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Showing posts from February, 2010

DSM V and Mood Disorders, Part II -- How Did We Get Here?

Lost Creek Wilderness
Starting point -- Okay, the only way we get anywhere is if we understand very clearly who owns this map.  The pharmaceutical companies do.  It's their map.  Get over it.  This knowledge will help us steer a course, or maybe give them a nudge, or at least anticipate where they are taking us.
For the longest time, depression got no respect.  When they started using medication for schizophrenia, depression was still lost in the la-la-land of Freud's neurosis.  You could either talk it out over years on the couch, or you could snap out of it.   Medical advances in the treatment of depression came about by accident.
So back in the 1950's, Smith Kline and French (today GlaxoSmithKline) were making a killing on thorazine, the first med to treat schizophrenia.  It worked, but thorazine has so many side effects they list them alphabetically.  Other drug companies wanted a piece of the action.  Seeking to improve the side effect profile, they came up with the firs…

DSM V and Mood Disorders, Part I -- What's at Stake

Earlier this month, the American Psychiatric Association released the long awaited proposed revision of theirDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5).  It is available now for public comment, with an anticipated publication date for the final version in May 2013.  To call this the Bible of Mental Illness is to overestimate the significance of the Bible.


The DSM was first written to give clinicians and researchers a common vocabulary and a common understanding of the various diagnoses of mental illness.  John McManamy has related this history on his blog Knowledge is Necessity.  I refer you to his thorough account, found in the links at the bottom of his post. -- [Hey, John -- I recognized your image for "Few Surprises."  It was one that I considered for this post!]

The way the DSM works always reminds me of a Chinese menu.  For example, if you have one symptom from Column A and at least five from columns A and B, for over two weeks, you have Major Depressiv…

Shadows

Thom is a long-time fellow traveler and now both a Facebook friend and Prozac Monologues reader.  He regularly posts on Facebook the latest segment of the ABCs of Spiritual Literacy.  Last week's entry was on Shadow.  Well, that hits me where I live.  My thanks to Thom for leading me to this post.


This website presents one spiritual practice at a time, each in a similar format.  First it names what the practice enhances (in this case, wholeness) and what it balances (Pollyannaism/projections).  Then it moves to the Basic Practice and Why This Practice May Be for You, with links to books, films, art, prayer, imagery, discussion questions...


So here is the story on Shadow:


The Basic Practice:
The spiritual practice of shadow encourages us to make peace with those parts of ourselves that we find to be despicable, unworthy, and embarrassing — our anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness, violence, and other "evil deeds."


Kinda reminds ya of a therapy session, doesn't it?


University…

Release the Kraken!!

Well, it's one of those weeks in a remitting/recurring disease. "Release the Kraken!" -- my favorite line from Clash of the Titans, a 1981 movie to be remade and released this summer.  Oh, you gotta check out that link to the trailer!

My apologies to regular readers who are looking for a new post.  It's an interesting one, Shadows.  Maybe I will be able to write it next week.  Come to think of it, the image on the right would fit that post, too. (Anonymous, in the public domain for copywrite expiration). For now, here is a reprint from last July:

What is Depression, Anyway?
When I thought the meds would work, I didn't ask this question (referring to the title, not the caption!) Depression is a disease of the brain and also of the mind. The best results are obtained by working on both fronts. Take your meds. Talk to your therapist. Simple.

Then I discovered that the meds made me worse. Whenever I say that, I rush to say that, my experience notwithstanding, for …