Categories
Information Technology News

Label Normalization Engine Update

Hi All,

I’m working on the Label Normalization engine again. I am currently inputting labelling and symptom data into the web application database. I will be starting with the group “Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders” only to test the system and will provide further updates as soon as possible.

The disorder group mentioned above to be tested will consist of the following disorders:

  • Schizotypal (Personality) Disorder
  • Delusional Disorder
  • Brief Psychotic Disorder
  • Schizophreniform Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorder
  • Psychotic Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition
Categories
Anxiety Depression Mental Health Random Insights

Reading is an Underrated Form of Therapy

Just my personal experience. Many thoughts can be generated from what happens to you in life. Your worries, your problems, your questions in life. These thoughts radiate to your emotional domain and cause feelings of depression as the mind and emotions are connected or attached. This is why a lot of people find some peace in simply being away from their minds. Not in the sense that one runs away from reality like an ostrich digging their head in the ground in the face of danger or a threat. One definitely must process their problems, or accept what they can’t control.

One particular activity that takes me away from my mind is simply reading. Particularly something that I am very interested in. You should continue to surprise your mind with new books and new perspectives and topics. As this is novelty which our brains crave and which makes us feel good.

Reading requires one to engage with the book and use hand-eye coordination and it forces one to concentrate. It is not as passive as other forms of engagement as it involves some challenge. But it is not so challenging that it is burdensome. A book can be picked up anywhere and you can start wherever comfortable. It is a light, slightly challenging form of “therapy”.

To concentrate and read you have to be away from your thoughts. Absence of thoughts induces a positive, pleasant emotional experience. With time a person can get immersed in the book and really get in a healthy positive flow and experience. You become present as you focus on the words and the story being told.

Personally, reading for me is an, “anti-depressant”. I hope that helps others.

Categories
Information Technology

Label normalization experiment update

User input field for label converted to text input auto complete instead of drop down menu. Reads and searches through list of labels upon entering only minimum amount of characters. This was done for ease of use. Also I think this may be more user friendly for mobile/smaller devices. See below:

The three links above are bigger images of the above photos

Categories
Information Technology

Label normalization experiment (label loss and ailment simplification)

Upcoming label normalization experiment:

Dear followers, you may remember my label normalization function post recently that would take a set of given labels and their symptoms, remove the labels and any duplicate symptoms and only leave the remaining essence of the patients problem (assumed) in the form of the remaining symptoms. I appreciate feedback on my efforts to support and verify whether my work is accurate and so am open to suggestions from the observations of others.

This post is to inform my followers that there will be an upcoming major label normalization experiment with a large amount of disorders in the DSM. This will be done to demonstrate the power of the label normalization engine and the benefits in the use of database science and psychiatry combined. It is unsure whether this experiment will be successful however with trial and error it is my goal to develop an engine that effectively allows a patient to lose their labels and the redundant additional baggage that comes with labels such as duplicate symptoms in a multi diagnoses. I am seeing signs already of what I personally believe to be progress towards label loss which has sparked my curiosity to further develop this engine.

I intend on making this function available globally for free.

Below is an update of the Simplifier (normalize) function with more labels added. I am currently trying to add as many labels as I can for the experiment and also get the associated symptoms.

Categories
Bipolar Disorder Depression

Is Major Depression Curable?

As much as modern psychiatry claims that behind these disorders “chemical imbalances” are the cause, no imbalance has ever been found and that is rather an assumed cause. To prove that, go and ask your psychiatrist to show you this chemical imbalance, when they can’t, realize that no psychiatrist can because to the current date it’s just a theory. If it was true, psychiatric disorders would now have a test and someone would be winning a nobel prize.

Secondly and getting more specific, have a look at the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in the DSM-5. You will notice upon looking carefully that a low barrier to entry for this label has been set and many people can be labelled. Experiencing a few low symptoms for 2 weeks is ridiculously enough for it to be concluded that the patient has something wrong with their brain. That’s because the DSM-5 criteria does not exclude psychological conditions (and other causes) which are totally curable but it depends on the case and that leads me to my next point.

When asking this question, you need to specify whose depression you are referring to. MDD is not a condition where everyone is isolated to the same cause for symptoms. Rather, everyone experiencing depression has a specific case as to the cause of their experience. In other words, my depression, and your depression are not the same thing. The diagnostic criteria describe surface level symptoms which may be shared among cases and that’s normal and natural. But the depths are a domain that is specific to the patient case. Anyone can experience bad lows enough to get you diagnosed, but the cause of these lows is not a case of everyone simply having a chemical imbalance. That is a gross oversimplification. Rather we have our own reasons and so our individual case can decide for us whether we can be “cured” or not (I’m not sure if cure is the best word to use to be honest…). Theoretically/technically yes people can be “cured”, but whether it happens depends on the patient’s case.

So the words cure/incurable need to be clarified and opened up because there are variables to be discussed to answer your question, the most important of which is, “whose depression and why are they depressed?”.

Also, the word “cure” in the context of psychiatric disorders is unique when comparing the use of the word with other ailments. Sometimes it shouldn’t even be used as psychiatry has just medicalised normality (normal life circumstances) in certain cases. The DSM criteria is surface level identification (just a few low symptoms) and so can unfortunately easily accommodate normality.

Some people say there is no cure because as it can be seen these phases return. Well of course because that can be a part of life. Look at the MDD diagnostic criteria, 2 weeks of a few low symptoms…getting that once or twice is not always something abnormal or a “disease”. It can be perfectly understandable and expected and that’s also why you have such a range in cases i.e some people having one phase and it never returning, some people having many phases etc. That’s just because we are individuals with our own circumstances.

The word depression in my opinion has been poisoned because of psychiatry and has lost its value. To answer your question simply, yes I believe it is absolutely curable but it depends on the patient case. You can even see many examples of this in nature. Always remember, depression can simply be described as a low energy state. It’s remedy is everything and anything to shift the energy back to a healthy balance (positive credits). We even see this in muscle development. When muscles are malnourished and underused they contract and degenerate (atrophy/depress). With stimulation they expand and beautify (the muscles are “happy” again).

Another thing to note. We even have our own endogenous (produced by the body/brain) antidepressant neurochemicals like serotonin and anandamide which are released upon intense exercise. So both the depression of Bipolar and normal depressions can be improved or perhaps I could say overridden/overpowered/broken through and that faculty is available to every human. My point in mentioning this is that labels like “treatment-resistant” depression are a contradiction. If you do the right actions that arouse your nervous system and positive neurochemicals, like anandamide, you can shift the energy balance to a healthier state (positive energy credits and thus heightened emotions).

Always remember at the heart of your depression is an irritant or many irritants, you have to learn what they are and credit your energy balance to get into optimum moods. In my experience of modern psychiatry they weren’t too interested in looking at my life holistically. They were just interested in the surface and chemicals. But the reality is, if you don’t treat someone holistically, you make a compromise on results, sometimes a big compromise. But you as a human are so much more than a soup of chemicals.

I remember being paralyzed in bed incredibly depressed when I was younger. It was because I was paralyzed by my obsessive thoughts (thankfully I don’t get like that anymore). My point is, depression revolves around an irritant or irritants. Until that is responded to you won’t “cure” or improve the situation. Although that particular cause of depression is separate to MDD, the point was there is always an irritant, and irritants are VARIABLE as opposed to being simply a “chemical imbalance”. Energy shifting high or low has VARIABLE causes.

Another very important principle that needs to be understood. From a general perspective, all psychiatric symptoms are subject to different levels of control and how well you control them is a subject of its own. However it is important for you to know, this range of control has a top and a bottom from “elimination” right at the top to “permanence” at the bottom. Your symptoms, together with your case fall somewhere in that range and what decides your level of control highly depends on your case and what actions and resources are in your power to support higher levels on that range. Also it depends on how well you respond to treatment principles.

Categories
General Health Information Technology Mental Health Random Insights

“What’s wrong with me?”

There was recently a question somewhere outside of my blog where I also post where the questioner was basically complaining that they don’t know what’s wrong with them and their doctors can’t seem to figure it out and just throw meds at them. This may be a common experience. Below you will find my reply which includes elements of some of my insights I gathered after some time and also how innovation in psychiatry is lacking but if done can help when things get complex. The answer I posted now begins:

Answer: If this has been going on for a while I strongly consider looking for answers outside of typical psychiatry (which is decades old). This is what I did and I have learnt what I believe to be incredible stuff. In fact so good, I have pioneered my own alternative psychiatric sciences. This I did due to having some unsatisfactory experiences with modern day psychiatry.

Something that I developed was the relationship between the human anatomical structure and psychiatric symptoms (I will explain this). If you are lost as to what is behind your psychiatric ailment, first understand this simple principle: “All negative psychiatric expressions (or symptoms if you prefer) are simply due to a collection of negativity in one or more of the components in your human anatomical structure”. Now, what is your “human anatomical structure”?

They are as follows:

Human essence bodies:

  • The mental self
  • The emotional self
  • The physical self
  • The non-physical self (where dreams and things like hallucinations manifest)

And…

The dimensions of wellness:

  • The financial dimension
  • The social dimension
  • The occupational dimension
  • The environmental dimension
  • The intellectual dimension
  • The Islamic dimension (this applies to me as I’m Muslim)

In simple terms, if you don’t know what’s wrong with you, the above is your human anatomy and psychiatric ailments are caused by a collection of negativity in one or more of the above. So put your notice filter on and try and detect where the negativity is collecting and respond accordingly. This is a way of narrowing down your problem. When problems are complex, we break them down.

Another thing I will demonstrate is the power of looking for answers outside of typical psychiatry. In the world of modern psychiatry they don’t have an innovation culture. This is something I am trying to change. The below I developed after much research, contemplation and work. I am the first one in my awareness to connect database science to the world of psychiatry. What I demonstrate below is something I call “label normalization”. This may be something for you to keep an eye on as my aim for this function is to simplify a patient’s diagnosis, treatment and remove from them as much complication from whatever labels they accumulate.

This web application will be called “Label Explorer”. What follows is a few images of label normalization with a description of what you see in the image:

  • The user navigates to the label simplification section of Label Explorer and opens the label selection menu and chooses the labels to be added to the processing list
  • The user selects 6 labels to be processed/simplified
  • The user selects “normalize” as a simplification method and clicks “Start!”
  • The user has their chosen labels processed and simplified (normalized) by the application and is provided with a results page. I am still in the process of analyzing what I have done but so far it seems the user/patient has just lost all their labels and any duplicate symptoms that were found in multiple labels if they had multiple diagnoses. The user/patient is now dealing directly with the remaining symptoms only which is basically the essence of whatever is going on with them. If they had multiple conditions they have been incredibly simplified. There are two images of this below as I had to do it in two parts because the result page is long.

The reason I mention all of this is because there is so much more that can be done in the world of psychiatry but funding isn’t going there. I believe the future of psychiatry is in the hands of private entities and startup culture/innovation which is what I have initiated (possibly I am the first one). What I am doing is just the tip of the iceberg and I have a lot more to do.

Categories
Depression

Depression and the Purpose of Pain

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about my mood fluctuations in particular the low ones and have gained a few insights that I thought I would share. It’s to do with our relationship with Pain. Many people hate pain as it is uncomfortable and we usually avoid it. Sometimes that is the wise choice but recently I’ve observed and witnessed that upon deep reflection sometimes pain was actually helping me to grow. Deep down it was positive not negative. Pain comes in many forms but I’ll refer to depression in this post as its a typical form of pain everyone can relate to.

I usually run away from my low moods. I’ll numb the pain with coffee or something. But recently I realised my low moods were actually a message. These messages were communicating something. Some change was needed or some growth needed to occur and my feelings of depression were stuck because I wasn’t allowing this growth. I would look at the pain wrong or respond to it in the wrong way. I wouldn’t go deep into it and listen to what it was trying to tell me. I realised that my depression kept returning because I was unwilling to go into discomfort. Not willing to face my problems and deal with them. Not willing to change my dietary habits and instead live with the feelings of guilt. Not willing to give up bad habits. Procrastination. Negative thinking or looking at something the wrong way. Self doubt. Whatever painful emotion I was dealing with it would all feed my depression and continue to do that because I wasn’t willing to go into the discomfort of embracing these messages and responding to them the way they wanted me to.

If you look at body builders the only way they grow and beautify is by embracing pain. The stress, self-discipline and discomfort of waking up and going to that gym and then carrying those heavy weights. It’s undesirable who honestly wants to go through that? But there is a lesson in that example. They grow after that. This life is beautiful but it isn’t paradise. If we want something we have to go through discomfort first. After pain there is pleasure.

If you notice our whole human essence whether it’s our soul, body, brain, heart, limbs, muscles, personal hyigene etc they all crave growth. If we’re not growing in a certain aspect of our life then we actually slowly deteriorate and this is how depression also works. It’s how your muscles work you need to be active or they degenerate even our bones do that. The bones remodel themselves when a healthy stress is placed on them. When we floss our teeth our oral hygiene grows and we maintain our health well into the future if we keep doing this.

There is deep lessons in the simple examples of nature that never seems to stop amazing me. Nature is a humble teacher.

I’ve realised today that I get depressed or go into low moods because I’m not growing somewhere or something needs maintenance. I’m a bit of a lazy person and my lack of self-discipline causes a lot of my suffering but again pain is a feedback mechanism whether it’s depression, guilt, fear or whatever and it’s part of a magnificent design that is actually trying to help you and push you to grow and be comfortable again. The whole point of pain is to push you so you stop feeling pain. It’s with you not against you. In other words pain has a purpose. It’s a signal of content and meaning.

Sometimes we can feel down and label ourselves as just depressed or sad because it’s not always apparent why we feel a certain way but upon looking deeper, there is a whole world to explore, a message to be listened to.

So remember, love yourself and work with your pain and you may just open up a new world of positive feelings you never knew existed.

As a fun activity to do, go and google brain scans of someone idle or just in their normal state and look at a comparison picture of when the brain is exposed to novelty of some sort. The brain lights up more on the scan excited with more activity. The pleasure chemical dopamine is released a powerful antidote to depression. I looked at such pictures and it helped me understand why I get depressed when I’m in the same routine for too long or I’m just bored and need something new to do. I would use the pain of boredom and channel it into something novel and new to feed myself positive emotions and brain chemicals.

I hope this post helped someone.

Categories
Bipolar Disorder

Can Bipolar Disorder be cured

I wrote this post on another website to respond to the question of whether Bipolar Disorder can be cured. I thought to add it here as some people may find it useful.

Can Bipolar Disorder be cured?

Firstly it’s important to note the physical basis for Bipolar Disorder has never been found and never will be found. This is because our internal worlds are not physical.

Bipolar Disorder is known as the phantom disorder because for some people it’s symptoms can hibernate for years and as an extension of that I therefore assume they can completely disappear and never return. This hibernation characteristic of Bipolar Disorder is rarely talked about but does occur and can be likened to a cure in my opinion. It is similar to the rare cases of people getting their Irritable Bowel Syndrome under control after going through the process of elimination with the foods they eat. The reason why they get to the bottom of it is because they practiced self care and investigated the reasons behind their digestive tantrums. People in the west want the quick fix though that’s why they endure a lot of unnecessary pain.

First understand that Bipolar Disorder is a very individual ailment. It seems to mean different things to different people. Case A is different to Case B because we are as unique as the fingerprints on our hands so whether someone can be cured has to be considered on a case by case basis.

Unfortunately patients in the west of many diseases are over-reliant on drugs as symptomatic management for ailments which actually signal a deeper problem. In the typical public hospital experience with Bipolar Disorder, there is not much of an emphasis to investigate the reasons behind your mood fluctuations. There is rather a lot of pressure for the Psychiatrists to move you in and out of the hospital as they have so many people to see. Quality treatment and answers don’t come that way.

Unpleasant moods on the mood continuum are attributed with communication as opposed to being a purposeless signal. In fact that is how pain generally operates consistently throughout the human experience and the natural world. It’s a motivator for change. The opposite poles are not exempt from this. They are events of communication to the patient requesting them to get to the bottom of their violent fluctuations.

Mood fluctuations occur for many reasons, stress, weather, thought patterns, sleep quality, cognitive fusion with a delusion etc.

But to be more specific with your answer, I personally believe yes but depending on your case and the source of your mood fluctuations. For example, the depression of Bipolar Disorder is not much different to Major Depression. Many patients initially present with depression. If however you manage to resolve the CAUSE of your depression you will obtain mood regulation which is the ideal state for someone with Bipolar Disorder. You would no long have the disorder. At least not the depressive dimension.

Below is some science I developed regarding Pain and the mood continuum that may help here:

I work as a security guard and us guards get a lot of time to think and observe. I started observing the natural world and pain in general and began to like observation a lot. I use the natural world as a teacher because it doesn’t lie. It has the truth built into it and you can see it with your own eyes. You can also apply what you see in the natural world to yourself and other aspects of life.

I started to observe pain a lot and learnt a lot about it. I ended up coming up with what I call the Pain Class Abstraction pictured below:

The above abstraction is a simple general representation of any pain. For those of you who are into abstract things you will know that they are very general representations of things. Sometimes so general that all they can do is just help provoke new thoughts which can be very useful in solving problems. Abstract art for example allows a person to explore and derive their own meaning from what they see.

The abstraction above can be used with any Psychiatric Disorder for multiple purposes and in my opinion even for developing solutions because it allows exploration and a shift in consciousness from stagnated thinking. The current thinking of many disorders in Psychiatry has stagnated that’s why this epidemic is getting worse. What is needed is solutions and new ways of thinking of these disorders which is what I have attempted.

My abstraction is also validated by nature as the above representation of pain is how pain actually operates. All pain whether it’s a headache or a fungal infection inherits from the above representation. The section in the middle are attributes of pain and the section at the bottom is a behaviour of pain.

What follows is an explanation of the above attributes and behaviour through the example of a headache and then the linking of the abstraction to the mood continuum to demonstrate that the opposite poles are actually a communication system.

Explaining the pain class abstraction through the example of a headache:

Pain: Headache

Initiator: My boss
Initiation Method: Too much of a work-load
Responder: Myself (I am the one who will respond to this headache)
Response Method: Headache tablet
Subject: Myself (I am the victim of this headache)
Manifestation Subject: Head (where did this pain manifest?)
Time Period: 4 hours (this headache has lasted 4 hours)
Communicate: Painful cramping and tension in the head area. Possibly increased muscle tenderness? This is how the pain communicates.

Take note of the initiator, initiation method and communicate items above. Notice how the pain communicates symptoms which are caused by the boss giving too much of a work load. Together these things are communicating meaning, a reason behind the pain. It’s a signal of purpose.

For people who don’t know, the mood continuum is the complete individual range of moods from lowest to highest. Now I will connect my Pain abstraction to the mood Continuum.

First simplify the Pain Abstraction and apply the simple form to the unpleasant moods on the continuum. Moods are colour coded where Major depression is in black all the way to white which is mania and the ideal in the middle being green. The two poles are on opposite ends.

As can be seen above, all unpleasant moods whether they are extreme and problematic (mania and major depression) or of simpler nature share the same attributes and behaviour of pain (they are a form of pain) and therefore communicate content and meaning (they all have an initiator, initiation method and communicate symptoms). So just as you have reasons for a general negative mood fluctuation, you also have reasons for mania and major depression. In the current understanding however found in Psychiatry, not much is concluded besides the extreme mood fluctuations being blamed on a brain disease where drugs are given as first line of treatment to control the rises and falls. They have over-simplified the problem and are treating surface symptoms but the issue actually signals a deeper problem.

Psychiatry needs to re-evaluate how they are approaching Bipolar Disorder and other disorders as I don’t believe enough progress is being made. One of the things they have come up with is that there is a lot of evidence that points to Bipolar Disorder being an issue of the neurons. Even if that is the case our brains have the ability to reprogram themselves through neuroplasticity. They are living moving objects. Isolating the response of Bipolar Disorder to the science of chemistry (drugs) alone discourages actions that induce neuroplasticity. We as human beings have a wide option base when it comes to treating matters of the mind. I know for myself I deal better with racing thoughts by delegating them into to do list software and processing them as opposed to taking pills.

I wrote a free e-book relating to Bipolar symptom stability, check it out:

  1. Bipolar Disorder – 5 tips for stability
Categories
Information Technology

App for Simplifying all Disorders

If you can remember a couple of posts back I mentioned the “Pain Class Abstraction I came up with that basically generalizes all Disorders into a single Pain class. I came up with that with a lot of thinking and I used concepts from computing science. The Pain Class Abstraction basically simplifies all Disorders into a general disorder. I was able to do this because many disorders share the same symptoms so I thought to myself why not make things more simple and connect what is common. By doing this I removed a lot of redundancy. You can find the post here.

Anyway, I am working on an app to apply the logic in that post and here is my first picture below. I think my theory was correct because I am indeed applying the simplified logic in a useful way.

As an assumed use case, the user would select “Response Method” and then select a symptom in the communicate drop down menu. When they click submit they would be provided with a list of all possible treatments even non-drug ones that are established in the scientific community.

Now many disorders share the same symptoms but because of my generalizing there is no need for listing multiple disorders with the same symptoms. As you can see instead I abstracted out the symptoms into a single “Communicate” attribute to remove the redundancy.

I hope this is of interest to anyone.

Categories
Information Technology Mental Health

Simplifying Psychiatric Disorders with Computing Science

People like Dr Peter Breggin who knows about what happened before the pharmacological revolution and Robert Whitaker are reformers of this industry. I hope one day I can reach that status too because this topic is close to my heart and we need people who care enough to reform things. Especially for the children.

I come from an information technology background and I try to apply those concepts to Psychiatry and I have had some success in simplifying some of the mess. There are modelling languages in computing science such as the Unified Modelling Language and the object oriented thought process. There is another one called the entity relationship model. I used these languages to develop generalizations and apply them to Psychiatry to simplify the over-complication in it.

One such generalization that I think took me over a year of contemplation I call the Pain class abstraction. If you are into art you will know that abstract things whether it’s in art or in other spheres of life make you think and provoke thought. They can be used to solve problems.

My pain abstraction states that every Disorder derives from one general disorder (pain). Why? because simply they are all a form of pain. In this way I simplified all disorders. Now pain has attributes and behaviours and because all Psychiatric labels are a form of pain I was able to generalize them. Check the picture below:

The Pain class abstraction developed using the Computing Science world

All Psychiatric Disorders in the DSM fall under and derive naturally from the above Disorder.

Let’s use the above pain abstraction as a template and fill it with Bipolar Disorder. Let’s consider my own case as of current.

Pain: Bipolar Disorder

Initiator: Myself

Initiation Method: Trauma

Responder: The people involved in responding are Psychiatrists, myself, family etc

Response Method: Very broad: mood hygiene, sleep hygiene, Sodium Valproate, diet, vitamin d, trigger prevention, stress management etc

Subject: Who was impacted by this form of pain? Myself

Manifestation Subject: Where does this pain manifest? It cannot be detected anywhere in the body so it goes under the category of Non-physical ailments. Therefore it manifests non-physically. I experience it, others don’t. It also gives thought to the fact that because it can’t be detected, it has made me realize that external entities contribute to my Bipolar such as societal stress.

Time period: How does this form of pain relate to the dimension of time? Is it intermittent? Is it a permanent illness? etc. Bipolar is known as the phantom disease because it’s symptoms can be regular or unpredictable and even disappear for years at a time. By generalizing the time aspect of Psychiatric labels we can do more than what is being done now in Psychiatry. Instead of saying and sticking onto the idea that Bipolar is a life long illness, we can say things like, “since it is known that this disorder can be intermittent and disappear for many years, can we really say it is incurable? how about we look deeper into the cases where symptoms didn’t return.”

Communicate: The bottom attribute “communicate” is a behaviour of pain. So how does bipolar communicate? This basically comes down to the symptoms (mania, depression etc)

Doing what I did above is useful because it has the power to help with quality control and error checking. By that I mean if new disorders come up in the future, we can have such abstractions act as a filter to aid in a form of control to prevent over-complication or inconsistencies. Unfortunately the DSM in my opinion is an unstable and changing document that in spite of the repeated revisions, is not doing much to lower our epidemic because if it was then statically this epidemic would be getting better but it’s getting worse.

We have been flooded by new diagnoses in the past and now Autism so when will it end? It’s time for a rethink in the way we do things. I am now working on a project to apply some of what I have learnt from Computing Science to simplify Psychiatry further in a way where users can engage with my website and use apps to simplify a lot the mess that is occurring because we need more practical stuff not just theory.

I hope that makes sense and so any feedback is appreciated.