Emotional Crippling

Here is something interesting from Ian Welsh’s article:

And the medicalization of every bad mood, as if we’re supposed to never experience negative emotions, is more psychotic than the “diseases” [the drugs] are intended to treat.

A sign of severe emotional immaturity is an incapacity to tolerate negative emotions. Normally, people know how to deal with frustration and negative emotions on their own by the age of 2. Two and a half at the latest. Those who come into adulthood without that knowledge are emotionally crippled for life. Obviously, this is not a problem that can be solved with medication. Drugs can only temporarily remove the most painful symptoms of anxiety which is caused by the realization that one has fallen decades behind what should be one’s true emotional age.

Welsh’s only mistake here is the baseless belief that there are drugs that purport to treat mood “disorders.” Not even the most shameless among pharmaceutical companies promise to cure depression, mood swings, anxiety, etc. They only manage to alleviate the symptoms to some degree while causing a host of other symptoms that require temporary alleviation with more pills that cause a host of other symptoms, etc., etc., etc.

The important step forward for those who want to treat (and not somewhat temporarily keep at bay) this issue is analyze where it started. As the always brilliant musteryou says:

Perhaps the helicoptering tendency of parents makes it so that they become processing devices for the child’s negative emotions, whereas many children might actually fare much better with much less attention, so that they would have to see their emotional storms through to the other side and realize that these have a sequence that passes. Others grow up not to be able to do this, and they rely on authority figures to mediate their emotions for them.

Emotionally immature people are very easy to manage and control. Here is the simple answer to why there are so many of them around.

7 thoughts on “Emotional Crippling

  1. I will also mention that my inability to adapt to ‘Western culture” (as I have experienced it) now appears to be to do with not understanding the logic of having other people mediate my experiences for me. I tried — believe me, I tried hard — to get into the mode where I could be mediated and mediate other people’s experiences for them. I actually thought this is what was required to become acculturated. But it wasn’t — and I had been perpetually misled by needy people who had poor thinking skills.

    I have been hugely fortunate. I now work casually for an Asian company and I had huge problems with my equipment on the weekend, such that I was only able to fulfill 60 percent of the tasks I’d agreed to do. Recalling how the old bosses would react — as if I were creating a problem ‘on purpose’ to manipulate them — I became extremely stressed and expected passive aggressive responses at best. But this didn’t happen. The non-Western culture I am dealing with is, fortunately, rational.

    It’s a simple thing to be rational. But I’m in awe of it because its far from common in Australian culture. Neediness, passive aggression and suspicion are much more likely. The levels of immaturity here are very high.

    My earlier cultural conditioning from Africa was much more logical, reasonable and effective than what is considered normal here. I think late capitalism puts people under tremendous strain to the point that they behave irrationally. But, there is also a cultural tendency toward embracing immaturity and neediness as a solution.

    That’s my judgment anyway.

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    1. “It’s a simple thing to be rational. But I’m in awe of it because its far from common in Australian culture. Neediness, passive aggression and suspicion are much more likely. The levels of immaturity here are very high.”

      – Yes! Not in terms of Australian culture (which I know very little about) but in terms of the cultures I do know.

      “My earlier cultural conditioning from Africa was much more logical, reasonable and effective than what is considered normal here. I think late capitalism puts people under tremendous strain to the point that they behave irrationally. But, there is also a cultural tendency toward embracing immaturity and neediness as a solution.”

      – I’m still mystified as to what makes the Americans suddenly and massively embrace infantilizing and crippling parenting strategies at the same time and for no discernible reason (during more or less the late 1980s.) It’s like people turn into lemmings all of a sudden and start marching to their doom. They also get bizarrely enraged when you simply ask them in a polite way why they are doing this. It’s like something deeply existential is touched in them.

      Of course, immature people always existed. But I’m seeing an actual mass drive to create as many of these immature-to-the-point-of-irrationality creatures. And I’m still not entirely sure what is behind this drive.

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      1. I think its compensation for economic insecurity. They think they are protecting their children and providing a cocoon of safety for them that will help them (the parents? or, the children?) against difficult and hostile circumstances.

        Instead of confronting these external circumstances and analyzing them, or even attempting to alter them through social and political action, they adopt solipsistic solutions.

        Consequently, the children grow up in a bubble and seem ineffectual, even mutilated — but the parents don’t see it this way.

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