No. of Recommendations: 1
So much wrong with this author, Ms. Belén Fernández, and article. I looked her up and it seems she's a frequent contributor on alternet.org. I've read good stuff from alternet before, but this is not one of them. Normally I wouldn't put much thought into an article like this, but since it has generated some responses here, I'll jump in.

Most of her article, she goes on with deliberately incendiary language, assumptions, and leaps (and lapses) of logic. I could barely read past the middle, but kept on to see if she had anything worth reading.

A few specific excerpts that I found both incendiary and telling about her perspectives:

To be sure, neoliberal policies dependent on the obstruction of communal solidarity facilitate a mass alienation from human reality and deprive individuals of psychological support networks enjoyed in certain other cultures.

Huh? Really?

My own personal experience with mental health issues in the US includes a prolonged panic attack I suffered in high school in the late 90s. ...
After later living abroad for many years in locations less estranged from reality, I concluded that the attacks had been hypochondriac fallout of extreme anxiety over the possibility of stigmatisation by society for exhibiting any indication of physical or psychological weakness - such as anxiety itself. ...
however, the position of the US as global superpower means that its acute unhinging from humanity contains worldwide ramifications.


Other than revealing where the roots of some of her hostility towards prescriptions and mental health may have come from, all just sounds so much like our society is out to get her (or anybody else).

which is reinforced by schizophrenic electronic multi-tasking

A specific instance of hypocritical name-calling. This whole article derides over pathologizing people (and allegedly "creating" mental illness conditions or inducing environments), but she will easily use a term like "schizophrenic" herself.

Sad to say, but reading (or trying to read) her article, it is in some ways a 'symptom' of her being vindictive, petty, paranoid, resentful, and just generally disturbed and unhealthy. But she is not the first - or last - person who may have health issues of her own while also saying that she's not the sick one, everyone else is.

Throughout her article, she seems to swing sharply political from right to left and back again, though looking her up separately online, she is not a big fan of Thomas Friedman (New York Times journalist and columnist), she seems to go from being extreme right to left, and back again.

Also a big part of her entire article, the "societal diagnostics" section as she calls it. Some of the basic premises in her article about social interactions and definitions are at least disturbing, or just wrong.
a cultural insistence on individual triumph and competition over collaboration likely contributes to such manifestations of emotional insecurity as the institutionalised practice of bullying at US schools.

I am no social scientist, but clearly the author isn't one even though she seems to try and write as if she was.

Bullying, in some form or other, happens everywhere. An example: Japan is known for extremes of bullying (and violence) the which is tolerated to a degree that has hasn't been recognized in this country, at least on a wide scale. And if there's any society that seems to contrast with the U.S. in terms of social conformity and compliance, this is a good one.

So many other things wrong about her social diagnostics, but hopefully others will pick on those issues.

While the author has a couple of good points, there's so much wrong with it, I don't know where to begin,

In my opinion, Ishtar, the only good point in her article is the reference to Prof. Peter Kinderman's recent article, "Grief and anxiety are not mental illnesses."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20986796
I suggest somebody read the above Kinderman article directly as I think it makes a much better argument about the expanding diagnoses of mental illnesses. He's well-reasoned, rational, and doesn't go running around using inflammatory language.

ST
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.