This model of a kind of happiness that no one can take away from you remains as radical today as it was centuries ago, perhaps more so given the hold that materialism has over us. But appearances are deceiving, I think.
Most patients who come to me for treatment of depression and anxiety do so because they want answers. They want to know WHY they are struggling. The closest they will be offered by their prescribing psychiatrist or primary care doc is some reductionist hand waving about serotonin imbalances.
Many of the symptoms that patients complain about are the side effects caused by the drug that they were incorrectly prescribed in the first place. I want to stress the need that patients must ask questions and be educated.
Our individuality is our blessing and our -- well, curse is too strong a word, but it can be pretty challenging. And I know full well the overwhelming feelings of desperation and helplessness when you think you've tried everything.
If you are taking an anti-depressant but are still depressed, the ad says, ask your doctor about adding Abilify (originally approved as an anti-psychotic medication). This is, at best, misleading medical advice.
Let's see, there are 26.1 million annual tokers, 17 million monthly tokers, and 2 million daily tokers in America. Two of them are alleged terrorists. That's literally, at best, a one-in-a-million risk.
I asked more than a dozen expert psychiatric colleagues, and myself, the questions they most frequently receive about psychiatric medications from people who take them or their families. Here are a dozen of those many questions; the responses are mine.
It's an exercise in futility to try to hypothesize what effect antidepressants would have had on long-gone writers like Poe and Baudelaire. Whether you function or not is a more pertinent question than whether or not antidepressants or substance abuse "silences the soul."
Many legal cases, with closed books due to settlement, document cases of suicides and homicides in individuals who had not been violent prior to taking medication, and often they were newly prescribed or on an increased dose.
The magazine ScienceNews begins a recent article on depression with a blanket judgment: "A massive effort to uncover genes involved in depression has largely failed." A general reader would probably not feel the shock waves that spread from this assessment.
In recent years, U.S. physicians and entrepreneurs have seen some success with the development of a powerful set of personalized medicine tools to help give physicians some of the objective information they need.
Working with mindfulness and meditation in this way is only one approach that is showing encouraging results in studies for preventing relapse in patients with depression. However, there may be other ways that are supportive to you.
At lunch with my best friend, Marsha, one day, I poured out my soul about the problems I was having with Ed, my beloved Romanian soul mate of 30 years. He had Alzheimer's and was living in a top-notch long-term care facility which specialized in the care of people with dementia.
I looked at the child I thought was Jacob. In a matter of hours he had gone from a baby with thin red hair to a baby with thick, long black hair. His seven pounds had morphed into at least ten. My Scot-Irish son had turned into an Italian. Wow, I thought, They change so fast!
People who become obese in association with their antidepressant or bipolar disorder treatment are not like others who struggle with eating issues all their adult life. Many of them had been thin before drug treatment; they had healthy habits.
I have been on drugs for about six years, give or take. Prozac and Buspiron. Prozac for depression and Buspiron for its evil twin sister, anxiety. There were others, too. I can't remember how I got started on them -- well, we can surmise I was depressed.