Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Deep breath and walk away...

There's a raging argument taking place on a message board that I've been posting at since 2001. Basically, about half the posters are saying that depression is an excuse people use to get SSDI funds and that it can be cured with "a swift kick in the ass."

One poster dragged out Erick Turner's study. Somewhere on Queen Mediocretia's blog is a discussion of this article, but I'm too lazy to look for it.

The bit that caught my attention this time was at the very end of the article.

"About 80 percent of all antidepressant prescriptions are written by primary care providers and other non-psychiatrists. Before the introduction of SSRIs in the late 1980s, almost all antidepressant prescriptions were written by psychiatrists."

My response:

The "non-psychiatrist" who prescribes for me is a neurologist specializing in MS. In fact, he's the 2007 Ohio MS Society volunteer of the year, as well as Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at the Cleveland Clinic's Mellen Center. Oddly enough, all of my friends with MS-caused depression get their prescriptions from their neuros as well. I'd like to see some data on how many of those "non-pyschiatrists" are neurologists, oncologits, etc.

And I'd have to see a breakdown of the patients involved in all of the studies to see what the makeup of the control groups vs. the experimental groups is.

I agree that every medicine we have available to us today is over-prescribed. That's why we have things like antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. However, I don't believe that it's as much of a scourge as it's made out to be.

Right now, I'm just ticked off and disheartened by the number of people who think mental illness, particularly depression, is faked for benefit. Time to walk away from the computer for a bit.


Sherri said...

Oh, you mean all those years I lost due to depression, I could have been collecting government benefits? That while I was sitting on my couch in near catatonia because my brain chemistry was out of whack, I could have been making money? That the pills I took (which worked for a while and then produced their own problems) are all just a dodge?

Damn, I missed out on it all.

Depression is considered one of the most widespread mental illnesses in the US and possibly the world. Yet, until someone suffers from it, it is "faked" or "imaginary". Hell, even when you HAVE it, you think you can overcome it just by WANTING to -- if you're strong enough, good enough, have enough will power.

Sure you can. Just like diabetes.

Anonymous said...

People that glib about it are just so clueless. Just try and consider the source.


rgraham666 said...

I always remember the scene from 'Finnegan's Rainbow' when a character made a wish while standing on the pot of gold.

"I wish to God you were black!" she shouted at a racist.

And poof! He was.

He learned a lot over the rest of the movie.

To the people who think people suffering depression are faking it, "I wish to God you were black!"

*HUGS* Jammies. Pay no attention to morons.


I agree that if you haven't experienced clinical depression, then you have absolutely NO IDEA. I'm also glad to not have been dragged into the forum. On a side note - during the past 15 years, I have been prescribed SSRIs by a college healthcenter physician, an internist, a psychiatrist, and a neurologist. The person prescribing the medication is less important than the benefit of the medication to the patient. Just my thoughts.

Becs said...

I've seen forums / chat rooms / boards / blogs do the rounds on all kinds of subjects and nothing ever gets resolved. Best just to walk away.

But I know about depression. I once asked a friend of mine who has her law degree and specializes in disability rights if I should say after I got a job that I have depression. She said, "Don't do it. They won't give you any real work to do. They aren't trying to accommodate you. They're trying to avoid a lawsuit."

Mike from Eerie said...

I tend to side with lisa - doesn't really matter who prescribed it as long as the benefit it there (and I have had anti depressants prescribed by just as wide a variety of medical professionals as others responding to this message have).

I am sure I told you my xwife was (well still is, I suppose) manic depressive/bipolar, etc. When we were engaged I made the mistake of mentioning to a buddinksy aunt (whose heart was in the right place even if her brain wasn't) that my intended was manic depressive. Immediately Aunt Buddinksy flashed back to the 1950s and a good friend of hers who was declared manic depressive and apparently spent her remaining days in an asylum somewhere.

I tried to explain that it wasn't 1950 any more. Needless to say this was a huge mistake as Aunt Buddinksy spread the news to the other Buddinksy Sisters who held my x's condition against her throughout the remainder of our relationship.

I really think that depression effects so many people, and there is so much of it that does undiagnosed and untreated because Aunt Buddinksy is around in the background in some form.

And thats a damn shame.

(Personally I wants a kitteh just like the one lady in one of this anti depressant commercials. You know da kitteh is finkin, "if you pets me you feels betterer." )

Jammies said...

Thanks, everyone. I did in fact walk away, after leaving a disgusted comment to the effect of "I'm going to go try to teach a pig to sing now."

As you can see from the most recent entry, I'm feeling much better now. ;-)

the queen said...

Glad you didn't look for it - I've never read that article. The article I remember said women have to tgry like seven anit-ds to find the one that works. I think the whole fault lies in the name, "depression," everyone thinks they've experienced clinical depression. Like Lisa says, unless you've had it, you have no idea.