Maybe More People are Depressed

On Cnn.com. What an unbelievably ignorant and Tom Cruise-like statement from Dr. Ronald Dworkin

“Doctors are now medicating unhappiness,” said Dworkin. “Too many people take drugs when they really need to be making changes in their lives.”

This is how stereotypes and invalid inferences are started and continued about the mentally ill. Am I better off by taking Effexor? You bet! And so are millions of others.

6 Responses to “Maybe More People are Depressed”

  1. Andy C
    July 10, 2007 at 8:03 am #

    It’s stereotypical but it’s not unlikely.

    When we realize up until a few years ago all psychologists worked on was angles of misery instead of understanding happiness I think the balance has far to long been tilted.

    You may have an illness, but prescription happy people who don’t want to effectively lead their lives and let (or request) medicine corral them into a pigeon hole should not be prescribed to.

    As well shouldn’t we be worried if millions of people are on said prescription? That sounds like an epidemic. There has to be more of an answer than fixing the symptoms.

    I’m really not trying to play down your world. I get itchy with medicine and cure-alls. My father’s been a doctor for 40 some years and I’ve asked him how much we understand the body and he says generally about 14%. When you realize that how much trust do you want to put in the institution. I feel a healthy dose of pragmatism goes a long way.

    Lots of angles, lot’s of thoughts, lots of rights, lots of wrongs.

    -a

  2. Kate
    July 10, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    “Am I better off by taking Effexor? You bet! And so are millions of others.”

    I think that is the true unbelievably ignorant statement. The world has just begun to recognize the effects of taking SSRI’s for extended periods of time, and not all effects are healthy. It’s time the world realized that being human means being sad as well as happy, depressed as well as content, and that these are the moods we go through NATURALLY. What we need are ways to look inward to recognize which parts of our lives we need to change and to learn coping strategies for hard times, not drugs.

  3. Samantha
    July 10, 2007 at 11:07 am #

    Some are better off by taking antidepressants, true. I myself am benefitting from Lexapro after having struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. But for me it’s a temporary stopgap while I learn new ways to cope with this major change in my life. On the other hand my husband and his mother have been on various antidepressants since the 90s, taking one for a while then trying another when they stop feeling the effects of the first. I think they would both be better off trying to figure out why they are unhappy and how they can learn to cope with problems without medications. They use the pills as a crutch to explain away any bad moods or inability to deal with change (must need a change in dosage/a new drug!) rather than trying to cope. It’s incredibly frustrating to have to live with people like this.

  4. Joy
    July 10, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    OK, OK. Yes, the doctor is right that it is better to be mentally healthy, happy and satisfied but life doesn’t always work that way. The literature shows that people with clinical depression are paralyzed and unable to make significant changes in their life without help. Some of this can be through medications which allow them to get well enough to cope with and make the decision to make the changes they need to make to get better. It IS better to be well than sick, yes. AND if medication, whether for that infection or for that mental illness, helps I’m all for it!

  5. Simon
    July 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm #

    Katy, it seems odd that you can diagnose how Steven feels before and after taking Effexor. Surely he’s the only one who can judge that.

    On the general point, sadness does not equal depression. Yep, we all get sad or angry at times, and we shouldn’t be medicating those emotions away. Clinical depression is something quite different, and medications are often effective in treating it.

  6. Harry
    July 15, 2007 at 9:06 pm #

    So very glad to hear someone talk sense about a real form of suffering that is clearly a disease waiting to be named as such. I am in the process of getting a masters degree in counseling psychology (with an internship and some work in the field under my belt), and couldn’t agree with you more wholeheartedly. (Including that medication is definitely not for everyone.) May I recommend my post regarding the very same article?

    http://thinkulous.blogspot.com/2007/07/depression-dont-trash-meds-along-with.html

    Very best of luck with your treatment.

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