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http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/04/15/130415fa_fact_faludi?cu… - Overactive Guilt Gland, Underactive Drive
2013 April 23rd
04:19 pm
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Medical researchers have long puzzled over schizophrenia’s late emergence (it was first diagnosed in 1911, in Switzerland) and its prevalence in the industrial world, where the illness is degenerative and permanent. (In “primitive” societies, when it exists at all, it is typically a passing malady.) In 2005, when Jean-Paul Selten and Elizabeth Cantor-Graae, experts on the epidemiology of schizophrenia, reviewed various risk factors—foremost among them migration, racism, and urban upbringing—they found that the factors all involved chronic isolation and loneliness, a condition that they called “social defeat.” They theorized that “social support protects against the development of schizophrenia.”
Chronic isolation and loneliness? Yep. That's me.

As a teenager, I used to tell people I was schizophrenic. I wasn't really. But as an adult, I have come close.
The second-wave feminists had hoped to alleviate this isolation through the refuge of sisterhood. “We were like pioneers who’d left the Old Country,” Phyllis Chesler, a feminist psychologist and the author of “Women and Madness” (1972), told me. “And we had nowhere to go back to. We had only each other.” That is, until the movement’s collapse. Last fall, as I interviewed New York’s founding radical feminists, the stories of “social defeat” mounted: painful solitude, poverty, infirmity, mental illness, and even homelessness. In a 1998 essay, “The Feminist Time Forgot,” Kate Millett lamented the lengthening list of her sisters who had “disappeared to struggle alone in makeshift oblivion or vanished into asylums and have yet to return to tell the tale,” or who fell into “despairs that could only end in death.” She noted the suicides of Ellen Frankfort, the author of “Vaginal Politics,” and Elizabeth Fisher, the founder of Aphra, the first feminist literary journal. “We haven’t helped each other much,” Millett concluded. We “haven’t been able to build solidly enough to have created community or safety.”
Trying to be a revolutionary is dangerous. Conservatism a path of safety.

For most of my life, I was too much on my own. Too surrounded by a religion I could not accept, too afraid to give up the safety net of my family, to distrustful of all outside the church I hated.

I don't know how to trust people, how to live.

(1 comment | comment)

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Date:2013 April 24th 05:41 am (UTC)
its ridiculous how isolated so many americans are. we're not friendly toward each other, we're not friendly to foreigners. just this week it was reported that the older boston bomber felt isolated & unaccepted by his american peers. could someone reaching out to him & showing a friendly interest helped him? who knows? but its fucking sad that we shun each other so much.

i know my social circle has gotten much smaller IRL because i just don't have the time or inclination to care about so many people who don't really care about me. i used to throw parties were 100-200 people would show up just to drink & hang-out. for my 28th birthday party where i celebrated the fact that my rapist hadn't also murdered me as he intended to do, maybe 5 people showed up although i had invited close to 30. so its more important to drink my free booze than it is to celebrate my victory over death? no thanks & fuck you.

my mental illness is by turns isolating & incredibly social. i guess in that, i'm "lucky" because my sociability brings people to me who will wait until i emerge from my cave of depression. if anything, its my manias that drive people away because i just have so much energy & i tend to get irritable & aggressive.

trust is a thing tentatively offered, gently built, not blindly given. trust is a form of faith & probably the only faith i have in anything. its a wonderful thing to have & a terrible thing to have shattered.
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