J. et al, Effects of antipsychotics, vitamin E, and MK-801 on dopamine dynamics in the rat brain following discontinuation of cocaine. Psychiatry Res. 1998 / 80 (3) / 213-225.

(29)Fernandez-Guasti, A. et al, Anxiolytics reverse the acceleration of ejaculation resulting from enforced intercopulatory intervals in rats. Behav. Neurosci. 1991 / 105 (2) / 230-240.

(30)Ojima, K. et al, Flumazenil reverses the decrease in the hypnotic activity of pentebarbital by social isolation stress : are endogenous benzodiazepine receptor ligands involved ? Brain. Res. 1997 / 745 (1-2) / 127-133. , Duka, T. et al, Effects of ZK93,426, a beta-carboline benzodiazepine receptor antagonist on night sleep pattern in healthy male volunteers. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1995 / 117 (2) / 178-185.

(31)Murphy, B.L. et al, Dopamine and spatial working memory in rats and monkeys : pharmacological reversal of stress-induced impairment. J. Neurosci. 1996 / 16 (23) / 7768-7775.

(32)Duka, T. et al, Human studies on the benzodiazepine receptor antagonist beta-carboline ZK93426 : antagonism of lormetazepam's psychotropic effects. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1988 / 95 (4) / 463-471. , Dorow, R. et al, Clinical perspectives of beta-carbolines from first studies in humans. Brain. Res. Bull. 1987 / 19 (3) / 319-326.

(33)Fanselow, M.S. et al, The benzodiazepine inverse agonist DMCM as an unconditional stimulus for fear-induced analgesia : implications for the role of GABAA receptors in fear-related behaviour. Behav. Neurosci. 1992 / 106 (2) / 336-344.

(34)Holley, L.A. et al, Dissociation between the attentional effects of infusions of a benzodiazepine receptor agonist and inverse agonist into the basal forebrain. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1995 / 120 (1) / 99-108. , Hill, T.J. et al, beta-carboline and pentylenetetrazol effects on conflict behaviour in the rat. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1992 / 42 (4) / 733-736. , Shekhar, A. et al, Anxiogenic effects of noreleagnine, a water soluble beta-carboline in rats. Neuropharmacology 1989 / 28 (5) / 539-542. , Shibata, S. et al, Effects of benzodiazepine and GABA antagonists on anticonflict effects of antianxiety drugs injected into the rat amygdala in a water-lick suppression test. Psychopharmacology 1989 / 98 (1) / 38-44. , Adamec, R., Modelling anxiety disorder following chemical exposures. Toxicol. Ind. Health. 1994 / 10 (4-5) / 391-420. , Hodges, H. et al, Are the effects of benzodiazepines on discrimination and punishment dissociable ? Physiol. Behav. 1987 / 41 (3) / 257-264. , Corda, M.G. et al, Long-lasting proconflict effects induced by chronic administration of the beta-carboline derivate FG7142. Neurosci. Lett. 1985 / 62 (2) / 237-240.

(35)Jones, B.J. et al, Microinjections of methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate into the dorsal raphe nucleus : behavioral consequences. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1986 / 24 (5) / 1487-1489. , File, S.E. et al, Actions of the beta-carboline ZK93426 in an animal test of anxiety and the holeboard : interactions with Ro15-1788. J. Neural. Transm. 1986 / 65 (2) / 103-114.

(36)De Boer, S.F. et al, Common mechanisms underlying the proconflict effects of corticotropin, a benzodiazepine inverse agonist and electric foot shock. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1992 / 262 (1) / 335-342.

(37)Maiewski, S.F. et al, Evidence that a benzodiazepine receptor mechanism regulates the secretion of pituitary beta-endorphin in rats. Endocrinology 1985 / 117 (2) / 474-480.

(38)Funayama, Y. et al, Effects of beta- and gamma-carboline derivates of DNA topoisomerase activities. Mutat. Res. 1996 / 349 (2) / 183-191.

(39)Medina, J.A. et al, n-(3H)Butyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate, a putative endogenous ligand ,binds preferentially to subtype 1 of central benzodiazepine receptors. J. J. Neurochem. 1989 / 52 (3) / 665-670. , Novas, M.L. et al, Proconvulsant and 'anxiogenic' effects of n-butyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, an endogenous benzodiazepine binding inhibitor from brain. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1988 / 30 (2) / 331-336.

(40)White, G. et al, Benzodiazepine site inverse agonists can selectively inhibit subtypes of the gamma-aminobutyric acidA receptor. Neuroreport 1995 / 6 (9) / 1313-1316. , Corda, M.G. et al, Functional coupling of GABAA receptors and benzodiazepine recognition site subtypes in the spinal cord of the rat. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 169 (2-3) / 205-213.

(41)Petersen, E.N. et al, Chronic treatment with lorazepam and FG7142 may change the effects of benzodiazepine receptor agonists, antagonists and inverse agonists by different mechanisms. eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 133 (3) / 309-317.

(42)Laurie, D.J. et al, Flumazenil induces localised increases in glucose utilization during diazepam withdrawal in rats. Brain. Res. 1993 / 631 (2) / 277-286. , Little, H.J. et al, Chronic treatment with a benzodiazepine agonist in vivo increases the actions of the benzodiazepine partial inverse agonist FG7142, on the hippocampal slice in vitro. Brain. Res. 1992 / 573 (2) / 243-250. , Bitran, D. et al, Gestational exposure to diazepam increases sensitivity to convulsants that act at the GABA / benzodiazepine receptor complex. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1991 / 196 (3) / 223-231. , Sannerud, C.A. et al, Behavioral effects of benzodiazepine ligands in non-dependent diazepam-dependent and diazepam-withdrawn baboons. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1991 / 202 (2) / 159-169. , Little, H.J. et al, Chronic benzodiazepine treatment

increases the effects of the inverse agonist FG7142. Neuropharmacology 1988 / 29 (4) / 741-745.

(43)Rogers, C.J. et al, Benzodiazepine and beta-carboline regulation of single GABA-A receptor channels of mouse spinal neurons in culture. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 1994 / 475 (1) / 69-82. , Malatynska, E. et al, Bidirectional effect of beta-carboline agonists at the benzodiazepine-GABA-A receptor chloride ionophore complex on GABA-stimulated 36Cl-uptake. Brain. Res. Bull. 1992 / 28 (4) / 605-611. , Pankaj, V. et al, Effects of prenatal exposure to benzodiazepine-related drugs on early development and adult social behaviour in Swiss mice -- 3. Inverse agonists. Gen. Pharmacol. 1991 / 22 (1) / 53-60. , Yakushiji, T. et al, Effects of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine compounds on the GABA-induced response in frog isolated sensory neurons. Br. J. Pharmacol. 1989 / 98 (3) / 735-740. , File, S.E. et al, Low and high doses of benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists respectively improve and impair performance in passive avoidance but do not affect habituation. Behav. Brain. Res. 1988 / 30 (1) / 31-36.

(44)Malatynska, E. et al, beta-Carboline interactions at the benzodiazepine-GABA receptor chloride-ionophore complex in the rat cerebral cortex. Brain. Res. Bull. 1989 / 22 (5) / 845-848.

(45)Ngur, D.O. et al, Modulation of GABA-stimulated CL-flux by a benzodiazepine agonist and 'inverse agonist' after chronic flurazepam treatment. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1990 / 176 (3) / 351-356.

(46)Mathis, C. et al, Characterization of benzodiazepine-sensative behaviors in the A/J and C57BL/6J inbred strains of mice. Behav. Genet. 1994 / 24 (2) / 171-180.

(47)Moore, H. et al, Age-dependent modulation of in vivo cortical acetylcholine release by benzodiazepine receptor ligands. Brain. Res. 1992 / 596 (1-2) / 17-29. , Kochman, R.L. et al, Aging does not alter the sensitivity of benzodiazepine receptors to GABA modulation. Neurobiol. aging 1986 / 7 (5) / 363-365.

(48)Kemmerling, W., Toxicity of Palicourea marcgravii : combined effects of fluoracetate, N-methyltyramine and 2-methyl-tetrahydro-beta-carboline. Z. Naturforsch. (C) 1996 / 51 (1-2) / 59-64.

(49)Marley, R.J. ,Chronic administration of beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid methylamide by continous intraventicular infusion increases GABAergic function. Neuropharmacology 1991 / 30 (3) / 245-251. , Porceddu, M.L. et al, Increase in nigral type 2 benzodiazepine recognition sites following striatonigral denervation. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1985 / 112 (2) / 265-267.

(50)Rago, L. et al, Behavioral differences in an elevated plus maze : correlation between anxiety and decreased number of GABA and benzodiazepine receptors in mouse cerebral cortex. Naunyn Schmeidebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1988 / 337 (6) / 675-678.

(51)Priolo, E. et al, Panic-like attack induced by microinfusion into the locus coeruleus of antagonists and inverse agonists at GABA-receptors in rodents. Funct. Neurol. 1991 / 6 (4) / 393-403.

(52)Huttunen, P. et al, Anatomical localization in hippocampus of tetrahydro-beta-carboline-induced alcohol drinking in rat. Alcohol 1987 / 4 (3) / 181-187. , Rommelspacher, H. et al, Harman induces preference for ethanol in rats : is the effect specific for ethanol ? Parhmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1987 / 26 (4) / 749-755.

(53)Allen, A.M. et al, Effects of lorazepam tolerance and withdrawal on GABAA receptor-operated chloride channels. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1992 / 261 (2) / 395-402. , Buck, K.J. et al, Modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-operated chloride channels by benzodiazepine inverse agonists is related to genetic differences in ethanol withdrawal seizure severity. J. Neurochem. 1991 / 57 (6) / 2100-2105.

(54)Mehta, A.K. et al, Chronic ethanol treatment alters the behavioral effects of Ro15-4513, a partially negative ligand for benzodiazepine binding sites. Brain. Res. 1989 / 489 (1) / 93-100.

(55)Buck, K.J. et al, Reversal of alcohol dependence and tolerance by a single administration of flumazenil. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1991 / 257 (3) / 984-989. , Buck, K.J. et al, Benzodiazepine agonist and inverse agonist actions on GABAA-receptor-operated chloride channels. 1. Acute effects of ethanol. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 253 (2) / 706-712. , Buck, K.J. et al, Benzodiazepine agonist and inverse agonist actions on GABAA-receptor-operated chloride channels. 2. Chronic effects of ethanol. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 253 (2) / 713-719.

(56)Sanna, E. et al, Ex vivo binding of t-(35S)butylbicyclophosphorothionate : a biochemical tool to study the pharmacology of ethanol at the gamma-aminobutyric acid-coupled chloride channel. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1991 / 256 (3) / 922-928. , Ehlers, C.L. et al, EEG effects of Ro15-4513 and FG7142 alone and in combination with ethanol. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1990 / 36 (3) / 607-611.

(57)Wu, W.J. et al, Suppression of splenic natural killer cell activity in a mouse model for binge drinking. 2. Role of the neuroendocrine system. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1996 / 278 (3) / 1331-1339.

(58)Arora, P.K. et al, Suppression of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity by FG7142, a benzodiazepine receptor 'inverse agonist'. Immunopharmacology 1991 / 21 (2) / 91-97. , Petitto, J.M. et al, Suppression of natural killer cell activity by FG7142, a benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonist. Brain. Behav. Immun. 1989 / 3 (1) / 39-46. , Arora, P.K. et al, Suppression of the immune response by benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists. J. Neuroimmunol. 1987 / 15 (1) / 1-9.

(59)Palluotto, F. et al, Structural-activity relationships of 2-aryl-2,5-dihydropyridazino(4,3-b) indol-3(3H)-ones at the benzodiazepine receptor. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 1996 / 4 (12) / 2091-2104. , Campagna, F. et al, 2-aryl-2,5-dihydropyridazino(4,3-b) indol-3(3H)-ones : novel rigid planar benzodiazepine receptor ligands. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 1993 / 1 (6) / 437-446.

(60)Lufty, K. et al, ACEA-1328, an NMDA receptor antagonist, increases the potency of morphine and K50,488H in the tail flick test in mice. Pharmacol. Res. 1998 / 35 (4) / 587-590.

(61)Mukhin, A.G. et al, Mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptors regulate steroid biosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1989 / 86 (24) / 9813-9816. , Pellow, S. et al, The effects of putative anxiogenic compounds (FG7142, CGS8216 and Ro15-1788) on the rat corticosterone response. Physiol. Behav. 1985 / 35 (4) / 587-590.

(62)Yerbury, R.E. et al, Novel benzodiazepine ligands : palatable food intake following zolpidem, CGS17867A, or Ro23-0364, in the rat. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1989 / 33 (2) / 303-307.

(63) Lista, A. et al, The benzodiazepine inverse agonist DMCM decreases serotonergic transmission in rat hippocampus : an in vivo electrophysiological study. Synapse 1990 / 6 (2) / 175-180. , Lista, A. et al, Benzodiazepine receptors modulate serotonine neurotransmission in the rat hippocampus : in vivo electrophysiological evidence. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1990 / 254 (1) / 318-323. , Pawlik, M. et al, Quantitative autoradiograph of (3H)norharman ((3H)beta-carboline) binding sites in the rat brain. J. Chem. Neuroanal. 1990 / 3 (1) / 19-24. , Pei, Q. et al, Both systemic and local administration of benzodiazepine agonists inhibit the in vivo release of 5-HT from ventral hippocampus. Neuropharmacology 1989 / 28 (10) / 1061-1066. , Lista, A. et al, Modulation of the electrically evoked release of 5-(3H)hydroxytryptamine from rat cerebral cortex : effects of alpidem, CL218,872, and diazepam. J. Neurochem. 1988 / 51 (5) / 1414-1421. , Rovescalli, A.C. et al, Endocrine effects of 5-methoxytryptoline, 5-hydrotryptoline and tryptoline, putative modulators of rat serotonergic system. J. Endocrinol. Invest. 1987 / 10 (1) / 65-72. , Forchetti, C.M. et al, Evidence for a tonic GABAergic control of serotonin neurons in the median raphe nucleus. Brain. Res. 1981 / 206 (1) / 208-212.

(64) Nakane, H. et al, Stress-induced norepinephrine release in the rat prefrontal cortex measured by microdialysis. Am. J. Physiol. 1994 / 267 (6 Pt 2) / R1559-1566. , Ida, Y. et al, Anxiogenic beta-carboline FG7142 produces activity of neuroadrenergic neurons in specific brain regions of rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1991 / 39 (3) / 791-793. , De Boer, S.F. et al, Effects of chlordiazepoxide, flumazenil and DMCM on plasma catecholamine and corticosterone concentrations in rats. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1991 / 38 (1) / 13-19. , Stanford, S.C. et al, Effects of single or repeated administration of the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142 on behaviour and cortical adrenoceptor binding in the rat. Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 1989 / 98 (3) / 417-424. , Yang, X.M. et al, Behavioral evidence for the role of noradrenaline in the putative anxiogenic actions of the inverse benzodiazepine receptor agonist methyl-4-6,7-dimethoxy-beta-carboline-carboxylate. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1989 / 250 (1) / 358-363. , Fletcher, A. et al, A proconvulsive action of selective alpha 2 adrenoceptor antagonists. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1988 / 151 (1) / 27-34. , Chopra, K. et al, Benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142-induced delayed behavioral depression in mice. Arch. Int. Pharmacodyn. Ther. 1988 / 294 / 56-63. , Stanford, S.C. et al, Chronic disipramine treatment prevents the upregulation of cortical beta-adrenoceptors caused by a single dose of the benzodiazepine inverse agonist FG7142. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 1987 / 139 (2) / 225-232. , Stanford, S.C. et al, Effects of chronic treatmentwith benzodiazepine receptor ligands on cortical adenoceptors. Eur J Pharmacol. 1986 / 129 (1-2) / 181-184. , Fung, S.C. et al, Multiple effects of drugs acting on benzodiazepine receptors. Neurosci. Lett. 1984 / 50 (1-3) / 203-207.

(65) Oades, R.D., Differential measures of 'sustained attention' in children with attention-deficit / hyperactivity or tic disorders : relations to monoamine metabolism. Psychiatry Res. 2000 / 93 (2) / 165-178. , Donovan, A.M. et al, Thermal response to serotonergic challenge and agression in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder children. J. Child. Adolesc. Psychopharmacol. 1999 / 9 (2) / 85-91. , Spivak, B. et al, Circulatory levels of catecholamines, serotonin and lipids in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Acta. Psychiatr. Scand. 1999 / 99 (4) / 300-304. , Oades, R.D. et al, Plasma neuropeptide-Y levels, monoamine metabolism, elektrolyte excretion and drinking behavior in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1998 / 80 (2) / 177-186. , Ernst, M. et al, Selegiline in ADHD adults : plasma monoamines and monoamine metabolites. Neuropsychopharmacology 1997 / 16 (4) / 276-284. , Halperin, J.M. et al, Serotonin, agression, and parental psychopathology in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry 1997 / 36 (10) / 1391-1398. , Cook, E.H. Jr. et al, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and whole-blood serotonin levels : effects of comorbidity. Psychiatry Res. 1995 / 57 (1) 13-20. , Castellanos, F.X. et al, Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1994 / 52 (3) / 305-316.

(66) Andersen, S.L. et al, Sex differences in dopamine receptors and their relevance to ADHD. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2000 / 24 (1) / 137-141. , Vallone, D. et al, Structure and function of dopamine receptors. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 2000 / 24 (1) / 125-132. , Faraone, S.V. et al, Neurobiology of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biol. Psychiatry 1998 / 44 (10) / 951-958. , Carey, M.P. et al, Differential distribution ,affinity and plasticity of dopamine D-1 and D-2 receptors in the target sites of the mesolimbic system in an animal model of ADHD. Behav. Brain Res. 1998 / 94 (1) / 173-185. , Ernst, M. et al, Selegiline in ADHD adults : plasma monoamines and monoamine metabolites. Neuropsychopharmacology 1997 / 16 (4) / 276-284. , Hanna, G.L. et al, Urinary catecholamine excretion and behavioral differences in ADHD and normal boys. J. child. Adolesc. Psychopharmacol. 1996 / 6 (1) / 63-73. , Pliszka, S.R. et al, Catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder : current perspectives. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry 1996 / 35 (3) /264-272. , Castellanos, F.X. et al, Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1994 / 52 (3) / 305-316. , Sverd, J. et al, Methylphenidate treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in boys with Tourett's syndrome. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry. 1989 / 28 (4) / 580-582.

(67) Anderson, G.M. et al, Adrenomedullary funtion during cognitive testing in attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder. J. Am. Acad. child. Adolesc. Psychiatry. 2000 / 39 (5) / 635-43. , Biederman, J. et al, Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a noradrenergic disorder. Biol. Psychiatry. 1999 / 46 (9) / 1234-1242. , Ernst, M. et al, Selegiline in ADHD adults : plasma monoamines and monoamine metabolites. Neuropsychopharmacology 1997 / 16 (4) / 276-284. , Halperin, J.M. et al, Noradrenergic mechanisms in ADHD children with and without reading disabilities : a replication and extension. J. Am. Acad. child. Adolesc. Psychiatry. 1997 / 36 (12) / 1688-1697. , Pliszka, S.R. et al, Catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder : current perspectives. J. Am. Acad. Child. Adolesc. Psychiatry 1996 / 35 (3) /264-272. , Hanna, G.L. et al, Urinary catecholamine excretion and behavioral differences in ADHD and normal boys. J. child. Adolesc. Psychopharmacol. 1996 / 6 (1) / 63-73. , Castellanos, F.X. et al, Cerebrospinal fluid monoamine metabolites in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatry Res. 1994 / 52 (3) / 305-316. , Pliszka, S.R. et al, Urinary catecholamines in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with and without comorbid anxiety. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 1994 / 33 (8) / 1165-1173.

(68) Mueser, K.T. et al, Conduct disorder ,antisocial personality disorder and substance use disorders in schizophrenia and major affective disorders. J. Stud. Alcohol. 1999 / 60 (2) / 278-284.

(69) Tsuchiya, M. et al, Enkephalinergic neurons express 5-HT3 receptors in the spinal cord dorsal horn : single cell RT-PCR analysis. Neuroreport 1999 / 10 (13) / 2749-2753. , Siniscalchi, A. et al, Inhibitory effect of noiciceptin on (3H)-5-HT release from rat cerebral cortex slices. Br. J. Pharmacol. 1999 / 128 (1) / 119-123.

(70) Schlicker, E. et al, Noiciceptin inhibits norepinephrine release in the mouse brain cortex via presynaptic CRL1 receptors. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. 1998 / 358 (4) / 418-422. , Quirarte, G.L. et al, Norepinephrine release in the amygdala in response to footshock and opioid peptidergic drugs. Brain Res. 1998 / 808 (2) / 134-140.

[ Parent ]

Hm (5.00 / 1) (#216)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 01:27:48 AM EST

"At this same level, basil, sage and turmeric decreased PhIP HCAs 70 percent at 375 degrees F, and 76 percent (basil) and 65 percent (sage, turmeric) at 400 degrees F."

So turmeric keeps you from going insane. You'd never know...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

It's tough living in the probe (4.75 / 4) (#86)
by slaida1 on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 09:01:31 AM EST

and using it at the same time to interpret and analyze the sensory signals from outer world. I'm talking about our brains.

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle comes to my mind as something that's similar to our problems: we're trying to understand ourselves and changing world around us while our understanding itself is changing too fast or too unnatural ways to grasp or compensate.

Maybe deja-vu's are consequences of watching reruns on TV or loading same saved game again and again and our mind is trying to adjust itself to better handle those situtations? Maybe some of us trust our languange so much that they haven't imagined it might be flawed in such ways that it might work as a chinese finger trap sometimes leaving them hopelessly lost in philosophical mazes?

I can't help but feel frustrated in my belief that we could be capable of doing and understanding so much more but our psychological science isn't advanced enough to even recognize much less harness those possibilities. Anything other than being and feeling "normal" is considered an illness which should be reverted, cured back, or as close as possible to "normal".

I'm not saying that mental illness is a blessing or anything, I'm just whining over the fact that it *could* be a sign of something positive but our understanding about human mind is so poor that we can't do anything but try to bring patients back to some mental state we're familiar with. Like Michael said, many mentally ill are exceptionally talented. I'm wondering if their minds are trying to cope with those talents and develope some higher state of consiousness... .. uhh, i think i'll stop now. sorry.

Deja Vu (none / 0) (#183)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:06:02 PM EST

Good point about Heisenberg.

Maybe deja-vu's are consequences of watching reruns on TV or loading same saved game again and again and our mind is trying to adjust itself to better handle those situtations?

I really doubt it. The term deja vu was coined long before the CRT was invented, let alone reruns and video games.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

MPD/DID (3.50 / 2) (#91)
by Sassy on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 11:45:20 AM EST

Mike, have you ever encountered anyone with MPD/DID (Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder)?

I haven't personally (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:23:18 PM EST

but I know someone who has a friend who has multiple personality disorder, and who has actually found the courage to talk about it publicly, in educational lectures.

I've never met her friend myself though, she lives far away.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

My Ex wife has it (none / 0) (#186)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:23:19 PM EST

She was diagnosed about ten years or so ago, recieved therapy, and then... her therapist moved out of state. About the time their funding started to dry up. Her new therapist pronounced her "cured", but she was nowhere near cured.

What got her to the therapist in the first place were her repeated sexual adventures, which were driving ME crazy.

It did have a few advantages, living with someone with MPD. I never knew who I was going to bed with!

I wnet to a psychologist for my and my daughters' emotional problems caused by her sluttiness, and the psychologist (who has worked with other DID patients) tells me that sexual dysfunctions (like not being able to say "no", or even actively seducing strangers) is one of its symptoms.

It is known as "disasociative identity disorder" now, and there are two forms, one mild and one severe. I think she had BOTH forms. There were five or six of her.

There is one personality of hers I call "bitchface". Bitchface is the one who hates my guts, drinks, and goes slutting around. Bitchface came out about a year and a half ago, and she left my kids and me last September (the two girls and I are now on antidepressants. "Bitchface" is a very cruel person). After being married to her for a quarter of a century (sickness and in health, but damn, not much health) we've been working on getting divorced and she's been working on screwing me over.

Luckily, Bitchface is starting to receed again, but I've had it. I can no longer put up with the pain she causes, and the pain she is causes me is nothing compared to my daughters.

My wife left me- imagine having your MOTHER leave you!

Part of my problem now is I question myself- maybe a woman would have to be crazy to want me?

Mental illness is hard not only on the patient, but on everyone the patient interacts with. We can use all of your prayers.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

MPD/DID diagnosis (none / 0) (#196)
by jjayson on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 01:34:29 AM EST

As they found out more about it, they realized that it is an incredibly rare disorder. This lead to many rediagnosis and calling people cured. It was often confused with very severe manic patients or even schizoprenics. I hear that second and third opinions are often called for when somebody has been diagnosed with it. Apparently MPD sufferers have no recollection of what happens when during other personalities, they are modal (or was it the other way around), while someone with a severe mood affective disorder may act similar with the wild mood swings that seem to be different personalities, they are still the same personality, just a wildly different affective state.

Psychiatry is still such voodoo as times, that if I were to ever need to be diagnosed again I would find 3 or 4 to diagnose me seperately. They suck.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

You are correct (none / 0) (#209)
by mcgrew on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 06:25:53 PM EST

That is what the psychologist who explained the disease to me said. Very rare, hard to diagnose. Not many shrinks have dealt with it, and VERY often it is misdiagnosed, either a different illness diagnosed as DID or DID being diagnosed as something else.

He said the only way to tell was if the doctor actually sees one of the other personalities manifest itself, and even then s/he can be wrong.

And the mental health profession is maybe 150 years behind the other health disciplines.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Pot (3.50 / 2) (#96)
by mrcsparker on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:06:32 PM EST

The few times that I have gotten stoned have been a living hell for me. Each time - thinking that it would be different, was worse. I would experience many of the same things the author writes about - unable to determine if the conversation I am having is really going on or if I am reflecting back on a conversation in my head. Extreme paranoia. Unable to to focus for a second on a topic and writing little notes to myself to try to stay on an idea - ripping the note up later when it takes on a different meaning. Anyone else have this happen?

My Experiences with Pot (4.50 / 2) (#106)
by altair on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:12:23 PM EST

I've smoked pot many times, and I always get the same effects. The distinguishing characteristic of a marijuana high for me is euphoria. I am so incredibly happy, and everything is right with the world. However, I hallucinate a lot too, especially if I'm outside and can see the sky. I usually see a great hawk in the clouds, but I've had other hallucinations.

Paranoia is a problem for me while high, but I find that if I recognize it as such, then I can at the very least go back to enjoying the rest of my experience. I was once sitting in a playground in a semi-rural area, after dark, and became paranoid that there was a cougar stalking me. This was particularily frightening since it was one of the first times that I had been high, and I didn't know what to do. I finally figured out that I just had to counter each and every paranoid thought with, "It's not real!" in my head.

However, the paranoia never stopped me from smoking pot. What stopped me was the fact that it makes me feel like I'm thinking in molasses for a month afterwards, and that it rips my lungs to shreds, which is no good when you're a bit of an exercise fiend. ;)

[ Parent ]

Sounds normal (none / 0) (#238)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:35:21 PM EST

Hallucinations, euphoria, feeling happy and paranoia are all pretty normal. Personally it never made me feel happy or euphoric, although it also seldom induced paranoia - to me it was a mild psychedelic.

As for slow thinking afterwards this happens to some people - I have only ever met one myself despite meeting many cannabis users. Some find it has no after-affect while others find it enhances their thinking, the latter being primarily true of those involved in a creative endeavour that also requires sharp, analytical thinking.

As with everything each person has their own personal reaction.

[ Parent ]
well well (none / 0) (#229)
by drgonzo on Sun Apr 20, 2003 at 09:14:40 AM EST

maby you two don't know about the possibility that pot/other-psychedelic-drug could trigger an already inherent "neuroses or psychoses in those who are already at risk." (if you'r courious serach the net/erowid)

[now i don't want to dis you but] maby you'r a inexperienced smoker ...

if so read up on "set and setting" (check on timothy leary ...)

so long

[ Parent ]

Question (4.00 / 2) (#97)
by johnnyfever on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:06:49 PM EST

I have experienced all the phenomenon that you have mentioned with the exception of hallucinations. Does that mean I need to go see a doctor? I guess madness is really just a matter of degree...

I think it would be a good idea (5.00 / 1) (#102)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:25:53 PM EST

If you've experienced any one of the symptoms I've described, I think it would be a good idea to discuss it with a psychiatrist.

Everyone's symptoms are a very individual experience. You could even have schizoaffective disorder too, but might not experience all the symptoms I report. Alternatively, they just might not have happened yet.

I talk more about the importance of getting treatment in part III, which I'll be posting in a few days.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I guess my question really is... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by johnnyfever on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:34:58 PM EST

Isn't it possible for someone to experience some of the same things you describe infrequently and to a slightly lesser degree and still be perfectly "normal"/sane?

For example, feelings of paranoia or depression which are not disabling in any way, but nonetheless happen on occasion....

[ Parent ]

Well, (5.00 / 2) (#105)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:11:24 PM EST

Do your friends think you have a problem? Do you think you have a problem? If neither, then I'd say don't bother with a visit. Even if you do decide to visit be aware than many psychiatrists are not trained in non-drug therapies. If the psychiatrist decides you have a problem, or maybe "just to be safe", he will likely put you on psychiatric drugs. There is currently a huge pharmaceutical lobby working hard to get as many people as possible to take their products. Everything from Bayer "Take it for pain; take it for life" to powerful psychiatric drugs. One only need to look at Ritalin/ADD for an example of overdiagnosis--some even question whether ADD exists at all, being a list of symptoms which annoy teachers and parents rather than anything which causes the child to experience suffering. The so-called anxiety disorders are being questioned as real diseases, too.

I suggest you find a psychiatrist who believes in using drugs only as a last resort. You might even want to try a psychologist first.



[ Parent ]
No Apparent Problem... (5.00 / 3) (#108)
by johnnyfever on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:41:26 PM EST

I don't think I have a problem, and neither does anyone I know (as far as I know!)

What struck me about this article is how many of the symptoms I could identify with on some level. Dissociation for instance I could identify with having had those feelings, or at least had the thought occur to me the odd time. Same with paranoia, I could really understand MC's descriptions, because I have had similar feelings. Once again, not to the same degree, not to the point where it's apparent to those around me, but enough that I know what he's talking about and can imagine what it might be like to be in his shoes.

The assumption that I personally draw from all this is that many of the symptoms of mental illness occur in so-called normal people to a lesser degree but don't overcome them. I have often thought that there is only a very thin line separating "normal" from "mad" and it seems that it would be a fairly easy line to cross.

Of course, that's just my opinion, based on absolutely nothing but personal experience.

An extension of this idea is the notion that if you go to a shrink, chances are (depending on the shrink you see) they will, or at least could, find something "wrong" with you. If they don;t have any patients, they're out of a job. Much like a friend of mine who had expensive orthodics prescribed for shin splints when over pronation wasn't the problem to begin with.

I'm not trying to trivialise mental illness or deny that it exists, I'm just unclear on how/where to draw the line...

[ Parent ]

The line (5.00 / 3) (#115)
by cyclopatra on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 04:48:02 PM EST

I think most people draw the line when your symptoms are interfering with your life. If you're unable to do things you would like to do or are under an undue amount of stress because of them, it's time to do something about it.

In my case, I made the decision to see a doctor the night that I took a shower sitting down in the tub, reading a book, because that was the only way to keep the boogeymen away - and I realized that this had become my normal routine - not sitdown showers in particular, but rearranging my day-to-day actions to accommodate the unreasonable fears and other shit my brain threw at me. However much I appeared to be holding together to the outside world, that was a sign to me that things were falling apart faster than I could put them back together.

Everybody's got to draw their own line, depending on how much they're willing or able to put up with before it's time to say 'Enough'. A certain amount of weirdness is normal in anyone's life, but when you start having to devote too much time to dealing with it, it's usually time to look for some new tools to work with.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

no imparement == no problem (none / 0) (#230)
by pyro9 on Sun Apr 20, 2003 at 10:00:36 AM EST

An important thing to know that many psychiatrists themselves seem to forget is that many (if not most) entries in DSM IV require that the symptoms cause significant imparement. If it's not bothering you, and others don't even notice, I'd say there is no imparement.

I have been studying (informally) the existance of classic symptoms of mental illness in the absense of imparement (so-called shadow syndromes). I suspect it has bearing on treatment of those who are impared.

It seems to me that in a person with imparement the brain's homeostasis is decidedly broken. In others with symptoms but no imparement, it is perhaps either slow or simply more tolerant of variation than in a 'normal' person.

A model based on homeostasis goes a long way towards explaining the many paradoxical effects of psychiatric drugs as well as the way that their effectiveness in a single patient can wax and wane unpredictably. It could also help to explain borderline cases where a person can be mostly OK without medication, but will experiance episodes where meds are necessary. It might also explain those cases where a person has a single episode, then never again. The idea is that they subconsciously learn coping strategies so that they are able to function well with the wider variations, and so avoid excaberating the imbalances when they do occur (perhaps as simple as seeking a low stress lifestyle, or learning to apply a sort of cognitive therepy to themselves).


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Night photography (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by anothertom on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 12:32:04 PM EST

Didn't you know, that all the professional "night photos" are shot in the dusk?
Whatever you expect them to show, give it a try.


Correction: schizoid vs. schizophrenic (4.50 / 2) (#107)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 01:35:14 PM EST

Someone helpfully pointed out to me that I have been using the word "schizoid" inappropriately in this article:

schizoid isn't a word used in relation to schizophrenia. Schizoid is to do with Schizoid Personality Disorder which is quite a different illness.

So everywhere I discuss my schizoid experiences or schizoid symptoms, I should say "schizophrenic experiences".


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Thanks (none / 0) (#218)
by zixyer on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 01:57:12 PM EST

As someone who has a SPD I found myself a little confused seeing "schizoid" over and over in the article but thanks to my SPD I didn't really feel motivated to correct you. I think schizoid personality disorder has an unfortunate name because it really has nothing to do with schizophrenia, but when you look schizoid up in just about any dictionary it says "relating to schizophrenia"...

[ Parent ]
Your disorder... (1.33 / 3) (#110)
by Trollaxor on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 02:19:24 PM EST

What's actually happpening is that you are overlapping brain space with at least one and maybe several counterparts from alternate dimensions that are 10^(10^28) light years away.

If you want information on Schizophrenia (5.00 / 2) (#111)
by HomelessOne on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 03:17:30 PM EST

I work for a non-profit organization called the National Schizophrenia Foundation. If any K5 readers want more information on schizophrenia you can visit http://www.nsfoundation.org or call (800)482-9534.
             -HomelessOne

Amazing. (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by mrgoat on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 03:31:18 PM EST

The bits of paranoia I get frequently late at night, the many times I've heard someone call my name when no one was there, seem somehow so much more "normal" now. Well, not normal, but you get the idea. That, and the weird hallucinations I used to have once in a while as a kid that I never told anyone about. Thanks for writing, it's a good read.

"I'm having sex right now?" - Joh3n
--Top Hat--

Wow (2.00 / 2) (#116)
by CaptainZapp on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 04:48:35 PM EST

I'm really sort of out of words, except:

I'm looking into your eyes and I want to say: "Hello!"

schizophrenic (1.00 / 3) (#123)
by anonymous pancake on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:09:42 PM EST

at least you are not schizophrenic, apparently having MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES can make life quite hard...


---
. <---- This is not a period, it is actually a very small drawing of the prophet mohhamed.
not the same thing (none / 0) (#124)
by jjayson on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:26:03 PM EST

Schizophrenia is not multiple personalities (DID). They are completely different. Too bad everybody gets that wrong to the point where in common usage schizophrenic is not listed in the dictionary as having conflicting views.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (4.00 / 1) (#132)
by RavenDuck on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 12:11:18 AM EST

Michael, I think your story is fascinating, especially this particular piece.

I'd actually always intended to be a psychologist (well, for as long as I can reasonably imagine anyway), and when studying psychology at University, I was always fascinated with abnormal psychology (that, and humanistic psychology, weirdly enough, although the two don't mesh well). At some point, however, I fell in love with criminology, and am currently completing a PhD in criminology. However, I've never lost my fascination with abnormal psych (one of the chapters of my thesis deals with mentally ill homicide offenders).

I think your explanations of what it was like to experience psychotic symptoms did more to aid my understanding of what it's like than four years of psych lectures did.

Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to the final installment.

--
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.

Oh boy. This is a tough one. . . (5.00 / 4) (#134)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 12:54:15 AM EST

First off, your series is absolutely first rate. Thank you VERY much for sharing a difficult and personal matter with such lucid and thoughtful words. This is fantastic! Thank you!

For me, this is very timely. I have two friends who have been exhibiting signs of some of the conditions you describe. Depression, Mania and most worrying, delusion resulting in destructive behavior. I worry, because I find myself in the line of fire, and I have been asked directly at times for advice. Your descriptions of testing fears/reality by actively confronting objects through tactile investigation is perhaps the first useful bit of insight I have heard.

In the past, when confronted by the idea of schizophrenia, (and similar), I feel quite at a loss, and usually back away since I have no real knowledge in the area other than, "It's a problem." I have never read anything which has provided me with something useful with which to suggest. In truth, reading your posts about the condition is the first direct and deliberate reading I have done on the subject. Everything else I know about it, (which is actually a not-insignificant amount), has been picked up here and there.

--Anyway. . .

I have had several experiences myself around the edges re, mania and depression. I have had periods of high, high energy and creative out-put, but have never actually traveled over an edge, so to speak. (That is, while allowing myself to be driven by times of mania, I have always been able to apply the brakes and keep my activities and enthusiasm in perspective. I have never had insomnia. I have never abandoned responsibilities, or made any life-course altering decisions without providing myself several weeks in which to plan, test and discuss ideas before committing to them, or just as often, abandoning them. This balancing-practice has proven a very effective method of dealing with mania, and as such, I have had many very positive and very profitable results with few setbacks. I suspect that this, 'on the edge' kind of mania is similar to the sort which propels many of the most successful artists, whereas those who experience more intense, uncontrolled versions tend to find themselves in dire straits. In any case, as a result of these kinds of experiences over the last 20 years or so, I have gained some facility in recognizing those same aspects in other people when they experience more extreme versions.

--I also understand something about auditory hallucinations. --Though, again, just the husk of the idea; I've only ever had such experiences when I am in bed, feeling extremely tired and just waking or just falling sleep; often after having been abruptly woken. I've heard things like phantom phones ringing, or voices having conversations within ear-shot. Usually just for a few seconds, and when I focus on these sounds and bring myself into full consciousness to pay attention to them, they immediately fade into nothing. Not really the same thing, (and indeed, I don't think this variation is unique to myself), but it is enough to be able to form an extrapolated kind of experiential understanding of what you have described. It is a useful reference point with which to relate to other people who suffer acute and frightening versions of such hallucination.

That all being said, I have several reservations. . .

First of all, I have been exploring energy and magic over the last few years. This, naturally, will cause many people to stop short and raise an eyebrow. (Or worse.) A great number of people simply do not believe in Chi energy, etc. And there is not much which can be said to these people. Those who get it, get it, and those who don't, probably aren't supposed to, and so probably won't.

I will say, however, that I have experienced, (yes, without drugs, thank you), some amazing things. --Things I have experienced with other people present and have been able to compare notes regarding afterwards. I have seen objects moved, have communicated telepathically, shared dreams, seen energy, and dealt with a host of other less easily described phenomena. If it were not for the multiple witness aspect, or various forms of cross-checking, all of which I swore to myself I would, (and do), take quite seriously upon venturing down this path of study), it would be easy to simply lump these kinds of experiences into the box labeled, "psychosis" and be done with it.

The problem is that schizophrenia and similar, are very real conditions, and some of the people I have met since embarking on this road have without question, been mentally ill. So I find myself having to A) struggle to legitimize my interest in this area, B) sort out fact from fiction in my own sphere of experience, and C) do the same with other people! --People who, very often, are all too eager to see and believe without exercising any form of discretion whatsoever. Sigh.

As such, being an advocate of advancing and enlarging the awareness, I all too frequently find myself in the awkward position of having to burst people's bubbles and deal with the aftermath. --One common thing I have discovered is that Egos in these circles are very easily bruised. People don't like it at all when you disabuse them of beautiful delusions, and they will attack you sometimes more bitterly and blindly than those in the 'Skeptic' camp. --Often, these attacks themselves can be a powerful indicator of delusional thinking. As I have found, there are a LOT of quite disturbed people in New Age circles. Further, (and yes, I'm afraid this will sound like paranoid thinking, though I can assure you, I do not feel any fear regarding it, debilitating or otherwise), I think that this is without question to some degree an effect-by-design. An encouraged sort of pattern meant to confuse and frighten away normal people living under the yoke of negative societal control. All in all, the whole thing can be rather frustrating.

So. . .

Some of the problems I have with your essays, (in particular Part I), is the general attitude which would suggest that people are prone to illness. The insistence that One in Three people is mentally ill, I found quite annoying, and I disagree with it. --Anything which affects a third of a population, and which has done for all of history, no matter how difficult it may be to live with, is what I would call NORMAL. I find it very annoying when normal states of affairs are labeled as 'sicknesses' which can be 'cured' through expensive drugs.

It is VERY much within the interest of certain forces to have the population believe that they are more weak and susceptible to illness than they really are. --That they should, in fact, be on medication. I mean, holy mind-games, Batman! --Particularly in a society which promotes the use of foodstuffs, drugs and EM generating devices which have been demonstrated time and again to be neurologically harmful. These approaches, when combined, (Poison and bake the brains of the populace, and then encourage the belief that people are "Just naturally sickly and weak and should take psych drugs, because that's the only way to combat the problem,". . .), Well, I find this quite a frustratingly successful, (and EXTREMELY profitable), method of subduing a populace.

In short, your perfectly valid exploration of your own condition, and your very lucid instruction regarding it, I think could be harmful to readers if they are not very careful!

I know FAR too many people who are on anti-depressant drugs who should not be. I know a girl who went on them because all her friends were on them. "It's just a pill. It's totally safe." It was exam time, and she was feeling, 'stressed at school'. She is now addicted to Paxol, and her personality has been, essentially, turned down to a dull-witted, dolby-stereo version of what she once was. I feel creeped out just being around her now.

Teachers and principals now have the authority to kick kids out of school if their parents do not put them on anti-depressant drugs. A vast number of children have been medicated in order to make them sit in rows for long periods of time without wriggling; that is, because they were acting like kids.

So while I thank you for sharing, and while I applaud your efforts, I VERY much hope people remember that before making any decisions about anti-depressant drugs, they should read opposing views and THINK carefully about it first.

In the long run, it is BEST that people learn how to live with the natural architecture of their brains WITHOUT chemical aids, (drugs, which we must not forget for a moment, make BILLION dollar annual profits for certain corporate interests!). Those who learn how to walk without a stick are more powerful than those who need crutches.

And finally. . , if you are stressed out and depressed in your life, perhaps you should take a look at your life and try to fix that first. Stress and misery are your mind's way of telling you that something is wrong. It is an Astronomically Stupid idea to shut off that portion of your mind rather than solve the problems they might be warning you about!

Please, please. Think first!

-Fantastic Lad

Just a quick clarification of my above post. . . (4.00 / 1) (#137)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:17:14 AM EST

When I said in my final paragraph, if you are stressed out and depressed in your life, perhaps you should take a look at your life and try to fix that first. Stress and misery are your mind's way of telling you that something is wrong. It is an Astronomically Stupid idea to shut off that portion of your mind rather than solve the problems they might be warning you about!

I should properly have said, "If ONE is stressed out and depressed. . ."

I did not mean to direct the thought towards you, Michael.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

One in three (none / 0) (#138)
by cyclopatra on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:17:59 AM EST

How many people do you think have ever had a cold, or the flu? How many do you think have them at any given time? Just because something's "normal" in the sense that it affects a large portion of the population, or because people have suffered from it throughout history, doesn't mean that it's something people should have to deal with, or make it any less of a problem when it occurs.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

That's easy. (none / 0) (#139)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:22:32 AM EST

How many people do you think have ever had a cold, or the flu? How many do you think have them at any given time? Just because something's "normal" in the sense that it affects a large portion of the population, or because people have suffered from it throughout history, doesn't mean that it's something people should have to deal with, or make it any less of a problem when it occurs.

The difference here is that the cold and the flu are caused by attacking pathogens. They are not states which extend from the natural brain architecture one is born with.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 1) (#141)
by cyclopatra on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:51:43 AM EST

There's some evidence that some mental illnesses, such as my own OCD, are caused at least in part by viruses that either cause brain damage or disrupt the normal functioning of the brain.

And beyond that: Strawman, strawman,strawman. Kidney failure. Cancer. Sickle-cell anemia. Downs Syndrome. All things your body does all on it's own, "from the natural...architecture" of your genes. Should we not treat/change those, either, because they're just different states of being? What is so different about mental illness that it gives you the moral high ground to say that people should have to go on suffering unnecessarily, just because you don't think it's "real" enough, or "external" enough? Why should I, or anyone else, forgo treatment because you think our problems are "natural"?

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Hey, settle down. . . (4.00 / 1) (#143)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 02:11:38 AM EST

Strawman, strawman,strawman. Kidney failure. Cancer. Sickle-cell anemia. Downs Syndrome. All things your body does all on it's own, "from the natural...architecture" of your genes. Should we not treat/change those, either, because they're just different states of being? What is so different about mental illness that it gives you the moral high ground to say that people should have to go on suffering unnecessarily, just because you don't think it's "real" enough, or "external" enough? Why should I, or anyone else, forgo treatment because you think our problems are "natural"?

Well, actually, several of the diseases you mention are also sometimes the result of pathogens, and not are not extensions of the normal function of healthy organs. --And worse, some of those conditions are very arguably caused by day to day environmental poisons and life habits, many of which could be easily relieved if only people were more aware. This is why it is said that, "Knowledge Protects".

Further, I did not suggest that there was no such thing as real psycho-illness. If you feel that your condition is one which is best treated with drugs, and indeed can only be treated with drugs, then certainly, treat them with drugs. In the end it's entirely up to you.

I wonder, however, why you are so hot to argue with me. You certainly don't need my permission to put whatever you want in your mouth! Nor am I trying to defend any high moral ground.

I was merely responding with an alternative viewpoint to a powerfully charasmatic and convincing posting, which while it was presented with what I feel was honest intent, was nonetheless one-sided and called for an equally honest rebuttal. Only through this practice can truth and real knowledge be reached. There are no 'Strawmen' here, my freind. I'm tilting at real problems.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

Hm. (1.00 / 1) (#144)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 02:20:56 AM EST

Sickle-cell anemia and Downs Syndrome are present at birth. Their pathology can be traced. Cancer and kidney failure are more problematic because occurance depends on environmental factors. The cause of cancer could be anything from vinyl chloride in one's hairspray to staying out in the sun too long. Kidney failure also has many potential causes.

As for psychiatric drugs, what usually happens is that the drug is discovered first and then the theory behind the pathology is made up afterwards. Consider the story behind lithium's discovery. When John Cade noticed the effects of lithium on healthy animals, he went ahead and tried it on mental patients. Turns out that lithium has the same nonspecific brain-disabling effect on healthy and non-healthy people alike. This is a common theme with psychiatric medications, psychosurgery, and ECT--they tend to cause dysfunction and have a disabling effect. In short, many of psychiatry's treatments appear to revolve around shutting the patient up and shutting him or her down, to put it bluntly. This is not true of all treatments, but is disturbingly true of many.

As for your assertions that mental illness is genetic, that is not science but wishful thinking. There is currently no credible evidence of a genetic link for mental illness. There is plenty of evidence that normal, healthy people can become overwhelmed by the world and develop a mental illness. Read up on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the various psychoses which can result. There is also evidence that people can fully recover without the use of psychosurgery, psychiatric drugs, or ECT.

I am not completely opposed to the use of psychiatric drugs. I know people who have been helped by them. My desires are twofold: that no one should ever be denied treatment and that there should never be any psychiatric treatment without the fully informed consent of the patient who is to receive the treatment. Psychiatric treatments like psychosurgery, psychiatric drugs, and ECT are too dangerous to be forced on a person. And there has never been any evidence that any of the psychiatric treatments prevent suicide. In fact, there's some evidence that people who are force-treated are more likely to commit suicide.



[ Parent ]
I didn't say genetic. (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by cyclopatra on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 02:30:23 AM EST

I said there was evidence of a viral factor in some mental illnesses. I'll look up the studies for you sometime when I'm not neglecting work to do it, if you want. However, there is ample evidence that some mental disorders are inheritable, which at least suggests a genetic predisposition (although it can also be argued, obviously, from a nature vs. nurture standpoint).

Anyway, this has all ballooned far beyond what I intended, which was simply to say that whether or not something was "natural" or "usual", or came from external sources, it doesn't make any sense to me to tell people that they should just get by on living right and 'dealing' with things, because sometimes you can't.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Yes, Please. (none / 0) (#148)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 02:40:52 AM EST

[...]there is ample evidence that some mental disorders are inheritable[...]

No need to look up the studies on possible viral influence, but I am interested in studies which confirm the above. My understanding is that most of those studies, such as the twin studies for schizophrenia, were flawed.

I agree with pretty much everything you've said, btw. Thanks for taking the time to post. I enjoy reading your comments.



[ Parent ]
Links Within (5.00 / 1) (#166)
by cyclopatra on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 05:06:06 PM EST

Here are some links to abstracts, summaries and papers describing the inheritability of OCD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The consensus I've found is that genetics do convey a vulnerability to certain disorders (ie, in the case of OCD, patients and their families seem to be susceptible to the more general class of anxiety disorders, with some relatives displaying sub-clinical OCD symptoms while others may actually have full-blown OCD or another, related disorder such as panic or tic disorders). If you'll entertain a little anecdotal evidence, I have OCD, while my mother has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and bipolar disorder. We both have occasional-to-frequent panic attacks, and my brother displays some of the same OCD/anxiety symptoms as myself, but not at a level that has moved him to seek treatment.

Anyhow, without further ado, here are some links (I've put abstracts and more credible studies first, followed by papers citing studies I couldn't find online):

A Family Study of Obsessive-compulsive Disorder Gerald Nestadt, MD, MPH, et al.
Schizophrenia susceptibility loci on chromosomes 13q32 and 8p21
PubMed - abstract on inheritability of schizophrenia
(schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder family study; comorbidity of schizoaffective disorder with red-green colorblindness)
schizophrenia, schizoaffective & comorbidity
What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

You'll forgive, I hope, that these cites aren't MLA; I'm pressed for time :P

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

Erk. (none / 0) (#171)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 08:05:20 PM EST

When researching your links I came across this website. This is the sort of stuff which makes me very uneasy about people trying to prove a genetic link to such poorly defined "diseases" as schizophrenia. History has not shown very noble results from such endeavors.

However, I will continue researching. I'm not dead-set against the possibility of genetic links--I am simply wary because of the shoddy research which has been done in the past. Loren Mosher, who I've mentioned elswhere in these disucssions, was chief at the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia at NIHM from 1968 to 1980. He saw many studies for schizophrenia in his time, as discussed here. It's too long for me to quote, but read through it and you'll get to the part about the studies. My impression is that the matter is not close to being resolved.



[ Parent ]
Agreement and Further Comment (5.00 / 1) (#152)
by Alfie on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 04:54:17 AM EST

Anyway, this has all ballooned far beyond what I intended, which was simply to say that whether or not something was "natural" or "usual", or came from external sources, it doesn't make any sense to me to tell people that they should just get by on living right and 'dealing' with things, because sometimes you can't.

I completely agree. The question for me is what constitutes "help". When dealing with illness there are two approaches one can take: the path of life or the path of death. Either path will ultimately solve the ill person's problems. In one of his books, Robert Jay Lifton writes:

One of these distinctions concerns how [...] we for the most part hold back from such evil. A sensitive healer aghast at discovering her own impulses to slap a patient who had become unruly wrote to me of this "problem of our daily humanity."

I designed a thought experiment involving simple creatures. In my dilemma the doctors face a choice: inject the creature with FEELNFUL or give it sugar. When the creature is injected with FEELNFUL the return of normal chemical levels will no doubt quell its impulses to steal sugar and behave aggressively. However, the creature will soon starve to death because it doesn't realize it is hungry (and probably can't find sugar anyways). The choice to use FEELNFUL is a choice to give up on the creature--to choose the path of death. The alternatives are either to help the creature (give it sugar) or to leave it be so it can find its own destiny. The latter choice has risks: the creature may do something violent to get what it needs. The latter choice also has potential rewards: the creature may out of necessity invent a new way to get sugar. Perhaps it discovers agriculture, the intentional farming of sugar cane. Perhaps it changes the creature society so that those who are hogging more sugar than they can possibly use will have to give some of it up. Who knows? Nobody can predict the future, though we all try.

Random thought: cocaine makes people feel great. So is cocaine something we should give to those who feel bad? Can something which makes a person feel better actually be harmful? (Yes, it can, in the case where that something messes with the person's information and awareness system, i.e.- their brain.)



[ Parent ]
genetics (5.00 / 1) (#156)
by jjayson on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 07:16:19 AM EST

Isn't there good evidence now that bipolar may be genetic? In Manic Depressive Insanity, Emil Kraepelin seems to point in that direction, noticing the bipolar tends to cluster in families, although no specific genetics have been able to back this up.

As for anti-psychotic medications shutting people down, well to some extent that is what is needed, especially for manic patients. I turn into a different person on medication (although I haven't been on it for about a year now).
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

ASCIIman: Hello (none / 0) (#224)
by Alfie on Sat Apr 19, 2003 at 05:02:20 AM EST

Hi, I would appreciate some feedback on the reason for the 1 rating. I usually ask in e-mail, but you have not provided any contact information.



[ Parent ]
On the other hand: (none / 0) (#142)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 01:59:32 AM EST

Most people don't go to the doctor for cold and flu or consider it any big problem at all.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

depends on how bad it gets (4.00 / 1) (#145)
by cyclopatra on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 02:22:31 AM EST

Hell, my great-grandfather *died* of the flu.

Mental illness is the same way - some people recover on their own and never need to see a doctor, others need something extra to fight it off. The "one in three" stat didn't say one in three were under the care of a mental health practicioner, after all.

Cyclopatra
All your .sigs are belong to us.
remove mypants to email
[ Parent ]

One in three (4.00 / 1) (#187)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:35:34 PM EST

Not all mental illness are lifelong.

One in three suffer a mental illness some time during their life.

I am taking Paxil now, but won't need it (hopefully) for much longer. My illness is is a temporary condition caused by environmental factors -IE, a cruel ex-wife and a marraige that isn't yet legally dissolved, along with a lot of other crap that has become more of a burden than I can bear all at once.

I was in the same predicament about 20 years ago or so, again, when she left me for another man and rubbed her affair in my face. They idn't have Paxil then, or I would have been able to divorce her then.

Of course, I would never have had my daughters... life is weird. This thread is helping as much as the Paxil.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I had a girlfriend on Paxil once. . . (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 03:11:04 AM EST

She came from a totally messed up home way out in the country. She lived in poverty with enraged, immature parents. Thankfully she was never physically abused, but having visited several times, I could only shudder at the kind of forces which had clearly acted upon her during her whole childhood and young adulthood.

As a result, she was constantly stressed out. I read somewhere that in jungles, when young monkeys are exposed regularly to near death trauma, their brains develop a sort of hyper-awareness to danger. --Their auto-responses were ramped right up to the red-line, which on the one hand gave them cat-like reflexes and far greater response-times as compared to other monkeys of the same species. However, other problems also occurred as their danger-alerts would trigger over benign stimulus. Some of these monkeys would even have seizures.

I don't know enough to say whether or not the same patterns exist in humans, but it would certainly explain a lot. --My girlfriend would get angry at the drop of a hat, her only and immediate response to the slightest whiff of conflict, (imagined or otherwise), being to go immediately into fight-mode. It was very difficult being with her.

After a particularly bad evening, she complained that I was making her feel awful, and I told her that she was making me feel pretty terrible as well; that it was miserable to be with somebody who was constantly angry and moody. --That other most people were not like this, and that I was not doing anything which could justify the kinds of responses she was having. This stopped her in her tracks. Until that point, I don't think she had really considered that it might be something in her which was the problem, and not me or the world at large. This was a huge and remarkably brave step, though I didn't realize it at the time. (I was a bit of a dunce back then.)

She declared that she was going to talk to her doctor about anti-depressants. This was years ago now, and I knew almost nothing about such drugs at the time, but the thought worried me. We talked about it, and I wanted her to explore other courses of action, (though I didn't really know of any), and as a result she put it off for a few more months. Things didn't get better, and so she visited her doctor and went on the drug.

Her dose was very small; half a tablet of the smallest tablet size available. Things got much better; her anger issues diminished dramatically and life became much easier. On the down side, all of her creative juices seemed to dry up, and something about her; her spark, seemed to fade. I confess to being guiltily relieved despite this, because it had made my life a lot less difficult. Though, one of the down-sides she discovered over time was that she basically stopped writing and sculpting and drawing for nearly a whole year; one of the main things she lived for had vanished. And so we went through life like this for a time.

Fortunately, she had a sensible doctor. (I didn't realize at the time just how fortunate she was! Some of the so-called 'healers' out there are really horrifying in how backwards they have things!) Anyway, her doctor made sure that the dosage was very, very low, and explained that the drug was only being used in an attempt to help get her out of a cycle of depression, etc, and that when she felt she had normalized herself, it was important to try getting off the drug.

This is exactly what happened, and things were good; she immediately found her creativity rebound, and the light in her eyes which I'd almost forgotten was ever there, re-ignited. It was good to have her back.

Now, the thing is. . .

During that period, she moved away from her messed up family situation and into a stable situation of her own making. I am almost certain that her moods and anger would have normalized on their own without the drug for those reasons alone. But I must confess that it did make the transition between the bad and good place easier for everybody involved.

The things working for her benefit included. . . 1) Having a doctor who, unlike many doctors, did NOT tell her that she would simply have to stay on the drug for the rest of her life, (which is frighteningly common!) 2) That she had good and patient friends who loved her and were willing to stick with her. 3) That she was willing to actively seek and work her way towards a better life situation.

Without all three of these elements working together, I don't think things would have come out nearly so nicely. Unlike everybody else in her family, she stuck out university and got her degree; she went through a succession of jobs, each better and more rewarding than the last, and today she is strong, healthy and self-secure. --And she is not on any drugs.

This, I think, is one of those rare cases where the drug was used without detrimental effect. I know a number of cases, with the very same drug, which did not end happily at all, and which do not look like they ever will.

Overall, I would like to see a proper solution; one where people are not forced to live in such horribly, needlessly stressed-out situations. When I looked at the core problem in that one girl's life, I saw it was simply that of jealousy and selfishness between her father and mother. From those two things, ALL the other problems extended.

Makes one wonder where jealousy and selfishness come from. . .

Just an anecdote.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

At least there was no physical abuse? (none / 0) (#243)
by ringwood on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:59:39 AM EST

Our society has a rather skewed view of abuse, downplaying mental abuse and focussing on sexual abuse; I can only imagine that mental abuse gets short shrift because we see no visible physical harm and sexual abuse gets the focus due to this society's warped attitude to sex; 'I was a teenage sex slave' will sell more newspapers than 'I was whipped daily' - afterall Christianity encourages the latter, while also being the cause of the distorted perception of sex. There is ample evidence that a society's attitude to sex plays a role in the degree of harm perceived.

I know exactly the type of environment she experienced and it is no surprise things improved when she removed herself from that environment. It is always necessary first to get away from the abusers. Drugs will accelerate the improvement.

[ Parent ]
Not really addictive (none / 0) (#236)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:04:46 PM EST

addiction I'd obviously have to take exception to the statement that this person became addicted to Paxil itself - at worst they became habituated to popping the pills, nothing more.
Presumably she used to be in full six channel uncompressed audio?

loss of personality Flattening of emotion is a very common side-effect of the SSRI category of anti-depressants, but it is not a side-effect of others. This side-effect keeps getting mentioned which tells me that far too many people think anti-depressant and SSRI are interchangeable terms. Drugs like imiprimine, Effexor, moclobemide and Serzone can be positively energising. While the government may wish people to be compliant and hence would encourage the use of SSRIs, it makes no real difference to the manufacturers; in fact they'd make a lot more money if the FDA and US government in general were not fundamentally opposed to any drug which significantly energises the people who use it.

chi Well it's simply that no-one has yet proved the existence of this supposed energy flowing through the body and skeptics quite rightly question its existence. If someone proves it does exist then real scientists will look for peer review, after which they will declare they were mistaken. I practice Chinese martial arts and I manage just as well as anyone else without believing in this supposed energy. There is no reason to believe in some magical force if normal, measurable body responses are at work (and much of the supposed moving chi with the breath stuff is just such normal responses).

drugs You're quite right that pharmaceutical companies make billions from the latest patented drugs. There's certainly reason to be skeptical about their claims, especially since most of the cost of producing a modern drug goes towards marketing not research, but the knee-jerk attitude that we must avoid drugs is as silly as the reverse. Sure try diet, exercise, changing thinking patterns etc, but the fact remains that if your brain chemistry is out whack drugs may be an ideal way to re-align things.

Whether you need drugs depends on the severity of the problem - taking an anti-depressant is not shutting off part of your brain and it does not hide your problems in any way. Why spend most of your life clawing your way out some dark pit when there's a perfectly good rope nearby? If you are someone who is otherwise balanced then if you were to use an anti-depressant it should only be as long as necessary; many are not that lucky, neither you nor I have any place questioning the immense suffering they endure - yes, making them far stronger in reality than any average, balanced person, but only they realise the notion that these drugs magically make you into a happy, bouncy person is utter nonsense, all the drugs do is give that assistance they need to begin climbing on their own. If someone has a damaged leg and hence uses an assist do we berate them, tell them they're just lazy, that obviously that's the way their leg was meant to be and that they are meant to be scraping around in the dirt?

I have seen objects moved, have communicated telepathically, shared dreams, seen energy, and dealt with a host of other less easily described phenomena.

Besides witnesses being thoroughly unreliable, we eagerly await the details of how these experiments were controlled and repeated. Then again I've seen illusionists perform all these feats. Frankly people who do this sort of thing for their own amusement can continue to do so, but the multitude of charlatans out there busy separating gullible people from their money should be tossed into a nasty jail where they belong.

[ Parent ]
Questions (4.00 / 1) (#146)
by ultimai on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 02:27:01 AM EST

Have you ever had the "thought disorder" that skitzofrenics have?  Where their thoughts become so jumbled and unconnected that they cant think at all, or really speak properly?

Have you ever stayed up for a week straight?

I have heard that sleep depravation to a certain point can cause pernament damage to a persons brain and sanity.

for me, yes and yes (none / 0) (#155)
by jjayson on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 07:10:14 AM EST

I am not schizoaffective, but I am bipolar-I and I have many of the same symptoms during episodes. I have stayed up for almost two weeks, working feverishly on project that later turned out to be bunk. Much of that times get wasted doing stupid things like chasing non-existant people around corners, looking out the window for others, and other silly things. When you first start on a manic episode, thought start coming quicker. As you progress they become so rapid and loud that you cannot sleep and stop thinking coherently. Everything becomes connected and you draw conclusion that are just dump. You cease being able to carry on a coherent conversation because your thoughts are racing so fast that you can't put them out fast enough, well enough, or complete enough.

It really sucks and often ends you a trip to the psych ward.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

fear (5.00 / 4) (#149)
by tealeaf on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 03:12:46 AM EST

Fear is mindkiller...

Here is what I think.  We are affraid of what mind can be and what mind can do.  We like our boxes.  We like known.  We like normalcy and routine.  We like our bodies and posessions.  Anything that threatens any of these is feared.

What if you're right, and none of this is real?  Is it still possible to find peace, or is peace only possible when mind is on a leash?  Some people (Spartacus? others?) say that it's better to die on your feat than to live on your knees.  Can I say that it's better to live free and in fear than to live in the comfort of a box?  Not as poetic, I know, but you get the gist...

Granted, this is not what a psychologist or someone with a disorder may want to hear.  It is a dangerous and a mentally explosive thought.  But I must say it.

It seems like there was only one affliction here: fear.  Who cares what you see?  Who cares what you hear?  In the end fear determines life.  Maybe this computer is an illusion, but here I sit, typing in abondon, without even a hint of fear, tap-tip-tap-click-clik... la la la... no problem at all.  My body could be consumed by fire or being eaten by a daemon, but if there is no fear, where is the problem?

We are going to die.  Human life span is at best, oh, say, 200 years.  I'm generous now.  200 years is nothing.  It is but a blink of an eye...as fast as a flash of lightning.  Everyone should reflect on this truth.  In the face of this reality many matters become trivial and many questions are quickly replaced by more fundamental questions.  It is like looking straight at the sun.  It burns the eyes, but nothing gives you a better picture of light.

Fear assumes that you are in control and that you can fix the situation.  How arrogant.  Control, attachment, fear, pleasure, are all close relatives.  If you have one, you have all others.  Of course the spiritual teachers talk about this for aeons.  None of this is original.

I just can't help but imagine what if the doctor said it was OK to see visions and hallucinate as long as you weren't affraid and that fear was the only problem?  And even fear is not really a problem.  It is a lesson.  Is it scary, sure, yes it is.  But soldiers are scared shitless in a war sometimes, and it's ok to have wars when the cause is right (hehe...I don't even wanna go there further, try to get the gist and move on now).  Fear is not so bad when it is expected, when you know you're supposed to be affraid.  Unexpected fear is the most terrifying, isn't it?

One last thought.  When we look at trees, what do we see as beauty?  Straight as an arrow trees?  Is a pole beautiful?  I say no.  It is sterile.  It is barren.  It is ugly.  Nay.  A beatiful tree (the kind we see on photographs) has crooks.  It is irregular.  Maybe one part of it is striken by lightning.  Maybe half of it is dead or maybe it is completely overtaken by parasitic growth.  Or maybe its roots stick in the air in ever so assymetrical ways.  Those are all beautiful trees.  Oh why then do we not think that crooked people are beautiful?  Why is it that face and body and mind must closely approach a gold standard to be beautiful?  Why can't a missing limb or a twisted mind be as beautiful as a gnarly bark?  How especially beautiful is when such person is all that and yet confident, peaceful or even fearless.  And how alien.  A being without fear...surely not a human...an abomination that must be destroyed.

Huzzah! *spit*

Thoughts. . . (5.00 / 2) (#181)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 09:47:10 PM EST

One last thought. When we look at trees, what do we see as beauty? Straight as an arrow trees? Is a pole beautiful? I say no. It is sterile. It is barren. It is ugly. Nay. A beatiful tree (the kind we see on photographs) has crooks. It is irregular. Maybe one part of it is striken by lightning. Maybe half of it is dead or maybe it is completely overtaken by parasitic growth. Or maybe its roots stick in the air in ever so assymetrical ways. Those are all beautiful trees. Oh why then do we not think that crooked people are beautiful? Why is it that face and body and mind must closely approach a gold standard to be beautiful? Why can't a missing limb or a twisted mind be as beautiful as a gnarly bark? How especially beautiful is when such person is all that and yet confident, peaceful or even fearless. And how alien. A being without fear...surely not a human...an abomination that must be destroyed.

This is several steps removed from the parent story, but I found it a fascinating thought nonetheless, and I would like to offer my comments, (think out loud, so to speak). . .

In the human realm, a missing arm, a twisted face, scarred flesh, etc., are indeed conditions which fill the human viewer with fear! --We know what such things mean. They mean pain; they mean trauma and ill health. These are things we are naturally built to fear; they are the rewards (punishments) for 'wrong' actions, either committed on the part of the individual, or upon the individual by others. Pain and destruction. Without a built-in respect for these kinds of repurcussions, there would be no guidelines one could easily follow towards strength, grace, and power. --Towards soul advancement.

And of course, only through the experience of such things, (pain and difficult living), does one properly learn, and thus grow. Yet, when we see a destroyed human, we are often too caught up within the experience of being human ourselves to easily see beyond our immediate impulses.

However. . . When se see a damaged tree, mangled by time and the events of hard life. . , because that tree is a representative from a different realm of existence, one from which the human observer is removed far enough to give our impulses a rest, we can instinctively recognize the shape of learning; the strength and nobility which can come as a result of such hard lessons. We see the work and the gaining of wisdom and on a deep level know respect those shapes for the beauty which comes through such work. (Perhaps. Perhaps. It is just a thought.)

On the other hand, there are some sorts of decay and ill-health which we find repulsive even in the vegatable kingdom. Perhaps such decay, when it is experienced by souls which have chosen a downward path are not beautiful because there is no evidence of learning; only willful, bitter steps toward an ultimate dissolution.

Perhaps. Perhaps. . .

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

i love this insight (none / 0) (#190)
by tealeaf on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 11:16:23 PM EST

This is one the most enjoyful (hmm, can't think of a word right now) things I've read in a while.  Thanks for taking the time to write this.


[ Parent ]
another thing to mention (none / 0) (#223)
by phlux on Sat Apr 19, 2003 at 04:30:16 AM EST

is that when we look at a tree (like a hardened old oak - which i love) and we see its physical expression with all of its complexities of being - we see some thing that is as it is.

meaning - where we would look upon a disfigured human - we see a being with both a physical and emotional body - like our selves. We see that the disfigurments would be unnatural and we associate this with pain and suffering - and lack of ability.

but one very important aspect of how we see a tree which is mangled through tough time, is that the tree - regardless of the conditions it had survived in order to make it look however it does - has continually been a growing and striving life force. A force of life that is incapable of growing angry, cynical, hateful of whatever circumstances which made it gnarled and twosted. Regardless of how it came to be the way it is - a tree is still pure and silent love. the expression of life that is.

If we look at the ancient mayan understanding of trees:

Trees help in rooting in energy into the physical realm. A tree represents life flowing through to the physical. there is no impedence of individual thought or will - a tree is pure life force energy taking physical form and being as it is.

This is one of the things that the ninjitsu practitioners saw in the tree - that is is a living energy that grows in every single direction - it connects the heavens to the subteranian. it is rooted and flying at the same time. A tree grows up, down and out all at the same time. Every direction, it pushes its lifeforce out into being.

mayans believed that there was one tree for every human being. that for every tree that is - there is a human counterpart. when the last tree dies - so does the last man.

I love trees.

Thank you for existing.

[ Parent ]

Dance with Satan (4.50 / 2) (#154)
by enderwiggin99 on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 06:24:29 AM EST

I have had the fortune of experiencing auditory 'halucinations' during sleep. In this particular case, I'm sure I was asleep but completely lucid.

It wasn't really a dream, more of an...existence in an oddly different domain. In this vision/dream/whatever I was a spirit floating peacefully and interacting with other spirits. I would float lightly away from what I percieved as non-compatible/slightly hostile spirits and would be drawn closer to friendly/more compatible spirits. There was almost no feeling of any type; I did not feel intimidated by the non-friendly entities, nor was I joyed by the friendly entities. It was more a sense of wonder and curiousity.

And then I came across a slightly different spirit.

It was just like all of the others that I felt as kindred. I drifted closer, and I was overcome by a feeling of alarm. I sensed a deep, penetrating malice from this spirit, and I recoiled in fear, at the same time I viewed it as kindred. I continued floating, still asleep, and a very short time later was awakened by the most evil, hideous laugh imaginable. It was the laugh (or so I imagined it) of Satan himself, a laugh obviously meticulously concieved to incite an extremely unpleasant response in the observer. The fidelity and non-existent distortion of it was just amazingly...amazing. It was as if my auditory sensory organs had been bypassed and a direct connection to my brain made. It was an incredible experience.

This particular incident set off a spate of analytical thought regarding the meaning behind the revealing of the existence of a purely evil spirit. Shortly thereafter I had a mental breakdown and was admitted to hospital for a while. I believe the happenstance that pushed me over the edge was insistantly suicidal urges. Suicidal urges are common for me to start with, and I know deep down that I will not carry through with them; the difference this time was that I didn't seem capable of resisting. I knew I wasn't going to do it, but I wasn't in control of myself. As Mike mentioned, it was as if I was an observer of the movie projecting around my own body. I had already read the screenplay, but the 'narrative' scared me just the same.

I have since been diagnosed bi-polar, though I believe that I may be schizophrenic as well; that diagnosis will come in the near future. I have extreme bouts of paranoia; I found great satisfaction in what Mike wrote on the subject, as it put to paper what I have great difficulty passing along to people. I have deja-vu very very often; on average, 4-5 times a week. I have deja-vu about having deja-vu, which I find quite odd and very neat at the same time. I've had a string of 5 incidents in a row where I remembered recalling a specific scene and dialogue combination; and remembered remembering that I remebered the scene, etc. etc. I've had dreams where the dream world is set in a physical place before I've visited it; the details I can remember are astounding. Many people come across this and call it deja-vu; the difference is that I remember the dreams before I am placed in the situation that is familiar.

I find having any type of dream quite comforting, regardless of whether it's a nightmare or a paradise. I find that I can distinguish what lies ahead in the physical world by the 'medium' of the dream rather than the screenplay; difficult to explain. For me, the dream manifestations of real places I have yet to visit are clairvoyant and clear. Warnings are much more fuzzy and rely on the overall impression of the dream as a whole rather than the dissection of the mundane happenings of the dream.

Well, I've rambled enough. Time to get to bed. I would elaborate on much much more if I had the time; as it is this stands as a simple overview of not necessarily even the dominant splinters of my existence. Excuse the nature of this post, I have difficulty keeping on-topic. Things just seem to flow with such naturalness together that I can get carried away! :)



__Ender__
Reverse-engineering the Universe from life until Zen.
Dancing with satan? (none / 0) (#188)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:43:38 PM EST

Better than having your wife sleep with him.

Or having your mother sleep with him.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Menacing objects with deeper significance (5.00 / 3) (#164)
by Polverone on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 03:24:31 PM EST

I was struck especially by the part where you encountered a rock that wasn't really just a rock. In childhood I often had a strong awareness of the intentions of inanimate objects, at least when the objects were evil. The most common evil objects that I can recall were electrical sockets. The 3 holes for the prongs made menacing little faces that watched me, and I was afraid to be alone with them. I was also afraid of turntables after they started playing records wrong, again with evil intentions (the music became mocking and threatening). I haven't experienced anything like that in years, except in dreams.

But it also reminded me of a passage, now almost forgotten, from Ursula K. LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea. At one point Ged, the protagonist, enters a castle and encounters a powerful, evil and ancient creature that to ordinary sight is nothing more than another stone. Even though I read the book when I was 18 years old and hadn't experienced (awake) malice from objects in years, I found that scene very frightening. I knew exactly what Ged was experiencing and knew the frustration of his companion remaining oblivious to the stone's evil intent.

I am still fascinated by the idea that there are multiple levels to the world -- that what you can experience with the ordinary senses is only a varnish over the deeper reality underneath. This is as a thought experiment or basis for fiction, mind you. I don't seriously think any more that space heaters (another evil childhood object) are waiting to burn me.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.

All stones are evil. (none / 0) (#189)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:46:08 PM EST

Especially when someone throws them at you.

And electrical sockets can kill.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

My thanks again to Mr. Crawford. (5.00 / 2) (#168)
by mcgrew on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 05:45:30 PM EST

I fear this may be a long post when I finish

I started reading, and thought I should jot some responses to things that hit close to home, whether to me or someone I know.

But first, My thanks again to Mike for posting this long and very interesting piece.

I have known a few schitzophrenics (not sure if any are the schitzoaffective), and there seems to be different symptoms for that particular disease. I'm not sure if the different forms of schitzophrenia are in fact the same illnesses (they don't seem to be to this outside observing layman).

A friend (who I haven't seen in quite some time, he has become very reclusive) hears the voices. What they say to him isn't pleasant. I thank God I do not suffer that disease, I would much rather have my "adjustment disorder" despite its unpleasantness (and the unpleasant physical side effects of the medication). I'm glad my illness is more of a temporary thing.

Anoher friend suffering from schitzophrenia had completely diferent symptoms. He was convinced that he was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, despite the fact that he was only 14 years old when that war ended! Unless he started talking about his imaginary past and gave himself away with immpossibilities like that, aside from a general nervousness you would think he was completely "normal". He was institutionalized several years ago.

Yet another friend was diagnosed and sucessfully treated for schitzophrenia, and is now leading a normal, productive live. His symptoms seemed more bipolar than schitzophrenic, although as I said, his doctor must know what he's doing, as the fellow is doing well (I see him often, just got an email today with a funny picture... didn't look, it was an exe).

solipsism I have always entertained the possibility that everything is an illusion, but never saw the point in thinking about it much. There really is no way to know "what's real". Your senses/brain are your only way of interacting with the world, and if they are lying to you there really isn't much you could do. If you asked a shrink, how would you know the shrink wasn't an illusion? It really doesn't matter if the world is real. If it is what you experience, it is real.

Dissociation Someone close to me was diagnosed with a form of "disociation Identity Disorder", or DID. I had a very long discussion with a psychologist about this disease. This is different from what Mr. Crawford is talking about her. DID is the classic "multiple personalities", and there are two forms of it. One form is caused by a life threatening experience before age three, and the second, less serious form is caused by events in adolescence, usually sexual abuse.

I will not mention who this person close to me is, as the psychologist I spoke to cautioned me that many patient commit suicide when finding out the truth about their life and illness. Some people will fake this disease, also, and he said it is very hard to diagnose.

Ah, the hell with it, it's my hated ex-wife, the crazy bitch, she's put me through enough hell...

Dissociation itself is normal- we do not behave, say, at work as we do at school; we behave differently before our grandparents than our friends. It is a matter of degree, the diference between the proverbal mountain and molehill.

The experience was like watching a particularly detailed movie with really high-fidelity sound and a wraparound screen.

I experienced this exactly once in my life. I was involved in a terrible auto accident, a head on collision with a larger vehicle doing 70mph (a kilometer is .6 miles) and I was doing 50. I believe I blacked out on impact and won't go into detail about the religious experience I had, but I, too was in terrible psychical pain, and throwing up blood. The ambulance crew was freaking out, and I disassociated myself from the emotions and psychical pain and helped the rescue crew free my fiancee from the wreckage (which didn't even look like a car any more). I have no idea how I accomplished it (or survived), other than to call it a miracle. I believe that disassociation saved her life. It was very similar to what Mr. Crawford describes. VERY unlike what the person who was diagnosed with DID experiences, according to the psychologist (who had much experience with DID).

There are people who harbour a deep seated hatred for the mentally ill for the simple fact that we are different.

That was demonstrated very well by some of those very same people who responded to part I. I argued wih a few of them, who seemed to take a very sick delight in tormenting the mentally ill. I believe that ironically they, themselves, have an illness- it's just CRAZY to hate someone for something that does not hurt you, or affect you in any way, and that they cannot help. At the very least, it is irrational and hurtful. How can this not be classified as a disease, or at least a disorder?

I found that I could see them if I stared into the snow on a television set that wasn't tuned to a station.

?!!????!!! I'm not sure I should mention this, as I don't want to send anyone seeking LSD- but the same thing happens with that drug. It is a misinterpretation of what you see. It is your brain's filters "going haywire". Maybe LSD is like being schitzophrenic?

I should add (for the kids who want to try acid, DON'T) that you can learn to control your brain's filters; or at least, barring illness or chemical imbalance you can. Part of learning painting or drawing is learning to see, which involves controlling those filters. Or in the case of some painters, such as Edvard Munsch or Vincent Van Gogh, having those filters control you.

One of the first thing the painter has to learn is that seeing is not a product of the eye- it is a product of the BRAIN. Only 1% is the eye, the rest is processing.

The musician as well needs to learn to control his auditory filters. You won't hear the echoes from the walls, unless you know they are there (try it). You won't hear the aliasing distortion in a CD unless you know it is there and what it sounds like (and have good enough speakers to reproduce it).

For example I would commonly see Yin-Yang symbols graphically floating in the sky, but in the photographs now I can see the hint of shapes in the clouds where one could easily imagine a real Yin-Yang.

There is the brain's filter at work again.

Lots of people catch glances of things that aren't really there, that go away when you look straight on.

I had a (normal?) similar experience YESTERDAY! I walked past a bulliten board that I never paid attention to, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a poster that said "stopping violence begins with the homo!"

It took a few steps for that to sink in. "HUH???" I had to back up and look again.

"stopping violence begins with the home"

If you wonder why there are no more miracles as in the Biblical days, it's because we lock our prophets up in mental hospitals.

Very true. The miracles are, hoever, there. The "sane" just know better than to talk about them.


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

Why not? (none / 0) (#237)
by ringwood on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:25:30 PM EST

What's the big deal with LSD? Sure it isn't for everyone - those that really should stay away most often have little interest in exploring their consciousness in the first place.

If you really mean children by the term kids, then certainly LSD is no place for children. Unfortunately by turning it into a tasty forbidden fruit teenagers are going to seek it out. If they must better that they do so in the safety of their own home knowing that their parents are there to assist if things turn nasty. My children are simply asked to wait until they turn 18 - I absolutely will not lie to them and tell them it would be bad a thing for them to try it as adult.

Psychedelics will always be of interest to humans - the reasons why governments choose to suppress them are many, not least being the dislike of anything that makes people question the status quo; health risks are not a factor since they have not been shown to represent any significant danger - and their benefits can be many. What is particularly interesting about them is that they demonstrate some of the phenomena of psychosis, but do not mimic exactly illnesses like schizoprenia.

Some people claim they can get into the same states without the chemicals - assuming this is true it is an interesting endeavour to learn how just to say you can, but the toxicity of most psychedelics is essentially zero and if you're in the same state it means your brain chemistry is exactly as it would be on the drug, hence experience and duration will likely be identical. Of course I don't think we are yet at a point where we can verify these claims; and of course those making the claim would first need extensive experience with the specific chemical whose effects they claim to mimic, else they're cannot claim to know the experience well enough to copy it.

[ Parent ]
Evolution beyond "The Diagnosis" (5.00 / 1) (#172)
by Lunachick on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 08:22:47 PM EST

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder at the age of 17. After three years' time doing the medication and therapy routine (Valproate and Wellbutrin plus individual therapy and a support group), I made the conscious decision to find another way to improve my day-to-day functioning. It wasn't a situation where "I felt fine" and decided I was somehow "all better now"; instead, I wanted to try for something better than floating through life as a functional and acceptable zombie.

Initially my self-styled "alternative treatment" focused on behavioral modification. In the initial phase of this strategy, I focused on becoming aware of my emotional state and modified my behavior accordingly (if I was feeling manic, I left my checkbook at home and refrained from initiating new sexual liaisons; if I was feeling depressed, I refrained from drinking alcohol - very basic behavioral curbs based on my prior experiences). While becoming more aware was a much-needed skill, I decided that I also needed to find a strategy and improve my coping skills, in general.

About eleven years ago, I became familiar with and began practicing a form of therapy known as "Constructive Living." I have learned that my behavior and my actions are almost always within the realm of my control, even when my mood isn't. Even when action is difficult, I have learned that I can still be effective and productive, despite not being "in the mood." I learned how determine what needed to be done next and to get on with life.

Most recently, I've focused on how diet and exercise can affect my general well-being and stability. In terms of brain chemistry, serotonin, dopamine and norephinepherin are something of the "Holy trio" with regard to bipolar affective disorder. Dopamine is generally considered to be the "usual suspect" for triggering mania, as it affects the brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience pleasure and pain. Norephinepherin is a potent sidekick, adding anxiety attacks and paranoias into the mix as one of the brain's resources for responding to "fight-or-flight" circumstances. Serotonin acts as a buffer, regulating mood by helping with sleep, calming anxiety, and relieving many symptoms of depression. If there's too little serotonin present, depression can occur; however, an overabundance of serotonin has been noted as a potential catalyst for schizoid conditions.

For the past three months, I've been experimenting with attempting to increase my serotonin levels by increasing the amount of complex carbohydrates in my diet. In general, I am more relaxed these days; my general sense of well-being has improved significantly. I am hopeful and confident, enough so to take a real shot at a few long-held goals. My sense of humor has improved (enough so that others have noticed) and I'm less irritable. I've been more creative (a new self-designed tattoo of a phoenix being the most recent manifestation). While the specifics of my life haven't changed much (my job is still a drag most of the time and I'm still learning how to live alone again after 12 years), the degree of stability I've been enjoying has been a welcomed relief. Instead of being buffeted by emotional storms and having to muddle through, I'm rolling with the punches with far less stress.

To prevent weight gain from the increased carb intake, I've been swimming laps four times a week. At present, it has been my observation that taking on a new physical challenge has produced an improved circumstance with regard to how I experience the effects of norephinepherin and dopamine. (My theory is that I'm using what I had in surplus more effectively to address a new circumstance.)

Yes, it takes a fair amount of self-discipline to take care of myself these days; it's a process of evolution in action. For me, it's the difference between expecting pills to "fix me" and learning to live well, changing the quality of my life through my own effort. I wasn't willing to settle for simply getting by.

bipolar what? (none / 0) (#184)
by jjayson on Wed Apr 16, 2003 at 10:07:49 PM EST

1, 2, or one of the soft forms? I only ask because I am bipolar-I and went off my meds, too. Do you do mood charting? That helped me a lot, especially since my cycle times have gone from about 2 years to less than a year now.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]
"Bipolar Type-II" (5.00 / 1) (#207)
by Lunachick on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 06:16:59 PM EST

is the official diagnosis. I generally experience hypomania/depression cycles, but increasing frequency of "mixed state" episodes as I've aged.

Although I've not been institutionalized, I have experienced manic episodes, the average duration being ten days' time. The distinction between Type-I and Type-II is somewhat arbitrary (Type-IIs don't usually have manic episodes lasting longer than four days' time, and it has been my observation that Type-Is are almost always classified as such after institutionalization has occurred).

Charting moods was part of my initial effort to learn to recognize my emotional state more readily and accurately. My pattern is more of a "rapid cycler" with 2-3 cycles per year (periods of depression generally alternating with periods of hypomania). Additionally, I've learned that certain types/levels of stress can trigger a mixed state, hypomania, or even manic episodes every now and again (independent of the general cycle in process).

At present, I basically "check myself" when I wake up each morning, and then once or twice during the day. If I notice that I'm anxious or irritable at any given point, I draw on my repertoire of coping mechanisms (a tried-and-true list of actions I've learned by experience to be effective for me when dealing with stressors or mood-related behaviors).

I also have a number of friends who will speak up if they think I'm out-of-balance or blind-spotting. Even tho' it's been a long time since I've experienced delusions, it never hurts to have a few trusted sources for reality checks.

Although I do participate in a local "Advocates for the Mentally Ill" bipolar support group, I no longer think of myself as being particularly damaged or stigmatized. At this point, I compare my situation to that of having diabetes -- it's something that I have to monitor and treat in the manner that is most effective/appropriate for me.

It's also worth noting that a fair number of my so-called "normal" friends (those lacking any specific diagnosis) have become interested in the principles of Constructive Living and/or the dietary strategy I've employed... Some of them are using the same techniques to modify their own behaviors, direct their actions more effectively towards goals of their own choosing, or to change the quality of their own health. A few months ago a co-worker (an adult with ADD) asked me to be her "life skills coach". Instead of being "inferior," I now serve as a catalyst.

[ Parent ]

Dextromethoraphan (1.00 / 2) (#193)
by Lonesome Phreak on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 12:22:06 AM EST

I have had many of these same feeling while using the drug dextromethoraphan, or DXM. It's a synthetic opiod, and is mainly used as a cough supressent in dosages around 15-30mg. However, at higher dosages (about 1 gram for a 200 pound person), it is a major psycedelic dissociative drug. While on it, you get the overpowering feeling that nothing around you is really there. The feeling that you are not a "human", but some other entity trapped in a body. You don't really understand why, but you "know" that "you" are not just a flesh and blood creature, but some type of sprititual entity trapped in a body. At times, the entire world around you can loose all visual perspective. Things will appear huge and close, such as your hand at normal arms distance taking up your entire field of view. Then again, it may look like it is miles away. It switches back and forth. This adds to the feeling that it's all really an illusion anyway. You can also get the dissociation feeling of the third-person view. At times, usually lasting 1-2 hours while "coming back", you watch yourself doing things. You are moving around, talking, whatever, but it's not really you. It is you, but the feeling of watching a movie of yourself is very intense. The "ghetto" way of adminstration is via cough syrup, although that is rather disgusting and potentially dangerous due to other drugs (such as the decongestants). You can buy it wholesale in powder form, and it is realitivly cheap, about $100 for 50 grams (which should last the average user over a year). You pack it into empty pills purchased at health food stores. I usually pack it in 250mg and 500mg. At around 500mg it's an interesting "party" drug, having similar affects of a combination of alcohal and X. The major effect occure around 1 gram. Going over that causes what I almost consider "out of body" experiences. You have closed-eyed hallucinations so realistic that you don't even realize that your not actually there. My most recent session was where I was "outside" of reality, wondering why I was ever there in the first place. I was flying around the universe looking for God (which I didn't find), but ran into some other interesting "things". Conversations happened where we discussed why my reality is the way it is, and things so esoteric that I can't even fully grasp them now. We discussed things about reality, the underlying conditions, quantum theory, super string theory, and such...but I can't even understand my own conversations. It's like listening to a lecture by a mathmatician about some obscure theory; you might understand it a bit, but most of it is way over the common persons head. But I know that was me thinking those things... I have tried to understand how this is possible. One theory is that it is so dissociating that your conscious mind is no longer "bothered" by your physical body. You can't feel anything physically. Therefor, your mind has more processing power than normal. It also greatly affects the chemisty itself, allowing you to think in novel ways. Unfortuantly, much of it slips your memory, much like altered reality dreams. If it doesn't make sense to your normal mind, it seems that your normal mind "forgets" the memory in an effort to keep itself sane. I can remember the first major out-of-reality trip I had. I watched myself (exactly like the third person view) grow younger and younger, and eventually turning back into a single cell. I then "popped" out back into whatever exists before that for a soul. There was a voice that said "your out...now what are you going to do?" which brought me "back" and I "woke up" realizing that I wasn't a pre-entity (whatever that might have been). I mainly use it for inner-reality exploration. Whether anything is "really" happening or not is conjecture. It is probably all in my head. But it might not be. The most intense spriritual experience was dexxing (as it's called) outside on a sunny day. I laid in the grass on this hillside when I began to dissociate. I felt that I was "one" with everything, and could feel the natural cycle around me. I could feel the grass grow, the clouds move and change shape, the wind moving molecules in the air. The sun then "engulfed" me, and I felt like I was experiencing some type of gnosis of my reality. It was AMAZING, and I have done it twice since then. The only problem with DXM is that there is a possibility it can cause Osley's lessions, or micro-holes in the brain (exactly like X can do) due to overheating of brain cells. This has never actually been seen in humans from DXM, but it is theoretically possible. However, taking certain other drugs in conjunction with DXM should block those effects, such as Klonopin (a perscription anxiety med). Luckly, my gf has a perscription of this, so I take a single pill before my dexxing. It is also hard on the liver, much like an alcoholic "bender". It doesn't cause damage unless you dex to often, therefor not giving your body time to clean itself out. Other than that, the only real danger is falling over something while attempting to walk around. I noticed that the feelings on DXM closely resemble budhist philosophy of utter detactment. I'm researching that area still.

Drug experiences on K5? (none / 0) (#194)
by enderwiggin99 on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 01:12:24 AM EST

As fascinating as I find the subject and writings to be, and as relevant to the current topic as they seem, I believe that drug-use experiences are better relegated to Erowid. Leave this article for the natural phsycological issues, and erowid for the artificial side of the same mindset.

__Ender__
Reverse-engineering the Universe from life until Zen.
[ Parent ]
dissagreed (none / 0) (#235)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Sun Jun 08, 2003 at 04:01:16 PM EST

the drugs, to my knowlegde only block, or complicate the brain "circutry" as it were. if there is something right(or i suppose wrong) with the poster here, we may all understand it better if we took the time to trace which sides of reality stop when which drugs are applied. this guy is obviously close to completely frying his brain in this vain and we may as well learn from him before he turns into a drooling puddle of spineless goo...
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Repeat after me... (none / 0) (#195)
by jjayson on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 01:27:31 AM EST

"My drug experience, no matter how interesting I think it is, is not relevant to a discussion to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. They are not the same nor even similar."

I am getting really tired of people posting their drugs experience and commenting on how they must be the same.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

See (none / 0) (#215)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 01:19:43 AM EST

Holes in the brain lead to the loss of the ability to use paragraphs or any form of formatting at all.

Kids, don't drink the entire bottle of Robitussin.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Scoop Engine (none / 0) (#225)
by Lonesome Phreak on Sat Apr 19, 2003 at 11:37:24 PM EST

I'm used to most sites automatically adding in paragraph tags...and there is no way to go back and edit your own posts. It was originally in several paragraphs...I knew someone would make some smart-ass comment...I'm suprised it took so long as it did.

[ Parent ]
Psychiatrists Abusing their Power (none / 0) (#203)
by cgibinladen on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 11:51:43 AM EST

I hate psychiatrists. They have too much power, they can keep you locked up for quite some time, and simply tell courts that you are not reasonably sane, and thus keep you locked away longer. Does anyone see a problem with this? Check out these links, they go into far further detail on the evils of psychiatry: http://www.stopshrinks.org/yoder/ http://www.antipsychiatry.com/ BTW, I am not a Scientologist, those people are shmucks that should also be shot.
Proud Member of the K5 Anti-Troll Coalition
Untrustworthy Sites (5.00 / 3) (#212)
by Alfie on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 09:09:53 PM EST

I'm sorry to tell you this, but your first link appears to be a Scientology site. Not only is Yoder's story implausible, but he talks about getting help from the CCHR, a known Scientology organization. Even if there is a real Yoder, I wouldn't be surprised if he had "help" writing that story, and I wouldn't take any of it at face value.

As for your second link, I don't see any references to Scientology material after a quick glance, but several things said on that site bother me. First of all, it actually claims that no mental illness is a biological disease, which is an absurd claim to make. No one knows what causes mental illnesses so there is no way to prove that none of them are biological diseases. (There have been critiques of the "science" behind such claims, and evidence that anyone can become "mentally ill" as the result of trauma, but there is no way to "prove" that no mental illness is a biological disease.) For an example of the absurdity of this site, one entry actually argues against psychotherapy.

The sad fact of the matter is that it's very difficult to find good critiques of psychiatry on the net. Thanks to the Scientologists, the net is filled with bullshit information on psychiatry, and often times the real information is hard to distinguish. This is why I stick to sites which I have verified as trustworthy, such as http://ect.org/, http://www.breggin.com/, http://www.moshersoteria.com/, and http://www.mindfreedom.org/.



[ Parent ]
I do not agree with most of their views. (none / 0) (#220)
by cgibinladen on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 03:59:26 PM EST

But the psychiatrists often do abuse their patients and power, based on what I've heard from some of my friends.
OMG A BOOTSTRAP IS NOT SECURE!@!1111
[ Parent ]
Part III Friday I think (none / 0) (#211)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 08:18:53 PM EST

I'm thinking that I will submit part III to the edit queue sometime friday afternoon (in the U.S. EDT time zone).

I want to tinker a little bit with it before I submit it, and tonight I need to do some programming work.

I'll post a note here when I put it in the edit queue.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Philosophical Dimension of Mental Illness (none / 0) (#213)
by t reductase on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 10:51:40 PM EST

I think the foundation of mental illness is an experience of the world at odds with the 'ordinary world'. The surprising fact is that this non-ordinary experience of the world is no hallucination or delusion. Yes, many of the ideas used to explain the experience of mental illness can become quite rococo but the experience that the ideas are a reaction to is accurate. One reaches a point where the difficulty is the world is seen with a naked clarity and yet no one is in this world with one. Rather than by osmosis and osmosis is the only way to construct the ordinary world one comes up with theories some good some bad but all inadequate to the task at hand - re-entry into the ordinary world. This experience of the world as mysterious which I claim is at the heart of mental illness is also I think the foundation of philosophy.

Some help: (none / 0) (#217)
by Futurepower on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 03:33:43 AM EST

1) Read "The Primal Scream" by Arthur Janov, and do what is suggested.

2) Nicotine is a powerful drug that supresses self-awareness. Use nicotine when you find you cannot handle the effects of your inner conflict. Unfortunately, the only method I know of immediate delivery is smoking, but that is better than losing confidence in yourself. I understand that there is nicotine gum, which I would imagine acts in about 25 minutes, or maybe less on an empty stomach.

I just submitted part III (none / 0) (#219)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 03:40:11 PM EST

Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part III) is in the edit queue as I write this. Please go have a look, and when the time comes, vote on it.

Until part III is approved by the moderators, the above link will only work if you're a logged in K5 member. Once it (hopefully) gets approved, the link will work for everyone.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Drugs fsck you up!!! (3.50 / 2) (#221)
by hughk on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 06:33:41 PM EST

I lived for a while in a small city that had a tightly related group of people living there, mny of whom were related. They were intelligent and well educated but unfortunately bipolar depression was endmic there.

Many people were under medication, but essentially it is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. ECT more so. Even simpler drugs such as Lithium Carbonate have side effects on the liver when used over an extended period. Thorazine is horrible I have seen its effects on a friend and it wasn't nice.

In the end it seems to be better when then those who can avoid medication do so. Their behaviour may seem a little strange, but if they can function as human beings, I say leave them alone. Creativity seems to be something that comes best out of a slightly unbalanced mind. At the same time, when you look at the instance of Vincent Van Gogh, it is one hell of a trade off. It is arguable that some his best work came out of his psychotic episodes, but in the end he killed himself. With drugs, he probably wouldn't have committed suicide, but at the same time, we would never have benefited from his work?

I don't know when behaviour modification therapy is appropriate but it seems to be a whole lot better than medication.

Suicide (none / 0) (#222)
by Alfie on Fri Apr 18, 2003 at 07:17:35 PM EST

There's no evidence that antidepressents and other psychiatric drugs prevent suicide, except the more powerful drugs which prevent a person from doing much of anything at all.



[ Parent ]
Risperdal. (none / 0) (#226)
by V on Sun Apr 20, 2003 at 01:37:19 AM EST

What else is risperdal for?

The psychyatrist gave me a bunch of pills telling me they would help me sleep better and help the prozac.

Now that I have read this and googled for risperdal realiza that it is actually a drug for psychosis.

This gives me creeps.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens

Re: Risperdal (4.00 / 1) (#227)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Apr 20, 2003 at 01:48:22 AM EST

I can understand why taking antipsychotic medication could give you the creeps.

On the other hand, if you really need to take it, risperdal will keep far worse creeps away.

For me anyway, risperdal keeps away hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. It's remarkably effective at doing so.

The only side effects I've ever noticed is that when I first started taking it, it lowered my blood pressure and sedated me heavily. However both effects stopped after a few days, and now I can take it without noticing any side effects at all.

As I said in an earlier comment, I started taking risperdal just a few months after it was approved by the FDA. The staff at the hospital where it was first prescribed for me seemed to regard it as a miracle drug.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Risperdol (risperidone) (none / 0) (#228)
by Alfie on Sun Apr 20, 2003 at 02:45:28 AM EST

Oh boy. Neuroleptics are bad trouble. If your doctor did not inform you of the nature of Risperdol, including its adverse effects such as tardive dyskinesia, then you might wish to file a formal complaint against him. In the meantime, I suggest you find another psychiatrist. Especially if all your current psychiatrist told you is that Risperdol was to help you sleep.

I have some more information, but it's a bit much to post here. Send an e-mail to alfie@leaflock.homeip.net, and I'll relay you the info.

Once again, I strongly recommend you find another psychiatrist and get a second opinion.



[ Parent ]
Yeah...I have a similar problem with Dilantin (none / 0) (#232)
by LilDebbie on Tue Apr 22, 2003 at 06:23:52 PM EST

So I've been diagnosed with cryptogenic epilepsy, which means I have seizures and they don't why. Technically, I'm not epileptic as my brainwave patterns do not show evidence of epileform waves and all that nonsense, but I am prone to seizure, the massive tonic-clonic kind.

Anyway, my neurologist sets me up with Dilantin, aka phenytoin, in order to stop my brain from seizing. Yes, it seems to work, but I found out recently that it's also an anti-psychotic, so now I have to become all paranoid about how my doctor is trying to sedate me and stop the "visions" and whatnot. Chee!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Dilantin Is in A Different Class of Drugs (none / 0) (#233)
by Alfie on Tue Apr 22, 2003 at 10:41:49 PM EST

Dilantin is an anticonvulsant whereas Risperdal is a neuroleptic. Neuroleptics are sometimes refered to as "chemical lobotomies" due to the effects they have on patients. Your drug is not meant to specifically treat disturbed and disturbing behavior. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions about your medication; if the Dilantin is having unwanted effects on your thought processes and mood, you should mention this to your docotor. There are other anticonvulsant medications he can try, such as Klonopin, Tegretol, Depakene, or Depakote.

One of the problems with V's treatment is that he may very well be having an adverse reaction to Prozac, which can cause patients to suffer from "severe agitation and insomnia, and become psychotic." A responsible doctor would taper V from Prozac to see if his symptoms disappear. I am also concerned that V has not been given enough information to make informed decisions about his treatment.



[ Parent ]
I am aware of Dilantin's classification (none / 0) (#234)
by LilDebbie on Thu Apr 24, 2003 at 06:41:48 PM EST

but as a seratonin-antagonist, it acts much like an anti-psychotic. Though not the best drug for the job, it can be used to calm delusional patients and subdue hallucinations. The only difference is that Dilantin doesn't focus on the parts of the brain more effective anti-psychotics do.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part II) | 244 comments (206 topical, 38 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!