When Did Normal Became Crazy?
When I was in high school, for some weird reason I deserved the nickname of Krazy Kat. This was reminiscing that old black and white cartoon that ended hammered by the mouse... I hope someone out there remembers... O.K., so the cartoons are dated as of 1930 and older, but for me it was the 70s and some still aired!
Anyhow, the thing is that as you could imagine, I was not thrilled with the pseudonym. I've had enough with being called crazy most of my elementary years, to now see it as a brand name associated with poor little me. Twenty-five years later they still call me crazy.
So, how did I ended up EMBRACING the name to make it my own personal preferred nickname in the whole wide internet? I realized, somehow, crazy is good. This hub is not written by a psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, lawyer or any of the sort. This is written by a human being who accepts her humanity as normal and refuses the labeling of what it means to be alive.
I am not talking perfection, I am not even talking normal... I am talking about being a human being and the sickness that involves the infinite label of every single human emotion and stage in life.
Emotions are Sickness, According to DSM
Any imaginable emotion, albeit fear, anger, excessive happiness or exhilaration can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), currently in its fifth edition. The main reason this book exists is so psychiatrists and psychologists can invoice their insurance faster. This, according to their own description: "Mental Health Professionals use this manual when working with patients in order to better understand their illness and potential treatment and to help 3rd party payers (e.g., insurance) understand the needs of the patient." You tell me why insurance would need to "understand the needs of the patient."
The fifth edition actually includes grief as a condition. This means that if you are mourning the loss of someone, you could be automatically diagnosed and prescribed with the current "appropriate" medication. Any given emotion or behavior has a current matching medication.
The New Scientific Method
Back in those high school years of mine, I remember how I enjoyed my Biology class (not that the teacher wasn't a looker) but I really looked forward to this class. One of my most memorable lessons was that one about the Scientific Method. The basic premise of thinking like a scientist is in fact that one is to always provide EVIDENCE to support a STATEMENT or theory.
Such is not the case for sciences like psychiatry or psychology. The basis of their diagnosis lie on the concept of chemical imbalance. Guess what? It is impossible to measure chemical imbalance. So, how is it that you are getting prescribed to balance out something that no one is certain how bad is it in the first place? Where's what scientific method there? Where is the evidence, the test results that actually prove you are indeed ill?
Oddly enough, Science seemed to have uprooted us from any sort of superstition or even religious belief to implant a NEW form of superstition: The conviction that there is indeed something wrong with you and you need help immediately.
All One Has is a TV Ad
Yes... think about it... There we are, going through life experiences... Gosh, I hate the ambiguity... so for example, there goes my boyfriend out the door, yet again... Slamming on the door, storming down the street. There I go with good expletives telling him exactly what not, until he leaves and I go from screaming to sobbing in 30 seconds flat.
The TV is on, and here goes the ad: "Are you not enjoying life like you used to? Do you feel lonely or sad? Things are just not going the way you intended them to? --Call your doctor and ask about Zoloft (or Prozac, or Celebrex, or Paxil...). Don't you think that if they wanted to MAKE YOU FEEL glad they couldn't? Or course they could! In a vulnerable state (which is the default state of being human) it's natural to assume the other is addressing you for your own good. Nobility is a huge business.
I mean, if it is on TV, must be good, right? Wrong! Repeat after me: TV is not my friend...
And how come most don't stop and think how is it that the secondary effects list takes almost as long as the TV ad itself... It goes like this: dry mouth, insomnia, sexual side effects, diarrhea, nausea and sleepiness... Insomnia AND sleepiness? I want two boxes! Wait! did the ad mention anything about suicidal thoughts? No... Are you sure? Check out http://www.zoloft.com/ lower left and bottom, there are two beautiful black boxes (just like in cigarette packs). Too lazy to click? I deliver! Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions.
So What to do?
I mean, whew, I know is difficult. Few friends I know had the cojones to actually tell their psychiatrist: "Ah, doctor, I don't think so..." when he handed the prescription or that new FREE sample for the latest happy pill. Is tough, and my lips are sealed as to specific advice (remember, I'm just another crazy human being that refuses to deny her emotions, her ups and downs, her obsessions... her whole wonderful strange self).
I can tell you that as of 2011, the median annual income for a pharmaceutical sales representative is between $75,269 and $106,009, according to PayScale.com. The pay rate for top CEOs are about 30 million dollars per year, without other fringe benefits. The global pharmaceutical market is expected to hit 1.1 trillion by 2014.
Of course, the industry earnings are no indications of their morality or lack thereof. What could make the mark is the amount of apparently constant warning letters the Federal Drug Administration sends them... more like postcards.
So, in the end is up to you. Hope you make it right for yourself and those around you. Accept your good self. We all have our ups and downs... get out there, reach out and touch... Get a second opinion, and above all, read closely those eluding side effects!
If you still think all of this is urban legend, look for the website Top Documentary Films.
Newsflash: Your Doctor is on Your Meds Payroll!
Drug companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to influence doctors' prescribing habits -- money that often goes directly into physicians' pockets for "consulting fees" and "educational presentations." Wondering if your doc one of them?