The US Preventive Services Task Force released a draft recommendation that all adults below the age of sixty-five be screened for anxiety disorders. We could have a long discussion about the nature of anxiety, when clinical treatments are appropriate, and why this task force seems to think that we’ve become such an anxious nation, probably in a similar vein to what we discussed in our post about revising memories, but I’m actually sharing this today because the recommendation is open for a public comment period. If you are interested in commenting on the draft, follow this link – draft comments – before October 17th, 2022.
The human mind is an astonishingly, perhaps incomprehensibly complicated entity, and there is absolutely a capacity for it to malfunction; however, the only tool we have to diagnose it is…the human mind, which is as fallible as it is amazing. I have reservations, as you might imagine from my thoughts on the memory revision technology, about the use of clinical interventions to alter the mind’s natural responses to stimuli, though not to the extreme of a few commentaries I read on the subject that claimed this was the first step towards a system of mind control via medication controlled by the government (granted, given some of the draconian measures taken with regards to the pandemic, I can agree to a certain skepticism of government-sponsored public health initiatives, but this is not seeking to make mandatory or binding policy, just a recommendation).
We’ll probably discuss this matter again when we write about stoicism in conjunction with our forthcoming review for Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. For now, I encourage you to at least give the draft recommendation a read and post a comment there if you are so inclined. That’s what these public comment periods are for, after all. Or you can discuss further in the comments for this post. Either way, it’s probably not worth getting too anxious over this draft.