Saturday, 8 July 2017

We're Not Just Composed Of Flesh And Chemicals, Surely?


Dear Reader,

An artlcle in the Guardian this weekend was headed: "I took my first antidepressant this week. The effects were frightening." [Link]

This article elicited a great response. Within half-a-day this article received over 1,100 comments and over 2,800 Facebook shares before comments were closed.

I managed to make a comment:

Yes, I read below someone saying that Deborah is "very brave" talking so openly about her condition.
But all the replies I've read (sorry I've only read the last 20 or 30 or so) seem to be supporting this drug therapy culture in some way or other. Though I'd agree there are times in your life when pretty well everyone (I imagine) goes through some kind of stress of a threatening kind, and some kind of 'action' is needed to circumnavigate the issue, why does the action have to be one that supports the idea that we are *simply* made up of chemicals and that a chemical has to be the appropriate treatment?
In 73 years I've had a few knocks (like many) - and some of them tortuous. But apart from a phase in my late teenage years, I've never taken psychiatry very seriously. Why? Well 40 years ago I was asked to befriend a deeply disturbed psychiatric patient and found that sheer sincerity and love towards them seemed to produce results - and just in one meeting. Results that the 'experts' were surprised to see. And also because I have demonstrated to myself that the real self is more to do with Mind and Spirit, and that there are spiritual methods (not just one) that will at least mostly alleviate the problem.
Why subject oneself to danger through more chemicals? The very idea is lost on me.
Of course, I had a couple of 'Doubting Thomas' replies to my post, the last saying:
So your one experience of helping a friend means that all the years, trials, learning and experiences of the millions of people and the medical community should be trashed? If it was simple do you think people would not choose the easiest solution?
And there lies the problem. The straightforward mention of 'spiritual' means (to some) that what is proposed is that science has to be entirely given up in favour of what is perceived to be a 'simple' alternative. And that because so much has (apparently) been achieved by science must mean it's the only approach that matters. People seem to lose sight of the fact that science works only on the basis of what can be demonstrated as proven, and they lose focus on the fact that what was true (in science) just a few years ago is often already supplanted. And that's not even to mention how good safety precautions of 100 years ago have been ditched to create the Grenfell Tower scenario.

And when it comes to the subject of mental health (the topic of the above-mentioned article), the policies in force towards treatment only 50 years ago seem now to have been quite primitive and unthinkable today. But today the subject of mental health is still one of official detachment: "if the disease cannot be seen then how can it exist?" mentality. People talk of it and want to do something, but where is the will to do so? Meanwhile, as another commenter stated: "the medical profession's general response to depression or anxiety is the same: meds [medication] and more meds which only serve to mask never solve the underlying problems."

Has anyone stopped to consider that maybe the environment we have created this past 50 years may be much of the cause of today's hidden timebomb? When I was brought up in the late 40s and 50s, I remember a time of mainly happiness even though we were not well off. Children had so much freedom - until PC took over.

I read a book recently when someone observed that whereas we were once benefitting from the visitation to our gardens of so many friendly birds - sparrows, blackbirds, thrushes and the like. Today we mainly see magpies and seagulls. It's as though the bird population in the cities has mirrored the acquisitive attitudes of us humans.

Something's wrong somewhere that we should put so much faith in medication. Perhaps it's something to do with the (scientific) education we're mainly subject to? Perhaps we should re-examine our Human Values to see what is common amongst us all. Is it Love that's the common factor - or is it sheer indifference?

Thank you for reading this.

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