Saturday, April 24, 2010

why anti-depressants don't work

The drug companies won't tell you all the things their research reveals, only those things that lead to the sales of drugs... or at least that's what this article reveals. A closer look at the data may reveal that the effectiveness of anti-depressants has been twisted to sell drugs to unwary consumers.

A better fix for depression might be found in physical labor, hands-on creative endeavors. It's why exercise works. The psychological mechanism is what Randolph-Macon College Ph.D Kelly Lambert calls "effort driven rewards." You do stuff and feel better. As we have become more sedentary, and have become consumers of information, rather than producers of meaningful, useful and beautiful things, we have thrown our natural human balance out the window... and pay the price in how we feel about ourselves and each other. A steady diet of creative, expressive, artistic behavior is a requirement for human psychological health and well-being.

Why Anti-depressants Don't Work by Mark Hyman, M.D. doesn't go into why the hands and creative work does work, but it does illustrate the huge waste of our current methodology. I should point out that all those happy pills are going into our waste stream, having an unspecified effect on our freshwater ecology, something our environmental scientists are beginning to have grave concerns about.

I would scarcely make light of the serious implications of depression. Its effects can be devastating. I can offer this simple advice based on my own experience. Make stuff, feel better.

Interestingly, early psychologists had observed some interesting things on this particular subject which might offer insight. As Henry Maudsley, MD had noted in his 1883 book, Body and Mind, the following:
"Fix the countenance in the patten of a particular emotion--in a look of anger, of wonder, or of scorn--and the emotion whose appearance is thus imitated will not fail to be aroused. And if we try, while the features are fixed in the expression of one passion, to call up in the mind a quite different one, we shall find it impossible to do so.... We perceive, then that the muscles are not alone the machinery by which the mind acts upon the world, but that their actions are essential elements in our mental operations."
Can it be that the act of doing, of making, of creating, may have impact on the emotions? Get busy in the wood shop, or the kitchen or the garden and you may discover a few things for yourself.


  1. Anonymous2:48 PM

    My mother kicked those kind of drugs cold turkey back 25 years ago. She suffered from manic depression. While she was in the kicking process she went through a recovery program that involved mantram, exercise and getting back to her knitting. This is what helped her kick this terrible addiction, but it also helped me as I witnessed the whole thing and incorporated it into my life as well. See that is the one thing the drug co. do not tell you is the addictiveness of these drugs which of course helps the bottom line of drug pushers whether legal or illegal

    For me, keeping myself strong and woodworking is all I need. A couple of beers doesn't hurt either. By a couple I mean two.

    We also need support from our friends, family and other loved one to be truly successful.

    Scrap Wood

  2. Mothers can be wonderful examples for us, can't they? And yes, we seem to stand on each other's shoulders, and any success we may find is dependent on the encouragement we get from others.

  3. I brought the Huffington Post article to the attention of Will Shetterley at IT'S ALL ONE THING. He feels it should be entitled WHY ANTI-DEPRESSANTS DON'T ALWAYS WORK.

    He had two major postings on the subject, the more recent one being entitled UPDATE ON BRAINS and dated Saturday April 17th.

    Peter Breggin has recently started a new organization. He has separated from THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF PSYCHIATRY AND PSYCHOLOGY which he founded quite a few years ago. The organization frowns on pill popping and favors psychology over psychiatry. Apparently there was some dissatisfaction on the part of Peter with someone on the ICSPP board.