by Sandra Church,
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ancient Greek philosopher said, ‘Some remedies are worse
than the disease.’ This is still true today, though our
remedies are hopefully far more advanced (and less painful) than
those of the ancients. However, sometimes it does seem as though
the treatments we face are worse than the diseases they are designed
to cure. Depression, for example, can be one of those diseases.
Health Canada has identified depression as an extremely common
problem, and is encouraging people through advertisements to seek
help. There are many marvelous drugs available to lift depression
or anxiety, but the medication is not the cure. A cure can only
come from the individual. When medication starts to work and lifts
the depression or relieves the anxiety, then it is the responsibility
of the individual to find the reasons for the problems. Once found,
the source of the depression must be addressed.
often, it is life situations that are the cause of depression
or anxiety. Perhaps the issue is a bad relationship, money worries,
or a job situation. Sometimes it is easier to ignore the source
of the problem and treat just the symptoms. This often leads to
drug dependency or having to increase the drug dose to mask the
bad feelings. A drug therapy should be viewed as a way to give
the person the energy to make some changes so that the source
of the problem is addressed. A bad job may have to be changed,
or you may have to deal with a bad boss. A poor marriage may need
to be addressed, which may be very difficult.
have many good drugs that do their jobs well. Antibiotics treat
infections, insulin keeps diabetes in control, thyroid hormones
treat hormone deficiency. Medical research is always looking for
a cure for uncountable diseases, and the medications that control
or cure are invaluable. But, it’s still up to the individual
to look for the source not the problem, and to help themselves
by living in the most healthy way they can manage. As an example,
the insulin-dependent diabetic who does not eat a good, healthy
diet will not obtain the optimal benefits of the drug treatment.
personal responsibility is to behave in a healthy manner especially
if there is a disease involved. The arthritic person who may benefit
from medication also needs to include healthy and continuing behaviour,
maybe exercise or regular walking. ‘I can’t do that!
I have arthritis!’ can be the excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle,
which may include things such as overeating. We can help ourselves
even when there is disease, and we can do more than just treat
can learn as much as possible about the challenges we have. For
example, if someone has diabetes, there are often clinics with
nurses and nutritionists to help the individual make decisions
about diet and other behaviour. If the challenges are depression
or anxiety, professional therapists may help the individual make
decisions about what to do, whether it’s about work, relationship,
or family issues, or addictions.
are many people who are diagnosed with a disease which may be
the result of an addiction (i.e. tobacco use, alcohol use, food
misuse). Their doctors may prescribe drugs to help mood, digestion,
or mental problems, but these drugs usually focus only on the
symptoms. In addition to medication, the doctors need the individuals
to help them and help themselves by addressing the source of the
problem.. What’s the point of a breathing medication if
the patient continues to smoke?
we can’t lay the blame for medication not working well on
the medication if we don’t address the source of the problem.
It may be what we do or don’t do which makes the problem
worse. People often like to blame the doctor for not giving them
the right combination of medication, yet the person continues
to overeat, smoke or drink. Take charge and help manage your own
by utilizing not only medication, but also information and recommendations
of professionals and support from family and friends.
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