Modern medicine offers hope to those who would be hopeless without it. There are treatments available that enable us to either cure or live with diseases that meant death for those who suffered in the past. Often,when we are sick or find that we have a chronic illness, we go to the doctor in hopes of receiving a pill that will make it possible to continue our lives as before. Hoping for a positive outcome is healthy but thinking that it should always come in pill form isn’t. It is easy to swallow pills but the easy fix can often have disastrous effects on our health.
The drug culture of the sixties not only paved the way for current problems with illegal drugs but its influence is also felt in the modern view of medicine. Doctors aren’t much different from wizards and we go to them in hopes of solving all of our problems. Pills are used to treat everything from depression, to diabetes, to obesity. This is the quick and easy fix of our time but it can create others problems that can cause more harm than the original malady.
Over medication is a huge problem in the United States. Many older patients are even put into retirement homes under the idea that they are suffering a dementia when in reality, they are taking too many pills. The problem with drugs is that they cause side effects. These side effects mimic other diseases and are then treated as new disease. When seeing a number of specialists, the risk of becoming over-medicated increases. Doctors all have different ideas of treatment and they all resist stepping on the toes of their colleges. This can result in a patient taking medications that don’t mix and sets that patient up for being treated for other new diseases that are really side effects. The result of this kind of mistreatment is a patient in such a state of fogginess that they are unable to make reasonable decisions about their health. To be over-medicated is to be helpless.
Most of us think of drug addicts as being people who use illegal drugs for pleasure. However, there are many people who are physically dependent upon prescription drugs. Most are unaware of the risk of dependence when they are first prescribed certain medications. When they begin to experience the problems associated with the need for larger doses to support the same effect, such as, depression and anxiety, they are often treated with other drugs that can also cause physical dependence. This leaves people in a dangerous state of mind and may even lead to their use of illegal drugs if the legal ones are with-held. The disease of addiction is the same no matter if the drug is legal or illegal. The same demon torments all drug addicted persons.
I lived in a drug induced fog and fought the demon of physical dependence for about eight years. I used to think that if I found a doctor I trusted and did what he or she said, I would be fine. I never questioned their diagnoses and as I was prescribed new medications for new illnesses, I never thought that the diseases might only be side effects. I reached a point of crisis that forced me to look at things differently. I felt God impress upon my spirit that I should trust only Him and look to nature in helping me get away from taking so many prescribed drugs.
I made the decision to take charge of my health knowing that I was responsible for what might go wrong. I used the internet to educate myself about different supplements and how they support different functions in the body. I began taking these supplements and slowly weaning myself off of the medication. In this process, I found that almost all of our needs are provided for in nature. The older ways which include diet and exercise are slower but produce better and more enduring good effect. Most of the diseases I was diagnosed as having, disappeared as my medications were dropped. I did have physical dependence upon some of them and I found a doctor willing to help me wean myself from them. This dependence was a shock to me as the risk of it was never mentioned by my doctor.
I could choose to be angry with my doctors and I could have sought legal retribution. However, I know that it was my mindset of wanting the easy way out, of wanting a pill that could quickly cure my problem, that set me up for mistreatment. I also know that drug companies control medical education in this country and young doctors are only taught to test and prescribe pills. They usually don’t mean to cause harm but are simply part of the same culture that sees drugs as a cure-all. Now when I seek treatment, I weigh everything carefully and make my decision rather than relying upon my doctor to make all of my health decisions for me. I look for others ways to treat my problem before I take any medication.
Responsibility is the key, for both doctor and patient, in the prevention of becoming over-medicated. When seeking treatment for a serious illness, it is a good idea to take someone with you to take notes and ask any questions that you may miss. When sick or under the influence of high-powered chemicals, people lose the ability to make good decisions. Doctors are only human and must be held accountable. A second ear and answers written down go a long way in accomplishing that accountability. It is also good to remember that no matter how highly educated a physician is, we know the reality of how we feel. We also know our own bodies in a way that a doctor can never know. It is important to have a trustworthy doctor but it is more important to place trust in knowing yourself.
Taking charge of my healthcare was the healthiest choice I ever made.