Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Lent (19/40)

via friendsfriends, I saw an article on BadScience.net critiquing the the "zomg Prozac is no(t much) better than a placebo" media 'splosion.  [rydra_wong states: I am not a fan of Big Pharma. I am even less of a fan of people who are happy to jump on the bandwagon of "the pills don't work and are just a way of dodging your Deep Freudian Issues" at the expense of factual accuracy.

The article opens:
Yesterday the journal PLoS Medicine published a study which combined the results of 47 trials on some antidepressant drugs, including Prozac, and found only minimal benefits over placebo, except for the most depressed patients. It has been misreported as a definitive nail in the coffin: this is not true. It was a restricted analysis [see below] but, more importantly, on the question of antidepressants, it added very little. We already knew that SSRIs give only a modest benefit in mild and moderate depression and, indeed, for some time now, the NICE guidelines themselves have actively advised against using them in milder cases since 2004.
    "Antidepressants in mild depression
    "• Antidepressants are not recommended for the initial treatment of mild depression, because the risk–benefit ratio is poor."
But the real story goes way beyond the question of Prozac. This new study — published, ironically, in an open access journal — tells a fascinating story of buried data, and of our collective failure, as a society, over half a century, to adequately regulate the colossal $550bn pharmaceutical industry.

The key issue is simple. In any situation, to make any kind of sensible decision about which treatment is best, a doctor must be able to take into account all of the available information.
It goes on to talk about that quite a bit and then in its closing lists just a few of the author's criticism's of the media coverage:
1. It was not a study of SSRI antidepressant drugs: neither nefazodone nor venlafaxine are SSRI drugs.

2. It did not look at all the trials ever done on these drugs: it looked only at the trials done before the drugs were licensed (none of them more than six weeks long), and specifically excluded all the trials done after they were licensed. It is common for quacks and journalists to think that the moment of licensing is some kind of definitive "it works" stamp of approval. It's not, it's just the beginning of the story of a drugs' evidence, usually.

3. It did not show that these drugs have no benefit over placebo: it showed that they do have a statistically significant ("measurable") benefit over placebo, but for mild and moderate depression that benefit was not big enough for most people to consider it clinically significant, ie there was an improvement, but not enough points improvement on a depression rating scale for anyone to get too excited over it.

from whedonesque: "Dollhouse" has a seven-episode order from Fox, will star Eliza Dushku, who used to be on "Buffy," and will go into production in about six weeks.  (The article linked is actually about how Joss asked two executive story editors from Angel to work on Dollhouse, but that bit was what jumped out at me because there is so much potential for Dollhouse to go badly that I'd actually been hoping it wouldn't end up getting made.)


Today's Lenten Labyrinth continued the week's theme of rest and quoted from Hebrews about entering into God's rest, which is an idea I hadn't thought much about before.  Something to chew on.


elliptical, interval program:
1mi @ 11:59min
2mi @ 24:04min
2.47mi @ 30min

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]

"Sin is necessary, but all will be well, and all will be well, and every kind of thing will be well."
-Julian of Norwich, Showings

Five good things about today:
1. There was still nice snow on the ground today.
2. The Grille menu did not lie to me and there was indeed potato leek soup (and spanikopita).
3. My wireless keyboard quit on me last night, and indeed it only needed new batteries.
4. Good discussion at CHPC Bible study tonight (writeup to follow eventually).  I worried I would regret skipping ASL class for it, but no,
5. I keep thinking I've fucked things up ("We built on a river," indeed) and then it turns out we're okay, which is such a relief.  I handled stuff badly, and I regret that (la la la, learning experience), but to be reassured that we're still moving forward?  Yeah.
Bonus: CHPC-Rachel is indeed attending the TransLaw conference (at least the Saturday sessions).

Three things I did well today:
1. I dry-swallowed my iron supplement.  Yes it's a tiny pill, but I used to try to dry swallow vitamins and couldn't, so I was excited when I put it in my mouth and was like, "Hey, I bet I can swallow this without drinking any water," and then I did.
2. I cleaned off my computer desktop at work.
3. I donated to the Huntington.  They called, and I'm less good at saying no to solicitations on the phone, but they talked about good stuff the Huntington does and which I support, so I felt good about making a donation to them.  Funny story, before I could open my mouth to say, "OKay, I'll make a donation of $X," the guy said: there's the blah blah donor level of two-hundred-something dollars a month . . . and right along with laughing silently at the idea that I had that much disposable income that I would want to spend on them, I thought, "anchoring!"  Oh b-school osmosis :)
4. I washed dishes.  (Recently, there keep being dishes from RoomieKatie sitting in the sink/drainer, but tonight my own dishes had started to pile up, so I took the dishes out of the drainer and put them on the table, and moved the dishes in the sink out of my way and washed my dishes.)
5. I finally replied to CHPC-Rachel's e-mail from Sunday.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
1. CAUMC small group.
2. Hanging out at the library between work and CAUMC and reading and/or napping.
Tags: b-school osmosis, gymming it up, issues: modern medicine, joy sadhana, lenten labyrinth meditations (2008), tv: dollhouse

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