Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bitterness as mental illness?,0,4544029.story

The disorder is modeled after post-traumatic stress disorder because it too is a response to a trauma that endures. People with PTSD are left fearful and anxious. Embittered people are left seething for revenge.

"They feel the world has treated them unfairly. It's one step more complex than anger. They're angry plus helpless," says Dr. Michael Linden, a German psychiatrist who named the behavior.

Embittered people are typically good people who have worked hard at something important, such as a job, relationship or activity, Linden says. When something unexpectedly awful happens -- they don't get the promotion, their spouse files for divorce or they fail to make the Olympic team -- a profound sense of injustice overtakes them. Instead of dealing with the loss with the help of family and friends, they cannot let go of the feeling of being victimized. Almost immediately after the traumatic event, they become angry, pessimistic, aggressive, hopeless haters.



Yet again we discover another reason to be deeply suspicious of the pseudo-science called Psychiatry. Another bullshit diagnosis for things that aren't actually beyond the "norm" of human behavior or experience. These guys until very recently classified homosexuals and BDSM practitioners as aberrant sexual deviants suffering of "paraphilias."

And yet we all know homosexuals and more than a few otherwise "normal" people would seem to enjoy the look and feel of rough sex play. How many people have to engage in certain behaviors for the behavior to be accepted as part of the broad range of actions that are possible and normal for human beings?

How does the opinion from a psychiatrist differ from the opinion of the average judgemental asshole? Subjectivity has nothing to do with it?

I have an explanation for bitterness. Reality.

Social injustice is rampant. We are not living in anything like a meritocracy. Who you know - perhaps more importantly, how much your family owns - is the yellow brick road to success in modern western terms. We are living in the era in which average taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for bank bailouts while their own homes are foreclosed on. We are constantly at war with someone or other all over the planet. We fight over resources because our governments don't make the correct policy choices when it comes to energy. Some of us still don't have single-payer healthcare.

It all leads to suffering. Suffering may cause bitterness when it is so obvious that with but a few political tweaks no one need suffer at all.

Stop the overweening greed of the very few and you shall have your cure.