(crossposted from the front page of My Left Wing)
First of all, the stereotype for hippies is about as reliable as the stereotype for any other people, that is to say not at all. Hippy culture was never monolithic. It encompassed well over half of every kind of kid there was in the late 60s and early 70s, and spanned every socio-economic strata of American society. If you weren’t a hippy in those days, what you know and think about hippies is probably wrong. It’s not your fault. The media has distorted the reality as a part of the conservative culture wars.
They are, and have always been, threatened by hippies who never had any trouble seeing straight through them and who consistently called them on their bullshit. Progressivism (or enlightened thinking), started well before the age of the hippies, but for that one seminal decade, hippies were its natural home (though not exclusively of course).
What do you think when you hear the term hippy? Most likely you think of spaced out goofballs without anything more than a tenuous connection to reality, mildly dangerous dope fiends who blather endlessly about inane bullshit, or hippy-dippy airheads without an intelligent thought or coherent idea worth noting. That kind of outrageous distortion is what a conservative and unprincipled media is capable of doing. Were there people who approached the stereotype somewhat? Sure – somewhat, although practically no one is that goofy or detached from reality. Was that a majority? No, not even nearly so in my experience. It was at most a distinct minority, and again none of them were as goofy as the conservative propaganda has many believing. It’s all a rightwing `big lie’, just like the one about liberals being idiots, or pacifists being pushovers. No truth to it, just a big ugly lie told over and over to `catapult the propoganda
Continue reading In Defense of Hippies
While talking to my friend yesterday, we came across the recreational drug usage and its effect on our psychological state. Can LSD cause a person to become bipolar? Was I born this way or did I bring it on myself? I still don’t know for sure, but here are a few things I found out.
Dan Haupt, M.D. says this: It is very common for people who have used drugs to wonder if the drugs may have caused their symptoms.
Street drugs can cause many symptoms that can be found in mental illnesses, such as hallucinations, feelings of unreality, paranoia, and both extremely high and low moods. Because of this, it can be difficult or impossible to accurately diagnose (or treat) mental illness in someone who is also using street drugs.
However, there is very little evidence to suggest that using street drugs can cause bipolar disorder in someone who would have otherwise never developed it. For example, a large percentage of Americans use or have used street drugs, and only a relatively small percentage develop bipolar disorder after such use. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for there to be an apparent association between use of street drugs and development of bipolar disorder. In this situation, most likely one of the following 3 things is happening:
- Pure coincidence, no causal relationship
- The use of street drugs was a form of self-medication in response to already developing symptoms of bipolar disorder
- The drugs may have caused someone who was “destined” to develop bipolar disorder to develop the illness a little sooner.
Therefore, I counsel patients not to blame their past street drug use for the development of their bipolar disorder. However, I do use their diagnosis of bipolar disorder as an opportunity to address any ongoing street drug use. In these situations, I try to impress upon patients the understanding that while some people can use street drugs and alcohol with no obvious ill effects, people with bipolar disorder are at much greater risk for suffering adverse effects from these substances.
In general, current ideas about how mental illnesses like bipolar disorder develop recognize that there are people who have a greater genetic likelihood than others to develop mental illnesses.
Well THAT sure makes me feel better? I don’t think it’s a real disease anyway…. Pfffffftt!