Welcome to the Prozac World
Looks like we actually are becoming a Prozac World, because we're getting our drugs into the water supply. Here's the article in National Geographic about Prozac being found in our Great Lakes and actually killing off bacteria there. We aren't just overmedicating our people now, we're actually doing it to our environment.I started thinking about this a few months ago when I read a great New York Times article about how psychiatry is becoming more about pharmaceutical adjustments than it is about therapy. The gist of the article is that the "talking cure" has now become bad psychology because insurance companies can make more money by sending patients on 15-minute consultations with psychiatrists (who can prescribe "medications") and then send them to less-trained counselors for actual therapy. So the doctors who got into the business to actually help people are limited to chemical therapies because it's better for the bottom line. Over the past twenty years, psychotherapy declined while the amount of Americans taking antidepressants jumped.I know that drugs can help. Whether it's self-medication through booze and pot or it's prescribed Xanax by your trusty doctor, chemicals can make us feel better, they can help us forget. But they're the just attacking the symptoms and not the causes. The cause isn't the chemical imbalance in your head, that's the symptom. The chemical imbalance is a result of the neural pathways being forged by feeling bad and as a result of those pathways being used again and again, it becomes easier for electrical impulses to flow through them, it's just becomes easier to feel bad or depressed. Chemicals can alleviate that and they can help create the new healthier pathways, but you have to get at the cause. You have to discover the root of the problem and deal with it. When we sing about our Prozac Girl it's not about her being a loser, it's a criticism of the system that's not designed to make her better, but designed to make money off of her insurance company. She's given a panacea miracle drug that's supposed to make her feel good, but she's a teenage girl. When's the last time you met a teenage girl who's not prone to mood swings? Depression is a fucking real and intense thing and it can ruin your life. And we need to help our friends that are affected by the Black Dog (as Churchill used to call his melancholy.) But shouldn't we be helping them by discovering the root causes and then working to fix them? Is depression just a bunch of chemicals floating around in our heads or is it a result of shit actually going wrong? We can use chemicals to help (I've seen people have complete changes of hearts under the influence of LSD - by the way, that's not a fucking recommendation to use LSD to change your life, that's fucking stupid.) I've seen prescribed medications really work to help people that can't make that step to being healthy through cognition and talking therapy alone. But shouldn't fucking with the chemistry of your mind be the last resort?Don't our friends deserve better? Don't we all deserve the absolute goddamn best? The best means all of us helping you work through your problems in a real way, not just pushing them under the surface. And now we're only going deeper under the surface by poisoning our water with MAO Inhibitors. And we have no idea what kind of effect that's going to have.There's no easy solution and we all hate E. Coli but this has to stop. We have to find a better way because right now we're a bunch of Frankensteins who are fucking with our environment in ways that we have no idea how it will turn out. I was shocked by this article because I didn't expect to see that the level of medication has become so prevalent that it's turning up in our water. Oh well, shift the blame and everything will be just fine.