i'll acknowledge at the outset that my perspective may well just be a product of my particular worldview (ie, as someone who's been irrationally wary of any sort of authority figure since early childhood, and tends to gravitate to emotionally intense experiences as if their intensity alone gave them authenticity), but...I basically view the psychiatric apparatus as largely being used to enforce social normativity. There's this idea of the "well-adjusted" individual who fits comfortably into the existing social structure, and with that comes the implication that any negative reaction to the existing structure is a defect to be treated. The individual is made to see his negative feelings in terms of his isolated experience, his personal history, his egoic desires etc. The content of the negative feeling is to be deconstructed, or expressed within the "safe" confines of mainstream discourse. The possibility of a large number of individuals recognizing that they share these negative feelings, and could in fact fight in the name of these feelings (rather than simply making vague allusion to them in socially-permitted conversation) is stymied.
I typically see people online responding to eccentric or angry outbursts with "seek help!"...the question is, seek help doing what? seek help becoming comfortable with a world that makes you uncomfortable? seek help learning to watch the news without gagging? seek help learning how to be "chill"? imo the implication in all this is that the primary purpose of life is to just be comfortable, to fit in, to accept the hand that's been dealt to you. for me this is not the purpose of life at all. for me the purpose of life is to work to uphold an ideal - be that ideal aesthetic, moral, political, social, etc. (i'm not saying it should be the same ideal for everyone). for me there's a sense of wanting to be true to an inner feeling - whether or not that means my life is comfortable, or accepted by others, or financially viable. in fact i'm pretty sure that most things i've accomplished that i'm actually proud of, most things that i look back on fondly many years later, were the product of tremendous inner tension & emotional malaise. Periods of my life where i've just been "chill" felt like a year, two years, five years going by as a blur, until i reached a point where i just got frustrated with the artificiality of it all
But! I also recognize that simply wanting to stare unblinking at the sickness of lfie isn't going to bring about massive social change (or even meaningful artistic output). i recognize that there's a certain kind of individual (myself) for whom these states hold quite an appeal. You're always going to have your dissidents, your would-be revolutionaries, your hermits, your malcontents etc who will naturally gravitate to these outlier positions, whether or not their efforts succeed in bringing about any kind of social or personal transformation. You're also going to have a certain kind of individual who really does just want to be normal, to fit in, to have a good time - and there's nothing shameful about that. I think for that kind of individual something like psychiatry probably makes a lot of sense (heck, maybe they even make better art when they feel more "stable" and not bogged down by their emotions). Then you also have a great number of individuals who are somewhere in the middle - they recognize that their might be some deeper truth to their discontent, but at the same time they recognize that there's something to be said for making an effort to fit in, and to get over yourself. For them, it's a process of determining to what degree they indulge their eccentricities, and to what degree they attempt to conform to an imperfect social machine. imo this is what most people are doing most of the time, and it's only on rare ocassions that things tip over, and a large number suddenly feel compelled to FIGHT DA POWAH
also i more or less agree with most of what Deleuze & Guattari have to say on the matter. Nick Land as well, but he's also a case study in how trying to rise up & strike the lightning can have some unintended ripple effects on a person's life