Antipsychiatry, Bioethics & Neuroscience

Nick Medford nick at
Sat Aug 5 12:26:36 EST 2000

In article <m7lmycyf5b.fsf at>, Bill Skaggs
<skaggs at> writes
>The fact is, people who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia rarely
>choose of their own free will to be drugged. 

Figures I have seen, and my own experience, do not support this assertion. It
is certainly true in some cases. However many people who are initially very
against taking these drugs have a profound shift of attitude once they find
that the drugs help, if only to some extent.

> One of the main symptoms
>is a belief that the voices, hallucinations, strange sensations,
>unaccountable fatigue, etc are all imposed by a malevolent
>conspiracy.  So what good would drugs do?  All they would do (as
>sufferers see it) is to make them helpless to resist.
>Furthermore, the drugs that once were used to treat schizophrenia
>(such as haloperidol) were very unpleasant, perhaps in part because
>they suppress the brain's pleasure system.  (I'm told that the newer
>"atypical" neuroleptics are much better.) 

Certainly they have a much 'cleaner' side-effect profile. They are still very
far from ideal but they are the best we have at present (although one should
not forget the usefulness of non-pharmacological approaches, which sadly
tend to be underused.)

Nick Medford

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