Looming Mental Health Collapse – U.S: 5% Of World Pop, 2/3rds Of All Psych Meds, 1 in 10 on Anti-Depressants
I think that we basically agree but I am just pointing out what logic dictates can be concluded from a given set of observations. Note, even if you cannot definitively conclude the existence of something, you can certainly collect enough information to suspect that deeper studies are needed. Things like smoking-cancer and CO2-climate change linkages come to mind.
In this case, I think that there is more than enough evidence to suspect that either the anti-psychotics or the way that they are being prescribed/used (or both) is failing to achieve acceptable results. In a world (or country) where human health was truly the objective and most medical research and lobbying wasn't funded by Big Pharma you would expect better oversight.
Your three points outlining your thinking are perfectly reasoned and would make an excellent working hypothesis for a scientific investigation (would you like to be an academic?). As for why they are still being prescribed? It basically comes down to someone's cost benefit analysis. Ideally there is some quantitative probability analysis showing that the net body count would be higher without these drugs than with them. I do not know the medical literature so I have no idea of what the actual studies/evidence indicate.
That said, I think that your general prescription for treating depression would be effective in a functional society but not exactly easy to accomplish. Antidepressants are not meant to be a cure and should be just one (hopefully temporary) part of an overall treatment plan. Sadness and pain are part of life but I wonder how much of the rash of depression is explained by individual avoidance (give me a pill to make me happy) versus simply being an overall symptom of our disfunctional culture?
Your statement (below) really strikes a chord:
What I think we're seeing is this self-developing cycle of isolation, depression, sensory deprivation, social deprivation, heightened depression which leads to increased isolation. This is a cycle that can be broken without medication, and indeed, would be through the course of normal interaction.
At the risk of sounding paranoid, this sounds like a classic divide and conquer strategy. Isolating individuals breaks down communities and makes everyone more vulnerable. Whether by design or chance, the process you outline is powerful and destructive to healthy human societies. How do we break out of this depression-isolation cycle? Many if not most of us on this thread can remember a time when social interactions were very different than they are now. I'd like to find the balance between the positive aspects of both then and now….
I realized too late I sounded really preachy, and I meant to edit that comment to make a clear deliniation between where I was addressing your comment, and my prosthelytizing!
Either way, I think we are very much on the same page, and thank you for the kind words – I do intend to make medicine/science my career once I finish my degree. It's not easy going back after so many years, though, that's for sure!
As far as the 'divide and conquer' strategy, I have no doubt you're right. It might be motivated by some sort of sociological aim, but I think it's far more likely that it creates a dependant class, which is what our debt based money system requires to expand exponentially. Without it, people can't be counted on to take risky loans, or be foolish with their earnings in general. An entitlement class ensures that state governments are standing in front of the federal appropriations agents with their hands out. It doesn't pay to have people healthy, active and enjoying the fruits of life that are Donum Deus.
Breaking that cycle is going to take a fundemental shift in our society. I just can't imagine that it will happen without some sort of collapse. It's far too easy to 'plug in, tune out' with the amount of information we're inundated with on a daily basis. It's hard to care what your neighbors think, or what's going on in their lives when you only see them when you leave for work. It's not easy to plan a trip to the mountains when you can sit on your duff and watch TV. Apathy is easy. Until it's as easy to be involved (as it was in the past), people will continue to bury themselves in their digital caves and hibernate, becoming less attached and mentally involved with society.
At any rate, I'd sure like to see some critical thought given to these problems in the academic world, but I've been terribly disappointed with the strong emphasis on rote learning and little attention given to training our future scientists in the macro-scale critical thinking it takes to truly understand cause and effect.
The lemon saga, began here on this thread yesterday, continues with the following new items:
PharmaNews—Astra-Zeneca, the pharmaceutical giant, recently announce patent protection on its new product, Lemonite, used to prevent scurvy. “We are proud to announce the release of Lemonite to the world and feel that it will provide a tremendous benefit to the people of all nations for the eradication of this deadly condition.” When questioned about the high price of this proprietary product he quickly countered, “What is the price of health? We must decide where our values lie.” The composition of Lemonite is a closely guarded trade secret, but the literature describes it as “a proprietary blend of ascorbic acid and citrus bioflavonoids designed to replicate and improve upon the ratio found in nature.”
Reuters—Paul Brighttooth, DDS, leapt from an obscure small town dental practice to national prominence with his interview on 60 Minutes on the dangers of lemon juice on tooth enamel. “I have been in practice for 25 years and have literally seen, 8, maybe 9 cases where the tooth enamel of children was eroded by habitual sucking on lemons. I could no longer remain quiet. I have to speak out….” Follow up interviews on Good Morning America and The View have made Dr Brighttooth a household name… The segment “The Dangers of Fruit: Are Your Children at Risk?” has been described as both “gripping and eye opening” by parent education groups.
AP—The University of Maryland College of dentistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Brighttooth to the newly formed Department of Preventive Dentistry. “We are pleased to add to our faculty such up and coming stars in the field of preventive dentistry. We aim to have the University of Maryland become a world leader in this field.”
AP—Astra-Zeneca, announced its “Save the Children” campaign. Its first public grant has gone to build the University of Maryland’s College of Dentistry’s new preventive dentistry facility. “This gorgeous 22 million dollar facility is our way of giving back to the world that has supported Astra-Zeneca so generously through the years. All of our children deserve the benefits of preventive dentistry being pioneered in this innovative program.”
AJD–The American Journal of Dentistry issued its new 2103 guidelines today urging all dentists to routinely question parents on the practice of sucking on lemons and to question whether lemons are kept in the home in unsecured containers. “Some children will suck on lemons without the awareness of their parents. A concerned parent will need to question children, especially adolescents, closely on this dangerous habit.” Now that sale of lemons is illegal, the risk is reduced. But occasionally a child will find a back yard lemon tree and be tempted by peers to experiment with this juice.
Medicaid Bulletin to Practitioners—The issue of coverage for new and expensive preventive products such as Lemonite under current Medicaid law is still under review. “It is the current position of this office that only children with clearly established, symptomatic scurvy, including bleeding gums, bruises that cover more than 50% of the body surface area or ruptured aortic aneurysms qualify for coverage of this medication. As with our other special case medicines, practitioners will need to fill out the prior-authorization paperwork completely and then contact our office by phone. Wait times in the phone cue are generally less than 30 minutes.”
Boston Star—Crime Watch. A combined task force of 12 agents from DOJ, HSD, DOA and the FDA raided a fruit stand today that was suspected of selling lemons. Officers entered the fruit stand with weapons drawn after setting up a perimeter of sniper coverage on the surrounding buildings. The owner was placed face down on the cement floor and handcuffed while shoppers were held at gunpoint for questioning. A small bin of lemons was located in the facility and destroyed. Other inventory was searched, destroyed and discarded in a dumpster as a precaution against the possibility that lemons might have been hidden in with the apples and guavas. The personal computers and cash registers were confiscated and taken back to headquarters as a part of the ongoing investigation which will take most of the year. The fruit stand owner was devastated financially and emotionally, but voiced his relief that he was not incarcerated under the newly expanded anti-terrorist legislation that now cover crimes against teeth enamel in children.
Milwaukee Herald—Family Life Section. Parents are giving up seeing their long-time family practitioners saying that the small offices don’t seem to be able to do the paperwork required to obtain optimum care. “We hate to do this to Dr Brown. He is very kind and has cared for our family for 2 generations. But his office staff just is not equipped to obtain approval for the newer drugs like Lemonite that our children need. We are shifting over to a large group in town that has a secretary dedicated to obtaining these approvals. We really don’t want our children to get scurvy!”
It would be funny if it weren't true.
sandpuppy. Unforutnately for all of us, robie is correct.
…There is much more competition and also less focus on unnecessary but lucrative damaging invasive procedures than in the US…
…promotes/pushes questionable practices that do not overall improve health for the people, but do create vast wealth gathering for the collective. Surgury to remove prostate based on prostate antigen blood test results, blood vessel stent heart operations, drugs to lower cholesterol or blood pressure instead of at least trying diet, etc…
…I would like to see an overall summary of what medical service/biological problems are encountered by a population and the spectrum of resources for addressing those. An overview…
Thanks for clarifying, Mots. I clearly miss read you regarding 'collectivized' and what you meant. I agree with you comments [some quoted above]. The difficulty with medicine is that there is infinite demand. It's also a service where the 'consumer' has to rely on the 'salesman' to act in their best interests to a large extent…an interesting concept!
The problems occur when you have a conflict of interest: the doctor having a financial interest in how you are treated, rather than truly you 'advocate'. [We see the pernicious effects of that conflict in other walks of life – banking anyone?]. I think that is currently one of the strengths of the NHS I work for – I have no financial reward for suggesting one course of action over another to my patients. I sit and help them navigate the choices and system, with its strengths and many weaknesses. What they don't currently doubt is my motives!
You are right to highlight prostate tests as one area where there is room for over treatment, and thus do harm. For instance: if you take 80 yr old men who have died from other causes and check their prostate glands, 50% will have cancer of the prostate, which never did them any harm. Only around 10% of men who develop prostate cancer died from the disease. Surgery/radiotherapy isn't without risks: death; incontinence; loss of sexual function etc.
Its difficult to give a 'summary of what medical service/biological problems are encountered by a population and the spectrum of resources for addressing those.' As with the Lemon Chronicles above, we are all to often 'sold' medicines [and other products] which we don't really need and are harmful if for no other reason than the opportunity costs involved. I have no doubts Big Pharma is really just a business like anyother – there to make a profit for the shareholders. Pushing the boundaries where necessary [or going beyond if they think they can get away with it]. I am far more cynical than I was 20 years ago…
This means conditions which are chronic are often most profitable, and 'cures' less profitable. Conditions in the poorer parts of the world [thus can't afford expensive treatments] are neglected, such a malaria, filariasis, schistosomiasis etc. Time and time again it is shown that they only report 'positive' trials, rather than negative ones, which skew the data and evidence in their medications favour. There is a big drive over here to enasure all trials of any medication be logged on a database so all results are known, not just the ones they want you to see.
I do have some sympathy with Pharmacy companies though. It costs a few hundred million now to take a new medications from lab to patients and profits. Many fall at the last hurdle. I remember [no reference sorry] reading about the production of penicillin in America and the President of the time asking why they were being charged so much for something that cost only 6 cents to produce. 'well, Mr President, the first tablet cost $1million'. We do want Pharmacy companies to be viable… I think.
Am I reading this right Sand Puppy? Lemon substitute? It is absolutely insane what Big Pharm will invent to sell successfully at a ignorant , illetirate, boob tube brain washed public. It never fails to amaze me.
Youv'e lost the thread. You need to back to my comment.
Right on. Thanks AndyG.
think there's quite a few things going on. Including, but not exclusively:
1. Breakdown in relationships, family and community support structures
2. Uncertainty about jobs and the future
but an attitude I see more and more is people's expectations to always be 'happy'. I call it the 'McMedicine' syndrome. [TM pending!] Depression – remembering there are various types with some definitely benefitting from medication – is natures way of telling you something isn't right. It should cause you to stop and reflect if some change is necessary. It's the medicalisation [and medications = $ to companies] of normal human experience that is seen to need 'curing'.
Question – What is the most sensitive organ in your body?
Answer – your Brain. Bear this in mind when you put chemicals in your body.
I do not want to preach either but I'll write how I got out of this unhappiness state without medication. I ve had off and on mild depression that I realised I picked up from my mother. Victim type personality ( no control over her life). I couldn't understand why other people seemed to be happy most of the time and I wasn't. I went to a psycologist etc etc.. I read a lot of self help books but that still didn't fix what I felt was wrong with me.
What I finally found was Buddhist teachings and meditation. I was in a Sangha for 4 years. I took what I needed and I pratice at home now. I will forever grateful because now I understand how my mind ,my emotions and my body are all interlinked. I can fix myself with out pills. Please don't get me wrong some people are truelly sick and need life long medication.
With pratice I realised that meditation slowed down my obsessive thoughts and because they were fewer fewer in between I could see the repeated negative pattern that I had picked up from Mom. Each thought has to do with the past or the future and they make you react emotionally. If the thoughts are mostly in the negative basket of emotions , anxiety, fear etc you'll become depressed. How do you break a cycle that you're not even conscience of ? The key becoming conscience of yourself …….to stop. Society keeps us running around like chickens with no heads.
The mind, body connection is very complex, and most of the Docs try fix the brain with a pill. It's easier and more profitable. Here is a link to a physicist that decided to reaseach the effects of meditation.
I agree with you-mindfulness practice through Cheri Huber has been so important to me I am starting to buy my patients her meditation books. I have a tough time explaining this to tough guys but I am more capable of sharing this wisdom with women for some reason.