Friday, 12 April 2013

Madness as symptom


OK, I know this is something of an obsession of mine, but that's OK. I'm mad, and mad people are allowed to have obsessions...

This morning on the radio yet another 'scientist' was interviewed about a theory he had of what's 'wrong' with mad people, and how you might 'cure' it. I get seriously pissed off about this trope.

What's wrong is, it's category error. It's missing the point. What's wrong with mad people is that there is nothing wrong with mad people. Granted it isn't comfortable being mad, granted we'd all of us very much rather not be mad. But there's nothing wrong with us. We do not have a disease. We are not a disease. We are a symptom. What's sick is society. We are people with a lower tolerance to stress - and with more dramatic abreactions to stress - than the norm. We're the canary in the mine shaft. We instrument the level of stress and disharmony in the societies in which we live.

Mass-prescribing anti-depressants and anti-psychotics does not solve any problem at all; it does not cure any disease at all. It's like prescribing cough-linctus to asbestos miners. Mass prescribing anti-depressants and anti-psychotics masks a symptom, and the consequence of symptoms being masked is that no-one gets round to curing the disease.

What's sick, is society. We are the symptom. Cure the disease, and the symptom will cure itself.
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