“Mental Illness” Debate Planned In The Bahamas

A very curious announcement has appeared in Bahamas Island Info. The announcement bears the heading First Psychiatric Debate On Mental Illness Planned. The theme of this debate has got me to wondering.

The debate will be held under the theme: “All Persons in society have the potential to develop a mental health disorder.” It is scheduled for Monday, November 15 at the Church of God on Bernard Road.

Researchers are currently searching for “mental illness” genes. If all persons in society have the potential to develop such a “disorder”, then it stands to reason that “mental illness” genes must exist in 100% of the population.

NIMBYism (Not In My BackYard-ism) would perhaps be less acceptable if all the potential neighbors of all people in mental health treatment were also potential mental patients.

This kind of reasoning goes to the heart of the matter. Are we dealing with more or less intact human beings, or are we dealing with an inferior subset who are less entitled to the same rights and consideration as everybody else, their kindred?

I’d like to see such debates conducted all over the world. There are a number of theoretical assumptions, given standard bio-medical model psychiatric practice, that debates of this nature might call into question.