Psychology and the System

In my book “System Upgrade v2.016”, in a few places, I have said a few words about the negative role of both religion and psychology in the current system, which can be seen as ridicule, but that was not my intention. The thing I want to say can be summed up with following words: “A good tools in the wrong hands becomes a means of evil.”

Regardless of the good intentions, if we provide our good services within a wrong context, those services can become means of suffering and demise.

Psychology has a worthy goal of helping people to live happier and more fruitful lives, by describing, explaining, predicting, controlling, and improving behaviour and mental processes. In those ways, it helps people to overcome psychological issues and difficulties they have in their lives.

But there is an issue: by giving people methods and techniques to overcome those issues, especially connected with work stress, people, by becoming less unsatisfied — and at the same time learning to cope with their own life circumstances — speaking in economically-capitalistic terms, they become more productive. The system, being a system, will just continue misusing that newly-gained energy to suck the newly-gained life out its members for the purpose of additional profit.

At the beginning of the last century, people worked eight hours per day; now at a time of huge technological progress, we work 2, 3, even 5 hours more per day than before, just to sustain our way of living, and, again, despite all that technological progress, wages are dropping, and purchasing power is falling.

Now, should that overstressed and overworked person go to psychotherapy or take antidepressants prescribed by psychiatrist so that he or she could work even harder?
Personally, I do not think so, as the issue is not in those people but in the system. If we do not fix the system, the issue will stay.

When your body is lacking air, you cannot fix it by learning how to do more with less. You have to find out how to get more air. In our system, the issue is with distribution; resources are there, but they are distributed in the wrong way. With correct distribution, people will work less, be less stressed, enjoy life more, and they will not need professional help in that sense.

In a corrupt system, there is a huge influence of corporate money on science. Likewise, there is a huge influence of the Big Pharmaceutical industry on medicine — and especially in the fields of psychiatry and the ways we solve our emotional and psychological issues.

Think about it: how did America end up with 5% of the world’s population but consuming 75% of the world’s medications?

There are many documentaries about it: “Prescription Thugs” (2015), “Numb” (2010), “Who Cares In Sweden”, “The Antidepressant Era”, also there is a very good book “Bad Pharma” by Ben Goldacre and some movies like “Prozac Nation” (2001) — all with a similar subject: marketing over R&D, flawed drug testing process, prescription of excessive amounts of medication, all that while earning billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies.

According to a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults has increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008 *1. Drugs like Prozac and Zoloft are so widely prescribed that numbers are mind boggling: just in the UK, in 2011, antidepressant drugs were prescribed 43 million times *2, despite being linked to suicide, low libido, and birth defects.

I am finding it somewhat weirdly fascinating that we could take one chemical compound and use it to treat such a complex issue.

Do not get me wrong, I am not against using antidepressant drugs, especially in cases when the drug is absolutely necessary, in order to save someone’s life (it is estimated that around 10% of people in the USA with treatment-resistant depression take their own lives *3), but, when usage of antidepressants rises that high ... maybe good strategy would be to look for the causes in some other place apart from people’s minds!

If you liked this story, you may like my book.
I am trying to change the world, can you help me?

System Upgrade v2.016:
Solutions for a failing economy, wealth distribution, declining democracy, climate change, and robots that steal jobs

Notes & References:

1. Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005–2008

2. BBC Health - Prozac (fluoxetine)

3. The Truth About Depression [Documentary]