Sometimes, I question what I do.
What I do for a living, that is. The questioning began well within my first year in the psychological field…something about it just didn’t feel quite right, something along the lines of, “This is a disorder? A diagnosable condition? Really?” While the evidence of legitimate psychoses and crippling disorders is firm and proven, and there is no doubt that all of us need help to cope with life events at some point, there are also aspects of the psychological field that leave one questioning how much of this was just whipped up to make people feel better and less responsible for their actions…and perhaps to make others wealthy.
It seems I’m not alone in my questioning, as an article from this week’s New Yorker indicates. And, since this writer states the case with such elegance, I’ll let him to the convincing.
Things that I read and ponder, especially the really good ones, tend to serendipitously connect with other things I read…sometimes in the same day. Today was one of those days, because the connection between Menand’s article and this post…a move review, of all things…leapt out at me.
The beautiful thing about labeling our problems and deviance as “disorders” and “conditions” is that we can largely eschew responsibility for them, at least inasmuch as we only have to take a pilll to fix them. Assuming Menand is correct (and I think that he is), then this is feeding a niche of our broken healthcare system that was artificially and arbitrarily constructed. As emotional and spiritual health tend to find themselves interwoven, then our popular treatments also lead to an avoidance of an admission of our own problems…a sort of sacrament of confession, if you will…that would ironically pave the way to the redemption for which we ache in the midst of our problems.
And let’s face it, folks…we’ve all got problems.
I hope we stop taking pills for all of them at some point.