I've been pissed off at Tom since his tirade against Brooke Shields for taking medicine for post-partum depression.
I take one pill each nite and up to four each day for depression and anxiety. I fully believe that, if a kind and wise pshrink had not helped me find this regimen of drugs in combination with regular sessions of traditional talk therapy, I would long ago have become David Six Feet Under DC.
Looking back, I realize I suffered my first bout of clinical depression in my teens. The bleakness and hopelessnes you feel in such an episode is impossible for me to describe. What the hell, I'm not William Styron.
It took me 10 more years to find my way to my first therapist. And 10 more after that to be finally willing to try medication. By then, my depressions were becoming more regular and more frequent and I'd already walked myself into an emergency room when my thoughts of suicide scared the bejeebers out of me. That bought me a two week stay on a locked ward and delayed my graduation from law school by six months.
(It's funny how you associate personal milestones with external events. My hospitalization coincided with the 1988 Winter Olympics and the campus protests that led to the selection of the first deaf president at Gallaudet University. In my mind, skater Katerina Witt and outgoing Gallaudet President I. King Jordan are inextricably linked with being locked up on the sixth floor of a hospital that's since been torn to the ground.)
Even after my voluntary commitment, I balked at taking medicine. I saw it as a defeat, an admission that my internal resources and the feedback of a therapist I trusted were not enough to quell what I still thought of as the product of force I should be able to control.
My family history screams "genetic predisposition to depression." My father grew up in an orphanage because his mother killed herself after his father died in an accident. He committed suicide himself before I hit 30 months old.
Nonetheless, I stubbornly refused to look at my depression as what it was --- a treatable, potentially lethal medical condition that required medication in the same way diabetes requires insulin treatment.
When I was at my bleakest, I finally gave in and consulted a psychiatrist. My first therapist, a psychiatric social worker, helped me cope for years, occasionally suggesting that my view of my depression as a character flaw was self-limiting. She waited a long time for me to be ready. When I was, she pointed me at my current psychiatrist.
By then I was married and my wife is entitled to equal credit with my therapist for helping me see the need to at least try a psychiatrist and an anti-depressant.
My life has never been the same. Thank G-d. I still get to feeling bleak sometimes, but the meds keep the bleakness from descending into a death spiral. I honestly believe they've saved my life.
So fuck you Tom Cruise. Your know-nothing, yahoo view of psychiatry and psychiatric drugs stem from the teachings of a scam artist. Science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard announced to the world in the 1930's that, if one wanted to be truly rich in America, one should found a religion. Then, proving P.T. Barnum's dictum that no one ever went broke underestimating the American public, he founded a religion and got rich.
L. Ron now lies mouldering in his grave and idiots like Tom Cruise continue to act as loony prophets for this false messiah.
There, I feel much better now. Thanks for listening.