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Lord Save us from 'Real' Cures

in defense of 'treating the symptoms'

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 10, 2023

ver since I began psychiatric therapy 45 years ago, I was told - both in words and in deeds - that psychiatry was going to help me find "real" cures, as opposed to the mere "crutches" and "copouts" that evil "drugs" could afford me. This sounded plausible enough at the time since my elders - both in words and in deeds - had been telling me from grade school that "drugs" were "dope" and "junk" and that they "were not the answer" to anything.

It took me a lifetime to realize that I had been sold a bill of goods.

Psychiatry has no cures for me, nor should it. I do not need a cure for sadness. No one does. Sadness is part of the human condition and should not be eradicated from life.

The search for cures has always been bad science, based as it is on the search for chemical causes of incredibly complex psychosocial behavior with roots in all sorts of beliefs, upbringing, genetics, and societal assumptions. But the search for cures is even worse philosophy: a philosophy that tells us that it's wrong to use drugs that "merely" cheer one up. This is not some ineluctable truth toward which all rational minds necessarily converge; it's rather a Christian Science prejudice about what constitutes what philosophers would call "the good life."

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why depression lives on today in America as a so-called crisis: not because people are more depressed than ever but because we have outlawed all the ways in which folks in freer times could have found to "take the edge off" of modern life. Why? Because of some unacknowledged puritanical assumption that it is wrong merely to cheer oneself up, except perhaps by numbing one's brain with alcohol. Other than that, the sufferer is directed to the evergrowing self-help section in the library, which becomes enormous in the age of a Drug War when all the obvious help has been outlawed.

If the coca leaf were legal in America, there would be no depression "crisis." The long-lived Peruvian Indians chewed it daily for millennia and had no existential angst of which historians are aware.

In fact, any drug or therapy that "takes the edge off" is NECESSARILY useful in fighting depression, since relaxation - and, crucially, the anticipation of that relaxation - is known (even by materialists these days) to contribute to overall health and happiness. Let's repeat that: Any drug or therapy that "takes the edge off" is NECESSARILY useful in fighting depression. It doesn't matter how much hot air politicians have expended in damning the drugs in question to hell.

But modern materialist psychology is blind to this once obvious truth. In fact, the naivete of modern psychologists is breathtaking in the age of the Drug War.

Consider the following sample case and how they would respond to it.

John is an actor with a young family and bills to pay. He's doing great and winning accolades, but he is torn by self-doubt and finds himself purposefully sabotaging his work. This may be a puzzling concept for psychologists, that John would act in ways to sabotage his own career, but it's common sense to the hoi polloi: we know it as "choking." It's that last minute urge to frustrate oneself in the attempt to make a strike when bowling, that last minute doubt on the part of the punt kicker in which, at some level, he's telling himself that he's not the kind of person that makes the perfect punt. As Poe tells us in the Imp of the Perverse, the moment one has such a thought, they are lost. The moment one thinks consciously about what should be a subconscious act, the game is up: the masochistic death cycle has begun. In Poe's case, that might mean that the story narrator intentionally rats on himself to law enforcement; in the athlete's case, it means that the punt kicker intentionally kicks the ball ever so slightly to the right or the left of the usual target.

What is psychiatry's answer to this commonplace psychological phenomenon that we call choking,? Do they provide medications like coca that will help the afflicted individual rise above those impulses, drown them out with positive momentum, and thereby achieve vocational victories in life that will, over time, result in a virtuous circle of achievement, culminating in self-belief?

Oh, no. That protocol is far too obvious. The psychiatrist did not go to school for 8+ years to advocate common sense treatments. He or she will advocate counseling and the right Big Pharma med to "REALLY" cure the "REAL" problems that the bowler or the punter has. Nine will get you ten that the psychiatrist will prescribe meds, which in some superstitious way are thought to "REALLY" cure problems - but he may also suggest a lifetime of counseling for the sufferer, so that, by the time the "patient" is on his deathbed, he may have at least some inkling as to why he is sabotaging himself (which the psych has failed to realize is a universal impulse of humankind, and not some oddball pathology to be treated like some rare board-certified illness).

Of course, this all comes a little late in the day for John, our actor, who has long since had to mortgage his family home, get out of the acting business and settle for a substandard salary as an assistant manager at a chain restaurant. The good thing is, his insurance pays for 80% of his weekly visits to the psychiatrists - those same psychiatrists who have been (ahem) "helping" John for the last 40 years.

Had Robin Williams encountered such treatment in his teens, he would not have been Robin Williams. He may have been a good unhappy consumer, taking SSRIs every morning, but he would not have been Robin Williams, especially as those pills are increasingly known to DECREASE what made Robin Robin: namely spontaneity.

Of course, prohibition and the Drug War work together to make safe use of outlawed substances as difficult and threat-laden as possible, not to mention socially frowned upon. This is why many stars first achieve success using drugs, profiting from that virtuous circle mentioned above, and then badmouth those same drugs in later life to print a trendy book according to the familiar narrative: Great star uses drugs in his youth, only to find out that he could have been just as good - nay, even better - had he been stone-cold sober."

Talk about ingratitude.

But then we're taught to be ashamed of all drug use in America, even if it's safe and rational.

Well, as someone who is just finally coming out of the fog of Drug Warrior assumptions at the end of his life, I call foul. I personally say "Long live crutches! Let's hear it for junk and dope! Let's hear it for treating the symptoms! Let's hear it for establishing virtuous circles! Let's stop curing things that do not need curing, and let's start giving the common sense help that we have denied for ages based on our unspoken puritanical and scientistic assumptions."

Next essay: Science News Unveils Shock Therapy II
Previous essay: Responding to Brainwashed Drug Warriors on YouTube

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Antidepressants in the time of the drug war are like cars in a time when combustion engines are outlawed. Such "cars" may bounce you from point A to point B somehow, but we wouldn't be taking them seriously except for the prohibition on combustion engines. Re-legalize NATURE!
America's "health" system was always screaming at me about the threat of addiction from drugs. Then what did it do? It put me on the most dependence-causing meds of all time: SSRIs and SNRIs.
Here's one problem that supporters of the psychiatric pill mill never address: the fact that Big Pharma antidepressants demoralize users by turning them into patients for life.
Rather than protesting prohibition as a crackdown on academic freedom, today's scientists are collaborating with the drug war by promoting shock therapy and SSRIs, thereby profiting from the monopoly that the drug war gives them in selling mind and mood medicine.
There are endless drugs that could help with depression. Any drug that inspires and elates is an antidepressant, partly by the effect itself and partly by the mood-elevation caused by anticipation of use (facts which are far too obvious for drug warriors to understand).
But materialist puritans do not want to create any drug that elates. So they go on a fool's errand to find reductionist cures for "depression itself," as if the vast array of human sadness could (or should) be treated with a one-size-fits-all readjustment of brain chemicals.
In his book "Salvia Divinorum: The Sage of the Seers," Ross Heaven explains how "salvinorin A" is the strongest hallucinogen in the world and could treat Alzheimer's, AIDS, and various addictions. But America would prefer to demonize and outlaw the drug.
Getting off antidepressants can make things worse for only one reason: because we have outlawed all the drugs that could help with the transition. Right now, getting off any drug basically means become a drug-free Christian Scientist. No wonder withdrawal is hard.
To put it another way: in a sane world, we would learn to strategically fight drugs with drugs.
That's my real problem with SSRIs: If daily drug use and dependency are okay, then there's no logical or truly scientific reason why I can't smoke a nightly opium pipe.
I never said that getting off SSRIs should be done without supervision. If you're on Twitter for medical advice, you're in the wrong place.
I would want to be supervised myself -- but by someone who is free to use any other drugs in the world to help me get off drugs that have failed to work adequately but which have caused great dependence.
Psychiatrists keep flipping the script. When it became clear that SSRIs caused dependence, instead of apologizing, they told us we need to keep taking our meds. Now they even claim that criticizing SSRIs is wrong. This is anti-intellectual madness.
For those who have misunderstood me: I have no complaints about prescribing SSRIs for those already on them, if that's what the user (like myself) wants. The psychiatrists I strongly disagree with are those who claim that SSRIs are valuable in and of themselves.

We don't need people to get "clean." We need people to start living a fulfilling life. The two things are different.
"I can take this drug that inspires me and makes me compassionate and teaches me to love nature in its byzantine complexity, or I can take Prozac which makes me unable to cry at my parents' funeral. Hmm. Which shall it be?" Only a mad person in a mad world would choose SSRIs.
The search for SSRIs has always been based on a flawed materialist premise that human consciousness is nothing but a mix of brain chemicals and so depression can be treated medically like any other physical condition.
Imagine the Vedic people shortly after they have discovered soma. Everyone's ecstatic -- except for one oddball. "I'm not sure about these experiences," says he. "I think we need to start dissecting the brains of our departed adherents to see what's REALLY going on in there."

Did the Vedic People have a substance disorder because they wanted to drink enough soma to see religious realities?
No more than Jimi Hendrix had a substance disorder because he wanted to play his guitar with "total abandon." Drug warriors made sure he could not do that safely and then blamed his downfall on "drugs."
The search for SSRIs has always been based on a flawed materialist premise that human consciousness is nothing but a mix of brain chemicals and so depression can be treated medically like any other physical condition.
In a sane world, we'd package laughing gas for safe use and give it to the suicidal -- saying, "Use before attempting to kill yourself." But drug warriors would rather have suicide than drug use.
He'd probably then say: "In fact, we'd better outlaw this substance for now until we understand its biochemical mechanisms of action. We should follow the science, after all."

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You have been reading an article entitled, Lord Save us from 'Real' Cures: in defense of 'treating the symptoms', published on July 10, 2023 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)