Monday, 2 August 2010

Grieving human nature

Gianna posted a piece about the NPR-article "Is Emotional Pain Necessary?"

"They might as well ask do we care to continue being human. This trend of pathologizing pain and making it wrong will be the end of us if we don’t do something to stop it."

I couldn't have written a better comment on the article. I'd just say that running from emotional pain doesn't only limit growth and healing, but in fact does prevent true growth and healing from happening at all, and even makes things worse. We're destroying human nature (= ourselves), and we're not even realizing it, because we're too doped up to feel that we're about to commit emotional suicide.

A couple of thoughts I had, reading the article:

"Kendler points to research showing that people who are doing well two weeks after a loss also seem to be doing well one year later."

What Kenneth Kendler doesn't tell us is whether these people who did well after only two weeks of grieving, got "over it" popping pills, or whether, and more likely, they really got over it, all by themselves. If the latter is true, and I suppose it is, what the studies show is that it actually is healthy to go through intense emotional pain, and process one's loss, and that this process shouldn't be interrupted and suppressed by any kind of - aggressive - "treatment".

" 'I mean, [pain] is a normal consequence of breaking a bone. But that doesn't mean that we don't treat the pain. We treat the pain vigorously,' Zisook says."

The comparison is ridiculous. No one would ask someone who's broken a bone to pop a pain killer, and get on with what they were doing. It would be regarded irresponsible, and in a medical context malpractice, if you didn't do anything, but gave the person who broke their bone a pain killer for it. Nevertheless, this is what psychiatry does, giving people with broken bones a pain killer, and expecting them to get on with what they were doing. Malpractice, indeed.

On another note, the bereavement exclusion, too, IMO is completely ridiculous. "Depression" is mourning and grieving a loss. It is being stuck in mourning and grieving, because you can't name the loss. Just because someone can't instantly name their loss, doesn't mean they haven't lost anything. It means they ought to be helped name their loss.


Mark p.s.2 said...

I hate it when people are tricked into believing psychiatric chemicals helped them, when it was probably the passage of time ( and not dying).

Psychiatry and pharmacy now has no one to check on it , its considered science, you don`t question science do you? Foxes in charge of the hen house of gullible people.
When will it break ? I don`t know.

Marian said...

Sometimes I can have a tiny hope, when I see that even professionals are increasingly questioning their own field. But looking at the big picture, these critiques seem to be no more than a drop in the ocean, and I fear, it won't break before everything else also breaks.

Duane said...


Great post....
Well written.

Thank you,