Every Medical Doctor and Psychotherapist has had the experience of trying to treat "the Difficult Patient". There are many types of Difficult Patients, but one in particular stands out by virtue of their persistence and noxiousness: The "Help-rejecting complainer." These are people who come to the Therapist's office suffering greatly, with terrible distress over their difficult lives, painful and unrewarding relationships, and poor future prospects. They have, through no fault of their own, been beaten down by life; their pain is etched all over their faces (both psychic and physical pain) and they almost literally beg for relief. Therapists who miss the tell-tale signs of impending trouble immediately mobilize all their resources to help this needy patient. If the Therapist is a Psychiatrist, the urge to offer multiple medications to relieve their distress is powerful; a non-Medical Therapist is pulled to offer advice and direction, ways to help the person alleviate their distress; sometimes the Therapist finds himself supporting the patient's complaints about the non-responsive helpers who have failed them in the past (which tends to compound the situation.) It is not unusual for such a patient to have tried 10 or 20 different Psychotropic medications; most were completely useless, a few were mildly helpful but had to be stopped because of intolerable side effects (my favorite was the patient who complained bitterly that she couldn't sleep but wouldn't take an effective medication because it was too sedating) and some of the medication was "like poison" and completely unacceptable. Throughout, the subtle (and not so subtle) message is conveyed that if only the Therapist were minimally competent, they would be able to help the patient, but alas, no such luck exists in the poor, suffering soul's life. The patient's demands increase. Why can't they get a modicum of relief? They need more and more powerful medicines. If, by chance, they start to improve, they will typically deny the improvement, or, if it is undeniable, find some fault with the treatment such that they will be reluctantly forced to stop it. They may be so improved, they feel well for a week, two weeks, a month, yet at just the moment they are doing their best, drop out of treatment. They cannot get past their need for failure and misery. Generally, after anywhere from 2-6 months of treatment (depending on the treating Psychiatrist's or Therapist's tolerance and masochism), the Psychiatrist or Therapist finds himself exceptionally frustrated, guiltily imaging ways to refer the person to someone else, and more and more irritable and angry in his personal life. What is going on in this situation and what does it have to do with our political discourse? Allow me to enlighten...
The Help Rejecting Complainer is someone who forms a hostile dependent relationship with people who they need. These people are unaware of their dependency needs and often will loudly proclaim how independent they are; at the same time, their behavior reveals their need for a parental relationship with others who are emotionally important to them. Physicians often get caught up in these types of relationships because they are pre-disposed to help and are easily seen in a parental role (taking care, making everything "all better").
By now you may be starting to see someone familiar in this description. There are, in fact, a while class of dependent people who, at times, fit the profile. The American Adolescent is a child blessed with an adult body and cursed with a child's judgment. They resent their dependency on their parents who embarrass them, often disgust them, and constantly fail them by virtue of their shortcomings as human beings. Adolescents have a number of developmental tasks to perform before entering a psychologically healthy young adulthood. They must give up their omnipotentiality, the feeling that all options are open to them; they can no longer hold the fantasy that they can grow up to be whatever they want. Some just do not have the size or ability to play Major League baseball; not every dancer can become a ballerina. Reality must be acknowledged. It is painful to give up one's childhood fantasies but necessary to become a successful adult.
Along with surrendering the last of one's infantile omnipotence (which lies at the core of our healthy narcissism), one must give up the passive wishes to be taken care of and nurtured. To be independent is hard work and facing true independence (not the pseudo-independence of the child who screams "I don't need anything from you" right before they storm out of your house and drive to their friend in the car you pay for) is frightening. The comfort of knowing someone will always be there to take care of you and make everything all right is not easily given up; and once given up, the knowledge that there is no one standing between you and the dangers in the night is potentially terrifying.
The adolescent who is unable to give up these comforting fantasies will often become an adult who is peculiarly unable to take an active role in creating a society (and taking their place in it as a productive member) and protecting themselves and others. Furthermore, because these people are responding to conflicted, unconscious dependency needs, it is literally impossible to satisfy them. This is an apt description of our MSMocrats today.
Hugh Hewitt describes the escalation in rhetoric and demands today.
Dymphna describes Reuters' increasingly shrill attempts to push their agenda.
The increasingly indispensable and brilliant Michelle Malkin highlights how the media traffic in outright fabrications to try to make their case.
Tomorrow, I plan to suggest some "prescriptions" that may help in addressing the problem of the adolescent MSMocrats, along with some reason for hope that the worst will not come to pass.
Dr. Sanity is on the same wavelength today in her post:
Where once in the not-too-distant past in this country, people might be grateful that we have a federal government capable of responding to such horible and devastating natural disasters and producing the money to rebuild both individual lives and the city itself; nowadays all we hear is the shrieks of narcissistic rage because nothing is ever fast enough, good enough, or even sincere enough.
With this primitive regression from adulthood and maturity; is it any surprise that denial, paranoia and projection run rampant--all three in the class of the most primitive and infantile emotional defenses--defenses that are usually completely abandoned for the most part by mature and responsible adults?
Is it any suprise that the conspiracy theories that are put forward by the denizens of the DU, ignorant left-leaning blogs or even by supposedly reputable adults, are the same caliber as the most paranoid of schizophrenics; the most psychotic and delusional of the brain damaged?
This psychological regression to childhood on the part of many adults in our country--and which is championed and even ecouraged by the Left in the cult of victimhood that they worship--has reached a state where it now seriously impedes the adult functioning of this country.
As I am inclined to tell my slightly pre-adolescent daughter, "Fine, you don't like things here; or the decisions that your father and I are making? Well, when you grow up, you don't have to live here and you can make different decisions. Until then, that's the way it is."
Let me rephrase that so that the alternately infantile and adolescent members of the Left and the Democratic Party can understand: Act more like adults and maybe people will vote for you in 2006 or 2008. Until then, that's the way it is.