How many people reading this have heard the evils of "Big Pharma"? I'm thinking that just like me, you've heard less good things than you’ve heard bad things, right?
Even though the pharmaceutical industry isn't perfect and have had their share of controversies, the one that can't be denied is the millions of people whose lives are better due modern pharmaceutical interventions.
Let’s take a look at some of the common misconceptions people have regarding the pharmaceutical industry, in order to get a better understanding.
Myth # 1 Natural is always better (It really isn’t and here’s why):
Here’s a few simple facts regarding the supplement industry, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, you may want to keep in mind.
- The supplement industry makes about 34 billion dollars a year selling alternative untested treatments.
- Pharmaceutical companies spend 5 billion dollars on research and development alone. Supplement companies spend nowhere near this for testing their products.
- Many times supplements don’t even have the products in them that they claim to actually have in them.
Myth # 2 Pharmaceutical companies make up conditions for their own profit and other demeaning statements:
As a person with ADHD, I understand the frustrations of being told things such as "those meds just make you a drug addict" or my all time favorite "back in my day nobody was prescribed these drugs, we actually dealt with our problems."
When people say these things to you or someone else, please remember the following things, and take what they say with a grain of salt.
- We have a better, more well rounded understanding of what mental health issues are and how to treat them.
- It’s not that those medical conditions didn't exist—they were usually misunderstood or misdiagnosed, due the fact that there wasn't much known about these conditions.
Myth # 3 They’ll make you into a drug addict, not help you:
Realistically yes, there is always the potential for that, but simply like other things, it's about how you relate to medication. Which is why it’s important to understand and remember the following things.
- I've said this many times in my past articles follow and understand proper drug adherence.
- Have an open and honest relationship with your doctor or therapist, and also with yourself.
- There is a difference between taking something for a valid medical condition and substance abuse.
- Don’t let mental health stigma dictate your treatment.
Myth # 4 Your doctor or therapist won’t help; they’ll actually make you worse. (“Stop wasting your time going there so much”)
Tell me this: if you have a broken leg, do you just go to get X-rays and your leg cast?
Particularly yes, only there's a lot more than that for an effective recovery, the same goes for mental health issues. Going to your doctor for your medication is an important part of your treatment plan, just like every other aspect.
Your doctor isn't trying to make money off you when you need to make multiple visits. It's due to the fact that they need to assess the effectiveness of your medication and progress in other areas of your treatment, so they can see whether or not something is working or if they should try a different approach to treat it.
Myth # 5 I take medication so I don’t need to worry about the other aspects of my treatment:
Here's a reality check for the people who think that ingesting a pill means boom life is perfect. Mental health conditions are very complicated even though taking medication is very important. It's just as important to concentrate on other aspects of your treatment as well.
Here’s a few things that we all need to learn to effectively deal with in our lives.
- Understanding healthy relationship and toxic-relationships, and not making excuses for toxic people.
- Developing strong coping strategies so that you can properly deal with triggers and other obstacles in your life.
- Understanding the difference between mental health facts and mental health myths, and understanding how self stigma can impact your treatment.
- Building a strong sense of self awareness and self acceptance, and taking ownership of what you do or do not do.
- Understanding that medication is only a portion of your treatment, but a very important portion.
In closing, do not let others make you feel weak, irrelevant, or any other demeaning ignorant thing. Due to you, take the proper steps for treating a valid medical condition.
As well, remember that there willl always be people who can't look past their own narrow minded beliefs. Mental health conditions and treatment methods are no stranger to this type of attitude. Don't allow these people to dictate your treatment and take what they say with a grain of salt.