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A Psychotropical Paradise
Hudson Institute (Reprint from Wall Street Journal) ^ | July 26, 2006 | THOMAS MEANEY

Posted on 07/26/2006 4:35:49 PM PDT by sergey1973

If the pursuit of happiness was once an ideal in American life, the entitlement to happiness may now have replaced it. Since the late 1980s, when psychotropic drugs first came on the market, grateful Americans have been lining up at the counter.

Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin and a host of other antidepressants have been embraced as practical solutions to everyday unhappiness. More than 15% of Americans now use one of the above. Needless to say, they are not all clinically depressed. Whereas Sigmund Freud once described the goal of psychotherapy as "transforming hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness," many doctors now see it as their duty to eradicate ordinary unhappiness completely.

Ronald W. Dworkin's "Artificial Happiness" is a fierce indictment of this wishful thinking. An anesthesiologist with a doctorate in political philosophy, he is in a rare position to offer a serious critique of the medical establishment and its influence on American culture. Rather than simply deploring the over-prescription of antidepressants, Dr. Dworkin tells the story of a fascinating turf war among doctors, psychiatrists and members of the clergy over the fate of the American brain. More generally, "Artificial Happiness" examines the implications of a new class of "artificially happy people" and raises important questions about the function of doctors in a democracy.

(Excerpt) Read more at hudson.org ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: america; americanlife; antidepressants; artificialhappiness; body; bodyandsoul; bookreview; culture; depression; drugs; dworkin; happiness; healing; health; healthcare; medicine; moralabsolutes; pharmaceuticals; prozac; psychiatry; psychology; psychotherapy; pursuitofhappiness; religion; science; society; soul; us; wodlist

1 posted on 07/26/2006 4:35:51 PM PDT by sergey1973
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To: sergey1973

Zoloft (tm): "Turning ordinary young women into Zombie Bitches From Hell since 1986". ;)


2 posted on 07/26/2006 4:37:32 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

-:))) Good ad for Zoloft -:)))


3 posted on 07/26/2006 4:41:55 PM PDT by sergey1973
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To: sergey1973

I prefer to cope with my problems.


4 posted on 07/26/2006 4:46:22 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Everybody's entitled to my opinion.)
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To: Mr.Smorch; DesScorp; DollyCali; Madison Moose; MadLibDisease; Mystified_Rep; Conservative Yankee; ..

PING ! Just want to give everyone a little philosophical break from the urgent News and hot topics of the day -:))))


5 posted on 07/26/2006 4:48:43 PM PDT by sergey1973
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To: wagglebee

I want to read that book. Unhappiness is generally a spiritual illness and has a spiritual cure. Many times (most?) our unhappiness is directly caused by our own choices.

Or, in the case of cruelty and evil people, other peoples' choices. But even in the midst of dark times, a light can shine within the heart, and help light up the lives of others. I've read stories of people in concentration camps - a couple of priests' stories especially - who gave light to others. Were they "happy" or "unhappy"?

By depending on drugs (soma) as mental analgesic, we can't experience the reality of truth - that we are here in this world for a short time, and everything we're attached to we'll have to leave. The important questions is who are we really and where are we going, and Who's in charge?

Keeping our brains anasthetized with legal or illegal drugs insures that we won't be "bothered" by the questions we're supposed to be asking, and we won't know the answers for the final exam.


6 posted on 07/26/2006 5:40:12 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: sergey1973
Image hosted by Photobucket.com seems to me, most people on that crap tend not to give a sh!t... about ANYTHING!!!

in 1999, the wife, my boss, AND HIS BOSS were all on some type of happy pill.

GUESS WHO had to take up the slack for all of them at home AND at work???

and then MY doctor told me I should be on something... i told her FIRST- if you ever say that again i'm outta here. Second then how does she expect anything to ever get done let alone on time and on target???

much to the wifes credit... Six quit taking what ever version and dosage she was currently on(over two years there were many)and has not gone back.
my BOSSES on the other hand... are still out at happy valley, BUT!!! with somebody else watching over the herd cause i quit in june of that year.

you just have to be able to say "I'm OK... I'm not Great and I'm not Terrible... but I'm OK." at least that's what worked for her.

7 posted on 07/26/2006 5:49:06 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Eric Harris (one of the Columbine shooters) was on Luvox. He sure had a merry time of it

Kip Kinkel was on Prozac

8 posted on 07/26/2006 5:49:49 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (A planned society is most appealing to those with the arrogance to think they will be the planners)
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To: little jeremiah

I loved your post and will read it to one of the adolescents I work with who has a bit of a problem with substance abuse. Great attitude.


9 posted on 07/26/2006 6:49:06 PM PDT by confuzed
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To: little jeremiah
Absolutely

Step one to recovery, turn off the TV and stop going to the movies.
10 posted on 07/26/2006 6:52:18 PM PDT by Vision ("...cause those liberal freaks go too farrrrrr")
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To: confuzed; Vision

I've been through it all. Ex-drug user, ex-alcoholic, former psychotherapy guinea pig, took doctor prescribed anti-depressents etc. Was also an atheist. Attempted suicide once, seriously, and engaged in near suicidal behavior for years. Suffered from severe depression, uncontrollable anger, you name it.

Now? I'm a different person altogether. How? God cured me. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone - if they want Him badly enough, and are willing to go through the work. A person has to want to see themselves as they are - covered with warts - and be willing to accept that God loves me anyway. And then try without ever giving up, to become the person we really are, in gratitude. God will help every step of the way, it doesn't matter how deep in misery and sin we are to begin with.


11 posted on 07/26/2006 7:07:04 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: Vision

I agree absolutely about the mass media. I have had a TV maybe 2 years out of the last 35 (quite a few years ago) and see maybe one movie every two years. If that.


12 posted on 07/26/2006 7:09:56 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: Chode

Yeah, they got me on... geez can't remember... o0ne of 'em (only been on em for 5 years), they'd have me on them the rest of my life if I don't quit on my own. I'm slowly tapering. I have to say -- they don't make me happy. I think they helped me cope, but I remained pretty depressed, so I don't even know.


13 posted on 07/26/2006 7:13:24 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I have to take a shower.)
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To: Chode

effexor.


14 posted on 07/26/2006 7:14:26 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I have to take a shower.)
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To: ichabod1
Image hosted by Photobucket.com dude... don't get me wrong. there are plenty of people who need them and they do wonderful things for them.

i'm just agreeing that they are WAY over perscribed to the point of recreational use.

i truly hope all the best for you and that you can one day be free from them. remember, I'm OK. It's not the best, and it's not the worst, but ok... FReegards

15 posted on 07/26/2006 7:34:19 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: little jeremiah

I still watch TV daily. But only choice programs and I mute out the commercials. You won't believe how much better that makes the experience. Not because they are annoying, but because 99% of them are propaganda or just pandering to anyone with a dollar. It didn't used to be that way, but that's the reality of it now. But all that goes away when you can't hear them.


16 posted on 07/27/2006 4:50:31 AM PDT by Vision ("...cause those liberal freaks go too farrrrrr")
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To: Vision

The sound of lies is poisonous.

And that goes for rap "music".


17 posted on 07/27/2006 7:37:59 AM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: Chode

Yeah. I just find myself wishing I could tap into a little of that "unrealistic happiness" once in a while instead of being more of the "hysterical misery to ordinary unhappiness" variety.


18 posted on 07/27/2006 8:39:46 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I have to take a shower.)
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To: ichabod1
Image hosted by Photobucket.com then there's always the common Buddhist mantra to: “Joyfully participate, in the sorrows of life.”

i have a feeling life was a little simpler back then.

you want unrealistic happiness??? smoke pot, but that won't solve anything either.

i don't know your situation but this is a good tool i still use to this day.

start the year(or now) with a special calendar, and put down all the good things(NOT Dr's appointments etc) coming up in the new year... birthdays, vacations, races, sports, coming movies you want to see, anniversaries, weddings, anything and everything you know good is going to happen, and try to space things out as even as you can through the year and of course add to it as things come up.

then you have all the good things to look forward to during the year in your hands where you can visualize them and their dates/times of up coming events. that way you always have something to look forward too and can say to yourself, "i can make it to there and then i get to rest..." just like a twenty mile forced march, you still have to rest along the way.
i call them R&R goals... all you gotta do is make it to the next goal.

another thing is Spin the Bottle. we'd take a bottle and spin it on the floor and what ever direction it pointed in... we'd take off and drive up to as far as you can drive in one day(after looking at a map to see what interesting things were in that direction of course) spend the night and come home the next day or so.

no hassles/stress about packing etc. cause you spin AFTER you are packed. plus that way there are NO expectations to be missed and no disappointments since things never go as planned anyway. this way there IS NO plan to get messed up!!! 8^)

and lastly, again i don't know your situation, but... try to get outdoors as much as possible. thank God Six is a camper so we'd take the kids camping all over the state. it's cheap, it's outdoors and it's something the whole family can enjoy, while each still getting their own experience and pleasure form it. FReegards Chode

19 posted on 07/27/2006 4:18:51 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: Chode

Yeah, no pot for me, gave that up with the drinking. I used to use it in a very maintenance way -- I'd just have a few little puffs off the one hitter periodically throughout the day. Not as directly harmful as the drinking, but I think it took the edge off my personality as well as my mood.


20 posted on 07/28/2006 6:48:50 AM PDT by ichabod1 (I have to take a shower.)
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To: sergey1973

I disagree with many points in the article. Religion has always been about health. Dietary proscriptions are one of the universals. Salvation translates directly to health.

Happiness as a goal comes from the level of affluence we now enjoy. Historically, worrying about the next day's meal, whether it will rain, and who has what disease were the normal course. Now we have the leisure to contemplate our place in the universe along with the accompaning anxiety of that contemplation.


21 posted on 07/28/2006 7:34:19 AM PDT by JmyBryan
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To: sergey1973

The important thing is that these people aren't doing drugs.


22 posted on 07/28/2006 7:35:57 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: little jeremiah
Good morning.
"God cured me."

Blue water sailing started the healing process for me and marriage to a good woman completed it as much as it can be.

Michael Frazier
23 posted on 07/28/2006 7:55:01 AM PDT by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: brazzaville

Yes, a good marriage helped me a great deal as well.

And when I say "cure", I don't mean that there are no ups and downs. But I know what to do with them. And they are not like before; like comparing a 5 mile deep chasm with a ditch you can jump over. There are also many natural therapies (many just plain common sense) that can help with depression and the like. I use them and help counsel others as well.


24 posted on 07/28/2006 8:48:14 AM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: sergey1973
Doctors are to blame they are in control of the situation.

Doctors have turned into pharmaceutical engineers.


BUMP

25 posted on 07/28/2006 8:55:03 AM PDT by capitalist229 (Get Democrats out of our pockets and Republicans out of our bedrooms.)
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To: little jeremiah
Good morning.
"I use them and help counsel others as well."

Yes, that comes through in your posts. It's a good thing.

Michael Frazier
26 posted on 07/28/2006 9:05:19 AM PDT by brazzaville (no surrender no retreat, well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: brazzaville

Thanks. Every step forward in the right direction is good, and engenders enthusiasm and encouragement to go more steps forward.

Being the wellwisher of others is another way of trying to live the Golden Rule. I fall short as do all fallen souls but God within everyone's heart will show us our shortcomings when we want to see them.

Just talked to a young friend today, who is struggling with a variety of problems, and encouraged her to realize that her own health - physical, mental and spiritual - is really in her own hands. Not that others can't help but she has to take the steps to want to improve, and then actually do the work. And learning to tolerate the unavoidable vicissitudes life offers is part of the secret of happiness.


27 posted on 07/28/2006 12:24:04 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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To: sergey1973

Methinks people need a certain amount of misery in their lives. Without it, they can't recognize what's good!

Witness our culture: on the whole, everything is good ... abundance of food, stuff, opportunities, peace, etc. Our cup runneth over. Yet people complain about how bad things are - things nowhere near as bad as in the past, and much of it invented just so there's something to complain about.

A boss once asked me how I could be so incredibly calm and unphased about darn near everything at work (while he was freaking out over one thing after another). I replied "I've spent some time studying self-defense - after serious consideration of how to deal with people trying to kill you, everything else really isn't that upsetting anymore."


28 posted on 07/28/2006 12:41:32 PM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: little jeremiah

Sorry it took me so long to answer you but out of town until last night. You are an inspiration and I would like to share your post with the child I mentioned. He needs hope. Thank you.


29 posted on 07/31/2006 5:45:30 PM PDT by confuzed
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To: confuzed

If anything I've been through can help someone else realize that there is hope for him too, I'd be happy. There is hope for everyone who doesn't have organic brain damage. And even then. I read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" by the guy whose name I can't remember. There was one patient who was so neurologically damaged (how, I can't remember) that he was unable to have any kind of a normal life or relationships at all. And yet he found happiness when singing in the choir at church. Although his brain more or less extremely impaired, he could experience the happiness that comes from glorifying God in song.


30 posted on 07/31/2006 5:58:32 PM PDT by little jeremiah
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