Monday, January 31, 2011

Killing Children

This is something that happened just last week. A woman named Julie Powers Schenecker shot her two children because they annoyed her:
Julie Powers Schenecker is accused of shooting her daughter, 16, and son, 13. . . Police found Schenecker on her back porch, covered in blood. Inside, they saw no signs of struggle. They said she had shot her son in the head in her car, and then went inside and shot her daughter in the face. When police first interviewed her, she said her teens were mouthy, talked back, etc. . . Schenecker was a stay-at-home mother.
 And then people get all antsy when I mention that women are human too, they need to have a life of their own, or they'll start biting people's heads off. Or shooting them in the head.

49 comments:

Patrick said...

Generalize much?

You seem to be making the connection that she shot her kids because she's a stay-at-home mother. That's as logical as saying she shot her kids because she drove a mini-van.

It's a little sick on your part to use tragedy to promote your own biased political agenda.

Liese4 said...

There are many unknowns in this case, she seems to have been depressed - might that be because her husband is overseas? She had 2 teens, a missing husband and probably no support system, her family doesn't live there, she's only settled in Tampa a few years ago. Thankfully before we even moved up here (1,100 miles from family) I found a church and a homeschool group to get connected to.

Since my husband has been gone almost 3 months now, I have had occasion to be sad and my 4 children have had occasion to mouth off and I am a SAHM, but I have not shot my children. Maybe she is more frail than I, but maybe she just did not have the support that I have to help her through a difficult time.

I have found that I must take support in so that I can be the best Mom (and teacher) I can be. When my daughter ends up in the hospital (she has a lung disease) it's my friends who come and take my kids back and forth to the hospital, make me dinner and listen to me. When I have had it up to here, I get out and go to the coffee shop (like I am tonight) to talk and get some ideas. When I cry about my hubby, they give me a tissue.

I know I can't do this thing called life alone, apparently Mrs. Schenecker did not realize the same thing.

profacero said...

I like the post. I don't like the way stay at home mothers impose upon their children for entertainment and so on. I don't think it's good to have children isolated with someone who feels as incarcerated and disempowered as stay at home mothers do.

Patrick said...

Profacero: what does ". . .impose upon their children for entertainment. . ." even mean?

What leads you to believe that mothers who choose to stay home are '. . .incarcerated and disempowered [sic]. . ." There is plenty of evidence that depression (and any associated $5 words you wish to use as synonyms) are related to economic status and the perceived control that you have in your professional life. Thus doctors, philosophers, lawyers, teachers, accountants, factory workers, etc. . . are all subject to feeling "incarcerated and disempowered", and thus tragic acts of violence.

Or do you choose to only see what you want to see?

Clarissa said...

"There is plenty of evidence that depression (and any associated $5 words you wish to use as synonyms) are related to economic status"

-That's not true. The moment a family is not battling for mere survival, a housewife starts getting depressed. That depression grows as the economic level of well-being grows. In Russia, the most depressed, suicidal group consists of housewives of Russian billionaires.

Of course, when we are talking about people below the subsistence level, this doesn't apply. But there aren't that many people living in cardboard boxes in the US or Canada.

Patrick said...

"The moment a family is not battling for mere survival, a housewife starts getting depressed."

Gross generalizations without evidence can be easily dismissed.

And thanks for proving my point that you are among those who only see what they wish to see.

It's really amusing to see you draw irrational relationships where they are convenient for your bias (staying home causes depression),yet dismiss the same irrational relationships when they don't serve your bias (AZ shootings caused by Aspergers). For an academic, your mind is remarkably closed at times.

Clarissa said...

Patrick, the evidence has been provided many times on this blog. Have you read Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique? I highly recommend. After you read it, you can proceed to read the contemporary takes on her classic work. The evidence is overwhelming.

Patrick said...

Clarissa,
You commonly mistake anecdotal stories and opinion pieces for evidence. Again and again, you quote from works which are nothing more than someone's (with credible academic authourity, like yourself) opinion.

Don't confuse cause and effect. You have the political belief (apparently) that all people should be enslaved to a corporate machine to produce economic output and institutionalize the care of their children to the state. (See how I can misrepresent your opinions and make them sound so much more sinister than I'm sure they are)

Of course, if you actually belief something different, then please share.

Clarissa said...

????

Friedan's study is based on very rigorous academic research. It really doesn't get more rigorous than that in sociology.

Are you personally "enslaved to a corporate machine to produce economic output"? And if you are, then why don't you leave your job and just stay at home for the rest of your life? Seriously?

Patrick said...

I'm one of the lucky few who actually enjoy my work, so I don't feel enslaved. However, I can assure you that my familial relations feel extensively trapped and enslaved. They get NO fulfillment from their labour. And an outside observer would routinely describe them as 'depressed'.

My wife and I? We made a conscious decision about what we wanted from our lives. We firmly believe that the best people to raise your children are the parents - not some propaganda machine organized by the state. To that end, we evaluated who had the most earning power and mental fortitude to engage in the paid labour force. It wasn't much of a discussion - I started in the paid labour force when I was 7yrs old. I got my first full time job at 14. In the last 30 years, I've been unemployed for about 7 days. My wife, while she worked her way through university, hated each and every day of work. She didn't stop being depressed until she LEFT the paid labour force.

The point is - when one chooses their vocation, their mental health improves. (This was the findings in the only study link that you had provided in a previous discussion). Where you feel forced into something, be it a housewife or any other pursuit, then your mental health suffers. People need control over their actions. That seems so intuitive, as to be redundant. Yet, you seem to seek to destroy that fundamental right.

When/if you have children, it's your absolute right to put them in daycare from day one, so you can pursue your academic stardom. I may question why you would bother to have children just to ship them off to someone else, but my lack of understanding doesn't stop you.

Clarissa said...

Patrick, I'm sorry, but now who's relying exclusively on anecdotal evidence?

Now seems to be a good time to quote your own words to you: "You commonly mistake anecdotal stories and opinion pieces for evidence."

And you don't even have a variety of anecdotal stories. Just one.

Patrick said...

Criticism

Historian Daniel Horowitz has argued that the origin of The Feminine Mystique was not, as Friedan claimed, the sudden realization of the “woman problem” by a naïve suburban housewife. Instead, Friedan's feminism was an extension of her extensive involvement with radical politics and labor journalism beginning in the 1940s.[12]

Although Betty Friedan's book helped to open the eyes of many women who did indeed feel "trapped" within a social or domestic situation, other evidence also supports that many of the contemporary magazines and articles of the period did not solely place women in the home, as Friedan argues, but in fact supported the notions of full or part time jobs for women seeking to follow a career path rather than that of a housewife.[13]

In addition, Friedan has been criticized for solely focusing on the plight of the middle-class white woman, and not giving ample attention to the differing situations encountered by women in less stable economical situations, or women of differing race.[14]

The Feminine Mystique has also been criticized for relying heavily on Betty Friedan's anecdotal research, rarely citing published studies. To form her conclusions she relies on interpersonal discourse and unpublished University studies, of which she claims were censored by vague organizations. The opacity of Friedan's claims and research makes it difficult to determine whether her statements were exaggerated or fabricated.

In one such case, she claims suburban housewives routinely suffer mental breakdowns and run "shrieking through the street without any clothes on," only quoting the statement of an unnamed doctor from one of her interviews.[15]

http://www.enotes.com/topic/The_Feminine_Mystique


Just from a quick search on Freiden. And it's based on a work published in 1963. Your attachment to this viewpoint is of almost biblical proportions.

How do you explain the suicide and depression rates in Doctors and police officers, if being a Housewife causes depression, and the cure is getting a job? Or do you simply deny that those professions have abnormally high rates of depression and suicide?

I'm not a researcher or a sociologist. And my familial relations include about 35 different families (French Catholics know how to procreate) so it's not a single anecdotal story, but more than 30. I was simply relieving you of the burden of reading the same thing 30 different times.

Clarissa said...

Patrick: I don't see the point of discussing the book one of us hasn't read.

el said...

I saw those comments on Gawker site:

I saw in another story she was recovering from a car accident about a month ago where she had severe head trauma and ever since then had been acting very oddly. On the news she was visibly shaking in way I'd never seen a human vibrate.

Perhaps she was mentally ill as well but I can't see her husband deploying and leaving her with the children while getting her none of the free or deeply discounted mental health care available with his military insurance.

I wonder if there is some trauma induced psychosis.


AND

Serious depression doesn't make you kill your children. I've lived with serious depression all my life, and it has never once made me want to kill anyone but myself.

According to your logic, should depressed people be treated as potentially violent mentally ill, then?

Didn't know about the housewives of Russian billionaires.

Clarissa said...

In the recent years (especially since Virginia Tech shootings) faculty and administrators of colleges are required to watch out for symptoms of acute depression in students. It's considered that it's better to act preventatively than have a student walk into the classroom with a rifle.

Liese4 said...

Nothing depressed me more than when I worked (before children.) I can assure you that daily life with 4 kids 5-16 is anything but depressing. Unless you don't like your kids, or your job as teacher (in my case), then I guess it could get depressing. But then, couldn't any job that you hate depress you?

So, don't go saying that all SAHM's are depressed, the ones who chose this life know how awesome it is. Not every woman is cut out to stay home with children all day, they tend to suck you dry and the commitment to parenting is HUGE, and that is something women need to think about before they have children.

profacero said...
I don't like the way stay at home mothers impose upon their children for entertainment and so on. I don't think it's good to have children isolated with someone who feels as incarcerated and disempowered as stay at home mothers do.

As a SAHM I must disagree with your generalization. I feel neither incarcerated nor dis-empowered. I have the power to teach my children, they are learning and thriving. I don't use my children for entertainment either, they do not exist to perform tasks for me or to empower me. I am growing good citizens who respect authority, can lead effectively, speak with conviction, and love to learn. Note I did not say that they know everything or that I am raising geniuses, but that they love to learn.

To ignite the spark of learning and watch it grow is an amazing thing, freeing us from the cage of ignorance and liberating our souls.

Clarissa said...

"But then, couldn't any job that you hate depress you?"

-A wrong career choice is a discussion for a different place and time.

"So, don't go saying that all SAHM's are depressed"

-When exactly did I speak about "all SAHMs"? I stated that it's the group of population that suffers the most from depression irrespective of the country, culture and economic status. Surely you see how these two statements are different.

Liese4 said...

"The moment a family is not battling for mere survival, a housewife starts getting depressed."

You said housewife, not SAHM, I guess a housewife is someone with no children then? So they are depressed because they have no life outside of cleaning their home? Please, there are tons of volunteer activities one can do if they are bored staying home.

Also I was responding to profacero who did write 'stay at home mom' in the same sentence as 'incarcerated' and 'dis-empowered'. Neither of which describe me, although I grant that as a stay at home, homeschooling mom, girl scout troop leader, CAP mom, Kindergarten club leader, presentation club leader, Common ground homeschool board moderator, I might be a happy exception to the depression rule (because there is no time to be depressed.)

I can see that you love your job, that is evident in some of your posts, I love mine too!

Clarissa said...

"You said housewife, not SAHM, I guess a housewife is someone with no children then?"

-Sociological studies see no difference.

"I can see that you love your job, that is evident in some of your posts, I love mine too!"

-With all due respect, a job is something from which you can be fired. So there is a) competition, b)hierarchy of responsibility and c) quality control. A housewife can feed her family TV dinners and not clean for months. What are the chances of her being fired? Exactly. So it's not really "a job." There are no verifiable and quantifiable standards. There is also no remuneration.

If being a housewife is a job, then how is my blogging not a job??

Liese4 said...

I suppose a housewife might be divorced, that would get her 'fired' from her 'job'. The job I was referring to is your teaching job, not your blogging. I blog, but that is not a job, it is a hobby.

As to a, b and c (in MY circumstance) I think the competition is me vs. the public school system, I am very responsible and quality control? Check my house, it's clean, I have a daughter with a lung disease so it needs to be dusted and vacuumed more than I want to do it. I make my family dinner, I clean, I do laundry and my husband hasn't been here for 3 months, so I'm not doing it for him! For that matter, a working woman has no competition, responsibility or quality control forced on her, if her house is dirty people say, 'Oh well she works all the time.' So, she can be expected to have a dirty house?

I do it because it's my job, you can have a job and not be paid. My son volunteers with Civil Air Patrol, he doesn't get paid, it's a volunteer job (and yes, he could be thrown out if they decided he broke a rule.)

As far as money, you could offer me a salary of 100,000 to go do your job and I would not do it, because I don't have a zest for Hispanic literature. If someone offered my husband a million dollars to do my job, he wouldn't, he isn't suited to teaching 4 children all day, and that's fine by me. When I entered into my marriage contract 19 years ago I did it to love and cherish him (and fruit of the loins) till death do us part. This is my 'job' it's what I do. You don't have to like it, it's not your job - it's mine.

Clarissa said...

If my husband said that he loves me and cherishes me because it's his job and his contract, I'd be beyond unhappy.

Clarissa said...

"I suppose a housewife might be divorced, that would get her 'fired' from her 'job'."

-So if you don't cook and clean up to his standards, your husband will fire you (i.e. divorce you)? I don't want to believe that. It would be too sad. What if you get sick or something?

Liese4 said...

It was a response to the statement that a housewife couldn't get fired. Well, you said there was no quality control or responsibility, so if you had a person doing a job like that would you fire them? Do you have standards? I'm not saying she cleans to his standards (or not to his standards.) I have standards and I clean to those.

My husband loves me and wants the best for me, that is why he is over in Iraq right now, working hard for our family at his job. I am over here working just as hard keeping things together in his absence. He doesn't love me less if the dishes are dirty, I don't love him less if he throws his clothes on the floor.

Of course, I clean my house because I want to offer my husband a serene, clean, orderly place at the end of his long day at work. Who wants to come home and see clutter, dirty dishes and dust? I even clean before I go on vacation so that when I get home it is a nice place to walk into.

And I can promise you that in 39 days when my hubby comes home for 2 weeks I'll be hard at work at my job, to love and cherish (and have sex with) my husband. Yes, it's a job, marriages don't come without hardships that 2 people must struggle over. It's a job making a marriage work, who pays the bills? Who cleans the house? Who creates a budget? Who is on top and who is on the bottom? That is work!

Again, this is MY job, not yours. You can think I'm silly for staying home and raising my children, but it's not your call. I think there is enough space in the world (and on the Internet) for varying opinions on subjects. You may not agree with my job and that's okay. I am not trying to turn you into a SAHM anymore than you could turn me into a college professor.

Clarissa said...

"I'm not saying she cleans to his standards (or not to his standards.) I have standards and I clean to those. "

-Well, that's the difference with a job. I can't teach "to my standards." Nobody cares about my standards. I have to teach to my employer's standards, or I will be fired. And it's the same will the rest of my work obligations. In a job, you can't afford the luxury to set your own standards for your work performance.

And let's agree from the start that I never said I think you are silly.

"I'll be hard at work at my job, to love and cherish (and have sex with) my husband"

-So sex is also a job??? Erm. . . that's strange. Are you sure it makes him happy that you see sex with him as a job? Do you get remunerated for it, too?

Liese4 said...

I'll concede the standards issue to you when put that way. I have state standards that I have to teach to, not my own.

As to the husband job: well, I'm sweaty and completely exhausted after making love, that sounds like a hard day at work to me! Do you study for your job? Well, I study my husband, I study what arouses him and what doesn't, I study what smells make him crazy, I work on ways to make him feel incredible (and he does the same for me.) I only get paid in kisses and hugs. You'd think sex would be boring with my first and only partner for 19 years, but my gosh, he has a way of surprising me!

I said you could call me silly (I have been called worse) I didn't say you did.

Clarissa said...

"As to the husband job: well, I'm sweaty and completely exhausted after making love, that sounds like a hard day at work to me! "

-So is going to a gym for a work out also a job? You seem to have a very original definition of what constitutes a job, which I never encountered anywhere else.
I'm grading papers right now. Which doesn't make me sweaty. Does it mean that grading isn't my job?

"You'd think sex would be boring with my first and only partner for 19 years"

-I don't think that at all. My best wished for a very happy and sexy reunion! :-)

"I said you could call me silly (I have been called worse)"

-Thank you, but I don't want to. :-)

Liese4 said...

Job: a piece of work, esp. a specific task done as part of the routine of one's occupation.

a post of employment; full-time or part-time position.

anything a person is expected or obliged to do; responsibility

the execution or performance of a task.

Gym, performance of a task.

Work doesn't need to make you sweaty to constitute a job, I was just giving an example of one job that makes me sweaty. The gym is more work because I know in the end it is good for me, but I don't want to do it right now.

Shoveling snow is a job which I will be doing tonight, it's my responsibility to shovel the sidewalk (per the HOA or get a fine.) But, I like that job too, it's quiet and peaceful with just the scraping of shovels breaking the silence.

Liese4 said...

You seem to have a very original definition of what constitutes a job, which I never encountered anywhere else.

That's because to me a job does not equal being paid. If everyone worked for just money there would be far fewer humanitarian and volunteer efforts that never get done.

Clarissa said...

This is why it's important to agree about terminology from the start. For me a job is an activity for which you get paid and from which you can get fired. Everything else might be work (and hard work at that) but it isn't a job.

You and I just use the word in different ways.

Clarissa said...

Then why do people talk of "charitable work" but not "charitable job"? And "volunteer work" and not "volunteer job"?

Clarissa said...

Definition of a job:

"occupation: the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money; "he's not in my line of business"

a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or for a specific fee; "estimates of the city's loss on that job ranged as high as a million dollars"; "the job of repairing the engine took several hours"; "the endless task of classifying the samples"; "the farmer's morning chores"

a workplace; as in the expression "on the job"

Clarissa said...

And one more dictionary:

A JOB:

n.
A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, especially as one's trade, occupation, or profession.
A position in which one is employed.
A task that must be done: Washing the windows is not my job.
A specified duty or responsibility. See synonyms at task.
A specific piece of work to be done for a set fee: an expensive repair job.


Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/job#ixzz1CfMaSYVB

So I'm not that original after all.

Anonymous said...

"So, don't go saying that all SAHM's are depressed, the ones who chose this life know how awesome it is."

"Unless you don't like your kids, or your job as teacher (in my case), then I guess it could get depressing. "

"You said housewife, not SAHM, I guess a housewife is someone with no children then? So they are depressed because they have no life outside of cleaning their home?"

Shouldn't you be required to know syntax and at the very least be able to construct a proper sentence in order to teach others? Or do no standards exist if it is your own child you are "educating"?

Anonymous said...

Job Description: A stay at home person stays home to provide care for his/her child (ren). A SAHP gets paid indirectly. The family can save on child rearing costs (which is extremely expensive in this country). Many of my aunts have to stay at home simply because of economic reasons. The sort of job available (given skills) pays the equivalent (if not more) of daycare costs. So in some family, it makes economic sense to have one parent stay at home and provide childcare services for the family.

Standards: there are standards. If your child is malnourished, or shows signs of neglect and abuse, then the state exercises the right to remove such a child from the care of his/her parents. That is a standard that all child care giver (whether parental or otherwise) must meet.

I understand your point but I wanted to point out something you might be missing in the argument. Some people simply cannot afford the luxury to go out and make enough money to put their children in daycare.

David said...

My Dad was stay-at-home and a writer. I was homeschooled at the time. I look back on that time as one of the happiest time periods I had in his company.

Clarissa said...

A housewife and a writer are obviously two different things. Who's more fulfilled and psychologically healthy than a writer? Who can better educate anybody than a writer?

There is simply no comparison here.

You were lucky, in my opinion.

David said...

A well made point. However, I'd find it utterly depressing to think that some people are only separated from murder by how bored or unfulfilled they are feeling.

You're right though. This woman shouldn't have been a mother in the first place. Only a monster would execute their children because they were mouthing off.

David said...

To clarify, it is also entirely possible that this woman turned to violence because she was trapped in a life that she didn't want.

However, it is also possible that she had uncontrollable anger and impulse problems. She was obviously a gun owner, probably kept one in the glovebox of her car, and probably shot her son on a whim. When she realized that she had killed her son, there probably was not much inhibition left to prevent her from killing her daughter when she "mouthed off" too.

Maybe its a combination of both.

Liese4 said...

Or do no standards exist if it is your own child you are "educating"?

One should never start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. People use varying forms of misspellings and incorrect grammar on these comments, I guess they are all ignorant too. I happen to know math teachers who know less math than my 16 year old and English teachers that never read anything other than what is in the curriculum, but apparently they are better teachers in your opinion. Even Clarissa makes some typos in her comments sometimes, but I think she is a very well educated person and I don't hold that against her.

Patrick said...

Interesting sidebar on the definition of 'work'. Clearly, you've been isolated in your academic tower for too long.

Reality check: It's extremely difficult and troublesome to fire someone, particularly if they belong to a labour union. Since they effectively can't be fired, (and if you want specific examples, I'll cite them for you in a separate email) does that mean they don't have a job?

PS: I'm not going to waste my time reading a dissertation that it at least 50 years outdated. I don't read Freud either. When the work becomes outdated, it ceases to be useful.

Clarissa said...

Of course, that's not real job. That's a governmental handout. I hate such things.

Since when is Freud outdated???

Also, how do you feel about people reading the Bible? That stuff is at least 2000 years outdated. :-) :-)

Patrick said...

Your ignorance is showing again. Labour unions are not government handouts. They are a collection of people who generally 'work' for an private corporation. Think United Autoworkers, Steelworkers, etc. . .There is no 'governmental handout' involved in any way.

So, you still subscribe to Freud? His perverse dream analysis? When I was in university 20 years ago, he was studied solely as an introduction to modern psychology, but his work was dismissed as passe and irrelevant then. Have they discovered something new in his work to merit it's inclusion as a revised standard?

As for the bible (or the older Torah) - they're not textbooks. And the parts that are 'outdated' (like rules for owning slaves and how to sell your daughter) have been dismissed by the western world. The larger messages of love, peace and compassion (NT) transcend time, and haven't been found to be outdated concepts.

Clarissa said...

I don't know what you mean by "subscribing to Freud." Without a profound understanding of Freud, it is impossible to engage with the theories of Lacan and Kristeva. Freud, Jung and their followers are an integral part of the development of the Western philosophy. They are as "outdated" as Kant, Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, etc. Some of the things Freud said were later disproved by his followers. But "the larger message" as you say has become a foundation of a host of later theoretical work. Freud's findings have had such a profound impact on the development of Western thought that they cannot be either dismissed or discounted.

In the US, psychoanalytic theory is, indeed, vilified. That happens at the behest of pharmaceutical companies who want to make people turn to pills and only pills for the solution of any problems. Which is both detrimental and sad.

But once again, we are discussing readings one of us hasn't done, which I don't think is very productive.

Patrick said...

1) I have read them (Freud, Jung, Feidman, Smith) - but it has been a long time, and I don't have cause or need to revisit them.

2)I don't dispute that the early works are a foundation on which more psychological study and work was based. But the work has progressed much beyond what the early thinkers believed. Research did not end in the early 20th century.

3) Couldn't agree more about the pill culture. I find the incessant commercials on TV pushing pill after pill very amusing/dismaying. I see they now have a pill that will help you with the depressing effects of taking anti-depressant medication. Of course, the pill may kill you, but at least you might die with a smile on your face.

Clarissa said...

"I don't dispute that the early works are a foundation on which more psychological study and work was based. But the work has progressed much beyond what the early thinkers believed."

-It's exactly the same with feminist studies. Only one needs to be familiar with The Second Sex and Feminine Mystique to understand what later people were arguing against.

" I see they now have a pill that will help you with the depressing effects of taking anti-depressant medication. "

-I blogged about it a while ago. :-) I also blogged about how in my regular coffee-shop in New Haven there was this promotion where a packet of two extra-strong painkillers was attached to all coffee-sleeves. And those coffee-sleeves were in a place where even little children could get at them very easily! And nobody cared.

Patrick said...

I think I can finally agree with you. Understanding where we were (The Feminine Mystique) is essential to understanding where we are going. No problem. I get that.

Where we go off the rails is the assumption that nothing has changed in society's expectation and ideology since that initial publication. That's where I see you stuck - look at a calendar. It's 2011. Women are free to be academics, politicians, lawyers, actors, leaders etc. . . I don't think anyone was surprised that Hillary Clinton made a presidential bid. Go back 25 years, when Geraldine Ferraro was (Mondale?)on the ticket for VP (1984). I remember it was all over the news then - how amazing, outstanding, unusual, weird, etc. . . that a WOMAN was on the ticket for VP. In 2008, the focus was on the actual issues of leadership, vision and policy. (I still think the Dem's got it wrong - but that's an issue for a different day). Nobody (who could be taken seriously) asked "why" she wasn't at home. Women outnumber men at universities. Everything tells us that the world is radically different than it was in 1963.

Painkillers and coffee. I've never seen that in Canada, and I hope I never do. We've medicalized (did I just create a new word) everything in our society, and now we're exporting it around the world.

Interesting story - I was listening to a documentary on the CBC one day (long drive, no choice) - and they were discussing international depression. Before the 1960's, Japan did not have a depression problem. Since the pharma companies gained access to the Japanese market, they now have some of the highest rates in the world. What was once culturally thought of as 'melancholy' and a necessary and normal part of existence, is now a disease to be cured.

Clarissa said...

Imagine that! After a long discussion we finally agree on everything. That's why discussions are so important.

As for medication, I always surprise my American friends by telling them I have no medicine cabinet and American doctors by saying that I'm not on any medication. I'm not saying that pills can't be useful. Of course, they can. But people are used to guzzling handfuls of these things for whatever reason. I mean, a pill to treat social anxiety disorder??? What is that even? A pill for being shy?? Crazy!!!

I also agree with you about depression. How much of it is manufactured is a question to ask.

Clarissa said...

Students even take pills to help them study. How crazy is that???

They say they can't work as hard and be as successful without medication. This is completely insane because how did all those great thinkers of the past make it without medication???

Patrick said...

We have a great comedian in Canada by the name of Ron James. (If you get an opportunity to see his show, take it, he's absolutely gut splitting hilarious).

One of his bits is about being a kid, back in the early 60's. Today he'd be on Ritalin; back then, he says the teachers would say, "that boy ain't right" and that would be all there was to it. He's done okay, I would say.

I'll agree that medication has it's place - but I would be hard pressed to be convinced that we're not over-medicated in the Western world. A problem should actually interfere with normal functioning before you go on medication. I don't even take medication when I get a headache - usually a glass of water or a coffee will do the trick.

I think we're all a little too quick to try and find a pill to cure everything.