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Health Care, Not Scare

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After reading Martha Rosenberg's eye-opener on pharma's latest marketing strategy for antidepressants, you might wish someone would come up with a cure for perpetually feeling at risk.

It isn't that the selling of sickness is new, or that we haven't been warned before to not be hoodwinked by overblown risk in drug advertising. In fact, the fear factor is so commonplace today that it's easily taken for granted.

But it shouldn't be. Being haunted all the time by unjustified jitters isn't good for one's attitude or health. Any expectation of living a normal, healthy life is undermined by the nagging impression that each day is a gamble.

That's why in the face of the aggressive marketing of risk -- what Rosenberg calls a "whisper campaign" -- it's smart for those of us on the receiving end of advertising to amp up our alertness and not assume that presentation is reality, especially when what's presented consistently aims to heighten, rather than eliminate, anxiety.

What's more, we can couple this much-needed mental defense with a strong offense. Feeling better and living a freer life is strengthened by cultivating higher ideals, by consistently entertaining better and freer thoughts of life.

That doesn't mean that it's mere wishful thinking that promotes risk-resistance, but rather spiritual thinking -- where our thoughts are more in sync with an all-caring divinity than with an always-stressful humanity -- that conquers these false fears.

Rosenberg's piece reminds us that it's time to reclaim our right to have peace of mind, to expand our capacities rather than limit them, to raise our expectations rather than lower them, to experience more of the underlying reality of being that is the source of a naturally higher quality of life -- and to consider that prayer, rather than antidepressants, is what reveals it.

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