Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally! A skepticism I Can Stand Behind!

I was reading Australia health news on Google news. They have stuff about the big mental health reform stuff. For those who read this blog regularly, you'll probably know how I feel about all that.

Let's just say I'm NOT a fan of the current Australian of the Year; Patrick McGorry. Even though I'm not a Scientologist, I don't paint psychiatric drug pushers as being heroic. I'm looking forward to there being a new Australian of the Year; maybe someone who can juggle giant lollipops while blowing bubbles at the same time. That would be cool.

Anyway, most of the news articles take the side of McGorry. We need drugs...or a lot of us need drugs. We can help schizophrenic young people before they're even schizophrenic. Let's see...that's teens who have unusual beliefs, are socially withdrawn, and lack initiative. Wow. That was totally me as a teen. Hell, I mistakenly thought I was communicating with a dead actress on a Ouija board. Seriously. Is that not an unusual belief, or what?  If there was any teen who looked like they might become a future Schizo....that was me. Maybe I should have gotten those preventive drugs. Too bad Patrick McGorry wasn't around to rescue me.

Uh...only problem.

I'm not Schizophrenic. It never happened. I never lost my mind. I'm still sane. Well, at least that's what an online diagnosis test has told me.

I may be a little bit messed up in the head, but no more than anyone else I know. I've learned that being a little messed up in the head is a normal part of being human.

Anyway, the cool thing is there were a few editorials on Google News that agreed with my side. Ha!

One was in The Age. It talks about McGorry using dodgy statistics. I love that word...dodgy.

Then there was an editorial on the Australian website, OnlineOpinion. Again, it talks about dodgy statistics in McGorry's campaign. It's written by a woman named Melissa Raven. She's a psychiatric epidemiologist, so I'm thinking she might know what she's talking about. Not that I would put full trust in her. It's always good to be skeptical.

The problem with skepticism though is, I feel the term has been hijacked by atheist and anti-alternative medicine people.

When I see the word skepticism these days, I'm usually certain to find the same old stuff. There is no God or anything spiritual. Anything amazing and soulful we experience is caused by a defect in the chemicals in our brain. All people promoting alternative medicine are quacks. If science has shown a medicine or food is safe, we should put our full trust in it, and not question the results of the study. If a study shows something that goes against atheism and/or our other beliefs, it's because it wasn't REAL science. It was pseudoscience.

Melissa Raven, the psychiatric epidemiologist, who questions McGorry's statistics belongs to an organization called Healthy Skepticism. Since I liked her editorial, I figured maybe this was a skepticism that wouldn't annoy me as much.

And it is! It's a Skepticism site that stands with MY beliefs. I don't know if they're anti-pharmaceuticals, but they definitely question them.

Now they might be too much against pharmaceuticals. I can't tell yet. If they are, they're really no better than the other skeptics. There's a big difference between questioning things, and completely dismissing them.

From what I can see though....they're not against Western Medicine. You can kind of recognize those people right away. They're about as predictable as the atheist skeptical folks. They promote all kinds of herbal and "natural remedies"....the idea being that if it's "natural" it's totally safe and very healthy for you. Yeah. Right. Remember Poison Ivy? Totally natural. NOT very healthy for you. Hey, and getting bitten by a Box Jellyfish is natural too. But hey...not very good for your health.

The Healthy Skepticism people seem to be simply against manipulative marketing of pharmaceuticals. I'm totally with them on that.

They have a conference coming up in October called Selling Sickness. It looks pretty interesting.

This is kind of off the subject....or kind of a tangent, because it IS about drugs. We found out our health insurance...or our drug plan...doesn't cover my birth control pills. What the hell? I don't get it. Is this some kind of religious influence? Are people still taking the Bible to heart when it says go forth and multiply?

I think we have multiplied...enough. Thank you very much. Our little Earth has plenty of people.

This petition site has something about it. They say while birth control is not often covered by insurance companies, Viagra IS covered. Yeah. That makes tons of sense. I just accidentally typed sex instead of sense. I think that was the best Freudian slip I've ever had.