I've been cooped up at home for the past few days with a runny nose and chest that feels like it's winched to the point where a rib bone might break. A friend suggested that I take an over-the-counter remedy, which, at first, I chose not to do, since I rarely buy the non-prescription medication that doctors usually add on to their prescriptions, considering it mostly a waste of money. Either a prescription will do the trick, or it won't.
But, I reconsidered my friend's suggestion because I want to be in good shape for an unusually festive New Year's Eve, and was hoping against hope that the non-prescription stuff worked.
Here's the verdict. Since I am still coughing up a lung and the nose continues to run, and I had no sleep last night, it's hard to imagine that the non-prescription stuff works better than just letting nature take its course. I believe I am no further ahead cold-wise. As I lay on top of my bed and stared at the ceiling this afternoon while sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose, I began to think about - what else? - antipsychotics. If we compare psychosis to a long running and miserable cold, are we better off with the prescription than we would be with "over-the-counter remedies," e.g. the therapies, strategies, and attitudes that I discuss in my blog.
Putting aside the very real concerns about antipsychotic side effects, the best one can say about them is that they sedate in emergency situations. and can be useful in the very short run. "But antipsychotics are prescribed," some will say, "and these prescriptions work," and they might go on to say that everybody knows that there is no cure for the common cold. To which I would answer, and there is no "cure" as such for schizophrenia. Should we believe the pharmaceutical companies when they say that people are better off long term on prescription antipsychotics than they would be using non-pharmaceutical, non-prescription remedies?
Going through the thought processes that I did while lying in bed this afternoon, I can't help but reach the conclusion that the public has been suckered into a willingness to pay for non-prescription cold remedies and prescription antipsychotics. The common cold is short and psychosis is long, but where is the proof that taking cold remedies or antipsychotics gets a person back on their feet any sooner than they would have if they had just taken normal precautions and sweated it out with e.g. chicken soup, a box of kleenex, psychotherapy or tender loving care from someone who believes that this, too, shall pass.