Mourning with those who mourn

This is an old post from Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog, but they recently re-posted it on their RSS feed: “Should Christians Take Antidepressants?

That headline is infuriatingly stupid. The subhed for the post is even worse: “Medication can help, but it can also hinder our reliance on Christ.”

Is insulin just a crutch that Christians use to cope with diabetes instead of relying on Jesus?

This is cruel and ignorant.

And when ignorance strikes a pious pose of sanctimony, that makes it worse, not better.

No pious jackasses sit around pondering “Should Christians Take Insulin?” No insufferably holier-than-thou idiots pretend it would be deeply spiritual if they said, “Rattlesnake anti-venom can help, but it can also hinder our reliance on Christ.” Or “An emergency appendectomy may sometimes be beneficial, but only if we’re careful not to allow it to overshadow our true savior.”

Yet when it comes to any kind of mental illness, evangelical Christians suddenly turn into Christian Scientists or Scientologists — preferring “spiritual” treatments over medicine.

This hurts people. This kills people. This needs to stop.

Here’s a taste of the article:

In a 2010 Revive Our Hearts radio interview, Reformed writer Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of Will Medicine Stop the Pain? (Moody), said:

It’s so important for us just to remember that yes, perhaps the anti-depressants are making it so that we’re not feeling those raw, painful emotions. But those emotions are given to us by God to drive us to himself and then to force us to ask questions about our faith and about the way that we’re living and thinking and responding to things.

Should Christians avoid taking antidepressants, instead “letting go and letting God” lead us through the ups and downs of life? I’m not sure.

Again, would these people talk like this about any other ailment? What if she had written this?

Should Christians avoid taking antibiotics, instead “letting go and letting God” lead us through the ups and downs of infection? I’m not sure.

Or who wrote the following as the conclusion of the essay?

Certainly antibiotics can take the edge off the pain of living in this broken world. But is it possible that we need those edges, which so often lead us to Christ?

I only changed one word in that — the rest is verbatim from the last two sentences of the actual article.

Seriously, this is abysmally stupid and it does real harm to real people. Knock it off.

 

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  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    But but but MENTAL WILLNESS! These things happen because they’ve given up God! That’s totally why I had conduct disorder even when I was still Christian and–wait

  • Shawn

    Neuroscience is going to be the “Evolution v. Creationism” fight of the 21st Century, and this is simply a foretaste of it. Physical damage is easy to understand and not objectionable to correct, likewise with infections (pregnancy complications, especially for Catholics, occasionally very difficult, though.) But your mind is supposed to come from your soul, which means that if physical methods such as drugs can correct your mind then something may be wrong with the common concept of the soul. Anything that suggests that we’re meat all the way down is deeply upsetting to some.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Actually, non-materialistic neuroscience is a topic that’s been pushed for quite a few years already. But no one’s arguing that meds don’t work (well, other than Scientologists and a few other anti-psych types, I suppose). The argument from evangelicals/fundamentalists is more along the lines that using meds is a sign of weakness, a belief that is sadly common among the general populace.

  • Mary

    “Showing weakness.” Gaah. It’s like people saying “but that’s just a crutch.” Of course it’s a crutch. Crutches are what you use to function when part of you is injured or broken. Why on earth would you despise them, or people who use them?

    It seems to me there’s nothing Christian about wanting not to show weakness. Jesus showed plenty. He wept, he pleaded to escape a feared event, he bled, he died.

    I’m not a Christian, but what I’d say to Christians about this is: you’re called to live in the light of truth. If the truth is that you’re weak, show it fearlessly. (And if the truth is that someone else is weak, *protect and nurture them.* Don’t hurt them.)

  • Worthless Beast

    Strangely enough, I have a similar philosophy. I think the world needs more people who are honest, brave enough to show their scars, as it were. I think that it is the weak that give the strong a reason for being – that where one is strong, one should protect one who is weak, and chances are, they, in turn, have a strength of their own where the “strong” one is lacking.
    However, sometimes, I really wonder if I am too weak to warrant being alive. I mean, I’m not only bipolar (the “weakness” of a mental illness), but unlike a lot of people here, it hasn’t made me do the “walk away from faith” thing. I’m not involved in the church, I fit more of a “none” than anything else, but do actually still believe in crazy things like Jesus, and I’m wondering if that’s just weakness on my part. Certainly many non-believers would see it as some kind of Stockholm Syndrome (when in reality, it’s more like…it’s just stuck in my brain and there’s a kind of nebulous hope I get out of it).
    I’m sort of doubly screwed, I guess. The one way I can get sympathy with one group is dashed by the other thing. At least, it’s what I constantly suspect.

  • lodrelhai

    Believe me, you are not alone, and you DEFINITELY warrant being alive. I walked away from Christianity as a church ages ago, but I still believe in Jesus as an intercessor and savior for us to god (or a god?), and as a teacher and example to all of us.

    So if it’s weakness, it’s one I happily share. But I don’t believe it is weakness. If you think about it, the religious naysayers’ arguments against faith are not all that different than the mental-health naysayers’ arguments against antidepressants – unnecessary, a crutch. And so I give them the same answer. Just as there is something in my brain that needs help to regulate its chemistry, there is something in my soul that needs help to regulate its hope. They are not mutually exclusive, and while some people need neither, others need both.

  • Becca Stareyes

    I really hope the writer is not mentally ill, or knows anyone who is; the statistics indicate that my hopes are in vain.

    I have an anxiety disorder and (seasonal) depression. Before I started on medication, it wasn’t just ‘i feel sad when sad things happen’, but feeling sad and lonely when I had no reason other than brain chemistry to feel sad. I remember sitting in the hall after going to a RPG club meeting and feeling like, even though I had just spent hours with my friends, that I was the only person in the world. Somehow I doubt it would have been different if it had been Campus Crusade for Christ or a church service. I literally had to spend a night at home (thankfully I attended college across town, not across the country) because I couldn’t stop crying to sleep: my mother came and got me late at night, and drove me back before heading to work.

    Now, if an unscrupulous person wanted to use their religion as a ‘if you believe in God, your depression will go away’ bait (and when it didn’t work; well clearly I needed to give up more of myself), that is highly unethical, a jerkish and predatory thing to do, but might work to get butts in pews, tithes in collection boxes and volunteers on the roster. But it you want to actually care for people, you should learn the difference between ‘depression’ and ‘sadness/grief because the world sucks sometimes’.

    (Also, I’m on antidepressants at the moment. I can still feel sad or angry or worried. They aren’t some kind of magic happy drugs, they just do the chemical equivalent of making sure my sadness or apathy or worry holes have ladders.)

  • Steele

    I don’t think it’s a “Try to get converts” thing. I think that the “It takes us away from God” from religious people is the same as the non-religious people who just see anxiety as a “Weakness” and tell depressed people to “Get over it.” It’s not a predatory tactic to get converts. It’s just stupid people not realizing that the mentally ill can’t just ‘get over it.’

  • Fusina

    And God knows that If I could just “Get over it” I totally would. It is aggravating in the extreme to depend on a stupid pill so that I won’t attempt to off myself, but having had the experience of not one but two cousins and two uncles in my family commit suicide, I make damn sure my prescription is up to date and that I have plenty. (I also keep St. John’s Wort pills in case of total emergency, as the doctors occasionally screw up and they fill the gap as it were). But it is humiliating to have to repeatedly beg a prescription, and it took me years to convince an MD that I needed them. One of the times, I took a “test” to determine my need for them, and because I was fighting the desire to off myself so as not to harm my children (mentally, it was just me, I would not have killed them first) I was not depressed enough to need medication. Arrgh. That was a very bad day. Probably should have mentioned that one of my uncles had committed suicide. At the time, he was the only one–it’s just been in the last eight years the other three occurred.

  • Becca Stareyes

    Well, true. Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity/ignorance. I know I had some internalized baggage myself to work through before starting medication: though in my case I was more afraid of the side effects. (Ironically, I was one of the lucky people who had the first pill I tried worked, and the side effects fade after a month or two.)

  • alfgifu

    Another possibility is that – for some religious people – there’s a strong association between doubting the basis of their faith and feeling really unhappy.

    It’s a small leap from there to thinking ‘if I didn’t have my faith, I would be unhappy all the time’. I’ve never personally left my faith, so I don’t know how it would affect me, but anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the distress is caused by the uncertainty. People who’ve gone through it and come out the other side as atheists tend to be just as happy as anyone else, it’s just the process that can be painful.

    Andbutso, a religious person might well associate mental pain with the act of having serious misgivings about their beliefs (perhaps particularly if their beliefs involve cognitive dissonance on any substantial level). Thus the assumption: severe mental distress is caused by a lack of faith, and cured by restoring that faith.

    If you are arrogant or unthinking enough to believe that you know a cure for all unhappiness, and are poorly educated enough to think that depression is just the same as feeling a bit sad, then I can see how antidepressants might look like a bad thing. After all, faith (in this model) restores a healthy balance all by itself, and is in direct competition with the drugs that a patient has to go on taking.

    I went through a number of years of deep depression in my late teens, and I was deeply religious throughout. My faith – and my God – did help me in many ways. But because I’ve never thought of God as a direct competitor with medical science, I was never threatened by the idea that medication could be effective.

    Additional thought: if medication is a crutch, and you’re recommending God to replace it, then you’re using the Almighty as an alternative crutch. That seems a bit, oh, I don’t know – rude? Particularly when God went to all the trouble of setting things up so we could develop effective medication ourselves.

  • The_L1985

    Look up “Overcoming Your Approval Addiction.” The idea of God-as-crutch is disturbingly common in “Christian” self-help books.

  • The_L1985

    I remember my father not understanding my clinical depression when I was a teen. “You have a wonderful life, you’ve been taking medication for months now, when are you going to Get Over It?”

  • Fanraeth

    My mother refuses to seek treatment for her depression because she claims that it’s demonic attack and can only be cured by prayer. I don’t know if that comes from her Southern Baptist upbringing or the fundamentalists she got involved in after meeting my dad. Either way, it left me embarrassed and ashamed to admit what I was going through when I started to struggle with depression in high school.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    … Huh. This is one of those weird intersection of topics moments- first a new troll on the Rick Warren thread, then a thread on mental illness, and–

    Matthew Warren, who suffered from mental illness and depression, committed suicide today.

  • Lori

    That’s horrible. I have no patience with Rick Warren as a pastor or public figure, but as a human being I’m sorry for his family’s loss, and even more sorry that his son reached such a desperate place.

  • Naymlap

    I just read the headline and wondered if Fred was posting on that. The timing is uncanny.
    But having read about Matthew Warren’s fight with depression I hope that he found whatever peace he was looking for. It sounds that he fought a long and grueling battle with it, and no treatment ever worked. It’s really heartbreaking.

  • Matri

    What’s worse is that he most likely did not receive any support from his so-called “family”.

  • aunursa

    No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now,” Warren wrote in the letter. “He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a bee-line to that person to engage and encourage them.”

    “In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided,” Warren wrote to church members. “Today, after a fun evening together with Kay and me, in a momentary wave of despair at his home, he took his life.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Thank you, that’s what I wanted to say, but I just couldn’t articulate it. Self wasn’t letting me just say “thoughts and prayers with the family” because it kept tripping over “Rick Warren is a jerkass pastor.”

  • Nirrti

    These folks who rag on people like me for taking anti-depressants should be forced to have their mouths stapled shut for a year as punishment. They piss me off that much.

    My mother, who was in her deeply religious phase when I told her about
    me depression, said “You’ll go to hell if you kill yourself” also. I needed her love and support and all she gave me was more condemnation? Fuck that shit.

    Then when I was taken to the hospital after finally attempting suicide, one of the medics asked me if I went to church. I told him I haven’t been for years. He then blamed my lack of church attendance for my depression. Then to top off the piece of shit pie, said if I killed myself, I was going to hell. He did me a favor because at that moment, I promised myself I would never set foot in another church service again and gave up religion. And I’ve kept that promise, so far, for the past 10 years.

  • P J Evans

    When my mother was deeply depressed, I was patient with her. After she finally got help and they found an antidepressant that worked for her – it’s trial and error – she wondered how *I’d* coped. I admitted that there were times when I’d considered taking her to the local senior center for the day.

    Antidepressants can keep you from being really deep in that slough of despond. They don’t make it disappear completely, but they make it easier to get through. And they aren’t necessarily expensive (my prescription runs about $20 a month).

  • Steph

    “He then blamed my lack of church attendance for my depression.”
    The stupid it burns. I go to church, but let me tell you that my depression following the death of my mother was made worse by the judgemental people at the church I was attending. They were thought I should be over the grief in about a month, but it took longer than that for me.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, let’s silence all dissent, by force if necessary. People shouldn’t be allowed to think for themselves or question anything, especially if it’s sacred to me.

  • reynard61

    “No pious jackasses sit around pondering ‘Should Christians Take Insulin?’ No insufferably holier-than-thou idiots pretend it would be deeply spiritual if they said, ‘Rattlesnake anti-venom can help, but it can also hinder our reliance on Christ.’ Or ‘An emergency appendectomy may sometimes be beneficial, but only if we’re careful not to allow it to overshadow our true savior.’

    “Yet when it comes to any kind of mental illness, evangelical Christians suddenly turn into Christian Scientists or Scientologists — preferring ‘spiritual’ treatments over medicine.”

    I think that this attitude on a secular level can be borne out of two things: An “If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” mentality (which tends to apply, conveniently enough, *ONLY* to the illnesses of others — but, brother, when a holder of that particular attitude thinks that they even *might* be ill, you’d better have an ambulance a whaaaaa-mbulance [not to mention the obligatory fainting couch and clutching pearls] standing by!), or a “You’re just a lazy, malingering hypochondriac looking for sympathy” mentality that demands absolute proof (i.e. a fractured bone sticking out of one’s skin) of injury before the holder of that particular attitude will even think of lifting a finger to help.

    The religious attitude that you (Fred) describe(s) is more subtle and insidious. It relies on the attitude that mental (and even certain physical) illnesses (such as cancer) are*Gods Will*, so best not to upset the “natural order of things” (yes, I’ve heard that phrase used in this context) and just let Him deal with the problem — even if it is a child suffering needlessly through an illness that could be easily cured. (I’m also convinced that this is one of the reasons why Evangelicals/Fundiamentalists are against medical marijuana. Also, I think that they see the pain of certain illnesses [again, such as cancer] as punishment *from God* for certain, usually unspecified, so-called “sins” and they don’t see why the sufferers of those diseases deserve — let alone should be allowed — any relief [or, God forbid, any actual *pleasure!!!*] from The Devil’s Weed. Messed up? Yes. Logical? Only in their peculiar ideology.)

  • Victor Savard

    (((No pious jackasses sit around pondering “Should Christians Take Insulin?”)))

    HaHa! That’s why I love YA so much Fred, “IT” is because just like the old days you really make my heart of heart smile sometimes!

    Be nice sinner vic cause Victor’s not on Insulin yet!
    http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.ca/2013/04/faith-filled-friday-divine-mercy-flood.html?showComment=1365301335851

    Go Figure folks! :)

    Peace

  • Just Sayin’

    Seems to me there are other reasons to be highly wary of antidepressants:

    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/antidepressants/

  • Guest

    because Peter Hitchens is a totally reliable medical expert.

  • Just Sayin’

    His arguments stand or fall on their merits, just like yours. Oh, I see you didn’t make any . . .

  • Lori

    Yes, his arguments stand or fall on their own merits. And on their own merits they fall. He shouldn’t be spreading misinformation about life-saving medication and neither should you.

  • Just Sayin’

    So please address his arguments then.

  • Lori

    His argument is nothing more than “some people have suicidal thoughts when they start antidepressants.” I addressed that. Twice before you posted this comment and once more since then. At this point I don’t really feel that your willful lack of reading comprehension is my problem.

  • Just Sayin’

    His arguments are actually a lot more than that. I suggest you read his many posts on the subject. But there’s nothing like a bit of “nothing moreism” when one doesn’t want to consider an alternative opinion.

  • Lori

    Please explain why, exactly, people need to read Peter Hitchens on this issue. He is not a doctor. He, apparently, has no personal experience with depression, treated with antidepressants or not. So why, exactly is it so vital that we read his opinion on the subject?

    Why should I spend my time, which is not in infiate supply, reading more from a person who acts as if he’s discovered a big secret that is not in fact a secret at all and which I and many others have known about for years?

    You have now said several times that the point is that more research is needed. No one, including me, has disagreed with you about that. What we have disagreed with is the scare-mongering tone and the implication that people shouldn’t take antidepressants now because they are not perfect and we don’t know everything about them that we should or would like to.There is literally no reason to listen to a newspaper columnist and a random guy on the internet about those issues.

  • Just Sayin’

    Going by that logic, please explain why people need to read your comments here. Are you a doctor?

    Why should we read anyone’s reasoned, thoughtful views on any topic? No reason at all, unless we’re interested.

    Of course, if there is a danger here, it’s bound to be scare-mongering, justifiably so, considering there may be a real scare!

    By the way, doctors are not pharmacists, who are the real experts (supposedly) in this matter.

  • Lori

    This is just more deflecting on your part. You brought Hitchens into this discussion. It’s on you to provide a legitimate reason why people should care about his opinion. You apparently can’t do that, so you keep trying to turn it around. That’s quite dishonest of you, but I’ll play one more time just for the hell of it.

    Going by that logic, please explain why people need to read your comments here. Are you a doctor?

    No, I am not a doctor. As I said, I am trained as a psychologist and worked for years in the mental health field. That means a few things, among them that I know how to evaluate a scientific study and that I have direct experience with depressed people in treatment, both including meds and not including them.

    I no longer work in that field, so it can’t be said that I have a personal axe to grind. I no longer have any direct personal involvement with the issue and I receive no personal benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the use of anti-depressants. I do know that they can help people who desperately need help and I don’t want anyone who needs them to be influenced to avoid them because of the ignorance and distortions that you brought into this thread.

    Of course, if there is a danger here, it’s bound to be scare-mongering, justifiably so, considering there may be a real scare!

    Are you actually trying to claim that it’s not possible to talk about risk without scare-mongering? That’s ridiculous. It is trivially easy to talk about risk without scare-mongering. Several people in this thread have done it, including me. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge that does not change the fact that it’s true.

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s not up to me to do anything. I posted a link for anyone interested to click on. Feel free to ignore it. Many pro-antis, it seems, cannot allow a differing viewpoint to even be mentioned. Do so and much vulgarity and ad hominem results!

  • Lori

    The problem is not that you “mentioned” it.

    Your tone argument is worthless.

    Your continued inability to use “ad hominem” correctly is ridiculous.

  • Just Sayin’

    More vulgarity! It’s sooo persuasive of your position — swear a lot and you must be right!

  • Lori

    our pearl-clutching isn’t exactly a winning argument either. Get over yourself.

  • Just Sayin’

    Do you have anything to contribute to the discussion?

  • Just Sayin’

    As for reading comprehension, (a) I’ve read his arguments, I don’t think you’ve bothered; (b) ad hominem is not an argument (though it’s all the pro-antis seem to have here).

  • Lori

    You don’t get to keep complaining about ad hominem attacks while referring to us as pro-antis, you hypocrite. That’s especially true since most of what you’re calling ad hominems are actually not.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, as I’ve explained, pro-anti and anti-anti are neutral shorthand, not ad hominem. Please stop the name-calling.

  • P J Evans

    You’ve made it really, *really* clear that you’re against antidepressants. You *haven’t* given us any reason why we should consider your opinion to be authoritative, particularly when there are quite a few people her who have direct experience that says you’re talking out the other end.
    With this comment, you’ve outed yourself as someone who doesn’t seem to believe they have *any* value.
    Don’t let the door hit you.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, I haven’t, and you haven’t cited anywhere I have. And I’ve never cited MY opinion, just posted a link to someone who has studied and thought about this topic a lot and feels that lives might be saved if certain aspects are looked into with an open mind.

    That’s got me a ton of invective and vulgarity in response!

  • Saffi

    Not that it should be necessary to spell this out, but:

    It is not the validity of Hitchens’ arguments that is in question, but a) his ability to interpret scientific studies without a scientifically competent mediary, and b) his likely ethic to do so without any intention to mislead.

    The interpretation of those studies forms the basis of Hitchens’ arguments, and when the basis of his arguments is suspect, so too are his arguments.

  • Just Sayin’

    If that’s really the case, then . . . your scientific qualifications to give your opinion on this are . . . ?

  • Just Sayin’

    Just like you!

  • Lori

    That column was deeply idiotic.

  • Just Sayin’

    So you’re basically agreeing with him: there IS a risk of suicide. Plus a risk of the other atrocities he cites in these articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    There’s a far greater risk of suicide with untreated depression.

  • Just Sayin’

    But perhaps current antidepressant drugs are not the best treatment. Perhaps there needs to be more research. That’s all he’s saying.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Or maybe you need to present your qualifications. (I count ‘have a mental illness and am familiar with the use of antidepressants as a patient’, ‘have a degree in studying mental illness and am familiar with the use of antidepressants as a medical professional’, and absolutely nothing else.)
    If you have no qualifications, you need to shut the fuck up.

    Speaking as one of those people in the first group I describe as qualified: I am not, if I can avoid it, going off my meds ever again. Because, and this bit requires a trigger warning for suicide, the meds keep the suicidal ideation at bay. And I like being alive.

  • Just Sayin’

    Now the pro-antis are adding vulgarity and swearing to their “reasoning.” So impressive and soooo convincing!

  • EllieMurasaki

    So I ought to go off my antidepressants and end up suiciding? I thought you were trying to PREVENT suicides.

    Antidepressants do that much better than absence-of-antidepressants do. Not perfectly, but better.

  • Just Sayin’

    For some people, of course this is true. But you cannot generalise from the particular.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You seem to be generalizing from the particular cases of people who go on anti-depressants and who lose their lethargy before they lose their suicidal ideation.

    You cannot generalize from the particular.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, cases, plural. That’s the important point. Not my personal experience, not yours.

  • Lori

    You are acting as if this is a game of tallying up anecdotes. That is ridiculous.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, and you can’t quote anywhere I’ve said that. Please stop the personal attacks.

  • Lori

    Are you really such a weak creature that you consider being disagreed with a personal attack? How in the world do you get through the day?

  • Just Sayin’

    Swearing, ad hominems, crude name-calling, yes those are personal attacks, as any objective observer would surely agree. Your bias is showing.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    And I bet the lurkers support you in email too?

  • Just Sayin’

    Now what you’re doing here definitely IS trolling. I’d appreciate positive debate.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You want me to go off my meds and suicide. Or if that’s not the case, that’s certainly the impression you’ve given us all.

    There is no room for positive debate here. There is only yelling at you until you fuck off.

  • Just Sayin’

    Sorry, I don’t even know you, so I don’t want you to do anything.

    There is always room for positive debate, though 90% of responses to me have been ad hominem and irrational attacks, which says something in itself.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, by the way, what are your qualifications? Have you ever used antidepressants? Have you ever studied their use in a medical school?

  • Just Sayin’

    What are yours? Mine don’t matter, as I’m not citing myself, I’m citing someone else who has looked into the subject in depth.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My qualifications are ‘person who takes antidepressants and is thus familiar with their use as a patient’, as I’ve said. What are yours? What are his?

  • Just Sayin’

    Once again, you can’t generalise from one instance (your own). Your experience is your personal experience only. That’s why arguments need to be addressed.

  • Lori

    No, you are not citing yourself. You are citing a guy who rights opinion columns for a newspaper. IOW, you’re citing someone who has no qualifications. “Looking into” the subject is not a qualification.

    You need to provide a valid reason for any of us to care what an opinion columnist with no medical, psychological or scientific qualifications thinks about a complex medical issue.

  • Just Sayin’

    As I keep saying, it wouldn’t matter if he wrote them on barn walls, his arguments stand or fall on their merits. As would yours, if you made any.

  • David S.

    Of course current antidepressant drugs aren’t the best treatment. That’s why medical companies are pouring billions into producing better treatments. Of course there needs to be more research. That doesn’t mean that current antidepressants aren’t the best tool we have right now.

  • Just Sayin’

    A dangerous tool perhaps. But you are basically agreeing with him, so that’s good. Expect to be sworn at! (on this blog anyway).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh, no, no, I wouldn’t think of being anything less than unreasonable when addressing David S, whose comment (unlike all yours, you fucking fuckwit, do not fucking dare tone-argument me again) expresses the view that there is nothing wrong with me taking the meds I need to stay alive.

  • Just Sayin’

    More swearing. Do the pro-antis have anything other than vulgarity, invective and ad hominem? Any rational arguments out there?

  • EllieMurasaki

    We have I AM ALIVE BECAUSE OF ANTI-DEPRESSANTS.

    Why do you keep dismissing that?

    Uh-oh, quarter past. Got to go. Not that it hasn’t been a pleasure having a calm polite discussion with someone who thinks I ought to go off my anti-depressants and DIE.

  • Just Sayin’

    Because one cannot base an argument on one individual’s personal experience, no matter how sincere.

  • Just Sayin’

    By the way, please stop the personal attacks.

  • AnonaMiss

    CN suicidal ideation

    We’ve all agreed that antidepressants aren’t perfect and that a better solution may be found.

    You don’t seem to be satisfied with that. You seem to be advocating against anti-depressants without presenting any alternative except “living without anti-depressants;” which, for people with major depression who are being helped by anti-depressants, can be functionally equivalent to “killing yourself.”

    When anti-depressants are necessary to keeping a person alive, attacking anti-depressants (without providing an alternative) is the strongest “personal attack” imaginable – on par with to attacking eating*, drinking, taking insulin, or any other activity that keeps one alive. You are attacking Ellie’s, and my, and many other people’s both on this thread and off, ability to remain living persons.

    Until you stop making personal attacks, you cannot expect others to stop their personal attacks on you.

    * Eating is dangerous! 41,500 people in the USA died as a direct result of eating in 2010 alone! And that’s not counting auto deaths caused by distracted drivers eating, or falls from distracted drivers eating, or diseases caught by eating contaminated food!11

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m not advocating anything except an open mind on the topic. The response has been near-cultic!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The response hasn’t been nearly as unilateral as you’re pretending. Almost every person here has already acknowledged that psychotropic drugs are not understood well enough yet. What they are saying, however, is that antidepressants have proven–anecdotally, statistically and from personal experience–to be a more effective weapon against clinical depression than the alternative, which for many people, is to go without treatment at all.

  • Just Sayin’

    On the contrary, hardly anyone has acknowledged that psychotropic drugs are not understood well enough yet. Most have been far too busy hurling invective!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    They’re hurling invectives because your assertions are deeply disrespectful to a multitude of personal experiences as people on antidepressants who are telling you, in some cases, that antidepressants are the reason they’re still in a functional state — if not dead by suicide.

    And for the record:

    “You have now said several times that the point is that more research is needed. No one, including me, has disagreed with you about that.” – Lori

    “Of course there needs to be more research.” – David S.

    “More research needs to be done. And is being done.” – Ross Thompson

  • Just Sayin’

    How do you know why they’re hurling invectives? Can you read their minds? The point is, they ARE hurling invectives, rather than engaging in rational debate.

    Three comments quoted out of how many? Scores of invective, name-calling, ad hominem and vulgarity? Not very impressive argumentation from the pro-antis, as any objective observer would surely have to agree.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    *Snorts* I don’t need to read their minds. I’ve been hanging around these people for over a year now. That experience combined with a life of constantly having to read people in order to properly discern their emotional state gives me a pretty decent sense of reading their values and logical processes. You’re an extremely rude, dismissive, repetitive person. You’re receiving far less invective than you could and if this is somehow hindering your capacity to engage in a proper argument, then you don’t know what one is. My speech class teacher would tear you a new one — his preferred method of testing argumentative speech givers was to emulate Rush Limbaugh and heckle them. I am not impressed by this invective you are shocked, shocked you say, to be receiving.

    Though as of this point, your rudeness, repetition and refusal to personally engage just leads me to think you’re a troll anyway.

  • Just Sayin’

    Hanging around how many people? What is the size of your sample of opinion? Is this just oral anecdotal evidence or written testimony? In fact, you’re claiming research here but is it in the least bit scientific? Or just chatting to acquaintances? “Hanging around” like-minded people doesn’t quite cut the scientific mustard!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Now you’re just being a silly troll.

  • Just Sayin’

    Now you’re just name-calling. Asking for evidence to back up an opinion is suddenly “trolling”? LOL.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Nope. Chuck Testa.

  • Just Sayin’

    Now you’re becoming incoherent, at least to me.

  • Just Sayin’

    “You’re an extremely rude, dismissive, repetitive person. ”

    LOL!!!!! And the pro-antis posting to me have been paragons of calm, reasoned moderation! LOL!!!

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m going to take you at your word, for the sake of argument.

    As far as I’m aware, currently the possible treatments for biochemical depression are:

    * Nothing (no cost, no effectiveness, no risk)
    * Lifestyle changes (low-medium cost, low effectiveness, low risk)
    * Non-medical supplements like St John’s Wort (low cost, low effectiveness, medium risk*)
    * Antidepressants (low-medium cost, high effectiveness, low-medium risk)
    * Therapy (high cost, medium effectiveness, low risk)
    * Combinations thereof (combined cost, combined effectiveness, combined risk)

    Are there any treatments you’d like to add to the list?

    OK. So, we have all these treatment options. Now, we may as well combine the risk and effectiveness metrics into a single measure which I will call “goodness”, because we’re talking about a condition which can easily be fatal – so low effectiveness is effectively the same as risk.

    * Nothing (no cost, no goodness)
    * Lifestyle changes (low cost, low goodness)
    * Non-medical supplements (low cost, no goodness)
    * Antidepressants (low-medium cost, medium goodness)
    * Therapy (high cost, medium goodness)
    * Combinations thereof (combined cost, combined goodness)

    Open mindedness activate. I’m going to pick the one with the highest goodness to cost ratio, or in the case of a tie, the highest goodness to cost ratio while also attaining the highest goodness oh look it’s antidepressants. Followed by antidepressants + lifestyle changes, lifestyle changes, and antidepressants + lifestyle changes + therapy as your wallet permits.

    Seriously. You’re flitting around here hiding behind the shield of “I’m just asking questions! Let’s all be open-minded!” while disproportionately slamming the best (in goodness-to-cost terms) treatment for depression there is.

    No one’s trying to keep effective treatments off that list. What you’re asking us to keep an “open mind” about is whether antidepressants should even be on that list. Because, shock, antidepressant use, especially past antidepressant use, is correlated with suicide. Well guess what: of the United States, Arizona has the highest rate of tuberculosis deaths per capita. Because the climate of Arizona is so good for tuberculosis patients that they flock there.

    It’s exactly the same kind of false comparison you’re engaging in here. If you’re going to talk about correlation between antidepressants and suicide, you need to compare rate of suicide among depressed people on antidepressants against rate of suicide among depressed people not on antidepressants, not against the general population.

    * non-medical supplements are not regulated by the FDA and could contain tapeworm eggs for all you know; and you take the risk with every bottle, as composition can vary wildly from batch to batch.

  • Just Sayin’

    Suicide seems to be the only topic anyone’s cited. The links I’ve provided cite many other problems with antidepressants. You’re welcome to read them, or not as you wish.

  • AnonaMiss

    I will happily read them and argue on as necessary if you first engage my argument so far.

  • Just Sayin’

    You’ve made a lot of statements, addressing hardly anything in the Peter Hitchens articles or other material I’ve posted. This discussion is about a lot more than the well-known suicide correlation, or should be.

  • AnonaMiss

    Reasoned argument cannot be made by throwing a bunch of shit at a topic and seeing what will stick. If you’re honestly interested in debating the merits, we will have to take them on one at a time. Since the suicide correlation was mostly what had been discussed in the thread previously, I began with it. Once we have addressed it, we can move on to the next concern.

    If we’re going to have a conversation, the appropriate thing for you to do right now is to address this idea: with assent, disagreement (with supporting evidence), or at the very least, acknowledgement and a commitment to mull over the idea.

    If you disagree and wish to cite someone else in your disagreement, please excerpt the relevant passage in addition to your link. Web pages & blogs tend to ramble well beyond what is necessary or appropriate for addressing individual points, and asking someone to read a blog and infer your argument from it, rather than making the argument yourself, is impolite.

    If you assent or commit to ponder, you may then choose the next narrowly-focused concern. If you disagree, then we will remain on this concern until one of us assents or commits to ponder; the assenter/committer will then choose the next narrowly-focused concern.

    These are not rules that I am imposing on you: this is a description of what a constructive debate looks like. There may be other ways of having constructive debates, but refusing to take a side (even for the sake of argument), and linking without commentary will be included in none of them.

  • Just Sayin’

    Keep the vulgarity up, it’s soooo persuasive! “If you’re going to have a conversation” you might try stopping swearing at your would-be conversation partner for a start.

  • AnonaMiss

    “Throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks” is a common American English expression. It means, roughly, “producing a lot of something without regard for quality, and hoping that through sheer quantity something will work.”

    Now that you understand the idiom, I’m sure you understand that the expression, while coarse, was not intended as an insult to you in any way, and we can go back to discussing the merits of different types of treatment for biochemical depression – as I know you are eager to do.

  • Just Sayin’

    Have you anything to contribute about the discussion topic — antidepressants — or do you just want to continue swearing like a teenager?

  • AnonaMiss

    As noted, I have already made a contribution and am awaiting your thoughts on it.

  • Just Sayin’

    My thoughts are spread throughout this thread. But you will have to tread through a lot of other posters’ poop to get to them.

  • AnonaMiss

    You have not given your thoughts in response to my argument above, particularly the cost/benefit analysis of antidepressants vs other treatments. Also, I have been keeping up with the entire thread, and have not seen you anywhere address the issue of money. As I gather you’re a Brit (is this correct?) this is understandable, but I would be interested in your opinion for those of us who have to take the money issue into the equation.

  • Just Sayin’

    I have no thoughts on money. Thank you for asking (politely), it’s a refreshing change from other posters.

  • AnonaMiss

    The problem is that I had to spend 5 posts asking before you would respond, and you still haven’t given your thoughts on my initial, narrow argument.

  • Just Sayin’

    You’re welcome.

  • The_L1985

    HER stop the personal attacks? What part of “your opinion (namely, that Ellie shouldn’t be on anti-depressants) would imply that Ellie is better off dead, because anti-depressants are keeping zir alive” is hard for you to grasp? You are, in effect, saying that zie is better off dead.

  • Just Sayin’

    Where did I say that this person called Ellie shouldn’t be on antidepressants? Either quote me saying it or withdraw the accusation. Making things up like this is plain wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself, quite frankly.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    More deflection and accusations against people rather than reading and responding to their arguments. Do you pro-suicides have any actual arguments out there?

  • Just Sayin’

    What arguments? “You’re a moron” is childishness, not an argument.

  • David S.

    Pretty much all tools are dangerous, medical ones especially. My father may never eat again due to radiation therapy for throat cancer. Is he going to write an article telling people to avoid chemo and radiation for cancer, despite the fact that the alternatives have virtually 100% fatality rate? Articles like that kill, by discouraging people from using the best tools at hand..

  • Just Sayin’

    You should try reading them first.

  • Ross Thompson

    Sure. Anti-depressants are not the best possible treatment. More research needs to be done. And is being done.

    But, until we have that hypothetical prefect cure for depression with no side effects, let’s keep on using the best weapon in our armamentarium, no?

  • Just Sayin’

    No one is disputing that they do a great deal of good in many cases. A voice of reason on this blog at long last!

  • Lori

    If you think that was me agreeing with him then you’re as much of an idiot as he is.

    I hope that neither you nor anyone who is foolish enough to care about your opinion suffers from depression.

    Once more for the slow—Antidepressants save lives. Spreading fear of them is a really, really shitty thing to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    I’m sorry, don’t take me wrong, I was agreeing with you. My medication has absolutely saved my life.

  • Fusina

    Let me see, I attempted suicide once (and ended up in a hospital getting to puke my stomach contents). I was not on anti-depressants.

    I have not attempted suicide since I’ve been on antidepressants. I’ve been on them for years.

    You do the math.

  • Just Sayin’

    More ad hominem. Arguments from the pro-anti lobby here seem to be in very short supply. Just name-calling doesn’t cut it.

  • Lori

    You don’t get to ignore what people say and then claim they’re not making an argument just because it’s not what you want to hear.

    I’ll go through this for you one more time. I will type slowly for you.

    Antidepressants are not right for every person suffering from depression.

    Qualified doctors, not newspaper columnists or random people on the internet, are the appropriate people to determine who should and should not medication for depression.

    Some people do experience suicidal thoughts after starting antidepressants.

    In the vast majority of cases that is not caused directly by the medication, it’s a symptom of the depression itself.

    No one should be on antidepressants without appropriate medical supervision.

    Suicide is far more likely to occur as the result of untreated depression than as the result of taking antidepressants.

    People who spread fear of and misinformation about antidepressants should be ashamed of themselves because they’re helping to cost people their lives.

    I am not “pro anti” and there is no “pro antii lobby” involved here. What I am is a person who worked in social work for years and who has known many people who suffer from depression. The fact that you would use that term says a great deal about you and your agenda and nothing at all about me. I am anti people suffering unnecessarily. I am anti people dying as the result of untreated depression. I am anti ignorance. I am pro people receiving life-saving help in the form that works best for them. For many people that includes antidepressants.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, keep attacking the person and ignore the arguments, it seems to be what the pro-antis do, on this blog anyway.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You aren’t even reading our comments, are you.

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m certainly reading yours. Who is this “our” by the way? A group one might describe as the “pro-antis”?

  • Lori

    What would a person have to do for you to agree that the arguments have been addressed? Is there anything other than agreeing with you that would get you to stop saying that the arguments haven’t been addressed? Is there any way that a person can disagree with you without you labeling them “pro-anti”? If so, please describe what that would be.

  • Just Sayin’

    Cite what he says and counter it with your own arguments, based on facts. That’s how anybody addresses anyone else’s arguments effectively. I haven’t seen a shred of that on this blog yet, just a lot of hot air, invective and shooting the messenger.

  • Lori

    So, according to you we are obliged to blockquote from Hitchens or it doesn’t count? You have made general claims about his argument without specific quotes (a link to his entire column is not a quote) but we are not allowed to do that. We must read through and pull out specific quotes even though, as has now been pointed out several times, there is literally no good reason for anyone to spend any time on his opinion on this issue because he has no qualifications whatsoever on the topic?

    One totally unqualified person links to another unqualified person’s writing and that dictates the terms of discussion on the issue and anyone who does not fall in line with your framing is just a “pro anti”? Is that it?

    Wow, that’s arrogant. Oh let me guess, that’s a personal attack. Can’t have that. Let me rephrase. You are behaving in a very arrogant manner.

  • Just Sayin’

    Anyone disagreeing with someone’s arguments is forced to address them, yes, otherwise it’s just (emotive) reaction, not reasoning.

    You mention qualifications again. But of course, anyone is free to have an opinion. By the way, what are YOUR qualifications? If you don’t have any, is your opinion therefore worthless?

  • Lori

    I have now answered the qualifications question 3 times.

    You need to just go away now.

  • Just Sayin’

    The qualifications question is irrelevant. Any intelligent person can study this and form an opinion. Blind faith in either GPs or anecdotal experience has proven historically unwise.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Has it, though? On balance? I’m quite sure for every example of someone trusting their doctor proving “unwise”, there’s at the least dozens of examples of it proving wise, and for every example of someone second-guessing their doctor and it paying off, there’s a dozen examples of someone second-guessing their doctor and dying for it.

  • Just Sayin’

    That’s what’s under discussion. The history of medicine is a catalogue of error as well as success.

  • Lori

    Anyone disagreeing with someone’s arguments is forced to address them, yes,

    It’s really funny that you say this since you haven’t done it yourself. You disagreed with something that Fred linked to, but by your own standards you did not address it. Instead you posted a link to another person’s work and then demanded that all of us respond to that link.

    We have addressed your link far more than you addressed Fred’s. It’s past time for you to put up or shut up. Address the argument you disagreed with in the first place or get gone.

    By the way, what are YOUR qualifications? If you don’t have any, is your opinion therefore worthless?

    Yet another sad attempt at deflection.

  • Just Sayin’

    Precisely, I haven’t done it myself. Now you’re getting it — *I* haven’t but others have, including the person I linked to. Try reading some of his writings on the topic, if you’re interesting in an alternative viewpoint to your own. If not, ignore it.

  • The_L1985

    She’s responding to the arguments, dipshit.*

    I’ve stayed out of it until now, myself, simply because I can’t see someone whose username is the equivalent of “I know I’m being an asshole, so I’m going to pretend that insults don’t really hurt people’s feelings when they’re not backed up by violence” to be all that reliable of a source. Quit trolling and start reading.

    * There you go. The FIRST ad-hom in the thread, special-ordered for your martyr complex. Enjoy.

  • Just Sayin’

    Do you have anything to contribute but personal attack? If so, let’s hear it.

  • The_L1985

    Why should I? You’ve already amply demonstrated through your earlier comments that you are not arguing in good faith. Discussing this issue with you would only waste time and annoy the pig.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, why post something rational and reasoned when you can just rant.

  • The_L1985

    And once again, when you prove yourself capable of recognizing that not everyone who disagrees with you hates you, then I will be willing to accept that you are older than 5 years old, and that it is therefore worthwhile engaging with you intellectually.

  • Just Sayin’

    Vulgarity, posts recommending that I should forcibly have my mouth sewn up, and accusations that I want people to die because I have an opinion about something, certainly sounds like hatred to me. At the very least it is irrationality. Time you took the rose-tinted glasses off. Perhaps you’re the one who needs to adopt a more mature approach.

  • The_L1985

    1. Swearing happens here all the fucking time. Nobody does it for the purpose of offending others, any more than radio stations that play “Rich Girl” are trying to offend female listeners with the word “bitch.”

    2. The mouth-staples comment is not directed at you personally. It’s another way of saying “I’m sick and tired of ___________.”

    3. People are simply pointing out that they owe their continued existence to anti-depressants, and if they hadn’t had access to anti-depressants, they would be dead. They find it deeply cruel that you are ignoring this fact, and refusing to suggest an alternate solution that would help them. You have yet to answer the question: if you don’t want people to take anti-depressants, then what do you suggest as a way to prevent suicides among people with depression?

    “This thing isn’t perfect” is a trait of damn near everything in an imperfect world. The only reason you should complain that something isn’t perfect is because you either have or are currently working on something better. If you don’t have a better anti-depressant, or something that can cure our depression without anti-depressants, then why are you wasting time complaining about it instead of looking for a solution? After all, it must be important to you for you to feel so strongly about it.

  • Just Sayin’

    Swearing is inherently offensive. That’s why people swear. It’s not an argument and doesn’t reinforce or “prove” an argument. It’s just noise. Sad that that’s all that some can contribute.

    The mouth staples was indeed posted in reply to me personally. This poster is advocating violence against someone with an opinion she doesn’t like. Of course, that’s fine by most pro-antis!

    Yes, I’m ignoring individuals’ anecdotal evidence just as pro-antis would ignore anecdotal evidence from those who might say, “I gave myself a good talking to and just snapped out of it” or “I became a regular church-goer and improved so much that I washed the Prozac down the toilet.” Is it “cruel” to ignore that kind of anecdotal evidence too? Or just the kind you favour?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    So “These folks who rag on people like me for taking anti-depressants should
    be forced to have their mouths stapled shut for a year as punishment” is a statement to you, personally, despite not being addressed to you in any way–

    But your repeated implications that people shouldn’t take antidepressants in no way reflects on anyone taking antidepressants?

  • Just Sayin’

    It was posted as a reply to me. Please take off the rose-tinted glasses when you look at your fellow pro-antis!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    No, it wasn’t. If it were posted as a reply to you, it would have an indicator saying it was in reply to you. Rather egocentric of you to assume that every post related to a topic (which you didn’t even raise, I remind you) is intended for your eyes only.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, I definitely risk becoming egocentric due to all this very flattering attention you’re paying me, trying to play “catch me out” at every opportunity. But I’m still wondering if you have anything to contribute on the topic of psychotropic drugs and their dangers?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Nope. I’ve contributed all I intend to. At this point, I’m just fucking with you. </honesty>

  • Just Sayin’

    Good grief, I think I’ve acquired a stalker.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Why should anyone contribute anything when you haven’t? I haven’t heard a word from you other than complaining that other people haven’t met any of the goalposts you keep moving.

    Now, lots of people here have made substantive arguments, but since you just ignore them and accuse people of “vulgarity” and ad homs, what’s the point in wasting actual thought on you?

  • Just Sayin’

    I’ve contributed links and non-confrontational responses. Which seems to be more than most of the pro-antis on this thread are capable of, alas.

  • mroge

    Dear, he has contributed plenty. You just won’t listen. And he hasn’t been playing “catch me out.” He has been correcting you. Keep playing the martyr. You just come across as being petty.

  • Just Sayin’

    Dear, he’s contributed more than you have, as your post has nothing at all on topic. Being petty is focusing an attack on an individual poster, as you are doing, rather than maturely debating the topic.

  • mroge

    How could that be a response to you when that post was THE FIRST POST and you did not start posting here until days later? Look at the top of the page!

  • Just Sayin’

    And you should look at the rest of the page, and in particular the enormous amount of vitriol, vulgarity and ad hominem poured out simply because I’ve evidently committed a thought-crime according to some of the pro-anti folk.

  • mroge

    When you come on here and insult people then you risk that. Basically you have made your points here over and over and if anyone is interested in checking these things out then they will. Right now you are simply harassing others to accept your point of view. You are dominating this board with a subject that was never intended. The topic is about whether Christians should take anti-depressants, not how safe they are. I am very sure that there are other places you can post that are appropriate to your topic.

  • Just Sayin’

    If you’d been paying attention, you’d have noticed that the insults, vulgarity and ad hominems have been coming from the pro-antis. But perhaps you don’t want to notice that.

  • AnonaMiss

    Are you saying you haven’t insulted anyone on this thread, nor used ad hominems? Because I’ve seen a lot of people saying they were insulted.

    Also, it appears you view any negative statement about yourself in the thread as an ad hominem, whether it is being used as an argument or is a slightly reworded way of saying “You did not understand/address/whatever what I said.”

  • Just Sayin’

    Like other pro-antis, you seem to see what you want to see. The only people I’ve been brusque with are the obvious obsessed trolls, who deserve to be called on their behaviour.

  • AnonaMiss

    Nope.

    Still not sure whether you’re one of that breed of “trolls” that thinks making an idiot of themselves is trolling, or if you’re just so ego-driven that you will twist yourself into any delusion rather than deal with having ever been wrong.

  • Just Sayin’

    All I’m hearing now is meaningless noise. What did you think of Prof Self’s concerns about antidepressants? Or any of the other links I’ve posted?

    No on topic comment?

  • AnonaMiss

    There are lots of reasons to swear that aren’t to offend. Shit, plenty of curses can be used as interjections; and they’re goddamn awesome for conveying emphasis. And you want us to stop swearing, even though it’s such a great tool for conveying tone & meaning? Well isn’t that just fan-fucking-tastic.

  • Just Sayin’

    How would you know why these anonymous posters are swearing — can you read their minds? People swear for the same old reasons all over: to shock, score cheap points, demonise their opponents, form a sort of groupthink, and other well-known reasons such as immaturity. I don’t think your notion of “virtuous swearing” is going to cut much ice.

  • AnonaMiss

    I am aware of many of the uses of taboo words and phrases cross-linguistically, and have demonstrated some of their uses in English. Other languages use their taboo words in different ways, some more often, and some less – Russian, for instance, is famous for the variety and flexibility of its curse words.

    I have a degree in linguistics. While I would hesitate to call any linguistic construction virtuous, the fact that taboo words have many uses and are, in general, much more flexible semantically than equivalent non-taboo words, is well-known and indisputed in the field.

    As for how I know anonymous posters’ intent when swearing – you may be familiar with the concept of “context clues”, which mitigate the human race’s lack of psychic capabilities by allowing us to gather from the words around any given word, which shade of meaning is intended. It’s not a perfect system, but it does tend to eliminate the more “out there” interpretations.

  • Just Sayin’

    In other words, you’re claiming to be able to read minds. Sorry, just like me, you speak for no one but yourself. Now … have you anything to contribute about the topic under discussion — antidepressants (not cuss words)?

  • AnonaMiss

    I apologize; I didn’t realize that reading comprehension was a type of psychic power. I understand that using magic upsets some people, so I will try to do without reading comprehension for now.

    I actually don’t use much product at all, just shampoo, no conditioner. The secret is actually not to shampoo too often! Crazy, right? If you shampoo it too often you strip the protective coating and it gets all brittle. I try to shampoo only once a week, unless I get pasta sauce in my hair or something and need to get it out. I felt greasy and awful when I first tried it, but eventually my scalp stopped trying to compete with OPEC and now once a week is easily enough to keep it clean from the usual wear and tear. Best of all, switching to once a week cured my dandruff! I used to have horrible flakes, but now I hardly have any unless I get a sunburn on my part.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    You’re the feisty country girl I saved some time ago. How are you? If he was not home when I passed by around 7:30, then he probably disappeared into the instant noodle soup.

  • AnonaMiss

    You take back what you said about my mother!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Never! Even the five court ladies danced in sync to the frog’s flutes and drums. The whirlwind of recycled paper was a sight to see. It was like computer graphics. That I don’t support Technicolor parfaits and snobby petit bourgeois is common knowledge in Oceania!

    Now is the time to return home to the blue sky! The confetti will dance around the shrine gates. The mailbox and the refrigerator will lead the way! Anyone who cares about expiration dates will not get in the way of the glory train! They need to fully realize the lives of the triangle rulers! Now, this festival was decided by the third grade class with the telephoto camera!

    Move forward!

    Come together!

    I am the ultimate governor!

  • Just Sayin’

    You can’t possibly know other people’s motives as you’re claiming to do. Do you even know any of the other posters on this thread personally? I doubt it. So unless you really are psychic, you’re speaking only for yourself, and no one else, just like me.

    Sorry, I’m interested in discussing psychotropic drugs, not shampoo.

  • AnonaMiss

    Please define all of those words. I’d respond, but I have no way of telling what you mean by any of that, since I’m not psychic.

  • Just Sayin’

    Someone else obsessed with me rather than the topic in hand.

  • mroge

    It is cruel to deny others a treatment that works for them. Yes most “pro-anti’s” ignore those options mainly because they have already tried them and they didn’t work! Believe it or not, most people go on meds as a last resort. I have worked in the mental health field as a peer counseler and I know what I am talking about. Most people go off of their meds at least once and end up relapsing. I speak from personal experience as well.
    That is not to say that I think everyone who is depressed needs to take meds because it depends on whether it is situational or biological in nature. Any true clinical biological depression such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-partum depression needs medical treatment.
    Now as far as the other options you mention, nobody here is talking about denying others the right to do those things if it works for them, so you are comparing apples to oranges.But i am sure that you notice that no one here is promoting these things here either. They are saying it doesn’t work!
    So are you being cruel? Yes, because this is what works for them. It would be cruel if I told people that they shouldn’t go to church if it helped them emotionally!
    You are spreading fear and misinformation which is irresponsible. Again, if you have a better treatment then bring it to the table!
    Why does this even matter to you? Do have any personal experience like knowing someone who became suicidal or homocidal during treatment? Have you even educated yourself about treatments? Unless you have then you have no qualifications to comment at all.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I am not sure that “ignoring those options” is consistent with having “tried them and they didn’t work” If you tried something and dismissed it because it didn’t work, that’s not a form of ignoring it.

  • mroge

    Sorry, I am sleepy and not making myself clear enough. I was trying to point out that many people have already tried those options, rather than simply dismiss them as Just Sayin’ implies.

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s also cruel not to research into potentially dangerous correlations such as shooting massacres and antidepressants. People lives may depend on it.

  • mroge

    Look i don’t think that it does any harm to look into this. However there should not be a huge scare campaign to deny people needed treatment. The danger here is of a knee-jerk reaction based on supposition, not fact. Coorelation is not causation. We do not know all the factors that have resulted in these incidents. I can personally testify that I have never seen someone on anti-depressants become violent and I worked in the field for seven years. I take them myself and I have never become violent either.There are too many people that are prone to jumping to conclusions and we do not need life-saving medication taken off the market because of it. One thing that i will say is that there are older antidepressants that as far as I know have never been associated with violence. However they are not nearly as effective and often have very bad side-effects. There is also the danger of scaring people about all anti-depressants, even the older ones. What I am saying is that they have to proceed with extreme caution when investigating this, or we could end up with a mental health crisis on our hands.
    I think the most common-sense thing to do is to make sure that patients are being closely monitored, which they should be doing anyway.
    My last point here is that these spectacular shootings are extremely rare. We have to weigh the needs of the many against the needs of the few. As someone pointed out there are no perfect solutions. You don’t outlaw cars just because there are idiots who cause crashes.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, everybody knows correlation is not necessarily causation. But it’s not necessarily not causation either, in any particular instance. That’s why this particular correlation needs to be researched.

  • mroge

    Look i don’t think that it does any harm to look into this. However there should not be a huge scare campaign to deny people needed treatment. The danger here is of a knee-jerk reaction based on supposition, not fact. Coorelation is not causation. We do not know all the factors that have resulted in these incidents. I can personally testify that I have never seen someone on anti-depressants become violent and I worked in the field for seven years. I take them myself and I have never become violent either.There are too many people that are prone to jumping to conclusions and we do not need life-saving medication taken off the market because of it. One thing that i will say is that there are older antidepressants that as far as I know have never been associated with violence. However they are not nearly as effective and often have very bad side-effects. There is also the danger of scaring people about all anti-depressants, even the older ones. What I am saying is that they have to proceed with extreme caution when investigating this, or we could end up with a mental health crisis on our hands.
    I think the most common-sense thing to do is to make sure that patients are being closely monitored, which they should be doing anyway.
    My last point here is that these spectacular shootings are extremely rare. We have to weigh the needs of the many against the needs of the few. As someone pointed out there are no perfect solutions. You don’t outlaw cars just because there are idiots who cause crashes.

  • Just Sayin’

    For the the growing doubts among doctors about the nature and real effect of antidepressant drugs, see the powerful articles by Dr. Marcia Angell of the Harvard Medical School, published in the New York Review of Books. Google will bring them up (and I’ve posted links previously, now buried amongst a barrage of vituperation and vulgarity).

  • David S.

    “Pro-anti lobby” is name-calling. We aren’t a lobby; we’re a bunch of independent people who have opinions on the matter.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, it isn’t addressing any individual one, it’s not name-calling. It sums up a group of people. Feel free to call the opposite group the anti-antis. It’s just shorthand, not ad hominem. Ad hominem is the sort of disgraceful name-calling (and invective, swearing and lack of reasoning) seen on this thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke
  • The_L1985

    A “lobby” is a group of people that puts financial and political pressure on politicians. None of us are trying to buy off pols so we can give everybody medications that only a small subset of the population actually benefits from.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, I’m using lobby more generally, as shorthand. Again, lobbies can be good or bad, positive or negative, it’s entirely neutral in how I’m using it. In sharp distinction to the avalanche of diatribe I’ve received in response!

  • Just Sayin’

    No, it’s not name-calling, it’s shorthand for a group who hold a common opinion. Feel free to refer to the anti-antis.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So “pro-death-by-lack-of-depression-medication folks” isn’t name-calling, it’s shorthand for a group who hold a common opinion. Feel free to refer to the anti-death-by-lack-of-depression-medication folks.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, your “pro-death” is emotive, judgment-laden invective. Pro-anti merely describes a group who share an opinion and may well be right in that opinion. Then again, maybe not. That’s the discussion I’m trying to have (and getting not much more than vulgarity and invective in response).

  • AnonaMiss

    It’s the “lobby” part that’s name-calling. “Pro-anti camp” would be acceptable. “Pro-anti lobby” makes it sound like you think we’re trying to influence legislation extralegally, and/or that we are being paid to be pro-anti (and thus our opinions are suspect).

  • Just Sayin’

    Lobby is not name-calling, it’s describing a group. Name-calling is individual i.e. I’m a moron, Peter Hitchens is a moron, etc., etc.

  • AnonaMiss

    CN anti-Muslim slurs

    So if I refer to a mosque community as a “terrorist training camp,” that’s not name-calling, because I’m not singling out any one person?

  • Just Sayin’

    Can we keep the thread on topic? Point-scoring doesn’t interest me.

  • AnonaMiss

    Point scoring seems to interest you until you’re about to be scored against, sir or madam.

  • Just Sayin’

    Thanks for that wonderful contribution about antidepressant drugs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    “Ad hominem” applies if we discount your opinion for something about you which is irrelevant; “Just Sayin’ is a blonde so we can just toss everything he says.” The logical fallacy I think you intended to say is that ‘anecdotes aren’t data’ which, well, anecdotes are what a blog has and that’s why its a blog and not a published scientific paper.

    Now, if I were to call you an idiot for confusing the two, I might be out of line, but that would not be an ad hominem either. It would just be name-calling.

  • Just Sayin’

    Ad hominem is attacking the man not the argument. We’ve hardly seen anything else on this blog!

  • Saffi

    Just like there’s a risk of death from anesthesia – which is why appendectomies are conducted by physicians and not DIYers. Are you “just sayin” that we should be highly wary of appendectomies as a response to appendicitis?

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m saying he has a point: more research needs to be done into adverse effects of current antidepressant drugs if it can save lives.

  • P J Evans

    First they need to figure out how to tell which ones will work best for a given person. Most antidepressants have one or more side-effects, and there are a zillion warnings in the package insert already, INCLUDING ones about if you feel suicidal: it’s a matter of whether the person *taking* it can handle the side-effects.

    Pay attention, because we-all be speaking from experience here.

  • Just Sayin’

    Trial and error when it involves people’s lives is not a good idea.

  • EllieMurasaki

    In absence of a way to map the brain and determine exactly which medication will best help without trying out any of them, got a better idea? Leaving depression untreated is NOT A BETTER IDEA.

  • Just Sayin’

    Well, no-one has said depression shouldn’t be treated, it’s how it should be treated that’s up for discussion.

  • Ross Thompson

    OK, how should it be treated? You’re against anti-depressants, andf you’re against no treatment, so what’s left? Exorcism? Telling patients to just snap out of it?

    What do you recommend that is more effective or has fewer side-effects than the current medication-based approach?

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m neither for nor against them, I have an open mind on the matter, open to reasoned argument based on facts. Invective and name-calling doesn’t interest me, nor does argument based on one person’s experience.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Are you a medical professional with expertise in mental illness?

    No?

    Then fuck right the fuck off and take your ideas about how mental illness should be treated with you.

  • Just Sayin’

    Are you? Going by your logic, if you’re not, then your opinion is worthless too!

    Nice language by the way, really shows the pro-anti side in a glowing light of calm, clear reason!

  • mroge

    Yes there can be a risk of suicide with antidepressants. But there is more of a risk of suicide with untreated depression. If someone is suicidal then it does not necessarily mean that the medication is causing it. It may just mean that it is not working. If the medication is causing it, then the person should tell his doctor and switch to a different antidepressant. There are many different kinds, and not all are in the same class of medications. That means that it is likely that another one can be found that won’t cause the problem.
    To repeat: YES THERE CAN BE A RISK OF SUICIDE. BUT THERE IS MORE OF A RISK OF SUICIDE WITH UNTREATED DEPRESSION.

  • Just Sayin’

    So is there a risk of shooting massacres too? I’d like to know — what about you?

  • mroge

    What I would like to know is why you feel compelled to come on here and harrass others. You show no respect at all towards people who have suffered from a hideous mental illness and who continue to suffer from judgments from people like you. You have hijacked this forum to suit your selfish need to debate and to be “right” You act like this is some game where you win points at the expense of others. Show some decency! The topic here s not about the safety of anti-depressants. It is about how to reconcile religious beliefs with using psych meds. Now will you kindlly go somewhere else to peddle your propoganda. I am sure there are many other forums that are more appropriate for your topic!

  • Just Sayin’

    What I would like to know is why do you feel compelled to come here and harass me? You show no respect to … blah blah blah.

    You see, the shoe is on the other foot too.

    As for anecdotal evidence, we’ve been there several times already. You can’t base policy on it, only on hard scientific research.

    Please stop peddling your pro-anti propaganda. There are many other forums for that (since you seem to think you own this one, I’ll borrow that lofty view for a moment too!).

  • mroge

    Look you came on a forum and changed the topic, not the other way around. It is like going into someone’s support group, attacking everyone and then complaining that no one is nice to you. Have you even read the postings of these people who are in such tremendous pain that I want to simply hug them and cry with them? They are veterans of a war that you cannot even imagine. Seriously your behavior is as offensive as Fred Phelps and his ilke who picket funerals just for attention. Go somewhere appropriate with your message. Everyone here knows your point of view so stop beating themover the head with it.

  • mroge

    One more thing, what do you think the tilte of this article means, “Mourning With Those Who Mourn.”? It means getting down on the level of someone’s else’s pain and LISTENING to them. You have missed the whole point of the author and this discussion. I don’t think you are stupid so it must mean that you are intentionally trying to hurt others, which is plain wrong. Notice that I am not cussing at you so you have no reason to take offense. However will not mince my words as far as the damage I see you doing here. You accuse me of of complaining that you are harrassing me. No I am not. I a, complaining that you are harrassing everyone here. I am defending innocent victims. Frankly it should be obvious that this is not an ego thing for me since you have offended everyone here. Don’t you think that when everyone says the same thing that maybe you are the one in the wrong?

  • Just Sayin’

    No, the topic is antidepressants. Others want to change it to ME and my apparent thought-crime. I haven’t attacked anyone, apart from the obsessive stalkers who deserve to be called on their behaviour.

  • Just Sayin’

    More comparisons made up on the fly! No, I’m not comparable to Fred Phelps, and attempts to demonise are not an argument.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    > You can’t base policy on it, only on hard scientific research.

    What research do you recommend?

    For example, is there a researcher or research organization you endorse whom you would like us to fund?

    Is there someone you’d like us to write to, to encourage _them_ to do research into the effects of antidepressants?

    Something else?

  • Just Sayin’

    I see the troll is back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Never left, love. Now, do you want to discuss how to support hard scientific research into the risks and benefits of antidepressants, or do you just want to talk about me?

  • Just Sayin’

    Go away, stalker. When you have something to contribute to the topic of antidepressants, something that isn’t about me, I’ll talk to you.

    I expect I’ll be waiting a while.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    * chuckle *

    OK. How’s this: I have $20 to contribute towards research into the risks and benefits of antidepressants.

    Oh, if only there were someone out there on the Internet, someone who cared deeply about the importance of hard scientific research into such risks and benefits, who could recommend a legitimate research towards which I could donate that money!

    Who could it be, though?

  • Just Sayin’

    Go away, troll.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    But golly gee whilikers, Sparky, you said that when I have something to contribute to the topic of antidepressants that isn’t about you, you’ll talk to me!

    So lookit: I have $20 to contribute towards research into the risks and benefits of antidepressants!

    You’ll talk to me now, right? I sure hope so. Cuz, I mean, I’d hate to be deprived of your insights.

  • Just Sayin’

    PLONK!

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I don’t understand. Are you claiming that antidepressants turned Peter Hitchens into a raving d-bag?

  • Just Sayin’

    Thanks for that inanity from the “pro-anti” brigade!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    Give me a break…medication saves lives. Including my own.

  • Just Sayin’

    Well, that depends on the medication, which is precisely the matter in debate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    You’re right…but my doctor is the one who can help me make that decision, not some random guy on the Internet.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, reasoned arguments count for nothing, eh? Just attack the man, not the arguments. That’s all the pro-antis here seem able to do.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    Your arguments are all ad hominem, so I guess we can consider you an expert on that.

  • Just Sayin’

    No they’re not, as I haven’t made any arguments. And neither have you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    I’m not sure you understand what “ad hominem” means. If I had said “You’re an idiot and I won’t listen to you”, that would be an ad hominem attack. Stating that important medical decision should be handled by the patient and his or her doctor, and shouldn’t necessarily involve taking the opinion of strangers on the Internet (who, quite possibly, don’t have any medical or psychiatric experience), is not an ad hominem attack.

    You’re not making any reasonable arguments at this point. Your first few posts were; however, your postings after that seem to have devolved into some pretty angry stuff when you discovered that the majority of posters on this thread (many of whom have pretty extensive experience with psychiatric medications) didn’t agree with you.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, the availability for prescription of drugs is not left to the decision of an individual patient and his/her doctor. A doctor prescribes what he/she is allowed to prescribe. That’s the topic we’re discussing.

    You’re right that I’m not making arguments. I posted a link to someone else who has written extensively on the subject and suggested that anyone who’s interested can check it out. Apparently that is a grave sin or crime to many!

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    She was taking a drug that has been linked in studies to an increased risk of suicide.

    I’d love to see one of those studies, because as best as I can tell the whole “antidepressants cause suicide” thing was due to confirmation bias after a politician’s son killed himself. If Mr. Hitchens would be willing to give the names of these studies, I’d be glad to look over them. I’m not tempted to take anything in the Mail (By Cranks, For Cranks) at face value.

  • Lori

    The issue of people having suicidal thoughts after starting antidepressants isn’t entirely made up by cranks. Some antidepressants are not recommended for some patients. For example, there are a few that, at least here in the US, they no longer prescribe to teenagers.

    The thing is, sometimes people develop suicidal thoughts because the meds are working. For some people when the depression is really bad they can’t get motivated to do anything. If meds lift the depression just enough to make action possible and the person doesn’t understand or doesn’t believe that there will be further improvement you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

    As I said below, that’s not a reason not to take the meds. It’s a reason for the client and those in their support system to understand the issues and work closely with the doctor.

    Also, people struggling with depression really shouldn’t have guns in their home. For a depressed person not having a firearm is true self-defense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marc-Mielke/100001114326969 Marc Mielke

    That was exactly it. I never got that particular side effect, but when I started this course of treatment I did notice that the total lack of motivation effect was the first to go, long before the actual ‘everything is hopeless’ effect.

    It does and doesn’t help that completely aside from the depression, I am keenly aware that everything really is meaningless and hopeless — as an atheist, I have to accept a cold, disinterested universe in which you, or I, or the human race as a whole is not particularly significant. The part I need to remember is that it can be significant TO US.

  • P J Evans

    There are warnings about it on the package inserts, along with the other usual stuff.

  • Just Sayin’

    Keep reading the long list of articles I linked to, he cites the evidence, just not over and over again.

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s not “The Mail” writing, it’s an individual. As I said, his arguments, like everyone else’s, stand or fall on their merits. Simple really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    This individual is writing for a right-wing rag, and having read his column I feel comfortable saying that it’s a load of dingo’s kidneys right in line with the publication’s odorous reputation. His arguments fall on their own merits, but they don’t stand at all.

  • Just Sayin’

    He could be writing in the Beano comic paper or on his personal roll of toilet paper and his arguments will still stand or fall on their merits (or otherwise). Simple really. So he’s presented his arguments — where are yours?

  • David S.

    No. If a paleotologist tells me that the ur-mammal was a theropod, then I will take that under advisement. If a psychic tells me that, I will ignore them. Over and over newspapers have established that they can’t even report on a single scientific journal article correctly; they are not trustworthy sources for science.

  • Just Sayin’

    He’s not arguing science, he’s not qualified to do so. Try reading and addressing what he’s actually written.

  • Ross Thompson

    He absolutely is arguing science. Specifically, he’s arguing the sciences of “psychiatry” and “pharmacology”. If you admit he’s not qualified to do so, why are you putting so much effort into this?

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m replying to posts (mainly silly and vulgar invective based on nothing very much at all, by equally unqualified people). That’s the only effort I’m putting into it — the right of reply.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    All epic antagonists reveal their weakness in the end. The weakness of this troll is its inability to fail to respond to a post directly addressing it. I think in this case DNFTT is the applicable rule.

  • Just Sayin’

    Name-calling is not an argument. One more pro-anti lets the side down.

  • Lori

    So your presence in this thread is just one long tone argument?

  • Just Sayin’

    My presence is to post a link for anyone interested to click on, or not. Evidently that constitutes some kind of thought-crime for some pro-antis.

  • Lori

    I’m not sure if you are unable to comprehend the points being made or simply unwilling. In either case you are simply not worth any more of anyone’s time.

  • Just Sayin’

    Then don’t feel obliged to keep replying!

  • David S.

    What he actually wrote was post hoc ergo propter hoc, combined with undue extension of the specific to the general.

  • stardreamer42

    Leaving aside the point that I didn’t realize the UK had its very own version of Rush Limbaugh, here’s the specific point of error in that article:

    which in many cases produce suicidal thoughts in people who hadn’t had them before

    That’s not how it works. What happens is that the patient has indeed been having suicidal ideation all along, but the depression kept them from having the energy and motivation to do anything about it. And sometimes, when just starting a course of antidepressants, the apathy and lethargy symptoms lift before the suicidal ideation stops — and the patient finds the energy to go and do what he’s been thinking of doing all along.

    This is a well-known phenomenon (so stop thinking you’re telling us this Great Secret The Doctors Don’t Want You To Know), and any competent doctor will be aware of it and take due precautions. Even so, sometimes somebody slips under the radar.

    A few people die of anaphylactic shock from antibiotics every year, too, but that’s no reason for other people to stop using them or to be afraid of them. If you, personally, want to avoid taking antidepressants should you ever need them, that’s your business and nobody’s stopping you. But to spread this kind of misinformation is criminal — YOU could be causing someone else’s death.

  • P J Evans

    Amen!

  • Just Sayin’

    Ad hominem (the Limbaugh nonsense) is not a valid argument. So you should have left it aside. But you didn’t.

    He’s written many articles on this topic, perhaps you just read the first one. As for blind faith in doctors, I don’t advise blind faith in anybody.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Ah, the “Ad hominem fallacy” fallacy!

    “Yeah, but Hitchens is a poopyhead just like that other poopyhead Rush Limbaugh, so don’t trust his article.” = Ad hominem. The insult is offered as sufficient reason to discredit the authority, which isn’t logical.

    “Yeah, but that poopyhead Hitchens has repeatedly demonstrated in the past that he has as much knowledge of mental illness, and about as much empathy for its sufferers, as that other poopyhead Rush Limbaugh, so his article isn’t exactly authoritative.” = Not ad hominem. The expert’s past reliability on the subject is evaluated as bearing on whether to discredit him. The insult is not given as the reason to discredit the expert; it’s just the speaker’s unrelated and unsolicited opinion.

    But don’t give up – with a little practice, you too can learn to distinguish between attempting to discredit someone via insults, and attempting to discredit someone by criticizing their track record! Good luck!

  • Just Sayin’

    So… his arguments. Have you read them? If so, where does he go wrong. Stop being obsessed with the messenger and consider the message.

  • EllieMurasaki

    We have considered the message.

    We have rejected it, due to us being and us having friends who are people who will suffer horrible negative effects by accepting the message.

  • Just Sayin’

    Who is this “we”? The pro-antis again? One can’t generalise from the particular by the way. Your experience is your experience only, nothing more.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    When there are SEVERAL people with experience, all saying the exact same thing, then it’s worth listening to.
    Good day; enjoy what life you have.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, even several people cannot be generalised to an entire population, that’s special pleading not medical science.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    More deflection and accusations against people rather than reading and responding to their arguments. Do you pro-suicides have any actual arguments out there?

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    “…so stop thinking you’re telling us this _Great Secret The Doctors Don’t Want You To Know_…”

    By the way, and this is totally off-topic, I predict that very phrase, give or take a word, will be the cover headline of on an issue of Reader’s Digest within the next 12 months. It will. You can check back later that I said so.

    (Either my mother or my grandmother have been renewing a gift subscription to RD for me for the past too many years and I CANNOT GET THEM TO STOP.)

  • ohiolibrarian

    I remember a day when the RD was pretty pro-union! Amazing but true!

  • Ross Thompson

    I remember when America was pro-union…

  • Jamoche

    Could be worse; my grandmother keeps giving me gift subscriptions to those little pamphlet-sized “magazines” that are the print equivalent of “positive and encouraging” radio stations. There’s a recycling bin in our mailroom; they don’t go far.

  • banancat

    I just want you to know that people die because of people like you and Hitchens. Yes, you are directly responsible for the deaths of people who need treatment and don’t get that life-saving treatment because of stigma and misinformation. Their deaths are on your hands. Never forget that. Every time someone dies because of untreated depression, pat yourself on the back because you did that. I won’t play nice and worry about your fee-fees when actual humans lives are at stake. Remember what you’ve done, and remember the death that you have directly caused.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    Thank you for saying that.

  • Just Sayin’

    Perhaps they die because of antidepressants. As for the rest of your invective — arguing that no medical treatment can ever be questioned rationally, because anyone doing so is directly responsible (supposedly) for people’s deaths — is about as irrational as it’s possible to be.

  • EllieMurasaki

    banancat is not saying “do not question antidepressants”. You are saying “do not ever use antidepressants”, and banancat is saying “the attitude that antidepressants should never be used is an attitude that KILLS PEOPLE”.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, I’m not saying that, never have, and you won’t find me saying it on this thread. I’m not saying anything, I’m citing someone else who has looked into the matter in depth. Try reading his arguments, if you like. And please calm down, I’m looking for a rational discussion (and sadly failing to find it).

  • Ross Thompson

    Maybe it would help if you listened to what other people were saying, instead of expecting them to swoon over the wisdom of your every utterance?

    Of course, even that would be less creepy and more like a discussion if you weren’t actually expecting people to swoon over the wisdom of someone else’s every utterance…

  • Just Sayin’

    Don’t be silly. You were doing well until now, a voice of reason among all the name-calling but now you’re doing it too. Disappointing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    Perhaps you should try and listen to people who have had some experience with the subject. Not academically, just direct , personal experience.

    Anti-depressives saved my life. it has saved the life of a few friends of mine, and, from what I’ve read of the comments on this post, a lot of other people. Have you ever had a mental illness? Have you ever taken anti-depressants? Maybe you should listen to the people who have had experience with the subject at hand, and not those who have an academic interest.

  • Just Sayin’

    Policies can’t be based on mere anecdotal accounts, but on hard medical research.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Okay. I read the articles. Several of them. Then I started using CTRL+F and searching for “antidepressant” because Hitchens spends 90% of every article angrily denouncing all of society, government, the NHS and the justice system. He believes he is a persecuted minority and that he will one day be cracked down upon by government officials he compares to Joseph Stalin. He ascribes this gradual slide into barbarism and moral failing to the decline of Christianity.

    Here are my qualifications: psychology and psychiatry were why I went to college. They weren’t just my major; I took psychology classes that weren’t even on my degree because the field has been such a major part of my life. I’ve suffered on and off from clinical depression over the last decade or so, dating back to when I started trying to address the problems caused by my antisocial personality disorder. I graduated head of pretty much each of my classes. I have a shiny piece of paper. My preferred psychiatric perspective is in cognitive and behavioral therapy. I have no ties to medication companies whatsoever and I’ve never been medicated for my depression because “physician, heal thyself!” actually turned out to be okay advice.

    The only scientific link he’s found in all of his articles is that people with a history of depression and anxiety often take antidepressants, and then he says “AHA!”

    I bit my tongue when I first read of the tragedy of Felicia Boots, her life now a desolation of unbearable grief. As soon as I learned that she had killed her own children and then tried to do away with herself, I was sure that I would find she had been taking ‘antidepressants’. And so it proves.

    I take no pleasure in being right, but as the scale of this scandal has become clear to me, I have learned to look out for the words ‘antidepressant’ or ‘being treated for depression’ in almost any case of suicide and violent, bizarre behaviour. And I generally find it.

    The rest of each article is dedicated to how society is corrupt and falling apart. When he does get on to a proper diatribe about antidepressants, he offers nothing but a combination of anecdote and biased ignorance. Then he typically starts making ominous rumblings about Russia and how Britain is encouraging terrorism in Syria.

    This man is disgusting and there is no reason whatsoever to take him as an authority on antidepressants. His only argument simplifies to “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that depressed, anxious people kill themselves,” except for the sake of professional journalism, he leaves off “depressed” and “anxious” and inserts “normal” and divorces trained and licensed physicians from medical experts.

    Normal human beings become abnormal, possibly forever, as soon as they first ingest these powerful, poorly-researched chemicals, often prescribed by doctors shamefully ignorant of the growing body of expert criticism of them.

    There’s no reason to read this garbage.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Ick. That passage reminds me of nothing so much as that old net.forward by that guy who was obsessed with the idea that canola oil was the most toxic substance known to man. It even follows the same methodology: someone gets sick; writer assumes they used the thing he’s against; turns out they did indeed use it; writer takes this as proof of causality.

    You know, the proof that water causes cancer.

    (The canola article and its debunking can be found at http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp for the curious)

  • The_L1985

    Someone should tell Just Sayin’ about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.

  • Just Sayin’

    So can you address his individual points about antidepressants (and leave the off-topic other stuff about politics, etc alone)?

    As for your personal attacks on him, as I keep saying, it doesn’t matter if he’s Adolf Hitler reincarnated, his arguments stand or fall on their merits. Amazing how few can grasp that simple fact!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I did. What he’s witnessing is confirmation bias. He has a preception that psychotropic drugs bring about certain types of behavior and so he disregards any evidence to the contrary as either irrelevant information (person wasn’t on antidepressants, so it’s not an example of a person being driven to do something due to antidepressants) or outliers/appeals to ignorance (“we can’t know the antidepressants weren’t influencing their behavior or that perfectly ordinary people don’t have suicidal/homicidal thoughts all day and just don’t vocalize them”).

    You can turn this right around and rephrase it all in the context of racism: African Americans are naturally inclined to commit crimes. We know this because we have all these news stories about African Americans who have committed crimes. Those who haven’t committed a crime probably want to, or have to struggle every day against their natural impulses.

    I’ve heard people say things like this. It’s exactly as meaningful and as offensive. All Hitchens has stumbled upon is a long list of people with very serious problems whose very serious problems were not solved by taking a pill, and which led them to commit suicide. I looked at a number of his examples and they were breathtaking in their assumptions and ignorance of the motivations of the victims. The absence of evidence is not freedom for speculation, and when a person admits to having contemplated suicide for years and then commits it after going on antidepressants, the most likely explanations are either that they finally gave in to the urge or that, at worst, the antidepressants lifted their despair just enough to give them that motivation.

    I want to elaborate on that point. The thing about despair is that it isn’t just “feeling sad.” It’s crushing. It’s lying in bed all day, unable to muster the motivation to move, feeling like everything is a dismal shade of reality, a nightmare with too little meaning to be frightening. Antidepressants can give a person just enough relief to get them out of bed, but they don’t stop the insidious voice in one’s head that constantly whispers “I’d be better off dead.” Taking away the emotional heaviness without addressing their self-image as a worthless person with a life they don’t want and, yes, you get a recipe wherein a person might commit a suicide that they wouldn’t if they hadn’t been on antidepressants — but it’s not because the antidepressants gave them the idea or caused them to act in ways they didn’t already desire.

  • Just Sayin’

    So what about the correlation between mass shootings and antidepressants? Not worthy of investigation?

  • Lori

    Are you not familiar with the fact that correlation does not imply causation?

  • Just Sayin’

    Aren’t you curious to find out? I am.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    You know some other things which have been shown to have correlation between precedence and crime rates? Republican presidencies, abortion legality, iron in the soil, trips to the moon, the threat of nuclear attacks from Cuba and my birth (although the sample size on that last one is really, really small).

    The problem is that there are tons of correlating factors, not the least of which is “the person in question typically has problems, sometimes very severe problems, to begin with.” Especially if the person has been properly diagnosed with clinical depression, which is when the depressive state has severe impact on a person’s functionality and lasts for a period of at least 4 months or as many as 6.

    Even where SSRI withdrawl and similar symptoms have been noted to cause mood swings, that’s no more a causal link than saying that inebriation causes people to assault total strangers — it can be proven that inebriation is a factor in disorderly violence, but as very few people get drunk and then get into a fight with total strangers, the link isn’t as simple as “drunkenness causes people to start fights.” You have to look at the people involved, the circumstances and underlying conditions. If it were as simple as “drunkenness causes people to start fights,” then more people would start fights whenever they got drunk.

    The same goes for these drugs — is it the drugs, or is it the people taking them?

  • Just Sayin’

    Why not find out? If there is a causation as well as a correlation, isn’t it worth knowing this? Of course it is, as lives might then be saved. Of course, one has to be open to the possibility in the first place.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Because you don’t just “find out.” Because it is impossible to just “find out.” Because to just “find out” means that you have to know every possible aspect of a person’s psyche and what would drive them to suicide or to violent crime under any possible or even theoretical circumstances, and to test them against those circumstances on and off of every possible type of antidepressants. In order to prove a causal link, you have to be capable of eliminating every other possibility a person might do something.

    I’ll put it another way: Several people get sick every year after eating at a carnival. How would you go about proving that carnival food is what made them sick?

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s impossible to do medical research to see if there is causation as well as correlation? Not so. That’s what Hitchens and others are calling for, in order to save lives. Read before you leap.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That’s at least twice now you’ve replied to something with a demand for the very information contained within that post.

  • Just Sayin’

    You’re keeping score? Why not read some of the links and discuss, if you’re interested and open-minded.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Why not listen when we tell you things instead of asking for that very information we just gave you in a reply to the comment wherein we gave it to you.

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m not seeing much rational discussion here, alas.

  • Lori

    As for your personal attacks on him, as I keep saying, it doesn’t matter
    if he’s Adolf Hitler reincarnated, his arguments stand or fall on their
    merits. Amazing how few can grasp that simple fact!

    It also doesn’t matter if he’s just the greatest guy ever. He has no qualifications on this topic and you have yet to explain why anyone should care about his opinion.

    Sam and I both majored in psychology in college and I worked in social work/mental health for a number of years. We know about psychotropic drugs because we had to know in order to get our degrees. We also have some experience evaluating research on the issue. We have both explained why Hitchens’ perception of the issue is wrong. You keep saying that we haven’t, but we have.

    Other people here have personal experience with the life-saving effects of anti-depressants. You have dismissed them as personal stories that have no weight. When Hitchens published his column, which you linked to, telling the story of the mother who murdered her children did you write to him and tell him that was a just an individual story and should be given no weight?

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Actually, I think it does matter if he’s “Adolf Hitler reincarnated,” so to speak. A track record of clearly demonstrated biases that are relevant to the discussion can be a reason to view an author with skepticism.

    It’s often more complicated than that, of course. Not every bias is the same. In some cases, a bias can or should make an author more trustworthy, rather than less — think of when a privileged person ignores a marginalized person’s testimony because “Oh, they’re just too emotional about the issue,” when what the marginalized person is saying is, “This issue isn’t just an abstract to me; it is my LIFE and the stakes are rather higher for me than for you. Your so-called ‘dispassionate objectivity’ is just high-browed dismissal of the actual harm caused by the status quo, which you are defending; and which you can only dismiss because you’re not one of the people being harmed.”

    But some biases really are sufficient for the audience to dismiss the author out of hand. If they have a track record of cherry-picking anecdotes to support an argument that 1) hurts people, and 2) contradicts the great portion of what experts in the field have to say, why should I even bother reading their next article on the same topic? They’ve already proven they can’t be trusted on the matter

  • Lori

    Good point.

  • Just Sayin’

    And your qualifications are???
    Does that mean that your opinion on this is worthless then? Obviously not, as any intelligent person can acquaint themselves with the facts. Alas, that means considering opposing points of view, which few pro-antis, it seems, are willing to do.

  • Lori

    What you don’t seem to understand is that we have considered them. You’re acting as if you have brought up startling new information that no one has heard before. As has now been said several times by more than one person, that is not the case. Many of us have known about this for literally years. We have looked at information from qualified sources and come to conclusions, which we have stated here. There is no need to reinvent the wheel because an unqualified opinion columnist and some guy on the internet have suddenly discovered what we’ve all known for some time.

    Wasting time on Just Sayin’s prefered opinion writer is not the definition of considering opposing points of view.

  • Just Sayin’

    Who is this “We” whom you are now claiming to speak on behalf of? In reality, you speak for no one but yourself. Or is this the pro-anti group you are self-identifying as “we” and you are claiming all speak as one voice?

  • Lori

    Also, do you realize that you asked me what my qualifications are in response to a post where I stated what my qualifications are? One would almost think you didn’t read past the second sentence and then just posted your same old knee-jerk attempt at deflection. But that can’t possibly be the case because you are a paragon of rational discussion and consideration for other points of view.

  • Just Sayin’

    So you’re arguing that we should all bow to the self-asserted “experts” and shut up? Now, let’s think of the history of medicine where that attitude has cost many lives in the past . . .

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Technically speaking, they’re not “self-asserted” experts, they’re “professionally certificated” experts, meaning, in theory, they passed rigorous testing in a university and achieved a diploma of medicine before becoming licensed by the state (which entails further examination of their credentials and proficiency).

    To then say that a lay person with no knowledge whatsoever of medicine, with significantly less ability to collect data, with no means of conducting medical trials, knows better than that expert — do you also regularly criticize rocket scientist for not knowing how to do their job?

  • Just Sayin’

    The history of medicine reveals a catalogue of errors, sometimes leading to patient fatalities and wrecked lives. Blind faith in “experts” is not to be recommended.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    “Sir, I’m pretty sure your rocket engine is stupid. I know you say you’ve done thousands of calculations and simulations to prove that it achieves liftoff in the best possible way, but I’ve played a lot of video games and I can tell you with some confidence that I’m pretty sure you’re not using enough ExplodyPowderStuff. Now I know you’ll be loathe to suck it up and admit that I’m probably right on this issue, so I’ve brought along my friend who once watched a cartoon documentary on space that was originally broadcast on Nickelodean…”

  • Just Sayin’

    We’re talking about psychotropic drugs, not rocket engines. Please, less dissembling, more rational discussion.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    You’ve had your chance at rational discussion. You didn’t want any part of it. You made that abundantly clear when you repeatedly refused to acknowledge informed arguments while claiming no one was giving any arguments at all. That just makes you a troll, and, nope, not bothering with that. :D

  • Just Sayin’

    I didn’t know you were forum moderator and allocated giving people chances to express their views. When did they put you in charge?

    As for rational discussion, all I’m hearing is rocket science and f**k off.

  • AnonaMiss

    In other words, you’re not saying that antidepressants cause people to kill themselves, you’re just strongly implying it asking questions. Why is everyone getting so angry at you just for asking the same questions over and over again, ignoring any answers you don’t like? Why is everyone assuming you’re anti-anti? You’re only asking questions. After all, isn’t that what science is all about?

    But what we should find deeply disturbing is how everyone in this thread is pointing out the inanity of shutting down the questioning. Almost as if they can see through your bullcrap there’s something they’re trying to hide. Now obviously you wouldn’t go so far as to say there’s a conspiracy in one slightly popular blogger’s comment community the progressive blogosphere to suppress questioning of the scientific consensus Official Story, but this name-calling, the sheer invective you were met with just for being an asshat asking questions. I think we can all think of other times in history when questioning – not even dissent, just questioning! – the party line has been met with disdain and disbelief that the questioner is that stupid forbidden. And it is deeply troubling that on the question of anti-depressants, the reality-based pro-anti side is so unwilling to entertain even the same old already-answered thoroughly-debunked innocent, well-intentioned questioning of decades of scientific research the Powers That Be.

    Hitler Stalin Mao James Holmes Pol Pot Lenin Marx Voldemort Goehring Himmler Adam Lanza.

  • Just Sayin’

    Your post seems to need some editing. I’ll read it after you’re done.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I can’t recall if it was here or somewhere else that I mentioned my father-in-law. He’s a new-age therapy-healing type, who firmly believes that all physical ailments are due to “unresolved emotions”.

    He very nearly died because he believed that it would be a betrayal of everything he stood for if he couldn’t cure his diabetes with meditation, breathing exercises and the contemplation of crystals.

    But, of course, most people quite reasonably consider my father-in-law to be Not Quite Right ever since he had The Breakdown a few decades ago.

  • lodrelhai

    Unfortunately, I HAVE heard some of the more extreme samples that you cite as things these people don’t say. Vaccinations, pain killers, antibiotics… heard them all dissed by religious friends, family, and leaders. Don’t even get me started on help for reproductive issues.

    It took years for my mom to understand that my antidepressants are actually helpful and no, I cannot simply control my depression and paranoia with earnest prayer and a positive attitude. I wish she would take the next step and try to get help or counseling for herself, rather than the constantly repeating cycle of praying to improve and then condemning herself when she can’t maintain the happy outlook.

  • Victor Savard

    Fred! After reading all of this and now seeing “IT” in a serious eye of a 66 year old man who respect his doctors and who also could write a small book on this post, longer story short, “I” must agree with YA when you say: Seriously, this is abysmally stupid and it does real harm to real people. Knock it off Fred NOW!

    Butt Victor! This is Fred Clark’ blog NOW!

    I hear ya sinner vic! Fred, between you, “ME”, “ME” and “ME” Victor still loves YA NOW.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gXuYFih6Y8
    Go Figure brothers and sisters! :)
    Peace

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Hear! Hear! Let us have no more of this bullshit asceticism!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    Liked, and thank you for teaching me a new word :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    This is a very personal topic for me. I’ve struggled with mental illness for most of my life, and, to be perfectly honest, the only reason why I’m still alive is because of my medication. I’m seriously agoraphobic, with…other issues, and without medication, I’d never be able to leave the house, and I’d never be able to function as an adult human being. My medication is, in the most accurate description, my savior, and allows me to live life. Without it, I’m a complete wreck. How dare this woman judge me!

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    Amen to that.

  • Naymlap

    During my worst bouts of depression I very vehemently refused to take anti-depressants because I wanted to take control of my issues myself. It was, admittedly, a bad decision, but I survived. It was my choice. The decision to take meds should be based on a person’s state of mind and the opinion of a trained mental health specialist, not some moralizing twit that knows a guy who knows a guy whose neighbor totally killed herself because she was on anti-depressants.

  • Gil

    Craig Ferguson said it well:

    “That’s what you do with depression, you mask the symptoms. The symptoms of depression IS depression, it’s not a symptom of something else. It’s not like you go ‘Oooh, I feel really sad’ and then your arse falls off. The symptoms of depression is depression. You take away the symptoms of depression, HALLOOOOO! You’re cured! But Tom [Cruise] was like ‘No, no, no Matt. Matt, these drugs Matt, these drugs they’re just a crutch, these drugs are just a crutch!’ and I’m thinking, ‘yes?’ THEY’RE A CRUTCH! You don’t walk up to a guy with one leg and say, ‘Hey pal, that crutch is just a crutch, THROW IT AWAY! Hop ya bastard! That crutch is masking the symptoms of your one leggedness'”. -Craig Ferguson on Tom Cruise attacking Brooke Shields for using anti-depressants to fight Post-Partum Depression.

  • stardreamer42

    Hell, when I have a plain old cold I’m perfectly happy to take stuff that masks the symptoms until my body can fight it off. There is nothing wrong with fixing the symptom if you can’t get at the underlying cause!

  • J_Enigma32

    If taking my medication puts me away from your God, so be it. He’s a nasty piece of work anyway, and wasn’t there when I needed the help. So yeah, I’ll let my medication help me – they’ll do the job of your God, since someone has to.

    I feel that a major problem is how popular culture shows us mental illnesses. It treats it as a character quirk, or something that can be fixed by the end of the episode, or if not, then something that can be laughed at, made fun of, or something that has a “trade off” – that is, you get some kind of “gift” for getting this illness, since, you know, the world is fair.

    I specifically designed Renee, the protagonist of my novel, off of my own personal experiences and to spit in the face of those. For her mental illness is not the source of a character quirk. It’s the source of routine suffering that she cannot fix; made worse by the fact that she doesn’t want to be that way and routinely asks people who care about her to make it stop (she asks her friend, Ofelia, at least once to make her stop crying, since Renee has no idea why she’s crying and is angry that she can’t control it). It’s not something that she can fix – while she’s improved a bit from the beginning to the end of the book, it’s still there. She didn’t get a gift for it. The one time she hulks out and goes into a blind rage as a result of her emotional instability and being provoked at the wrong time, she gets her ass handed to her on a silver platter. There was no gift. There was no trade off. And her illness isn’t something that’s made fun of – that’d require people recognizing that she has one, first, and even the people closest to her don’t see it or if they do, they see an emotional teenage girl, just like we’re taught girls are (overlooking, you know, the explosive anger issue and the fact she’s a walking cluster F-bomb). She’s 16, by the way.

    I want to believe that if we had more information and awareness about it, it wouldn’t be so stigmatized. It just intersects with so much that the stigma won’t be going away anytime soon, and that’s truly depressing. It intersects with sexism: real men don’t cry, so stop crying you damn wussy/women are always emotional man, you can’t tell what’s wrong with them so don’t even bother (or, more perniciously, men mean it when they commit suicide but women are just trying to get attention). It intersects with classism: you’re just lazy, that’s why you’re poor and you sit on the couch all day, rather than picking yourself up by the bootstraps and going out and going after life. It intersects with neuro-typicality: you’re not sick; look at that person with cancer, they’re sick and they’re not crying – you’re just trying to get attention. It intersects with religion: you need more God in your life, that’s what’s wrong. It hits all these points and probably more. Thus, people like Monica Sel will continue to say what they say without realizing what they say is harmful, since they’re acting within the matrix of “-isms” that they were brought up in.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Is that a published piece, ongoing, or? It sounds both wonderful and horrible.

    I keep worrying that my APD has been showing through too clearly in my writing, especially while Lindsay is currently being self-centered and antagonistic toward everyone.

  • J_Enigma32

    It’s published – it’s my novel, the Blue Pimpernel. Renee isn’t the only character who’s mentally ill, either. The antagonist/villain is mentally ill, too, but he has a reason for why he does what he does and he’s not just acting because “insane = violent”. In his case, it’s “impotent rage = violent”, which is far removed from his mental illness (indeed, his illness, which is often associated with violence in the media, ends up saving lives).

    I wouldn’t worry if your APD shows through – there’s not enough protagonists who are heroic that suffer from APD, IMO. APD tends to be a villainous trait, and it might be good to shake expectations, just to show that APD doesn’t automatically mean serial killer/mass murderer (I worked with a guy who had APD. He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met).

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Oh! I’d already forgotten your screen name. I should hope that story is published when I have a copy on my Nook. ^_^ I’m trying to get through Doris Egan’s complete Ivory trilogy before I take my trip to Michigan, but I have The Blue Pimpernel and a couple of other books to keep me company while I’m there.

    I don’t know that I’ve been consistent enough in my portrayal of Lindsay to claim that she has APD this late in the game, but I wouldn’t mind taking a stab at it in the sequel — an anthology revolving around her daughter, who’s going to be a very, very special person. If the first book is my deconstruction of a Tim LaHaye book, the second will be one of a Wachowski brothers film… *Cough* I could quite easily do a short story about someone with APD and how that affects them while dealing with a person claimed to be the messiah.

    I wish I could meet that guy. I’ve never actually met or even really heard of anyone who had managed to get APD under rein besides myself, and it’s apparently enough of an unusual occurrence that the most common question has been “Are you sure you have this disorder?” A lot of psychiatrists even advise being more wary of a person diagnosed with APD who seems to be doing well, as “they could just be pretending to lull you into complacency.”

    (I really hate that Disqus eats formatting even while the post is still being typed up.)

  • Worthless Beast

    I remember once having someone tell me, Christian to Christian that “A Christian should never get to the point where they have to go to a mental hosptial.” There was also an adult Sunday School teacher I had at my old church (whom I actually still respect immensely), he was a kind and scientific-minded man who had just a bit of a lapse when he said that no true Christian ever gets to the point of suicide.
    I really cannot bear them ill-will. They were just stupid about the subject of mental illness, as most people are, regardless of religion. Secular people talk about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps or “just buck up,” or about how “weak” certain people who don’t fit society’s molds are all the time.
    I will say what I said on my blog tonight in response to a bit of news. I actually want everyone here who has never been diganosed with any kind of brain problem to repeat it to themselves. All of you. Read and repeat carefully after me:
    “I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER-EVER UNDERSTAND MENTAL ILLNESS UNTIL I DEVELOP ONE MYSELF, EVER!!!”
    Because… it’s true. Unless you have a brain that’s stuck on emotional hyperdrive all the time… until you’ve faced down those feelings of worthlessness that won’t go away, until you’ve had to get help to keep yourself alive, YOU DON’T KNOW.
    Trained therapists know a bit… as do people who live with those of us who are off-kilter, but… even they, I doubt they really know. I know that bipolar disorder is a unique pain that’s different even from “regular” depression, and schitozphrenia is different still…
    Lithium helps me, is all I’m saying. I also finally got a hold of what looks to be a competent therapist and I started last week. There’s no guarantees of anything, though.
    The most frustrating thing is people who DON’T KNOW thinking they DO KNOW because, you know, they’re impartial observers who have all the answers because they were sad once when their pet turtle died but they got over it! Or they prayed and felt better!
    If you think that for a minute, repeat the mantra above. Repeat it until it sticks in your empty head. I don’t want to have to hang myself with a noose made of woven bootstraps someday just to make a point.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    This so totally doesn’t do your post the serious justice it deserves, but it’s midnight and my brain has shut off, so:

    “I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER-EVER UNDERSTAND MENTAL ILLNESS UNTIL I DEVELOP ONE MYSELF, EVER!!!”

    Halp

    I have one, a rather large amount of credit hours from studying psychology, and I still don’t fully understand them when they’re happening to someone else.

    Maybe I’m overqualified? (That’s apparently why I’m not allowed to have a job!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    It wouldn’t hurt for us all to also remember that you *could* develop mental illness, even if it hasn’t happened before. The brain is an organ, like any other organ, and subject to all the frailties of organic matter.
    People like the author of that article have no business writing about medical issues.

  • other lori

    Along with that, even suffering from mental illness doesn’t necessarily give you special insight into other mental illnesses.

    I have panic disorder. I understand panic disorder and can talk to you about theories about the cause and what it’s like to have a panic attack.

    But I don’t have any special insight into depression, or bipolar, or even things like social anxiety or PTSD that are also anxiety disorders. I just don’t. I’m just as much of an outsider looking in on those experiences as anybody else.

    Honestly, at the times when I’m feeling really good, I almost feel like that much of an outsider to my *own* experiences of anxiety. Like, at times when I’m not living in that place of frequent panic attacks and constant fear of panic attacks, it’s hard to imagine how I ever lived that way, why I didn’t just get over it.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think it’s very hard to understand how overwhelming and all-consuming mental illness can be from the outside, even if you are an outsider who has suffered from a different mental illness yourself or even if you have suffered from the same problems in the past. And even when you are in the midst of experiencing it, you can recognize how weird and inexplicable it is, and know that there are things you should be doing that would help you feel better but be genuinely, completely incapable of doing them.

  • Darkrose

    Thinking good thoughts for you about your new therapist. Speaking as someone who’s been through more than my share of mediocre ones, a competent one is worth their weight in gold.

  • badJim

    There are reasons to be skeptical about anti-depressants. They don’t work for everybody; sometimes when they do work for a while they stop working, and prescription is typically hit-or-miss. They often have undesirable side-effects. There is a body of opinion that they work best in conjunction with therapy, and that in many cases therapy alone is preferable. This is not to say that they aren’t wonderful things for a large number of people; clearly, they are.

    The problem, to my mind, is that we don’t really know why they work. Most common are the SSRI’s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and their effectiveness lets us suppose that people with depression are simply deficient in serotonin. That’s clearly not the case, since the drugs increase serotonin levels immediately, but take weeks to have an effect on depression. It’s obviously more complicated than that.

    There is a concern that psychiatrists now see their job as deciding what prescription to write, and rarely offering therapy instead or in addition, even though the evidence suggests that it may be as effective.

    I’m not a professional in this field; I’m mostly repeating things I’ve read in widely-read and generally respectable publications. My sister is a therapist and I can’t claim she agrees with me. It would be nice if someone with some real expertise would weigh in.

    My point is that it’s not as simple as a neurotransmitter deficiency which can be easily adjusted. We’re not done yet.

  • Lori

    Antidepressants are not a magic bullet and you shouldn’t trust anyone who says or implies that they are. However, the fact that they don’t work for everyone and can have unpleasant side effects is hardly unique. That’s true for lots of medications, including ones that nearly everyone perceives as a positive good. The fact that we don’t really know how they work isn’t unique either.

    People need to be evaluated by and work closely with a competent doctor when deciding whether or not to take antidepressants and while taking them. The problem there is not so much that psychiatrists now see their job as deciding what prescription to write as it is that insurance won’t pay for anything more, certainly not without jumping through hoops that many people, especially depressed people, aren’t able to navigate.

  • Amaryllis

    I just typed a long, heartfelt response to this, which boiled down to “yes, you’re right, the current system is dysfunctional.”

    But Disqus ate it. Because Disqus is the illustration of “dysfunctional, ” and I should know better than to try and work with it.

  • Mary

    It is a good idea to copy your post to paste in again if you lose it. Also I often find that my posts will show up, then magically disappear, and reappear again later on! Don’t know why!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    We are still very early in the history of the medical treatment of mental illnesses.

    Part of the reason we are still very early in the history of medical treatment of mental illnesses is that a pretty considerable chunk of the public isn’t quite sure if mental illness actually exists, and another chunk is quite sure that it doesn’t.

    (I’ve mentioned before, I have a friend with a PhD in psychology who believes that the difference between a mental illness and a personality quirk is determined by nothing more than whether the general consensus of doctors is that it would be profitable to sell a treatment for it)

  • Elizabeth Coleman

    Back in the mid-20th century, the so-called “anti-psychiatry” movement developed in the psychiatric field. These psychiatrists, such as R.D. Laing, weren’t actually anti-psychiatry, but they promoted the idea that some mental illnesses were simply illnesses because society decided they were too weird to be normal. This was during a time when the treatment of the mentally ill consisted of locking them in a hospital, where they were frequently treated inhumanely (though far more humanely than the old days of Bedlam.) so they had a strong motivation to explore mental illness from other angles. I’m not sure what Laing thought of chemical treatments, but we definitely need a balance between things which are treatable, and things which are acceptable. Or more to the point, some things can be treated until they’re at a level which is acceptable, by both themselves and others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    we definitely need a balance between things which are treatable, and things which are acceptable.

    Yes. With the understanding that some things are both. That is, I might be in a state that psychopharmacology can move me out of, and which society can accept me in, at the same time.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    What is that in reference to, if you don’t mind elaborating? (Also, were you just “Dave” before Disqus eliminated OpenID login?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    I was indeed Dave before the loss of Open ID. I used to link to my LiveJournal account; now I link to my Facebook.

    I didn’t have any particular example in mind when I wrote it, but just to pick an example, suppose Sam has fallen in love with and wants to marry Pat, and Pat is very very fond of Sam and would happily marry them under other circumstances, but both Sam and Pat are male and Pat’s romantic and sexual orientation is exclusively heterosexual.

    Psychopharmacology could in principle advance to a state where Pat’s heterosexuality is treatable… that is, where Pat could undergo treatment that made it physically and psychologically possible for him to be romantically and sexually attracted to Sam.

    At the same time, society might be in a state where Pat’s heterosexuality is acceptable, such that it’s socially OK for Pat _not_ to be romantically and sexually attracted to Sam. (Indeed, it’s in such a state today.)

    There’s no contradiction there. Both are in principle possible, and one does not preclude the other. In the universe where both are actual, Pat has (at least) two choices he can make.

  • Elizabeth Coleman

    Definitely, and that’s what I was referring to in my last sentence. My schizophrenic mother, for example, has both good hallucinatory voices and bad ones. The bad ones bother her, but the good ones are perfectly harmless, and keep her company. Who am I to say that she shouldn’t be hearing any voices which don’t come from a source I myself can’t hear? If she only had good voices, and no bad ones, I say it’s up to society to accept her for who she is. She can never not be schizophrenic; she can only be comfortable in her existence. In other words, I think the mentally ill should be medically treated to the point where they themselves are comfortable, and it’s up to society to readjust their own attitudes to meet them at that point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    I know what you’re talking about. I hear voices, and the negative ones, the ones that curse at me and scream, I could totally do without. But some of them are positive, and those ones are my friends. If they went away, my life would be worse. How would you feel if some of your friends just went away and never talked to you again? My medication helps me out, and helps me resist the negative voices, but it also dulls the positive voices, which is an internal conflict that I’m working through with therapy. I guess what I’m saying is that “mental illness” isn’t necessarily an illness…it’s just a different way of looking at the world.

  • LMM22

    Yes and no.

    My issue with the “difference not disability” meme is that, to me, it’s *still* (far too often) an attempt to dictate how I should feel about a condition that I have.

    I’m an Aspie. I would *kill* not to be on the spectrum. I know people who are fine with being on the spectrum — and I know *of* people who are proud of it. Too often, though, I feel like there isn’t enough room in a narrative to accommodate all of us. I don’t know if that’s because people who don’t want to be ‘cured’ feel like they’re under siege or because we keep talking at each other. (I don’t want a cure because I feel like the world doesn’t accommodate me — I want a cure because I want to be able to read other people and because I want to be able to appreciate good acting!)

    Being different is … like being from a small town, in a way. There are people who love it. They don’t *want* to live in a big city — all the bustle and commotion and unfriendliness gets to them. If you ask them about their town, they’ll tell you about the people they know and the fact that they can go hiking and fishing once they get home from work. And they feel defensive when they talk to people from big cities, because those people don’t understand why they would want to live there.

    And then there are people who *don’t* want to live in the small town. Maybe they want to be a performer or an artist or do something that they can’t do in their small town. Maybe they don’t like the cliquish nature of the town. Maybe they’re LGBT and they want to have a dating pool that’s larger than the two or three people they know who are also out.

    Both are fine positions to have, but it feels like we can’t accept both at once. Either small towns are oppressive because minorities can’t fit in or they’re ableist or homophobic or transphobic — or they’re great places because they have tight-knit communities that support each other. But having one or the other position dictated to you from someone else — or, worse yet, having someone try to ‘solve’ your like or dislike of your hometown (of course you could have xxx job — you could telecommute!) — is atrociously patronizing. And making one position into an official narrative (or pointing to one or the other as the ‘real’ opinion of the ‘actual’ small town community) is even worse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    I can see your point. When it comes to me, personally, and my condition, I flip-flop back and forth between the “disability” and “difference” aspects. Sometimes, my problems can be debilitating; I can’t leave the house, I have problems with auditory hallucinations, anxiety, and at times I lose touch with reality. Sometimes, my problem actually helps me function in the world (I don’t want to get too specific; I’m still a little uncomfortable about talking about this issue in public, what with the stigma present in our culture).

    The thing is, though, it’s *both*. It is an illness, and it is a different way of seeing the world. If I were “cured” tomorrow, and all the negative (and positive) effects of my illness went away, I would still look at the world differently because of my experiences. It doesn’t have to be an either/or choice.

  • LMM22

    I get what you’re saying. I think the issue I have is that it seems impossible to have an ambiguous narrative, let alone a narrative where individuals have different opinions about a situation. I can like a town sometimes and complain about it once I realize I can’t get a specialized ingredient for dinner that night — and I can say I wished I lived somewhere with enough of a population to support a specialized cheese shop without having someone explain (citysplain?) to me that the problem is not that a town of 5,000 people can’t support a cheese shop but that cheese shop owners are too snobbish to move to such a remote location. I can say that I needed to move to Boston because that’s where the biotech hub is without having someone try to tell me that I should petition to get the biotech hub moved to me. And I can say that my town is full of misogynistic asshats and be sure the response will be “kill it with fire!” instead of some lecture about intersectionality.

    I can’t do that with a mental illness. I can’t tell someone that there are pluses and minuses but, after evaluating the situation, I’d rather not have it — and I definitely can’t be willing to make the crass decision to be cured based on my desire to advance my career. We’re willing to accept that sparsely populated geographic locations limit ones choices (no, most guys aren’t going to move to a rural town just to be with me — and, if we lived in the same location, I might happily marry on of them who refused), but we’re not willing to accept that other things do as well.

  • Hth

    There is abundant evidence, in fact, that antidepressants are essentially all placebos. Here’s a quick, readable intro to the data, with lots of references at the bottom for those of you who like to follow up with clinical sources.

    “Because Jesus” is a stupid reason to be against antidepressants, but I do have to say that when antidepressants and therapy have about the same rate of effectiveness (not quite 50%), it seems to me like our health care system irresponsibly incentivizes the cheapo, side-effect laden remedy, while making actual therapy largely inaccessible for most people. And that seems a whole lot more like “take your pill and get back to work” than it does like anything that would be thought up by people who care about mental wellness.

  • Fusina

    I don’t think they are placebos, as they have one side effect that only manifests when one stops taking them. Also, I do both pills and therapy–therapy for when the pills alone are not enough. And I’ve been taking anti-D for some fifteen years now. It has kept me mostly functional. I’ve talked a bit about my past here, and anything that keeps me functioning is, IMO, of course, a good thing. Which is not to say that discussing my problems with a therapist isn’t also a good thing, and indeed, it helps me to figure out why I feel about some things the way I do. But I was born with the possibility of being depressed, and childhood events triggered it. I even know that it was my paternal genes that were the most influence on my mental status–two of my Dad’s brothers and two of his nieces committed suicide.

    Anti-D works for me. Took a while to find one that worked reliably, but I did. And if it was just placebo, it wouldn’t matter, I don’t think, which one was taken.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    There are also studies, using fMRI, that indicate that antidepressants DO work.

  • AnonaMiss

    I know that my antidepressant is not a placebo, because when I switched to the generic after being on the name brand, fully expecting no change, my depression came back and hit me like a truck.

    If my antidepressant were a placebo, since I believed the generic would work the same as the name brand, it would have.

  • Mary

    I wonder whether you are speaking from personal experience or are you just parroting someone else’s opinion? I am 49 and I had my first experience with depression starting at fourteen and having a full breakdown at 16. Trust me, I have had plenty of therapy but it did not cure my bipolar disorder. I would be dead without medication.

    Are you aware that brain scans show actuall physical differences in the structure of the brain in people who have major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder?

    The only part of the propoganda you are peddling that makes any kind of sense is the problem of using anti-depressant medication for those who have not been properly screened for a mental illness. In those cases then it is certainly possible to find that there would be no difference compared to therapy and that any good results from medication could be attributed to the placebo effect. The problem is not with the medication though, it is HOW IT HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED THAT IS THE PROBLEM. (Caps for emphasis only.)

  • Rae

    “No insufferably holier-than-thou idiots pretend it would be deeply spiritual if they said, “Rattlesnake anti-venom can help, but it can also hinder our reliance on Christ.”

    Well, there are actually a handful of people who do see that as deeply spiritual… http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/01/death-of-snake-handling-preacher-shines-light-on-lethal-appalachian-tradition/

    (Fortunately, it’s only a handful of people)

  • That Other Jean

    Yeah, my grandmother and aunt were great admirers of snake-handling Christians—but never quite sure enough of their piety to try it themselves.

  • Worthless Beast

    Another thing, since this has triggered a bit of manic-rant desire:
    Adding people’s deepest spiritual longings, inclinations, what they were raised with etc. puts salt in the wounds, but in echoing all who’ve said “it’s not religious dinguses, society in general is stupid about this subject” :
    Ever try to proove to the government your inability to function, to keep a job for any length of time becuase of a mental illness? Even one that is proven to have a genetic component with plenty of evidence that you’ve probably had it all your life without knowing “what was wrong with you” all this time until early adulthood? And your job record is a slew of month and week-long jobs that ended when someone fired you over having a stress/panic attack?
    I’m taking Disabilty now. Do you know how long it took me to get it, wrangling and appealing with a lawyer who only stood by me because he “believed” in my case?
    6 fucking years.
    My stipend isn’t really enough to live on, either… I’m living with support (from someone who is presently taking Unemployment)… I’m doing okay, but wouldn’t be on my own. I’m also, get this, *up for review* in a couple of years. Yanno, because my illness isn’t like being paralyzed or having cancer, it’s not “real” enough for it to be trusted.
    I’m wondering when the world is going to realize that sicknesses and disabilities of the mind are fucking real.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Ugh, I hope it goes easier this time than it did getting on it in the first place. My SO’s mother had a stroke and was walker-bound, barely mobile, prone to falling and had porous bones toward the end. She had progressive dementia and often wasn’t aware of what was real and what wasn’t, especially if she’d been asleep and had a vivid dream. Her family still had to do these reviews every few years to prove, no, she couldn’t just walk into town and get a job.

  • Worthless Beast

    I’m actually sort of hoping that some interest will be generated in my fiction writing. (So far, just form letters from every queried agent). I’m pondering self-publishing on Kindle an, who knows? Maybe it will take off and I’ll be the next J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins or something. Probably not. I’m not counting on it. If it were to happen, I do have a really interesting story to tell in interviews. (Do any writers ever have good lives before they’re known)?
    I just barely purchased two-years worth of webspace and put up a writing site. (Sort of reluctant to link to it here because I use my real name on it and… I’ve made people mad on this blog before. We talk serious issues here, so there’s a lot for people to get seriously life-ruiningly angry about…)
    In any case, yeah, I’ll probably have to get really nervous and shake and throw up in front of a judge again. (As it is, with the lack of job on my guy’s part, we’re living off the large-chunk award I wanted to put into an investment/banking thing to earn interest and…. can’t. Not right now while we need it). *Sigh.*

  • flat

    Hey you are not worthless to me, we might disagree about things but you aren’t worthless to me personally.

  • Hexep

    I respect your decision not to link. Secrecy is always safer.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Speaking of writing, I ran into stupidity about depression in a writer’s group of all places. I know! Weird, right? But no. A prominent member said he understood if, like, injury or family emergencies or *legitimate illness* led to a writer having a prolonged dry spell, but – and he did not mince words here – he did not consider depression to be a legitimate illness. It really is a matter of mind of matter, folks! It’s all a matter of willpower! Discipline! If you let “depression” be your excuse for not writing, instead of expecting other writers’ support and sympathy, maybe you should reconsider whether writing is really your calling.

    I had to drop out of the discussion because he was making me see red. To this day I tend to skim his posts and I feel rage just looking at his avatar photo. But before I dropped out I sure as hell told him I thought he was ignorant, wrong, and needlessly cruel with it. And that the LAST thing a depressed writer who wasn’t writing (which tends to make the depression deeper) needs is real live people agreeing with the Voice o’ Depression when it tells the sufferer that they’re despicable and weak and worthless for not being able to write today.

    (I’m happy to say a non-trivial number of other group members agreed; if enough of them had agreed with him I might no longer be a member myself.)

  • Darkrose

    There’s been a lot of griping from the conservative punditsphere recently about how “too many” Americans are on disability. I strongly suspect that “too many” = “anyone who doesn’t have a visible problem, especially those fakers who claim they’re ‘mentally ill’.” Aside from the laughable idea that someone would go on SSDI to get that sweet check that’s not actually enough to live on in most places, pushing the meme that mental illness doesn’t mean you’re really sick makes me want to spit nails.

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    “No pious jackasses sit around pondering ‘Should Christians Take Insulin?’ No insufferably holier-than-thou idiots pretend it would be deeply spiritual if they said, ‘Rattlesnake anti-venom can help, but it can also hinder our reliance on Christ.'”

    There seem to be some people treating the HPV vaccine as if it has religious implications, however.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    I observe that much of that comes from the crowd (mostly, but not completely, religious) that thinks that anything that makes sex safer will automatically make girls sluttier. And we can’t have that.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    It’s worse than that. It’s that anything that makes sex LESS safe is a just and righteous punishment for sluttiness.

    Does anyone else remember someone posting to Slacktivist, oh, say, four years ago or so, who said she wasn’t going to get her daughter vaccinated because “modesty behavior will be prophylactic enough”? I mean, set aside that saving yourself for marriage won’t save you from the STD your husband’s carrying around. Set aside rapists – goodness knows plenty of people seem to believe that only sluts get raped. Set all that aside – this woman was blithely trusting the specter of STDs to keep her daughter modest – and didn’t seem at all perturbed at the idea of HPV and cancer as consequences for her *daughter’s* hypothetical premarital sex.

    I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop being shocked by sentiments like that. “Better dead than dishonored, daughter.” Brr.

  • badJim

    Anything that makes sex less dangerous is an invitation to sin. It’s not that God is in favor of cervical cancer or teenage pregnancy, nor that people in the throes of passion are likely to be dissuaded by calculations of risk. If you do something people don’t like, they’d prefer to see you punished as a result.

  • stardreamer42

    So you’re saying that the deep suspicions I’ve been trying to be charitable and say couldn’t be right are right after all — these people would rather see their daughters DEAD FROM CERVICAL CANCER than having sex in a way (or with a person) they don’t like.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It’s more complicated than that because we’re dealing with people who don’t use entirely rational decision-making processes. I’ve been characterizing it as “magical thinking” more and more recently. It’s not that they would rather see their daughters die from cancer, it’s that they actually do think that holding fast to their moral outrage will cause the desired effects, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. Their daughers won’t die of cancer, because if they deny their daughters the vaccine, their daughters won’t have sex and contract HPV. Just as simple as that, and never mind that reality doesn’t conform to this.

    Deny HPV vaccine to girls and girls won’t have sex. Deny marriage to same-sex couples and they’ll turn straight. Deny welfare to poor families and they’ll turn rich. They really (sort-of) believe* this stuff.

    *”believe” is too strong a word. It’s more that they want it to be true, and expend a tremendous amount of mental effort on keeping themselves from thinking about the fact that no amount of wanting it will make these things just magically become true.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    They obviously don’t consider sexual assault as a factor.

  • banancat

    They consider it, but generally these are the same people who blame the victim in the vast majority of cases. And even in the “legitimate” cases of a strange man (probably with dark skin, an accent, or a hoodie) jumping out from behind a bush to rape a young virgin RTC white girl, if she ends up getting cancer and dying from it, that’s just collateral damage that they consider worth it to make sure the actual sluts are duly punished.

  • SisterCoyote

    but everyone knows that if you’re depressed, it’s because you don’t have enough faith in god to feel true joy, right? so faith is totally the answer, never medication.

    There was a guy i knew, many years ago, whose answer, when i was near-suicidal with depression, was to tell me to be joyful in the Lord, because he would heal me. He truly didn’t understand why i was so resistant to the Joy of the Lord. I don’t talk to him anymore.

  • P J Evans

    That would make me wish my depression on him, just so he can understand what it feels like.

  • Victor Savard

    (((so faith is totally the answer, never medication.)))

    Sister, I’m sorry about what happened to you and what “I’M” about to say might sound a little insane but “I” don’t believe that all of your reality and/or spiritual cells truly believe that statement above

    I hear YA! You’re half right! I was being sarcastic there! :(

    OH! OK! I understand NOW! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cikTgwMXY

    I could write 66 books about this but so I don’t start name calling, I’ll simply say that “IT” all started in the early 90’s when “I” took my life and…..

    Got YA Victor! “I” knew you were dead NOW and….

    And sinner vic, please give “ME”, “ME” and “ME” a chance to get YA back NOW. (lol)

    As I was about to say sister, my wife was sitting on the sofa and watching me literally shaking like a leave and believe U>S (usual sinners) “IT” was very funny but “IT” was not if YA get my drift when I heard my wife say outloud something like; are you stupid, stop that shaking. Long story short, if GOD (Good Old Dad) and HIS ANGELS took over this world, let’s just say that NO BODY told me about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CtjhWhw2I8 “IT” so right there and then every “ONE” of my reality cells planned to take our lives, I mean our life and longer story short, my con science gave me a gulit trip and so i promised that i would give “Jesus” a chance to save me but after Seven days this flesh was history. Anyway, I continued receiving The Body and Blood of Christ and long, long story later, I was reborn on the turd, I mean 3rd day and here “I AM” just another peter and….

    And Victor! YA just got lucky! Come on NOW! Didn’t the doctor tell YA after you give him back his pills that you would be ok on the turd, I mean 3rd day butt do you still expect your wife after 43 years of marriage to forgive YA NOW?

    Go Figure NOW! :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B50RUXbs-8

    What’s that sinner vic?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohC7o_PPPtY

    P.S. Fred! You’ve got 2 more post UP there so forgive me if “I’M” a little slow NOW!

    Peace

    YA!

    Hey! Stop reading my mind NOW Victor!

    Piece (lol)

    I mean Peace NOW.

  • SisterCoyote

    You’re right, Victor, I was being sarcastic myself – I do believe that medication is (often) the answer to depression or mental illness.

    I’m sorry to hear what happened to you as well. That sounds like a pretty rough story.

  • Hexep

    Mental health will never come to China. Multiple revolutions will have to come and go before this country adopts a more modern, naturalistic approach to mental health care. At the present time, visiting a psychologist or taking a prescription of anti-depressants or anti-psychotic medicine is considered just grounds for being dismissed from one’s job. (To be fair, just being too sick is just grounds; there’s no protection of any sort for workers who have health problems.) In addition, all psychotherapists are required to report matters of interest to the police, and extant mental illness is certainly a matter of interest.

    In these regards, I will spend the rest of my life being neither free nor safe. if I were to submit to a course of psychoactive treatment – one which, in my personal analysis, I sincerely need – then that will open me up to instant dismissal from work, and could also result in my home return permit being rescinded.

    Life is cheap in the Middle Kingdom, and because I belong to it, that makes my life cheap. I don’t think there’s anything that can be done about it; this is going to be the millstone around my neck for the rest of my life.

  • http://twitter.com/WayofCats WayofCats

    This fits in with my own experiences with Fundamentalism. It is all about Control.

    People give up their freedom in exchange for what they are told is Control over their lives, and their after-lives. The leaders of it enjoy Control over their followers. Everyone is constantly exhorted to struggle against life-affirming, deeply rooted needs, such as loving their children, seeking responsible pleasures, and avoiding pain; because suffering is What God Wants.

    And God, in their construction, is the ultimate control-freak; adjusting the minutiae of their days in accordance with the person’s perceived or actual compliance with the tiniest, more impossible of orders.

    Freaked myself out just thinking about it!

  • Wednesday

    I’m sorry, WayofCats. :/

    I’ve heard that one thing abusers sometimes do if their target has a mental illness is deny it, both to have more control over the target and as an isolating technique — it gets the target away from therapists, and gives the target reason to stop listening to friends because “they don’t understand you, they think you have X but you don’t really”. It also, unfortunately, works to isolate the target from friends in other ways — it can be hard to stay friendly with someone with severe anxiety who has gone cold turkey on their meds and consequently believes everyone is plotting against them.

    That said,I don’t know if the data supports this as more likely than, eg, an abuser insisting a neurotypical person has a mental illness as part of a gasslighting campaign.

  • Wednesday

    Durr, left out the big important paragraph that makes it clear why this comment was a response to yours. tl;dr, if someone or some institution that is very controlling, that’s a big red flag that they are abusive.

  • Amaryllis

    I’ll also add that people who are helped by anti-depressants are…no, not lucky, there’s nothing lucky about having a serious debilitating illness… but at least better off than those who have the kinds of mental illnesses for which drug therapies haven’t been developed yet. Christians who are told to “mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice” ought to be rejoicing when someone finds help, not scorning them for their “weakness” in needing it.

    And at leasts, Christian like these aside, the culture at large seems to have accepted depression and bipolar disorder as “real” illnesses. Unlike those suffereing from the so-called “Axis-II” disorders, to which the usual response is, “you’re not sick, you’re just acting like a jerk, get over yourself.”

  • P J Evans

    At least now it’s more or less understood that these aren’t things you choose. It’s brain chemistry, possibly inherited, and drug treatments are the most effective ones we have. Even when they’re not particularly fun (ask my most-senior aunt, who’s bipolar, has rheumatoid arthritis … and is 98 years old).

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    I’m lucky that I’m helped by my antidepressives, but my disorder doesn’t really have any kind of medication that can treat it. I wish there was some sort of “magic pill” that could help…but therapy is the best I’ve got, and medication helps with the other issues (like depression, anxiety, and psychosis). Yet I can’t really talk to my family about my problems, as they’re evangelical Christians, and they don’t “believe” in mental illness. Hell, as it stands, not even all the psychological community believes that my illness exists, so I’m kinda doubly screwed :-(

  • Müntzer

    This is actually not that far out.

    Quite a few psycholgical ‘philosophies’ see anti-depressants as temporary means at best that can dampen the pain but are at the same time unable to heal the pain and need to be discontinued if the patient is to be able to face and solve his problems.
    They ask the question different, though:
    Should one take anti-depressants or do they just serve to allow the patient to ignore the underlying problems?
    I am a bit conflicted myself, for at the moment i would very much like to have a heavy dose of happy, since i have neither the time nor the fortitude at the moment to face my issues head-on.
    If i want to lose them once and for also, that is my firm conviction, i will have to balance and rule my emotions and fears without chemical dampeners (which on top mess up my digestion and give me damp hands).

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Should one take anti-depressants or do they just serve to allow the patient to ignore the underlying problems?

    This strikes me as about as sensible a question as “Should one take painkillers or do they just serve to allow the patient to ignore the underlying problems?”

    That is, I can take painkillers in a therapeutic way, and I can take painkillers in a pathological way. I don’t have to deny that morphine addiction exists in order to justify pain management; I don’t have to force people to undergo painful procedures without anaesthesia in order to discourage drug abuse.

    Something similar is true of antidepressants.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I know lots of people who think that taking painkillers ever is a sign of moral failing.

  • Hexep

    I never take painkillers; I’m terrified that one day I’ll actually need them for something but they won’t work because I’ve built up a tolerance.

  • Lori

    I hope to FSM this is snark, because it doesn’t work that way.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    There is such a thing as tolerance to painkillers, but I’m not sure you can reach any significant level of tolerance off, say, aspirin… stronger stuff, yes, though. I know people who were taking hydrocodone and built up a tolerance to it.

  • Hexep

    It’s not even painkillers; it’s medicine in general. And yes, I appreciate that it’s an utter non-truth, but I cannot cure myself of this delusion – I cannot shake the notion that there is such a thing as ‘medicine,’ and every use of it perpetually dampens its effectiveness in the future, from any type of ‘medicine’ likewise for any type of ‘medicine.’

    It just seems like the way that life works, on a larger level.

    By-the-by, as a matter of policy, I never snark. I am known to deceive, but never to be flippant.

  • Monala

    Did you read Hexep’s post below? Zhe lives in China, and wrote about how admitting to physical or mental illnesses can damage one’s career. I don’t think this is snark.

  • P J Evans

    Some can be addictive, but those are the ones mostly likely to be controlled substances. Acetaminophen isn’t addictive (it has other hazards, though) .

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    And there are many controls in place now in medical settings to greatly reduce the chance for patients to get addicted to painkillers.

    When, for example, they hook you up to a morphine drip, you can’t just push the little button 478 times until you’ve pumped all the morphine in the world into your system. The machine won’t let you.

    Painkillers are extremely important, and not just for the very important reason of, yanno, reducing pain. If your body is freed from even some of the pain of an injury or illness, it has that much more energy to spend…fighting the injury or illness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    (nods) I felt that way about blood pressure medication for years.

    Then I had a hypertension-induced stroke.

  • Müntzer

    It depends on how one takes painkillers and what one believes what pain is for.
    I am relativly wary of painkillers because they make me sluggish and it takes me longer to heal if i take them.
    Do i take them if i cannot sleep or move otherwise?
    Of course.
    I actually think we are quite close together in our views here, but where, i think, you would rather err on one side, i rather err on the other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    I’m not sure what side you think I would rather “err” on, or what side you would rather “err” on, or how the sides differ, but I certainly agree that there are costs and benefits to the use of painkillers, and that it’s important to be aware of the tradeoffs we make.

  • other lori

    This is still assuming, though, that there’s some unresolved issue that is causing somebody to be depressed or anxious that needs to be addressed. It’s an old psychoanalytic idea that doesn’t have any empirical evidence to support it.

    In many cases, the cause of depression or anxiety is a chemical imbalance that the SSRIs directly address. We don’t exactly understand how, but that seems to be how it works. It’s not like the person has all of these unresolved emotional problems or hidden abuses or unfulfilled desires that they just need to work through. (And, if they do, SSRIs will not make those problems go away, because they aren’t magic pills. They may, though, relieve the person’s symptoms to the point where they can address those issues.)

    Now, in a lot of cases, after years and years of untreated anxiety or depression, a person probably has developed a lot of habits of negative thoughts and unproductive behaviors that become maintaining causes of the problem, and they do need to address those for full recovery. But, it’s important not to confuse thoughts/behaviors that become maintaining causes with hidden or underlying traumas/problems that were precipitating causes. There is good reason for addressing the former, and little evidence that the latter are either the reason people suffer from mental illness or that addressing them could or would be therapeutic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    This is still assuming, though, that there’s some unresolved issue that
    is causing somebody to be depressed or anxious that needs to be
    addressed.

    Is it? I don’t quite see how I’m assuming that here (especially since I agree with you that frequently it’s just not true), although it’s certainly possible that I’m doing so without realizing it.

    If you could clarify where you see my reasoning assuming this, I would appreciate that.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    This is still assuming, though, that there’s some unresolved issue that is causing somebody to be depressed or anxious that needs to be addressed.

    It’s not assuming that, necessarily. There are, in fact, lots of chronic medical conditions where certain behaviors can keep the condition under control and alleviate symptoms. Those treatments, when they work, often have better medical outcomes, and pretty much never carry the same risk of side effects. And that doesn’t assume anything about there being “unresolved emotional problems or hidden abuses or unfulfilled desires.”

    I find it interesting, though, that when my doctor tries to sell me on managing my diabetes with exercise and diet, he puts me on medication first with the plan to take me off if lifestyle changes help, but when it’s depression, a lot of people start from the assumption that we should try therapy first, and only “resort” to medication if it doesn’t work.

    (Though a lot of doctors treat chronic pain the same way. Try exercise and PT first, only offer medication if that doesn’t help)

  • Jamoche

    That’s assuming there are “underlying problems”. Just because we use the word “depressed” for “bad things are happening and making me feel bad” and “my biochem is out of whack” doesn’t mean they’re the same. The entire problem could *be* the biochem out of whack.

  • Müntzer

    But that still should be checked, yes?
    I am not advocating ‘Chems are bad, always’, i am saying that anti-depressants are not as easy as ‘take them, and then you are alright’.
    There are of course numerous reasons way one takes them and if the biochemistry of the brain is out of whack, then they might be the only way to fix that. But even biochemistry might be out of whack for more than ‘thats just how it is’.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    “I am not advocating ‘Chems are bad, always’, i am saying that
    anti-depressants are not as easy as ‘take them, and then you are
    alright’.”

    Has anyone, anywhere on this thread, argued that anti-depressants are as simple as “take them, and then you are all right”? I have noticed a few people saying that that’s how it worked out FOR THEM, but no one is arguing that this is to be expected in all cases or indeed in any case.

    The only people I hear arguing that anyone THINKS that… are the people who are either outright arguing against anti-depressants (and a pox on them, because they are actively causing evil in this world) or those who are concern-trolling, a la “Oh, I’m not against them… I just want you to understand they aren’t a Magic Happy Pill!” Effin’ strawman. Burn it.

    “But that still should be checked, yes?”

    Yes. Which is where psychiatrists come in, often teamed up with psychologists.* There is a reason that anti-depressants are *prescription only*, or didn’t you know?

    *(As blogger Arachne Jericho puts it, “Bartender = psychologist, because you talk to them. Candy man = psychiatrist, because they give you the meds.”)

  • Becca Stareyes

    In my experience, ‘a heavy dose of happy’ wasn’t how anti-depressants worked on me. It was more about not walking around feeling like I was alone in the world, and that eventually I would case to exist. Or not being convinced that every time I did less than perfectly on a test, or asked a stupid question, or made a faux pas when talking to someone on the internet, it was proof I was a horrible person who was doomed to end up friendless in a cardboard box. (Well, that and the first month or two, I was sleeping twelve hours a day and would fall asleep almost immediately after dinner. Side effects stink, but this one wore off once I adapted to the dosage.)

    Therapy helped identify these feelings before they got overwhelming and disrupt them.. Adding medication plus therapy to the mix basically meant that I was less likely to end up in a spiral of anxiety and despair, and if I did, I could use the techniques I learned in therapy to pull myself out of it. I also learned enough about the workings of my mind to know when I needed more care from a psychologist or psychiatrist and when I needed less.

    You could say ‘the problem’ was that I was doing challenging things, and my situation was such that I had to do them away from my family and closest friends. Quitting to move home was not an acceptable solution, any more than ‘never go outside’ was a solution to my hay-fever.

    Of course, I am lucky in that both my psychiatrist and all the psychologists I’ve seen (I have a track record of picking ones that retire or move a year or two in…) do talk to me about my mood issues and stress and generally make sure I have what I need and that they know what my condition is.

  • other lori

    I think this comes from a lack of understanding about depression and anxiety that is situational versus that that is chronic.

    Practitioners who write prescriptions for SSRIs to deal with situational problems don’t help the matter. A good friend of mine, who happens to be a clinical psychologist, had an appointment with her PCP once, for a check-up, and it happened to occur at a time right after her boyfriend of seven years had left her, her grandfather had just died, and she was totally overwhelmed at work. Her doctor asked her how things were going, and she broke down crying. Her doctor’s response? She offered to write her a prescription for Prozac. My friend knew enough about her depression to know that that wasn’t what she was suffering from, and declined. But certainly there are doctors out there who see these drugs as a cure-all for any sadness, which doesn’t help things.

    The kind of depression and anxiety that are helped by SSRIs are not situational. I have panic disorder, and Zoloft helps me enormously. But, it doesn’t somehow cure any and all anxiety. I’m really stressed out today because my rent check might bounce–an anxiety-inducing situation–and being on Zoloft doesn’t somehow make me NOT feel anxious about that. It also wouldn’t be a valid reason to go on Zoloft. In this case, there is an underlying cause to my anxiety, and absolutely the underlying cause (not enough money in my checking account) is the problem.

    But, my panic disorder is different. I spent so many years driving myself crazy trying to figure out the “underlying cause” for why I was struggling. Was I a weak person? Had I been horribly abused as a child and repressed it (it was the 90s)? I felt for so long–for reasons that had nothing to do with religion–that I just needed to find my “underlying cause” and address it, and then I’d be fine. I went off of medication a lot of times in that search, and caused myself a lot of unneeded pain.

    Finally, I just recognized that, for whatever reason, this is a biochemical problem that I have. I can remember having panic attacks as far back as preschool. My mother, and her mother, and a number of my aunts on both sides, and a few uncles, and a bunch of cousins, all have either occasional panic attacks or full-blown panic disorder, so we seem to have a strong genetic disposition to it. I tend to respond in very strong physical ways not just to negative thoughts/emotions but also to other stimulants (a coffeeshop once gave me a regular latte instead of decaf, and my heart rate went up to 200 beats per minute). For whatever reason, my nervous system tends to get off balance really easy, and to go into “fight or flight” mode with minimal stimulation, and a low-dose of an SSRI seems to almost entirely correct that.

    The fact that I don’t feel, when I’m not suffering from daily panic attacks, like I have any deep-seated, hidden problems indicates to me that, in fact, I don’t. My problem is panic disorder, and SSRIs, in my case, treat it very well. If modern psychology has learned anything, it’s that many times looking for “underlying causes” is a waste of time and energy–and often not just a waste but actually something very damaging–and that treating symptoms (which in some cases ARE the problem) and addressing current thoughts and behaviors leads to far better outcomes than trying to reach some kind of catharsis by sifting through the past (a “treatment” that has no research backing its usefulness).

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Space Marine Becka

    The thing with SSRIs *sometimes* making you more depressed at first – that happens. I was badly depressed in the early 2000s and was put on Lustral and a course of CBT to start once the antidepressant kicked in. So a few weeks after I started the drugs I went to see the psych nurse and she asked how I was.

    I flopped on her desk. “Bloody awful! I never felt this bad before the pills… That’s good right?”

    “Uh?”

    “The leaflet said that it would very possibly make me feel even worse in the first few weeks, so this must mean it’s working and I’ll feel better soon,” I said.

    “Oh yes,” she said. “That’s true, and you’re going to do well on the therapy. You have the right mind set.”

    It was pretty horrible but it passed in a couple of weeks and I felt great.

    (I won’t even talk about the first anti they put me on (Lustral was the second) but I had the “behavorial anomalies” side effect and I didn’t realise until someone else told me).

  • http://twitter.com/thetroper Moustache De Plume
  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Aw. Now I miss Mitch Hedberg all over again.

    Though apparently he never saw someone get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if he thinks alcoholism is the only disease people get mad at you for having.

    Or syphilis for that matter.

  • Hexep

    In order to establish a sort of world equality, I hereby vow that I personally will get mad at everybody in the world for every disease and malady.

  • Guest

    I’m sure a lot of you have seen this cartoon: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4halvU3mU1rwzpfto1_1280.jpg

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    I’m sure a lot of you have seen this cartoon:

  • JustoneK

    The thing is I _know_ conservative folks who treat the whole gamut that way. Sure, see a doctor if you can, but PRAY HARDER. If you’re still suffering from the physical disease YOU DIDN’T PRAY HARD ENOUGH.

  • smrnda

    I thought I’d weigh in on the discussion since I have schizo-affective disorder and am an atheist.

    For most of my life, I’d had serious manic episodes and a few times when I had full blown auditory, visual and even tactile hallucinations. So after one hospitalization, they gave me some blood tests, changed a few meds I was on, waited a few weeks, recommended a few lifestyle changes, and for the last maybe 4 or 5 years, no problems at all. Nothing, not even hypo-mania or anxiety or depression. Nothing. Part of the reason why I think treatment works for me is that I’ve never felt a need not to take meds. I take medication few other health conditions, and I’ve never decided that taking them was a bad idea since they work.

    I think the dismissal of mental illness is that the belief that all human emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are within a person’s conscious control is a necessary part of some belief systems. Many forms of religion , particularly some schools of Christianity, call for a sort of emotional legalism – it’s not just actions which can be sinful, but emotions as well. If we admit that people don’t control their emotions, the belief that feeling a certain emotion might be sinful has to get thrown out the window as just as stupid as believing that having a cold is sinful. Many systems of Protestant theology are based on a notion of innate and willful depravity of all people, and the idea that people don’t have total control not to feel ‘sinful’ or ‘bad’ emotions is a threat, so it has to be dismissed.

    In terms of the body count, I’m sure that religious leaders spouting this nonsense don’t care. It’s a power game for them from which they don’t lose if they just decree that the latest suicide just didn’t have the right type of faith.

  • GDwarf

    Since I was diagnosed with clinical depression I’ve become a bit of an advocate for medication for mental disorders. I realize it’s generally not a perfect solution and generally has unpleasant side-effects, but one of ’em changed and saved my life.

    Then I read things like that article and I come distressingly close to just losing it. These people clearly have never used the products they’re condemning. They think they’re “Happy Pills” and that you can cure mental problems just by thinking hard at them. I have several friends online who are suffering and who can’t tell their families because they hold opinions like that.

    You don’t want to use medicine on yourself? Fine. In many cases I’ll probably think you a fool (It is true that medicine for mental disorders isn’t right for everyone, and I don’t begrudge people who’ve tried it and decided that the side-effects just aren’t worth it) but that’s your choice. But to go out and to directly and unequivocally harm others this way? No. That I will not stand by and watch. There’s little enough I can do, but at least it’s proof that I need to keep up my education of others.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Probably too late for you to read this given the number of comments that have come before, but thanks.

    It took more than ten years and various doctors before a medication was found that helped, or at least helped enough to be outside of the margin of error (there were several things were it was a case of, “It might be helping, but that could be normal variation between different levels of depressedness,”) and then even when a medication that helped was found it turned out other shit was, and still is, co-occurring so dealing with the depression wasn’t enough. I have mental illnesses plural. Actually, given that I have two types of depression, I knew that beforehand.

    Since I am a part of no religion no one tried to convince me to forgo treatment because God, but because I can imagine what that would have been like, and because I care about other people, I definitely think what you’re saying needs to be said:

    This hurts people. This kills people. This needs to stop.

    […]

    Seriously, this is abysmally stupid and it does real harm to real people. Knock it off.

    So far as I know you’ve never suffered from depression. This, if true, is a very good thing. I would not wish it on anyone.

    It also means that you don’t know what it’s like. I’ve seen how some people, generally nice loving people, react to not knowing what it’s like by being, without realizing it, incredibly hurtful assholes who just make things worse. Sometimes a lot worse. You’re not doing that. You’re standing up for people whose pain you can’t really understand.

    Thank you for that. You do it for all kinds of people all the time, and this isn’t the only one that is close to home for me, but it is one that’s been with me for so long that seeing you stand up for people who suffer what I’ve suffered produced, I guess, a different kind of gratitude. More emotional than usual.

    Thank you for posting this, thank you for standing up for people who, on account of their illness, might not be able to stand up for themselves, thanks for countering bad advice by saying it needs to stop, thanks for taking mental illness as seriously as physical. Thank you for all these things and more.

    You have my gratitude.

  • The_L1985

    I’ve found this metaphor helps: http://www.akimbocomics.com/?p=573
    (Warning: language and blood.)

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I doubt it would help the people I deal with, they seem incapable of understanding regardless of metaphor.

    I have been thinking of writing a post called, “You feel like you’re helping; I feel like you’re beating me with a stick,” because that’s how it seems to be some days.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I think it would be good to do so. One of the feelings I’ve noticed while being depressed is that all encouragement to not be so winds up making me feel a little worse, because I can’t. I assume that’s true of others.

  • The_L1985

    Definitely, and for the same reason. My brother would joke around and try to get me to “turn that frown upside-down,” and I’d respond by shaking my fist in his face.

  • hidden_urchin

    *sigh*

    This one hits pretty close to home for me. Last semester I was having some wild mood swings and everything that comes with it. I realized I wouldn’t be able to stay in my program unless I solved the problem because I was not able to focus on my classes. I went to Student Counseling and they assigned me a therapist who promptly ignored everything I said about having a history of mental illness, family history of mental illness, inexplicable mood swings, and no time to screw around with it. Well, suffice it to say he was one of those people who believe feelings were a choice. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell me outright that’s what he believed until the end of the semester when he said, “You want to know what I think? I think you’re just choosing to be unhappy.”

    I walked out but the damage was done. My GPA is unrecoverable and I do not have the energy to make the straight As I need in order to have a shot at graduating. I especially can’t do it without both faculty and mental health support and, at a top tier research institution, the former is non-existent and the latter, well, you saw how that went. I’m withdrawing at the end of this semester and I’m pretty broken hearted. It’s my second major failure in as many years.

    It’s got to get better now. It really can’t get worse. Except for my mother is also in the “mental health is a choice camp” and she is not happy about my leaving grad school.

  • Monala

    That’s horrible. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Is there anything you can do to report that therapist as someone who doesn’t do his job? Won’t help you any (I offer my condolences for whatever they’re worth) but maybe the next person who needs help would be better off.

    I really do wish that I could do more than say I’m sorry for what happened and is still happening to you.

    Not in grad school, much lower pressure. Even so last semester ended with three incompletes and a failure. Of course last semester, and this semester, I’m only in university for the health services anyway. Getting medical care: hard as fuck. Getting a student loan: easiest thing in the world. Getting mental health treatment through the university: easy. That said, failed the first time (ages ago), but then someone set me up with the best person there and now it’s working, agonizingly slowly and with some false starts, but working.

    At this point I could have graduated with two degrees and be in my second year of grad school assuming I didn’t wash out, by my priorities stopped being academic around the same time, “I could have graduated with two degrees,” became true. First I stayed for certain classes, now I’m staying for the medical care.

  • P J Evans

    That therapist shouldn’t be in that job. Maybe a different field entirely – because depression bloody well is real, and so is bipolar, and mania (a couple of my uncles had that), and, and, and.

  • hidden_urchin

    I’ve been thinking about sending a letter to the head of counseling services but I’m fairly certain nothing would come of it because for a change to happen SCS would have to take the word of a student who came in for counseling over that of a counselor with a PhD and he could just deny it. It’s not like he would say “Yeah, I told her that I thought she was just choosing to be unhappy despite seeing her health history” or “Yeah, I asked her if she thought she knew everything.” (That second one was a real WTF moment. I can think of no situation when you ask “You think you know everything?” and don’t mean to put a person on the defensive.)
    Anyway, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve got such a rough situation going on too. (Although it’s great that you’re moving forward and I hope you keep making progress.) Any system in which someone has to go to a university in order to get medical care is so unbelivably frakked up that it needs to be redesigned entirely, IMHO.

  • Lori

    I am so sorry that the therapist was worse than useless and that you are not going to be able to continue grad school. I know how hard that is. I wish there was something more useful that I could say or do.

  • hidden_urchin

    Thanks. I appreciate the support.

  • Darkrose

    First: I’m really sorry. That sucks, and that “therapist” needs to not be in that job.

    Second: Leaving grad school does not make you a failure. I say that as someone who, well, left grad school after a year and never went back.

    Third: At the top-tier research university where I work, the departments will usually try to work with students who have to take a leave of absence for any health reason, including mental health. The trick is figuring out who to talk to. I don’t know where you are, but at the very least I could try to do some websurfing to see if there’s a good contact person for you.

  • hidden_urchin

    Thanks so much. I’m talking with my grad advisor who’s always done his best to help me out but I don’t think a leave of absence will do much at this point because my GPA is so far gone. I really should have gone for it last semester but counseling services is the first step and, well, that didn’t work so well.

  • Monala

    I suffered some mild post-partum depression, and my ob/gyn had me consult with a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist concluded that I had situational depression rather than clinical depression. We had just been through what I called our “year from hell” in which I got pregnant (and ended up having a lot of complications and on bed rest for several months), my husband had emergency open heart surgery (meaning neither my husband nor I was able to work for months, so we had no idea how we would pay our bills), our car was totaled, several relatives including my father-in-law died, and several other family crises occurred. And of course I was flooded with hormonal changes, having just had a baby.

    Going through all that was enough to make anyone depressed, she pointed out. But, even though I was crying a lot and feeling overwhelmed about motherhood, I was sleeping well (to the extent you can with a newborn), I was eating well, and I wasn’t having any trouble getting out of bed and taking care of my baby. Given that, she said it didn’t sound like I had clinical depression. Her advice was for me to get as much rest as I could and to rely on other people as much as I could, and in time it would pass.

    So in a situation like mine, antidepressants weren’t needed. But that was a judgment for a psychiatrist to make.

  • other lori

    Yes. This is exactly what I was trying to get at. A lot of GPs, rather than making a referral, would have just written a prescription. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s also not a great thing, since it contributes to the idea that feeling sad after you have a baby is, in itself, a problem, and that therefore any woman who doesn’t automatically feel joyful and fulfilled after having a new baby has something wrong with her. And that just ramps up the pressure on new moms, and makes it more likely she’ll feel anxious or sad. So I think it can become this self-generating problem, and the kind of careful assessment your ob/gyn and the psychiatrist engaged in is exactly how these things should be approached.

  • hidden_urchin

    I think you’ve noted a big part of it. Medical and mental health professionals have to be both smart enough and humble enough to know what their limitations are and be willing to refer someone if necessary.
    If they can’t refer someone due to lack of access or their patient being unable to afford a specialist then they had better be willing to hit the literature to make sure they’ve got it right. Anything else is just being irresponsible with a very powerful technology.

  • smrnda

    Thought I posted before but it didn’t go through…

    I have schizo-affective disorder and have had severe mania phases, along with visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. Once I was put on the right meds, everything got fixed. No time spent in therapy or sorting out issues even – simply swapping out one med did the whole job. On top of that, no spiritual anythings, and I had plenty of social support before.

    If I had to guess a reason for the hostility towards psychiatry or using medication to treat mood disorders (psychotic disorders are a whole other beast) it’s that many Christian sects denounce not just actions but certain emotions as evil. If you admit people aren’t in control of their emotions, you can’t keep condemning them morally for how they feel, and a whole theology of everyone as willfully doing wrong has to be pitched out the window. Once you can’t blame people for something you used to say was a willful sin, you have to re-examine other points.

  • http://profiles.google.com/vlowe7294 Vaughn Lowe

    I wish in the church we could be free enough to talk about such things. Unfortunately we’re only allowed too after we’re “fixed.” Then we can talk about how wonderful Jesus is and that he “saved” me from my bipolar, my alcoholism, my schizophrenia, or whatnot. Before, though, we can’t bring it up, because it reflects badly on the church. I wish we could all be real enough, so that I could confess to the small group that sometimes I sit at home, trying to justify my next breath, and think about opening up a vein.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m sorry.

    Would it be doable to find a different church? Not all of them are like that…

  • Trixie_Belden

    I’m sorry to hear you’re going through that. If you don’t feel that you can confess these feelings to the small group, could you find someone else, some other group, that you could talk to?

  • other lori

    That was a silly article, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge that antipathy to psychiatric medication isn’t either endemic to or unique to religious believers.

    Many people, religious or not, see taking a medication for a psychiatric illness to be a sign of weakness. Some of the most “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” people I know are atheists. Gender also seems to play a big role in this, with men being more reluctant to both admit to mental illness and to seek treatment for it, which likely has to do with cultural ideas about masculinity that transcend religious belief and affiliation.

    I also know a lot of people within religious communities who have worked and are currently working to better address these issues. Many Christians are fully supportive of people using psychiatric medications and encourage people to acknowledge and seek treatment for mental illness.

    One thing to remember, I think, is that mental illness can be baffling even to the person suffering from it, in a way that physical illnesses like diabetes aren’t. Even with diabetes, though, how many people would tell people with Type II diabetes that it’s their own fault for being fat lazy gluttons, and that they should be able to control their illness through diet and exercise rather than taking medication? If the internet is any indication, a whole lot, many non-religious folks on the political left.

    So it’s certainly not that only conservative Christians are responsible for blaming people for illnesses, or who think that individuals should be able to cure any problem they have through sheer force of will. We are a culture that loves to find the blame for people’s problems on personal moral failings even when the evidence doesn’t support that–as is the case for both mental illness and adult-onset diabetes. We consider a whole host of problems that we know have significant genetic and environmental components outside of the sufferer’s control–mental illness, alcoholism, obesity, ADHD, stuttering, diabetes, high blood pressure, to name just a few common ones–to be the fault of the person affected, and which problems we blame on genes and which we blame on moral failures tends to come down to our place on the political spectrum, but people at all places do it.

  • other lori

    I just want to throw a genuine question out there: Is it possible that anti-depressants are being over-prescribed, especially to women, and that some doctors are defining sadness and anxiety that is a valid, non-pathological response to distressing circumstances as an individual disorder, because it’s just easier to deal with that way?

    I mentioned this in a reply below, but a good friend of mine broke down crying in her doctor’s office once. Her boyfriend of seven years had just left her, her grandfather had died the previous day, and she was overwhelmed at work. When her doctor asked her, at her yearly check-up, how she was doing, that was it. She just broke down. And, rather than acknowledging that those are indeed really hard circumstances and that her sadness was totally normal, her doctor offered her a prescription for Prozac. My friend happens to be a clinical psychologist, so she knew what she was experiencing was a normal adjustment to hard circumstances, and turned her doctor down. But I imagine that a woman with less training or less self-assurance might believe that, in fact, she was suffering from depression rather than feeling normal, legitimate pain. It can be easier sometimes to write a prescription than to acknowledge that life can hurt. The woman who breaks down in her doctor’s office might indeed be suffering from clinical depression, but she also might have just had a really, really hard day (or week, or month). Sometimes doctors can be too quick to jump to writing a prescription.

    I am totally in favor of medications for mental illness. I do think, though, that we do sometimes pathologize normal sadness and normal worry, and I don’t think that’s very helpful. In the situation the author was talking about, it can be hard to tell. Having a baby is a big adjustment, and you are very hormonal, and often incredibly sleep-deprived. Sadness and worry you feel during that time might be a perfectly normal response to a new and difficult situation that will naturally pass (or, as in the author’s case, what happens when one’s unrealistic expectations meet reality), or it might be a sign of a serious case of PPD that would be greatly helped by use of an SSRI.

    I don’t want to see people who are suffering from clinical depression or anxiety disorders told to just suck it up. Medication can be incredibly helpful in those cases. But I also don’t want to see people, especially women, told that if they don’t feel happy and carefree and fulfilled all the time, no matter how difficult (like having a newborn baby) or unjust (like having all of the responsibility for caring for the home and children placed on them) the situation they find themselves in might be, that it’s because of some individual pathology.

    Life is just complicated. Sometimes you are sad or worried because parts of life just naturally lead to that, and you do need to ride it out and may indeed gain some wisdom through going through it. Sometimes you are sad or worried because of injustice that needs to be addressed on a societal or institutional level. And sometimes you are sad or worried because you are suffering from a mental illness that requires treatment, including medication. There’s no one-size-fits all model.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    It’s possible that they’re overprescribed, but many people who need them aren’t getting them, for various reasons, including the crap in the articles linked at the top, or the comments by that troll. And a lot of people don’t even have regular doctors (never mind a psychiatrist).

  • other lori

    And access to quality mental health care is a huge, huge issue. A person is going to be a much better diagnosis and treatment plan from a mental health provider than from a GP, but many people do have to rely on their GPs, who have far less training in distinguishing normal adjustments from mental illnesses. And, as you note, many people lack any access to regular health care at all.

    I don’t think that problem is solved, though, by ignoring that there has been a long history of attributing women’s problems to individual pathology instead of their circumstances, just as there has been a long history of blaming mental illness on individual weakness or moral failure rather than biological/environmental factors beyond a person’s control.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    My theory, because I’m apparently a naive fool who wants to think the best of people, is that while the chemical perspective is excessively leaned on nowadays, part of it is because the clinicians know that the alternative (rigorous psychoanalysis, behavior and cognitive modification, etc) are untenable due to the high cost per visit, the unlikelihood of insurance cooperation and the time expenditure.

  • other lori

    But you seem to be talking about clinical depression and anxiety disorders, in which case I agree that medication, for a variety of reasons, can be the best alternative. Psychoanalysis has no research to back it as working, and CBT alone can be very, very difficult and time consuming. Certainly in the case of diagnosed clinical depression or anxiety disorders, I’d be the first to say that SSRIs should be offered, if the patient is willing, as the first line of therapeutic intervention.

    I’m talking more about the idea that women have no right to be unhappy, and if they are, it’s because something is wrong with them, not because of their circumstances.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Psychoanalysis has evolved a bit since Freud (who I agree was kind of a kook). Nowadays it’s more of a “talk it out” therapy. It’s not incredibly useful for things like bipolar disorder, but the more professional practioners are like… professionally trained friends. Sometimes just a great deal of care, attention and a neutral atmosphere can help a lot. I tend to see it paired along with cognitive and behaviorial therapy as a one-two punch: “If you know why and under what circumstances you feel this way, then it’s that much easier to avoid these circumstances or curtail the feelings before they become overwhelming.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Forgot where I was going with that. XD (It’s 9 AM. My braining is not so good yet.)

    I think what it boils down to for some clinicians is knowing they won’t be allowed to spend the time and money it takes to more seriously address an issue. If you know you’ve only got a patient for half an hour this year, would you rather spend that half-hour just barely getting to know them, or prescribe something that can continue to have effectiveness after they leave the office? It’s not ideal, but there aren’t many alternatives when working with people who don’t have huge amounts of disposable income…

  • Lori

    That’s not naive, that’s basically true.

  • Lori

    Of course there are some doctors who prescribe anti-depressants when they should not. I personally don’t think GPs should be allowed to prescribe them, but getting that rule passed would be basically impossible with our current insurance nightmare.

    The thing is there are also doctors who prescribe antibiotics when they should not and yet you don’t see a lot of people arguing that no one should take antibiotics.

  • other lori

    I’m not sure that the author was arguing that nobody should take them. I think she was just conflating her own circumstances with the circumstances of everybody who is diagnosed with depression. She was probably just having a period of normal postpartum adjustment, and she assumes that others who are diagnosed with depression are also probably going through a period of normal adjustment.

    She’s most likely wrong. Most diagnoses of clinical depression are no doubt correct. But she’s probably not wrong in noting that some people, particularly GPs who have limited training, may mistake normal adjustment for mental illness, and that accurate diagnosis is absolutely essential, because taking medications to get through normal adjustments may not always be the best idea.

    I just hesitate to pathologize things that might better be addressed in other ways. Perhaps more women are feeling depressed and anxious not because depression and anxiety are on the rise or are even being better diagnosed, but because the family and economic pressures on women can be extremely difficult to bear. I know a whole lot of people, myself included, who have a great deal of stress and anxiety around finances, but handing out Xanax would be a far less productive way to address the problem than actual system-wide economic changes. That’s why it is so important to distinguish between clinical problems (for which medication can often be a cure, and in which the symptoms are the problem) and circumstantial problems, where medication might be helpful in the short-term for some people but either the situation will pass (like with normal postpartum adjustments) or other changes need to occur (like with stress and anxiety over financial difficulties due to un/underemployment and other economic stresses).

    Or, maybe, the enemy of our enemy is not our friend. The pharmaceutical industry has provided some very helpful treatments for a variety of diseases and disorders, but it’s still a for-profit business that needs to be looked at critically.

  • Lori

    I’m not disagreeing with you. My point was that the general discussion about mental illness tends to bring out a lot of ignorance and unreasonable claims. This thread providing a couple of prime examples.

    The fact that a medication is sometimes misused or that it’s created by a self-interested industry is reason to be careful with it. It’s not a reason to dismiss it, or act like the only people who are in favor of its use are self-interested or ill-informed. That’s what we’ve been seeing too much of in this thread and in general and that’s what I’m arguing against.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.k.hetrick Dan Hetrick

    I would love to have my meds prescribed to me by a psychiatric professional rather than my GP. However, I don’t have medical insurance, and I’m unemployed. Many psychiatrists don’t take health insurance, anyway, and cost much, much more money to visit than a GP. For example, the last time I tried to see a psychiatrist, he wanted $935 up-front for my first visit (which was to last 15 minutes). My GP, on the other hand, charges $75 for a visit, which is a lot easier for me to scrape together than $935. My GP contacted my therapist, and talked to her at length about the medication I would like to take (I’ve been doing this long enough now that I know which meds work for me wand which ones don’t), and now he’s my primary source for medication. (My therapist cannot write scripts; the only reason why I’m still seeing her twice a week is because she treats me for free)

    Overall, I agree that some GPs over-prescribe drugs of all sorts, from tranquilizers to anti-depressants to antibiotics. However, for a lot of people with low income, they’re the only choice they’ve got for medical treatment.

  • Lori

    This is exactly what I meant by “insurance nightmare”. I am so sorry you’re caught in it and I wish that we had a better system.

  • Darkrose

    I don’t mind my GP prescribing my meds, but I can definitely see the argument for them not doing so. I’ve always found that my GP has a better idea what’s going on with me than the med doctor I see every few months for 5 minutes.

  • Bethany

    This also depends on location: the town I live in has a psychiatrist shortage — if GPs didn’t give antidepressants, no one would get them.

    There’s also at least one GP in town who specializes in “psychiatry in general practice” — he’s not a psychiatrist but knows more about psychiatry than the average GP and sees a lot patients for problems like depression and ADHD (see: psychiatrist shortage, above).

    Which seems quite reasonable to me: you probably don’t need to be a psychiatrist to deal with more garden-variety depression or ADHD cases, where the problem is straightforward and the patient is responding well to medications, leaving psychiatrists free to deal with more unusual disorders or more treatment-resistant cases.

  • other lori

    I think management and diagnosis are two different things. I have no problem with a GP managing the treatment of common disorders, but I’m not sure GPs should be the ones diagnosing, especially when it’s not uncommon to hear stories of people being offered psychiatric medications from a GP after a single visit where they expressed sadness or worry. I love my son’s pediatrician, but I wouldn’t trust her to diagnosis him with ADHD or autism or depression, and if she had any concerns about those things, I’d expect a referral to a person specifically trained to do that sort of assessment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Absolutely agreed that some people, including health care professionals, sometimes pathologize ordinary life experiences. And I don’t think you would deny that some people, including health care professionals, sometimes deny the presence of pathologies and insist on treating them as ordinary life experiences.

    Which means what’s needed is some kind of framework for what to do when faced with a situation that might or might not be pathological.

    My own approach to these kinds of situations is to enthusiastically embrace the idea that (a) tools are useful, and (b) medicine is one of a number of useful tools. Deciding to use a hammer rather than banging nails with my palm doesn’t require classifying my soft, easily damaged palm as some kind of illness, it simply requires acknowledging that it is inadequate for the task at hand.

    Deciding to take antidepressants or other medication to supplement my natural mood-management or other mental capabilities can be equally straightforward. The fact that my culture turns it into the kind of ideological struggle we’re seeing here is an unfortunate fact about my culture, which is deeply confused about its notions of purity.

    That said, unfortunate or not, it is a fact about my culture, and that means that some people will be attacked as unnatural or tainted or otherwise wrong for their choice to supplement their natural capabilities with artificial aids, and others will be attacked as prudish or superstitious or otherwise wrong for their choice not to.

    I don’t have a better answer than to avoid attacking people for their choices.

  • other lori

    I completely agree about not attacking people for their choices, and that medication can be a useful tool.

    I do think, though, that it’s not just ideas like the one expressed in the article linked to that make it hard to make a straightforward choice. The fact that the pharmaceutical industry is a for-profit business generating hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and one that markets directly to consumers and courts GPs, also can make these decisions harder or more confusing than they’d otherwise be.

    It does seem that, to some extent, part of the way the pharmaceutical industry has grown itself is by redefining normal life experiences or changes as pathologies requiring treatment. And I do think there is wisdom in not simply accepting that assessment, any more than we’d uncritically accept the claims used to sell any other product (no matter how useful or necessary that product might be in the right circumstances).

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Again, I agree that there’s wisdom in not redefining normal life experiences or changes as pathologies requiring treatment, but I wholeheartedly embrace the usefulness of tools.

    Consequently, I can endorse not pathologizing normal experience while at the same time endorsing the use of antidepressents when they’re useful.

    By way of analogy, the automotive industry is unquestionably engaged in the process of convincing people that our natural locomotive abilities are inadequate for various day-to-day tasks, and in part as a consequence of that we create environments in which our natural locomotive abilities genuinely are inadequate for various day-to-day tasks. I don’t in the least doubt this.

    But I don’t endorse giving up cars. Cars are useful, and I endorse the use of cars when they’re useful, even though my legs are not in any sense pathological.

    Cars also have unfortunate side-effects, especially when used carelessly (e.g. traffic fatalities) but also when used as recommended (e.g., pollution). I therefore endorse mitigating those side-effects, reducing various causes of careless driving, installing safety features in cars, etc.

    But I still don’t endorse giving up cars.

  • other lori

    I don’t endorse giving up cars, either. But, it’s good to consider, in any given circumstance, whether driving is necessary. If I’m going to another state, sure. If I’m travelling to do my weekly grocery shopping, probably. If I’m headed to the branch library 2 blocks away, not so much, unless the weather is really, really bad. And certainly we might have reasons, as a culture, to discourage driving in instances where walking would be very easy, so that we aren’t a culture that decides that if we’re travelling more than a block, we’re going to take the car.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Sure, we might.

    Conversely, if I live in a culture where I see people around me frequently making judgments of other people’s driving behavior on ideological grounds, without paying any real attention to their individual situations, I might choose to counter this tendency by loudly encouraging people to make their own driving decisions and interfering with such ideological interventions.

    In the same spirit, I encourage people to make their own decisions about psychiatric care, and about what artificial tools they choose to use as part of that care. And I reject attempts to discourage (in the absence of clear harm) people from choosing to use such tools, just as I reject attempts to discourage (in the absence of clear harm) people from choosing to reject such tools for themselves.

  • Bethany

    Eh, I don’t know.

    If I’m tense it’s completely normal to get a headache. My headache is not pathological at all. But I still take Tylenol when I get a non-pathological headache. Would it be better if I didn’t have the stress that’s causing the tension that’s causing the headache? Sure, but that’s not always realistically possible.

    If I have a cold it’s completely normal to get a stuffy nose. I don’t need to take any Sudafed, the stuffy nose will go away on its own when I get over the cold. But it sure makes me feel better in the meantime.

    Sometimes people are indeed sad or worried because of a societal injustice, but if an antidepressant helps, I’m not going to be the one to tell them that they shouldn’t take an antidepressant because if a societal injustice were fixed, they wouldn’t be sad, particularly given that the societal injustice is unlikely to be fixed.

  • other lori

    Tylenol has fewer side effects than many SSRIs, though, and isn’t a long-term medication the way SSRIs are. As somebody who has taken SSRIs for many years, I know how difficult it is to get off, and that many people, once they start taking them, may need to take them for life. And, that’s totally fine, if you have a chronic problem. But I’m not sure it’s the best choice for a non-chronic problem.

    I just am a bit troubled by how people seem to be ignoring the influence of pharmaceutical industry marketing on both doctors and patients, and the ways in which we’re increasingly told that normal responses are abnormal, and how doing that actually makes those normal responses harder to deal with. For chronic or severe problems, pharmaceutical intervention may indeed be a great option. But, I do have a problem with treating all sadness or worry like a headache, because in some ways it just seem to be a way for a compassionless society to ignore people’s pain. If you lose a loved one, you are entitled to your grief. You are entitled to your sadness. If you have a new baby, you are allowed to feel overwhelmed and sad and scared, and you don’t have to suck it up and shut up just because all your friends on FB don’t care about you or your stupid baby. You should not have to take a pill to make it go away so that nobody has to deal with your pain, with your life.

    Last year, my husband was very, very ill. Like, three-weeks-in-the-hospital-and-they-thought-he-was-going-to-die ill. I have three kids, and last year while this was happening two of them were under two. I was a wreck. I have panic disorder, so I am used to anxiety, but the fear and worry I felt in this situation was totally different. And I cried and I raged and I felt more anguish than I’d ever felt. And I was so fortunate that I had friends who were willing to be with me in that.

    When I look back on how I became close with the people I’m close with, it’s because they walked with me through situations like that, or I walked with them through hard times. It’s because we shared each other’s pain. When I think of the people I really consider my good friends, it’s the people who’ve called me hysterical at 3 a.m. when they realized a month after their husband left that he is gone for good, or who I could do the same with. There’s nothing especially noble or purifying about pain, but I do think that our deepest relationships, with other people and, if you are so inclined, yes with God too, can come out of those painful experiences.

    And of course for some people those experiences lead to responses that make it very difficult for them to function at all, or cause them to be a danger to themselves or others. Again, in those cases, medication is probably a wonderful option. But, we need to acknowledge as a society that it is okay to feel sad, it’s okay to feel scared, and it’s okay to let other people know you feel those things. You don’t have to sacrifice your inner life to the corporate machine that needs you to show up for work every day ready to put your thoughts and feelings aside so you can make somebody else a profit. You shouldn’t have to have it all together six weeks after your baby is born because that’s when your maternity leave is up. And, sure, a pill might make that easier, but it’s no substitute for being a society that actually cares about people and gives them space to be human.

  • Bethany

    PSA: Tylenol is actually the most common cause of acute liver failure in the US. Turns out the difference between the recommended dose and a potentially fatal overdose is comparatively small. Never take more than 4000 mg a day, check your cold medications to see if they have acetaminophen in them, and be especially careful with liquid formulations for children, since the concentrations can vary. The more you know! ;-)

    But OK, how about NSAIDs like Advil? Those are often taken chronically, are apparently believed to be overprescribed, and according to Wikipedia the side effects kill 16,500 people a year in the US. But we don’t talk about overprescribing NSAIDs the way we talk about overprescribing antidepressants. To the extent we talk about it at all, we talk about it in medical terms: “Long-term NSAID use can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, which is bad.” We don’t tend talk about it in philosophical terms about the legitimacy of using medication to treat physcial pain. And I don’t think anyone would tell a woman who was taking Advil for menstrual cramps that menstruation isn’t pathological and that people are always telling women they’re not allowed to feel sick but that she’s entitled to her pain.

    I mean, I suspect you’re right that in many if not most cases situational depression would be better treated with therapy than with drugs. But again, we can make that argument from efficacy grounds, rather than debating whether it’s legitimate to seek treatment for one’s pain in the first place. And given that situational depression can lead to clinical depression and can sometimes be fatal, I wouldn’t want to discourage people with situational depression from seeking help.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Not too long ago, I learned that one of the major brands of acetaminophen in the UK actually comes pre-mixed with a counter-agent to keep you from killing yourself.

  • Darkrose

    One of my best friends is a filmmaker. One of her first projects was a short film about a black woman going to therapy for the first time. The line that always stuck with me is when she tells her therapist, “We don’t go to therapy; we’re supposed to take our problems to Jesus.”

    That attitude has done so much harm in general, and to me personally, that I start grinding my teeth whenever I hear it. It was certainly the subtext of my mother’s constant concern trolling about my weight whenever I pointed out that the only way I was going to lose the weight I put on after going on SSRI’s was to go off the SSRI’s.

    Part of the problem is the misconception that clinical depression is the same thing as having a couple of days when you’re feeling a little down. It’s not. It’s a disease.

    All of that said, I’m not sure the diabetes analogy is a good one–at least if you have Type 2–because there’s strong undercurrent that diabetes is a result of your being fat, and if you’d just eat less and exercise more and not be such a fatty mcfatterson, you wouldn’t need the insulin.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Oh, hey, I know that film! That’s Running on Eggshells, isn’t it?

  • Darkrose

    Yes!!! How did you know that?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I think I caught it at a film festival a few years back. Google-fu tells me it also saw some television time in 2007. It might even have been while I was in college — instructors tended to record and show short films to illustrate various points.

    (My memory is terrible, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a personal meeting anywhere, although I did live around the Ann Arbor area for awhile where I see she got a B.A. from the University of Michigan.)

  • Michael Pullmann

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve prayed for deliverance from my depression. My meds are the only answer I’ve ever gotten.

  • axelbeingcivil

    I hate to be the one to say it, but “pious jackasses” DO sit around contemplating that sort of bullshit; they’re called Christian Scientists, you reference them in this article, and children regularly die because of their brand of neglect.

  • Just Sayin’

    Too
    many people taking antidepressants? A generation of “Prozac children” raised on
    the promise of on-demand happiness? Antidepressants
    responsible for hundreds of unnecessary deaths each year? Can it really be
    true? Worth finding out? Or do *those* lives not matter?

    Find
    out here, if you care:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rr377

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Not so very long ago, people were adamant that Dungeons & Dragons caused kids to commit suicide in Satanic rituals which involved summoning up demons through magic spells they learned in the manuals.

    Ooh, a television program! Completely unlike the programs which prove that ancient man had encounters with aliens all the time, the programs which prove that a race of lizard people have taken the place of numerous government leaders around the world and the BBC program about homeopathic remedies where a tincture of rosemary and sage tea can reverse the effects of lordosis.

    If it’s on television, it must be true!

    This is what I’m going to think of every time you post a link now. Congratulations.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, there are silly beliefs around, plenty of them. Your point? Your dismissal of Professor Self says all I need to know about your views on this topic.

  • Just Sayin’

    People who undergo “talking treatments” for a year are just as likely to feel better as those on antidepressants. Source: Royal College of Psychiatrists.

    Hmmm… interesting, eh? Food for thought, for some of us at least.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    There are a number of effective talking treatments for depression. Counselling is useful in mild depression. Problem solving techniques can help where the depression has been caused by difficulties in life. — Source: Royal College of Psychiatrists

    Notice they specify “mild depression … caused by difficulties in life.” Not all depression has a specific cause. In severe clinical depression, talking treatment is signficantly less effective because the patient often doesn’t know why they feel so horrible, so there aren’t any specific thoughts or triggers for them to proactively deal with.

    “Recent studies have suggested that over a period of a year, many of these psychotherapies are as effective as antidepressants. It is generally accepted that antidepressants work faster (see references). Some studies suggest that it is best to combine antidepressants and psychotherapy. Unfortunately some of these therapies are not readily available within the NHS in some parts of the country.” — Source: Royal College of Psychiatrists

    This explains why antidepressants are used over those treatments. This is especially true of the United States where treatment is very costly and not always covered by insurance (for those who have insurance).

  • Just Sayin’

    And then there are the side effects . . .

  • Just Sayin’

    “There was this whole idea that Prozac made you better – well, I wasn’t sure,” says Joanna Moncrieff, now a senior clinical lecturer in neuroscience at University College London and author of forthcoming book The Bitterest Pills.

    Moncrieff worked for years with patients in a 22-bed ward at a Brentwood mental hospital. “I spent a lot of time in the ward reducing medication,” she says. “The staff called me The Slasher.”

    Not everybody should be taking medication, she says. “A hundred years ago if you didn’t feel good, you wouldn’t have expected it to be eliminated.”

    Source: BBC

  • Just Sayin’

    A major new study that tracked more than 12,000 Canadians over a period of 14 years has found that regular attendance of religious service offers significant protection against depression. Source: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

    Hmmm . . . more food for thought . . . for some of us (those with an open mind).

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re advocating CHURCH as medication for DEPRESSION?

    You do realize that church is, for lots and lots of depressed people, one of the things that causes or worsens depression? What with the whole ‘women aren’t as capable as men’ and ‘LGBT people are inferior’ and this that the other thing that too many churches do.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, I’m citing an example of the latest scientific research. Don’t shoot the messenger. If you disagree, take it up with the researchers at the appropriate university research faculty.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Didn’t you just say not to trust experts?

  • Just Sayin’

    No, I said having blind faith in doctors can have unfortunate consequences.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Like the unfortunate consequences that will ensue if I listen to you and go off my meds?

  • Just Sayin’

    Once again, you’re a complete stranger to me and I have no advice for you whatsoever. It’s a general discussion, it’s not about you, or me (though many seem obsessed with personally attacking me).

  • EllieMurasaki

    I TAKE ANTIDEPRESSANTS. ANY DISCUSSION OF WHETHER ANTIDEPRESSANTS SHOULD BE TAKEN IS THEREFORE ABOUT ME.

  • Just Sayin’

    There’s no need to shout. No, I’m not discussing you at all. How could I be — you’re a complete stranger to me. I’ve been trying to have a general discussion about psychotropic drugs, not any individuals who take them.

    And, of course, when discussing, one cannot generalise from the particular i.e. one’s personal experience. That’s simply a logical fallacy, because it is only your experience and not anyone else’s.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’m pretty sure “my life literally depends on this” is a reasonable argument to make when discussing the positive effects of something.

    (Anticipated reply: “Who are you to declare whether an argument is reasonable or not? Let’s see your credentials.”)

    And this is why you’re a troll.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, let’s generalise from one unknown individual’s anecdotal evidence. That’s the scientific way. Not!

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Oh, so you only care about scientific contributions now? What happened to Hitchens not needing medical credentials to give his opinion?

  • Just Sayin’

    I care about calls for further scientific study, which is what Hitchens and others, such as Professor Self, are calling for.

    Now, do you want to discuss the topic or play more “catch me out”?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Studies are happening. Studies are constantly on-going. I can even personally tell you that the last study I scanned tested 2200 people and about 4% of them reported suicidal thoughts or urges. Of those, most, if not all had already been having suicidal thoughts or urges prior to the testing — they had all been diagnosed with MDD. A few attempted suicide*, none completed it, at a rate of twice that of the placebos. No one’s denied that this happens. What has been contested is where the attempt stems from.

    * For research purposes, “attempts” are taken at face value as being a genuine attempt to kill oneself, regardless of how likely that is to be successful or in what stage of the attempt the patient is found (e.g., for all intents and purposes, a person simply holding a knife and saying they want to die is a suicide attempt).

  • Just Sayin’

    The well-known suicide correlation isn’t the only concern, of course, as you’d know if you’d clicked on any of the links.

  • Just Sayin’

    Now do you have anything to offer aside from name-calling?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Besides the informed opinion of someone with the credentials to work in the field of mental health? Absolutely nothing.

  • Just Sayin’

    Informed opinion is ten a penny. What’s needed is more scientific research into the dangers of antidepressants. Of course, one needs an open mind to the necessity of such research in the first place. The big pharmaceutical companies sure won’t do it, it’s not in their financial interest.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Such as… the National Institute of Mental Health? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16390887/

  • Just Sayin’

    31 million prescriptions for antidepressants issued in the UK alone back in 2006. Probably increased by millions more by now. Food for thought, for some of us . . .

  • EllieMurasaki

    DON’T YOU FUCKING TONE-ARGUMENT ME.

    YES THERE IS A NEED TO SHOUT. YOU DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYTHING SOFTER.

    HOW IN FUCK IS IT POSSIBLE TO DISCUSS ANTIDEPRESSANTS WITHOUT DISCUSSING THE PEOPLE WHO TAKE THEM.

    IF YOU HAD BEEN LISTENING TO THE CALMLY SPOKEN STUFF, YOU WOULD KNOW THAT MY EXPERIENCE IS QUITE COMMON.

  • Just Sayin’

    I think you should calm down and stop shouting and swearing. It’s not doing your side of the debate any good. Then again, maybe it is.

  • AnonaMiss

    What about blind faith in sensationalistic pop science news articles?

  • Just Sayin’

    Looks like I have another stalker.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    “Our research group is not the only one to report such findings. In our systematic review of research conducted between 1872 and 2010, we identified 444 studies that quantitatively examined relationships between religious involvement and depression. Of those objective scientific studies, 272 (61%) found that those who were more religious experienced less depression, recovered faster from depression, or experienced a reduction in depression severity in response to a religious or spiritual intervention. In contrast, only 6% reported greater depression in those who were more religious. Of the 178 best-designed and most rigorous studies, 119 (67%) found inverse relationships between religious involvement and depression.” – CatholicExchange.com

    6%? Clearly depression is a risky side-effect of religion. This requires further study.

  • Just Sayin’

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/?pagination=false#

    Food for thought, for some who are interested in genuine exploration of this topic. Now, I’m waiting for your curt dismissal of this too, probably with some analogy about rocket engines.

  • Lori

    You’re moving the goal posts. Your first “contributions” to this thread were about anti-depressants and suicide risk. Now you’ve moved on to complaints about the population as a whole being over-medicated and general problems with psychiatry. These are separate issues.

    At least you’re now coming closer to being honest about your agenda, so I guess that’s progress of a sort. This isn’t really a proper forum for a reasoned discussion of the pros and cons of the current practice of psychiatry. That’s not really a problem though since I don’t believe for a minute that you actually want to have one. You’re not open-minded. You clearly have an agenda and you’re trying to push it without having to take any responsibility for it. That kind of dishonesty and intellectual cowardice really aren’t worth anyone’s time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    > That kind of dishonesty and intellectual cowardice really aren’t worth anyone’s time.

    And yet.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, my first links were about other correlations with antidepressants aside from just the commonly known suicide one. Seems no one’s bothered to read them before shooting from the hip.

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes, I know this isn’t a proper forum. That’s what I posted a link for anyone interested. Seems that constituted some sort of thought-crime for some responders!

  • Just Sayin’

    You don’t know me from Adam so you can’t possibly assess my inner motives and whether I’m opened minded or not. In any case, this discussion is not about me, or shouldn’t be, though bizarrely it seems it’s all that you and the great majority of the pro-anti folk here want to post about!

    But if you really think it isn’t worth your time then stop giving it your time.

  • AnonaMiss

    If we can’t assess your motives, why should we believe anything you say?

  • Just Sayin’

    Please go away, this isn’t about me.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    Yes, please *do* go away. Troll. Boring troll, you are.

    You have no business telling the rest of us to ‘go away’ or to stop stalking you, since YOU’RE the one doing that.

  • Just Sayin’

    Thanks for that ad hominem. I’ll add it to the mountain already received from the rest of the pro-anti mob.

  • Dragoness Eclectic

    Seriously, why are we feeding the fucking troll? The infrapont has apparently taken “Derailing for Dummies” as some kind of manual, because he sure is applying it.

  • AnonaMiss

    Well I’m having fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    I ask this question (non-rhetorically) from time to time.

    What I’ve been told in response is that several folks here either reject the theory that not-responding to trolls reduces their net contributions (typically equating this to the “just ignore the bullies and they’ll leave you alone” advice given to kids abused by their peers), or prefer to engage with trolls rather than encourage them to go away because it leaves the troll better off (e.g. by giving the troll an opportunity to learn better), or get emotional satisfaction from engaging with trolls which they consider sufficient reason to do it, or believe it’s important to respond to trolls to demonstrate to third parties that the trolls’ positions don’t represent the site’s positions (though I haven’t gotten that answer since the introduction of downvotes, so I’m not sure if it’s still represented).

    Or various combinations of these positions, of course; they aren’t mutually exclusive.

  • spaige

    Does the study provide a causal argument for service attendance preventing depression, rather than the other way around: people who are depressed don’t have the energy to attend a religious service regularly, or find its messaging incompatible with their emotional state?

    For that matter, does it show that religion is more effective than any other kind of routine (say, exercise?)

    I’d look these up myself, but just providing a journal name without a title or authors is not a helpful cite.

  • Just Sayin’

    C’mon, Google and it will instantly come up.

  • Lori

    So now you can’t even be bother to link? You just drop these things and blather about having an open mind, while demonstrating no such thing yourself. Your contribution here is truly of awesome value. However did we get along before you graced us with your presence?

  • EllieMurasaki

    If we had open minds, we would agree with this person. Obviously.

    Fuck that noise, anyway. I’m unsubscribing this thread now–for maybe the second or third time in the history of Slacktivist on Patheos, where I subscribe to every thread but the music ones–and hopefully I’ll calm down soon.

  • Just Sayin’

    I’ve already linked several times. Have you been bothered to read any of them?

  • spaige

    No, Just Sayin’, if you Google for it you’ll get a news article that you cut and pasted your original comment from, not the actual paper. That’s different, and much less useful for discussing the study’s results.

    If anyone else is interested, here’s the PubMed link, but if the full text is available anywhere whithout a journal subscription, I can’t find it.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23547646

    (And for good measure, here’s a study that supports the reverse hypothesis that depressed people drop out of church: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760666)

  • Just Sayin’

    No, Google and you’ll find the source, which is what I said. You didn’t seem to have much trouble finding it!

  • LoneWolf343

    If you make people go hunting for your sources, it makes people suspect that you have something to hide.

  • Just Sayin’

    Googling is not hunting, most internet users know how to do it.

  • LoneWolf343

    Okay, now I know you’re trolling, because nobody can be this stupid.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, now you’re obsessing about some trivial point, hoping to point score, and have abandoned any pretense about discussing psychotropic drugs.

  • AnonaMiss

    Telling someone to google for the sources to support a position that you brought up is poor manners. I’m sure you would rather not be ill-mannered, since poor manners seem to bother you so much (refusal to answer a question if it has even one swear word in it not even directed at you, etc).

  • Just Sayin’

    And stalking me is super-dooper manners? Have you anything to contribute to the discussion of antidepressants?

  • AnonaMiss

    You’re the one who cares about manners, not me. I just brought it up because I was sure you would want to avoid being ill-mannered.

    Though if you don’t actually care about manners, that puts your refusal to address the point of any comment containing a swear word in a completely different light, hmm? Almost as if you were pretending to be outraged about the vulgarity when really, you just wanted to sidestep the point being made…

  • Just Sayin’

    You’re proud that you don’t care about basic manners? You have no regard for civil discourse in other words. That says a lot.

  • AnonaMiss

    If “civil discourse” means the substance of my argument can be ignored because I used – gasp! – a swear word, then no, I have no regard for it at all.

  • Just Sayin’

    Coarse behaviour usually reflects coarse arguments (if any at all).

  • AnonaMiss

    That’s pretty classist of you.

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s comments like this that give internet forums a bad reputation. Plus inveterate coarseness and vulgarity.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    Plus trolls like you, coming in and derailing conversations with *extremely* rude behavior.
    But you’d rather not have it pointed out that you’re *extremely* rude.

  • Just Sayin’

    Looks like I’ve attracted yet another pro-anti stalker with nothing to contribute except ad hominem and personal insults.

  • Just Sayin’
  • Just Sayin’

    UK barrister Mark Saunders was taking antidepressant pills for months before he decided to have his Chelsea gun battle with the police. Look at almost every such incident, anywhere in the world, from Columbine High School to Finland, and there they’ll be. Some of us wonder about that and want more research into this correlation. Some don’t.

  • AnonaMiss

    Tuberculosis deaths in Arizona

  • Just Sayin’

    What about them? What’s this got to do with the topic of this thread?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    As someone said earlier on this thread: there are a lot of tuberculosis deaths in Arizona per capita. This is because Arizona’s climate is very good for tuberculosis, so tuberculosis sufferers go there.

    AnonaMiss is suggesting that, similarly, one plausible explanation for antidepressants correlating with various behaviors is that antidepressants get prescribed to depressed people, who disproportionately perform those behaviors.

    Please note that I’m simply answering your question about what AnonaMiss was trying to express, because asking an actual question to which you might actually want the answer is a behavior I want to reward, unlike practically everything else on this thread.

  • Just Sayin’

    This thread is supposed to be about psychotropic drugs, not TB or any other red herring. Some just can’t stay on topic. But what else is new?

  • Lori

    The fact that you apparently aren’t smart enough to follow the argument being presented doesn’t make the argument a red herring.

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s not about me, it’s about antidepressants. Want to discuss them? Or not?

  • Lori

    Discuss them with someone who has an agenda, can’t understand research and can’t or won’t understand logic? Not.

  • Just Sayin’

    Okay, feel free to stop posting.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Apropos of nothing!: I should try and talk you into doing something incredibly foolish like crossing the state line and having lunch with a complete stranger. I’ll be in Michigan for the next couple of weeks. :p

    Hey, you already know I’m a sociopath, so you have the advantage of me. I’d have to find out with you! :O

  • Lori

    That could be fun. My schedule is very up in the air these days, but we may be able to work something out. I can get in touch with you through your blog, right?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    *Nods* Either drop me a line there or at my e-mail/YIM. I’ll be in town from Friday to the first and I can already tell that’s going to be way too long. (My mother’s apparently going through a third adolescence, if the stories about her four boyfriends-who-don’t-know-about-each-other is enough to go by. I should not feel significantly more mature than my parents…)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I thought I replied to this. Maybe I did and Disqus ate it.

    *Nods* Drop me a line there or at the e-mail/YIM in my profile. In theory, I’m going to be in the Saginaw area (I’m not entirely sure yet; this kind of uncertainty is kind of a thing with my parents, significantcough). I’m not 100% sure I’ll even have transportation, but gotta be optimistic or I’ll never survive the next couple of weeks. ¬¬;

    Besides, the alternative is hunting down FearlessSon in Seattle for, uh, coffee, I guess. And seeing fish thrown around in Pike Place Market, because that’s also a thing.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Ah, it’s just Disqus being a shit. Came back today and neither one of these posts were visible until I hit the Show More Replies button enough times, even though posts were visible above and below them. That’s nice. That means that you really CANNOT follow a conversation in the new Disqus without loading the entire thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    You’re pushing the plausible limits of Poe’s Law here. Try harder.

  • Just Sayin’

    I’m here to discuss antidepressants. What are you here for?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Community.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, groupthink.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Do you want to discuss groupthink? Or do you bring it up despite not wanting to discuss it?

  • Just Sayin’

    PLONK!

  • AnonaMiss

    If you think community is indistinguishable from groupthink, does that mean you don’t have a community? That’s… really sad, actually. Humans are social creatures. Your isolation must be difficult. If you want to talk about it, I’d be happy to listen.

  • Just Sayin’

    Stalker go away.

  • AnonaMiss

    The comment section of this blog is one of my internet hangouts. Why should I leave because you keep coming back to my hangout and then accuse me of stalking you when you see me there repeatedly?

  • Just Sayin’

    I didn’t ask you to leave, I asked you to stop stalking me. If I was being juvenile, I’d now make some snarky teenage remark about your “reading comprehension.”

  • AnonaMiss

    As David notes, I brought them up earlier as an example of a situation in which a treatment for a condition can be confused with the causes of the condition.

    Mostly I wanted to test your reading comprehension/memory/if you had actually read my previous post.

    I would think the analogy to antidepressants would be obvious, but I will spell it out since you are obviously a busy person:

    All of the negative effects of antidepressants which you have proposed so far are also heavily correlated with depression itself, and have been since before modern antidepressants.

    Suggesting that a commonly-prescribed treatment for depression causes the symptoms of depression, is like suggesting that Arizona’s climate causes tuberculosis, or that anti-retroviral drugs cause immune failure.

    For an introduction to principles of numeracy, I recommend the Aha! books by Martin Gardner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    I am very fond of “since you are obviously a busy person” and will likely be using it hereafter.

  • Just Sayin’

    Stop obsessing about me and my “reading comprehension” and start discussing the topic. It’s not about me, though that seems to be all some pro-antis on this thread want to talk about.

  • AnonaMiss

    All of the negative effects of antidepressants which you have proposed so far are also heavily correlated with depression itself, and have been since before modern antidepressants.

    Suggesting that a commonly-prescribed treatment for depression causes the symptoms of depression, is like suggesting that Arizona’s climate causes tuberculosis, or that anti-retroviral drugs cause immune failure.

    -me, in the post you are replying to, discussing the topic.

  • Just Sayin’

    Stalker go away. I’m flattered by your obsession but this thread is supposed to be about psychotropic drugs. Your analogy is not persuasive. Please stick to scientific facts, not spurious analogies made up on the spur of the moment.

  • AnonaMiss

    The analogy isn’t the argument; the analogy is a rhetorical tool that most people find useful in understanding the argument.

    The argument is this: SSRIs are prescribed to treat certain conditions which can cause people to become violent towards themselves or others. Statistically (statistics given downthread), those being treated with SSRIs are significantly less likely to become violent than those in whom these conditions are left untreated.

    Any apparent correlation between SSRIs and violence is therefore best explained by their shared correlation with mental disorders.

  • Just Sayin’

    And you’re basing the point you’re making on an analogy pulled out of the air. I prefer scientific research.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    > I prefer scientific research.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Research into the risks and benefits of these medicines is critical for developing more reliable treatments for helping people who suffer from depression.

    What research do you recommend?

    For example, is there a researcher or research organization you endorse whom you would like us to fund?

    Is there someone you’d like us to write to, to encourage _them_ to do research into the effects of antidepressants?

    Something else?

  • Just Sayin’

    zzzzzzzZZZZZ…

  • AnonaMiss

    No, I’m basing that point on the statistics, and using an analogy which I took from Martin Gardner (RIP) to explain how you came to believe that there is a correlation between antidepressants and violent behavior, when there is in fact not.

  • Just Sayin’

    How would you know? The empirical research hasn’t been done.

  • AnonaMiss

    Correlations are found statistically, not empirically.

  • Just Sayin’

    Utter tripe. Just bear in mind that you’re now playing the same sly game that the big tobacco companies played when it became obvious that cigarettes caused cancer. It’s time for a proper empirical investigation into the drug companies who make billions out of other people’s misery, with evidence on oath and the power of subpoena.

  • AnonaMiss

    Pretty sure the fact that cigarettes cause cancer is demonstrable statistically – and practically impossible to demonstrate empirically.

    In fact, if I recall my human experimentation training* correctly, it is illegal to do empirical research specifically into the harmful effects if any drug in the United States, because such research would require dosing healthy people for no other purpose than to see if it harmed them or not. Empirical human experimentation can only legally be done on people who have a medical condition, with the goal of treating that medical condition. All other medical research on humans must be done via – guess what – statistics!

    *The only experiments on human subjects I did were linguistic – e.g. asking people to read certain sentences aloud – but the cert is geared more towards medical experiments.

  • Just Sayin’

    It is well known among doctors that drug companies have suppressed unwelcome test results on modern antidepressants — results that show they are largely useless for their stated purpose. In many cases they were not significantly more effective than dummy tablets in lifting the moods of patients. Freedom of Information investigations have shown this to be a fact.

    You prefer to swallow drug companies’ (mis)information, I would prefer independent empirical investigation.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    Cite you sources, or go away.

  • Just Sayin’
  • AnonaMiss

    I just told you, empirical medical studies are illegal in the United States, probably illegal in the rest of the civilized world, and extremely unethical even in places where they aren’t illegal.

    Are you even reading what I write?

    P.S. only one of the links I cited could even possibly be in the employ of drug companies, because most of them were census death data. Unless the United States government is in on it too!!?!1!

  • Just Sayin’

    Perhaps you should read what this Harvard expert writes:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/illusions-of-psychiatry/?pagination=false

    Time for government inquiries, with subpoena testimony? I think so.

  • AnonaMiss

    So that’s a no, then.

  • Just Sayin’

    Address the evidence or stop carping.

  • AnonaMiss

    My dear, you’ve yet to present any evidence. I’ve cited studies and statistics; you’ve cited tabloids and one or two opinions from scientists speaking against the grain of the scientific consensus.

    You’ve yet to address any of my evidence or even to acknowledge it as evidence, despite it coming from the United States government – the very people that you want to subpoena drug companies into conducting illegal human experiments.

    When you haven’t addressed the research I’ve presented – other than a laughable claim that it isn’t scientific enough because it was collected via census instead of by illegally drugging healthy people – why should I address the unsubstantiated opinions of people who don’t cite research, preferring to suggestively nudge and wink about drug company conspiracies? The degree of education or qualification of the opiner is perhaps a factor to consider when there is no data in evidence, but I have given you data and you ignore it and continue to pull up counter-opinions unbacked by research.

    Address the evidence or stop carping.

  • Just Sayin’

    You’ve cited hot air. The research hasn’t been done — that’s the point. When expert opinion such as Health Canada (for example) actually says that some antidepressant pills can engender suicidal thoughts, it’s time for an enquiry.

  • mroge

    Research shows that in the majority of mentally ill people who commit violent acts do so not because of their illness or any medication that they may be on. Rather it is due to them using illegal drugs and alcohol.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100907103613.htm

  • mroge

    I would also point out that alcohol and recreational drugs have unpredictable effects on normal people as well. However even alcohol is specifically contra-indicated with the use of anti-depressants. Basically before you can make any kind of association of violent behavior and anti-depressant use you would have to know whether the person was taking their medication as properly instructed. Are they taking too much or too little? Are they consuming any legal or non-legal drugs that are contra-indicated? What other medications are they on and are they taking those as instructed?

    Whatever danger that anti-depressants may have would have to be extremely low, since millions use them and do not become violent. The same applies to suicide, which you have brought up previously. Anti-depressants have been shown to SAVE LIVES.

  • Just Sayin’

    And what about the extraordinary correlation between shooting massacres and SSRI antidepressants? (Yes, I know correlation isn’t causation. That is precisely why we need proper investigation into the apparent link).

  • mroge

    Yeah I kind of figured that you would ignore my link. I gave you a plausable reason for this and you don’t even check it out. Oh well I elaborated in another post but all I can say is that when people self-medicate with drugs and alcohol while at the same time taking anti-depressants then this could very well account for violent behavior.

  • Just Sayin’

    Anyone can think of dozens of plausible reasons. So what? What’s needed to save lives is scientific research, not “plausible reasons.”

  • Lori

    Research has been done and more is being done now. What you clearly want, but are not honest enough to admit, is research that says what you want to hear and only what you want to hear. That research is in short supply, most likely because what you want to hear is not actually true.

    You either need to accept that and stop this little crusade or go somewhere else to deal with your issues.

  • Just Sayin’

    Too
    many people taking antidepressants? A generation of “Prozac children” raised on
    the promise of on-demand happiness? Antidepressants
    responsible for hundreds of unnecessary deaths each year? Can it really be
    true? Worth finding out? Or do *those* lives not matter?

    Find
    out here, if you care:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rr377

  • mroge

    Um, I just gave you scientific research! I know you are not a moron. You just seem to want to stir up trouble for attention since you refuse to carry on a rational dialog. I am tired of you. EVERYONE HERE IS. I think the only way to stop you is to just stop feeding your ego. I am ignoring you from now on and I recommend others who feel the same way to do so too. You are nothing but a parasite here. Good riddance.

  • Just Sayin’

    What scientific research on the correlation between antidepressants and mass killings?

    One again, you claim to be speaking on other people’s behalf. Actually, you speak only for yourself, and anyone who happens to agree with you. This isn’t your personal forum so I reserve my right of reply. If you’re truly tired of it, you know what to do!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    > What’s needed to save lives is scientific research

    What research do you recommend?

    For example, is there a researcher or research organization you endorse whom you would like us to fund?

    Is there someone you’d like us to write to, to encourage _them_ to do research into the effects of antidepressants?

    Something else?

  • AnonaMiss

    Compared to the correlation between massacres and depression, the correlation between massacres and SSRIs is not extraordinary.

  • AnonaMiss

    Since I can’t edit my own posts, not being registered, please replace the word “depression” in my post with “the conditions commonly treated with SSRIs”. I overgeneralized (undergeneralized?).

  • Just Sayin’

    And you know that how exactly?

  • AnonaMiss

    Sure, why not. I didn’t have any plans for my lunch break anyway.

    Suicide, depression, and antidepressants, because this paints a powerful picture of how silly this whole thing is:

    * Suicide % among US general population: 0.0124% (Source)

    * Suicide % among US people diagnosed with depression: 2% in lowest-rate cohort (i.e. the rate is certainly higher, but I don’t know how much higher because I don’t know the population distribution between inpatients, outpatients, and the involuntarily commited) (Source)

    * Suicide % among a study sample (US) of people diagnosed with depression who have been prescribed antidepressants (i.e., compare to rate among diagnosed, not to rate of general population): 0.03% (Source)

    Violence and PTSD:

    PTSD is a legally accepted insanity defense for murder in Oregon state.

    The New York Times, which has a high editorial standard for research, reports that

    This [research] showed an 89 percent increase [in homicides involving active-duty military personnel and new veterans] during the present wartime period, to 349 cases from 184, about three-quarters of which involved Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. The increase occurred even though there have been fewer troops stationed in the United States in the last six years and the American homicide rate has been, on average, lower.

    Few of these 121 war veterans [which the Times article centers on – veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who committed or were accused of committing a homicide in the United States] received more than a cursory mental health screening at the end of their deployments, according to interviews with the veterans, lawyers, relatives and prosecutors. Many displayed symptoms of combat trauma after their return, those interviews show, but they were not evaluated for or received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder until after they were arrested for homicides.

    So of accused killers belonging to the demographic responsible for a growing number of homicides in the United States – even while the overall homicide rate is shrinking – many display symptoms of PTSD, but few had received any treatment for it at the time of the crime. The article doesn’t go into detail on what kind of treatment was given, but even if we assume that all of those who received treatment were put on SSRIs, it still demonstrates that, as I said, “Compared to the correlation between [homicides] and the conditions commonly treated with SSRIs, the correlation between [homicides] and SSRIs is not extraordinary.”

    OK, lunchtime over.

  • Just Sayin’

    As the presence (or absence) of antidepressants is not even noted in many instances of mass shootings, your ramblings here are so much hot air.

    We need real scientific research, not grandstanding and superficial shows of cleverness or point-scoring.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m neither for nor against them, I have an open mind on the matter, open to reasoned argument based on facts.

    I gave you facts demonstrating that any correlation between antidepressants and violence is far overshadowed by the correlation between violence and the conditions SSRIs are used to treat. I substantiated those facts with links to census statistics, scientific research, and investigative journalism by the news organization with the most rigorous editorial standards in the US.

    So are you open to reasoned arguments based on facts, or aren’t you?

  • Just Sayin’

    How can you possibly know that any particular correlation has been “far overshadowed” (whatever that means) when that correlation hasn’t been researched, and often isn’t even noted?

    Less hot air, please.

  • AnonaMiss

    Gave you the links to the research, m’love.

  • Just Sayin’

    No, you didn’t give me any links to the research between antidepressants and mass shootings because it hasn’t been done. Quite often, the correlation isn’t even noted.

    Your condescending tone is noted, so common among the pro-antis, alas.

  • AnonaMiss

    That’s the entire point: the research I linked you to demonstrates that no correlation exists. So of course it can’t be noted.

  • Just Sayin’

    Of course a correlation exists. I’ve posted numerous examples, as have others in the links I’ve provided. Open your eyes. What needs to be researched is if there is also a causation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    > What needs to be researched is if there is also a causation.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Research into the risks and benefits of these medicines is critical for developing more reliable treatments for helping people who suffer from depression.

    What research do you recommend?

    For example, is there a researcher or research organization you endorse whom you would like us to fund?

    Is there someone you’d like us to write to, to encourage _them_ to do research into the effects of antidepressants?

    Something else?

  • Just Sayin’

    Go away troll.

  • AnonaMiss

    Correlation doesn’t mean “In a few high profile cases, X and Y both happened.”

    The statistics I linked above demonstrate that, after controlling for mental illness, there is no correlation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation#Third_factor_C_.28the_common-causal_variable.29_causes_both_A_and_B

  • Just Sayin’

    Since it hasn’t yet been empirically investigated, the extent of the correlation is not yet known. You can’t just sit at your computer and think it/wish it away. Government investigation is needed, with subpoena testimony, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    > Government investigation is needed, with subpoena testimony, etc.

    Whom should the government subpoena?

  • Just Sayin’

    Yes David, you’re very clever and superior. Now go away.

  • AnonaMiss

    Do you know what “empirically” means?

  • Just Sayin’

    It’s this sort of snide silliness that gets internet forums a bad name.

  • https://pjevansgen.wordpress.com/ P J Evans

    Obviously, it doesn’t. Doesn’t know much of anything, apparently.


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