Frail MSM insists Brexit sadness is a real MEDICAL condition
is an author and social commentator. He is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Author of How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century. Follow him on Twitter @Furedibyte
According to sections of the medical profession, people do not simply get angry at political outcomes they don’t like. They claim that events like the Brexit referendum can make you anxious and ill.
Last week the British Medical Journal reported that anxiety about Brexit may have triggered a patient’s psychotic episode. The author of the report, “Acute transient psychotic disorder precipitated by Brexit vote,” claims that “political events can be a source of significant psychological stress.” According to this report, the mental health of a 40-year old man deteriorated rapidly following the announcement of the result of Brexit.Also on rt.com Brexit or greedy big pharma? UK pharmacies on a ‘knife-edge’ amid growing drug shortages
A closer inspection of this report raises questions about the legitimacy of the claim of a Brexit induced psychosis. Apparently, the man has previous history of a similar episode, related to stress at work. So it is likely that the main connection between the man’s psychotic disorder and the Brexit vote is that they occurred at the same time.
What’s important about the BMJ report is that it legitimizes the pre-existing campaign to blame Brexit for people’s mental health problems. It has been evident for some time that sections of the hard-core Remain community have decided to play the illness card.
During the past two years I have encountered numerous acquaintances who reported that their mental health has been severely compromised by the outcome of the Referendum. This sentiment is continually communicated through the media. “Brexit has triggered my anxiety and depressions – and I am not the only one” – declared a journalist in the pro-Remain Metro.Also on rt.com UK govt docs reveal BoJo WILL ask EU for Brexit delay – court
And the numbers of Brexit sufferers never ceases to grow. In case you did not known it: one in three of us is now suffering from Brexit anxiety, according to a recent study by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Predictably, numerous so-called experts and therapists have jumped on the ‘Brexit makes-me-sick’ bandwagon. It is difficult not to feel ill after reading Elle’s “9 Ways to Beat Brexit Anxiety: According To two Psychologists.” With headlines like, “Brexit Anxiety: How To Look After Your Mental Health During Political Chaos,” it is not surprising that some of their readers will reinterpret their political disappointment as a mental health condition.
Advice directed at mentally disturbed millennials is far from neutral. It communicates the idea that if you have not been made ill by Brexit then there is something really wrong with you. So what we have here is a case of political messaging masquerading as helpful advice. Elle’s “9 Ways to Beat Brexit Anxiety” assumes that if you are a millennial then you are likely to have been messed up by Brexit. Either wittingly or unwittingly, publications raising concern about Brexit induced mental illness are actually inciting people to become ill.Also on rt.com Boris Johnson plans to use ‘NUCLEAR WEAPON’ Farage to sabotage EU if Brexit delayed – report
Confusing political problems with medical ones has a corrosive impact on public life. It assumes that people lack the intellectual and psychological resources to deal the setbacks and defeats.
A mature democracy should help its citizens to deal with the difficult challenges that they will encounter in the course of their political life. Unfortunately, sections of British society have opted to medicalize it instead, turning citizens into potential patients.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.