Stick it to the Man

Medicine as a whole is debatably one of the most, if not the most important advancement humanity has ever had. With that being said, medicine is not hard to get a hold of, and many people abuse it. But, to the responsible consumer, medicine can help cope with everyday problems, like headaches or sore throats.

For some reason, I seem to be the only person in my family who refuses to take medicine when I come down with common illnesses. My older sister gets migraines often, so it’s safe to say she is an avid (but responsible) user of Advil. We always have medicine in the house, but whenever I get a little sick, I decide that I’d rather tough it out and wait for it to pass. This isn’t because I think I’m some sort of tough guy- because I’m not. But, over time I have developed the idea that attitude and mental toughness play a pretty big role in recovery and response to illness. By this, I simply mean that I believe that there are times when a person can overcome or minimize the effects of an everyday problem. With that being said, I obviously don’t think that mental toughness is going to prevent anyone from getting the flu or breaking bones. But, I do believe that if I take medicine less often, it will be more effective once I actually do take it, just due to the fact that my body isn’t accustomed to the additional support.

I decided to address and attempt to answer the question of whether or not mental toughness and attitude play any role in response to sickness.

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Wikipedia gives a basic definition of mental toughness that can be found HERE, and although this definition gives no direct mention of any relation to health, the article found HERE expands on the matter, talking about how increased mental toughness can help a person achieve their goals in health, business, and life. For example, someone who is mentally tough may be frictionally unemployed for a shorter amount of time, or they may stick to their health diet more closely than someone who is not as mentally tough.

Psychologists in general believe in the importance of mental toughness. A psychologist named Gary Seeman writes the article listed HERE, and he advocates for psychotherapy to develop mental toughness in order to confront ordeals that life throws our way. So, while mental toughness may not actually influence health directly, it definitely plays an important part in everyday life and one’s ability to persevere through any type of hardship.

Like with alcohol, body tolerance forms when the consumer uses the drug repeatedly to a point at which larger dosages are needed to deliver the same effect. The article listed HERE explains the difference between tolerance, resistance, and dependence. With that being said, my stance on only taking medicine when absolutely necessary might not be completely justified. But, even with this new knowledge, I most likely won’t change my ways.




One thought on “Stick it to the Man

  1. Michael A Lupo

    This post sounds so familiar to a person in my immediate family. My dad shares the exact same belief when it comes to medicine as you do. There have been many times where I have witnessed my father refuse the medicine that was offered to him because he didn’t think he would need it. I have also heard him say the exact same line you mentioned above: “if you take medicine less often, it will be more effective when you take it.” I, on the other hand, am the opposite with taking medicine. If I am sick enough to go to the doctor, and he prescribes a medicine to help me, I take it because I feel that it will help cure my sickness faster. Obviously, I aways take medicine responsibly and never abuse it, although I often use Advil when I get a headache, like your sister. This led me to a question as to weather or not one can become addicted to over the counter medicines such as Advil or Ibuprofen. I came across an interesting article found here which ones into detail about all of the different side effects and abuse statistics of Ibuprofen. Just like any other drug, if abused, you can become addicted and suffer from the many side effects mentioned in the article. After reading this article, the next time I get a headache, I will try to be more conscious about weather or not I actually need the medicine. If what you and my dad say is actually true, maybe it will be beneficial to me in the future.

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