Thursday, June 28, 2007

Antidepressants are depressing me

I had a friend the other day who does not have any personality disorders, just a sucky childhood, and now and then he has bouts of depression. He said a number of friends were suggesting he get on medication.

I have another friend who has been diagnosed with mild bipolar symptoms. He is on an antidepressant. When I ask him how he's feeling, he usually says "I don't feel anything. I'm not happy, I'm not sad. I mostly feel a little disconnected."

True, he doesn't go into his binges of being excited about his latest project and flying into it with a passion, and then two weeks later falling into a depression. That's not a healthy way to live, and he needs help. But are antidepressants the solution? My concern is that the antidepressants are blocking his ability to feel anything, and this in turn prevents him from ever really healing himself. It's like living your life as a robot: safe, predictable, and ultimately pointless.

I'll be honest, I don't know very much about any of this. But sometimes you have to go with your intuition. Just as it doesn't feel right for all of us to be listening to music with little ear buds rather than getting together and singing and dancing as a community, it doesn't feel right for so many people to be on antidepressants. Now they're even putting kids on this stuff. Is this really the way we want to go?

I'm not saying that antidepressants aren't effective for the truly psychotic and troubled folks of the world (although there are some doctors committed to, and successfully treating, these folks without drugs). But that's a minority. These new drugs are being taken by everyone, and are being prescribed matter-of-factly whenever a patient tells their family doctor they sleep a lot and want to isolate and feel depressed.

I know there are different opinions and lots of facts supporting the effectiveness of antidepressants. To be honest, I'm not interested in that. I'm just saying, it doesn't feel right, it bothers me, and I believe there must be a better way...

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