Are women overmedicated?
In her recent NY Times article, Julie Holland discusses whether women in America are overmedicated and losing their emotional sensitivity via unnecessary use of antidepressants and antipsychotics.
Sadness, anxiety, depression, and other environmentally caused stressors are natural emotions that are a part of life and need to be felt, Holland says. She doesn’t think that women should be peer pressured into medicating these natural feelings away.
We’re obviously both not impressed with society’s attempt to regulate women’s lives and bodies.
But unlike Holland, I think it’s hard, some would say impossible, to have a conversation on the so-called “emotional nature of women” without involving some feminist ideology.
The increase in marketing and prescription of antidepressants and antipsychotics to women is definitely less about actually treating women and more about suppression of emotion and of course profit.
This probably isn’t surprising to most, considering the society (*cough world*) we live in where men reign: confuddled and intimidated by anything different than them. But I digress.
The point is that I don’t think the “bite the bullet” mentality Holland endorses is the proper approach to the overmedication of women.
Also, supporting emotionality to enable women to “accommodate to others needs and demands” isn’t how to empower women to tend to and take pride in their emotions. Doing things for the sake of others usually has that effect.
Too often we look at a marginalized group in society, see that they are hurting, and try to “liberate” them using the incorrect means. It’s time to do some rethinking.
Perhaps we should start suggesting a different way of responding to stress instead of just saying, no women, it’s just your biological predisposition to suffer, so, suffer and don’t ask for help.
I think the modern woman, and all women that ever were, deserves better than to be told to “just deal with it.”
Conversations on emotional stress and mental health should give power to women.
They should offer women a chance to express how they’ve reacted to trauma and how to move forward with healing. For some, this will look like using medication, for others it won’t.
When discussing anything that has to do with women’s health, the narrative should come from women and serve to support and retain the uniqueness of all women.
So yes, I agree with Holland, emotional sensitivity can be a source of power for women.
But not at the expense of their health.
With this being said, in response to the question “are women overmedicated?”
All I have to say is:
maybe we should let them decide for themselves.
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