I am at a loss for words. Every day I read more and more about how the mental state of our world is being whittled down to its core, and I am saddened deeply. I recently read a story about a young 21-year-old boy who was diagnosed with ADHD. After medication was no help, he began hearing voices inside his head and seeing images of strange creatures throughout his day. Once he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he began the long journey of medication trial and error in hopes to be healed by this wretched disease. After months went by, nothing had changed and he only grew worse. Overcome by the veracity of his mental images, he took his own life with an unselfish conscience, desperate to escape the figurative infection that was claiming his mind.
I hear stories like this every day and I think to myself, “why couldn’t we figure out what was wrong with this person?” Two parents are without their beloved child tonight because we as a system were unable to act effectively and heal their boy. The mental health crisis is rising at a staggering pace. People who we would never suspect are suffering from all kinds of mental ailments and all we seem to be doing is making an attempt to patch holes in the sinking ship. I would like you to imagine for a moment that you began to have severe chest pains. You were unsure what was causing it, but you knew something needed to be fixed. Once you were at the doctor, they asked you a series of question about your lineage and if you had any recent abnormalities that could be causing these chest pains. After a brief questionnaire had been done, the doctor let you know that it is not an uncommon case. They see it all the time and with the right intervention, they see patients do much better. The doctor then gives you a prescription for a medication and sends you on your way. Now, what is wrong with this scenario? Many things, but mainly the fact that the doctor simply verbally comforted you and gave you a prescription without really knowing what was causing your problem. What if you have a rare heart condition and this drug is going to have an adverse effect? Or what if you simply have acid reflux and now the medication given will have unneeded side effects. The worst result would be the wrongful diagnosis causes a fatal side effect. If this was the case, the doctor would find themselves in a world of trouble for never examining and pinpointing the actual cause of the problem. It is not hard to see how wrong and cruel this type of guess and check diagnosis is, yet it happens every single day in mental health care.
We have completely lost sight of how mental illnesses are developed, and what treatments actually work. We have become a world of symptom treaters instead of finding the real source of the problem and fixing it. I must make a bold statement, and that is that I am certain that hundreds if not thousands of people are going to die if something is not done.
Our bodies are machines far more complex than any technology humans have been able to create. Think about how specific a car has to run. It has to have the right type of fuel, the correct oil, a sufficient electrical charge, and if any of these key ingredients are incorrect, the entire system comes to a halt. The same goes for a computer. The latest Apple laptop must have the correct coding, the right voltage of charge, a specific operating system, and so much more. We never plug our computers into the 220 volt socket behind our washing machines, and we never intentionally put diesel fuel in our gas powered cars because we know that it will NEVER work. So.. why do we cut corners with the most advanced and marvelous piece of engineering the world has ever seen, the human body? I am convinced that the chemical infused, artificially produced, nutrient lacking, body harming food that we as people are putting into ourselves is having a direct and intense effect on our mental wellbeing. Think about it, how are our bodies meant to operate properly when our brain is being fed with chemicals found in paint, and artificial ingredients that were discovered by mistake in production of industrial products? There is no possible way that you can out medicate an improper food source. It simply cannot be done.
Our mental health care must stop treating symptoms and start fixing problems. They must use scans to examine the brain and its activity to specifically pinpoint people’s problems instead of assume they’re like other people and give them a medication that may be fatal to them. The world is in a dire time as far as mental illness and the treatment plan has become a prevention plan.