Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life imitates stand-up

So I went to the post office yesterday to mail out my taxes. The postage came to eighty-four cents, so I handed them a dollar. In return, I got my change and a receipt that was literally five inches long. My first thought was "I thought the post office was losing money. Thermal paper isn't cheap, people!"

Then, of course, I thought of the Mitch Hedberg routine about buying a donut: "There's no need to bring pen and paper into this."

Later, we were watching a sitcom on tv that was actually funny, a sure sign of a world gone all topsy-turvy (Better Off Ted, which I'd never even heard of before). And I saw a prescription drug ad that was truly insane, even by the standards of prescription drug ads.

It started with a classic anecdotal intro, snippets of different people who are on antidepressants, but are still depressed. Then the dramatic announcement: studies show that antidepressants aren't really helping two-thirds of the people who are taking them. Wow! Pretty forthright of a drug company to admit, in a drug commerical, that drugs are ineffective! (Lots of interesting research on that subject, actually, but that's a digression).

So if you're depressed, and on prescription drugs, and you're still depressed, what does the commercial advise? You should start taking their new drug in addition to the ones that don't work for you!

Isn't there an old saying that insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"? (Ah, yes, attributed to Einstein).

I couldn't remember the name of the drug, but cursory research shows a new school of antidepressants that are supposed to augment treatments, some by working in a "cannabis-like" way on the brain. I will refrain, for once in my life, from stating the obvious.

1 comment:

Dan said...

That's just how absurd things have gotten...that the drug company can come right out and say that most people on antidepressants are still depressed. So they offer the "solution" of yet even more drugs!!

Those drug ads would be hilarious if the consequences weren't actually as serious as they are. Actually, I do end up laughing out loud when I see some of these ads, especially the parts where they list the "side" effects (sometimes even including death) and I already forgot what the condition was they were trying to "treat". Yes, they're treating it alright.

Sometimes I think those ads are incredibly insulting to the intelligence of Americans. Then I have to think..."nah".