Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why (and How to) Reduce Medication Dose Levels with Psychotherapy

The cognitive-behavioral "school" of psychology and psychotherapy that eclipsed the post-Freudian psychodynamic and pure "animal-training" behavioristic schools of thought in the '90s asserts that our "stinking thinking" is the cause of our emotions and behavior. As they see it, the voices are intensified, "amplified" versions of the ways we have been instructed, trained, taught, modeled, shaped, conditioned, habituated, socialized, normalized and accustomed to think.

Because anti-psychotic medications certain block dopamine receptors on the intake ends of nerve cells in the "limbic" emotion regulation system of the brain, the amplitude or "volume" of the voices is usually reduced, and for most who take such medications "lowered" to level one can tolerate. We may still hear the voices, but they "power" they have when one is not medicated is diminished enough that emotional reactions and impulses to act out is substantially decreased.

The trade-off, however, is all the nasty side effects of those medications, including the Parkinsonian movements, dehydration of mucous membranes (and  resulting digestion problems), body fat increases, weight gain, potential for diabetes, sedation, sexual dysfunction, yada, yada, yada. Which is why the APA and other groups of experts so strongly suggest getting into psychotherapy (like those listed at the bottom here) so that the cognitive-behavioral factors in one's sz can be uprooted and reduced enough to make medication dose reduction possible.

In my experience, many patients are greatly helped to do this by understanding *how* their minds learned to think the way they do. For that, I suggest looking into the dictionary definitions of each of those verbs I used in the list at the end of the first paragraph above. It is usually pretty enlightening and even surprising for those who do so.











If one has been instructed, trained, taught, modeled, shaped, conditioned, habituated, socialized, normalized and accustomed to observe to notice to recognize to acknowledge to accept to own to appreciate to understand what is, one can expect to function pretty well. But if one was conditioned to appraise new perceptions inaccurately on the basis of instructed, trained, taught, modeled, shaped, conditioned, habituated, socialized, normalized and accustomed beliefs (rather than using one's eyes, ears and other sensory experience), one may have to learn to do so with one or more of these psychotherapies.


(c) 2016 by Rodger Garrett; all rights reserved. Links are permitted. Please address comments or questions to not.moses@outlook.com. Thank you.