Social Psychiatric Predictions About the Future: A Series

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We may need the luck of the Irish to avoid future disasters…

seeing future

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PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS

Last Wednesday was the Ides of March, the day best known for Julius Caesar ignoring the warning of the seer and then being killed by his political comrades. It is also a day for collecting debts.

As discussed in many of these weekday columns, we are in the midst of times that seem increasingly dangerous for the future of humans and the planet, including:

-Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The stalled conflict brings with it Russia’s threat to use devastating nuclear weapons as a last resort.

-Climate instability. In the United States and around the world, climate disasters seem to be increasing with the heating, resulting in worse flooding, storms, drought, and wildfires.

-Hatred of the Other. Racism, sexism, ageism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and the like seem to be escalating.

-Cultish thinking. With the rise of social media and silos of news information, freedom of thought is under duress.

-Burnout. Especially in the United States, but around the world, workplace burnout is escalating, with increasing business and political control of the workplace, especially medical systems.

-Technology-induced brain changes. From loss of spatial surveying Hippocampus skills to using GPS while driving to the negative self-esteem repercussions of the “selfie effect.”

Therefore, on ensuing days, we will cover some very tentative predictions about the future of some of these and other social psychiatric challenges, or what I call social psychopathologies.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and if we ignore or do not successfully address these future risks, we may need the luck of the Irish to avoid these looming disasters.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.

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