Thursday, May 20, 2021

Is America Suffering From Schizophrenia?

Is America a schizophrenic? Is the splitting the result of an earlier trauma becoming compartmentalized or repressed? If the country were, in fact, a person you would say it’s suffered no shortage of life changing events. Only in the last year, the country has endured the comorbidities of the coronavirus and political instability in which the very institution on which American society was founded, democracy, has been called into doubt. Almost 600,000 people have died since the onset of the epidemic and the sowing of doubt about the legitimacy of the election, has forever tainted the electoral process. In the midst of this came the murder of George Floyd which epitomized a systemic racism that's only become exacerbated by the challenge to untrained lower-middle class whites. In his New Yorker essay "Why Americans Are Dying of Despair," (3/16/20), Atul Gawande cited Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Angus Deaton and Anne Case to point to the disenfranchisement which explains the rise of the totalitarian and anti-democratic impulse in American society. When a patient suffers a trauma mentally or physically, they go into shock, but following that the mind has to accommodate as memories begin to resurface or become further repressed. You might say that American society as a whole is a little like those children with the blank eyes who are permanently displaced by genocide or war. In the meanwhile, a restive and angry population may also begin to experience delusions.

Read "Was Hamlet Suffering from False Memory Syndrome?" by Francis Levy, Huff Post

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