Monday, December 5, 2022

Comments by caitrin176

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I would not be alive if I were not on antidepressants, so the “All Antidepressants Are Bad” mantra which this particular author apparently adheres to annoys me immensely. Fact is, the outstandingly vast majority of people on antidepressants do NOT commit homicide, or other acts of violence, and this article overlooks that crucial fact. As for suicide–well, Mr. Brennan, if I were not on MAOIs–a class of antidepressants created in the 60’s–I would have committed suicide 25 years ago. In fact, while I was on–literally–trial for my life, seeking help for my overwhelmingly severe depression w a variety of fruitless antidepressant “trials”, I attempted suicide four times, b/c nothing whatsoever had yet helped me, and I lost all hope. It is, in my belief, therefore every bit as dangerous to vastly OVERprescribe antidepressants (as is currently done) as it is to cut off a patient’s medications, since many people DO depend, as I do, on their antidepressants for their lives. There is so much stigma about depression and taking meds for it to begin with, and now we have to hear how antidepressants are turning people into homicidal maniacs, as well, from authors w extreme views, like this one. Surely this author could at least have mentioned that becoming a mass killer while on mood disorder medications is not only horrifying, it is also incredibly rare. B/c of how depression and other disorders affect the brain, and how little we know about this correspondence (for instance, who is to say that it is not the condition of the brain, and not the medical treatment, which causes a patient to become violent?) There is no actual proof to substantiate the author’s claims that antidepressants are, indeed, always the culprits in these cases. An irresponsibly one sided article–but I expect nothing more from this site.

  • I have only read the last half dozen blogs or so on “Mad in America”, and I am compelled to write to tell you that most of them outrage me. As someone who has suffered from severe chronic major depression for 35 years, and been treated with antidepressants for 30–a medication which has been, for me, the literal difference between my life and death–the devotion of these blogs to “proving” that antidepressants do not truly work for is offensive and ignorant. (I understand this particular blog is about treating depression w opiates, which I too consider to be dangerous. However, in severe stages of my depression, it has been a last resort.) Most people who are prescribed antidepressants do not even have major depression to begin with–so I agree that they are vastly overprescribed. However, there are some people, like myself, who simply can’t survive w/out medical treatment. I have NEVER found an SSRI or any antidepressant at all to be helpful, except for the MAOI, which is the one I’ve been on most of my life. When it ceases to work for me, every year or so, so that I take a 6 week “drug holiday,” I become so suicidal and depressed during that time that I usually must hospitalize myself or be hospitalized. So there is NO DOUBT in my mind that I would not even be alive if it weren’t for the efficacy of a specific antidepressant—and I know I’m not the only individual for whom this is true. I know several people, mostly online, who have derived huge, life altering reprieve from critically severe depression w medication, and “Mad in America”, in general, seems determined to prove that antidepressants are plain wrong, and completely useless, which is an insult to the people they do actually help. Frankly, I don’t believe they help *many* people–probably, far fewer are helped than not–but that is partially connected to the fact don’t actually have any kind of chemical imbalance or depletion–actual depression–to start with. That a chemical imbalance of some sort is a cause of major and recalcitrant (“treatment resistant”) depression has not yet been *disproven.*
    As for “opiate therapy”–yes, it’s simplistic, and naïve or cynical (can’t decide which) for researchers to conclude that they will make good antidepressants, as they seem to lift people’s moods. They do–for a time–improve mood, but the harm from long term opiate addiction far outweighs their benefit, imo. I have turned to them, w my psychiatrist’s encouragement, at times when I am off my MAO antidepressant, when the depression becomes literally too agonizing to live through. I have never been on them longer than a month, however, and would never plan to be. But there are times when they *have* become the only thing left between myself and suicide. I don’t presume that there are not others like me, who could be temporarily helped by the use of opiates.
    The underlying presumption in “Mad in America”, that there is no such thing as chemical imbalance in depression and that, therefore, antidepressants are useless, and serve to aid only Big Pharmacy, is far too sweeping, exaggerated, and generalized to be accurate. At best, it’s a thoughtless stance, which does not consider factors and variables that are still unknown. But above all, it does not consider the truth, lives, and stories of ALL people who suffer from depression, some whose lives actually can be and are made more livable by the use of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.