Stress Management, comment

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While I agree with the author that we are seeing more usage of psychoactive medications in our patients, I do not agree that they are being substituted for coping skills. I see this as a very broad statement and an oversimplification of the underlying complexities that exist in our society today. Additionally, complex disease processes, consequences of chemically and genetically altered foods, and medication side effects all impact the human body and can potentiate the need for medication to manage symptoms; which might include sleep, mood, depression, pain and anxiety. Medications are manufactured to treat illness and improve quality of life. They also require a physician’s prescription in order to be obtained. There is a dual responsibility in a patient’s plan of care; in both the Physician and the patient. Physical illness has the ability to contribute to emotional and mental stressors; which in turn impacts the quality of life. If a pill helps someone facing a life limiting illness feel less anxious about their death or get a good night’s sleep because their sleep patterns are inadequate, in my mind’s eye this would seem to be good practice, not poor coping skills. While this would be only one group for whom the drugs would be prescribed, there are countless other patient populations for whom these medications might be beneficial. I can appreciate the author’s perspective from a professional viewpoint; however, time and again, we learn medicine is much more than black and white.

Original Post
March 1, 2010
Title: Stress Management
Everyone in today’s society has alot of stress. Is the stress today different than it was 50 years ago? We seem to be a society of people who are incapable of handling the stressors in our lives. We are seeing a higher use of medications to deal with life. I wonder if we are helping ourselves by taking medications instead learning ways to cope. Medications are necessary for some, but it seems that every patient I admit to the hospital is taking some form of medication to help them sleep, handle anxiety, or handle depression. I am worried that we are simply taking pills instead of learning coping mechanisms. We need to get away from being a society of pillpoppers and become a society that can handle what comes our way by maintaining a healthy body and mind.

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