help I’m having emotions about a cartoon antidepressant trying to be useful
DID YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY GIF AN ABILIFY COMMERCIAL
yes but look at it, it cares about her and just wants to help her be able to function. It’s like “I know you’re sad. here, I’ll help you.”
LIKE OKAY THOUGH can I explain why this is exceedingly brilliant?? Because when anti-depressants work right, that’s what they DO. They don’t make you happy or emotionless or unhealthy in any way, they make you FUNCTIONAL. They make it so that a depressed person who can barely get out of bed can start to support themselves again and more importantly, start to THINK for themselves again without the permeating presence of depression.
Depression is a cyclical disease, that tells you to think a certain way, and, because you’re depressed, you generally believe it, and then things get worse and worse. The ONLY thing anti-depressants do is to STOP that cycle in its tracks!! Which is something to be ecstatic about and celebrated, even if you don’t realize it at the time, because when you’re depressed, getting out of bed is climbing Mount Everest. Antidepressants help stop that cycle so that one day soon, getting out of bed can JUST be getting out of bed. They don’t even expedite the recovery process in most cases, they just make recovery POSSIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE. So this little guy is portrayed with a fuckton more accuracy than I ever expected from a commercial.
It’s back and adorable
Okay, sorry. Gotta wade in to debunk.
This ad is for Abilify, chemical name aripipazole. It is not an antidepressant, it is an atypical antipsychotic; its use for “major depressive disorder” was approved by the FDA in combination with other medication (antidepressants). It’s not approved as such in the UK and in Australia, where it is only approved for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Abilify, like all dopamine antagonist antidepressants, carries a risk of tardive dyskinesia, which is usually permanent and debilitating. It is an iatrogenic neurological condition characterized by repetitive involuntary movements. There are also a whole other host of neurological side effects that go along with antipsychotics. The side effects of antipsychotics can themselves be debilitating, and are often glossed over by physicians or psychiatrists in prescribing. Additionally, (at least in where I live), people can be compelled by courts to take medication, regardless of their preferences—so the issue of consent to treatment becomes incredibly fraught. This is the context in which this ad is operating.
The other piece of context is the tendency by pharmaceutical companies to attempt to expand their market by expanding the approval for their drugs; this helps to extend the life of the patent, and thus the length of time they can control the production of these medications (a source). Part of the way this works is through direct to consumer advertising, which creates a consumer demand.
I’m not knocking anyone’s coping mechanisms—we all have to do what we have to in order to get by. What I am critical of is a direct to consumer advertisement that erases the complexity and potential pitfalls of these medications. Ultimately this is not a public service announcement intended to change the way the public views people with depression or other psychiatric diagnoses. It is an advertisement intended to attract consumers and expand a market. Particularly, in this case, for a drug that has very serious lasting side effects, and which belongs to a class of drug that has been widely criticized.
Like. If we could avoid uncritically reblogging pharmaceutical ads, that would be great??????