Apparently, the administration has issued rules requiring parity for
mental health treatment with other illnesses. They’ll take effect July
1st. If you want to know why health insurance costs keep marching
upward seemingly uncontrolled, this is why: mandating new benefits is
always popular, and the government doesn’t have to pay for them.
am very sympathetic to the plight of the mentally ill.Unfortunately,
most of the people who will tap the benefits are not severely ill
people who need intensive care; they’re people who are unhappy.
Unhappiness is not a condition for which psychotherapy, or
antidepressants, have been shown to be very effective.(Severe
clinical depression, yes. But contrary to the belief of people who
felt awfully down the time their boyfriend left them, these two
conditions are not the same thing.) Since the moderately unhappy and
dissatisfied are much more prevalent than those with serious disorders,
that’s most of what we’ll be paying for: someone to listen to
complaints. That’s what Senators are supposed to be for.
Right. She knows this, and she’s sure she knows the difference, just as she’s certain the rest of us don’t. She can tell when you need help and when you really need a glib blog entry telling you your problems aren’t anything anyone needs to care about. Whiners. Why don’t you just suck it up? So your boyfriend left you, so your mom died, so what? Quit your bitching.
I’m trying not to say any of the things that are going through my mind at the moment, my mind that just this week kind of skipped a few beats and threw me into a totally unproductive tailspin in which I wasn’t eating or sleeping that resulted in Mr. A having to sit me down and discuss all the ways in which I was not allowed to go back to the way I was nine years ago, because what Megan’s really saying is what a lot of people say about mental illness.
If it’s invisible, it doesn’t exist. If it involves you just walking around looking pretty normal, going to work and driving your car, it doesn’t exist. It’s only “really” mental illness when you’re homeless and filthy and gibbering to yourself on the street corner, when you’re talking to Winston Churchill or your dead brother in the lunch line, when you’re describing your plans to meet with the president to discuss your appointment to the Commission for Opening a Door to the Star Trek Dimension. Unless it’s like that, you’re not really serious about being sick.
Unless it looks like that, it’s just you, being weak. You’re costing people money because you’re weak. Stop being so weak. That’s what Megan and people like her say. And they pull out these examples, that they were depressed when their
dog died or their wife ran off with the sandwich counter dude, as if
it’s the same thing just because from the outside it looks like the
same thing. Just because we’re both here on the couch eating Lucky Charms from the box doesn’t mean our synapses are firing in unison.
Depression = unhappiness, is what a lot of people think, and they think anti-depressants make you happy. Do you know how much Iwish anti-depressants made you happy? Do you know how much I wish I didn’t need, say, a successful career or a good relationship or an involving hobby or a safe home or friends or family or books or movies or great TV or bad TV or those grocery-store frosted sugar cookies or ANY of the things you non-depressed people need to be happy? I’d save the U.S. economy billions, just from the sugar cookies alone. Taking anti-depressants, getting therapy, doing whatever I have to do to treat my illness isn’t making me happy. It’s making me sane. And if you don’t know the difference, God, I hope you never find yourself in the position of having to figure it out.
Megan’s whole THING here is just one more iteration of the entire health care debate, which is that my care is necessary and virtuous and yours means you are trying to scam something, and I get to decide because I’m just better than you. I knew the debate would go like this, so it’s not exactly a surprise. And as with most of these arguments about imaginary shitty, lazy people who will take us all for a ride, I would much much rather be taken for a ride by some mythical welfare queen or ten than let even one person go one day without a doctor saying, as one so gently said to me nine years ago, “You don’t have to live like this anymore.”
(And for all Megan’s fiscally responsible commenters talking about how this alone will raise health care premiums beyond our ability to pay, well, that’s why all us dirty fucking hippies out here have been trying to dismantle the goddamn system, but hey, it’s much easier to make up paper doll depressives and then set them on fire. Assholes.)