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Tylenol May Ease Pain of Existential Distress, Social Rejection

timothy posted about a year ago | from the existential-distress-is-just-a-headache dept.

Medicine 190

Guppy writes "Does Tylenol reduce existential distress? Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) has been used to relieve mild-to-moderate physical pain for over a century, yet its actual mechanism of action continues to be debated; modern research has demonstrated an intriguing connection with the body's endocannabinoid system, raising the question of whether it may also have subtle psychological effects as well. A recent paper claims Acetaminophen can alter our response to existential challenge; previous findings have suggested that it may blunt the pain of social rejection as well."

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I have become.... (5, Funny)

longbot (789962) | about a year ago | (#43639283)

....comfortably numb!

Re:I have become.... (4, Insightful)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#43639299)

I prefer treating my cannabinoid receptors with less toxic chemicals, in case I ever want to use my liver for anything.

Re:I have become.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639363)

Acetaminophen is basically completely safe when taken in a normal dosage (i.e. what it says on the label), except for people with certain genetic conditions that interfere with normal metabolism of the drug.

Acetaminophen kills because it's an ingredient in so many over-the-counter and prescription drugs with different names and labels, and many people don't realize they're taking acetaminophen at all, let alone an overdose of it.

Re:I have become.... (3)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year ago | (#43639385)

Most people know that taking too much Tylenol is dangerous but very few understand that McNeil, the company behind Tylenol, is just selling overpriced acetaminophen.

Re:I have become.... (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43639433)

The liver toxicity of Acetaminophen is used to deter opioid addiction by mixing opioids with Acetaminophen. Opioids are powerfully addictive narcotics and this practice kills about 500 Americans [nih.gov] per year.

Re:I have become.... (2)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#43639553)

I get queasy from Tylenol, maybe I don't have that immunity. All the rest of you, don't mix it with alcohol or take it for a hangover. The toxicity is cumulative. If your MD won't prescribe unadulterated opioids, get some oil of bergamot to take with it for the "grapefruit effect". It will metabolize two or three times as much therapeutic chemical and allow the proper relief without excessive toxicity.
I have migraines, and alternate between ergotamine tartrate and hydrocodone so that neither causes problems.

Re:I have become.... (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year ago | (#43640111)

. All the rest of you, don't mix it with alcohol or take it for a hangover. The toxicity is cumulative

From what I gather from the literature, you are right about the hangover, but wrong about the mixing with alcohol. The blood concentration of the toxic degradation product is lowered when paracetamol is taken with alcohol, probably due to the alcohol successfully competing with cytochrome P450 in the liver, in much the same way that alcohol can be used to treat methanol poisoning (though another enzyme is competed for here).

However, there seems to be no reason to not use inbuprofen or naproxen [sciencebasedmedicine.org] :

All NSAIDs are hazardous, but but some have higher toxicities than others. For occasional and long-term use, products like ibuprofen and naproxen are safer and as effective as other NSAIDs.

Except, of course, individual problems, like you mention with Tylenol.

Re:I have become.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639571)

Absolutely false - the APAP is included in the opiate-based pain relievers to assist with pain relief. There are plenty of opiate pharmaceutical pills that have zero APAP in them. Sure, Percocets and Vicodins contain APAP, but the doctor can easily prescribe the exact same pill without the APAP, it's done quite often with cases involving chronic pain.

Re:I have become.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639615)

Wrong. It was added simply to control abuse. The common excuse being it works better on pain. Which it does not. As anyone who has had serious pain and used both apap opiates and non apap opiates could tell you. It does jack shit for pain for opiate levels of pain.

Same way we poison morning glory seeds so you can't get high off those you buy in the store. Coated with a fungicide. One of the few seeds we do that to strangely enough.

Or any number of other poisons we add to common drugs that can be abused.

It's quite common. easy to obtain drug can be abused? add poison.

We do it all the time. Many doctors and researchers will flat out tell you this as well. APAP was added to control abuse. Period.

Re:I have become.... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43639625)

And if a doctor prescribes these medications without APAP a flag goes up and an audit team descends on him to put a stop to it.

Re:I have become.... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43639619)

The link does not back up your claims, the 500 deaths is for ALL overdoses of Acetaminophen and it says nothing about mixing it with opioids to deter addiction. However they did do something similar during alcohol prohibition with lethal results, mixing formaldehyde (or something similar) to things such as methylated spirits, to deter alcoholics from drinking it. The practice killed thousands of people who's only crime was addiction to an illegal drug. Alcohol is also one of the very few recreational drugs where sudden withdrawal can actually kill you, as opposed to (say) heroin which merely makes you feel like you're dying.

Re:I have become.... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639769)

Sorry, but the annual death toll from mixing opioids with APAP is far higher than 500. It's just not reported as such. The financial costs of medical care for opioid addicts is far higher than that of cancer patients, as they may seek treatment for their pain several times a day from many different sources.

[citation needed: own experience] I used to be a travelling salesman in the Western US with an opioid addict for my boss. In addition to our actual work we stopped at three clinics a day in seven states on a regular route. He had Blue Cross, and every clinic gave him a 90-day script for hydrocodone at least, sometimes Percocet or Oxycontin. God only knows what that bill was like. We did this for over a year, and hit the same clinics every 90 days. The work was lucrative of course, or it could not support this. He wasn't "taking" his medication, he was "eating" it.

It was a fun gig, and as you might imagine morality was a situational thing. Not personally profitable though. Definitely an adventure. Never cared for the opioids myself, but the liquor flowed and we hit all the gentleman’s clubs with ready cash in hand.

I gave up when he needed to go into rehab and wanted me to do the work with a crackhead as my boss to fill in for him. Oxy freaks are one thing, but crackheads try to kill you, usually soon. His choice of the (we all knew it) crackhead to keep up the cashflow over me who didn't have these issues was the end. I got out.

On the way home I stopped and had a "relationship" with his wife. I'm not proud of that, but damn it was fun.

When I got home my own wife was knocked up with somebody else's kid. Karma.

He's dead now. Liver failure, not in any way associated with his 20 year opioid with APAP addiction so he doesn't count in that year's 500.

/AC for good and proper reasons. Hopefully the content will override the lack of provenance.

Re:I have become.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640361)

Thankfully due to the acetaminophen no one cares about those 500 people.

Re:I have become.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640305)

Actually they are mixed because said opioids are used as powerful pain killers in conjunction with Acetaminophen. It's not a conspiracy to kill a minority of drug addicts, it's a conspiracy to kill pain.

Re:I have become.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639591)

There is a risk of liver toxicity even below the FDA recommended daily limit of 4,000mg in patients taking medications containing Tylenol (APAP) multiple times a day for many days. They currently use Tylenol (APAP) as a kind of anti-abuse mechanism in many low-level Schedule II and III opioids like codeine/apap, hydrocodone/apap, and oxycodone/apap.

Existential Problems? Asked the Dr. (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#43639301)

Take 36 Tylenol and see me in the morning.

Re:Existential Problems? Asked the Dr. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43639629)

Back in my day it was tea and two cups of Bex.

Re:Existential Problems? Asked the Dr. (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year ago | (#43639701)

Ahhh, the good ol' days ... A cup of tea, a Bex, and a good lie down :)

Re:Existential Problems? Asked the Dr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640135)

Existential crisis solved. That much Tylenol will probably kill you.

Okay (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43639415)

Is there anybody In there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone home?

Re:Okay (5, Insightful)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about a year ago | (#43639609)

Can you stand up? I do believe it's working. Why would we want to numb existential distress? This emotion is a social corrective mechanism that tells us when society is moving in the wrong direction. The reason it is becoming more of a problem in modern times is because our society is profoundly ill and we perceive that on some level. In the same way physical pain makes one pull one's hand out of the fire, existential stress makes one reevaluate one's life and look at ways it could be made more meaningful and more fulfilling. Why don't we just make a drug to cure ambition, sexual desire and distress of the conscience while while we are at it and wreck the human race for good?

Re:Okay (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | about a year ago | (#43639993)

Sorry for the off-topic post, but as you don't make an email address public, I can't contact you any other way.

I'm currently writing a book (non-fiction) on the topic of self-discovery using psychedelics (specifically LSD) and would like to paraphrase your comment. I'd be happy to give attribution or not, as you'd prefer.

Specifically the context will be the discussion of negative experiences during a psychedelic trip and how it can be used as a learning experience for self-improvement; I'd like to paraphrase your post as a part of an explanation that many drugs (both legal and illegal) are used to numb these negative feelings instead, which potentially leads to even worse situations both for the individual and the society in which they are in.

Re:Okay (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#43640569)

Come back after a severe anxiety attack and tell me why you didn't want to have that capped.

Re:Okay (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43639635)

So, which one is Pink?

Re:Okay (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43639803)

The one with no chest hair and nicks all over...

Re:Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639825)

The blue one.

Re:I have become.... (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year ago | (#43639867)

Almost forgot how that Pink Floyd song [youtube.com] is great. Back to our subject, it is remarkable how scientists will deeply analyze the slightest effects of known drugs, but, on the other hand, ignore the effects - at least as appreciable - of the everyday food, celery, carrot, parsley, rosemary etc... Instead of takings drugs, many could improve their daily by simply eating in a more balanced way, some more selected dishes.

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639291)

If it does not have Hydrocodone in it I don't want it.

Re:Bah (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43639437)

It's not the Hydrocodone in it that will kill you. It's the Tylenol.

Related to OD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639297)

I've known a few women who have repeatedly OD'd on tylenol.. apparently its rather common, but not usually fatal. They have struggled with their self-image, usually from past abuse; however this makes me wonder if the drive towards using that particular drug may not be as assumed: a suicide attempt using an easily available product, but rather being a self medicating drive gone awry due to the psychological effects of acetaminophen mentioned.

Re:Related to OD's? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43639443)

If somebody really wants to kill themselves with chemicals, table salt will do.

Re:Related to OD's? (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43639807)

You can even OD on water if you try hard enough.

Re:Related to OD's? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43639861)

Yes, Hydriotic acid is toxic in sufficient concentrations.

Re:Related to OD's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639453)

Both acetaminophen and alcohol are filtered by the liver... does that contribute to the propensity of overdose?

Related to OD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639319)

reposting: I have known a few women who have repeatedly OD'd on acetaminophen. They had a sad history that left them having low self esteem. This makes me wonder if their drive to use that particular drug was a self medication attempt in stupid large doses, due to these effects mentioned, rather than a genuine suicide attempt, since its apparently not usually fatal... Either way the intent was to make the emotional pain stop.

Re:Related to OD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639401)

Odd. I don't know any. Maybe it's you?

Worthlessness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639329)

Perhaps I'm in a bit of a minority here, but I find the worthlessness and insignificance of my existence rather pleasant. With a lack of absolute meaning, its easy to justify enjoying life. You have inbuilt systems for incentives, do what makes them active. Its what you would do anyway, but theres really no need to make up excuses. Understand how you think, and what you are. Its pretty easy if you study a bit of psychology and evolution, and spend a good portion of your time on introspection. Sure, a drug might help you ignore the 'problem', but there really isn't an issue there at all.

Re:Worthlessness (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43639551)

As a biologist, as long as one of those incentivization systems is participating in the well-being of society, you've got my vote. (Void where prohibited, or made redundant by religion.)

Re:Worthlessness (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year ago | (#43639611)

I think geologically, I wish I could laugh it off like George Carlin, but biospheric annihilation just doesn't amuse me that much.

forgot the footnote (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43639361)

"Works best when washed down with a bottle of Vodka."

Re:forgot the footnote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639485)

not good to even joke about this....do not take tylenol with alcohol....liver destruction can result.

What's mild to moderate? (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year ago | (#43639383)

Never worked for me. For anything. If you can tolerate aspirin there's no contest. Excedrin will kill a headache in 10 minutes for me. Tylenol... about 10 weeks.
On the other hand, it will help with pain. If I take the whole bottle. With all the nausea and vomiting from an overdose I never notice the pain I took it for.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about a year ago | (#43639419)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Excedrin is an over-the-counter headache pain reliever, typically in the form of tablets or caplets. It contains acetaminophen (paracetamol), aspirin, and caffeine.

Maybe you should just buy a cheap bottle of generic aspirin instead of a brand name product that contains an ingredient you don't want and a touch of caffeine (readily available from all kinds of sources)

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639479)

Maybe they wrote exactly what they meant.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639527)

Who's they? Was it was some kind of collaborative post?

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | about a year ago | (#43639499)

While combination medicines are normally frowned upon, this particular one is actually more effective than either asprin or paracetamol alone in an equivalent dose, especially for stronger pain.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43639601)

Maybe you should just buy a cheap bottle of generic aspirin instead of a brand name product

Aspirin is a brand name. The substance is acetylsalicylic acid.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

drawfour (791912) | about a year ago | (#43639639)

Depends on which country you reside. Aspirin is a brand name associated with Bayer, but aspirin is a generic name as well, in the United State, United Kingdom, and some other countries.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | about a year ago | (#43639643)

Aspirin is actually used as the generic name in the US (and Canada?) from what I understand. It's certainly easier to read and remember, but doesn't say anything about the structure of the molecule.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639737)

doesn't say anything about the structure of the molecule.

That's okay; neither does water.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

volkerdi (9854) | about a year ago | (#43639843)

Aspirin is actually used as the generic name in the US (and Canada?) from what I understand. It's certainly easier to read and remember, but doesn't say anything about the structure of the molecule.

Neither does acetylsalicylic acid. The IUPAC name is needed for that, which is 2-acetoxybenzoic acid.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about a year ago | (#43640223)

acetylsalicylic acid does say SOMETHING about the structure for the molecule. With just that, you can draw up half the atoms (assuming that acid refers to carboxylic acid, which is not that risky a bet).

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639631)

Millions of people swear by the magic formula of excedrin over any generic versions. Even tho there's nothing special about it.

The placebo effect is a powerful thing.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43640203)

Maybe you should just buy a cheap bottle of generic aspirin...

I suffer from chronic migraines(upwards of 20/mo) with cluster headaches(near daily), aspirin is great stuff, as long as your stomach can handle it, along with the rest of your GI tract. Very hard on your stomach though, especially if you've been taking it for awhile. For a long time, my main anti-migraine breaker was tencal c 1/2 30mg [canoe.ca] , or a double totaling 60mg. Now for those that don't want to read the link, caffeine+barbiturates(butalbital)+codeine does wonder, especially with a massive dose of aspirin(330mg). Sadly my stomach can't take it anymore, and I'm on tramadol HCL.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640563)

You might want to look into this paper on LSA [erowid.org] and similar substances if you want so stop abusing your body. At least for me, HWBR seeds stopped the cycles, and while it's not typical, I haven't needed any maintenance since the first treatments (most do periodically, however). Check out clusterbusters.com for more information.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639451)

You'll find the method of ingestion effects things here (though I'm kind of the same, preferring ibuprofen & aspirin over paracetamol). If you want fast relief, use a liquid tablet first (faster action, shorter lasting), then switch to caplets (longer onset, longer lasting).

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | about a year ago | (#43639469)

I'd say acetaminophen on its own is not the best medicine for a headache - doesn't work for me very well, either. The comination with aspirin and coffein (i.e. Excedrin) is actually the recommended medicine for a "tension headache". I respond very well to Ibuprofen (does that have a weird US marketing name, too?).

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639529)

Motrin.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639713)

That's because most "tension headaches" are really just caffeine withdrawal symptoms, a caffeine pill or a strong coffee plus any minor analgesic would work just as well.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639837)

Not really. I don't drink coffee and I get tension headaches.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43639523)

Tylenol used to work for me when I was a kid, but now it doesn't. Orudis KT was the best, but they took it off the market. I use Naproxen Sodium now, which works OK but not as well as Orudis did.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639585)

I have an artificial knee, femur, hip ball and socket; the only things that have ever even come close to reducing my chronic pain are opioids and naproxen. Nothing else. Don't know why, but Aleve actually did have a noticeable effect on my pain levels.

Re:What's mild to moderate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639683)

Sounds like you were suffering from caffeine withdrawal. Panadol works fine on minor headaches in 10-15mins.

There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639477)

Only generic paracetamol/acetaminophen, which are all five major over-the-counter fever/headache medicines, sans their 3x-4x price difference among them!!!! Why pay $5, when you can pay $1!!! Wake up people and read the active ingredientson the back of your favorite packaging! THEY ARE ALL THE SAME!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tylenol

Re: There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (2)

jaminJay (1198469) | about a year ago | (#43639539)

Effective ingredients must be listed on the front over here. Usually legible from the customer's side of the counter.

Re: There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639741)

Once upon a time I read them and compared them all among one another and noticed the only difference among them was to lesser extent dosage of active ingredient vs. to larger extent their brand name, which seemed to the only reason to make up for their vast price difference. Seriously.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panadol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tylenol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracetamol

Re: There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639809)

Other names:
http://www.irishhealth.com/askdoc.html?q=5703

Same applies to ipobrufen brand names... Higher on price for same amount of active ingredient.

Re:There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (4, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43639577)

You must be really fun at parties.

There is not such thing as ASPIRIN!

There is not such thing as BRAND-NAME PRINTER TONER!

There is not such thing as SETH MACFARLANE!

Re:There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639705)

Boy, you must be really rich or really mentally retarded, if you wish to pay premium price on 500 mg of acetaminophene over another generic package of 500 mg acetaminophene, worth less than 1/5 of Tylenol's price. Boy oh boy...

Re:There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639983)

Or maybe he just doesn't live in the US or another 3rd world country (when it comes to healthcare).

Over here in the Netherlands we pay less than half a US dollar for over the counter storebrand 500mg acetaminophene. Brandnames cost a lot more (lets say 4x as much) but that's still only 2 dollars for a full pack.

Now paying 4x as much for just a name may sound stupid by itself, but at such low prices many people are in a position to just not care. If those 1 or 2 extra dollars make you feel you somehow are getting better quality stuff, go for it.

Re:There is not such thing as TYLENOL! (2)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43640187)

You're technically not supposed to use the name genericized like that; the proper phrasing is "BRAND-NAME PRINTER TONER® brand printer toner".

Brought to you by.. (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43639543)

.. McNeil Consumer Health Care, owners of the Tylenol brand.

Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639751)

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems. I've seen it depicted in movies that Americans take (prescribed) drugs when feeling bad, but I can't believe anyone would really do this - is this for real, or are the movies exaggerating? I mean, why would a doctor tell you to drug yourself, even if you feel depressed.

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#43639871)

What country are you from?

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639941)

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems. I've seen it depicted in movies that Americans take (prescribed) drugs when feeling bad, but I can't believe anyone would really do this - is this for real, or are the movies exaggerating? I mean, why would a doctor tell you to drug yourself, even if you feel depressed.

What a ridiculous statement.

Of course people in Europe are prescribed medicines for depression. I have several friends who have gone through bouts of depression (yes, here in Europe where I am also from) and were prescribed anti-depressants for a short period to help them through it.

Just because people don't talk about it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Perhaps it is just cultural: Americans are more likely to share personal information with random strangers than Europeans.

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#43640493)

I'm not sure he was trying to imply that Europeans never take prescription drugs for depression because that would be stupid. But Americans seem much happier to just rely on drugs to sort out any problem. Whether it's a good thing or not people are far more accepting of it and products are advertised on tv. I always found that odd because those ads do generally seem to imply their pills are an answer to small bouts of depression. Every person feels down at some point and how you handle it, imo, determines how frequently it's a problem. If you learn to just get over it because it isn't a big deal then that will make you a stronger person than someone who relies on someone else to bail them out of any little problem. It's not a problem if your doctor can recognise if you're properly depressed or just in a mood but with such a capitalist medical system I'm not sure that happens in the US.

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

radio4fan (304271) | about a year ago | (#43639955)

According to this paper [em-consulte.com] , 3.5% of French people are currently taking antidepressants, and 42% have taken them at some point. And this article [health.am] claims that 24% of Spanish women use antidepressants. I also know many friends and family members who take or have taken antidepressants in the UK.

I mean, why would a doctor tell you to drug yourself, even if you feel depressed.

This isn't about some vague feelings of 'feeling bad' or 'feeling depressed', this is for diagnosed clinical depression.

You're very lucky that you've evidently never suffered from depression, or you wouldn't say this.

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year ago | (#43640543)

3.5% is lower than the number in America. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/astounding-increase-in-antidepressant-use-by-americans-201110203624 [harvard.edu]

With increased of around 400% in a decade and nearly a quarter of women aged 40 to 50 on them and 14% of non Hispanic white people, I think it's fair to say America is more reliant on popping pills. The concern is as well how few see a professional over their problems. They just rely on pills and ironically usage among those who are more likely to be poor and have real problems use fewer anti-depressants. It's good the pills exist but they're not the answer to every problem. They're even advertised on TV which I find a bit concerning. They're prescription drugs and shouldn't need advertising. If you're feeling down then you see a professional and they can determine the best course of action to resolve your problems.

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (3)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#43640085)

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems.

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems, and tell me about it.

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for recreational purposes, and tell me about it.

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems. They just cause psychological problems in other people.

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I knew took drugs for psychological problems. They committed suicide, instead.

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I . . .

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43640319)

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems. I've seen it depicted in movies that Americans take (prescribed) drugs when feeling bad, but I can't believe anyone would really do this - is this for real, or are the movies exaggerating? I mean, why would a doctor tell you to drug yourself, even if you feel depressed.

uhh.. go to your doctor, tell him that you're depressed in europe and you will get pretty much the same stuff, in europe.
varies from country to country of course, like italians who self medicate with cocaine... but in 2010 roughly 10% in europe were taking antidepressants of some sort - not including drinking or drugs.

it's fairly common but it's also fairly taboo. practically people only tell their best buddies...

Re:Do Americans really take drugs for depression? (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#43640551)

I'm from Europe, and none of the people I know would take drugs for psychological problems. I've seen it depicted in movies that Americans take (prescribed) drugs when feeling bad, but I can't believe anyone would really do this - is this for real, or are the movies exaggerating? I mean, why would a doctor tell you to drug yourself, even if you feel depressed.

I've had this discussion before and American's won't understand your point of view. Drugs are so commonplace in American society that taking them for anything or in some cases nothing is seen as normal. There are cases where medication is the right answer but they are a minority of the cases, medication appears to be prescribed in the vast majority of cases.

So yes, American's get prescribed drugs when they tell their doctor they feel bad even where those drugs are inappropriate. People rarely question their doctor because they went to medical school so must know what they are doing.

This post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639755)

brought to you by the makers of TYLENOL!

Tylenol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639767)

We're not just for headaches anymore!

It depends on the dose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639777)

Enough Tylenol will "ease" anything.

Tylenol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639811)

It's not just for headaches anymore!

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639873)

It gets (at least some) people a little stoned. I have had this experience with paracetamol for a long time. It's effective as a sleeping aid as well.

Recommended dosage of HTFU (4, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about a year ago | (#43639875)

In my country, New Zealand, your mates would tell you to go take a big glass of "Harden the Fuck Up", followed by a dozen pints of beer.

"Existential Challenge" seems to amplified as a "First World Problem". If you are busy fending for your life you have two choices - get one with it (no matter how big a bitch Mother Nature is), or lay down an die. When our ancestors lamented existence it was because their lives were "nasty, brutal and short". Now, no matter how poor you are relative to your neighbour, we *all* live in luxury that far exceeds the great emperors of old. We all have far greater health care than even recent ancestors. We have great pain relief. We get bored with hundreds of channels of entertainment, income that is actually disposable on more than sustenance-level items, and the entire accumulated knowledge of all of humanity accessible through your laptop or your phone. We are granted nearly everything by our society and parents, but the one thing we have to obtain for ourselves is the correct mental attitude to appreciate it all (the accumulated achievements and struggles of our ancestors that bequeathed us such splendors of knowledge and possessions).

In some cases drugs will help chemical abnormalities that can cause depression. In a large number of cases you don't need drugs, you need a change of perspective (like the Buddhists teach themselves to do).

Re:Recommended dosage of HTFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639909)

Typical NZ answer, surely understanding the crap in the article will help, well perhaps no.
Perhaps everyone should be put thru a wee bit of stress in order to understand it can get worse, much worse.
As for drugs, AU/NZ are the leaders.

Re:Recommended dosage of HTFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640635)

You are an idiot. That is all.

Why are there no aspirins in the jungle? (1)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | about a year ago | (#43640053)

Because the parrots eat 'em all.

Does Paracetamol actually do anything? (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year ago | (#43640127)

Serious question - Every now and then I get a headache, or muscle ache, or hurt myself in some way. Regardless of the source of the pain if I take paracetamol I get no noticeable pain relief, it feels exactly like taking a placebo. Yet people around me keep taking this stuff like it actually does something.

Does Paracetamol actually work for people here?

Re:Does Paracetamol actually do anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640571)

Yes, it works(*) for me. I use it to treat migraine/tension headaches. I tried ibuprofen as well and that behaves like a placebo for me.

(*) where works is defined as something over 50% relief effective for 24 hours and: in combination with verapamil(**), caffeine and at 1000mg per dose (repeated if necessary)
(**) verapamil amplifies analgesic effects of various medications and reduces liver toxicity of paracetamol specifically

Re:Does Paracetamol actually do anything? (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year ago | (#43640671)

Can't speak for others, but no, for me, paracetamol doesn't do anything for pain, except sometimes causing a mild headache.
Yet doctors insist on telling me to take it, like if it hasn't ever worked for the last 45 years, it will now suddenly work.

If I want pain gone or even reduced, I need something that ends with -ine.
Codeine, Caffeine, Benzocaine, Buprenorphine, Moonshine, Flupirtine...

Re:Does Paracetamol actually do anything? (1)

Guppy (12314) | about a year ago | (#43640705)

Serious question - Every now and then I get a headache, or muscle ache, or hurt myself in some way. Regardless of the source of the pain if I take paracetamol I get no noticeable pain relief, it feels exactly like taking a placebo.

Quite possibly -- there is always individual variation in response to substances; I would expect this to be doubly true for a pro-drug that requires further metabolism to activate. Unfortunately, I didn't find much in a quick search just now regarding variability in pain relief with acetaminophen, although there are plenty of studies examining variable responses regarding liver toxicty.

The Simpsons was the control clip? (3, Interesting)

guttentag (313541) | about a year ago | (#43640133)

One group was forced to watch 4 minutes from The Rabbits [youtube.com] (this could very well be four minutes of watching a creepy Donny Darko-esque [youtube.com] rabbit housewife ironing in while listening to lethargic creepy music), while the other group watched an unspecified 4-minute clip from the Simpsons. The result was that the people who took Tylenol thought that a person convicted of theft or vandalism during a riot (hockey, of course, since the study was conducted in Canada) should be subjected to a punishment 23% more severe than normal if they watched the Simpsons, and 26% more severe than normal after watching the Rabbits. The people who took the placebo thought that the punishment should be 26% more severe than normal if they watched the Simpsons, and 42% more severe than normal after watching the Rabbits.

I have to question the judgment of a researcher who would use The Simpsons as a "control," especially when he's not specifying what the clip was about. He says "all clips available upon request." That's like saying "name of the drug given to participants in the study available on request." Knowing the Simpsons, it could have been anything from "If a cow ever got the chance, it would eat you and everyone you ever cared about," to Homer driving the family to Alaska, stopping at the border and hearing, "Welcome to Alaska, here's a thousand dollars!" It could well be that the Rabbits gave the placebo group a headache. See the comments on the rabbits clip on YouTube. Top comment:

"This is creepy as fuck."

Other comments:

"Something's wrong."
"you are a madman."
"Haunting in the most dream-like will always return to this."
"Wow, that horrific scream made me jump."
"It's like... they're having a normal conversation, just... not in the right order."
"Man, D.A.R.E. would be a lot more successful if they just pointed to shit like this."

All those people sound like they need Tylenol, or Excedrin, or something to make their head stop hurting. Since the placebo group did not have anything to make their head stop hurting, they decided to take it out on the people who rioted over a hockey game...

Snort lots of cocaine (1)

Sla$hPot (1189603) | about a year ago | (#43640145)

That really works well too

Is "Existential Distress" in the DSM-V? (2)

nightcats (1114677) | about a year ago | (#43640215)

It might as well be, for if it can be healed with a pill then it rates as mental illness; if not, it's all between your ears [briandonohue.org] and get over it.

But you can't buy Tylenol! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640507)

Disappeared from shelves several years ago - where did they get the Tylenol they needed to do this study? Tylenol's disappearance was never really explained - quality control issues, but they've had years to fix them.

And yet again... (1)

Foske (144771) | about a year ago | (#43640511)

And yet again, something that could easily be solved by psychological training is 'solved' by chemicals of which we don't have a clue what they actually do to our body. I foresee a future where we 'civilized' people actually die younger on average, because all the side effects of the medication we consumed actually do more harm then good.

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