It's a brutal and difficult topic, but this essay stands out for its candor. It's from the wonderful blog, 3 Quarks Daily, a Dish fave. Money quote:
It was not so long ago that Jesse Helms, or perhaps Strom Thurmond, described Jean-Bertrand Aristide as a confirmed 'psychotic' when he learned of the Haitian president's Prozac prescription. My fellow philosophy professors thoughtlessly invoke 'happiness pills' as the easy way out for the philosophically lazy, while the general public seems to perceive antidepressants as a crutch for the frivolous, as a Hollywood indulgence, as a symptom of privileged frailty. This moralistic condemnation is usually counterbalanced only be the equally unsubtle medicalistic reduction of our emotional lives to chemical imbalances. I am neither crazy, nor lazy, nor is my state entirely explicable in terms of a certain disequilibrium of fluids. I am a depressive, which is to say a person who experiences the world in a certain way. Now I am every bit as materialist as the cynical doctors who paid for that billboard, yet I dare say that when I talk about my depression what I am talking about is nothing other than my 'character'.
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