“There is a pill for everything.”
Isn’t this the prevailing assumption? That in exchange for your coughing up your $40 co-pay at the doctor’s office, you receive a medication to heal your ailment? I believe this a firmly-held American belief that covers every area of medicine. Including psychiatry.
And this can be scary.
Imagine: a branch of medicine where there are no black-and-white diagnostics, and where we do no head imaging to see what’s going on inside your pretty little head yet we have the audacity to hand out medications that will (theoretically) right whatever wrong is present in your head and turn you into a cheerful soul that can easily move on from the fact that you are divorced, broke, and violated.
This is not realistic.
Look at your lifestyle. Look at your choices. Look at your circumstances. Look at everything you are up against, and everything you are fighting, and everything that is holding you back. You cannot expect a little white pill to overcome so much.
Let me be clear: Are there times when medication is absolutely justified? Yes. Can it be life-saving? Yes.
However, medication is not for everyone. Nor should it be the first step. First steps should include lifestyle examination.
The majority of clients that come to me for help with their depression appear to be perplexed at why I might want to check some bloodwork, or why I might question their diet/activity level or sleep habits, or why I might ask about the quality of their relationships, or what their spiritual beliefs are.
They are puzzled at these questions which in turn puzzles me, because happiness is HOLISTIC.
When I meet with a client for the very first time, this is my anthem: There are no magic pills.
It goes hand in hand with my other anthem: Have reasonable expectations. A new client's reaction to these statements speaks greatly to the prognosis for the recovery.