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One of the serious challenges that people with Environmental Illnesses must contend with is the psychiatric depression label. We live in a society that often regards health conditions that are not visible to be psychiatric and the depression label is often used. And so many of the discussions about depression amount to a circular definition. "Depression is depression, is depression, is depression, ..." Psychiatric professionals have even claimed that "psychiatry is the only treatment available for people with MCS." Some psychiatric professionals have even denigrated doctors who support MCS.
Perhaps the following discussion of specific symptoms that psychiatric professionals are supposed to investigate and respect may let you avoid this problem.
Major depressive disorder can be very disabling and can prevent the patient from functioning normally. The patient's ability to study, sleep, eat, work and enjoy formally pleasurable activities can be disrupted.
Dysthymia symptoms are not as disabling, or as severe as major depression, but the patient may find it hard to function normally and does not feel well. Dysthymia is also known as chronic mild depression that lasts longer than two years.
A person with psychotic depression has hallucinations, delusions, or outright withdrawal from reality.
Postpartum depression is a condition that sometimes affects women after giving birth. It is not to be confused with the "baby blues" that may be a problem after a woman gives birth.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) applies to a person who develops a depressive illness during the winter month, and usually clears up during the summer seasons. SAD increases the further a person lives from the equator.
Bipolar depression describes a person whose mood swings from extreme highs highs, or mania, and extreme lows, or depression, in mood.
A diagnosis of clinical depression requires that the patient experience at least five of the following symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks. One of the symptoms must be either a constant feeling of sadness, anxiety, and emptiness, or a loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities.
What does matter here is the question "does the field of psychiatry have effective support and treatment for this health condition" that some psychiatric professionals are very possessive about?
A quote in a front page article in the Denver Post by a practicing psychiatrist that "people with MCS just have a belief system." That statement amounted to rediagnosing people with MCS behind their backs with a social behavior problem - that statement should have been called malpractice. A book by a psychiatric professional talked about examining three patients. Two were selected for treatment. The book claimed, without any details of the "treatment," and without any medical literature citations, that it had been proven that those two people had "simply" psychiatric conditions. No information was given about what treatment those two people were given and whether it helped them.
Contrast that with a clinic in Texas that had supported some 30,000 people with variations of MCS and EHS. Many of those people were given treatments that outright cured their environmentally illnesses and often let them rejoin our society at many levels. Comments from people who went through that clinic were very positive; they felt the experience very worthwhile.
Without doubt, there are overlaps between the symptoms of depression and multiple chemistry sensitivity. But if psychiatry does not have effective support, please refer the patient to doctors who do accept, support and have effective treatments for the health condition!!!
One person who had had been through several laboratory verifications of his hypersensitivity to such materials as pesticides and tobacco smoke, found out that any psychiatric professional who saw him sick, such as from the tobacco smoke in the doctor's office, immediately pronounced him "just depressed." Sometimes, those doctors even ignored documentation of the laboratory testing.
After that, he was presented with a "necessary, the only way we can help you," medical test. The test was a booth challenge test, where the patient is exposed to a strong odor of whatever "he claims to be bothered by." In that case, a several minute exposure to strong tobacco smoke. The person remembered blacking out, and coming to in a cold shower. He said it took several days to recover.
A bit later, at a federal hearing, a board certified doctor, who was president of the Denver allergy professional group, testified under oath that "the booth challenge test was medically unnecessary, and it has killed people."
That entire sequence of events was a direct consequence of not one, but several, psychiatric professionals not respecting the above specifications for diagnosing depression.
Psychiatry can be dangerous to your health!
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