the Globalisation of Addiction

a Study in Poverty of the Spirit.

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the Globalisation of Addiction – a Study in Poverty of the Spirit by Bruce K. Alexander

Part I – Roots of Addiction in Free-market Society

Chapter 1 – Vancouver as Prototype

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Despite enourmous efforts, the same great institutions of modernity could not, and still cannot, prevent alcoholism and other forms of addiction from growing and spreading. Neither legal prohibition, moral medicine, scientific medicine, psychoanalysis, Alcoholics Anonymous, counselling, compassionate love, tough love, behavioural managment, acupuncture, case management, therapeutic communities, civil commitment, eastern meditation, behavioural genetics, neuroscience, sophisticated advertising, antagonist drugs, psychedelic drugs, motivational interviewing, community reinforcement, treatment matching, harm reduction, nor any combination of these techniques has come close to overcoming alcoholism or any other type of addiction. Continue reading “the Globalisation of Addiction”

Why Everybody's More Crazier

or, how our global economics contributes to the spread of mental illness

image by Derek Hess

from the Article over at the Guardian:

What greater indictment of a system could there be than an epidemic of mental illness? Yet plagues of anxiety, stress, depression, social phobia, eating disorders, self-harm and loneliness now strike people down all over the world. The latest, catastrophic figures for children’s mental health in England reflect a global crisis.

There are plenty of secondary reasons for this distress, but it seems to me that the underlying cause is everywhere the same: human beings, the ultrasocial mammals, whose brains are wired to respond to other people, are being peeled apart. Economic and technological change play a major role, but so does ideology. Though our wellbeing is inextricably linked to the lives of others, everywhere we are told that we will prosper through competitive self-interest and extreme individualism. Continue reading “Why Everybody's More Crazier”

Trauma and Recovery

Trauma and Recovery – the Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Herman, M.D.

PART 1 – Traumatic Disorders

Chapter 1 – A Forgotten History

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The study of psychological trauma has a curious history—one of episodic amnesia. Periods of active investigation have alternated with periods of oblivion. Repeatedly in the past century, similar lines of inquiry have been taken up and abruptly abandoned, only to be rediscovered much later. Classic documents of fifty or one hundred years ago often read like contemporary works. Though the field has in fact an abundant and rich tradition, it has been periodically forgotten and must be periodically reclaimed.

This intermittent amnesia is not the result oof the ordinary changes in fashion that affect any intellectual pursuit. The study of psychological trauma does not languish for lack of interest. Rather, the subject provokes such intense controversy that it periodically becomes anathema. The study of psychological trauma has repeatedly led into realms of the unthinkable and foundered on fundamental questions of belief.

To study psychological trauma is to come face to face both with human vulnerability in the natural world and with the capacity for evil in human nature. To study psychological trauma means bearing witness to horrible events. When the events are natural disasters… those who bear witness sympathize readily with the victim. But when the traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to remain neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides. Continue reading “Trauma and Recovery”