I’ve been worried by the countless hours of SELLING drugs directly to consumers through detailed, seductive, repetitive commercials.  BECAUSE? Well, naturally you might say quite worrying and turn them off or mute them; however, when clients ask me what I think about a drug commercial they’ve seen and if I think exploring a specific medication with their DOC would be worthwhile I pay more attention.

    Let me back up and say unequivocally NO to questions about whether anyone should try, on their own, a medication seen in a commercial.  But it’s not that easy.  Because? Creative people can find a way to order the meds on line ….. and take them without any guidance other than what they SEE IN COMMERCIALS. And the commercials are seductive. There is, in their words, a cure for everything in this one little pill.  In fact one compelling example shows a large extended  palm with a tiny, tiny pill right in the middle of that out stretched hand….HOW could something that small possibly hurt someone?

    Beyond the hopefully obvious dangers of self-diagnosis and the addition or change in a medication an individual is already taking, it’s a MUST to have a qualified physician examining potential interactions of more than one drug.  For individuals on multiple medications, it’s imperative to follow directions carefully, faithfully, consistently.  Because? Stopping, starting meds without clear instruction can throw the body into turmoil.  I’ve worked with far too many individuals who suddenly decided they were feeling good enough to simply stop their meds for depression or anxiety.  DO NOT DO THAT!  Feeling good enough to examine stopping a medication is sometimes a good sign, but there is a specific procedure for easing off a medication at a slow and carefully determined rate for every individual.  Otherwise previously negative symptoms can return with a sometimes scary impact.

    At this moment in time I’m motivated to jump on this “soap box” simply because of a re-run of one of my favorite TV shows.  BOSTON LEGAL written by David Kelly and staring James Spader, William Shatner, and Candice Bergen — for those of you who haven’t seen it — is a blend of great humor and biting political commentary that always has real life, and well researched topics.  In the re-run I just watched, Shatner’s character, a rich, conservative, law firm partner almost dies of medication over-dose…and in the hospital reveals he was taking 33 separate medications — most of which he obtained on his own.  The court case involved suing the drug companies for their direct marketing to consumers. The court room drama reveals the number of drug commercials, the company profits, the ease of persuading many doctors to prescribe the meds….and the impact of the TV commercials.

    Regardless of personal or political opinion, I’m simply motivated to re-visit the commercialization of either advertised or prescribed medications. And without any particular soap box, just to say be overly cautious and careful.  Certainly do not hesitate to seek the help and medical advice you need! Just ask questions, read the instructions on any medications carefully, and keep notes on your physical and emotional reactions to prescribed meds. The message? Take good care of yourself and seek the professional help you need! You deserve to feel good!