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The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Open discussion about the Anti-Psychiatry Movement and related topics. This includes the opposition to forced treatment and hospitalization as well as the belief that Psychiatric Medication does more harm than good. Please note that these topics are controversial and therefore this forum may offend some people. This is not the belief of Psych Forums or Get Mental Help and this forum was posted to offer a safe place to discuss these beliefs.

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The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Postby Theymakeyouwait » Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:53 pm

Probably everyone has heard the myth that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance and drugs correct this. Polls find 80% of people believe this myth. The fact is no study has found that non-drudged depressed people have less serotonin or that schizophrenic people have too much dopamine. The non-drugged part is important because the drugs actually create a chemical imbalance. You don’t start with a chemical imbalance you are given one by the addicting drugs prescribed.
This myth has several harmful effects on people. First it turns all your accomplishments and improvement not a result of your hard work and resilience but instead the effect of a pill. This directly harms self esteem and the motivation to improve ones life. This myth convinced people that they cant recover and will suffer for life. Ironically a reason given for spreading this myth is to reduce stigma. However studies find this myth increases stigma. Telling people a groups brains are defective and diseased and will be like that forever creates othering and stigmatization.
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Re: The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Postby Darktolight74 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:58 pm

I believe the mental health system is largely responsible for increasing the stigma many face who are labeled as "mentally ill". In my own experience it was the so called "professionals" who seemed to have the most stigmatizing view of my own issues.

Initially what brought me to seek help from the mental health system was my own battle with depression, anxiety, and insomnia, I believe a lot of it was from child hood experiences of being bullied, scapegoated in the family, and other things I'm not comfortable talking about. Instead of finding healing and learning to accept myself as I am, I left the system feeling even worse about myself and humiliated. I was even laughed at. It felt like a repeat of being bullied. The worst stigma I've ever experienced was from the "professionals". This stigma also had a ripple effect, my own family now had more ammunition to mistreat me since I was now labeled as mentally ill.

The stigma that this system creates becomes your reality. Former friends want nothing to do with you, neighbors keep their distance. Finding a job becomes impossible if they find out you have a history of "mental illness". As a result your mental health gets worse, and then they say "see, he really is mentally ill".

We need a new system that helps people see themselves as normal and acceptable for who they are, that there's nothing wrong with them, based on our common humanity, and not on our faults or pseudoscientific mental health labels that medicalizes and dehumanizes people.

As corny as this sounds, we need a system of love.
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Re: The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Postby PaigeDisney1004 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Good Afternoon,

I certainly can relate to medical "professionals" who are not helpful, who further contribute to the stigmas that bring mentally ill people down. I have found this to be especially true when hospitalized. I have had to go off on a number of individuals who said some really inappropriate things. I am referring to the actual doctors. I am mature enough and experienced enough to know it is the individual who is ignorant and I ask to be put under someone else's care. I have told a dr she doesn't belong in this field because she has no clue how her patients actually feel and is toxic. Unfortunately in an inpatient setting the dr feels they have all of the control and everything you do or say is blamed on whatever your diagnosis happens to be. I have had providers try to write me off by attributing my dissatisfaction to features of my mental illness. Thats when I demand to be seen by a different dr.

Have a good day
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Re: The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Postby AArgon » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:18 pm

This might do better in the anti-psych forum.
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Re: The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:30 am

Theymakeyouwait wrote:...

AArgon wrote:This might do better in the anti-psych forum.

I agree.

OP,  your posts belong in the anti-psych subforum - which is designed for your topics.

You don't have safe, proven alternatives & you're pushing your own opinions and experiences (and you're presenting them as fact with ambiguous references to studies without empirical research to back it) --- and you're doing so infront of potentially vulnerable people who may not have the professional support and resources to experiment safely with what you're promoting.

Theymakeyouwait wrote:Probably everyone has heard the myth that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance and drugs correct this. Polls find 80% of people believe this myth.


People's beliefs are not fact - nor are they research.

Christian's believe Hindu Gods are a myth and Hindu's believe Christian doctrine is a myth.

One doesn't cancel out the other - and Neither are fact.

Theymakeyouwait wrote:The fact is no study has found that non-drudged depressed people have less serotonin or that schizophrenic people have too much dopamine.


Yes they have.

The problem is that addressing the chemical imbalances doesn't always make a difference.
^^^
Ex: the dopamine-hypothesis theory of treatment doesn't work for all people with schizophrenia or psychosis.

Theymakeyouwait wrote:The non-drugged part is important because the drugs actually create a chemical imbalance. You don’t start with a chemical imbalance you are given one by the addicting drugs prescribed.


True, but due to the lack of mental health resources, most people with severe mental illnesses are too unsupported to safely do anything about it.

Theymakeyouwait wrote:This myth has several harmful effects on people.


All absolutes and incomprehensive information have several harmful effects on people - including your own.

The biopsychosocial model of rehabilitation and diathesis-stress model acknowledge that mental disorders are a unique mixture of factors.

Addressing how brain chemistry, thinking, lifestyle, history, social determinants, social relationships, purpose, etc. intermingle and impact each other back and forth + mental illnesses are not the same + the cause of every individual's disorder will be at least a little different as a result.

The lack of resources + societial indifference is what stops this from being adequately addressed.

I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with a lot of what you're saying, but at best, you're combating what you believe are opinions with more opinions because you've not included any valid research. Regardless, your posts belong in the anti-psych subforum
They collect information to stock pile in their souls, saying, "I will tuck this into my subconscious for later use." ~ unknown
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Re: The Chemical imbalance myth causes harm

Postby NewSunRising » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:43 am

This topic has been moved here from the Living With Mental Illness forum .
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