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« What Did I Tell You? | Main | Mr. Juncker's Delusions »

July 03, 2005

Comments

Pearsall

Abiola, I've just posted this on Randy's blog, but I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it as well:
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0624051hubbard1.html

Hubbard's FBI file.

jeet

he had the inspiration to relabel his insanity as religious insight.

Which makes him part of a long and proud tradition.

hercules

True, such deranged bastards find hordes of followers. I still can't figure out how (otherwise) perfectly rational people buy such shit. Anyway, IMO, extreme literalism in Islam probably makes its adherents the least open to rationality. Here's something from the Hadith, stuff that people actually believe:

"When anyone awakes from sleep, he must clean his nose three times, for the devil spends the night in the interior of his nose."

And they believe that it's sane ?

PS: Loads of such BS in other religions, too. But at least the extent of literalism if *far* less than it is in Islam.

Mitch

:PS: Loads of such BS in other religions, too. But at least the extent of literalism if *far* less than it is in Islam."

How about: "this is my body"? Come on...comparing religions for how literal they are is like comparing psychoses: "I'm afraid of heights. I could fall.";"I'm afraid of spiders. They might be poisonous" Which one is more irrational?

(obviously, the heights one because you could totally break your neck, and really hardly any spiders are poisonous)

Mitch

oops, sorry, we were talking about scientology, which is not metaphorical at all, since it is -science-. (Yes, I'm kidding)

To bring this back to less polemical things, just because some nutjobs are against Ritalin and Prozac, don't you think psychoactive drugs might be overprescribed?

Abiola

"Overprescribed" according to who, exactly? If these drugs help the people who take them, who has the right to take it upon him or herself to say they're "overprescribed"? After all, we aren't talking about antibiotics with their attendant risk of drug resistant bacteria.

If anything, I think the more likely truth is that psychoactive drugs are *underprescribed*, and far too many people go through life suffering needless anxiety, frustration and sub-par functioning simply because other people's ridiculous prejudices have cut them off from available treatments. It's the easiest thing in the world for a person who has no mental problems to sit in his easy chair and pontificate on the "excessive" usage of medicines he doesn't need.

Mitch

"If these drugs help the people who take them, who has the right to take it upon him or herself to say they're "overprescribed"? "

I don't know any actual facts, but the questionable anecdotal evidence (U.S. media, friends of school nurses, etc.) is that kids in the U.S. have been over diagnosed with ADHD (any kid who's a trouble maker or can't sit still) and get prescribed Ritalin in order to manage them. And this is done primarily to boys 10 to 1. Like I said, I don't have any studies/facts/articles, just what I hear from the news/other people.

"After all, we aren't talking about antibiotics with their attendant risk of drug resistant bacteria."

Of these things I've heard is that Prozac is very often prescribed for depression that has real world causes (death in family, loss of job, etc.) rather than arbitrary organic (clinical) causes. It may be useful to cover up those bad times with a pharmaceutical, but there also may be an adaptive purpose to depression (I can't imagine what, but then again I'm not a psychiatrist, maybe working through your depression yourself (or with counseling) makes you better able to handle other bad things.

On rereading what I said re nutjobs, I realize I didn't say it quite the way I wanted. I was basically trying to say just because a fool says something, doesn't mean he's wrong. That's all. I was just asking a question. One could I suppose armchair-pontificate that more people should be prescribed pharmaceuticals because all those people really do need to be fixed.

Abiola

"One could I suppose armchair-pontificate that more people should be prescribed pharmaceuticals because all those people really do need to be fixed."

*They* clearly feel they need fixing, so it's hardly "pontificating" on my part. It's those who think they know better what others need than they do themselves who have a problem.

Mitch

"It's those who think they know better what others need than they do themselves who have a problem."

I think that medical professionals on the whole do know better than me. They think they know better because usually they do. And then with psychiatric diseases, it might be exactly ones reasoning ability to decide what is best for oneself that is impaired.
(or is that my superego talking?)

Do I think more people should be using recreational drugs? "should" is too strong. Would I care if more people did? No, not really.
Alcohol, same thing.

Psychoactive drugs? I worry about currently unknown side affects (short and long term) from overuse.

Coffee? same thing. But I don't think more people -should- be using it.

OK, maybe you're saying, "be allowed to" for stronger substances, i.e. self-prescribe, over the counter. But then it's always a matter of where to draw the line. (Maybe that's the whole discussion)

I personally don't like the idea of having soda machines in schools. There's no need for that.

Abiola

"I think that medical professionals on the whole do know better than me. They think they know better because usually they do."

The problem for you is that they aren't the ones always going on and on about medicines being "overprescribed", they're the ones *doing* the alleged overprescribing; Prozac and Lithium aren't exactly available over the counter.

Again, I think most people who rant and rave about the "overuse" of psychoactive drugs are totally ignorant of the subject they're discussing, and the fact is that even a cursory look on PubMed, the Lancet or the BMJ should suffice to indicate that those who *are* in a position to know best are mostly convinced that these drugs don't reach the full range of people they could benefit. Laymen who confidently talk nonsense about the "evils" of widespread psychiatric drug usage are nothing more than judgmental idiots, as I indicated in my post.

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