Sam Wilson

The right to be moody

2004-11-22 12:24

Let me start by saying that I believe in anti-depressants.

Be they of the old tricyclic variety, the newer SSRIs bunch or even spankier NSRIs... blister-packs of pills which make people happier are seriously useful things.

Hell, if you are flailing about emotionally and need pills to help you interact better with the world at large... far be it from me to say that it isn't a good idea. Often, they are a GREAT idea.

One thing I do want to ask though, is... remember a world where it was okay to be moody? Where personalities came in all shapes and sizes, and life could accommodate a fair swathe of them?

There have always been people who have emotional and/or chemical problems which make it hard, or even impossible, for them to function in the world at large.

But has there ever been a time in history when millions upon millions should feel this way? How many tens of millions of scripts needed to be written up, and how many billions of dollars have to flow into the coffers of global drug companies before we start asking the glaringly obvious question: What is GOING ON here?

When is it that we start questioning whether society has to change to suit the people living in it, rather than the people medicating themselves so that they can live in society?

Did the Stepford dystopia simply find a chemical as opposed to robotic reality, with Ritalin extending the horror from wives to children too?

When did conformity elevate itself to the status of a religion? And what are we all conforming to anyway... the ability to live a rat-raced life in a blinkered world that values productivity over happiness? Surely, surely we took a wrong turn here somewhere.

As your basic lazy liberal, these arguments for me tend to constitute the odd drunken dinner party conversation, right before we all call it a night so we can get into our designated spots in the gridlocked traffic by 08:00 the next morning.

All I can say though is that I, personally, am very good at being extremely happy. I am also a dab hand at sadness.

In a nutshell, I can be a trifle moody... much like everyone else on the planet. And if society isn't up for the challenge... well, maybe... sometimes, it's the world that needs the chill pill.

And, if we all started saying that out loud... maybe things could start to change.

What do you think? Send your comments to Sam.

  • Sam Wilson is a strategist for a customer publishing company and a columnist for a variety of magazines.

  • Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


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