Wednesday, April 1, 2009

_The Road Back_ : a patent pending program to end all your psychiatric worries

As you all know I've been thinking about tapering off my Cymbalta. Most days the medicine is no big deal and most of the time I'm grateful that I live in a day and age where I can get effective help. But there's something in me that balks at having to take a pill every day.

Of course, I have friends who have been on psychiatric cocktails for years--through pregnancies and everything--and they always remind me of one thing: depression, especially the types of depression that are associated with pregnancy and childbirth, IS a biological illness. Like heart disease. Like diabetes. And just like a diabetic can't wake up one morning and decide her insulin levels are going to be fine without medicine, a person with a biological depression can't just choose to be happy.

So, I came across an online program called The Road Back that is supposed to help a person taper off her meds without having all the side effects. I was intrigued so I read the first few chapters and, I'm a little bummed about this, it's dubious.

I guess I should have expected that, seeing as it's a patent pending program. A copyright is one thing. But a patent? That screams marketing. You know, it's like when Dr. Phil announced his new diet program and simultaneously lost all his credibility by creating a line of nutritional supplements that were in every GNC, grocery store, and Walmart across America. Anyway . . .

The basic premise of The Road Back is a nutritional one; if you put the right things, whether they are "super foods" or super supplements, in your body it will function more perfectly--which is something a lot of people believe, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. The nutritional thesis wouldn't be problematic in and of itself but the kicker is this: they recommend only one company's supplements and the company charges HUNDREDS of dollars for them. The author spends several paragraphs plugging this company's superior supplements and saying you have to buy them for the program to work.


So I'm back to square one and still on my meds. It's probably time to consult a real psychiatrist and not just the internet ;)

P.S. Happy National Poetry Month everyone! Check out my post over at A Motley Vision!


sarah louise said...

I am finding with struggling with depression and weight loss there are so many "answers" out there. I am learning that if it "sounds to be good to true...," is so true!

Elizabeth-W said...

Fishy indeed.
Do you read Slate (slatedotcom)? They have two articles right now regarding autism. It's sort of the same thing. Lots of patents in that neighborhood, too.
By the way, have you ever tried the older antidepressants? Imipramine, etc. The big issue about not giving them to people now is that you can kill yourself easily with them. But as far as efficacy, some are just as good. Just something to consider. That, at the cost is probably quite a bit lower?

Elizabeth-W said...

I went to an EXCELLENT training today. It was all on bipolar spectrum disorder stuff.
I know you're a reader so you are going to love this site. The psychiatrist links to tons of articles. I want you to look at the part on left side "bipolar but not manic". Start there. And even if it doesn't apply to you, maybe do a post on this, or I could guest post for you. But I think you'd do great. Just wanted to pass this site on. :)