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Mental Health Policing On Miami Teacher Curricula

Did I say teacher curricula? Actually school workers across the board are being trained to walk the mental health cop beat. As the Miami Herald reports, in a story bearing the heading, Miami teachers get mental illness training…(Really? They train people in that, do they?)

Teachers, cafeteria workers and janitors in Miami-Dade County middle schools and high schools will receive training on how to identify early-warning signs of mental illness.

All you Miami area students out there remember ‘the straight and narrow’ because if you ever forget you’re likely to wind up somewhere near a mental health counseling center, if not in Dante’s Inferno.

The Herald reports the training will be administered by mental health professionals to about 100 school district psychologists and counselors. They, in turn, will train other employees. Possible signs of mental illness can include sleeping through class, bizarre writings and extreme risk-taking.

Students are advised to be wary and take necessary precautions. Take uppers (so called performance enhancing drugs) if you have to do so to get through boring classes. Hire a non-creative writing tutor if you think it will help you get to graduation. Scratch the idea of launching your own Jackass type film production as a video class project.

Beyond this you need to do a little research, and it wouldn’t hurt to get an outline of the teacher police work curricula to better escape detection and diagnosis. A little knowledge would allow you to move more easily under the radar so to speak. Students, that is to say, given teachers with “mental illness” training, need to hone their own mental health skills. If you’ve any question about what mental health skills entail, read a book on any “mental illness” label there is, and exclude from your daily behavioral repertoire those behaviors listed as “symptoms”.

Flamboyance, eccentricity, and non-conformity are to be suppressed until after graduation if possible. Free and critical thinking as well. The idea is to study the idea of dull until you have it down by heart. Breathe dull, think dull, act dull. Got it! Study dull. Dull will win you awards. Dull is the way to go. Dull is blood brother to “normal”. Dull will get you a job with a multinational corporation. Successful people work for high paying multinational corporations.

Just Wait Until “Adult ADHD” Rates Catch Up

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rates are going up. Hardly a shocking finding. If you invent a disease, disease rates are likely to go up rather than down without an effective way to expose you, and with you, it. As reported in Psychiatric Annals, Rate of ADHD diagnosis increased in past decade, researchers looking at trends among 842,830 schoolchildren aged 5 to 11 found the following.

According to the researchers, rates of ADHD diagnosis were 2.5% in 2001 vs. 3.1% in 2010, a relative increase of 24%. During the same period, the rate of ADHD diagnosis increased among whites (4.7% to 5.6%; RR=1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.4), blacks (2.6% to 4.1%; RR=1.7; 95% CI, 1.5-1.9) and Hispanics (1.7% to 2.5%; RR=1.6; 95% CI, 1.5-1.7). Rates of diagnosis among Asian/Pacific Islander and other racial groups remained unchanged.

We’re more hyperactive then in 2010 than we were in 2001, that is to say, that boys will be boys, and not only will boys be boys, but girls will be girls. Confused? You’re not alone. Or to be more on target, children will be children.

The rate increase among blacks was largely due to a growing number of girls with an ADHD diagnosis (RR=1.9; 95% CI, 1.5-2.3). Boys were more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD, but study results indicated that the sex gap may be closing among blacks. The researchers also observed a much higher rate of ADHD diagnosis among children living in high-income ($70,000 per year or more) households (P<.001).

Just imagine, sex equality in pathology. Things must be improving for folks of color out there, wouldn’t you say? Or, maybe not. The good news is the arrival of the spoiled brat syndrome so you folks out there in the ghetto don’t have to feel like you’re alone in your misery. Or, maybe not. Mommy and daddy uptown can buy success for junior, can’t they? …Oh, well…Them’s the breaks.

“Although the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened ADHD awareness among parents and physicians, increased use of screening and other preventive services, and variability in surveillance methods among institutions,” the researchers wrote.

Okay dokey. If awareness induces contagion, no wonder they say ‘ignorance is bliss’. Screening for figurative disease is going to increase the incidence of figurative disease. Undoubtedly. Calling screening and miseducation preventive is the real kicker though. Rates go up, and you’re preventing. Oh, yeah? Uh huh. Alluding to surveillance is more to the point. This isn’t about letting children be children, this is about training the next generation of corporate bureaucrats, and maybe, just maybe, we’ve got better things to be doing in the first place.

One factor  not listed, although the authors did mention not having any published ties to pharmaceutical companies, is the influence of drug markets on this increase. I can’t imagine it doesn’t have anything to do with stimulant, and the miscalled ‘performance enhancing’, drug sales, does it? Check out stock exchange figures sometime. I reckon, if anything, ADHD treatment drug makers aren’t suffering. The wall street party goes on and on, even if from here on out at a tightly guarded secret location.

A Little Bit of Discretion, Please

Bad advice remains bad advice. Bad parents are gullible parents. Skepticism, given the amount of nonsense floating about in the world today, is a virtue.

Are you dealing with Turbulent teens or mental illness? this article in the The Gleaner from Jamaica would deceptively appear to ask. The article is actually selling “mental illness”. It suggests that any reader’s child could be “sick”. First thought. Read on, and damn your kid to a diminished life as a social and human failure in the mental sickness system if you want to do so, or think better of the matter, and go, “Wait a minute, maybe pegging my kid with a psychiatric label isn’t the best way to proceed at all”.

The article answers the question, “What should parents do?” with the following 7 alarmist answers that were probably dreamed up by a pharmaceutical company advertising team.

1. Be vigilant. 2. Seek professional help. 3. Do not be afraid to seek psychiatric care. 4. Do not shove it under the carpet. 5. There is danger in delay.

My response to this orange alert approach to problems in living is to reply, “Bullshit!” He or she who seeks to find “sickness” in a child will find it, and he or she who seeks to find “wellness” in a child will find that. This approach would hunt for “illness” rather than for “health”. To paraphrase gospel, “Let he or she who is without error attach the first label”.

The article supplies its own “mental illness” screening test of sorts. It gives 8 warning signs of “mental illness”. Now you’ve got a “mental illness” checklist if you are really desperate to have a child labeled, disposed of in the loony bin, locked away and abandoned. The message is clear. You, too, given this checklist, can bear a brood of loony birds.

1. Change in behavior. 2. Decline in school performance. 3. Drug use. 4. Poor self-care. 5. [Change in pattern of] Social interaction. 6. Communication is reduced. 7. Family breakdown. 8. Strange behavior.

I’ve got news for you. Each of the items on this checklist is a “symptom” of being a teenager. Adolescent rebellion is not a disease. Mom, Dad, get over it! Junior has to grow up. Mental health treatment or no mental health treatment, you shouldn’t try to hang onto your kid forever. Your child is merely testing his or her wings. Some parents will suffocate their kid rather than accept the simple truth that the kid needs more independence.

I could draw up a checklist for kids to use in diagnosing parents, too, but this is all about power, and we don’t give kids that kind of power until they are deemed old enough to use it. Unfortunately, some grown up kids never get old enough to use it wisely.

It’s Getting To Be A Mad Mad Gene Hunt

The wierdness the mad gene hunt has taken on becomes apparent with a heading like the following one in Science Alert, Schizophrenia variants present in all. We’re all mad, in other words, but now we’re looking for DNA patterns that would link the mad ones with the ones who haven’t been caught yet.

While previous studies have pinpointed several genes along with rare chromosomal deletions and duplications associated with the disease, these account for less than three per cent of risk of schizophrenia.

I remember reading about a chromosomal deletion that was found in 1 % of the schizophrenic population. Ironically the population labeled schizophrenic comprises about 1 % of the entire population. 1 out of 4 people with this chromosomal deletion were found to develop schizophrenia…

This coincidence is no smoking gun, surely.

But the new method found that about a quarter of schizophrenia is captured by many variants that are common in the general population.

These mad gene patterns occur in a lot of people who aren’t mad, too. Imagine that.

According to QBI’s [University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute], Associate Professor Naomi Wray, who led the international study, this suggests that we all carry genetic risk variants for schizophrenia, but that the disease only emerges when the burden of variants, in combination with environmental factors, reaches a certain tipping point.

Great going, Naomi! You get Lunatic Fringe’s Mad Scientist Of The Hour Award!

Genetic risk variants, in combination with environmental factors? Oh, and do environmental factors alone explain the other 75 % of the mad population? As we are dealing with biological psychiatry, I imagine the correct answer given would have to be no. The claim being we just haven’t found all the other genetic risk variants we are looking for.

I’ve read where researchers thought “mental illness” was 70 % biologically determined. Alright. We’re onto 1 in 4 cases, but we’ve still got a long long ways to go before we’ve get the other 45 % figured out.

What test did they use to come up with this 70 % figure? Well, it has to be over 50 % as they’re biological psychiatry proponents. It has to be under 100 % because there are a lot of blurred lines in the field. Just think about the number of people initially with ADHD, depression, and other disorder labels that were later tagged bipolar. In theory, supposedly based on evidense, the bipolar gene is connected to the schizophrenia gene, and so on. I imagine maybe somebody held that a 7 being his or her lucky number would look good with a zero following it.

Anyway someday we will have all these mad genes that everybody has figured out. You think?

My ten-cents on the DSM-5 debate debacle, part 2

I was going to drop the DSM-5 discussion last week, but another article came to light, and I just couldn’t do it. Sorry. This time its an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, Not Diseases But Categories of Suffering.

It’s not the current A.P.A.’s fault. The fault lies with its predecessors. The D.S.M. is the offspring of odd bedfellows: the medical industry, with its focus on germs and other biochemical causes of disease, and psychoanalysis, the now-largely-discredited discipline that attributes our psychological suffering to our individual and collective history.

Actually the delusion of the APA is that the DSM will resolve this conflict, it’s revisionist editors from the very beginning have been the very people behind ‘the discrediting’, mentioned in the above paragraph, of psychoanalysis.

The American Psychiatric Association has been trying to do just that ever since, mostly by leaving behind ideas about the meaning of our suffering in favor of observation and treatment of its symptoms. In 1980, it hit on the strategy of adopting a medical rhetoric, organizing those symptoms into neat disease categories and checklists of precisely described criteria and publishing them in the hefty — and, according to its chief author, “very scientific-looking” — D.S.M.-III.

The pathologizing of human suffering, and not suffering symptomatic of any known physical disease, but rather that suffering which can be said to have arisen from emoting and thinking. Types of suffering are seen as disease manifested through a variety of symptoms.

Previously I stated that this process was a matter of normalizing medicalization, and this is so, what we’ve got here is medicine’s incursion into areas that, strictly speaking, are specifically not medical, and specifically not science.

In this Op-Ed piece we read the following, “And as any psychiatrist involved in the making of the D.S.M. will freely tell you, the disorders listed in the book are not “real diseases,” at least not like measles or hepatitis. Instead, they are useful constructs that capture the ways that people commonly suffer.” I wonder why does so much of the mental health industry rhetoric and literature insist then on stating that “mental illnesses” are real, that they are real diseases, and not only that they are real diseases, but that they are diseases of the brain. We’re stuck with an either/or that would be a both/and, but…Hey, whatever stretch you can come up to resolve that one has got to break on close examination.

My feeling has always been that this clamor is going to fizzle to a uncomfortable grumble once the volume is released in 2013. If such is the case it will be unfortunate indeed. For years now we’ve been uncomfortably enduring the fruits of the DSM-IV. Those fruits are these growing epidemics of autism, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and depression. My feeling is that as the DSM usually works by division and addition rather than subtraction (starting with 28 mental disorders, now you’ve got something like 374) the 20 % USA labeled “mentally ill” rate is likely to go up rather than down.

The DSM has been referred to as the psychiatrists’ bible. The bible is the number 1 best selling book of all time. The DSM is doing none too poorly itself.

On the other hand, given that the current edition of the D.S.M. has earned the association — which holds and tightly guards its naming rights to our pain — more than $100 million, we might want to temper our sympathy. It may not be dancing at the ball, but once every mental health worker, psychology student and forensic lawyer in the country buys the new book, it will be laughing all the way to the bank.

‘Laughing all the way to the bank’ together with drug company executives riding piggyback on this volume of sheer non-sense. The mortality gap for people in treatment labeled with psychosis is widening, not narrowing. This mortality gap is the direct result of our societies over reliance on the quick and chemical fix. The quick and chemical fix is one of the results of using this balderdash to treat people who suffer. At one time we as a nation were a lot better off where our emotional stability was concerned, and at that time there was no DSM. We could be a lot better off again if we were to chuck the present volume into the trash heap now, and call off any future revisions. The internal national enemy of a rising “mental illness” rate is not going away anytime soon as long as this book is used to alienate, marginalize, and disempower an increasingly large segment of the American populace.

On finding another illness with little or no basis

One headline struck my consciousness as curious in recent weeks for exposing certain blatant weaknesses in current biological psychiatric theory. WebMD covered the story with an article titled, CDC: Morgellons Disease May Be Psychiatric Disorder. The truth of the matter is a little more profound than this headline suggests.

Extensive study of people suffering from Morgellons disease — including analysis of their mysterious “skin fibers” — finds no underlying cause of the illness.

If no physical cause to a disease can be found then it is deemed to be psychological in nature or, in other words, a “mental illness”. Now going from saying that it is “all in the head” to claiming it is a “disease of the brain”, and that it has a “genetic basis”, is quite some leap, but this is precisely the kind of leap, in presumption more than theory, that modern medical-model psychiatry is so adept at making. “Brain disease” being a physical cause, if “mental illness” were found to stem from a “brain disease”, psychiatrists would need to find another profession. Literally, a “mentally ill” person is a person who is suffering, or not functioning if you prefer, for a reason that has no known physical basis.

So just what the heck is Morgellons Disease?

Morgellons symptoms are as creepy as the name implies. Patients report slow-to-heal sores that often feel like bugs are crawling under their skin. They often scratch themselves raw. And they also report that mysterious colored fibers, granules, worms, eggs, fuzzballs, or other stuff comes out of their skin.

Somebody should make a list of dubious diseases someday, from fibromyalgia to restless leg syndrome, that give people with weak constitutions and temperaments an easy excuse for demanding special and specialized attention. I would wager it would become quite an extensive list in time if one looked long and hard enough into the matter.

Disease has not been ruled out in the case of Morgellons, but, and a long but it is…

They suggest that the patients’ symptoms and histories are similar to those of patients with a psychiatric condition called delusional infestation — the delusional belief that one is infested with parasites.

Now if these diseases, as there is no disease at all present, actually represent beliefs, it is actually this perceived need for a special or specialized attention that is the thing with which we must contend. I suggest that our society is not nearly as hearty as it once was due to the harboring of so many of these fallacious beliefs, and the humoring of so many people who have been so persuaded. When 1 in 5 people in the USA at the present date, according to recent reports, are said to be have contracted a “mental illness”, perhaps our efforts would be better directed at diverting a few more of this number from making such a radical conversion in faith.

Ending an epidemic means reversing the damage

More than 1 in 10 people in the USA are reported to be on antidepressants at this time. 1 in 5 people are reported to be on psychiatric drugs. When these people are women, fully 1 in 4 of them are reported to be on psychiatric drugs. The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the leading cause of disability by the year 2020. This is incredible from my perspective. So many people with nothing physical wrong with them are claiming to have a “mental” ailment. The predominate delusion of mainstream psychiatry, at this time, is that there is something physically wrong with them.

The rate of “mental illness” labeling in the USA is so high because the selling of psychiatric drugs and mental health treatment is so pervasive. The thing that separates patients from non-patients is treatment with psychiatric drugs. This treatment comes with a flooding of pro-treatment propaganda. When people are convinced that they are wanting, or ill, then they become patients. Before people are convinced, they are resistant and doubtful with regard to the need, and therefore they must be persuaded. What we have at this time is not a need for more convincing but, rather, a need for more unconvincing.

“Mental illness” labeling has reached epidemic proportions. How could it be otherwise when mental health screening programs are aggressively pursuing more candidates for treatment? How could it be otherwise when mental health professionals claim that “stigma” is preventing people from seeking treatment? How could it be otherwise when mental health treatment is seen as the solution to a media generated fear of  multiple murderers? How could it be otherwise when drug companies inundate magazines, television shows, and internet websites with advertisements for their products?

Focus on the epidemic, ironically enough, doesn’t seem to come from people who want to stem the epidemic. Focus on the epidemic comes from people seeking to raise funds for mental health programs with varying degrees of ineffectiveness. These people are often people who have a stake in raising funds for mental health programs, either as mental health professionals or as family members of dependent patients. In theory these programs are doing something about the problem, our epidemic. In reality many of these programs are feeding the very epidemic they would claim to be countering.

Mental health professionals tend to be very efficient at getting people into treatment. Mental health professionals tend to be very inefficient at getting people out of treatment. ½ of all people labeled with lifelong “mental illness” were labeled by the age of 14 years. Chronicity, or lifelong “mental illness” labeling, is what you get when people go into treatment and don’t come out of treatment–alive. These people don’t come out of treatment alive because of the crippling dependency that it breeds and fosters.

Until this failure to recover people from dependency is addressed, and corrected, the “mental illness” labeling rate will continue to rise unabated. How can it do otherwise? What we call “mental illness” is in actuality the development of a dependency on the mental health system. We’ve got a system that removes people from working situations, and that never returns them to working situations. These people are marginalized and disempowered by the very system that claims to be “helping” them. When the mental health system starts to spend a fraction of the time and energy it spends on acquiring patients, its “consumer” base, on graduating contributing members of society, only then will we have a chance to make a dent on this epidemic in disability.

Wallowing In The Mess Age

Things used to be much simpler before the economic bubble burst, and we developed this homeless problem we’ve got today. I continually find myself amused by stories arising from this situation, like the following one from the Detroit Free Press, Man helps the mentally ill in Grand Rapids.

The people Clyde Sims helps on the streets of Grand Rapids often are homeless, addicted to drugs and sometimes did time in jail. But there’s one thing they don’t want to accept: their mental illness.

Hello!? X is homeless, on illicit drugs, and a jailbird, right? Let’s just give X a 4rd problem. Call X “mentally ill” and put X on prescription drugs. Excuse my math, but I don’t see the improvement.

“They say, ‘Call me anything but crazy,'” Sims said.

I expect some of them have been called many things, some things much worse than ‘crazy’.

It’s his job to change their minds and get them help.

Is this a change for the better, or a change for the worse? And is this “help” we are going for “help”, or just harm mascerading as “help”? Oh, I know…too many questions…

Sims, 63, is a peer support specialist for Street Reach, a Cherry Street Health Services program that seeks out people with mental illness and substance abuse and gets them treatment.

You want to know why we’ve got the “mental illness” problem we’ve got today? Well, if somebody has to seek people out, and seek to change their minds, to convince them that they have a “mental illness”, why do you think we’ve got the “mental illness” problem we’ve got today? Oh, yeah, and on top of the homeless problem?

Sims has hung out under bridges and set up with coffee on the streets of Heartside. He has convinced people to get assessed by Street Reach clinicians and meet with psychiatrists. He has helped them find places to live.

If “mental illness” means a roof over one’s head, and three square meals, for a homeless person. Yeah, sure, that might work…

“When you’ve hurt a lot of people, you want to help a lot of people,” he said. “I want to get them thinking, ‘Maybe I’m not homeless because I’m bad. Maybe I’m bipolar. Maybe I need to get off these drugs.’

Or maybe I’m homeless because I don’t have a house. That one works, too, you know…Maybe I’m abusing drugs or whatnot because I don’t have a job, and I don’t have a house, or an apartment for that matter. Maybe I don’t have a job because the economy is in shambles, and a lot of people don’t have jobs. Maybe the economy is in shambles because some rich bastards are busy screwing over the vast majority of essientially poorer people for the sake of the moolah they rake in doing so.

It’s kind of a big rat eats littler rats world out there, isn’t it?

“God has taken my mess,” he said, “and made it my message.”

If contagious “mental illness” were my message, I’d think about holding my tongue. This is where the message ascends to new, and never before seen, heights of absurdity. We have an epidemic of psychiatric disability in this country, and these self-proclaimed experts in the field would have us escalate that crisis. You can’t sell psychiatric drugs without, at the same time, selling “mental illness”. Of course, they don’t see themselves as increasing the numbers of “mentally ill” in this country. Instead they see it as a matter of finding those “mentally ill” who were there all along. I’ve got news for them. The numbers don’t work. They weren’t there all along.

A Word On International Psychiatric Oppression Day (IPOD)

Yesterday, October the 10th, was International Psychiatric Oppression Day. I didn’t post yesterday because I felt silence more befitting for such a day of mourning. I know the thought police and their associates have a different expression for this day. They call it World Mental Illness Awareness Day or World Mental Health Day. Whatever you call it, that doesn’t prevent it from being an International Psychiatric Oppression Day.

The thought police and their goons conduct annual mental health screenings on this occasion. The purpose of these screenings is to find more people to whom they can attach “mental illness” labels. These screenings, in effect, serve as a recruitment grounds for patients in the mental health system. These patients are referred to as consumers as they consume mental health services (i.e. take pills). They keep the billion dollar drug industry booming, and they are the life and blood of the current epidemic in psychiatric disability that keeps Social Security dishing out those checks.

The thought police claim that there is a “stigma” attached to receiving psychiatric treatment, and that this is why it is so important for them to conduct these screenings. When people deemed in need of treatment are fain to come forward of their own free will, it helps to have detection devices like mental health screening tests to smoke them out. It must be remembered that although people under the law have the freedom to receive psychiatric treatment, they don’t have any freedom to refuse such treatment. Mental health screening tests are just one more way for psychiatrists to find the people to whom labels might be attached. This procedure supplements the pay that walks into their offices voluntarily.

The USA is the epicenter of the current worldwide epidemic in psychiatric disability. Big pharma must sell drugs, but in order to sell these drugs big pharma must also sell “mental illness” labels (i.e. mental health services). The drugs that big pharma sells have been shown to be a contributing factor in the extremely high mortality rates people in psychiatric treatment are known to have. The drug companies must make up for these losses by expanding their markets. One way of expanding these markets is by screening the population as a whole for mental health.

There are 300 + psychiatric labels in the DSM IV, the field guide and bible of psychiatric disabilities. The DSM is growing with every new label a revision committee elects into its “disease” pantheon. Thankfully, most of these labels are relatively trivial, and might escape detection by a mental health screening test. A minority of people are, at this time, being treated for “mental illness” labels. This situation is subject to change. The World Health Organization, for example, predicts that by the year 2020 depression will be the leading cause of disability in the world. Any imaginative soothsayer ought to be able to predict a time in the future when the majority of the people on earth will have psychiatric labels attached to them.

An antonym for oppression is liberation. We have a day to celebrate psychiatric liberation, too, and that day is July 14th. Bastille Day in France is Mad Pride Day around the world. 2 madmen were among the 7 people liberated from the Bastille when it was stormed in 1789. We know people can liberate themselves from their labels, and we celebrate this fact on that day. Sometimes we call this liberation recovery. We call this liberation recovery because much of the thing people are recovering from is oppression. Internalized oppression, and learned helplessness, come of psychiatric labeling and institutionalization. What you don’t hear so much about is the fact that there is a way out of this pathos of iniquity. Ability and facility come of breaking the chains of such oppression and labeling. This facility starts with the dawning awareness that “sickness”, the label, isn’t everything.

Report claims half the people in the USA bonkers

A story in DoctorsLounge.com, Half of Americans Will Suffer From Mental Health Woes, CDC Says, covers a new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that claims about ½ the people in the USA will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

About half of Americans will experience some form of mental health problem at some point in their life, a new government report warns, and more must be done to help them.

Given that the USA is at the epicenter of the current WORLDWIDE epidemic in psychiatric disability, I don’t really find this statistic all that surprising. Pharmaceutical companies must sell pharmaceutical products, and as a result of this advertising frenzy, the USA has become the leading example of a growing prescription drug culture.

Straight off I can see 3 obvious reasons for this epidemic that many mental health professionals are apparently fain to spot. 1. direct to consumer advertising (legal only in the USA and New Zealand) by drug manufacturers, 2. mental health screening programs (they have incredibly high false positive rates), and 3. patient advocacy group anti-stigma campaigns (when having a “mental illness” becomes cool and trendy, there will be more people claiming to have one.).

There are “unacceptably high levels of mental illness in the United States,” said Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC. “Essentially, about 25 percent of adult Americans reported having a mental illness in the previous year. In addition to the high level, we were surprised by the cost associated with that — we estimated about $300 billion in 2002.

Did you get that! About ¼ of the adult population of the USA reported having a “mental illness” last year. They are also talking costs, estimated at $300,000,000,000. Well, I know that so-called “serious mental illness”, lifelong disability, can be very expensive. Add to it doctor visits for the psychiatric equivalent of the common cold, and you’re still talking money down the tubes.

“Mental illness is frequently seen as a moral issue or an issue of weakness,” Arias explained. “It is a condition no different from cancer or other chronic diseases. People need to accept the difficulties they are having and avail themselves of the resources that are available.”

Ileana Arias says a lot of things on this subject in this article, and every time she says something, I feel like cracking up. If she’s saying that ½ the people in the USA are going to have a brain disease, I think she must be as batty as some of the people psychiatry treats. More to the point, if ½ the people in the USA will have “mental illness” at some point in their lives, that “mental illness” has more to do with a lapse in moral fortitude and strength of character than it does with any inheritable disease.

The report says 5 % of the nation’s population was labeled “seriously mentally ill”, that is, unable to function, at some point last year. That would be about my estimate, too. This figure I expect to climb even further in the future.

The question I have to ask is what is making the USA such a difficult country to live in? When this article claims 8.4 million people had suicidal thoughts last year. Shrug. I imagine the real figure to be a bit higher. 2.2 million made plans to kill themselves, and 1 million attempted suicide. Attempting suicide, unlike succeeding, will get anyone a psychiatric label. This article doesn’t explain how we make this country a more livable place for the vast majority of people who inhabit it, and that, I think, is the question you have to ask before you can expect the emotional turmoil rate to go down.

The absolutely amazing thing is you’ve got this report saying 50 % of the people in the USA will experience mental health issues during their lifetimes, and this shrink in the same article says under-diagnosis and under-treatment is a big problem! Uh, I don’t think so. Remember with nostalgia the silent majority then, and welcome the new Mad Majority. Half of the people of the USA is two thirds of the way to 75 % of the people in the USA. I guess our movement must be making progress.