Re: [Fwd: A Neuroscientists Says No to Drugs]

Barbara Tooth (
Tue, 12 Jan 1999 09:35:59 +1000


I too have worked in such settings and I agree with what you have said.
Where these discussions invariably lead me though are to issues such as the
nature of the problem. Sure there is a psychological/psychiatric "problem"
but there is even more of a social problem. By this I am referring to the
broader sense of community rather than to individual social problems.

Another issue is that of the values and beliefs of the cast of thousands in
the mental health drama. These receive far too little attention and for me
they are fundamental. My professional education has given me lots of
information, however it has only been by suspending this as much as
possible and listening to the stories of people who have a serious mental
illness, that I have had an awareness of somehow missing some very
important points. The challenge then is one of using all the available
"expert" knowledge of professionals, consumers, etc etc to move towards
goals. Who and how these goals are determined rests a lot on values and
beliefs. These are some of the challenges that form the bigger picture for
me in which things like taking medication or not form a small albeit
important part.

> From:
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Fwd: A Neuroscientists Says No to Drugs]
> Date: Wednesday, 6 January 1999 13:36
> Barbara
> I appreciate the reply. Medication is one aspect and not the only one.
I do
> not believe that medication is for all members and many can do fine
> medication. I also focus on living, funding, coping, etc in a wholistic
> sense.
> I work in the community with people who are not able to fit in without
> medication. They get kicked out by others and are shunned. Most of the
> people I work with are regularly put on the street. The members I work
> all have poor living conditions (their description and mine). With
> medication, they are able to converse with me and function in a normal
> apartment. This is where they lived before becoming ill.
> I believe medication is necessary for this group to function and that
> understanding constructs and changing perception will not be sufficient.
> believe research remains necessary on the group known as schizophrenics
> that it is relevant. Debating efficacy of any meds for schizophrenics is
> something I can agree with.
> Listening and talking about other things in addition to mediccation is
> something I do believe in. Talking about overmedicating or medcating
> incorrectly is something I talk about daily. Teaching members to
> and cope with their symptoms to later not take medication is something I
> work with my members to do.
> John