Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If you fix the real problem...you just might fix the problem

I just love the conclusions scientists come to when they're encouraged to promote the concept that for every problem...there's a medication.

Here we have a research group who took a group of rats and exposed them to chronic, unpredictable stress. The rats started developing neuron profiles consistent with cell death. So did the researchers recommend that in situations where it appears that chronic, unpredictable stress may be causing functional issues and medical risk, to implement support that reduces that stress? Of course not, silly reader, why would they do that? Support doesn't fund research or salaries. Drug companies do.

And that is why desipramine (Norpramin) was researched as the answer to this problematic observation. Never mind that this medication has been associated with increased insulin and prolactin levels in some people, a new use for this medication which increases the bottom line has been reported...let's give a big whoo hoo for stockholders!

Way back when I worked for someone else who had no boundaries when it came to employees' expectations, I was expected to bring my own laptop computer to work and use it most of my workday to enter data. After awhile, since laptops really aren't ergonomically superior, I developed carpal tunnel in both wrists. I had been pitching the pretty reasonable concept that since every other manager at my level in this company had both a desktop computer and an administrative assistant that I was not afforded, that I should have them too. So when I developed a medical issue that appeared to be directly related to my not being heard with regard to this issue, I viewed the doctor visit as an opportunity to finally get the note I needed mandating a repetetive motion activity restriction.

Unfortunately, the physician I visited was employed by the same man. And he decided what I really needed was a medication to dampen the pain. Isn't pain supposed to be telling you something? That you need to stop doing what's making you hurt?

Aren't dying neurons telling you something? That maybe something is killing them?

This mentality, that we can ignore the source of the problem and put a chemical bandaid on it so we don't have to change unhealthy situations, sure makes a lot of money for some people.

Did you ever consider that such money can only be made if you agree to hand it over? Medications can't hurt you if you decide not to take them. I am not advocating throwing all of your prescriptions away, at all. I'm just encouraging you to know exactly WHY you're being given a prescription and to consider proven non-pharmaceutical options whenever possible.

I ended up walking out on this company. From what I hear, it took several rounds of burning out successors for them to realize the problem was not the work ethic of the employee in the position. It was the expectations of the position created by the person who didn't understand the cost savings involved when you spend a little more on healthy work environments that help to retain hard working people. Me and my now-healthy wrists have never looked back.

Bachis A, Cruz MI, Nosheny RL, Mocchetti I. Chronic unpredictable stress promotes neuronal apoptosis in the cerebral cortex. Neurosci Lett. 2008 Sep 12;442(2):104-8.

McIntyre RS, Soczynska JK, Konarski JZ, Kennedy SH. The effect of antidepressants on glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity: synthesis and mechanisms. Expert Opin Drug Saf 2006 Jan;5(1)157-68.

Guzek JW, Olczak S, Lewandowska A. The hypothalamic and neurohypophyseal vasopressor and oxytocic content as influenced by alpha-adrenergic blockade in stressed rats. Acta Physiol Pol 1985 May-Jun;36(3):193-200.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Beautifully written piece - full of the thing I love most - common sense and reason!

Thanks you,