I’m furious with myself.
I just wrote a long piece about an article published in the Daily Mail today.
Then hit the wrong key combination on my keyboard and deleted it.
I seem to only ever do this when the email I’ve written is long.
So I’m going to summarise what I wrote.
Which will probably make it better than what I wrote in the first place!
The headline in this morning’s paper is:
“Millions MORE of us should be taking antidepressants: Largest-ever study claims the pills DO work and GPs should be dishing them out”
In my personal opinion, this is an irresponsible headline. It’s a headline which, if you’re one of the many people who just read headlines, would indicate there’s no problem to popping anti-depressants like sweets.
Full disclosure… I haven’t gone out and read the study itself, this email is based purely on the Daily Mail’s representation of it.
The study shows that anti-depressants are up to 113% more effective than placebos.
I don’t need to study 120,000 people over three decades to tell you that if you give a person with depression nothing or an anti-depressant, then the anti-depressant will be more effective.
If we’re spending millions of pounds discovering something like that, then that’s a pretty sad state of affairs.
The questions we should actually be asking are…
1) How do anti-depressants work and how do they permanently effect the brain?
2) What do they do to the people they don’t work for?
3) Is there a better way?
As far as I’m aware, there is nobody who truly knows, in detail, exactly how anti-depressants work and effect the brain.
We don’t really have any seriously in-depth understanding of how the brain works. And if we don’t have that, then there’s no real way of understanding how a drug we take may effect it.
To make matters worse, if you’ve ever known anybody on anti-depressant medication for a significant period of time, you’ll know their personality and spirit changes and never goes back to what it was prior to taking the drugs.
Yes, it’s not a study. But it’s a natural human instinct which would indicate these drugs do something to the brain that cannot be reversed.
That in itself is a cause for concern.
What makes it worse, in my thinking anyway, is that the manufacturers of these pills state that they can cause:
Severe depression and severe anxiety.
Amongst many other things.
Nobody, as of yet, has been able to tell me how a person who is already suffering with a severe depression or anxiety, who is at the lowest they can be, gets given a pill which makes it worse and can effectively explain that it’s made it worse.
Which means there will always be a percentage of people for whom these drugs put in a worse situation, but they won’t be able to tell anybody that it’s got worse.
I can’t imagine anything worse.
And that leads us to… is there a better way to deal with it?
Personally I belive the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
There are some countries which are leading the way with group therapy.
In fact, you aren’t allowed any medication until you’ve completed group therapy.
And the success rate is phenomenal!
A tiny percentage of people with mental health are going on to require medication.
Maybe I’m mistaken, but surely this is what being human is all about. Surely if we can talk to each other and help each other without the need for companies, charities and governments to be making money, then we can help the majority of people with nothing more than being human.
Over and out,