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Mark Gorkin, LICSWMark Gorkin, LICSW
A Blog about reducing Stress in our lives.

Poetry as Pregnancy: When "The Shrink Rap™ on Mental Illness" Gives Birth

Mark Gorkin, LCSW ("The Stress Doc") Updated: Dec 11th 2014

For the past month, I've been on a poetry journey, as it were. This voyage of verse began with my writing "The (Shrink) Rap™ on Mental Illness" for a non-profit, Passion for Change. PfC educates the media and advocates for a more informed and balanced public portrayal of mental illness. Along the way, realizing the need for clearer explanation for the Rap's importance, I recently added this stanza:

Same sex marriage, legal marijuana
Are we all going California?
There's a case both pro and contra. Still…
Go west young mind - time-honored mantra.
But one big issue lies undercover
A source of disgrace for nameless "others"
Yet sleepless nights for mothers and brothers…
Hard to wo/man-up in a shame-breeding culture
Must Mental Illness still be the "closeted vulture?"

Simultaneously, I was generating lines about how our multi-hyper, "all-consuming digitocracy" might compromise one's mental health. And the ideas and images, sounds and rhythms kept coming:

Still…there's a "new normal" equality
Of this you must agree:
With "off the grid" anxiety
Patience is now a luxury
And OMG…Everyone is ADD!
So forget, "To be or not to be?"
You're likely viral if not a byte crazy!

This passage proved a conduit to a Brave New World "Trinity" - Time-Numbers &Technology - along with a Stress Doc ™ neologism - "Social Mediacracy." And while trying to capture the different facets of "Getting or Going MA&DD," the Shrink Rap kept expanding.

Finally, I saw the obvious: the original Mental Illness Rap had to give birth to a separate poetic progeny. Initially, seeing the obvious was not so easy; you get wedded to your "baby" until realizing this "brainchild" has grown and is now a potential "mother of invention" or, at least, of procreation. As I once penned: One must begin to separate, one must be separate to begin. Now I understood that less (letting go, placing limits, streamlining, and sharpening the focus and scope of the original Rap) can be more (producing a better defined and related yet stand-alone second generation Rap). And isn't that the essence of gestation and giving birth, no matter the creative arena?

So here is the spanking new rap, (with some of her mother's genes), "Getting or Going MA&DD: Media Addiction & Digital Distraction - Four Slices"; consider this the equivalent of baby pictures.

Getting or Going MA&DD: Media Addiction & Digital Distraction - Four Slices

Can We Survive Social Mediacracy?

Today's new web of complexity
A Siren song to one's sanity -
Our all-consuming digitocracy
A hyper Facebook Fraternity.
Whether vanity or virtuality
United in distractibility
From a junk food surfing mentality
To tracking texts like it's the lottery.

The "Dynamic" Duo: Today's "Trinity" & Toxicity

Dreading "off the grid" anxiety
We make Google eyes endlessly
At the high and mighty "TNT"
Our Brave New World "Trinity" -
Time-Numbers &Technology!
Has dopamine toxicity
Numbed you into captivity?

A Not So Brave New World?

In insta-mode most miss the irony:
We've become so sedentary
No time for nature, no space for serenity
Tied to a station indefinitely
Being interrupted constantly
Fueled by undercover anonymity
And "can't see your eyes" lack of empathy
Triggers "hide & seek" hostility, i.e.
The "e" in e-mail means "escape"-ability
Also, "I seek revenge" animosity
With heat-seeking "e"-missile strategy
Of a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde identity:
A person of seeming civility
Morphs all too mysteriously…
And now stalking your community
A reach out and crush someone cyber-bully!

ROI: Return on Investment or Ruining Our Intelligence

The new ROI reality:
24/7 availability
Plus cost-cutting "efficiencies", e.g.
Distant learning laboratories
(Yielding mostly distant memories
And frequent trips to lavatories).
Oh yes, the phone-conference pep rally
A monopoly on monotony
That only boosts consistently
Emotional IQ vacuity
As we send f-2-f to purgatory
Muting real give and take sensibility:
Who needs human intimacy
When there's interconnectivity.
"Are you kidding me!"…
This is the stuff of absurdity
If not for all the zombie social anomie.
The future question, in all sincerity:
What's the breakthrough-breakdown boundary
Besides gaming for eternity?


Mark Gorkin, LCSW (

Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc ™, acclaimed Keynote and Kickoff Speaker, Webinar Presenter, Retreat Leader and Motivational Humorist, is the author of Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger. A former Stress & Violence Prevention consultant for the US Postal Service, the Doc leads highly interactive, innovative and inspiring programs for corporations and government agencies, including the US Military, on stress resiliency/burnout prevention through humor, change and conflict management, generational communication, and 3 "R" -- Responsible, Resilient & Risk-Taking -- leadership-partnership team building. Email for his popular free newsletter & info on speaking programs. Check out his popular website -- -- called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). Stress Doc Mantra: "Think out of the box, perform outside the curve (the Bell Curve) and be out-rage-ous!"

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