Sunday, September 09, 2007

Warning. Rant ahead.

America is one seriously over-medicated society. I mean, so over-medicated that you actually invent new diseases to buy drugs for.

Let me put it this way, before I moved to America, I’d never even heard of ‘Acid Reflux Disease”. If I had that “disease”, I’d probably just call it heartburn and lay off the greasy and spicy foods for a while. ‘Restless Leg Syndrome’? It couldn’t be that you’ve spent all day sitting down or drank too much coffee…it’s a ‘disease’ that only taking a pill will make go away.

That’s what the American health-care system is all about. Popping a magic pill that makes everything better.

Little Timmy being a little highly strung and not behaving at school? That doesn’t mean he’s a normal 6 year old who needs more discipline and less sugar…he has a disease and needs daily medication. Forget punishing him when he’s bad and taking away the candy and soda…that’s hard work. Just zombify him with some good ole Ritalin. I mean, that’s obviously the right course of action, because telling little Timmy he can’t have that candy will probably make him throw a tantrum…and dealing with kids is hard.

Nah, forget parenting. It would make little Timmy grow up to be a well-adjusted and disciplined adult, but hey, let’s start him on drug dependency early, that way we won’t have to miss any of our favorite TV shows because of that pesky responsible parenting.

I mean, fuck analyzing your lifestyle and working out what your real problem is…call it a disease and go see a doctor. The guy who spends all day on his ass, drinks way too much caffeine during the day and eats nothing but fast food doesn’t need to get a little exercise, cut back on the coffee and eat a salad once in a while…he has acid-reflux, restless leg syndrome and obviously needs prescription sleep medication to sleep at night.

I see the ads on TV for heartburn medication where someone is eating a gigantic portion of fried food in a diner and reaches for the Tums, because apparently they work faster than those other OTC acid reducers.

Here’s a novel idea…If that food gives you heartburn, don’t fucking eat it!

Then again, it’s tasty, and eating something healthier would require a modicum of self-discipline and self control. Discipline? Control? Fuck that! That sounds hard.…pass me the magic pill that makes it all better instead!

The absolute worst thing are these bullshit drugs for ‘depression’. You know what? Sometimes you’re depressed for a reason. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to work out your problems and actually deal with your fucking emotions. It means you have to go visit your doctor…because he’ll give you a pill to make it all go away.

Of course, you’re not actually treating the root of the problem and will probably be taking a pill for the rest of your life (and quite possibly ending up dependent on them), but it’s all about that magic pill. After all, dealing with your emotions is hard. Why sort out the actual problem when you can spend the rest of your life using a medical crutch?

Sure you have some issues, you’d probably be fine if you actually faced them and spent some time dealing with your emotions, but again, that’s hard. Just pop that magic pill.

It’s exactly the same as loading up on morphine so you can walk on a broken leg. It’ll let you function, but you’re not actually fixing the problem. Rather than spend a month or so being inconvenienced by a cast and crutches, you spend the rest of your life popping those pain-killers. It’s easier, so it must be better, right?

At this point, some smart ass is likely to say to me that “I don’t know what it’s like” and that I’d change my tune if I experienced it.

Well, I had ‘acid reflux’…know what I did? Cut the amount of coffee I drank by three quarters. Guess what? It went away, and I didn’t need to take prescription meds for the rest of my life.

As for depression, I spent two years in constant uncertainty about whether I’d be allowed to stay in America and be with my wife. I’ve been out of work for nearly four years. I have no car, no real friends and haven’t seen most of my family in coming up on three years.

You think I went through that and never once felt depressed? You bet your ass I did.

I suppose the difference between me and a large percentage of the American public is that I know why I was depressed and knew how to fix the problem.

Sure it’s a lot harder than taking a pill and feeling great about everything…but I’d rather fix the problem than treat the symptom.


The Girl said...

And if you take an anti-acid, your stomach will naturally produce more acid and then cause an endless loop of needing more or stronger medicine. The cure for heartburn is vinegar! Or like you say, eat things that don't cause you to feel that way.

I agree about the depression thing. I went through a lawsuit and everything I did could have been used against me so I struggled through and made it through. Now, I have no patience for people who sit and whine about their problems and do not proactive about it.

~TG... who currently pops no pills other than vitamins

Sunny said...

While I agree that most of America is seriously over-medicated, especially when it comes to over-active, undisciplined kids and "depressed" people- I can't agree that just cutting back on caffeine and only eating non-greasy and/or spicy foods(or whatever hurts your tummy) or just working thru things is all that is required to make everything better. Some people don't have as strong a disciplined will as you do.

You KNOW we tried almost everything in the book before I finally- after 5 YEARS- went to the doctor and got all those tests and meds.
And in some instances-like a death in the family, sometimes sedatives are needed to get thru the first few weeks when there is so much to deal with and all you have is grief of loss on your mind.

You're right about drugs not being the long term solution tho. Eating right, exercise, and faith in some sort plays a big part in the eliminating and healing of a body and soul. Time plays a big part in all of it too.

We HAVE become a society of "Magic Pills". But occasionally, pills are needed.

Unfortunately, our national health-care system....oh sorry- we only have insurance companies for health care assistance........ doesn't see the benefits of promoting a healthy lifestyle, they only promote all sorts of tests and drugs to cure things like what you were talking about.

AND TG- the CURE for heartburn is NOT helps for a while but then IT starts to not work as well. I know from experience- I have tried EVERYTHING!

Our society is in serious need of an overhaul.

OzzyC said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your "America is over-medicated" statement.

I want to clear something up about the whole ADD thing. I agree that too many parents (or teachers, or whoever) want to medicate our kids into behaving like little adults.

Ritalin won't do it. Ritalin is actually a stimulant, and if little Johnny doesn't actually have ADD, his behavior will get worse if he takes Ritalin.

In psychological terms, it's called the paradoxical effect. Give someone who's hyperactive a stimulant, and they magically calm down.

Chief Slacker said...

I second that brother. I'm a pill hater, even so much s avoiding asprin for headaches unless they cause me to be unable to walk.

Half of the crap people take pills for I swer is mental. they're jsut placebos but the doctors figured out they can still make $100 a bottle by telling you it cures whatever. You take the pills and metally, everythings right again.

Saffyre said...

Hmm, I don't think the problem is limited to the US. It's the same back in the UK. I've been given endless pills by my doctor. For verying different ailments - so much so that I became addicted.

If you can cure your ailment naturally then I advocate that - but sometimes, pills are necessary. That's just life!

Chief Slacker said...

My the way, I just created a new disease on my blog. It's called Rhythmless Stripper Syndrome. How long till there's medication for it?

Paulius said...

TG - Good for you

Sunny - You have a hiatal hernia, not heartburn. There's a difference between a diagnosable, physical condition and self-inflicted heartburn.

Oh, and my Nana on my mum's side was put on valium when she lost one of her babies and ended up taking them for the rest of her life.

OzzyC - Plus, drugs have a totally different effect on pre-pubescent kids than adults.

Slacker - I agree. That's also why painkillers tend not to work on me. I have no faith in them, so they have no effect.

Saffy - You'd think, but OTC drug vending machines aren't common in british hotels, train stations, businesses, malls etc.

OzzyC said...

I know that painkillers work... In fact, I think they're fun, if used judiciously and for a short period of time. Oh wait, I'm not supposed to say that publicly, because that perpetuates the travesty that's known as our war on drugs.

But that's not why I'm re-responding. You asked about the boat. It's not going to be done for a VERY long time. If you're interested in a play-by-play, check out my other blog.