Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bootstrap Bullshit

Early this morning, I found myself awake at 3:30 am (pretty typical of depressives, dontcha know), and decided to bore myself back to sleep by watching the tube. Instead, I ended up positively enraged! My attention was caught during channel scanning by one of those program-length commercial thingys. Several people were being interviewed about their experiences with anxiety and depression. I thought, well, it's not prime-time, but maybe we're getting somewhere. I hoped the ad was more on the public service side than the profit racket, but of course, I was wrong. It turned out to be a promo for some woman selling seminar tapes!

Now, anyone who thinks a motivational speaker can "convince" you not to have depression or anxiety obviously has no experience with either disorder, either first- or second-hand. I realize that we can all use a little motivation now and then, but jeez--that's what therapy is for! Just as you can't treat MDD or AD by meds alone, neither can you treat it by talk alone. I don't see ads for "Cure Your Diabetes with Positive Thinking," or "Drug-Free Treatment for Parkinson's Disease."

Don't people realize how dangerous this is? By telling sick people that all they need is a positive attitude and they'll be all better, they're setting those poor folks up for certain failure. One of the toughest things to accept about having MDD, BPD, or AD is the fact that it's not your fault. We look either inside ourselves or at our life situations in order to find blame. Even if we know full well that what we have is a physiological malfunction, we still believe we should have some control over how and when the symptoms manifest. THIS IS NOT TRUE!! We certainly don't need any therapeutic progress we make undermined by false advertisement telling us that it is!

Our self-blame leads us into self-loating, hopelessness, and too often, suicidal thoughts or actions. It really rankles me when I think of all the ways our society perpetuates this fallacy. I don't care if this woman's teachings have helped millions of people pull themselves up by the bootstraps; I doubt very much that anything she tells the poor, desperate souls that buy her crap is news, and I'm willing to bet that she hasn't found a miracle cure. If you really do have MDD, BPD, or AD, you are sick and need to go to a psychatrist, not a seminar!



At 11:18 AM, Blogger Chick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Chick said...

Sorry, Lu. My comment from below showed up I killed it (Blogger is driving me nuts today).

I agree with you whole heartedly...these late night scammers are causing more harm than good.

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Glorious Nonsense said...

What about those crazies who are hawking an herbal remedy to cure everything from cancer to baldness. The same remedy. Because all western "chemicals" are bad and doctors are keeping you sick to make a profit. Fills me with Grrrr...stupid hypocrites.


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