CNN reports that there were 118 million prescriptions written last year for drugs to fight depression. It occurred to me, a few hours after hearing about this, that this only gives us an idea of the people WITH health insurance who actually seek help for their depression, but leaves out those without insurance or those who do not seek help, so the number of people who would actually be diagnosed with a depression that must be treated by drugs would be much larger if we took everyone into account.
What the hell?
As I understand it, drugs should only be taken for mental illness if there is something wrong in the brain chemistry of the patient, and in other circumstances other therapies should be used, like counseling or psychoanalysis. How did the brain chemistry of so many people get so messed up? What are they putting in the water? In the food? Shouldn’t we be panicking that so many people cannot function without righting the make-up of their brains?
Or are there people coming in to see the doctor who would heal with some kind of non-drug therapy, but drugs are easier? Require less time, less delving into the past, less emotional interaction? Is this yet another aspect of our lives, like weight, flu, attention span, recreation, etc., where a pill is considered the best solution? The most modern? The most advanced? The quick fix?
Are we just being prescribed drugs to cover up for the fact that a large percentage of us hate our lives, that our society makes us depressed, that we set ourselves up to fail?
Shouldn’t we, with all our technological advances, be happy now? If we live better than many people in the world, shouldn’t we be basking in some kind of contentment that would make depression extremely rare?
Do these people in other countries who envy us know that a lot of us hate ourselves and want to die?
But Dr. Gupta throws the statistic out there and Kiran shakes her head in wonder and they go on to the next story about Clinton-bashing or another actor found dead under mysterious circumstances (God rest his soul) and we forget. We don’t have time to investigate what is going on in our own community, maybe our own family or our own head. We’ve got more important things to do than worry about mental health.
Is this the root of the problem?