Seems there’s a new trend for folks my age (50+). Now I’ve never been much of a follower and this new trend is no exception. To be trendy one has to be the holder of the highest number of prescribed medications. Really? Yes, it seems that there is a sense of pride amongst older folks when they can say that they’re taking more pills than their friends. It’s a real competition- and one that I don’t want to win. Does ‘keeping up with the Jones’ now mean popping more pills than our neighbours? Looks like it and it’s quite a problem.
But it seems that more and more people just want a pill to solve their problems – whether the problems are physical or mental. And it seems that British doctors are more than happy to help. They’re prescribing pills in record numbers but keep in mind that sometimes it’s only a placebo (http://rt.com/news/uk-doctors-prescribe-placebo-585/). And even the mental health industry is getting in on the trend. In a recent Maclean’s article (http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/07/29/is-anybody-normal-anymore/), mental health experts are trying to convince anyone that will listen that no one is ‘normal’ anymore and that a pill of some kind is required. Even children that have temper tantrums on a regular basis (and let’s be honest, ALL children have regular temper tantrums!) are no longer normal. That’s right – they have a mental disorder.
And new mental disorders are popping up all over the place. I happened to hear of a recent court proceeding, involving a twenty-something young man and he was being defended of his charges by way of ‘oppositional defiance disorder’. Are you shittin’ me? I’ve had oppositional defiance disorder my whole life and I seem to be getting along just fine and haven’t been in jail – yet. My in-laws might say otherwise but they don’t know what they’re talking about. In fact I’m sure there’s a mental disorder that would describe them. In fact, there’s probably a few disorders that would describe them. We’ll save that for another post.
Considering all of this, I think the regular use of marijuana doesn’t even come close to being as serious. And all of this mess is being created and justified by health professionals, looking after my best interest. Sounds to me like they’re looking after the best interest of the pharmaceutical companies instead. Instead of prescribing a pill (or two, or more!), tell them to go do some physical work or take a walk or change their attitude. We’ve got a motto in our house – either change your attitude or change your circumstances. Believe it or not, we do that without help from a pill. Sometimes it does take a couple of Diet Cokes though.