Sunday, August 9, 2009

I love drugs

So, I am in the Netherlands, the oft claimed home of drugs and hookers, and was sitting in my room, reading this article from the UK Times about 'love shyness'. In essence, this is supposedly an emergent phenomenon (very very weak epistemological emergence, if you could even call it emergence) whereby a bunch of lonely adult males piss and moan about the fact that they were ten years old when had their last girlfriend. Observe:

John has been in love. “Probably just the once. When I was 10 there was this girl I really liked. She was younger than me, so when I went to secondary school I lost contact with her and never saw her again.” He has an enduring memory of playing outside with the girl, and of the sun slowly going down, and never feeling happier. In fantasy he often takes the memory further and, imagining himself as a child again, he kisses her.

Now, this is clearly indicative of some deep seated emotional abnormality, and I don't mean to be cold hearted and lacking empathy when thinking about this - clearly I read this article for a reason, and if I am in a culture renowned for its liberal approach social norms yet sitting inside and reading newspaper articles, I think it safe to say that I am not the most successful pants-man who strode the earth. But then I read this section, and my humour and cynicism and bitterness returned:

Seb says the first step to getting better is recognising that something is wrong and the label helps with that. “I believe LS can be overcome,” he says, “but it’s a long, hard road.”

There are drugs to treat shyness, mainstream antidepressants such as Paxil. But the many possible side-effects include sweating, nausea, lowered libido and suicidal tendencies

Nice. You want to treat a problem that has depression and sexual relations central to it, by application of medications known to lower libido and increase suicidal tendencies? And make the people sweaty and nauseous while on dates? Nice thinking, arse-clown. Maybe just force these guys to smoke Ice and give them a handgun. Might solve their problems, sure it might also have some negative side effects, but hey, as long as we're helping these people, who cares what happens to them.

Which brings me to the vague point of these ramblings - that labelling of socially non-standard behaviour dances easily to the music of medicalization, which as i'm sure we all know is perhaps not the best solution to a given set of problems: I'm lonely, cold inside and my last girlfriend was an eight year-old, twenty-two years ago. Clearly I need drugs to find love.

The words 'parasite' and 'exploitation' seem to bounce around in my head for some strange reason.


Andreea said...

On the bright (?) side, I don't think many psychiatrists would prescribe these people drugs based solely on this description of "love shyness", nor would many psychologists recommend chemical intervention or perform therapy solely for this "condition". I think there would be investigations into potential clinical depression or anxiety and attachment problems, etc. If, say, one of these men was found to be clinically depressed, then perhaps then specific therapy and/or meds might be appropriate for that diagnosis specifically.

And yes - many psychoactive meds sometimes have the opposite effect to what they're meant to address in certain people (or severe side effects). Sometimes just at the beginning, sometimes for a long time. Sometimes drugs originally created for a particular condition are prescribed for something completely different.

I would be concerned if anyone reading that article would go "Yes! That's me in a nutshell! I need drugs!" But I think (hope) the likelihood of that is low.

To be honest I find "LS" as described here a bit...creepy. Also, is there a gender effect? Do women also fantasise about kissing the boyfriends they had when they were 8?


Adam Man Tium said...

Andreea - What you say is true, very true. But the paranoid conspiracy theorist in me is tying things together into a pharma-geddon.
I read an article a while back about Zyprexa, a drug originally for treating schizophrenia, which then had its market increase massively through off label prescribing.

Add to this the idea that patient requests can influence prescribing practice and view this article is like the trojan horse of advertising. You have a possible scenario of manipulated consumers expanding the market of pharmaceuticals for problems like 'love shyness'.

Then again, I could just be paranoid. (I guess that's what they're saying about me anyway.)

And yes, LS as described does seem a little creepy.