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Steven Kalas


A small portion of the population can benefit from anti-depressants

I’m disappointed that your column today seems to advocate long term use of anti-depressants. I am of the opinion that the multibillion dollar drug industry is chemically lobotomizing people. Ten years ago, I decided I must have depression and went to a psychiatrist who I ended up considering a glorified pill pusher. Over the course of a year and a half, I tried four or five of the leading anti-depressants. I hated them. They flattened out my emotional response to a point where I didn’t feel depressed or anxious — in fact, I felt nothing very deeply at all. I was not drinking or smoking, by the way. While I had short periods of “lift” from these drugs, I hate the feeling of being “not me.” While severely suicidal depressed individuals may benefit from short-term use of these chemicals, I was taken aback by your comparison of depression to diabetes and your call for people to accept it as a life sentence requiring drugs. Big Pharma is not our friend, Steven.

Admiring those who admire themselves is OK

As he tells the story of self-respect, fears faced and conquered, boundaries claimed and defended, I notice he seems taller. The timbre of his voice coming deeper. He is absent the anxious energy with which he first walked into my office, months ago.

Watching, cringing, as film family makes real-as-life errors

My private practice is replete with issues of divorce, helping children cope with divorce, parental alienation, postmarital dating and blended families. Single-parent homes. Various custody arrangements. Two birthdays. Two Christmas celebrations. Two vacations. And how the hell do you group photographs at ensuing weddings, bar mitzvahs and baptisms?

Texting and driving and the Long Arm of the Law

I keep seeing the “It Can Wait” public service commercials. There’s a website, itcanwait.com, where you can sign a pledge to never text and drive. I’d go there and sign the pledge, but I don’t need to. I have my mother instead. And my girlfriend. Together, they converted me (through strategic harping) to a “no texting while driving” policy.

Sorry, Dr. Freud, sense-seeking may not solve much

The Freudian Mystique is culturally pervasive. People come to therapy hoping to find that dramatic flash of insight. That “ah-ha” moment when they can say “That’s it! That’s the reason! I bite my fingernails as a compensation for my mother’s ‘rejecting, withholding breast,’ at which I did not have a nurturing experience!”