This is just a short reply, nothing very well thought out or argued or anything - just an emotional response.
The information in that article really scared me, as well as made me really angry. The whole idea of pathologizing any "abnormality" to such an extent terrifies me. I'm seeing nightmare-ish visions of a drugged out population. So many people with potentially brilliant minds that might be dulled or even ruined by drugs. Medicating for a "perfect" society. The whole idea that doctors would routinely steal someone's identity away from them as a matter of course. It's really frightening that it may come to that. That it has come to that. It really makes me angry - the idealizing of that level of conformity.
From Blackwater's ENFP Fluff-O-Meter:
The Wolf - manages to put on a happy face as a means to an end; challenges the soft spots of fellow human beings to "know where he has them"; gloomy and misanthropic.
As a semi-rebellious and very anti-authoritarian teenager, these people trying to compel others into complete submission really piss me off. It is especially irritating that they're specifically talking about teenagers who haven't done anything wrong, but simply have a rebellious nature. I was lucky to be homeschooled by parents who allowed me a lot of independence. I say semi-rebellious because I don't automatically rebel against my parents and other authority figures, but I try to critically think through things. However, if I had gone to public school, I imagine I would have gone crazy from it all.
He's was never particularly anti-authoritarian, and I'm not as much as I used to be. Reason being is, both of us have been diagnosed with two or more of the diseases mentioned in the article, and were given the appropriate drugs. When I realized that they weren't really helping me focus, only making me quiet and complacent with "knowing my place", I stopped taking them. I was a young'n at that point and didn't really suspect that it was the intention of the companies, but as the six years since I stopped passed, I couldn't help but see more and more kids taking those pills.
When I was first diagnosed, there were maybe 6 other kids in the whole school taking them. They were highly controlled, and could only be accessed at the clinic. By the time I graduated, kids were popping them in class without a second thought. Phenomena like that is hard to ignore.
Of course, before then I had researched it -- around 16 was when I first suspected that inducing complacency and reducing what was already minimal disruption was the goal, and researched it. Not very much -- I just read a few articles and asked about a dozen or so friends why they were taking them.
They all had it in their heads that it helped them concentrate, yet across the board, these kids' grades remained the same. One friend I remember in particular, I've known now for the last 5 of the six years started taking them when we were both about 15. A year later, his grades were the same, but he had less 'stamina' it seemed. He and I had plenty of arguments about whether they worked or not. I'm not sure but I think he still fills prescriptions and takes the pills.
Anyway, my point is, these kids didn't seem sick to me. I was notoriously the most "outrageous" student in most of my classes -- making lots of jokes; especially rude ones, often subjecting cancer patients and families, as well as terrorism victims. Call me crude, but I really don't have much sympathy for most people. It was right around when I discovered typology -- the end of my junior year that it really started to change. I do blame the deletion of cells on the drugs, but I also blame my behavior change on typology.
(trying to be objective here)
Well... maybe I should have made this a blog entry, but it kind of hit home for me. I normally mock every article I read, whether it supports or opposes my opinion, but this one I have to stand up for.
Also I didn't even make the points I was going to. I'll do that later. I promise.
I think there are too many people out there wanting to put labels on things and call mass quirks "mental illness". I would put this in the same category as ADHD and Bi-Polarism. Some people are just hyper and some people have mood swings, what the hell is so difficult about that. They dont need medication, its just their personality WTF!
Well thats how I feel any ways. I just hate it when I hear shit about people putting kids on drugs cause...THERE ACTING LIKE ALL THE OTHER F***EN KIDS!!!
(sorry about the small rant lol, just one of my pet peeves)
Very disturbing. Really excellent article BTW... very thoughtful...
It reminds about an interesting article from a sociologist about psychiatry as a form of social control. Whatever is outside the norm is equated to a mental disorder. Whatever is normal is considered the behavior to achieve. All this is done regardless of a concern for philosophical assumptions or cultural idiosyncracies. This thus effectively stops any social change and reinforces the system.
My opinion is that, if people display mental illnesses, alot of them are not necessarily due to *them* but due to a system they are in. Their illnesses are simply part of a bigger problem.
Take a corporation that treats people in an inhuman way. If People start falling into depression because of it, chances are that their therapist will tell them that the solution is to change the way they think about things and "adapt". When, in fact, the depression is there for a reason: it is a social alarm signal. It means that there is a bigger problem.
Very interesting part of the article:
While there are several reasons for behavioral disruptiveness and emotional difficulties, rebellion against an oppressive environment is one common reason that is routinely not even considered by many mental health professionals. Why? It is my experience that many mental health professionals are unaware of how extremely obedient they are to authorities. Acceptance into medical school and graduate school and achieving a Ph.D. or M.D. means jumping through many meaningless hoops, all of which require much behavioral, attentional and emotional compliance to authorities -- even disrespected ones. When compliant M.D.s and Ph.D.s begin seeing noncompliant patients, many of these doctors become anxious, sometimes even ashamed of their own excessive compliance, and this anxiety and shame can be fuel for diseasing normal human reactions.
This is a very insightful comment that really touches the nerve of the problem.