Canadians now rank among the highest users of antidepressants in the world
OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa Citizen reports that “One of Canada’s top psychiatrists says too many Canadians are treating life’s normal spells of misery …By asking a doctor to make their lives better.” According to the article, Canadians take “twice as many antidepressants as Italians do, and more than Germans or French.”
“We’re not always happy, and there are often good reasons for unhappiness,” Paris says. “But there’s this idea that we should all have high self-esteem, fantastic relationships and tremendous jobs. ~ Dr. Joel Paris, professor and past chair of the department of psychiatry at Montreal’s McGill University.
By his statement about relationships and jobs, and saying there are good “reasons” for unhappiness, Dr. Paris is expressing common belief in “the happiness lie,” the belief that things, people or events makes us happy or unhappy. But that belief is exactly and directly the cause of unhappiness itself, not poor relationships or unemployment. From my public testing using the Happiness Ratio Quiz, it is true that the average Canadian has a strong belief in the lie, and therefore experiences high stress and low happiness. While even our experts believe and express this lie, how can the populous change?
Dr. Paris’s point about drug use is valid though. He continues, “It’s like cosmetic psychopharmacology: If you don’t like the way you look, you go to a plastic surgeon and get it fixed. If you’re not happy enough, go to a doctor and go on antidepressants.”
However, doctors have contributed to this mentality; if its not a drug solution, it’s a surgery solution. It is said that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Medical doctors do not put enough emphasis on other alternatives, mostly because they don’t know about them, are not trained in them, and it’s not their job. So each person has to educate themselves and become their own health advocate because as the article points out, there are a lot of perils to drug use for mood management.
The article continues with criticism of the desire for happiness, quoting:
“…an article in the British Medical Journal titled “Medicalizing unhappiness,” Frances, former chair of the department of psychiatry at Duke University and author of Saving Normal, and co-author Christopher Dowrick blame the rush for antidepressants on a “trend in Western societies to expect the right to happiness.”
Well, I agree with society on this point. You DO have a right to happiness; in fact, it is your birthright. (But not a right to “object happiness,” i.e. to material happiness, because it can never deliver. That is just not where happiness is.) However, society has been handed down painful false beliefs, and stuck in that quicksand, the means and methods people use to get out of it and “find” happiness can make things even worse.
Life does not have any “normal spells of misery,” and the irony is that it is miserable beliefs like that which make people unhappy. Barring true, clinically depressed cases where there is a chemical imbalance in the brain, society has been put on a futile path with soaring anxiety, stress, drug use, and suicide rates–but individuals can change course, discover the lie and the truth about happiness, and establish inner peace and happiness for life.
Things, people, and events do not make us happy or unhappy. We don’t want things, people, or events; we want the feeling we mistake them for. You can have it any time. To learn how, read more on the happiness lie and take the quiz here: http://TheHappinessLie.com