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What will the next 10 years in this country look like?


cinephile
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This question has been on my mind nearly constantly for the last year. I remember my dad telling me that social psychologists have a theory that massive social/political change occurs roughly every 40 years - it happened in the 20s, and then in the 60s. So, the question becomes, aren't we due for another one? Where the hell is it?

 

I honestly believe it's here already. But this time it's under our noses because the issues are far grayer and those in power are far better at hiding their sins (psychiatry anyone?). Basically I think four major parts of our society/infrastructure are crumbling rapidly, and very few realize it and even fewer seem to care. This latter point drives home to me that this country is an empire in imminent decline. No major empire, be it Rome or England, could successfully spackle the holes in the infrastructure once they were noticed. It was too late.

 

Here are the four areas of decline I see:

 

1) Health Care -- The obvious one for us on this board. Need I say more? I recommend reading Overdosed America by Abramson to get up to speed on just what is so very, very wrong. In a nutshell: something is deeply dysfunctional when we pay more for health care than anyone else in the world and consistently have some of the worst outcomes.

2) Education -- More and more, I hear about how, just like the health care system, higher education is simply unsustainable. The parallels between student loan debt and the mortgage crisis are striking. Below are links to two superb articles on just how painful this crisis is. It's especially traumatizing for law students, who have been hoodwinked by law schools' inflated graduation statistics to study law and end up upwards of 1/4 million in the hole in NON-DISCHARGABLE DEBT in the worst job economy since the great depression. But student loan debt is rapidly becoming a rite of passage for all students, and it just recently surpassed credit card debt!

LINK: Law school student loan debt NYT article

LINK: Bad Education (must read!)

3) The Economy itself -- Obviously. What strikes me the most is how status quo Obama is about the Wall Street goons. WHY have none of these assholes not been brought up on charges yet? Hell, I don't even think the White House has cracked down on their bonuses yet! And ultimately I'm not blaming just Obama -- I think the time has come for us to realize the left AND the right are out of ideas on how to fix the economy. Each side has the same stale solutions: either tax and spend (the left) or DON'T tax and spend and allow the free market to correct itself (the right). To the right I say: Gee, didn't we learn that de-regulation leads only to bottomless greed and corruption? And to the left: can our country really withstand more taxes and gov't programs when we're about to hit $15,000,000,000,000 in debt, and we borrow $60,000 A SECOND? The time has come for the left and right to come together (at least a little) and reach a compromise and draft a UNIQUE solution for these UNIQUELY painful economic times. But I don't see that happening anytime soon, because politics are more polarized than ever, largely because of...

4) The decline of civic/community/social participation -- I'm currently reading the brilliant sociological book BOWLING ALONE by Robert Putnam and it is eerily accurate in how it charts the steady decline of civic, community, and social participation in this country since the baby boomers' age (basically, the mid-late 60s). Basically, people aren't getting together anywhere near as often as they used to, either for informal dinner parties, bowling, going to the movies, church, or formally such as union attendance or local chapters of national organizations. This has caused a tremendous social disconnect and malaise, which breeds mistrust of strangers and a fractured sense of community. I can tell you first-hand how toxic alienation is and how very stressful it is to not be able to trust the average person to do you even a small favor in return for what you do for them. I don't give to get, but I'm about at my wits' end with how many people (especially people my age) blow me off when they say they'll do even the smallest thing for me -- and this is often after they volunteer to do it for me unprovocated! They just simply forget or don't care enough to follow through. One basically reaches the conclusion these days that you have to be your own expert and advocate for everything (you can't trust your doctor, lawyer, financial adviser, mechanic, etc) and of course that's tremendously stressful and ruinous to mental health. I honestly think Putnam is right that this wave of noncommittal behavior and hollow personal relationships is due to a severe decline in participation in community and society. We're so out of practice with the give-and-take of everyday relationships and the reciprocity and trust they're based on that we live in this toxic "me me me" selfish culture of the individual and have completely forgotten that we are social animals. And of course close social relationships are tremendously therapeutic and are some of the best forms of therapy around -- and it's free. As long as we continue to devalue the essential role of reciprocity, trust, personal relationships, and community, we will continue to pay for vastly inferior (and sometimes dangerous) substitutes for our mental health like psychiatry.

 

*I honestly think the way out is going back: back to basics. Let's re-learn what is eternally useful and lose the love affair with technology. I'm no luddite (I'm pro-internet, if anything), but we need to seriously re-evaluate how useful technology is in every aspect of our lives and realize that the things that have stood the test of time (exercise, diet, fresh air, hard work, friends, lovers, community) have stood the test of time for a REASON: they work. I think it's very telling, for example, that many of the people who recover from psych med side effects take this advice to heart and don't go looking for relief from a magic pill but instead re-learn common sense and what's eternally instructive.

 

Buckle up, folks. I have a feeling this next decade will be a bumpy ride. But it could also be fascinating.

Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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Nice analysis, cine! #4 is especially interesting. I think we have too many people -- it makes it hard to feel connected, grounded in any community. And TPTB have arranged it so that people have to work too many hours to organize, socialize.

 

OTOH, the Internet is a force for creating community and teaching critical thinking.

 

We could add the degradation of the environment and global warming -- it's going to get harder to make agriculture work adequately.

 

This is just off the top of my head, but maybe the reason you're not seeing a 40-year massive shift is that shifts are actually happening more frequently now. Almost continuously. The Internet is speeding up culture change.

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Great points Healing! I agree with you about how great the internet can be for getting the truth out. It really is the great equalizer. However, it remains to be seen if the community the internet creates (such as this one) is as therapeutic as having a real-life group. My answer would be no. There simply is no substitute for gathering regularly with people in real life and forging real bonds. That doesn't mean that online groups don't offer ANY therapeutic benefit, but that we can't ever mistake it for the real thing.

 

I also like what you said about how the internet is speeding up culture change. I agree.

Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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  • Administrator

....However, it remains to be seen if the community the internet creates (such as this one) is as therapeutic as having a real-life group. My answer would be no. There simply is no substitute for gathering regularly with people in real life and forging real bonds....

 

I agree -- but I also think the Internet makes it possible for like-minded people to find each other and band together in real life. We've only see the beginning of this.

 

I used to belong to an early online community and, while online activity was lively, the real-life relationships people forged were genuine and important to them.

 

Back to the next 10 years -- I do believe politically the US will move towards protecting the consumer -- the ordinary citizen. The religion of the free market, at its apex in the Bush years, will be tempered by the realization of its failure. Citizens, as opposed to corporations, are concerned about the long-term future of the environment, as well as their own health and well-being.

 

People are just starting to understand this, they've been indoctrinated in "what's good for business is good for everybody" since the Reagan era.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Coincidentally, this chart appeared in the NY Times June 17 http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/critics-of-drug-industry-attack-new-innovations/?smid=tw-NYTPrescription&seid=auto

 

comparing health care spending and health quality across the world:

Posted Image

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Great find! Love how US and Cuba have about the same life expectancy, but polar opposite spending! :D

 

What a freaking racket the US health care system is.

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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  • 5 months later...

 

....However, it remains to be seen if the community the internet creates (such as this one) is as therapeutic as having a real-life group. My answer would be no. There simply is no substitute for gathering regularly with people in real life and forging real bonds....

 

I agree -- but I also think the Internet makes it possible for like-minded people to find each other and band together in real life. We've only see the beginning of this.

 

I used to belong to an early online community and, while online activity was lively, the real-life relationships people forged were genuine and important to them.

 

Interesting thread.

My thoughts on the Internet are not so positive. IF it is used as Alsto states - to find like-minded people and form real relationships - that is a good thing.

I don't know if you're looking at social media when you refer to the Internet. I believe Facebook is one of the worst forces to hit our society in a long time. First, let me say I was very active it for a few years. I reconnected with people from all parts of my life - a good thing. I met people I wouldn't have w/o social networking. However, what I began to see was how people utilized it (perhaps not intentionally) to put on 'their best face'. Then others saw that and reacted in numerous ways, none good. It's a false relationship based on whatever happens to be posted. Let's face it, very few people air their dirty laundry or problems on FB. It's a virtual 'Keeping up with the Joneses' that leaves most people feeling that they aren't keeping up. It is being used in place of face to face, authentic relating. When I checked out of FB after being very present, I received messages via FB mail asking where I went, as if I disappeared. People did not think to use regular direct email. These are intelligent, educated, internet savvy people. It was absolutely fascinating! I intentionally did not respond just to see who would actually try to contact me directly. A few did eventually. Then, I went into my account for a few minutes to check something. I got several messages to the effect of "B, you're BACK!!" as if the light by my name was all that was necessary to know that I'm alive. It was an unintentional but eye-opening experiment. I suggest a trial disappearance from Facebook just to see what happens.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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A few more thoughts...

 

There are so many kids on psychotropics and an increasing number on neuropeptics for ADHD. Antipsychotics for ADHD. WOW. These kids are getting to marriage and childbearing age. How are their meds going to be safely DC'd to not have teratogenic effects during pregnancy? Or has their desire to procreate been medicated out of them? My husband's niece, 25, has been medicated for ADHD and bipolar since age 14. She claims she doesn't want kids. I wonder if that is a result of meds dulling emotions, the knowledge that she'll have to DC to have a safe pregnancy, both? Maybe this has been addressed somewhere. I'd love to read if so. Quite an interesting method of birth control.

 

And,front porches. Residential architecture of today does not allow or encourage neighborly conversation as in the past. Porches or decks are in the back w/ornamental ones at front. Fences surround many properties. People leave thru their remote controlled garage door in the morning and return at night, with no interaction. We need front porches, big swings, lemonade. Perhaps I've been in SoCal for too long.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I wonder if people have generally felt, through history, that things in their time were really bad? Maybe this is just normal. Then again, I dont think so... We have some serious problems, worst since the 30s IMO.

 

I think we have a helluva fix to come up with. For all sorts of structural reasons, I'm not optimistic. Also though things can only get so bad. A lot of the things that I used to fear.... I don't fear so much anymore. People will, for the rest of my lifetime, always cherish family, friends, fairness, opportunity, compassion, justice.

 

One of the few advantages of our situation, at least in my case, is that I honestly believe the worst, for me personally, is behind me. If the world goes to hell, it goes to hell. But I've been there a d now I'm back again.

 

It's like I'm living in overtime. My game shoulda ended. It's all free basketball from here. Gravy.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Alex ~so glad you're sharing your overtime with us ;)

 

I've noticed that I dont worry about things like I used to ~ I feel as if I'm all worried out about things I cannot and never could control (but thought I could)

Not to say that I dont experience strong negative emotions at times ~i do ~but not quite as much of the ruminative worry

I have no explanation but I don't miss it

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I miss front porches, too, and neighbors coming by to chat.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Warm summer nights

Baseball

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

I'm a believer in Post Peak Oil and that we are already sliding down the wrong side of the curve in oil production. I foresee an immediate future with even more unemployment, civil disorder, abandoned housing, and increased crime committed by those who have no other skills aside from stealing or worse.

 

I strongly recommend reading The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler and checking out his blog at: http://www.kunstler.com/index.php

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • 2 months later...

A few more thoughts...

 

There are so many kids on psychotropics and an increasing number on neuropeptics for ADHD. Antipsychotics for ADHD. WOW. These kids are getting to marriage and childbearing age. How are their meds going to be safely DC'd to not have teratogenic effects during pregnancy? Or has their desire to procreate been medicated out of them? My husband's niece, 25, has been medicated for ADHD and bipolar since age 14. She claims she doesn't want kids. I wonder if that is a result of meds dulling emotions, the knowledge that she'll have to DC to have a safe pregnancy, both? Maybe this has been addressed somewhere. I'd love to read if so. Quite an interesting method of birth control.

 

And,front porches. Residential architecture of today does not allow or encourage neighborly conversation as in the past. Porches or decks are in the back w/ornamental ones at front. Fences surround many properties. People leave thru their remote controlled garage door in the morning and return at night, with no interaction. We need front porches, big swings, lemonade. Perhaps I've been in SoCal for too long.

 

Your husband's niece sounds a lot like me. Of course, if you've read my introduction, you'd understand. Ironically, I secretly wanted a girlfriend. I had to sublimate my feelings and desires severely because of my parents, especially my father.

 

The few times I've been on a job interview over the past few years, The interviewer would ask the question, "What do you look most for in a job?" My answer almost invariably was "Stability" That was almost always the kiss of death, as far as the interview was concerned. That, and having the tendency to sabotage myself in an interview, didn't help. (Probably another outgrowth of Aspergers, since I'll tell ou about me, warts and all, in the interest of full disclosure.)

History:

1995--Prozac--Quit CT by GP

1995--Effexor--Quit per my GP

1996--Amitriphene--Quit CT when changed GP

2005--Citalopram and BusPar. Prescribed when I decompensated in my GP's office. GP referred me to behavior health. Psychiatrist prescibed these drugs. Taken off citalopram in 2011 due to FDA warning. Quit Buspar during transition to viibryd.

Viibryd--2011 to present. Had a severe reaction in March 2012. Advised both GP and Psychiatrist I was trying to get off these drugs.

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