Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dope your dog.

The pharmaceutical companies have long ago crossed the line between helping people and pumping them for cash. Now they have their eyes on your pets.

If you have a busy life, and you can't be at home much, don't get a dog. The poor animal will go nuts if left alone all day. That's not a difficult equation to solve. No time = no pets, or pets who don't mind being ignored. There are many that fit this description, such as fish, hamsters, all reptiles, spiders, and so on. Cats, to some extent, are happy enough to ignore you as long as they get fed on time.

Dogs are not. Dogs are pack animals. Being alone is very wrong to them, it's against their nature and it scares them. If you can't spend time with a dog, don't get one.

Buying a dog, leaving it alone, and then using drugs to control its behaviour is animal abuse, pure and simple. The dog is still scared, it's just too doped up to do anything about it. The problem is not solved. It's just hidden away.

Where is it leading, I wonder? We already keep our children sedated and then wonder why they grow fat. We keep our old people sedated and wonder why they can't remember us when we visit. Feeling a little down? Not to worry, doctors have a drug for it. Had a mood swing? That's now classed as bipolar disorder and again, there's a drug for it. Have an imagination? Thinking about things that aren't real? That's now schizophrenia. Get the drugs.

I see young people proudly boasting that they have been diagnosed as bipolar or Asperger's. It's not a badge of honour! If you are truly bipolar, you will have difficulty functioning in today's world. If you have Asperger's you won't talk about it because you won't want to socialise. Going to a party and telling everyone, in graphic detail, about the symptoms of your imaginary disease means you don't have it.

I don't blame the kids. They have been told they have these disorders so the pharmaceutical companies can sell drugs. I do think the kids should spend some time with people who genuinely suffer from these things. Then they might not be so keen to brag.

Telling a teenager they have bipolar disorder is silly. All teenagers have mood swings, it's what they do. Sometimes they have abrupt and violent mood swings, but almost all of them grow out of it. They get older. They grow up. They realise that their tantrums are childish and they stop doing it. A few, a very few, can't. Those have genuine bipolar disorder.

Yet any teenager who goes into a strop is now told they have a mental disorder that must be treated with drugs. When does the treatment end? When they die. They become cash-cows for pharmaceuticals for life.

But, you ask, what happens when they grow out of it? They won't. They won't get the messages that it's time to grow up. They'll continually hear that their mood swings are due to this illness and so they keep on doing it. Pop a pill, smash a car, blame it on the diagnosis. They are, effectively, trained to act the way the medical profession wants them to act. As long as they continue to act that way, they get rewarded with the feel-good pills.

In the same way, we no longer have to spend all that time training dogs to behave themselves in the home. All we need do is mix a happy-pill in their dinner. That'll keep him quiet until we get home from work. It's not much of a life for a dog, is it? Lying in a stupor next to the kids, waiting for the next dose.

There are people who really do need these drugs in order to function. Those people are few, however, and in total they're not all that profitable. How much easier to balance the books if the whole population thinks they need the drugs? And what a wonderful investment. There's no way to be sure you're cured, so you'll never stop taking them.

I take no drugs. I rarely visit doctors. I get sick sometimes, but most illnesses go away on their own. If they feel serious, I might involve the local medicine man, but otherwise I avoid visiting there. If I feel a depression coming on, I pop over to YouTube and search for some funny videos. If I'm in a bad mood, it's not bipolar disorder. I'm just in a bad mood. I'm not schizophrenic just because I've seen ghosts.

And I'm not paranoid, even though I know you all think I am.

One day, when the whole world is nicely sedated, I'm going to wander from house to house and empty your wallets. I now know I won't have to worry about your dogs either.

That is, as long as the pharmaceutical companies don't get there first.


tom sheepandgoats said...

"cash-cows for pharmaceuticals for life"

Yes, that pretty well describes it. That happens here, too. Bi-polar, depression meds makers have found a gold mine in kids. Also Ritalin makers (it helps active kids sit still in school) Is that a big seller where you are?

Kids are cash cows in other ways, too. Cash cows for the entertainment industry. The apparel industry. The credit card industry. And even, though it is ostensibly designed for their well-being, the education industry. Few things on earth are pricier than college textbooks.

Weren't kids at one time just allowed to be kids? Weren't they at one time considered, more or less, hands off for the commercial hustlers? No more, I'm afraid.

This is a good post, Rom. From the heart, I can tell. It's "you."

Southern Writer said...

AMEN. That just pisses me off. And I'm with you - I'm rarely sick, and can't tell you the last time I visited a doctor. Oh, wait. Yes I can. I think it was in 1998, when I had four disks in my neck herniate. And what did they do? They gave me pills -- lots and lots of pills that kept me doped, and made me very weird, but didn't relieve the pain (They said I needed surgery, but I didn't have $40,000 lying around, so too bad for me). I ended up flushing them all down the toilet and was cured with two reiki sessions.

Before that, I went to a doctor in 1995 for I can't recall what. Next thing I knew, I was being sent to a kidney specialist who predicted dire consequences for me unless I ... I don't even know what. I never went back, and my kidneys are just fine, thank you.

What a shame that they're doing this to dogs now. Pretty soon, we'll be an entire world of Stepford Wives.

drsharna said...

Life, by its very nature is bipolar, dammit. Some days are good, some days not so much. Deal with it. People get sucked into that ruse that if they just take a happy pill, everything will be all better and they don't have to be responsible because they have a diagnosis - and a prescription. Nevermind that the drugs just make them feel weird. Screw personal accountability or learning to deal with their shit. People need skills, not pills.

--Don't even get me wound up about ADD - it's not ADD, 99 times out of 100 it's PPP (piss poor parenting). They're kids, goddammit - of course they can't sit still for 8 hours a day! GAAH!

Romulus Crowe said...

Shouldn't you be re-running your statistical analyses ;)

I think most of the problems these days come down to the point you've made. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions. It's easier to say 'It's not my fault. I'm clinically deranged and here's my bottle of happy pills to prove it'.

There used to be a stigma to having a mental illness. Now, it seems, you're not a complete person unless you're on pills for something.

This week's New Scientist has an interesting article on the subject of children and drugs. It seems two-year-olds who don't sit still have ADHD. If they have a tantrum they must be bipolar. Drug the little buggers, that'll shut them up. Once in a while, the drugs kill one of these kids, yet their continued use is ferociously defended.

The next generation will be composed of zombies. Anyone showing signs of innovation or creativity will have their dosage increased.

In twenty years, those of us who are not on mind-controlling drugs will be stigmatised. Thinking for yourself? Good God, man - it's just not done!

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