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On Mood Swings: The Psychobiology of Elation and Depression

By Susanne P. Schad-Somers | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
Special Problems

Stigma, Shame, and Suicide

The concept of pharmacological mood regulation is the stuff that dreams and movies are made of. Unfortunately, most of them are either nightmares or horror films. On the other hand, "make it all good again" is the plea on the part of an innocent child who trusts that the parents have such benign and magical powers and that they can exercise them. It is a rare patient who has not, at some point in psychotherapy, uttered the wish that there be some kind of pill to take that would take the place of the painful labor of "working it through." Yet the notion that something malevolent and foreign could take over our brain is probably more frightening a prospect than death. Tales of demonic possession and its exorcism are a standard staple of folklore and fairy tales. Even in our seemingly enlightened age, the movie called The Exorcist grossed millions of dollars. Whether it is the devil who takes possession of us or whether it is a hallucinogenic drug that transforms us into Spiderman makes no difference, the experience is the same: something alien has taken over, something that we are unable to control.

For example: "One day this demon was in a high state of delight because he had invented a mirror with this peculiarity: that every good and pretty thing reflected in it shrank away to

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