Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Also Don't Give Lectures on Particle Physics, If You Were Wondering

I've known people, dead and alive, with alcoholism.

The dead ones are dead because they believed what all the nonalcoholic drinking people in their lives told them about alcohol: That having one or two drinks after dinner was as simple as having one or two drinks after dinner, and then not having any more. But this was not true for them. For them, having one or two drinks after dinner meant having all the available drinks in the house after dinner. And the next morning. And the next evening. And hey, screw dinner.

They're dead because the people around them trying to help were ignorant. The people around them told them various things: Just pray. Use willpower. Shame yourself out of excessive drinking. I know one case of a nonalcoholic trying to help an alcoholic in which the nonalcoholic's brilliant solution to the alcoholic's drinking problem was to send that alcoholic over $300 worth of megavitamins.

Ignorance kills.

The alcoholics I know who are alive are alive because they found other alcoholics who understood what they were going through and were able to talk to them and reach them in ways that nonalcoholics were incapable of doing.

I don't understand the uncontrollable urge to drink. For me drinking is very controllable--I may do more of it than I ought to, but there's never been any question for me about who decides when and how much I drink; I decide that. Sometimes I set out to drink a lot, have a glass of wine, realize it doesn't taste good to me for whatever reason, and then, check this out, I don't drink anymore wine that night. For the alcoholics I have known, it doesn't work that way. If I understand what the alcoholics I have known are saying to me correctly, it's more like a compulsion, an itch to be scratched: Must have more alcohol. I feel that way about cigarettes, and I can dimly remember jonesing a few times for pot when I was out, but booze? No. I don't get that one.

So guess what I normally do on the subject of alcoholism? I SHUT THE FUCK UP.

I don't understand people with depression issues, either. I don't understand why they can't just be happy, or at least be happy more often than they are depressed. I don't understand what's so hard about getting out of bed. I don't understand what it's like to feel flattened by life--except one day out of the month when whatever combination of hormones my body cocktails up turns me into a morose motherfucker. But you know, that's one day a month only. I can stiff-upper-lip my way through one day a month.

What I'm fairly certain I could not do is stiff-upper-lip my way through all the days of the month feeling like I do on that one day. I'd kill myself, if I could find the energy to bother, which I probably couldn't. I'd probably just drift along feeling miserable until I quit bothering to clock in for work . . . drift along until I was evicted . . . drift along on the streets until God knows. I don't know, but I'm pretty sure it would be bad.

But my limited ability to imagine what it must be like to deal with depression is not the same thing as my actually having depression, so generally, on the subject of depression, I SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Don't read books about how medicating depression is all one huge scam from Big Pharma, and then lecture people with depression about the best way to treat their depression.

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Don't read .PDFs on the internet about depression and then lecture people with depression about what you learned in thirty minutes with Acrobat Reader.

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Really, really don't then condescend to people with depression that what they put into their bodies is their business, really, but you don't have to approve of it. No, you sure don't! But if what people put into their bodies is truly their business, why are you still talking?

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Ignorance kills people every day, but you're still talking, because no one's going to tell you what to approve or disapprove of!

I for one am not telling you what to approve or disapprove of. I'm only telling you to

SHUT

THE FUCK

UP

34 comments:

Chris said...

Vivisectionist!

Chris said...

Actually, I love Annalouise's comment in that thread, even before La Whingeault piped up:

One of the major side effects of wellbutrin is, well, the doctors describe it as “irritability” but find it manifests itself in the unbearable urge to fucking throttle the self-righteous fucks who prance around the internet with their medical degress from Dipshit U. insisting that all forms of mental illness can be cured with long walks and tea.

Works for me.

Also, I think that anyone who lectures others on natural lifestyles and living without artificiality from her house in Las Vegas should be summarily duct-taped to a television set and forced to watch all the episodes of Cadillac Desert.

ilyka said...

Hey! What do you have against her feminist-vegan belief system? Is it that word "belief?" I'LL JUST BET IT IS! Ooh! Faith haterz!

Also, I think that anyone who lectures others on natural lifestyles and living without artificiality from her house in Las Vegas should be summarily duct-taped to a television set and forced to watch all the episodes of Cadillac Desert.

Oh ho, I missed that. Might as well slap a Greenpeace sticker on the back of your SUV and yak about the importance of your environmentally-friendly "belief system."

Chris said...

Did I just actually write "television set"?

I am so fucking old.

ilyka said...

Hey, this sentence from the previous post:

There's not one commercially produced CD in my (admittedly meager) collection that I can play all the way through

Originally talked about these things called "records."

Magniloquence said...

I totally <3 you.

... that's the first (and likely last) time I've ever used that emoticon. You're just that awesome.

Chris said...

Really, though, I suppose we should be kinder. I mean, we should not mock those whose entire political philosophies are essentially encapsulated here.

It's just mean mocking. And it's not appropriate for this blog which is not P*nd*g*n.

ilyka said...

I failed Independent Music Snobbery 101 at the tender age of five, when that HORRIBLE VIDEO YOU JUST LINKED was my second-favorite song in the whole wide world.

My first favorite? . . . Yeah. Sorry.

wolfa said...

Might I just suggest that unless you are not only a doctor but *my* doctor, you not suggest that psychopharmaceuticals will so totally help me! (I'm sure they would, actually, if I could find the right setup, but since each successive drug makes me sicker, I'm waiting until a new type comes out entirely.)

Yes, it's ever so irritating to watch someone do something you just *know* is wrong, except that very often you are wrong, especially if the someone is someone you know by reading a few blog posts by. Quit fucking drive-by doctoring in either direction.

ilyka said...

Quit fucking drive-by doctoring in either direction.

Ladies and gentlemen, Wolfa: The wind beneath my bitchy, wicked wings.

Fuck yes, thank you so much for saying that. It's no good from EITHER direction. The internet has been bad for this--"but I Googled this study that SAID"--oh, did you, sweetheart? Because last I checked, Google-fu did not equal a prescribing license, knowledge of brain chemistry, or anything much beyond the ability to type a few letters into the little box and press the Enter key.

Anonymous said...

Also, I think that anyone who lectures others on natural lifestyles and living without artificiality from her house in Las Vegas should be summarily duct-taped to a television set and forced to watch all the episodes of Cadillac Desert.

At this point, everything Elaine Vigneault writes seems out of line to me, including "and" and "the."

On a more general note, I don't understand people who don't understand that illness is a personal thing, and that it's inappropriate to tell people how they should feel about how they feel.

--Piny

Anonymous said...

Oooh! And you know what else pisses me off? People on the internet telling you that your complaints about your doctor can't possibly be fair. Because their brother-in-law is a doctor and he sees people drugseeking all the time, so how dare you complain that your doctor hears "fibromyalgia" and thinks "heroin addict"....

kactus said...

thank you for this, Ilyka. Elaine aside, that thread and the one that preceeded it were amazing for me. I really learned a lot by how honest so many women were about their doctor experiences and their depression. And then Elaine showed up, and well she's an ass.

isabel said...

I don't think I've stopped by to tell you this, but I am so glad you are blogging again. Because this? is amazing. No one delivers a (needed) shut the fuck up quite like you.

michele said...

Thank you, Ilyka. I practically broke out in hives from reading those comments.

Depression and mental illness are different for everyone. Drugs didn't work for me. They work for others. I learned how to fight my depression and get out of bed in the morning. Not everyone can do that.

The line that got to me was that women are most likely depressed because they are oppressed. Maybe if you live in your own private world where you hate men and see all men and people with power as evil beings intent on keeping you down, then you'll continue to feel oppressed. Your life is what you make of it.

Sheelzebub said...

Wow. Who knew that the very thing that kept me from offing myself--Celexa--caused *brain damage*? And that all I needed was an end to Bush and to embrace the feminist vegan lifestyle and I would have been cured?

Had I seriously listened to that crap in 2002, I would have ended up offing myself for sure.

The next person who derides meds as a crutch is going to get a good, swift kick in the face.

rrp said...

Your're back!!

(happy dance)

Well it looks as though you've been back for a while. But, I just found out and as a fond reader, I am some happy.

kactus said...

I know, sheelzebub. Quite a few people brought up the fact that many people NEED crutches to make their lives better--real live crutches. My neighbor needs her crutches because she only has one leg and doesn't like her prosthetic limb. I need my scooter (another type of crutch) because without it I would never leave my house. Yay for crutches and machinery and meds!

Angel H. said...

Um...never done a pingback before.

Please clicky my link!

Also: Awesome post!

Joan Kelly said...

*sigh of loving Ilyka*

Not only a great post, which I am personally thankful for, but you also inspired a new post at Angel's place, which I have been checking regularly since her last post a while back and was so happy to see a new one up, woo hoo. Double wonderfulness of your writing and hers, thank you.

Daisy said...

People think they know because they've all had a drink, or been drunk, or been depressed, etc... they don't get it that what folks are talking about is, like, all of that SQUARED.

I've been over there arguing on ALAS, and it strikes me that lotsa people also think they know about disability in the same way, since theoretically it COULD be them. So, they think they know.

Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Good post!

little light said...

Ilyka, darling?
It's good to have you back.

Elaine Vigneault said...

Your the one who should shut the fuck up about it. It's not all about YOU and your misinterpretations of my words.

Chris said...

I got the feeling that Elaine's comment was not tested on animals.

So I tested it on my rabbit. I read it to him.

He didn't believe me. "No, no way, man. She's got to be pulling everyone's leg."

I said I didn't think so.

"Chris," he said, "no one is that clueless."

"You don't read blogs much, do you?" I asked.

"But she's utterly... she's just... I mean, we can go back and SEE what she said. Does she think we're not gonna do that?"

"I dunno, Thistle."

"Why are you people in charge again?"

I didn't have an answer.

Daomadan said...

Three cheers for this post! :)

Elaine Vigneault said...

Read the FDA warning for antidepressants and tell me they're not dangerous.

gennimcmahon said...

Tylenol is very dangerous and can result in liver failure.

Aspirin can kill a child if given when they have a virus.

Draino is a lousy cocktail.

Thank heavens that with all those DANGEROUS products, we get directions. The really complex ones can only be dispensed under medical supervision.

I'm assuming literacy isn't an issue, unless someone is typing for you, so let's stop bothering with such blithering idiocy and stick with the subject, which is that you really ought to get off that structually unsound soapbox. You could fall and break something, and since just about every substance we call medicine can be dangerous, I don't guess you could take anything for pain.

Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY.

ilyka said...

Your the one who should shut the fuck up about it. It's not all about YOU and your misinterpretations of my words.

Oh, but if there is one thing I have learned from blogging, it is that (to quote Belledame) there is a way it can be about me somehow!

I kid. All right, you're pissed off and I don't blame you. No one here, me least of all, was very nice to you.

But really, Elaine, all seriousness now, I don't think I misinterpreted you. You were pretty clear that you didn't think people who chose to medicate their depression had thought the whole thing through as thoroughly as you had. You were emphatic that you had knowledge they didn't:

To those of you suggesting that I read up here are some other books to read:
* Prozac Backlash by Joseph Glenmullen, M.D.
* The Anti-depressant Fact Book by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
* Toxic Psychiatry by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
* Orthomolecular Treatment for Schizophrenia by A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
* Nutrition and Mental Illness by Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D.
* Let Them Eat Prozac by David Healy, MD FRCPsych
* Blaming the Brain by Elliott Valenstein, Ph.D.

And also check out: http://actmad.net/


Now I realize you wrote that in response to people telling you to educate YOURself, and I would agree that that's as good a reason to whip out the reading list as any--but Elaine, the condescension! Good grief!

Now, you can say I’m just one of the many counter-examples and maybe your problems are worse than mine. And you may well be correct. I don’t mean to tell you want to do with your body. I really don’t give a shit. It’s your body. Use it to pose nude or get implants or hair highlights or smoke weed or get drunk or sunbathe or pierce it or get a C section or get an abortion or change genders or whatever. I do half that stuff myself. Do whatever you want. I’m just giving my personal opinion about psychiatric meds.

Can you honestly not see how offensive that might be to someone whose personal experience with antidepressants has more in common with this:

Who knew that the very thing that kept me from offing myself--Celexa--caused *brain damage*? And that all I needed was an end to Bush and to embrace the feminist vegan lifestyle and I would have been cured?

Had I seriously listened to that crap in 2002, I would have ended up offing myself for sure.


--than with someone who "posed nude or got implants or hair highlights?" Do you really not understand how that could piss someone off pretty mightily? Especially when you left that comment on a post that was already expressing frustration with anti-med remarks from another commenter? That bums me out if you don't, because if we are talking about situational, as opposed to clinical, depression, I agree with much of what you have to say about using medication as a panacea. I know my outlook on life improved 100% when I got away from a dickhead abuser--meds might have helped me put up with him more, but that would not have been a desirable outcome for anyone but him, now, would it have?

But if there's one thing people with clinical depression have insisted to me, it's that situational != clinical depression. They tell me it's different. And then I do this wacky thing where I believe them, because they have knowledge I don't--knowledge that doesn't come from a reading list.

That's all I'm trying to say.

Elaine Vigneault said...

"kept me from offing myself"

Alright, so what then would you say to someone for whom that special, little, minor side-effect of
INCREASED RISK OF SUICIDE wasn't just a technicality, just a footnote, just an afterthought?

Some people claim antidepressants have prevented them from killing themselves. Others can't claim such a success. For them, the antidepressants made them suicidal.

Can they be offensive? Can be allowed to express outrage at anti-depressants without being attacked by the happy-pill mob?

So fuck you and your fucking "shut the fuck up" rants about which you know nothing. Take a dose of your own fucking 'think before you speak' medicine.

Elaine Vigneault said...

"But if there's one thing people with clinical depression have insisted to me, it's that situational != clinical depression. They tell me it's different. And then I do this wacky thing where I believe them, because they have knowledge I don't--knowledge that doesn't come from a reading list."

I'm guessing you can't read or something because I've said over and over and over that I've been diagnosed with clinical depression.

So why the fuck should I shut the fuck up about it?

(not really asking)

And... context!? Fucking read my blog if you need context.

Thistle said...

She's not stopping.

SHE'S NOT STOPPING.

Chris this isn't funny anymore.

CHRIS!

I can't blink, you jerk! I'm a rabbit. Take me out of this harness and STOP MAKING ME READ THIS THREAD.

ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow.

THE STUPID BURNS SO BAD.

GOD PLEASE PUT SOME SHAMPOO OR SOMETHING IN MY EYES SO I DON'T HAVE TO READ THAT WOMAN ANYMORE.

ilyka said...

Alright, so what then would you say to someone for whom that special, little, minor side-effect of
INCREASED RISK OF SUICIDE wasn't just a technicality, just a footnote, just an afterthought?


Naw, Elaine, seriously, I wouldn't blow that off. I've know people who've said as much. There's one of them here, or did you not read so?

Might I just suggest that unless you are not only a doctor but *my* doctor, you not suggest that psychopharmaceuticals will so totally help me! (I'm sure they would, actually, if I could find the right setup, but since each successive drug makes me sicker, I'm waiting until a new type comes out entirely.)

Honestly, I believe we're all different. I am not trying to say one size fits all--indeed, I'm trying to say the opposite of that.

Are you just looking for a fight? Believe me, we can have us one of those. Always up for one. But you never struck me as that type, so spell it out if you are, 'cause I'm kind of dense about getting it otherwise. But my impression of you right now is that you're just really passionate about what you believe, and to be honest with you (and at the risk of sounding patronizing), you don't seem that different to me from how I was when I was in my early 20s.

Anyway, bottom line: If meds aren't right for you, they aren't right for you. But next time just SAY so. Don't go getting on everyone else who feels differently, all right? Those folks aren't ignorant, they're just different. And I think it's better to trust them to know what's best for themselves.

Elaine Vigneault said...

"If meds aren't right for you, they aren't right for you. But next time just SAY so."

I did.

No one listened. They decided I should 'just shut the fuck up' or that I needed a lesson on what depression is or that I needed to be 'thankful I wasn't called a jerk' or that I should be made fun of...

The fact is, I could state my opinions in any manner whatsoever and they wouldn't make any difference. You all would still just see me as a one-dimensional character who is 'just too focused' or who is 'extremely passionate' or whatever...

Because you don't listen.

way confused said...

I am confused. I don't understand.

Ilyka, your initial post ""I Also Don't Give Lectures on Particle Physics, If You Were Wondering" reads to me as being about how people who don't have a particular experience base -- like being an alcoholic or having depression -- should SHUT THE FUCK UP about that issue.

You were apparently writing about one person as an example of this, whose comment you linked to -- Elaine. You seemed to be saying that she only knows about depression from books and PDFs and a little time learning about it from outside the experience. You seemed to be saying she doesn't have the kind of personal experience with it that would make it appropriate for her to not shut the fuck up about it.

You also wrote that you yourself personally have no substantial experience with depression.

Question: am I understanding this right so far? If not what am I not?

So then, Various people applauded your entry in the comments.

And then Elaine, the same person you apparently told to shut the fuck up, came to the discussion and after some back and forth said that she had in fact been diagnosed with clinical depression: "I've said over and over and over that I've been diagnosed with clinical depression".

Which, assuming it is true, I read as her having personal experience with it.

To me this statement of experience means the situation is pretty different from what you initially wrote about in your post. Your post located Elaine as outside the experience of some sort of real depression. And on that basis told her to shut the fuck up. Your post also located yourself, who as you say is truly outside the experience of depression, as someone for whom it is appropriate to tell Elaine to STFU.

But if she is speaking from experience with clinical depression, then basically your post was someone who admittedly has no experience with it telling someone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression to SHUT THE FUCK UP because she doesn't know about depression. And people applauding you for it.

So maybe you didn't know that was the case. Maybe you didn't know she had been diagnosed with the clinical kind of depression. Understandably no one knows it all. Maybe you had missed this piece of information.

But except, then instead of taking seriously how her experience factors into what you wrote to start with, you responded to her saying this information by asking her was she looking for a fight and said she reminds you of how you were in your 20s and (as someone who has no experience speaking to someone who does) gave her more advice on how to express herself and interact with others.

I don't understand why you responded like you did. Whatever you think on her opinions, you posted here about experience in relation to speaking or shutting the fuck up.

And then it seems to turn out that you, with admittedly no experiential understanding of depression, basically told someone with such experience to shut the fuck up. This is confusing to me since experience base seemed so important to you in your initial post. Why didn't you re-think and shift your approach when that came to light? How does your post's perspective on who should speak/SFU and why actually fit with your actions in this discussion?

Is it what Daisy said: "People think they know because they've all had a drink, or been drunk, or been depressed, etc... they don't get it that what folks are talking about is, like, all of that SQUARED"?

But if so, on what basis do you or others in the discussion actually know the extent or scope of Elaine's depression? What is your basis for an evaluation that what she has experienced isn't real depression in a way that would mean she could speak as someone with experience?

Is there an assumption that anyone who has real authentic depression wouldn't feel/say/believe things like she does? Why? Where does that come from?(is it because others you recognize as having documented real depression don't feel it like that? Byut why do you recognize them like that?)

Then you (Ilyka) made a distinction between clinical depression versus situational depression. So maybe that isn't the issue at all. Because if that (clinical depression) is the way to divide who is and isn't authentic to speak on this stuff, Elaine then said she was diagnosed with the kind (clinical) you seem to feel would give someone an experience base to speak about these issues.

So am still confused. Maybe there is something else going on, other than the actual content of your post, but I am confused about what it is.

Elaine wrote that people are treating her as a one-dimensional person. Maybe that's a clue to what's happening? I'm thinking maybe she is standing in for something in some sort of group dynamic. Like you have cast her in a role?

If so, as you described it, the role is someone who has no real experience with an issue and only knows about it from books and a internet research. Someone who doesn't have the kind of (real? -- well, "clinical" is how you later put it) depression that would mean they could speak about it. Someone whose lack of that experience means you can say SHUT THE FUCK UP as you did.

But what happens when the person who is cast in the role doesn't actually fit how they were cast? It seems to me that when it came to that, it ultimately didn't matter, as if the role she is playing in opposition to something is more important than the person. Because you were still telling her what to do, despite the post's claims that people in your position should STFU on issues you don't know about in relation to people who have real life experience with it.

Well that's all just speculation. Trying to understand tho I don't understand. What am I not getting here? Because even when I try to understand, this discussion doesn't make sense to me.