Friday, August 17, 2007

Notes from the Prozac Nation, Vol. 1, No. 5

  • Flushed SSRI pills impede development of frogs and fish. Many of us have heard that old birth control pills in the water supply are making a lot of female fishies, now there are reports of how our flushed SSRIs are affecting the ecosystem.
  • The debate over underdiagnosing or overdiagnosing of depression continues. This BBC article discusses a debate between two Australian psychiatrists in the BMJ over whether or not the criteria for depression are too inclusive. Gordon Parker says yes, while Ian Hickie claims that we are getting better at detecting depression early enough that we can prevent serious cases and suicides. Where do you stand on the issue? (H/T SteveG)
  • A depression pandemic among the elderly in Britain. The Telegraph reports that suicide rates among the elderly are up, particularly among women over 75. Many of these victims of depression are invisible since they still suffer from the stigma of depression and won't seek help.
  • Americans are mentally ill because they are godless and take pills. So sayeth our favorite right wing news source, WorldNetDaily, wherein the author insinuates that Andrea Yates drowned her children because she was on Effexor, while Eric Harris of Columbine was on Luvox. Moreover, David Kupelian argues that if we got right with God and got some counseling, we would see a whole lot less mental illness. (FWIW, Kupelian represents what I call the Psychopharmacological Calvinist position!)
  • Residents of Norwich (U.K.) are trading in their antidepressants for mountain climbing. Apparently Norwich is the "pill popping capital of Central England," so some citizens go together to combat this by starting a walking therapy program to combat mental illness. (I would want to know more about why? Is this an either/or sort of approach?)