By: Cody Senteno
Sad? Prozac. Bored? Adderall. Depressed? Abilify.
Today the smallest of problems are labeled as serious disorders and are prescribed powerful medications.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. may be the most medicated country in the world with almost half of Americans on at least one prescribed medication.
With more than 25 million people using antidepressants today, close to 10 percent of the U.S. population is operating on “artificial happiness.” People take medication to feel better, but is it really healthy to be so medicated?
According to the New York Times, many psychiatrists in the U.S. no longer provide talk therapy; most simply prescribe and adjust medication.
Doctors attribute these “disorders” to a chemical imbalance of the brain, but many are pent-up emotions and we should let ourselves experience them, although unpleasant.
Depression, ADD, ADHD, and bi-polar disorder are real disorders and proven to exist, but the first thing that we do is treat them with medication. If most psychiatrists do not provide talk therapy anymore, how can we know that counseling is not the solution?
Sigmund Freud’s method of talk therapy was the most popular method used by psychologists until psychotherapy took its place. Now, it seems a few pills a day can replace weeks of counseling.
If we don’t let our emotions take over every once in a while, and we bottle them up or bury them in prescription drugs, our problems may become worse. So what if you’re bored, or if you have had a bad day?
It’s abnormal to be happy all the time and no one should expect you to be.
Moreover, these pills don’t actually make people feel better. Users can become dependent on them, and once off the pills, they are prone to regress back to the original problem.
These medicines cannot be taken forever, with people eventually building a tolerance for the drugs, thus rendering the effect useless while damaging their bodies in the process.
We as a society have become so afraid of people who express themselves and their emotions that we label them as sick or “unwell.”
If people continue to be so dependent on prescription drugs for “problems,” we might as well prescribe powerful medications for things like an annoying itch or an overactive imagination.
And while these pills may work faster than traditional counseling, I would argue that laughter is still the best medicine.