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Generation Psychotropic

Submitted by GingerBlackstone on April 9, 2010 – 2:49 amComments

by wonker

How many 20 somethings have been , or currently are, taking some form of mood or personality- “improving” substance?  If pressed for a percentage, I would say approximately 70% of the people I meet, know, and care about, including myself.   I took them for 8 solid years, from the tender age of 13 to 21.  It’s incredible to me now that a doctor would prescribe a very young pubescent girl who had never attacked anyone or threatened to kill herself enough medication to narcotize a horse and make that horse fat and acne-prone to boot. Yet, that is exactly what happened.  Yes, I was depressed. Yes, I had to cope with the fact that my father is mentally-ill and absent for periods of my childhood. However, none of that was caused chemically, and none of it could be fixed chemically.  Necessity be damned, I was taking  some of the same medications prescribed to the severely disturbed teenagers that I later got to know as a social worker, which, in my fully functional, pill-free adulthood, floors me.

I do not knock psychotropic medication across the board.  There are people that need help, even temporarily, and need it in swallowable form.  However,  as a Generation that is told it can do anything, we have also been told that we are neurologically flawed and need abrupt fixing. Nevermind that the FDA does not evaluate on a case-by-case basis what doctors are prescribing to whom, for what, and in what amounts. Nevermind that these medications have been proven to damage the kidneys, the liver, the sex drive, and sometimes cause psychosis.  Yes, Prozac has been known to cause psychotic episodes, and is often given alongside other medications in an attempt to prevent this.  These secondary medications have a milieu of nasty side effects,  often causing patients to become lethargic, depressed, hallucinatory, and manic, the very states they are trying to avoid.

Now consider this:  the very same doctors who refuse to attend legal executions because they consider it a violation of the Hippocratic oath spend their working hours writing scripts for medications that increase psychosis, deaden human emotion, and fail to treat the problems of which their patients complained, all for enormous profits.

Why is it that many of the youngsters involved in school shootings over the past fifteen years have been taking, or recently stopped taking, the anti-depressants known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)?  I can say first hand that none of the children, ages 8-15, that I saw daily as a social worker at a Residential Treatment Facility improved their mood or behavior after taking copious amounts of Prozac, Paxil, Risperdal,  Effexor, Zoloft, or Lithium. In fact, most of them regressed into violence, psychosis and depression, and have not, two years later, been released from the facility.

Is this the healing we are all suddenly seeking, or are we just terrified of our humanity, of the bumps and bruises we all must endure as we pass through this world? As a Generation of choicers, taking responsibility for our feelings and our actions is no longer an option. It’s essential to our survival.

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