From God to Neurons
Good to see you postng here and on Facebook again. I'd missed you.
John, I've always respected your work, your site and it's content. I believe in light of the hysteria that is taking a widespread foothold in our society regarding the demonization of SSRIs is beginning to become a breeding ground for very dangerous rhetoric.While I am naturally pre-disposed to questioning implied accuracy related to Big Pharma, our government, lobbying interests, political inertia and paranoid attrition, I feel that there are not loud enough, or clearly credible enough voices interjecting sound and sober logic and commentary into the dubious and hyperbolic critical wholesale attribution of recent violent shootings to SSRIs.This seems to occur despite all of the degrees of examination, arguments of fairness and good measure, analyses of interest conflict, SSRIs save many, many lives everyday. Mine included.I think what is missing from the dialog, is people who are predisposed to violent acts - arguably, potentially pathological, sociopathic or just plain crazy, et al - often have had instances of contact with psychiatrists/psychologists or other opportunities in which to be prescribed antidepressants and/or other psychotropic drugs in order to treat symptoms in which these drugs are often indicated.One of the symptoms, amongst many, that might indicate SSRI therapy could be violent thoughts, aggressiveness, paranoia, depression, anxiety, dysphoria, apathy, suicidal ideation, hearing voices and on and on.This is clearly a situation that qualifies for "chicken and egg" categorization. Yet, no one seems to be making this point.Big Pharma is Big pharma. No doubt less than trustworthy and most certainly not the first line of sober evaluation of such a spree of violence and the role medication may play.These shooters were/are mentally ill. Mentally ill people are often treated with psychiatric medication. Sometimes they don't work as well as they should, or not at all. Arguably little is known about these drugs, yet for the most part they are safe and DO help many, many lives of people who'd otherwise be living miserable lives, or not living at all.These distinctions are important and are the responsibility of any professional journalist's "code of ethics" when writing about, referring to or otherwise invoking attributions involving psychiatric therapy and medication. But why isn't anyone doing this? We (those with mental illness) already have to deal with the stigma, poor resources and support infrastructure, gross misunderstanding and dismissiveness of symptoms and relevant impact on patients. Now we are watching the demonization of one of FEW therapeutic resources with any relevant efficacy taking place in the wake of hysteria related to violence and the political battle of our 2nd amendment, with blaming and blaming and blaming.Someone MUST stand up and take a stand about psyche meds. A sober stand. No demonization, no panacea attributes. A real and realistic presentation. Please, maybe just a blog post.Imagine this. I apply for a job. During this process, HR evaluates my qualification for insurance coverage (a benefit of the compensation package). I must disclose, privately, my medications. Done anonymously, and compared against the insurance carrier's formulary.No one at the hiring company knows what is on my list. Because I have listed SSRIs on my disclosure (anonymously), my employment candidacy is disqualified. No one knows why specifically. The insurance company has considered my SSRI therapy as being high risk for potential violence, irrational behavior, medication-induced undesirable behavior and so on and so on. Maybe something as simple as being someone who might be difficult within the company community.This rejection of my candidacy is not categorized as a medical cause, rather considered a legal liability, however never disposed and not required to be disclosed. Legal liability is a legitimate reason for not being hired.This is scary. Please, someone stop them. Now.
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