Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Is Medication Helpful?

Psychiatric medication does "work." The countless stories of suffering people who finally experienced some relief are true. Psychiatric medication is helpful

But another great distinction that must be recognized is that medication helps alleviate the symptoms of psychiatric problems. It is quite a logical leap to conclude that psychiatric medication therefore treats an underlying neurochemical problem. Because medication helps and provides relief doesn't mean that medication should be an end in itself in treating, as a whole, a complex psychiatric problem.

"Contrary to public perception, psychiatric medications are not chemical bullets that target one particular brain chemical. They are more like chemical blizkriegs, strafing chemical sites in the brain and hoping for the best." Dr. Welch, Blame It On The Brain, page 110.

There have been recent advancements (in the last five years or so) in understanding the chemical differences in the brains of some people with psychiatric disorders. As was stated in an earlier post in this series, a biblical understanding of the mind-body relationship points to an expectation of these differences. "Disorders" such as depression, fatigue, disobedience, bi-polar, and many more are all represented on a neurochemical level. This is a fact. Biblically, the findings of research that points to this fact can be accepted and embraced. Because of this, the issue in regards to psychiatric medication is not about its effectiveness, the issue is about pinpointing what exactly is the purpose of medication. The helpfulness of medication does not mean the brain causes chemical imbalances, but the brain expresses spiritual and heart problems in human behavior and at the chemical level.

Tomorrow's post...

Does the Bible permit the use of psychiatric medication? What do you think the answer is?

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