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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Actions And Decisions in Medicine

One exception that comes to mind about our ability to act and decide is in the field of psychiatry.

Comparatively speaking, Psychiatry is a rather soft science. Most disorders and illnesses in the field of psychiatry are open to conceptual definitions. Mental health illnesses are assessed and diagnosed by psychiatrists and other doctors according mainly to thier own discretion and opinion based solely on the subjective aspect of thier exam of such a patient, regardless if any mental illness actually exists or is present in a particular patient with absolute certainty. That's probably why there are so many psychotropic medications aviailable for those patients with questionable illnesses in order for treatment options to exist for such patients. The makers of such meds have been accused of creating such disease states as well as thier severity as well as being accused of being motivated more by profit than restoration of health of those patients that in fact may not need to be restored, which is as debatable as the psychiatric specialty itself and thier vague methodology and treatment regimens doctors implement frequently.

There is no objective testing or diagnostic tool available to determine with complete accuracy as to whether or not one actually has some sort of mental disorder. It's a guessing game, and a dangerous one at that, even if the prescriber's intentions are righteous. However, what statistically has been proven is that psychotropic meds, according to the patients being treated with these meds, have stated frequently that the meds they have taken over time have benefited the disorder they believe they have had and have, according to the patients surveyed, improved thier well-being. But it raises the question: Was it the medication or the time that passed that improved these patients?

So there are limitations to this gift of thought we have within us, and it would be to our benefit to realize this more often than we do.

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