Friday, August 31, 2007

Self Medication Tragedy

My friend Eric at Classical Values tells of a self medication tragedy:

Most people who suffer from schizophrenia smoke. A lot.

This is one of those stereotypes that not only happens to be true, but there's a special reason why schizophrenics smoke:
Cigarette smoking may improve attention and short-term memory in persons with schizophrenia by stimulating nicotine receptors in the brain, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the June issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry.
This explains not only why they smoke, but why they smoke so much more than people who don't have schizophrenia. They are engaged in self medication.
Why is this a tragedy? Read the whole thing.

And, if the subject of self medication interests you I have written a little on the subject.

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System
Addiction or Self Medication?
A well known secret

I forgot to mention that nicotine is an anti-depressant, as is marijuana.

Cross Posted at The Astute Bloggers

1 comment:

linearthinker said...

Cigarette smoking may improve attention and short-term memory...

I can provide anecdotal evidence that it works...both for schizophrenics and engineers. I would from my own experience disagree with the study cited, i.e., that the effect is limited and not demonstrated in we "normal" folks. Or, perhaps I belong in the group needing medication?


More likely, as I've often thought over some two score years and ten, I'm an outlier on the bell curve, having found my niche beyond 3 sigma.

The good nurse's ordeal may only have begun with the tax bureaucracy. Wait until the nanny health authorities come down on her for running a smoke house.

My old boss in Rockford used to say, "What's fair is fair." Then he'd laugh at liberals, regulators, and other taxeaters as he lit up a Pall Mall.