Day 381: Don't Blame Me! I have a Disease!

This is, in part, a response to a comment thread on my previous post.

The world of psychology is an interesting one. "Doctors" "discover" new diseases and/or disorders, or turn age old societal stigmas into diseases/disorders. A hundred years ago there weren't magical pills to make all your troubles go away, and people were a tad less forgiving of these stigmas - well, as far as we know according to what we can gather about those times.

These days, anything can be a disorder/disease - and that's how we all like it. There are multiple reasons for this:

  1. Lots of money can be made from "treating" these "incurable" disorders/diseases, with drugs and/or therapy.
  2. We get to believe that we have no control or power over this life, we get to feel like we are free - free from certain responsibilities, at least.
  3. We can do anything we like and always have something to blame (my addiction made me do it, I couldn't help myself). 
 We don't know anything about the human mind, and we're OK with that too. We pretend we want to know, but we don't really, because what we will find will change our attitudes about ourselves forever.

So, the pharmaceutical companies make drugs, they find some compound that produces some or other magical effect and they run with it. They tweak it until it has less (fatal) side effects than it had in its beta stage, and then they test it some more. Once they've got a whole bunch of positive results from the scientists whose livelihoods depend on the income they get from the pharma corp, they send it all off to the FDA (or whatever similar association/organisation) to be checked again. By the way, half of the FDA is funded by the pharma corps. The FDA will then decide if the drug's potentially debilitating and/or fatal side effects are worth releasing on the general public, and voila! A brand new magic tablet!

Next, the pharma corps send their little worker bees to sell this new magic pill to the doctors and hospitals and psychiatrists, offering all sorts of sweet things (but they'll never tell) and the doctors, hospitals and psychiatrists then prescribe it to their patients, cos they don't have many other ways to help people anyway. I suppose that even if they did know how to cure people, some might be resistant to doing so, because that would mean less patients and therefore less money. No one will talk about this aloud, because everyone is trying to keep up appearances of being "good people" - faced with a choice of "me or them" in a survival scenario, not many people choose "them".

So now doctors need to diagnose people so that they can prescribe these new magic pills. Now comes the really interesting part: People develop weird and wonderful "conditions", because no one really knows how to handle their thoughts, feelings or emotions. No one really knows how to live, because no one was ever taught how to live. From your first breath, your life is controlled and directed by other people, you are at their mercy. As you grow older and learn to do things on your own, you are learning from these same people, who want you to learn to do things the way that they do things. If you try to do and explore new things, a not uncommon response will be "sit down, shut up and listen to me - I know better!". So eventually we all become quite comfortable in not really being responsible for anything, because other people have always been telling us what to do. Even when we "grow into their roles", we are simply following their example, being the good little copies we are. This applies to those children who have to "fend for themselves" as well, even if it wasn't their parents in the role of Master.

We develop from obedient children into hormone-crazed teens into unprepared adults - it's no wander so many people go a little nutty. Anxiety, attention, dependency and depression disorders are very common, the lifetime prevalence rate for some of these disorders is as high as 30% of the adult population (in USA) - and that's just anxiety disorders. We don't know what to do with all the things we think and feel, we become possessed by them and then we don't know how to set ourselves free. Think of alcoholism or drug addiction, a very common occurrence among the members of the lower socioeconomic class - how much pain and suffering could be avoided if we found a solution to just these dependency "disorders"? - But no, it's not possible because addiction is a disease and we have no power over a disease. We just have to live with the fact that we are at the mercy of our drives and that's that. A lucky few get out, but spend the rest of their lives still being controlled by the fear, and/or desire of falling off the wagon. After a while, people start to define themselves according to their disorder/addiction, because they believe they have no control or power over it. A person goes from being "Sally" to being "Sally, depressed". The label of the disease/disorder becomes a part of who they are and considering anything that changes that has the potential to destroy their entire self concept - because not having the disease/disorder anymore means that they were wrong all along. Having the ability to "cure" a disease/disorder also means being responsible for ourselves, completely.

So, most are happy to keep their label. Cure is not an option, because they are powerless. Admitting that they could help themselves out of their disorder would be admitting that they are wrong, and that they've wasted away their lives being slaves to a set of ideas and beliefs. It's easier to have the disease/disorder, for sure. The disease/disorder is who they are - without it, they are just some guy/girl who can't even change their own life.

Let the debates, denials, name-calling and justifications begin.


  1. Awesome thanks cerise. I have written some about taking responsibility within/as the self definitions I've adopted in my life in regards to "mental illness" and it is interesting how one reason to hold onto these definitions is the "freedom" of not taking responsibility, providing myself with excuse/justification for continuing the patterns and symptoms (behaviors) as if they are out of my control/direction. So as a person who has defined myself as depressed and anxious for the majority of my life I agree with your post here.


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