Sunday, July 19, 2009

Depression: Don't Believe the Tripe

I know this will make me unpopular, but I'll say it anyway. Depression is bullshit. Sorry. I know it's nice to think you have some neurological defect that's preventing you from being that special amazing don't. It's all in your head. Bi-Polar disorder? Mere clinical jargon dreamed up by shitty Doctors. There's bad days, there's good days, and yes sometimes EVERYONE just wants to kill themselves. In fact, sometimes that's all the time. You know what? THAT'S COMPLETELY FUCKING NORMAL.

1st quote to add legitimacy to my argument:
"Remember that no biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling, or any other so-called mental illness, disease, or disorder." - Bruce Levine, Ph.D. (psychologist), Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (Continuum, New York 2001), p. 277.

I try to talk to people who claim depression. I really want to understand this phenomenon since 1/3rd of the country seems to be doped up on happy pills. "How did you know you were depressed and not just having a bad day?" I'd ask. Their answer is usually the same. "It's different, you just know. No matter what happens you feel bad all the time." Oh. Could this be the crushing reality of life? The constant revelation that no matter what you do, you will always be lost in the same haze of discontent? If you read through my blogs you could almost make a case that I'm depressed. I wake up feeling like shit everyday. I feel like I know cosmically there is no relevance to my life. I have a hard time justifying any exerted effort because I know there really is no fucking point. I don't write this off as depression though. That's life. Why do you think the most successful people in the world aren't just chilling out somewhere? They're still unhappy. They've still got work to do. Some people internalize this as a reason to get up in the morning. Other people rather just pop a pill and forget about it. They say it's a chemical imbalance. Riiiight....

2nd quote to add legitimacy to my argument:
If your doctor tells you that these drugs will correct an imbalance in your brain chemicals, please realize that more than likely your doctor got this from drug company representatives as part of the drug companies’ marketing activities. There is no scientific evidence to support such a statement. Just because you are depressed does not mean that there is something wrong with your brain chemicals." - Zoloft side effects web site

As I mentioned before though, I'm sure it's magically reassuring to some people that the reason they can't function 'like everybody else' is an ambiguous problem in their brain makeup. It's like the more scientific way of blaming everything on your parents. No, you know what, the parents thing is probably a more scientifically sound argument. If someone says they are sad or experience wild mood swings for no explicable reason, then my first instinct is "Well, you had a bad day and it finally caught up with you." They tell me I don't understand, and we continue this ballet ad infinitum. Maybe someone can give me a shot or something, so I get the symptoms of depression to see what it's really all about. Oh wait, I can't, because chemically it DOESN'T FUCKING EXIST. Sad? Bi-polar? So is everyone else, we just cover it up in more constructive ways. Some people shoot up schools. Some people gather massive toy train collections. Whatever the course, there's energy you have to burn every given day. If you don't, your body is going to give you anxiety, insomnia, discontent, and then probably a few extra pounds for not leaving the house and doing anything. Still the debate with friends rages on...

3rd quote to add legitimacy to my argument:
"I am constantly amazed by how many patients who come to see me believe or want to believe that their difficulties are biologic and can be relieved by a pill. This is despite the fact that modern psychiatry has yet to convincingly prove the genetic/biologic cause of any single mental illness. However, this does not stop psychiatry from making essentially unproven claims that depression, bipolar illness, anxiety disorders, alcoholism and a host of other disorders are in fact primarily biologic and probably genetic in origin, and that it is only a matter of time until all this is proven. This kind of faith in science and progress is staggering, not to mention naive and perhaps delusional." - Dr. David Kaiser, M.D. Psychiatrist

You know, I almost kind of wish there was a neurological disease to explain why some people are miserable douche nozzles. I could slip them some pills and they could perk the fuck up. But there isn't. There flat out isn't. If you are sitting at home feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and there's nothing you can do about it - you're only experiencing clarity. Beautiful, soul destroying clarity. Think about why you're sad. There's a reason. Even if you are so sure there isn't, there is. Stop lying to yourself. Maybe you realized you'll never be that good looking. You'll never make more than a couple thousand in your life. You'll never find that perfect someone. You'll never raise those perfect kids. You'll never own that perfect house. Maybe you're just coming to grips that in 20 years you'll still be hungover, eating cheerios, and watching divorce court. Worst of all, that gut feeling that everything is wrong and something needs to change in your life will never ever ever ever ever go away. People are cruel, the world is shit, and when you break it down - there really isn't a reason to be here at all.

See? Everyone thinks like that. Go ahead and spend all your money on drugs and pretend that it's not your fault. I'm gonna spend my money on cheaper things that make me happy. Like hobbies and friends. It's a novel concept. Get out of the house, find people who like the same things as you, and get on with your fucking life. If you still can't manage that, well, that's why they put power outlets within reasonable distance of bathtubs. Ciao.