Sunday, 6 July 2008


Lasch argues that every age has its own forms of mental illness which simply mirror, in exaggerated form, the basic characteristics of that age. In Freud’s time the dominant mental illness was hysteria and obsession neurosis. These writes Lasch, ‘carried to extremes the personality traits associated with the capitalist order at an earlier stage in its development – acquisitiveness, fanatical devotion to work and a fierce repression of sexuality’. In our age, by contrast, the dominant illnesses have been schizophrenia and ‘borderline’ personality disorders. These, he writes, seem to signify a societal change from inner-direction to narcissism. According to Lasch, narcissism and its traits – pansexuality, hypochondria, corruptibility, shallowness, the inability to mourn – are simply the best way of coping with warlike social environment where friendships and family life are hard to sustain, where relationships are shallow, where there is no sense of historical continuity, and where consumption and glamour are emphasised.

Extract from Drawing Down the Moon - by Margot Adler


Anonymous said...

i like this. i have a friend i really love, that tells me he's a narcissist. i'm not going to lie, this term is still new to me. i know he's a great person, no matter his flaws, i know his heart better than he does. he says he doesn't have one, but i know he damn sure does. but i like how at the end it goes into reasonings for narcissism. i've tried to look up articles about dealing with narcissists. (not only is he a narcissist, he's an male ARIES...) all i got were articles about how i need to rid myself of the narcissist, how he's going to crush me, how to get rid of him and avoid future relationships with narcissist... very unhelpful. this article makes sense to me. he has bounced from relationship to relationship, fickle bonds, mentally abusive relationships. he was with a girl 2 yrs and while he was deployed overseas she dumped him via email and it's all left him very 'i need to take care of ME.' am i making sense? anyways, thanx for posting this, i enjoy your blog. :)

dragonfly said...

Hello Vanessa, just in case you happen across this way, thank you for posting your comment. I enjoy looking at different discplines through a range of standpoints. As I think like most things are complex. I have trained in therapuetic models and work in social care. So I am critical of how society is patholigizing behaviour which can be a 'normal' response to an unhealthy situation. All the Best, Elizabeth