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#1 Old 10-24-2005, 08:08 PM
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Spit off from another thread, what do you think? Can there be a true diagnose? Do you need a cat scan? Can the docs believe in what the patients are describing to them? Are docs giving the right meds, or is it just a kick back for them, and a "mental illness is not real."



Are docs really not diagnosing right? They just tell them this, for the patient to come back. Is it all in the person head?



Can the person cure itself without meds? Is meds overrated? Is there a need for so many?



What do you consider a mental illness?
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#2 Old 10-24-2005, 08:52 PM
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"Mental illness" is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of conditions. There are conditions which meds can make a legitimate and marked difference, eg. clinical depression related to chemical imbalances. There are also people who just plain seem to be "wired wrong" that nothing seems to help.



Your questions are very general and don't have a single answer. Lots of things can be misdiagnosed. Some docs believe their patients, some don't, but one thing to keep in mind (pun NOT intentional) wrt this is that humans are often inconsistent and unreliable sources of information, even about themselves. People's perceptions, ability to relate what's going on with them, and even willingness to be honest vary wildly. Any biostatistician / public health person can tell you all about the difficulty of meaningful surveys.



Docs sometimes give the right meds, but often mental health conditions are n't clearcut. A diagnosis is sometimes a matter of "exhibits at least four of the following symptoms", and sometimes meds are a "let's try this and see if it works" matter because things aren't necessarily clearcut. And, people's reactions to a given drug can vary wildly. Prozac makes a real difference for some people, but others wig out / get majorly wired on it.



I don't doubt that like any other profession there are docs who are less than honorable about cure vs. repeat business vs. subjects for books. But when you consider that it can easily take a month to get in to see a psychiatrist, the need for such tactics seems to disappear.



Many mental health clinics/offices have, say, one psychiatrist and a larger number of psychologists/MSW's/counselors (with the psychiatrist charging a LOT more). A psychiatrist is a medical doctor, with an MD. Meds should IMHO only be prescribed by such, and indeed that's common practice. You can go to your GP/PCP/Internist and get a prescription for Effexor, but he/she isn't necessarily an adequate substitute for a person/team with specialized education and experience.



To be sure, some people are drama queens, hypochondriacs, etc., but there are others with legitimate problems. Some problems can be cured without meds, by eg. a healthier lifestyle, exercise, counseling, etc. Some can't. Meds are sometimes overrated. There aren't any panaceas. But sometimes they save lives (like mine).
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#3 Old 10-24-2005, 09:02 PM
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I can tell you for a fact that mental illness IS real, of course there's always goign to be drama queens that make up having one, or docs that misdiagnose though. But that doesn't mean the majority of people that have a mental illness are faking. Just like with more physical-based diseases/problems, doctors can guess wrong or be unqualified, but that doesn't mean people don't have those problems. I for one have had several mental illnesses, and I am pretty much fine now. I do not use psych. medications because they do not agree with me (tried many), but they can help many people. I think meds *can* be overrated in that insurence companies often will cover meds, but not therapy(or they will but only a few), and like me, not everyone responds to meds. I've also seen psych. meds work wonders.



Defining a mental illness can be tricky...I'd say when someone has thoughts/actions that are harmful to themselves to the point that it is affecting their wellbeing.
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#4 Old 10-24-2005, 09:03 PM
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Of course a human can heal themselves. our bodies were designed that way. there is even a book on like cures. i dont remember what its called, like 200 natural cures and other things the government doesnt want you to know about. you can get it at a book store. it says how you dont need medication from the drug company. they are making so much money off of you being sick, and thats what they want you to believe, that they are healing you.



and honestly i do think doctors misdiagnose, because there are so many mental illnesses and catagories. i know this bcz i once went to a mental hospital were they showed you this big book of illnesses. and its like they can easily misdiagnose. they just have like to assume things given facts about a person. and then next thing you know they have given you wrong medication.



and i also know from personal experience from my dad being diagnosed with a mental illness that he doesnt have. and took medicine for it doesnt he mean he's still not crazy.
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#5 Old 10-24-2005, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dankness View Post

Of course a human can heal themselves. our bodies were designed that way. there is even a book on like cures. i dont remember what its called, like 200 natural cures and other things the government doesnt want you to know about.



and honestly i do think doctors misdiagnose, because there are so many mental illnesses and catagories. i know this bcz i once went to a mental hospital were they showed you this big book. and its like they can easily misdiagnose. and give you wrong medication.



and i also know from personal experience from my dad being diagnosed with a mental illness that he doesnt have. doesnt he mean he's still not crazy.

Well there's more physical illnesses then mental illnesses, does that mean those are all wrong too?
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#6 Old 10-24-2005, 09:04 PM
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I have to disagree with you this time Anthony.



It took my psch doc to get me in just two days. I am on effexor.(funny you mention that) It is working great for me. I have anxiety/panic disorder like some people on this board.



It is very hard for people to understand what a mental illness unless they have never dealt with it. But some people do not like to call it that.



You would have to read the other thread about drugs being legal or not.



And also I believe it can be handed down by your family. That would be mine.
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#7 Old 10-24-2005, 09:08 PM
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I do not want to call poeple crazy. Just like depression, that tons deal with. I think a lot of people do not realize they have it or do not want to admit it.



It can be normal, run in families, childhood abuse, drugs, whatever.
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#8 Old 10-24-2005, 09:10 PM
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no not physical ilnesses.bcz if somethings wrong with your heart they know whats wrong. just that your mind is fragile. humans barely know anything about the human mind or what it is capable of. its crazy
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#9 Old 10-24-2005, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dankness View Post

Of course a human can heal themselves. our bodies were designed that way. there is even a book on like cures. i dont remember what its called, like 200 natural cures and other things the government doesnt want you to know about. you can get it at a book store. it says how you dont need medication from the drug company. they are making so much money off of you being sick, and thats what they want you to believe, that they are healing you.



and honestly i do think doctors misdiagnose, because there are so many mental illnesses and catagories. i know this bcz i once went to a mental hospital were they showed you this big book of illnesses. and its like they can easily misdiagnose. they just have like to assume things given facts about a person. and then next thing you know they have given you wrong medication.



and i also know from personal experience from my dad being diagnosed with a mental illness that he doesnt have. and took medicine for it doesnt he mean he's still not crazy.



I am not so sure if humans can do this if it is a chemical imbalance. I have read so many books. I believe that to a point. I also understand that the drug reps get a kick back and so do doc's. I think doc's are not perfect at all and the dollar signs show up, but still need meds to help some people.



Like Diabetes is a fact that medicare will pay for. It is true. But a mental illness seems to be at the bottom sometimes.
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#10 Old 10-24-2005, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dankness View Post

and honestly i do think doctors misdiagnose, because there are so many mental illnesses and catagories. i know this bcz i once went to a mental hospital were they showed you this big book of illnesses.

DSM, perhaps.



http://www.psyweb.com/Mdisord/DSM_IV/dsm_iv.html



Quote:
Originally Posted by goettling View Post


I have to disagree with you this time Anthony.

Well, you're not really disagreeing with me. I liberally peppered my text with "can" and "sometimes" deliberately because things things vary widely (and because I really like pepper )

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It took my psch doc to get me in just two days.

That's great! A psychiatrist, or a psychologist? When I had my bout with depression years ago, it took me 3+ weeks to get in to see the former. This was amazing given that it only took a few minutes with him for a meds evaluation, and that I was suicidal at the time. When I finally did get an Rx for Zoloft, it began to help me in just two days, which is unusual.

Quote:
I am on effexor.(funny you mention that) It is working great for me.

I'm pleased that it's working well for you. I mentioned it because it seems to be prescribed much more frequently than older drugs these days, perhaps even by default. Be very careful about taking it, though. If//when you go off of it, you should follow instructions to ramp down the dose rather than stopping abruptly, but your doc/pharmacist has likely already made that clear.

Quote:
It is very hard for people to understand what a mental illness unless they have never dealt with it. But some people do not like to call it that.

There can indeed be a certains stigma associated with it.



Quote:
And also I believe it can be handed down by your family. That would be mine.

There definitely can be a genetic predisposition to some conditions, eg. depression. I've seen it.
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#11 Old 10-24-2005, 09:25 PM
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That is were we agree on. We are a big pepper family tree.



I just am puter stupid and have not learned how to break a quote down, so bear with me.



I have been on effexor a fews years back. I read on the net that so many people had so many side effects from withdrawl. I never had one and it was easy to ween myself off of. Now it is working for me, so I shall stick to it for anxiety disorder.
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#12 Old 10-24-2005, 09:25 PM
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Psychiatry isn't that mature of a science. The brain is still a pretty big mystery. We still have large gaps in our knowledge about body biochemistry.



That being said, I think its clear that some mental illnesses have a clear relationship to physical illness. Take syphilis. No one would argue that it is not an illness. Yet clearly the late stages of syphilis can cause insanity. Here is a concrete example of physical illness causing mental illness.



At the other extreme, some mental illnesses are more or less the result of culture. Take homosexuality. Once, not too long ago, it was classified as a mental illness. Now it is considered to not be a mental illness. Obviously, culture can dictate what is or isn't sickness.



For most mental illnesses, I think they fall somewhere in the middle. Some illnesses, in theory, could be tested for, like an X-ray. Others seem to be the result of conditioning gone wrong, or the body reacting badly to some stressful event. I don't think these could be tested for.



Due to a lack of tests for mental illnesses, a doctor's diagnosis has a measure of subjectivity to it. There are bad doctors and there are good doctors. Doctors are human, and some doctors see mental illness where other doctors see none. Some doctors must be wrong.



Just my $.02
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#13 Old 10-24-2005, 09:29 PM
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Mental Illnesses are Illnesses and need to be treated as such. The current theory, and I ascribe to this, is that illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia have to do with neurochemicals in our brains. Unfortunately there are no specific tests at this time that can tell us what chemicals are out of sync. There are genetic components, social and environmental factors that can contribute to the manifestation of these illnesses. There are a wide range of mental illnesses that need different types of treatment. They can be treated with medications alone and in the case of some illnesses counseling alone can be effective, but in general a combination medications and counseling.



(I like the new avatar goettling)
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#14 Old 10-24-2005, 09:32 PM
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Hey, if it makes you feel better. I read a post that you and me both grew up in the aog church. Am I right? My parents still think that homosexuality is sin or a sickness.
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#15 Old 10-24-2005, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Magnus View Post

Mental Illnesses are Illnesses and need to be treated as such. The current theory, and I ascribe to this, is that illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia have to do with neurochemicals in our brains. Unfortunately there are no specific tests at this time that can tell us what chemicals are out of sync. There are genetic components, social and environmental factors that can contribute to the manifestation of these illnesses. There are a wide range of mental illnesses that need different types of treatment. They can be treated with medications alone and in the case of some illnesses counseling alone can be effective, but in general a combination medications and counseling.



(I like the new avatar goettling)



Hi magnus! Glad to see you and thank you. Just like Noelson said, you rock as a stay at home dad, and I agree with your post!
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#16 Old 10-24-2005, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by das_nut View Post

Psychiatry isn't that mature of a science.



Which is doubly true given that psychiatry isn't a science at all.







There are a lot of physical illnesses that are diagnosed on the basis of their observed symptoms. For example, it is rare that a doctor these days will do an assay for rhinovirus or influenza. However, a runny nose, fever, and cough make these possibilities a safe bet, and the course of treatment is likely to be the same. To some degree we have some PET scan data showing difference in activity due to some severe mental illnesses.
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#17 Old 10-24-2005, 09:41 PM
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Which is doubly true given that psychiatry isn't a science at all.






How come?
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#18 Old 10-24-2005, 09:47 PM
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How come?



Psychiatry is the medical specialization for treating cognitive and behavioral disorders.



Psychology is the scientific field.



Just a pet peeve of mine.
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#19 Old 10-24-2005, 09:49 PM
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Hey, if it makes you feel better. I read a post that you and me both grew up in the aog church. Am I right? My parents still think that homosexuality is sin or a sickness.



Yep, grew up in Assemblies of God. For the most part, I've had a pretty positive experience with that church, but they did think that homosexuality is a sin.



We used to sing for about half the church service. I have extremely fond memories of that.
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#20 Old 10-24-2005, 09:58 PM
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Mental illnesses are really syndromes. That is, they are constellations of symptoms that appear to correlate. Beyond that, we move into the world of inference. Mental illnesses as things per se are culturally constructed (as is everything else. I would point to the now nonexistent diagnoses of hysteria and neuraesthenia), but these constructions are useful in some cases. At the end of the day, what matters is that some people find themselves tortured by their own mental states and also find treatment to be helpful.



>>

I am not so sure if humans can do this if it is a chemical imbalance. >>



A couple points.

1. The totality of subjective experience is neurochemical in basis. From this perspective, life is a chemical soup.

2. Non-chemical treatments have been shown to affect neurochemistry. Chemical disorder does not necessitate chemical treatment.



>>For most mental illnesses, I think they fall somewhere in the middle. Some illnesses, in theory, could be tested for, like an X-ray. Others seem to be the result of conditioning gone wrong, or the body reacting badly to some stressful event. I don't think these could be tested for.>>



Once again, non-chemical factors can have chemical consequences/manifestations.



>>The current theory, and I ascribe to this, is that illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia have to do with neurochemicals in our brains. Unfortunately there are no specific tests at this time that can tell us what chemicals are out of sync. There are genetic components, social and environmental factors that can contribute to the manifestation of these illnesses. There are a wide range of mental illnesses that need different types of treatment. They can be treated with medications alone and in the case of some illnesses counseling alone can be effective, but in general a combination medications and counseling.>>



This is fairly nuanced. Cool. My main hesitation with simplistic theories of mental illness, such as the serotonin hypothesis for depression, is that the supporting evidence is insufficient. Basically, we found that particular drugs work for depression, and that these drugs increase intercellular serotonin, and then argued that depression is thus caused by a serotonin deficiency. This conclusion does not follow. If I am tired and amphetamine makes me wakeful, it does not mean that I have a monoamine deficiency (amphetamine stimulates monoamine release).



>>Which is doubly true given that psychiatry isn't a science at all.>>



Nor is pedantry.



>>To some degree we have some PET scan data showing difference in activity due to some severe mental illnesses.>>



It's the "to some degree" part that gives me hesitations. These differences in activity are reliable central tendencies of groups, but are NOWHERE near reliable enough to diagnose individuals.



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#21 Old 10-24-2005, 10:09 PM
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Yep, grew up in Assemblies of God. For the most part, I've had a pretty positive experience with that church, but they did think that homosexuality is a sin.



We used to sing for about half the church service. I have extremely fond memories of that.



Well. I had really bad. But that is off topic. WOW, show me an aog church that does not think that it is a sin, and I will have another panick attack.
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#22 Old 10-24-2005, 10:21 PM
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Psychiatry is the medical specialization for treating cognitive and behavioral disorders.



Psychology is the scientific field.



Im wondering why you dont consider psychiatry to be a scientific field. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, and have their own branch of studies that use a scientific model. Some (not myself btw) argue that psychology is a soft science.



Quote:
This is fairly nuanced. Cool. My main hesitation with simplistic theories of mental illness, such as the serotonin hypothesis for depression, is that the supporting evidence is insufficient. Basically, we found that particular drugs work for depression, and that these drugs increase intercellular serotonin, and then argued that depression is thus caused by a serotonin deficiency. This conclusion does not follow. If I am tired and amphetamine makes me wakeful, it does not mean that I have a monoamine deficiency (amphetamine stimulates monoamine release).



Thanks. Scientific American a few years back had an article by someone who was examining the neuronal structures of people who had completed suicide. They found an interesting finding. They found that these people have much fewer serotonin producing cells, and much larger amounts of serotonin receptors. They inferred that these peoples bodies produced less serotonin then the norm, and was attempting to compensate for that maximizing its ability to utilize the amounts produced. There belief is that this helps add to the theory that this adds more credence to the serotonin hypothesis.



Always to see you too goettling.
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#23 Old 10-24-2005, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post

Mental illnesses are really syndromes. That is, they are constellations of symptoms that appear to correlate. Beyond that, we move into the world of inference. Mental illnesses as things per se are culturally constructed (as is everything else. I would point to the now nonexistent diagnoses of hysteria and neuraesthenia), but these constructions are useful in some cases. At the end of the day, what matters is that some people find themselves tortured by their own mental states and also find treatment to be helpful.



>>

I am not so sure if humans can do this if it is a chemical imbalance. >>



A couple points.

1. The totality of subjective experience is neurochemical in basis. From this perspective, life is a chemical soup.

2. Non-chemical treatments have been shown to affect neurochemistry. Chemical disorder does not necessitate chemical treatment.



>>For most mental illnesses, I think they fall somewhere in the middle. Some illnesses, in theory, could be tested for, like an X-ray. Others seem to be the result of conditioning gone wrong, or the body reacting badly to some stressful event. I don't think these could be tested for.>>



Once again, non-chemical factors can have chemical consequences/manifestations.



>>The current theory, and I ascribe to this, is that illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia have to do with neurochemicals in our brains. Unfortunately there are no specific tests at this time that can tell us what chemicals are out of sync. There are genetic components, social and environmental factors that can contribute to the manifestation of these illnesses. There are a wide range of mental illnesses that need different types of treatment. They can be treated with medications alone and in the case of some illnesses counseling alone can be effective, but in general a combination medications and counseling.>>



This is fairly nuanced. Cool. My main hesitation with simplistic theories of mental illness, such as the serotonin hypothesis for depression, is that the supporting evidence is insufficient. Basically, we found that particular drugs work for depression, and that these drugs increase intercellular serotonin, and then argued that depression is thus caused by a serotonin deficiency. This conclusion does not follow. If I am tired and amphetamine makes me wakeful, it does not mean that I have a monoamine deficiency (amphetamine stimulates monoamine release).



>>Which is doubly true given that psychiatry isn't a science at all.>>



Nor is pedantry.



>>To some degree we have some PET scan data showing difference in activity due to some severe mental illnesses.>>



It's the "to some degree" part that gives me hesitations. These differences in activity are reliable central tendencies of groups, but are NOWHERE near reliable enough to diagnose individuals.



ebola



Oh my, I am trying to read what you posted, but I think we are in for a new season of avatars. I do not think we can do this either by ourselves.
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#24 Old 10-24-2005, 10:46 PM
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Thanks. Scientific American a few years back had an article by someone who was examining the neuronal structures of people who had completed suicide. They found an interesting finding. They found that these people have much fewer serotonin producing cells, and much larger amounts of serotonin receptors. They inferred that these people’s bodies produced less serotonin then the norm, and was attempting to compensate for that maximizing its ability to utilize the amounts produced. There belief is that this helps add to the theory that this adds more credence to the serotonin hypothesis.



Wow, that sounds like an interesting study, and from how you describe it, it seems to add a lot of weight to the serotonin hypothesis.



OTOH, my cold scientist side has to say that correlation is not causation. The number of serotonin receptors may be influenced by an unknown factor that also causes depression. Serotonin drugs might mitigate the same unknown factor. I don't mean to attack your hypothesis (I think its the best hypothesis out there), but I just want to clarify what this does and doesn't mean. Its evidence, but not proof.
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#25 Old 10-24-2005, 10:57 PM
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Does anybody really get it, besides Magnus?
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#26 Old 10-24-2005, 11:00 PM
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Serontonin is a fact. Hello. Some people are missing this.
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#27 Old 10-24-2005, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus View Post

Im wondering why you dont consider psychiatry to be a scientific field.



That would be nice, but I didn't say that.



Quote:
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Psychiatrists are medical doctors, and have their own branch of studies that use a scientific model.



Certainly, a branch of studies focused on the theraputic treatment of behavioral and cognitive disorders, guided by theories from psychology. (Just as oncology is a medical specialization guided by theories from human physiology.) While the two overlap, one does not need to engage in research of the study of human behavior in order to practice psychiatry and not everyone who studies human behavior is particularly interested in psychology.



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Some (not myself btw) argue that psychology is a soft science.



They can argue that, I don't care. Some argue that biology is a "soft" science.
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#28 Old 10-25-2005, 12:14 AM
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Kirkjobslunder help me Im confused, perhaps I misunderstood.



Das Nut said



Quote:
Psychiatry isn't that mature of a science.



You said



Quote:
Which is doubly true given that psychiatry isn't a science at all.



You then added



Quote:
Psychiatry is the medical specialization for treating cognitive and behavioral disorders.



Psychology is the scientific field.



This is why I made my statement.



I would not say I buy into your definition of psychiatry given that many mental illnesses treated by psychiatrists also have an emotional component. This is missing in your definition. Though depression and anxiety disorders have cognitive and behavioral elements they also have emotional elements as well, and are named after those emotions.



Most psychiatrists today prescribe medication and do not do therapy. They focus on the symptoms and then prescribe the medications. Though they may touch on the cognitive and behavioral aspects they usually leave that up to the psychologists, social workers, and counselors.



The psychological studies, in my opinion have a greater impact on the treatments offered by therapists. The psychiatrists use other their own bodies of work.
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#29 Old 10-25-2005, 12:28 AM
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Magnus, I think what Kirkjobslunder means is that the scientific study of human behaviour is know as psychology. Psychiatry is the treatment of human behaviour disorders using some of the findings of psychology. Psychiatry is not a science because it doesn't involve any study or research - it's a medical practice.



A similar idea would be: Biology is a science, physiotherapy is a practice which applies biology.



(PS Kirk - if I missed the point of your post, please feel free to stomp all over me!)
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#30 Old 10-25-2005, 12:28 AM
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>>Does anybody really get it, besides Magnus?>>



Yeah...but I'm sleepy, and will comment tomorrow...and probably will merely add to the confusion.



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