Dr. Peter Dregen, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist did two hours on Coast to Coast the other night about the doping of our nation by the pharmaceutical companies. His new book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawl, is a must read for anyone who is currently taking psychotropic drugs and especially for anyone who is considering putting their child on one.
I loved that Dr. Dregen didn't mince words - he totally blasted doctors prescribing these drugs to millions and millions of people and keeping them on them for much too long - sometimes for a lifetime. None of these drugs were designed for long term use. And when the pharmaceutical companies get sued - they just pay it - the money they are paying out is minute compared to the billions being made. In one case, after paying out three billion in a settlement, the stock actually went up - everyone knew what the impact was going to be and it wasn't that bad - business as usual.
Once on a drug of this type for too long, the next step is another drug to counter the effects of the first drug, and on and on it goes. The drugging of children in foster care is especially grievous. People are not finding solutions to their problems, they are just masking the symptoms of their pain. And in the case of children, we're drugging normal children to make them easier to control. The small percentage of people that actually have a chemistry imbalance in their brain has turned into treating millions that don't have the imbalance, but may have depression that is situational based on past events, or current difficulties. One caller said that he found out his son's school was actually getting kick-backs from the drug companies for children they recommended go on drugs for ADD. (I can't verify that, by the way.) Teachers are not trained psychotherapists - they cannot tell you your child is ADD or ADHD. You need a trained professional to give those types of diagnoses. All too often even trained professionals take the easy way out and suggest mood-altering drugs, especially if the patient is asking for one. So be very careful if a drug is suggested for your child. Get another opinion. Be especially careful if you are on more than one - the long term consequences on your brain could be far reaching. Coming off of these drugs takes time, and should never be done all at once.
This is a bugaboo subject with me, as most of you know. Dr. Dregen believes that people need to feel their pain so they can work through it and go on with their lives, which is exactly what I believe. We feel pain for a reason - to help spur us on to fix whatever it is that needs fixing. Just as we feel pain when we touch something hot - our psyche needs to feel pain if we are doing something, (or someone is doing something to us), that needs to be avoided. Finding life purpose, following our dreams, getting involved in life, are all ways to feel well. Good nutrition and exercise also play a part in good mental health. A good mental-health practitioner should give you their time and their empathy, which is what Dr. Dregen feels is most important in helping someone get through life's trials and tribulations. We are not machines. A good friend, supportive family, spirituality, finding your passion, all help people deal with life. (And let's not forget blogging!)
So if you have some time, listen to him on Coast to Coast and buy his book if you feel you might need it, or know someone that does. I think this is a very important subject. We are reeling from the impact of these drugs on our society.