The cruel medication of healthy modern American woman

The cruel medication of healthy modern American woman

If you’re a typical, modern American woman, or even any woman almost anywhere, you’ve likely been taught from birth to stifle your feelings, especially around men. You’ve been told, and probably have come to believe, that your deeply felt feminine intuitions are suspect and your emotions are not valid and not wanted by others around you – particularly by men. As a result, when you feel something rather deeply you hesitate to express it with all the care and emotion that propels it. And the result of a lifetime of suppressing your feelings and thinking there’s something wrong with feeling them is, in a word, unhealthy. Julie Holland, a New York City therapist, expresses it perfectly in a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times Sunday Review. She says that “women are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions.

This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring.” But our society’s cultural habits are opposed to that very natural and healthy nature. “Women’s emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power. But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.” Holland points out that the pharmaceutical industry “plays on that fear, targeting women in a barrage of advertising on daytime talk shows and in magazines.” She says that more Americans are on psychiatric medications than ever before and they’re staying on them far longer than was ever intended. Sales of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have soared over the past 20 years, she adds, and they’ve recently been outpaced by Abilify, an antipsychotic drug that’s now the number one selling drug among all drugs, not just psychiatric ones.

One out of every four American women are taking some sort of psych drug, compared to one in seven men. In other words, 30 or 40 million women are consuming drugs to try to suppress what in fact are, in all but a tiny fraction of cases, natural human traits that every normal woman is born with. The situation, Holland says, is simply insane. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression or some sort of “anxiety disorder” and receive prescriptions for psych drugs. This is worse than just making the doctors and especially Big Pharma very rich, which of course is a fact. It’s creating what Holland calls “a new normal, encouraging more women to seek chemical assistance. Whether a woman needs these drugs should be a medical decision, not a response to peer pressure and consumerism.” Holland says the “new, medicated normal” is at odds with female biology, in which brain and body chemicals “are meant to be in flux. “To simplify things, think of serotonin as the ‘it’s all good’ brain chemical.

Too high and you don’t care much about anything; too low and everything seems like a problem to be fixed. In the days leading up to menstruation, when emotional sensitivity is heightened, women may feel less insulated, more irritable or dissatisfied,” she says. “I tell my patients that the thoughts and feelings that come up during this phase are genuine, and perhaps it’s best to re-evaluate what they put up with the rest of the month, when their hormone and neurotransmitter levels are more likely programmed to prompt them to be accommodating to others’ demands and needs.” She says that taking psych drugs, which artificially stimulate the production of the ‘it’s all good’ serotonin, is a bad idea. “Too good is no good. More serotonin might lengthen your short fuse and quell your fears, but it also helps to numb you, physically and emotionally." Holland explains that psych drugs frequently leave women less interested in sex and blunt negative feelings more than they boost positive ones. She says you “won’t be skipping around with a grin, it’s just that you stay more rational and less emotional.” This “emotional blunting” encourages women to behave in ways that are approved by men - appearing invulnerable, for example, which might help a woman move up in a male-dominated business. But it isn’t real and it isn’t normal.

Some people on psych drugs have reported less of “many other human traits: empathy, irritation, sadness, erotic dreaming, creativity, anger, expression of their feelings, mourning and worry,” Holland says. “People who don’t really need these drugs are trying to medicate a normal reaction to an unnatural set of stressors: lives without nearly enough sleep, sunshine, nutrients, movement and eye contact, which is crucial to us as social primates.”

At Novus, we encounter many patients who have used and even come to rely on anti-anxiety and antipsychotic drugs, often in combination with other addictive substances like alcohol or prescription painkillers. In our experience, patients who have detoxified from their habitual substances, and improved their health through correct diet and supplementation, routinely no longer feel the need to mask or manipulate their true feelings with substance use and abuse. If you or someone you care for is using or abusing drugs, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll answer all your questions and help you find the perfect solution to the problem.

Start Your New Path to Sobriety Today!

    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.