If low or absent sex drive affects a few people here and here, it’s safe to assume the problem lies with them, but when the issue is so widespread that big pharma thinks it can cash in by selling one of their pill “cures”, it’s likely that the root causes are societal rather than individual. The other possibility is that it’s a made up problem altogether. Who decides what level of sex drive is normal and healthy and how is that determined? What about the difference between an absence of sexual desire and an absence of desire to have sex, is that ever discussed? My default mode when pharma companies come up with a new “magic” pill, or the APA brainstorm club creates a new mental “illness” for the DSM, is one of scepticism and never taking any of their claims at face value.
If low or absent sex drive affects a few people here and here, it’s safe to assume the problem lies with them, but when the issue is so widespread that big pharma thinks it can cash in by selling one of their pill “cures”, it’s likely that the root causes are societal rather than individual.
The other possibility is that it’s a made up problem altogether. Who decides what level of sex drive is normal and healthy and how is that determined? What about the difference between an absence of sexual desire and an absence of desire to have sex, is that ever discussed?
My default mode when pharma companies come up with a new “magic” pill, or the APA brainstorm club creates a new mental “illness” for the DSM, is one of scepticism and never taking any of their claims at face value.
Very much agree with this. Additionally, “resilience” is also used as a way to normalize adverse conditions that result from destructive social and economic policies. Instead of addressing these policies and how they create the detrimental impact on people’s lives and mental health, the focus is on being “resilient” and toughing it out, implying that the negative conditions result from an act of God or some sort of natural law that can’t be changed rather than human agency and deliberate choices made by policy makers.
It is a kind of covert disempowerment disguised as empowerment that uses neutralizing euphemisms and other language tricks to offload all responsibility for mental health issues and other problems caused by destructive public policies onto the affected individuals.
The internet is affecting us and our society in all kinds of (mostly) negative ways.
One thing it does is create the illusion that time spent on the internet is time spent “doing something”, when really every internet user is alone behind their device and the “something” they’re doing is manipulating electrons on a digital screen, completely isolated from the world around them.
It’s a great passifying tool that keeps people alienated from each another and lets our Silicon Valley overlords manipulate us psychology while at the same time controlling the flow of information that we are allowed to access.
Oh and the NSA keeps an updated record of everything you do on the internet (along with a record of every phone conversation and every financial transaction). With this they can retroactively make a “criminal” or a “national security threat” out of anyone.
There is a mental health charity where I live that hosts an annual event called The Courage To Come Back Awards. It’s a bunch of self-congratulating philanthropists and corporate donors “recognizing” people suffering from “mental illness” who’ve had “the courage” to “come back” and become “productive” members of society. It’s a veritable orgy of recovery porn tropes and cliches.
Because of course a person who finds themselves crippled by negative life events or trying to survive in a cold and ruthless system built around zero sum competition and sociopathic personality traits, while it shames and ridicules empathic people, those with a gentle disposition and anyone who can’t, or won’t, submit to the discredited and corrupt myths underpinning the dominant culture, is a coward who needs to stop being a loser and simply find the “courage” to “recover” and join the ranks of a decaying society that is well on the way to devouring itself.
Late-stage capitalist societies use psychiatry and arbitrary labeling to punish and discredit dissidents who reveal the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the social and economic system. It’s a method of social control. The communist Soviet Union had its own version of this.
The genius of our system, however, is that it has (so far) managed to wield many of its repressive mechanisms indirectly…a kind of inverted totalitarianism that makes it much more difficult to convince those who buy into the myth of a fair and just society that, for many people, quite the opposite is true.
Yep, late-stage capitalism plays a huge roll here. The competitive rush to stay afloat makes every person a potential competitor and crappy, low-paying jobs take up lots of time that could be spent doing more useful and healthier stuff. Ubiquitous internet use and the way Facebook, Google et al. use their platforms to manipulate us psychologically also serve to isolate and alienate people from one other. Our society is in serious trouble on multiple levels as demonstrated by, among other factors, the rise of dysfunctional politics and citizens abandoning reason and logic as decision making and reality evaluating tools. It will be a tough slog recovering from this sad state of affairs.
The root of the problem is, wait for it, unrestrained capitalism. An economic system based on brutal competition that masquerades as a meritocracy while in reality it is stacked in favor of those already in a position of relative economic security and allows those with the resources and the ability to do so to game it even further. The losers, and you can’t have a competition with only winners, are castigated for “making bad choices” and left to rot in their misery and despair.
Until we can address this reality honestly and build a society that has more to offer than a zero sum game that rewards sociopathic behavior and the hollow illusion of mindless consumerism the problems we face will only get worse.
(I know you weren’t taking to me but I jumped in because your comment reminded me of something I have been thinking about.)
It does seem like all groups eventually produce a scripture that is used to differentiate the in group from the out group. The foot soldiers in this struggle are the ideological dogmatists who try to shame and silence challengers and dissidenters no matter how valid their criticisms might be.
To some extent it is necessary to diffitentiate between insiders and outsiders, or what is the point, but when it is taken to extremes it results in society dividing itself into smaller and smaller identity groups that do nothing but fight and compete amongst themselves while the people with real power watch and laugh at the spectacle of fools who are saving them the bother of devising and implementing divide and rule strategies.
Margaret Thatcher’s famous maxim “there is no such thing as society, there are only people”, has become reality. How quickly we have done away with the commonalities that united us as human beings from different backgrounds and with different ideas and replaced them with a toxic tribalism that continues to divide and polarize people here and abroad.
As long as people are afraid or unwilling to honestly and openly examine their own role in perpetuating this splintered society, the result will be more bigotry and discrimination and, of course, more anger and discontent. A society that has done away with all widely shared commonalities is doomed to unravel and destroy itself.
It has been said (I forget by whom) that a critically thinking person can never belong to a political group or party because he or she will always resist taking on, and internalizing, rigid group dogma and sooner or later, think themselves out of the group. I tend to agree, but wandering alone in the wilderness is not conducive to getting things done either. What to do? I wish I knew.
Just imagine what they would say if she had a collection of New Coke bottles! Sorry, bad joke, I get and largely agree with your points.
Spot on. Didn’t see your comment before I wrote mine. Saying “end stigma against peole with mental illness” is like saying “end racism against n*****s.” It is indeed silly and insulting.
We do not talk about the “stigma” of racism or other forms of discrimination so why do we do it with people who are said to have so-called mental illnesses?
Talking of “stigma” puts the focus on the people being discriminated against, rather than with the people doing the discriminating. This is the wrong approach.
The problem here is not one of “stigma” but of PREJUDICE and it ought to be addressed as such. Many people in our society are prejudiced against those who experience the world differently than they do, and their prejudice makes it very difficult for the people targeted to participate with dignity in our society.
As long as “mental health professionals” believe that the root of their “clients’” discontent is reducible to a character flaw or “chemical imbalance” that needs to be corrected they are part of the problem. The solution is ending PREJUDICE against people who think or act differently than the majority and to stop medicating, ghettoizing them and making them freaks to be feared, laughed at or pitied.
Blabbing on about “stigmas” is the typical do-nothing pretend “solution” so beloved by defenders of the status quo who do not want to be seen as defenders of the status quo. It won’t work because the status quo breeds prejudice against even the mildest dissenters, i.e. anyone who is labeled “different.” It is basically telling people “if you want to participate in society and be treated like a human being you must, via prescribed drugs or otherwise, submit fully to a sick and corrupt society that will stab you in the back first chance it gets.” Well fu*k that.
Good article. A society based on hyper-individualism and ruled by the dictates of the market is extremely dehumanizing. It reduces human beings to standalone “brands” that must constantly compete with each other if they wish to survive in such an environment. Every human interaction, is reduced to a business transaction involving a cost/benefit analysis. Think of finding “love” using an app like Tinder.. can’t get much more dehumanizing and transactional than that.
A society with no shared values that bring people together, where everybody is potentially a competitor and the only recognized value comes from conspicuous consumption…this completely corrupts human relationships. A person whose skills and abilities are not profit oriented is going to suffer. A person who makes “bad choices” earlier in life and doesn’t have a family or a big support network is forever relegated to the margins of society and nobody cares what they have to offer.
People are taught to look out for #1 and jettison “negative” people from their lives as if fake happiness is healthy or a virtue. They become cliquish and mean.
There are a lot of lonely and hurting people out there.
A permanent state of happiness is unattainable and denying that suffering and despair exist is a sure sign something is wrong. A well adjusted people have no need to fanatically seek an always elusive neverending state of happiness or to deny uncomfortable emotions. Not being “happy” enough can get a person fired these days.
The western world is becoming unhinged. Everyone knows it. Yet nobody talks about it. Climate change? Some tech genius will invent an app that solves that little problem, don’t worry about it…just pretend all is ok!
The writing is on the wall but barley anyone notices.
Naturopathy is quackery is it not? This piece reads like one of those profiles in a “natural health” magazine that’s full of ads for vitamin and mineral supplements, new age gurus and magic crystals.
It would be a shame if a hurting person who didn’t know the facts about quackopathy read this article here and then spent their cash buying a bunch of fake cures and potions. It’s sad that a site like MIA is reduced to running stories like this. They wouldn’t run ads or print articles promoting Paxil or Seroquel so why is this stuff okay?
Reliance on advertising is crapifying the internet. Everybody with a website pretty much has to let the Alphabet boys crawl their sites with bots and spiders that harvest information from visitors just to stay afloat. They also have to rely on ads and clickbait to attract eyeballs and run advertising disguised as content. Because they need so many “click throughs” to stay afloat it’s only a matter of time before they run content designed primarily to attract clicks and eyeballs.
This influence corrupts all it touches. The internet is useful, sure, but we are paying a heavy price for it. So far it’s cliaimed many people’s ability to focus and read more than a few paragraphs at at time, it’s damaged or destroyed critical thinking skills and it isolates people from one another.
The other damage it causes won’t be known for years and by that time it could be too late.