What's So Bad About Feeling Good #2
Allow me to post on a comment left by Mr. Dayton in my comments section. (Note: The entire lengthy comment can be read on the comments page of my last post. Also, these are direct quotes and any errors are his.)
Okay...there is so much I want to respond to in the above mentioned comment that I simply had to take a moment and reflect. What, I wonder, is the main point of that long-winded, poorly-edited, and badly shaped piece of nonsense? Was it that Mr. Dayton feels that he has the "right" to do whatever he wants as long as it only hurts himself? Was he arguing for a change in the laws dealing with prescriptions and how they are doled out? Or, was Mr. Dayton simply on the defensive because he thoughtlessly went on national television and admited to using a chemical in a way that is not provided for by the law of the land and we, the nobodies on the internet, called him on it? He makes any number of arguments in his "defense." Most of them do not make a lick of sense.
Lets just think about this for a moment. First, Mr. Dayton hints that happiness, or at least the pursuit of it, is provided for by the constitution. Of course the words are there, but has anyone ever successfully argued in a court of law that knowingly breaking the law was okay because it made them happy? This country would be a much different place if that worked. Who would pay taxes or obey street signs?
Dayton follows with a list of behaviors that while anti social or questionable, are not actually illegal and says that "as long as those people aren't hurting anyone else I would never dream of supporting a law to coerce them to stop those behaviors." Of course, he wouldn't have to, because those behaviors, unlike his own, are not illegal! I have heard a great many people argue that illegal behavior should be allowed as long as it doesn't "hurt anyone else." It's a favorite of drug users. Suicides also come to mind. In America, we "coerce" people who attempt to commit suicide into treatment, despite the fact that it could be argued that just letting them hurt themselves might allow them some form of happiness, or that they are "only" hurting themselves.
Dayton claims that:
"Most people only take antidepressants if something is wrong. Most people only go to a therapist or get a coach if something is wrong. Why can't drugs and therapy be evaluated on the basis everything else we do in the pursuit of happiness is evaluated?
Do the benefits outwiegh the risks? Does the value outwiegh the costs?
You, Nurse Ratched and others make it sound as if the risks associated with taking antidepressants changes based on why it's taken. That is false and an absurd notion. The risks are constant. It is the benifits and the value palced on them that changes with purpose. (sic)"
What Dayton ultimately fails to realize, is that antidepressants are not harmless candy. I am not a doctor, however I know that anytime a doctor prescribes a medication, they are performing a delicate balancing act. They have to know that the problem is bad enough to risk any of a number of known and unknown side effects. They have to figure in any number of elements, including possible interactions with other medications. A quick search on the internet shows that Wellbutrin can cause seizures, sexual problems, sleeplessness, increased agressivness or mania, as well as other risks. If there is nothing wrong, why would any legitimate doctor allow a patient to risk any or all of these side effects in the pursuit of a state that Dayton himself describes as "a fleeting feeling?"
Dayton ends with this outraged nugget: "Assuming you agree with the current laws around prescribing medication, how dare you support denying me and my doctor the right to choose the course of therapy we see fit!"
I "dare" because denying him the "right to choose a course of therapy" for a problem that doesn't exist happens to be the law in the United States. I "dare" because, as Nurse Ratched noted, that denial happens to make common, and medical, sense. Finally, I "dare" because Dayton can't argue his way out of a paper bag.
(This picture doesnot belong to me, but I found it highly appropriate & amusing.)