It’s interesting that in our economic system it makes more sense not to cure an illness, but instead to treat the symptoms forever. What is the motivation for pharmaceutical companies to find a cure when that would end the profit-making capabilities of the illness? The most practical alternative for pharmaceutical companies, and even doctors, dentists, hospitals, psychiatrists and the like, is to keep treatment going for as long as possible.
I’m not making any accusations here, and I’m not saying anything new. I’m simply looking at the issue from the perspective of what our economic system validates and produces versus what an economic system that actually values life would validate and produce. When I did a little research about OCD I discovered that it is very common and it is generally treated with medication, and/or behavior modification (cognitive therapy) for an average of three hours a day. Most sites admit very little is known about the causes of OCD and are not sure why the medication works. Many sites asked for donations to assist them in their research. I also noticed that the impact of OCD on society was measured in damages, in other words, how much money is lost, or how much society has to pay to treat people with the disorder. Lastly I noticed that statistically, many sufferers do not seek treatment.
What I derive from these findings is that our economic system does not support adequate research into illnesses and disorders. That would require substantial resources to be diverted into the research, study and one-on-one treatment of people in need over a long period of time. Although in the long run this would probably produce more productive and healthy human beings- why cut profit when you can inadequately fund research (proven by the fact that research companies are asking for donations from the public), and still make billions of dollars from the sales of pharmaceuticals and other forms of treatment.
In terms of the high incidence of OCD sufferers who do not seek treatment, the most common reason given was that they were ashamed and embarrassed about their disorder.
If you take all the information into consideration you’ll notice three things:
1) When a country’s ‘success’ and ‘health’ is measured by its wealth, then sick people are a liability. They are an expense and a burden to society. They are then a threat to the prosperity and well-being of others. This creates a stigma around health issues and psychological health, and makes it hard to ‘come out’ about having an illness or disease.
2) If someone suffering from OCD is not from a country with universal healthcare, or can’t afford insurance, then treatment is simply not an option. Also, behavioural treatment can take hours a day and requires serious commitment. This can become difficult when you spend the majority of your day at a job and then get home at the end of the day to the rest of life’s responsibilities.
(Then there are all the countries in the world that lack adequate professionals, facilities, education and literacy to even begin thinking about the treatment of psychological disorders, due to lack of money).
3) Our society doesn’t promote health and healing or the self-introspection required to realize that: a) you have a mental disorder, and b) that you require help. As we rush around in life from one distraction to the next we become blind to who we really are and what’s going on inside of us. Society rather promotes us doing whatever we want, whenever we want, and then taking a pill as a ‘quick fix’ to make us feel better. And if we can’t afford a pill we can go have a drink, or a toke, or get layed, or seek an adrenaline rush, or watch porn and/or masturbate, or go shopping, or gamble, or go partying, or watch TV, or pray…. Society offers us an endless array of services to keep us occupied from really investigating our inner experience of ourselves.
We need a system proposed to replace and re-define the capitalistic system that currently exists. Our current system is obviously not working out for most of the world’s population, and the shrinking middle class is starting to also feel the harsh realities of this system as well. It’s a system of competition where the winners take all. In a system that values life, resources are not limited by money, but by supply; so if there’s enough food on the planet to feed everybody, then everybody will eat. If there are enough doctors to treat the sick, the sick will be treated, and if there’s enough shelter, transportation and technology for everybody to receive protection from the elements and all the resources required for a dignified life, then they will get them. And the fact is that there are enough resources to provide everybody with a dignified life. And where there aren’t, attention will be focused and practical solutions will be worked towards instead of wasting all our time and resources on services to distract us, medicine that doesn’t cure us, and junk and gadgets that we don’t need. Money will be backed by the value of life, and so the quality of life will be the foremost priority of the system.
We need to value Life as the capital that creates wealth, and within such a system, the treatment of diseases and disorders such as OCD will be funded and researched unconditionally until solutions are found. Sick people and people with mental disorders will be provided unconditional care and treatment for as long as it takes until they are effectively cured. They will not been seen as a liability or a burden to society, but rather as keys to unlock the mysteries of the human physical mind and body, so that the next generation can be born into a world where similar disorders are immediately identified and effectively treated- worldwide.