Monday, May 04, 2009

Things are really getting out of control

I just heard about the advertisement in the above video from a friend who saw it on TV tonight. It's an ad for what's known in the pharmaceutical industry as an atypical antipsychotic drug.

Psychiatric drugs can help - if and only if they're used properly.

Too many psychiatric professionals don't use them properly. It's much easier and cheaper to carelessly toss a prescription at patients than to sit down with them and get to the actual source of their troubles.

One reason for this indifferent approach to medicating peoples' minds is insurance industry pressure on doctors to do medicine on the cheap.

Another is pharmaceutical companies' aggressive marketing tactics.

Still another is laziness on the part of too many psychiatric professionals.

Marketing antidepressants like headache remedies was bad enough. Marketing powerful and potentially dangerous anti-psychotics on television is rather disturbing.

Now, I've heard from one professional that judiciously applying so-called "homeopathic" doses of Abilify can do wonders for difficult cases of depression. What I worry about is doctors who hear clients talk about something they've seen on TV, and then just indifferently scrawl them out a prescription for it.

If you do believe you're suffering from a genuine psychological or psychiatric disorder, choose a therapist who listens to you, and isn't trigger-happy with medication. They can be tough to find, but they are out there.

Just remember that successful treatment for depression often happens gradually, not overnight. It can be frustrating to think that nothing's happening, but subtle, cumulative changes can manifest themselves almost without your knowing it. Here again, a knowledgeable therapist can be worlds of help.

Remember also that human feelings are not diseases.

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