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American exceptionalism, mental illness, cognitive dissonance.

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American exceptionalism, mental illness, cognitive dissonance.

Post by onethousandknives » November 27th, 2017, 9:36 am

I think both of these things, American exceptionalism, and cognitive dissonance, are what creates a large majority of the mental health problems of America. Of course with the optimism/positive thinking cult, that makes it worse, but in and of itself I don't think is a bad thing, just it can exacerbate the problems more. With all the mass shootings and murder, attention has been brought to America's mental health crisis. And of course there's mainstream articles about use of psychiatric drugs in America being extremely high as well. And of course, when other sites talk about America's mental health problems, it's of course blamed on any number of things, but my proposition is that America's mental health problem I think mainly stems from the ideology of American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism is largely the root of even the problem of excessive narcissism. It's extremely utterly narcissistic to think your particular country intrinsically is so much better than any other country by virtue of "being special" or thinking you were endowed by God magically. This is completely utterly narcissistic thinking on a national level. So this narcissism undermines all social policy within USA, and creates by extension, varyingly high degrees of narcissism in the population of the country compared to most other countries.

There is a difference between having actual pride in yourself, and being narcissistic. I'd put the "having pride in yourself" category being things like eating healthy, exercising, keeping a healthy weight, showering and grooming daily, keeping your house clean, going to bed early (which I'm not doing now, heh...) as keeping pride in yourself. This is completely healthy. This is what healthy countries do, and this is what America isn't doing currently, both on the national policy level with regards to infrastructure, and individually amongst the population. America as it is now takes very little pride in itself, but is extremely narcissistic.

To go to my next point, this narcissism doesn't allow America to look outside of itself, think honestly about its own situation in life, and of course think of solutions to problems. Like with what Jack Ma said about America spending all of its money on war and Wall St. and blaming Mainland China for all their woes. And then of course, when we do see other people, and other countries more successful than us in a certain way, we just make up lies and be in rap terms, a hater about them. It reminds me of someone I know. He is 280lbs with a giant gut, but will when seeing, say, a man in spandex riding an expensive road bike around say "look at that skinny hipster faggot with no muscle riding that stupid $2000 bike, what a loser!" No, he likely makes more money than you, has a bike that costs more than the car you're driving right now, and is at a healthy body weight not 100lbs overweight like you are now. Who is inferior? But, instead of the striving for a better ideal that another person may have, you hate and make up lies or slander the person. You say Canada has death panels while people are left to die in nursing homes across USA, while Canada ranks higher on basically every health metric compared to your own country.

Wrapping it up with cognitive dissonance, this is the big connection with I think the peculiar American mental health issues, the kind that cause mass shootings and the like. Like that person with the bike, they can't just admit they're too out of shape, don't have enough money, and they do wish to ride a bike as nice as that and can't. No, they must cut down the other person, because of narcissism, because of this idea that they are special and superior by virtue of simply existing as themselves. And I think the narcissistic ideology has its roots at the ideology of American exceptionalism. And this narcissism causes the cognitive dissonance, and then brings about every mental health woe, of depression, anxiety, etc, because of the disconnect from actual reality. Actual reality, with the bike example says you'e not doing so well, but cognitive dissonance makes you disagree and say the other person is a 'worse' person than you. With this cognitive dissonance, there's no need to change what you're doing, and perhaps do something else for a better outcome more close to your actual wanted goal. No, cognitive dissonance and narcissism allows you to do nothing, but still be exceptional and great by simply existing as yourself.

Of course, this is not getting to the fundamental disconnect from reality just in day to day life. I got into an argument with said person's mother about going overseas and American exceptionalism. She told me how she believes in American exceptionalism, while their house literally is in worse condition than most houses I was inside of in Vietnam (really) she has an ovarian cyst the doctors will not remove because America's wonderful healthcare system thinks a baseball sized cyst is an elective surgery, and is 300lbs and on a bunch of medications. But the narcissistic American exceptionalism ideal has taken hold.

Lastly, this is not to argue America is the best country in the world, or the worst one, this is just my observation on American exceptionalism. I think American exceptionalism as an idea is a core problem of America as it's an incredibly narcissistic thing to believe. To go back to the pride thing, I do think Americans should take pride in their country, and should love their country, but to be narcissistic about your own country only leads to a narcissistic and mentally ill populous.

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Re: American exceptionalism and mental illness, cognitive dissonance.

Post by Winston » November 27th, 2017, 1:43 pm

Great points. In other countries people are more humble and down to earth. They dont wave their flags around and claim to be the best country. They dont put sports teams on their clothes and hats and car bumper stickers too. Foreign people are more grounded in reality and more genuine. Thats why you feel more genuine abroad too and less mentally ill.

The mental illness in america is a disconnect from reality and your true self. Its an internal schism as well. I elaborated on this in other posts.
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