Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Big Fix

Depression is an affect and many people treat depression with medications—which helps. It’s a little like treating a fever with Tylenol or Advil. The fever may be reduced, but if the cause is a severe infection, other treatments might be necessary. The same is true of sexual dysfunction. Lots of people have problems with sex, but treating the symptom can be difficult due to repressed fantasies. Viagra may produce erections, but a requisite is sexual excitation. There are physical impediments in men and women that prevent sex and which drugs like Viagra help, but when a drug doesn’t work you essentially have to treat the fantasies, just the way you would a systemic malady. Easier said than done, of course. Patients dig for years on the psychoanalytic couch, trying to make their unconscious wishes conscious—sometimes with little success. Many people take Benzodiazepines like Xanax and Klonopin for another symptom, anxiety, but such drugs can be addictive. This is the culture of hooking up and the quick fix. Shortcutting nature is the name of the game. In addition, many regimens are reflective of a technocratic society in which information is found and dispensed at increasingly expeditious rates with patience being tantamount to something like cursive writing—an ability whose pleasures have been lost by attrition due to the prevalence of the keyboard. Allen Ginsberg's words in "Howl" (1954-5) were prophetic, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix..." The title of the latest novel by the always prescient Michel Houellebecq is, by the way, Serotonine, en francais bien sur. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.