In order to understand what this article is about, it's imperative to read this specific article written by Dr. Healy, and its comment section: [Bio Rip-off, Bio Delusions, Bio Hack?].
Right off the bat, let me start by saying that my article is neither about defending myself nor pointing out any faults of Dr. Healy's replies or behavior. If you follow my blog, then it's likely that you already know what I did for the PSSD community over the past years and what kind of a person I am.
Instead, this article is about some points Dr. Healy has reminded me of and the positive changes he has inspired me to make.
It is bad practice to make money off of the community as it will be labeled "preying on the vulnerable", unless of course you are a specialist with the right credentials. This is actually a quite serious matter, and I agree with it. There are some people out there who are, indeed, preying on people who have these lesser-known conditions. I have met such a person myself, in fact, just a few months ago.
Members of the community do not know who to trust so it's overall better to promote trusting in people who at least have the credentials even if they can't help. At least they won't harm you either.
This has inspired me to terminate my consultation service. Although I'm a pharmacist by trade and many patients have benefited from my consults, perhaps it is better to leave the educated trial-and-error approach to specialists. This way, we are reinforcing the idea that specialty and credentials matter on the Internet, and this makes it a safer place.
Patients who paid a visit to Dr. Goldstein report that he had prescribed Flibanserin and Bromocriptine before. Although I disagree with both drugs from a neuropharmacological point of view for PSSD, he's at least putting an effort in the educated trial-and-error approach — something the community direly needs for any possible chance at relief.
Patients will always try various substances to address their symptoms on their own. This is an undeniable fact. So I hope more specialists would help their patients by educated trial-and-error under their supervision.
Despite the neuropharmacological knowledge I've amassed over the past decade, I am seen as a small fry both by specialists and the research community since I do not have scientific publications or credentials. This is a no-brainer. Hell, even if I were a prodigy in neuropharmacology, no one will take me seriously without publications and without a PhD, preferably from a Western university. This is always good to be reminded of.
I am a fresh graduate (2018), but I have spent my time on PSSD instead of gaining the work experience required for traveling abroad. Working on MSc and PhD actually requires a lot of money. By helping the PSSD community full-time: 1- I'm not making enough money to invest into pursuing higher degrees.
2- I'm not gaining work experience that would allow me to travel abroad to make said money.
Healy's reaction has inspired me to look out for myself first and foremost.
No matter how old you are or how educated you are — you are still fundamentally a human being who is prone to following your own confirmation bias.
This is something I noticed all around me and in different societies. Age, experience, and education don't matter when it comes to confirmation bias. I find it really thought-provoking. Looking at 'haters' replies was very interesting.
This experience has been enriching and it has inspired me to educate myself on different types of bias as well as on human behavior.