WARNING: Dendritic Spreading
an442748 at anon.penet.fi
an442748 at anon.penet.fi
Sun Jun 2 03:45:14 EST 1996
>In article <4oa5ki$q5e at dfw-ixnews9.ix.netcom.com>, jhammell at ix.netcom.com(John Hammell) writes:
>|> In <4nqkom$d4m at itssrv1.ucsf.edu> paul at phy.ucsf.edu (Paul Bush) writes:
>|> >What are you suggesting we should replace neuroleptic treatment with?
In the first place, what drugs a person takes needs to be entirely up to
Too often it is not: people are often forcibly treated with neuroleptics
in hospitals and may be forcibly drugged as outpatients, via "involuntary
outpatient commitment". Forced treatment is an abomination in any case,
but in the case of neuroleptics drug, which are extensively
documented to cause brain damage -- tardive dyskinesia -- and some
frequency of other brain damage, such tardive psychosis -- it is
incredible that this is done.
The explanation I see for the prevalence of abuse in psychiatry is the
disempowerment of the recipients of its "treatments". The person is
often dragged into treatment by their family.
The assumption that something needs to be done to people with delusions
is questionable. 'Schizophrenic' experiences are often the emergence
of some buried part of the self, and crucially important. When
psychiatrists react to people having visionary experiences by pushing
heavy tranquilizers on them and trying to suppress the experience as
soon as possible, they are often aborting a necessary transformation.
Sometimes people who have been abused as children go through such
experiences in young adulthood -- I think this means that the person
realizes they are somewhat escaping the control of the abusers and
can make a bid for health and freedom from them. The assumption that
a person will stay in a deluded state if they aren't drugged is often
false. Often they'll come out of it themselves -- get over going
through these states.
People who are 'schizophrenic' can be helped by psychotherapy. I think
that drugs are so often advocated as working better than psychotherapy
because 'schizophrenic' people are often in an extremely desperate
emotional state -- severe ego-loss, terrible vulnerability and so on,
and very skilled help
would be necessary to do anything for them. It's particularly
difficult because 'schizophrenics' have often been subjected to
very overbearing, invasive authority by their parents, and the
therapist is again in a position of authority. So it's hard to
find people, hard to find enough people who are good enough at what
they do to really help, and given the reaction that many 'schizophrenics'
have to authority, egalitarian self-help may work much better. So,
given the choice between long-term, expensive psychotherapy and
a quick drug to cover up symptoms, the drug wins. Drugs don't do anything
for the underlying problems, just squelch the symptoms which are most
bothersome to others -- overt hostility, strange pronouncements, etc.
Some hospitals work with people through delusional crises with minimal use
of neuroleptic drugs, by helping them to face what's behind delusions.
One hospital in Los Angeles, which is affiliated with the group
Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, does this.
The experience of madness of whatever sort is terribly mythified by
regarding such people as afficted with some strange disease, as
'different' from others. If you look at actual people who're going
through madness, it often looks a lot like sense -- expressions of
intense hostility, unleashed rage, statements that their parents
are persecuting them, and so on. The way I'd interpret the delusive
beliefs is that such people have often grown up in family systems
where they had to believe a consensus reality which denied abuse
that was going on: they are thoroughly indoctrinated that statements
about abuse have no place in consensus reality, so these statements
are made in "crazy" metaphorical language. But the idea that these
people are just afflicted with some inexplicable disease which
causes hostile pronouncements is so much in the interests of their
abusers, it's ridiculous. It's a theory that overbearing abusive
parents might have invented themselves: their children are
suffering from a disease when they say and act like they hate
Also the idea that people with delusions have to be heavily
tranquilized to prevent them getting worked up over their delusions
is often false. Delusions can just be like a personal religion --
many fundamentalist Christians believe things many of us would find
pretty strange, and people can go around believing paranoid things
about their neighbors or whatever without serious ill effects.
The assumption that loading a person up with neuroleptic
drugs is better than having delusions may often be false.
>You think you are no longer insane then?
Your abusive tone doesn't at all speak well for you as a 'scientist',
which is what I guess you are. People who know from the relevant
perspective -- people who've been 'mad' -- try to tell you what works,
and you can only sneer. This is an interesting example of the
ascription of insanity to people you disagree with. Many people
say that the ascription of insanity is a mechanism that society uses
to control social deviance.
>|> >What exactly is 'dendritic spreading'? Do you know the meaning or significance
>|> >of this phrase? Or is it a recently invented 'scare phrase'?
I suppose, dendrites branching more than they normally would, perhaps
to create more dopamine receptors to counteract neuroleptic inhibition of
According to Support Coalition's web page
Some drug company neuroscientists try to weasel out of this
catastrophe by claiming the brain changes are not actually brain
damage because they don't involve neuronal death. First of all, there
are at times cases of neuronal death. But second, what do these
corporate public relations officials -- who seem to step directly out
of the recent film Brain Candy -- believe causes the persistent face,
tongue and limb twitching of "tardive dyskinesia" which is a huge
epidemic of involuntary movements that can be permanent, all directly
induced by the neuroelptics? So what causes TD? Is it LIVER damage?
Often this neuroleptic drug induced brain damage -- such as random
dendritic sprouting and spreading -- is the "rebound" effect, the
brain fighting back against the drug. Long-term neuroleptics can at
times actually cause measurable brain shrinkage. A classic rebound
effect is that the dopamine receptors, blocked by neuroleptics,
randomly sprout in a life or death attempt to fight back against the
drug. The neuroleptics can temporarily mask the impact of some of
these brain changes. But not forever. These kinds of "rebound" effects
may be why long-term users can feel far "crazier" than they ever were
before taking neuroleptics, especially in withdrawal. This makes
slowly tapering off during withdrawal even more important, if possible
under trained physician care. Sudden withdrawal can induce a madness
-- a drug-induced tardive psychosis -- far worse than anything
experienced before taking the drug.
Why aren't neuroscientists speaking out that the proven brain damage
of neuroleptics to the basal ganglia of the brain, is not limited to
just twitching? Generally, illnesses which impact the basal ganglia
also impact the person's thinking ability.
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