One thought on “Get well soon

  1. I was thinking about linking to that ICH piece from Making Light, because there’s a ton of truth to it, but the author lost me when he went off on the bit about prescription medications. “If you show any sign of life when you’re young, they’ll put you on Ritalin.” Oh, nonsense. First, as a generalization, that’s a wild generalization. Second, I know a ton of children and adults with various not-made-up neurological problems for whom Ritalin, or drugs like Ritalin, have done a pile of good. As how she feels about people who talk about drugs like Ritalin as if they’re some kind of social menace. She depends on them to counteract her narcolepsy. Without them, she doesn’t get to have a life.

    Yes, there’s probably over-prescription. There’s also a hell of a lot of under-diagnosis–of all kinds of neurological deficits. If the author of that piece actually knew what her was talking about, they’d discuss how America’s pathological war on selected drugs makes life hell for people whose brain chemistry makes them dependent on substances that happen to also be targets of this “war.” Try having to take a Schedule II substance every day for a couple of decades, and see how cheerfully you regard people who blithely assert that America doles this stuff out to anyone. You’ll spend half your life dealing with doctors, pharmacists, and insurance companies, each of which is constantly looking over their shoulder at the DEA. And there’s no such thing as an automatic refill; every month you have to go through the same rigamarole again.

    America has a much bigger problem with people being under-diagnosed and under-prescribed for their actual needs–both because we don’t have a sensible universal healthcare system and because we make whole ranges of drugs gratuitously difficult for those who need them–than we have with the much-supposed Drugs Being Given Out Like Candy. Sure, there are instances of people (including kids) being given the wrong drugs, or too many drugs. But the claim that this is a preponderant trend is a vulgar myth rooted in a kind of puritanism that’s easy to indulge in if you’ve been lucky enough to never need certain drugs.

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