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This kinda conflates medication and therapy and then compares them both—erroneously, I think—to religion, based purely on the “opiate of the masses” comment. I tend to agree that over-pathologizing and over-medicating are problems, but I wouldn’t lump them in with therapy, which comes in a lot of different forms mostly because of how complex and varied the human psyche is.
Seems like a false dilemma overall. Societal criticism has only increased alongside the mental health industry. Although the rise of the Internet correlates as well, so who knows…
Well, that depends on which current in mental health you refer too. Contextualist psychologists believe most of the cause for the suffering of a person is not “innate” nor their own responsability but rather coming from the environment they live in which, of course, includes society. From this point of view (and I tend to adhere myself to this) depresion, as a construct, is not only an issue of the subject, but and issue of society.
I recently finished the book Sapiens which explores why homo sapiens and not other homo species ended up taking over the world. There was a bit of a blending but the author’s conclusion is that sapiens, despite their smaller brains, were able have collective beliefs whether it be in religion or people or systems of government. This allowed them to grow into groups larger than the clan (150-200 people). The problem is that a portion of the population believes climate change is real, a portion is too apathetic to see beyond their own needs, a portion believes it’s in god’s hands, etc. We don’t (apparently) have the ability to make collective rational decisions. Couple that with a dominant economic system that holds profits as paramount, a system of government that is manipulated by the key players in that economy, and a highly sophisticated advertising and public opinion shaping apparatus including social media and you have what we see today. Mental health counseling may pacify some but helping people get to a state of mind where they can actually find ways to be helpful is a noble goal. I think a lot of the young people today have it very rough indeed and their suffering is real.
Suffering is by definition internal. And if you’re sympathetic to Buddhism, suffering is caused by identifying with Self in the first place
This is so egregiously false I do not even know where to begin.
First. By placing blame of difficulty or mental issues on the self rather than on society, you create a problem where society blames this person for mental problems and mental difficulties; this alienates and further exacerbates the problem; the individual is often ostracized if they seek help they need,
Second. It is the responsibility of society to create a space that is well and just. By creating a society that mental health is seen as negative, you create a society where people hide their issues from others. These issues increase and compound, and eventually the person snaps.
Third, the addition of the mental health community is NOT, in any way shape or form, stifling the community and preventing society from advancing. If anything, mental health treatment helps to keep people from trying to dismantle the society they live in. By removing this core resource and by stifling the mental health community, you stifle collective and community action.
Source: went to school and studied Cultural, Social, Cognitive, and Developmental Psychology.