It would appear that Big Pharma has joined forces with the mainstream medical industry yet again – this time to boost sales of psychiatric drugs in the 20-something population. Dr. Gene Beresin, a psychiatrist and executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, recently claimed that somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of all college students have a "psychiatric disorder."
This ridiculous claim includes things like going through a breakup, "academic problems" and "problems with relationships," along with actual conditions such as depression and anxiety. Are breakups difficult? Absolutely. Should 20-year-olds be given heavy-duty drugs because they are sad? Absolutely not!
What is really funny about this concept is that Dr. Beresin includes use of substances as part of his list of "psychiatric disorders." Substance abuse is a growing problem in this country – there's no doubt about that. However, is it really any wiser to suggest that students medicate themselves with pharmaceuticals every time they feel bad? It may not be illegal, but it is not teaching young adults how to cope with life in an adult manner, and one could argue that it is setting them up for a future of self-medication. Once they graduate with their frou-frou degree in a niche field of study and can't find a job, guess what they'll be doing when they can't afford to buy their prescriptions without mommy and daddy's insurance? They'll be self-medicating – that's what they'll be doing.
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