|“Arguing with some true believers is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and strut around as if it were victorious.” ~ Anonymous|
- To use a word that has several different senses or referents, and then subtly shift how they are using the word as the argument progresses without admitting that that is what they are doing.
- Living their lives as if they really don’t believe a word they are saying.
[A syndrome is a group of symptoms and/or behaviors that seem to cluster together in many individuals, creates distress or dysfunction, does not include certain other symptoms or behaviors, and has a definitive epidemiology (the incidence and distribution of a disorder in a population, and the sum of the factors controlling its presence or absence].
These alternate definitions of depression are highly relevant to the question currently being batted around so fervently by all sides, “Do antidepressants work for depression?”
The answer to the question depends on which definition is being used in the debates. Especially online, it’s very difficult to tell. Obviously, if by “depression” we mean a mood state, then of course antidepressants do not always “work.” If you are merely unhappy about living in a bad situation, taking an antidepressant will in most cases be a colossal waste of your time and money.
In discussions of studies of the effects of antidepressants, this question is often fudged. Rather than using the names for the two different syndromes major depression and dysthymia, debaters tend to use the terms "mild to moderate depression" and "severe depression." The "mild to moderate" depression seen in studies is actually much more likely to be dysthymia, while the severe ones are more likely to be major depression.
The anti-antidepressant crowd loves to point out that recent "meta-studies" show that in mild to moderate "depression," antidepressants are often no better than placebos. They also conveniently love to ignore the fact that in the exact same meta-studies, the drugs are shown to be highly effective for severe "depression."
Neural plasticity means that the structure and function of the brain changes significantly in response to persistent environmental demands. This happens in normals. For example, the part of the brain that controls finger movement is significantly larger in concert violinists than it is in average controls. So does this mean that being a concert violinist is a disease? I don’t think so.