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The real reason for depression in America

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

January 24, 2019

f someone like myself had been depressed just over a century ago, they could have occasionally used opium to take the edge off of life and see beyond their problems and thus get a little perspective on their place in the world. Problem solved. No morose brooding. The sadsack in question would have had a little "somethin' somethin'" to look forward to in their life: namely, the blissful mental relief provided by a medicinal dose of opium.

But this was before puritans (like William Jennings Bryant) and anti-Asians (like Francis Burton Harrison) decided that Americans didn't have the right to use natural plants just any way they saw fit. Thus a crackdown was launched on opium with the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, a clear violation of the natural law upon which our country was founded, and America (and, alas, the entire copycat world) began the age of the illegal plant, an era in which Mother Nature is viewed as a dangerous drug kingpin rather than a provider of useful medicines to humankind. (Of course, Big Liquor was thrilled at this turn of events which promised them a monopoly in the arena of providing human transcendence and relaxation -- never mind the fact that liquor provided a shabby psychological payoff indeed compared to the inspiring bliss derived from the responsible use of those time-honored substances that America was now going to demonize using every means of propaganda at its disposal -- above all the dogmatic failure to ever mentioning anything positive about the competition whatsoever).

This is an insane war on patients funded by Big Pharma with the help of the American Psychological Association, who, together, continue to put on a full-court press to normalize a medical system which hooks one in four women on anti-depressants, many of which are more addictive than heroin.

Needless to say, the situation for the depressed only got worse during the presidency of know-nothing Richard Nixon, who further criminalized Mother Nature in order to prevent the use of pretty much all psychoactive substances by Americans, thus shoring up psychiatry's monopoly on treating depression, forcing the depressed to seek second-best solutions for their ills by using "meds" that were to prove more expensive and addictive than the natural bounty that politicians had rendered illegal.

So, please, let's not profess surprise at the epidemic of depression in America. After all, the truly effective treatments for this so-called "disease" have all been taken away from Americans by a busybody passel of puritans, politicians, and profiteers. It's no wonder then that depression reigns now.

If we want to get rid of depression, the first step is obvious: end the war on drugs.

Might as well face it, you're addicted to SSRIs...

Author's Follow-up: April 12, 2023

Psychiatry is not content to merely have its psychoactive competition outlawed; it follows up this tour de force of tyranny by dissing the outlawed substances as 'crutches' -- used only by folks who want to avoid their REAL problems, which, of course, are invisible to mere humans like us depressed folk and can only be seen by scientists with microscopes. How ironic it is that the "cures" thus discovered are effectively tranquilizers upon which 1 in 4 American women are dependent for life: these are the very definition of crutches -- and crutches FOR LIFE proffered by psychiatry itself -- substances that do not help you experience life but rather to sleep THROUGH IT!!!

But psychiatry has another way to appease its physics envy: if the problems with a chronic depressive are not chemical in origin, then they are REPRESSED a la Sigmund Freud -- and hence (conveniently for shrinks) can only be "sorted" with the help of a professional.

Either way, psychiatry wins, by positioning itself as the one and only legal and valid source for help for mental issues -- and thus they leverage drug prohibition to maximum effect.

Meanwhile psychiatry pathologizes anyone who still dares to use psychoactive substances, with folks like Gabriel Mate telling us that we have "inner pain" whenever we suffer the consequences of prohibition, like interruption in supply or overdose due to amateur dealers, who compound their substances with the devil knows what: baby powder, cyanide or whatever.

But don't ALL humans have inner pain, Gabriel? Isn't that the human condition?

What really pains ME is the fact that the Drug War has outlawed almost every psychoactive godsend in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's MY INNER AND OUTER PAIN!

It is that unprecedented prohibition that has turned me into a tranquilized ward of the healthcare state.

And this in a country that claims to the value the empowerment of the individual above anything else.

Author's Follow-up: May 2, 2023

American "experts" keep scratching their heads about treating depression. It's as if a society of starving people were sitting beneath blossoming fruit trees wondering how to find something to eat. By re-legalizing the coca leaf, we could solve the supposed depression epidemic overnight. The long-lived Inca chewed it daily, in the same way as we drink coffee daily. The fact is there are endless pharmacological answers to depression, most of which can be just as non-addictive as we want to be. But the world has never stopped and asked the simple question: what would a pharmacologically savvy empath suggest?

Right now, in fact, the closest things to "real" experts on depression are drug dealers, or at least that small subset of drug dealers who really know something about pharmacology and also care about their customers. Why? Because they're not burdened with the materialist-capitalist limitations which say that a drug must work in a reductionist fashion to "really" fight depression or anxiety, etc. They don't care if a drug "really" works -- (according to reductionists or Freud) -- they are happy merely to make their customer happy -- and yes, in a way that is sustainable.

Next essay: In Praise of Thomas Szasz
Previous essay: Screw You, Francis Burton Harrison

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