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Night of the Addicted Americans

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

March 21, 2023

f 40 years' of experience means anything, DJ Nutt and the entire field of psychiatry are wrong. Antidepressants have been a HUGE mistake. They have rendered me personally less interesting and tired me out, making me absolutely unable to muster the enthusiasm of my youth. They have robbed me of my creativity. They have stolen my soul. If you came up behind me and shouted boo, there would be a delayed response. Spontaneity has become increasingly foreign to me over the decades of socially sanctioned pill popping.

Imagine what it says about America that 1 in 4 of its population needs some kind of tranquilizing medicine in order to be able to conform peaceably to the materialist status quo.

Antidepressants combined with prohibition is no way to treat depression: it is a way to manufacture depression, by denying us hundreds of godsends that could cheer us up and inspire us, under the harebrained and hypocritical theory that any drug which is potentially addictive must be avoided entirely - except, of course, when they're created by Big Pharma, in which case it becomes our moral duty to take them every day of our lives.

How has America arrived at this huge pharmacological dystopia, one so big that it is invisible to modern pundits?

The American religion is scientism, and so we fell for the argument that Big Pharma was going to treat all human sadness scientifically.

What a coup for conservatives: their natural enemies were no longer getting together to fight corporate power and income disparity: they were getting together instead to compare medicine lists and see "who's on what" and how their latest Big Pharma tranquilizers were working viz. their previous prescriptions.

If I had it to do again, I would rather die than be "started on antidepressants." I would go to the black market and take my chances.

This is why I hate the phrase "treatment resistant depression," because it implies that Big Pharma has conquered depression - it's just that some folks are resistant to the panacea just as some folks are allergic to milk.


If Big Pharma has conquered sadness, it is only because they have rendered Americans impervious to both happiness AND sadness. Big Pharma has merely made us able to tolerate the materialist status quo that we otherwise might have been so gauche as to deride and scorn.

Author's Follow-up: March 21, 2023

It's hard to write honestly about the Drug War -- almost nobody does because it requires calling out Big Pharma drugs that are used by at least 25% of Americans. So if one is interested in gaining "followers," they're tempted to avoid the topic entirely. The problem is that if everyone avoids the topic, things will never change.

We must not evaluate antidepressants in the abstract, asking merely "Do they make sense as therapy?" but rather "Do they make sense given the fact that the Drug War outlaws almost all psychoactive medicines?" I submit that no one in their right mind would take antidepressants (and certainly no one in their right mind SHOULD take antidepressants) if psychoactive medicines were legal. The former drugs will make you a patient for life and tranquilize you, while the latter drugs will inspire you and many of them are not even habit forming.

Moreover, even if they're habit-forming, so what? They still would not turn you into an eternal patient, with all the expense and stigma that represents. Moreover, psychiatry has no problem with making lifetime drug users with antidepressants: the fact that they disapprove of all other dependence-causing psychoactive medicine is a philosophical and business call, not a scientific one. They value a subdued patient -- but that is not my goal in life: my goal is to thrive in life.

Author's Follow-up: August 6, 2023

I recently got a Tweet from a psychiatrist who told me that SSRIs would still be desired and prescribed when all medicines were legal. If that turned out to be true, it would only be because prohibition was not accompanied by the promotion and unbiased understanding of all drugs. There are drugs out there so wonderful viz SSRIs that they make one laugh and cry and feel reborn. Under the right conditions, they can improve and sharpen your goals in life and make you want to live. The psych in question simply does not know about such drugs. Otherwise he would never have said that SSRIs should still have a role.

"Let's see: 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.

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Previous essay: Science Set Free... NOT!

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