The Great Antidepressant Hypocrisy
Continued from previous page
If a cancer therapy was devised today that did away with the agony of chemotherapy and radiation, we’d be dancing in the streets. So why do we treat the idea of “popping a pill” for depression, rather than crying in a therapist’s office, with such disdain?
The problem with using drugs to medicate away depression isn’t drug use itself; it’s the use of drugs that aren’t effective for that purpose. Since, however, “fun” drugs do lift mood, people seem to believe that all mood-lifting drugs must be “fun.” And, consequently, that those taking antidepressants must all secretly be addicts.
Of course, anyone who has taken antidepressants knows that the idea that they are “happy pills” is nonsense. The simplest way to explain the difference is this: I sometimes forget to take my Prozac. But I never forgot to take my heroin.
America’s ambivalent relationship with drugs and medication pushes us to ignore critical differences between drugs, while failing to appreciate useful similarities.