Thursday, August 11, 2011

The War on Anti-Depressants

Therese Borchard writes a thought-provoking article on her blog, Beyond Blue entitled Are Puritans Behind the War on Antidepressants?  Borchard suffers from depression and has written three books on the subject.  She is also the associate editor at Psych Central where she also blogs.

Her premise here is that our country's Puritan heritage has caused us to look askance at psych meds, believing that we should "tough it out."  Underneath this belief, she says, is the idea that the depressed person is at fault and must endure God's punishment.  This attitude, of course, can be part of and fuel the depression itself--not the best way to kick it.

Christ spoke against the blame-the-victim mentality when he told the disciples regarding the man born blind that it was neither his sin nor his parents' that caused the man's blindness.  Nevertheless, this dangerous misconception continues in many religious circles even today.

Borchard points out that most of the anti-medication claims are either "groundless or simplistic".  I'll add that this tendency lends itself beautifully to most media articles on the subject.  People read (and write) in attention-grabbing headlines and fail to point out the scientific nuances in these studies that should color treatment decisions.

This article is an essential read for anyone who is touched by depression--their own or someone else's.




2 comments:

Michele said...

another excellent post ( might i add, that your blog looks fantastic?:D)

i remember in 1990 when i was diagnosed with ocd, and if it had not been for the anti depressant meds i was on, i might not have gotten better, or been able to cope.

that and a very good therapist at the time was wonderful, and instrumental in helping me lead a way better life. the one i have today.

while anti depressant medication might not be for everyone. it was for me. thanks to it, i was able to lead a better life.

Dymphna said...

Thanks, Michele. I stayed up last night messing with the look of the blog and finally got it right this morning.

Therapy and meds really can be life savers. They have been for my dh and myself.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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