Re: Emotional Plague

Gil Hardwick (
Fri, 28 Apr 1995 11:13:06 GMT

In article <>, Curious ( writes:
>I don't have any citable data, but we discussed suicide in my high school
>health class. As far as I remember women might well be using pills as a
>"cry for help". Also, our teacher said that women tend to be more
>violent and final with suicide attempts. We read about 2 high school
>friends (girls) who killed themselves together by lying on train tracks.
>I find it all very bizarre, of course that is just my judgement.

For quite a time here we had chronic problems with valium abuse most
especially among suburban housewives stuck at home all day every day
with small children, fortunately eased very considerably with the
advent of feminist action and their assertion of the intrinsic worth
of women and their valued role in society.

Some people are blaming what they perceive to be "youth problems" on
that freeing up of women's roles, even though in general they have in
turn actually shown signs of abating. My opinion is that people are
merely out more often; not stuck out of sight there at home going
steadily loopy for want of personal recognition and good old human

That does not resolve the overall seriousness of continuing problems,
however. At one extreme we had one teenage boy here who had castrated
himself first, then cut his own penis off, and finally when that did
not make him feel any more accepted he jumped in front of a suburban
passenger train. In short, whatever he tried to bring attention to
himself only brought the very wrong sorts of attention.

Far more frequently the symptoms exhibit as continuing self-abuse
rather than actual self-inflicted injury, although it is only that
post-puberty is the first real test of an individual's social worth
and therefore the first real danger period. If they get through that
the next high risk age group are early to mid 30s when the pattern
starts to repeat all over again.

When you get parents at that age with children in their mid-teens, the
crap can really hit the fan in a big way. The 9-10 year olds will as
likely tell their parents to grow up a bit and try to take over the
running of the household themselves, but 14 year olds won't and the
whole set of relationships comprising the family unit can collapse
completely leaving them all grieving and bereft at that point.

Having got past forty myself, and from experience with so very many
others past that point, things appear to settle down quite a lot as
life is often finally just accepted for what it is, like it or not.
It is interesting that few Aboriginal groups ever recognised people
as mature enough to marry until then; that is, take on full parental
responsibility as such.

In addressing the problem an anthropologist will tell you of course
that Western society has to change; the way we fail to relate to one
another and to nurture one another through childhood as fellow human
beings and "age peers" has to change, else there is no foundation on
which teenagers and young adults can build positive self-esteem and a
sense of real worth "out there".

It is probably no longer news that I myself adhere to the view that
Westerners have to get real finally. You don't have to "like" one
another, or be "nice" or "polite" to one another; as often being real
hot mad at someone will contribute far more to their own self-esteem
than some crappy shallow "niceness" only waiting for an opportunity
to escape the encounter.

But there you go . . .

He who refuses to qualify data is doomed to rant.
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