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06/17/2004 Archived Entry: "A surgical implant to change your mood"

A SURGICAL IMPLANT TO CHANGE YOUR MOOD. Can an implant to change your opinions be far behind? In fact, an implant to change your moods is an implant to change your opinions. In this case (to treat chronic depression) it's to change your opinion from "The world sux" to "Everything is just fine."

I don't mean to be dismissive of depression. I suffer a kind of chronic, low-level depression myself and have had three episodes in my life where for a year or more I was simply flattened by black horror. But I can't escape a belief that even the deepest depressions are basically rational responses to a world that often does "suck." And that, despite the grand temptation to do anything, take anything, to feel better, the only genuine way out of depression is to keep pushing through it and to solve the underlying problems.

Turning your brain over to total management by "the authorities" (whether medical or political) -- shudder. Anyway, I'm just austere or old-fashioned enough to believe that perpetual happiness, delivered at the flick of a chemical switch, will only turn us into insensitive shits. Some of the best people I know are those who've suffered the most. How else do we develop empathy and insight?

And how do we ever fight to make the world a better place on the day we're all chemically conditioned to see everything as fine, just fine?

Posted by Claire @ 09:09 AM CST

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