Are you seriously going to tell a skeptic with depression that alternative medicine is an emotional cure-all?
In response to yesterday’s piece about meta-depression, I got this comment on Facebook:
“A long course of acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist plus probably Chinese herbs is often going to help anyone with anything emotional.”
Sigh. Okay, fine. Let’s do this.
First, I specifically asked people in this post to frame any suggestions as things that worked for them. I specifically said I did NOT want prescriptive advice, for me or anyone else. Are you always this careless about violating depressed people’s boundaries?
Second: Your advice is unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst. Even if these methods were effective, there is no single method of managing mental or emotional problems that works for everyone. Suggesting that there is one is dismissive at best, reckless at worst.
And there’s no reason to think these methods are effective. Acupuncture has been carefully tested with rigorous methods, and has repeatedly been shown to have no more effect than placebo. As for herbal remedies, they either have zero effect, or they have an effect which could be dangerous if the effects, dosage, and interactions with other medications have not been carefully tested. As Tim Minchin famously put it: By definition, alternative medicine has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work. Do you know what they call “alternative medicine” that’s been proved to work? Medicine.
Depression is no freaking joke. Pursuing untested or ineffective medicine for it is seriously dangerous.
Do not give medical advice to people who have not asked for it. Do not give catch-all solutions to complex, difficult-to-address problems. And do not violate clearly-stated boundaries.
Well, whaddya know. Alternative medicine does have a positive effect on depression. Unleashing this rant has been very satisfying.