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[QUOTE=StitchCarver]I would think that people who abuse drugs are self medicating and that the cause of chemical imbalances isn't the actual abuse. The abuse only perpetuates a problem that is already there. Just my opinion.[/QUOTE]

Yes, that's the theory of the medical community, like what came first, the chicken or the egg; really, we'll never know, but the medical community are bold enough to say they know it's absolutely the egg.....although they have no real proof of that.

You are entitled to your opinion. Here's isn't chemical imbalance that causes one to self-medicate. To me it seems most people with troubled lives. horrible lives, go looking for relief sometimes. Relief can come in a bottle, pill or needle. Sometimes it can happen just when someone is attempting to bond with others, to be part of something. Peer pressure, family pressure, life pressure....drugs just will take it all away.

Of course, then once a person is into it, the brain does crave it or needs it to feel normal or good since it starts to depend on the drug for that; at the same time, it tries to build tolerance by setting up opposing neurotransmitters... there's the real chemical imbalance.

Then there is the issue of "accidental addiction". Some pharmaceuticals can cause physical dependancy, tolerance and tolerance withdrawals. Those things can lead to higher need of the brain to have the drugs in order to function since the brain gets used to the chemical doing all the work so now it can't. Plus the brain still tries to build tolerance as self-defense, creating opposing neuros to combat the drug and maintain homostatis. But again, this is not normal and the balance of proper neuros is out of sorts as a result.

Anyway, "downregulation" of receptors is known to happen when the brain receptors are continually exposed to a drug. Downregulation is a desensitizing of receptors or a sort of dying off of them. This would seem to be a form of functional brain damage.

So drugs themselves, for whatever reason one is on them or starts them, can cause changes in the brain. Other psychoactive substances are also culprits such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Chicken or the egg? I don't claim to really, absolutely know but it does seem that most mentally ill people, I'm talking the truly ill ones...not ones with shyness or PMS....have a history of drugs/chemicals in one form or another so with that consistancy I would be highly suspect of the drugs since drugs do, in time, show considerable ability to damage normal brain functions.

I've read that, with drug-free time, the brain can recover from downregulation. But it could take months/years for complete recovery in some people and that's where sometimes people just cannot do it or are mistakenly told they'll never be able to do without some sort of drug so that fear keeps them on something.

But of course, I'm not saying every single case of mental illness is created ONLY by drugs or alcohol....that would be like saying there is only one cause of cancer.

But, drugs seem to be in the top catagory of suspects.
Wowee, folks,well, lets' just say that chemical imbalance is in fact a theory that is still unable to be proven in anyone's case(don't take my word, ask any professional if he can measure your brain chemicals) and nobody seemed to notice I did say that drugs were "suspect" in many cases, NOT the ONLY cause of mental disorders and that the definition of mental disorder these days include nailbiters, shy people and PMS so even the mental disorders are questionable.

Even ADD has been "cured" by outside methods that do not include medication. If ADD was truly a chemical imbalance, there would be no way anything would work but medication, true? My nephew doesn't have ADHD anymore and he isn't on medication.

I've even heard of bi-polars becoming better with alternate methods which do not include drugs.

If there was only one reason such as chemical imbalance then nothing at all would work except medications. If medications work so well like insulin to diabetics, then why do alot of patients end up getting worse down the line or have problems with the medications?

True, there are many bi-polars and schizophrenics that appear to be born with it but still it is unclear if life factors such as mothers' diet, medications, etc. effect developing brains or medications in childhood, malnutrition, etc. might effect brain development or if the conditions are actually spiritual, emotionally, and behavioral based instead of brain function.

I was mearly expressing my opinion, which I got mostly from other professionals I might add; I didn't just dream this stuff up.

Also, bi-polars, schizophrenics have some level of lack of reality, hal******ations, and abnormal thoughts. Most people on drugs from big pharma do not have these symptoms yet are put into the same catagories and stigmas.

Sorry if I offended anyone....I never meant to imply anyone was a junkie here, ok?? But, drugs will change brain functions, cause downregulation of receptors, cause dependancy, addictions, tolerance and withdrawals. This includes the NON-ABUSIVE, legal drug ingestion. This is already proven scientifically for quite awhile now.

I should know...I became an accidental "addict"(no compulsions or behaviors, just physical dependancy which was absolutely horrible) with benzodiazepines, went through a hell I can't describe despite the fact I was a tee-totler all my life. The reason I was prescribed benzos was because of the denial within the medical community that my symptoms were simply a reaction to codiene given to me for a cold and I didn't have a clue at the time so I believed them and took the benzos for my symptoms.

Never once took more than prescribed to me by my doctor!!! After almost going insane while still on them (no joke) got off them myself and went through protracted benzo withdrawal. After 5 years, sleep is still screwy but I am over the worst. However, before pharmaceuticals, I was just fine and those drugs have caused me so much grief I will not forget so easily.

I am still very angry at the hell I had to endure. I always followed doctors' orders and they screwed me up good. I just hate to think where I'd be now if I continued with their "theraputic" medications....I'm guessing the mental ward.

I do have my own experience, the experience of others and lots of medical professionals who have the same opinions (alot are based on real science I might add if anyone cares) on "chemical imbalances" that I expressed.

So I guess we are on two different sides of the fence.....agree to disagree I suppose is all I can say and with that I will leave you all to your own discussions on your side effects thread here..... since I am not having any side effects, I guess no need for me to continue the thread.

Good luck everyone.

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