Thursday, October 22, 2009

modern medicine - the good, the bad and the not so clear

today I'm wondering about the implications of modern medicine. Obviously, modern medicine is a fantastic advancement, a huge achievement for man kind. But at what point does it yield negative implications?

I look at the field in which I currently work (psychiatry) and wonder if we are advancing medications that are simply treatment of symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle or culture. Why are there so many anxious and depressed people in our country and all over the world? Why are we finding vitamins (i.e. B12 and Folic acid) are helpful in treating depression? Perhaps because people should not be deficient of them in the first place? Perhaps healthy dieting, stress management, and a different lifestyle are the medicine we really need -- that fixes the root of the problem instead of the symptoms.

At what point do we draw a line to say this is helpful, or this is enabling poor choices to continue to be made? From a public health viewpoint, what are the implications of mass use of antidepressants and anxiolytics? What will this mean if these meds eventually are consumed in developing countries as well??
Are we driving our society into madness by being consumed by busyness, greed, technology and isolation (caused by the American ideal of "independence")...and then using these meds as a band-aid? I need feedback on this one. I feel very perplexed by the whole situation.

Considering it:
natural remedies and healing vs. modern medicines -- what are the true implications of both, especially pertaining to quality of life.

Trying to unlearn it: taking something for every ailment -- i.e. ibuprofen, tums, etc..maybe the "fix it in the moment" meds are just masking symptoms that our body is producing to tell us there is a bigger problem??


  1. Tiff. I like your blog. This is thought provoking. The bottled water bit is interesting to me. We should talk about it sometime.

  2. thanks! we can chat anytime you'd like :)