First Published 9-28-10
We learned recently that the recession is over. I don’t know about you, but personally I am having a hard time believing it. And it’s not just me. I know a lot of people that can’t come to grips with the fact that the recession in over. That is why I became very attentive when a Fox propaganda piece titled “The Mental Recession” appeared on my television screen. The following is as much of the interview as I can stomach reiterating. Dr. Keith Ablow, Assistant Professor at Tufts Medical School, and board certified in adult, adolescent, and forensic psychiatry, is being interviewed by Fox reporters on Fox Business Live.
Reporter: Dr. Keith, great to have you. Welcome. So people are really concerned about unemployment as we know is surging, but the stock markets been up for four consecutive weeks. So is there a bit of a disconnect going on?
Dr. Albow: I think there is a disconnect. People psychologically are traumatizable. Right, if they go to war; if they experience a recession. They don’t come out of it immediately as the charts indicate they should. They really feel thins. So yes, the recession can last internally and have its own economic effects even after the charts say it should be otherwise.
Reporter: Dr. Ablow, how much do you think is real and how much of it in terms of medically diagnosable and how much of it is perceived, because I think a lot of times, people get bombarded with this bad news. It’s terrible, it’s awful, and then they start to think it awful even though it might not be that bad.
Dr. Albow: Well that true but a number of forces here are at work. One is that people are not only going to need evidence that the numbers are moving in the right direction and there’s a lag time to that because again psychologically we can be traumatized into thinking, “Oh my God, it’s going to happen again, I’m going to open that mail box, it’s another bad letter.” But also, people have lost their faith in government. People don’t believe necessarily that any number that says good things are on the way, that those cannot be trusted. So the failure of trust in our government is yet another layer that people need to overcome.
Reporter: So if you’re one of these people who are really concerned and felling completely overwhelmed about their prospects; what advice do you have for them?
Dr. Albow: Here’s what you do. You don’t internalize the recession. Look, I understand I just said that people do but you can cognitively tell yourself, “I’m not going to do that. This recession is outside of me. I’m still possessed of unique skills. I have my experiences. What I need to do is an inventory of those things that I can bring to bear. Now because my intension is that I’m going to write very good chapters of my life story going forward fifty pages down the line in my life story. Things are going to take a turn for me and I’m preparing for that right now.”
I have in the past read a few books on psychology just to see how much of this field of study is based on scientific fact. Beyond primal reactions I found the subject matter to be purely theoretical. The fact is that down to our DNA there are no two human beings exactly the same. Therefore, logic dictates that there can be no way to set a psychological standard. Any person claiming that they know the mind of another person better than he or she has to be purporting the epitome of arrogance.
However, always being one for adventure, I grabbed up pencil and notebook and wrote down every word that came into my mind during the interview, and this is what I got: quack, fake, phony, charlatan, propagandist, b. s., and poppycock. These had to be the most ludicrous assertions I have ever heard put forth.
I look over at my wife; she has black circles under her eyes, as do I. The reason being that, since running out of unemployment, we have only averaged about four hours a night of sleep because we are kept awake worrying as to where we are going to get the money to pay our bills.
I guess maybe I should just stop worrying, get out my little journal and start an entry fifty pages ahead portraying a trip to town to buy a new wallet to put all the money in that I will be making in my new life story. Of course reality would dictate that if I write in the journal rather than staying focused on the problem at hand, I will end up writing in the journal under a bridge.
I have been trying to decipher just why this ridiculous piece was even aired. I have concluded that maybe the international corporate mafia is trying to create a new mental illness. They might even call it 99ers Syndrome, diagnosable and treatable. Treatment might include a stay at a reeducation center, Zoloft, Prozac, Thorazine, Quaaludes, and electroshock therapy. And I guess one could be considered cured when he or she could admit to their self that, when big brother says the recession is over, by God, it’s over and that the wind, rain, and snow whistling through the bridge you’re living under is all in your mind.