Is depression a big con?

Is depression a big con?



Sadly I have a friend that finds Alan Partridge irritating and Shooting Stars too juvenile. :lou_surprised: WTF!!


When people ask me how old I am I say i stopped counting at 18. The rest doesnt matter


I have just watched the video. Not world shattering stuff but it is worth a look. It doesnt though suggest that depression is a con.

Although I have spent a great deal of time with doctors, therepists and councellors over the last 18 years on so, I have never heard of the Hamilton scale. I have filled in questionaires of a similar nature but this name has never come up, not even in The Priory.

Regarding lack of sleep. Not rocket science this. Sleep deprivation is used in some cases as a form of torture. Not getting enough sleep is not good. People who suffer from depression and anxiety often suffer with insomnia because of their condition. Some people sleep too much, which also isnt ideal. Getting the right amount of sleep has always been an issue in any of my conversations with medical people. Anti depressants can help with that.

Not once have I been told that my condition is down to a chemical imbalance in my brain and that anti depressants will cure me. It has always been made clear that their could be an imbalance, that anti depressants are usual as a crutch and can take the edge off of my condition, but never the cure. Everyone I have dealt with has talked about my lifestyle, my experiences growing up, how I respond to certain situations, how I interact with people. I can honestly say that I have never been forced to take drugs. Whenever they have been prescribed I have been fully involved in the decision and told precisely why they are being offered. Not once has anyone said to me take this and it will sort out your problems.

I cant speak for America, but I think the days when doctors prescibed women valium and told them it was some kind of panacea and would sort out their problems for them are long gone. I thought that the interviewee was good. Joe Rogan was ok until the last bit where he seemed to infer that the drug companies were still some snale oil salesmen and were still pushing the depression/anxiety thing is all down to a chemical imbalance. I really do believe that no one believes it is that simple any more.

I also know of two people with bi-polar conditions who function well with their meds, but cant cope well without them.


People do have chemical imbalances Pap. Yes, they need more than meds to help try to fix them, but if meds help them stabilise (which they often do) and help them get on the right track, what is the problem?


I can see this particular debate going round in circles so i’d like to clarify your standpoints as I feel they are open to be misconstrued;

@pap Do you beleive chemical imbalance is non-existant?

@sadoldgit Do you beleive all people with depression have chemical imbalance?

Or maybe @barry-sanchez is the only voice of reason in that this discussion has infinite variables that will never achieve 100% consensus?


Depression is not a con. Anti-depressants are very useful for some people, myself included. Johann Hari is a dangerous con, even when he’s sometimes trying not to be.

I haven’t watched the video in the original post, sorry. People’s mental health (and by extension, actual physical life) is far too important to start entertaining quackery and spurious conspiracy bollocks.


I think we need to get a few things a little clearer. Our whole personality, behaviour, emotions are driven by the connnections and chemical neurotransmitters in our brains - everything is in fact chemical which leads to ‘electrical’ activity. So any deviation from what is for us uniqely ‘normal’ impacts on how we feel. If there is a consistent disruption to this ‘balance’, then we may become symptomatic of a number of mental health problems. It is all chemical - perhaps balance is not the right word, because our neuro chemistry is always dynamic… but its all chemical.

What the real question should be IMHO, is whether pharmacological intervention is going the right therapeutic approach. The problem has been that by their very design, drugs are often broad in scope, when on an individual basis, there is a very unique chemical makeup… and that there has been too much application of these broad medications in many situations where currently availble meds might not be the best opton or even suitable for given individuals.

The meds will definitly helps some patients, but not all, and unfortunatelly, many that they do not help only get the side effects and not the benefit.

The chemical ‘balance’ in the brain can and is altered not just through meds, but by other forms of therapy - its why non-drug intervention is frquently used as it is very effective - at its simplest, think of how much ‘better’ you feel when you can talk about a problem or fear or anxiety with folks who care and can reasure? that emotional positive change is caused by a chemical change.

So meds will help in some situations, not all, they will help some patients, not all even with the same diagnosis, and when used in combination with other therapy can be very effective in helping patients manage their conditions. For me the problem is too often a ‘quick’ diagnosis and a default to meds, rather than a deeper and more effective consultation, a more thorough diagnosis and therapy and meds to support the process when approapriate and when effective.


Anyone who says depression cannot be a result of chemical imbalances better have definite fucking proof, or my last 15 years without drugs will have been a complete lie! Especially as I survived the first of those 15 with no drugs and virtually the worst year of my life in a loveless relationship, no job, and every single one of my friends and family 12000 miles away! :slight_smile:


I really dont know. I guess you would have to check with a large sample to find out. But clearly many people do have a chemical imbalance and get great benefits from their meds.


Right, OK, sorry for jumping off the deep end. I’ve read the thread now and seen that others did too. There’s really no call for such a provocative title when the subject calls for sensitivity.

It’s both saddening and heartening to read some of the stories shared by other posters here. I’ve never been very good at talking about my mental health. And there’s a lot of conflicting and unhelpful platitudes that pose as advice currently that put the onus on the sufferer to ‘just talk to someone’, as if that isn’t frankly the most difficult thing to do when you’re in the grip of a depressive spell.

I’m very fortunate to have parents who clocked what was going on and got me to a doctor, who gave me the pills that got me on a level where I could stop sitting in a room plotting my own death. The pills haven’t cured me, but I still take them because when I stop I go back there.

Love you all, sorry for getting angry x



I’m sure that in some cases, it is totally genuine and occurs for reasons unrelated to anything else.

That said, we know our bodies produce chemicals in response to stimuli, so I would argue that a great deal of “chemical imbalance” is caused by situational stuff that happens to get that imbalance in place.

Finally, I think that there are people that are just depressed for other situational reasons that may not be chemically depressed.


Wonderful! So we are in agreement. Depression isnt a big con!


In which case, maybe the Meds are appropriate treatment.

Even if I was depressed for a rational reason, i.e. I’d spent my mortgage on hookers (again), I’m still depressed. And when I’m feeling depressed I’m less capable of taking action to rectify the situation. I’m not gonna go talk to the bank manager, I just want to stay in bed!

It’d be nice to think I could pop a happy pill & it would give me a bit of oomph to go rob a bank or whatever, though I don’t suppose it exactly works like that rip


Who said that it fucking was?


Why so aggressive pap? Chemical imbalance?

Soggy only asked if there is agreement that the question has been answered. Who posed the question?

Inspiring reading from you all(maybe not the thread title) and very brave honesty from some.


Calm down, calm down. This was the question posed for the title of this thread was it not? I was answering that question following the debate so far. FFS take your meds!


Oh, so we do recognise question marks around here?

Weird. That comprehension seemed to be absent a little earlier, when folk were treating it as statement, accusation or any combination of the above.


My girlfriend suffered from Crohn’s disease, it’s a bowel illness which is pretty nasty but treatable. She had an operation and somehow contracted MRSA through the open wound. She passed away, it’s over 10 years now so i’m ok.


Thanks for sharing that Ted.

That sounds like it would have been a hell of a trigger for depression and personally I’d struggle to be ‘ok’ even after 10 years.

I might present as being ok but little things all the time would test me.

I say this because the death of my dad nearly 8 years ago was a trigger for a spiral into depression for me.

Can I ask what her name was? If you don’t want to put it out there then no problem.

As I say, thanks for sharing that mate.