« "Stop taking the tablets... | Main | No more religions, thanks »

August 17, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


good job

Graham Marlowe

CBT, Paul works for SOME people SOME of the time. The idea of course, is that you give it as a matter of course - and hey presto you have a sort of psychiatric Aspirin - a cure all. Really Paul it doesn't work like that: everybody is different and to use that ghastly political cliche' one size DOESN'T fit all.

The government like it because it is CHEAP. Unlike drugs.

Just wait till Mr Johnsons Snake Oil fails to work on a proportion of patients, or trheir problems reappear just as strongly as before - ansd in depair people either atytempt or succeed at suicide.

I don't dislike Johnson as I do some of the right wing rabble in the cabinet, believe me, but he really shouldn't meddle in things he doesn't fully understand.

Paul Flynn

The evidence for CBT, Graham, is much stronger that that for any of the drugs over the past 150 years. There is wonderful book about the 'Prison' of depression by Dorothy Rowe. I have recommended it to many people. Nearly all of them have been enthusiastic about her insights into the nature of depression. The book is far safer than a fistful of chemicals.

Graham Marlowe

Well, of course, like all medication, some anti-depressants work on some patients, but have no effect on others (In the States Prozac made people feel "weller than well" to quote an article I read on it, but for a minority the pill actually made them more depressed, but America, of course, where you get what you pay for, if you can afford it, some people who had no history of depression just wanted the pill, as you intimated earlier, just as a happy pill. That is totally wrong, but to this day you can still buy the stuff over the internet, if you can't be bothered to see your doctor to pay him to write a legitimate prescription for it.

In Britain, though, it has never been so easy to get medication (until the internet of course) and there is no doubt that because many GPs had that "pull yourself together" attitude and just wouldn't write prescriptions, even though they may have been lifesavers. it is many of these old fossils who are now writing learned dissertations, but nobody should have to suffer depression in silence, and treatment should be available, and people not made to fill frauds or weaklings for asking for it.

Alan Johnson had (has?) a thing about Cognitive Behaviroual Therapy, and saw it as the cjure-all for mmental health problems, but many psychiatrists and psychotherapists doubt it's universal benefits which is what Mr Johnson has implied. Indeed, I know a woman who is a qualified psycotherapist, and she said that though it can have a short term benefit for a number of patients, and even a long term benefit for a minority of people, it is NOT suitable in many cases at alll: in people, for example, whose problems are deeply ingrained and go back a very long way.

I don't know how far Mr Johnson's proposals have gone or how much has been expended, but I was quite amazed when he suggested non-psychologist/psychiatristic NHS personnel could administer this treatment after a short course of instruction. Psychiatry on the cheap (does each nurse get a copy of the "Ladybird Book of the Bonce"?). I really don't think mental health is given proper resources in this country, probably because in the majority of cases you can't see the illness, unlike more obvious medical conditions, which are considered more worthy of support 9and of course physical illness should be supported. Pwerhaps if a senior minister suffered from crippling depression something more substantial might be done, but until such time as gimmick-free solutions are found, depressed patients should not be denied drugs that can help them.

Paul Flynn

Sorry to hear about your wife Graham.

These events are often totally unpredictable. The drugs have a very unimpressive record. 150 years ago Freud prescribed cocaine for depression, then bromide was the answer followed by benzos,tricyclics and SSRIs. All were sold as being beneeficial and non-addictive.All were harmful and created dependence.

The numbers going sick from depression in the UK have increased by 300% in recent years. That is in spite of the wider use of anti-depresants.

Graham Marlowe

"At last a prominent doctor in Australia has spoken up. Normal emotions are sometimes being treated as mental illness because the threshold for clinical depression is too low, according to Professor Gordon Parker"

It always worries me somewhat, Paul, when theese eminent gentlemen, who probably haven't conducted a clinic in a decade or more come out with this sort of stuff. Everyone is different and their "empirical studies" and "cohorts" are not worth a bucket of warm spit.

You have to treat the individual. Thirty odd years ago my wife was feeling depressed (or perhaps Professor Parker would deem it to be "unhappy". She went, after much persusion to see the G.P., who, in effect told her to pull herself together and count her blessings - and take up a hobby.

A week later she committed suicide.

I really get tired of journalists, non-practising doctors (a bit like armchair generals with a stethoscope) and welfare "experts" like David Freud trying to downplay the terrible crippling and sometimes fatal effects of depression.

If people are merely "unhappy", well - with the current situation perhaps they have every right to be. But being "unhappy" can morph into something more serious.


you should read "the knowledge of hell"

The comments to this entry are closed.