Wed, Feb 13 2013 at 4:55 AM
Well, this is one of those oddball times when it's not quite so clear which is the better - or, I guess, worse - thing. The chemicals obviously are not healthy for humans. But then again, neither is catching on fire or inhaling mattress - or sofa cushion - smoke in your sleep. I think we need a 3rd option.
Wed, Feb 13 2013 at 4:50 AM
Well said and right on!
Wed, Feb 13 2013 at 4:41 AM
People who have been diagnosed with "clinical" depression or "endogenous" depression or "major" depression (these terms all refer to the same disease), may indeed be over reacting or reacting badly to this article because of the recent media hoopla over the idea that all the perpetrators in the recent rash of mass shootings must be mentally ill. And it really has gotten quite ugly in some cases, with various states lining up to not just tighten up the laws about the mentally ill purchasing guns, but to actually make it easier to force hospitalization and medications on people judged to be mentally ill. This is all pretty threatening and it should not surprise anyone that people are feeling a little vulnerable. It's time to get clear on this business. Firstly, the "big three" so-called mental illnesses - schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, are so disorganizing that no one in the throes of an episode could manage to plan a complex attack even if they wanted to. That's just the cold hard facts there. And secondly, it is quite possible to be flat freaking crazy, but not have any of those diseases just mentioned. It's entirely possible to have such a hatred and mistrust of other humans that people would think you entirely unhinged and still not have one of the afore mentioned diseases. The mere fact that anyone has ever successfully used the "temporary insanity" defense to escape punishment for a murder, speaks to the fact that insanity and mental illness are not really the same deal. Nobody ever ever ever has had temporary schizophrenia or temporary bipolar disorder or even temporary major depression. That's not the nature of the beast. If we called these illnesses 'brain diseases' rather than mental illnesses, it would become clearer what the problem really is, and people who have never experienced such an illness could perhaps stop blaming the people who have the disease(s). Yes, all the things that are important to people without brain diseases are also important to people who have been diagnosed with one of the so-called mental illnesses. Sunlight, vitamin D - among others - adequate exercise, socializing, hobbies - life interests. Yeah, its all good. If you are lucky enough to be prescribed a med or meds that actually work for you, if you also have a doctor or counselor or therapist who is willing to take the time to help you get some basic life organization worked out - and if you can also figure out how to leave clues for yourself so that the next time you have a bad episode you can maybe follow your own bread crumb trail and find your way back to simply realizing that eventually it will (maybe) get better . . . . if all of that, then the other wonderful suggestions posed in this article might come into play. Thinking of depression as just sadness, even really really bad sadness, is pretty far from the mark. It takes your life apart, one freaking piece at a time. And you are left standing in the rubble trying to figure out what in God's name happened. You will probably reject meds repeatedly, because you can't be sure you will still be you if you take them. It's scary. Then you read the product literature, the part where it says, in essence," this drug can kill you quicker than a hammer. If it does, see your physician." But by then you know that the alternative is worse. I'm sorry, but I am really fully over this business of how many Americans take antidepressants willy nilly because their cat died or they have a bad job or a bad hair day or whatever it is that the people who propose this theory think is going on. You want to lose your sense of taste, put on weight like a sumo wrestler, have a dry mouth that destroys your teeth, be tired all the damned time, have those days where between the symptoms of the illness that aren't quite controlled and the side effects of the meds you can't tell whether you are coming or going? And you want to do this because you have a lingering case of the blues? Have at it. Frankly, I don't think you'll last too long. They aren't happy pills. They are give you a chance to have a damned life pills. Sorry folks. I've heard enough and now it's just one too many swipes at a group of people who have more courage every single morning than most folks have to muster in a decade. Done.