Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who we really are

I think most of us are very uncomfortable with the fact that a parasite in our brain might be altering our personality. Even though this personality change may actually be for the better most of us would like to feel that we are who we are, and are not being influenced by a parasite. For the news report on Toxoplasmosis associated personality changes with the best headline see:
Parasite makes men dumb, women sexy

However I'm not sure how to reconcile this observation with the fact that the most commonly prescribed drugs in the US are antidepressants - well over 100 million prescriptions per year! So on another level people commonly seem to feel they are not 'normal' - despite the fact that there is fairly good evidence that feeling a bit down is perfectly normal and very different to clinical depression. Or maybe we are just vulnerable to the powerful advertising of the drug industry...

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