Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tom Cruise on Psychiatry

This is a happy day. Finally, someone in Hollywood spoke up with some sense on a serious problem facing this generation and the next generation. Go, Tom Cruise.

Check this out:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8344309/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/thanks-tom-cruise_b_4284.html

I don't have much time to talk about this now. But this is very close to my heart. Secular pshychiatry is quasi-scientific, secular, and the religion of the day. Shrinks are high priests. And if you speak out against them, people will treat you as if you have blasphemed. Ritalin is causing a lot of harm to millions of people, and yet people are turning to the drug more and more.

I heard about this on "The Savage Nation" last night. An x-psychiatrist called in testifying to his decision to quit his job and change careers, because his conscience bothered him so much. He knew that the meds he was prescribing were harmful, but he said that he was pressured to keep on giving the meds "like a good little Nazi." He finally quit.

I read up on this stuff a few months ago. Peter Breggin certainly seems to be an expert in this field, and he has some tough words about psychiatry and the meds that are being used.

More later....

14 Comments:

Blogger MarcoConley said...

Okay-- I'm convinced the universe is actually one big sitcom. How can life be this funny.

So, let's talk about why Tom Cruise believes Psychiatry is bad. It's because one of the central tenets of Scientology is that Psychiatry is bad. So, let's do the run down on what Tom Cruise believes:

Everyone is actually an immortal alien. 75 million years ago, the evil emperor of the Galactic Confederacy, Xenu, brought billions of thetans to earth on exact replicas of the DC-8 aircraft only with rocket engines instead of jet engines. He stacked these aliens up next to volcanos, and then blew up the volcanos with hydrogen bombs. Now, these alien souls are clinging to human bodies, and causing all your problems in life, even all your physical illnesses.

Psychiatry is evil because it fails to recognize the existence of the thetans, the true root of disease, and instead treats mental illnesses as if they were disorders of the brain.

Now...

This is a pretty funny story, which is why it gets so much press when Tom Cruise talks about it. Be assured, the headline is not "Responsible actor alerts millions to the dangers of Psychiatry". The headline, the reason this is being played so much is, the headline is: "Tom Cruise has gone totally insane today". Which, it turns out, is just one part of an on-going series of how odd Tom Cruise is.

--

Now, for the story to get REALLY good, however, we need the crazy christians who believe all mental illness is caused by problems of the invisible "soul" to team up with the all the people who believe mental illness is caused by problems of the invisible aliens "thetans". That's when the aesthetic value of the situation goes from "pretty" to "stunningly beautiful".

The movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is about a man who sees a UFO. So they have a big meeting with the government to try to talk about it. And he's trying to convince people that he saw a UFO. And suddenly an old man in the audience stands up and says "I saw it too!" and people gasp. And then the old man goes on to say "And last year, in the same exact spot, I saw Bigfoot." The audience laughs. The protagonist, who really did see the UFO, is frustrated at being on the same side as a man who's clearly looney.

So, I have to take my hat off to people who openly agree with Tom Cruise. If I opposed Psychiatry for religious reasons, my instinct would be to play down the similiarities between believing in Xenu and Thetans and believing in Yahweh and Sin.

Psychiatry is bad because they aren't treating the real source of the problem-- caused (75 million / 4 Thousand) years ago when (Xenu / Adam & Eve) upset the natural order of the universe by (Detonating a Hydrogen Bomb/Eating some fruit) in a (volcano/garden) which resulted in (thetans/sin), the source of all human pain.

I'd probably just say "Boy, that Tom Cruise... what a nut! So, on a COMPLETELY different topics completely, has anyone heard evil Psychiatry is?"
--

I looked at Peter Breggin. He didn't seem as crazy as I'd expected. It's all well and good to alert people to the dangers of side-effects or to help fight drug companies that don't do a good enough job protecting the health of their patients. There are risks to any medicine for any medical condition, and people should know about them.

But-- the medicines do work. The medicines save lives. Lots and lots of thems. The medicines are THE BEST treatment known to science. They work better than talk therapy, they work better than exercise, they work a lot better than prayer or placebos. If there's something wrong with you, the medicines are your best chance for getting better.

Obviously-- we don't liked drugging children who are hyperactive. Most of us would much rather find a natural solution, like, oh-- hitting them with rulers until they learn discipline. But, statistically speaking, medicine works much, much better-- though people don't seem to find as much satisfication with that solution.

Of course, the real solution would be a drug, which I would name "Likeapil", which would help people who are afraid of pills that alter your brain chemistry (neuropharmaphobia). Millions of Americans each year suffer the disasterous effects of Neuropharmaphobia. But... their brave battle with this deadly disease may be over soon. We here at Marco's Kids are dedicated to finding a cure.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Marco, Marco, Marco...

Can you say "Red Herring?"

Obviously, everything Tom Cruise has said about psychiatry is totally wack, because, after all, Tom's theology is totally wack. And so, he is completely incapable of saying anything intelligent about anything significant, because Tom Cruise is a crazy scientologist.

Of course, I could turn that around and say that everything that agnostic Marco says about anything significant is totally wack, because the assumptions Marco starts with are totally wack. I could say that, but it would be reckless and irresponsible. You do start with many assumptions that are totally wack, but in spite of your errors in epistemology and metaphysics, you often do say things that makes sense. So, you see, you being wrong about some things does not make you wrong about all things.

And the same goes with m'boy Tommy.

So, why don't we keep the level of this debate up by not throwing out red herrings. Lets debate about science, philosophy, psychiatry, and theology. Let's not suggest that the other person is completely wrong simply due to the fact that he has one or two points of agreement with some dude who, on many other issues, is completely wack.

"But-- the medicines do work. The medicines save lives. Lots and lots of thems. The medicines are THE BEST treatment known to science. They work better than talk therapy, they work better than exercise, they work a lot better than prayer or placebos. If there's something wrong with you, the medicines are your best chance for getting better."

Some medicines work on some people for certain problems. Many "medicines" are very harmful for many people. I'm not against all meds. I am against meds when meds harm people. I am personally frustrated because I have a hard time drawing the line between the good meds and the bad meds, and I have very little trust for the entire field of psychiatry, because many times, people have rushed to meds, when they should be rushing to prayer, God's word, discipline, and tough love. I distrust psychiatrists, because they are pressured to keep their field "secular." They physiology of the brain - the biology and chemistry - are real. But the spiritual dimension is just as real. Furthermore, there is a relationship between the biochemicals (the matter) and the soul and spirit (that which makes us human). The spirit and soul are just as real as the physiology.

Denying the existence of a soul (or insisting that the supposed existence of a soul is irrelevant, being unwilling to talk about God's design and purpose, sin, confession, repentance, the cross, discipline, and God's word, and then insisting that the answers to these "mental problems" are simply popping pills - this practice is foolish and dangerous. Furthermore, there is significant debate and disagreement in the medical community. Peter Breggin's resume deserves and demands respect. He is clearly not a quack.

But for political/religious reasons (i.e. the secular epistemological hegemony must be advanced), people who dare to even question the problems of field of psychiatry are shamed to silence. Once silent, they are indoctrinated. They are taught never to disagree with the secular mainstream shrinks (i.e. priests of psychiatric secularism).

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that much (not all) of what is going on in psychiatry is quasi-scientific (at best), secular priestcraft.

And uneducated people who witness the immediate effects of loved ones who take meds are NOT AUTHORITIES on the subject. They may have witnessed some differences in behavior, but that does not make them an expert in the field of psychiatry.

The first step is to get people to realize that legimate psychiatry is a subset of theology. All truth is God's truth. Psychiatry is not seperate from theology.

This much I know from having taught for two years. Parents who pay attention to their children, who are careful to discipline them consistently and carefully, who provide structure and clear boundaries for their kids - those are the good parents. Parents who are too lazy, unorganized, and undisciplined to do all of those things - those are bad parents. I could see a huge difference between the kids with good parents and the kids with mediocre parents. Kids with good parents generally would do very well in class, were generally very respectful of their teachers, and were generally well-rounded, joyful kids. Kids who were not so carefully loved and disciplined were more rebellious, performed poorly, and generally did not experience joy and well-roundedness.

Now, I know that there are exceptions to this generality. But the problem is that every bad parents thinks that they are the exception. "Sure, Ritalin is overused, by my kid's case is particularly bad. You just need to understand." Mmm hmm. Keep telling yourself that, and God just might give you over to the depravity of your thinking. Then, not only will you suffer, but the generations coming up after you will suffer too. You can start (or pass on) a generational curse.

On the other hand, you can also break a generational curse by walking the path of faith. Dog gone it. LOVE YOUR KIDS! Do research. Read the Scriptures, and stand on the promises of God, by walking by faith. Quit blaming everyone for your failures and for your kids' failures. Start confessing your sins. Model for your kids what Biblical confession is all about, so that when they have to deal with their problems, they think first about going through the hard process of confession, and not about taking drugs.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." -Proverbs 1:7

I'm waiting for some shrinks to start acknowledging this fundamental truth. It would make this unschooled, ordinary man feel much better.

11:56 PM  
Blogger The Revolting Masses said...

First of all how can you say that anyone who is not a christian "is completely incapable of saying anything intelligent about anything significant" there have been many secular people who have contributed alot to the world. Also saying medicines do not work many do. This is proven scientifically. I have some friends on some of these Medicines and i have seen changes in their personalities some have come out of great depression and have oversome learning disabilities. Also who is to say what is good and bad medicine is it not possible that God Inspired men to discover these medicines to help some of his children. Also your analogy of students in your class is completely wrong. Having spent 2 years in your classes I will say that the rebellious kids were more a reflection on your teaching than their parents ability i know the parents of almost all of your students and know none of them to be incomptent. All these children were raised in christia homes with parents who cared for them and were in no way Mediocer and definitely not BAD.

The Bible says do not point out the spec in your neighbors eye and ignore the plank in your own. Do not be so quick to blame any childs misbehavior on their parents or their unconfessed sins you seem to live in this unreal world where the confession of sins makes everything better. Confession is a good thing but it does not make life perfect. If everyone confessed their sins there would still be problems in this world. If we confess God forgives us but it does not make everything better here on earth and saying it does brings christianity very close to a salvation by works idea. Bad thing only hapen to those who dont repent. O no johonny fel off his bike he must have unconfessed sin. this goes against every principle of christianity. It is not what God intended.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Revolting,
Read what I wrote carefully. My point was that non-Christians ARE capable of making intelligent comments in spite of the fact that they are wrong about theology. I said that I could say, "A," but that if I did that would be reckless and irresponsible. In other words, I could say, "The sky is brown." But if I did, that would not be correct (unless I'm in a smog infested city).

So, please, read what I write carefully, before you jump down my throat accusing me of what I did not say.

I also said that there are medicines that work. But I am also saying that many medicines do not work.

But you bring up a good point. The reason why the drugs that psychiatrists are giving must work is because it has been deemed completely out of bounds to suggest that any parent is failing at any level. A movie I was watching recently (I don't remember the name of it) pointed this out in a very humorous way. This one mother was off the deep end flaky - very selfish and very much not wanting to be bothered with her kids' lives, and so whenever the kid was annoying her, she told him, "Go take your Ritalin."

Now, I don't know of any parents from our school who were that bad. But, I think it is naive for you to assume that all the parents of all the kids were outstanding parents. Also, I haven't mentioned any names, and I would suspect that some of the parents that I am thinking of are not some of the parents you are thinking of.

I one time had a parent tell me that her kid was making bad decisions and dropping my class, but that it was okay, because she saw a rainbow. I'm not lying to you. The reason why it was okay to encourage her kid to quit (or rather permit her kid to quit) was because she saw a rainbow.

There was another parent of an extremely undisciplined kid who would say that she was too tired at the end of her work day to help her kid with math homework. And yet, she was very quick to accuse all of her kids' teachers as well as her kid for not doing well in class. I've heard this woman accuse everyone but herself.

These were two extreme cases. The truth is the majority of parents at this school were pretty good parents. Some were great parents. As one who is looking to become a parent sometime in the future, I learned a few things during my time. When I see some parents, like the parents who led the Katrina trip, I think, "Those are some great parents. I need to learn from those people." But when I see other parents too busy and too lazy to spend the time to help their kids and I realize that I myself tend to be lazy, I pray, "God help me not to be lazy. Help me to establish good habits that I might be a good parent, and not a bad parent."

Still, I commend you for defending and honoring all parents. The point is not to point out who is good and who is bad. The point is to protect a generation from being legally drugged on medicines that have been proven to be very harmful by people in the scientific community.

I'm also well aware that I was not a great teacher. But thanks for pointing that out. It would be helpful for me if you pointed out specific things about my teaching style that were not good, so I could work on those specific areas. Even though I am not a "teacher" now, I may be a teacher again later, and I do intend on becoming a parent, and I still "teach" the Bible to people through relationships, so any specific constructive criticism would be welcome.

I also would appreciate your prayers and your support.

I know that confession does not lead to all healing. However, the Bible does say in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness." God will cleanse us. Also, healings are possible to those who believe. Jesus often healed people according to their faith. And there were times when he did not heal people because of their lack of faith.

This does not mean that anyone who is not healed does not have faith. But it does mean that some who are not healed might not be because of a lack of faith.

The charge that I am going against every principle of Christianity is a serious charge. I would admonish you to be very careful about that accusation. If you make that accusation, you had better be right. If you are wrong, God Almighty will hold you accountable. So, guard yourself well. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

Also, I never suggested salvation by works. The idea that emphasizing the need for confession implies that salvation is by works is false. I will say that faith without works is dead, and such "faith" can not save a man.

A changed life - a life full of the fruit of the spirit - will be lived out by those who have received God's grace.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you. Unless of course you fail the test."

Many will come to Christ on that day saying, "Lord, Lord...." And they will hear from the mouth of Jesus, "Depart from me, you who are wicked. I never knew you!"

So, merely saying the Billy Graham prayer does not save a man, if there was no real faith attached to the prayer.

It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works lest any man should boast.

Again, the charge that I am preaching something "dangerously close" to salvation by works is a serious and inaccurate charge. You are wrong for making that charge.

I would admonish you to check your heart in all this. I certainly identify with you. You like to debate and challenge people - especially authorities. I'm the same way. We both need to make sure that we are being motivated out of compassion and kindness. So, check yourself friend. You brought some harsh words to me. And I'm bringing some harsh words to you. Harsh words can be appropriate at the right time and in the right way. But we need to also remember the two greatest commandments: Love God and love one another. Praying and listening twice as much as speaking is probably a good idea, so on that note, I will end this sentiment. I speak a lot, which means I need to pray a lot more than what I am.

God bless you.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

First of all, I need to say right up front that I am not a doctor, and if anyone is reading this and is on meds, consult a licensed and certified doctor before you just stop taking meds. Stopping cold turkey could be a very dangerous thing.

But I would also advise you to get counsel from a variety of doctors, not just one.

Secondly, I did some research today, and have found a number of websites and articles. Disclaimer: I skimmed through these articles. I did not read every word. I do not endorse every word of these articles, but I do think that these articles provide a lot of great food for thought.

Here are some Peter Breggin websites:
http://www.breggin.com/politicspractice.pbreggin.2006.pdf
http://www.breggin.com/fromprozac.pbreggin.2001.pdf
http://www.breggin.com/whatpsychologists.pbreggin.2000.pdf
http://www.breggin.com/resume.html
http://www.breggin.com/electroshockscientific.pbreggin.1998.pdf

Here are some other articles written by scholars and bloggers and people in between:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_601.cfm
http://danledmunds.blogspot.com/
http://isnt.autistics.org/dsn-psy.html
http://www.priory.com/psych/rights.htm
http://www.antipsychiatry.org/weitz2.htm
http://www.cchr.org/index.cfm/8371
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Health_Concerns/psychiatry_is_evil.htm
http://express-press-release.com/27/Latest%20FDA%20Warnings%20On%20Antidpressants%20Marks%201,700%20percent%20Increase%20%20In%20Psychiatric%20Drug%20Warnings.php
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=47393
http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Apr2005/levine0405.html
http://www.babysnark.com/health/paxil-dangerous.asp
http://www.healthy.net/scr/news.asp?Id=8328
http://www.happinessonline.org/BeTemperate/p10.htm
http://www.teenscreentruth.com/psychiatry_drugs_suicide.html

And here are some websites on alternatives to drugs (such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle):

http://www.newstarget.com/006587.html
http://www.raysahelian.com/mental.html
http://www.ctds.info/genetic_disorders.html
http://www.mcmanweb.com/article-13.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060522150621.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=7564
http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/ADDlecture.htm
http://www.mcmanweb.com/depressionfaq3.htm
http://www.enotalone.com/article/5239.html
http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/440/62

Happy reading! Knowledge is a wonderful thing.

Here are some interesting quotes from some of these articles:

"Medical doctors today struck out against the dangerous position actress Brook Shields has taken in promoting the antidepressant Paxil for treatment of post partum depression (PPD). “Ms. Shields does not address the tremendous body of medical opinion against antidepressants being prescribed for PPD, nor does it appear she was medically advised of this. The Food and Drug Administration warns that these drugs can cause hostility, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, and mania, which is a public health warning ignored in recent media coverage,” said Anthony P. Urbanek, M.D., a surgeon from Nashville. (http://www.cchr.org/index.cfm/8371)

This quote really got my blood boiling:

"Oh, what a tangled web Big Pharma weaves! It's really a vicious cycle: The APA defines mental disorders in a manual used across the board by the psychiatric industry, all the while accepting money and gifts from the pharmaceutical companies that stand to make massive profits from the treatment of those disorders; the psychiatrists relying on the DSM diagnose people with mental illnesses and disorders left and right and prescribe 'treatments,' which are often drugs; and to make the process smoother and the money flow faster, the FDA shortens the duration of the drug trials for the very 'treatments' recommended for the mental disorders defined by the APA. Big Pharma happily watches its profits grow and APA 'experts' watch their profits grow -- but who gets the short end of the deal? As usual, the patient does." (http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_601.cfm)

I would also suggest that much of what goes on in psychiatry is about as "scienitific" as "evolution." (which is of course, not scientific, but rather presupposed and hypothetical, not proven through the scientific method).

Think about it. When conducting psychiatric experiments, it is not as easy as conducting physics and chemistry and biology experiments. Psychiatry gets into the emotions, the will, and the soul. Psychiatry seeks to understand the spiritual from our limited understanding of the physical biochemicals. How "scientific" can this really be? When you are considering attitudes and emotions and wills, how do you conduct experiments? How do you interpret results of the said experiments? How can you narrow down your variables in a precise way? What are you really measuring?

Psychiatrists do some science, but then they extrapolate into philosophy and religious thought, but done in the name of secular objective science. They claim to really be the authorities on epistemology. And if you disagree, then it may very well be due to a "condition" that you have.

Marco said, "Of course, the real solution would be a drug, which I would name 'Likeapil,' which would help people who are afraid of pills that alter your brain chemistry (neuropharmaphobia). Millions of Americans each year suffer the disasterous effects of Neuropharmaphobia. But... their brave battle with this deadly disease may be over soon. We here at Marco's Kids are dedicated to finding a cure."

This is what I am talking about. Secular socialist agnostics claiming authority - not on science - but on presuppositional epistemology. The hardcore secular left is completely anti-Christian and are hungry for political power. Anyone who disagrees with them on issues of epistemology needs to be "cured" (aka drugged into submission). The religion of secularism must retain power. America is a secular theocracy! The secular hegemony marches on. And the priests (secular shrinks) are paving the way.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Although profound hormonal changes after childbirth are often claimed to cause PPD, there is little evidence that variation in pregnancy hormone levels is correlated with variation in PPD levels: Studies that have examined pregnancy hormone levels and PPD have usually failed to find a relationship (see Harris 1994; O'Hara 1995). Further, fathers, who are not undergoing profound hormonal changes, suffer PPD at relatively high rates (e.g., Goodman 2004). Finally, all mothers experience these hormonal changes, yet only about 10-15% suffer PPD." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-partum_depression)

It sounds like post partum depression is a big fancy scientific sounding word which, in fact, has not been proven scientifically. It also seems like a trump card. If a woman is not feeling up to motherhood, she can always play the PPD card.

I remember one of my students last year being really lazy. I was encouraging/admonishing her to work hard and pay attention to details. She was barely listening to me. And then she played the trump card: She said, "I think I have ADD."

Attention Deficet Hyperactive Disorder, Post Partum Depression.... I'm skeptical. "While not all causes of PPD are known, several factors have been identified." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-partum_depression) In other words, we're not really talking about science. There is some science that is going on for sure. But then shrinks are extrapolating and making inferences and further hypotheses. And they think they are right - simply because they believe that they are the authorities on epistemology and metaphysics. They think they are experts on truth and mental reality.

Of course, the brain is a physical biological organ with lots of complicated chemicals and neuro-networks. And it is possible for some things to break down. I also think it is possible for certain sections of the brain to experience atrophy. If you never engage your mind and if you never exercise and if you eat a lot of McDonalds, I would suspect that some shrink might diagnose you with a mental disorder. It could very well be due to the fact that you haven't taken care of yourself. On the other hand, there seems to be many alternatives to the drugs. Start living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise. Pray. Read the Bible. Meditate on Scripture. Fight for joy. Read books. Eat right. Develop healthy habits.

But of course, this requires discipline and self-control. Many in our generation are not interested. They would rather continue watching 5 hours of TV a day, eat their McDonalds, and pop pills.

It is also worth pointing out that the hypothesis behind post partum depression is based on "evolutionary science." So, ya know... take it for what its worth. For more on evolution, check out my earlier thread on Evolution and Intelligent Design.

I just believe that God would not command us to live disciplined, self-controlled lives of peace and joy, if He did not intend to empower us to do so.

We are broken - to be sure. Appropriate medicine can and does help. But the psychiatry industry is out of control. And, if it turns out that I'm right, the pharmaceutical companies and the shrinks stand to lose a lot of money. So, don't expect them to fess up to their capitalistic abuse any time soon. This industry is not being checked. It is a conflict of interest to have the "checkers" benefitting financially for taking one stance and not another. And meanwhile, America is more prescribed today than it has ever been. I am not exagerrating when I say that psychiatry is the cutting edge of the state sponsored secular religion of the day.

Although, to be fair, it appears that the government has issued warnings against some of the dangers of psychiatry. Check this out:

"On July 21st, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked antidepressant drug makers to add two more warnings to the drug labels. According to the FDA, antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft taken during pregnancy can cause the newborn to develop a fatal lung disease. The FDA also warned that taking antidepressants with certain migraine drugs can lead to "serotonin syndrome," which can lead to hallucinations, vomiting, blood pressure changes, restlessness and death. These two most recent warnings about antidepressants may sound shocking, but they are consistent with the disturbing history of psychiatric drug warnings."

So, while the government does have her share of problems, and in various ways does promote the religion of secularism, we ought to commend the government for warning us of the dangers of these drugs.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

That last quote was from this website: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/view_press_release.php?rID=16642

7:51 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

And that little blurb about the hypothesis of post partum depression being based on evolutionary science was taken from this website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-partum_depression

7:54 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

I haven't seen anything to indicate that post-partum depression does not exist, or that it is somehow not a scientific disease. What is clear is that it does not have once simple, easily-identifiable cause. Neither does cancer.

That's something people don't realize. If you have cancer, usually no one can tell you "why". Some people smoke all their life and never get cancer. Some people never take a single puff and get cancer.

This doesn't mean cancer doesn't exist. It doesn't mean oncology isn't a real science. It just means-- things are complicated. Not every illness can be HIV, where the mechanic can poke through your car and pull out one specific busted gasket and say "This here's your problem".

---

Why don't you think your student had ADD? If she was serious, wouldn't that imply that she was aware that she had a problem with her work, that she wasn't happy about that, that she was very frustrated that her brain wasn't doing what she wanted it to, that she had a genuine desire to be different?
----

The evolutionary psych hypothesis on post-partum depression is pretty speculative, but, it's natural for us to wonder about it. When humans do something, we want to know WHY. What _DOES_ the appendix do? Why do we have sinuses?

We wanna know. We wanna know _WHY_ is it this way? So, when human beings consistenly do something, we wanna understand why we've been made this way. So, I don't blame the evolutionary psychologists for wondering "Why do women's brains sometimes get messed up after giving birth?"

When you look at other animals and realize many of them also exhibit infant abandonment, you do wonder if there's a connection. Maybe there is.

I suspect, however, that there is no reason. We're probably just broken-- just like cars, computers, governments, churches, and everything else in this universe. There probably is no "Why get depressed". People who are blind ask "Why?" but-- there is no why. It's not that the gods struck them down, it's not that they masturbated-- it's just an atom thing.







If a drug noticably improves your life and doesn't hurt your life, you should probably take it.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Marco,

I'm all for authentic scientific inquiry. And I'm all for legitimate meds.

And I'm also all for holding an out-of-control capitalistic psychiatric industry in check - especially given the wealth of legitimate scientific knowledge that suggests that abuses are happening.

Aren't you?

As for my student who thought she had ADHD - by the way, I was recently told by one of these "experts" that ADD does not really exist. It is ADHD. They don't call it ADD anymore. The symptons are all basically the same, but the language in the psychiatric community has changed, and so teachers have been instructed to get in line with the hegemony, and stop using the term ADD. ADHD is politically acceptable. ADD is obsolete.

But about that student. One thing I know: Her father is gone on business often. Weeks and sometimes months at a time.

It seems to me that the behaviors that characterize the supposed disease, ADHD, might look very much like the behaviors of a teenage girl who is not receiving a whole lot of attention from her father.

But questioning whether or not a student has ADHD has been deemed appropriate by the powers that be, while questioning the wisdom and goodness of a parent who is often absent has been deemed offensive and out of bounds.

It is easy to see why turning to drugs is the politically correct thing to do. It is easy to see why those people who care more about kids than about being politically correct are mocked and treated with contempt.

Lifestyle is the key to a healthy life. You want to get to Carnegie Hall? You have to practice. You want to run a marathon? You have to train. You want to have mental health? You have to establish healthy habits: exercise, mental exercise, good diet, appropriate rest, prayer, reading the Bible, meditating on Scripture.

And in some circumstances, people need meds. But they really ought to do research and use good judgment. And they really ought to understand that joy and peace and love and wisdom and righteousness and life are all to be found in Jesus Christ.

We each have a God-shaped hole in us, and no pill will ever be able to fill that hole.

Shrinks are not the final autority on epistemology, and we should not treat them as if they are.

12:18 AM  
Blogger elvis777 said...

"But questioning whether or not a student has ADHD has been deemed appropriate by the powers that be, while questioning the wisdom and goodness of a parent who is often absent has been deemed offensive and out of bounds."

Didn't you last say that THE POWERS THAT BE were put there in place directly by god ? Didn't you reference Romans (I think) about this, the idea that the powers that be are authorities that we must obey, that they have "the sword" and we have to follow because this is god's will ? So then what is it, when is it god's will and when isn't it, and how can you be sure ?

5:12 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

"It seems to me that the behaviors that characterize the supposed disease, ADHD, might look very much like the behaviors of a teenage girl who is not receiving a whole lot of attention from her father."

But see-- you're assuming that one can't cause the other. Maybe having a bad family life DOES cause mental illnesses. Maybe having mental illness in your genes causes you to have a bad family life.

Just because something was caused by 'nurture' doesn't mean it can't be fixed by medicine. At the end of the day, most (probably all) of my behavior is just chemicals anyway.

Now, I tend to suspect that attentional problems are mostly if not entirely genetic-- but emotional problems can be both and have some of the same symptoms.

"It is easy to see why turning to drugs is the politically correct thing to do. It is easy to see why those people who care more about kids than about being politically correct are mocked and treated with contempt."

It's not about politically correct-- it's about effectiveness. The sad truth is-- we have much better control over postsynaptic serotonin levels than we do over parenting styles. On "Dr. Phil", they make it look like one good stern talking to will cure any problem-- the truth is, people rarely change deeply ingrained behaviors just because someone tells them to.

"ADHD is politically acceptable. ADD is obsolete."

lol. that's a totally cynical way to look at it. It's not a politically correct thing. They just realized that the hyperactivity was a part of the syndrome and wanted to emphasize that behavior component of the syndrome and differentiate it from some of the other dysfunctions of attention. (i'm sorta guessing about that second part, but i bet i'm right).

But-- it's not a 'pc' thing-- it's just a diagnostic thing. When it was first discovered, AIDS was called GRID-- "gay-related immune deficiency". Once they realized that it was wasn't actually caused by anything directly related to homosexuality (such as some genetic correlate of homosexuality, which theoretically could have been a possibility) , they changed the name to a more accurate one.

Thinking you were more than one person used to be called "multiple personality disorder". But the thing they discovered is-- it's not the "multiple personality" part that the problem. Everyone has multiple personalities. You're supposed to. In different moods and different situations, we all act differently.

The real disorder is that, for some reason, the different personalities don't seem to realize they're all the same person. When I'm in a good mood, I can't remember the things I did when I was in a bad mood. I answer to different names. etc.

So, they changed the name to reflect this new discovery from multiple personality disorder to "disassociative identity disorder"-- because the problem isn't having multiple personality, the problem is having a fractured identity.

It was called ''Consumption'' before we learned that Tuberculosis was caused by a tubullar bacteria. It used to be called "Adult-onset diabetes" until people realized that children were getting it, and changed the name to simply "type 2 diabetes".

Nothing 'pc' about it.

--

"We each have a God-shaped hole in us, and no pill will ever be able to fill that hole."

Even if that's so-- it just proves people have a need to believe in a God, and that people function better when they believe in a god. It doesn't prove God exists or that he is going to meet me after I'm dead.

I have a food-shaped hole in me, and find that I need to swallow food quite often in order to function properly. But I don't expect a ham sandwich to meet me after I'm dead. :)

----

"And I'm also all for holding an out-of-control capitalistic psychiatric industry in check - especially given the wealth of legitimate scientific knowledge that suggests that abuses are happening. Aren't you?"

Here is the concern about medication. My concern is this:

Since children's decisions are made by parents and teachers, my concern is that the adults will do what is best for the adults, rather than what is best for the children. Maybe it's not HEALTHY for young children to have to sit in desks all day, as if they were accountants. Maybe just making them do that is the problem. And when some of them don't handle it well, maybe we're going to punish them or drug them, instead of saying "Maybe not everyone's cut out for this sort of instruction-- maybe by putting them in this situation in the first plae, we're the ones causing this trouble".

I definitely have encountered cases where teachers encouraged parents to put children on ritalin where the child clearly did not have a problem. In both those cases, the doctors they later consulted agreed with me that the children didn't actually have a problem. Really, the teacher was the one who had the problem, and she thought some drugs would be a good solution to her problem. If those two kids had gone on ritalin, I suspect it would have made their lives worse, not better-- in which case, going on it would be a Bad Thing.

So, sure-- there's potential for abuse everywhere. But, we have to get away from this idea that taking drugs is 'cheating'-- taking the easy way out, or being sinful. If it can help, it's a good thing, pure and simple :)

6:25 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Joe,

Every authority has been established by God. That does not mean that every authority has always done the right thing. History is full of authorities that have been evil, misinformed, stupid, self-centered, etc, etc.

If an authority commands us to go against God's will, then we need to resist that authority - just like Peter did in Acts 4 and 5. "We must obey God and not men!"

We are supposed to obey our authorities when what they say is not in conflict with God's commands.

Hope that clears things up.

Marco,
I have little doubt that an absent father does have a part to play in "causing" an unhealthy mind. A child who is not loved, nurtured, and disciplined can, as Dr. Laura say, choose to live a healthy lifestyle anyway. However, their road becomes much harder (although in their minds, not being disciplined makes life easier for a little while). Many will choose to do what is easy, rather than what is hard. Without supervision, if they have the choice between studying and watching TV, many would watch TV. Thus the brain experiences a certain amount of atrophy. The neurological network does not get the right "exercise." Atrophy, apathy, and complacency becomes the unhealthy norm. And I have little doubt that the physiological effects are real.

And my gut tells me that a fast food, pill popping, instant-solution that does not call for a change of lifestyle - that is no solution at all. And often it leads to disastorous consequences. It would be most unwise to ignore the large percentage of the medical community who agrees with me on this.

Parents who are putting their kids on Ritalin are desperate. I believe that most of the time, they are not making decisions based on scientific research. I don't believe that they are making decisions calmly. I don't believe that many of them are "acting in good faith." I think they are panicking. They are frazzled. And they are being duped by the so-called "experts."

Last year, there was one kid in one of my classes who was such a great kid. I loved this kid. (I loved all my students). This kid was brilliant. But he had a real hard time paying attention. In many ways, I could identify with him. Extremely smart and extremely disorganized. Capable of thinking at very level high levels, but then being forgetful and absent minded about the task at hand.

Well, some shrink diagnosed this kid with ADHD (or actually with ADD which is obsolete, but hey, psychiatry is quasi-science anyway, so who cares). I remember talking with this kid's mother, who is a friend of mine, who I love, and I was able to get her to ask my opinion about the subject. (I had to be careful about the manner in which I did this kind of thing. The long arm of political correct injustice can catch up to you real quick.) But she ended up asking me my opinion, and I told her. I saw this woman crumble into tears, as I shared with her - in the gentlest way that I could - my conviction that Ritalin would harm her child. As she cried before me, she said, "I just don't know what else to do. I'm desperate."

My heart goes out to people like that. I gave her a copy of my ADHD/Ritalin file (a little file that contained the compiliation of my research), and encouraged her to check it out and to pray about her decision.

The facts are that Ritalin is very similar to cocaine.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30441
http://www.webmd.com/content/article/78/95700.htm
http://www.gdcada.org/statistics/ritalin.htm
http://www.breggin.com/congress.html
http://www.ritalindeath.com/Doping-Kids.htm

I glanced through these articles. I don't know what all of this means, but it doesn't sound good. And I have heard numerous reports of kids who have been put on Ritalin on a "trial basis" only to realize later that doing so was totally the wrong thing to do. I have seen insecure parents (in the case I'm thinking of, a mother, the father was silent and seemed pretty passive - which is another rant for another time) talk about her son's reading problems, and how he had previously been on Ritalin, but then they decided that it wasn't the right way to go. I saw this woman try to convince herself (and her teachers) that she was doing the best she could for her child.

It seems to me that way too many parents are ignorant and desperate, and these "professional psychiatrists" are so elitist. They are shamelessly advising these insecure, desperate parents to put their kids on Ritalin and other harmful drugs without disclosing that there is a huge controversy in the medical community. People with just as much education as themselves are speaking up and speaking out on the subject, and they are in disagreement!

It seems to me that the shrink should at least disclose this information before he advises parents to put their kids on drugs that have similar effects to cocaine!

8:30 AM  
Blogger MarcoConley said...

"The facts are that Ritalin is very similar to cocaine."

Dan! i'm flabbergasted.

Saying Ritalin is similar to cocaine--- that's like saying Jesus is very similar to Hitler. If you stop and think about it, it's actually technically quite true. They were leaders of major movements, they had followers, gave speeches, changed the world, etc.. But, in a large way-- it's a horrible horrible lie, because if someone made a top five list of hitler's traits, Jesus wouldn't share them. But, if I want to insist that Jesus is similar to Hitler, I'm technically right. But mostly, I'm just spreading propaganda that will scare people.
--

Here's your first clue that the analogy is a bad one-- Ritalin isn't, say incredibly uncontrollably addictive. There aren't ritalin rehab clinics. There's a little ritalin abuse, but no one's committing crimes to pay for ritalin habits. Very few, if any, people die from ritalin OD. In all the MOST important things that cocaine bad-- ritialin is NOTHING like cocaine.
---

Here's the proof that ritalin is totally different from cocaine. Have you considered this-- why does ritalin, a STIMULANT, make some children LESS hyper?

The answer is that it selectively stimulated as part of the brain known to be deficient in patients with attentional dysfunctions. It stimulates the part of your brain that makes you pay attention, so the overall effect is LESS hyper.

not very cocaine like at all. Now, sure, there are chemical similarities I could rattle off, but won't bUt, the thing to remember is-- chemical similarites aren't all they're cracked up to be. I saw a page recently that warned internet users of the dangers of the carcinogene DHMO (dihydrogenmonoxide). DHMO is fatal if inhaled-- it is the principle component of acid rain, and it can be addictive. Most of all, it is just one molecule different from a dangerous, explosive gas. DHMO is of course, water.

There's all kinds of examples of chemicals that are very very similar but have totally differrent properties.

--

"I have heard numerous reports of kids who have been put on Ritalin on a "trial basis" only to realize later that doing so was totally the wrong thing to do."

but see-- that's the way it should work. People shouldn't hesistate to try things on a trial basis. For many people it won't be helpful, and they can quickly and painlessly say "well.. that didn't work". But, for some people it's life-changingly helpful.

"the father was silent and seemed pretty passive - which is another rant for another time"

If this is going to be some sort of 'father should wear the pants, women should gracefully submit' rant-- i will have to go all feminazi on you :)
--

"And my gut tells me that a fast food, pill popping, instant-solution that does not call for a change of lifestyle - that is no solution at all."

See-- that's the problem RIGHT there. we have this ingrained masochistic puritanical notion that if you don't have to suffer for something, you obviously don't deserve it, you obviously didn't earn it, and there's obviously something wrong with it.

6:57 PM  

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