I know many people who have been prescribed 10 or more medications. If supplements and “as needed” meds are included, I know of people on a list of 40. Yikes!
Why So Many Meds?
The answers lie within all the realms of our lives. We are complexed beings in a complexed society so the answer is multifaceted.
Physical realm: Being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet and smoking contribute to most of our ailments. If we change these things, we can put fewer medications into our bodies.
Intellectual realm: When we decide to take responsibility for our health, we need to be “in the know”. Knowledge of specific ailments, medications and your options is necessary. A risk and benefit analysis of the options you have and knowing how to prioritize various treatment/healing options helps us to make the right decisions.
Social and cultural realm: 1. People do not know who to talk to who will help give them a full picture of the options that are available. A good MD will provide many options, but their time with you is limited as is their knowledge of the options which lie outside of their specialty (allopathic medical care). 2. Drug companies saturate physicians with their products’ information which cause them to do more prescribing and direct-to-consumer advertising tell patients that they can take control of their lives if only they use their products. 3. We lost touch the ability to really listen to our bodies. One example is pain. (People in other cultures will tolerate a lot more pain than we will tolerate.) Pain has a purpose; the pain may be telling you “don’t garden today, if you garden your body will break down”, if we can’t hear our bodies, we end up on more meds. 4. The busy pace of our society and the breakdown of the family unit. People who have a strong social support system are less likely to get sick and die than those who don’t.
Emotional realm: King Solomon wrote, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Stress and other negative emotions cause increased heart attacks, a break down in the immune system, hives an increased risk for cancer etc., so meds are prescribed to treat these problems. The thought of understanding our ailments and taking various actions for each of them can be very overwhelming; it’s easier just to take a pill.
Behavioral realm: I believe that most of us pretty much know the most important things we should change in our lives which would give us improved health, yet competing commitments block the way. How do we motivate ourselves to do the right thing when we are in pain, when we are addicted or simply when it is something we are not used to doing?
Spiritual realm: I look forward to the glorious body that I will someday possess in Jesus’ kingdom. God made us in His image yet we have fallen greatly and now we reside in these feeble bodies. This spiritual realm is impossible to discuss well in a short article. In essence, God wants to see you whole while the devil delights in seeing you sick, oppressed and enslaved to drugs. Lack of our fervent prayers in the midst of a spiritual battlefield render us weak and vulnerable. If you have heeded Christ’s call “Come unto Me” and you daily abide in Him, then He will give you a joy even in the midst of your suffering. He will give you His wisdom as you pursue wellness.
America has slipped into a mega-pill popping society. I described above some reasons for this social malady but we are a long ways from fixing it. As individuals let’s not slip into anything. Let’s live our lives with “ferocious focus” and create our best lives right now.
- Katherine Rubin, Life Coach and Wellness Coach in Chico, California ferocious focus life coaching, ferocious focus wellness coaching