After the Fireworks

14 Responses

  1. Knowbody Special says:

    Well, this flipped my Monday morning upside down. Thanks for having the knowledge & courage to speak the truth, Jonny. You’re one hell of a writer, sir.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I’ve pretty much gone with door #1 (I faded out and accepted my fate.) Maybe it’s time to reassess things for many reasons but especially because I’ve been doing a lot of research recently about SSRIs and I don’t at all like what I’ve discovered as far as both short and longterm risks and side-effects. Thank you for this deeply insightful article, Jon.

  3. Jared says:

    Damn, f-ing brilliant.

  4. bbull says:

    Good stuff Jon.

  5. Donna M Van Kirk, EdD says:

    I agree with so many of your ideas. Contentment (i.e., general satisfaction) is a realistic goal goal.A cure or permanent happiness are not because life circumstances provide stress and coping challenges. Acceptance of depression as an aspect of one’s make-up is an essential first step to coping with it. Research shows that medication is beneficial in 50% of cases and it is the most effective in conjunction with Cognitive Beharior Therapy (CBT). Remember that drug research typically involves (1) a group that takes a specific medication compared to groups who received (2) the same medication and therapy, (3) therapy only, and (4) no intervention. The results cannot be generalized to all antidepressants. It’s only chemistry, and drugs affect individuals differently. There are also different classes of antidepressants, so one type may be effective although another isn’t/wasn’t. I encourage anyone with a mental illness to obtain helpful therapy. Don’t settle for a “therapist” who lets you ramble about how tough life is and doesn’t help you think and act more like the way you actually want to be. There will be ups and downs and ups again, so it’s important to be realistic and hopeful and forgiving of ones self. It’s all about learning coping skills that get you through the rough times. That is called mental health.

    • Jon says:

      Thank you for the thoughtful and intelligent response. I particularly agree with your claim that it’s important to find a therapist who is both willing and able to assist patients in becoming the individuals they ultimately want to be. Antidepressants and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (I’m a proponent of the latter) mean very little in the absence of cautious guidance from a competent mental healthcare professional who has an open-minded but fundamentally realistic worldview. Instant gratification is such a defining characteristic of American culture that it’s disconcertingly easy for people to overlook the fact that mental health is a lifelong pursuit. In fact, that sobering truth immediately brings to mind the widespread misconception that antidepressants are “happy pills,” which is an alarmingly ignorant and hazardous belief to subscribe to. Although I alluded to the notion that traditional antidepressants can indeed be beneficial for certain members of the population for certain lengths of time (as evidenced by some of what you pointed out), I nonetheless remain deeply skeptical about them on a personal level – which is an issue that I’ll further address in a future article. Coping skills are absolutely integral to learning how to navigate the ups and downs you mentioned, but it’s equally important to ensure that the treatment isn’t worse than the disease. I know that I’ve spent much of my life coping with depression and other issues in a flagrantly destructive manner, which, unfortunately, is an all-too-common phenomenon. Finding and maintaining healthy/productive coping strategies, as essential as it is, can be a surprisingly challenging endeavor.

  6. Ruston says:

    Very well written and conveyance of what people are faced with, and deny to varying degrees. Someday, when I am prepared, I have a story I would like you to read.

    Though you may not accept it fully, you writing gives insight and understanding.

    Hammer it out.

    • Jon says:

      Thanks for the candid feedback and the encouragement. While I completely believe in my ability to provide insight and understanding via my writing, I’m not always optimistic about the likelihood of my audience acting upon their newfound knowledge. That having been said, I’d be more than happy to read your story when you’re ready. You know where to find me.

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