[Written around 2004.]
Psychotropic medications block the path to enlightenment. They are prescribed by doctors as quick fixes for people who have emotional problems requiring solutions deeper and more complex than anything out of a bottle. Pills may get you out of the house, but they won’t lead you to your soul.
Professional opinion holds that depression and other emotional problems are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. This is not true. Chemical imbalances are a result of the problem, not the cause. Chemical imbalances result from unresolved childhood traumas (which range from mild to extreme), which are the true causes of mental disorders. When people resolve their childhood traumas their mental problems resolve as well, which in turn balances their brain chemicals.
The journey to the soul – the no-med route – is a journey straight through hell. It is only available to the strongest and humblest: those able to face and resolve their childhood traumas. This route is almost impossible without an extremely enlightened guide, of whom there are scant few around – and it is even quite difficult with an extremely enlightened guide, because there is no way to avoid the pain and grief inherent in growth. This is why drugs (be they prescribed or not) are so popular. Drugs kill pain, neutralize symptoms, help bury and wall off trauma, and bypass healing. Taking them is easy. They demand no sacrifice. They are a soft and wonderful crutch. Their only cost, aside from the occasional side effect (some of which are terribly serious), is that they kill the spirit.
Emotional healing, on the other hand, opens up the full palette of human feelings. Healing, despite its lack of instant gratification, ultimately brings feelings of self-respect, adequacy, competence, maturity, and self-love. Healing connects you with your past and present. Healing opens the door to your true future.
Reading ‘Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain’ by Antonio Damasio, I thought of your rockin’ critiques on the subject of psychiatric medications when I read this (and decided to share):
“One idea that is falsely satisfactory has to do with the neurochemistry of emotion. Discovering the chemicals involved in emotions and moods is not enough to explain how we feel. It has long been known that chemical substances can change emotions and moods; alcohol, narcotics, and a host of pharmacological agents can modify how we feel. The well-known relationship between chemistry and feeling has prepared scientists and the public for the discovery that the organism produces chemicals that can have a similar effect. The idea that endorphins are the brain’s own morphine and can easily change how we feel about ourselves, about pain, and about the world is now accepted. So is the idea that the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, as well as peptide neuromodulators, can have similar effects.
“It is important to realize, however, that knowing that a given chemical (manufactured inside or outside the body) causes a given feeling to occur is not the same as knowing the mechanism for how this result is achieved. Knowing that a substance is working on certain systems, in certain circuits and receptors, and in certain neurons, does not explain why you feel happy or sad. It establishes a working relationship among the substance, the systems, the circuits, the receptors, the neurons, and the feeling, but it does not tell you how you get from one to the other. It is only the beginning of an explanation. …Which means that reducing depression to a statement about the availability of serotonin or norepinephrine in general—a popular statement in the days and age of Prozac—is unacceptably rude.”