Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's wrong with you?!?!

Wow! Contrary to what you’re about to read, I believe I might just have no words for the article I just read. So, I’m perusing CNN.com and come across an article that diagnosis a new psychological disorder that is, and I quote, “running rampant in Americans… and is at the heart of modernity’s most common problems.” You know, a statement like is bound to raise some eyebrows and keep this blogger reading, so that’s exactly what I did (eyebrows raised and all).

As I delved into the article, my 1st warning sign should have been the source. This article wasn’t pulled from the AP nor have a byline from a renowned psychologist. In one filthy, unadulterated malevolent word: Oprah. That’s right kids! She builds schools, gives away cars, and is also a conduit for pseudo-psychological mumbo-jumbo (I believe that is the technical term).

So, besides the source/endorsement of evil, what is the subject that put such bend in my boxer-briefs? The answer: empathy deficit disorder (EDD). It states that many American’s aren’t empathetic enough! To an extent, this is probably true. But, a closer look at the ‘why’ would probably be more fruitful than coming up with new ways to label someone a B!+©H.

For starters, Americans as a culture spend way too much time labeling deficiencies in character as ‘disorders.’ Now, all of these disorders come from real problems and real people have them and should be treated accordingly. But the diagnoses are so abundant that it seems that something is wrong with everyone nowadays. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical world just sits back and watches the money roll in while Tom Cruise leaps over ottomans condemning their usage. I highly doubt that EDD is on par with bulimia, manic-depression, and/or bi-polar disorder. Let’s deal with the bigger things before we start inventing new and highly superficial disorders.

Also, I personally find it hard to empathize with people, because people are like snowflakes: each one is different. What are the chances that my life events align with another individual’s enough to give me a clear enough picture of what to say/feel/think/do? Devastating, shocking, and other highly emotional situations that could use a little empathy require an immense amount of tact to approach. These are times where there isn’t a foot big enough in the world to make up for a slip of the tongue.

I think the biggest reason people are less empathetic is because in the past someone trying to be empathetic just ended up being pathetic. This universe must be spinning crazier than plates at a three ring circus because it seems to revolve around every individual on the planet. People (myself included) are at time so self-centered that their version of ‘empathy’ turns into a 10 minute story about themselves and there somewhat similar experience. I’m sorry, but when something bad happens to me, I don’t wanna hear your story with emotional embellishment that makes your woe exponentially worse than mine. That’s just me, but we all have that friend that is so competitive he/she is faster, smarter, and even has worse days than you. That’s not empathy. So, labeling this behavior a ‘deficit’ is incorrect. The person is merely an idiot.

So, I honestly can’t decide what got me more miffed. Was it the stamp of approval by Oprah.com? Or was it the flood of pseudo-psychology that is becoming the new American Way? Or was it possibly that I’m not a very empathetic person and don’t like to be described in terms of acronyms? Well, IDK. All I know is, I think that EDD is a steaming load of BS. People have REAL problems, do we really need to make up fake ones???

3 comments:

Emily said...

I think this goes hand in hand with the American idea that we have to be tolerent of everything. No one is wrong in America! We are tolerent of and empathize with everyone! If you tell me I'm wrong, you obviously have EDD! It makes me furious, actually.

Sarah Renee said...

and if you were not there... they would ask about you and wish that you were there!!!

Sarah Renee said...

oops I commented on the wrong one.. what else is new