Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fix the Brain or Fix the Environment?

During my usual morning "creative convolutions" (actually, while preparing breakfast), I got to thinking a bit more about how we-- as humans; as a society-- deal with those who don't fit the prescribed norm of... normal.

I should preface this by saying that I have never made any secret of the fact that I have a fairly strong dislike for pharmeceutical interventions in people's lives except when it is completely evident and clear that they are inhibited from enjoying a decent quality of life. Even then, I believe pharmaceuticals are best used to create a "bridge of sanity" we can temporarily use while we establish a new way of life that allows us to become function without meds.

Why do I feel this way?

Well, there's a long list... so I'll just stick to a couple of main points.

Here is the west, we tend to "treat" conditions rather than heal people. That is, we throw medication at symptoms to get rid of them, and then pretend that people are "well" because they are now "functional" and yet? Nothing has actually been done to assess and address the underlying causes responsible for the issue.

My biggest issue, however, is that most pharmaceuticals and other courses of treatment are are centered around a rather mechanistic paradigm of "adjusting people to suit their environment," rather than adjusting the environment to suit people.

Think about it, for a moment:

When we decide to medicate Bob, what are we really doing? It's a pretty good bet that the underlying idea is "How can be make Bob 'normal' so he can fit into society?"

Similarly, when we medicate kids with ADHD, what we are (in many-- or most-- cases) really doing is trying to "normalize" them so they will fit into a school system where they get to learn to take "standardized" tests that serve little more purpose than to churn out a bunch of trained monkeys incapable of engaging in independent critical thought. From where I am sitting... there's a disturbing element of disrespect for individuality and differences inherent within such an approach.

Naturally, there's a whole flock of doctors, psychologists and ADHD "experts" ready to crucify me for holding such beliefs... and they will viciously defend themselves.

To be honest, I can't blame doctors as they are the product of a medical and psychological establishment that teaches that "medical success" walks hand in hand with healthy patients being compliant with the defined "norms" of the moment.

It all makes me think of that rather famous quote by thinker and author Jiddu Krishnamurti:

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Isn't that what we are promoting, here? Or at least some variation thereof?

Again, don't get me wrong-- I believe medications have their place, and they can be part of the solution. But they are not THE solution. And unless I am out there endangering myself or pulling the ears off baby bunnies, am I not better off creating an environment that suits me, rather than trying to shoehorn myself into a box labeled "normal," in order to fit the environment?

No comments:

Post a Comment