I thought each call would be easier than the previous, but it’s just the opposite. Perhaps my numbness is fading, and my grief is sinking in. Or perhaps I’m just tiring of sharing with others the reality that my mother has died — tiring of sharing the circumstances and the details of how we’re all reacting, what we’re planning, how we feel.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy,” insists Ralph Waldo Emerson. “It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Some people have such difficulty expressing their periodic chasms of vengeful depression, they take to the Internet looking for narratives they might adopt for their own. Now and then, reading through these portrayals of sub-flat-line despair, they shout, “That’s fantastic!”
This does not suggest any enthusiasm – not even for recovery. Part of depression is being willing to take on anything – even the misery of others – in an effort to fill the void with something other than deep, dull pain. Continue reading “Spinning Our Plates”
In my composition classes, I taught that if you are interested in thinking outside the box – if you strive to stretch or break the rules – you must first master the box. It’s my simplistic notion based on observations that some of the most innovative musicians were first classically (or at least formally) trained. Mastery can be the foundation from which one can reach for more. Continue reading “Standing on Rounded Stones”
Peter Gøtzsche is a sort of anti-vaxxer in the field of mental health care.
The Danish physician is head of an organization called the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet, a Copenhagen, Denmark, hospital (which does not, by the way, list mental health care on its website as among the services it offers). The center has made recent assertions that challenge solid presumptions of traditional medical care.
- They claim mammograms subject women to significant, long-lasting emotional trauma, but produce barely any statistically significant medical benefit, such as reducing breast cancer mortality.
- They (and Gøtzsche himself) also claim the medications used to treat mental illness actually produce symptoms of mental illness.