My guess is that if none of us had to worry about “money” and a roof over our heads and food on the table then anxiety would be a thing of the past…maybe an over simplistic view…x
It is a simplistic view Helen but I think that people are now pressured/conditioned to want or expect more from life. Less is more is the way to go for a calmer life.
In the circumstances you outline, Helen, anxiety would come again into its own, as an impetus to corrective action to address its causes, and restore equilibrium, even if that meant accepting the notionally unacceptable. When there is no hope, acceptance of the inevitable is its own balm, because it is invincible. It is the irreducible legacy of human existence, and as commonplace as shit.
But just imagine if none of us lived in fear of scarcity or lack…imagine the drop in crime rates if no one felt it necessary to steal whatever…a couple of tyres…a tankful of petrol…raiding a cashpoint…home ownership in uk has been promoted as something to strive for whilst in Germany the majority are quite happy to rent…I don’t know how they deal with their elderly…in uk just look at the number of people trying to care for parents with Alzheimer’s for instance…being told by social services that even if they were 50 members of family they couldn’t provide what their mother/father needs…taking care decisions out of the caring hands of family but quite happily placing them in a care home costing over £1000 per week…and when the kids can’t pay which let’s face it there’s not many families could afford £4000 a month…going after the house…so not only the unendurable “anxiety” of losing a parent twice over…but the unendurable “anxiety” of losing everything their parents ever strived for…! I feel a new world is possible and on a quiet day I can hear her breathing…
I don’t disagree with your aspirations, Helen, but would suggest that anxiety is not the same as fear, it is more of a neurophysiological alert to a state of emergent need requiring our attention. Like pain, hunger or thirst it is an essential feature of sentience.
Anxieties about losing parents or possessions are conditioned by culture and upbringing, and are neither natural nor should they be disabling. There are cultures worldwide in which death and material disposession are treated with equanimty, which is not to say that people don’t feel appropriate sorrow, but not crippling sorrow, or shame, guilt or blame.
Some of the problems of dementia stem from the disproportionate value afforded to individual autonomy and self-sufficiency, and to social norms and expectations. And there is little respect for age. The cult of youth and physical “perfection” has reached malignancy. One in twenty youngsters are playing truant because they see themselves as unacceptably ugly. In most non-Western cultures loss of teeth, hair, wrinkled skin and general décrépitude are badges of honour and deep respect which nothing, helplessness , incontinence or bizarre behaviour can undermine.
I agree anxiety is not the same emotion as fear…more an early precursor…some can handle it but many can’t and turn to anti-depressants/drugs… I feel in today’s society so many are living with the anxiety of not being able to find next months rent payment/mortgage payment…making decisions between food on the table or paying the bills…I have the upmost respect for the elderly…my great aunt was almost 103 and left this world sitting up in bed doing a crossword…(I’d be quite happy to go the same way…!) There is a massive disconnect in social services at the minute…in my view…a great big gaping hole between “services” they would like to be able to provide and the stark reality of impossible case loads…cash-strapped councils and a struggling nhs…
Hi Helen, I agree withvyour assessment of the nature of the pervasive social anxiety… it stems from the disconnect of our awareness that societal disintegration is well advanced and threatens us all, but we are all being fed a soporific diet of bullshit about continuing progress, “and we know there’s more to do…” etc.
Care of physically or mentally dependent elderly people has almost never been anything other than warehousing. Geriatric wards in the 1950s held 48 patients in a huge dormitory ward with four rows of 12, two rows on each side, and two rows back-to-back in the middle. A metal locker beside each bed, containing all the patient’s worldly goods, and a washbag with a flannel, comb, toothbrush, and a lump of soap hanging on a hook at the side. Each patients wash washed using the same enamel bowl (the water was changed between washes by pouring the scummy water into a bucket, and refilling the basin from a big enamel jug.
Dinner every day was mince, mashed potatoes and a green vegetable or minced carrot. On Friday the mince meat was substituted with boiled fish. The emphasis was on keeping patients dry, clean and free of bedsores. Almost all were bedbound and mummified in foetal positions. They seldom spoke, but would moan, cry out or curse if roughly handled.
I used to complain about the conditions, but was made to work extra shifts to improve them.
The ethos is basically unchanged in 2018 except the wall paper is floral and the lockers are bigger.
It isn’t going to change, Helen. Humane and well-resourced care would bankrupt the nation, and every Government knows it.
Makes me want to cry…an ongoing tragedy upheld by our be-lie-f in a psychopathic kakistocracy…but once we have become aware…from your first hand experience which I admire greatly and love your perspective…and mine just now experiencing family with a 9 year handling of dealing with it at home “dementia” and another family member experiencing a now rapid decline in 12 months Alzheimer’s/vascular dementia… taken out of the hands of sons and daughters by “social services”…no lpa medical or otherwise in place as the decline was so sudden and unexpected…and forced into a 4K per month nursing home … do we give up and give in to the alleged and purported “court of protection”…to secretive “courts” with no standing…or do we continue to call out human rights abuse in all it’s guises…??? I watched this today…