Do many submissives suffer from depression ? At what point would you consider them mentally incompetent? What sort of man considers himself DOM to a medicated woman? The SSC mantra and philosopihies of Good DOM responsibility seem to be some sort of depressive magnet. How to sort the wheat from the chaff good people ?
Rationality and the stigma of depression.
The above excerpt is taken from a discussion in Fetlife (waves to the VanImp = read here ). The Imp gave me the initial head’s up and in few subsequent conversations, we both felt pretty strongly about the absurdity and insulting nature of the suppositions encompassed by that query.
Blanket statements made by socially inept, role playing individuals who have more hair than sense (and sometimes, not even that) are a particular irritant that I find difficult to ignore.
Granted, I find the patent absurdity of the online creative writers’ world sometimes mystifyingly amusing. I’m particularly chuffed at the individuals who present themselves as ‘experts’ (despite the reality that the closest they ever got to actually wielding a flogger is beating their laundry), and then proceed to rant about situations about which they have no insight and absolutely nothing valuable to offer.
One theme I have seen arise more than once is the belief concerning mental competence and rationality. In short, there is a widespread belief that suffering from depression or some other form of psychological or emotional imbalance somehow renders the individual incompetent and irrational and incapable of making balanced decisions respecting their lives.
I find this irritating in the extreme as this same mindset is prevalent in society generally.
While it is indisputable that some more extreme forms of chemical imbalance, left untreated and unmedicated, can render someone realistically incapable of making a balanced decision, MANY forms of depression (which most decidedly should be unlinked from other forms of psychological impairment) are simply mindsets that rational people deal with on an ongoing basis.
Perceptions can be wrong
I have also noted that often blanket statements are made (and I abhor blanket statements) that MANY submissives suffer from depression as if the act of submission (more so, if there is masochism involved) in itself renders a person’s rationality questionable.
I think there are a number of factors here.
First, I think people tend to be more candid (AHH, my own blanket statement!) on BDSM-related forums. In many cases, it is the first time they have feel comfortable admitting to what is considered by society generally to be a degenerate mindset. Thus, I think admitting to depression (whether using medications or not) is simply a baby step further.
My own perusal of many of those forums ALSO lead me to conclude that there is a certain “shock” factor that just cannot be resisted by some individuals.
Second, one of the most prevalent myths I think (and this is actually related to a further blog I’m in the process of writing engendered by one of Gillette’s musings – more to come on that later), is that the BDSM world is somehow becoming “mainstream”… that in fact mainstream society is more accepting, more open and more tolerant of what has been considered deviant behaviour (and I’m talking BDSM-related behaviour). Thus, there is a perception in what is ACTUALLY a rather incestuous community that in fact certain psychoses are more common and active in the general population therein than is the actual reality. Both perceptions I think are completely onerous.
Unfortunately but understandably, catch phrases tend to be bandied about as truths but are really not understood.
SCC .. According to Whom?
SSC for instance.
People lip that phrase repeatedly and with an air of competence and comprehension that defies the reality of the intent. For ultimately SSC is dependent ENTIRELY on the individuals involved! It can’t be quantified nor readily compartmentalized; it is simply too dependent on the individuals involved in a particular scene.
What is safe, sane and consensual for ME may be far from that for another person. I’ve been done this road before when talking about edge play. For instance, my own inclination for breath control is no doubt considered by many to be INsane …. while I in turn have viewed askance (but NOT critically) some of the practices of other far more masochistic/sadistic pairings. At its most simplistic…. “different strokes for different folks” (how weirdly apt, ‘strokes” LOL).
Unfortunately, because there are enough self-important individuals out there that believe they and they alone are competent to judge what is safe, what is sane and what is consensual that one is compelled to challenge their right to make those kind of judgements.
The unfortunate reality is that one of the most common and misconceived reasons for “judging” people lies in the individual assessment of mental competence.
And therein lies the rub.
For society generally continues to harbour unwarranted, unprofessional and misinformed perceptions of what is deemed “mental acuity”. People who either have admitted to suffering from some form of depression or who have in truth been “outed” continue to suffer the consequences of prejudicial opinions of the level of their rationality.
This is particularly onerous when engaged in BDSM activity.
For without fail, detractors start bleating about is that person (usually a submissive although not always) “rationally” able to “consent”.
Um. hello? Since when did google-wisdom become the standard of care for psychiatric evaluation?
I don’t dispute there probably are individuals out there that should be doing anything BUT practicing some of the more edgy activities in BDSM – but barring they have escaped from an institution or are certifiable (in a medical sense and have in fact BEEN certified to be clear), then they are entitled to do whatever (within the law) they are entitled to do. It is paternalistic and condescending to suggest otherwise. For any individual to set themselves up as judge and jury is to my mind, unwarranted, arrogant and ultimately egotistical to an extreme degree.
Not to talk about WRONG.
People suffering from various (and not always quantifiable) forms of depression or even from other psychological or physical impairments simply have conditions that to this day remain largely unexplored or truly understood.
Current research in fact has placed more and more credence that these are simply syndromes, conditions and psychosis that we have not yet been privy to understanding. Conditions that do not in any way impair or impact the ability of the individual to make rational and reasoned choices over their lives.
To return to the quotation which began this diatribe, the prejudice inherent in its presentation is so obvious and blatant that the statement barely warrants addressing. While “arrogant” and “egotistical” are not necessarily detrimental when applied to a dominant personality, they must be accompanied by a commensurate rationality and intelligence to balance.
Referring to “medicated woman” and using terms such as “depressive magnet” (and the breathtakingly ignorant “wheat from the chaff good people” - the inference being, unmistakably, that "depressive" people are the chaff) clearly indicates a level of prejudicial misconceptions and small minded thought that barely deserves addressing.