Doctor Jake here again to give my unprofessional analysis on a subject that I have very little knowledge about, and therefore have no right discussing in an open forum. Guess I’m no better than an Alabama state senator (OH SNAP! OH NO HE DIDN’T!).
It’s my opinion that we’re an over diagnosed and overmedicated society. The recent opioid epidemic can back me up there. I’m fully aware that me addressing the drug problem is the exact definition of calling the kettle black. I have been known to partake in the occasional good time but prescription drugs?
…Ok maybe once or twice. But only because I was holding them for a friend (in my mouth)!
My hatred for our medical system stems from a stream of personal experiences.
When I was 15 I got a massive concussion from playing soccer. Four years later, I was in college and was having dizzy spells to the point where I could barely stand up. I went to the hospital and spent 5 hours in the waiting room because the nurses were convinced I was faking. When I asked what was wrong with me, the nurse replied “I don’t know, probably a tumor.” Gotta love the professionalism. After an MRI it revealed that my previous concussion had left some brain damage resulting in chronic vertigo (a condition I still deal with to this day). The doctor said this should’ve have been caught years ago during my first brain scan (it had actually. My doctor at the time prescribed Tylenol. Again…gotta love the professionalism).
Years later I was living in Los Angeles and was having some mental health issues. It took me forever to leave my house because I had to obsessively check every nook and cranny of my apartment. I wasn’t sleeping due to constant nightmares and certain sounds and smells made me sweaty and dizzy. Also I had just discovered the “Walking Dead” and was binge watching it every night alone, so that might have been the reason behind some of these symptoms.
So like anyone else would do in my situation, I paid an exuberant amount of money to see a therapist twice a week. After a lengthy psych analysis I was diagnosed with anxiety, ADHD, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and PTSD. So basically I won mental health bingo. My therapist’s suggestion to deal with all these ailments? Keep a Xanax in my pocket “just in case.” Their exact words.
Here’s the dealio. Even though I’ve had my fun with recreational drugs, I’ve never been a strong believer in medicating a person unless it’s absolutely necessary. Although I wasn’t feeling my normal happy self, I knew deep down that these issues were self manageable. So I ignored my therapists advice to become a feelingless drone, and instead did some self improvement practices. It was never easy, and a lot of times unbearable, but I was happy to be dealing with these problems head on instead of over medicating myself. I eventually realized that it was my environment that was causing a lot of my issues, and that’s when I moved to Portland. The best move I could have ever made for myself.
I’m very fortunate that my conditions were mild enough that I could handle them myself. There are plenty of people that don’t have that luxury and rely on medication to get them through the day.
This brings me to the point of all of this. We’re so quick to diagnose everything that we don’t take individuals needs into account.
My OCD is triggered by the possibility of the stove not being turned off and the doors left unlocked, stemming from my childhood home burning down and my car and apartment being broke into multiple times. My case is manageable, and should not be given the same drug prescription as someone with more severe symptoms.
My anxiety comes from more of a social place. Like waiting five minutes to contribute to a conversation only to have my comment land flat causing me to hide at home for about a year.
My ADHD is just basic lack of ability to focus. I’ve been playing with a toy car while writing this post.
Depression? I’ve never had a serious suicidal thought in my life. Except when the Seahawks lose.
I think the reason some of us are so unhappy is because we have medical “professionals” telling us that. I truly believe that there are some good therapist and doctors out there, but man are there a lot of bad ones. And if there’s ever a time to give a crap about your job it’s when you hold one of those titles and the lives of others are at stake.
In short I’m going to start writing Yelp reviews for doctors.