"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Eyes Wide Shut
dupe Function: noun Etymology: French, from Middle French duppe, probably alteration of huppe hoopoe 1 : one that is easily deceived or cheated : FOOL 2 : anyone who ascribes to the teachings of Scientology like Tom Cruise does
I never know what I'll hear when I talk to Dani. She is a true chimera, changing colors like the glistening skin of a June bug in a hot August sunbeam. But I didn't expect this.
"All of these medicines are what is making me sick, so I'm not going to take them any more. I'm not sick, I never was sick, everything that's wrong with me is just side effects of these pills, and they're poison."
Now, Dani, bless her heart, has one of the more serious cases of bipolar disorder of anyone I know. It has wrecked her life. She knows better than this.
"Now, Dani, you and me both know..."
"But Cliff," she replied in the frantic way only a person having a hypomanic episode can do, "I saw this guy on TV and he went into all kinds of detail about this, and do you know that huge amounts of people on these pills commit suicide? Why, psychiatry isn't even a real science!"
I was flabbergasted. What in the world had happened to her? Thirty minutes later I finally accepted that, at least for now, there was nothing I could do to change her mind. So I promised to give her a ring in a couple of days to check on her, knowing that by then she would be crashing horribly, most likely.
Poor thing. I hate seeing people hurt like I knew she was going to.
Later, I heard on CNN just who the "expert" was that Dani had listened to. Was it one of the pop psychologists? Was it some far eastern guru? Health food salesman?
It was Tom Cruise. The actor.
So what was the exchange? It was during an interview with Matt Lauer, when Cruise was asked about derogatory remarks he made about Brooke Shields having taken Paxil for post partum depression:
Cruise: I've never agreed with psychiatry, ever. . . . And as far as the Brooke Shields thing, look, you got to understand, I really care about Brooke Shields. I think, here's a wonderful and talented woman. And I want to see her do well. And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science.
Lauer: But Tom, if she said that this particular thing helped her feel better, whether it was the anti-depressants or going to a counselor or psychiatrist, isn't that enough?
Cruise: Matt, you have to understand this. Here we are today, where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric-shocking people, OK, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs. Do you know what Adderall is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?
Lauer: The difference is --
Cruise: No, no, Matt.
Lauer: This wasn't against her will, though.
Cruise: Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt --
Lauer: But this wasn't against her will.
Cruise: Matt, I'm asking you a question.
Lauer: I understand there's abuse of all of these things.
Cruise: No, you see. Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do.
Lauer: Aren't there examples, and might not Brooke Shields be an example, of someone who benefited from one of those drugs?
Cruise: All it does is mask the problem, Matt. And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. . . . There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.
There's more. You can read the whole thing here on Drudge if you like. And there, in the wings so to say, is my friend Dani and who knows how many thousands of others. Every single one of them has a chemical imbalance, and they would give anything, do anything, for this to not be true. And here is Tom Cruise, looking so confident and authoritative, stating as fact that there is "no such thing."
And so Dani stops the meds. And with her, thousands of others. How many will lose their lives as a result, facing demons they never needed to face again?
We go out, and we don't always come back. - The Whitlams, Eternal Nightcap