In the past few decades, the number of people suffering from some type of mental illness has increased significantly. So much so in fact that it is now estimated that nearly half of all Americans would easily fit the diagnosis for a mental illness. To many, this indicates an epidemic is on our hands. However, are these people truly suffering from a mental illness or has the world of psychology and psychotropic drugs simply taken things too far?
What is a Mental Illness?
A plethora of mental illnesses do exist: schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, anxiety disorders and many, many more. Furthermore, it is important to note that a ‘mental’ health issue is not always something such as depression, it could be an issue in which the brain is causing other issues, such as a “tic,” for example. Tic disorders can cause a person to have bodily ticks in which the movement is quick and uncontrollable. This may not appear to be a “mental” issue to many people, but because it involves the way the brain functions, it is deemed as exactly that.
Many people assume that a mental illness, no matter what the kind, is the result of a chemical imbalance. Unfortunately, some studies are proving that this is not true. Some people may suffer from a mental illness, but having a mental illness does not mean it is caused an imbalance of any kind. The brain is one of the most ill-understood portions of the human body, so this should come as no surprise.
Do Prescription Drugs Help?
The jury is out on whether or not prescribed psychiatric drugs are truly beneficial or not to the majority of patients suffering from a mental illness. In fact, many psychiatric drugs come with the disclaimer that these drugs may not actually target the ‘chemical imbalance’ thought to cause the mental illness, but in some way, do seem to help alleviate symptoms.
In other words, medications are being prescribed but it’s unsure whether many of these drugs actually help the issue at hand, or if they’re doing something else entirely. This has led many doctors to wonder if these medications are worsening the situation or causing long-term issues to arise that may not have arisen had the medication never been prescribed to begin with.
In short, mental illness may very well be an epidemic. This is not necessarily because it is a true epidemic, but it may even boil down to the fact that the human brain is still very much misunderstood. Scientists even to this day still don’t know exactly how it works. Therefore, it can be difficult to understand how prescription drugs can be prescribed when it is still not entirely understood how many mental illnesses occur in the first place. In other words: how can one prescribe medication for something when they don’t know the true underlying cause?
The author of this article is NOT an expert by any means, this should be read as an opinionated blog only and is only being posted for the subject matter. ALWAYS consult a true physician or mental health specialist before making decisions relating to your own or another’s mental illness.