WHAT ABOUT MEDICATIONS?
People have always used drugs to deal with traumatic stress. Each culture and each generation has its preferences-gin, vodka, beer, or whiskey; hashish, marijuana, cannabis, or ganja; cocaine; opioids like oxycontin; tranquilizers such as Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin. When people are desperate, they will do just about anything to feel calmer and more in control.30
Mainstream psychiatry follows this tradition. Over the past decade the
Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs combined have spent over 4.5billion on antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antianxiety drugs.
A June 2010 internal report from the Defense Department’s Pharmacoeconomic Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio showed that 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics, or other controlled substances.
However, drugs cannot cure trauma; they. can only dampen the expressions of a disturbed physiology.
And they do not teach the lasting lessons of self-regulation. They can help to control feelings and behavior, but always at a price-because they work by blocking the chemical systems that regulate optimistic:
I keep attending meetings where seriOus scientists discuss their
quest for the elusive magic bullet that will miraculously reset the fear circuits engagement, motivation, paln, and pleasure. Some ot my colleagues remain of the brain (as if traumatic Stress lhnvoived only one simple brain circuit).
I also regularly prescribe medications. Just about every group or PSycnoropic agents has been used to treat
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