Times Article on Women and Psychiatric Meds

Sunday February 29th Julie Holland, a psychiatrist in New York and the author of “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.” wrote an excellent article for the NY Times entitled “Medicating Women’s Feelings.”

The article has been excepted but do take a look at the full article.

Remember, while our emotions are NOT what makes us crazy, figuring out what they are telling us and how to use them well is still our personal journey… and part of what makes us each unique.

WOMEN are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others.

These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. Women’s emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power. But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.

The pharmaceutical industry plays on that fear, targeting women in a barrage of advertising on daytime talk shows and in magazines. More Americans are on psychiatric medications than ever before, and in my experience they are staying on them far longer than was ever intended. Sales of antidepressants and antianxiety meds have been booming in the past two decades, and they’ve recently been outpaced by an antipsychotic, Abilify, that is the No. 1 seller among all drugs in the United States, not just psychiatric ones.

As a psychiatrist practicing for 20 years, I must tell you, this is insane. <– more — >

It’s critical that we DO value our feelings and emotions. And even though we have been “trained” by our society—and even our loved ones—to devalue them, we can do something about it. Every day.

Undermining that negative conditioning so we can be liberated from confining thoughts.. and then actions to make optimal use of our emotions as a strength is something only we can do for ourselves.

One way to begin this liberating journey is to watch your “internal talk.” Notice what you say to yourself, what you are thinking about and what you are mulling over again and again (as if to convince yourself of its reality.)

Catch yourself mid-thought just like you like to catch others mid-sentence (?) and change your internal self-talk. Stop re-iterating to yourself those external negative messages and instead, change them from disdain to appreciation for who you are. As often as you can.

If you want more specific tips and tricks to help you with this journey, join our list. But this is something you can do all by yourself. Make changing your self-talk part of your personal commitment to your health and happiness.

Sounds simple? Perhaps simplistic? Well, you are somewhat right. But DOING it is what makes the difference, and cumulatively it will change your life!