Throughout the years I've agonized when working with dual diagnosis clients who attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or any of their sister programs. Too often there are well-meaning people in the groups who take it upon themselves to give psychological or medical advice. All too often, this results in tremendous damage. One of the major offenders is the idea that any member of AA, CA or NA who is taking psychiatric medications is not "clean and sober". Not only is this bad advice it's not the official policy of AA.
A recent article on the Child Psychology Research Blog, "ADHD Medications and School Performance" cites a research study which shows that "medication alone may not have a significant impact on" the childrens' school functioning.
I am reading a lot of research on how the symptoms of trauma and those of many major mental illnesses seriously overlap and will posting about this for the next week. Most clinicians realize that the symptoms of depression and anxiety are part of the trauma spectrum. Clients are often diagnosed with Major Depression or some type of anxiety disorder when the real problem is trauma. Medication only lessens the symptoms (if you are lucky) but fails to resolve the actual disorder. Treatment for the trauma resolves the issue and medication is no longer needed. Clinicians are also are of the relationship between some personality disorder (i.e. Borderline Personality Disorder) and trauma. But what I am now finding is that the medical model for psychiatric disorders may not be as accurate as it claims to be, or even useful. Research is showing that trauma may be the underlying cause of such major mental illnesses as; Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Schizotypal Personality Disorder. And that symptoms such as hallucinations, mood swings and psychosis may be better explained as trauma symtoms rather than a biological disorder. It seems that once the trauma is treated, the "disorder" resolves itself without medication.
Because this is such a revolutionary way of thinking I'll be posting the research findings for each symptom or disorder complete with references to journal articles.
I hope you enjoy this series. In the future, to return to this series, click the "Trauma" category in the right side bar.
In listening to my mother describe her best friend's struggles with her daughter who has Schizophrenia I am reminded of an important tenet I learned while working in the state hospital: Never Argue with a Delusion.