Contrary to the beliefs of Xenu-phobes, psychiatry is not what is drugging our youth, our impatient culture is. Changing thresholds of diagnosis and treatment, development of new (which equates better in Americanese) drugs, DTC advertising coupled with the plethora of "medical" information on the web and a willingness to self-diagnose have lead to an exponential rise in the number of prescriptions for psychotropic medications over the years. My guess is that the majority of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs are being written by GPs and that they are doing so at the behest of teachers/schools, the media, parents and patients alike, all of whom seem to be looking for a cure for what ails them/their children, regardless of whether said ailment is truly present and warrants pharmacological intervention. The ADHD drugs have become the new Haldol (aka "vitamin H"), except they’re being used to quiet children regardless of any actual disorder instead of used to keep the institutionalized mentally ill patient quietly drooling in the corner.
In this country, one of our biggest problems is the dangerous attitude that anything and everything can be corrected if you take a pill. This leads to too many people being prescribed drugs that they don’t need for a condition that they don't have or one in which other modalities of treatment should be sufficient. This attitude is not limited to mental health issues, we have the same attitude about pretty much everything (for the record, that attitude is no small part of the reason why we've been facing a rise in drug-resistant bacteria). Sadly, the resulting onslaught of side-effects to medications used inappropriately may end up hurting those patients who could actually benefit from these drugs by creating new barriers to treatment. As a society, we'll never be able to rectify the situation until we take a more logical and pragmatic approach to addressing [mental] health issues.
Tags: pharmaceuticals; psychotropic drugs; mental health;Health; medicine; psychiatry;\Sphere: Related Content