Thursday, February 3, 2011

On Smell




I am about halfway through Bonnie Blodgetts's "Remembering Smell" -- the author's personal account of the nightmare of life without the sense of smell, following a reaction to Zicam, a medicine.

I read several online reviews of the book, some attacking Blodgett as a whiner deserving of very little if any sympathy for insinuating that being scentless might be even more traumatic than being blind.

It seems they missed a very important point in the book. The primal sense of smell is so deeply ingrained into our brains that its loss utterly confounds our perceptions and attacks our mental health in ways that science does not yet fully understand.

An enlightened 21st century person no longer recoils from, or mocks a sight or hearing impaired person or someone who is wheelchair-bound. But when it comes to mental health, we have a long way to go, don't we? "Crazy" is still funny, or disturbing.

And when mental illness is not in-your-face visible, such as with clinical depression, which Blodgett says is very typical of anosmia (loss of sense of smell) it becomes even harder for someone not suffering from it to understand or to sympathize.

3 comments:

kat said...

I am wondering about Nadiyya

(and I brightened up FLOW :->)


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Eastcoastdweller said...

Kat:

Thank You for the cheery work on FLOW. I visited Nadiyya's blog the other day and it was all washed out orange, if I remember correctly. I hope that She is all right. Is She still down in Egypt?

kat said...

don't know

I looked through her blogs and saw no recent postings


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