[Paleopsych] Richard loses his keys and finds his soul

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Fri Aug 27 01:41:04 UTC 2004

Richard makes very good points here. I believe there is a huge 
self-medication factor. Prescription drugs have some serious costs.  The 
benzodiazapines (Xanex, Valium, etc) are safe biologically ( big LD50; 
you have to eat a ton to kill yourself) but very addictive, cause 
short-term memory problems (good-by psychotherapy), cause horrible 
rebound when you come off them (the anxiety comes back doubled and 
tripled). They cross-addict with alcohol and can kill you if you take 
them and then drink too much. They are a real can of worms.

The antidepressants - we are working with some real unknowns. 
Adolescents- most studies find they double suicide rates and are no 
better the placebos. In adults, some improvement over placebos but not 
much. Something is missing in people on them. We don't know what will 
happen to people on these for 20 years.

Major tranquilizers: very high risks of certain kinds of brain damage.

I am glad I am a psychologist and stuck with what really works - 
changing the minds and hearts of people to be fully alive and joyful 
with no help from drugs. Pray for Marty Seligman (Authentichappiness.org).

Richard Metzger wrote:

>>Another way to frame that is to say if Richard had NOT smoked tons of
>hash, he would
>be president today
>It's *possible.*
>Steve's question here is interesting:
>>If you have clients who are on psychiatric meds,
>>and some who aren't, do you notice any difference
>>in their responsiveness to talk therapy?
>I would have to say --and as a psychologist, Lynn, you may not be
>prescribing the meds, but still you should find this relevant-- that on one
>level (never minding the obvious "addiction" and "he just *liked* being high
>for 23 years" points one could make) I think that I was *self-medicating*
>and that it helped me, rather than hindered me because I have a tendency to
>be hyper --too hyper-- and I used marijuana to stay calm, the way someone
>else might use Xanax or Valium perhaps, which to my mind (and trust me here,
>I am a world class, internationally known *expert* on drugs) are FAR, FAR
>worse for the body and mind than marijuana which --I'll point out the
>obvious-- comes from nature, unlike these and other psychiatric drugs that
>leave you feeling like a zombie for days when you overdo it.
>It makes perfect sense, obviously, when you are aware (I write this both
>objectively and subjectively here) that marihuana stimulates dopamine levels
>in the brain.
>There is something to be said for having lived 23 years in bliss, I must
>tell you, but I am nevertheless happy (and so are my lungs) not to be an
>"all day every day" pot smoker. After 23 years and reaching my late 30's, it
>was time to stop for several reasons, not the least of which I'd been
>overdoing it for far too long anyway!
>I have a friend who was severely depressed and on Prozac for two years
>before he started to investigate other options. He credits Prozac for
>"saving his life" but when he realized that he was unable to cry for his
>mother when his parents got divorced, he got off it and started taking
>various combinations of amino acids that he read about in "The Way Up from
>Down" (online in its entirety in several places) and now feels amazing,
>never a hint of depression.
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org
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