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BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?

mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:01 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 06:18 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:21 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:22 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:27 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 06:32 PM
Jeri 04 Oct 00 - 06:36 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:42 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:46 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:48 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 06:50 PM
bbelle 04 Oct 00 - 06:51 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 07:00 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 07:06 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Oct 00 - 07:50 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM
wysiwyg 04 Oct 00 - 08:11 PM
RichM 04 Oct 00 - 08:20 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Oct 00 - 08:25 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 08:39 PM
Troll 04 Oct 00 - 08:40 PM
wysiwyg 04 Oct 00 - 08:50 PM
Ebbie 04 Oct 00 - 08:52 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 04 Oct 00 - 09:36 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 10:14 PM
Little Neophyte 04 Oct 00 - 11:06 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 04 Oct 00 - 11:31 PM
kimmers 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 05 Oct 00 - 10:50 AM
mousethief 05 Oct 00 - 10:54 AM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 11:27 AM
Ferrara 05 Oct 00 - 11:50 AM
Lox 05 Oct 00 - 11:52 AM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 PM
Jeri 05 Oct 00 - 12:28 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 00 - 01:30 PM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 01:36 PM
kimmers 05 Oct 00 - 01:57 PM
catspaw49 05 Oct 00 - 02:23 PM
Mrrzy 05 Oct 00 - 02:40 PM
Mrrzy 05 Oct 00 - 02:52 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 05 Oct 00 - 03:12 PM
Mrrzy 05 Oct 00 - 03:57 PM
rabbitrunning 05 Oct 00 - 08:27 PM
Little Hawk 05 Oct 00 - 08:59 PM
hesperis 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM
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Subject: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:01 PM

On another thread the question came up of whether antidepressant (medicine) treatment for depression is a good or a bad thing. I thought that thread was a bad place to argue the question, given the personal nature of the thread, so I made this one.

So what do mudcatters think? Let it all hang out. Are Prozac and its ilk a godsend, or the devil's spawn?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM

Aw geeziz....I just posted again over there.

Clinical Depression is serious. It is caused by chemical imbalances that can be treated with anti-depressants. The drugs DO NOT solve the problems of everyday living, but they allow the person to become functional enough to accept love and support and to begin to make everyday decisions again.

CD is nothing to screw around with...period. Get a good and thorough physical. There are other ailments that will trigger the imbalances. Be truthful and open regarding your feelings with the doc and you will probably be referred to a psychiatrist who can ascertain the the dosage and correct type of drug.

I don't underestimate the power of love and care, but people suffering from CD will not be helped and indeed cannot accept what you may offer. CD is a medical problem and anyone who believes that drugs are a cop-out doesn't know jack shit of what they speak.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:18 PM

No - let them all commit suicide and rid the world of the problem forever. Sorry Mouse but this is too serious andtoo close to home for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:21 PM

You might consider not posting then, Sinsull. I am a depressive and don't exactly appreciate the idea that you want me to commit suicide and make the world a better place.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:22 PM

Alex......that was straight up sarcasm from Sins.....Believe me she understands.......Check the other thread.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:27 PM

I see that now. My mistake, Sins. Forgive me. I see we're on the same team. Fortunately I've not had any suicide attempts in any close friends, but I've got three people in my house (including myself) on antidepressants and am a firm believer in them.

I think some people don't want to think about mental illness being chemically caused because it's too uncomfortable to think of oneself in such physical terms. My ideas, my thoughts, my passions -- surely these are not chemical, but spiritual, these people think. I understand the feeling, believe me. But it's wrong. Like it or not, we are physical beings, and tiny changes in our brain chemistry can produce changes in moods and other psychological phenomena.

I'm 100% with what Sins said in the other thread.

Now where's Little Hawk so we can kick his can?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:32 PM

Spaw,
Thanks but I can take care of myself. Mouse - if you are a depressive, you must know how difficult it is to take the first step towards help. I can not shut up and risk having someone who needs help read "godsend or devil's spawn" and retreat further into a dark corner where they can hide and "suck it up". I am sorry if I have offended anyone. It is not my intent. I am not sorry for letting you know that this discussion is to me inappropriate in tone. Nothing personal Mouse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:36 PM

What Spaw said...
It's fine for us to share our experiences with drugs, but none of us is qualified to give a medical opinion, and there are only a couple of people here who could give an informed opinion on specific drugs.

Now, my OPINION is that a good doctor will try to rule out other reasons for clinical depression (physical disease, grief, or drug interaction/overdosage for example) before throwing anti-depressants at someone. If drugs are called for, they can and do save lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:42 PM

Hey Sins...I never thought otherwise.

I've seen way too many over the edge kids and watched while, to everyone's best efforts, we screwed them up even more and didn't address the issues that should have been addressed.

This subject gets me up quicker than anything else nowadays I guess because I've seen the end results of everyone's best not meeting the need.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:46 PM

My only intent with starting the thread was to get the discussion about antidepressants off of Thomas K's thread, where it had clearly started to hitchhike the thread. Duking it out with people who don't believe depression should ever be treated with antidepressants seemed to me an unfriendly way to take over Thomas K's thread. At the point when I started this thread, he had already seen that there were many who believed he should get his friend to a doctor, and what he does now is up to him.

Meanwhile I wanted a place where people who badmouth antidepressants could be thoroughly answered and that's why I created this thread.

I'm sorry my wording struck you as inappropriate in tone, Sinsull. But I do think the discussion is important, and I want people -- especially people who may either be depressed themselves, or have loved ones who are -- to know that psychiatrists are not out to make zombies of their clients, but rather can use medication to help people overcome what is often a chemical problem.

As somebody pointed out, even if depression is "caused" by an actual event in one's life, one can easily slip over a fuzzy line between "down in the dumps" and actual Clinical Depression. If it goes on for weeks, if it's affecting your sleep, your appetite, your sex drive -- then it may very well be clinical depression and you should run and not walk to your local mental health care provider and get checked out.

This sort of thing needs to be said, and sometimes if we are afraid of how it's going to sound, we end up not saying anything at all, and then more people suffer because of our silence. And THAT is why I started this thread. (That and I wanted to kick LH's butt.)

Pax, Sinsull?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:48 PM

Well believe me I ain't speakin' for her!!!(:<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:50 PM

To Little Hawk, mousethief, and my beloved Spaw,
I am sorry for exploding in anger. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! And here I was pontificating on the anger thread about never speaking in anger. Thank heavens for Prozac or I might seriously be considering roof leaping myself. If I behave, can I still play?
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: bbelle
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:51 PM

Alex ... you are in very good company, myself included. 'spaw and sins know my story. I wouldn't even begin to try to explain or argue, my side, in either thread. This is too close and too personal, for a lot of us.

I think I'll go start a music thread for all us bluegrassholelics.

shalom moonjen


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:00 PM

Sure, we'll let you play....but if you don't play nice I'm taking my ball and going home.

Actually, I'm going to MUDCAT RADIO!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:06 PM

I am sure Karen is glad to hear you're bringing it home. I tried not to. I really did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:50 PM

Apologies if I repeat myself in this post - I've just seen a bundle of text disappear from under my nose, and I'm not sure where it went.
BR> Sinsull, relax! My dearest friend's manic-depressive husband killed himself 18 years ago. Last summer her daughter ended her first year at university top of the class, then went the same way. If her son (now 20) would only top himself too, I am sure my friend - herself a manic depressive who has been detained twice under the UK Mental Health Act - would realise that there is nothing left to live for, and then you can really have a party.

Or you could read a book called Touched with Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison, and realise that when we have killed off all the depressives, we will have killed off most of humankind's creative spirit. (Needless to say, I was not sidetracked by Spaw's brainless apology on your behalf.)

Mousethief's question was as reasonable as you could ask for, and deserved some thought. If we can't handle that, we might as well abandon this caff. Certainly there is good science and good medicine, but in my experience some clinicians are inclined to prescribe chlorpromazine, largactyl, lithium etc - and of course the cure-all Prozac - first, and ask questions afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM

Actually, im my case Prozac was recommended when all else failed. Read my post to the other thread and you will understand the sarcasm intended towards mouse's choice of words. Spaw does not have to apologize for me. I stand by my objection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:11 PM

First, FEELINGS about this. (Not THINKING, just FEELINGS.) I've lived close to this too, and probably have been depressed myself at various points. I got help but not the kind that killed my dad, and this is not your happy happy pal Praise saying that, who some of you see awfully one-dimensionally, it's daddy's little girl who watched the whole long slide up close and who is still PLENTY bitter about the whole [inseret words of your choice] thing.

More FEELINGS. Of course help is different now than it was then, but still, I have had a couple of close brushes with the drug approach, and I remain leery. One in particular still gives me the willies. No, two. First, a teen on Prozac who should have had something else if anything, smashing a heavy oak rocking chair to flinders, pieces flying to cheek and eye, with a four foot iron bar swung overhead, within inches of his dearly loved little sister's face, glaring at me, it was my chair, he hated me, and I sat very still. The hatred, but not the lack of self-control, remained when he was taken off Prozac. Second, sitting in a doctor's office describing a symptom of going totally cold and passing out before getting warm. Prozac! Panic attacks! Medicate her ass! No, I wasn't EATING, I had no blood sugar to speak of, I had gotten stuck in a cycle of diarhhea and could not eat much at a time, and my metabolism was screwed up from the LAST doctor's bright idea. Guess what cured me... FOOD. Oatmeal and strawberries, thank you very much!

FEELINGS SHIFTING INTO THINKING. I love doctors, and I have worked hard to choose good ones, and I have one now, but you know what, we don't always have access to the good ones. And the bad ones skim their journals, spot the latest under-diagnosed popular trend in whoever walks in through the door, whips out their drug samples, and bye bye, love that managed care! Sort of hypochondria in reverse-- they imagine YOU have every disease they've read about! (Hypdoctria??)

Now, THINKING. Two disciplines I practice offer other more natural solutions, and there are others that do, too. The problem is, these more natural solutions require enormous resources of time, personal attention by support people, skill, and knowledge. And even when in abundant supply, these do not always work fast enough to save someone from a black decision or from ripping up their own life and the lives closest to them.

So yea AND nay... BOTH. What I believe is that we have to use our best thinking on this, as accurately in the actual situation as possible, just like we have to on everything else life confronts us with-- that we have to sort it out as well as we can, and do what makes the most sense as we go, being as flexible as we can as we learn new things, and taking as much responsibility for our own decisions as we possibly can.

And to me, that means that the people closest to any problem have to decide how to solve it. And that people who want to help can only help, not control it or force anything that the decision makers do not wish to be made so.

If my post in the other thread was one that any of you read as "just love them till they're better," then you have not taken the time to know me yet. I'm sorry if your buttons got pushed, but I was writing to Thomas, not you, right?

But I do think it is important to love people with a lot more confidence in their underlying SENSE than our society generally seems to expect. I had hoped that asking her what she needed, Thomas might very well find her trusting him enough to respond by asking for help getting some help. And I certainly knew that many of you would respond as you did, and that there would be a variety of viewpoints for him to consider. I was trusting him to take what he needed, see? Because you know what, people often do, if we give them a little more room to do it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: RichM
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:20 PM

Depression is such a mild word. It doesn't convey the terror of what the person who has it, feels. Those who have never had this disease have absolutely no idea what it's like.

If one's depression is caused by chemical imbalance,then prozac and like drugs work fine. It did for me.

If you have this disease, don't listen to those who tell you that you can overcome it with willpower. Or with herbal medicines. Find a sympathetic doctor and go from there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:25 PM

No mention of that other thread in your first post Sinsull. I'm not a mind-reader. And I'm not knocking Prozac. I'm expecially not knocking lithium, in case anyone wonders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:39 PM

No you're not a mind reader, Fionn. I came from the other thread in disbelief that anyone would discourage a sick person from taking medication prescribed by a doctor because some doctors over-prescribe and got smacked in the face with a second thread which appeared to me to take up the subject too frivolously to ignore. My sarcastic remark reads like a most insensitive, crude, and vicious attack when not placed in the context of my previous comments. Spaw tried to put it in context and ended up looking as if he was blindly defending me. I was pissed that he thought I needed defending. I have cleared the air with mouse in a PM. I have publicly apologized for my anger to Spaw and Little Hawk. I repeat what I said above - I would be well advised not to speak in anger especially on a matter that requires a clear head.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Troll
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:40 PM

I tried willpower and self-medicated myself with booze and such for a large portion of my life. I credit chemicals and a caring and understanding family and group of physicians for the fact that I am still alive and that I have not physically harmed anyone in the last few years.
I am not "cured". I function-sometimes barely-but I function.And thats something, people. You don't know what it means to walk out to the mailbox until you can't
Right now posting is about as much contact as I can stand. But it gets better, little by little. There are good days (weeks, months) and bad. But the highs are not as high and the lows are not as low and sometimes I can love back a little.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:50 PM

Oh Troll honey. You love so powerful, a little IS a lot.

Soak up as much as it takes. There's plenty.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:52 PM

Whew! Praise, I'm with you: these people are lovely!

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:36 PM

Sinsull and Spaw, Don't feel bad about getting angry here. I've seen people cut there wrists because some self-appointed doctor told them they don't need their medication. (Well, I didn't watch it happen but you know what I mean) Usually, some windbag who wants to appear like he knows more than everyone else. "If you prayed as much as I do...", or "If you worked the 12 steps more diligently..." or "You think you've got problems? I've got [this and that and so on} going on and you don't see me running around crying about it."
Now I believe that drugs shouldn't be the instant answer and that a victim of depression should be diagnosed carefully, ie are there outside factors, stress, alcohol/drug abuse, etc. It seems like some doctors are really quick to throw a bottle of pills on a problem without really trying to diagnose it. I have some input to share on the subject that I won't put on an open forum, PM me if you want.

NOW the MOST important thing I have to post here is I am not a doctor. My opinions are just that, my opinions. Unfortunately, based on observation of some unfortunate people who suffer from a disease that , by the grace of God, I've not had to face myself.

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:14 PM

Rich, you have made a fine point that I think relates to the many who believe that drugs are a crutch. just like throwing money at education hasn't worked, throwing the latest drug at people became popular too and I believe its created a bad impression in the minds of some.

Professional help is much more than the drug du jour. Perhaps one of the worst things to come out of that haphazard and unprofessional approach is the belief that drugs don't work. The RIGHT drug for a particular person in a particular situation....well that's another story. In Karen's case for instance, Prozac and Zoloft had little effect, but Luvox has had spectacular results. There are many families of the a-d's and variations within the family, not to mention dosage, are all factors in the success of the treatment.

I think ol' Troll put it extremely well. The drugs are not a cure or a solution, but they make the process at least achievable when used properly. I saw too many "pros" go the "du jour" route with kids in care without really tracking on the situation. Mostly, in those cases, they just continued along. In a few the results were tragic. I was not a popular guy with the "pros" but we made progress and eventually have gotten good people to provide the services actually needed.

Tough love is a tough thing on both ends. It is the hardest thing I ever had to learn. At 2:30 AM one March morning I responded to a call from the agency and found myself in the home of a loving family, good friends, and tireless workers as foster parents. I watched as the EMT's took a 15 year old young man out through the door in a body bag and I helped to clean his room. I knew the boy well myself and I realized too late the value of tough love.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:06 PM

That's some story Catspaw. It makes me think about my dad.

My dad had a tendancy to be clinically depressed.
He had enough stuff on his plate to be good and depressed about too. He did accept shock treatment (at that time it was popular) but he rejected much of the counseling offered to him. He sort of got better but eventually he became seriously depressed again and was given medication. He pretented to be taking the medication but instead he was tossing it down the toilet. He continued to not want any counselling which he needed desperately.
Eventually he committed suicide.
My question is, if my dad had gotten the counseling he needed and had taken his medication, would he still be alive today?
I honestly do not think so. In this case, I believe no one could have helped my dad. He was determined to end his life and so he did.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:31 PM

Bonnie,

You make a really important point--I am so sorry you had to learn it the way that you did. You can't give people with depression drugs, and you can't give them therapy and counseling, they have to make the commitment to help themselves, and then, with a bit of luck, the drugs and the therapy can be used to help them to bring their lives back under control--

I can't really bring myself to go into my experiences with this, only to say that right now, after many long and difficult years, my loved one seems to be managing--but it is only through personal effort that has been supplemented with things that have seemed to help--


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: kimmers
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 AM

I get involved in this issue all of the time, as I am a pediatrician. So, naturally I'm biased towards traditional medicine rather than alternatives.

Duration is an important differentiating factor. Often parents will bring their 13 or 14 year old daughter to me for evaluation for depression because of a few weeks of mood swings... after an interview, it sometimes becomes clear that the poor kid is experiencing normal adolescence. Careful follow-up and counseling is the key, and most of these kids do very well.

For those that are truly meeting the criteria for a depressive disorder, the newer antidepressants can be a godsend. But I never prescribe them without making sure that the kid also has been set up for counseling, and has a support system. Medication alone can't do it all.

Far more frustrating for me is the assumption by the lay public, especially educators, that there is a drug for every behavior problem. If I had a pill that would make violent delinquent adolescents stop setting their parent's houses on fire, then believe me I would be using it. But for many of those unfortunate kids, the conscience never had a chance to develop. A drug can't fix that.

Those of you who have depression, and have found help in the new medication advances, don't feel that you are somehow weaker for needing to use them. Count yourself smarter for realizing that you needed help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for giving us a medical perspective on this, kimmers--especially for the points about the assumption that there is a drug for every behavior problem(or every problem!).

It is true that there is a contingent of people who don't believe drugs should ever be used for psychiatric and hehavioral disorders, and they can be vocal and annoying at times.

The biggest problems, though, come from the people who believe that there is a pill for everything, and that people should take that pill, get better, and shut up, and that if a problem persists, it is because parents or family members or the patient won't take their pills--

Depression cannot be cured--There are no drugs to make it go away--but, in many instances, there are drugs that can help control it--but different drugs work for different people, and it takes time to find the right ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:54 AM

I said I never knew anybody attempt suicide but now I realize I was forgetting my stepson's friend's dad, a retired firefighter, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and fell into a very deep funk. Eventually he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. At that point he regretted his actions (this is putting it mildly) and got himself put out. He now has 3rd degree burns over most of his body, and is on antidepressants. Does he still have "reason" to be depressed? Damn right, more now than before.

But deep depression is caused by low seratonin levels in the brain, and whether the low seratonin is caused by negative life events or some other more closely biological cause doesn't really matter much. The meds can increase seratonin levels and get one out of the funk, and then you can start to really deal with the life events that may have brought the depression on. In his case there's not much he can do about those life events. He's still dying of the one disease, while healing from the burns. What would the anti-druggies like him to do? Tough it out? Live out the rest of his life in a funk? Get real. The meds work. Why shouldn't they be used?

I really think if his depression had been detected and treated (with meds) he might not have attempted suicide. He would still be dying of the terminal illness, but his final months or years of life would be far more pleasant without being in burn therapy, I'm sure.

Of course any drug can be over-prescribed or unthinkingly prescribed. And it's hard to really "take charge" of your own medical care when you don't give a rat's ass about even getting out of bed in the morning.

Fortunately for me, I had experience with several episodes of mild depression before I finally slid into the deep stuff, so I knew what to do, viz., I made an appointment with my one-time shrink and asked to be put back on the meds. I may never be able to stop taking them. Works for me. Beats the alternative.

Mind you, there was nothing in my life a year ago that you would have thought would have produced severe depression. I have a great life, a wonderful wife, decent kids, a comfortable home, a well-paying job (thanks be to God!). But some researchers believe repeated episodes of depression can permanently damage the brain's ability to produce and/or effectively use seratonin.

If you are at all interested in depressive illnesses, I can't recommend the book Listening to Prozac enough. It has really changed my thinking about mental illness and psychoactive medication.

Yeah, maybe it's a crutch. The way insulin is a crutch to a diabetic, or eyeglasses are a crutch to the myopic. Yet our society has no problem allowing these people to retain their dignity and self-esteem while using their so-called crutches. But get help for mental illness? Take medication for a mental or behavioral condition? God forbid!

I experienced my first depressive episode in high school. I tried to tell my parents about it but was told I had nothing to be depressed about (which was true) so to just buck up. My mom is now very apologetic about not knowing better (how could she have?) back then, bless her heart. I dont' blame my folks for anything but mention them as an example of the wrong sort of attitude. We need to educate people -- especially people with kids -- about mental illness so they won't make the same mistake.

Twenty-plus years later, there are some who would give the same advice. We have our work cut out for us.

Today I feel great. I am able to appreciate all of the really delicious things that life presents. I still get sad when sad things happen, but the weeks and weeks of not eating or sleeping, grouching at everybody, etc. etc., are gone. May they stay gone.

No longer sleepless in Seattle,
Alex
O..O
=o=

PS to those who are worried about me and Sinsull: 1. mind your own business, 2. we've made up by PM and are okay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:27 AM

Thanks MT....very well put. And I never had any concern over you and Sinsull. You're both great folks.

Bonnie, I'm sure it is hard to relate the story of your Dad and what you say is undoubtedly true. Manic depressives are in a different category altogether and the story you tell is all too common. They are apt to take meds, but when they feel good, they tell themselves they're fine and slip back quite easily. It is almost impossible to keep them on meds that DO work, simply because they DO and when they feel good, they just won't believe the meds are needed. I can't imagine how tough that was on you.

Kimmers.......Again, thanks for an MD's wiew. Want to move here? We could use you. I agree that many parents (teachers too) want drugs for "normal" behaviors that are simply aggravating to them. I think that's where so many get the idea that people like myself believe in "throwing pills" when we don't. I believe in caring and understanding and getting to the heart of the matter......If meds are a part of the treatment, they should be looked upon in that way. It is a medication and a PART of the solution. Without them, properly prescribed and dosed, all of the other things may be in vain.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Ferrara
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:50 AM

Just a comment, maybe not welcome, that the cure can be as bad or even worse than the disease. Psychotropic meds can have really fierce side effects. One needs a good doctor who will listen and will make you aware from the start, of the potential side effects so you can find a drug whose benefits outweigh the problems.

I say this, having taken lithium for five years to counteract the manic effects of the prednisone that I will be taking for the rest of my life, to keep me from rejecting my transplanted heart... Who was that talking about crutches? Lots of people including me would die fairly quickly without their medications.

Finding a balance that minimizes the problems caused by the drugs has been the biggest challenge of the last five years. Medication is a blessing, but not an unmixed one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Lox
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:52 AM

My best mate committed suicide, and since then I've taken what you might call an amateur interest in mental health as an issue.

One of the things that I keep hearing is how the treatment of mental health, and psychiatric medicine in general is still in it's infancy in any country you care to mention.

In fact, according to the world health organization, the best mental health care system in the world is in Iran.

What?

Yes! Iran! Why? Because every community has a kind of social worker, as stipulated in the Koran.

This social workers job is to visit everyone in their community as regularly as possible.

They therefore know everybody on a personal basis, and so are able to spot the signs of emotional and/or mental difficulties early in the people they visit.

They are able to ensure that people nip their problems in the bud, because they give people with difficulties the opportunity to talk openly about what might or might not be troubling them.

I am a firm believer in the power of the community (when it exists). I myself have had emotional and psychological difficulties in my life, and they have taken a few years to deal with.

They don't go away overnight, and I think we must always be aware that we could slip into an unbalanced state of mind at any moment depending on the circumstances.

A group of friends is a remarkable forum in which to share problems and worries.

Sometimes we become so depressed that we lose faith in our friends even. It is at this point that you turn to them and say "help!".

I told my friends that I didn't want drugs or psychoanalysis, because I was thinking too hard as it was and I had taken a few recreational drugs in the preceding years.

I wanted to detox and to clear my mind of the debris of an inward looking, very critical imagination.

I felt, and I still feel, that the answer was emotional support when I needed it, and patience when I didn't deserve it.

I am against drugs as a cure to psychological problems.

I am a human being, and am therefore made up of every fucked up little quirk that makes humans what they are. I am capable of anger, love, fear, paranoia, psychosis, rational thought, genius, crass stupidity, generosity, selfishness.

I have a vivid and creative imagination, which, if ignored, will go to work by itself. I prefer to entertain it, and give it something beautiful, creative and/or constructive to do. If I don't, it will create illusions in my every day life.

It's not something to be scared of, and shat on with some chemical, it's something to explore and understand and use to make your life and others more rewarding and fulfilling.

I could rant on about this for ever, but you'll probably get bored.

My friend killed himself out of fear of his creative side. If anything characterized him, it was his creativity. The day that he began loathing it was the day that he lost all love and respect for himself.

love it, use it, take care of it and nurture it because it's unique, and you'll thank yourself for being so patient and kind. Be your own mother, father, sister and brother. Mollycoddle yourself. Don't try and cure yourself of "yourself". Your emotions, thoughts, dreams etc are not a disease. they are what make you a human being, and believe me, they are pretty wonderful - if puzzling - creatures.

Blah Blah Blah

lox


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 PM

Hey, guys...I have again been very busy and don't honestly have quite enough time to read this whole thread right now...or its predecessor...but I'll give you some background so you get where I'm coming from.

I too have suffered a great deal from clinical depression from about age 14 through my 20's, 30's, and 40's. These were depressive episodes that lasted for periods of 3 months or more, sometimes 6 months. During those times I would be very withdrawn and would tend to isolate myself. I would also be very low on energy.

I very much doubt there was a "chemical" basis for it, however, other than certain dietary factors. I have gradually learned how to improve my diet and lifestyle, and that has helped.

There were times when I felt suicidal, but I am so rational that I could always talk myself out of it...besides, I simply couldn't come up with a "method" that seemed acceptable to me. Good thing.

I think the original cause of my depressions was mainly the feeling of powerlessness, of not being in charge of my own destiny or my own life. And loneliness.

My parents managed to totally dominate me when I was a child and adolescent. Their philosophies of life were pretty much diametrically opposite, but they were each determined to imprint their own identity on ME. Needless to say, that was confusing to a young mind trying to find ITS OWN identity.

The basic message was:

1. you are powerless
2. we know everything that's good for you
3. the only way to be loved is to please us
4. the furniture is more valuable than you, so for God's sake don't scratch the table or spill anything on the carpet 5. money and possessions are the inside track of life 6. if you want to get by in life, you have got to please other people, because they have the power, you don't 7. we are of a higher class than our neighbours, and just about everbody else around here, except maybe people like Bertrand Russell. 8. we are too good for this town

And so on...pretty sickening, eh?

Can you see why I might have had reasons to become depressed?

Add to this the fact that I was a very shy bookworm, picked on by every sadistic creep and bully from 1st grade to the end of High School...I had such a miserable time in school that I felt like I was being sent to a concentration camp 5 days a week.

I LIKED my teachers. It was the other students who were making my life miserable.

I soon came to the conclusion that the only way to be happy was to be BY MYSELF, with a good book or something like that. I became very solitary in nature.

I didn't even consider going out with girls (although I certainly LIKED them) till I was 21, at which time I moved to Toronto, and got away from my parents, my High School and my past.

I proceeded to try to become an amalgam of my favourite folksingers (Dylan, Baez, and Buffy Sainte-Marie) and fairly much succeeded in that as time went by.

So...depression. It dogged me through most of my life, and repeatedly brought my life to a halt. It checkmated most of my efforts at music, education, career, and relationlships. At one time or another I sought professional help through a variety of sources. I was never much impressed with using drugs to treat depression, having tried several (Prozac, Lithium, etc.). They all had so little effect that I might as well have been chewing bubble gum for all they did...except the Prozac, which on most occasions did nothing at all, but on one occasion put me in the most suicidal mood I have ever been in. The fact that I was breaking up with a girlfriend at the same time, of course, didn't help.

I checked myself voluntarily into a psychiatric ward, and stayed for a month. It was interesting. What I saw there was too much band-aid approach to illness, too many drugs (which mask symptoms, but do not usually address the real problems), too many troubled people and not enough staff. Some of the staff were VERY GOOD, I am happy to say.

Over the past ten years I have finally got a handle on all of this, mainly because I have radically changed my mind about who has power over my life. I do. Nobody else does, period. I have a far better opinion of myself than when I was younger. I also have an absolute confidence now in the presence and power of spiritual forces (call it "God" if you want to) that are beside me and within me and love me...as they do all people. I feel valuable, and I feel loved.

I am highly suspicious of anti-depressant drugs, and drugs generally, legal or otherwise. However, I do accept that there are some individuals who find them helpful. Everyone has to make up their own mind about that, and give it a try if they want, and see how it goes.

If you feel that anti-depressants work for you, that's fine with me. I don't trust them, myself, based on my own experience, but I may be different from you. If it works, use it.

I think that the medical industry in general (allied with the pharmaceutical industry) supplies far too many drugs in the course of most treatment, and that this in itself has caused a great deal of illness and death.

It has been said: "You are not the victim of the world you see, you are the victim of the way you see the world."

And it's true. I see the world now as a VERY good and wonderful place...despite tyranny and oppression, despite misunderstanding, despite all to the contrary...the world is good and life is good.

When one is depressed, one doesn't see it that way, and that can be very rough. I feel for anyone who is going through that, cos I have been there.

Now I have gotta get to work, but I will check in later. If anyone has a particular concern, PM me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:28 PM

I also think it's not a good idea for people to take drugs for psychological problems that have psychological causes.

What a lot of us tend to not know, or refuse to believe, is that the cause can be physiological. You can't control diabetes by telling a person to get over it or through counselling, and you can't control chemical abnormalities in the brain that way either.

Many of us think everyone's experience is the same as ours, and it's not. Give other people and their medical professionals the benefit of the doubt, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:30 PM

Yes, Jeri, that may well be so. I think that diet, lack of sunlight, lack of exercise, lack of pure water, shallow breathing, heredity, and a huge variety of other factors can all contribute to depression.

I don't think there was much incidence of depression in aboriginal societies where people lived in Nature, but I might be wrong about that. It bears further looking into.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:36 PM

Well Hawk, there probably weren't too many incidences of a lot of things and I don't think they lived as long all the time either. Death is a part of life, but we have been able to extend it at times when many would have died before.........Like Rita (Ferrara) above....or me. I think you may view it differently when your choice is life or death.

Spaw ... "Barely Living, Through Chemistry"(but alive nonetheless)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: kimmers
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:57 PM

Little Hawk, while your experience certainly sounds as if you are someone who responds far better to therapy and self-help than medications, I still maintain that there is a place for them in many cases of depression.

As far as the comment regarding "the medical industry, allied with the pharmaceutical industry..." this is a common perception, and it doesn't really jive with reality. I find the pharmaceutical industry annoying for the most part. Many of their new meds are simply a re-hashing of some old med, for a new and higher price. We pediatricians tend to be curmudgeons, sticking with our old favorites until someone shows us a darn good reason to use the new product. In fact, with the heavy advertising of new drugs in the lay press, I sometimes hear more about new drugs from the patients than from my colleagues!!

I have no vested interest in prescribing Ritalin or Prozac or any other psychoactive drug. I would in fact love it if I never had to deal with the hassles of prescribing such medications. I don't get kick-backs from the drug companies for recommending their product. If there was a simple, cheap, safe, effective alternative, you can bet I'd be handing it out. Despite this, many people persist in believing that we are somehow in a conspiracy with the drug companies to use these meds as a quick and easy solution.

Mental health care is desperately underfunded in so many areas. Where I live, a child with an emotional or behavioral problem who is on public assistance may obtain mental health care in only one of two ways: through the severely understaffed county health care system (with one psychiatrist) or through their primary health care provider... me, in other words, despite the fact that I am not a psychiatrist. If I want one of these kids to have an actual therapist, all I can do is hand them the phone number for county mental health and hope that they call. I do not doubt that we could get by with fewer medications if we had more therapists and more funding for them, as well as family members who weren't so screwed up themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 02:23 PM

Kimmers, I couldn't agree more....and especially with your last paragraph. That battle is common to communities across the land. We have fought hard here to get the things that are needed, but resources are still sorely lacking. As a part of the Child Welfare System for almost ten years, I may have agreed with Hilary at one time.....you know, the old African expression, "It takes an entire village to raise a child." Well, that's true, but it WOULD be easier if so many "villagers" (and parents) weren't complete assholes. Sorry, the cynicism is setting in pretty hard nowadays.

Thanks again for your "Doc's View" posting. But you gotta' give those pharmaceutical boys a break!!! They got some neat free pens!!!(:<))

Spaw (husband of medtech)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 02:40 PM

My family has a lot of manic depression in it, and a little regular normal old depression. Even one of my young niblings has been diagnosed with manic-depression, when he was 9 (he's 13 now, and they've gotten his meds right finally, and he's doing great).

I have what was termed an "agitated" depression - if I get depressed I can't sit still, rather than not being able to get out of bed. Both are incredibly dysfunctional. Back in grad school, I got so depressed at one point that I realized I was looking for ways to die (not suicidal, per se, just really accident-prone, including a near-collision between my car and a train). That realization had me in therapy before nightfall - I called the suicide hotline and everything. The shrink I ended up seeing through Student Health did not put me on any medication; her theory (into which I bought) was that I had enough to be depressed about (Daddy being killed by terrorists a few years earlier, the childhood issues, yada yada) that she didn't think I did, at that point, HAVE a chemical imbalance. Well, the psychotherapy worked to a point. I got a lot better, a lot more functional, and went on with my life sans therapy because the money had run out. THEN, years later, here I am in an abusive relationship, which I finally fled to save my children. I don't know, and I don't think so, whether I'd have ever left on my own account. So then there I was, back in therapy - and now she has me on the SSRI-type of antidepressant. AND IT'S GREAT. I am still in psychotherapy, in conjuction with the drugs. I can now be much more clear about what is bothering me, and can keep my temper with my kids - and even with my X2b!

So I guess my take is, not everything that is wrong with depression (or many other "psychiatric" disorders) is mental. You need THERAPY to deal with the mental aspects, but drugs can "cure" a physical defect, even if said defect is in the way a neurotransmitter is metabolized. The argument against using these drugs reminds me of arguments against using THC for glaucoma - how can it be good for you if it feels so good? Well, it isn't the case that you only THINK your glaucoma is better because you're stoned, it really IS better - AND you're stoned. I think that reluctance is a holdover from the Puritans, where having fun can't be good for you. But that's just my $.02.

Therapy can help you deal with the world; drugs can help you deal with you.

As an aside, back in the grad school, at one point my doctor tried to get me onto Prozac not because of my depression, but because of something else coming up that ws about to be overly stressful... I took exactly one and went totally MANIC. I had the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE EVER. It was fantastic. It also was incredibly dysfunctional! I never took it again. My shrink said that apparently that is a Litmus test for manic depression - if antidepressants make you manic. Basically, it's a good thing I got into therapy when I did, or I might have really gone psychotic and not been able to come back.

I know that some of you who know me personally might wonder if I am back - or indeed if I was ever here... but that's another story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 02:52 PM

And - can someone point me to the other thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:12 PM

Someone mentioned that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin. This is kind of misleading--What causes the Serotonin levels to be low? What regulates serotonin production? You can go on and on--and many of the questions have no known answer, because we really know very little about how the brain does what it does, and in fact, we aren't all that clear on what all the functions of the brain really are--

The questions about the relationship between the mind, our consciousness, our spiritual selves, and how they relate to the physical brain and its chemistry, which really are at the root of the questions about psychology--well, forget about em--

Not much is understood about the way that many of the psychiatric drugs function, or why they work sometimes and not other times. The truth is that no one really can tell you what depression is...we recognize it chiefly by external signs, and we tend to miss those a lot of the time--Don't even think that you can understand what is going on in internally--

One thing that is starting to be clear--there is a definite correlation between physical trauma and depression--people who have suffered brain trauma almost always suffer from long term depression problems, the relatively recent use of a variety of brain scanning technologies is showing that a lot of people with depression have chemical and physical abnormalities within the brain that are similar to those who have suffered brain trauma.

A good guess is that many depression sufferers had an undetected brain trauma, perhaps at birth, or as the result of an undocumented or forgotten accident during childhood, or perhaps as the result of an illness, or even the exposure to undetected toxins.

To my way of thinking, the depression usually doesn't come from problems in childhood or in social adjustment--but it undermines the victim's ability to deal with those problems when they occur--Some people overcome every kind of problem, but some people, suffering from depression, can be unable to overcome any kind of problem--


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:57 PM

Depression may not be caused by low serotonin, but boy, beefing up the serotonin sure helps!


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:27 PM

Okay, this might sound like I'm criticising people who are happy with their medications and I don't mean that.

I'm in favor of using medication with patients who are in a crisis. Sometimes that's the only thing that keeps them alive long enough for other kinds of therapy to have time to start working, but I'm also leery of the side effects that some antidepressants have. I suppose I would be much more apt to say, go ahead and medicate! if I were sure that each person who was being "diagnosed" with depression had received a thorough physical, and any underlying problems were being addressed.

You see, I'm not a big believer in the DSM. That's the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is the "bible" of the psychiatric profession. It describes depression as a syndrome, when I think, on many occasions, depression is a symptom. Lead poisoning, infections, and other kinds of trauma can put the body and mind out of balance, and send serotonin levels down to the cellar. And no matter how much anti-depression medication and therapy someone gets for their depression, if the cause of the depression is an old typhus infection, then they're only going to be cured by the _right_ medication. In this case, antibiotics.

There's a book by Sydney Walker, called "A Dose of Sanity" which is pretty good about talking about the issue. He's got a soapbox, of course, so read opposing viewpoints as well, but I think his arguments are clear.

BTW, so you have some background on this, my uncle killed himself when I was a baby, and his son (who had found the body) killed himself just a couple of years ago. In my uncle's case, he was taking a 'shoebox' full of drugs -- and my cousin had been fighting depression, with medications, for years. My father, who claimed to be manic-depressive in a mild sort of way, had a lot of physical problems too, and in the years before he died, he used to read up and catch all of the drug interaction problems for his own shoebox full of drugs long before any of his doctors did. Which is why I still check the PDR before taking any new prescriptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:59 PM

I have a good friend who was diagnosed as schizophrenic many years ago. He's a terrific songwriter and poet, but his illness has made him basically unemployable, and he's on a government pension that he can get by on...just. He writes an enormous amount of material, and I have the impression that in an odd way his illness has actually helped him to write...quite aside from providing him with free time to do so.

What he experiences is voices...which say all kinds of negative and critical things to him. The only way he can stop the voices is to take heavy doses of meds, in combination with transcendental meditation. He's been doing that for the last couple of decades.

There are a lot of pretty bad side effects from the meds. His skin has become very sensitive to sunlight, and keeps breaking out, and he has gained a lot of weight, putting a strain on his heart, etc. He also gets exhausted very easily, and spends a lot of time in bed.

He knows that the meds have played havoc with his physical health. He experimented for periods of a few months off the meds, and his physical health improved considerably, but the voices kept bothering him.

A tough situation, indeed. I believe the meds are slowly killing him, but he feels that he can't do without them.

As has been pointed out above, each case is unique.

I don't think there's any conspiracy between the medical profession and the drug companies, by the way. I appreciate the sincere efforts of medical professionals to help their patients as best they possibly can.

I do think it's scandalous, however, that in Canada there is full government health insurance coverage for treatment by conventional MD's, while there is little or no such coverage for alternative health practitioners. In Cuba there is totall coverage for both, and it's modern and readily available for visitors and Cubans alike. In the USA...well, I think you all know about that.

Song lyric:
"If livin' were a thing that money could buy...you know, the rich would live, and the poor would die..." (All My Trials)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM

"If it goes on for weeks, if it's affecting your sleep, your appetite, your sex drive --" These are just SOME of the symptoms I get from allergies. I've had allergies for as long as I've been alive. My family has suffered from increasingly severe allergies for at least four generations. Whenever I visit a doctor, they try to push anti-depressants on me, because they think that'll solve the problem enough to get me earning a living and "being a contribution to society".

I have been tested as allergic to protein, calcium, vit. C, B vitamins, iron, vit. A, corn, mixed grains, salt, sugars, mixed chemicals, dust, mold, and several other things. I am LUCKY that my main reaction is just extreme fatigue, and not anaphylaxis.

Whatever food I eat, does not feed me. Whatever I breathe, interferes with my taking that next breath. My teeth and bones are rotting, because I am allergic to calcium. I have problems with all my internal organs because of allergies.

I cannot earn a living, because if I work at all I don't have energy for anything else. It's basically Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, without the help that people and governments give to the sufferers of CFS.

I have lived in poverty for most of my life, enough that I define "rich" as someone who has enough money to pay all the bills and actually take a vacation once a year. Oh, and to pay for dental work.

I have enough real-world reasons to be depressed, that I don't understand why people don't try to cure THOSE, rather than throwing a pill at it and hoping it'll go away.

And the doctors want me to take antidepressants?!!!

Any medication that doesn't deal with the underlying allergies, is fighting a battle that it will lose. Maybe I'll feel better and more capable.......................and then I'll collapse, yet again, because my body is attacking itself. Antidepressants don't cure THAT.

I'm not strong enough to work TWO days a week, much less the four days it'd take to get off social assistance.

And every time I go to the doctor, trying to get another month's exemption from having to do a job search 40 hours a week in order to have the government pay my rent, they try to push these stupid drugs at me. Because social services doesn't think that allergies are a "real" disease.

I've watched all my high school peers go away to university or college, and get jobs and careers and get married, and buy beautiful homes, and I'm stuck in a stinking basement apartment that floods periodically. It's the best place I can afford, and I'm lucky to have an apartment for so little, instead of one small, cramped room. If I earn any extra money, most of it gets taken off the next month's cheque, leaving me worse off than before. Because if I get extra money, most of it goes on food that doesn't react too badly in my stomach, and the thousand little things that I don't have money for after rent and phone and internet and food and necessary female products. (I'm trying to learn some skills on the internet, so that when I am healthy, I won't be useless. And I'm trying to make friends on the internet, because the friends I can make in person usually drop out of my life when I get sick and I don't call them or see them, or come hang out anymore, because I hurt too much, or I'm finally asleep.)

Well, guess what? I'm already a contribution to society, even when I'm up all night crying because I can't see a legal way out of the poverty and disease I was born with.

Before three years ago, I was struggling several times daily, with suicidal thoughts and feelings, especially during ragweed season. Two years ago, I discovered an herbal ALLERGY medication, that has eliminated the suicidal impulses, but not the lack of energy, or the poverty. I have recently discovered from a friend, an alternative treatment that actually cures allergies, and I am trying to scrape together the money to take it. I was working as a dishwasher two nights a week. Until I started sneezing every time I went into work and discovered I'm not just allergic to the cigarette smoke... There's also the mold, bleach, nut oils, etc.
Of course, now social services is going to start taking money off my cheque, and getting on my back for having left the job, and the next few months are going to be very hard. I would need over $1,000 each month to pay for rent, bills, special food, treatment, female stuff, and clothing care. I'm getting about half that, and if I earn anything, most of it just gets taken off. (And my rent takes over 80% of my income. For financial health, housing is supposed to cost less than 40%.)

You can't just throw drugs at these sorts of problems. But who actually knows what to do that will actually alleviate poverty? Or how to help the people who just slip through the cracks of the government safety net?

And I'm smart, and talented, and beautiful. And it isn't of any use without health.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM

Me and my family have a history of depression....I was lucky enough to win this disorder through genetics....a few years ago I was officially diagnosed and put on Paxil and Trazodone....Suddenly a crushing weight was took off of my shoulders and I became functional again....after the year was up, I was convinced that I didn't really need it anymore...Boy was I wrong....about a year ago I crashed again...was disfunctional for almost a year....finally, I got a job and after seeking advice here on this forum, I got put on Zoloft....and things have been better since.... I have to admit though that I barely survived this year... I wrote the following poem, while at the very bluff that is mentioned in it....If I had that line instead of a pen and paper, I wouldn't have been here forcing you to suffer with my poetry....

Piece of Paper

He stands there in all his natural beauty, gazing down the bluff, staring into the depths of the stagnant pond, imagining the feel of the water, rushing past his body, filling every entrance, every pore, ripping off the paper taped to his breast.

He jumps, knees bending, one two three steps, running, stamping the grass blades back into the womb, gently pushing off the ground with the bottom of his right foot, the air flows past his body, every cell tingling with the excitement of flight, the thrill of the air tugging on the paper taped to his breast.

He lies there, head snuggling with the cliffside, the gentle breezes softly pushing his naked body along the jagged rocks, scraping the green nylon line entwined about his broken neck, and the shattered remnants of a piece of paper taped to his breast ripples with each mournful sigh of god.

Thank you folks....Blessed be.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:58 PM

My whole long post just above was the wordy way to say:
That my problems have clear causes.
That I resent it when doctors try to push medication on me for something that would clear up if the underlying causes were treated.
That this is my personal reaction to my personal situation. If something works for you, I have no problems with you doing it. Whatever works.

Amergin - I am glad it was pencil and paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:03 PM

Oops, pen.


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Mudcat time: 7 August 12:27 AM EDT

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