Sunday, December 16, 2012

Medication Madness & We Homeless Malcontents?

Homelessness & Medicated Mental Anguish?
Upset for a couple of days now, he's been "acting out," his Mental Torment, Otherwise known as Mental Illness?

Early last week though, his head was mostly grasped firmly between his hands, in that common symbol of defeat, and despair, the homeless and mentally ill, so often share?

'So why is he ranting and raving now?' Asked a homeless brother, as we sat down to lunch today. Funny! The homeless men here use Brother, rather than the Aussie vanacular, "G,Day. Mate!" All Brothers & Mates here.

'They need to give him more, freaking medication!' Said another brother, from across the dinning hall table. We all burst out laughing at the pun. 'freaking medication - Get it?' Said our self-anointed lunch time jester, emploring more laughter.
From depressed despair, to agitated mania in a week?
Ah! The magic of those medication pills?

Its funny in a macabre sort of way? Black humor, allowing us to cling to threads of sanity, so daily challenged, by living in these often difficult, existential circumstances?

'Existential circumstances! - Yeah, yeah, I met his brother, the other day. Existential Angst, is his name, and he wears a freaking face, like bloody red thunder!' Said, you know who, from across the dinning hall table. As we laughed, the supervisors gather around our "acting out" brother, and usher him towards the exit.( please see >> Mental Illness & The Face - - Heart Connection? )

'Go for a walk,' they tell him repeatedly, although camly and firmly. He knows the rules too. If he escalates this "acting out" into physical actions towards another brother, or staff member, his walk outside to calm down, will become a search for other accomadation.

Its depressingly familiar, this cycle of medication madness. A merry-go-round of "Antidepresent-Induced Mental, Behavioral, and Cerebral Abnormalities:" as chapter 7 of Dr Peter Breggin's book "BRAIN-DISABALING TREATMENTS in PSYCHIATRY" points out? Please consider;

"Many of the adverse psychiatric reactions produced by the newer antidepressants can be viewed as occurring along a continuum of activation or stimulation, culminating in mania or psychosis. In addition these drugs can produce a blunting or lobotomy-like deactivation in the form of an apathy syndrome, especially after longer periods of use.

All antidepressants cause mania, and mania is an acknowledged adverse effect in the FDA-approved label of all antidepressants. As noted in chapter 6--and now built into the FDA--approved labels for antidepressants-- mania is the extreme expression of drug induced over stimulation that includes insomnia, anxiety, agitation, irritability, hostility and aggression, emotional liability, akathisia, and hypomania and mania. It can lead to crashing into depression and suicidality.

At one end of the continuum, the individual becomes mildly irritable, a little emotionally labile, or slightly agitated. At the other end of the continuum, the individual becomes classically manic, at times perpetuating violence or crashing into depression and suicidality. On occassion an individual will traverse the whole continuum; starting with irritability or insomnia, for example, and ending up in a manic state. At other times the individual will experience only one of the drug-induced stimulant symptoms, such as agitation, akathisia, or hostility.

SSRI labels tend to organized in ways calculated to avoid any implication that the medication can cause a pattern of overstimulation, but detailed analyses of the labels disclose that these drugs do in fact produce a continuum of stimulation."

* * *

As I watch our homeless brother departing the dinning hall, I'm reminded of my week in an acute care ward, back in 2007. Arnie, not his real name, had been admitted (involuntarily) for suicidal depression and had spent the first day "acting out" his rageful anger, at his forced detention. By the time I left the ward, five days later, he was manically euphoric, expressing his undying love for all and sundry, volumiously singing, praise be the lord, night and day. ( see Sectioned on The Road to Redemption )

What's a bloody Continuum?
Asks my red faced brother, across the table.

"Continuum may refer to: anything that goes through a gradual transition from one condition, to a different condition, without any abrupt changes.
In Linguistics: the transition of one language to another through a series of speech variations.
In Science: The Continuum concept, in psychology, Jean Liedloff's articulation of the natural principles upon which attachment parenting was founded.
Continuum mechanics, a branch of physics that deals with continuous matter.
Space-time continuum, any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum.
The Continuum theory of specific heats of solids — see Debye model
The Triune continuum, trinity of continual representations in general system modeling defined in the theory of triune continuum, used in the Triune Continuum Paradigm" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'In mental illness and the madness of diagnoses, labels and medications for differing conditions, its about how we all share the same evolved brain, heart and nervous systems, through which these so-called separate, medically defined conditions are mediated - How we're all same, same but different, as they say in Thailand.'

'Jesus! That was a mouth full,' says my redder faced friend across the dinning hall table.

'I know, its the paradox of the human condition.'

'What's a bloody paradox?'

'Our Instinctual-Intelligence, and the paradoxical need for quick easy answers to complex questions, while denying our evolved nature, and the fact that we're basically animals?' Please consider;

"Humans share an evolved autonomic nervous system with other mammals, although evolutionarily adapted to our unique needs. If we imagine such human reactions as shock, fainting, freezing in fright or even in the sensations of acute embarrassment, when we feel that desire for the ground to open beneath us. It becomes possible to see a "continuum" parallel, with a mammalian ability to feign death?

Recent advances in our knowledge of the autonomic nervous system, have altered the famous fight/flight notion of the human stress response, to a freeze/flight/fight response, as the order of our instinctual responses, to the kind everyday environmental stress we encounter. Again, it takes a momentary suspension of our normal, everyday reasoning, to imagine a continuum of response, by degrees? This unconscious trick to aid survival, the stimulation of a temporary death state (an extreme "freeze" response), adapts to a subtler state of "tonic immobility," an important aspect of "The Trauma Trap." Excerpt from Madness & the Chaotic Energies of The Trauma Trap?

'So you think most mental illnesses, are just nature "acted out," said you know who.

'I do, and there is the strange phenomana of self-stimulation, within the brain's seeking system, as Jaak Panksepp puts it, which psychiatry and psychology, does not want to recognize in our current cultural zeitgeist?' Please consider;

"It is remarkable how long it has taken psycho-biologists to begin to properly conceptualize the function of the self-stimulation system, in the governance of behavior. The history of this field highlights how an environmental-behavioral bias (world out there), with no conception of internal brain functions, has impeded the development of compelling psycho-behavioral conceptions of self-stimulation. One of the most fascinating phenomena ever discovered, yet still largely ignored by mainstream psychology. 

The prevailing intellectual zeitgeist is not conducive to conceptualizing this process in psychological terms. This would involve discussion of the inner neurodynamic aspects of the “mind” and the nature of intentionality and subjective experience.

A neurophysiological understanding of such brain systems can explain how we spontaneously generate solutions to environmental challenges. And how this type of spontaneous associative ability characterizes normal human thinking, as well as the delusional excesses of schizophrenic thinking. 

Arousal of the seeking system spontaneously constructs causal “insights” from the perception of correlated events. Some of the relationships may be true, but others are delusional. Indeed, all forms of inductive thought, including that which energizes scientific pursuits, proceed by this type of logically flawed thinking. An intrinsic tendency for “confirmation bias” appears to be a natural function of the human mind." _Jaak Panksepp. 
Excerpt from  Madness & the Chaotic Energies of The Trauma Trap?

So this "seeking system" is what the medications may be under or over-stimulating, in all this medication madness, eh?' Said.....

"Is delusional thinking truly related to the unconstrained operation of spontaneously active associative networks of a self-stimulating, seeking system? If so, we may have a great deal more to learn about schizophrenia from a study of the SEEKING circuits that mediate self-stimulating behavior? Through a study of this system, we can also begin to understand the natural eagerness that makes us the emotionally vibrant creatures we are. 

One might also predict that there is an intimate relationship between self-stimulation and dreaming. REM deprivation leads to increased “sensitivity” in the self-stimulation system It is noteworthy that schizophrenics fail to exhibit compensatory elevations of REM sleep following imposed periods of REM deprivation. There appears to be a fundamental relationship between the schizophrenic process and the emotional discharge that occurs during both REM sleep and the seeking system discharge of self-stimulation. These findings suggest that there may yet be considerable substance to psychodynamic theories that relate dreaming mechanisms to symbol-&-reality-creating mechanisms of the brain." 

Selected excerpts from, “Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions.” by Jaak Panksepp. 

Jaak Panksepp suggests that if we can accept this stress sensitized, self-stimulation system as fundamentally a SEEKING system, which requires discharge, new ways of alleviating delusional thinking may be created to provide discharge, while stimulating reality testing, perhaps via computer games for example?

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