15 May Are your Antidepressants Doing More Harm than Good?
Numerous academic studies have found that the most effective route to healing for those with certain life traumas (bereavement, trauma, illness, loneliness, pain, etc.) and/or mental health issues is a blend of psychiatric medication and high quality therapy – but the academics are now realising that this balance has become dangerously skewed in the favour of pills.
Medication was never meant to be a chemical cosh, but when you turn people’s mental health problems into an industry, pumping money into Big Pharmaceuticals at the expense of therapeutic services, that’s inevitably what happens. While the drug industry churns out persuasive high-profile marketing campaigns to GPs and the public at large, your local, qualified therapist simply cannot compete at that scale. In addition, can a GP or primary gate to services really assess what’s going on in ten minutes?
Sadly, society in general is all too happy to preserve the status quo: after all, who wants people with mental health challenges walking around the streets with their faculties intact? And, sadly, so many people are isolated from communities and families that their resolvable issues go uncared for. The biggest shock I have is that when people present for work with me, they have never read the contraindications that come with their medications. Many medications are only designed to be prescribed for a short period of time (3-6 months) as an adjunct to psychotherapy. However, this is clearly overlooked.
And let’s remember the kids. We are now seeing children as young as four given ADHD medication. We, as a society, are permitting the ‘experts’ to pump children with drugs akin to amphetamines. The other side of the legal line and we would be guilty of horrendous child abuse. Read my book chapter, ‘Family Lost’, to get a glimpse into what that looks like at the chalk face!
I am not denying medication its rightful place in the treatment plan. When brain chemicals are seriously out of balance, patients are simply not in the right place to engage in therapy. What I am saying – and I am supported in this opinion by the American Psychiatrists’ Association – is that it is time to reverse the recent trend and put therapy back on a level footing with pills.
Balancing Medication with Therapy
If you have, or know someone who has, been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD or indeed any other psychological issue for which medication has been prescribed without (or with minimal) therapeutic intervention please consider contacting an appropriately qualified therapist to provide the balance that the real experts prescribe. At the least, if you ar someone you know is taking antidepressant medication or psychiatric medication then please look at the piece of paper that comes with your medication. You could be experiencing long-term negative effects while the medication may not be helping.
Speak to your GP before adjusting any medication but bring to your GP questions about the efficacy of your medication versus the productivity.