Thursday, July 31, 2008

The mental health profession

I know the mental health profession far to well. I’ve been taken in by the system and spat out the other end. I’ve had more therapists than boyfriends. I’ve taken pills and weaned myself off pills. I’m glad to say I’ve never been hospitalised though I know people who have, and I know members of my family who should have been hospitalised but never were. And I know most of them are crazy themselves. Not just crazy, they’re dangerous. And I know because my mother is one, and she’s the reason why I needed therapy in the first place. Next time I have to find a therapist I think the tables should be turned. I’m going to ask them questions, uncomfortable ones. Questions like: why were you attracted to the profession? Have you ever had major depression? What were your parents like? Are you married? Are you happy with your life? Do you have a personality disorder???

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The alcoholic and the journalist

You get to learn a lot about alcoholism as a journalist, because so many journalist tend to be alcoholics. I, a journalist, often have lunch with a friend, an alcoholic, and also a journalist, and we talk about the disproportionate relationship between the two. He says it’s a practical hazard of the job – getting your sources drunk and talking. But I think it’s something deeper. Something to do with the fast lifestyles and shallow, wandering attentions of the journalist. Something to do with its former glory as a profession. Like the alcoholic who coasts on that special, alcoholic charm – what’s underneath is the incompetence, the years wasted, the unwashed, uncared for mess of a person.