Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Time to Move Away from 'A Pill for Every Ill'

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Time to Move Away from 'A Pill for Every Ill'

Article excerpt

"Everything in excess is opposed to nature."

--Hippocrates

We want a quick fix for everything. The current era of fast-paced technology, fast food, fast-acting drugs, and fast fixes for disease leading to a fast buck has stirred a vicious cycle. Yet, Hippocrates believed that disease is the product of several factors: environment, diet, and living habits.

Considering the complexity of human beings, "fixing" those with mood disorders, anxiety, and phobias with state-of-the-art medications after a lecture on their side effects is not the answer.

The altered state in which these medications can leave our patients can lead to catastrophic changes elsewhere if one does not understand the nonlinear nature of the human body The "butterfly effect," a mathematical model introduced by Edward N. Lorenz, Ph.D., the late mathematician and meteorologist, is a good example of this principle.

Dr. Lorenz showed that a tiny disturbance such as the flapping of a butterfly's wings in South America, for example, can affect the weather in Central Park. Similarly, our current linear methodology of psychiatric disorders must not be considered in a vacuum. Likewise, physical and mental vital signs must be viewed in their totality.

To quote Hippocrates yet again: "It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has." Nature loves homeostasis, and our body naturally strives to attain it. Our perspective toward the human brain and body should change. …

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