Depression, Writer's Block, and the Confessional Culture
I know I've been a bit quiet over the past few days. But a touch of depression, along with a lack of motivation and ideas for writing (besides having been lax with the news) have led me to withdraw. It's a vicious circle, as the less I write the more dejected I feel, yet feeling this way seems to stop me from writing. I've been told it's not uncommon but it's still not much consolation.
Anyway, it seems that I may be sucummbing myself to the 'confessional culture' that most of the time I treat with a lot of scepticism. I'm not against talking about problems, in actual fact a good thing I find about Americans, for instance, is their ability to be open about issues and not keep it under the carpet as us 'stiff upper lip Brits' have been more inclined to do. But as we've seen with the growth of the 'recovery' movement in the States and here, the narcissism that it seems to induce, along with it's introduction into the political sphere (witness the David Blunkett diaries) it seems that it may be going a step too far.
I don't think I'm the only one to find the notorious Dave Pelzer a little sickening, along with the writers who have followed in his footsteps. Many of their accounts are being challenged by their relatives, including that of the British Judge Constance Briscoe. But whether or not it happened as they said is not the point, the therepeutic culture, based on a pop pyschoanalysis, dictates that the patient's version of events' even if not exactly true to the fact, is just as valid as any literally true account. So it seems Oprah Winfrey missed the point when she was disillusioned with one of her guests for twisting the truth in a book he earlier claimed was a true account of the abuse he suffered. But his book, I believe, still sells. Dave Pelzer has created an industry, a whole genre.