This was written on my youtube video about brain zaps from SSRI:
I take issue with your theme which is that depression is 'bad' and that drugs are needed to cure this condition. An analogy I use is to compare mental anguish with physical pain. As much as I would like not to feel pain it is well known that those who are unable to feel pain actually die young. I am an old man now but when I look back on my life I see the necessity of those times where I experienced emotional pain. In fact those times were actually defining moments in my life's experience.
I would not swap them for the world. They are part of my life's rich and wonderful tapestry. I have experienced great lows but without which I would never have experienced such highs. The thought of taking drugs to 'flatten' my joy and sorrow is equivalent to a flatline. It would appear that the brain changes caused by SSRIs cause greater withdrawal problems than heroin - a few days of flu like symptoms. I reject your paradigm totally. ;-)
I don't know. Sometimes I think that I should suck it up princess. And that I never really was depressed in the first place anyway. Like most people feel like this, I'm only complaining about it. Like as this commenter insinuated, I am having a cry about having to experience pain. I have a real difficulty arguing for myself. But if I were to see this comment to someone else, I would think:
This guy clearly has no idea wtf he is talking about, and probably thinks major depressive disorder is the same thing as sadness. This is akin to telling a chronic pain sufferer that s/he should not seek treatment because you need pain, it's a part of life and you wouldn't want to flatten experience of pleasure and pain.
Now I am not sure how much I can compare my experience of sadness and depression. If people are thinking of my experience of sadness when they imagine the concept of 'depression', all the anti depressant nay saying makes more sense. Now let me see if I am able to articulate myself here. I feel sad if I lose someone/thing of importance. I rarely feel sad, because there are things that I give so much importance to in the first place. Or defence mechanisms are employed, for example with lost friendships its usually gradual than sudden. I suppose the good thing about sadness is the love I had for whatever I had lost. In this case, I can under the necessity and why you wouldn't want to 'flatline' your experiences. Sadness is all about the lost thing rather than myself. I want that thing back rather than to improve my mood in other ways. I also wouldn't avoid loving things to avoid sadness. At least on a conscious level! People do do it though.
For example, I had some rats die unexpectedly in an experiment. I was upset about it, and it was noticed. Someone commented something along the lines of that I should go have a drink tonight. I thought... well a drink isn't going to undo what just happened. Me feeling better won't undo what just happened. If I were grieving, I probably would not like someone offering me antidepressants or anything to make *me* feel better, because the sadness is not really about me.
Depression, however, is. I just feel shit because I'm just a terrible person. It's all me me me. I have not lost anything. It is not part of life's 'wonderful tapestry' and there is no joy or sorrow so really the drugs can't flatline anything. That's anhedonia and that's why I took the fucking meds in the first place. I could have done without it and I don't need to to feel 'highs'. Unless of course my obsessions with topics are actually a symptom of mania and I have bipolar disorder, then well yes that would be another issue. The argument may stand for using mood stabalizers, but really I would not be comparing mania and depression to 'joys and sorrows'. And anyway, it seems as that hypomania is the good experience, but mania is not. I am digressing here, but with unipolar depression, there is little benefit. You have to look for it. For example, some people say that it can help me empathize with others and give meaning to my neuroscience career. It's ironic, because that's like saying 'depression is good because it motivates to prevent further depression'.
As for antidepressants and depression as an illness, I see it like a cold. It may be the body's defense (i.e not a disease itself) like a fever. But no one protests against cold and flu meds. I don't hear 'oh but a cold is natural! The meds are big pharma making money off you!'. Sometimes, people make that choice for themselves and not take meds. Or antiemetic meds. One might say vomiting is natural, a part of life and reject the theme that vomiting is 'bad'.
Fuck. It's hard to fight it when a part of you is telling you that you deserve to be depressed and you should be.
And to finish it off, the withdrawal comments. I am not sure if he is trivializing heroin withdrawal, or saying that SSRI withdrawal is so bad it makes heroin look like the flu. Well in my video, I basically said the withdrawals weren't really bad. It's brain zaps and it's weird and annoying. Besides, drug withdrawals are different for everyone so it's hard to compare.