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An Ill for Every Pill

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I wrote this a few years ago when I was working on the show about mental health, Waving not Drowning. I came across it the other night when I was going over some old files. I wasn't sure if I had posted it before but I can't find it on the blog. I thought it very appropriate for now. The director of the show rejected it as she didn't think people would know what the reference to Tom Cruise was about and also, that medication can help people, sometimes. I wasn't looking to present a balanced debate, I was pointing out how the field of psychiatry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders appeared to be labeling normal human emotion and behaviour as a mental health problem and then to medicate it. The title was something I heard in a programme about ADHD, that pharmaceutical companies, with the complicity of the medical profession, were creating illnesses so they could sell more tablets. Apologies if it was posted before.

An Ill for Every Pill

In the science of psychiatry, although Tom Cruise would disagree

We like to watch and see if we can find, those little anomalies in your mind

then label them from our dictionary and give it a medical pathology.


Because we’ve got an ill for every pill

Just pick which one you’d like

and we can keep you medicated

for the rest of your natural life


‘The house burned down, my husband died

and now I’m feeling low’.

‘No, no my dear, you are depressed

Now take the pills and go

My childs too active he won’t sit down,

What am I to do?’

Just bring him in and we’ll settle him

With a daily dose of Ritalin


We’ve got valium and citalopram

and don’t forget the prozac

They’ll dull the pain and stop you feeling

But keep you coming back!

and if they  don’t work

and you can’t see the Doc

Then there are others you can buy

there’s always the soluble solpadeine

or give neurofen plus a try


That codeine adds a nice little kick

And will brighten any dull day but more importantly for us

it keeps the pharmaceuticals in pay

and even though,  over time, they might make you sick

We’ll have another pill to cure that ill

Because that’s our cleverest trick



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