Or at least not in the long term & for most people!
I was moved to write this post midway through another great book that I’m reading. Aren’t they all?! This one is “Manufacturing Depression” by Gary Greenberg, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s a great account by someone in my profession, that’s also “suffered from depression”. That is of course the premise under review, what even is “Mental illness”, “depression” “anxiety” and their ilk?
The book informs us of how a lot of the current drugs out there used to “treat” mental illnesses are anything but magic bullets designed for a singular purpose. These are drugs with roots in all sorts of surprising places, such as dyes (as in for colouring things) and drugs designed for totally different purposes who’s side effects happen to have some “therapeutic” effect. Sorry for all the “”, but they’re important to raise the point that a great deal of what’s taken a presumed wisdom these days is pretty subjective and is clearly just one version of how we as humans can tackle the time when we all feed sad or worried.
I was about to write – this post isn’t aimed at those that just feel generally sad and can’t think why. But, actually, it encompasses everyone. The reason being is that the drugs we’re sold as “cures” don’t actually fix anything. They just, sometimes, reduce symptoms of what’s going on and numb our feelings. In the short term I’m sure this can seem a relief. In the long term though, even a few weeks in, what is being achieved? A life on pills? The question to ask is “What has been fixed?”. If someone can really tell you, then that’s a start, but you then need to ask “Why don’t the affects last?”. I suspect the effects don’t last, as you haven’t learned a new way to handle the things that have troubled you to date.
I appreciate I’m in the business of trying to affect change in people through words, but the reason I’m in it, is that I believe in the power our minds have to change things. It would appear our minds really are plastic, right through life. You can literally teach an old dog (human) new tricks and any dog/human for that matter at any time. This is not to be underestimated. You/we can change ourselves, through thought.
How that change is made is entirely up to you. You could employ the help of a therapist/coach or you might find you can start to raise your own awareness of what bothers you and make changes on your own. Run your own experiments and see what the effects are of altering the way you think about things or do things. Read some of my older posts for a nudge too!
To round off this post, it’s only designed to be a bit of an awareness raiser. Think about why you’re taking the pill. What are the alternatives and is the pill actually fixing anything? Think about those that take recreational drugs for “highs”, they can’t take them all the time or the high ceases to be a high. That’s the same with prescription drugs, the effect begins to wear off. You need to take more to achieve the same state. That isn’t a cure or a fix, that’s an attempt to get you out of the GP’s surgery in a timely fashion.
It doesn’t have to take long for you to make changes in order to feel a tangible benefit. People often only work with me for a few sessions, just to get a different steer. Then they go off and do what they need to. It really can be that simple, you just need to be prepared to become aware and then tackle the things that face you. The challenges, when you overcome them, will give you a real boost and high. You’ll know you did it, you have the resilience and capacity to remedy your own moments of sadness or worry. Pills really aren’t the answer to happiness, how you negotiate life is.