It never fails. Whenever I post about something that a vast number of people have issues with: from ADD to “being on the spectrum” to serious anxiety issues, to a million other things, someone either here or on FB (usually on FB) plants feet square, puts hands on hips and goes “Yeah, right. We’d never heard of those problems forty years ago and now it’s everywhere. This isn’t real.”
Okay then. Spits on hands. Let’s have it, shall we?
You’re making a lot of very weird assumptions Some of course are that because issues weren’t diagnosed they didn’t exist. Almost everyone “on the spectrum” or with “sensory issues” or even with ADD and anxiety or other problems can look back through the family tree, and as the realization dawns on them, slowly cover their face in their hands and go “oh dear Lord.” Because you see the signs galloping through the family tree as far back as human memory goes.
Look, these problems are a problem because for the last 100 years crazy people have been social engineering, instead of trying to figure out how and why some things existed. Or because those things were “bad” according to their new and “urgent” doctrine.
Kind of like what they’re trying to do with fossil fuels, they’ve done with everything.
Take anxiety. I only realized recently that I have near-crippling anxiety, and it’s been getting worse. (Eyes times we live in.) Why did I only realize it recently? Because I pray for it. That is literally my treatment. I hand it up and say “You deal with it.” Does that solve it? No. But it allows me to sleep and kind of function. And then –that looking back thing — I realized I came from a family of obsessive pray-ers who get more so as they age. And who came through some incredibly bad upheavals looking like they didn’t have any anxiety at all.
But praying is evil bad, religion is the opium of the people, and there are probably a lot of people to whom the concept is actually alien. So they medicate.
Or take ADD — please. No, seriously, I don’t want it — which people say is treated with “legal meth.” They ain’t wrong, but running around assuming everyone getting it is just looking for a boost and “pretending” is mental. Particularly when it’s kids.
Now legal meth — eh. Adderal — and a bunch of the other medications have hellacious side effects, and I’m seeing if I can control it with sleep hygiene and routine. It might work. Well, it doesn’t banish it, mind. But it makes me functional enough to get my work done and not forget the turned-on stove or the unfinished email… most of the time. (Illness and sleep interruptions play hob with that.) Mostly because Adderal makes me psychotic, and when I crash it makes me incredibly depressed. (No, that’s not the lack of patience. Right now my lack of patience is that I’m tired. Really tired.)
But do you know what else treats ADD? Nicotine. And if you look back, not that far back, either, all the people in “thinking positions” smoked. Heck, dad started smoking at 12 (and quit at 31 because MY lungs couldn’t take it.) which probably accounted for his academic success versus the brother who didn’t. Even in my generation, in Portugal, that was normal. I didn’t, because I couldn’t. (I smoked for a year, and got a pneumonia that wouldn’t quit, so I stopped.) But I lived on enough espresso to sink a battle cruiser all through school. I didn’t eat, I just caffeinated.
Somewhere over the last 40 years tobacco became the forbidden. Now, before you yell at me, yes, due to the method of conveyance — ANYTHING burned and inhaled has that issue — it caused health issues, sometimes severe ones in susceptible people. Though I’ll also note generation “everyone smokes” broke new horizons in longevity, so you figure it out.
Note this is me speaking: tobacco was not only a non-starter for me because of smoke, but I’m one of the very few people who could and did legitimately object to second-hand smoke because of ridiculously reactive lungs.
But after the war on tobacco, TPTB started telling us pot — with same delivery mechanism — is just fine, and possibly health-enhancing. Tilts head. Yeah.
BTW pot smoke in public is worse on me than tobacco. I don’t detect it, often, because I no longer have an accute sense of smell, but I can detect it by “oooh. I can’t breathe.”
At the same time we have a war on e-cigarettes, which do not in fact have the problems of burning stuff being inhaled into your lungs. Yeah, they’re still nicotine, which raises your blood pressure, does things to your heart rate, etc: As does anything effective for ADD.
Has anyone done a study on nicotine versus micro doses of meth and long term effects of both?
Well, no. Because the church of experts has excommunicated tobacco and nicotine and you will not partake of it, sinner. NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT HELPED.
You will either take a medications for your ADD, or you’ll lose your job/be unable to finish your studies, and here, have some pot for your depression and anxiety.
In the same way in the last few decades, we’ve demonized alcohol to a ridiculous amount. No, I’m not saying alcohol doesn’t have dangers. EVERYTHING HAS DANGERS. And yes, alcohol addiction can cause serious problems. What addiction can’t? (Except perhaps to prayer, and even then, unless you’re a contemplative monk, you’ll have another life.)
However the size and shape of the problem became clear to me when I realized they were defining “has a glass of not high alcohol wine with dinner every night” as alcoholism for women. (No, not me. We can’t afford that, even on cheap Verde Wine. Mostly I drink Adam’s Ale or tea with meals.) By that definition all of Portugal, Greece and Italy are raging alcoholics.
Now besides having bad effects in excess, alcohol in small doses has a ton of good side effects, including aiding with brain connection pruning, which might help delay Alzheimers or other dementia. It also helps with anxiety. In fact humans have used it in small amounts for most of history.
But it is evil bad. You will instead use these medications, all of which also have side effects, some of them heinous. However, you don’t want to be an evil alcohol drinker, do you?
(And yet weirdly life expectancy keeps dropping. Uh. Must be bad luck.)
As for “aspergers” and the lowest reaches of the autistic spectrum (the high reaches are something completely different yet again. At that level, it’s completely non-functional and well… scary) … after spending some time reading actual books written during the regency I started wondering if most of the English nobility was “on the spectrum.” It “tastes” like it. But they had a work around: they had incredibly detailed etiquette that guided you through 99% of situations, even if you couldn’t “read” people.
It’s a good thing the 60s liberated us from all convention and manners and now it’s “just” what feels good and how it feels, and how do you react to people…. except even I — when tired, frazzled, etc — have issues with that. And I’m so functional I might not (maybe) be on the spectrum. Maybe. It might just be introverted weirdness. With luck and a following wind.
Then there is the treatments for the common ills of menopause. I’ve heard people on the right fulminating on this as on Viagra. “Women just want to keep having sex way too late. It’s like men taking viagra.” Facepalms. HARD.
In women the after effects of menopause or being post-menopausal are not restricted to sex. Not even vaguely. And if you think they are, the women in your life must be very forebearing. There’s memory loss (as in inability to keep a memory in mind) and that’s the kindest. There’s issues with sleep. There’s…. just nasty stuff, okay?
Yeah, my foremothers did it, uphill both ways, with a grandkid on each hip. And I’m so glad for them. But you know what none of them had? A thought-job. One in which I have to channel coherent thought, complex chains of ideas and manage the emotion for it all.
No, I don’t take medication. (Because if you live long enough it will lead to dementia earlier than you might otherwise have had it. And in a triumph of hope over my perpetually breaking down body, I hope to live long and write to the end.) BUT I DON’T JUDGE THOSE WHO DO.
Because we live unusual lives. And the last 20 to 30 years of our lives, when the kids are grown MIGHT BE the only time we have to accomplish what we must do. And what we must do requires functional brains.
Which leads us to “There wasn’t all this cancer when I was little.” Cancer is the failure mode of human cell replication. One of them. If you live long enough you WILL get cancer. Whether you die of it or not depends on a lot of things. (And Biden’s promise to “cure cancer” (which is not a single thing, and can’t really be ‘cured’) is chilling if you know this.) BUT if you live long enough FOR YOU (not the next guy. It’s genetic) you WILL get it.
None of these things are new. Some had coping strategies going back to the beginning of humans. Those are broken through the “experts” of the 20th century. And therefore people must medicate.
Is medication the best way to go? Who knows? Until we grope our way back to sanity and actually test things, in reproducible tests, no one knows.
However, and no matter how I choose to accommodate for my own issues — chronic depression, ADD, being an older woman, anxiety — which in my case is to avoid meds as much as possible as long as possible, but knowing there might be a time I can’t, THIS IS MY HAND DEVOID OF STONES TO THROW.
These problems aren’t new. Except for the ones which are longevity related, they’ve been with us forever.
What we have is a society that kicked the crutches away from the people who need them, and now shames them for using new ones or being unable to do without.
And that’s evil. Which I guess is what we expect from TPTB.
Don’t you join them. Let your brothers and sisters in this screwed up time cope as best they might. Suggest other help if they need it.
But stop throwing stones. You too might need a crutch eventually.