A multimedia advertisement campaign of a fake drug to cure a non-existent disease has triggered a wave of serious enquiries. Conceived as a satirical take on modern life’s silly travails, Australian artist Justine Cooper, the creator of the ad, invented an ailment — Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder. She called the drug Havidol and was not amused when serious responses were registered.
This is perturbing, not only because it shows up how gullible we are but also how open-minded society is to receive endorsement of ‘mental disorder’. The campaign has showcased the extent to which a struggling-to-keep-the-ends-apart populace thinks of itself as sick in the mind. We like to believe that we’re having a tough time juggling career, family and lifestyle. We buy the stress package and all its allied baggage with eyes wide open and minds closed shut. Why else would one perk up at the tagline: ‘When more is not enough’? Stress busters are the highest selling products and services across the globe. And therapy is what makes the world go around.
But like all good things and bad turns, the world’s obsession with stress will also peter out. But we’re tired of chasing this stressed-out dream. Maybe we’re actually suffering from... what was the name again? Maybe it’s not such a bitter pill to swallow, after all.