The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Medication of our emotions

Lyssa Beyer

Hold onto your hats people, I’m about to get lippy.

Anti-depressants are ruining America. That’s right I said it, but before you all go pull the torches out of the backs of your closets, hear me out.

After the Columbine school shooting, the nation stood still and classes were canceled at several schools. When a gunman killed several students at Virginia Tech, we wondered how this could have hit our colleges and we questioned our safety. Last weekend it hit home. Most of you know about the shooting in Illinois; some of you talked about it in classes and a few of you still are.

I am an observant person when I’ve had my morning coffee. I’ve heard mumbling about the shooting and the one thing I’ve heard over and over is “These guys are sick, they need to get help, they should be on medication!”

Story continues below advertisement

Typical American. Take a little blue pill and all will be well! Well I call bull!

Eric Harris, one of the gunmen at Columbine, was on anti-depressants and Kip Kinkel, who killed his parents and two classmates in Oregon, was too. Why didn’t the cure-all happy pill work for them? That’s just a couple of examples – there’s also the shooter of the Illinois massacre who is said to have been going through withdrawal symptoms from anti-depressants.

This isn’t just about anti-depressants; it’s about society’s inability to deal with emotions. Being sad isn’t normal anymore. It’s not normal to have a bad day. If you have a bad day, you must be depressed and you should see a doctor and get on medication.

This may come as a shock, but if you do poorly on a test, you are going to feel bad. If your significant other leaves you for your best friend, you are going to feel terrible. Bad days happen!

Anti-depressants mess with the natural order of things. Let’s say on a scale of zero to ten, the average unmedicated American is at about a five. On a bad day they hit three, or when their spouse leaves and takes the pick-up truck and the dog, they sing a country song and hit zero. On a good day they hit seven or eight. If they win an award they hit nine, and if they win the lottery they hit ten.

Put that same average American on anti-depressants and they average a seven, this means that when they have a bad day and drop down to five. They can no longer deal with what is a normal state of mind.

It’s not just high school students, college students and those poor lonely rich women whose husbands are sleeping with Playboy bunnies on their weekend business trips. Children are being started on anti-depressants at very young ages.

I have a niece who has been on anti-depressants since she was 11. They had a different word for depression when I was 11 – it was called puberty and you got over it. Why is she on anti-depressants? Because she’s moody and she tells her parents she hates them. I have a different diagnosis for my niece, I call it 11-year-old-girl-itis. It’s perfectly curable; in fact, I once suffered from it as well, I seem to remember I was around 11 at the time.

Her siblings are also being started on psychotropic drugs. Her six-year-old sister is on medication for ADHD. Her symptoms? She doesn’t listen to her parents. Apparently that’s a disease now. I wonder how I ever made it through childhood.

Many people blame the problems of today’s youth on the television. They say parents let TV raise their children. I don’t think it’s the TV as much as it is medications. No parent wants to admit their child misbehaves because they didn’t teach them respect. If a child talks back it must be ADHD. If a child yells and screams and slams doors they must be depressed.

The thing is, people have made it through life without anti-depressants for ages. My grandmother made it through the Great Depression unmedicated. If ever there was a time for anti-depressants wouldn’t it be the Great Depression? It’s right in the name!

Yes, people committed suicide back in the Dark Ages before anti-depressants, but oddly enough since the great discovery of anti-depressants, suicide rates have gone up. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among college students. Suicide rates for 4 to 15 year olds have doubled in the past 20 years. It seems to me that these miracle drugs just don’t stack up to sliced bread.

We need to stop drugging up everyone who has a bad day. We need to go back to rolling our eyes and grounding 11-year-old girls who hate their parents. I’m not saying there is no such thing as depression, I’m sure there, is but we have made depression the scapegoat for puberty, stress and mid-life crises. The sixties never ended, our nation is on a bad trip.

Harvey is a junior print journalism major and assistant photo editor of The Spectator.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Medication of our emotions