Friendly, or at least tranquil


More about unhappy airline pilots:

Commercial pilots in the United States are grounded by Federal Aviation Administration regulations if they are taking certain prescription drugs, including all sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-psychotic drugs and most antidepressants — with the exception, since 2010, of four: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro.

12 thoughts on “Friendly, or at least tranquil

  1. I’m not often placed in the position of defending big pharma, but Michael, pull out that “questionable study” cap of yours on this one.

    The factors we’d need to consider to relate these two things may be impossible to acquire for study:

    1) How many people are depressed and don’t see a physician, either because they can’t afford it in terms of money or time, they’re embarrassed, etc.?

    2) How many of those people then go on to commit suicide?

    3) How many suicides are not classified as suicides, but rather, as drug overdose, incautious driving, sleepy driving, etc.?

    4) How many people who were going to commit suicide anyway happened to take SSRIs before doing so?

    5) How many people would have committed suicide if they hadn’t been stopped from doing so by their SSRIs (as opposed to the minority of their peers who weren’t so stopped)?

    6) The connection between SSRIs and suicide was evident before, during, and after their approval process(es). So why did the media wait until now to make…

    (…got too long; continued here.)

  2. “4) How many people who were going to commit suicide anyway happened to take SSRIs before doing so?”

    So in other words we have no idea if SSRIs work or not? Hardly makes the case *for* introducing a novel, potentially toxic chemical into the brain…. There’s a correlation between serotonin levels and not being miserable… let’s fuck with serotonin levels. Science! I’m sure some day–if humans are still around–psychiatric medicine will be seen in a similar light as vivisection is today.

    (Like broken clocks, I have known one or two who did benefit from psychiatric drugs. I wasn’t one.)

    • We certainly have “an idea.” Loose anecdotes; I’ve seen people who take them unsuccessfully and successfully for:

      (1) lifestyle reasons: the wealthy suburban housewife who takes them because she feels “edgy” or “unfulfilled” and they have either a placebo effect or no effect, versus the EMT who can’t handle the pressure of his job, is literally breaking down, but can take them for a few weeks and then suddenly he can work like normal and it otherwise doesn’t affect his life at all.

      (2) actual chemical reasons: people who take other drugs and use the SSRI to try to combat side effects of other drugs, with mixed success, versus people who have a genetic neurochemical problem (or a traumatic brain injury) and use the SSRIs just to balance out the chemicals to a “normal” state, and are thereby able to function the way they (presumably) would’ve functioned without the injury.

      Certainly they’re over-prescribed, with the majority of them probably going to prop up the employment capabilities of people who would otherwise just suicide out of the rat race. And certainly magic mushrooms or cannabis would work better, but then again, enough of that and people might feel so connected to the rest of humanity that they would overthrow the bankers without regard to their own personal comforts.

      The only one who can ever tell if a drug works properly is an individual patient, evaluating her before/after state–a patient who is so emotionally honest with herself that she doesn’t get tricked by placebo effects, the social vindication of “taking something that was professionally deemed appropriate,” and who can adjust for other lifestyle factors affecting her potential change.

      So in that regard, given the populations we’re working with, we’ll never know whether they, or anything else, are safe or not. Most people feel “better” about things just because they paid money for a physician’s time and some formal-looking bottle, rather than because they have the intelligence to properly evaluate and report their bodies’ reactions.

      (You’re so right about psychiatry, but then, that’s always been the case with human sciences. What’s truly difficult is convincing a new generation of people that this time around, things haven’t actually been perfected.)

      • I’m with Arkie on this one. SSRIs, for one thing, are an improvement on Mother’s Little Helper, which are sedative and addictive in a way that SSRIs are not. And knowledge of serotonin’s actual function in the brain is also a step forward for the still very young science of psychiatry. To my eye, there’s little to be gained and much credibility to be squandered by adopting the left’s standard anti-pill pose here.

        To make homicidal-depressive outbursts about the meds also downplays the degree to which they are about the culture/power structure, too, as Arkie says. It’s a wonder more pilots don’t do this, especially given their worsening working terms and conditions.

    • Bingo. I am reminded of the anti-anti-GMO arguments which cite every captured peer review as if the review involves impartial scientists repeating experiments and isn’t just anecdotal analysis of data that doesn’t have to be complete to analyze, and then ignores all the evidence gathered in the field via survey because it is anecdotal.

      Based on such stringent “standards”, we will never have definitive proof of anything. It sure would behoove us to take an honest look at the history of amok-murder and psych drugs, except one who does is rapidly approaching being painted with the same “anti-vaccine” brush.

      • I’m right there with you, Davidly. If people want to voluntarily take SSRI’s, fantastic. I just want to be able to NOT take them.

    • Multiple studies done by non drug companies show that SSRIs are scarcely better than placebo for most people with depression. They show a small but not clinically significant effect for those with “very severe” depression. That’s the Science! right there. They also have very severe side effects, such as diabetes and increased risk of death. The death rate among women who take SSRIs is 33 percent higher than those who don’t.

      There is no proof that depression is caused by low serotonin levels, or any test that can accurately measure the level of serotonin in brain synapses, let alone determine what a “normal” level of serotonin is. This is nothing more than a poorly-supported theory, and it is a measure of Big Pharma propaganda that even most doctors and psychiatrists believe it.

      So how to account for all those people who swear by them and say they work? I can only venture a guess, but I suspect it is a regression effect (which is also most likely to account for the bogus concept of “placebo” effects as well.)

      In any illness, if you do nothing at all, people will generally go through periods where they feel better than their peak level of pain and discomfort before reverting to feeling bad again. If you give them a sugar pill you can blame this temporary improvement on the “magic” of placebo, and if you give them a real pill, blame it on the wonders of chemistry.

      I have seen people take drugs that are clearly making them feel worse and causing severe side effects who refuse to reconsider taking them because “Dr Mengele would never give me a drug that hurt me.” My own experience with Dr Mengele is that he will invariably deny that the drugs he gives you are causing the side effects you describe and will insist you “give them a chance.”

      Studies have shown that getting exercise, adequate levels of sunlight or supplementation with vitamin D and proper diet do more to improve depression than all this Pharma shit. We evolved to work outdoors in the sun and eat real food without chemicals. Maybe getting back to that might help some?

  3. To clarify, I am not conflating vaccines with various medication for depression. I have myself run the tablet gamut and know people who have taken, or are still on such meds. I have bad experience with both the drugs and those who tried to “find the right one for me”, but at the same time I cannot ignore claims by those I know and trust who say they work for them. The problem is that in many of those cases, it is clear that they are not *quite* working for them. Knowing these people both pre- & post- treatment, evident, in my opinion, is a level of denial akin to the immediate sense of relief I felt when I finally, after decades of meandering misery, decided to finally get myself diagnosed and treated. For me, however, there is no denying that at the pharma end of things, it did not work and I was falling down slippery slope of med juggling a colorful array of side effects and avoidance.

    It is precisely this avoidance on a societal level that is the problem. It is the denial of the actual disease, the treatment of symptoms thereof, and the capture of the entire program by an industry in no way motivated to treat the disease.

    Again, whenever this argument presents itself, it is the totality of evidence that is not being considered. It is in this like that I call into question the medicating of what I would venture to say is the majority of the populace of what is currently the dominant empire of the globe.

    So the question that reared its ugly head in this thread: “Can we attribute flipping out and mass-murdering people to any of the associated meds?” is not a question that anyone really wants answered. That’s the “let alone” part. The order of answering it is a pretty friggin tall one anyway. If you will forgive my blackness here (and I beg our host’s pardon for this expression), that ship has sailed. You’d sooner take everyone’s guns away.

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