Friday, July 01, 2005


A Big Round of Applause for Mrs. Shields

War of Words - New York Times: "In a strange way, it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable."

"Socially acceptable" is the operative word here. Back in the eighties, Newsweek did a piece on Prozac. It was a cover story making any and all that needed the drug feel guilty and ashamed. Now we have Scientologists who "know the history of psychiatry". What it is clear they know is luck. They have not dealt with real chemical depression, because if they had, they would know of the difference between what can be affected by diet and exercise and what is so innate and chemically based that the person feels helpless. Little good can come from Kelly Preston and Tom Cruise telling everyone how wrong they are for seeking help with "street drugs". What I hope comes out of this is that people see just how absolutely silly they sound, and it begins a public discussion that makes this socially acceptable. How many people end up killing themselves because they didn't want to take the medicines for fear someone would find out? How many people kill others for the same reason? Another problem with the Scientologist's rant is that they are villifying all psychiatric drugs. Can all of these drug companies and private researchers be wrong? To blame the whole industry on corporate greed is simple and false. What was also simple was Tom Cruise's rant on the Today Show. To filibuster in that way was all but saying that he did not know how to justify his thoughts. He behaved as a five year old would. Repeating Matt's name over and over and then claiming he had studied the whole history of psychiatry, but not offering any of what he had learned that might support his position. I am proud of Brooke standing firm. We need others to speak out too, so families, like mine, don't feel ashamed or shunned for seeking help when it is so desperately needed.

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