You may have already suspected it was true.
Perhaps it was the way your doctor “zoned out” when you told him about your symptoms. Or maybe it was the way he spoke to you, like you were a child.
But if you suspect your doctor isn’t taking you seriously, you’re far from alone. And it turns out your likely not wrong.
In fact, according to a new study there’s a very good chance that your doctor believes your illness is a figment of your imagination.
In other words, that your pain is just all in your head. And the proof is in the prescription. (More on that in a moment.)
You see, far too many docs can’t imagine admitting when they don’t have an answer, or that their skills may not be quite up to par. Their ego simply can’t handle it.
Surprised? I’m not.
Because behind closed doors doctor friends of mine often joke that in their first year in medical school one of their required courses was Arrogance 101, and they all passed it with flying colors.
45% of antidepressants NOT prescribed for depression
And while your doctor will never say out loud that he thinks your illness is all in your head, he’s likely perfectly comfortable admitting it on paper in the form of a prescription for antidepressants.
In fact, the new study, published in JAMA, found that almost half of all antidepressants are prescribed for illnesses other than depression.
Called off-label prescribing, according to the McGill University research, two out of every three antidepressants are given to folks who aren’t suffering from depression.
Disturbingly, forty-five percent are handed out for other conditions such as chronic pain and insomnia.
Now you and I know that these illness aren’t imaginary. And we also know just because your suffering from one of these ailments it doesn’t mean you’re depressed.
And we’re not the only ones who find this fishy.
Docs are “prescribing in the dark”
Senior author on the study Robyn Tamblyn referred to this practice as “prescribing in the dark,” and she pointed out that in many cases there’s simply no way to know if the drug would be effective for the condition it was prescribed for because it’s never been studied.
But instead of worrying about bruised egos perhaps those docs ought to be working on expanding their skill set because there ARE in fact treatments for many of these conditions.
For example, three of the conditions antidepressants are commonly prescribed off label for… migraines, fibromyalgia and insomnia… can be triggered, or made worse, by a simple magnesium deficiency.
In fact, this deficiency is so common it strikes up to 80 percent of Americans, hitting seniors particularly hard. Yet most mainstream docs have no clue how widespread it is.
So instead of that antidepressant your doc threw up his hands and prescribed, you can try a chelated form of magnesium. If that doesn’t help another issue might lie at the heart of your condition.
But one thing’s for sure, it’s NOT a figment of your imagination. And heavy duty, dangerous and ineffective drugs aren’t going to fix the issue.
No you need someone on your team who is willing to do the work to figure out what’s REALLY at the heart of your illness. A doctor who has the skills to hunt down what the real problem is and one who offers real solutions instead of useless Band-Aids.
Try the handy Physician Link tool provided by our friends at the American College for Advancement in Medicine to find someone in your area.
Written in memory of medicine's most popular myth-buster, Dr. William Campbell Douglass II the "Daily Dose" is a FREE daily e-mail service designed to deliver health news and insights directly to your inbox.
In the "Daily Dose" you get Harrison’s no holds barred straight scoop about health, medicine and politics. In it he exposes junk medicine, flawed science, big-government waste and fraud — providing a continuous supply of urgent and timely health information.
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