i believe in psychology, not psychiatry. let me rephrase this: i believe that psychiatry’s research is important and it has advanced our society tremendously, but i believe it is more faulty than helpful. i do believe it’s vital, also. don’t get me wrong. i’ve read about case studies where anti-depressants have saved people’s lives, and i’ve heard personal stories. and if you would like to know more, elizabeth wurtzel tells about her story of depression in her memoir, prozac nation. i believe in doing research to see how brain functions differ in clinically defined “abnormal” human beings between a “normal” human being, but the way that anti-anything (depressants/anxiety/psychotic) pills have been developed and utilized has been over my head. in today’s society where either everyone is unhappy or depressed, the first solution is to get a prescription. and with millions of unsatisfied human beings, there is only so much so many psychiatrists can handle. the ratio of psychiatrists to patients is ridiculously unbalanced, which makes the work harder for psychiatrists. and nowadays, when you go to see a psychiatrist, this is what will most likely happen: “oh. so you have these symptoms and these symptoms. check, check, and check. okay. let me prescribe you some prozac/zoloft/xanax. come back in three weeks to tell me how things are going. if your condition isn’t improving or it’s getting worse, we’ll switch prescriptions.”

it’s ridiculous what this has become, yet it’s also reasonable. it’s simply because the psychiatry department is so packed, and psychiatrists do not have the time to genuinely deal with each and every patient, so drugs are the easy way to “solve” the problem. do you even know what anti-depressants do? they do not fix the problem. they do not fix your depression. they cause you be to numb. rather than feeling what you did, and thinking what you did, you are filled with a void of emptiness, but a satisfying one. and once you are immediately off the anti-depressants, you revert back to who you were in an instant. and if you’ve ever seen people on anti-depressants, when it’s successful, you start to see people losing emotion, and personalities start to disappear day to day. their facial expressions start to look the same, and they’ve become so mundane and bland.

and if you’ve taken a look at the biological research, the lines start to get fuzzy after a while. so depletion of serotonin and norephinephrine are important contributions to depression. you look at hormones, the relations between stress and cortisol, and the amount of dopamine in people’s system. this is all valuable information, but how can society conclude that now psychology has become biologically based? psychology pulls from different sources: biological, social, cognitive, and personality aspects, and there’s so much more that i haven’t listed. when did psychology become a health factor? chicken pox is biological. a broken bone can be clearly seen through an x-ray, and skin conditions can be treated with medication. but psychology is so broad, and so ambiguous that there are no fine lines, that we can’t conclude that pills will fix people. our brain is so much more complicated and delicate than what science can determine. you can alter the brain chemistry, but you aren’t truly alleviating any problems. while there are potential biological factors that can contribute various mental conditions due to genes and heredity, we can’t assume that this is the cause. in fact, we should’ve never assumed any of this in the first place.

anti-depressants are just a temporary solution, if you want to call it a solution. it’s a quick fix. the beauty of these drugs is that they give the effect that they’re supposed to. it’s a guaranteed win, or it’s supposed to seem that way. they get rid of everything that makes you wrong. in a sense, drugs delete part of who you are and replace you nothing of who you were. what i think..is that some people are just the way they are. they were born with a certain temperament, and their attitudes and beliefs have further shaped them to be that way. and mistakes happen. and things fall apart. and people become broken. people need an ear to listen, an eye for a clear vision, a hand to guide them through the darkness, and a heart that holds infinite love. and maybe i’m completely wrong. maybe i haven’t gotten a clear picture of psychiatry yet. and who knows, maybe in two years i’ll change my mind. but for now, there is a reason why i am not going into psychiatry for graduate school.

while i am still in the process of learning the true colors of what psychiatry really holds, i am fired up and i have been upset over this issue with our society for quite a while now. science isn’t the answer. it should be a pathway used to enlighten us to other solutions. the biological model is shit, and people should realize that the industry is much more focused on making profit rather than attending to your best interests, but you can’t blame the psychiatrists. health insurance companies are FUCKED up, but they are getting away with it. they’re making millions of dollars, it’s an easy way to make money. we shouldn’t trust science so much, but it’s understandable. science seems like the answer to all of our problems. it seems safe, it seems like a guarantee, but you have to remember, by resorting to science, we are admitting that it strips us of everything we are. we are assuming that science can make us better. we are saying that the parts of us that make us human, that make us unique, that create us and alter us, can be fixed by science.

i’d like to also bash on individuals, because this isn’t entirely society’s fault. we are ignorant. we are shallow. we are quick to judge. as a society, we are undereducated. when someone is depressed, we automatically assume they need anti-depressants. we do not assume that maybe the situation they are exposed to creates a maladaptive environment, we do not think twice about whether the people they’re surrounded with has caused them conflict, we do not even considerthat some people have poor coping skills, that if we could change the way people think, we could improve their state of mind. i get it. parents get worried. friends become concerned. we want the people around us to get better as soon as possible because we cannot stand the idea of seeing our loved ones so miserable. but the problem with psychiatry and the DSM-IV criteria is that it assumes everyone is the same. it doesn’t matter what you’ve gone through, your personality isn’t taken into consideration, your thoughts, your past, your troubles, they all don’t matter. the fact that you have insomnia, trouble eating, difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation gives you a diagnosis of depression.

take a look at the commercials. “is zoloft not working for you? is prozac just not cutting it? try abilify!” it’s bullshit. it’s all bullshit. our society is a piece of shit.

the current system of psychiatry needs to be questioned. it needs to be changed. and the first thing you can do to confront this issue is by countering everything psychiatry stands for. that’s how anything changes after all, by going directly against it. dare to stand up, because you will be heard

(march 2011)


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