Attitudes Towards Depression

I recently read the following article which discusses SSRI’s (“Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors”) and changing conceptions and attitudes towards depression:

Talking Back to Prozac
By Frederick C. Crews

I do not have any personal experience with SSRI’s such as Prozac, but I confess that I am (and already was before reading the article) skeptical of their broad and seemingly unquestioned application. Although I could be wrong, I suspect that this skeptical view is more or less shared by most fairly unbiased people, even if the details of where and when a prescription of an SSRI as acceptable according to scientific and human standards can be questioned and debated.

I’m wondering a couple things:

One - Are there people here who would express a more radical view (i.e. that SSRI’s are ‘the answer’ or that they are ‘evil’).

Two - Do people here find the subject of the article (pharmaceutical ‘answers’ to psycho-physical ‘problems’) as strikingly relevant as I do? For me this article touched on many of the themes I see being discussed here on this site every day - in fact in such a way that I am unsure where to post it: Philosophy? Social Sciences? Psychology? Natural Science? Religion?

It is my experience that people (myself included of course) seem to be always engaged in a continuous effort to avoid their lives. That statement could be understood in a thousand different ways I’d guess, depending on who is saying it and to what purpose – to a large extent (though not exclusively) since I call myself a Buddhist I am coming at it from a Buddhist point of view, which is to say that people tend to try their best to avoid what they do not like, pull towards themselves what they are attracted to, and ignore what they consider to be irrelevant to their personal world. In Buddhism these attitudes are labeled ‘the three poisons’ (attachment, aversion, and ignorance) and are related to a general overall attitude towards life that is conceptualized as preoccupation with and obsession with ‘the eight worldly concerns’: gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, and pleasure and pain. So the growing use of SSRI’s to help effect these ‘worldly’ goals comes as no surprise. Further, it doesn’t seem necessary to posit any sort of ultimate conspiracy theory in order to make sense of the phenomena, regardless of whether or not willful deceptions and manipulation of facts can be proved to be at work. Finally, since I have brought Buddhism into this picture, I should point out that ‘worldly’ in Buddhism does not equate with ‘sinful’. It is not considered wrong to utilize drugs if they are immediately helpful, although their helpfulness may be highly doubtful.

So what I am asserting is that the use of SSRI’s, although possibly helpful in some situations, should be seen at the very least as just one more way that we as human beings try to keep suffering at bay, by pretending that we can ‘take a right turn’ and somehow avoid it as if it is simply a puddle on the sidewalk. Television, movies, alcohol, relationships, religion, sex, the internet, the company of friends, the avoidance of other people… although not inherently problematic these things tend to become habitual crutches that we depend on daily in order to avoid facing our existential situation.


I’m not a believer in medication, but I took some purple pills once when I was depressed, and they worked. Perhaps not really a cure, but they boosted my mood. Kinda like covering up the problem other than fixing it.

It’s temporairy, but that little bit of mental soundness can allow you to boost yourself out of depression by other means.

I agree in principle.

When I’ve felt low: I’ve taken St John’s Wort - it’s a flower, you know :smiley:

Other than that: if one is depressed, it’s due to circumstance that needs correcting…

Yes, I’ve heard of that though I’ve never tried it. I drank a lot of kava tea for a few weeks or so when I was going through a very difficult in my life, and I have to say it really helped ‘get me through the night’. :slight_smile: SSRI’s on the other hand are said to be very potent drugs with major known side effects. I don’t have a history of depression though, so I’m sure that fact predisposes me to my more skeptical view.

St John’s Wort is now even prescribed by docs. in the UK - it’s good stuff, has no side-effects what-so-ever, and works by harnessing the vitamin D in the body :smiley:

Yeah I’ve also taken St John’s Wort…I didn’t really notice any change though.

Take this one: … id=1035783 - I’ve found this to be the best make of SJW - do you have Boots the Chemist where you are, or just order them over the internet.

Within 3 days you’ll feel much more positive - I haven’t had to take it in years: try it :slight_smile:

Our bodies are all different. It makes sense that something that works for one person might not work for another.

I understand that, but this brand is actually meant to be the best out there - I tried other brands and they only made a small difference.

Apparently, it’s something to do with the way this brand is actually made (my health-shop worker friend: confirmed this).

Ive used SSRIs before and due to my line of work come into contact with the drugs on a daily basis also. So Id just like to give a quick lowdown on the good points and problems that may arrise.
Firstly anyone who is put on an SSRI must be kept under verry close survailance especially durin the first few mounths of taking the drug, this is because of the problems that it can cause through side effects and the imballences that it causes to levels of ceretonin (spelling?) before it levels them out. As these can lead to higher levels of depression and suicide.
SSRIs are a very good way of curbing depression at its most extreem levels however it is highly over used by psychiatrists, and improperly used which is where the problems come in. In very bad cases of depression the drugs are essential as it will enable the patient to be able to get on with there lives and not give them more to become depressed about, but as a long term solution its useless. This is ot to say that you should not take them for a long time once you start because this can lead to relapses.

My advice to anyone thinking about going on SSRIs is, dont take them if you dont trust your doctor to keep a close eye on your progress. Dont take them unless your depression is having very bad effects on your life and dont come off them as soon as you feel better, because belive me you will feel a whole lot worse

I’m not sure if my depression is a result of a chemical imbalance…I find that the more I think about life the more depressed I get. It would be nice to feel a little better though.

Depression? We’re all depressed, just a case of either denial or ignorance.

But wouldn’t it be desirable to take the edge off of lifes suffering?

Normal things we do take the edge off, unless you want to get some LSD to really disconnect from reality.

LSD has the potential to give you an extremely hideous experience from what I’ve read, but it sopposedly can bring things to your attenchion that can give you a better ability to indure lifes miseries…If you don’t plan on killing yourself.

Yeah, I’ve heard stuff like a guy mutilating himself because he thought there was a daemon in his stoumach.

Dont get involved if you dont understand the topic

Why? I did understand it. Why do people talk about depression?

Saying that everyone suffers from depression shows you dont understand it