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I agree absolutely.  Perhaps it's not as bad in Europe, but this is a real problem in the US -- especially with women's health care issues.  I don't know if it's from propaganda from big pharma or what, but if you're "feeling bad" (which happens when you're sick), the automatic thing is to try to tell you to take prozac or something.

I had something pretty severe wrong with me which could have been corrected at an early stage.  Instead, first because of no insurance and then because of no one listening and lastly because of mis-diagnosis, I ended up being in an urgent surgical situation and it didn't go well.  But during this four year ordeal, it was suggested more than once that it might be stress or depression and I was treated like an uncooperative patient because I wouldn't go on anti-depressents.

I wasn't even depressed!  And then they just tell you it's a symptom of severe depression to not know you're depressed!!  It was like a bad Kafka story.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 04:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, antidepressants are prescribed for everything under the sun.  There really has developed a culture in healthcare where the sick person is treated as a nuisance, told that they just aren't taking a positive attitude.  Ack.

But also look at the whole Oprah, self-help fad.  Dr. Phil is the worst.  Maybe they think they are being empowering, but I don't care if you are living in poverty, lost you kids in a freak car wreck, or are a victim of incest, absolutely everthing is treated like a problem that is just a weakness of the person suffering, that can just be solved by keeping a journal, redecorating, finding your dreams, getting a new house, and just deciding to be happy.  I am sorry, it is sick.  

Everyone who has a bad day is diagnosed with depression, a medical ailment, a brain disorder.  God forbid anyone be unhappy.  If you are unhappy, you are malfunctioning and must be fixed.  Obviously, sometimes this is the case, but sometimes it's ok to be unhappy.  It's even healthy.  

...

Is this happenning in Europe?  The mass drugging and arts&craftsing of society in order to eradicate
"unhappiness"?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 04:43:24 PM EST
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Not that I didn't know any of this, but the way you put it, it sounds ominously like Brave New World. Have you had your soma tablets yet?

There is a great South Park episode where they decide to give all the kids in the school prozac or whatever other drug to cure them from ADD and they become like zombies. I may not be remembering correctly, but I think the black cook saves the day in the end.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 04:48:34 PM EST
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There's a muscle relaxant here actually named Soma.  I had to take it once for muscle spasms and I was... amused I guess, but not without reservations.  I was wondering if the manufacturer had a twisted sense of humor, or was simply clueless.

BTW, kids with ADD are a growing "market."

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 04:59:39 PM EST
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It's scary. I wonder what I would do if a school psychologist tried to diagnose prozac for a child of mine... Isn't it that case that there is legislation in the US (or it is in the works) that will make it impossible to refuse such medication?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 05:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Impossible to refuse it?  I should think you have the right to refuse whatever you want.  Don't parents have the right to choose what treatment is best for their children?

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 05:29:15 PM EST
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Actually, Migeru was right -- there were some school districts that were saying if you didn't medicate your kid on their advice, they could kick the kid out.  I don't know all the ins and outs of the legislation or how widespread it was, but some states and, finally, the federal government passed bills disallowing schools to do this.  

This has largely been talked about in right-wing circles since, y'know, education is a "librul" thing.  This is exactly the sort of issue that the Republicans grab on to and use to great effect in demonizing the left on a local level, even though the school boards are packed with right-wing fanatics and they operate like small dictatorships.  It would probably be a good move for us to get on top of stuff like this.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 05:51:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, Izzy, I couldn't locate my original (online) source and I began to think I was having a tinfoil moment.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:00:34 PM EST
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I know -- it all sounds so preposterous you start to think "could that possibly be?"

I had one of those moments the first time I was telling someone that Angelina Jolie was a UN Goodwill Ambassador -- I stopped myself and went to check.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:04:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this likely varies from state to state, and country to country, but in California a person can even refuse medication who is in a hospital on a 5150 hold (non-voluntarily because they aren't safe in public), so unless a doctor goes to a judge and can prove that there is a real need for someone being forced to take medications (again, their own safety), and then the judge can give a waiver, that must be periodically re-visited (I'm foggy now...every 14 days?). It is about protecting the patient's rights.  I'm curious though, if this exists in other countries...hadn't ever thought of that. What are people's rights in this regard, under EU and international laws, I wonder...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 04:28:31 AM EST
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I wonder what I would do if a school psychologist tried to diagnose prozac for a child of mine.

You'd probably tell the school to go fuck themselves and put your kid in private school.  :-)

You don't have to worry about this as much with a girl.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 05:58:37 PM EST
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To tie back to our parallel discussion of the job market and Walmartization, what if you can't afford a private school?

It becomes a class issue.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:02:29 PM EST
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Definitely.  Private schools are very expensive.  Poor people often have zero choices.  You're not allowed to go out of district, and in this sort of situation it's a district decision so swapping to another school isn't an option.  For lesser problems, that's often not an option for transportation reasons.  These are the kinds of issues that the folks behind the charter and voucher programs are making hay out of.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:08:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting.  If you can't afford a private school, not fru fru prep school, but the local Catholic school, say, then you probably can't really afford shrinks and designer drugs either.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:08:12 PM EST
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But what if the school psychologist is your shrink and the designer drug is paid for by the local board of education?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:10:20 PM EST
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That's one of those scenarios that makes NO sense but it probably true, eh?  Most schools don't have enough $$$ for updated textbooks or enough teachers.  But they have enough for prescription medication???

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:13:28 PM EST
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Schooling has never been about education, it has been about indoctrination, training a workforce/bureucracy, and increasingly and recently, just penning children like cattle to free their parents for work.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:16:50 PM EST
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That's a bit of an overstatement.  And a great disservice to all of the amazing, dedicated teachers out there.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:26:39 PM EST
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My parents are both amazing, dedicated high-school teachers, so I got an inside view of the transformation of Spanish schools into cattle pens.

Well, there are the side effects (like an educated populace and independent thinking), and there are all the people who work at it who truly believe the stated purpose of their work, but from a systemic point of view that's been the historical role of universal education.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:30:26 PM EST
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Exactly.  Medi-care and Medi-caid would cover the drugs.  It's actually a bigger problem with poor kids than affluent ones.  There have been stories about parents being coerced with benefits and custody issues as well.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:17:04 PM EST
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I couldn't agree more!  And well said.  I'm interested in hearing about how it is in Europe, too.  In that last diary I did about computers, I found out that a lot of the credit and database problems we have aren't an issue there (yet?).  

To me, these are some key aspects of our day to day lives that need changing, that cause a lot of daily turmoil and undue stress (and, hey, did you know stress is a major cause of depression?), and perhaps can both explain what "our problem" is and serve and a cautionary tale.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 04:51:58 PM EST
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