I hate my life…REALLY???

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By Kenneth Justice

I woke up one day and realized that I spent all week looking forward to Friday night. With 52 weeks in the year I was basically being grumpy and crotchety for 260 days every year” he said

~ At coffee recently I met a mid-fortyish dude who wasn’t late for work. Actually, the truth of the matter is that he was late but he didn’t care.

We’d been sitting next to each other, both lost in our own personal reading when a young woman came into the coffee shop rushing up to the counter, “I’m so late” said the young woman, “I need a coffee fast, I have a meeting in ten minutes” she said in a stressed tone.

I used to be like that every day of my life” the stranger said to me, “I was working in the financial sector and was always stressed out, always rushing from one meeting to the next and even though part of me enjoyed the work; I was always exhausted” he said

I went to see a doctor and she suggested that I be put on a drug for anxiety and I even went to the pharmacy and had the prescription filled. I remember getting home that night and I put the bottle of pills on my bathroom counter, I sat and stared at it and knew that the problem didn’t have anything to do with my mental health; it had to do with my life style” he said

It turns out that after 15 years working in a highly competitive field he had enough, “It dawned on me one day that I was never actually living during the week; I was merely responding to whatever work crisis had to be taken care of at the moment. I woke up one day and realized that I spent all week looking forward to Friday night

He went to the bookstore one afternoon and found a book about distressing your life, “The first decision I made was to no longer live only for Friday; I wanted to start enjoying every day of the week” he said, “I make a little bit less money now, but I downsized my life by getting a smaller house, smaller car, and I cut all my expenses in half. Now I can sit here at coffee a little bit longer and chat with strangers like yourself or simply read the newspaper” he said

For the last couple days I’ve been writing about stress and mental illness. There have been a lot of comments from readers and fellow bloggers that have talked about the subject from many different angels…..and that is good. We need more dialogue on this subject because for too long the conversation has been controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.

If you don’t believe me, look up the data on how much money the big drug companies spend on wining-and-dining medical researchers in organizations like CME; it’s in the billions. Pharmaceutical rep’s take CME researchers on ski vacations,  cruise around the world, and much more. The conflict of interest in medical research for mental health is reprehensible……and we have allowed these people (the Pharmaceutical companies) to entirely control the conversation on what kind of pills little Johnny should take to help him focus better in his elementary class.

The simple fact of the matter is that the way we do life in the Western World isn’t the most desirous when it comes to mental health;

—) regimented work days with very little off time throughout business hours

—) long hours at computers, or sitting at a desk in positions that aren’t always the most ideal for the human body

—) too much time spent sitting isolated in automobiles

There are a myriad of examples I could list about the problems with Western World and this past week I’ve barely scratched the surface. And while I am not against taking drugs when they are needed; I believe we need to first look at our lives and reorganize them in such a way to surround ourselves with the best opportunity at positive mental and emotional health.

A few of the comments I’ve received this week have been very critical of my perspective, and I appreciate opposing views. It’s only through back-and-forth dialogue that we can arrive at positive conclusions. However, something my detractors should remember is that the current conversation on pharmaceutical drugs and mental health is imbalanced. There are not enough Kenneth Justice’s out there questioning what is going on in the Western World.

—-) If you have a problem with what I’ve said this past week; then why don’t you have a problem with the Pharmaceutical companies spending billions of dollars wining-and-dining medical researchers?

—-) If you have a problem with what I’ve said this past week; then why don’t you have a problem with the Pharmaceutical companies spending billions of dollars on television and radio commercials in which they manipulate the public to purchase their drugs?

I don’t spend even $10 manipulating anyone……actually I don’t even spend a penny. To put it quite simply, I’m just a simple dude who enjoys a good conversation over a great cup of coffee,

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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84 replies

  1. Personally, I am astounded at the number of television commercials hawking this drug and that. If I see that ED commercial one more time with the guy who gets his truck stuck in the mud, but has lived long enough to think to get the horse out of the trailer to pull the truck out, if I see that one one more time, I may need drugs too.

    Great post.

  2. My father started a successful business in New York City. When we were young he infected us all with workaholism.Two of my sisters were driven to work in the city and to be perfect employees at any cost. Neither married or had children. I was a nature lover and escaped to live 3000 miles away. Still my self worth seemed always tied to a job. Even if the work was too much for good health. Your man saw the pills on the counter and had a moment of clarity. No ones’ self worth should be so connected to work performance that you hate your life. De programming destressing, wellness.

  3. i was like that, hiding my way through five days a week, mostly through the bottom of a beer/shot glass. thankfully i managed to pull away from that life, cut back on my needs, and moved toward a simpler existence. for the most part. at least where those previous stressers were concerned. that said, i have been moving back toward them a little, but in an area i’m happier with, so fingers crossed i won’t repeat the same mistakes.
    interesting post.

  4. Ha your articles seem to catch my eye a lot.

    As a recipient of drug therapy for GAD and MDD over 2 years I am grateful for the scientific advances that developed these drugs. I am also sympathetic to your argument that over-prescription, like with pretty much all valuable commodities, has been pushed on to unknowing consumers.

    For me, understanding my mental health was a big thing. One of the main reasons I chose a degree in Psychology. I don’t live in America, I live in the UK and my experience with mental health professionals has been pretty positive. Not once have I felt pushed to do anything. But our health service is a world apart from that in the US.

    Scientific evidence has shown medications such as TCA’s and SSRI’s to help repair neural connections in the brain. These are damaged in depression patients, it is thought, by under-using these regions. By providing normal levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, these parts are strengthened like a muscle is during exercise.

    Some patients need medications and talk therapy, or either in isolation. Every person is different and for some, sadly, treatment never works. Depression can be cured, especially if it is hormonal related, but this doesn’t always come from pills. I think the solution is a mixture of self education on the subject and training Psychiatrists to be more responsive to patients.

    Trust me, a lot of them are woefully under-trained and obsolete. It is also an extremely difficult situation when you have a patient come in with a serious risk of self harm. The only immediate solutions to this is: medication or sectioning. As someone who was almost sectioned once, it is the anti-thesis to actual help in a lot of depressed patients.

  5. I don’t think we challenge anything enough – pharma companies, chemical companies, big business. There isn’t much altruism in business and we’re all paying their wages one way or another. There’s a phrase (probably from Gibbs in NCIS) ‘follow the money’. I think what you’re writing about is great. People (including me) don’t like challenges to their comfortable bubble-lives, but if you don’t challenge you have no right to complain when others do the decision-making for you.

  6. Should we not look closer to home?
    To ourselves. who want the materialize our life like the man above used to.
    To do so we need money and companies use that to make you work more to earn more.

    We create more work every day, and no one is to blame but us.
    We create the illnesses and the medicine but greed does not have a cure so we take pills to keep on going and get to our goal of being rich, just as shown on tv. and so the circle is going round. ordo we jump from one end to another?

    • I agree that only we can change it but I view it the other way around. I think our society has been sold a spin. We’re conditioned to believe that we’re successful if we acquire more things (keep up w/ the Joneses) and to have less means you’re a social failure. We’re also conditioned to believe that we have no choice but to work insane hours because if we don’t we are easily replaceable, dispensable. So we fear losing our jobs and will do everything to keep them. Both create a vicious cycle of work and want. I think discussions like these will help to open eyes in order to break the cycle. There are pockets of society that have already broken away. Some with a simple shift in perspective like the man Kenneth mentions above, and others more drastically, like choosing to live on the fringe of society and/or off the grid. I am also intrigued by the whole tiny house movement (and would love to join in!).

    • There you go.You would love to join in. Who is stopping you?
      Now About we are pressured to work because we are easy to be replaced.. Really is that all we have become ourself.
      We live in a discarding society. throwing away is easy. Have we become nothing more than a pair of old shoes that can just be tossed away.

      That is a scary thought. I have to think about my own health It is what I am responsible for. and if that means toning down work hours (been there) I would. I need to be happy to make work count. And be the best I can be.

    • I do think we have become nothing more than a pair of old shoes to the corporations we work for. We are commodities, not people.

      As for changing my life, I am actually in the process of doing so. But it requires planning.

    • And yet we listen to those who think nothing of us. It starts with us. Our own self being. do we want to be treated like a pair of shoes or a person.

      if it means losing a job but making me more of a person than I am doing the right thing for me and those around me. Since i have less stress to pass on. more fun to be around with and having time for my friends It is a choice.

      And I wish you all the best on the life changing.

    • I am not disagreeing with you in essence. I agree that we shouldn’t listen and we are the ones who need to take control over our lives (and change the system). But what I am trying to say is that I don’t think most people are consciously aware of it, or aware they have an alternative. Or even if they are aware there is an alternative, how to even go about getting to the alternative. Many range from oblivious to feeling trapped.

    • So right you are. blinded by bling maybe?
      Or maybe the alternative is shown as something from medieval times which is to fear.

      We need more people to show the alternative and that it can work.

    • “we are commodities not people”

      Right on!!!

  7. Why present it as a faulty dilemma? One man who refused treatment destroyed everything in my life, yes. But that doesn’t mean I like the way pharmaceutical companies do business or like taking their drugs.

  8. Reblogged this on bangocrafts and commented:
    the story of my life up until about three months ago. I got out and haven’t looked back yet. Thanks for posting this!

  9. I have found your comments on mental health interesting Kenneth and I agree. Life is a very delicate balance and unfortunately finding balance is not a once and for all kind of thing. It’s more like walking a balance beam, requiring gentle shifts to stay of the beam. Sometimes we fall off, but we get back on and try again. And it doesn’t help that even things that are basically good, like exercise, can pull us out of balance if taken to extremes.

    What really concerns me, is that the wild and crazy way we live our lives in the U.S is considered “normal.” We are told living in balance is not possible or not good enough. So many like some of the people you meet on your tour hate their lives and rely on pills to get through the day. Sad. But I think it is encouraging when you meet someone who does “get it” and has taken steps to reclaim their life.

  10. You know of which you speak! My hubby worked in Big Pharma for sixteen years and I saw lots of what you mentioned first hand.

    It used to be illegal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise medications to the public, it was only allowed to market to healthcare professionals. Once legislation was changed, and all these ads appeared on television and in magazines the number of people taking prescription meds skyrocketed!

    This doesn’t apply to everyone of course but these commercials for meds tend to convince some people they have a problem when they don’t. Most people go the doctor wanting a prescription. If that doctor won’t give them one, they move on to the next.

    Now, I’m off to work to fill about 300 prescriptions today!

    • Your comment made me think of two things. Remember the commercial that came out regarding chicken pox and shingles. Originally it started out as medical information and I thought it odd that there wasn’t a pill being promoted. I predicted (correctly) that soon there would be a pill for it. It’s almost as if the pill was still going through the FDA but the pharmaceutical companies. wanted to get a head start on the ads. So by the time the pill came out people were convinced they must have shingles.

      The other thing you made me ponder was your comment regarding legislation changing that allowed pharmaceutical companies to advertise to the public. A similar thing occurred in the legal industry. Lawyers used to not be allowed to advertise per the American Bar Association . Nowadays all you see is lawyers trying to convince you that your rights have been violated and that you should sue for damages. The biggest changes occurred in the 1980s and having been around before that time, I tell you…it was really nice. Makes me wonder how much advertising for lawyers has contributed to the lack of widespread integrity in our society.

    • A “profession” was once always associated with integrity. Now…

    • A “profession” was once always associated with integrity. Worthy of repeating!!! 🙂

    • Nowadays all you see is lawyers trying to convince you that your rights have been violated and that you should sue for damages.

      Bingo, Mrs. P. Isn’t it ironic that many of these lawyer ads are for lawsuits on these pharmaceutical companies? Does the tail wag the dog? Quite telling. From my own experience, I remember asking my long-time p-doc some years back about these ads– a doc that was quite infamous for heavy med prescription. He said he thought it was just a way for these lawyers to get rich off the pharma companies. I almost said right then and there, “Well, can I sue you?” The doctors do have an amount of responsibility, too. (He prescribed me a number of drugs that were part of BIG class-action lawsuits, and they were even about the way he prescribed them, too.)

  11. And to your last ‘sentence’ I might add,watching the world turn, as does the Hindu fabled second bird on a branch watching its other bird friend eat . The analagy being, the super ego watching the Id and the egoes of the individual self as well as the ‘self’ of the rest of the world. Great topic, great discussion going, on and off camera. Thanks.

  12. I agree with you completely. A different way/view of life rather than drugs.

  13. Great stuff, Kenneth! I’ve been saying the same to people for years. Big pharmaceutical companies have as much of a vested interest in keeping you ill as privatised prisons have in people committing crime… REALLY??? Yes really.

    “A former Pennsylvania juvenile court judge was sentenced on Thursday to 28 years in prison for accepting payment to send juveniles to a for-profit detention facility in a scandal dubbed “kids for cash,”.”

    Read the full article here:

    https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Amz5oieWuWLw0Oo__pka6yU4hJp4?p=Judged+jailed+for+sending+innocent+youths+to+prison&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-903

    We live in topsy-turvy world where too many people are selling themselves and their talents down the river for what the regard as high rewards, only to find themselves thrown on the scrapheap sooner or later. As the graffiti on a wall next to where the railway and subway trains used to pass, as they took the commuters to work: “Only rats win a rat race.”

  14. The best lesson I took away from my study abroad semester in Ireland was how they approached education. The syllabi were more or less long lists of books and outside a few central texts, the students could choose what they read. It was a) so much more relaxed, and since I wasn’t reading under the stress of a regular schedule, I really enjoyed my learning, and I retained the information. It was such a lesson!

  15. What I don’t understand is why modern society is programmed to aim for success, or winning. Why do people have to ‘win’, Why can’t people just enjoy their day…..doing their job the best they can…..but knowing that they are appreciated and respected…..taking breaks as needed…..and at the end of their workday, going home and leaving their work behind. Relaxing each night. Getting a good night’s restful sleep. Planning and looking forward to their weekend, not worrying about how much work they didn’t finish on Friday or what they have to do on Monday.

    Whatever happened to the Joy in Living? Seems to me too many people Live to Work (instead of Working to Live).

    • Very well put Vicki. We live in a highly competitive society the pushes competition over cooperation. I also agree that the point of living should be enjoyment and not just to be the best. Success is highly subjective anyway – most money/power? biggest house? fastest car? or how much you positively effect your community? etc…

  16. Ooohh, I love the article you wrote but Oohh, don’t even get me started on pharmaceutical companies!!… I think the worst ever drug out there might be Roaccutane (which is possibly linked to deaths in UK; if interested Google will provide some insight… everyone will decide for themselves whether the deaths were the fault of a drug or not).. then of course the Swine flu vaccine which caused narcolepsy and the most recently I found out that heartburn medicines will start a slow process towards heart failures… But— and this is where you need to read with a real sarcastic voice— Who cares, right? There’s too much money in the industry to make and the only “price paid” are the lives of innocent people!…

    I was happy to read when the man in your article was able to decide for himself that it’s not the pills he needed, but a lifestyle change!
    Thanks for spreading the good thoughts!

  17. I’ve been thinking for a long time now that finding a pharmaceutical solution for problems such as stress and anxiety is the norm merely because it doesn’t take away precious TIME. Finding a healthy release valve for daily stress is a great idea, but it is something takes minutes away from productivity. A pill takes nothing at all and seems to be the magic bullet for certain social disorders. I may the poster child for a jammed up-stress inducing schedule, but I still find time to work in something, ANYTHING to blow off steam and prevent me from finding solace in a bottle. True, sometimes it is necessary to seek a medication, but it is my opinion that more often than not….it isn’t as necessary so much as it is convenient.

  18. Speaking from my personal experience with chronic depression, I have tried many (MANY) anti-depressants over the years. I gave up about 5 years ago. They either don’t work or have really bad side effects with me. I started regular exercise 6 months ago and it has helped lighten my depression. Not only that, but I no longer have to take blood pressure medicine. Imagine that, all I need to do is exercise regularly. I have zero trust in the pharmaceutical companies. I do not believe they have our best interests at heart. I believe they have brainwashed us into thinking all this pill-popping is good for us. Sure some drugs are good and some save lives. That doesn’t mean all drugs are good or necessary. And what about the opioid addiction problem? Who’s getting rich off that? The people who make all those opioids, the pharmaceutical companies. I once had a doctor offer me opioids for a sore throat. Imagine that. A sore throat that would be gone in another day or so.

  19. I agree 100%. Everyone has some kind of antidepressant or drug for just feeling blue which is a natural feeling for people at times in their lives. I think there are natural plants to help with that, but big pharm will make sure you never get. We as a nation are pilled up. I wish I could Not take my meds. Because they rob the best of me. But that would be like a schoziod not taking their meds. But I agree with you. Big Pharm is an evil thing and makes money on the backs of us.

  20. I’m always amazed at the drug commercials. It freaks me out – people see those commercials and think they have that problem and need that pill! I, personally, do believe in better living through chemistry, and I’m not giving up my advil or excedrine – but I don’t like pills that adjust our brain chemistry. I have several friends who are on happy pills, and what I hear them say is that yes, things are still as stressful, but they can deal with it because they just don’t care as much, don’t get as worked up over it. And that freaks me out – the changing of the brain chemistry instead of re-training the brain.
    But, enough of my soap box!
    On a slightly related note: I took off today – it’s a “mental health day”. I realized on Wednesday morning that if I hustled, I could get my stuff wrapped up – and on Thursday afternoon I did – sent my boss a meeting notice that I was taking the day off – and it feels good! 🙂 I love Mental Health days!

    • I’m always floored that nobody is trying to put a stop to these damn drug commercials. They didn’t use to be allowed to advertise but now the rules changed…….

  21. A simple dude in personality, but extraordinary in your ability to draw people to you and thereby, to each other. It’s so cool people are able to open up to you, and then you can start dialogue like this, bringing things to others attention. We are too stressed out, as a culture, because we’re too busy, going here and there, and worrying about the next crisis the news is bombarding us with.

  22. Yup. And it is a cultural issue. In the west when there is a problem we find fault with the individual. Other cultures can see a more systematic problem. I ran across this article yesterday and thought you might find it interesting. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/culture-conscious/201207/why-do-killers-kill (SIDENOTE: I’ve been obsessed with watching Dexter lately.)

  23. Fantastic post. Thanks for that.

  24. “regimented work days with very little off time throughout business hours”

    The thing that really has me in an uproar these days is the shift from the so called ‘work-life balance’ to this concept of ‘work-life integration’. It’s being pitched as something great and even more flexible, but to me it is just a new spin to get people working more, faster, harder. Work is becoming insidious and there is no “life” anymore.

  25. Everything seems to be brought down to the lowest common denominator – meaning, all the good ideas must be compromised for those that have the least amount of imagination.
    This is in regard to the person who criticized your positive outlook on life.

    Kenneth – you are right on! Keep it up.

    Rhan

  26. I have to say that I was shocked at the 75% number you gave the other day. I agree that this conversation is very one sided. I know our society is prone to use a pill anytime there is a problem. The microwave mentality. This is a battle I have been fighting for years. First with the schools then with parents who only want to medicate their kids to control them. I understand the occasional need. But wow in my sons old school district most of the boys were labeled and many were recommended for drugs makes me sick. I had to speak out but it was not well received. Anyways here I am talking to much

  27. My Dearest Kenneth, you are a very wise man. My experiences are vast within the depression/mental health world, as I have sat on both sides of that fence. My humble opinion, simple depression is a lack of understanding self, and no pill in the universe shall help one gain the inner knowledge of ‘true self’ (being).

    When my son was in 1st grade, ( a long time ago) he was simply a normal child but because he was, let’s say ‘exuberant’ the school’s mental health department said he would have to take Ritalin or not be allowed back in school. (a very bad parenting mistake on my part, as the med’s have long lasting issues, even though he only took them for a short while.) There was nothing ‘wrong with him, he was just not able to fit into the one-size-fits-all learning box. As we sat in a group therapy session a small child, who had trouble sitting still in her 1st grade class was instantly given a prescription for Ritalin, never mind the fact that this small little girl had never been away from her mother for any length of time before enrolling in school. She had not attended kindergarten, nor any play groups that involved being away from her mother – no, simply give her medication so that she would be compliant.

    Even in my need to figure out how to get past the pain of my surgeries, I was asked by one of my health professionals, why on earth won’t I take pills to help with the chronic nerve pain, regardless of the fact that 1. they simply mask my issues, not solve them, and 2. send me into another world in which I see things that aren’t there as the house is leans to one side as though it is the bow of a ship, listing as the ocean waves take it where-ever the wind may blow. My options are to either become a toxic waste dump in which I fill myself with chemicals or live with pain, but chemical free… its a difficult decision. Either way my brain does not work, my thoughts do not flow and…..but I digress. . . .

    Drugs, of any kind, whether prescribed, or not, merely mask the inner problem and are not the solution. The solution to depression is a wonderfully painful inner chat with one’s soul and surrounding yourself with those who lift you up, make you better person. Not to mention eating correctly, exercising, as all things are connected. Most aliments disappear when one takes care of mind, body and soul.

    ~E

    • Great comments Elizabeth,

      “drugs, of any kind, whether prescribed, or not, merely mask the inner problem and are not the solution”

      While there may be things that do need drugs (possible schizophrenia and other things like that) for the most part I totally agree with you…. and I often wonder how much the culture is responsible for serious mental problems; because we’ve created a pretty crazy society to live in and it drives me nuts more often than not.

    • Well, yes a few things do need medication. Yet, we have become a society of ‘managing symptoms’ whether it be illness or poverty (the big two that leap to mind) and yet we rarely get to the root of the problem. We either throw money at it or prescriptions.
      A flaw in humanity perhaps.

  28. Isn’t this a little more confrontational than your usual posts ^_^

    When it comes to the medical industry, you have to go all the way to the top. Call me an optimist, but I do think that most people in the medical profession believe in what they are doing. They want to help people who are sick and get rid of the big killer diseases. Unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the people who write their check, and those people don’t always have the patients best interests in mind.

    I have a friend who thinks the medical industry would benefit from being a non-profit business. Then, they wouldn’t be required by law to pander to their stock holders. Then they wouldn’t care so much if a solution or cure wouldn’t make a big profit.

    …maybe

    • “I have a friend who thinks the medical industry would benefit from being a non-profit business.” Hubby and I also agree with this concept. Then there is no conflict of interest.

    • It IS a little bit more confrontational TK….I think its because I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to this good friend of mine who lives outside Chicago and she is a very opinionated blogger/writer and is probably influencing me just a bit towards speaking my mind a tad bit more 😉

    • I’m not so sure you should be listening to her. She sounds like a bit of an extremist to me.

      ^_^

    • Quite the contrary……I think she’s pretty on the money most of the time.

  29. “There are not enough Kenneth Justice’s out there questioning what is going on in the Western World.”

    That is right. There is only one, but he makes a big difference.

  30. I suppose I’m the type of guy who loves to toss in his two cents. My wife works in sales, and it’s very hard to live sensibly. If we worked sensibly we could make a hundred thousand a year and have a nice life: dinner at home, watch the kids games, enjoy our evenings. But if she works like a lunatic, constantly putting out fires and chasing deals, she can and make two hundred thousand a year. If you only make one hundred thousand a year, the company will get rid of you for someone who is making two hundred thousand. To live reasonably she’d have to quit and get a job making maybe forty to sixty thousand. We’ve managed the problem somewhat by double-teaming. We both work the one job. But we’re getting older and have decided to move to a less stressful region and job. They don’t like old people much where we currently work. Their wisdom is not necessarily welcome.

  31. Kenneth, this hit straight to the core for me. I was one of those people wishing for Friday. I’m also one of those people who have fallen to the Pharm hands. The big thing that stuck out for me in your article was how he said about it having everything to do with his life style. That can be the case in most instances of anxiety, depression and other “mental illnesses”. It could be due to work, marriage, finance, etc. For me it certainly was life and still is. Even though I am no longer a rat in that race of the nine to five, I still struggle with the life I lead and live. Therefore, I still struggle with my happiness. I’m working on this. I have found that changing the way I live is the best medicine.

    Thanks for the great read and debate topic!

    • Thank you Jennifer, at the very least, I just want a better conversation to occur around this issue and for us to no longer let the drug companies control the way we talk about it and think about it.

  32. I have been nodding seriously for too long on this topic. I know when a phrase catches my chuckle muscles: “actually I don’t even spend a penny”.

    Now I don’t know what the coy “USA’ism” for emptying one’s bladder is. Over here we use “just got to spend a penny.” And there’s you never spent a penny! After all that coffee? REALLY!!!!! 🙂

    (another great post by the way!)

  33. I for one, agree with your views. There should be a lot more attention paid to pharmaceutical companies. They are making a fortune off of convincing people that medications will help them. However, it’s not medications that most people need. What they need, is a lifestyle change.

    • I don’t know what value to place on it, but the issue of prescription drugs is for me one of the top five issues facing humanity because we aren’t having a good conversation about it… and we are letting the drug companies control how we talk about it and think about it.

  34. I love that this guy took charge and slapped the rush rush life in the face. Me too. I could be out there making money easily by teaching English. But then again, I would probably kill myself in the process. No thanks. Being a mom is already a full time job. And, so sorry western mind set, but that’s a lot more fulfilling than trying to make my place in society in the ‘working world’.
    🙂

  35. I read a book by an English Doctor in late 2012. Bad Pharma, by Dr Ben Goldacre. It was so shocking I kept snapping it shut and telling the nearest person to me, at any given time, all about how twisted the Pharma industry is.
    I recommend it to everybody.

  36. Happiness is never a once size fits all. I don’t think diet, exercise, or lifestyle are either. I find it sad that we adopt ideas about what and who we should be in order to be happy. We’re sold these ideas through advertising, through religion, and through exposure to our culture.
    Becoming authentic is difficult, ironically, because what could be harder than being oneself. The thing is, we have to let go of ideas and start feeling and noticing.
    I’ve felt the effects of chronic stress as well as traumatic stress. Getting sick is sometimes the unwelcome wake up call to examine what truly feels right or is true for us. Sometimes its admitting that certain experiences hurt us, or realizing we can’t go as fast as we thought we should, or that truly we are looking for more connection and less things. What I think many of us (me) find difficult is believing that actually we are OK just as we are (and by that I do not condone cruelty or destructive behaviour) I’m talking about our authentic likes, dislikes, fears, and wounds. Medicine has a place in our world, but the the whole picture is important.

    • As I read through the comments, yours seemed to embrace the whole concept of what I was feeling. Though I am generally inclined to use any medication sparingly, favoring natural healing methods…these may not be right for someone else.

      I have had the good fortune to have connected with my inner self and am happy with who I am…A lot of what is mentioned in this post fits the lifestyle changes I made after spending twenty five years following my passions (aka work-a-holic). But, I see others who are not happy with who they are and for me, my struggle has been helping the individual find the right remedy for them. They are not me and some of my fixes don’t work on them. What has been helpful is being a good listener and not evaluating or judging the person, giving them a safe space/person to communicate to so they begin to be authentic about their likes, dislikes etc. Sometimes, just talking about things gives them enough space between themselves and their concern that solutions begin to present themselves.

    • Hannah, 100% agree

      “we can’t go as fast as we though we should…”

      So true. You’ve said exactly what i’m trying to point out; that too many of us don’t realize we need to change our lifestyle…. sometimes people DO need drugs, but I suspect more often than not we merely need to revaluate how we are living.

  37. Kenneth… what is your thoughts on litigation on medicine? Mrs. P and others above have mentioned it– the numerous commercials for law firms pursuing class-action lawsuits on various medicines. That class-action lawsuit against Parke-Davis for Neurotin (gabapentin)? It was over off-label uses of the drug, for uses the FDA never intended it to be used… including how it was prescribed to me.

    In short: I think lawsuits are another part of the chain… Big Pharma pushes pills, the lawyers jump in for the malpractice lawsuits. Is it any wonder the U.S. spends gobs of money on health care, but that ultimately is no more effective?

  38. Here’s a coffee house poem for you:

    The Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse

    The day slowly enlarges, as the light beams in.
    Cars drift past the front window,
    and the shop door grunts open and closes,
    as the sunlight rushes the tide out like a shredded ghost.
    And I observe my coffee cup and spoon…
    like a small spa for the muffin vacationing.
    And I think, ‘If we all just stopped,
    would all we hear is friendly chatter, all around?’

  39. In a perfect world I wouldn’t say you are ‘brave’ for posting this, except this world isn’t perfect and I think you are very brave for posting, considering how people can react to posts such as this. I would love to see all medicine and education practiced in such a way as to be non-profit. I don’t have the solution to how this could be made into reality but oh, what a non-biased system it would be!

    Thanks for another post to get me commenting again!

  40. Dear Kenneth,

    I am one of those who disagreed with a portion of your post about mental health and because I think that there is insufficient discussion and balanced discussion, I welcomed your post. In this case, I totally agree with you. I believe that most of these companies are more concerned with the bottom line and appeasing its shareholders. Unfortunately, I find myself in a doctor’s office on a regular basis. Almost every time that I arrive, there is a pharmaceutical representative waiting to speak to a doctor or bearing lunch as a way to ingratiate his or her company with the doctor and his or her staff. These people’s job is to use aggressive tactics to encourage doctors to prescribe their company’s drug over another’s. The patient is irrelevant to these companies.

    Blessings, Lydia

    • Thank you so much Lydia…..I appreciate both this and your previous comments. I’ve seen prescription drugs help people, and I’ve seen them hurt people. Ultimately, like with so many things in life we each need to be as educated as possible so we can make the best decision for ourself 🙂

    • Dear Kenneth,

      I have been dying to ask you this question. What is your coffee preference? Since you are a coffee connoisseur, what do you recommend?

      Blessings, Lydia

  41. I’ve had my own business mot of my life and set my own hours, where I might work very hard for a week or two then take a few days off, where I could take a long lunch with friends, though I might have to work until 8pm in a crunch, or where I could take along walk. For five years, due to this recession, we have been on ‘JUMP, NOW” 24/7 workathon, even though we immediately downsized, don’t own a new car, etc. etc. Basically because we are paid less for what we do, and have to work longer hours to bring IN work and to cover our nut due to lower wages — in our own business. It has been killing us. This year, with Obamacare bring our health insurance costs to a reasonable number for actual care (what a concept) we are taking Saturdays off, and sometime the week end off, and have a week off every now and then. Our mental health is MUCH better, and now we are able to afford a physical therapist to help us deal with what happens when 60-ish people work hard 60 hours a week.
    We are into alternative medicine and so rarely take AMA drugs, and our docs understand that. We sometimes due medical procedures as needed, but acupuncture solve many issues without drugs, and arthritis is 90% a dietary problem. I appreciate things like open-heart surgery, etc, for those times when you need it, but I think our AMA is cracked. They do not take a holistic view of their patients, but a piecemeal view. And they have little responsibility when something goes wrong. I cannot tell you the number of times Zoloft or an antidepressant has been decribed — when in fact, my depression was situational, due to over work in an crazy economy.

  42. Of course HOLISTIC Wayfarer agrees with you, Ken. I could write posts…bOOks….on the ludicrous ways of the Western medical system (that’s in cahoots with Big Pharm).

    Did you mean DEstressing?

    “He went to the bookstore one afternoon and found a book about distressing your life,”

    Feel free to edit that part out. Just meaning to be helpful.

  43. A mental illness in medicine refers to how certain people behave – it refers to behavior, not cellular pathology – do they behave in ways to have a normal day; or not? A depression diagnosis for instance can be used to explain why people behave the way they do if they complain that they can’t stand themselves or that they think about suicide or if they cannot manage to feel like doing anything – behavior is what constitutes normal or abnormal. Treatment is a choice for a patient if they accept a diagnosis; if so, there are certain treatments that a particular practitioner has available – drugs, ECT, cognitive therapy, rest/diet/exercise/meditation, change of seasons as go on a nice vacation, and so on.

    There are historically people that reported vivid hallucinations and hearing voices and that this was perfectly acceptable for them – positive and people that complained about the same and everything they say was about how awful it was for them – negative.

    Negative feelings is usually uncomfortable; positive is not. How a person perceives themselves varies somewhere from negative to positive and how they behave about it tends to follow along with how they feel.

    • Eric, until we rule out external influences that could be causing behavioral problems and or mental illnesses, my simple argument is that we can’t truly know what is actually a biological issue, and what is an external problem.

  44. I agree that it is much too frenzied here in the US. It’s not like this in most other countries in the world. They may not have all the answers or even all the money, but there are some things that they are definitely doing right. I wouldn’t mind living in another country entirely because of this. Most days, it ain’t worth the stress. Forget the “rat race” all together. Some days, I’d much rather wander the globe like a gypsy. If I could figure out the whole money thing, I would do this without thinking twice about it.

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