As Good as It Gets?
By Lee Russ
Sunday, November 27, 2005 at 08:41 AM
Remember the move "As Good As It Gets" from a few years back? At one point in the movie, Jack Nicholson, whose life is being ruined by both obsessive-compulsive disorder and a crappy personality looks at a waiting room full of mental patients and says "What if this is as good as it gets?"
Well I just read a small piece in the UK's The Observer titled "'Hangover hospitals' could go nationwide" that brings that phrase to mind. Story here
And how many people in the US have problems with alcohol? With other drugs? How many people in the US have mental problems bad enough to seek treatment?
The US and UK are pretty far along the path to celebrating :free markets" over "secure people." So to my biased left brain, the question needs to be asked: If we continue to follow social and economic policies that treat people as disposable, that blame the have nots for having not, is this going to be as good as it gets? Field hospitals for drunks and ubiquitous mental clinics for the desperately overwhelmed? Will we look back on these days fondly, as more and more people sink lower and lower, until we abandon the field hospitals and close the mental clinics? Update [2005-11-27 8:53:30 by Lee Russ]:I just realized that the UK's Independent has a similar story, titled "Teen Britain: The shocking truth," which notes that "Teenagers are facing what medical experts warn is "a mental health time bomb" caused by the abuse of drugs and alcohol" [Story here http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article329623.ece]