Every angry depressed person who kills themselves or others, the internet is full of rants condemning giving SSRI antidepressants to people, especially teens.
In the days before anti depressants, we didn’t see this, did we?
No, but on the other hand, thirty years ago there was a lot less social pathology and “recreational drugs”, a lot less graphic violence to desensitize people against committing violence, and no “24/7″ programs that sent messages that suggest the idea of suicide and homicide to those easily influenced. The link between publicity and “copy cat” crimes including suicide is well documented.
Jens Ludwig, of the University of Chicago, argues that countries that took to the new drugs saw a relative decline in suicides. After controlling for many variables, his NBER team reaches the cheerful conclusion that an increase in sales of one pill per person per year (about a 12% increase over the level in 2000) leads to a decline in suicide mortality of about 5%.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne’er hung there.