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Author Topic: Do Antidepressants Work?
Kwea
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Within limits, of course. A lot of people ARE overmedicated, and that is their own fault. But the problem wiht AD drugs is that not taking them can kill you. Once they start to work, people forget what it was like without them, and because of this type of prejudice against mental disorders (and the meds for it) they stop taking them.

Some of them die, or hurt themselves.

To say that all they had to do is tough it out is pathetic, ignorant, and wrong. Uneducated views like this cause more harm than I can begin to express within the context of the TOC here.

Hubris isn't a valid excuse for ignorance.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I question someone when they tell me they have a mental condition, because they cannot prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt without going off the deep end. Im sad, I am easily distracted by shiny objects, I cant help stealing, I only did that because of what you said earlier, I should probably get back on my meds.... all sound like one thing to me "its not fault" Rather than spend time blaming anyone or thing, how about rising past it and overcoming your personal short-comings.

This is a callous disregard for the reality of a significant quantity of people with real disorders like ADD, OCD, delusional disorders, anxiety and panic disorders, and major depressive disorders.

So, great, you can tell us a story about how you're Bootstrappy enough to get by on some ibuprofen, then cement that distasteful implication with a statement that essentially boils down to "pfh, why can't you just rise above it and quit making excuses??"

Poor move, poor taste.

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Kwea
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And about as far from accurate as you can get to boot.
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Tara
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AchillesHeel, I spent most of my childhood watching my mom suffer from depression. She cried uncontrollably at completely random times for no apparent reason. We'd be driving down the highway, she'd just randomly be crying. She'd pick me up from my friend's house, she would be crying. There was no way to explain any of it, except a chemical in balance in her brain. When she started taking medication, it made BOTH her life and my own life bearable.
You brain is made up of chemicals. Sometimes, they get out of whack. Why is that so hard to understand?
I know it feels like you should have control over everything that goes on in your brain, and it's weird to think that your moods and happiness and actions are literally controlled by chemicals, but they are. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there.

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King of Men
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Point of order: Moods and happiness are not 'controlled' by chemicals, they are chemicals.
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Kwea
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To a point, that is right, anyways.
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andi330
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AchillesHeel, your statements appear to be made mostly out of ignorance, and an assumption that your situation is the same as someone who has mental health issues. This is a shame, and I hope you correct these issues.

Mental health issues are no less real than your congenital defect that you spoke of, whether you can see them or not. I have no doubt that you have overcome challenges in your life, and if you are able to function normally without the aid of pain medications, then certainly you can choose to do so. However, others who have a similar congenital issue to yours may find that they are not able to function well without the use of medication. Every person is an individual in body chemistry. Some have higher levels of pain tolerance than others. If other people with similar issues to yours struggle with pain management and determine that medication is the way that they need to go, I would hope that you would not fault them for it, because their experience, while similar to yours cannot be exactly the same.

Mental health issues are difficult to diagnose. Patients may not report all of their symptoms to their doctor when determining that they need assistance. Bipolar people often fail to report what may be manic episodes to doctors because they don't realize they are symptoms of an illness, and so part of their issue goes undiagnosed and untreated. In addition, despite the fact that we are supposedly living in an enlightened age, there are a shocking number of people with attitudes similar to yours. That people should just "cowboy up" and get on with their lives, no assistance should be necessary.

Unfortunately, this leads many people who legitimately need assistance to avoid seeking it out. This can lead to a number of things from suicide, to murder-suicide (such as mothers suffering from severe post-partum depression), to homelessness, even drug and alcohol abuse if the afflicted person attempts self-medication. It affects the friends and family of the afflicted person who watch their loved one suffer.

Are there many people who are medicated unnecessarily? Absolutely. There are a lot of doctors willing to hand out drugs like candy in an effort to make a buck. There are also a lot of patients who are willing to push doctors until they are given what they want. But there are a lot of people who could benefit from any number of mental health treatments (of which medication is only one) who fail to seek health because of attitudes like yours.

I do want to point out that using a disease or illness as an excuse for poor behavior is not acceptable either. People (even people with mental health issues) still need to take responsibility for their own actions. Friends or relatives who say hurtful things should take responsibility and apologize, not blame their illness for it. I worked with children for a time in various settings, and I found that those children living with ADD or ADHD who used it as an excuse to misbehave had probably learned it from their parents. Those who didn't had come to understand, either through parents or other adults, that even though ADD or ADHD made their lives challenging, they were still responsible for the things that they did. The same holds true for people with other mental health issues (although there are many cases where people are so sick that they cannot truly be held responsible for their actions).

This ended up much longer than I intended, and I hope that it came off without sounding snarky (which was my knee-jerk reaction). I would ask that before you make comments about what other people should do to treat a condition that they have, that you educate yourself regarding the issues in question. Your experience is unique to you, and cannot be used to judge anyone else's decision regarding an illness.

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AchillesHeel
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Ive stated my opinion, and Ive never forced anyone to live the way I do. If my post ruined your day because "someone is wrong on the internet" it actually makes me laugh a little bit. Pain tollerance is not a phrase worth mentioning when Ive never had a day without the kind of pain that can still pull me to the ground at any random time, a club foot fyi (yes, haha the same condition as Achilles from Ender's Shadow).

As far as being young and stupid, while I hope to be old and brilliant (as you must be, to come up with that poetry all by yourself), my current state can only changed and affected by the passage of time and my own life experiances. I can only hope that you forgive me while sipping chardonay, wearing khaki slacks on wicker furniture.

Yours ingignantly
-Young and Stupid.

P.S.
Human beings have done some great things throughout history with almost no chemical stimuli, whose to say that nature isnt being interfered with on the small scale?

[ August 01, 2009, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Human beings have done some great things throughout history with almost no chemical stimuli, whose to say that nature isnt being interfered with on the small scale?

We've done great things without modern medicine. Or running water. Or this silly thing called the internet.

Nature is being interfered with on a massive scale.

Personally, I'm glad it is. I like my nature interfered with.

quote:
Moods and happiness are not 'controlled' by chemicals, they are chemicals.
Yeah, you're not going to find complete agreement on that one.
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andi330
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To clarify, I never said that you ruined my day, and so far as I can tell, neither did anyone else. What I hoped to point out from my post (and from what I can tell, you did not get it) is that the comments you made about mental illness being nothing more than an excuse for bad behavior are harmful, and not just in a "you hurt my feelings" kind of way. This attitude and these kinds of statements often cause people who need help to refuse to get it. Some of these people who fear getting help may be suicidal, or have severe issues with mania and bi-polar issues. Some of them may need to be medicated, not just for their health but for the safety of society.

And some of these people wouldn't need to be medicated at all, or at least not for the long term. But they still need help, and these kinds of comments perpetuate a stigma against getting help for mental health issues that has been around for a long time. It is perceived as weakness by much of society and when you or others tell them that they should be able to cowboy up and get over it on their own, it makes people who need the help feel that they shouldn't need it, and therefore they often do not get it.

And humans have been using chemical stimuli for thousands of years. They just didn't come in the neat little pills we get today. Plant and herbal medicine (which can work, though often not as well or efficiently as modern medicine) has been practiced by tribal healers going back for thousands of years.

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BlackBlade
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Just adding to what andi330 said, people who suffer from depression often struggle tremendously with the decision to get medicated. My wife for example has tried to fight off her depressions twice in our 3 year marriage. I wish she could have found a way to prevail, but the fact of the matter is she simply cannot, unless her brain magically alters whatever is wrong with it. It was extremely difficult for both of us to try and stay away from medication for months on end, but it was destroying both of us, and so she sat down with a therapist, talked over what she felt like, it was obvious to him she needed an anti-depressant, she sat down with a doctor who looked through all the options with her, and she has been taking this new medication for three days now.

One of the hardest obstacles is that she worries that she "isn't really her" when she's on medication. She wanted to grit her teeth and live just like I do, without that crutch. I felt she should get back on medication long before she relented. But ultimately she could see what she was without it, and we both did not want it.

I strongly disagree with the sentiment that she is a coward, or that she simply won't own up to her behavior. She is my wife, and I love her for who she is, but I wouldn't really have known who she was without modern medicine. She's not on, "The happy pills" but she is no longer forced to feel angry and sad about everything, and can instead actually feel content again.

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Kwea
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Looks like I was right the first time. The only thing that will probably change is age.


If your own life experiences are the only thing that can change you then I am sorry for you. Sure, those have the most effect, but in my own life I've been able to educate myself about a a lot of things I haven't actually experienced myself.


No one is trying to make you take anything, or change your way of dealing with things, man. But your ignorant, rude and dismissive attitude towards people who seek help to deal with their OWN problems is ignorant at best.

Enough with the macho bullcrap. Trying to equate a club foot with clinical depression is like comparing a stubbed toe to an amputated foot, quite frankly. The biggest difference is that you KNOW what your problem is, how to avoid making it worse, and what will eventually happen to you.

Imagine if you had no idea what was causing the pain, your Doctor thought you were "making it up", you had no visible symptoms of the pain, it flared up without any rhyme and reason and was sometimes so bad you couldn't even get out of bed., and you had no idea what caused it, when it would happen, or what the logical consequences of it would be...

...and then but your neighbor, and family, and friends, kept comparing it to a broken hand. Kept telling you to suck it up, heal, and move on with your life.


THAT'S what you just did.

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AchillesHeel
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You may see my stance as ignorant, rude and dissmisive, and liken my stupidity with my age, therein your intelligence with your age.

But Im not the one who decided name-calling would be the most effective form of discussion.

Edit
I will note that this post is in direct response to Kwea.

[ August 01, 2009, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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andi330
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And yet, you have chosen to focus on one comment made by only one person who responded to your post, rather than responding to comments made by other people who did not in any way call you any names.

I did say that I believed your comments were made out of ignorance, but not that I believed you to be ignorant. It is a fine distinction, and if you took it the wrong way, I'm sorry. But it is a belief I hold that comments such as your original post, whether made by you or anyone else, are made out of ignorance of what it is to have an issue such as clinical depression.

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AchillesHeel
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To respond in advance to anymore criticism.

I killed your kitten.

Im the reason your ciggarettes cost more.

I am why you had to wait ten minutes for a shopping cart.

I convinced the barista to give you the wrong order.

I am the reason why Subway hasnt responded to the smear advertisments of other sub-sandwich chains. (thought I would let ya know about that)

I am the chairman of the U.S. patents keeping steam-powered cars from being manufactered.

I told the Amish that watching tv with no cable channels is the same as not watching it.

I keep casting Mathew McConaughey in roles that allow him to speak with that horrendous accent.

I am not the reason why Kieth Richards, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, or George Thorogood are still alive, blame Cher and Rahz al Ghul.

In short, I am the anti-christ. And you already have your barcode tattoo, it is located somewhere you cannot find alone.

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andi330
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Wow. There's really only one way to respond to that.


Get over yourself man.

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AchillesHeel
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I simply dont understand how anyone is taking a few posts on some website by one insignificant person seriously. Kinda fun though.
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andi330
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This was intended by the OP to be a serious conversation. My responses to you have been nothing but serious. If you don't intend to respond seriously, then please let it be known, and I will stop conversing with you on this topic.

I suppose I've never actually started, because you've never seriously responded to anything I had to say at this point.

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AchillesHeel
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Your arguements have been valid the entire time, I stand on the other side of that discussion with the opinion that America is over-medicated and this problem is fueled by negligent doctors. I believe you have already stated something to this effect already, thus why I hadnt responded.

I have never said that there are not plenty of people who are helped by proper medication, including mental illness' just that the productivity of the medical industry in the forum of mood altering meds is greatly paled, in the presence of the failed and addicted. I have made no statements, merely opinions, why so many have responded (and childishly so) to my own posts is not my intent, as this is a serious subject and until modern medicine either maps out the entire human psyche (chemical and emotional) or stops handing out xanex like skittles. Seeing as responding to certian persons by expanding upon my original point did not work, but inspire more middle-school debate team tactics, I opted to make the entire thing more ridicous than them. So now I will truely over-generalize myself.

I believe modern medicine has failed many of thier patients, and rely too heavily upon pain medications, uppers and downers instead of further examining the patients enviroment and possible exaggerants of thier condition.

Edit
Andi, I have not attempted to argue your position because I agree with many of them, (although notably not with the one directed at my intelligence, but I suppose thats simple perspective eh?), and do not argue valid points.

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Shigosei
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Phanto, while it's obviously best to know exactly how a drug is working, I don't think the lack of knowledge is necessarily a reason not to use it. The mechanism of action for general anesthesia is also unknown, but we are willing to use anesthetic drugs because we've put them through clinical trials to test for efficacy and safety. Of course, there are concerns about the trials themselves, but I think the solution to that is improvement of the trial system rather than focusing on how the drugs work.

Interestingly, one of the ways that antidepressants might work is by promoting growth of new neurons in the hippocampus. This may explain why antidepressants take 4-6 weeks to have an effect.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
You may see my stance as ignorant, rude and dissmisive, and liken my stupidity with my age, therein your intelligence with your age.

But Im not the one who decided name-calling would be the most effective form of discussion.

Edit
I will note that this post is in direct response to Kwea.

I don't think age is a determining factor. I think it may be a factor....but it also seems like you are now trying top use it as an excuse. Keep in mind that I don't even KNOW your age...other than you are young.

But I know plenty of people of various ages who wouldn't made the same bad assumptions you have in your post.

I never said we don't over medicate. I never said the drugs in question are perfect. I was responding directly to you absurd assumption tat you "should" be able to tell if someone is sick, and the statement that somehow seeking help is blaming someone else.

Experience teaches a lot of things, including when to admit you were wrong, insensitive, or dismissive of other people's problems.

[ August 01, 2009, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
They're not supposed to "fix anything in your life". They are supposed to make you better able to cope so that YOU can fix things in your life.

Exactly.

Now there are different forms of depression, but I think the best way to describe clinical deep depression is "paralysis". Depression is not unhappiness, or sadness. Those two are normal human conditions. They can go together with depression, but they are not THE depression.

Depression is paralysis.

You are incapable of doing anything - Of course the amount of paralysis is different with different people. But the basic idea is that you can't function. You have absolutely no energy. In very deep depression you can just sleep, lay on your bed, eat, go to toilet. Anything above that is impossible - Just as impossible as it is to a person who is physically paralyzed. There simply isn't enough strength and energy to do more.

Medicine gives you energy. So you can do things. When you get more and more energy, it allows you to do things that improve your general well-being, and these things make you feel just a little bit better about yourself and your life, and this helps to make the amount of depression smaller. Anti-depressants don't make you happy, or high, and they don't solve your problems.

When enough time passes by, you slowly manage to function more and more normally. At some point you can function so normally, that you are able to work on things that caused the depression in the first place: Loneliness, low self-esteem, lack of healthy human relationships, whatever it is that causes the depression.

So anti-depressants are a temporary tool that gives you energy to work on the actual problem. You might have to use them years and years, because it can take a long time to fix the problems and become healthy. Once you are healthy, you can slowly stop using them.

There are different medicines, and they have different effects on different people. So you just need to find the medicine that works.

But medicine is not enough: You also have to have a work plan to fix the actual disease. Medicine won't fix the disease, it just gives you energy to fix it.

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Kwea
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Not everyone CAN stop using them, and most of the people who do are wrong to stop. Don't stop until you have discussed it with your MD, and have come to the conclusion it is the right thing to do.

Too many people stop taking their meds once they think they are "better", and it causes all sorts of hurt....to them, their families, their loved ones.

It's one of the worst problems that happens, actually, and one that the MD's have little to no control over.

It's called non-compliance, and people can die because of it.

(voice of experience speaking, in case you couldn't tell)

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Samprimary
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FALLACY COUNTDOWN

quote:
Ive stated my opinion, and Ive never forced anyone to live the way I do.
1. Nobody has claimed that.

quote:
If my post ruined your day because "someone is wrong on the internet" it actually makes me laugh a little bit.
2. Nobody has stated that your post ruined their day; they were actually objecting to an incorrect assertion made in poor taste by you.

quote:
Pain tollerance is not a phrase worth mentioning when Ive never had a day without the kind of pain that can still pull me to the ground at any random time, a club foot fyi (yes, haha the same condition as Achilles from Ender's Shadow).
3. The amount of pain you personally endure over a club foot and other various maladies remains irrelevant to the accuracy and more importantly, the lack of thereof of your statements and value judgments made about people suffering from depression and utilizing pharmaceuticals as a way to alleviate their conditions.

quote:
I can only hope that you forgive me while sipping chardonay, wearing khaki slacks on wicker furniture.
4. A crude attempt to reframe the arguments of others pejoratively by implying that it is caterwauling by spoiled brats does nothing to enhance your argument and does nothing to advance your claim of persecution, instead making you guilty of the very same name-calling you deride in others.

quote:
Human beings have done some great things throughout history with almost no chemical stimuli, whose to say that nature isnt being interfered with on the small scale?
5. Terrible counterargument. We did great things throughout history without Ibuprofen, yet you 'interfere with nature' by even bothering to take it. Wild gesticulation.

quote:
I simply dont understand how anyone is taking a few posts on some website by one insignificant person seriously.
6. This is a discussion forum where the medium is posts; when someone finds another person's post to be in error and/or in bad taste, they typically further the intended purpose of the medium by actually responding to it. If you are confused or surprised by this mechanism, then the issue lies with you and your unfamiliarity with the medium.

quote:
To respond in advance to anymore criticism.

I killed your kitten. ... (etc)

7. A whole host of strawmen. You did actually say something offensive and wrong. It is unrelated to any of this. This comes off as puerile and immature distraction from legitimate complaints to your value judgments made earlier in the thread.

quote:
Im not the one who decided name-calling would be the most effective form of discussion.
8. Apparently, you did. Tu Quoque is not a refuge.

quote:
I have made no statements, merely opinions
9. Opinions are statements.

quote:
inspire more middle-school debate team tactics
10. More childish retorts; see above for unwiseness of strategy.

etc etc

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Not everyone CAN stop using them, and most of the people who do are wrong to stop. Don't stop until you have discussed it with your MD, and have come to the conclusion it is the right thing to do.

Too many people stop taking their meds once they think they are "better", and it causes all sorts of hurt....to them, their families, their loved ones.

It's one of the worst problems that happens, actually, and one that the MD's have little to no control over.

It's called non-compliance, and people can die because of it.

(voice of experience speaking, in case you couldn't tell)

I assume you are commenting on my post?

I guess I didn't emphasize that aspect clearly enough: I think one should stop using anti-depressants only when you know 100% what you are doing. When it is certain that you don't need them anymore. And even then, the stopping must be controlled and slow, with preferably an outsider helping you to notice the effects the process has.

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Kwea
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I wasn't picking, or anything, just commenting on one specific part of it. [Big Grin]

All of that is assuming you ever stop taking them, some people are on them the rest of their life. For many people it is clear to them they don't need them, so they stop...and the rebound depression is as bad or worse than ever once they are off of them.

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Sharpie
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The cycle of *feeling better leading to noncompliance to terrible outcome that can lead to restarting treatments* is even worse in illnesses like bipolar and schizophrenia, where a very high proportion of patients have lack of insight into their illness to begin with. My family member says "I'm not sick. I don't need medicine." She certainly doesn't say anything like "it's not my fault." It's impossible for her to see that there is something wrong.

In a lot of states you can't force adults to take medication, either (for lots of perfectly good reasons that I agree with), but this leads to a situation where the person who stops taking medicine because they feel better ON it ends up in a terrible, terrible situation -- broken relationships, jobs destroyed, jail, while family members watch helplessly. And this is assuming that they don't listen to the voices that tell them to do something homicidal or suicidal. This is assuming that what gets the kindly police officers to your house is something "minor".

This is not theoretical. But please, AchillesHeel, please continue to advise people to get their lives fixed instead of taking those little pills. I assure you, my family member would agree with you.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Ive lived my life on a broken foot and am destined to be in a wheel chiar by forty...

How does that follow from having a clubfoot? *interested
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
They're not supposed to "fix anything in your life". They are supposed to make you better able to cope so that YOU can fix things in your life.

Exactly. If you're raw, like a bad scrape, and the slightest little thing affects you completely out of proportion, it becomes very difficult to live a normal life. Antidepressants can be like a mild anesthetic spray that makes it possible to touch the sore area without winding up on the ceiling.

Zoloft saved my relationship, my family, and quite probably my life. And I didn't believe in it at all. Over the first week, it actually made me feel too distant. But then I adjusted to it, and it just kept me from feeling bad emotions too keenly.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Ive lived my life on a broken foot and am destined to be in a wheel chiar by forty...

How does that follow from having a clubfoot? *interested
My mother had state insurance for poor people, and rather than tell her that I would reqiure at least five surgeries in my life before the age of fourteen they gave me a corrective cast, which as an infant I pulled out one of the screws, all corrective measures ended before I was one year old. Ive read testimonials from people who were born in the early nineteen hundreds who had a more athletic club foot than mine, but thats the thing about a deformity, no two are the same. OSC's solution to Achilles' club foot was science fiction, the only surgerie's that exist for an adult are to alter appearance, and can further hinder the motions I do have. No running, I have to drive with both feet because my right foot does not have the necessary downward motion to use the brake, and occasionally have to hop around at work like a fool due to the juxtaposition of the bones in my foot.
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ClaudiaTherese
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But why a wheelchair? Even people with amputations are not constrained to wheelchair use, as there are prosthetic devices and assistances even for totally missing feet, much less ones that are there but misshapen.

I'm guessing you are not taking a stand against using assistive devices altogether, or you wouldn't consider a wheelchair. I'm afraid I can't work out in my head why there wouldn't be less comprehensive levels of assistance available beforehand, though.

(Or rather, I can see it if it is a matter of Medicare/Medicaid coverage instead of HMO, as that can be limited in silly ways. But it sounds like that is not what you are talking about.)

Regardless, I hope it works out for you in whatever way is best for you. It doesn't have to make sense to me, and you surely don't have to justify your choices to me -- the constraints described just seemed peculiar from a professional point of view, and it engaged my interest.

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AchillesHeel
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Not necessarily a wheel chair (depending on wether or not I decide to have it amputated one day), but my foot is continually degrading and the only way to hinder the advancement is to basically act like Im dissabled already, stop working and leach off the govt. despite the fact that I obviously can work. Even then it would only delay my condition, for an undertimable time. Im blue collar, it was a bit of a miracle that I was even given any health-care upon my birth. I have never considered my foot a defect, simply my situation, just like having blonde hair or long arms. I put alot of attention into the longevity of my foot though, I go very far out of my way to make sure I have boots that will support my ankle in the needed ways, I go to a gym that has enough machines that provide little to no pressure to my ankle, and own several canes for when I need them (much less than when I did not own a car and walked atleast two miles to anywhere including work).

Ive met one other person with a club foot, he happened to my age and the polar oppisite of my condition. I had no surgeries, he had six. My ankle is maleable inside, his is stiff and brittle. I grew up to be big while his body stays frail and bird like (Ive always assumed it was an unconcious reaction to his tender condition), but beyond him Ive never knowingly met another person so its hard to guage my condition against the common. Club foot doctors are difficult to find, they are specialists, perhaps even harder to procure than the services of a doctor for tetralogy of fallot (a congenital heart condition I watched my brother go through), and the two times that I had met club foot doctors aside from infancy the total experiance told me all they can do for me is place unGodly painful arch-supporter for an arch that does exist in bones. Yes it sucks, and until someone lives every last day of thier lives with an essentially broken appendige, they just dont know what its like, but to quote my own mother "If he can learn to crawl with a hip to toe cast on I dont think its ever going to stop him"

And thanks for your interest, not many people know about club feet, no one knows where it comes from, it effects all people around the world as if our DNA can just short-out randomly and give you the wrong blueprints. And I would also like to say that it is a damn tragedy that it is common-place in the UK for a fetus with uni-latteral or bi-latteral club feet to be aborted for that reason alone. I know this isnt exactly the proper venue for that one, but its too late if you already read it.

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Phanto
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The theory that antidepressants work by promoting neurogenesis and growth of brain tissue is one I find more compelling than the overly simplistic serotonin hypothesis which has become far too ubiquitous.

And I don't deny that in severe cases of depression, antidepressants are important tools. What concerns me, however, is that they are vastly over prescribed, especially for conditions which they haven't been properly shown to work or even cause harm, like bipolar depression.

Also, the ridiculous amount of me-too drugs that we know horribly little about and we get inflated reports on their efficacy like Remeron.

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AchillesHeel
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The alteration of serotonin levels can be dangerous, if I remember correctly ecstacy affects your serotonin production and was intended for anti-depressant use. And many former users of "X" have sustained permanent deficiancys and brain damage due to the chemical tinkering. Ofcourse the use was illegal and without the consultation of a doctor, I simply worry about the long term effects of altering brain chemicals that we have yet to map out.
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Phanto
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Elevated levels of serotonin can cause serotonin toxicity, and LSD works by raising serotonin levels.

We are many years away from understanding how our brain works, and the dozens of neurotransmitters beyond serotonin, dopamine, and the select few we barely understand.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Not necessarily a wheel chair (depending on wether or not I decide to have it amputated one day)...

I was thinking that there are more readily mobile supports to take weight off a foot than a wheelchair, such as crutches, and that could be done at any time to spare weightbearing on the foot. They are cheap, low-tech, come in a wide variety of styles, and are used by some people with extremity impairment for dozens of years without problems so long as used and maintained properly.

More high-tech supports (such as the prosthetic foot/leg replacements for competitive runners missing one or both feet) are also available, but there are so many other options, too.

Moreover,

quote:
... but my foot is continually degrading and the only way to hinder the advancement is to basically act like Im dissabled already, stop working and leach off the govt. despite the fact that I obviously can work.

See, I still don't get how that follows. I know many people with physical disabilities who are working full-time jobs, with or without degrees. The Visitors' Services center where I work has an employee paralyzed below the waist who is one of its most active representatives, and he is the person I steer people looking for help towards. He is very, very good at his job.

Mind you, there is a lot of prejudice out there despite federal laws against discrimination, but there is also plenty of work support.

I don't understand why "wheelchair-user" would either equal "can't work" or be the only alternative to weight-bearing on a foot, frankly. I think it may be worth noting for other people following the thread that -- although individual circumstances differ -- in general there is a world of options and possible avenues open to someone determined and persistent in making it work.

More than anything I want to emphasize that physical disabilities, up to and well beyond the need/preference to use a wheelchair for mobility, in no way equals someone who is necessarily limited to a life without work that is meaningful to them. One just does not necesssarily follow from the other.

Best of luck. I am sure you will make your own way and do it very well.

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Kwea
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Yep. And AH hit the nail on the head...there is a serious difference between altering brain chemistry for recreation and doing under a doctors care.

If you pick up a medical journal, you'd be amazed by how many things we DON'T know. A lot of the medical field is educated guesswork, mainly because each person is different, and can have a unique response to any treatment. We know how things work, generally, but until a treatment...weather it be painkillers, mood stabilizers, or even corrective surgeries...is applied to a patients there is no real way to know exactly how it will work.

I doubt we will EVER know exactly how the brain works. It is too complex, and is affected by too many factors to completely predictable. While I wonder about the effects of these classes of drugs as well, waiting until we KNEW what will happen is ineffective at best.

What is suppose to happen is that the initial dose of these drugs is given, and then depending on how each individual responds the dosages are adjusted.


AH, thanks for sharing that info with us. The tetralogy of fallot is an interesting condition, and finding doctors IS very difficult, as it is not common. I hope your brother was able to find treatment.

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Paul Goldner
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"More than anything I want to emphasize that physical disabilities, up to and well beyond the need/preference to use a wheelchair for mobility, in no way equals someone who is necessarily limited to a life without work that is meaningful to them. One just does not necesssarily follow from the other."

My father's office manager (two attorney law firm) started working for him about 23 years ago. She's had some serious health complications over the years. About 8 years ago, they synced up the office computers with her home computer so she can do her job from home, which has made her much more productive and comfortable.

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ClaudiaTherese
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I imagine finding a physician specializing in dealing with a club foot would be a lot more difficult than finding someone to deal with ToF, given that the latter is commonly dealt with by general pediatric cardiologists. It can be harder to find an adult physician (even a cardiologist) comfortable with ToF, as it hasn't been an issue for adults until survival started to improve with new surgical procedures -- and those kids at the forefront of those procedures are just now growing up. However, that's what the congenital heart defect clinics (staffed by pediatric and adult specialists) at most major hospitals are for.

In contrast, orthopedic issues seem to me to be much more specialized. Someone will specialize just in the hand, etc. I don't know as much about the availability of services for this particular issue, so I'll go do some reading and educate myself. I'd like to be more familiar with it.

Thanks for the insights, AH. (Aha! Just now got the username reference. [Wink] )

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AchillesHeel
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Im a worker, not an entrepreneur or a prodigy comuputer programmer. Ofcourse physical conditions do not keep a person from exploring a great many proffesions, and I wasnt trying to say that. But just like many people my age I need to find a way out of the service industry if I dont want to be mopping floors with one foot (although Im sure that would be youtube gold) for the rest of my life. I like construction, building structures and finish work is kinda fun, but I cant explore that without aggrivating my foot.

Simply meant to say that if I personally cannot work full-time on my feet, that I am in trouble. I found it particularly entertaining that Achilles had a club foot (it said it may be a club foot I know). Oddly, the only famous person with a club foot Ive found is Damon Wayans, just thought that was odd.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Im a worker, not an entrepreneur or a prodigy comuputer programmer. ... But just like many people my age I need to find a way out of the service industry if I dont want to be mopping floors with one foot.


I hear you. What I am saying is that there are many positions in the service industries that neither require advanced degrees or special training, nor are ruled out by using a wheelchair or other assistances for mobility. Like I said, where I work (a hospital) there is a gentleman who works with Visitor Services and uses a wheelchair for all his work mobility needs. He doesn't have special training other than an extensive knowledge of how the hospital works and is laid out (and everyone that works there must be taught this, although focusing in given areas), and he doesn't mop floors. Ever.

He is good at his job, well-valued, and has a high school degree. I don't think he even went to community college.

Mind you,

quote:
Simply meant to say that if I personally cannot work full-time on my feet, that I am in trouble.
If you are saying that the only work you would be willing to do requires you to use both feet, and that a service job such as the above (where you are helping people under stress and in great need on a daily basis) isn't for you because it just isn't your cup of tea, then I can understand.

Personal preferences are personal preferences.

On the other hand, in a discussion where we are talking about how people should suck it up and get on with being productive, I'm not comfortable in just going along with the idea that there is necessarily only one option here: namely, being forced to wreck a damaged foot by continuing to work knowing that a life of idle non-productivity waits right around the corner. One can do that if one chooses to pursue that path, but there are other options:

1) avoid wrecking the foot as much as outlined above by being savvy about using appropriate assistances now
2) even if a wheelchair becomes necessary, recognize that there is still good work to be done (and even in the nonskilled services area)
3) etc.

I'm not trying to be hard on you (life is hard enough! eh? [Wink] ), just to underscore in this very public forum that even with minimal background experience and/or no advanced education, physical disabilities need not limit someone from doing meaningful work if they are inclined and willing to pursue it.

And admittedly, it can be extra-challenging. That is why there are additional resources to bring people to the workforce and keep them well-occupied in it despite those challenges. Those resources are often publicly funded in small or large part, and it's a good use of resources, so long as people know about them and are willing to use them.

From my perspective, if you choose not to use them, that is certainly your choice to make. I wouldn't quibble about that. I do quibble about denying that those options exist, primarily because this is a public forum and people might believe that there really aren't any other options. What a shame that would be, you know?

-------------------------------------------------
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*************************************************

PS: I don't know your situation. Doublessly it is vastly more complicated in the details than I could ever imagine. I am not being sarcastic -- I really believe we underestimate how difficult life is for people other than ourselves, and we tend to underestimate the ingenuity and persistant efforts other people have brought to those challenges we don't even know about, nor ever will.

So I am not -- not -- saying you are wrong in your assessment of your situation. I leave that decision-making and assessment up to you. I am saying instead that for the vast majority of people in comparable situations there are many other options, and we should all know that as members of the community. We need to know it because it is our mothers, fathers, siblings, cousins, friends, lovers, students, and co-workers [and ourselves] who have or will have additional physical challenges, and we all need to know what is possible.

We are also voters who need to know where some of that local and state or federal funding is going, where it is used and whether it results in good outcomes. Knowing that being in a wheelchair doesn't necessarily mean sitting at home drinking pop and watching sitcoms is a very, very important thing, especially if we are responsible in some small way for helping make that happen.

[ August 02, 2009, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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ClaudiaTherese
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PPS: Also, jobs are getting more scarce for everyone. Depending on the job market where one lives, work may be more or less readily available, and that is one of those constraints on individual circumstances that may never be known by other people not in the given person's situation. Definitely.

All the more reason to be savvy about knowing whaat resources are available and getting hooked in ASAP, if that is what one wants. The fact that there are possible options doesn't guarantee actual results, not for anyone. In general, if it looks like physical challenges are going to play an increasing role in one's life, it may be a good idea to start finding and using those resources sooner rather than later.

Always, though, change is hard. And sometimes it just sucks to be whomever you are. No denying that for any of us.

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AchillesHeel
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Im good at physical jobs, and they pay alot better than service in my part of the country. Im bigger than alot of guys and oddly enough my foot has let me learn how to use my body in a more cost effective way. Most anyone in thier early 20s doenst have a firm grasp on what theyre going to do proffesionally, and theres no one to help support me going to school (admittedly I have not searched for grants and such). And while on that subject, all my friends whose family's worked hard and struggled to allow them an education, are still working the same part-time job and making much less than me, I hope for them that this changes with our economy.

To your last paragraph, Im alot more worried at the lengthy use of EBT and other agencies, I have morbidly obese women with four underfed children in tow spend more than forty dollars on junk food with foodstamps in the middle of the night, and then pull out thier own money to buy alcohol tobbacco and scratchers. Its pitiful, deporable, and is so commonplace in my particular city that I tend to hate myself for being apart of the system that facilitates this jaded lesson being taught to these children.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
eh? [Wink]

noooooOOOOOOOOO!

*weeps*

It's too late! They've got her!

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ClaudiaTherese
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Ha! [Wink]

---------------

AH, what I read you as saying is that it is better (more noble, more stalwart, more wise?) to be in extreme pain by working without mechanical assistance on a foot that is being inexorably further damaged until you will be forced to use a wheelchair and, as you believe, also be forced to "stop working and leach off the govt," rather than to use far fewer community resources overall by making use of mechanical and vocational assistance now and as needed in the future to remain working, in much less pain, and stay productive as a citizen throughout your life.

For the children and adults I know, I'd find the latter a far better role model, regardless of how other people might or might not make their own choices. If circumstances do force one into choosing one or the other, I can't make sense of why the former is the better choice, especially given that it is presented as inevitably downsliding into total reliance in the very way presented as most deplorable.

But look -- again, I don't know you. I don't know your history and I don't know all your challenges. I never will, not even if we were to become best friends or even partners (and my husband would have something to say about that!). [Smile] We all remain mysteries to one another. All I will suggest is that it might be worth thinking through the various possible paths, at least if there is some thinking you haven't done yet.

And, most assuredly, I remain aware that you have done a lot more thinking about your own circumstances that I ever can or will, and you are the best to judge what is best for you. I just hope that whatever decisions any of us (me included) make about the trajectories of our lives are down with as much information and salient perspective as we can get.

All the best, AchillesHeel. You remind me in some ways*** of the remarkable Derek Jacobi's portrayal in I, Claudius. How apt for us. [Smile]

--Claudia

quote:
This conflict sets the stage for a long period of intrigue and double-crosses among the Roman elite, all of it witnessed by Claudius, whose limp and stammer cause everyone to think him simple-minded and thus leave him alone. But Claudius in fact posesses a very keen intellect, and is determined to see justice be done and Rome returned to a Republican form of government.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Added: ***Not the stammer or the seeming simple-mindedness, but the limp [IIRC, here portrayed as due to a club foot, elsewhere as cerebral palsy, etc.] and the air of being more than he seems. Claudius became an emperor of Rome, you know.

[ August 02, 2009, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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aspectre
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9% of Americans are on anti-depressant medications, probably closer to 11% of people over the age of 14.

[ August 03, 2009, 08:53 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Looks like I was right the first time. The only thing that will probably change is age.


If your own life experiences are the only thing that can change you then I am sorry for you. Sure, those have the most effect, but in my own life I've been able to educate myself about a a lot of things I haven't actually experienced myself.

This is the truth. Kwea moved a thousand miles away, once he found out I lived in the same state as him.

(Psst, follow this link Kwea!)

-Bok

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Kwea
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LOL...you make good babies, Bok. Absolutely adorable pictures.


When you planning on visiting Disney? [Smile]

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aspectre
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Proportion of 8year-olds diagnosed with autism up 50% in the last 2years.
"The survey, conducted by the CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration, asked parents of 78,000 children ages 3 to 17 whether healthcare workers or doctors had ever told them that their children had autism spectrum disorder.
Parents of 1 in 91 children said yes, and said their children currently have the disorder. For boys, the figure was 1 in 58."

Study finds commonly-prescribed antidepressant Celexa doesn't help autistic children and its side effects are twice as bad.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I've stated my opinion,

Yes, which means that other people get to state theirs too, and how much they disagree with you.

If you can't stand the heat, you should have stayed out of the kitchen.

But honestly, what do you expect when you say "I'm fine with compensating for my bad genes with a wheelchair, but anyone compensating for bad brain receptors or enzymes is immature and irresponsible"?

quote:
If my post ruined your day because "someone is wrong on the internet" it actually makes me laugh a little bit.
Don't think so highly of yourself. No one's day was ruined. Your opinion is worth a 10 minute post in response, but not any more thought or effort than that. But your callous, ignorant (and hypocritical in your case) attitude does hurt a hell of a lot of people.

quote:
As far as being young and stupid, while I hope to be old and brilliant (as you must be, to come up with that poetry all by yourself), my current state can only changed and affected by the passage of time and my own life experiances.
Ah. And empathy for the experiences of others doesn't fit into your scheme. Your brain enzymes and receptors works fine, so why consider that other people's don't?
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