Vincent Van Gogh on Prozac

I see that Sinead O’Connor, of all people, is making the daytime talk show rounds endorsing the benefits and wonders of antidepressants.  Late night talk show hosts and comedy writers may need to go on antidepressants as well since they may have lost one of their favorite targets.    I don’t expect we’ll see Sinead desecrating any religious icons on TV anymore or going off on any other ultra-political rants.  And now we’ll also need to add Sinead to the list of people not to seat next to Tom Cruise at dinner parties.

And I really don’t mean to at all make light of what can be a very serious and often tragic condition.  In fact, I have little doubt that, while perhaps sometimes over-prescribed, antidepressants can provide real benefits to those who really need them. 

I just wonder what the overall effect will be on society as a whole.  Historically, those afflicted with bi-polar disorder and depression have been some of our more creative and productive citizens.  So in the age of meds and happy pills, can the world ever hope to produce another tortured, irascible, and iconoclastic artist?

To illustrate, here is how Van Gogh’s famous “missing ear” self-portrait produced a year before his suicide might have looked had he been under med-friendly psychiatric care today:

Van Gogh On Antidepressants


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