Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Devil's Advocate

You can read the contrary opinion of what I think in this article from Discover.
Drugs that can kill is the title of the article. It seems a common held belief that medicine is bad for various reasons including the belief that multi-national drug companies are basically evil and fudge research results so they can foist unsafe medicines upon and unsuspecting public. John Le Carre's, The Constant Gardener is such a story and a brilliant one at that, right up there with Le Carre's best writing.

I want to contemplate on the efficacy of medicine and how marvelous it is. In fact my life as well as that of my wife and friends wouldn't be as pleasant or even worth living without the assistance of pharmaceuticals.
Whatever your opinion my be, it's a fact that sick people, and we're all sick in one way or another need medicine whether we accept this fact or not.
That is why I consider myself the Devil's Advocate. I'm sure that many people will have strong opinions contrary to what I say. So be it.

My opinion has another side to it, I'm strongly against recreational drugs, and always have been. Very conservative if you will, but I respect the brilliance of design and engineering that has gone into the creation of the human brain. Why sabotage it? Shouldn't we respect our greatest asset?
And yet, when our mind is asked to cope with the demands of modern life, it sometimes fails to cope in an acceptable way. The emotional section of our brain can become the ruling force that overtakes our ability to reason. We then become a victim of our own emotions that can't be reigned in, forcing us to react in rage,fear or flight instead of dealing with a situation rationally.
Our mind might seek refuge in fantasy and escape but when that fantasy becomes more "real" than reality itself, we are on dangerous ground.
Our everyday thoughts can become poison if we allow a certain type of negativity to become the norm in our thinking processes. But is all this voluntary? In many instances it isn't . Nobody chooses to be negative because they enjoy the mood created by negativity.
If there is one prime force in life, it is the urge to seek pleasure and gratification.
When the brain is hijacked by negative thoughts, there is no pleasure to be found in any activity. There is no future to look forward to. There is only anger and frustration to deal with and the cycle re-reinforces itself in a feedback loop which sees negativity justifying itself more and more.
Life sucks, the world is evil, life isn't fair...take your pick of any of these common viewpoints and ask yourself how often these thoughts have gone through your mind.
You can consciously banish these negative thoughts but if you can't no matter how hard you try, then maybe, just maybe you are suffering from a mental condition known as clinical depression.
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1 comment:

Jeannie said...

I both agree and disagree. I think there have been some wonderful, amazing pharmaceuticals which have saved many lives whether by cure or extension or simple comfort. However, drug companies are there to make profit and not all have the utmost integrity. Antibiotics, insulin and the like are fine and good and have allowed us to live through or with diseases which commonly killed in the past. But then there are instances - like the aspartame situation - whether or not you believe it - where drugs or other chemical additives have been pushed through the system and foisted on the public without also informing us of the potential dangers. And drug companies (viagra, the hpv drugs etc) are marketed directly to the general population. They may have to go through a physician but here we have a shortage of them and folks could go to a clinic where there are no records for them and get something detrimental.

In spite of their successes, I am still suspicious of drug companies as they still smack a little of snake oil salesmen.