I’m a clipper. Even though everything is available online when I read an article I like, I rip it out of the newspaper or magazine(when it is my newspaper or magazine, I mean I have manners). This weekend, for some reason I was fascinated learning Tupperware parties are huge in Indonesia. Of course I left thinking that I hope the Indonesian women do not microwave in plastic, do they know about BPAs? How can I tell them? Then, I moved to the Style section. I’m always a sucker for the Modern Love column but this one about a mother and daughter and poems in her shoe? I saved that. But there’s always one article each weekend that is my #1.
I am still thinking about “Medicating Women’s Feelings”. While the author, Julie Holland, discusses that mood meds are overprescribed, particularly to women, she also explained that part of what makes women women is our moods. “But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.”
In both my personal and professional life I am a confessed fixer. Fixing sounds like a good thing. If my children have an issue with school or friends, I like to problem solve. And as they are getting older I like helping them problem solve. At work, if a client has a time of day their eating goes off the rails, we’ll strategize. Some of this is good and helpful but perhaps it’s different when it comes to mood and meds?
As Holland says “we need to stop labeling our sadness and anxiety as uncomfortable symptoms and to appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of biology.” Many positive tonics suggested in the article are what we endorse in our office namely sleep, sunshine and nutrients. But even if we aren’t prescribing meds I worry that sometimes important change comes from sitting with feelings that aren’t the best. After all, how do we notice when we feel especially bouncy or confident if we don’t give those other feelings a little airtime? Some things can fix themselves?
Julie Holland has a book with a fantastic title Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Misssing, The Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy. And I am not anti med at all…hope you got that. I may be suggesting Valerian instead of Ambien but if we’re being really natural perhaps there should be a little more waiting and seeing…and feeling.
Do you think we over-fix negative emotions? How are you feeling today? Anything you read this weekend that stayed with you?