Friday, August 24, 2007

Notes from the Prozac Nation, Vol.1, No. 6

  • Kurt Cobain's cousin writes a helpful book for depressed teens.
  • Returning U.S. vets succumbing to depression. Is this really a surprise? However the results of a study of 168 returning soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq focuses on how their depression affects the family, including higher incidents of abuse.
  • The intersection of masculinity and psychopharmacology. Check out this interesting blog entry on what it means for men to seek help for depression and take medication.
  • An exquisite philosophical reflection on what depression means. Of course leave it to melancholic philosophers to have really smart things to say about the complicated nature of depression as well as voice ambivalence toward SSRIs. Here is a sample:
    "Whether we are going to speak about a tortured soul or about a defective brain seems to depend mostly on the rhetorical purpose at hand. Students hoping to be excused from some responsibility or other have learned to talk the medical talk very skillfully: how can a mere Ph.D. in philosophy, they seem to be saying to me, possibly argue with a medical note from a real doctor? We're talking about an illness here, not some fleeting mood. Doctors take on the social role of magicians, able to transfigure any procrastinating or hard-partying adolescent into a special kind of creature --a depressive, a manic-depressive, an obsessive compulsive, a sufferer from attention deficit disorder-- usually with nothing more than the most perfunctory speech act. I am not saying these categories do not exist (at least as far as the first three are concerned). Indeed, I have claimed some of them for myself. But I doubt that their reduction to medical conditions like any other is what best helps us to understand them, or to live with them."
  • 7 Facts About Antidepressants the Pharmaceutical Company Don't Want You to Know. Gregory Park dispels common misconceptions about SSRIs and what they do and don't do.