Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Today is not going well.  For the most part, it's been typically uneventful, I'm not particularly depressed, or anxious, or anything like that.  I'm just tired.  Really tired.  This is the central symptom of somatropin deficiency, and some days are better than others.  Being treated for it, I feel better overall, but I still seem to have some off days, and this has been one of them.

Somatropin is the technical term for growth hormone.  "-tropin" means hormone, but "soma" does not mean growth.  It's Latin for "body."  Body hormone.  More apropos, I think.

I'm not particularly anxious, but feeling this way is one of my bigger sources of anxiety.  If there were anything I had to do today, it would be difficult.  Not just difficult, but painful.  If it were anything that might last more than an hour or so, I would have to bail.  I know from a whole lot of experience, that this feeling doesn't shake off.  If I try to function in spite of it, it just builds until I buckle, screwing up whatever I'd been trying to do.

I did have an interesting discussion this morning, about the mental health system, beneath an article about the questionable efficacy of SSRIs prescribed for anxiety.  A lot of my forum comments are like this.  A bit lengthy.  To even compile a few from this morning seems like a lot to cram in here, but its an important issue to me, and disqus comments tend to get lost forever, pretty quickly.

My first comment was just a reply to the article, itself..

In my experience, SSRIs are not only worthless, but they actually made depression worse. I'm not even talking about just trying one of them, for a month or so. I've been on lots of them, and I know that they need time to work. Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Effexor. Some, they've done nothing at all. Others have robbed me of months of my life, while trying to give them plenty of time to work.

I always hear from others who say they've worked wonders and all that. Either everyone is just different, and sometimes they do work, or some people are just more prone to placebo effects than others. I'm honestly not sure which it is.

Then I saw another comment I liked, quoting part of it:

"You can't talk someone out of an anxiety disorder any more than you can talk them out of schizophrenia."

Well said. Therapists will often disagree with this, because they've had anecdotal success, but the fact of the matter is, lots of people with mental health issues endure those issues their entire lives, no matter what they do. We can treat the symptoms, but the condition doesn't ever just go away.

Then I got into a discussion with a mental health worker, but I just want to post my side of it.  Should be self explanatory enough, although context can be found via the article link above.

[Finally agreeing to take psychiatric medication] "only to find it's not the magic cure"

This is another thing that really bothers me. People often talk about medication as if it's a solid solution to mental health issues, and the vast majority of the time, it's just not. Even when it does help, it doesn't help all that much. It might be a good idea for some, but the widespread treatment of psychiatric medication as a comprehensive solution is just dangerous and irresponsible.

* * *

Sometimes meds seem to work, sometimes therapy works, often people need both - but sometimes even both isn't enough. Sometimes people are better off without meds at all.

Personally, I wish the mental health industry would treat people from the perspective that even if nothing works, that's ok. If medication and therapy work, that's great, but even when they don't, that's no reason to treat people as if there's something unacceptably wrong with them. Keep upping the dosage, piling on side effects, making everything worse.

When it comes to mental health, first and foremost, people need to feel ok with who they are. Too often, the industry pushes this idea that we need to recover at all costs, while simultaneously telling us to feel good about ourselves, as we are.

I'm not sure that's exactly supportive.

* * *

In my experience, people often need help, in practical ways, such as help finding a job, help finding a place to live, help getting to a doctor, etc, etc. People often need real help, but instead, they're told they have to do it themselves, and they have to "get better" before they can do that.

Imagine if people with physical handicaps were treated this way. Sometimes "getting better" just isn't realistic, and other types of help might be appropriate. At least in the meantime.

It is a very tough call, I know.. but too often I've found the mental health system not only ill equipped to deal with real problem solving, but even opposed to the idea.

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