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ramble.

There's a story on tv about keeping kids safe from abduction, abuse, and harm in general by teaching them how to react to strangers and people who may want to harm them and how to read the signals given off by people who are attempting to hurt them.
All of this focus on strangers.
Then they follow up the story with "and Remember that most instances of abduction and abuse against children are commited by people they already know," thereby negating the importance of the story they just ran.

I'm sort of baffled by the way people exaggerate statistics and standards. Why are more people depressed and on prozac now than ever have been? Becuase depression as a psychological condition (a psychological condition that could be treated by anything other than a "buck up, friend") is new.
Why there all these new conditions and diseases? Are we really a more depressed society? A more anxious society? Why are so many people on MAOIs and SRIs?
It isn't because there's been an explosion in depression. It isn't because we're just *such* a screwed up society that more of us are screwed up.
It's becuase these drugs are new. The conditions we treat today with medication and therapy were just the way people were 50-70 years ago. You aren't happy? So what? most people aren't happy. You contemplate killing yourself? so what? most people want to die. That's just how it was. There was a 'suck it up and move on' attitude that we've lost. It's because the clasification of anxiety disorders, depression, borderline personalities, dysphoric disorders and the like are brand spanking new. It's becuase we've all got this kooky idea that they didn't have 50 years ago... the idea that we're *supposed* to be happy like the sitcom families, in love like the r&b ballads, and satisfied with our lives and our places in them like the cards at Hallmark.

Where the hell did we get that idea?
Why do we all of a sudden feel like we're not only capable of, but *entitled to* constant fulfillment? Who filled our heads with that bullshit?
As far as I can tell, it started in the 60s. At the same time we started rallying for civil rights, pushing for equality, getting the idea that we had the ability and the *right* to participate in our government more fully by any means necessary we went too far and decided that "pursuit of happiness" somehow meant "right to happiness" and when no one handed it to us... well... we made drugs to do it for us.

That's simplistic, I know. But I think it's somewhere in the right arena. Or at least a decent theory...

Comments

maddening
Aug. 9th, 2002 09:40 am (UTC)
Oh I'm sure that depression has been around for a long long time. I just meant that it wasn't seen as a treatable malady, a *specific* treatable malady, until the late 60s (right around the same time the psychologically community decided that homosexuality *wasn't* a mental illness and took it out of their diagnoses books. hehe.. yes, these are mutually exclusive).

My (badly written) point, or part of my point, was that there is a seemingly booming depression industry. It seems like all you have to do is say "I'm depressed" to a psychiatrist and you'll walk out with a lil bottle of prozac. There are news stories about the overprescription of anti-depressants and maois. My take here was that it wasn't really a boom. It wasn't really overprescribed and we aren't really a more screwed up or depressed society than we ever were.
It LOOKED like a boom in prescriptions because it was new. Of *course* there was a 200% increase in the prescription of prozac over the course of 6 months, it's not difficult to have 200% more than *zero*.

MY (yeah, I'm looking at it again... very badly written) point was that people are using those stats to damn the psychological industries when I don't think they necessarily need be damned for this.

To me, it's just like ADD. When ADD became an actual diagnoses, all of a sudden *every* kid had ADD. Tons of kids were wandering around with lil bottles of amphetamines and it was just an epidemic of pharmeceuticals. BUT... it's not trailed off, doctors are more choosy about who gets meds and what meds for ADD becuase they've learned more through the trial and error of the past several years.
It's the same way for prozac, welbutrin, paxil... and a wealth of other depression and anxiety disorder meds.



I think. Guh...sinus headaches aren't conducive to thinking.

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maddening
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