Essay date: July 14, 2022

Depression is real, says the APA, and they should know: they cause it!

he American Psychiatric Association has been trying for decades to convince us that "Depression is Real." Unfortunately, what they fail to realize is that the "Drug War" is real as well and it is the Drug War that is responsible for the depression that folks like myself experience. Why? Because it criminalizes virtually all the medicine that could make me feel better and inspire me with new ways of thinking about the world.

Then why doesn't the APA spend its money on ending the war on godsend mind medicine, aka the Drug War, instead of telling everybody the obvious, that people really do get very depressed indeed in this life of ours?

Answer: When the APA tells us that "depression is real," what they really mean is that depression is a real physical disease and that only the APA and its dependence-causing pharmaceuticals can successfully combat it.

Bollocks, as the Brits say. Thanks to the Drug War, I've spent 40+ years on these "scientific" medicines that have done absolutely nothing to make my life joyful or to give me insight into my life. To the contrary, these dependence-causing "meds" turned me into an eternal patient, with all the demoralizing baggage that implies - like the fact that a 60-year-old has to travel 45 miles every three months to meet with a white-coated woman half his age to get permission to purchase yet another expensive batch of addictive Big Pharma pills, under the apparent theory that one never grows old enough to be trusted to use even legal drugs wisely in America.

Does the DEA get a kick out of turning Americans into little children like this when it comes to psychoactive medicine? Where is the modern Moliere who will hold this politico-pharmacological posturing up to the ridicule that it deserves?

Meanwhile, all the substances that are well known to provide joy and inspiration - shrooms, coca, opium -- have been outlawed, all based on the Drug War lie that certain politically disliked substances are bad in and of themselves without regard for why they are used, or where they are used, or when, or by whom.

In reality, there are no such drugs in the world. All medicines can have beneficial results for someone, at some dosage, for some reason, in some circumstance. But the Drug Warriors want us to fear godsend medicines, not understand them. And so they insist that the use of proscribed drugs must end in tragedy and addiction.

Of course to the extent that this is true, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy brought about by the Drug Warrior's promotion of fear over facts. (And of course the Drug Warrior will do everything in their power to make sure that the "drug user's" life ends in tragedy, if only by arresting them and sentencing them to longer prison terms than that meted out to most murderers.) The Drug Warrior wants us to be ignorant about the hypocritically defined category of "drugs" so that we won't question their childish demonization campaign against them - a propaganda campaign waged chiefly by the almost complete lack of positive mentions of demonized substances in both the popular media and in academic journals, where all the talk is about misuse and abuse, not the ability of such drugs to inspire whole new religions.

And so the APA is right, Depression is real. But guess what? The APA helped CAUSE this depression.

How? By putting its financial interests ahead of its patients' interests and accepting the fantastically lucrative monopoly on mood medicine that the Drug War hands them on a silver platter -- justifying their collaboration with that war by promoting the philosophically flawed conscience sop that the mental world is the natural domain of the materialist medical community, a self-interested tribe whose reductive impulses can never sign off on natural drugs that have the effrontery to "merely" make one feel better according to the user themselves. ("What does the user know about happiness after all?" asks the modern drug researcher. "Scientists will look at the relevant brain chemistry and tell the 'patient' when he or she is actually happy, thank you very much!")

So yes, APA, Depression is real all right, and you should know: you help cause it!

Author's Follow-up: July 15, 2022

The Drug War has such diabolical staying power because psychiatry has convinced us that conditions like depression are medical illnesses and therefore require the intervention of the healthcare establishment. If that were true, then our own role as the depressed is to sit back and see what nostrums that medical science can come up with on our behalf. In other words, psychiatry tells us, in essence, "Never mind the countless plant medicines that are now off-limits to you: those are just 'crutches,' don't you know? Only WE have the REAL cures to mental conditions like depression."

The problem here is not science, but philosophy. The fact is that all manner of reductionist symptoms can be associated with conditions like depression, but it is always a leap of faith to claim that those symptoms therefore CAUSE depression. A knotted eyebrow will commonly appear on the head of a worried person, but that does not mean that the knotted eyebrows cause us to worry. Even if a chemical intervention seems to "cure" depression in the mind of a drug researcher who has performed extensive trials, that still leaves us with the question, what does the researcher mean by "cured." Psychiatric practices like lobotomy have been considered successful cures for hyperactive patients, but who considered them successful? Certainly not the patients. No, they were successful in the eyes of tired nurses and administrators who thought to themselves, "Now, I'll finally get some peace of mind thanks to my overactive patients receiving lobotomies!" Likewise with these "cures" for depression: the question always is, "What do you mean by cure?" Based on my use of dependence-causing antidepressants for a lifetime now, I know that the word "cure" has a very different meaning for me than it did for the materialist researchers who came up with the "cure" that they created which I am now obliged to take every morning of my life.

The "cure" that I am looking for is one that will allow me to "live large," emotionally speaking, to experience earth's wonders like a child, with wide-open eyes, to truly hear music and to sense my place in the universe while gaining a feeling of brotherhood with the world at large and all who live therein. In short, I desire the advantages that have a history of being obtained by the wise use of the time-honored meds that the Drug War has outlawed. Believe me when I say that the makers of the SSRIs had no such ambitions as these when they crafted my "cure." In fact, judging by my experience on Big Pharma antidepressants, the researchers' goal was to cure me of such excessive ambitions altogether and to render me a reliable consumer instead, one who is so chemically dependent on their meds that I will be their employer's unwilling customer for life.

Next essay: How the Drug War Screws the Depressed
Previous essay: The Prozac Code

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MDMA for Psychotherapy
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The Drug War and Electroshock Therapy
The Myth of the Addictive Personality
The Prozac Code
Time to Replace Psychiatrists with Shamans
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Drug Use as Self-Medication
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old time radio playing Drug War comedy sketches

You have been reading essays by the Drug War Philosopher, Brian Quass, at Brian is the founder of The Drug War Gift Shop, where artists can feature and sell their protest artwork online. He has also written for Sociodelic and is the author of The Drug War Comic Book, which contains 150 political cartoons illustrating some of the seemingly endless problems with the war on drugs -- many of which only Brian seems to have noticed, by the way, judging by the recycled pieties that pass for analysis these days when it comes to "drugs." That's not surprising, considering the fact that the category of "drugs" is a political category, not a medical or scientific one.

A "drug," as the world defines the term today, is "a substance that has no good uses for anyone, ever, at any time, under any circumstances" -- and, of course, there are no substances of that kind: even cyanide and the deadly botox toxin have positive uses: a war on drugs is therefore unscientific at heart, to the point that it truly qualifies as a superstition, one in which we turn inanimate substances into boogie-men and scapegoats for all our social problems.

The Drug War is, in fact, the philosophical problem par excellence of our time, premised as it is on a raft of faulty assumptions (notwithstanding the fact that most philosophers today pretend as if the drug war does not exist). It is a war against the poor, against minorities, against religion, against science, against the elderly, against the depressed, against those in pain, against children in hospice care, and against philosophy itself. It outlaws substances that have inspired entire religions, Nazifies the English language and militarizes police forces nationwide.

It bans the substances that inspired William James' ideas about human consciousness and the nature of ultimate reality. In short, it causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, meanwhile violating the Natural Law upon which Thomas Jefferson founded America. (Surely, Jefferson was rolling over in his grave when Ronald Reagan's DEA stomped onto Monticello in 1987 and confiscated the founding father's poppy plants.)

If you believe in freedom and democracy, in America and around the world, please stay tuned for more philosophically oriented broadsides against the outrageous war on godsend medicines, AKA the war on drugs.

Brian Quass
The Drug War Philosopher

PS The drug war has not failed: to the contrary, it has succeeded, insofar as its ultimate goal was to militarize police forces around the world and help authorities to ruthlessly eliminate those who stand in the way of global capitalism. For more, see Drug War Capitalism by Dawn Paley.

Rather than apologetically decriminalizing selected plants, we should be demanding the immediate restoration of Natural Law, according to which "The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being." (John Locke)
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