The Era of Quick Fixes

Pink Magazine: Out of DarknessPink magazine has an article called “Out of Darkness” on high-powered, successful women (likely in corporate America) who suffer from depression and try to hide it. There’s an online exclusive but the actual article can only be read in the print version of the magazine.

Apart from the three resourceful sidebars accompanying the article, the one thing that I felt was missing from the article more of an emphasis on psychotherapy. The article seemed to focus heavily on women whose condition improved as a result of medication. There appears to be only one mention of a women whose condition improved with psychotherapy and medication.

While I understand that medication can be an important factor in assisting those with mental illness to recovery, it should not be the sole form of treatment. Mental illness does not only involve the chemical/biological activity of the brain, but it also involves the psyche — the part of us that comprises of our personalities and behaviors. This is why cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialetical behavioral therapy (DBT), among other forms of treatment, can be so beneficial. I’m not a fan of being on medication but I feel that 80 percent of my recovery comes from my weekly Christian counseling sessions. Therapy, medication, or other forms of treatment are not cure-alls, and I’m concerned when I read that people rely solely on medication for treatment. These are the people who are most likely to suffer relapses because after a while, their medication just “stops working.”

Most people today are looking for a “quick fix.” We do this with weight loss (alli), food (McDonald’s), exercise (Fast Abs), and so much more. Then, it should be no surprise that people desire a quick fix to control their emotions. Some people use illegal drugs to dull the emotional pain in their life. Is it possible that psychotropics are the “legal” drugs that accomplish the same purpose?

8 Comments

  1. Gianna said,

    July 22, 2008 at 8:05 am

    oh yeah…you got it..I think drugs are drugs are drugs when it comes to the mind-altering ones…and yes, psychotropics are mind-altering just like illegal drugs…we’ve got sanctioned drug addicts and we’ve got unsanctioned drug addicts…
    and I’m not necessarily making a complete indictment against drugs here either. I’ve seen people use so-called “recreational” drugs responsibly—not suggesting it happens often, but it does happen.

  2. thestranger said,

    July 22, 2008 at 9:47 am

    I saw a psychiatrist and he recommended medication in combination with therapy right off the bat for my depression. I can’t help but think my depression is the result of bad habits and negative thinking and that correcting that will correct my depression. Giving up my really bad drug addictions was probably the best thing I ever did for myself, but it its ironic to replace those habits with legal medications. I don’t want to go back to the way I was, so I don’t see legal drugs as an option for me.

  3. Jazz said,

    July 22, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Oh, yeah, you are definitely right about the “quick fix” thing. I see that as the root of many of the problems in our culture.

  4. Greybeard said,

    July 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    “Some people use illegal drugs to dull the emotional pain in their life. Is it possible that psychotropics are the “legal” drugs that accomplish the same purpose?”
    I suspect so. Still, coming from someone with way too much experience with both, that’s where the similarities end.

  5. July 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I agree with your statement that mental illness involves the biological activity of the brain as well as the psyche but I would like to add that it also involves the SPIRIT. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl (developer of the meaning based form of psychotherapy known as “logotherapy”) stated, “Man lives in three dimensions: the somatic, the mental, and the spiritual. The spiritual dimension cannot be ignored for it is what makes us human.”
    We are wonderfully complex creations and science is proving the intricate intertwining of our emotional, physical, and spiritual health. For me, addressing my spiritual health was the key to healing from a nine-year battle with major clinical depression that did not respond to medical or psychological treatment.
    Sharon Fawcett
    author of HOPE FOR WHOLENESS: The Spiritual Path to Freedom from Depression

  6. Garden Guru said,

    July 30, 2008 at 9:08 am

    With any depression, it’s a long story…so I’ll get right to the point. I was just told by my psychiatrist this week that she normally doesn’t do CBT. I know that I cannot rely on drugs (Lexapro) for the rest of my life. I took myself off this drug in March 2008 and within five weeks I was right back in the spiraling dark hole of depression. So, back on it I went again…however, without ‘curing’ my thought patterns that I know got me to this point in my life.
    So, yes, I agree 100% with you…I’ve read everything I can get my hands on to help with the thought processes that are poisoning my mind…and my life. Now I know I need a concrete, professional foundation to rebuild my mind. The doc said that because of my intelligence, it would be very difficult to create a CBT program for me. HUH? Then she looked at my insurance info and stated, “Anyway, your insurance would only pay me counseling fees to do any CBT.” In other words, it wouldn’t be worth her time. When I asked if she knew someone she could recommend…answer was ‘no’.
    So, I’ve taken it into my own hands…even if I have to pay out of pocket. That’s the OC in me…at times like this thank God for that ‘affliction’.
    Marissa…thank you so much for this blog. Your intelligent, brutally honest posts and insights give me courage and strength to forge on in my own battle with this dark illness. A year ago I was on the precipice of suicide, staring into an endless dark hole that beckoned for my soul. My family, friends and God held on to me, preventing me from falling into that hole. We all have angels…I consider you one. Thank you

  7. July 30, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Garden Guru,
    I am touched. Thank you for that heartfelt post and your story behind it. I pray that God will sustain you and strengthen you in the midst of your illness and on the path to recovery.
    With kind thoughts,
    Marissa

  8. Jennifer said,

    October 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    “Some people use illegal drugs to dull the emotional pain in their life. Is it possible that psychotropics are the ‘legal’ drugs that accomplish the same purpose?”
    Absolutely. Stay away from that stuff. Drugs opened doors for the Devil to infiltrate my mind. Even though I quit years ago, I’m still not the same. Don’t buy into the lies. If you have health problems, then fix them, but don’t target random chemicals with heavy drugs. Ask if you want to know more of my story.


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