Taiwan, Prozac Nation?

In my experience psychiatrists in Taiwan use drugs as the first line of defense instead of therapy, none drug treatments or a combination of drug and other treatments. Some of them mean well and are decent doctors but it seems they need to get patients in and out to actually make money. There are some out of pockets one where they can spend a hour but even not the best in treatment and use their solution of drugs.

A new small sleep and psychiatric opened in my neighborhood. 2 years ago when it opened there was barely anyone. I could walk in and get a occasional sleep med and muscle relaxant because I tighten up when I sleep and lock my jaws hard.

2 years later people line up with up to 10 before they even open the door and it’s packed. I watched a list of SSRIs like Prozac, Benzodiazepines like Ativan, Xanax, lorazepam, Valium gets passed out at the drug counter. Along with sleep meds like ambien, muscle relaxants, and other sedatives for sleep.

Do you guys think Taiwan has become heavily medicated these days? I’m seeing more and more of this.

This is a overly medicated nation,state, province whatever. Some of those medications help to lose a lot of weight (Diazepan being top of list). Many countries in South American people forge prescriptions to use that as a weight loss. With Taiwanese being even more sensitive to weight it might be something to consider.

How would diazapam/Valium cause weight loss? Usually you makes you hungry for people no?

Many of those are addictive drugs. Benzos, diazepam, valium…
These clinics know what they are doing…Customers coming back for more.

Sometimes I have sleep issues but I am afraid of getting hooked on the pills.

Somebody posted up an old article from 2009 on this subject. A lot of people have anxiety and can’t sleep well.

How much antidepressants you want?

I don’t know how it works, but it is a fever because of that in South America.

Back to your question, doctors in all countries are bought by pharmaceutical companies, I jut don’t understand how it works in Taiwan. Government pays for everything anyways, and as far as I can tell they want to dimish the cost of NHI (try asking for some deep check of all hormones etc it is almost impossible to have a doctor prescribe them to you). So what’s the point in overly medicate patients. Back home you leave the doctor with prescription in hand and go to the pharmacy go by unbelievably expensive drugs. If they don’t work, you need to buy others and so forth. 3-4 of them is already a months minimal wage. Based on that I understand why drug companies push so much doctors to prescribe. But in Taiwan it doesn’t make sense to me. And yet, everyone here hungry for pills. I mentioned I was having trouble sleeping with a few people and they ALL had black labeled (highly controlled) meds at home and said they could bring the next day for me. Back home you would need to be pretty screwed to be prescribed that and you definitely wouldnt have any spares to give out like that.

What are the characters for that type of clinic if wanting to search on Google maps or just notice when waking past?

@tango42 Type 心理醫生 in Google or Google maps and you’ll be able to see clinics near you

@Andrew0409 I agree. prescribing drugs as a quick and easy approach to sleep/psychological issues is unfortunately also a problem in Western countries. However, in my limited experience Taiwanese doctors seem to be much more willing to prescribe quite high doses of sometimes addictive drugs without a proper diagnosis and without a plan to gradually reduce dosage where appropriate. In my case I actually had to tell the doctor that my dose of sleeping tablets had to be gradually reduced. If I’d left it to them Id presumably be on the maximum dose indefinitely.

You’re right about them not changing doses.
Typically any doctor including at the hospital just checks what you were given last time, asks if you feel better and if you say no they just reissue the same drugs again no change. See me in two weeks.
I’ve had doctors edit the other prior doctors diagnosis. They seem quite easy to make diagnosis on the fly

Yes docs are time pressured many don’t take proper records of last meeting take time to ask you questions about your life (but some do…The good ones).
To be honest medical doctors are far behind in terms of using tech and analytics to properly deal with their ‘customers’. Their level of professionalism can be worse than a car mechanic sometimes. The car mechanic these days will run your computer though his laptop first to see if he can diagnose the problem, not guess it . The car mechanic also doesn’t get you addicted to oil changes and ask you to come back in for a half liter of oil every week or two lol.

The docs call you back in regularly because they make money from each visit. Also the hospitals and clinics make a lot of money off the prescriptions. If they reduce the dose they will make less money I guess.

The other major problem with docs in Taiwan is that they don’t explain why they are prescribing certain drugs.

Not enough legal ways to get high.
So the “clinics” step in and provide relief.
Great way to make money. Easy peasy.



Yep ~ benzos being very popular amongst junkies around the world. Super addictive supposedly.

It seems for post op surgery you can’t get a lot of these drugs but you can get them if you claim anxiety and insomnia. And a lot of people do suffer from these conditions.

Some bomb coffee right there

1 Like

I have been surprised in recent years how many people casually mention the sleeping pills they are on.

1 Like

Post surgery they gave me acetaminophen. Luckily before coming home I spent a week in the hospital where they had given me…acetaminophen, according to their records.

So they have the good stuff to help people sleep but not post op?

1 Like

Did you ask? It doesn’t really help pain. Some sedatives can help you sleep and they’ll usually give it out if you ask. But not opiates

In the old country I also had an operation and a nurse would give me an injection to go through the night.

Certainly, here in Taiwan though the procedure was an emergency, it was relatively painless, or at least less painful than what brought me to the hospital. I expected some kind of painkiller was already put in my bag of serum though I had been warned by others that usually they didn’t. Anyway, it did not occur to me to ask, I did not feel as bad. It was until we checked the medical records after the fact that we discovered that it was acetaminophen…except at least one day when someone actually gave me aspirin.

1 Like

Only way to combat excessive medication from psychiatrist is to educate the public on mental health. A better and healthier way of dealing with mental illness should start w/ consulting a psychologist first. Medication should follow if psychologist finds patient to be in need of medication (Example: bi-polar disorder, schezo etc).

In America, too many folks are on anti-depression and dread the side effect of medication. That’s why alternative medicine is such a hot topic and industry now. Americans are sick and tire of medication side effects that they are turning to therapy and natural remedies to combat mental illness. Especially the rich folks.

1 Like