There are a lot of differences between Germany and America and one of them is how to deal with stuff like depression, anxieties, well, health in general. The Germans are more of the “suck-it-up, take-an-aspirin, take-a-nap”-school of medicine. We are a people who swear by the healing powers of wraps soaked in ice water, cayenne rubs and suppositories. AND we have universal health care!  Americans, well, if you don’t have insurance you can pretty much go fuck yourself, but if you have insurance, or money, there are these limits on what gets covered and what not and self -medicating is the way to go. Feeling depressed? Here, have a pill.

That can’t be right and I think that a lot of American perspectives on health are really directed towards battling the symptoms and not looking at the underlying causes.

Anyway, Salon has an interview with Robert Whitaker on the history of mental illness  that is worth reading.


2 thoughts on “Psychopharmaceuticals

  1. hmmm.. i just read the intro, not the entire interview, but i wonder if the reason a lot of these drugs are ineffective (at best) is because of a lot misdiagnosis? prescription drugs are dangerous and should only used when absolutely necessary and with a firm diagnosis in hand (there’s been a lot of research on how when even used correctly the numbers of death from prescription drug complications are staggering). anti depressants can be helpful (even life saving), but many times aren’t. i wonder if there is an over diagnosis of depression where the person is suffering from something else altogether?

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