Shuttup and take your antidepressant. You're not shy. You're not sad. You're mentally ill.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 4:26 AM GMT
    I posted a link a month or two back to an opinion piece in the New York Times about the way psychiatry has turned shyness into a mental health disorder -- social anxiety disorder.

    Now, the New York Review of Books has published an essay reviewing three books (including the one by the author opinion piece) that look at the role so-called Big Pharma has in defining the terms of mental health:

    "Talking Back to Prozac
    By Frederick Crews
    The corporate giants popularly known as Big Pharma spend annually, worldwide, some $25 billion on marketing, and they employ more Washington lobbyists than there are legislators. Their power, in relation to all of the forces that might oppose their will, is so disproportionately huge that they can dictate how they are to be (lightly) regulated, shape much of the medical research agenda, spin the findings in their favor, conceal incriminating data, co-opt their potential critics, and insidiously colonize both our doctors' minds and our own."

    The link to the essay follows:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20851
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Nov 23, 2007 9:37 AM GMT
    Big Pharma is basically holding us hostage here in the United States
    Where else do you have buses of senior citizens needing to enter neighboring countries (Canada) to get relief from having to pay their exorbitant prices
    Basically acting as economic refugees
    .... and then have members of congress and the White House try and shut this underground railroad down

    They run they own propaganda campaign...these Rx ads that the general population shouldn't have to listen to
    they don't have the background knowledge to make an informed decision about these products

    we have like you said
    drugs for shyness?
    adult onset ADHD?
    and a whole panoply of quasi-med Dx's that are made to just make the drug company's money
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 1:31 PM GMT
    My GP is a pusher. He has a pill for everything and that's all he does. He makes no effort at identifying the source of say...your depression...he just gives you the pills to mask the symptoms.

    Back when I was hooked on Lunesta, I asked him about Rozerem, which is supposed to be non-addicting. He told me he hadn't been "repped" on that yet.

    "Repped"???? Evidently, he gets his knowledge from the pharmaceutical company representatives and if one of them hasnt come around and told him about the med, he doesn't know about it. ... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 1:54 PM GMT
    My ex is a medical secretary. She is wined and dined and given gifts by drug reps who have HUGE budgets to woo doctors and their staff. Why woo the secretary? She is the gatekeeper to the doctor and hers is the grand pooh-bah... Reps compete to get past her. If they can "land" her boss they instantly get overyone under him. It is a rare doctor who even tries to do her checking into a drug - they just don't have time. They'll try one and if they have good results they stick with it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 2:24 PM GMT
    Yeah, I've seen that firsthand lately. A friend who has taught school for a few years got sick of being poor and got a drug sales job. He's pushing one drug and says that many doctors expect to be wined and dined in expensive fashion, which he says he is more than happy to do.

    Caslon: You might do better seeing a psychiatrist. When it comes to treatment of depression, the typical GP is ignorant in terms of establishing whether an episode is situational, endogenous, related to other meds, etc.

    The only time I refer a client to their GP for meds is if they can't afford the psychiatrist's fees. In such cases, I've found I often know more about the drugs than the GP does. (Another example of our sickly health care system.)

    But in reality, none of the drugs that I know of do more than treat the symptom. One of the more surprising statements in the essay to which I linked is that the science behind the SSRIs is crappy. Most doctors still repeat the lie, too, that antidepressants aren't addictive. Anyone who has used Paxil longterm and gone through withdrawal from it knows how untrue that is.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 2:33 PM GMT
    Shyness is a mental disorder? Good heavens is that the state of psychiatry now? The reason why I am shy is pretty basic - genetics. My dad was the same way. Introversion is caused by a section of the brain (can't remember the name of it) that is at a high state of arousal. That is why introverts do not like social situations very much, all the external stimuli overloads the brain and it becomes very uncomfortable for introverts to handle. When I was a kid sudden loud noises used to freak me out, as well being introduced to new situations or people got me anxious.

    Introversion (shyness is a symptom of it) is not a mental illness it is just another way of interacting with the world. Just imagine a world where everybody was extroverted, talkative, and trying to command attention. It would be pretty unbearable!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 4:12 PM GMT
    "As Contributing Troubador for PopSci Magazine, Jonathan Coulton made this song for one of their articles which described how, in the future, people may be able to take a pill to let them feel however they wanted. That may not be such a great thing..."

    And it uses WoW animation icon_smile.gif Fun song.

    "Steak tastes better when I take my steak-tastes-better pill"

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=knzMFC6s4Bw

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 4:12 PM GMT
    Great essay; thanks, OW. Frederick Crews has had an interesting history--from psychoanalytic lit-critic to Freud-debunker and now to Big Pharma-opponent. I'm glad to see him take this topic on. The number of people on meds is higher than it ever has been; I think I read recently that more people are taking something routinely to manage some condition than aren't.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 5:00 PM GMT
    seem like a medical condition is now determine by what the pill can do.
    If the pill can show certain good result to whatever there is, make it a disease then call this pill the cure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 5:33 PM GMT
    Its a racket, my partner is a pharmacist and told me recently of a drug that went generic about 3 months ago. The brand sold for about $400 for a thirty day supply. The generic sells for $9 for a thirty day supply. I'm sure the drug reps are now telling there Docs that the drug is no good anymore and there is a newer better ( and expensive) drug
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Nov 23, 2007 5:38 PM GMT
    ibedwards said

    ''Just imagine a world where everybody was extroverted, talkative, and trying to command attention''

    You don't have to imagine. Haven't you been to America?

    Lozx
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 5:44 PM GMT
    It seems like this issue boils down to who should define what is "normal." Personally, I think that in the long run, government control is even scarier than corporate hype.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 6:43 PM GMT
    Laurence I was thinking that but was too polite to say it out loud (LOL)! A true Canadian. There gotta be some introverts south of the 49th parallel!.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 6:46 PM GMT
    Sock Monkey: "Great essay; thanks, OW. Frederick Crews has had an interesting history--from psychoanalytic lit-critic to Freud-debunker and now to Big Pharma-opponent. I'm glad to see him take this topic on."

    Yeah, well, I wasn't going to go into the fact that I was pissed off that Crews wrote the essay. I know the influence of Lacan and Freud among academic lit crits goes overboard (here at Emory in particular), but his wholesale dismissal of Christopher Lane annoyed me. One should note Crews isn't a psychiatrist or analyst himself.

    I've been swapping mail with Lane since his essay appeared in the NY Times and I'll be interested to see how he responds to Crews' review.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 6:52 PM GMT
    Mindgarden: "It seems like this issue boils down to who should define what is "normal." Personally, I think that in the long run, government control is even scarier than corporate hype."

    But isn't one of the important points here that the corporations basically set FDA policy. There's plenty of proof that Big Pharma spins and lies and there is no independent means of evaluating the drugs. The FDA depends on the drug companies' own trials!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 6:53 PM GMT
    "''Just imagine a world where everybody was extroverted, talkative, and trying to command attention''

    You don't have to imagine. Haven't you been to America? "

    We wouldn't be so chatty and anxious for attention if we weren't so well medicated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 7:31 PM GMT
    My GP is a pusher too. I tear up 3/4 of the prescriptions he gives me, only keeping the ones specifically designed to kill a particular bug when my own methods fail.

    The most egregious situation was when my bf got admitted to the cancer ward in '03, and my GP wrote up some Xanax. Apparently, dealing with one of life's crises can't be done on voice and emotional exploration alone. Whatever.

    Big Pharm, the FDA, and Insurance Companies have us all by the balls. They've gotten most doctors to sell their souls as well.
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Nov 23, 2007 7:56 PM GMT
    I did Prozac for nine months ten years ago. Thank God for Prozac.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 8:30 PM GMT
    The next time you visit your doctor remember that he may be one of those that graduated in the lower 50% of his class. Most doctors have to rely on a whole team of people, the internet and a library to get their job done, however, many are too proud and arrogant to admit it. You can look up information on drugs in a PDR or on the internet anytime and faster, most likely, than your doctor can because he is too busy making money to pay the high insurance costs. In Europe, I can buy almost anything over the counter in a pharmacy except controlled substances like benzodiazapines and most pharmacists are better trained in contraindications than most doctors. This is sad for a lot of Americans who are continually duped into the propaganda storm from the USCA: United States of Corporate America.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 10:44 PM GMT
    When I worked briefly at Johns Hopkins Hospital, they passed a rule (around 2004) that no doctor could be given gifts of any kind by representatives of so-called Big Pharma. That included everything from free dinner to free pizza for a group-meeting. They are pretty strict about conflicting interests.

    But a reaction Caslon, who said that his doctor hadn't been "repped" on a drug. For the love of god, switch doctors.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 10:51 PM GMT
    Mental health is overrated. Without varying degrees of insanity, there'd probably be no art or religion. Well, ok, the real crazies invented religion and we could probably do without it, but could we have done without these two gems?
    Piss%20Christ%20AND%20Piss%20Muhammed%20
    (piss christ and piss muhammed, piss buddha is being worked on now, just a few more bladder episodes)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 11:31 PM GMT
    "Mental health is overrated. Without varying degrees of insanity, there'd probably be no art or religion. Well, ok, the real crazies invented religion and we could probably do without it, but could we have done without these two gems?"

    I may have said this in the earlier thread but: Actually, Peter Kramer, author of "Listening to Prozac," makes the point that what we diagnose as depression was often called "melancholia" in the past and was considered part of the artistic temperament. He wonders how many great works of art, music and literature might not have been produced had Prozac been around.

    It's an ethical question, really. You can't really deny people a treatment because their art will be affected.

    I dunno if Squarejaw is kidding, but Prozac really did save my life about 16 years ago. I also had the full range of effects that Crews mentions, sarcastically, as "cosmetic" -- meaning that along with the elimination of my depression, I became more extroverted, far more productive in my work, more focused, etc. Of course, these effects have led some people to call it another form of "speed." And such effects turn out to be short-term for the great majority of people.

    After I interviewed Kramer a few times and told him my own story, every time he was gonna appear on TV or radio, he'd give them my name. I was asked to go on Oprah, Sallie and a bunch of other shows as, you know, the poster boy for Prozac. I had never watched any of these shows and when Oprah's people did a pre-interview with me, I was fucking aghast that they would ask such personal questions on the teevee. Then I watched Sallie, I think it was, and it was all about people triumphing over cosmetic tragedies. There was, for example, a woman who had developed a cosmetic line for people without lips after a horse bit off her own lips.

    I said No...No....No. I'd rather go to rehab than be on one of those shows.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2007 12:58 AM GMT
    Personally I feel that >90% of people (_especially kids_) taking these meds don't need them. They don't have anything mentally or physically wrong with them. In other words, being shy isn't an illness. Being chronically depressed no matter what is a legitimate issue. Developing a social disorder to escape or mask being exposed to a social item is not an illness, it's a learned trait.

    But of course a) drugs are a "fast fix" and b) make big money for big pharma.

    There's also the fact that diet plays a very important part of things like our mentation and the nature of our moods. We all know how healthy of a diet America has...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 24, 2007 1:33 AM GMT
    My kid is on Daytrana for ADHD. It's amazing.

    I did Zoloft for about three months and quit. It did nothing for me. The depression was purely realated to my feelings of dread related to spending the rest of my life with my wife. The moment I made the decision to end my relationship - I stopped having depression. Magic. It didn't even require a gizillion dollars in research or lobbying.

    As for big pharma - I think alot of it is bad business, but there's an awful lot that isn't. Some drugs really are miracle workers.

  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Nov 24, 2007 1:48 AM GMT
    obscenewish, I wasn't kidding. Thank god for Prozac. When my depression hit, I worked for five months to overcome it before going on medication. I was already in therapy, wrote over 500 pages in my journal, did "anger release" exercises, took jazz dance classes, a creative writing class, traveled to Europe for the first time, and forced myself out of my shell to develop friendships that I still treasure.

    In every way, I took control of my circumstances and made them better. But when I'd come home from dinner with friends, or a party, or a date, the ground would open up under me like a pit of despair. I'd wonder if anything could bring me happiness ever again.

    Three weeks to the day after I started Prozac, the bottom stopped falling out. I still had the full range of feeling I had before the depression, but not the utterly hopeless despair. Sometimes I had an odd feeling that I was being suspended over the pit, but not falling in, and I'd think, "This is where Prozac is helping me."

    After nine months on the drug, I felt that way less and less, and finally took myself off the medication.