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Honesty Is Less Healthy Than It Used To Be

What I miss in any discussion about mental health matters these days is honesty. The whole discussion, for a number of reasons, has become more dishonest than ever before. Deception and manipulation are more common in the mental health field than a stalk of hay in a haystack.

This wasn’t always the case. There was a time when a person could express an opinion. Nowadays, that opinion is expected to be backed up by data from quackery gizmos, biased study results, and stupid surveys.

Take the top 10 myths about mental illness, for instance. They are the results of a stupid survey intended to bolster the status of the shrink. and to bully errant shrinks into towing the mainstream bio-medical model line. Disagreement, given these survey results, is a steep drop off the career mountainside.

The deck is heavily stacked against honesty. Personal problems have been bureaucratically transmitted into organic dysfunctions. You can solve a problem, but for an organic dysfunction, what then? You need the services of a doctor mechanic for that. The doctor mechanic, it turns out, can’t really fix the dysfunction either, but he or she can make it more manageable. According to him or her anyway.

All sorts of weirdness genes have been pinpointed to help explain the weird person. We’re, of course, working under the assumption that weirdness isn’t only a social deviation, it’s also a genetic deviation. The genes of regular folk differ from the genes of weirdos precisely because regular folk aren’t “sickos”. Weirdness is a ticket to the state hospital. Surely weird genes must be what makes weird people weird.

All fine and dandy, but within every straight and regular person there is a secret weirdo struggling to get out. Perhaps his or her genes are just more recessive. Perhaps he or she is under a lot of social pressure to keep his or her inner weirdo contained. Perhaps he or she just doesn’t know what he or she is missing. I’m not saying they should find out what that something is. I’m not saying they shouldn’t find out either. I’m also not leaving that decision up to a psychiatrist.

The self-control clutch has been deemed beyond the grasp of the “disease”-controlled person. This is what the propaganda states. Man remains the master of his fate unless that man has been saddled with, from before birth presumably, a psychiatric tag. Psychiatric diagnosis stands at the threshold to sub-humanity. Funny thing, but that sub-humanity can take on the substance of a wind-blown leaf, too. Someone someday must write an article on the wonderful versatility of a pair of scissors.

A pair of scissors bears a certain relationship to that bottle of Thorazine in my drawer that didn’t diminish in pill numbers as time went on. This sedation in a bottle was itself sedated. It took a long time, basically because I was afraid someone might inquire, before I dumped the contents of that bottle out. As long as I kept it around I had an alibi. I was taking my pills. I must have been taking my pills. I had a pill bottle with pills in it. What became apparent as time went on was that this was a pill bottle I didn’t need.

I’ve seen a lot of people absolutely convinced that they’ve caught the “mental illness” bug. Cat flu or bad genes, it’s all the same. Negative thinking must be almost as utilitarian as positive thinking. What’s more, this is negativity masquerading as positivity. Given these limitations, blah blah blah, everything’s coming up roses. I’ve just discovered the secret to success, and it’s called an early retirement. Whatever!? In my case, problem solved, “disease” remedied. I guess for some folk the problem is the solution, just as the remedy is the “disease”. Not so for me. There came a time when I had to move on.