philosophical question

by Hortensia 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • Rapunzel

    In practical terms, I have found that the philosophy of Epicurius is very logical and humane. Epicurius was an ancient Greek philosopher. His philosophy stressed the avoidance of pain and suffering. He taught that a person should do everything in their power to eliminate, or at least reduce as much as possible, the suffering and pain that one faces in life. He stressed ataraxia, which - I guess - can be translated as "tranquility" or "lack of perturbance." Ataraxia is an ancient concept that goes back to the pre-Socratics. The ancient sceptics also held ataraxia as the most highest and most cherished of all ideals and goals. And I personally concur.

    Of course, there are various paths to ataraxia. But I think that any ath would be acceptable as long as your search for ataraxia does not impede, or encroach upon, the ataraxia of others. If anti-depressants enhance your "psychic" [mental or spiritual] well-being, then I can think of no reason why you should not use them. Every person is entitled to - and should strive for - ataraxia.

    Maybe you couldrad about the philosophy of Epicurius and his followers, the Epcureans. Personally, I have been reading the Roman stoic philosopher, Seneca. Curiously, I have found a combination of Epicurean and Stoic philosophy to be useful. I am currently reading Seneca's On The Shortness of Life.Basically, Seneca disagrees with Hippocrates who wrote - "Vita brevis, ars longa" [Life (is) short, art (is) long}. Seneca's point is that life is not short, if a person's uses correctly the time alloted to him/her.

  • Billy the Ex-Bethelite
    Billy the Ex-Bethelite

    Hey Hortensia!

    Prozac is not a new drug anymore. It has been out since 1986. It was the first of the class of SSRI anti-depressants.

    Now my philosophical interjection follows...

    I think many people jumped to take Prozac early on, like an easy fix to life's troubles. A pill won't fix their problems, but left them spacy and with other side-effects...

    ...taking the Prozac or other antidepressant would make you avoid solving your problems.

    People like that need counseling... with a professional, not an elder.

    ...the wisdom of changing someone's feelings artificially with antidepressants. The argument was that it is better to be authentic and depressed than artifically happy and medicated.

    As an SSRI, Prozac is aimed to help those that suffer with a seratonin deficiency. It's not just a matter of having the blues and taking a happy pill for an artificial high, there are additional syptoms and conditions that exist in such cases. For me, I'm naturally a happy person. Nobody would have ever suspected that I had severe depression for a very long time. It was unnatural for me to have sleeping problems, anxiety, inability to concentrate, etc. Taking the medication didn't make me artificial, it made me authentic. Psychiatrists now can tell that SSRIs don't make someone "artificially happy", either they relieve the depression or they don't. The pills I started taking didn't give me a high or fix my life's problems. I didn't really have that many problems. But after taking them for 3 weeks, they helped me start getting better. By 3 months, I got to be the real Billy again. They improved the quality of my life and my outlook on life. Yes, they saved my life.

    The example already used of blood pressure medication is an excellent example. Even some people that are health conscious about everything still need blood pressure medication, or insulin. Is it better for someone with hypertension or diabetes to be "authentic" or "medicated"? Duh. Is it better to be 'healthy and alive' or 'sick and dead'?

    I didn't take Prozac. I am on a related SSRI, and I may be for the rest of my life. Right now, I am doing very, very well! I don't take any other medication. But I don't belittle those that need other medication either.

    B the X

  • flipper

    According to my wife who has been there like you - I quote her, she says, " Anyone who espouses the opinion of the authority you quoted needs a good whack upside the head , they shouldn't mind - after all they are obviously into the "suffering is noble" thing. " Peace out, Mr. & Mrs. Flipper

  • BabaYaga

    Hey, Hortensia Hon...

    Well first of all the reason that the anti-depressant also helped with the pain is because Seratonin levels in your brain greatly affect your pain tolerance as well as your state of mind (depression, etc.) So that is how that part works.

    As for them being a crutch... is heart medication a crutch? Is diabetes medication a crutch? I know that there are an awful lot of people living in denial and taking antidepressants, but if a person does not have enough naturally produced serotonin in his or her system, doesn't it make sense to fix that?

    That being said, I also believe strongly in "mind over matter" and alternative health practices. If one is eating properly and meditating, etc., one may find that seratonin levels are increased and one might be able to lower a prescription dose of antidepressants or discontinue use completely, or find something not as hard on the system that works just as well.


    edited to say, well, dOh... looks like Billy the Ex was just saying pretty much the same thing. If your seratonin levels are not healthy, YOU NEED FOR THEM TO BE. No one seems to think that medication for any other physical insufficiency is a bad thing!

    Also, may I just say... Right on, Mrs. Flipper. Suffering sucks.

  • Hortensia

    well thanks everyone for all your really good comments. I have wondered for years how someone could say something like that. Suffering isn't noble. It's just painful. I know prozac is old hat now - I take one of the new ones now that helps with depression, anxiety and insomnia, all in one little pill! It has made a real difference in how I am able to cope with the aftermath of my ex-husband's drug addiction. I wouldn't withhold it from anyone! It just occurred to me that the "authority" who said that was a lot like JWs, into making other people wrong, even when they aren't wrong. It didn't stop me from taking the med when I needed it, but I think that kind of statement could make someone who already feels pretty badly to feel even worse, more guilty, less worthy.

  • Tired of the Hypocrisy
    Tired of the Hypocrisy

    Sometimes I think it might be nice to jump in a crop duster and spray Prozac on this little podunk community in the Central valley. You know, just to liven things up a bit. As far as the pros and cons of anti-depressants goes, I think they are good for some folks. I also think they are bad for some others. I have seen sad people perk up and I have seen sad people eat their gun. If it helps you I am glad. The world we live in makes us so depressed, and I don't buy the bullshit that weak minds get depressed. We all suffer from it at one time or another, weak or strong. Climbing out of the depression in our life is a hard thing to accomplish. I think whatever tools you use to dig your way out are a plus for you.

  • Hortensia

    central valley in California? Well, there are plenty of crop dusters; I wonder where we could find you a barrel or two of prozac?

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