Tuesday, January 20, 2009

National Mental Health Alert-Our collective sanity challenged by the media

Watching the political events of the last two years I have become increasingly concerned about the lack of our collective mental health. As a nation we have become borderline(a personality disorder that sends chills down the backs of most therapists). We cannot handle stress of any kind, once disappointed we demonize the perceived source of our pain, we take no responsibility for our situations, our moods swing from one end of the spectrum to the other without sufficient cause, we look for quick fixes through drugs,mindless entertainment, we have no internal source of strength nor the ability to self regulate relying on external sources for solutions,and we are ultimately emotion driven abandoning any pretense at logic. Has anyone been concerned at the extreme hatred for President Bush that swung to the almost messianic worship of President Obama? Is there a logical foundation for either expression? Is any one person so powerful that they could warrant either of these responses?

The immense disdain for President Bush really symbolizes a primitive, immature need for a scapegoat for all the negatives of the last 8 years from natural disasters to economic meltdowns, to global warming (which may not exist anyway). Somehow he became the lightning rod for all the combined psychological pain from the left-the narcissistic wound they suffered back in 2000 when Al Gore barely lost the election. That psychological trauma was re-experienced in 2004 when the democrats lost yet again and it has been a borderline rampage ever since. The media is at the forefront of this extreme behavior fomenting both a crazed dislike for President Bush on the one hand while cultivating an equally illogical adoration for President Obama. The psychoanalysts should be having a hey day with this stuff. In true borderline fashion the hatred is then replaced by the need for an idealized figure-enter Barack Obama-a man who found himself, or maybe with some help made himself ,the perfect storm into which he could sail through cleanly to the Presidency. Is it not disturbing or upsetting on some level to think that the most important job in the land is so readily given away without proof of competency other than some one's ability to appear a certain way? I am reminded of the Emperor's New Clothes. Metaphorically speaking he may really be spiritually, emotionally and intellectually "naked". What person shops for a church ? Don't you belong to a church whose doctrines and teachings you think come from God-does this change from city to city? Or again further evidence of an empty suit. Just because everyone, i.e. the media, thinks President Obama is intelligent, caring, patient, kind, empathic and going to fix all of our social, economic and political ills does not mean this is true. It merely means we all have an extreme case of mis-attribution. I believe President Obama has the most intense case of this disorder arrogantly assuming that he is the answer to all our problems and comparing himself to Lincoln, Washington and the like-(does the name Rasputin mean anything to anyone?) These men were great because they were humble, because their character became evident through the trials they faced. If Barack Obama had great character he would not need or want to be self promoting; 1.by authoring two books about himself and 2)before he had really accomplished anything in life. His one book would more accurately be entitled "The Audacity". In addition, if he were truly a great man he would never have sought the office he presently holds realizing that a relatively young,inexperienced person such as himself would not be able to do as good a job as someone with more experience and character that can only come with living a certain amount of time. However, his life has not ever been about realism. It has been about getting bumped to the front of the line, about his pain, his ideas-ultimately about him. Really the man he most reminds me of in terms of historical figures are people such as Napoleon or Alexander Hamilton if you want an American example.

So beware President Obama because the people may act like they love you now but once you have let them down, which you most certainly will because you are just a man and a rather ordinary one at that, then you too will experience the vitriol and venom that results from unrealistic hopes and wants dashed and drowned in the realities of adult life. Borderlines only get better with very long term, intensive treatment and unfortunately our society has yet to clue into the degree of it's dysfunction. So our collective society left untreated will only continue to unravel and you too will experience the pathology unleashed on President Bush. The problem exists in the lack of emotional and spiritual stability in many of the people in our society and especially in the psyche of our media.

And President Bush I would like to apologize for the really bad behavior of many of my fellow citizens. While it is true you too may not have been the person best suited for the Presidency-actually name the person that was other than Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. At least you were honest and had no pretense. You were ironically a lot more humble than your detractors like to characterize you and you did what was best for the country. You kept us safe and gave us a long period of unprecedented prosperity. You are not to blame for Katrina, terrorism, the conflict in the Middle East or the only person responsible for the economic mess we are in. You and your wife handled yourselves with decorum and grace under very difficult circumstances and we thank you for your service.

12 comments:

the pomegranate apple said...

thank you

Liz said...
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Liz said...

Sorry, that delete was me. I goofed with grammar. I just wanted to say how much I loved this post. It's so true. So blindingly true.

Pearl said...

Julann, this is an amazing post! Thank you so much for saying it like it is. This exploration into the collective mind of our desperate citizenry is fascinating, educational, and refreshingly blunt. Honesty in the face of certain adversity is admirable.

"So beware President Obama because the people may act like they love you now but once you have let them down, which you most certainly will...."

Ha! This has actually already happened. Look at how quickly the gay "rights" activists went up in arms when Obama selected Rick Warren for the inaugural invocation! It was a prayer, for crying out loud, not a forged alliance! Imagine the cry of outrage that will meet him should he fail in uniting the nation behind gay "marriage" and abortion. He is an impostor and a fraud, shamelessly and deceptively ambiguous in his political climb. This man is pure rhetoric - empty promises with lackluster solutions (if you can call them that). Argh! Wake up, America!

Ladybug said...

Thank you very much for explaining more fully what I couldn't describe. The sheer level of venom against Bush, the comparisons to Hilter and the like, has always astounded me. Now the sobbing adoration of Obama really concerns me too. Where is the independence, the self-reliance that made Americans able to conquer their challenges? Now the society seems to just want someone to save them from their problems so they can get back to their tv shows. It's very alarming. Here's hoping Obama has more character than he's shown thus far.

thejournalistachronicle said...

This is such a great post! I just wanted to say thank you. Interesting info about our society's mental health. So true!!! I too am grateful for President Bush and all he sacrificed for our country. I loved your last paragraph! I believe he was honest and tried to do what was best for our country and I am very appreciative. Obama will have to put the "celebrity" aside and focus more on being a president that has the country's best interests at heart. I'm not that impressed by the people he has chosen to serve in his cabinet, but hopefully there will be someone who's experienced and has integrity, and hopefully Obama will take their advice.

Margie DeBeikes said...
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Margie DeBeikes said...

Julann, as usual you have the guts to express your thoughts and feelings that so many of us have. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in and for expressing it so eloquently! I miss you!

the organic kitchen said...

Wow! For several years now I have been saying "Something is wrong with the people in this country. Something shifted after 911, like some sort of collective mental illness..." And now I know what it is called! Borderline personality disorder! How insightful. I still do have hope for Obama though! I think people, and the press will be more patient with him and allow him the mistakes and missteps they have not allowed other leaders in the past. My hope is that people now want to be unified and are tired of the anger, so they may just be willing to be led by an inexperienced and imperfect human. I may be a pollyanna, but a girl can hope!

La La said...

The media and the majority of politicians indeed have borderline personality disorder. But remember, Barack Hussein Obama didn't win by a large margin. There are still many people in this country who are moral, honest, decent Americans. Our beliefs, however, are not well represented by our elected officials and most journalists. Keep standing up for what you believe! We need voices that speak logic to balance out those who only speak shallow emotion.

Chris and Mari Spiker said...

I disagree with most of what you wrote. Your opinion is historically inaccurate, myopic, and dishonest. The degree to which your political bias permeates this post causes me to question the accuracy of all your posts.

Julann Nickolaisen, LCSW said...

Dear Chris and Mari,

I apologize for taking so long to respond. I wrote this on the day of the inauguration and was very frustrated so my bias did come through somewhat. Obviously I did not vote for President Obama. However, I do still feel that we have regressed in our collective mental health by being so extreme in our views. My main point is that George Bush is not evil and Barak Obama is not the messiah and that operating in these extremes is not healthy for our society. Both men have good qualities and negative qualities. We are a supposedly advanced, educated country so it must be that we have lost our emotional bearings to respond so irrationally. Certainly there have been times in our past history where there have been vehement political attacks but that was a time when most people weren't educated and had r limited access to information. You would hope that each generation improved on the last but I fear this is not so on an emotional level. The 40's and 50's were a much more civil time and that was a era where there is much to respect and admire. It is sad and disappointing to me that we have abandoned the virtues that undescroed those time periods and have become more psychologically primitive. I believe it is the result of too much ease-see my latest post.