Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Psychology of wasted potential

Human psychology is one of the most interesting fields there is with such a squandered potential. Psychologists don't study the complexities of the human mind; at least, not if they make money. They study drugs for problems that are created by society and prescribe those drugs. Sometimes they might actually talk to you to see if you have a problem, but more often than not it's just a precursor to getting out the prescription pad.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes with chemical imbalances and schizophrenia and real genetic disorders, there is a need for those drugs. I should know; I'm currently classified as type II bipolar, and have struggled with depression since I was a child. However, psychology as a field, the way the mind interacts with the body and society, what forces shape who we are and the choices we make - totally wasted. After all, lord knows "generalized anxiety" is something we've all felt from time to time, yet it gets more attention than the fact that on an evolutionary scale, our brains are still living in caves and we have every right to feel anxious in our society where one slipped word at work can lead to political repercussions and sometimes loss of employment. People aren't allowed to make mistakes anymore. Our brains, with their hormones and chemical synapses, aren't prepared to deal with the deluge of information that gets thrown our way. And emotions? Forget it - no place in the modern world, and it's wearing on us. Where are all the studies that deal with this? I read somewhere, probably in the works of Joseph Campbell, that myths were the tools that guided our transitions in life, from childhood to adulthood, from adulthood to parents, from parents to elders. It informed us what was expected and let us prepare ourselves mentally for that change, and they remain important changes even in modern culture. We need modern myths.
Wow, this is a ramble if I've ever seen one....

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