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Thread: Psychiatric drugs, the placebo effect, suicides and homicides: resolving an argument that I had a few weeks ago

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    Default Psychiatric drugs, the placebo effect, suicides and homicides: resolving an argument that I had a few weeks ago

    Okay, I've wanted to fix this for weeks, but didn't feel like I was ready.

    This is going to be a rather disorganized cluster of thoughts.

    This is mostly directed at anndelise and pianosinger. But it might be of interest to anyone else who was involved in that other 'angry rant' thread. I just wanted this thread to be more peaceful this time since I'm not in the same mood I was in when I wrote the other. I'm putting this in the 'delta' section as a way of signalling that 1. it was mostly directed at a couple of deltas who I had been arguing with, although anyone else can still participate, and 2. I wanted to feel like I'm in my 'safety zone' where I'm surrounded by people who mostly understand me pretty easily and where we won't be fighting and arguing too much, hopefully.

    I have to acknowledge a couple of things.

    1. Some people have positive experiences with psychiatric drugs, and they don't have a lot of bad side effects, or if they do, they think it is worthwhile anyway because of the benefits.

    2. Hypnotism and the placebo effect are two different things. Hypnotism can be useful. The placebo effect is a whole separate issue and I have to explain why I was talking about that and what it means to me.

    Pianosinger had said that she herself was greatly helped by some drugs that broke her loose from being stuck in a bad situation. Anndelise had said that she works as a hypnotherapist (if I'm using the right word) and that the mind has great power to make the body do things that you would be surprised it can do.

    This will probably be somewhat disorganized. I keep thinking of bits and pieces of things I wanted to say, and so it might come out in no particular order.

    First, I was thinking about something that came up in the chatroom right around the time when I wrote that thread. We started talking about the 'ice man,' a guy who can tolerate extremely cold water. They say that he's able to do it by using some kind of mental technique.

    When I hear about something like this, I don't explain it as being something mental. I explain it as something physical. If it were merely mental, then anybody could do it merely by wishing that they could. There has to be something different in that man's brain or body that lets him do that, and it's a physical difference, not a difference of beliefs, not a difference of how much will he uses to control his own body.

    My personal experiences: I myself attempted to use self-hypnosis in the past. I've also attempted to use meditation. This is the reason why I say that hypnosis isn't very powerful. Hypnosis works for some people, but not very well for other people.

    I was unable to focus mentally whenever I attempted to meditate. At the time, I didn't know what was happening. Later on I discovered that I am constantly being attacked by electronic weapons. That is the reason why I am unable to silence my mind and focus it myself.

    I was just thinking about this today and I remembered a doctor who I went to several years ago. He monitored my brain waves and he told me that every so often, my brain would suddenly switch to REM sleep while I was awake. He was observing this happening on the monitor. Whenever I'm meditating, I experience 'zaps' where I suddenly hear bursts of noise, fall asleep suddenly and then wake up, see visual images, hear voices, or feel like a cattle prod just zapped me - an electric shock sensation. I suspect that those experiences are happening in the moments when my brain suddenly goes into REM sleep, and I believe those are the attacks, not something that my brain naturally does on its own.

    Because of all that, because of my experiences with electronic harassment for the past several years, I myself am unable to use hypnosis or meditation. I also believe that everybody is vulnerable to being attacked and controlled, and so, as a result, hypnosis may be unreliable, or it sometimes won't work as well as it should.

    This is an extremely long post. I'm going to break it up into several segments. The purpose of this was to make peace, mostly with pianosinger and anndelise, because of how we argued and never really resolved it, in the other 'angry rant: drugs cause suicide' thread. I'll put a few more post fragments up after this one.

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    from toronto with love ScarlettLux's Avatar
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    I would really like to hear more about your life story. You intrigue me.. and also scare me a little bit Of course, I think you're paranoid, I'm not going to lie right now. But I'm willing to discuss with you your experiences with so-called "electronic harassment" and "drug residues".. and keep an open mind.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarlettLux View Post
    I would really like to hear more about your life story. You intrigue me.. and also scare me a little bit Of course, I think you're paranoid, I'm not going to lie right now. But I'm willing to discuss with you your experiences with so-called "electronic harassment" and "drug residues".. and keep an open mind.
    Yeah, I was actually gonna post a couple things over in your thread, too. I just saw that a while ago. I probably will tonight depending on how long I stay up.

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    It was sort of a coincidence that I decided to start writing about this again right at the moment when you started your thread too. I'll probably write a little bit in both threads, but this thread here will be focused on a couple of specific issues that came up when I was 'ranting' a few weeks ago, and the stuff that I say over in your thread might be more about drugs in general and my experiences with them. If I get lazy maybe I'll copy-paste stuff from one thread to the other .

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    Okay.

    Is it true that I universally advise everybody to not use psychiatric drugs? Not that my advice has any kind of power or anything. But the answer is yes. My advice is intended to be universal.

    Do I say this out loud in real life? No. I almost never discuss this out loud with people, even though, for instance, at my workplace, I hear other people talking about the drugs they use. I only write about this online. If I could advise those people, then yeah, I would advise them not to ever use these psychiatric drugs.

    I also would advise people to stop using the drugs they are already taking. However, that is *extremely* hard to do. Drugs cause extremely severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be life-threatening, and they can last for months, or even a year, for instance, withdrawal from benzodiazepines. You can actually die from withdrawal from particular drugs.

    You can also have extremely severe symptoms that happen even if all that you do is lower the dosage of your drug. So if you were originally taking 50 mg of something, and then, one day, you forget to take one pill, so you accidentally only take 25 mg that day, you can suddenly have extremely severe withdrawal symptoms.

    The withdrawal symptoms are not the same as 'going back to the way you were.'

    Some people believe that whenever they withdraw from a psychiatric drug, they are just 'backsliding' or something, going back to the 'old' depression that they had before they took the drug.

    However, withdrawal from the drugs is a totally new syndrome in and of itself. For instance, imagine caffeine withdrawal. Whenever you stop drinking coffee, you get a headache, usually about 24 hours after you stop the coffee. That headache isn't just you 'going back to your normal self.' You never had a headache before you drank coffee. Headaches are a specific symptom caused by withdrawal from coffee.

    Similarly, suicide can be an effect which is directly caused by psychiatric drug withdrawal. But most people interpret it differently. They believe the person was depressed and suicidal to begin with, and so, when they quit the drug, they are 'backsliding' or 'going back to the way they were.'

    So if someone quits drugs, and then suddenly commits suicide, many people believe the suicide was caused by the lack of drugs. They believe the drugs were saving that person from suicide. They believe the person would have committed suicide without drugs.

    In the other thread, somebody mentioned this idea: How many lives have been saved by these drugs? How many people 'would have' committed suicide if those drugs hadn't been there to help them? I will have to talk about that idea, but first I want to emphasize what I just said above: withdrawal from the drugs can cause suicides, and no, it's not just you 'going back to the way you were,' or 'doing the stuff you would have done in the absence of drugs.' Sometimes people quit the drugs, and then suddenly commit suicide, and when people look at that, they mistakenly say 'Wow, those drugs were really helpful - when the person was on those drugs, the drugs were preventing a suicide. What a shame that they quit the drugs and lost that protection against suicide.'

    I am saying this:

    A perfectly normal person is happy, healthy, and not at all suicidal. (Yeah, I realize nobody is perfectly normal and happy.)

    Give that person the psychiatric drugs.

    If they're lucky, they won't have any major side effects while they're on the drugs. Proceed to the next step....

    Suddenly that person stops using the drugs.

    Boom: as soon as they go into drug withdrawal, they suddenly become suicidal, even though they were happy and normal before they ever used the drugs.

    Suicide can sometimes be directly caused by the *syndrome* of drug *withdrawal*. Just like a caffeine withdrawal headache is caused by caffeine withdrawal, suicide can be caused by psychiatric drug withdrawal, and it can have nothing to do with 'backsliding' or going back to the way you were before you used the drugs.

    continuing more post fragments....

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    The placebo effect:

    Why did I mention the placebo effect in the first place? Why was that so important to me whenever I was ranting about this a couple weeks ago? What does it have to do with the power of the mind?

    This was where anndelise and I were disagreeing about something and I never really came back to the thread to clarify it.

    I'm trying to remember my original thoughts.... I'd go read the other thread again, but I kind of dread looking at it!

    I was trying to explain that 'the placebo effect' and 'the power of the mind' are two different things, but people have mistakenly connected them together.

    The placebo effect is a result of the particular way that the government requires the drug companies to test their products. This test design is not the only way to test a drug, nor is it the best way, and in fact, there are some people who believe that the double-blind, placebo-controlled test is misleading or even useless.

    One argument: Drugs have to be tested against a placebo. However, it can be more useful to test one drug against another drug. This type of testing is not required by the FDA. They only have to test a drug against a placebo. But much more useful information would be gained by testing different drugs against each other. You could find out which ones worked better, which ones had the worst side effects, and so on. Sometimes that type of testing is done, and sometimes it isn't.

    People believe that the government is doing 'enough' to test the drugs that are for sale. But there are other ways they could be testing the drugs, which they do not use.

    I know this argument is disorganized... it's frustrating because I can't remember all of the ideas I needed to express, and I'm not remembering everything in the right order.

    The placebo effect is just the name for what happens whenever somebody 'gets better' even though they took something that wasn't a real drug.

    However, we don't know *why* they got better! So, many people assume that 'the placebo effect' and 'the power of the mind' are the same thing. People assume that people get better when they use placebos, because they believed in the placebo, and their mind created the healing effects on its own, through its belief.

    But in the big drug tests, the 'placebo effect' could have been caused by anything at all, not just by the power of the mind. You have an entire group of people who received a placebo, a fake drug, something that doesn't work, like a sugar pill. Some of those people will spontaneously get better on their own, and we don't know the reasons why they get better. So they label all of that as 'the placebo effect' anytime people get better when they take a placebo.

    But some of the people who received the placebo don't get better! Why doesn't the placebo effect work for every single person in the placebo group??? This is a very important question. Why would 'the power of the mind' be helpful to some of the people in the placebo group, but not to others?

    The experiments don't keep a detailed record of which people somehow 'got better' while taking the placebo. They don't keep track of all the other possible reasons why that person might have gotten better. There are infinity reasons why they might have gotten better, *other than* merely the power of the mind. That person might have actually done something that solved their depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, or whatever, something which has nothing to do with the power of the mind. But people will see that they took a placebo and got better, and assume that 'the power of belief' has to be the one and only reason why that person got better when they took a placebo pill.

    If the placebo effect actually worked, then it would be the best way to treat all illnesses. It has no harmful side effects. Placebos are also the cheapest drug to produce - just make a sugar pill. If the placebo effect were reliable and effective for every single person who took a placebo, then that is the way we ought to treat all illnesses. However, placebos don't make *everyone* get better. Only a few people who take a placebo will mysteriously get better, and nobody keeps track of all of the possible reasons why they might have gotten better.

    so 'the placebo effect' and 'the power of the mind' have come to mean the same thing, but they are not. They have nothing to do with each other.

    Many doctors, however, believe in 'the placebo effect,' and they believe it's the same thing as 'the power of the mind,' and this is one of the biggest reasons why they don't listen to patients who complain about the symptoms they experience as a result of taking drugs, and it's one of the reasons why they don't warn people about dangerous or deadly drug effects.

    ...to be continued.

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    I'm reading a couple different pages on the web where they talk about test designs and placebo effects, so that I can remember what I was trying to say.

    http://tucksprofessionalservices.com...print&ID=15430

    "Many illnesses, from Parkinson's disease to irritable bowel syndrome, have been proven to improve after placebo pills and treatments. The jury is still out on whether the practice of taking a sugar pill or simply going through the ritual of treatment is what's causing the beneficial responses … but either way studies show that if you think you're receiving a treatment, and you expect that treatment to work, it often does."

    Did they compare a placebo-taking group to a group of people not doing anything at all? Do people ever just take one group of people, give them a placebo, and compare them to another group of people who don't get a placebo? Who would pay for that study?

    I think I'll give this a rest until tomorrow. I'll have to finish thinking of the stuff I wanted to say.

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    I just wanted to throw in a quick comment. It seems to me that people who oppose psychiatric drugs (and used to be very opposed myself) usually think of them as altering a normal state in that depression is a state that a person is in at the time for a reason. So the drug then puts the person into a non-natural non-depressed state and the person is not able to go "back to normal" even after going off the drug. Correct me if I am wrong, but that seems to be your take. I was pretty happy and well-adjusted until my early thirties when I started feeling depressed and anxiety-riddled. The onset was gradual, but it got progressively worse over three or so years until it got to the point that I couldn't function properly anymore, which meant I was at risk of not being able to continue my studies, which would have lead to loss of my livelihood, my visa, etc. My therapist (even before I talked to a psychiatrist) recommended medication to stabilize me before even attempting therapy. My point is that a few weeks after starting the medication I felt normal again. So after years of constantly fighting against some weird fog, I was back to feeling how I felt before the depression started. My belief is that the medication fixed an imbalance the development of which runs in my family (including the onset age of 30ish) and put me back into my normal state.

    I have a friend who has major depression (including alcoholism) and refuses medication. She was strongly opposed to me taking medication because she learned to cope through therapy. But while she underwent intensive therapy, she worked a 9-5 job as a store clerk, which meant she was able to go home and leave work behind and focus on other things. When I went into a tailspin, I had to write a dissertation and teach and be creative or lose it all. There was no time or energy to "work on myself."

    I do respect your position, but it pains me to see family members suffer from depression and anxiety and refusing medication (it's a bit of a cultural thing, too) while knowing how much they can improve quality of life. Brains can get sick, too.
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    Hey N1cole, the electric shock feelings come from falling into REM sleep. Before a person falls into REM sleep, he passes through stage 1, 2, and 3. During stage 2, something calls a K-complex occurs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-complex

    Read that, and let me know if it roughly describes what you are experiencing. Do take note of the spindles too.

    I theorize that the meditation you practice may contribute to the sudden loss of control over the conscious aspect of your mind, which explains the K-Complex preceding your REM sleep, resulting in a few spindles as you wake up from it. Meanwhile, you may see visions or hear noises because your mind is not fully awake yet, although some part of it is conscious. It is very complex to understand and explain, but it is perfectly normal, and not the result of electronic harassment. The only abnormal thing I would say, is your actual practice of meditation in relation to you as a person. The method, purpose, or pathways you are using may not be appropriate for who you are as a person, which results in uncomfortable and unwanted loss of control. You might want to explore this further with yourself, after having feedback from people around you whom you can trust to understand you and not make personal judgements on you without proper consideration.
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    A couple years ago I was put in charge of decorating the college for Valentine's Day. I made some gorgeous, fancy decorations from construction paper, glue, scissors, and imagination. Then I covered a couple cabinets with them. But my favorite was the diagram of a human heart I put up. So romantic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
    Hey N1cole, the electric shock feelings come from falling into REM sleep. Before a person falls into REM sleep, he passes through stage 1, 2, and 3. During stage 2, something calls a K-complex occurs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-complex

    Read that, and let me know if it roughly describes what you are experiencing. Do take note of the spindles too.

    I theorize that the meditation you practice may contribute to the sudden loss of control over the conscious aspect of your mind, which explains the K-Complex preceding your REM sleep, resulting in a few spindles as you wake up from it. Meanwhile, you may see visions or hear noises because your mind is not fully awake yet, although some part of it is conscious. It is very complex to understand and explain, but it is perfectly normal, and not the result of electronic harassment. The only abnormal thing I would say, is your actual practice of meditation in relation to you as a person. The method, purpose, or pathways you are using may not be appropriate for who you are as a person, which results in uncomfortable and unwanted loss of control. You might want to explore this further with yourself, after having feedback from people around you whom you can trust to understand you and not make personal judgements on you without proper consideration.
    Reuben, I don't entirely disagree with this, however there are other things, such as loud noises that occur in the room around me, loud banging and clicking noises on objects that are just sitting still. I'll have to get into more detail later, but the point was that it isn't just something my brain is doing internally. There is stuff going on outside of my body as well. But thank you for the reference.

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    Let me know about it
    She is wise
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    and does not
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    meaning of no.
    Because everything
    through her, and in her, is
    "Yes, it will be done."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbie
    A couple years ago I was put in charge of decorating the college for Valentine's Day. I made some gorgeous, fancy decorations from construction paper, glue, scissors, and imagination. Then I covered a couple cabinets with them. But my favorite was the diagram of a human heart I put up. So romantic!

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    I don't have anything to add to this subject but my told me to say this:

    Hypnotism and the placebo effect are two different things. Hypnotism can be useful.
    As if placebo isn't useful? Not much of a placebo effect if it doesn't effect.
    Hypnotic effect doesn't exclude placebo effect and therefore can be useful at least as a placebo, if not in itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
    Hey N1cole, the electric shock feelings come from falling into REM sleep. Before a person falls into REM sleep, he passes through stage 1, 2, and 3. During stage 2, something calls a K-complex occurs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-complex

    Read that, and let me know if it roughly describes what you are experiencing. Do take note of the spindles too.

    I theorize that the meditation you practice may contribute to the sudden loss of control over the conscious aspect of your mind, which explains the K-Complex preceding your REM sleep, resulting in a few spindles as you wake up from it. Meanwhile, you may see visions or hear noises because your mind is not fully awake yet, although some part of it is conscious. It is very complex to understand and explain, but it is perfectly normal, and not the result of electronic harassment. The only abnormal thing I would say, is your actual practice of meditation in relation to you as a person. The method, purpose, or pathways you are using may not be appropriate for who you are as a person, which results in uncomfortable and unwanted loss of control. You might want to explore this further with yourself, after having feedback from people around you whom you can trust to understand you and not make personal judgements on you without proper consideration.
    I also suggest researching hypnagogia. This happens to me quite often, especially if I'm napping during the day. I hear muffled voices that sound like they're in the same room, or children playing in a non-existent playground outside, or--when I was younger-- I would sometimes lay half-awake at night and swear I could hear my brothers' video games being played, even though everyone was fast asleep in bed. When I was a child, I had very vivid waking dreams/nightmares where I momentarily saw things in the room with me even after I thought I was fully awake. Occasionally I've even had hypnagogia where I actually feel something externally, like a "dog bite" on my arm.

    Nicole-- I hope you never thought I was angry with you or putting down your beliefs/ideas. I get much of what you're saying, and see much of the logic in why you think the way you do (though the "electronic weapons" thing has me a little concerened, as it does others who have responded). I just wanted to make sure you also understood-- in the other thread-- that making a blanket statement condemning psychiatric drugs for patients who really need them and can benefit from them, was maybe not the best approach to dealing with your own bad experiences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    I don't have anything to add to this subject but my told me to say this:


    As if placebo isn't useful? Not much of a placebo effect if it doesn't effect.
    Hypnotic effect doesn't exclude placebo effect and therefore can be useful at least as a placebo, if not in itself.
    No, I agree with you. That was just a sloppily worded sentence. The placebo effect can be useful too - except that it's so unreliable and inconsistent that it's hard to tell whether it's actually happening or not. But if it existed and if it actually happened, it would be the ultimate panacea.

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