According to David Fassler, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24. Only accidents and homicide claim more victims in this age group. "Research demonstrates that the majority of people who commit suicide are struggling with untreated depression of other significant psychiatric disorders." But what of those suffering from "treated depression"? What of those whose parents put them on drugs before they reached the age of consent? What of the human guinea pigs on whom psychiatrists experiment with different admixtures of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, not knowing which combination will work and which may prove lethal? I am not questioning the integrity or good faith of the doctors -- just suggesting that the blind faith we have in chemical science ("meds") is not really justified. They operate in the dark just as artists do.
A doctor with all his instruments
is not as good as common sense.
A starling on the branch of a tree
may know what's best for you and me.
We substitute sound for sense
when we confuse truth with science.
-- Blake Williams
I have been perusing James Schuyler's new book of uncollected poems, Other Flowers, the cover of which sports a wonderful "mirror" photo of the poet by Joe Brainard. Some gorgeous poems here, including one ("Having My Say-So") that Amy Gerstler has chosen for The Best American Poetry 2010.
Tom Clark's blog is always a pleasure to visit, especially when a masterly three-line poem by James Schuyler is paired with a beautiful photo of a red-eyed, orange-bellied, blue-winged starling: