What Pharmaceutical Companies Don't Tell About Mental Health Treatment
A Billion Dollar Industry
The pharmaceutical companies are one the richest industries in the US. With over 3 billion in profit these companies provide medication but never the mention of treatment or cures to be spoken.
Ever wonder why?
The companies promise to reduce pain, remove unwanted feelings and to help in recovery for whatever ails us. As a society, the American people have decided that pain and uncomfortable feelings are unwanted and must be eradicated. Unlike the times of the past where endurance was taught, today we search long and hard to remove any part of us that even whisper discomfort.
Tendency to Overprescribe
Every industry exemplifies why their products work best. Pharmaceuticals are no different. And, if your belief were to properly monitor and medicate your patients the likelihood of medicating the majority of your clients would be pretty high. Monitor and medicate is the role of psychiatrists.
Not to bash that part of mental health care, psychiatrist are a valuable part of treatment, however, many practicing physicians are bought out by the pharmaceutical billion-dollar scheme. Just as psychologist believe, therapy is best, psychiatrist do not differ. Not to argue who is more important, rather point out the discrepancy related to the tendency to over diagnose and medicate.
For example, there is a growing tendency to diagnose and medicate children who seem to be active and energetic. Interesting that years in the past those children took extra time to work with or an aid assisted their learning. Today we are working with reduced instructors and more children therefore, maintaining class control is essential. As a result if a child is more work than the overworked teacher can manage then requesting or recommending testing and medication is many times an immediate reaction.
On the same note, prescribing these medications like candy also run the risk of abuse. The abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise in drastic numbers. In 2011, there were 1.4 million emergency room visits related to overdosing on pharmaceuticals. Many of those visits, anti-anxiety medications were found in the patients system. Suicide by way of overdose is the leading cause of death in 2012. As the increase of abuse continues to occur it is apparent why monitoring of pharmaceutical are so important.
Marketing Societal Obsessions
Media is at the heart of many products. The general public remains glued to their television for the latest and greatest information. All commercials are intended to market the newest and greatest products. The unfortunate and downside to any of the medications are hidden and minimized. Pharmaceutical companies as described above have a large margin that can be used toward marketing the next best feel good concoction. The money is pumped into prescription drugs because that is what society wants – a feel better potion.
All over the television, commercials lead by a cloud of fog that miraculously clears up once the cartoon like character pops this wonder pill. Ever think what commercials like this do to the unconscious mind. Well sure we all want those foggy days to clear but does that pill solve the problem. I guess the answer would be yes, that is until the next dose is due.
There's no weakness as great as false strength.— Stefan Molyneux
Common Side Effects of Psychotropic Medication
Any artificial substance introduced to ones system is likely to have some sort of side effect. Many of the psychotropic medication used to treat mental health disorders are riveted with adverse reactions. The most common are dry mouth, lowered sex drive, drowsiness, nausea, depression, and often increased suicidal ideation. Though medication may be “highly recommended” by the best physicians insurance can pay for – losing ones sex drive or having a habitual dry mouth or suicidal thoughts may not feel like an even exchange for a better mood.
Many consumers overlook the effects caused by these medications, as they believe the hype that is sold in the logistically planned commercials and marketing schemes that increase the revenue of the pharmaceutical companies and send the consumer in an addicted tailspin.
Long-Term Effects Of Using These Medications
I cannot lie, medications at time are helpful but overtime one must be prepared to reap the long-term effects aside from the happiness promised by the pharmaceutical companies. What they do not tell is happiness comes with a price that far exceeds what they are selling.
Anything that seems to be too good to be true usually works out that way. Medication is no different, the long-term effects are astounding and many times life changing. Some of the long-term effects and most popular is Parkinson like shakes that emerge after long-term use of anti-psychotic medications. Other lasting effects associated with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications include memory loss and issues with concentration. Additionally, prolonged use has been known to increase bone loss, respiratory issues and low blood sugar.
There are many ways of getting strong, sometimes talking is the best way.— Andre Agassi
When A Prescription May Be Unavoidable
There are many disorders that are severe enough to warrant medication, though, must be done with caution and education. Such diagnoses in particular that commonly use medication as a main treatment include schizophrenia, bipolar and some severe depression and anxiety disorders.
Long-Term Benefits When Compared To Talk Therapy
Mentioning side effects, long-term effects and the worry that pharmaceutical companies pushing medication for their own benefit one must evaluate if talk therapy is just what the doctor called for. When comparing long-term benefits of both types of treatment – talk therapies win that fight. Talk therapies take time to generate results though what the patient gains is lifelong. As opposed to medication therapy the only life long acquired notion is side effects and chemical changes in the brain.
Holistic Treatment Options
Alternative treatment options exist for the treatment for many mental health issues. This is not intended to suggest that medication may not be appropriate, however, there are additional options that have proven success in the relief of symptoms related to depression, anxiety and other disorders. Some successful alternatives to medication are as follows:
Finding a group with individuals who have like concerns and struggles have shown to benefit many who participate. There are groups for anything from anxiety to grief and survivors of suicide. Search online for a group that is near you.
Food has been shown as a direct link to mood. Those who may not produce enough serotonin, the happy chemical, food can supplement. Some food, such as drinks with caffeine has the tendency to produce or increase anxiety related symptoms. Therefore, reducing intake of caffeine can help to reduce those experiences.
Using self-help measures such as meditation can help to reduce anxiety, reduce depression and improve overall mood. Meditation is a technique that is widespread and well explored. Videos are available by cd, via Internet and other media sources. Once meditation is used the possibilities are life long and continually useful.
Exercise such as yoga proves to be just as important as having a good diet. Getting the body moving also increases serotonin and supports mood improvement. Like meditation, yoga takes control, practice and motivation. Though just like with meditation, yoga offers lasting emotional stability.
Many forms of self-help resources are available. Whether the words of a personal story of mental health triumph or the new found tips of a mental health professional the resources are endless. These resources are available in book format, online and by video. Many of them have the ability to provide just what someone is looking for. If medication is not your thing, there are many accounts out there of a medication free journey.
Learn How to Meditate
Ideal treatment when medication is beneficial includes a combined treatment regimen. Medication treatment is very helpful for an immediate relief to overwhelming symptoms; however, long-term and lasting benefits are likely to come through talk therapy. Especially when treating anxiety, depression and personality disorder diagnoses, talk therapy is essential for overall change. Without adjunctive therapy, medication will only provide relief for as long as the patient continues to take the medication. On the contrary, traditional therapy affords the patient relief that will continue well beyond cessation of treatment.
Are Prescriptions The Way To Go
So in closing I challenge you to think about the effects and benefits of medication. Do the long-term effects outweigh the momentary need of symptom relief? Can medication serve as a short-term relief and combined with talk therapy provide the patient with lasting relief.
Education about what is ingested is the only way to go. Of course, look into who is marketing a particular product and look for the alternative viewpoint. Medications are meant for short-term stabilization. In the case of severe mental illness medication may be appropriate to reduce the severity and frequency of psychosis and moderate mood. Though, whether the hope is to increase mood or reduce psychosis – medication can only soothe the system for a period of time without adverse consequences but therapy can serve as a long-term support.