That Righteous And Revolutionary Emotion, Anger

I see anger as a potentially positive emotion that is all too often misdirected or suppressed. I tend to see depression as misdirected anger. This is anger directed inwardly towards oneself rather than outwardly towards the true source of whatever oppression one might happen to be facing. Let me be clear about this matter, I am talking about one particular type of anger. I can illustrate this point by lifting a paragraph from the Wikipedia Anger page.

Anger is viewed as a form of reaction and response that has evolved to enable people to deal with threats. Three types of anger are recognized by psychologists: The first form of anger, named “hasty and sudden anger” by Joseph Butler, an 18th century English bishop, is connected to the impulse for self-preservation. It is shared between humans and non-human animals and occurs when tormented or trapped. The second type of anger is named “settled and deliberate” anger and is a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others. These two forms of anger are episodic. The third type of anger is however dispositional and is related more to character traits than to instincts or cognitions. Irritability, sullenness and churlishness postures are examples of the last form of anger.

The sort of anger I am referring to could be called Type 2 Anger, and it is at the roots of many movements for social justice and equality today. “The second type of anger is named “settled and deliberate” anger and is a reaction to perceived deliberate harm or unfair treatment by others.” I think there is always a concern for fair treatment and justice, it’s just that when the concern makes itself known, as during the height of the civil rights struggle in the 1960’s, we have one of those episodes alluded to in the paragraph above. “These two forms of anger are episodic.” Patience involves waiting for the right moment. Automatically one thinks of Moses, his chosen people, and their promised land. Type 2 Anger is always simmering under the surface, and waiting to boil up into a paradigm changing social conflict.

Another aspect that needs clearing up is the relationship between Type 1 Anger and Type 2 Anger. Type 1 Anger involves an immediate threat or percieved danger, and getting out of this danger could indeed be a matter of life and death. Type 2 Anger occurs when the problem is not one that can be so easily resolved. When the threat or danger is lingering, being incorporated into a hierarchical and unfair social structure. Not getting angry, given enough abuse and maltreatment directed at an individual or a group, in some instances, is crazy or, in an effort to try to prevent equating folly and error with pathology, an illogical response.

Anger can potentially mobilize psychological resources and boost determination toward correction of wrong behaviors, promotion of social justice, communication of negative sentiment and redress of grievances. It can also facilitate patience. On the other hand, anger can be destructive when it does not find its appropriate outlet in expression. Anger, in its strong form, impairs one’s ability to process information and to exert cognitive control over their behavior. An angry person may lose his/her objectivity, empathy, prudence or thoughtfulness and may cause harm to others. There is a sharp distinction between anger and aggression (verbal or physical, direct or indirect) even though they mutually influence each other. While anger can activate aggression or increase its probability or intensity, it is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for aggression.

What is the “correction of wrong behaviors”, the “promotion of social justice”, and the “redress of grievances” without anger, but polite table conversation? You’re just grumbling under your breath about another problem nobody is going to fix…again. Anger is the backbone in a peoples’ desire to change a negative situation into a positive one. It involves the very basic insight that sometimes overtly bad behavior should elicit outrage and fury.

Note: The angry disposition, or Type 3 Anger. You may wish to find a treatment for this sort of anger, although I’d think that doing so is carrying intolerance a little too far…again. I see it as another form of misplaced or misdirected anger. I think more purely selfish motivations are involved in Type 3 Anger. I myself have no intention of wasting much energy on the subject at this time. Some people, after all, did get the short end of the stick. It’s just a matter of realizing one’s connectedness with other people that separates Type 2 Anger from Type 3 Anger.

Perhaps it would help if we referred to Type 1 Anger as Visceral Anger, Type 2 Anger as Revolutionary Anger, and Type 3 Anger as Reactive or Possessive Anger. Revolutionary Anger is good anger, other sorts of anger, not so much.

Is Anybody Guaging Army Morale?

As of recent date, suicides and personal crises have placed a magnifying lens on the mental state of soldiers and ex-soldiers. I don’t think anyone should be at all surprised at the rise in the overall numbers of military personel dismissed due to “mental illness” labeling. in their U.S. News section has published a brief on the subject, Mental illness increases for U.S. troops.

The Army said the number of U.S. soldiers forced to leave the military because of mental disorders increased by 64 percent from 2005 to 2009, USA Today reported Friday.

The size of this increase, if you will note, is by a very disturbing 64%, and that is troubling to say the least.

Last year 1,224 soldiers received a medical discharge for mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

This figure represents 1 in 9 of all medical discharges or, better than 10%.

The Pentagon reported in May that mental health disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops in 2009 than any other medical condition.

Not the best of reports I would imagine. It’s a scary thought, don’t you think, crazy soldiers?

I guess there is still an avenue out of the wartime situation for the battle weary combatant in our all volunteer army who feels he or she needs it.

Theatre As Therapy Is Not Therapy As Theatre

Just as there are better roles in life to play than that of loser or victim, there are also better roles in life to play than that of mental patient. Duh! “Gee. I could be an ex-patient, too, if I really wanted to do so.” Some consumers of mental health services can be pretty dense, and it may take them a long time to get it. We have a word for putting the mental patient experience behind a person, and that word is recovery.

I just came across an article on using theater as therapy on the MSN health section, Taking to the Stage to Battle Mental Illness. It is very important to note that this heading isn’t Taking to the Stage to Battle For Mental Illness.

Again, sometimes it takes some people a little longer than it takes other people to figure out that there are other roles in life to play beside the one a person is presently playing. Usually such a realization involves a job (or game or script if you prefer) search.

“Theater arts can really give patients a very valuable additional opportunity to piece their lives back together,” said David A. Faigin, department of psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. He believes the approach works by “focusing on the same things that standard interventions focus on: community reintegration and social reintegration.”

“Community reintegration and social reintegration”, should one use one’s noggin, are answers to social withdrawal, social isolation, and the mental health ghetto itself–aspects of contemporary existence we have come to associate with the “mental illness” label. Theater is a very social endeavor, and in so being, it is at odds with withdrawal and isolation. The development of so called “social skills” can help achieve the kind of gainful employment that will get a person out of the mental health ghetto. “Social skills” are, hey, acceptable ways of acting in public.

It just takes a little insight to realize that you don’t have to act crazy if you can act rationally and responsibly. Hmmm. Responsibility and rationality are acts, too.

Stars of Light has had a 15-year partnership with the Wattles Center, putting on productions using amateur actors diagnosed with a wide range of mental health problems. Faigin described the effort as “an exciting exemplar of a grass-roots, community-based theater setting devoted to involving and helping people with psychiatric disabilities.”

I have a little problem with this approach, but it’s only a little problem. Acting can be fun. Amateur actors don’t have to be mental health consumers, and mental health consumers don’t have to be amateur actors. We could say the same thing about professional actors only you seldom find a large number of psychiatrically labeled professional actors sharing the same stage. I figure it’s an ego thing.

He estimates there are about 20 similar groups scattered across the country in places like Chicago, Memphis and Connecticut. In these programs, artistic directors work with mental health staff to help bring structure to an environment where patients are free to generate the artistic content necessary to stage theatrical productions. That means everything from script development (often involving autobiographical content) to final performances at churches and community centers.

Just think…part of acting “well” might come with the realization that you don’t have to act “sick”.

I find the approach a little worrisome; there is that matter of “community reintegration and social reintegration” after all. I’m thinking it would really be interesting to put together a theatre troupe comprised of 50% mental health consumers, and 50% non-patients. The members of such a troupe might keep their audience guessing long after the curtain has come down.

A lot of non-patients could use a little therapy. Heck! Let me rephrase that statement as nobody needs the kind of therapy I have received. Everybody could use a little TLC.

One Doctor’s drugless prescription for depression

Clinical psychologist and University of Kansas professor Dr. Steve Ilardi
was interviewed for a story appearing in the Health and wellbeing section of the UK Guardian, How to beat depression—without drugs. Dr. Ilardi says antidepressants simply don’t work. I’m thinking maybe he’s skyping this message to the Guardian because perhaps the Brits are more receptive to this sort of thing than are Americans, the latter being so much under sway of pharmaceutical company advertising.

The programme has one glaring omission: anti-depressant medication. Because according to Ilardi, the drugs simply don’t work. “Meds have only around a 50% success rate,” he says. “Moreover, of the people who do improve, half experience a relapse. This lowers the recovery rate to only 25%. To make matters worse, the side effects often include emotional numbing, sexual dysfunction and weight gain.”

Uh, did you get that!? “To make matters worse [emphasis added], the side effects often include emotional numbing, sexual dysfunction and weight gain.” Indeed! So if the drugs do anything at all, they might numb you down, take away your mojo, and make you a candidate for being a contestant on the Biggest Loser television show. Depressing consequences, don’t you think?

As a respected clinical psychologist and university professor, Ilardi’s views are hard to dismiss. A research team at his workplace, the University of Kansas, has been testing his system – known as TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Change) – in clinical trials. The preliminary results show, he says, that every patient who put the full programme into practice got better.

100% of the patients in clinical trials improved using Dr. Ilardi’s system. Not bad!

His, the TLC, prescription formula involves utilising the 6 measures bulleted below:

▶Take 1,500mg of omega-3 daily (in the form of fish oil capsules), with a multivitamin and 500mg vitamin C.
▶ Don’t dwell on negative thoughts – instead of ruminating start an activity; even conversation counts.
▶ Exercise for 90 minutes a week.
▶ Get 15-30 minutes of sunlight each morning in the summer. In the winter, consider using a lightbox.
▶ Be sociable.
▶ Get eight hours of sleep

All psychiatrists and mental health workers have to do is to pay attention to the evidense, that is, to the results of clinical trials such as those conducted by the University of Kansas. I get the impression that there is not enough of that paying attention to the evidense going on these days.

More Psychiatric Drugs On The Way

I found a scary article in yesterday’s New York Times with a headline that says it all, A Record Number of Drugs Are Being Tested to Treat Mental Illness. In my mind’s eye I envision a grinning drug company executive hissing, “Buy our anti-stigma bait hook, line, and sinker, and we’ve got you by the gills. You, too, can become a drug dependent treatment junky!”

There are a record 313 drugs under research and development to treat mental illness, the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ association says in a new report.

They want you to step forward, and confess to being a space alien.

The National Institute of Mental Health said in a 2010 report: “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.”

Just in case you didn’t notice, 26.2% is a little better than 1/4th, or 25% of the entire population. I imagine this rate of people sold on the idea that there is something wrong with them has gone up with the selling of the idea. This is a slightly higher rate than other rates I’ve seen bandied about in recent history.

Keep your eyes on that figure, folks, and let me know when that other milestone is reached, 33.3% of the people. One third of the nation nuts, and truly, we will have turned a major bend in that road that leads inevitably enough to a mad majority.

Recovering the nation from the mental distress epidemic that is breaking out with such rapidity is going to prove somewhat more than problematic. If our mental health system these days is very adept at absorbing patients, it is also very bad at restoring them to acceptability.

Prescription Drug Overdoses In Texas And Beyond

I posted not that long ago a piece on a story I found about a county in Ohio that had experienced a large number of fatal traffic accidents attributed to the use of prescriptions drugs. I just ran across a story about prescription drug related deaths in Harris County, Texas. The city of Houston, by the way, is located in Harris County. The article I’m referring to, entitled The Other Drug War, appeared in the Houston Chronicle.

Prescription drugs have killed more than 1,200 people in Harris County since 2006 — casualties in a deadly American drug war in which dealers are often doctors and pharmaceutical companies, rather than narcotics cartels, rake in multimillion-dollar profits.

Unlike in the Ohio story, traffic fatalities are missing from this article as the 1,200 person figure doesn’t include “hundreds of others who crashed cars, fell and committed suicide.”

The problem isn’t only regional, the whole country is implicated.

Nationwide, prescription pills now regularly kill more people in the U.S. than cocaine. Pharmaceutical poisonings also claim more lives of people in their mid-30s to mid-50s than accidents involving guns or cars, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.

Last year alone the tally was 250 dead from prescription drug overdoses in Harris County.

Nearly 250 people were accidentally poisoned by prescriptions in Harris County last year, the newspaper analysis of medical examiners records shows. Their average age was 42. Most were white. Almost half were women.

Many of these drug deaths involved drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions. A woman mentioned, for example, was on 9 prescription drugs at the time of her death. Among those drugs were lorazepam, a drug for anxiety, citalopram, an antidepressant, and a muscle relaxant, the very drugs later determined to have caused her death.

At another point in this story a particularly deadly and common drug cocktail called “The Trio” or “The Trinity” is described. The drugs that make up this cocktail are alprazolam, hydrocodone and carisprodol, better known by their commercial names as Xanax, Vicodin, and Soma. The use of these 3 drugs together is usually not justified medically, but people take them anyway for the stimulating effect they get from them. Xanax, of course, is an antianxiety drug; the other drugs are a pain killer and a muscle relaxant.

For every single fatality, 50 potentially life-threatening overdoses occur according to the article.

Nationally, fatal prescription poisonings increased by 25 percent from 1985-1995, according to the CDC. That first wave of deaths corresponded to a change in prescription practices in which potentially addictive medications were often prescribed for nonmalignant pain, according to a 2006 report by leading researchers.

Obviously we have a larger problem confronting us extending well beyond the boundaries of Harris County, Texas. It’s also a problem that we need to be keeping an eye on because unless drug prescribing trends change dramatically, it’s a problem that will be growing.

Rules For Surviving The Mental Health/Illness System

Everybody who has experienced the mental health/illness system from the inside doesn’t have to live their lives according to a script ghost written by NAMI, bio-medical model psychiatry, and pharmaceutical salesmen in cahoots. There is much room available today for anyone refusing to be a toady for the illness industry to have a viable place in the world.

Rule number 1. You don’t have to identify yourself with mental illness.

Nerves are nerves; you learn to deal with them. Social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, etc., the minor disorder labels of this sort used to be called neurosis. Most kids are neurotic, it’s called childhood. Taking drugs for nerves is like drinking whiskey to be social. It might help in the short term, but it’s going to mean a real disaster in the long term. We don’t encourage kids to drink, in fact, it’s illegal. Adults with nerves need to lay off the pills if they don’t want to become more nervous.

Major mental illnesses are like minor mental illnesses under a magnifying glass, only if you looked there’d be nothing to see. It just means this person has a bigger problem than a person who has a smaller problem. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression are the clinical names for these disorders. They also go by other names such as chimera, griffon, and phoenix. There isn’t much people can do about them except wait for the smoke to clear.

Rule number 2. Escaping from a mental health facility is not as sick as voluntarily admitting oneself into a mental health facility.

Things like mental health treatment should be finite, i.e. they should have a beginning, middle, and an end. The most important aspect of such treatment is the end, not the beginning. When treatment is without end you have what they call a chronic mental patient (or chronic mental health consumer if you prefer). Many doctors, many staff members, and many patients do not understand this very basic fact regarding treatment.

Rule number 3. Poison is not medicine. Don’t take it.

This is where the current mental health treatment paradigm is most messed up. The so called medications most commonly used in the treatment of serious hang ups are not medicinal in the slightest, they are poisonous drugs. Studies have shown mental patients dying on average 25 years younger than the rest of the population due to the use of these poisons. Slow acting poison is still poison. Alright, that’s the body, and it mostly concerns atypical neuroleptic drug use. The original neuroleptic drugs don’t kill the body as fast perhaps, but they certainly do a good job on the brain. Brain shrinkage doesn’t help anyone perform at an optimal level. Brain damage is not the best goal in life to have, miracle cure or no miracle cure.

Rule number 4. Play the game.

This is another version of When In Rome. Psychiatrists and mental health workers are all about torture, only they call it treatment. These guys and gals are idiots, sure, and they are talking a lot of stupid nonsense, right, but they have all the power while you have none. If you want assert your independence in a big way, they will burn you for it. Reason doesn’t go over big with them, only idiocy. You don’t want to disagree with them, even if you disagree with them. They can make life tough for you. Your objective should be discharge from the hospital, and it’s their game, not your game. You must play by their rules. When you are released into your own space you can go crazy as you please. (In a fine and secluded place, well beyond public scrutiny, of course.) There are people who didn’t learn this rule many years ago, when they were first admitted to the hospital, the hospital they haven’t exited yet.

The Odds On Crazy Parents Producing Crazy Kids

In yesterday’s blog post I dished out a statistic regarding the schizophrenic children of schizophrenic parents. This could have meant that only one of the parents was schizophrenic. What we didn’t consider was whether the likelihood increased if both parents were labeled schizophrenic. According to an article in Science Daily, Offspring of two patients have increased risk of developing mental disorders, having two crazy parents does indeed increase the chance that junior will be crazy as a coot, too.

Rates of schizophrenia were highest among offspring of two parents with schizophrenia. Of the 196 couples who both had schizophrenia, 27.3 percent of their 270 children were admitted to a psychiatric facility, increasing to 39.2 percent when schizophrenia-related disorders were included. This compared with a rate of 7 percent among 13,878 offspring of 8,006 couples in which one parent had schizophrenia and 0.86 percent in 2.2 million offspring of 1 million couples in which neither parent was admitted for schizophrenia.

Turning these statistics back on their feet, and righting them, as would only be fitting, this means 73% of the children produced by two schizophrenic parents were given no schizophrenic disorder label. More perturbing is the 39.2 stat dealing with schizophrenia-related disorders, 61% of children with two parents labeled schizophrenic, of the study group, had no schizophrenia related disorder label attached to them. Given one parent that was coo-coo, there was a 93% chance of not winding up with another loony bird in the family. When neither parent was labeled a nut job, there was less than 1% chance that their mating would produce another psych ward inmate.

The researchers also looked into the % of children of bipolar labeled parents that received the same label.

Similarly, the risk of bipolar disorder was 24.9 percent in 146 offspring of 83 parent couples who were both admitted for bipolar disorder (increasing to 36 percent when unipolar depressive disorder was also included). This compared to a risk of 4.4 percent among 23,152 offspring of 11,995 couples with only one parent ever admitted for bipolar disorder and 0.48 percent in 2.2 million children of 1 million couples with neither parent ever admitted.

Funny thing, antidepressants used in the treatment of unipolar depressive disorder have been know to spur the development of bipolar disorder. I would suggest, given this spike, detoxifying would be a better approach to treatment than moving up to the more severe diagnosis, the more dangerous drugs, and the less promising prognosis.

Want to get confused? The researchers also looked into % children labeled who had cross diagnostically labeled parents.

When one parent had bipolar disorder and the other had schizophrenia, offspring had a 15.6 percent risk of schizophrenia and an 11.7 percent risk of bipolar disorder.

This translates into a roughly 84% chance of not having a child with the schizophrenia label, and an 88% of having a child who wasn’t labeled bipolar.

I suggest that an over reliance on the part of a few long suffering families on psychiatrists and psychiatry has much to do with why these rates are so high in some families. Maybe, as Dr. Steven and Dr. Sylvia Wolin suggested, looking at the kids who don’t go bonkers can teach us a thing or two about the differences in perspective and attitude between those who don’t catch “mental illness’ and their less stable siblings.

If you were to ask for my advice on how to read this kind of research, I’d say don’t read too much into it. This is a lot like safe driving, and traffic fatality information. You don’t want to become a statistic yourself if you can possibly help it, and according to most experts in the field, you can help it.

Resilience or recovery or both

I recently read this interesting, and misleading, Psychology Today article entitled How to Survive (Practically) Anything. It is actually an interview with Psychiatrists Steven Wolin and his wife Sylvia. The interview is introduced as follows.

Early November past, Steven Wolin, a soft-spoken psychiatrist, walked onto a stage in Dallas and delivered a critical karate chop to the 4,000 members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy sitting in stunned silence before him. He told them that America is being turned into “a nation of emotional cripples” under their eyes.

Uh huh. You’ve got the selling of “mental illness”, and the selling of the pharmaceutical products that go along with “it”, right, front, and center. In the Not Only Department, you’ve got an ever expanding Nanny State to take care of this ever growing population of slackers, wastrels, artificial invalids, and other responsibility evaders.

Over the past 10 years, he said, traditional psychiatric thinking “has slipped out of professional hands, where it had shortcomings enough, into the popular culture, where it has gone wild. I am referring to the Recovery Movement, which I believe has become dangerous. It completely bypasses our capacity for resilience. It glorifies frailty, lumps trivial disappointments with serious forms of mental illness, and portrays the human condition as a disease.”

I have to take issue with this bashing of the Recovery Model of treatment. I don’t, for one thing, know why recovery would be considered at odds with resiliency, ostensibly the subject of this interview. I have my own issues with the Recovery That Is Not Recovery Model of treatment, all too common these days, but that is altogether another matter entirely.

Steven: The Damage Model is a belief about the intergenerational transmission of disease. It basically says that if your family is having trouble, the chances that you are going to get it are very high. It derives from traditional psychiatric thinking, conventional wisdom, and popular psychology, which stress how children growing up in adverse circumstances suffer lasting emotional disturbances. I call this prediction, with its bias toward pathology, the Damage Model. It is prophecy of doom.

I’ve seen this Damage Model put forward more often by conventional professional psychiatrists than I have by persons, amateur, paraprofessional, or professional, emphasizing the Recovery Model of treatment. It is my feeling that Dr. Wolin is being very defensive about his own profession while seeing only what he wants to see in what he calls the Recovery Movement. I believe that this movement, as he puts it, is probably more complex, varied, and diverse than he imagines it to be.

Steven Wolin and his wife oppose to this Damage Model of treatment a Challenge Model of treatment.

Steven: Both models start with the observation that the troubled family can inflict considerable harm on its children. In the Damage Model, children are seen as passive and without choices to help themselves. In the Challenge Model, the family is not only a destructive force but an opportunity. Survivors are challenged by the family’s troubles to experiment and to respond actively and creatively. Their preemptive responses to adversity, repeated over time, become incorporated into the self as lasting resiliencies.

Some of the statistical information presented in this interview is very encouraging. We learn, for instance, 85% of the children of alcoholics don’t become alcoholics; 70% of the children of child abusers don’t become child abusers; and, 90% of the children of schizophrenics don’t become schizophrenic. What worries me is that we may also be contributing to a discrimination problem by focusing solely on those who don’t develop a condition. There is another challenge, and this is the challenge for the alcoholic who triumphs over his or her alcoholism, the child abuser who ceases to abuse children, and the schizophrenic who recovers his or her reason. Resiliency, for me, is not just a matter of resisting the transmission of negative behavioral traits.

I recognize that the cult of victimization may have its devotees, but I think that such is the kind of thing a person can easily walk away from relatively unscathed. On the other hand, self-help advocacy does represent a survival/thrival technique for the person who may have experienced some set backs in life, and who may desperately require just such a dividend tool. However hard it might be to abandon the disabilities profession for the abilities profession, I don’t think it is any less hard for a psychiatrist to throw his or her own well intentioned doing for others business overboard. One way or another, people will get where they need to go. To tell the truth, I could use less of what is euphemistically referred to as self-help literature, and less psychiatry in the world, to boot.

The interview ends with a warning against developing the rigidity of a tin man. A danger the resilient type is credited with developing. I’m thinking, yep, if we’re talking resilience here, rubber might be thought of as the preferred element.

A little less levity, please

3 Indian models commit suicide prompting Indian shrink Harish Shetty to print a myth exposing article on the subject. Printed in the Self Help section of The Times Of India, the piece is called Suicide: Myths and facts. I’m wondering if people from India don’t think differently than the rest of us, just like kooks in general.

Myth: Suicidal attempts in families will dissuade relatives from doing the same when in emotional turmoil.
Fact: Suicidal behaviour can be seen in families across generations as depression can run in families and is genetic.

Yes, happiness ever after may not always be the rule, but rather than marrying members from two unhappy suicidal families together, maybe we ought to consider mating the happy family member with the unhappy family member, and counting the number of heads that come out.

Myth: Only those who are mentally ill are prone to suicide.
Fact: Those who are mentally ill are more prone to suicide but those without any mental illness may also be driven to it following situations such as a sudden financial loss, sudden discovery of a fatal illness, failure in exams, etc.

Moot point considering failing at suicide will get you a ‘mental illness’ label. That would make successful suicide mentally healthy, and sure, depending on your perspective but, had a person with a sudden financial loss, a terminal illness, flunking out of school, etc. been caught unhappy enough to hang from the rafters, chances are the person could have been labeled depressed (i.e. profoundly unhappy).

I’ve tried arguing against taking unhappiness too seriously, but seriously unhappy people often need the security blanket of a ‘mental illness’ label.

Myth: Strong minds and confident people never attempt suicide. Only weak minds do.
Fact: Strong minds do not exist. Each on of us can suffer from sadness and depression, and attempt suicide, though some are definitely more vulnerable than others.

“Strong minds do not exist.” Oh? Then do confident people exist? We could test the hypothesis if we tortured people, but the UN might object. I’m wondering, if we tortured a number of people so much that 100% percent of them went bonkers, would this experiment help to disprove the connection between ‘mental illness’ and heredity. I mean rather than individuals with a propensity to develop ‘the disease’, you’d have a species that was prone to get ‘the disease’, given sufficient unbearable treatment.

Oh, and it’s Mad Pride Day so I had to come up with something. Have a happy Mad Pride Day no matter how sanely unhappy you happen to be!