Remember when I pissed off some people here...

shadeshaman's picture

...because I said that poverty is a known cause of depression, and if the Psychiatric Profession isn't doing anything to work toward an end to poverty, then they are kidding themselves about helping people?

http://www.alternet.org/story/152873/400_rise_in_anti-depressant_pill_use%3A_americans_are_disempowered_--_can_the_ows_uprising_shake_us_out_of_our_depression/?page=entire

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that antidepressant use in the United States has increased nearly 400 percent in the last two decades, making antidepressants the most frequently used class of medications by Americans ages 18-44. Among Americans 12 years and older, 11 percent were taking antidepressants by 2005-2008 (the most recently reported study period), and 23 percent of women ages 40–59 years were taking them....
Nowhere in the CDC report is there any explanation for the 400 percent increase of antidepressant use from 1988 to 2008, however,...
Depression is highly associated with a variety of overwhelming pains, including physical pain, relationship pain (such as a dissatisfying marriage and social isolation), trauma—and financial pains.

Financial pains include unemployment, poverty, and debt. In 2007 the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration reported depression in 12.7 percent of unemployed people compared to 7 percent of employed people. And the Urban Institute in 1996 reported that Americans on public assistance have at least three times higher rate of depression than those not on public assistance. A person who has suffered mental illness is three times more likely to be in debt than someone who is not in debt, according to Richard Wakerall, director of the U.K. mental health organization Mind in Plymouth...."

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And why are shrinks doing nothing about this?

http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/02/why-anti-authoritarians-are-diagnosed-as-mentally-ill/

Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

Comments

maggles's picture
Submitted by maggles on

And I definitely believe we live in a culture that views anxiety as a "break down" rather than as often a "break through the bs" to a more awareness. People who are really dead inside don't feel a thing- including anxiety. They don't give a crap about much and are just trying to fit into the status quo- "think positive." My dad used to say, there are people who get into car accidents and people who cause them, and I tend to think a lot of the pollyanna cheerful types are more of the latter. And of course that's socio-political, part of a culture than condemns aging, divorce, sadness, bolsters addiction, that avoids facing death at all costs. And the psychologists often tow that line, too. But there are some good ones of us who don't.

maggles's picture
Submitted by maggles on

I think we're on the same page Mme Filth. I have been many a thorn in many a side- in my family, institutions, even by example in the way I live to a degree. And I do think the meds movement is a part in a way of dumbing people down. I guess i was just playing devil's advocate a little in that I think the other side of the equation is that there is rebellion that works, like The Art of War, by really also knowing "I am you," the enemy is you, and then there is energy that can disrupt forward (community) movement, even a person's own goals and aspirations, and sometimes psychology or therapy is helpful as a support in moving into a way of being that brings one into more intimate connection with oneself and others, and growth. I think poverty and dumbing down of ideas and lack of social supports creates psychological distress, a whole collective ill in our culture for sure.

shadeshaman's picture

What I'm saying here is that POVERTY IS A KNOWN CAUSE OF DEPRESSION and that Psychiatric PROFESSION, as a whole, is more interested in making people conform to authority (by diagnosing and medicating "problem" kids, no, strike that, problem humans--that is to say, creating bullshit diagnoses and stuffing people full of pills) than they are in addressing this KNOWN cause of depression called POVERTY.
So, instead of addressing the known problem, called poverty, they are MAKING UP diagnoses and putting people on drugs and making more money for big Pharma (but not more money for the...you know, poor people). And maintaining the Status Quo.

What if you, Maggles, could walk into a classroom and see which kids are poor and, therefore, more likely to suffer long-term depression? What would you do then? What would your profession do then? About the poverty?

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius"--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

maggles's picture
Submitted by maggles on

I agree whole heartedly w/ your assertion- dumb down poor people, oppressed peopel, single mothers, anyone in emotional pain in reaction to real painful circumstances, anyone in need of real economic or social support with meds to make them go away. And then don't address the root of ill of the problem. I agree that the epidemic depression and meds use we find ourselves in is a symptom of economic, spiritual and emotional ill of our society, a "mentally ill" culture. ANd as long as such massive social injustice reigns, "depression" will too.

When I was mental health coordinator for Head Start Preschools in South Central L.A. I saw not mainly depressed kids- t hey were damn resilient- but very depressed parents and even teachers largely because of poverty. ANd I tried to find and refer and refer for social and economic services, not meds, and I listened a lot. I bought the classrooms art supplies sometimes, and I cried a lot. I left church preschools where cops in riot gear were in the parking lot doing drug busts, and called into the school to say "Don't bring the kids out to the yard now!" and mostly I felt helpless and I cried a lot those years. I was an intern working for almost nothing living in one room myself, but not in the hood, I got to escape. I left the job- but I do take a lot of sliding scale in my practice and I know that when I am in better shape financially and not a single mom w/ a young child I will reach out even more. I have sat "shiva" (though I'm not a Jew) w/ an impoverished family w a drug dealing father who overdosed, I have done a lot of pro bono work with suicidal teens, I have sat at the death beds of mothers leaving their children behind... all of this pro bono. And it was for me in the end, for my own growth as well as reaching out. My best single mom psychologist friend who is barely making ends meet drives out to the local foster home and hangs out w/ the parentless teen girls there even w/ her own physical illness and challenges.

I think there are a lot of "good eggs" in social work and doing therapy, along w/ the bad apples who want everyone to dumb down and get in line and stop being poor. Psychiatry- well that's another conversation.

(Depression is a complex issue though, as is meds use. How do we explain that in a culture like Sweden where there is universal health care and very little poverty droves and droves of people are on meds? And the suicide rate is so high? Darkness??)

maggles's picture
Submitted by maggles on

I also wanted to say that I should not have said that it is often the case that kids who are, in a more egalitarian classroom to my mind, "disruptive" don't usually have an environmental stressor, poverty or some kind of lack of support that should be there for parents/family, as usually that lack IS a big part of it. And in more top-down authoritarian settings I agree that often kids who simply say "I'm not gonna buck up to this crap" get seen as "bad" or "sick."

There are those exceptions where some kid in a class is frankly really bugging me and all the kids in teh class with loudness and throwing things and dissing other kids and hurting people and I think JEEZUS his parents are really loving, he has a great home, family has lots of support- wtf?

I mean there are times I feel that way w/ my own kid. Authority sucks until you are the authority and then it can suck when no one will listen to your high minded authority.