“A shibboleth is a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important.” – Wikipedia
I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon lately. When I post articles on Facebook that challenge the drug industry I almost always get immediate feedback saying, essentially, ‘you’re wrong, drugs are helpful.’
What’s interesting about this is that it doesn’t map to the point of the articles. If I only posted “drugs are BAD – do not take them ever” articles this response would make sense.
Here’s two recent examples.
- ADHD Drugs lose effectiveness over time. (I don’t think this was the EXACT article I posted about on Facebook, but I believe the one I had linked to this one). The point of the article was that these drugs, effective at first, lose efficacy over time, and, given their side-effects, may be a bad choice because of that. I got very negative feedback on this from people saying “these drugs helped me” or “these drugs helped my kids” — when the point was never “they don’t help” but they stop being effective
- Cocktail of popular drugs may cloud brain. The point of this article was that people, most especially the elderly, can have brain fog: “Called anticholinergics, the drugs block the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, sometimes as a direct action, but often as a side effect. Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger with a range of functions in the body, memory production and cognitive function among them.” It went on to say that these anticholinergics are present in a wide variety of very common drugs and over the counter medications and the danger isn’t in taking one such medication, but from multiple medications. In posting the article I wrote “think that’s why I’m relatively healthy – I take no prescriptions and virtually no over the counter – NOT taking drugs keeps me healthy, imho. Have a read – what do YOU think?” One of my friends responded that ‘some medications can save lives.’
I have strong opinions (have you noticed) and I have a passionate interest in health and in politics. I would assume my political postings could annoy people as much as my health postings, but they never generate the firestorm that my health-related postings do.
I recognize that while my “anti-Big-Pharma” stance is partially based simply on the facts, it is clouded by emotion in that I feel that doctors and their drugs were major contributors to my mother’s lifelong health issues and ultimate death. My family, by the way, probably does not agree with me on that – but that’s how I feel.
So I’m sure the emotional tinge to my postings probably does not help in my message.
But I think there’s more to it.
It seems to me that this ‘drug/no-drug’ issue is part of the big shift that’s happening now. It’s my belief that the old order is beginning to die away and those attached to it are not happy about it.
It has also struck me at times that people don’t read the article in question – and I get that. I know I have done that too – put in my two cents without reading the entire article in question. I’m going to change that – I’m not going to allow myself to add my two cents about something without having first read/listened to/watched the item in question.
I’m doing some self-examination as well on my own openness to new ideas. I really AM passionate about health, and it is my belief that I’m open to the debunking of theories I’ve espoused when I see new evidence that proves my beliefs wrong. I’m after good health, a long and healthy and happy life – if my outdated beliefs are preventing that, I change them. That’s at least how I see it – I’ll follow-up with my close friends to see what their opinion is.
How about you? What role do YOU think drugs should have in health care? Primary? Part of an overall regime? Used only as a last resort?
What triggers you and why (as in my anger at Big Pharma and where it came from)?
And what sacred cows are you loathe to examine or get rid of?
Not just with health either – I really want to know about the shibboleths in YOUR life!