The Function of Psychiatry in Industrial Society

The psychiatric industry plays a very important role in the modern world. Industrialized nations have an incredibly high rate of suicide, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, copious mood disorders and ‘personality disorders’, etc. Within those nations, just being in an urban area doubles the rate of schizophrenia. For a deeper dive into some of the ways in which civilization and industrialism especially is unhealthy for humans, read my previous article, Civilization is Unhealthy. Some people are better at adapting to the horrid industrial world than others, but for those who aren’t and exhibit natural symptoms of incongruity between the way we evolved to live and the way we live today, the diagnosed get separated, labeled, processed, and dealt with.

The primary function of our modern psychiatry is to act as an arm of the industrial system, there to corral people back into participation in labor and technical development, usually by being pharmacologically neutralized with antidepressants and the like – a chemical lobotomy. If they cannot be pushed back into the system, then they are institutionalized in a psychiatric ward or some other state-mandated space, or perhaps they receive some sort of assistance to scrape by usually on the grounds that they continue to be processed through psychiatry. Many of these individuals are left to starve in the streets. Others are not discarded because of present human sensibilities, the same reason that a good percentage of old people are taken care of in the west, people would not be so happy to perform their role as a cog in the machine if they thought they or their loved ones would be left high and dry.

When individuals exhibit the psychological distress that comes with living in the modern world to such an intense degree as to inhibit their ability to perform their ‘functions’, what is most often a natural consequence of the way we are made to live is instead labeled a ‘disorder’ or a ‘mental illness’. You are the one with the illness if you cannot stand sitting down and typing numbers into spreadsheets for 50 hours a week in the middle of a gigantic box of metal and concrete surrounded by thousands of people and the roaring engines of industrial monstrosities. It’s just a chemical imbalance in your brain! As Kaczysnki said in ISAIF:

Imagine a society that subjects people to conditions that make them terribly unhappy then gives them the drugs to take away their unhappiness. Science fiction? It is already happening to some extent in our own society. Instead of removing the conditions that make people depressed modern society gives them antidepressant drugs. In effect antidepressants are a means of modifying an individual’s internal state in such a way as to enable him to tolerate social conditions that he would otherwise find intolerable.

This is especially the case of antidepressants, anti-psychotics, benzodiazepines, and opiates, which I justifiably called a chemical lobotomy because of the real psychical damage they cause the brain and body, and the severe numbing of the range of human emotional experiences. There are less lows but there are also less happy times. Many people on antidepressants and anti-psychotics are completely lobotomized into robots and zombies. What a great solution to depression, right? Don’t address the causes of depression, just desperately treat the symptoms. However, to treat the symptoms would mean to prioritize something as trivial as human dignity over the religion of technical development (which is where this myth of the inherent ‘chemical imbalance’ for depression comes from). So, all that the system is willing to do is to numb the pain instead of getting to the root of the problem.

Of course, there are quite a lot of people who do not tip past this threshold where their psychological distress majorly disrupts their function in the industrial system. Even most of these people are beset with a wide arrange of symptoms: boredom, demoralization, low self-esteem, feelings of inferiority, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior, sleep disorders, eating disorders, etc.

Humans evolved slowly over a very long period of time to live and be fulfilled in a general way. While everyone certainly has differences in what they seek in life and the archetypes they become, there are things which are crucial to human well-being. Some of these are basic, such as regular exercise (the importance of which cannot be overstated), healthy sleep, exposure to nature, a healthy diet, etc. Just with the sedentary lifestyle of the modern man, most people are lacking in a major factor for our psychological health. However, one of the most crucial aspects of fulfillment is nearly totally deprived from us industrial civilians, that being the ability to go through what Kaczysnki called ‘The Power Process’.

In short, people need to have goals whose attainment require effort, and they need to have reasonable success in attaining at least some of these goals, and some portion of the population has to have autonomy in the selection and attainment of their goals. Of course most people have goals whose attainment requires effort, but the basic necessities of life are so easily attained by going through the motions to get and work a job, that these serve little to no fulfillment of the power process. The means to secure our physical necessities are so alienated from what we have evolved to do that they leave one empty, even when these are attained, and people have little to no autonomy in these goals. They work the orders of their boss handed down from above. Even freelancers and business owners are beholden to the demands of their economic niche. So, people select surrogate activities to try and emulate the power process. While these can be important for anyone, they still do not fulfill this process in a way that fits into the gears of the mind.

Some have little to no distressing symptoms of modernity, and this is mostly because there is a segment of the population which adapts easier to these industrial conditions. On top of that, we are provided with myriad distractions to placate us, entertainment media, drugs, consumerism, etc, that many are able to pacify their distress their entire lives without being significantly disrupted in their industrial functions. We are sinking further into Huxley’s Brave New World.

It is not my intention to communicate that there is no such thing as a ‘mental illness’ in the absence of civilization, although to some degree this may be the case (I read a piece of literature called ‘The Myth of Mental Illness’ which is a very interesting work on the topic). Also, Terence McKenna has a fascinating idea on ‘schizophrenia’ before civilization and the shamanic role that those who would now be labeled schizophrenic played. However, it is no coincidence that rates of mental illness have exploded and continue to rise as industrial society develops and propagates.

I should mention here that I was processed through the psychiatric industry for years and given over a dozen different drugs to ‘treat’ my depression and anxiety. I was in such a horrible place at one point that I couldn’t leave the house, I did little more than lay in a fetal position all day with suicide on my mind constantly, all day, every day. I eventually recognized that I wasn’t even giving myself a fighting chance other than hoping for a pill to cure my web of underlying issues. I went off the meds, began exercising regularly, refined my diet, spent a great deal of time outdoors, got healthy sleep, stopped watching porn entirely, committed myself to reading daily, meditation, among other things. Exercise was the cornerstone of this structure. It greatly improved my self-esteem and gave me the drive to take care of myself, and the rest of it came to be.

The improvement of my psychological health came with the effort I put into it. Now I am living on my homestead, producing my own food with my own hands and being a humble audience to the fantastical natural divinity around me. Never before have I felt as happy and fulfilled as I do now. My doctor was pretty upset with me for a while after I took matters into my own hands and dropped the antidepressants, despite improving to a night-and-day difference from the way I was suffering. Importantly, my power process is being fulfilled with my full autonomy and agency.

Stay safe – Normandie

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