Depression is not a disease

James Gordon who I highlighted here when he was interviewed for Newsweek, has now been interviewed on NPR. He claims, rightly so, as far as I’m concerned that depression is not a disease. Listen on NPR here.

They have another psychiatrist for “balance” holding up big pharma’s and general psychiatrys take on the issue, Dr. Kramer, saying that it is a disease.

11unstuckMore refreshing perspective here on NPR from James Gordon, in any case. Also see: Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression

Depression is a wake-up call! We are not living our life as we should. We need to recover and re-balance. Or alternatively life is hard. All the sages through out history have known that. In Buddhism they say, “live is suffering.” They also teach skills to escape that suffering.

My mother-in-law died today. I’m not doing so great. Dr. Kramer might say I’m suffering from a disease.

James Gordon rightly knows I can deal with my grief by simple non-pharmaceutical methods.

His message is one of hope and recovery!

Note: In response to a post out there in the blogosphere, for the record, I have never, ever suggested people come off their meds. I think people should make up their own mind and so know too that I have never lectured anyone about stopping any drug. That would simply be dangerous.

More articles that explore the chemical imbalance myth:

●  The chemical imbalance myth (mental health): by Chris Kresser

●  Chemical imbalance myth takes a big public fall (no, antidepressants do NOT correct an imbalance of serotonin, nor do other psychiatric drugs correct anything at all)

●  Depression is not a disease

●  “The chemical imbalance theory of mental disorders was disproven long ago”

●  Bipolar Medication Myths — Joanna Moncrieff MD

●  An Interview with Joanna Moncrieff: The Myth of the Chemical Cure

●  Biopsychiatry: a critique

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

56 Responses

  1. ama

    no, depression is not a disease. it’s a deep sadness you feel when life is seriously sucky. it’d be like saying the loneliness is a disease. no, it’s what you feel when you’ve got no one cheering in the stands for you.

    my deepest condolences to you and your husband. another angel in heaven for both of you. hugs.

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  2. j12

    hugs again, Gianna, and my deepest sympathy to you, your husband, and your family–it sounds like he made it there just in time to say goodbye to her…i am sure that his presence eased her suffering, in a way that only he could…

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  3. I’m sorry about your mother in law.

    James Gordon’s book sounds real interesting. I was told that depression was confusion. When we untangle the confusion, the depression will lift. Sometimes we need to stop and make some decisions and find our purpose. I’m also coming to believe that we all need some sort of challenge to keep us busy. Just losing ourselves in social activities, games, and other diversions does not work for long. Many find their way out with hobbies, volunteer work, or some major project.

    Sorry again about your loss,
    Jim S

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  4. i am sorry about your loss.

    i agree that depression is a wake up call. something to remind us that hey, you need to do something and keep yourself busy so you can take your mind off whatever it is that is making you depressed… or better yet, yes… ‘re-balance’

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  5. Sloopy Cowbell

    Very sorry to hear the news. Though I am glad that your husband got to say goodbye to his mum, and that he can be there for his dad at this sad time.

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  6. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

    Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a very painful and debilitative illness (“disease” or not) which impacts virtually every aspect of the sufferer’s life.

    I realize your post is not complete, but I suspect that based on some of your comments (“We need to recover and re-balance. Or alternatively life is hard.) that you believe that depression can be simply be avoided at will or turned off like a switch.

    I assure you that this is not true. If it was true, do you not think that anyone suffering from depression would do so? Query: would anyone tell a person who has a tumor that he/she needs to “recover and re-balance”? That “life is hard”?

    I highly doubt it.

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  7. Sloopy Cowbell

    His mindless Big Pharma thinking on depression is surpassed only by his unswerving belief in Western military propaganda, and its veracity, too.

    What I do find depressing is that he has swallowed all the Big Lies of this century, hook, line and sinker!

    The Official Legends of OBL, 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Bali – he’s lapped up the whole damn lot!

    You’ve got to be a serious mind control victim to buy into that volume of fanciful fairytales. It is a salutary lesson to us all. You can take Fox News far too seriously!

    Incidentally, I just scrolled down his blog, and found several smears on the anti-pharma lobby, so he certainly has an agenda.

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  8. “the chemical imbalance theory has been totally debunked including by psychiatrists who are still beholden to big pharma…”

    Since it has been “totally debunked,” it should be totally easy to refer me to several reputable studies which totally debunk my chemical imbalance comment. I love to read, and I await your response.

    “I don’t have the energy to argue with someone who is probably unshakable in their chemical imbalance faith…”

    Not enough energy? I am sorry to hear that. It’s a common problem among those with depression. Perhaps you are lacking in energy because you aren’t putting forth the “discipline and patience… [and] sacrifice…”

    Suppose for a moment that I am actually right: that depression is a physical condition, why is that a problem in your view?

    Or is all this primarily because you really dislike and distrust any industry with a lot of money and power? That’s all the rage since, well, Karl Marx/Lenin/Trotsky….

    “I speak from experience as someone who has dealt with a tremendous amount of depression.”

    Join the club. On the other hand, there are many people who have not experienced depression who are just as qualified (or more so) than you or I.

    “Recovery takes dedication, discipline and patience. It also takes sacrifice…”

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. Just curious if you would ever say any of this to a person with cancer, a broken leg, chronic pain, etc.

    “most people DON’T want to do the things that allow them to heal, so yes, I think people avoid getting well… absolutely!”

    THEREFORE, people prefer mental anguish over discipline? People prefer physical and mental pain over doing whatever it takes to get better? People find it more convenient to suffer mood swings, reduced energy, shattered friendships and marriages, etc. rather than getting well?

    “it seems you think I am without compassion and nothing can be further from the truth.”

    I don’t know you so judging you would be silly I think. Based on your comments, however, on this particular topic, your logic and compassion are absent.

    ***

    Sloopy, are you the court jester on this blog? I appreciate the free hits. I always welcome new readers.

    Rather than attack the content of my blog or of what I posted here, it’s a lot easier to attack me, which is exactly what you did. Very good. You are now prepared to debate 3rd graders.

    The notion that I have an “agenda” is bizarre (and could also apply to you). I blog on whatever interests me and try to shed some light on current topics. If that’s an “agenda,” you have a really wide definition of the term.

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  9. I once vehemently beleived in the chemical imbalance theory, and I’m no Fox News soldier.

    The chemical imbalance theory can be very addictive and soothing because it offers a simple way to approach an often terrifying and abstract state of existence. For many years, I definitely beleived it, not only because it provided relief for my sense of failure, but also because doctors and advocates told me it was true. And in our culture, medical practitioners are equated with having important knowledge that laypeople do not.

    tsfiles, I know you believe strongly in the chemical imbalance theory. I can feel it in your writing. I want you to know that I understand that belief very well. But I want to respectfully ask you to consider putting it down for only a moment.

    The way that we make knowledge in mental health is primarily through scientific studies. Thus, there should be a wealth of evidence that points to a chemical imbalance in the brain for mental illness, since that theory is so predominant.

    My gentle challenge to you is: please find one study or one link to a study that demonstrates that a chemical imbalance causes mental illness. If the theory holds weight, this challenge should be no problem, and then we don’t even have to discuss it further.

    One study, that’s all. You can begin by searching here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/

    If you do or do not find anything, or end up puzzled, please feel free to contact me at stevenmorganjr@gmail.com , and I’ll be happy to continue this discussion…

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  10. I submitted the above post before tsfiles responded so strongly.

    tsfiles, you want us to provide you with studies that debunk the theory, but there are no studies to prove it (you’ll see this yourself if you accept my above challenge), so how will there be studies to debunk it? It’s like saying, “Aliens cause depression,” now find me science that debunks such a theory.

    Anyhow, if you want to read more into the problem with chemical imbalance theories, start here:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/u37j12152n826q60/fulltext.pdf

    http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020392&ct=1

    And to comment on another one of your comments, the problem with conceptualizing depression as a physical disease is that we stop looking to other catalysts, you know, like trauma, abuse, monotonous wage labor, 3000 media messages a day, war, greed, homophobia, poverty, religious fuck-with-your-brain stuff, neglect, the breakdown of communities, violence and violence and violence, loss of sacred, and on and on.

    So, by calling depression a brain disease, we in effect let all of these huge problems off the hook. And that may prevent us from actually changing and challenging the culprits for misery.

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  11. Doe

    tsfiles,

    I really doubt you’re going to find much of an audience here for your take on depression…Like Gianna, I don’t wish to waste any energy arguing with people who see depression in this light. I’ve done the medication route, as have most here, and been more devastated, then satisfied by the results. And, like most here, what I’m most interested in is exploring life without meds….not arguing about it.

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  12. tsfile,

    Couldn’t help myself – got on your blog
    …a conservative, a Catholic, a displayer of our nation’s two most sacred documents….

    Don’t pretend to be the voice of conservatism or the church of Rome, or of those who love their country my friend – not in one fell-swoop…..not with this kid….

    I consider myself each of these things – and, you and I have very little in common……

    Boy, when you swing – you swing big-time…..Didn’t your little league coach ever tell you “not to try to knock it outta the park”? Didn’t your dad ever tell you to “repect those you disagree with”? Didn’t your priest ever teach you the the spiritual laws of the Christ? Did you skip catechism, or the lessons on “faith, hope, and love”…..

    You come on big time my friend – like a tough-guy….We were all unimpressed by you – each of us – anyone would be….

    Gianna explained in this post that she had just lost a family member – were you reading, or listening? She tells you she is a compassionate person – and you say you don’t see any? That says all there is to know about you – and says nothing about who she is, and what she means to us…..

    You take a swing at Sloopy – my friend from across the pond – whom I’ve had some wonderful conversations with – a true friend of anyone who suffers – he’s done quite a bit himself….

    You toss out a few names – like Marx, and Lenin,and Trosky….like a big-shot – like the only one who’s ever read a history book….Read Gordon Wood – read about how Jefferson despised big business once it got involved with big government, and big banking…..You know nothing about history…..

    Now to the subject at hand…..

    “Chemical imbalnce” theory – that’s what it is at best – in fact scientific “theory” is too strong a word….

    Reader oh reader, lover of the printed word……go back about 4 months – articles in each of the major papers – not around the nation – around the world…..anti-depressants clinically no better than placebo – the major pharmaceutical companies decided not to published one-third of the clinical data…..

    When you consider the fact that any FDA approved test need only be better (by a few percentage points) over placebo (sugar pill), I could grind up Texas license plates – toss out a third of the data, and “prove” swallowing ground up metal can alleviate the symptoms of depression – pick a substance….any substance….

    Do you know that only 1/3 of the “new” drugs on the market are “new” – lover of the pharmaceutical industry? 2/3 are re-treads of older versions….

    The pharm people have no idea how these drugs work – none. The reason is that to measure the effect on neurotransmitters would require an atopsy – of course, I’m sure you already knew that….Start with two books by Peter Breggin, MD – he’s not quite as smart as you – He only graduated from Harvard Medical School Psychiatry – I’m sure your medical degreee was from a much more prestigious university – “Toxic Psychiatry”, and “Your Drug May be Your Problem – How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medication” – but, you “like to read”, so don’t stop there – complete his whole series – amazing how he has come to understand (through his many years as a doctor) that love may be the greatest healer of all – something the Christ tried to teach us over 2,000 years ago…..something we failed to learn…..

    He also is a big believer in individualized recovery – something as simple as reading, walking, gettting involved in community – surely these things could never “heal” – surely, you must be right….afterall several milenium of human experience pales in comparison to the “drug trials” of Pfeizer, Merck, and Lilly….they know – surely, we should trust them – rather than our own human experience – our own wisdom…..

    Lover of the free market (as am I), this is not “free market” – this is major industry in union with enormous government ….these are state-funded universities, with research chairs who are given big-bucks – to keep good studies, and toss out bad ones….not exactly “pure scienc” – backed with billions by federal tax dollars…..these drugs are purchased in large amts by states – medicade – and they are lining up my friend – over 30 two months ago….suing the ever-lovin crap outta pharma – for deception, for falsification – for lies….but then, you’re a reader – you know all this already….

    Chemical imbalance – show me where it is on an MRI or C-T scan? It ain’t there buddy – it ain’t there….

    That doesn’t mean there isn’t pain or suffering – it means it ain’t quite a simple as not enough serotonin, or dopamine….

    My best guess (from my very limited reading – we aren’t all as smart as you) is that depression can come from a host of areas – faulty thyroid, poor absorption, hormonal problems, candida problems (in women), environmental allergies, toxidity….it can also be caused by trauma…..another subject – another day….But, don’t take my word for it – look at what the best board certified doctors in Holistic, Homeopathic, Environmental, Naturopathic, Traditional Chinese, Orthomolecular Medicines have to say……

    Oh, I almost forgot – you’re smarter than they are….

    I’m a Texan, and a former boy scout (pretty conservative guy my friend)…..I remember our scout master teaching us to “make sure the campsite is cleaner than when we arrived” – When I think of my friend Gianna, I think of someone who has made this world a better place – in her darkest hours – she has reached out – to help countless others….

    I also remember camping in the hill country – how we used to watch out for each other – there were a lot of rattlesnakes in that area…..We used to listen for them – to protect each other…

    I never liked snakes.

    Duane

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  13. tsfile: Part Two: Reading

    Do you ever listen to Dennis Prager?
    A Conservative’s conservative?
    As much so as Peggy Noonan…..

    I have never heard him be disrespectful to a guest – not once – not ever….If you’ve never head him – you should listen…in fact, he has a pretty cool show called the “Happiness Hour” – devoted toward how to find happiness…

    I heard him say once “All people have an equal right to an opinion, but not all opinions are equal”….

    So it is with you – and your “chemical imbalance” theory….You are certainly of equal importance, and have a right to voice your opinions – We need to respect you – but, we can reject your opinions….I have….

    Normally, I like to close my emails with good thoughts to the person on the other side….Forgive me, but after taking a swing at a person I love dearly, I just ain’t up to it, and I’d be lying anyway….

    Also, I normally ask the other person to email me offline – so I can give them more information….not tonight – not with the well-read guy…..the one who already knows everything….

    Wanna learn more – start here – I put it together quickly tonight….Start here, and move off these sites, and read some good books on natural healing –

    Dangers of Psychiatry

    Concerned Organizations
    International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology http://www.icspp.org
    Alliance for Human Research Protection http://www.ahrp.org
    Medical Accountability http://www.medicalaccontability.net Children and Adults Against Drugging America http://www.chaada.org
    Able Child http://www.ablechild.org
    John Breeding, PhD ‘Wildest Colts’ http://www.wildestcolts.com

    Injury Caused by Psychotropics
    Gwen Olsen http://www.gwenolsen.com
    SSRI Stories http://www.ssri-stories.com
    SSRI Research http://www.ssri-research.com
    Wood Matters http://www.woodymatters.com
    Mad in America http://www.madinamerica.com/Mad%20In%20America/Home.html

    Truth about NAMI
    NAMI Pharma http://www.namipharma.org
    ECT http://www.ect.org

    Legal Rights
    Mind Freedom http://www.mindfreedom.org
    Law Project for Psychiatric Rights http://www.psychrights.org

    Duane

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  14. Jane

    First, Gianna my condolences on your loss i am sending you some hugs from the West.

    Second, I was trying to come up some replies for tsfiles.

    Steven snagged some of the best lines already. So yeah so listen to Steven, tsfiles, he is breaking it to you a lot nicer than I could.

    Oh and Hi Steven! Yours was the best video of the video media presentation on bipolar at ny times by far, excellent work!

    I hope you didnt ban him already G, I would love to see some rebuttal.

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  15. Oh my! Why do they always have to get rude? Aggressive? Hostile? Arrogant? I’m certainly not an angel myself (Steven is), but when challenged in a civil way, I try the best I can to respond in a civil one. And I can’t find anything in neither your post nor your comments, Gianna, that wouldn’t be civil and thus could explain/excuse tsfiles’ rudeness. But I have a hunch, that this is mostly about in how far people would have to take responsibility for themselves and their suffering – or leave it to some pill to fix the alleged chemical imbalance. More than it is about scientific evidence. And that’s a really painful one for many people. Even more painful than “depression” or whatever “mental illness” itself.

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  16. mark p.s.

    just another news report that says antidepressents don’t work. on the CBC here in Canada, ( same as the BBC)

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  17. Sloopy Cowbell

    The following is taken from the website of the esteemed Dorothy Rowe:

    A Single Step: The Magazine for supporters of Depression Alliance (Nov 2007)

    The End of Chemical Imbalance

    In his letter in the summer edition of A Single Step Tim Shanks referred to an article in Saga Magazine where I’d written about how the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the professional body which sets the standards for psychiatrists practising in the UK, had removed all mention of chemical imbalance as the cause of depression from its website.

    Tim seemed to have the impression that my article was no more than the statement of my opinion. I have been an Associate of the Royal College of Psychiatry since 1970. I read all its journals to inform myself of new research findings. I also read books written by leading psychiatrists like David Healey and Julian Leff. I try to pass what I have learnt on to those people who might find this information interesting and important. In the hope that facts will not be taken as merely my opinion, in this article I shall carefully label what is fact and what is my opinion.

    FACT There has never been any evidence that depression was caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The psychiatrist David Healy gives the history of the idea of chemical imbalance in his book Let Them Eat Prozac. Psychiatrists have always known that there was no evidence for a chemical imbalance as the cause of depression but for many years they have called this idea an hypothesis and hoped that one day is would be proved. Many psychiatrists have told me that they tell patients that they have a chemical imbalance because they think this is a comfort to them. MY OPINION Whether patients want to be told a tooth fairy kind of lie is debatable.

    FACT Last year the Royal College of Psychiatrists dropped any reference to chemical imbalance from their website. If you look up the fact sheet on depression which is on their website you will see that factors such as circumstances and life events are listed as causes of depression. The fact sheet is very cautious about mentioning genetics other than to say that depression runs in families. The fact that a behaviour is found in succeeding generations in a family does not prove that this behaviour is caused by a gene. For example, my father voted Labour, I vote Labour, my son votes Labour. Does this mean that we have a voting Labour gene?

    MY OPINION Psychiatrists are caught in a bind. They know that all the scientific research shows that depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance and that complex behaviour like being depressed cannot be explained by a gene. They want to practise evidence-based medicine. So, they abandoned chemical imbalance but they don’t want anyone to know. Psychiatrists and GPs who don’t keep up with what their professional body is telling them are continuing to present patients with what David Healy calls ‘a myth’.

    FACT Drug companies used the chemical imbalance idea to create what have proved to be a very profitable set of drugs, the SSRIs. These drugs undoubtedly put serotonin in the person’s brain but, as the brain wasn’t imbalanced originally, these drugs don’t right the balance. Psychiatrists who value truth over profits or personal prestige like Dr Joanne Moncrieff, senior lecturer in psychiatry at University College London, now are showing that what these drugs do is to treat symptoms which accompany being depressed. They do not cure an illness in the way that antibiotics cure an infection.

    FACT This is the current situation. MY OPINION It is a tragedy that those people who are depressed are not being properly informed so that they can choose how they wish to see their depression. They can see it as an illness or as a result of the way they live their life. Like everything in life, each alternative has advantages and disadvantages. If you see it as an illness you are not responsible for it, but, for your psychiatrist, it is a chronic illness like diabetes which cannot be cured but only managed. If you see it as a result of the way you live your life, you are responsible for your depression, but you can choose to change how you see yourself and your life and thus cease to be depressed.

    Taking responsibility for yourself isn’t easy but it does lead to a satisfactory life.

    See: David Healy Let Them Eat Prozac New York University Press

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  18. Steven,

    Thanks for being the man I would have liked to have been yesterday – your demeanor and calmness….

    You are a man of peace – without doubt.

    Duane

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  19. Val

    Belated condolences – I THOUGHT I’d be able to just log on & leave a brief comment this AM, until I skimmed the maelstrom of commentary!
    Anyway, my deepest sympathy on your family’s loss, Gianna – and Steven Morgan, you’re my hero!
    Best wishes, Val

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  20. Ametyst

    Sincere condolences to you, and your husband. Take time to grieve, to remember your mother in law for all the nice hapenings she brought to your life.

    I havn’t looked at all the comments, although I would not agree that depression is an illness. My doctor would say it is an emotion. Psychiatrists like to make elaborate assumtions and diagnoses. I like what you’ve said about getting the balance right.

    Take it easy.

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  21. thenutrientpath

    Gianna,

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss, and also to read this heated commentary you had to deal with. I think the discussion is productive, I’m sad we can’t do it without the oft-snide tone of tsfiles, and the raw hurt feelings in return.

    For me, decades down of observing my brother with schizophrenia and his common-law wife who is big on telling us how they are as they as because “it’s a disease,” the problem with this is what it entails. The medical model, faith in the Pharma Nazis, and a general sit-back-and-wait-to-be-cared-for by the profiteers in medicine. I fear that tsfiles is here, and stuck in his misery, and I feel for that rut of disempowerment.

    But we’re all onto something if we recognize the whole-body physiological truth now termed just “mental” “illness.” Are we dis-eased, sick, from toxins like rife synthetic chemicals (now there’s the chemical imbalance–throughout all bodies on this Mother Earth), heavy metals, infectious agents and chronic autoimmune disorders? Do they effect behavior in a really big way? Yes, and yes. Dis-ease exists.

    So I wish we could get down to the underlying argument. Real grief and low energy because a family member died is not disease. But I cannot agree that the chronic physical-behavioral problems epidemic on this globe are “just life.” As ecosystems become more toxic, our minds and bodies do too.

    These epidemic conditions affect the emotions, our relationships, and our future as a species. We need a holistic, not just a brain-centered, approach to this. We need for ourselves and our planet to be well. We need not attack one another, because all of us here have suffered in much the same ways.

    Namaste, Sue
    http://www.thenutrientpath.wordpress.com

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  22. Years ago, maybe decades ago, when I was taking a course about how medicinal drugs worked, the professor explained how depression results from not enough of certain chemicals in the synapses. At the time it sounded good. However, later when I researched the topic more fully for an article I was writing, I found out from many sources that antidepressants will increase the level of neurotransmitters in the synapses immediatly, yet most depression will not begin to lift until a week or two later. So if the lack of transmitter was the cause, why did’t the depression lift as soon as the transmitter was restored?

    A few years ago when I was writing an article for my webpage on this topic, I would find in the scientific literature articles written by various researchers saying that we had no idea what caused depression.

    I do believe that at least some people will not do the work to get better. Many of my friends are on disability due to mental illness. If they got better, they will have to go to work. Being ill is a great reason to not face up to responsibilities. I say that because I have that tendency. I can be on the shy side. If I do not want to be around people, I can just say I do not feel good. As a child I loved it when I got a cold, sore throat, or other illness because I did not have to face school. School was painful due to my learning problems.

    I think it was just rude for someone to demand a complicated explaination when you had a death in the family. Actually, for some people no explaination is long or detailed enough.

    Jim S

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  23. Mark

    Fascinating! I have read this post from top to bottom and I also looked over the Royal College of Psychiatrists website. The understanding of depression is really in its infancy when compared to other medical conditions which have benefitted from improved technologies and better funding. The argument that antidepressants are not beneficial and actually are harmful is always interesting to me. I have met many people (antedotal evidence yes) who have successfully dealt with their depression through the use of an SSRI and therapy. I am not sure why they would be discouraged from using a medication that perhaps saved their life. Conversely I know many individuals who have overcome their depression without any medication or counseling, but I would say those folks struggled for longer periods of time.

    With respect to the Royal College of Psychiatry they post a leaflet on depression which states…(http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/mentalhealthproblems/depression/antidepressants.aspx)

    “How well do they work?
    After 3 months of treatment, the proportions of people with depression who will be much improved are:

    50% and 65% if given an antidepressant
    compared with
    25 – 30% if given an inactive “dummy” pill, or placebo”

    I say whatever works for a particular individual with regard to their depression should be pursued. To take any treatment (meds, therapy, lifestyle change, exercise, diet, etc) off the table seems cruel to me. Thanks for the opportunity to chime in! Good health to all.

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  24. Mark

    Thanks for your comments. I have no interest in arguing either I just believe differently than you. I have watched with interest as of late with the data related to the decrease in SSRI prescriptions in both teens and adults between 2003-2005 (peds -20%, general -30%) since the FDA black-box warnings and the increase (2004 increase 14%) in teen suicides. I am not arguing cause and effect because the data is not all there, but it does give one cause to pause. As I stated above I know many people who have benefitted tremendously from antidepressants and you know many who have had problems with them. It is my opinion that multiple approaches to addressing the complexities of depression are needed and to summarily dismiss one treatment is neither responsible or beneficial.

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  25. Sloopy Cowbell

    I..looked over the Royal College of Psychiatrists website. The understanding of depression is really in its infancy

    Then you acknowledge Dorothy Rowe’s point?

    The Royal College of Psychiatry will not endorse the industry’s Big Lie of the “chemical imbalance”.

    I am not sure why they would be discouraged from using a medication that perhaps saved their life.

    Perhaps?

    Because psychiatric drugs frequently kill people, leave them permanently brain damaged, and induce suicidal and homicidal ideations.

    Not that any of those piffling reasons matter a damn to Organised Psychiatry and the puppetmasters at Lilly, Pfizer et al.

    I see Dr Peter Breggin, one of the most famous critics of bio-psychiatry has re-designed his website. Very nice, too.

    Breggin has a new section titled: “What you may need to know about: Violence and suicide caused by antidepressants

    Take a peek!

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  26. Sloopy Cowbell

    I know many people who have benefitted tremendously from antidepressants

    That you are an industry insider is obvious.

    We should be afforded the courtesy of a proper introduction by yourself, starting with full and verifiable disclosure of your professional background.

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  27. Mark

    I don’t think the number of teen suicides in the U.S. is debatable, but I don’t think you can necessarily make the leap between a reduction in the number of scripts written for SSRI’s and the increase in suicides. I just point out that it is possible an association exists. I think the critical information will be what the 2005 data shows us about the number of suicides and prescribing data.

    With respect to the post written by “Sloopy Cowbell” I certainly agree that the understanding of depression in its infancy, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the endorsement of the use of SSRI’s. The Royal College of Psychiatrists endorse the NICE treatment guidelines, which call for the use of an antidepressant in moderate to severe depression.

    I respect your thoughts about the use of antidepressants, but the accusation they cause homicidal and suicidal behaviors is not only inflamatory, but not proven either. I can cite you the same outcome of an increase in suicidal behavior following the initiation of psychotherapy

    (Bridge JA, Barbe RP, Birmaher B, Kolko DJ, Brent DA (2005). Emergent suicidality in a clinical psychotherapy trial for adolescent depression. Am J Psychiatry 162:2173-2175)

    and that SSRI use actually decreased suicidal behavior in adolescents (Simon GE, Savarino J, Operskalski B, Wang PS (2006). Suicide risk during anti-depressant treatment. Am J Psychiatry 163 41-47).

    Having spent some significant time dealing with my own depression I found that a combination of meds, counseling, and changes in lifestyle are what have helped me. I have been on my current medication for 6 years with no plan of discontinuing due to the severity and duration of my episodes. Again, without casting aspersions at “Organised Psychiatry” or “Puppetmasters” do you really believe that all antidepressant use is bad and damaging? I agree that they don’t work as well as often advertised, but neither do most chemotherapy regimens, but to just say ssri’s have no place doesn’t make sense to me.

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  28. Sloopy Cowbell

    I wonder how industry propagandists actually work these forums?

    Do they operate in teams from offices, or as individuals from home?

    Do they work to pre-written scripts? Is their work like that in a modern call centre? Do they use software with flow charts which spew out ready-rolled answers to fit any occasion? I am always interested.

    Witness how this particular operative posits an argument that he appears to endorse, yet he returns to it later, seemingly to challenge it.

    In doing so, not only does his pro-Pharma argument get a double airing (always a good ploy) but the operative gets to feign open-mindedness!

    That behaviour suggests he is someone who has been professionally trained in the art of propaganda.

    Note how the operative is completely at ease using language of the industry. He casually mentions “NICE treatment guidelines” for the prescription of anti-depressants. (NICE is an acronym for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) – hardly the parlance of the average patient!

    Note also how he has journal citations at his fingertips to bolster his case. Within minutes, he conjures two properly cited references to the AJP. We are honoured!

    I am confident this operative is an industry shill. Probably clinically trained, essentially working for BigPharma but working at a plausibly deniable arm’s length to the industry.

    Possibly a team member at a Perception Management company like Hill & Knowlton which has BigPharma clients.

    That he presents himself as simply “one of us”, I find deplorable.

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