Well, not exactly (and no thank you). But lacking both time and other pressing concerns today, I belatedly take note of a passing mention of the humble blog in Melissa Healy's health column in the Los Angeles Times last month.
The common mantra now is that if you have depression, seek treatment because it is a treatable illness. By all means seek treatment, but part of psychiatry's soft underbelly (well, okay, psychiatry is really pretty soft all over, a real pussycat) is the weakness of its antidepressant treatments.
Based on both my clinical experience and my understanding of the literature, I don't buy the argument that antidepressants are a vast fraud, no better than placebo. But they're certainly not as robust as many would like to believe.
Often in this blog I have been critical of psychiatry, and the profession has left a lot to be desired in terms of the results it delivers. And I know that the most puerile response to criticism of any field is to say, "Well, do you think you could do better?" As my recently profiled favorite Samuel Johnson put it, one needn't be skilled at making tables in order to offer an informed critique of a particular table.
However, when the antipsychiatry folks shake their heads in disgust when patients end up on multiple medications, often "off label" and carrying significant side effects, I can't help wondering what they would do if faced with the patients psychiatrists see. Tell them to eat healthy food, get fresh air and exercise, find God, get married, get divorced, get a therapist? What if you do all these things and a hundred more, and try all the FDA-indicated treatments for depression, and years go by, and nothing happens? Well, you get creative, in a sometimes desperate attempt to alleviate suffering. It is easy to disdain the endeavor in a blog, with no patient sitting across from you.