Should you medicate or should you not? That is the question. It’s one some people ask, and others don’t.
It sounds easy, doesn’t it? When something’s wrong, take a pill and poof! just like that, you’re better.
Well, not so fast.
Because it’s not a get out of jail free card. Because when you ingest anything, there are side effects.
It’s true that sometimes we MUST take medication. Heart pills. Diabetes meds. Sometimes you can’t diet your way out of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
But the side effects must always be weighed.
The many television ads aimed at consumers I see for heavy-duty drugs is distressing. I’ve never, ever, asked my doctor for particular drug and never will. Why would I? If I need a particular medication, my doctor will recommend it and discuss it with me. I am not qualified to suggest a drug to her.
And neither is anyone.
Did you know that until 1984, advertising prescription drugs to consumers was forbidden. That’s right.
About the money
I don’t think it’s an accident that drug sales for anti-depressants have increased significantly after ads flooded the market–and that there are more and more drugs to treat depression.
Is there really more depression than before? Or was there always this much depression that wasn’t treated? I wonder.
A large percentage of people I know take anti-depressants. Some of them have had serious side effects. One long-term user developed tardive dyskinesia–involuntary movements of the body. And the only drug that treats THAT didn’t work. So it is now a permanent condition they are learning to live with. Life as they knew it is over. They have a new normal.
You wouldn’t want that.
I know others who would rather take a drug than lose weight or diet their condition into remission. Which I find hard to understand.
The decision to medicate or not is serious but I’m not sure people really give it due consideration. After all, their doctor prescribed it.
And the perks
Of course, some doctors do get rewarded by Big Pharma for prescribing certain drugs. Which could weigh into this spike in prescription anti-depressants.
I am not advocating that people not medicate. Not at all. I am pro-vaccination. And pro-medication when needed. But I don’t think we should be so quick to take a pill to treat something if we haven’t investigated other, less invasive ways to manage a condition. If we don’t realize the consequences of taking some drugs.
My mother thought she was a doctor. She was actually a doctor’s wife, but we had a closet full of sample antibiotics that she doled out any time a loved one had the sniffles. I believe that she, singlehandedly, could have been responsible for the strains of antibiotic-resistant infection we see today from overuse of antibiotics.
It’s obvious why she did that. Her older sister died at the age of 12 before antibiotics were invented. So when they came about, they were considered miraculous. The difference between a virus (not treatable by antibiotics) and an infection (possible treatable that way) was not widely known. So if you were sick, she was glad to give you free meds. It was out of kindness.
In that same way, we need to understand that every drug we take could have possible long term effects, and ask ourselves–and our physician– if there is another way to manage the situation.
To be sure, sometimes drugs are needed. But these days many people are pretty quick to go there without due consideration.