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Hegelian logic and benzos

Posted by Daveman on June 16, 2001, at 0:06:29

In reply to Re: Linky-link grapebubblegum, posted by paulk on June 15, 2001, at 20:02:09

One of the things I like about this site is the sane discussion of benzos. When reading these discussions I'm always reminded of my college philosophy courses in Hegelian logic. To simplify, Hegel believed that ideas go through three phases: Thesis (where the idea is presented absent criticism), Antithesis (where the idea comes under attack), and Synthesis (where the original idea, tempered by criticism, is modified to a more rational conclusion). In this case, benzos first were thought of as "wonder drugs" because they were so much safer than what came before as minor tranquilizers, such that they were wildly overprescribed, particularly Valium, thus the Thesis; then came the Antithesis, where the problems of benzo dependency became apparent and there was a tremendous backlash against their use. Hopefully we are starting to arrive at a Synthesis, where benzos are only prescribed were appropriate, the doses are kept at a reasonable level, and patients are properly monitored. I for one don't know what would have happened had Xanax not been available to break my panic spiral earlier this year that saw me go more than a week with almost no sleep.

Incidentally, the SSRI's are going through the same process. First the "wonder drug" Thesis, with SSRI's being given for everything from depression to anxiety to PMS to, it seems, the common cold. Now we are entering the Antithesis phase, where critics are pointing out the problems with the SSRI's, particularly the withdrawal problems that many patients were not warned about and thus suffered unnecesarily by quitting "cold turkey". Eventualy the SSRI's will reach a synthesis phase, particularly as they go generic and stop being such a cash cow for the pharmaceutical manufacturers (I say this as a happy but properly warned and monitored Celexa customer).





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