According to a study by the American Association of Consultant Pharmacists, the average 60+ person in the United States fills upwards of 15 prescriptions a year. That leaps to 18 or more as we age.

Those in facilities are grotesquely overmedicated, often as a way to control behavior. This has led to some $177 billion in medical costs, much of which is pharma-related accidents, overdoses and interactions.

An article published in The New York Times claims that one in four women over 40 is on anti-depressants.

We get medicated for everything that ails us, much of which could be better dealt with using traditional medicine: better food choices, more exercise, having a purpose in life and finding happiness and gratitude in our everyday surroundings.

Those simple choices, which cost far less than hospitalization, don’t make money for our profit-driven medical system.

Meds Cause Falls, and Falls Kill

Often the very meds that we are given cause the dizziness that creates a dangerous fall. Suddenly, we have a broken hip, or we smack our forehead on the bathroom sink on the way down.

That leads to hospitalization and possibly dementia, because some doctors don’t deal with the side effects of concussions. Your hip may heal, but your head doesn’t. Those of us with aging parents watch this decline in horror, and wonder what could possibly have gone wrong.

What’s gone wrong is the wholesale belief that any pill can improve our lives better than basic maintenance. When we feed ourselves well and move the way we’re designed, the body finds its natural set point, which is vibrant health at any age.

This isn’t some miracle. Your body already is a miracle. The belief that we are somehow flawed and that a pill “can make the body work better” as I’ve heard some ads claim, is ludicrous.

Doctors Aren’t God

Our generation inherited the wrong-headed belief that doctors were all knowing and next to God in their ability to heal. Nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how much we may like our docs, they are deeply flawed, fallible, and their record shows it.

According to this article some 12 million misdiagnoses plague our medical industry every year. I’ve been subject to a bunch of them myself.

The sad fact is that medical information is changing so rapidly that it seems no one practitioner can possibly keep up with what’s new. That means we must do a good part of that work to understand the latest research.

All too often our doctors will prescribe pills or procedures that are either antiquated or contraindicated because they are too lazy to change, too busy to get up-to-date, or too invested in being right about how they do things.

Or, they are too eager to please a patient who comes in demanding a pill that they believe will make them look and act like the actors in the television ad, without listening to the potential side effects, which often include death.

You Have to Have These

My 70-year-old cousin Bette told me a story about her dentist. Bette has a lovely smile, and a few slightly crooked teeth on the bottom.

They have never given her pain, nor do they impede her eating – nor does this cause her TMJ. In other words, like most of us with a slight cosmetic defect, she was perfectly comfortable with her teeth.

Her long-term dentist began a year-long badgering effort to get her to invest $6000 in Invisalign braces to straighten them out. She repeatedly said that she didn’t have the money and wasn’t interested in a financial plan.

Soon, even when she came in for a cleaning, the hygienist started badgering her. Everyone had been enlisted into this effort to force Bette into getting braces – at 70 – that she didn’t need, want or could afford. She finally fired her dentist and moved on from this toxic environment.

If you wonder how to protect yourself from a system that is set up for profit rather than your wellness, here are some suggestions:

What You Can Do

  • Research your meds and their long-term side effects.
  • Take nothing at face value.
  • Demand to know why any med is being prescribed.
  • Explore alternatives before you take a new med.
  • Most importantly, try the natural way first. No pill can ever do for you what gentle yoga, better food, getting physically active and having friends can. These are life’s best remedies. Never let a health practitioner bully you into taking meds that can make you far worse.

Have you ever been pressured to take pills or have a procedure you didn’t trust? What did you do? Have you found ways to make yourself healthier by taking yourself off meds? Share your stories so that we can be inspired! Please join the conversation!

Julia HubbelJulia Hubbel is a prize-winning author, journalist, international business and women’s conference speaker and international adventure traveler. Her work teaches people how to erase the impossible and redefine their boundaries. As a sales and leadership trainer, her work focuses on success skills and finding the courage to be your best.

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