Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Welcome to “The New World DisOrders” -- They Are Legion.

If Albert Einstein can be relegated to the ranks of "Autism" these days, then The New World does seem perilously close to be upside down--as I have always suspected.

Does it not anger anyone else that many of the last two centuries' geniuses are now being labeled with various and sundry sicknesses in our current culture? How so very convenient. I wonder what circumstances exactly bestowed them with their ailments in their own times . . . . (Too bad that we did not have a genuine Virginia Woolf brain scan, hot off the presses for analysis, in all its depressive full-color glory, before she dropped the big rock, because she could have been helped earlier, before she ever wrote any of those unfortunate books—even better.) This seems to be the Masses' (no, not just “The Sheep”) revenge: to on one hand, either entirely ignore geniuses, or on the other, to use them for all they are worth to society, subsequently disclaiming them (and on to the next) with psychiatric labeling, so that they can look down their collective noses, and feel superior for being so fucking HEALTHY on all their Meds—what progress and evolution.

One cannot watch television (and believe me, I usually have not for many years now, aside from the occasional new popular war here or major catastrophe there; then it is CNN, but of course (is there anything better?))--especially any major network news hour--without having to suffer through various commercials for this Pill and that Pill claiming to cure this Sickness and that Ailment (many of which are psychic "illnesses") replete with quickly mumbled long lists of disclaimers of side effects (so long that one would wonder why anyone in one’s right mind (Errr . . . Ummm) would risk such possible calamities and destruction to get “better”); illnesses are only euphemistically referred to, but we are somehow supposed to get the subtle cues via cultural osmosis, and ongoing subconscious intravenous feeding. Everyone, and one’s grandmother, is encouraged to obtain the help of a therapist--why should anyone remain "ill" needlessly? I have read and heard enough journalists and interviewed self-help authors featured in reputable newspapers, magazines, books, and on radio programs, television, etc. to suss the milieu of the past fifteen years--at least—and to see the direction of this culture--the Message being, in this regard:

Just get help and take the pills needed to continue to work and function "normally."

Most major life decisions are influenced by economics—do not even get me started on this concept right now, I say . . . . The quick fix of suppressing the symptom(s), and ignoring the cause(s)—this is done with rampant cancer these days as well: the fact that many more children, even, are falling prey to, and dying of cancer somehow is not alarming enough; nor are the higher rates of medicated young children and teenagers, on encouraged substances such as Ritalin and Prozac, their brains still physically growing, affected in development, and having little say in these decisions because they are not of legal age. Yes, start them young, and keep them quiet; who cares what might REALLY be distressing them all?!: No one is actually supposed to have a reaction to disturbing circumstances, feel what one is really feeling, and perhaps make decisions based upon these thoughts and emotions anymore, because it might be too inconvenient for immediate family, and the economic society as a whole.

If people consciously WANT to take these prescribed pills, fine; but it is becoming much harder to put up a fight by saying Fuck Off, I DO NOT, without appearing ill, by the very action of resisting their "Help."

Yes, surely we should be convinced that if all the unhealthy geniuses would just take their pills early and often, as prescribed, along with everyone else, that the world will be a better place for the Future of Humanity.

© Carol Maric
All Rights Reserved

5 Comments:

Blogger NYCbeauty said...

I agree that the pharm market is out of control. But there are some of us who, even with the hard work, still have fucked up brain chemicals. I need my meds like a diabetic needs insulin. Real mental illness is still illness. After getting to the root of my "issues", dealing with my demons, AND taking the meds, I am finally a well-rounded person.
xo
jw

10:30 AM  
Blogger Full Frontal Honesty said...

As a school teacher, I often wonder if students who get labeled with problems early in life are being shortchanged because it's easier to medicate than to educate in a manner outside the norm. Makes you wonder how much of modern western medicine will one day be viewed as the equivalent of bleeding with leeches...

12:56 AM  
Blogger Billychic said...

I'm sure that if I was a child like I was in today's society, I would have been put on so much Riddlin it would have been scary.

Instead, I was allowed to be a child, who although was considered advanced and very intelligent, was the one that "couldn't sit still" and I always got report cards that complained that I talked too much to fellow students in class and couldn't focus on my tasks.

Yet, I turned out (relatively) all right. (pause for snarky response)

I think oftentimes doctors are very quick to prescribe medication - and I think sometimes it's because they just don't want to do work on their end.

On the other hand, I know that if my sister was not on the medication that she is, she would not only not be able to function, but I would not be able to have a relationship with her at all...and several people I know cannot function without it, and it really helps them.

So I do agree that medications have become so much of a norm that you are made to feel that if you aren't on them and have any depression at all whatsoever that you are making some big mistake - which is simply causing a society to be chemically dependent; however I do think that these medications are essential for some people to live a happy life.

I also get annoyed about so many "experts" diagnosing brillant people from the past. Yes, it is convenient for them to bring somebody who was so fantastic down a few notches...and if those folks didn't have their issues, would they have been able to express their brilliance so well? Probably not.

I have thought about taking meds at different times in my life since childhood...but never had reason enough to - and was afraid that it would alter my ability to create.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too, am in total agreeance with you about the "pop a pill and it will all go away.....so we think" society. The shame of it is that there are a few medications out there that certain persons (when it is appropriate to situation, diagnosis.....and the person) have greatly benefitted from. The problem is that many people become attached to these meds like a crutch and soon, know of no other world without it.
I believe that it is a person-by-person choice, like most things in life.
I can remember a terrible time in my life, going through a divorce that left me with little more than my 3 cats, the clothes on my back, (a really cool comic-book collection) and a car that was not long for this world. Then, out of nowhere, my sister, who had not yet reached her 37th birthday, was suddenly killed in a car accident. I was numb, sad(?)completely devastated and mad as hell! I went to a Dr(Psychologist)I had been seeing for my divorce issues and he saw the wreck I was. He Rx'd Xanax and told me it would take 3-4 weeks to "kick in". I took it for 3 weeks and although I was calmer, I also felt something was missing: The TRUE grieving process. I needed the pain more, as fucked up as that sounds.....I actually needed that pain to make it real. But not all of us can deal with that pain.

That's why I believe it's person-by-person.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Tim Caldwell said...

Well written post, Carol.

I do not agree that one takes Albert Einstein down a notch by pointing out that he had Asperger's Syndrome. By acknowledging his condition, it offers others with the same condition an example of a success story. I'm fairly confident that Dr. Einstein would be happy knowing he helps others in this way.

As for the whole medication/psychiatry thing, I feel very strongly that if we can find something that helps people deal with their problems, then let's get that to them. Just because there has been abuse and overuse of certain treatment methods does not alter the fact that they may have legitimate therapeutic value.

As someone who is finally coming to terms with my own particular mental and emotional problems, if it has been shown that a pill helps, then give it to me. If it has been shown that horseback riding helps, then saddle up that pony. But please don't exclude an entire class of treatments simply because there has been a problem with the way they have been administered.

I would be the first to agree that psychiatry has stumbled as it has developed over the decades, but no branch of medicine has traveled a smooth road as it has developed over the centuries.

Let's remember that they used to spin crazy people to try to get the "craziness" to fly away from the spinning body. And how about the Iron Maiden? And while electro-shock therapy was disgraced as backward and medieval, it has made a comeback as it has shown some real promise in the treatment of manic-depressive illness.

I'm not a doctor. Heck, I don't even play one on TV. It is every person's choice to be bombarded by advertisements on television, to watch the endless procession of inducements to think along certain rigid lines. One of the many problems with humans is that we have little interest in thinking for ourselves. So if businesses spring up that have found a way to make billions of dollars by offering a miracle cure in the form of a little pill, then the dopes who swallow the dope get what they deserve.

But me, I find caffeine, for instance, does certain things to my brain that help me focus and perform better, and there are other substances that have an effect on my brain and body chemistry as well. Maybe the right combination will help me feel better than I do now. There's nothing wrong in believing that.

12:29 AM  

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