Does prescription drugs such as antidepressants and other mood stabilizers really cure a person’s mental illness? Today we’re living in a world where the medical field is growing and becoming more efficient, but there are also many obstacles that the field meets. The problem that many patients are facing are with their psychiatrists, these patients are mentally unstable and are seeking help to function on a daily basis without mood swings, waves of depression, bipolar disorders, and other mental illnesses. The problem with psychiatrists are that most of them tend to prescribe their patients with prescription drugs, antidepressants, mood stabilizers; lexapro, prozac, celexa, zoloft, etc. (Cherney, 2017). The problem is that some of these patients do not need prescription drugs to feel “normal” and function on the daily basis, because are times due to these prescriptions that negative effects happen to the suffering person, including depression getting worse becoming severe and often suicidal thoughts, attempts, and even successes.
Although, psychiatrists are not therapists I believe that they are able to evaluate their patients more conscientiously enough to know whether or not to prescribe them pills or to help them set up psychotherapy treatment. The issue that psychiatrists have with establishing their patients a therapist is that they’ll lose out on their pay. Daniel Carlat, a clinical professor of psychiatry had said, “you can make two, three, four times as much money being a prescriber than a therapist” (apa, 2016). The more psychiatrist push out pills the more money they get, it is known that the industry, creates disorders and markets the newest prescription drug that is to “known” to cure anxiety or a mental illness of some sort, but little do patients know is they are basically being experimented on because the psychiatrists are still unsure what the prescription drug effects actually are (C.Pfeffer, 2008). Cortland Pfeffer, wrote an article called, “Licensed to Kill: Psychiatry, Big Pharma and the State-Sanctioned Drug Cartel” talking about how these psychiatrists made him sick by the way the were money hungry, experimenting new prescriptions on patients. Questioning who is actually the sick ones? These corrupted, greedy, psychiatrists or the mentally unstable patients?
There are ongoing problems with pushing out prescription drugs to just any of the psychiatrists patients, some psychiatrists also are uneducated about “chemical imbalances”. It’s been said by many that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain, which is false and has never been proven. There is such thing as a chemical imbalance but it is not the reason for someone’s depression/anxiety, a psychiatrist evaluates a patient, and even from experience I know that they will say that there happens to be a chemical imbalance going on in the brain so they’ll prescribe a low dosage of a mood stabilizer for the patient to feel “normal” and not on an emotional rollercoaster. “Treating mental illnesses with pharmaceuticals is simply aiming to address symptoms and not causes” (C.Pfeffer, 2008). People all around believe the chemical imbalance theory because it is easy to believe the professional psychiatrist.
Throughout all the research, it is saddening that these patients have to go through their psychiatrist, feeling like they are being “schooled” on their mental health, getting told the opposite of how they feel because the psychiatrist does have powerful authority over the patient. There are patients that know and feel as if they don’t need all of the medication that is being prescribed to them but psychiatrists push and push and make these patients feel as if they really do need them. The patients that are trying to get the help that they need from their doctors is important, taking the prescription drugs are affecting these patients physical health as well. “Psychiatric drugs and conditions can affect physical health, and drugs for medical conditions, as well as the medical conditions themselves, have psychological effects” (S.Koven, 2013). I’m not sure if psychiatrists know how much power they have over their patients, but it has a huge effect on their lives, it would be helpful if these psychiatrists would be more genuine about their patients than the money going in their bank accounts.
To become a psychiatrist doesn’t take too much schooling and there are very minimum requirements such as, Interview and examine patients; diagnose mental health issues; prescribe medication and therapeutic treatment; provide outpatient and inpatient therapy (BLS). But because psychotherapy doesn’t get these psychiatrists big bucks they always go back to prescribing the latest and “best” drug. There was an interview with a psychiatrist named Dr.Levin, he used to be a therapist but became a drug pushing psychiatrist, he admits to the fact that “talking doesn’t pay”, it is that a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute medication visits compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session (P.Hickey, 2011). Dr.Levin says a lot of things that proves that psychiatrists are money hungry because he was a therapist before going into psychiatry. There is competition in the medical field between therapists and psychiatrists, and psychiatrists are winning there are patients needing therapy but are leaving hospitals with just prescriptions in hope that they will work. Prescription pills are becoming an epidemic, they are raising the bars for psychiatrists, so high that hospitals that once have set up therapy for their patients now just give them prescriptions that may not help, and possibly make their illness worse (G.Harris, 2011).
All of these problems need a solution, to me I feel like these psychiatrists need more education and knowledge on their patients and their needs. I also feel like as a nation take mental illnesses more serious because they are underestimated and put aside. In a scholarly article, for a solution they had said, “Educational efforts should be made to improve the prescribing patterns; general practitioners; psychiatrists” (ncib). Psychiatrists like Dr.Levin may not even care about their patients, they will do whatever it takes to get the pay that they desire, to them their patients don’t truly matter they have just become bitter and have taught themselves not to care too much about their problems.