Let's talk about Mental Health in Capitalism

It would help if there were more alternatives to traditional psychology/psychiatry.
It's easily as culty as Scientology, and it tends to be very heavily skewed towards [upper] middle class and above culture.
I mean, there's so much PTSD that's not being treated, and I mean Soldiers, Cops, Homeless People, Rape Victims PTSD, not "He tried to force a kiss on me once" PTSD. And a whole lot of it is not wanting to be bilked for money while having sketchy pills thrown at you.

We have this kind of unspoken public health crisis dimension: the cure is often as dangerous as the disease, for no apparent reason. It's like we've just accepted this stuff as true, and honestly, some people are better off with their pastors [I KNOW]

I want to believe there is a way to accomplish this without the necessity for Capitalism to end. Something like a Free Software Foundation for Mental Health

How the hell do you open up to and be honest with some woman who makes more money than you will ever make, and has never experienced anything remotely like what you lived through under normal, happy circumstances?
I mean, you're talking about internalized emotions and so on, well, that's because poor people aren't trained to complain. That's because there's nothing that's going to be changed by it. Poor people have to accept so much stuff that will never be correct or fair, and that's their normal. How do you level with a person who has a position of authority over you, who can't help but be who they are, class enemy?
Whether the person on the couch realizes that's what it is or not?


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I appreciate your effort at actual discussion. I don't have anything to add other than that porky is trying his damndest to forum slide right now, and I'm not going to let him bury the good threads.

Appreciated, kind user


It'd get labeled as a cult until the only people nutty enough to stay involved were the kinds of people who would actually make it into a cult.

From a private discussion on this set of subjects:

E.W.- It's not just poor men though, it's MEN. We are raised in a culture that trains men not to ask for help. That accepts anger as the only feeling men are allowed to acknowledge. Even right from birth both men and women show male babies less emotional variety in their facial expressions than they show female babies.

Though I think part of the answer is that men who are doing the work of changing their settings need to lead groups to help other men do the same. We can self-organize more than we do. I think we really do need politically aware therapy groups.

S.G.- I mean, it's obvious that there's a serious problem just looking at Trump– a man who took Gordon Gecko as a role model, Vince McMahon kind of coked out mania as a lifestyle, these men are celebrated and rewarded with celebrity for this shit, if we're talking about the culture as a whole

S.G.- To be very ugly and coarse: there needs to be a middle ground ideal between Super Alpha and Beta Fag. And I think you know what I mean by that, the stereotypes that we use in place of Archetypes

S.G.- I mean, is this all part of the bizarre polarization cancer we've got going? It seems to me, I remember reading yoga books, for MEN from the 50s, where they talk about men not being overmuscled goons, ideally

E.W.- I think we need to create new sorts of heroes in our media. But actually in many ways they are OLDER sorts of heros. Like Atticus Finch.

E.W.- I'd like to do a show about a conflict resolution / crisis negotiator. The hero resolves conflicts not kills people. People dying is when he feels like he's lost.

E.W.- And yes it would be a male lead because I want to portray him as a masculine role model. I'd give him a female boss though.

S.G.- I mean, can we really just blame this on Mass Media? Is this actually a function of TV?
I wouldn't think so, considering the Superman ideas of Naziism. I mean, it worries the SHIT out of me to see grown men, men older than me, wearing superman caps and so forth.
There's a certain kind of, OH GOD NO, when kids don't grow out of comics in a meaningful way.
Like, of course we can appreciate things that are traditionally thought of as belonging to children, but honestly, why the HELL are steroid freaks in tights, Aryan Supermen, the movies we are watching?
It's like we took Arnold and Sylvester and Dolph and Van Damme, and said: no, this isn't ENOUGH of a cartoon

S.G.- Honestly, that was the saving grace of shit like MacGuyver and Batman and so forth: you know, he was manly enough to kick ass, but wise enough to not want to, to not be a brute

E.W.- No we can't blame it but that's certainly not been HELPING.

E.W.- If we want to fix these sorts of things we need to confront the issue on as many layers as we can. Shit's a system, the parts all interact. Slight changes on enough of the parts and large clusters can shift. But… at a fundamental level a whole lot of people currently at large need therapy, and a bunch of parents need training, and schools need re-programming.

E.W.- And media needs to be created that exemplifies the values behind the necessary shifts toward health and kindness.

S.G.- Isn't that kind of bad as strategy though?
Like, look at media in the 90s versus 80s, it's a massive reaction to overbearing preachiness.
Captain Planet, Heart to Hearts with Uncle Jessie..

S.G.- Shouldn't the object be to break that stupid cultural issue: your heroes should come from your real life, anywhere you can get them.
"Off to the movies we shall go, where we learn everything that we know"?

S.G.- The morals should come from the society, not be imparted to the society using entertainment

E.W.- Humans always use story to explore and define their morality. Why do you think we keep mything and religioning? It's really hard to fight something that's ten thousand years old, better to try and turn it in the directions you want.

I think we can show alternates without making preachy pablum.

I don't think we can ignore any layer. Just the personal therapeutic side is going to be the most vital.

Continued next post


Second Half

S.G.- I think perhaps that is one aspect that is hypertrophied, and it gives fuel to the radicals on the right, the fundamentalist and traditionalists- there's this heavy emphasis on personal freedom, personal happiness, and there is solid logic to that– How is it healthy for a couple to stay together if they make each other miserable, how can they be the best parents they can be in that arrangement?
And yet, we can see from this emancipatory experiment that this is not working at all.
How many people, honestly, from our generation are embroiled in absolutely radioactive family disputes, over custody or some variation thereof?
And you hear parents contemplate suicide et c, and it's all so absolutely mind blowing to me– like, you know there was birth control and adoption that whole time. You put no thought into this whole thing, and while it isn't constructive to beat them over the head with mistakes, it is important to note that comfort is not going to happen in life in general, much less as a parent.
And that this is coming out of the generation most impacted by the first set of broken homes, of the side effect of the emancipation of women, is a large part of how the alt right has risen.
These are guys who see their parents, broken home, they see themselves, broken home, they don't have the imagination to see a different way, and so they look back.
And that's something of a Hard Problem in all this.

E.W.- Also, I think people capable of tolerating the present moment, eg emotionally healthy people, are more likely to be willing and able to see models in real people rather than fictional ones.

S.G.- An analogy would be the idea on the left of Autonomous Collectives, like OWS, and we see how while that freed them from a leader, and from hierarchy, they were so autonomous that they were utterly paralyzed. Individualism has real and serious limits that must be understood and surpassed in an emancipatory as opposed to oppressive manner

E.W.- I do think that concentrating on FREEDOM as the highest and only value points us in unhealthy directions. Without brotherhood and justice, freedom is a joke. It comes down to the biology we do not do freedom/exploration/play when we do not first feel safe and connected to others.

Continued Next Post

I don't know if it's specifically a capitalist thing per se, but my belief is that a lot of people just want a quick fix for their mental (and other) health issues leading (partially) to the massive problems America and other Western countries are facing with "pill culture". Depressed? Take an anti-depressant. In pain? Take a painkiller. Can't pay attention in school? Take some ritalin.

I'm sure there's a Holla Forums "capitalists have latched onto pharmaceutical advances to simultaneously keep the masses satisfied and profit at the same time" argument for it.

Of course you can't bring this up with progressives, because they'll insist that we're in a new golden age, yes an ever-increasing number of people feel the need to self-medicate with anti-depressants, alcohol, or drugs but gays can get married and abortions are still legal lol

Capitalism has failed the mentally ill, just as it has failed every other, Other. Once you become too expensive, the rug is pulled under you.

No matter how abusive Capitalism is, nobody dares call it for what it is. Abusive.

Third Part

S.G.- It certainly encourages a kind of passive aggressive doublespeak, and how do we work with that, when children, CHILDREN grow up in a linguistic minefield, where they learn to lie first and ask forgiveness later?

Zizek's Postmodern Father problem.
It may be noted that while he prefers outright Authoritarianism, he doesn't say that it is actually the best way. It's just more honest and fair to the child or the society, than using psychological tricks.
We should not be using Psyops on our kids, I mean, barring absolute necessity
Do you think this aspect of the Modern Liberal Parent is part of the later effect of our generation beginning the practice of Personal PR, of acting as though we are public figures, manicuring our image, and so on?

S.G.- Replacing Tact and Manners with Public Relations and Reputation Management

E.W.- I'm thinking of the media work more for the adults. lol. Children will be fine if we start training their parents. And restructure schools to be less harmful for them. We need the media more to give people the idea that other things are possible, to start convincing them that the training and therapy groups that would start existing in my fantasy are things that they might need or get value from.

S.G.- I was watching R-rated movies and College level books as a young kid, so it's kind of foreign for me to consider a media gap

E.W.- That's a completely different fascinating conversation. Facework in the age of Facebook.

E.W.- I'm not… saying kids won't also see it, just that's not my main concern.

S.G.- ah so

S.G.- Do you think it's possible after Fight Club to get something out there that breaks conditioning? I mean, in full knowledge that this is not the late 90s, edginess is uncool now

E.W.- Depends what you mean by breaking conditioning. There are some very interesting cartoons going on.

S.G.- Because I think, you know, stuff like Invisibles and so forth, that stuff has done more harm than good in many instances. It's full of a lot of really harmful stuff, similar to Christopher Hyatt and Robert Anton Wilson popularizing standard libertarianism quite dangerously

S.G.- You know, I realized a friend of mine is trying to be a character from Always Sunny.
Consider that. I don't even think it's conscious, like it starts as humor and becomes more and more real, but with the caveat that real life is not TV and the following kind of psychological break into abstraction when the gravity of really hurting your family and friends kicks in

S.G.- Is there a way to diffuse myth? One would think so, self-referential humor was once far more rare, for instance

S.G.- sorry, Defuse, disarm, deweaponize

E.W.- One of the main things I like about Invisibles is it realized how toxic it was and started trying to change. And that narrative is rolled into itself in a meta way.

To be fair to RAW, Libertarianism that existed then wasn't nearly as toxic as the Libertarianism that exists now.

E.W.- Guy to look to for that is Roland Barthes, though I'm not sure if it's to the extent you'd like.


Profit motive is glaring in these scams. They have on one hand a program of long term, regular talk therapy and in the other hand the pharmaceutical bludgeon that will get you to be able to work and pay your light bill and you can see right into the manufacture of lifestyle illnesses, so they really don't even try to hide that its more about taking as long as possible to work on root issues to ensure long term investment, and at the same time, something you can't quit taking cold turkey that hides some symptoms while creating more to keep the talk therapy going for decades.

Fixing people properly does not benefit the capitalist psychiatrist.

I don't have a high opinion of psychology. That isn't too say it's useless. Maybe I'm just turned off by all the know nothing pieces of shit that cite the Stanford prison experiment or the study of the rat city and then extrapolate universal truths about humanity from them. Fighting that retarded bullshit is so fucking tiresome.

I feel like psychology/psychiatry is a field that we were too quick to mash into the umbrella of 'science' in an attempt to grant it some of the scientific validity that was coming into existence in the 50s/60s (Probably in no small part thanks to capital interests of big pharma, but that's another story).
It just seems to me that there's first of all way too little verifiability (psychology is among the fields that's hurt pretty bad by the verification crisis as well) and way too many factors to make any sense of how they play into each other, especially when it's near impossible to do derive any causal explanations from empirical data, even if you're able to make an experiment with a reasonable control group. Psychology, from the outside at least, appears as if it's changed major paradigm every decade since it came into existence.
I think making psychology a 'science' has just granted another group of people the authority of the lab coat, without necessarily the entirety of the actual knowledge presumed. (Not trying to downplay psychology as a field here, I'm just saying there's a very real discrepancy between what people - patients especially - think psychology and psychologists are able to see and predict, and the actual empirical strength of the field)

But I might be wrong here, does somebody have any good philosophy of science reading on psychology and psychiatry specifically?
For example, does academic psychology consider how the political reality / ideology plays into what we think of as mental illness? Does academic philosophy consider how the political reality / ideology shapes how we think and act in general, and how ideology and human psychology plays into each other? Is there a field that's considered with analyzing this interplay, and specifically are there people who phrase arguments of political philosophy through academic psychology?
My gut reaction is that the answers are: yes, yes, and probably not outside of continentals using psychoanalysis which isn't really what I'm asking for. But I don't feel like those first two discussions have as big a presence in either political discussion or applied psychology/psychiatry as they should.

I just want to mention that this is usually mentioned as an American issue, which I think is absolutely correct. This is an American issue, and I can't understand how more people aren't mad at big pharma + corporate culture over this. Comparing statistics with European countries it looks completely nutty. How big a portion of the US are hooked on painkillers again? How many take sleeping pills and anti-depressants regularly?

Honestly this sounds like a great premise for a drama show with short arcs of a couple episodes.

How really can one get over depression that is caused by the reality of the world?


Neuroscience merging with psychology over the 21st century will preempt future political plays over diagnostics.

Gustave le Bon did a lot of early work in this field. socserv2.socsci.mcmaster.ca/~econ/ugcm/3ll3/lebon/Crowds.pdf

he was also somewhat to the right (though pretty tame for late 1800s tbh) so you can make what you will of his philosophizing

Quoted from the preface of the book you linked:
I think this is pretty interesting, here he obviously shows that he's aware of this line of thought - the interplay between ideology and character - but he just asserts an essentialist view of human psychology and character and views society as a result of this essence. He says that
but that doesn't deny the effect that other things resulting from the political reality of the ruling "ideas, sentiments, and customs" can have on human character. E.g. he doesn't dismiss the idea that ruling ideology psychologically results from material reality.
Seems pretty interesting, I'll check it out, but if he just spouts boring "immutable essence of the human races results in glorious liberal democracy" bullshit I feel justified in dismissing him as having no modern relevance.

most of the effect is due to placebo
not to mention, if you don't have an actual chemical imbalance they're not going to do anything


this basically

I think I would have offed myself by now if it weren't for my antidepressants

you're trapped on all sides by a society that only exists to grind you into the dirt and it's either kill yourself or kill everyone around you

Desire = Law

Without functioning Law (I'm not talking about the juridical category) what we get is social chaos, self-mutilation, unstable and constantly changing identities (mimicking market processes), eroding social bonds, i.e. the postmodern condition. Webm related.

By realizing that you are an active, constitutive part of it. The problem is that there's no direct confrontation with your fantasies, hence psychoanalysis.

So do you think this means that psychology has the potential to be much more than it is outside of the capitalist system, or is it doomed due to it's strong integration into that system?