Dr. Bruce E. Levine , author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy, expands on his thesis, first explored in an article for Alternet.org, that the American people have been so continually disappointed by their leadership that we’ve adopted the defeated mindset of a chronic abuse victim, in these clips from his interview with Max Keiser of On the Edge.
Max Keiser: OK. You say bringing flowers can be a form of abuse. But to be more specific I think this plays into your your thought about the medicalization of the abuse syndrome. So instead of getting flowers, people are getting meds. Could you speak about this a little bit?
Bruce E. Levine: Yeah, I mean I think, you know, my industry, I’m in the mental health profession here in the U.S. I’m a psychologist, and I spend a good part of that article confronting what my business, my, which is not so much a profession, a business these days, and what they’ve done to contribute, and I think they’ve contributed to the abuse syndrome in many ways. They’ve taken a lot of our most potentially rebellious and non-compliant young people out there and labeled them with all kind of diseases, the most obvious being something called oppositional defiant disorder, which is an increasingly popular diagnosis here in the United States for kids who just argue with adults, who refuse to comply with adults, who are stubborn, until what—
MK: How odd!
BL: Yeah, I mean, I’m not being facetious here, I’m not joking about that, that’s going on, and they’re increasingly subjected to medica… drugs and behavior modifications. But there’s even a larger group of folks who I think are being described as mentally ill who are engaged in more of a passive rebellion. So there’s millions of kids out there who are bored in boring schools who just don’t pay attention ’cause it’s not interesting for them. They’re not getting anything out of it, and so they are being labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And so you’ve got millions more who are just depressed, who are completely depressed because their lives are completely alienating, they hate what they’re doing for a living, they’re working on jobs only to hold onto health insurance, their lives are miserable, and so, you know, they’re medicalized with a mental illness, and that’s how my profession, the mental health profession, is culpable, is guilty in being one of the oppressors, being one of the abusers.