Monday, March 29, 2004

Andrew Solomon's "A Bitter Pill"

Op-Ed Contributor: A Bitter Pill

This is an op-ed piece from today's New York Times (you'll have to register to read it--it's free) that is written by Andrew Solomon. Solomon is the author of a book called The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression in which he recounts his terrifying descent into depression (by comparison, mine looked like Sunday afternoon in the park) and his ascent out of it--as well as looking at cultural and sociological aspects of the disease. His piece in NYT today is regarding the new FDA warnings that are going to be required on SSRI-type anti-depressants and I think it's just about the most intelligent take on this subject I've read yet. Funny, it sounds a lot like Lynette's take on depression and the labeling changes.

As someone who's a depression survivor (I know that seems like hyperbole but believe me, when you consider the mortality from untreated depression, I consider anyone who makes it back to be a survivor) and a pharmacist, I can't stress the importance of the role these drugs play in giving people their lives back. But they aren't a panacea and nothing will take the place of careful patient monitoring by a qualified health-care provider.

I'll quit before I sound any more like a public-service announcement. :)

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