April 4th, 2006
|08:12 am - Thought for the Day|
For some time now, I've wondered why antidepressant medications have all these warnings of increased suicide risk. I mean, honestly, isn't an antidepressant supposed to help so that you DON'T feel depressed and WON'T want to kill yourself? So, what kind of crappy antidepressant lists all sorts of suicide watch warnings, and lists suicide as a potential side effect? Since the new med I'm taking for chronic pain is also an antidepressant, I had to wonder: does this stuff have the potential to MAKE me suicidal? Is there some weird brain chemistry thing that just acts on certain people to have the opposite effect of antidepression? Just what I need, right?
I finally got the answer yesterday, while randomly browsing the 'Net, at CrazyMeds.com:
"Here's the deal - one of the main factors in drug-related suicide is
that when someone is nearly catatonic in a well of infinite hurt waiting
for the sweet release of death, they're just too damned depressed to
actually do anything about it! And when an antidepressant works just a
little bit it gives them enough energy and clarity of thought to
accomplish the one thing on their mind."
(Bold mine.) I'd never thought about it that way, but it makes about the most sense of anything I've ever read.
Yeah, that's basically it. Severely depressed people often can't focus their energy enough to top themselves, but when the edge is taken off, they can manage it.
I think it might be a bit more complex than that. I'm no doctor, but I've been through depression and was on antidepressants which, thankfully, helped me.
So here's my stab at the situation: If you're depressed enough to finally see a doctor and get a prescription, you're pretty far into it already.
Now here you are, two months later. You were already depressed, then you were on anti-depressents - which probably make you feel some guilt for not being able to deal with things on your own. But these pills are your lifeline, and all your faith is in them.
But, instead of feeling better, you're worse. You feel like hell, and your last lifeline obviously doesn't work - your situation really is hopeless. You take the out.
Desperation is a crazy beast.
There's probably some of that too. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons why antidepressants can be linked with an increase in suicide, and that makes a lot of sense as well. It's a complex thing, and this society pretty much feels like anyone with a mental illness of any kind should either just suck it up and drive on, or keep it hidden.
Thanks for that insight. That should have been obvious.