Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.
Q&A: Psychiatry and Psychology Evaluated
by Lourdes Salvador
Q: I was diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) by my doctor. The doctor has prescribed chemical avoidance, sauna therapy, and some supplements. I’m okay with all that and it’s helping me to feel much better. My husband doesn’t want to cope with the changes to our lifestyle so that I can practice avoidance and thinks I should see a psychiatrist. Would this help me?
A: Neither a psychiatrist or a psychologist will cure your MCS itself. MCS is a disorder of toxicological origin where your body is less able to break down and eliminate toxic substances in the environment.
A psychiatrist generally prescribes drugs aimed at changing brain chemistry and works with people who have psychiatric illnesses. Since you don’t have a psychiatric illness and studies show that these types of drugs generally make symptoms of MCS worse, a psychiatrist probably has no value.
A psychologist may be able to help your husband learn techniques to help him cope with your illness, if he’s willing to see one on his own. If you are having any adjustment problems with your new lifestyle and the limitations your illness presents, a psychologist may be able to help you through the adjustment phase.
Psychology has some useful value for coping with changes in life, though it can’t cure a physical illness. Generally, when a person encounters a problem or challenge, such as a newly diagnosed illness, talking about it helps to work through it and understand it. It’s like thinking out loud.
In the old days, one just talked with a friend of family member. Then as people became more "me" oriented and the family unit began to break down, people turned to friends.
As life in general became more stressful, friends became ‘fair whether’ and people’s only recourse was to go see a psychologist.
Psychologists created "psychotherapy" for this purpose so that, among other things, they could bill insurance companies. To bill insurance companies, psychologists are required to provide a diagnostic code. This essentially means a label is placed on the patient, such as a psychiatric diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or some other disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistics manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was created to label these normal human processes. This pathologized normal life experience and turned them into so-called mental illnesses.
Pharmaceutical companies saw an opportunity to make money, step in, and develop drugs to treat these fictional diagnoses. These drugds chemically restrain the patient by numbing experiences and alleviating psychologists' time of having to listen to problems all day. This was very profitable because drug companies began selling huge quantities of these drugs and psychiatrists were able to spend less time with a patient and still bill for an hour long office visit.
According to medical school textbooks, 60% of patients who go to see a doctor don't have a physical illness, but rather a mental illness and should be referred for psychiatric evaluation. An equal number of Americans take dangerous anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications, some of which have been shown to actually induce psychosis and suicide attempts.
If a significant’ proportion of the population is mentally ill and taking psychiatric drugs, there is either a large scale deception or society as a whole is very ill. The later is unlikely. At the point at which the "norm" is to be mentally ill, there are not individual cases of "mental illnesses". There are not mental illnesses at all. There is a societal and professional problem anchored in dysfunction that needs to be addressed by lawmakers who are not biased by large campaign contributions from these industries.
Unfortunately, patient well-being has been scarified by this process. When one just needs to talk it out and think it through, but instead takes mind numbing drugs, they forget about the challenges in their life for awhile until the drug wears off. Then they have to take another dose, and another.
Eventually, they don't remember what the original problem and they are too doped up to think anything out at all. Their whole life will goes by under the control of mind numbing drugs. These drugs may cause an apathetic state that suppresses pleasure as well as pain.
When the drug does wear off or are discontinued, withdrawal occurs. Withdrawal can cause extreme anxiety and other unpleasant symptoms, especially when the realization comes that something which was never dealt with is wrong and the patient can't remember what it is, their life is wreck, they don't remember how it got that way, and they're not used to "thinking".
This is not "natural evolution". It is profit motives at the sacrifice of innocent people.
There are some legitimate mental illnesses. Multiple chemical sensitivity is not one of them. Scientists’ slowness to discover the etiology (cause) for patient complaints does not make a mental illness. It makes for nothing more than an incompetent physician.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2009 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America