People believe that they know more about what is wrong with them than their doctor.
I do not concur with your high opinion of either the diagnostic nor prescriptive skills of doctors, most particularly when it comes to psychiatric medicine. A couple of decades back I was prescribed Valium and/or its cogeners (Ativan, Xanax) by one doctor after another for treatment of depression. I could go into details here at length but I won't, but this was a very, very bad idea. Kind of like prescribing methedrine for insomnia. I did myself a big favor by concluding at last that I knew "more about what is wrong" than any of those doctors.
When you take your car down to the shop to get the brake pads renewed, the mechanic usually takes it for a spin to make sure everything feels OK. He runs the risk that, if he screwed up, he may find the brake pedal going all the way to the floor with a hiss while he's out in traffic, but most mechanics are willing to take that chance, and keep in mind that your mechanic is real lucky if he brings home a fifth the pay of a medical doctor in the U.S.A.
I propose that, in the interest of knowing what he is dealing out, before any doctor prescribes a psychiatric drug to, say, a hundred clients, each taking three or four pills a day every day for years on end, he should gulp down one or two of the pills in question himself. I do not suggest that oncologists subject themselves to chemotherapy, but psychiatric drugs that might be prescribed to walk-in patients are different in nature. At least, if doctors followed this rule, they wouldn't make gross blunders like prescribing benzodiazapines for unipolar depression, nor Ritalin (a remarkably potent stimulant) for childhood hyperactivity. This proposal is surely anathema to the AMA, but if a psychiatric drug might be so severely toxic that a doctor doesn't feel he should ingest it even once, then it is absurdly irresponsible for him to foist the same stuff off on his patients by the hundreds of thousands of doses.
Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net
"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.
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