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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Reader Mail #30

It is nice to see people expressing concern when I mentioned my illness. If you know anyone else diagnosed with a mental illness and is suffering, you should suggest to them the possibility of discontinuing their medication, against their doctor's orders.

I decided to get lazy with my editing here. I'm just copying the notice that Blogger automatically E-Mails me when there's a comment, rather than editing it around.

Zhwazi has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":

Between feeling great 95% of the time but being hospitalized 5%, and being unable to concentrate enough to write a blog 100% of the time, I'd choose to enjoy 95% of my life. But it's your choice, you've got better information than I do.

My reasoning is similar to Zhwazi's. I can take the anti-psychotic drugs, *KNOWING* I will enjoy 0% of my life. Alternatively, I can refuse to take them, enjoying 95% or more of my life as best I can.

redpillguy has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":

A completely layman vote: try the 2 mg dose.

Policeman inside your head:

I'll suggest it to my psychiatrist. If he goes along with it, I'll try it. I'll suggest to him 2 mg dose every 3 days.

My problem isn't the policeman inside my head. It's my psychiatrist inside my head!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":

If you decide against drugs, have a non-drug plan B ready. Consider for instance an exercise plan or paying more attention to the quality of your diet -- both are things that can help keep the mental chemistry more stable.

Also, I think my increased self-awareness can help. Ironically, my self-awareness has dramatically increased as a result of my illness.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":

I think people can use your illness against you in intellectual arguments, implying you are 'nuts'. So you should have kept it a secret. I have found on the internet that people who know things about you use it against you unscrupiously.

hope you get better soon, my advice would be stay away from the drugs, though that sounds scary.

This is The Strawman Fallacy. Just because I revealed I have an illness does not mean all my ideas are invalid. Most of my regular readers should understand the Strawman Fallacy by now. After all, I haven't revealed my "regular" name. I could always start another blog under a different name, if things got that bad. I don't think it's necessary to abandon my regular readership.

Overall, I've found writing about it to be helpful. The options I'm considering for treatment are:

- microdose of drugs
- no drugs at alll

I don't know if I can get my psychiatrist to go along with microdose, because that's contrary to his training.

Tristan has left a new comment on your post "Illness Details":

You have my sympathy, sometimes side effects can be worse than the problem...

I wonder whether there's any alternative drug therapies which you could try, I know it often takes several tries to find a suitable regime for depression for many people.

I haven't heard of anything suitable. I think that getting more friends overall would help.

Yes, the side effects of the drugs are FAR WORSE than the original problem.

Tristan has left a new comment on your post "More Disease Thoughts":

I wouldn't go so far as to say its bullshit.
The problem is the brain is so immensely complicated that we can't tell exactly whats wrong. It could be there's several different things which cause the same symptoms in different people for instance.

I'd say mental illness has a component which is due to 'wiring' being out, which involves the chemicals in the brain.

Personally I suspect that where drugs help they will act more as a splint and hold things in a better position allowing 'rewiring' to take place over time, often in many mental conditions assisted by non-drug therapies.

The problem with drugs is they act broadly, so whilst a drug may reduce the symptoms, they have wider, undesirable, effects (a famous example being Prozac causes spontaneous random orgasms in a small minority of cases).

My favourite analogy is to liken drugs to trying to fix a computer by poking it at random and altering voltages... You can get an idea for what often works but you don't really know why...

Anyway, I hope your course of action works for you. You know your situation far better than any of us.

Personally, I've found large doses of anti-psychotic drugs to be intolerable. I might try a regimen of small microdoses, but I don't know if my psychiatrist will go for that.

My primary problem is that I need more friends. If I succeed in making new friends, then I think my mental illness problem will be solved.

The REALLY ANNOYING part is that, just before I relapsed, I felt more self-confident and in tune with other people than at any time previously.

David_Z has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #29":

...but you can't ever be exactly 100% sure there isn't a hidden contradiction somewhere

Are you exactly 100% sure of this? Isn't the allegation inherently self-contradictory?

...just trying to pick your brain, the idea intrigues me but I'd love to hear more about it - do you have a post where you explain in greater detail? If so, let me know and I'll check it out.

This is a well know result from Mathematics, known as the "Godel Incompleteness Theorem". Superficially, it makes sense. Could you prove, using the axioms of Mathematics, that the axioms themselves are consistent? Obviously not. The "Incompleteness Theorem" says that if you show me a valid proof for "Mathematics is consistent", I can turn it around and point out two contradictory axioms.

This subject deserves its own full post.

CK has left a new comment on your post "A List of Harmful Drugs I've Been Given":

This is strictly anectdotal, not proof. We had lots of niggling sicknesses for years. Finally we gave up everything we could that used High Fructose Corn Syrup for sweetening. Within a few weeks, we noticed that the niggling sicknesses stopped. I have always hated having to read the fine print on food labels, but it is now a habit, if a food product uses HFCS, it doesn't receive our money.
Our niggling sicknesses were not panic attacks, so maybe this was a worthless anectdote, just something we found made us healthier.
At one time I tried to quit cigarettes using a combination of the patch and welburtrin. I had the same results from ( Zyban ) welburtin that you had from the various lethargy inducing drugs you mentioned. Horrid feeling indeed. Luckily I have since discovered that people who smoke have significantly lowered risks of Parkinsons and ALzheimers. So I traded guaranteed smoker's hack for potential uncontrollable shakes and memory loss.

Yes, my account of these drugs is anecdotal. However, what do you trust more? My single honest data point? Or multi-million dollar bogus drug studies? Based on my experience, human biology is more universal than generally believed. If I experienced those negative side-effects, you can be sure others experienced them as well.

For example, the interference with bowel movements should be universal, rather than isolated with me.

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