Re: Antidepressants: Happiness is only a drug?

From: Doug Jones (
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 16:56:11 MST

> Hugo Alves wrote:
> If you give drugs to people who are depressed, and/or talk to them to
> make them feel better about life, in similar ways as you would give
> your patients drugs to make their legs heal faster, or advise them to
> do physiotherapy (psychanalysis for the body), and people treat
> suicidal people as having a chemical disorder in their brains that
> prevents them from being happy with life, then it seems that we are
> left with the conclusion that our happiness is merely a self-produced
> drug.

Mild style flame: that is quite a run-on sentence. Coupled with your
posting in html, it makes you difficult to follow.

> Scientists say laughing improves your health, and general
> optimism enhances your capacities. Joy is a drug. Nothing but a drug.
> One that we produce ourselves, but a drug nonetheless...

So. Freaking. What. Consciousness and mood are nothing magical or
noble, they are simply one of the things a complex brain does- with the
aid of lots of chemistry. You seem to be claiming that because mood can
be altered by chemical inputs, mood is nothing *but* chemistry. That
does not follow.

> I would be very happy if someone could prove me wrong, or explain this
> in another way, or do something to make this notion of
> happiness-as-a-mere-chemical go away. But it seems that people are
> treating the most delicate cases of unhapiness (the suicidal) with
> this notion of chemical disorder, which, I must say, doesn't look that
> much encouraging... I'm asking you to look at this as the
> transhumanists you strive to be, and not as the humane people you
> might be.

Happiness is not a mere chemical state (although gross depression can be
alleviated chemically). Treating the symptoms works, so why obsess about
the underpinnings?

Doug Jones, Rocket Engineer
XCOR Aerospace

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