Last week’s thrifting found two DVDs from a medical-sounding production company directly funded by the Church of Scientology. These DVDs are candid interviews and group discussions with parents who lost a child to suicide. Viewing the material a few times, I recognized this logical pattern.
1.) Child is depressed and suicidal.
2.) Parent chooses to take child to medical provider.
3.) Medical provider prescribes antidepressant.
4.) Child begins med regimen.
5.) Soon after, the child suicides, by these accounts within days of starting the med regimen.
6.) The medical provider and their prescription is to blame for the suicide.
This logic troubles me greatly. As a peer who has cycled through many different antidepressants, I can attest to the dreaded “it’ll take two to four weeks to see if it even works.” And in this efficacy lag time, quite often I remained suicidal.
No antidepressant I’ve taken has ever worked within days.
Based on my experience and my understanding of psych meds, the query is plain:
Did the medication cause the child’s suicide, or did the child continue to be suicidal as before starting the medication?
The Church of Scientology is infamous for their outspoken denouncement of psych meds, and aggressively so. For DBSA and STS, Craigslist was a great way to reach peers in search of a peers support group. Well, the local Scientologists messed that up for everyone by overposting. Now, no peer support group posts are allowed.
You see, the church posted daily dozens of “support group notices” of the ilk:
“Do you have anxiety? Come to our support group.”
“Do you have depression? Come to our support group.”
“Do you have bipolar? Come to our support group.”
“Do you have PTSD? Come to our support group.”
“Do you have insomnia? Come to our support group.”
“Do you have an eating disorder? Come to our support group.”
There was no accompanying contact info, just an address … which was the local office for the church. I dropped in once in curiosity and upon arriving I was near immediately asked if I was prescribed psych meds and given literature similar to the DVDs I watched this week.
There were no support groups.
What’s so troublesome to me is how hazardous this tactic is, using manipulative illogic to dissuade peers from exploring every option available, in this case psych meds.
Don’t give your suicidal child psych meds because I did and it made my child kill themselves.
I asked the plain question earlier, was it the psych med that pushed the child to suicide or did the child remain suicidal and end their life in that dreaded two to four week lag time?
The answer is also plain. The child remained suicidal. Some will take this as me being insensitive and ignorant, which if you know me and my advocacy efforts you’ll know is not true.
What I find concerning is using correlative illogic to convince peers psych meds are universally deadly. How can that be? There are millions of peers making use of psych meds who are alive and healthy, their lives more successful and joyful in part from having the choice of psych meds available to them. This includes me.
We’ll never find a DVD of interviews with parents whose child has benefitted from psych meds. Like Yelp, reviewing activity is skewed greatly towards complaints and not praise. To take a (thankfully and blessedly) small population of family tragedies and claim this represents inherent danger is knowingly irresponsible.
How can I know this? Because if psych meds were as damaging as claimed, the pharmaceutical manufacturers would have been out of business decades ago.
This is plain logic that makes good sense.
My feelings on psych meds and treatments options for mental illness is consistent and transparent. Peers benefit the most from having as many choices as possible available. For my wellness, I am alive because of the choices I made in my treatment, and this includes choosing to have a psych med regimen.
It is responsible to encourage and promote support for all existing choices and the creation of new choices. Peers benefit from having choices.
And to be balanced, this includes choosing not to take psych meds.