Here is a quote straight from the horse’s mouth of psychiatrist Daniel Carlat:
“We often talk about neuro-transmitters like serotonin and noroepharin. But that really ends up being neurobabble. It sounds impressive to patients and it makes them think we know what we’re doing when we’re prescribing the medications. But we don’t really know how these meds work.” Side effects, said Carlat, can be serious or in some cases, unknown. “We don’t know enough about the side effects to know how many people we’re putting at risk.”
It irks me that patients and relatives have been saying this for years, then suddenly young Daniel Carlat “sees the light” and is gathering great respect and a book contract with this wisdom. My eyes used to quickly glaze over with all the psychobabble trash talk that meant absolutely nothing to me and only raised my suspicions. Seemed like a lot of smoke and mirrors. Neurotransmitters? Who cares? Serotonin, neurotonin, dopamine, up, down, down, up, blah blah blah blah blah.
No doubt Daniel Carlat still sees schizophrenia as a “special case”, so I will not go out of my way to praise his latest efforts, but at least these things are starting to be said by people who supposedly count – the medical profession. Actually, as Gianna Kali points out, Carlat is still drinking the kool-aid. He’s still digging into his grab bag of labels and symptom hunting. The only difference now is that he has expanded his world vision to include the possibility that meds don’t solve everything.