The Empty Promise of Suicide Prevention


From The New York Times: “Most suicidal patients I see follow a different pattern, like the one a resident presented to me recently. A middle-aged woman with no psychiatric history was brought in after overdosing on ibuprofen. She had recently become homeless. After seven years of sobriety, she had relapsed, taking methamphetamine to stay awake at night after she was sexually assaulted in the park where she had been sleeping. She had no supportive family, no insurance, no source of income and no education beyond high school.

She didn’t see a way out of her situation. So she walked into a pharmacy, grabbed a bottle of ibuprofen and went into the bathroom, where she choked down as many pills as possible before someone walked in.

I asked the resident how he planned to help her while she was in the hospital. After a pause, he suggested meekly, ‘Start her on an antidepressant?’

I could tell he knew how ridiculous it sounded.

As doctors, we want to help people, and it can be hard for us to admit when our tools are limited. Antidepressants may seem like an obvious solution, but only about 40 percent to 60 percent of patients who take them feel better. And while nearly one in 10 Americans uses antidepressants, there is very little convincing evidence to show that they reduce suicide.

This is because many of the problems that lead to suicide can’t be fixed with a little extra serotonin. Antidepressants can’t supply employment or affordable housing, repair relationships with family members or bring on sobriety.”

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  1. “We need to address the root causes of our nation’s suicide problem — poverty, homelessness and the accompanying exposure to trauma, crime and drugs. That means better alcohol and drug treatment, family counseling, low-income housing resources, job training and individual therapy.”

    You mean the psychiatrists, who believe suicide and depression are caused only by “chemical imbalances” in people’s brains, that are only cured with antidepressants are WRONG? No, say it ain’t so! You mean real life problems are what cause real life depression that leads to suicides?

    Well, in addition to the antidepressants, which do have a black warning they cause suicides Wow! Who would have thought that common sense is more true, than what the insane lies our doctors are claiming.

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  2. What about:-

    What was the Irish Suicide Rate prior to Large Scale “Anti Depressant” Exposure?

    “…Fine Gael TD and chairman of the Irish Association of Suicidology, Dan Neville, told the forum the average annual suicide rate in Ireland in the 1960s was 64-65.

    He said: “Last year, 483 people died by suicide and if you add the 123 undetermined deaths, the suicide number is over 600.”…”

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    • Regarding the other commenter who wrote about the idea of lithium being added to water: I get that trace amounts of lithium are naturally found in water but there’s lots of things that are naturally present in water supplies. Many of these things we have determined to be bad and so we filter them out. But rather than re-adding an impurity to make it so that unless a person can afford bottled water they get drugged against their will, we still need to go back to the real causes of depression. People don’t have support networks because they can’t afford a stable home and a big group of family and friends. Even the wealthier among us are moving away from home to chase time consuming jobs, leaving them littletime for a family, and no extended family nearby to help raise children. Modern capitalist society is sick and some of us suffer more than others. I don’t want drugged water or drugs of any sort, I want a stable home and family. At my increasing age I think the best I might get is a few years with my husband before he’s worked to death, and if I’m lucky the other people in the senior home with me for poor people will be nice.

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