ANDREW KLAVAN: A Modest Observation About Suicide.

In my youth I suffered from recurring depression. At one point, I seriously considered killing myself. (I have written about this at length in my religious memoir The Great Good Thing.) I was cured by a brilliant and compassionate psychiatrist. I never took drugs. (He offered them once; I declined. He prescribed Valium once; I filled the prescription but never took the pills.) Since that time, I have lived a life of almost preternatural joy and satisfaction. My friends will tell you how incredibly annoying I am in this regard. I have also spent a couple of years working on suicide hotlines where I think I was an effective counselor for people in high states of distress.

This is what I believe. The over-prescription of anti-depressants represents a trend in scientific thinking away from a true understanding of human life as a spiritual matter, and toward the idea that we are walking chemistry sets that can be adjusted to taste. I think this trend is utterly mistaken, the idea completely wrong.

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