What a SNOPES antivaxx debunking page can tell us about the pseudoscience of depression

I happened to stumble upon a SNOPES page that claimed to have debunked a claim in regards to vaccines and autism. Another claim that was claimed to be debunked was that children who get vaccinated suffer from more illnesses.

The main argument of the SNOPES author against the study was as follows;
(a) vested interests of the authors (hence bias).
(b) n (sample) was taken from a specific part of the population that was already biased.
(c) statistical cooking of numbers with dubious (yet unproven) methods.

All these might sound confusing to you but you need to keep in mind that all three flaws pointed from SNOPES can be seen in almost all of social science studies, macroeconomics and even epidemiological studies. Thing is, they are rarely brought into your attention because if they did so, the entire narrative or most fields that we consider “science” would crumble.

I never judge someone by my own standards but their own. Far easier to catch them being hypocrites. And this is exactly what is going on here.

In order to dissect this topic, I will take one solid example that has outreaching effects in our system. We will examine the claim from the field of Psychology that depression can cause suicide - hence why depression needs to be treated both behaviorally and via pharmaceutical intervention. At first glance this claim makes perfect logical sense to everyday people but little do we know in regards to how researchers reach these conclusions.

There are vested interests in the psych industry as much as in other industries. Those who believe pharmaceutical companies are there just for the good of the people are fooling themselves and probably have a lot of growing to do in regards to how this world works. We are even getting scammed with basic vitamins and supplements or dubious medication that cause even more problems than when the patient started. One can only imagine what happens with drugs that one has to take almost indefinitely. It’s a nearly perfect business model no different than the one of a drug dealer or Zuckenberg's dopamine cartel. Hooked customers that come for more and more. And to understand this you just need to know someone who takes this kind of medication or is a pathological attention whore.

But before we delve deeper into the topic, let’s also talk about bias. Every single person has read about anxiety and depression in some magazine, or saw some TV show or the web. The topic is so hot, almost everyone is self diagnosing themselves (and even others). There is a checklist and it is pretty easy to go through and memorize. This is exactly what “trained” psychologists do as well. It is almost common sense. This means that every single patient is not only biased but also engages in self-boycotting and self-deception. Studies from neuroscience have demonstrated repeatedly how plastic the brain is and how it can be made to believe almost anything. If someone wants to feel depressed their brain will begin taking that form to accommodate the belief.

It is no secret that depression has become the way for one to seek attention from friends and peers. It is no longer something shameful but rather something to wear as a “survivor” badge. How have we come to this? But of course through the culture of attention whoring. When one has nothing else to draw attention to them, pity becomes the next best route. Children do this all the time in hope they get attention from their parents. Adults just use different mechanisms.

Couple this with the fact that modern life has become too easy, most people feel sad with the silliest of things and just elevate it to depression because they have a high regard of themselves. I know people who got depressed because their online presence has diminished and they needed attention so much that they got on TV to speak about how depressed they are. Ultimately that made them famous once again and the depression slowly vanished. But since attention is the common denominator here, if the attention-supply-line brakes, the addict defaults to their 'needy state'. I know. This is some next level clown world material but this is exactly what is going on today.

At this point I can hear your inner voice yelling; “Yes but psychologists and psychiatrists DO help people that are in need!”. And I would agree that they do! There is no doubt about it. But, a dog can do the same thing. Exercise can do even better. A priest did more or less the same thing for centuries. But still, we are talking about science here - not whether something will make you feel better or not. Because even ice cream can do this for a short period of time. And this is the crucial aspect about science. Something to be able to be tested and replicated and withstand the passage of time.

Most people need constant therapy to be able to keep their shit together. This is not science. This is like feeding someone with ice cream 24/7 because it makes them feel good every time they feel bad. Constant conditioning is not science unless you are caged much like a lab rat. There is also no way to demonstrate whether psych medication works or is just the body healing itself while the patient takes some drugs. Weed and alcohol can do the same thing for most people.

Is a psychologist really a scientist? Are they engaging in rigorous, repeatable methods that deliver consistent results? The answer is a definitive 'NO'. Psychology and Psychiatry have received tons of attention, fueled with billions in research grants and yet, depression is on the rise, way more than before all this innovation. It is as if all this interventionism is actually aggravating depression. Certainly a much stronger correlation case can be made.

But, you know the counter argument; “If we didn’t have medication and therapists the situation would be much worse”. And again, this would not be science. This would be rampant speculation no different than “if everyone was an atheist the world would be more immoral”. This last claim was debunked recently with the rise of atheism and it was not possible to observe before in order to debunk the claims of the Church. Why? Because this needs to be observed on a mass scale in order to make some speculative sense. Another example is the “if there were no traffic lights there would be more accidents and congestion”. This was also debunked recently with the placement of roundabouts. The traffic is regulated autonomously based on free association. I had an argument with a civil engineer a few years back. I wonder where he stands today about the issue after these examples start emerging in cities across the world.

People believed back in the day that exorcisms worked. Self-deluded people beating themselves up, somehow appeared to be healed from the influence of the devil. Atheists and skeptics today point fingers to these people as an indication of self-delusion and petty theatrics. Yet, they can’t accept the fact that people filling out psychological surveys or visiting a psychologist can lie or be self deluded for similar reasons. Back in the day the excuse was “The Devil is taunting us”. Today the excuse is “We live in a Society (that is sick, bad yada yada)”. Bullshit excuses in both cases.

Most (I can personally argue all) social studies (including psych ones) cannot be replicated. Most can’t even be designed properly for the simple reason of having way too many variants involved in non-controlled settings. Imagine if a chemist was coming to scientific conclusions if they mixed their compounds on different surfaces, atmospheres and other substances. The field would collapse into a genetic mush of speculative bullshit. And this is exactly what happens with psychology.

The human mind is far too complex and easily influenced from a vast array of factors. This makes it impossible to study human behavior scientifically unless we place humans in cages much like we do with rats. But we can’t do this because we have moral boundaries in research. Hence why we are stuck with half baked studies. We choose to ignore this and go ahead because we have convinced ourselves that “We need to do something", even if that something is ineffective or damaging. We refuse to accept that sometimes inaction has a much better long-term comparative outcome.

Next time you choose to criticize antivaxxers and their petty studies ask yourself how many times you have been fooled by “statistical models” from economists or virologists (all based on assumption, zero science). How many times that cool psych study spiked your interest because “oh that is so me - yes depressed people are more intelligent”. You now know why astrology is also so popular? It tickles the same ego outlets in your petty human brain as all these bullshit psych studied do. You now know why anti-vaxxers are winning with the same bullshit you are throwing at them. You are on the same "pseudoscientific" spectrum as they are. All you have in your defense, is, wait for it, "democratic consensus". Because truth is democratic, right? Right?

The system that has you working 8 hours a day wouldn’t have lied to you, right? The system that stole money from your bank account so it could socialize losses and privatize profits, loves you, right? I mean these are things China does or some other backwards regimes, right? We are the west, the good guys, right? Could it be that we are being medicated just to cope with the system? Could they have filled our universities with bullshit fields just to cash out on them? Could all this psych industry be involved in some social engineering? No, that’s impossible right? I mean, the “science” is there. Right?

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