Real depression and Sears depression, was Re: Fast-acting 5-HTP supplementation for accute despair

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 16:32:57 MDT

Robert Owen wrote:
> That is, my remarks were not directed to illnesses resulting from
> neurochemical defects. I am not inclined to consider these or any
> other biochemical disorders as emotional illnesses. Yes, Michael, I
> am procrustean to the extent that I regard all psychological illness as
> exclusively psychogenic, e.g. those depressions which do not respond
> to lithium, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and similar agents.

OK, so now we know that when you say "depression", you mean exclusively
"exogenous depression"--"endogenous depression" is not depression at all
but something else.

When I make a word work hard like that, I always pay it extra.

> Finally, depression and suicide are weakly correlated but not
> coextensive. Suicide may, for example, proceed from a perfectly
> rational decision to terminate a life reduced to chronic, intolerable
> and incurable physical pain. Likewise note that the vast majority
> of cases of depression, whether symptomatic of neurochemical
> defects, situational reactions or psychoneuroses do not result in
> suicide.

 I never said they were coextensive--and the word you used was "never".
Funny how the DSM lists "suicidal ideation" as one of the indicia for
depression. But then, they're using the wrong definition and you're
using the right one.

Or to recast what I take to be your view: healthy people can get
depressed, but not enough to kill themselves, because if they're
healthy, it's exogenous and "psychogenic". If you're suicidal, you're
probably just vindictive, or possibly have an out-of-whack chemistry,
but you're not depressed. You're just what laymen and incompetent
doctors *call* depressed.

"There's glory for you." --H. Dumpty

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