By Kenneth Justice
“I’m doing the exact opposite of what the doctors told me and I’m so much happier” she said
~ This past weekend I hung out in Cambridge, MA and ended up meeting a young woman who is in her senior year at Harvard University. Originally from a small town in Vermont, life was fairly routine for her over the years until midway through her first year of college,
“About five months into the school year I realized I was struggling with a lot of emotional problems I’d never experienced before so I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. She diagnosed me as being bi-polar and immediately put me on Paxil” she said
Things went from bad to worse
“If I thought my problems were bad before I was diagnosed with being bi-polar, after going on the medication my entire life fell apart” she said, “The medication made me an entirely different person, some days I felt like a robot with no feelings, other days I could barely get out of bed. Eventually, I dropped out of college and went back home. I took an entire year off from school…..and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made”
During the year off from Harvard the young woman went against her doctor’s orders and stopped taking the medication, “I spent my every waking moment researching Bi-polar disorder and studying natural ways of coping with it; I taught myself skills that I put into use anytime I felt that my mood was having an adverse effect on my day. I also spent a lot of time getting my nutritional diet under control, something that the psychiatrist didn’t focus on at all” she said
The young woman is now close to graduating and is completely drug free, “I still struggle with the disorder but I’m so much more confident and happy now that I’m not doped up on drugs” she said
Let me be clear; I’m not advocating that anyone stop taking drugs that have been prescribed by a doctor. But I do believe the time has come in our society where we need to begin getting second and third opinions. Although they are in the minority; there ARE doctors out there who believe in teaching their clients practical coping skills to deal with Bi-polar, Asperger’s, depression, and other mood disorders and psych-social cognitive issues.
For too long psychiatrists and psychologists have had a strangle hold on the discussion of psychological disorders; pill popping has become common lingo in Western Culture as the percentage of people who get prescribed pills rises exponentially. At the rate we are on, it would be no surprise if in the near future nearly 100% of people in Western Culture are taking some kind of prescription drug.
A good psychiatrist or psychologist uses pills as a temporary measure to help protect their client until proper coping skills are taught to them……and then slowly weans the client off of the drugs.
I could no longer stay in the psychological counseling field myself because of the ethical problems I saw with the pill popping culture of psychologists and psychiatrists. Where is the sense in a psychiatrist prescribing pills to someone they barely know anything about?
I always thought a much better model for the psychiatrist/client relationship would be to have the doctor hang out with the client for a couple weeks in their natural environment; to see how the client interacts with co-workers, family, and friends. To see how the client copes when stressful situations occur or to see how the client handles times of loneliness. Of course, that kind of relationship with a client is ‘too expensive’ and I suspect most doctors believe they are so smart they don’t need to do that kind of legwork.
But let’s be honest; if we are going to give people mind-altering drugs, don’t we owe it to society to make sure we know everything about the situation before we start doping them up for the rest of their life?
Drugs used to treat mood disorders and other psychological disorders are often as strong as illegal narcotics. The United States spends billions of dollars a year fighting this ridiculous thing they label the ‘Drug War’ yet the U.S. Government doles out billions of dollars in grants that encourage the ‘legal’ doping up of men, women, and children.
I’m not advocating that anyone stop taking pills that have been prescribed by a medical doctor. I am however suggesting that you get a second, third, or maybe even a fourth consultation from a different doctor. Find a doctor who wants to help work with you in teaching you proper coping skills and looks at your whole self; spiritual, physical, and mental. Proper diet, being in a good spiritual state, and learning how to properly deal with the mental processes that go through your mind can very likely give you the freedom of never having to take mind-altering drugs again.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,
Categories: Culture & Society