This article says a bunch: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621111238.htm
My article is not intended to disparage the field of Psychiatry in general. There are many Psychiatrists who are highly ethical and judicious with service provision. The intent of the article is to point out that people have alternatives, and can seek out service providers who will not be quick on the trigger of the prescription pad. It is also intended to clarify some apparently missing aspects of treatment information.
Too many Psychiatrists practice as if there is no alternative to manufactured chemical treatments. It would be nice if there were some practice standard that would concentrate on titrating treatment whenever possible. This would mean, of course, a start with interventions that do not involve prescriptions. It means a consideration of alternative medical causes of behavior problems as discussed in the book, A Dose of Sanity by Sydney Walker, III, MD. It is very easy reading, and can be readily obtained through book sellers such as www.amazon.com Dr. Walker has also written a book, The Hyperactivity Hoax that traces, in plain language, his ability to find and treat medical disorders that would reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the purported diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
It is high time that the pharmaceutical industry revise their television advertisements to conform with reality. Those nice pictures of a synapse with neurotransmitters in the gaps create the impression that nerve impulse transmission is linear. Neurons, in nature, are three dimensional. Synaptic transmission in each neuron is not narrowly confined to one set or even two sets of gap transmitters. Neurons are interconnected in so many ways. I wonder how many people have thought of why drugs, er meds, intended to treat purported psychiatric disorders have side effects elsewhere in the body, especially the digestive system? I wonder how many psychiatrists bother to explain, succinctly and clearly, why the meds that they prescribe for "mental problems" can also cause gut problems. It would, perhaps, be helpful if the industry paid for some primetime on commercial television to provide a true picture. I doubt that they would. Do all mental health problems originate at the synapse? I think not, and believe that many psychiatrists know this.
Researchers know that some, if not many, mental health problems (those that are not associated with medical rule-outs) have to do with cell membrane ("skin") of the neuron. This is how some of the best natural and manufactured drug treatments work for Bi-polar Disorder. They regulate the passage of mineral particles throught that "skin."
Texts have been written about the role of hormones and supplements in human mental health. Why have these been ignored or neglected when people visit a psychiatrist?
I have a challenge. My challenge is for Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology to work on revising focus. Changing direction might reduce health care costs in the long run.