I recently read this eye-opening article in the NY Times about our society's tendency to medicate away feelings, especially women's feelings. As the author notes, women are moody. We're supposed to be that way. It makes us more sensitive to our environments, our family's needs, and the opportunities and pitfalls of our communities. However, in this day and age, this perfectly natural trait of "being emotional" is frowned upon.
More than ever, we Americans, especially women, are medicating away our emotionality. According to the author, the psychiatric medication business has been booming for two decades to say the least. One in every four women in America take psychiatric medication versus one in seven men. In fact, the #1 selling prescription drug, of any kind, is an antipsychotic, Abilify. Certainly there are times when psychiatric medications are necessary and significantly improve lives, but do 1 in 4 of us really need that help? Are we really all that "crazy"? Or are our expectations crazy?
It's okay to cry. It's okay to worry. It's okay to be mad. It's even okay to be anxious. These are all natural emotions that serve a purpose in our lives. Certainly, anger or anxiety can take over our lives, and it is important to address that if it happens, but in general, we rely on these emotions to push our personal growth and the growth of our relationships. I strongly agree with the author when she states that we (men and women) need "more empathy, compassion, receptivity, emotionality and vulnerability, not less."