By JC Rocker, contributing writer Missyllaneous
Like many people in the world, I had (and admittedly still have) major issues in my life. However, like some people who are willing to accept the truth and do something about it, I went to therapy. It felt good to have someone listen to me without judgment and hearing from an unbiased opinion gave me a better perspective on how to approach difficult situations differently. When I finally received understanding and compassion, after feeling like an outsider in my own life, the possibility of getting peace of mind gave me relief.
The therapist later diagnosed me with depression after he heard my story and with that confirmation I finally had answers. After the diagnosis, I was blindsided by his question: “Would you like to take a happy pill?” I said no and felt weird of what he just asked me, but didn’t think much of it and continued on with the session. Towards the end he asked me again. This time the weird vibes are amplified because this man must think I’m crazy. After the session ended, I felt relieved that I had someone listen to me and released my stress in a positive manner. However, when I reminisced back to that “happy pill” moment I was still uneasy.
One of my biggest fears is to become addicted to drugs because I know that no matter how many times I pledge that I will “Just Say No,” as a flawed human being it’s easy to get caught up with it and harder to get off it.
I’ve heard many horror stories about prescription pill addictions from media and in reality. These so called “happy pills,” and many other types, can make people feel like zombies after that happy mood crashes.
So let me get this straight, if you are feeling low there is a pill that will make you feel on top of the world, but then drop you back down harder and faster than where you started? Is it a bad thing to be sad, which is a basic human emotion, now? Is first world life really so hard that we need to be prescribed a temporary euphoric fix?
Granted seeking help from professionals is what we have been conditioned to do since our youth but, you’ve got to wonder if these doctors and sales reps are taking patients for granted on how much money our problems generate for them. After all, pharmaceuticals are a $300B industry.
Pharmaceutical companies bank off our pain no matter if the diagnosis is correct or not, just as long as they see profit. These companies use their advertisements to tell us that their products will fix our troubles (even if it’s just life in effect) with major side effects that will put your health further at risk; notice that they only show the cons of the product for about two seconds. Furthermore the drug companies conveniently make more drugs to take care of all the side effects you procured from the first drug.
The drug Viagra, for example, has a list of side effects including chest pains and trouble breathing. You might go back to the doctor, who might tweak your dosage, or prescribe Caduet for hypertension – which also happens to be manufactured and distributed by Pfizer, the same company making Viagra.
In 2013 a study by the MAYO Clinic on prescription pill intake in Americans showed findings of:
Over half of Americans take 2 prescription mediations, and 20% of Americans are on at least five medications.
The number of people taking prescription drugs has increased to 48% in 2007-2008, from 44% in 1999-2000.
More women than men receive prescription medications.
Antidepressant prescriptions are more common among women than men, and are most common among women ages 50 to 64 (an age group in which nearly 25 percent of women take antidepressants).
The irony of the “War on Drugs” (which only had one agenda but that’s a story for another time) is that it’s suppose to keep illegal drug dealers off the street, but doesn’t apply to the ones that oversupply with an Rx note attached. Studies show that these “legal drugs” are made up of the same chemicals as the illegal drugs, so who is being held responsible for when patients legally OD?
Some people do need prescriptions drugs to help recover and get them at a healthy mental state. There is an argument for the adage better living through chemistry. However, is it reasonable that doctors automatically offer a fix-it-all pill to take, rather than giving out other options to cope and heal first? Does our health come second to making revenue?
The majority of America (if not the world) was taught to go see the doctor for checkups or whatever ails you. For some though, it seems that our medical professionals are no different than the dope boy on the corner.
Looking back on my therapy sessions, I commend myself for having a strong spirit and mind to decline the offer because who knows where I would be today. Hey just say no, right?