Friday, July 29, 2011

Thirteen drafts later. . .

. . .you get this:

I spent the afternoon knitting while listening to various people discussing personal growth. Personal growth  seems like a silly term to me. I think, "How can there not be personal growth? Is there impersonal growth?"

Okay. I'm being silly. Of course there are plenty of people who don't want to "grow." People will, in fact, do a helluva lot to not grow. They will kick and scream and kill instead of changing or challenging themselves. Besides, the very concept of "personal growth" seems absurd these days. Everything is a disease. You have a disease? Well, then. There's a pill for that, and if there isn't, it's incurable.

I felt motivated to cut through my hazy thinking because I felt angry. Listening to  this  trailer for the documentary film "Healing Homes" made me want to cry. The cure for psychosis? Love.

That's right. Love. No pills. No therapy. Just love.

Instead of crying, I got angry. I thought about when I met my new G.P. recently, and she asked me why I wasn't seeing a psychiatrist. I told her I've been tapering off the medication I've been on, very slowly, and had no interest in seeing a psychiatrist, for prescribing medication is the only thing that they do. She was concerned. "Have you ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia?" I wonder what would have happened if I had answered yes to that question. Would I have been forcibly put into a psychiatric hospital, even though I had no signs or symptoms of the "disease?" Perhaps. 

Even though I was off the hook, since this doctor is an osteopath, and I figure she's at least a little bit open minded, I felt obligated to stick up for people who are indeed schizophrenic. There is no evidence whatsoever that medication is helpful for psychosis in the long term. None. There is no evidence that schizophrenia is a brain disease, as most people believe, and as I once did. How is it that doctors, too, believe that it is a disease when there is no proof anywhere of any such thing? I did say something, and, of course, she looked at me as if I was crazy. I don't generally notice that kind of thing, as I've tried hard (yes, changed) to stop trying to discern what others are thinking about me. I can not read minds, but there's that certain look of incredulity, along with a raising of the eyebrows, an intake of breath. . .well. . .Suffice it to say, the doc has a Ph.D., and I do not, so what on earth was I thinking? I must be mad.

What about proof that programs that do not rely on medication have better outcomes? There's proof of that.

This is what makes me so angry. I generally do not use the word "evil," for it has connotations that I'm not sure I believe in, but I am damned sure that there are some things (and people) who are very, very bad. Treating people with kindness is not a money making endeavor, and as such, in this so-called society, it simply doesn't pay. So what do we do with the damning evidence that love and kindness (or a lack thereof) actually matters? We hide it.

Yes, this is a rant. 

Capitalism destroys everything it touches. Do you seriously think the profit motive can do anything positive for this world? We can congratulate ourselves for having a green company or a small carbon footprint, but at core, the whole system is rotten. These little fixes can make our consciences feel better, but they, perhaps, might make matters worse. A clean conscience has been proven to cause people to do people more harm than good.  Most of us know it. Those of us who know it well are, well, crazy. 

Of course the crazy people aren't going to be treated with love in America. Drugs aren't working? Electroconvulsive "therapy" for you! 

You think I'm kidding? Hey, it's on the rise for those who are "treatment resistant." That's pretty interesting considering the treatment has never been proven to work on any known illness. 

This is the stuff of science fiction dystopian novels.

Sadly, it is not a fiction. It may sound insane, but that makes sense, for it is.

Image note: I really like Jan van Eyck, but I do not believe in angels. This is a minority point of view in America. 55% of Americans do literally believe in angels. I guess it's only if you think they're out to get you, instead of benignly looking over your shoulder, that'll get you into trouble.


Fabianna said...

Hi Julie. This was a good rant and an interesting one! What is a G.P. though?

Julie H. Rose said...

Hi Fabi! G.P.= General Practitioner (or as most people call them, "my doctor")