What is the secret to a lifetime of happiness and good health? The true key to unlocking that happiness is both individualized and debatable. But one thing is for sure- many people look to find that happiness inside a bottle of pills.
What is it about our culture and society that plants the idea of a quick fix so firmly into our minds? Why do so many of us assume there is some magic bullet out there that will solve all of our individual problems and make us happy?
The truth is happiness doesn’t come from any bottle. It is not something you can have a physician prescribe for you. Life is a little more complicated than that. It’s like saying that all you need to drive a car is some gasoline in your car’s engine. In reality, things are a bit more complicated than that!
This futile search for some kind of pharmaceutically induced form of happiness seems to be a recurring theme for Americans. We want everything right now. And that includes such abstract concepts as happiness.
The problem with simply attempting to medicate away your problems is that it doesn’t always work. And you can see this played out at work day after day as a pharmacist.
Yes, there are legitimate mental health issues such as depression that can be effectively managed through medication among other treatments. And if we are all honest about the alcohol and drug abuse problem we face in America, we may realize that a lot of those issues arise from untreated or under treated mental health problems. Mental health treatment can and should include medication therapy when appropriate.
But what I am saying is that I think a lot of people simply look for answers to their life problems from inside a pill bottle. It has almost become a cultural phenomenon for the United States. If something is wrong, isn’t there a pill for that? That is the mentality we now face.
I think prescribers also fall into this trap. People go to their doctor with some kind of problem and they expect to leave their appointment with something. They want to know they are getting something out of that office visit. And typically, the value they place on a medical appointment is directly related to the number of prescriptions they receive.
I think America does a poor job at exploring and promoting non-pharmacological treatment options to medical problems. Our healthcare system seems to encourage jumping into medication treatment without seriously looking at any viable alternatives. That is a mindset problem that healthcare providers should consider changing.
I think that many people turn to medications to try and solve problems that can’t be treated medically. But people try to medicate their problems away and often that strategy doesn’t work.
Our healthcare system relies to much on using medications to manage patients. And too many people use drugs to find the happiness that is missing in their life for whatever reason. And to me that is a losing proposition.
Mood and happiness are complicated concepts. Mental health isn’t just an issue of under medicated patients. We’ve got to all look for ways other than drugs to help improve patient care and address the underlying issues and problems patients face. Happiness isn’t just found in some pill bottle. Life isn’t that simple.
The Redheaded Pharmacist