Comments on Recent News

Prozac is but a myth:

Is there anyone not really surprised by this? After decades of use and constant media mention, there’s really not much in Prozac after all? A wide-ranging report basically said Prozac isn’t any more helpful than a placebo sugar pill. That tells me that depression and curing is more a state of mind than a chemical imbalance. It also lessens the importance of psychology (or at least psychiatrists). I mean, hookers get paid to listen to lonely men talk, isn’t that a more viable way to pass the time when you’re paying $300 an hour? That’s a terrible analogy I know, but you get the point. You can talk to a friend for free – why pay someone to prescribe you drugs?

Missing UK government laptop with confidential info CD bought on eBay:

Seriously, is this the state of government security these days? Hard drives go missing from Los Alamos (consistently), CDs with vital info of UK military applicants and citizens go walkabout, and someone buys the damn thing on eBay? I have to wonder if my details are floating about on the internet or in some cracker’s bedroom, waiting to be taken off the CD. Do the people responsible for this kind of thing know about GPS tracking? RFID tracking? Anything of use? Really.

Oh, happy leap year! Do a li’l jump or something.

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10 thoughts on “Comments on Recent News

  1. For writing what? My general lack of confidence in psychiatry? Mentioning hookers? Lack of trust in the government? Really – you’ll have to clue me in to what, exactly, you’re pissed off about. If you don’t want to leave your name that’s fine I guess, but that’s a pretty short diatribe to blanket the whole post with, and with there being two topics mentioned I can’t know what you’re upset about.

    Unless you can’t be bothered to work up a full response, then fair enough. But I just have no idea what you’re upset about.

  2. Comparing psychiatry to paying for sex is demeaning to those who are highly trained professionals and those who genuinely require the help of those professionals.

    My identity is irrelevant which is why I chose to use an alias.

  3. I didn’t mention paying for sex 🙂 You put that in there somehow. I mentioned talking to hookers for money, or talking your problems out with your friends. Even strangers on the internet will help out for free, you just have to sort out the fluff from the good stuff.

    If you want to get upset about something, get upset at highly paid professionals passing out useless (in the medical sense) medicine!

  4. Bet you didn’t take a closer look at that study before commenting on it, did you?

    Like how it wasn’t based on any firsthand tangible research, but was actually a secondhand analysis of other studies. And how it wasn’t written by scientists of any kind, but was actually a paper written by a member of the Psychology department at the University of Hull (apparently not exactly the scientific nexus of the Western world). And how the upshot of the “study” was that for serious depression, the effectiveness of Prozac grows as the seriousness of the depression grows; the comparison to placebo effects were only found to be true for mild depressions. The only people in this chain of discussion calling Prozac a “myth” actually appear to be you and the Guardian.

    You’re opinionating about a news story by the Guardian written about a paper written by a psych department member about studies written by other people who actually did firsthand research. Which don’t in fact support the point you’re trying to make.

    Good going, Science Boy.

  5. * yawn* http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20020401213621data_trunc_sys.shtml

    Quoting this article from 2002:
    Depressed patients who got better after taking a placebo for six weeks showed brain changes that were remarkably similar to patients who responded to an anti-depressant drug. The clinical study, to be published in the May 2002 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 159, #5), is the first to identify, using positron emission tomography (PET), the specific brain regions that change with placebo response and compare them to brain regions that change with active drug intervention.

    “What we found is that patients who responded to placebo and those who responded to an anti-depressant had similar, but not identical, metabolic changes in cortical (thinking) and limbic-paralimbic (emotional) regions,” says lead investigator Dr. Helen Mayberg of The Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. The research was conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio.

    In this study — a **double-blind, placebo-controlled study** of fluoxetine (trade name Prozac) — 17 depressed, hospitalized men were given either the drug or a placebo over a six-week period. Neither the researchers nor patients knew who received the placebo until after the experiment. Symptom remission was seen in eight of the 15 who completed the six-week study. Of those eight who responded, four were on placebo and four were treated with the active drug.
    ———

    The point of the Guardian article was that previous studies on Prozac and other antidepressants showed that for most people the drugs were no better than a simple sugar pill. Yes, there are people with actual mental problems and chemical imbalances (and they should be treated with professionalism and care), but when doctors started diagnosing more and more people as ‘depressed’ the drug companies came up with a magic pill to solve the problem. The study went through all available research they could get from the US Freedom of Information act and what was available through the FDA, including studies that **the companies didn’t want to be made public**. So it was stuff the antidepressant people wanted to hide.

    I’m opinionating (is that a word? no, no it’s not) about the greed and opportunism of the pharmaceutical companies that want to provide a pill for each ‘problem’ that ‘ails’ us all. Also, it’s not like the Guardian is the Daily Mail, News of the World or the Sun. It’s not a tabloid. And so what if I’m commenting on it? That’s the title of the post, isn’t it? I’m not doing a peer review of the study, a paper about the article or an essay of how drug companies have made people think they have every medical condition under the sun. I was making a brief comment. This is a freakin’ BLOG. Take it as you will.

    Is *everyone* on Prozac going to reply to this anonymously? (kidding! or am I?)

    Finally, OF COURSE Hull isn’t the scientific nexus of the Western world. Any Zeebl from Urdo knows that. The scientific nexus of the Western world is a small cave in Angola. Garblzbldbbideedu.

  6. Does it matter who anyone is? It’s a freakin’ BLOG. If you don’t like anonymous comments, don’t allow them. Take it as you will or quit talking out of your arse.

  7. Where did I say I minded anonymous comments? You’re complaining about something I didn’t really care about? Who’s talking out of their ass here?

  8. No, you don’t know me. If you think you know me through this blog or any other site, then you’ve got a vastly different view of me than anyone that actually knows me. This is a publicly accessible blog, where anyone can read and comment, especially when they use fake names and emails. As you can see, I don’t mind making comments public and replying to them, even when they are disparaging or insulting. However, when the comments get personal, that’s when I start to take offense. If you want to discuss my supposed failings or weak arguments, feel free to email me or post a real email address to get a response.

    Finally, it goes without saying (but bears occasional repeating): if you don’t like my blog, what I have to say or you still think I talk a bunch of BS, don’t read the blog, it’s pretty easy really.

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