Seems like a lot of people these days are taking things to help them feel better. Drugs, pills, and medicine are all synonymous terms when it comes to the doctor prescribing you something, and we are bombarded by advertisements at every turn telling us why we should take them…and how by doing so our life will be significantly better in some way. Are these claims really true? Our rational brain tells us no drug is going to make our bills magically go away, but it sure feels good to think that way, especially when we see a pretty person on TV skipping care-free through a flower garden after ingesting an anti-depressant. Again, are there pills that magically make everything better?
What drugs won’t do
We have come a long way with respect to medical discoveries and modern-day solutions to overcoming pain and adversity, but to date, we still do not have “magic bullet solutions” that fix our mental/emotional problems. Try as they might, the pharmaceutical industry does not offer a pill that suddenly makes everything better, even though we would love to think they do. No, there is no psychotropic medication that does any of the following:
- Get rid of your financial debt and and improve your credit score.
- Fix a bad relationship between you and your partner.
- Improve your physical health by trimming unwanted weight and adding healthy muscle tone.
- Secure you a new job and/or career path.
- Teach you new study skills that will allow you to excel academically, even if you have never done well in school before.
- Help you overcome events in the past that you regret today.
- Make your life wonderful overnight.
While receiving a prescription for a psychotropic medication might provide hope, it is important to balance hope with reality. The challenges we face in life will almost certainly require, at minimum, new ways of thinking, learning new information, managing our emotions effectively, and developing the confidence to try new strategies. No drug on the planet will do those things for us, no matter how much we want to believe a drug can solve our problems.
While an argument can be made that some drugs, in specific situations, might provide a brief respite from mental health symptoms, even then the individual will need to develop plans for change and eventual action steps — things no pill can do by itself. Unfortunately, in too many cases today individuals who are prescribed psychotropic drugs assume far more than the drug is capable, and that by taking the drug things will suddenly be better.
While it would certainly be nice to have the option of taking a safe drug that makes our problems quickly go away, the reality is that life happiness, health, and productivity are impacted by your thinking and related decisions, not a pill. Similar to dieting fads, there is not a mental health medication that works over night — even if the ads on TV lead you to believe that way. No, the issues we face as humans will require our best focus, motivation, and resiliency, and none of our issues will be fixed by simply filling out a prescription from the doctor.