[Part 2: Dr Christmas MD Thesis]
I agree with this statement, in terms of there being no good reason to persist with brain surgery for mental illness because the drug treatment hasn't worked. However the expressions "huge burden" and "driving force" I think reveal the almost messianic nature of neurosurgical manoeuvres. As if powering ahead and saving lives.
The phrase "treatment-refractory psychiatric illness" is like a double whammy to a person who has been hindered and not helped by psychiatric engagement. First do no harm.
Unfortunately it has been my experience of over 40 years engagement that a lot of harm has been done to my family, in the name of psychiatry. Eight of us, that I know of, through 3 generations, from the 1950's until now. From the advent of the antipsychotics to the polypharmacy of the present day.
You might say that we were "fortunate" not to be "treatment-resistant" although most, if not all, of us resisted the treatment at the first hurdle and were forcibly drugged until we complied. The major challenge was to escape the labels, the drugs, the stigma and the discrimination of "mental illness". Which I managed on 3 separate occasions. Disappearing back into the normal world of mad people.
Some of us stayed in the system, taking the drugs and putting up with the disabling side effects. Those of us who weren't overly depressed by the chemicals in our brains. However I got clinically depressed with the antipsychotic and had no choice but to resist then get off the drug as soon as I could. It got more difficult with the antidepressant era, Venlafaxine giving me suicidal ideation and bone loss.
But I broke free despite an eventual leg break and the scars to show for it. I don't walk with a stick as my balance is OK, having got off all the psych drugs, although I did lose some sight in one eye due to a burst blood vessel, very glad it wasn't my "good" eye. Another likely side effect of Venlafaxine which didn't lift my mood and probably raised my blood pressure, to boot.
I do wonder if I hadn't been an unbeliever in mental illness and hadn't tapered the psychiatric drugs myself, getting off them all under my own steam, resisting the lifelong labels, would I be a contender for NMD? If I was desperate, depressed, no hope of recovery, told that I had treatment-refractory psychiatric illness, would I have looked for the solution in my brain?