How many of people’s mental health diagnoses are really just them struggling to function in a capitalist system that is amoral, destructive, overwhelming, overbearing, unsatisfying, and bereft of meaning?
It’s surely one of the most under-examined questions in the field of modern psychology. People in general and researchers in particular all too rarely think to take a step back from the data they are looking at and consider the large-scale framework within which that data is materializing, and to consider whether there’s anything about that particular framework which is giving rise to the particular data sets they are seeing.
How many of the mental health diagnoses given out are really just people not coping well under capitalism? It’s worth looking into. How many people end up consulting with mental health professionals because they find themselves psychologically unable to keep up with the frenetic corporate pace that’s demanded of them in order to “earn a living”? Or earlier on as children because they are unable to successfully navigate the capitalism boot camp known as school? How many people are given diagnoses, and corresponding bottles of pills, simply because they can’t march to the beat of the capitalist drum?
Beyond that, how many people are pushed into mental illness by the madness of our current system? How many people suffer from very real depression or anxiety arising from the pressure to keep churning out pieces of future landfill in meaningless jobs which serve no purpose other than to turn millionaires into billionaires? How many people simply collapse under the weight of financial insecurity, food insecurity, housing insecurity, employment and insurance insecurity, combined with the effects of desperate attempts to self-medicate the stress?
How many of these stressors are exacerbated by being psychologically pummelled with mass media propaganda day in and day out, artificially twisting your mind into the belief that this is all normal, and that if you can’t keep up, you’re the problem? Telling you that it’s fine and normal for there to be billionaires and empty investment properties while you struggle to keep a roof over your head? Telling you it’s fine and normal for wealth and resources to go toward murdering strangers overseas while you’re forced to choose between medicine and groceries?
And by the capitalism propaganda known as advertising?