Is Personal Experience a Valid Foundation for Understanding Mental Illness?

  • Thread starter scott_sieger
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In summary, the author, Scott Sieger, shares his personal experience and research on mental illness, specifically focusing on schizophrenia. He believes that the medical profession's approach to treating mental illness is flawed and suggests a new approach that involves acknowledging and nurturing the patient's extraordinary sensory abilities. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and learning from fear and proposes implementing programs that help patients develop skills and disciplines to manage their abilities. The author encourages an open-minded approach towards mental illness and advocates for treating patients as individuals with unique abilities rather than denying their experiences.
  • #36
I find with extreme conditions of autisum the person goes in internally and with extreme conditions of schizophrenia the person goes out externally. But they both have a common aspect of intuitivity.
Are these disorders that never correct?
Does our current medication for the two help or drown the person out.
Has there ever been a recovering victim of a mental disorder.
 
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  • #37
Originally posted by mikelus
I find with extreme conditions of autisum the person goes in internally and with extreme conditions of schizophrenia the person goes out externally. But they both have a common aspect of intuitivity.
Are these disorders that never correct?
Does our current medication for the two help or drown the person out.
Has there ever been a recovering victim of a mental disorder.

I don't know much about schizophrenia. I do know that it has much in common (genetically) with epilepsy, autism, ADHD and bipolar disorder.

Listed below are some commonalities I've found in these 4 disorders. I list them by their chromosome band, gene locus (in parentheses/if I have that information) and the name of the condition:

4p15.3-p16.1 Bipolar
4p15 (EPPS)Epilepsy, partial, w pericentral spikes ?Self

10q24-q26(ADRA2 a2-adrenergic receptor) ADHD
10q26 Bipolar Disorder
10q26 Schizophrenia
10q23.3-q24.1 (EPT) Partial Epilepsy
10q24 (EPT) Partial Epilepsy w. auditory features
10q25.3-q26.1 (EMX2) Epilepsy


12q24.3 Bipolar Disorder
12q24 Predisposed to Autism
12q24 (DAO, DAMOX) Schizophrenia
12q24.2 (ALDH2) Alcohol intolerance

15q11-q13 GABA-A receptor beta3 and alpha5 subunit gene cluster on chromosome
Includes
angelman ayndrome
autism
autistic/asperger savant skills
epilepsy
bipolar

15q13-14 (CHRNA7) schizophrenia
15q13-14 (CHRNA7) juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
(same gene)
16p13.3 (SSTR5) Bipolar Affective Disorder
16p13 (ADHD) Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
16p13.3 (TSC2) Tuberous Sclerosis 2* see note below
*TSC2 can include:Epilepsy and Autism,
16p13 (EIM) Epilepsy,myoclonic,infantile

22q11-q12 (FPEVF) Epilepsy, partial, with variable foci
22q11.2 deletion (GRK3) Bipolar; Mixed State & Rapid Cycling
22q11.2 Schizophrenia, susceptibility to
22q11-13 Schizophrenia, susceptibility to
22q13.1 Autism, succinylpurinemic


As for autism, there really is no medicine out there, per se.

If a person with autism or Asperger Syndrome is hyperactive, you might give him/her a stimulant such as Ritalin. If they have mood swings, a mood stabilizer such as Lithium or Tegretol might be in order.

As I understand it, you can treat the symptoms, but you can't treat the autism itself, unless you want to argue the DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) approach, but even that isn't with medication. I discussed this a few posts up when I talked about diet (gluten & casein) and enzymes, omega 3 fatty acids, candida yeasts (although the medication "Diflucan" is sometimes used to help here), metal toxicity and chelation, and vitamin supplements (Bcomplex and C in particular).

The DAN! approach, is however, very controversial. Many consider it "quackery."
 
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  • #38
Is autism found early in the persons life.
 
  • #39
Originally posted by mikelus
Is autism found early in the persons life.

Yes.

On average, white children are first diagnosed with autism at 6.3 years of age. African-American children are first diagnosed at age 7.9 years. http://apha.confex.com/apha/130am/techprogram/paper_33251.htm
Most parents I have contacted, however, will tell you that they recognized these problems in their children long before they were diagnosed. With my daughter, I was commenting that she appeared to be autistic before she was 3, but she was not diagnosed for another year and a half.

I was an elementary school teacher at one time, so I had a slight advantage in that I was already somewhat familiar with autism, but I did not teach special ed, so I was hardly an "expert" in the area. I'm getting there, though, from first hand experience. :wink:
 
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  • #40
I think a problem with mental disorders today is that their misinterperted with the actual classification of the disorder. By that I mean people with the disorder separate themselfs from the norm, when in actuality their problems just like anyone elses problems are just heightened because their perception as well is heightened. to conclude people with disorders need to be stopped looked at as being different for all people are different in their own ways.
 
  • #41
I agree that a person with a disorder shouldn't be considered at "different." At the same time, if there are treatments, (i.e. therapies or medications that can help a person and making a proper diagnosis will bring about these proper treatments, then I am all in favor of making proper diagnoses).

From a personal perspective:
I have (among a few other things) "Attentin Deficit Disorder." I am able to function so much better when taking Ritalin. I don't need to go around town with a T-Shirt that announces to the public that I have ADD/ADHD, but before I was properly diagnosed, I was not able to function as well as I can now.

A diagnosis is beneficial when it brings with it the proper treatment. I would only add that a diagnosis is also helpful in that it helps me to understand why I think the way that I think/am the way that I am. It helps me to better understand myself and that's a relief. For so many years I thought I was just stupid.

NOTE: Unfortunately, because of my epilepsy, it is unclear as to whether or not I will continue on the Ritalin. This is a "trial." (Ritalin lowers the seizure threshold and increases the number of "simple-partial seizures" that I have-- though they are short and mild). I certainly hope I am able to continue with it as on it I am able to:
-think more clearly
-follow directions
-better comprehend what I am told
-better recall information
-work at a faster pace/multi-task
-be less distracted/stay on focus
-transfer more quickly from one task to another

I see my doctor to discuss it this Tuesday.
 
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