One of our Psychology Today readers sent me a number of questions for our podcast, but since Dinah is away and we won't be podcasting for a week or so I thought I'd answer the questions here.
Regarding what people did before antidepressants were invented: they suffered. Although untreated depression can resolve spontaneously, episodes can last for months and can be extremely debilitating. In the "old days", patients were sometimes admitted purely for custodial care since there were no actual treatments available. Non-pharmacologic interventions were pretty crude: cold wet packs and insulin shock. Although electroconvulsive therapy has been around for a long time, it can still be an effective treatment for immobilizing, life threatening or treatment resistant depression.
Fortunately, some states have something known as a victim injury compensation board. This board reviews applications submitted by crime victims, and provides limited financial support for things like therapy, medical treatment or funeral expenses. Victim assistance programs also may provide referrals for support groups for families of homicide victims.
How does it affect me? I enjoy working with prisoners. In order to be a forensic psychiatrist one has to have a certain level of tolerance for hostility, impulsivity, immaturity and occasional bloodiness. It goes with the business.
Lastly, from snowtigress62:
Thanks for your questions.