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08 Dec 2004

Don't shoot but...
Dear Doc

I can see that this site is a vibey one. Just one question - don't you think docs write out anti-depressants too easily. Don't buy that crap about a chemical imbalance and depression. Don't you thing one gets depressed as a reaction to happenings in your life? Just asking, it just seems to me that every second person is on some miracle cure which often makes them nonchalant and don't care...
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Hi there msar,
Pleased to know we're vibey. Every problem has a solution that is easy, logical, appealing --- and wrong. Yes, too many doctors dish out antidepressants far too readily ; I have no doubt whatever about that. These drugs can be life-saving, but should only be prescribed after a proper assessment has been made, and a proper diagnosis, and consideration of the range of possible treatments ( like CBT psychotherapy which research has shown to be at least as effective as antidepressant drugs, and with LASTING benefits, too.
Yes some people can get depressed in reation to things that have happened in their lives, but NO that stuff about chemical imbalances isn't crap at all, but very well established and proved. Sometimes the chemical imbalance arises out of the blue for reasons we don't yet properly understand --- and people can become massively depressed, even though they have led a life filled with happiness and contentment, from birth until the onset of their illness. Other people become Depressed after obviously depressing events in their lives ( but note that some people cope with enormously depressing events without becoming Depressed ! ) --- but even when they become depressed in this way, they have the same chemical changes in the brain, as has been measured by proper indirect measures. If the chemical changes were not occurring, the antidepressant drugs could nopt possible relieve the symptoms, as they do in both types of depression.
Paul's summary is excellant and accurate. Of course, if the latest "miracle cure" doesn't work, it is neither a cure n or a miracle. But I find that the people really keen for a miracle cure don't look for pills, they ask for "Hypnotherapy" in the hope that with absolutely no effort on their part, some magician will have his hands in front of their eyes and hey presto ! they'll be cured. It doesn't work
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