Medication Alone Merely Masks

Within the last week, a woman in her 30s arrived in my office for an initial consultation. The woman is suffering with low self esteem punctuated by bouts of severe jealousy. In the course of our discussion, I learned that the woman had been bulimic. At some point while she was bulimic, she mentioned her condition to her GP and her GP offered her medication, nothing else. The woman wasn’t offered counselling, a referral to a mental health specialist, nor cognitive therapy least of all the suggestion to see a hypnotherapist therapist.

Not surprisingly, and I frequently learn this from clients, the woman obtained the medication but made a conscious effort never to take it. People suffering with serious mental/emotion issues with physical symptoms are usually aware that medication alone merely masks the symptoms temporarily. These are often the disappointed and suffering people whom I meet and help.

On the September 4th edition of BBC’s Breakfast program, Professor Ben Bridgewater conveyed the information, based on studies, that doctors don’t always actively listen to their patients concerns and that a “culture of arrogance” or attitudes such as “doctor knows best” still existed.

While asserting that these attitudes are constructively changing, Professor Bridgewater noted that the results of these attitudes can have very serious consequences for individuals and thus the NHS. GP’s attitudes change and many young GPs simply don’t have negative or limiting attitudes towards their patients and are prepared to accept the benefits and limitations of a medication only approach. GPs are sending people to me for either cognitive therapy or hypnotherapy or both. This is a significant step in the right direction.