Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Freud 2.0

A couple of days ago, the NYT published some advice on “Keeping Blood Pressure in Check.” The article describes three types of hypertension, one of which is “neurogenic” - produced by the sympathetic nervous system. Why would the latter be stuck in overdrive? Dr. Samuel J. Mann, a medical doctor, professor, and author of a book on the subject, Hypertension and You, offers an answer. He says that “neurogenic hypertension results from repressed emotions.” In his own practice, “he has found that many patients with it suffered trauma early in life or abuse.” This revelation reminded me again how wrong I can be when jumping to conclusions before consulting an expert.

So, according to Dr. Mann, if you suffer from neurogenic hypertension, the way you think about your condition should not be influenced by clueless intellectuals from the 19th and early 20th centuries who suspected “civilization” was making humans sick or neurotic. Nor should you believe the authors of books and documentaries with titles like Affluenza who want to convince us that the capitalist meat-grinder and its associated hedonic threadmill can make you physically sick. And don’t even think of blaming your abusive boss or Orwellian work/learning environment. As Dr. Mann has established, you must have suffered some childhood trauma or abuse. And if you recall no such thing, it’s probably because you have unconsciously repressed those disturbing memories. Case rested.