On The Origins of Psychological Distress

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The brain is merely a reactive mechanism, not so much intuitive or inherently in control as most of us like to believe. Remember, the human brain, as we know it, evolved much later than the rest of our key biological mechanisms. Even if we take cases such as husbands having the same symptoms as their pregnant wives we observe an action/reflection relationship. On a larger perspective we observe cases such as the Havana Syndrome where Canadian diplomats in Cuba started having similar physiological and psychological symptoms, all which they claim were stress induced.

The nature of these events can provide clues about the origins of "psychological illness". If the brain is merely reactive then the narrative that "society makes us sick" is simply the expression of weakness of some people's will to assume individual thought and self-control. It demonstrates that many people still follow the rules and behaviors of their tribe, unable to stand alone. The depression and anxiety epidemic we observe today is nothing more than the result of finding oneself into a new technological paradigm of interconnectedness. Add to this the fact that social media promote circles of agreeableness and what you get is large groups of people being susceptible to the same form of psychological states. It spreads like a virus because most people are unable to stand alone.

So perhaps, the old saying stating that "psychological problems are a form of weakness" is not far from the truth. Individuals that are directly depended from their greater circle of influence seem to be more susceptible to psychological distress than individuals who are more independent. This tragically coincides with the current psycho-therapeutic practices that only aggravate the problem. They push the individual to become part of their larger group, rejecting "toxic individuals" in order to feel more inclusive. Psychiatry offers solutions that basically "numb", failing to make one an independent individual. The issue only becomes worse since a "painkiller treatment" such as the one provided by psychiatry cannot really fix the trauma. It can only temporarily mask the problem in hope the body takes care of the issue. And this is how most psychiatric drugs work (to some extent). This is also explains why most psychiatric medication works on an indefinite time frame whereas other forms of medication work almost immediately.

So in a way, psychological distress depicts an individual's hubris towards one self. Competing for publicity when everyone wants to be famous creates constant anxiety and depression since people are exposed to extremes. Vanity, although a primitive "sin" (as propagated from religion) begins to bear down some logic into it. People have noticed these effects through the centuries and thus chose to label them as detrimental with the label of "sin". Many people feel inadequate and underachievers because they constantly compare themselves to others. This was not so much of an issue in the past because the internet was not present in order to interconnect billions of individuals that compare one to another. So in a way, the internet is a form of separating the wheat from the chuff when it comes to psychological strength.

It might sound harsh but this is actually what happens. There is a massive activism right now to make people accept one's another psychological distress, as if it is something "normal". Pharma capitalizes on this since both the customer and the provider benefit from the relationship. And the problem becomes greater and greater with more suicides, more psychological distress and so on. Who on earth would admit that they are merely victims of group mentality and not free-thinking individuals in an era where popularity and agreeableness are the most important values for most people?

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