Love: a distraction or inspiration?
PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS
Today is Mardi Gras with the call to “Let the Good Times Roll”! Tomorrow the hope for good times continues on Valentine’s Day and the parade of the winning football team. On Sunday, we had a lovely ending to the Super Bowl. The conflict was resolved with good sportsmanship after a hard-fought game. If only our political conflicts would do the same.
Swiftly, a subplot, was set in motion well before the game. That was the love story of the relationship of popular music star Taylor Swift and the superstar football player Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. Since their relationship began, and when Swift started to attend the games, the participation of female fans and the media markedly increased.
As far as the game itself went, even though Kelce is just one player, the question was whether Kelce would be distracted. Some compared it to Yoko Ono being criticized for her apparent distraction of the late John Lennon from the Beatles.
In a sort of collective displacement of responsibility and feelings, Taylor came to be viewed as a distraction when the Chiefs lost and an inspiration when they won, and of course they won enough to make it to the Super Bowl. A colleague suggested that they were becoming our William and Kate without the royal bloodline, but with earning it.
This kind of relationship and its repercussions goes back to the old traditional view of preparing for a big game. In my youth filled with sports, there was the assumption that you had to preserve your energy and focus for the game, meaning from any significant other, and especially any sexual interactions. That assumption has softened over time.
As it turned out, Swift made it to the game from Japan, Kelce starred once again, and the Chiefs won before a record viewing audience that loved some aspect of the event. So much for distraction. Just as I have found out in my presentations, being inspired by my muse and wife leads to better performances.
Psychiatry is played out in a much more private sphere, yet mental disorders are a mighty opponent. We are in the most crucial game, the game of life and mental health.
Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.