In my partner’s last blog, he wondered about our over use of medications and the effects of food on his own health. Well, let me make a confession. I am not a great fan of our current psychiatric medications. One hundred years ago we were drilling holes in a patient’s head to relieve the individual of “mental” tension. Sounds disgusting, right? Today we are bombarding our clients with antidepressants. Prozac. Paxil. One in ten Americans take one. You know them. Heck, if you have a child, your child knows them. Who can escape all those TV adds? But one hundred years from now, how do you think the public will view them? Any better than we currently view the notion of drilling holes in the brain?
Let me take a different approach. Have you ever been on a psychiatric unit? I hope the answer is “no”! Why? Because all of those pills are often not as effective as advertised. And here’s my strange confession. I just do not blame the pills. I blame the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies for pushing the pills without examining other treatment options. Here are two snapshots. In the first snapshot, patients are lined up to swallow their morning pills – with many of the pills designed to boost their neurochemicals. The second snapshot? Those same patients are lining up for a breakfast that is packed with foods that offer the opposite effect, actually blocking the production of those same neurochemicals.
Want another image? On one hand, with our medications, we are trying to step on the accelerator. On the other hand, with the food that we are feeding them, we are stepping on the brake. Can you visualize the wheels spinning, the rubber burning? With the patient never stabilizing? If it is happening to those patients in the hospital, could it also be happening to you? Could the food you consume be making you feel worse, not better? And what is the answer to improving your own health? More and more pills, all pushed by our pharmaceutical companies for greater profit? Or perhaps fewer pills with a renewed focus on what you need to eat for improved mental health (and improved physical health).
Have you ever read anything from Donna Gates? How about Dr. James Greenblatt? If not, you may want to read this week’s Friday Finds for the article on probiotics. I know, I know. Probiotics are a popular trend these days. But numerous researchers have been studying them for the past several decades. Why? Here is the simplified answer. Our “gut” (our small intestines) is closely connected to our brain. More importantly, our “gut” produces the majority of the neurochemicals that are used in our brain. If our brain is not functioning, or if our mood has plummeted, the real solution may come from changing what we eat, not from popping more medication.
What bothers me the most? I wonder: Have we reached a point where we do so many things out of convenience? In the prior cute story of Geordy, was the neutering for whose benefit? The dog owners or the dog? And with our 7-minute physician visit, are all of our pills for the doctor’s benefit or our own benefit? That question can be evenly debated. But you cannot debate one point. Our pharmaceutical companies love their profits. I just worry that those profits are coming at our financial and emotional expense. Don’t you think there might be a better way? Isn’t it worth it to become a bit more educated on this topic? If your answer is yes, take a look at our Friday Finds. Join us as we head toward a better tomorrow.