I’ve never liked the word ‘depression’. The Victorians referred more accurately to chronic sadness as ‘melancholia’.
Psychiatry has struggled for decades to find a chemical solution by which to ‘treat the brain’ in order to alleviate this awful problem. Success has been hard to come by and both the psychoanalytic school of thought and the anti-psychiatry movement have always maintained that ‘depression’ will always need to be treated non-chemically as it is a ‘dis-ease’ of the mind rather than a sickness of the brain. Unfortunately this usually involves that most precious of medical commodities – time. Putting a pill in a patient’s mouth to treat their brain is much more time-efficient than trying to interact with their minds so the latest batch of antidepressives, called SSRIs were hailed as a major breakthrough and marketed with typical aggressive confidence.
Reports such as Kirsch et al suggesting these drugs were generally no better than placebo were ‘heard’ and then conveniently swept under the table. As I reported here, the prescription of these drugs in the UK went through the roof – after these warnings. Now a major report in a Scientific American, a respected scientific journal has had the guts to take the lid off Pandora’s box and what has come out is less than pretty.
I drew attention to the fact that homeopaths who therapeutically listened to their patients for hours before prescribing very safe medicines to them were being roasted alive by critics who maintained homeopathy was a waste of NHS money. When I pointed out that the NHS budget for these controversial anti-depressives was at least 20x that of ALL homeopathic medicines prescribed on the NHS, they either ignored me or jeered at me continuing to bleat the populist medical ‘wisdom’ espoused by the so-called ‘sceptics’ of homeopathy and natural medicine. Hate to say ‘I told you so’ (not really) but I did! See here.
Now this article in Scientific American referencing an article in the British Medical Journal should make them hang their heads in shame and mirrors to all of us how little they actually care about patients. No doubt they will have little interest in this post or the article it refers to and will aim further kicks at the NHS ‘wasting money’ on homeopathy where doctors listen intently and patiently to their patients’ accounts of both physical and psychological symptoms as an important part of the process.
Hypocrisy rules! Perhaps it always has.