Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why Do We Medicate Emotions?

What is the reasoning behind medicating emotions? Sometimes it is necessary on a temporary basis because there are certainly times when a person is so crippled by their emotions that they appear to be non-functional. They are not sleeping or eating or practicing any kind of hygiene. We have to help this person to a place of at least being functional so we can deal with the underlying issues.


A person so severely depressed that they are catatonic is not going to communicate with a therapist or a counselor of any kind. Medication is helpful in the short term in such a case. If a person has a terminal illness, or a chronic illness, medication for no other reason than to make their last days more bearable may be beneficial to enable them to enjoy what is left of their life.



However, most times these medications are prescribed to otherwise healthy people because they are feeling bad, or sad, or because of a traumatic event in life that they felt they could not cope with alone.



People do many things to medicate their emotions. The person who drinks or uses drugs for the purposes of escape, the teen that cuts or self-mutilates in other ways does it as a way to medicate emotions. They are trying to create a temporary relief of stress and create the happy or euphoric feelings they lack.



There maybe a desire to relieve guilt or shame from activities that violate the conscience. Women who have realized too late that their abortion did indeed kill a living human being carry an overwhelming sense of guilt. Some of those women cannot cope with the reality of what they have done and they turn to medication to sooth the conscience. Young girls who have been abused may carry guilt after being wrongfully told they asked for their abuse, or that they had it coming. This brings additional scars and often these girls are medicated in attempt to make them feel better while time heals the wounds. Older women in menopause are being prescribed psychotropic medications with increasing regularity! The normal course of this time of life with its emotional ups and downs is suddenly unacceptable and as long as we have a pill to make her feel better…why not?



I have several good reasons for “why not.” Medication should be reserved for illnesses. The common cold is proof of how schizophrenic the medical community is on this subject of medications. When you go to the doctor feeling like you are going to die, stuffy, coughing and congested and ask for an antibiotic (because you want to feel better!) you are denied! The doctor tells you no antibiotic because he cannot prove that you need them. Your blood work is normal, and no medical scientific testing proves there is anything wrong with you that time won’t cure.



The same protocol is not applied to the prescribing of these drugs that affect your brain. Even though at this point in medical science there is no way to test that a person is “mentally ill” these drugs are handed out like candy. There are no medical tests to prove a person is mentally ill…honest.



So if there are not medical tests, what methods are used to conclude that a person needs medication? Subjective questions are asked by the doctor. The patient goes to the doctor and he uses a interview questionnaire that is based mostly on how the person feels as compared to anyone else.


In no other realm of medicine is this method for diagnosis or treatment employed or is this

considered acceptable. Only in this special category of pseudoscience is this accepted.

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