I read an interesting article today in the NYTimes. Simply titled, Medicating Women’s Feelings, I was interested and bookmarked it to read later. I am glad I did. I appreciated the tone throughout: medication can be very useful and important in treating psychiatric issues. However, there is a definite overmedication of not only women, but I would dare say all Americans. What I find the most frustrating about the situation is not that people feel the need for chemical help, but that our society has created and seeks to maintain a new normal for all people. But biologically, it just doesn’t make sense.

The article discusses, and I agree, that people, and women in particular, have hormone cycles that produce different emotional responses. They are a true normal and healthy. In fact, if we feel overwhelmed at a certain time each month, perhaps we should pay attention to that and factor it in to our lives regularly! No, instead we feel inadequate, unworthy and sick. We need it to go away so that we can get on with life. I beg to differ. Yes, again, there are times that medication is a must. Believe me, I know. But perhaps we need to take a hard look at the demands our society is placing on us, or that we are placing on ourselves, and change the situations rather than alter ourselves. From the article, ” When we are overmedicated, our emotions become synthetic. For personal growth, for a satisfying marriage and for a more peaceful world, what we need is more empathy, compassion, receptivity, emotionality and vulnerability, not less.”

My tears are not a sign that I am weak and pathetic. My concerns are not irrational and unimportant. If they are out of balance, perhaps I should seek counsel. Talk. Pray. Read scripture. Still need help? Perhaps my doctor should be consulted. I don’t know. I am surely NOT a doctor. Each person must weigh the decision themselves. I would just urge you, my friends, to consider that you were created with those emotions and the God that formed you, knows you. He will carry you, he does carry me, through it all. Sometimes with help from friends, sometimes with help from a counselor, and at times in the past, with help from medication.


3 thoughts on “normal.

  1. Was pondering this issue of medication for our feelings today……was wondering if it is related to our cultural fixation with deconstructionism – breaking things down into its smallest parts to “understand” it. We hardly ever look at things systemically, as part of a big whole. A lot of people feel like they can’t cope with life at times, but I really believe that is less about them and more about the world we live in.

  2. In the OT, women were sent “out of the camp” for several days while they were “unclean”. I sometimes wonder if there were also other reasons… Maybe not a bad idea?

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