Thursday, April 24, 2014


This post is entirely inspired by a friend who is participating in Landmark. I'd like to share two interesting facts: Antidepressants and antianxiety med users are the fastest growing population in our country. The fastest growing age group of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds are preschoolers. Yes. I've fact-checked this one from multiple reliable sources.

First I'd like to point this discussion to some interesting and thought-provoking articles:
in particular this sentence "Learning how exercise, diet and sleep bear on mood gives us tools to use in caring for ourselves." (This is part of the mission I'm taking on when I become a doctor and have already geared an entire segment on this blog towards helping others get all those aspects in tune.) I also definitely agree that confronting pain is a vital part of the human experience that allows us to connect to each other.

Here are some fast facts.,8599,1914604,00.html

I am only going to comment on the use of these meds in minors. I went to a grade school where a fairly good amount of students were on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Most of them turned out to have successful careers. Whether the meds made the difference I don't know. What I do know is that no matter what the good effects may be one can never fully understand every single biochemical side effect of a drug long term or short term. There is absolutely a place for these prescriptions in medicine, but there is also no doubt that they are over-prescribed as an easy fix.

I was blessed and lucky to have had parents that sincerely tried to give me the world. As a child I relentlessly journaled and I now have several diaries that document my life and all the emotional ups and downs. If I were to change one thing from my upbringing it would be that for whatever reason I wish I had been passionate about one or two things or causes or activities and that I had followed through on those passions back then. I wish there was more of a push or urgency for me to find and follow that passion when I was younger (and not jaded by the real world.) It took me a while to figure out that medicine was something I was really passionate about. I do believe in fatalism and that the road I took to get here was required. I had to experience the different things I experienced in order to recognize that I wanted to be a doctor. I can't help but wonder what it would have felt like to have had that feeling back in high school. To have been as passionate about a cause bigger than myself back then would've given me the perspective that school was just the vehicle to allow me to do what I wanted to do; my daily toils weren't a big deal since school would've only been a fragment of my life.

I feel that parents are the ones who become the final decider to allow their children to be placed on these meds when they are minors. I don't know the back-stories and I don't want to criticize parents who have made this choice. I do want to inspire parents, with all their wisdom and experiences, to also not entirely rely on these medications to fix a problem that they may feel helpless about. If I was a high schooler and I had the meaning in my life as I do now, I would definitely have felt more empowered and less narcissistic (as evident by the pages and pages where I poured my heart out about what really was trivial problems.) As parents, it should be their job to aid their progeny to becoming a fully-functional human being. I feel that can only occur by exposing children to the possibility that they can do anything and helping their children connect to their higher purpose or a greater cause that's beyond the hallowed halls of high school. High school, no doubt, is tougher now with social media and technology. But the classmates of mine that are settled were those that were truly committed to things beyond just high school at the time (whether it be excelling and truly dedicating themselves to a sport or to music or to a human rights cause or to anything really like art or science or the humanities.)

I've definitely felt a great deal of pain and sorrow myself throughout the years, but I forced myself to engage with something higher and that's when real growth came. As an example, in what I consider my darkest hour is also when I chose to become a hospice volunteer. I also want to take a minute and point out that health, sleep, exercise, and sprituality/philosophy are crucial aspects of ones existence. If these aren't all in tune for adults who are parents it becomes extremely difficult to raise children who are also well-rounded. Just some food for thought.

Lastly, I'm going to close this post by pointing out that my friend has created an acronym out of wisdom to jumpstart this movement: Wisdom IS Doing me.

Here is another article:

The Anti-depressant Generation: "We need a greater focus on building resilience in emerging adults."

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