Living in America Will Drive You Insane

tilt-shift-van-gogh-prisoners-exercising-detailI know you’re never going to believe this, but apparently life in 21st century America will make you a little nutty. Okay, that’s no surprise, but I’m confused by the difference between a “real” mental illness caused by social pressures and a “fake” mental illness that people use to rebel against the society that is driving them crazy.

Via Salon:

In “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (New York Review of Books, 2011), Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, pathologizing of normal behaviors, Big Pharma corruption of psychiatry, and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

A June 2013 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or have “checked out” of them. Life may or may not suck any more than it did a generation ago, but our belief in “progress” has increased expectations that life should be more satisfying, resulting in mass disappointment. For many of us, society has become increasingly alienating, isolating and insane, and earning a buck means more degrees, compliance, ass-kissing, shit-eating, and inauthenticity. So, we want to rebel. However, many of us feel hopeless about the possibility of either our own escape from societal oppression or that political activism can create societal change. So, many of us, especially young Americans, rebel by what is commonly called mental illness.

Keep reading.

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  • drokhole

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
    – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    • Guest

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
      – Jiddu Krishnamurti
      That quote sums up this whole debacle in one sentence. It is dead on accurate.

      4 years ago, I had a great life. I had a job I liked, a car, apartment, and I was working hard on my life’s passion…writing and recording music.
      Then, one night while recording music, the police knocked on my door. They had gotten a call about a “suspicious person” and were just making sure I and my neighbors were safe.

      I was safe and busy recording music. But, when I opened the door, not expecting to see cops…they smelled the marijuana I was smoking.
      Utterances of “probable cause” and 5 minutes late, I was in cuffs. 2 hours later, I was falling asleep in a jail cell. The next morning I was sentenced to 4 weeks in jail. I live in TN…where the maximum sentence for mere pot possession is 1 year.

      I was also fined over $4,000 and given 2 years probation.
      Being in jail, I couldn’t show up for work…and was fired. Without income, I lost my car and then my apartment. Being on probation meant I had to quit smoking pot or return to jail for 7 months. So, I drank. I was severely depressed…and the (100% legal)alcohol made it worse.

      In one night, I had lost everything…all over 1 gram of dried plant material. A plant that added an incredibly positive spiritual connection and creative passion to my life. I credit marijuana with turning me from an anxious, uptight, worried person into someone who found spirituality in nature, a reason to trust other human beings, and kindled a passion for art and music while enabling the creative drive unlike anything I have ever experienced. Marijuana had a HUGE effect on my creative output.

      But alcohol deadened me. It hurt my body, killed my spirit and passion, and 2 years after the arrest, I was a shell of who I once was.
      I tried finding a new job, but because background checks are SO easy and cheap these days, I could never even get my foot in the door.

      So, one day, after drinking vodka, I tried to kill myself at 28 years of age. It was not a good day. My parents called the cops, and I was put in mandatory 72 hour suicide watch at the local mental hospital. They diagnosed me as “severely depressed” and gave me a prescription for an anti-psychotic. I later looked this drug up on the internet, and found it leads to hair loss, weight gain, and…..worsening depression in many cases. No thanks.

      I’m now 30 and my life is getting better….slowly. I still haven’t smoked pot in many years…and I miss it and the positive things it brought to my once happy balanced life.

      Society is INSANE. I saw that first-hand. I did nothing wrong, as far as I am concerned. Nothing. Yet, to this day, I can’t get a job. I do freelance design work online…it’s the only way…I work for myself.

      America COULD be amazing…it has the potential. The people are amazing. But the society itself is so very sick. To have a mental problem in this society means, in my opinion, that you’re a profoundly aware, empathetic, and healthy person.

      I wish I knew what could change all this. It seems like EVERYONE I talk to knows this is the case. Congress’ approval rating is at what, 8%?? And we take them seriously? Really??

      Hope & Change…REAL Hope & Change…need to happen ASAP…

    • Guest

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
      – Jiddu Krishnamurti

      That quote sums up this whole debacle in one sentence. It is dead on accurate.

      4 years ago, I had a great life. I had a job I liked, a car, apartment, and I was working hard on my life’s passion…writing and recording music.
      Then, one night while recording music, the police knocked on my door. They had gotten a call about a “suspicious person” and were just making sure I and my neighbors were safe.

      I was safe and busy recording music. But, when I opened the door, not expecting to see cops…they smelled the marijuana I was smoking.
      Utterances of “probable cause” and 5 minutes late, I was in cuffs. 2 hours later, I was falling asleep in a jail cell. The next morning I was sentenced to 4 weeks in jail. I live in TN…where the maximum sentence for mere pot possession is 1 year.

      I was also fined over $4,000 and given 2 years probation.
      Being in jail, I couldn’t show up for work…and was fired. Without income, I lost my car and then my apartment. Being on probation meant I had to quit smoking pot or return to jail for 7 months. So, I drank. I was severely depressed…and the (100% legal)alcohol made it worse.

      In one night, I had lost everything…all over 1 gram of dried plant material. A plant that added an incredibly positive spiritual connection and creative passion to my life. I credit marijuana with turning me from an anxious, uptight, worried person into someone who found spirituality in nature, a reason to trust other human beings, and kindled a passion for art and music while enabling the creative drive unlike anything I have ever experienced. Marijuana had a HUGE effect on my creative output.

      But alcohol deadened me. It hurt my body, killed my spirit and passion, and 2 years after the arrest, I was a shell of who I once was.
      I tried finding a new job, but because background checks are SO easy and cheap these days, I could never even get my foot in the door.

      So, one day, after drinking vodka, I tried to kill myself at 28 years of age. It was not a good day. My parents called the cops, and I was put in mandatory 72 hour suicide watch at the local mental hospital. They diagnosed me as “severely depressed” and gave me a prescription for an anti-psychotic. I later looked this drug up on the internet, and found it leads to hair loss, weight gain, and…..worsening depression in many cases. No thanks.

      I’m now 30 and my life is getting better….slowly. I still haven’t smoked pot in many years…and I miss it and the positive things it brought to my once happy balanced life.

      Society is INSANE. I saw that first-hand. I did nothing wrong, as far as I am concerned. Nothing. Yet, to this day, I can’t get a job. I do freelance design work online…it’s the only way…I work for myself.

      America COULD be amazing…it has the potential. The people are amazing. But the society itself is so very sick. To have a mental problem in this society means, in my opinion, that you’re a profoundly aware, empathetic, and healthy person.

      I wish I knew what could change all this. It seems like EVERYONE I talk to knows this is the case. Congress’ approval rating is at what, 8%?? And we take them seriously? Really??

      Hope & Change…REAL Hope & Change…need to happen ASAP…

  • Haystack

    The company I work for has received envelopes of white power twice this week. On lunch today there was a scraggly guy laying under a tree spanking his own ass over and over. I have a vague recollection that the society surrounding me used to be more or less sane, but that might just be me looking back on childhood with rose-tinted glasses.

    • Rhoid Rager

      Children are usually treated better than adults, which is why we may look back on our childhood as having been more sane than our current adulthood. Our memories of those times were imprinted through our child form’s eyes. It seems, that society is becoming increasingly cruel, though. For example, I can never remember this much advertising to children (and adults, really) when I was a kid in the 80s. It’s completely unhinged mindfucking now.

      • Reasor

        I was a kid in the 80’s, and most of the TV shows targeted at me and my generation were 30 minute commercials for action figures. We grew up swimming in ads.

        • Rhoid Rager

          That’s a good point. You’re right. He-Man and G.I. Joe were my favourite TV shows and toys, for that matter. I guess I feel it seems more overt now than it was back then.

          • gustave courbet

            Same here. At least we proved that the conditioning process isn’t universally successful.

          • Rhoid Rager

            Exactly. :) Just a habit, as Sheldrake might say.

      • Andrew

        I don’t think your initial premise is true. Not only was I treated much, much worse as a child than I am now, but almost all of the people I know say similarly.

        • Rhoid Rager

          I can only speak from my own perspective, really. I was treated well; I treat my children well. I’ve gathered through my studies, that the most sound moral systems orient their focus on nurturing the up-and-coming generations. It’s social sustainability akin to environmental sustainability. If I look hard enough, those two melt into each, however.

          • Andrew

            Sounds good, and makes sense. But I personally have next to no experience with sound moral systems or social sustainability, as I come from a family of bullies, perverts, and addicts.

          • Rhoid Rager

            That’s unfortunate. However, when you realize how bad your treatment was, you’re likely not to repeat it on someone else. So, you’re correcting for social sustainability and creating your own sound moral system as you live. Don’t you think?

    • Guest

      A friend of mine works in a public library and insists that the public was more sane even half a decade ago. I’m inclined to believe her, since she is not known for rose-tinted-glasses-wearing.

      • Matt Staggs

        I’ve worked in a library, book store, music store, psychiatric facility, state government, newspaper, magazine, etc. etc. etc., and throughout my years I have to say that people are as crazy as they’ve ever been, and certainly no less

        • Guest

          Ah, but have you worked in any of those in the past year or five? What if “they” really are getting worse?

    • Matt Staggs

      “Envelopes of white power!” I know exactly what you meant, but the type is cracking me up.

      • Haystack

        They opened the envelope and there were just swastikas everywhere. It was a mess.

  • mijj

    can organizations be classed as “mentally ill? Eg. Manning did his *required* duty and exposed Military crimes. The exposed crimes were ignored and, for exposing them, Manning was prosecuted. Are the US Military, Government, and Corporate Media “mentally ill”?

    • Matt Staggs

      I like the idea. Interesting concept. Malicious egregores, perhaps?

  • DeepCough

    In order to be a model citizen, you must be a model prisoner.

  • gustave courbet

    These trends could actually be seen as encouraging. Deep within the homogenized facade of normality, even the conformists are rejecting the soul-crushing conditioning of the societal Skinner-box.

  • Guest

    This sums it up….

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

    – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    4 years ago, I had a great life. I had a job I liked, a car, apartment, and I was working hard on my life’s passion…writing and recording music.

    Then, one night while recording music, the police knocked on my door. They had gotten a call about a “suspicious person” and were just making sure I and my neighbors were safe.

    I was safe and busy recording music. But, when I opened the door, not expecting to see cops…they smelled the marijuana I was smoking.

    Utterances of “probable cause” and 5 minutes late, I was in cuffs. 2 hours later, I was falling asleep in a jail cell. The next morning I was sentenced to 4 weeks in jail. I live in TN…where the maximum sentence for mere pot possession is 1 year.

    I was also fined over $4,000 and given 2 years probation.

    Being in jail, I couldn’t show up for work…and was fired. Without income, I lost my car and then my apartment. Being on probation meant I had to quit smoking pot or return to jail for 7 months. So, I drank. I was severely depressed…and the (100% legal)alcohol made it worse.

    In one night, I had lost everything…all over 1 gram of dried plant material. A plant that added an incredibly positive spiritual connection and creative passion to my life. I credit marijuana with turning me from an anxious, uptight, worried person into someone who found spirituality in nature, a reason to trust other human beings, and kindled a passion for art and music while enabling the creative drive unlike anything I have ever experienced. Marijuana had a HUGE effect on my creative output.

    But alcohol deadened me. It hurt my body, killed my spirit and passion, and 2 years after the arrest, I was a shell of who I once was.

    I tried finding a new job, but because background checks are SO easy and cheap these days, I could never even get my foot in the door.

    So, one day, after drinking vodka, I tried to kill myself at 28 years of age. It was not a good day. My parents called the cops, and I was put in mandatory 72 hour suicide watch at the local mental hospital. They diagnosed me as “severely depressed” and gave me a prescription for an anti-psychotic. I later looked this drug up on the internet, and found it leads to hair loss, weight gain, and…..worsening depression in many cases. No thanks.

    I’m now 30 and my life is getting better….slowly. I still haven’t smoked pot in many years…and I miss it and the positive things it brought to my once happy balanced life.

    Society is INSANE. I saw that first-hand. I did nothing wrong, as far as I am concerned. Nothing. Yet, to this day, I can’t get a job. I do freelance design work online…it’s the only way…I work for myself.

    America COULD be amazing…it has the potential. The people are amazing. But the society itself is so very sick. To have a mental problem in this society means, in my opinion, that you’re a profoundly aware, empathetic, and healthy person.

    I wish I knew what could change all this. It seems like EVERYONE I talk to knows this is the case. Congress’ approval rating is at what, 8%?? And we take them seriously? Really??

    Hope & Change…REAL Hope & Change…need to happen very very soon.

  • Sean

    This sums it up….

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

    – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    4 years ago, I had a great life. I had a job I liked, a car, apartment, and I was working hard on my life’s passion…writing and recording music.

    Then, one night while recording music, the police knocked on my door. They had gotten a call about a “suspicious person” and were just making sure I and my neighbors were safe.

    I was safe and busy recording music. But, when I opened the door, not expecting to see cops…they smelled the marijuana I was smoking.

    Utterances of “probable cause” and 5 minutes late, I was in cuffs. 2 hours later, I was falling asleep in a jail cell. The next morning I was sentenced to 4 weeks in jail. I live in TN…where the maximum sentence for mere pot possession is 1 year.

    I was also fined over $4,000 and given 2 years probation.

    Being in jail, I couldn’t show up for work…and was fired. Without income, I lost my car and then my apartment. Being on probation meant I had to quit smoking pot or return to jail for 7 months. So, I drank. I was severely depressed…and the (100% legal)alcohol made it worse.

    In one night, I had lost everything…all over 1 gram of dried plant material. A plant that added an incredibly positive spiritual connection and creative passion to my life. I credit marijuana with turning me from an anxious, uptight, worried person into someone who found spirituality in nature, a reason to trust other human beings, and kindled a passion for art and music while enabling the creative drive unlike anything I have ever experienced. Marijuana had a HUGE effect on my creative output.

    But alcohol deadened me. It hurt my body, killed my spirit and passion, and 2 years after the arrest, I was a shell of who I once was.

    I tried finding a new job, but because background checks are SO easy and cheap these days, I could never even get my foot in the door.

    So, one day, after drinking vodka, I tried to kill myself at 28 years of age. It was not a good day. My parents called the cops, and I was put in mandatory 72 hour suicide watch at the local mental hospital. They diagnosed me as “severely depressed” and gave me a prescription for an anti-psychotic. I later looked this drug up on the internet, and found it leads to hair loss, weight gain, and…..worsening depression in many cases. No thanks.

    I’m now 30 and my life is getting better….slowly. I still haven’t smoked pot in many years…and I miss it and the positive things it brought to my once happy balanced life.

    Society is INSANE. I saw that first-hand. I did nothing wrong, as far as I am concerned. Nothing. Yet, to this day, I can’t get a job. I do freelance design work online…it’s the only way…I work for myself.

    America COULD be amazing…it has the potential. The people are amazing. But the society itself is so very sick. To have a mental problem in this society means, in my opinion, that you’re a profoundly aware, empathetic, and healthy person.

    I wish I knew what could change all this. It seems like EVERYONE I talk to knows this is the case. Congress’ approval rating is at what, 8%?? And we take them seriously? Really??

    Hope & Change…REAL Hope & Change…need to happen very very soon.

  • Sean

    This sums it up….

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

    – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    4 years ago, I had a great life. I had a job I liked, a car, apartment, and I was working hard on my life’s passion…writing and recording music.

    Then, one night while recording music, the police knocked on my door. They had gotten a call about a “suspicious person” and were just making sure I and my neighbors were safe.

    I was safe and busy recording music. But, when I opened the door, not expecting to see cops…they smelled the marijuana I was smoking.

    Utterances of “probable cause” and 5 minutes late, I was in cuffs. 2 hours later, I was falling asleep in a jail cell. The next morning I was sentenced to 4 weeks in jail. I live in TN…where the maximum sentence for mere pot possession is 1 year.

    I was also fined over $4,000 and given 2 years probation.

    Being in jail, I couldn’t show up for work…and was fired. Without income, I lost my car and then my apartment. Being on probation meant I had to quit smoking pot or return to jail for 7 months. So, I drank. I was severely depressed…and the (100% legal)alcohol made it worse.

    In one night, I had lost everything…all over 1 gram of dried plant material. A plant that added an incredibly positive spiritual connection and creative passion to my life. I credit marijuana with turning me from an anxious, uptight, worried person into someone who found spirituality in nature, a reason to trust other human beings, and kindled a passion for art and music while enabling the creative drive unlike anything I have ever experienced. Marijuana had a HUGE effect on my creative output.

    But alcohol deadened me. It hurt my body, killed my spirit and passion, and 2 years after the arrest, I was a shell of who I once was.

    I tried finding a new job, but because background checks are SO easy and cheap these days, I could never even get my foot in the door.

    So, one day, after drinking vodka, I tried to kill myself at 28 years of age. It was not a good day. My parents called the cops, and I was put in mandatory 72 hour suicide watch at the local mental hospital. They diagnosed me as “severely depressed” and gave me a prescription for an anti-psychotic. I later looked this drug up on the internet, and found it leads to hair loss, weight gain, and…..worsening depression in many cases. No thanks.

    I’m now 30 and my life is getting better….slowly. I still haven’t smoked pot in many years…and I miss it and the positive things it brought to my once happy balanced life.

    Society is INSANE. I saw that first-hand. I did nothing wrong, as far as I am concerned. Nothing. Yet, to this day, I can’t get a job. I do freelance design work online…it’s the only way…I work for myself.

    America COULD be amazing…it has the potential. The people are amazing. But the society itself is so very sick. To have a mental problem in this society means, in my opinion, that you’re a profoundly aware, empathetic, and healthy person.

    I wish I knew what could change all this. It seems like EVERYONE I talk to knows this is the case. Congress’ approval rating is at what, 8%?? And we take them seriously? Really??

    Hope & Change…REAL Hope & Change…need to happen very very soon.

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