I take an anti-depressant and mood stabilizer & have been on this regimen for the last two years. When I first started, it felt like night and day. The meds lifted me out of the apathetic gloomy haze of depression I'd been stuck in for over a decade. It's kept the depression at bay and I'm very grateful that I found the right cocktail for me. If I get lazy with my regimen, my mood dips within a few days and I start to see the effects in my daily life.
In the time that I've been medicated, I've purged my life of unhealthy relationships, got in a 12-step program which rejuvenated me spiritually, started really working deeply with my therapist, got a job that I like quite a bit & got promoted, sat two 10-day courses, and committed myself to The Path. More or less in that order.
I may have gotten to this point eventually but there's little doubt in my mind that it would have taken a lot longer. And that I might have been dead before it happened. No exaggeration.
At my last retreat, I got severe anxiety during deep meditation and my AT prescribed a meditation technique and sent me to my room. It worked and staved off a panic attack which is great because I'd left my anti-anxiety meds at home.
Anyway she later told me to take prescribed meds if I needed to because that is what they were prescribed for. No big deal and it doesn't reflect on my discipline.
So here's my take on this debate. If medication is taken with the right volition (vs. abusing medication for instance) and if it aids in developing dhamma and one's practice, it is all good.
IMHO, the beauty of Dhamma is its universality. Sila is universal, samadhi is universal, panna is universal; all three are no-brainers if one is aware. Dhamma is grounded in practicality, not in dogma.
So the middle path may be to do what you need to do in order to develop in Dhamma. True, a fully enlightened being wouldn't be rocked by psychosomatic stuffs but in my case it's a long walk before I hit that point. Along the way, I'm going to use whatever tools I have been gracefully given (including 12-step, meditation, and therapy) to get there.
There may be a day when I can feel this normal without my meds but if I'm in it for life, that's cool too. They help me stay balanced so I can focus on my top priorities. Helps me cultivate samadhi, check. Keeps energy/life/connectedness-sucking depression at bay, check. Allows me to get out of bed so I can meditate and go to work, check. Makes me a non-liability for ten-day retreats, check. That can't be a bad thing.
As for the pain-killer thing, is the loving action to give balm to a feverish child / AIDS or cancer patient / someone suffering severe pain? Or to tell them to observe bodily sensation and detach?
Maybe the most loving thing would be to leave the choice to them. This applies to anyone who has chosen to take refuge in Buddha as well.
Just my two cents.