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Which Matters More: Brain or Body?


By day, I write for a large law firm that deals primarily with personal injury litigation. These aren’t the small, ridiculous cases you hear Stephen Colbert making fun of on The Colbert Report, these are huge cases that often involve injuries, illnesses, and deaths caused by medications. I never cease to be amazed at the way pharmaceutical companies will put millions of lives at risk to earn a profit. I’ve come to the conclusion that none of them are immune.

It burns a little to have to write so much about anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication. Thank you, Lord, that I wasn’t one of the teenagers who became increasingly suicidal when I was prescribed Paxil and then Zoloft nearly 20 years ago. It’s heart-wrenching to think about the countless families who lost an demented elderly relative to a death hastened by anti-psychotic medications used to keep their behaviors under control. I think about the many people who became diabetic after taking Seroquel to hush a mind full of racing thoughts that refused to calm itself naturally. People like me.

Even though these drugs come with harsh side effects, and, yes, drug manufacturers sometimes lie about the (lack of) safety and efficacy of their products, there is no denying that some of these drugs are lifelines for many people. After all, it was Seroquel that seemed to put the kibosh on my rage-a-holic tendencies.

It’s just sad that so many of us face a terrible choice: Do I want good physicalhealth, or good mental health?

If I could go back to 2006, I’m not convinced I’d trade in Seroquel for a working pancreas. A lot of people don’t understand why I say that, but that’s because they’ve never been stuck in the hamster wheel of Bipolar Disorder. It’s harder to appreciate peace if you haven’t lived most of your life in an emotional war zone that comes complete with the torture of sleep deprivation.

After spending a good bit of the summer hiking, however, I’ve started to wonder about these drugs that I take…I wonder if there really is a natural route, and whether I should try it.
Have you ever spent an hour or two in the woods? It’s the best anti-depressant drug I know. The beach works, too.
Could I combine the beauty and serenity of a creek in the woods with some sort of herb or supplement and be just fine?

I’m dying to find out, but I’m scared to try. I don’t have the time to crash and burn if it doesn’t work.
But I’d like to be able to dump these chemicals down the toilet, stop spending the money on them, and stop lining the pockets of the evil companies that will do anything for a buck.


Which Matters More: Brain or Body?

Julie Fidler

I am a Christian suffering from bipolar disorder. I know what it's like to deal with the stigma, the ignorance, and the rejection. I'm hoping that through this blog, I can help prevent someone else from having to go through the same thing. See my story here.

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APA Reference
Fidler, J. (2013). Which Matters More: Brain or Body?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 24 Sep 2013
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Sep 2013
Published on All rights reserved.