In our hyper negative isolated existence it is difficult to step out of our current situation and see how, in some ways, things have really gotten a lot better.
Abuse is a lot less hidden. Obviously all the sexual and other abuse reaching the news cycle makes the world seem like a worse place but for the victims it is a good thing. The fact that abusers are called out much sooner also means abusers will think twice about taking advantage of victims. Bill Cosby was a serial rapist and it didn’t come out for decades. If someone were to do that today victims would be much more likely to come out.
You can correspond with your doctor between appointments. When I had eye problems in the early 2ks I so badly wanted to correspond with my doctors but back then you couldn’t email your doctors because the security wasn’t up to snuff to handle medical information. Now with patient portals that has been solved and my dad goes back and forth with his doctor all the time. Of course this does make a doctor’s job harder now than it used to be.
There are better special education options in schools. A lot of people were understandably angry when Betsy DeVoss wanted to cut special ed programs but just the fact that they were an expense Republicans thought worth cutting shows how far we have come. When I was in high school in the 90’s they didn’t have much. Now they have a lot of help for people of various functioning levels at the elementary level and supports for those in high school who have various challenges.
Going out has become a lot more convenient. In the car GPS and traffic overlays will reroute you when congestion gets too bad. Maps with reviews will lead you to better quality non chain restaurants. Cell phones make it so there are a lot less missed connections and people can make plans to meet at a specific place and notify the group if plans change at the last minute. So much of Seinfeld revolved around missed connections. If they would have had today’s technology a lot of that would have been eliminated (but it would have been less funny).
Entertainment options are much better. It’s easier than ever to discover good bands with streaming, websites, and YouTube. Video is much clearer (high resolution) than it was even up to the 90’s. Cable TV is more expensive but you also get more (the ability to watch live and on demand TV on your computer and your mobile device). Netflix and the like provide a large library of shows to binge on.
Christians romanticize suffering which often results in mental illness which often makes people emotionally stunted. Of course Christianity is mostly engaged on the seat of the emotion. So these people are basically romanticizing something that kills faith indiscriminately.
The prosperity gospel is hard to swallow but this twitter feed makes it easier.
Christians are rightfully horrified of the fact that there are hardly any Downs people in Iceland because most of them get winnowed out via pre natal tests and aborted. However Iceland is more socialist than the U.S. with cradle to the grave social services. People with disabilities exact a great drain on society.
The Christian way is to just make everyone have as many kids as possible and then let the ones with disabilities rot on the vine when they get older. If Christians actually had to pay for the social services for all the children that get birthed then their pro life stance would be more costly. They want the best of both worlds and with their people in power that’s exactly what they’re getting.
If there isn’t a trail of crumbs I can surmise there is no bread. Been looking for a job since September with nothing positive since October. I’m supposed to believe that if I keep at it something good will happen but I don’t believe it. Not because my mind is in a “unhealthy” depressive state but I just see no evidence to believe otherwise, my job coach is a good guy but we are using indeed which is just shooting resumes in a black hole. Hope and conjecture are not diametrically opposed to each other. A little conjecture has to leak into hope in order for it to be self sustaining and vice versa. Even people who hope in vain for all kinds of crazy happy outcomes get the placebo response form said hope.
People who claim the future is going to be so bright if you just keep your head down and then none of this brightness shines in the present moment are just stringing you along. What else would people stringing you on tell you? That would never tell you to be hopeless because hopelessness is empowering because that indicates that something in your environment is going to have to change in order to restore hope. The only thing that really begets hope is empowerment because that allows you to counter whatever self serving action others are going to put you through.
From: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook
For years mental health professionals taught people that they could be psychologically healthy without social support, that “unless you love yourself, no one else will love you”. Women were told that they didn’t need men, and vice versa. People without any relationships were believed to be as healthy as those who had many. These ideas contradict the fundamental biology of human species: we are social mammals and could never have survived without deeply interconnected and interdependent human contact. The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.
Great NYTimes article, applies to a lot of facets of the lower class:
There is also the reality that in our culture of increasing isolation, in which so many of the traditional gathering places and social structures have disappeared, screens are filling a crucial void.
Many enrolled in the avatar program at Element Care were failed by the humans around them or never had a community in the first place, and they became isolated, said Cely Rosario, the occupational therapist who frequently checks in on participants. Poor communities have seen their social fabric fray the most, she said.
Climate change is not only destroying the planet, but our psyches as well.
Great article on capitalism and mental health:
The privatisation of stress is a perfect capture system, elegant in its brutal efficiency. Capital makes the worker ill, and then multinational pharmaceutical companies sell them drugs to make them better. The social and political causation of distress is neatly sidestepped at the same time as discontent is individualised and interiorised.
Great article on depression and basic income:
Why? If depression is primarily—as we have been led to believe by pharmaceutical company marketing campaigns—a problem with our brain chemistry, this makes no sense. The brains of the people of Dauphin did not suddenly evolve in those three years. But the World Health Organization, the leading medical body in the world, has explained: “Mental health is produced socially. The presence or absence of mental health is above all a social indicator and requires social as well as individual solutions.” In reality, depression and anxiety are produced by a broad range of factors. Some are biological—but many are social and psychological.