I got some push-back via e-mail on my God, drugs, and depression post from last Sunday. A few points and clarification on that issue today.
First, I am not of the mind that drugs are the first or best choice for depression. As I said in Will your insurance let you get the best help? “For some drugs are the only hope, and for some they are the best option, but for many they are neither the only or best choice – especially long term.” The post also pointed out that insurance companies tend to cover prescriptions, but not talk. This means drugs are pushed more than I think the should be. I think we have many folks on drugs who could have gotten help without drugs, and we have folks taking drugs far longer than necessary. No, I am not a doctor, but I read many medical sources, and there are doctors saying the same thing.
As I see it, the drugs are best used as a short-term help while teaching the person better ways to deal with things. Putting them on drugs and leaving them on drugs is like giving lifelong painkillers for something and never even trying to find the cause of the pain.
I’ve had a couple of friends who did antidepressants for 3 to 6 months, got off, and never want back (more than a decade for each now). In one case the guy had to fight to get “permission” to get off the drugs. He finally said he was going to back off with or without the doctors help. The other made it clear going in that short-term drug use was the goal. This is all about being an informed part of your own care.
I realise short term is not possible for some, and I understand some will need drugs for the rest of their life. I am not “looking down” on this. I’m just suggesting there are other options for some.
I think part of the problem among Christians is the feeling that it’s bad, or a sign of weakness, or lack of faith to seek help for depression. This is a problem because depression tends to spiral down, and fear, pride, or shame mean many don’t make any real attempt to deal with it until it’s gotten bad. It would be like getting a cut and not cleaning it or covering it, then only going for help when the smell of the infection was driving folks away. What could have been taken care of if a few minutes with a first aid kit becomes months of drugs and surgery.
If we as a church can take the shame out of depression, a lot of it could be dealt with far earlier and before it was so bad that drugs were necessary.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Black and Married with Kids
Four Reasons A 50/50 Relationship Isn’t Possible: 50/50 sounds good, but never works.
Five Ways To Have A Bad Mood And A Good Marriage: This is a must read for you and/or your bride if either of you is given to being grumpy!
Couple Things Blog
Divorce Busting Blog
Russell Armstrong, Separation & Suicide: Til Death Do Us Part: “In short, divorce kills.” With stats to back that up!
Hot, Holy and Humorous
”husband”, a user’s guide”
Are You Being Robbed?: This post makes some important points about TV use.
Journey to Surrender
Are You Afraid of Intimacy?: Great post. Get rid of shame and build real intimacy with your bride.
Sweat the Small Stuff in Your Marriage to Prevent Divorce: “Research shows two-thirds of divorces result from low-conflict marriages.”
What Kind of Spouse Are You Raising?: A great question – are you raising your kids to be selfish spouses?
One Flesh Marriage
The Romantic Vineyard
5 Things To Do When Your Sex Life Is Like Cold Pizza: A cleaver post with some good points.
Stupendous Marriage Show 020: Husband is a lump on a log, Sex and Pizza, Tech and Marriage: Another great podcast, including why you should have more sex!
Your Christian Marriage Restoration Station
Doing This Will Cause an Argument Every time!: Yes, it will.