Societies keep order. They have to.
For millennia, religion has been key to achieving this. Religions may aspire to make men free and able to live a full life but they also embody a set of rules designed to keep chaos at bay. A Superego whose mission is to keep an Id in check.
This has been particularly clear in the religious regulation of procreation and family life. While there have been challenges from romantic love, and eroticism was sometimes incorporated into religion, until very recently societal needs to contain the chaos eroticism might bring meant the institution of marriage triumphed over individual choice. To stray was to sin.
We couldn’t have catholic girls falling in love with protestant boys, sunni girls with shia men, or chinese women with anyone from outside the group – although Judaism solved this slightly by having identity pass down through mothers.
The French Revolution was close to the first Revolution. Almost all prior events had been rebellions where one nation or tribe rebelled against the rule of another or for instance a protestant people had rebelled against a catholic overlord. In Paris in 1789, pretty well for the first time, a people rose up against their own.
Within the Revolution, there was an earthquake – the Reign of Terror – when the liquefaction that lies beneath burst through the veneer of civilization. The rulers became intensely scared about the people and located crime and criminality within the rabble. What we did was sophisticated what they did was wrong.
The Marquis de Sade was one of the symbols of the upheaval. He had been imprisoned in the Bastille and later in an asylum for his erotic works, before being liberated and becoming a member of the Assembly. Nevertheless his works were burnt on his death and it was to take almost two centuries for Sade to be tamed and admitted into the canon of literature.
With the re-imposition of civilization in the years after the Revolution, the clash between the new bourgeois propriety and eroticism grew particularly acute. Madame Bovary chafed within the confines of bourgeois life in provincial France, just as April Wheeler did in Revolutionary Road a century later.
In between Emma Bovary and April Wheeler, in 1869, Leopold von Sacher Masoch’s Venus in Furs gave the purest of statements of the revolutionary potential of eroticism. The relations between the sexes it said could never be right until she has the same education, status and power as he.
Tumescent eroticism fueled the suffragette movement but to the surprise of early feminists women’s growing awareness of themselves as a political force was not enough to stop the Great War. Women seemed no more capable than the working class of acting as a coherent force.
April Wheeler died just before eroticism was tamed good and proper. In the 1960s love became free thanks to oral contraceptives. It became part of a new consumer culture. Between shopping and sex we could all consume almost without consequence it seemed until AIDs darkened the horizon in the 1980s.
Those who sought to capture our attention with the need for personal and social reform, from Protestant Evangelists and the Catholic Church on the right to Marxists on the left, despaired. With so much to consume, where would the impetus to reform come from? Who even had time for revolution? The Internet has probably put paid completely to the prospects of a Revolution driven by eroticism.
In 1917, in the midst of the Great War, the year of the Russian Revolution, jazz was born. It had been preceded, John the Baptist like, by ragtime, which the social establishment had united in labeling degenerate.
For centuries, perhaps millennia, music had managed to unite thoughts of order and aspirations toward freedom. From Bach through to the late nineteenth century, a great flourishing of music had underpinned revolutions – best caught perhaps in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. But within music the forces of order began to constrain the emotional possibilities and by the end of the nineteenth century classical composers increasingly sought a new language, experimenting with atonality and other deviations from normality, almost like the Marquis de Sade, to force people to confront things rather than go to sleep. But they largely lost their audience in the process.
As this experiment was failing, Jazz took the rules and form of classical music and subverted them. Every individual player was given the liberty to improvise within a common framework. No two performances would ever be the same. Order in music was dissolving and a new freer form was apparently being born. Marxists at least celebrated its emergence.
Through to the 1950s in the West, jazz was synonymous with freedom. It was still the music of freedom through to 1980 in Eastern Europe. Once endorsed by thinkers from both Left and Right as the music of emancipation, jazz performers today still link what they are doing to freedom. But it had lost its edge in the West by 1960, descending into intellectually sophisticated improvisation not much more accessible that the experiments of classic music on the one hand or into rock and pop on the other, with the latter being the new conformity.
And by this time, the Revolutionary potential of American democracy seemed spent. It was time for a March on Washington.
In the 1960s, Revolution was again in the air. But by this point, jazz and eroticism had lost their revolutionary edge. They were replaced by mental illness as the New Black.
Two hundred years previously, in the 1760s, Jean-Jacques Rousseau had made the first links between social alienation and mental alienation. Where previously civilization had been seen as the beautiful, Rousseau made the case that we were born free and the natural was where beauty lay. Social conventions had alienated us from our true selves. Beauty might lie in wilderness.
At this point, words collided. The raving and delirious states that led civilization to figure some of those who were most affected should be incarcerated for their own good was at the time of the Revolution referred to as mental alienation with the doctors who would treat the alienated called alienists.
In the midst of the Reign of Terror Philippe Pinel, otherwise a fan of Rousseau’s, was faced with a Jacobin party fresh from liberating the prisoners from jails entering the asylum in search of alienated patients whom, a la Rousseau, they assumed were only there because they did not fit into social norms. Finding a patient who seemed to fit the bill, they liberated him – only to bring him back a few days later conceding that he really had something wrong with him.
Pinel went on to create the disease model of mental illness according to which mental illness, whatever it was, was not a form of protest.
There things stayed for over a century and half until the Revolutions of 1968. All of a sudden, mental disorders became a prism for a Revolution against colonization. Middle class College students protested their colonization by their parents. Women sought freedom from male colonization. Everyone became increasingly aware of ever more insidious effects of colonization by white middle aged middle class men.
The mentally ill were the ultimate symbol of this colonization. Psychosis was a political rather than a medical state. It was what happened if you didn’t protest. Ronnie Laing and Thomas Szasz toured campuses with this political message, which led to protests erupting on the streets from Tokyo, through Paris to Chicago.
But mental illness was all too tamable. Notwithstanding Mad Pride, being mental is now the ultimate symbol of conformity. Rather than threatening anyone, women show they are coping by letting everyone know they are taking an antidepressant. Puerperal depression, which had been seen as a protest against a change of role or emerging awareness that the man you were living with was not someone you wanted to live the rest of your life with, has become an endocrine disturbance.
Now that we are all mentally ill, there is nothing subversive or revolutionary about the idea that we are becoming unhinged. We no longer think we don’t need to adjust our sets, there is something wrong with reality. We now need society and the order it imposes not to solve our problem but to guarantee a continuing supply of the little objects of desire we use to keep our (or society’s) inner demons in their proper place.
Where might change come from in this modern world?
To be continued.Share this:
Copyright © Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd.
Where might change come from in this modern world? I’d venture to suggest that change could come from increased belief in the spirituality, (not the same thing at all as religion) of every one of us. We wouldn’t be cheered by material aquisitions if we realised that they are not really and truly sustaining. What will change the modern world is less egoistic preoccupation with ourselves and more outgoing care for our fellow man. More engagement. More down-to-earth kindness! from the heart, less admiration for the god of intellectual brilliance. Music, when composed by Vaughan Williams (who described himself cheerfully as an optimistic agnostic) was uplifting to the soul. He didn’t profess to be religious, but he could carry one’s mind away to uplifting places, where day-to-day misery could be forgotten for a while. His music brought a sense of timelessness, eternity, just like waves rolling in on a beach as they have for centuries. They were there before us, they will be there after us. If we can believe that this life is but an episode in a myriad of lives, that each one gives us training for the next, and that we are always free to choose, then fear is not so overwhelming and mental illness, born of fear, recedes. In Jazz, it is said that it’s the gaps in the music that matter. Perhaps the gaps in our thinking, the going with the flow, is what matters today. We are free, we always have been, we just didn’t realise it.
Where Does Change Come From?
Vortex April 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm
It is wonderful to learn that our position is represented, once again, on the highest international level.
The second step should be international law amendments completely banning “compulsory treatment” (read: Inquisition-styled torture), with a pressure on all national goverments to ratify them – a kind of “revolution from above”. Without it, a “revolution from below” – a mass rebellion against the psychiatric authority – is inevitable, sooner or later.
United Nations Statement Criticizes Medicalization of Depression on World Health Day
“There is a need of a shift in investments in mental health, from focusing on ‘chemical imbalances’ to focusing on ‘power imbalances’ and inequalities”
The excessive use of medications and other biomedical interventions, based on a reductive neurobiological paradigm causes more harm than good, undermines the right to health, and must be abandoned.”
Dare I suggest that change might come from a reawakening of ‘a power for good’? It seems to me that we’ve gone from bad to worse steadily over time – therefore it may be a time to call a halt on all that seems so wrong in the world today. Let’s put out a cry for an end to the endless ‘me first’ attitude that we see so often in all the media as well as in our own communities. Wouldn’t it be a magical world if greed was banished – if sharing became the norm? Instead of the rich striving to be ever richer, we’d see them pour their wealth into worthwhile charities for the benefit of all. Rather than seeing the homeless and hopeless seemingly lost on our streets, we would see them rejoicing in their new found normality, their transformation shown in a downturn in the need for street drugs and legal highs. Instead of queues at A&E seeking care and comfort, we’d see ordinary folk rushing to support the vulnerable in their midst – the need for repeat prescriptions of ‘mental health support drugs’ would all but disappear. Instead of MPs and Assembly members becoming ‘turncoats’ we’d see the whole of Parliament and Assemblies working as one – all in the name of ‘the common good’. Impossible? Boring? DIFFERENT for sure. We may have been prevented from doing many things along our way – but we can still DREAM. NO-ONE, but no-one can put an end to our wishes whilst they remain our dreams. The problems only appear as we try to make them our goals!
Enjoyed listening ..
Give with the Left and ‘take’ with the Right ..
Six people sitting on chairs, legs astride, generally underdressed, uncheerful, looking down at heel…
this could be your doctors ‘daily waiting room’ .. ?
GSKVerified account @GSK Apr 7
Enjoyed listening & talking to our new CEO Emma at her broadcast to GSK employees around the world – looking forward to the next chapter.
dodges a bullet-for now
“former CEO Sir Andrew Witty liked to point out that he answered questions on the issue for his entire 10-year tenure at the helm.”
looking forward to the next chapter ..
Where Does ‘Change’ Come From..?
“No one seemed to ask why these episodes only began after I had started taking the pills. As far as the doctors were concerned, I now had anxiety. I wanted to yell ‘This isn’t me’, but no one seemed to want to hear it.”
Pamela assumed her doctor knew what he was doing ..
like so many other innocent prescription pill addicts, she was horribly let down
By Jo Waters For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:02, 17 April 2017 | Updated: 08:00, 18 April 2017
“So I continued on the pills — and my life slowly started to fall apart.
Where might ‘change’ come from in this modern world .. ?
The SUN came up – CONGRATULATIONS TEAM DOLIN!
“GSK has known for two decades that Paxil can cause people of all ages to commit suicide,” said a statement from attorneys Michael Baum, Brent Wisner and Dave Rapoport. “GSK not only hid the risk, but stuck its head in the sand and ignored countless suicides that occurred in its clinical trials.
It claimed, and the jury agreed, that pain Dolin suffered in the days prior to his death were a dangerous side-effect of the drug, and caused his suicide.”
“Plaintiffs, however, argued GSK had “played games” with data to get the result it desired, asserting the company had known “for a long, long time” of an increased risk of suicide from Paxil, and did not note that risk on its label, misleading physicians and patients in the process.”
A very nice and factual summation of events from the UK .. CHICAGO HOPE
Before I came to GSK ..
Real leadership and innovation starts by looking beyond the edge
Published on April 20, 2017
Senior Vice President R&D Pipeline, Global Development Leader
“Patients are the ultimate client …
I had to navigate treacherous paths not by focusing on what was directly in front of me but by looking at the edges.
It’s about lateral thinking.
engage with potentially disruptive possibilities
Where does change come from? Well, certainly not from the British press by the look of things! Shouldn’t there have been some sort of coverage of the fact that a British company has just been found guilty of fouling in the marketing of truth and honesty in the form of little pills of happiness? I haven’t come across one word, neither about the trial nor its outcome. Maybe there is a lot of truth in the saying that the ones at home are the last to hear but, really, is it any wonder that we have such difficulties getting the public to fully believe the real story of Seroxat – or any other wonder drug for that matter – when the press neglect to inform?
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Daddy, please kill me I can’t do this any more’: Meet the CHILDREN prescribed anti-depressants for anxiety that ‘made them suicidal’ – as scores of parents join in a class action
Two mothers have spoken out about their children’s adverse reactions to the anti-depressant drugs
Sydney mother Donna’s son Seth went on anti-depressants when he was five and he is now 10 years of age
Mel’s daughter Maiya, from Brisbane went on anti-depressants seven years ago, when she was six years old
The concerned mothers claimed their young children suffered from suicidal symptoms
By Belinda Cleary For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 04:22, 23 April 2017 | Updated: 10:35, 23 April 2017
‘According to the company’s product information ‘when AROPAX was tested in children under 18 years with major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or social anxiety, there were additional unwanted effects to those seen in adults, such as suicidal thoughts, hostile and unfriendly behaviour and changing moods.
‘The use of AROPAX is not recommended to treat major depressive disorder in children under 18, as the drug has not been shown to be effective in this age group. The long-term safety effects of paroxetine in this age group have not yet been demonstrated.’
Psychiatrist and Adelaide University research leader Doctor Jon Jureidini told Daily Mail Australia the drugs are widely used to treat anxiety in young children – but there is ‘no evidence supporting it’.
He claims doctors are given ‘contradictory information’ from the pharmaceutical companies – which ‘over the years have promoted the use of antidepressants in children’ despite the warnings on the drugs which say use for children isn’t recommended.
AROPAX PRODUCT INFORMATION (paroxetine)
http://www.gsk.com.au/…/FileName/2337697F1E64BC04B38172967BB93F81… · PDF file
AROPAX® PRODUCT INFORMATION (paroxetine) NAME OF THE DRUG AROPAX (paroxetine hydrochloride) is an orally administered antidepressant with a chemical
The more cases that go to trial the better, of course – and the more likely doctors are to wake up and realise what’s going on as a result? I’m not convinced actually. Now that so much information is available online, why is it that doctors still believe every word that comes from a pharma rep? I know doctors are pushed for time – but surely they must have a bit of time whereby they could do an online search before so willingly prescribing these drugs to young children? Isn’t it time that a pharma company, found guilty, for example, of mis-informing the public or hiding the reality of their trials, had to face the wrath of governments? Are they REALLY so scared of offending big business? To my mind, any government that allows itself to be controlled by big business to this degree does not deserve to be in power – and is certainly not working in the best interest of the whole country. Time for a revolution!
No Mary we don’t want a civil war because its always innocent people that will end up getting hurt. Don’t fall for what the governments are doing to make us all hate each other and kick off. That’s what they want us to do.
The problem, as I see it, Anne-Marie, is that it’s innocent people that are ALREADY hurt – and, daily, more are being added to their number. How CAN standing together and working for change make things any worse for them? At present, we are in small groups, scattered across different countries – some innocently taken in by vaccination rules, others innocently following doctors’ orders, yet more medicated incase they may become ill in the future and others who even find themselves without welfare support if they do not conform to their country’s commands. If we read of this in any field other than health, we would be absolutely horrified – but, somehow, because this area is based around illness ( which we really don’t want to be involved with if we can help it) it seems that they can get away lightly with any new ideas that they throw at us. We must do our best to raise awareness and encourage more to join with us – after all, each one of us has the right of choice and should not be afraid to use it. The kind of tactics that we see and loathe are prevalent in other areas of life too – the difference being that mistakes in health can end up in death whereas in many other areas, health and safety regulations have made for better conditions.
Maybe I’ve misread what you said about a revolution like civil war. All I was trying to say is that’s exactly what the authority’s would love us to do. We then lose they win. That’s what I meant. I am all for campaigning no problems with that. I apologise Mary if I misread your last comment.
Good on you Mary! SO well said. There’s an Election on 8th June, so there was never a better time to show militant teeth. I wonder what Jeremy Corbin could do even in opposition – you don’t have to be ‘in power’ (whatever that purports to mean, as actually it’s Big Pharma who currently appear to pull the puppet strings for the MHRA and Government). You just need to be out there and talking endlessly about the deaths, the hellish ruined lives, the people being driven to suicide, the lack of effective listening by doctors. Prince Harry’s message of getting us all to talk, is marvellous. But we’ve got to make the right people hear us, that’s the problem. We’ve got to repeat it and repeat it like Telly Tubbies do, till it gets through. We need sympathetic thoughtful intelligent journalists, who are unafraid. It needs to be everywhere.
And, by the way, have it missed it, or where is the UK media reporting about the wonderful result of the Dolin v GSK trial? I haven’t seen or heard anything about in anywhere except via loyal followers on Favebook. Why should this be, I ask myself……..
David Cameron took Witty to China during the China Scandal for a Trade Mission.
Theresa May visited a GSK factory in Maidenhead last Friday to look at Toothpaste.
Wendy Dolin reveals to Bob Fiddaman the total misery of Glaxo Lawyers snooping around her, her children and her friend’s lives in the long run up to the trial.
Long, tortuous, she held her ground as did the her team of lawyers and expert witnesses.
This is a ground-breaking case as was Schell and Carmichael.
“What lawyers need to understand is once they do one case, they have all the information they need for future cases,” Murgatroyd says. “You only have to do one. The information doesn’t change.”
July 09, 2001
There are huge difficulties in Litigation, its not all Plain Sailing.
Anyway, my point is lets listen to Wendy:
Wendy and MISSD; a real inspiration ..
‘British’ Medical Journal ..
US drug regulators should consider adding adults to SSRI suicide warning, says campaigner
BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2050 (Published 25 April 2017)
A British doctor who campaigned for the public to be warned about increased suicide risk in young people taking antidepressants has said that US drug regulators should consider including adults in warnings.
David Healy, a psychiatry professor at Bangor University, called for the warnings after GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was ordered to pay $3m (£2.34m; €2.75m) to the widow of a US man who killed himself shortly after starting generic paroxetine.
The jury in the case of Stewart Dolin, a 57 year old attorney, concluded that GSK had failed to properly warn the public about the increased risk of suicide when taking paroxetine. The jury reached its verdict after lawyers for Dolin’s widow, Wendy, presented evidence in the Chicago federal court suggesting that GSK knew that paroxetine posed a risk to adults but had concealed …
Rapid Response ..
26 April 2017
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Professor David Healy is correct on SSRIs increasing suicides in adult patients.
All pharmaceutical Companies must be obliged to incude this warning in every antidepressant preparation sold.
Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Greece
GSK: We are ready, and the business is focused
In the near term we will focus on execution and cement confidence in our delivery.
We have carried out some cleaning up of the pipeline, including looking at legacy products
We have been preparing for this for some time. We are ready, and the business is focused.
Blockbuster drugs will lead sales bonanza at £81bn GlaxoSmithKline, as first female boss lays bare her vision for the FTSE giant
what we spend our time talking about..to return GSK to its glory days ..
Helpful changes ..
ben goldacre Retweeted
OpenTrials @opentrials 18h18 hours ago
We’ve just added 2 new data sources (@GSK & @ISRCTN) to OpenTrials following helpful changes to their licences: https://explorer.opentrials.net
Repository of data
I hear of so many GP’s complaining of the length of time it takes for children to have therapy and thus the GP’s are “forced” to describe medication. No one knows the effects of such intervention on the brains of children or their subsequent development. Side effects are unpredictable and so why on earth aren’t comprehensive therapy facilities available. It seems cruel to subject children to unseen and avoidable risks with drugs. Also, families have to cope with difficult situations for many months until treatment and therapy is available.
Preventative steps are sadly woefully lacking in mental illness and yet they could be far more effective and cost effective than reliance on psychiatric intervention which may be for a life time of the patient. I think of how many mechanics and staff are involved in preparing a formula one car for a race. Nothing is spare to ensure peak performance and everything is monitored and checked. The costs are quite staggering when that car is only racing for a few hours! Why can’t we put as much thought into helping children in their running a health and carefree life?
I think that health managers are putting the cart before the horse in organising health care.We need to spend money and put resources at the onset of cracks appearing and perhaps avoiding complicated treatment and the use of dubious pharmaceutical remedies that can be extremely costly. The cost to families can also be extremely destructive. There is the knowledge and expertise but we need to make it yield results!