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The Medicalization of Unhappiness

Ronald W. Dworkin

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ABSTRACT: Psychoactive medication, much like alcohol or narcotics, causes a disconnect between the inner and outer life. This is the problem with using it to treat everyday unhappiness. The disconnect caused by medication is very different from the state of thoughtful detachment encouraged by many cultures for the purpose of insulating people from everyday disappointment. The latter contributes to wisdom, stability, and maturity; the former creates a state of mind that is stuporous and purposely unknowing. Medical science should confine itself to the treatment of clinical depression, rather than extend itself into the realm of everyday unhappiness. Medical science helps unhappy people by clouding their thoughts, by making them less aware of the world, and by sapping their urge to see themselves in a true light. People medicated for everyday unhappiness gain inner peace, but they do so through a real decrement in consciousness.

For the complete article go to the Hudson Institute website.



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