Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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July 11th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Social Commentary

depressed, depressing, depression, SOLD!  How many Americans Are Medicated?

depressed, depressing, depression, SOLD! How many Americans Are Medicated?

Who’s more screwed up? The kids in this Black Flag video “DEPRESSION” or the Lawyer excusing himself a few times a day to take his anti-anxiety medications.

Ask an insurance company and the Underwriters might very well say, all other things being equal, the former.

Are you having a hard time these days, coping, making ends meet? Dealing with the kids and your performance at the job. Juggling family obligations and staying social enough to keep some of your friends around.

It gets harder, the older you get. Ah wasn’t it great to be 28?

Fast forward a dozen years and you’re at a friend’s house because you don’t do the club thing anymore. Somehow you’re guy and sweaty brow on the dance floor just don’t look cool amidst people who were breast feeding when you were cutting class and playing frisbee. But now you’re at a dinner party and your breath stinks. So you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. We’ll leave the impropriety of opening your friend’s medicine cabinet for another time. But assuming you’re too drunk or don’t care, you open it up to get some toothpaste but find over a half dozen prescription bottles instead. Some of them you’ve heard of Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Prozac etc.

Okay I thought it was okay to pop an normal and accepted, even hip, to pop an occassional valium because I saw it in a Woody Allen movie. It was better than getting on Prozac which my analyst tried to persuade me was perfectly normal but something told me that and better, quicker and cleaner than smoking a joint right? But it’s certainly way better than self medicating with alcohol or heroin.

At a different end of the multi-sided spectrum, there are, to be sure, people who have mental disorders or psychological problems which, left untreated, can have disastrous circumstances. I have several friends, make that many who take some kind of prescription for anxiety or depression. I’ve known them for years, they’re not going to go out and commit suicide. I’ve got to say that it helps and it’s noticable when they’re not on it. When they are, nothing rattles them and they “roll with the punches.” When they’re not they’re scattered and easily upset, moving quickly to try to get everything they need to done.

Recently, several leading medical journals and magazines are publishing articles about the effectiveness of anti-depressants, calling them useless? I think it’s too subjective a topic to be able to qualify with any accuracy findings upholding one conclusion or another. All I know is that many people I know take them.

So just how many people in the USA take anti-depressants. Just how acceptable is it?

The last comprehensive study was done in 2005 and about 10 percent of Americans were found to be taking anti-depressants (roughly 27 million people). Fast forward 5 or so years and spending on direct to consumer advertising of anti-depressant medications quadrupled from 32 million in 2004 to 122 million last year. You know all those ads with the swell music and a scene starting with someone moody and disturbed who all of a sudden becomes relaxed and confident which the narrarator pontificates about the potential side effects which if I were to list them would make this particular blog post very long.

Further according to a Rand Corporation Survey in 2002 (and they know everything right?), Depression is among the most common problems seen in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country.

For me – I was given a prescription for Prozac and filled it, but could never bring myself to take a single pill for fear of getting hooked on something. That doesn’t mean an anti-anxiety isn’t right for you.

If you’re even thinking about getting on medication, there’s an incredible website you need to know about called DSM-5 Development Project launched by the American Psychiatric Association. Go there by clicking

Let me leave you with this one last fact: Three times as many white adults as black or Mexican adults took antidepressants.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Dr David (Sports Psychologist)

    Look at James Ellroy’s latest book- LAPD ’53, and notice the Police Photos from that era, heaps of suicides-due to gambling or drug addiction problems. But America today is an far worse shape than those times, even Mr Ellroy acknowledges that, despite the fact his mother was murdered in 1958, Mr Ellroy says he would prefer to live in America of those times, than the Police State-Political correct America of today. Let’s face it-today’s America sucks ! At least the anti-depressants (or drinking booze like my late friend Matthew) is the only anti-dote left. If anyone out there reading this blog , and you have the blues, you are not alone, the world today is a fucked place and getting worse by the day (despite what the political correct, feel-good media tell us). The Western World culture today is based upon one big lie and everyone knows about and there’s fuck-all we can do about it-except take anti-depressant meds. My own Russian uncle killed himself in the 1950’s. I see nothing wrong in killing one’s self, the Japanese do it (Hari-Kari), The Romans did it, even I have considered it- there’s nothing left worthwhile in today’s Western World- it is dull, boring, sterile, clinical, shallow, superficial and soooo politically correct and evil Mr Murdoch wants Jeb Bush to become the next US President-so that’s something to kill yourself over.

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