Just Drug It Away

Just saw a snippet of research suggesting a surge in the number of people taking pills for depression but a decline in the number of those seeking therapy.

Here it is, from the Health, Medical and Science feed I subscribe to:

More depression, less psychotherapy, more drugs: Archives of General Psychiatry

More patients were being treated for depression in 2007 than a decade earlier, but fewer were receiving psychotherapy, researchers said.

Comparing 1998 with 2007, the percentage of those receiving psychotherapy fell from 53.6% to 43.1%, a downward trend that continued from the decade prior, Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, of Columbia University, and colleagues reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

For some patients, “depression care may be becoming more narrowly focused on pharmacotherapy,” they wrote.

This is something I see all the time. People get depressed and go looking for a quick way out of it. The quick way out is a pill.

To hell with the therapists, right? They’re just quacks. The doctors who subscribe antidepressants? They’re quacks too, but fuck it. They got a quick fix.

That’s the prevailing thought, but I’ve been down this road. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that pills will never, ever kill your pain at the source. It’ll make you feel better for a bit, but it will never last.

I take Prozac and it works well. But it’s not perfect, nor do I expect it to be. To truly deal with one’s depression, you have to get at that hole that’s in the center of your soul. That means years of intense therapy, learning how to develop coping tools and then looking at medication. 

That’s how I went about it, anyway. I readily admit no two people are alike when it comes to treatment.

But I have seen other people try the pills without the other things I’ve had to do. Their struggle remains painful.

Mine does, too. But the joy outweighs the pain these days.

Big Pharma helped. But only a little.



6 thoughts on “Just Drug It Away

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  4. I have a theory. Let me first disclaim any professional, medical, theological or other expertise that would qualify me to offer this theory.

    My theory is that pharmacology performs the same function as the abdication of self taught by the Buddah, the Hindu’s all three “peoples of the book” Jew, Christian, Muslim and even the Australian Aborigine in the practice of their forms (becoming The Hunter in practice of the hunt). My theory is further that, as with pharmacology, mere abdication of self is an embrace of numbness, kind of a psychic analgesic. It has a medicinal value in lowering the pain so that we can actually take the steps to begin the healing.

    For me that healing involves the 6th man of whom you wrote or, if you will, the 4th man in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace.

    Plato wrote of the schism in man between knowledge of the good and practice of the evil. For the OCD afflicted that tension must be horrific! Paul describes the relief of that tension in his letter to the Romans. That understanding (at least for me) enables the journey from numbness to wholeness.

    In truth it is not my theory, its all right there in The Book, and the fact that this wisdom is constantly rediscovered and reconfirmed strengthens me because it does not depend on me. That may be part of the success of AA when it works.

    Good luck on your journey.


  5. Yes brother. I have taken anti depsessants for anxiety attacks (early 20’s, 2years) and recently alprazalam/cloazapan (2 years) for vertigo/anxiety. I agree therapy is a big kick in the head for reality. We live in our own reality and it helps to have outside perspective pull us out of the “forest” to see the trees.
    God bless,

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