Comfortably Numb

I’ve started school again, forgive me in advance for the large gaps in entry posts.  Anyway so I was sitting in class and we were talking about the history of psychotherapy which included of course the use of shock therapy, and uppers/downers. All it takes is mention of things like that to set off my train of thoughts it went something like this:

  • Meds
  • America is still over-medicated
  • No…White America is over-medicated
  • Why?
  • America’s word is work most definitely
  • Well but don’t medicines sedate us? ooooooh
  • We medicate to work
  • We medicate…to work

All in all, most people seek mental health assistance when they aren’t able to function normally.  When their coping mechanisms start to fall short, and they can’t deal anymore. I’ll take a gamble here and say that most people in America work. We have to, to survive.  Children’s work would be school, and the same rules apply-when you can’t function properly in school you seek help.

Now, knowing these truths: we work to survive, and we seek help when we can’t work. Its only logical to want a quick fix.  Quick fixes provide us with the ability to get back to work as soon as possible. If, for instance, a person has to go through counseling therapy, then their rate of recovery is considerably slower and thus their work productivity becomes efficient over time. This may put the person’s work position at jeopardy.  The problem arises because medications do not, of course, fix problems. They treat symptoms.

A cold medicine does not cure the cold, it suppresses coughs, relieves fevers, or aids in decongesting.  Much in the same way, mental health medication treats symptoms. There is no cure for depression in pill form, but  there are mood enhancers so you don’t feel depressed.  We medicate, to work.

Who really cares if I’m not depressed anymore as long as I don’t feel depressed because then I can be productive…at work. Not only at work, but at home, or with friends. I work.

The thing that we ask ourselves is at what cost? Well…that’s the thing that people don’t ask themselves.  Of course, studies show that a combination of medication and therapy works best so that the actual problem is treated while symptoms are being managed.  The goal, however, is to be able to live med free. We’re not built to need supplements. Our universe dwells within us, right?

I try repeatedly to reconcile my hatred of medicine and psychiatry, and in responsible practices I am ok. My personal problem comes when  we’re unethical. Of course the client just wants medicine, but as a professional who knows better and works under ethical guidelines how do we prescribe medicine without also mandating therapy.  Mandated therapy is a problem in and of itself, and thus the psychologist (not trained to counsel but trained to diagnose) gives half-hearted therapy and the cycle continues.

A classmate of mine asked why do psychiatrist make so much more money than therapists…well because that is where we (Americans) place the value. Pharm companies work with psychiatrists pushing pills and they tell you you need them, when honestly, Do You? Look at the side effects, is it work stroke, sleeplessness, dry mouth, heart failure, suicidal thoughts, etc etc? But as American’s we want to be productive without working, the caveat of course. We want results with minimal effort as is the plight of the capitalistic society.

Sigh.

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