Escape from Elba

Health => Mental Health and Treatment => Topic started by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:54:17 PM

Title: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 08:54:17 PM
Share your opinions on the evaluation and treatment of depression, and other issues related to mental health.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: barton on June 05, 2007, 11:56:21 AM
Beads, rattles, snake oil.

We believe therapies and pharmas will work, ergo they do.

Studies have been done that find that the mere passage of time will often alleviate many psychological ailments, which has called into question the real therapeutic value of many treatments, i.e. would it have gotten better anyway?

Still, for the extreme forms of psychosis, it's clear that the drugs are of some use in getting neurotransmitters a bit more in balance.

(shamelessly advancing on Full Member status)

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: weezo on June 14, 2007, 09:57:41 PM
Depression is a collection of illnesses ranging from an extreme of the person who takes or destroys their own life due to it, the bipolar person who may approach two personalities is the mood swings are severe enough to the simple sadness following the lost of a close loved one. Persons who suffer from depression may have a single huge episode, or a lifetime of ins and outs.

The problem with the pharmaceutical treatments is that no one seems to know which, if any drug, will be effective for which depression. Treatments seem to be a matter of trial and error, from which some emerge healthy whether due to the medications or not, and some end up six foot under in spite of the medications and perhaps therapy. Therapy seems to be effective, as suggested in Crocadile Dundee, because we do not have enough "mates" to talk things out with.

It is very disconcerting that, if depression responds to medications that "rebalance" chemicals in the brain, there is no chemical/blood test that can determine when those chemicals are out of balance, and which chemicals are the ones at fault. Medication is still too much of a crap shoot!

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: Kam on June 14, 2007, 10:21:53 PM
Depression sucks.   Is it something one can be genetically pre-disposed to in life?

Meaning: To be clinically depressed vs. just going through occasional blues due to life events.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: weezo on June 14, 2007, 10:29:42 PM

I do not know if a study of depression genetically has been done. I do know that chemical tests to determine the presence of depression, whether a short term, like a cold, or a big whopper, like pneumonia, do not yet exist. Depression does seem to occur in families, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is genetic - it may be due to similar life events. In short, we just don't know!

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: jbottle on July 05, 2007, 01:23:39 AM
Yeah, the realization of the idea that you are whacked where you stand is a downer, if you take it clinical, I can't say that I blame you.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: desdemona222b on July 05, 2007, 01:34:45 PM
kam -

If you'd like information about clinical depression from A-Z written by someone who actually has the facts, the stats, and the studies, read Listening to Prozac.  It's a great read for those interested in the disorder in general and how medications work.  Not that you'd know it from the posts on this board, but psychiatrists can differentiate between clinical and non-clinical depression, and if they're good, he/she can figure out the correct medication combination for most people the first time around. 

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: fleate on July 31, 2007, 08:58:11 PM
The author of Listening to Prozac , Peter D. Kramer, has a more recent work on the subject called Against Depression . The latter, along with Styron's Darkness Visible are in my opinion the best works to date on this subject.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: Phoenix on August 07, 2007, 05:09:51 AM
I have many opinions on depression and mental illness, most of which I will neglect to share at this time. However:

People who make claims that it's all in your attitude, or expect you to simply get over it, do more harm than good. While I do believe that sometimes everyone deserves a strong kick in the ass, I also believe that it is usually more detrimental to kick at the wrong time than to abstain from kicking altogether. I also think that encouraging someone to come off their medication, or implying in any way that that should be their eventual goal, is just plain lunacy. There are doctors who are much more qualified to make that call. I also think that people who deny the genetic predisposition are just absolutely blind; you need only look at Van Gogh or Hemingway's family tree to be convinced!

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: Donotremove on August 07, 2007, 01:17:02 PM
Fleate, I have to be careful when reading "medical" type books.  I tend to "get" whatever I'm reading about. :-[  I agree the Styron book is powerful.  The only one I've read that gives me some sort of uderstanding of severe depression.

I've been depressed off and on all my life.  I talk to myself about it and that seems to have worked all these years--at least I have not, so far, killed myself.  I decided on this non chemical, self talking therapy long ago when while seeing a psychiatrist it dawned on me that I was the source of my own healing.  That the psychiatrist was merely a conduit, and an expensive one at that.

Phoenix, welcome to Melba.  It is my opinion there are many roads to mental health.  There is no one road fits all AFAIK.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: madupont on August 08, 2007, 02:55:57 PM
Phoenix re: #9

Please swear you are not related to River?  But you are right about those Hemingways . It even shows. I think those girls should pluck their eyebrows but that would be the end of Woody Alan movies!

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: Phoenix on August 09, 2007, 02:02:15 AM
I swear I am not related to River. Out of curiousity, why?

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: madupont on August 10, 2007, 01:26:14 AM
Oh, because you said that you would neglect to share opinions at this time.

I am nontheless interested these days in evident self-destructive behaviour  that arises in literary plotting; some of the books that have been discussed recently in the forums, fictional of course. Where it is the basis for film scenario or television screen-play. When it is obvious that the character steps out of character and in real life then pursues a lifestyle that is detrimental to survival and,is optional,at that.

River Phoenix for instance managed to do that, apparently without close relatives or friends picking up the signs, although his most recent finished film project made you rather aware that the central figure's behaviour was such that he was practically announcing that he was on the way out because he was tired of it all.

People will say, oh, yes, but it's only a picture.  Although actors themselves are painfully aware how difficult it is to shake a character after they are through playing a "part".  It is almost as if the part is not through with them.

Another flagrant example of this was Truman Capote who had a brilliant idea, he followed it up, never having dreamt that he would become emotionally involved, because -- he was, after all, the creator of the arrangement of the material.  And then the consequences of his arrangement went down.  He proceeded to drink himself to death, after having written the most successful new literary form that lavished him with praise and attention. Before he was quite through, the coup de grace was to spitefully bring down a number of his closest friends by revealing their most private conversations which had been revealed to him, so that there was no one there for him as he sunk to his lowest point and expired.  I  have always been a little amazed that because he owed a second book on the contract, he allowed somebody else to write up the details because he was inebriated and I have to insist on some wonderment that while he was unaware -- details were written into  a book by someone who had the most motive to make money by the sale of the expected book: the editor.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: elportenito1 on September 11, 2007, 10:31:10 AM
Sect leader facing rape trial to use faith as his defence

Ian Munro Herald Correspondent in New York and agencies

September 11, 2007

THE US is both religious and religiously tolerant, but if the nation's founding fathers could have imagined someone like Warren Jeffs, they may not have been so ready to embrace freedom of worship.

Jeffs, 51, the leader of a polygamous Mormon sect, is about to stand trial for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl. He is reputed to have dozens of wives, some inherited from his father.

The girl was married to her 19-year-old cousin in 2001, and the marriage consummated weeks later, all at Jeffs insistence. She will be the principal witness against Jeffs, who took over formal leadership of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when his father died in 2002.

As the church's leader, or "prophet", Jeffs claims to be in direct contact with God and therefore determines who can marry whom. The girl reportedly twice told Jeffs she did not want to marry or have sex. He is allleged to have told her it was her spiritual duty and that it was sanctioned by God.

In addition to the girl, two men are expected to give evidence about Jeffs's interference in their sexual relations with their wives, and about his instructions to persist with underage weddings regardless of state law. By Jeffs's reasoning, to oppose him is to oppose the will of God, although divine guidance failed him in August last year. He had been on the run when police stopped him for having an illegible car number plate, and he was arrested.

While the trial is about justice for one woman, it is also likely to excite public interest for its insights into the 12,000-strong community Jeffs leads.

The community, where immodest, short-sleeved shirts and movies are banned, exists in two towns either side of the Utah-Arizona border in remote desert country - Hildale and Colorado City.

Jeffs reportedly has excommunicated more than 100 men, taking their wives and children from them and placing them with other men.

Teenage boys are expelled for going to the movies, or looking at girls with interest. A welfare worker in nearby St George says teenagers are expelled almost weekly and left to fend for themselves in a mainstream society for which they are unprepared. Many end up in trouble with the law.

In the past five years about 2000 teens had been ordered out with no support and forbidden to contact their parents, said Michelle Benward, vice-president of the support group New Frontiers for Families.

"The mothers are living in such fear," Ms Benward said. "Most of them have 10 or 12 children. If they are once held as misbehaving they are told they could be reassigned to another husband or their other children can be taken away.

"There's thousands that have either been invited to leave or have left because they can't deal with the level of scrutiny. I have a couple of hundred I have contact with … hundreds of boys and 10 girls."

Polygamy is illegal in Utah, although it is not a factor in Jeffs's trial. However, the trial will hear evidence of Jeffs urging his followers to maintain the practice.

A spokesman for the Utah Attorney-General, Paul Murphy, said there were 30,000 polygamists in the state. Instead of charging people with polygamy, officers were told to focus on child abuse, fraud and domestic violence.

Mr Murphy said jury selection had begun last Friday.

Defence lawyers will argue that Jeffs is being prosecuted for his faith. Officiating at a wedding ceremony did not make him an accomplice to rape, a defence lawyer, Walter Bugden, is reported to have said.

Ms Benward, who is about to open a home for excommunicated teens, said it was not polygamy but Jeffs who created problems for his cult.

"There are other polygamous groups in Utah that do very well. The problem is having a tyrannical, obsessed, deranged leader."

Title: Euthanasia for treatment-resistant depression?!
Post by: josh on September 30, 2017, 02:15:36 PM (

Put me down as not in favor.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: barton on October 06, 2017, 12:06:48 PM
While I have never equated quality of life with longevity of life, and I do value personal freedom to the degree that I respect anyone's choice to end their life, I would not want to get the state involved in assisted suicide where the person is just depressed.  It's the very nature of severe depression to wish for it all to end, but we recognize that this is a symptom of brain chemistry problems and not an existential insight.  The therapeutic community is committed to helping the sufferer of depression get better and recognize that brain chemistry can change over time and that there can be a bounce after hitting bottom.  Yes, it would be a terrible idea to have them get involved in PAS. 

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: josh on October 06, 2017, 12:44:19 PM
I respect some people's choice to end their lives and not others.

I have regularly (though not frequently) felt the need to intervene in suicidal inclinations.

Usually, this gets me a ton of grief from the person for a short period of time (days to months), followed by thanks and appreciation from them later. It is that latter piece that leads me to continue to do so.

The balancing point between when to intervene and when not is tough.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 14, 2017, 06:21:02 PM
Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers (1902-1987) was a humanistic psychologist agreed with most of what Maslow believed, but added that for a person to "grow", they need an environment that provides them with genuinness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).

Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree will not grow without sunlight and water.
Rogers believed that every person can achieve their goals, wishes and desires in life. When, or rather if they did so, self actualization took place. This was one of Carl Rogers most important contributions to psychology and for a person to reach their potential a number of factors must be satisfied.

Self Actualization

"The organism has one basic tendency and striving - to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism” (Rogers, 1951, p.487).

Carl Rogers rejected the deterministic nature of both psychoanalysis and behaviourism and maintained that we behave as we do because of the way we perceive our situation. "As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves."
Rogers (1959) believed that humans have one basic motive, that is the tendency to self-actualize - i.e. to fulfil one's potential and achieve the highest level of 'human-beingness' we can. Like a flower that will grow to its full potential if the conditions are right, but which is constrained by its environment, so people will flourish and reach their potential if their environment is good enough.

However, unlike a flower, the potential of the individual human is unique, and we are meant to develop in different ways according to our personality. Rogers believed that people are inherently good and creative. They become destructive only when a poor self-concept or external constraints override the valuing process. Roger’s believed that for a person to achieve self-actualization they must be in a state of congruence.

This means that self-actualization occurs when a person’s “ideal self” (i.e. who they would like to be) is congruent with their actual behaviour (self-image). Rogers' describes an individual who is actualizing as a fully functioning person. The main determinant of whether we will become self-actualized is childhood experience.

Carl Rogers Personality Development

Central to Rogers' personality theory is the notion of self or Self-Concept. This is defined as "the organised, consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself".

The self is the humanistic term for who we really are as a person. The self is our inner personality, and can be likened to the soul, or Freud's psyche. The self is influenced by the experiences a person has in their life, and out interpretations of those experiences. Two primary sources that influence our self-concept are childhood experiences and evaluation by others.

According to Rogers, we want to feel, experience and behave in ways which are consistent with our self-image and which reflect what we would like to be like, our ideal-self. The closer our self-image and ideal-self are to each other, the more consistent or congruent we are and the higher our sense of self-worth. A person is said to be in a state of incongruence if some of the totality of their experience is unacceptable to them and is denied or distorted in the self-image.

The humanistic approach states that the self is composed of concepts unique to ourselves. The self-concept includes three components:

Self worth (or self-esteem) – what we think about ourselves. Rogers believed feelings of self-worth developed in early childhood and were formed from the interaction of the child with the mother and father.

Self-image – How we see ourselves, which is important to good psychological health. Self-image includes the influence of our body image on inner personality. At a simple level, we might perceive ourselves as a good or bad person, beautiful or ugly. Self-image has an affect on how a person thinks feels and behaves in the world.

Ideal self – This is the person who we would like to be. It consists of our goals and ambitions in life, and is dynamic – i.e. forever changing. The ideal self in childhood is not the ideal self in our teens or late twenties etc.


Self Worth and Positive Regard

Carl Rogers viewed the child as having two basic needs: positive regard from other people and self-worth.

How we think about ourselves, our feelings of self-worth are of fundamental importance both to psychological health and to the likelihood that we can achieve goals and ambitions in life and achieve self-actualization.

Self-worth may be seen as a continuum from very high to very low. For Carl Rogers (1959) a person who has high self-worth, that is, has confidence and positive feelings about him or her self, faces challenges in life, accepts failure and unhappiness at times, and is open with people.

A person with low self-worth may avoid challenges in life, not accept that life can be painful and unhappy at times, and will be defensive and guarded with other people.

Rogers believed feelings of self-worth developed in early childhood and were formed from the interaction of the child with the mother and father. As a child grows older, interactions with significant others will affect feelings of self-worth.

Rogers believed that we need to be regarded positively by others; we need to feel valued, respected, treated with affection and loved. Positive regard is to do with how other people evaluate and judge us in social interaction. Rogers made a distinction between unconditional positive regard and conditional positive regard.

Unconditional positive regard is where parents, significant others (and the humanist therapist) accepts and loves the person for what he or she is. Positive regard is not withdrawn if the person does something wrong or makes a mistake. The consequences of unconditional positive regard are that the person feels free to try things out and make mistakes, even though this may lead to getting it worse at times. People who are able to self-actualize are more likely to have received unconditional positive regard from others, especially their parents in childhood.

Conditional positive regard is where positive regard, praise and approval, depend upon the child, for example, behaving in ways that the parents think correct. Hence the child is not loved for the person he or she is, but on condition that he or she behaves only in ways approved by the parent(s). At the extreme, a person who constantly seeks approval from other people is likely only to have experienced conditional positive regard as a child.


congruence self actualization
A person’s ideal self may not be consistent with what actually happens in life and experiences of the person. Hence, a difference may exist between a person’s ideal self and actual experience. This is called incongruence.

Where a person’s ideal self and actual experience are consistent or very similar, a state of congruence exists. Rarely, if ever does a total state of congruence exist; all people experience a certain amount of incongruence.

The development of congruence is dependent on unconditional positive regard. Carl Roger’s believed that for a person to achieve self-actualisation they must be in a state of congruence.

According to Rogers, we want to feel, experience and behave in ways which are consistent with our self-image and which reflect what we would like to be like, our ideal-self.

The closer our self-image and ideal-self are to each other, the more consistent or congruent we are and the higher our sense of self-worth. A person is said to be in a state of incongruence if some of the totality of their experience is unacceptable to them and is denied or distorted in the self-image.

Incongruence is "a discrepancy between the actual experience of the organism and the self-picture of the individual insofar as it represents that experience."

As we prefer to see ourselves in ways that are consistent with our self-image, we may use defence mechanisms like denial or repression in order to feel less threatened by some of what we consider to be our undesirable feelings. A person whose self-concept is incongruent with her or his real feelings and experiences will defend because the truth hurts.


Carl Rogers PDF Downloads

Books by Carl Rogers:


For anyone who wants to study Psychology, I recommend that you start with Carl Rogers, and Abraham Maslow.


Tony V.

Title: Re: Mental Health and Treatment
Post by: MrUtley3 on December 18, 2017, 01:24:30 PM
African Americans in 2010 accounted for 44% of HIV infection cases in the country. (