If I were a parent who’s child returned from his or her first semester on campus with a prescription for Abilify or lithium in hand, I would want to sue the university for promoting drug addiction and encouraging depression. Check out this horror story in the New York Times. This story laments the number of students arriving on campus taking drugs for various mental health issues (and predictably overdosing on the drugs they brought from home), and it endorses the idea that it’s then okay to conduct surveys asking students if they are depressed.
Pharmaceutical companies are, of course, behind these screenings. Follow the money.
She learned she had clinical depression. She eventually conquered it with psychotherapy, Cymbalta and lithium. She went on to form a Stony Brook chapter of Active Minds, a national campus-based suicide-prevention group.
On recent day, she was one of two dozen volunteers in black T-shirts reading “Chill” who stopped passers-by in the Student Activities Center during lunch hour.
“Would you like to take a depression screening?” they asked, offering a clipboard with a one-page form to all who unplugged their ear buds. Students checked boxes if they had difficulty sleeping, felt hopeless or “had feelings of worthlessness.” They were offered a chance to speak privately with a psychologist in a nearby office. Sixteen said yes.
The depression screenings are part of a program to enlist students to monitor the mental health of peers, which is run by the four-year-old Center for Outreach and Prevention, a division of mental health services that Dr. Hwang oversaw before her promotion to director of all counseling services.
This story also is witness to the triumph of Abilify’s image and market make-over from an antipsychotic to an antidepressant.
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