Sunday, March 11, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
One of the things that continues to bother me as a psychologist is that people are way too often looking for easy answers to their problems. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies continue to have a huge influence on the general public in telling them that they have a "chemical imbalance" that can quickly be rectified with their "magic pill". Medications are a very helpful tool in helping people with depression, anxiety and many other mental disorders, but are not the only or even sometimes the best answer to helping with their problems. Drug companies would have you believe that you can quickly eliminate your problems by simply taking a pill. Medications treat symptoms not causation, and should never be mistaken for a "cure". The only cures are to look at and deal with what is causing the "chemical imbalance", rather than just accepting it as a strictly biological event. "Cures" frequently come in the form of psychological or social assistance in fixing relationships, dealing with grieving, alcohol or drug problems etc. The goal of a good psychologist or other mental health clinician should be in the beginning to help an individual to recognize if they need "only medication", "only psychotherapy" or a combination of both, and then to direct them toward the necessary services or resources. Frequently there are no "microwave solutions to good mental health".