An Analysis Of The Article: Medicating Ourselves By Robyn Sarah

1261 Words 5 Pages
In the article, “Medicating Ourselves” author Robyn Sarah confronts the potential defects in our obsession with psychological pharmaceuticals. She delivers the argument that in our society that drugs are perhaps over-prescribed, examples being Ritalin and Prozac. Today, many children are being affected by ADD and ADHD at an increasing rate, often with little to no evidence. The children are given Ritalin to calm them down so that they can function smoothly in school. She also offers the example of Prozac and the mass use as an emotional panacea. Anything that is wrong in your life can be fixed with a pill. The author explores the problem of drugs masking the need to treat your actual problems; she also gives the possibility of becoming …show more content…
Every time we switch on a television, there is an advertisement for some miracle drug that will ease all of a person’s burdens and let them live life to the fullest. The pharmaceutical industry has done a very persuasive job of marketing its products to the mentally ill and the data is showing that it is paying off. In the last 20 years, according to American Psychological Association (APA), the numbers of doctor 's visits done for medication only have risen from 44% to 57%. Patients who receive a combination of therapy and medication have dropped to 32%. Katherine Nordal, PhD of the APA 's Practice Directorate say that it is alarming that psychotherapy is not prescribed even in situations where it is just as or more effective than medication, such mild depression or sleep disorders. She believes that our society just wants a quick fix, which receives the support of medical insurers, who will pay for drugs but will not pay for expensive or time-consuming therapy. Medication is also prescribed by overworked primary care physicians who find it easier to write a script than to take the time to find someone who can provide other treatments. However, for many people with mental health problems, their family doctor is the first or only contact that they may have; the doctors themselves can be poorly trained at identifying problems and may not have the time necessary to …show more content…
Many of the most commonly prescribed drugs have extensive and highly dangerous side effects, some of their worsening the condition and including possible death. Psychoactive medications are among the worst offenders, with mental impairment, violent behavior, and suicide among the side effects. Drugs such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft work on the neurotransmitter serotonin, with the idea that depression is caused by a lack of the chemical. In the beginning of treatment, many people were assisted by the medication, but then began to suffer from returning symptoms. Subsequent research confirmed that serotonin replacement is of little use to most people, with no significant difference in clinical trials between placebos and the medication. Some of the side effects indicated by patients are both startling and troubling. People who take antidepressants are 5x more likely to commit suicide than unmedicated individuals are. Women taking them are 7 times more likely to develop breast cancer and they can worsen Parkinson’s disease. An increase in serotonin can also lead to paranoia, hallucinations and violent behavior. Other drugs such as Ritalin have side effects that include loss of appetite, sleep problems, and mood swings. Research has been done on the long-term side effects of ADHD medications. In 2007, a study examined the possible links to appetite and physical growth and concluded that the

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