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Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Monday, August 15, 2016

Antidepressants: The Apathy and Ignorance

A few weeks ago a guest post on David Healy's blog prompted a reply from me. The post, eloquently written by Sally MacGregor, was, in essence, a discussion about convincing the people whose attitudes toward antidepressant induced psychosis is, at best, apathetic.

I've experienced this many times, particularly on social media where people, or friends from yesteryear (that we don't see anymore) would rather post a photo of a cute kitten or puppy then disseminate information about antidepressants causing kids to kill themselves or women having to abort fetuses because of antidepressant induced birth defects.

I see it on a daily basis in comment sections of newspapers too, one in particular caught my attention.

It's from The Independent and the author of the piece is Katinka Blackford Newman who recently launched her new book, The Pill That Steals Lives: One Woman's Terrifying Journey to Discover the Truth about Antidepressants.

Katinka's post, featured in, The Independent, throws out the question of recent acts of violence and she, quite rightly, asks if these recent spate of attacks across Europe may be down to psychiatric medication.

The response in the comment section was typical of the apathy and ignorance that accompanies such questions.

One commentator, who clearly misses the point, writes...

"Do the independent trawl the world looking for loonies who can fill a few columns with their farcical after day I despair at how far this paper has fallen."

Another, somewhat more articulated response than the above commentator, writes...

"This is pretty irresponsible! A very tiny minority of people who take these drugs ever have a psychotic break. 

"Correlation is not causation. And I think the author is thoroughly confused about this. 

"It's bad enough to have a mental illness and experiencing the stigma without stories like this in the news: now the medicine is going to make us into mass murderers? Please. "

There's many more.

So, it's left to the choir once again to try to convince the ignorant and apathetic that they are not armed with all the facts and such negative responses to an article, whether they believe it to be true or not, really doesn't solve anything.

It left me wondering how many of these commentators actually go off and do their own research before leaving such comments - it reminds me of the scene from the movie, Dumb & Dumber where Lloyd Christmas, played by Jim Carey, covers his ears because he just does not want to take on board what his friend, Harry Dunne, played by Jeff Daniel's, is telling him.

These same commentators should be asked the question, What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?

Then again, they'd probably answer, I don't know and I don't care.

The comments left in the Independent article remind me so much of that scene from Dumb & Dumber, so much so that it's left a burning image with me for the rest of the night.

Bob Fiddaman.

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