The Coming Plague

I have a friend who spends much of his time traveling in Asia. He is a psychiatric survivor, and he says he prefers Asia to the USA precisely because people are not going on and on about “mental health”, “mental health treatment”, and “mental disorders” all the time there.

In the USA, on the other hand, it is thought right and proper to air “mental health” laundry. It is thought by some, not yours truly, that bringing “mental illness” out of the shadows so-to-speak is a way of attacking the “stigma” associated with psychiatric labels.  The problem with this way of thinking is that it doesn’t acknowledge that the “stigma” comes with the label, in fact, you could say they are identical.

I’m sick of hearing about “mental health” myself. I’m sick of hearing about “mental health treatment”, and I’m sick of hearing about “mental disorders”. In some quarters of the nation this medico-literary emphasis is truly obsessive, and what comes of obsessing? Well, often it is excess.

There is a demand for “mental illness” because without  “mental illness” “mental health” wouldn’t have a market. Perhaps, for the sake of clarity, I need to rephrase the last sentence. A rich supply of “mental illness” fuels the market for “mental health treatment” which in turn creates a further demand for “mental illness”, a demand all too easily met.

The “mental illness” rates have been soaring for years. The World Health Organization tells us “mental illness” is set to distance physical illness as the number one cause of disability in the world. This means the number one reason for “disability payments” by the government, supplied by labor of  tax payers, in the future is going to be “mental illness”.

Right away we’ve got a problem. For all the efforts psychiatry has made to claim psychiatric problems somatic, this supposition remains devoid of solid proof.  Psychiatry has been notoriously unsuccessful, not as a business, but as a branch of medical science. The proof is in the pudding, and in this instance, the pudding is more and more rather than less and less “mental illness”.

In those instances where it is claimed a person has a “mental illness”, recovery, or a cure, if you will, is seen as out of the question. Of course, this is a relative statement. So called minor “mental disorders” lending themselves to effective treatment much more readily than major “mental disorders”. It work’s the other way, too. It is not unheard of for minor “disorders” to develop into major “disorders”, and then, well, we’ve once again hit the snag of poor prognoses.

I would say that this obsession is not a very healthy one. Were we to talk less about “mental health”, I feel certain that we as a nation would be less beset with what are sometimes referred to as “mental health issues”.  Were we to diagnose less of it, well, there you go. Already a cure is at hand. Problems demand solutions. When “mental health issues” are communication and situational problems, no amount of “medical treatment” nonsense is going to solve them.

“Mental Illness” The Industry

It’s an awkward position to be in. If you say one thing you offend one set of people, and if you say another thing you offend another set. Things are definitely not as simple as they were 20 years ago, and yet, at the same time, they are more simple.

Were I ambitious I’d be kissing the asses that would get me somewhere, but I’m not interested in advancing myself in the disability field. It is a field that I think, in itself, reflects much of the corruption in psychiatry, and psychiatry is corrupt through and through.

You’ve got people putting in as many hours, if not more, in the disability field than you do outside of the disability field, and when somebody puts in that kind of time and effort, that person isn’t disabled, literally.

The problem concerns what often tends to be the result of putting in all those hours. If it is more people calling themselves “disabled”, is that really a progressive and positive outcome? If it is a rapidly expanding “mental illness” industry, who needs it?

When we talk about mental health, usually we are talking about mental health treatment, and the people being treated are those labeled “mentally ill”. This makes mental health all about mental health treatment, and not about the absence of “mental illness”.

There are, for example, multiple strategies for prevention on the horizon, but only some of these strategies are actually preventative, some are causative. The thing folks like to downplay is the fact that before the psychiatrist enters the picture disease is conjecture.

Even when a diagnosis has been made, you’ve got psychiatrists calling diagnosis an art. Why is it an art? Simple. It’s not science. We haven’t got any bacteria, we haven’t got any viruses, we haven’t even got any lesions of the brain, but we have got diagnostic labels.

A symptom in psychiatry is an unwanted behavior. Check off enough unwanted behaviors from a list, and you can call the patterns of behavior you are looking at in a person a “Mental disorder”. Psychiatrists do so everyday of the week.

Diagnoses are fluid and subject to change. Normalcy, non-deviance, or mental health, is outside of the doctors domain of expertise and, therefore, outside of the doctors office. Doctors have labels, not cures. Medications manage, they don’t alleviate symptoms. entirely, and it is quite probable that they exasperate symptoms, that is, unwanted behaviors.

The mental health community is not synonymous with the community as a whole. It is this artificial barrier, this insular cushion, this parenthetic netherworld, this nouveau ghetto, borne of coercion, intolerance, prejudice and dependency, that is my locus of concern. I would like to see it shrink rather than expand.

I feel that this turning ill health into a growth industry is criminal and, as such, it should be prosecuted, not encouraged. Problem. The care and management of ‘lunatics’ began as a growth industry, and so it remains to this day. I suggest that perhaps a change in priorities would make much more sense.

Sacred Cow Mental Health Mental Illness Dogma

A great sacred cow of our times is the idea of “mental illness”.  Expose the sacred cow for the myth that it is, and you are, according to some of its most fervent adherents, converts, and devotees, “stimatizing” people who are convinced they have it, hampering people who would treat it, and dismaying people who use it as a convenient excuse to get annoying people out of the way.

The dogma is just that, dogma. You’ve heard the dogma before, “Mental illness is real, it is biological, it is brain disease”.  Given these premises, and they’re only premises, nothing has been established here. People with it, that is, “mental illness”, are thought to be beyond self-control. They are, as it has been put, thought to be “controlled by their illnesses”.

The executive function of the brain has been short circuited by an idea. We’ve replaced the demons of religion and sin with the no less far fetched demons of “mental illness”. You can’t find it on a microscope slide, you can’t test for it, you can only ascertain its existence through the services of certain professionals trained to diagnose it. This diagnosis, according to some of these professionals, is more of an art than a science.

Given that we are dealing with what purports to be medical science, exposing this fraud for the fraud that it actually is can bring you accusations of raising the suicide rate. People don’t kill themselves for reasons. They kill themselves because they are ‘sick’, according to theory. Negative emotions, unhappiness, sadness, moodiness, are all “sicknesses”, according to theory. Cause is “disease”, the opposite of good fortune. Effect is a label and treatment.

Excuse me, excessive negative emotions are “diseases”, and they are excessive if they are enough to bring you before one of these imposters trained in picking them out. In other words, everyday ordinary emotions are not excessive until they send one into the presence of a “disease” detector, and if one crosses the thresholds of one of these “disease” detectors, one’s negative emotions must have been excessive.

 As far as Catch 21s go, you’ve hardly scratched the surface of the number of ways a person might get caught up in this process. The new heretics, disbelievers in those initial premises, must be dealt with, and they are dealt with in a number of ways.  Dismissal for the employee, treatment for the patient, silence and persecution for the critic, ostracism and discrimination among them.

The panacea of this new religion is the pharmaceutically achieved chemical lobotomy, the chemical strait-jacket, the chemical coffin.  People can now live in the community rather than be segregated from it because they are on these wonderful new anti-mental illness drugs goes the story. Suppression is cure. Suppression of the self. Self-expression here seen as an assemblage of unwanted ‘symptoms” equaling “disease”.

What you’ve got to realize is that before these drugs are even used you’ve got a diminishment of the human being into something less than a human being in the dogma. Anybody who doesn’t make the cookie cutter fit for a 9 to 5 dismally gray existence is by default “mentally ill”. Mental health treatment isn’t about healing “sick” people, it is about eliminating maladaptive behavior.

Some people don’t learn the ropes, and for those people we have a psychiatric label and treatment. The ropes I’m speaking of are conventional steps to conventional success. Problem: conventional success often means unconventional failure. One answer to a misstep here or there is the motivational specialist in the self-help field. as a career option. Another answer is the sky, about which I hold my tongue.

Breaking Up The Shrink Crime Syndicate

My virtue was that I never made a good little “mental patient”. Compliance with a treatment plan, such as adhering to an irritating brain-numbing drug taking regimen, in other words, was never my forte’. When “mental patient’ isn’t your goal in life, it’s hard to become a conscientious “consumer of mental health services”.  “Consumer of mental health services” in today’s parlance translates “chronic mental patient”. The person who refuses to “consume mental health services” isn’t a “mental patient”.

Not being a conscientious “consumer of mental health services”, from the beginning I was looking for an escape clause. Prognosis, you will notice, here would be a matter of living down to expectations. “Mental illness”, after all, is all a matter of applying the odd man, odd woman, out school of philosophy in practice. This means that there are no good prognoses in the mental health field, only calculated curses of a sort. “Mental illness”, then, by definition, is a matter of being launched on a failure track.

I don’t like losing any more than the next person, and so I found this loser track to be somewhat distressing, to say the least, and what’s more, I didn’t think it was the right track for me. What could I do? First you’ve got the diagnostic tag, “mental illness”.  Then you’ve got the role, “mental patient” or “consumer of mental health services”. The tag and the role have been supplemented by the recovery approach to treatment. The recovery approach to mental health treatment sees recovery as a journey without a destination.  In other words, the patient is expected to recover in the sense that he or she is not expected to recover.

Okay. If you don’t want to be a “chronic mental patient”, you’ve got to stop “consuming mental health services”. This was a little easier for me than it has been for some other people. This is because the better part of “mental health services” is something called “medication management”. That’s right. “Mental health treatment” in today’s world is all about treatment with psychiatric drugs. Those drugs are the primary ingredient in the services that “consumers of mental health services” consume. Stop taking psychiatric drugs, and you’ve ultimately slipped the butterfly net. There is nothing left to mental health services but endless talk.

I have to backtrack a little bit here. Outpatient services are a blast in the most ridiculous way. In fact, everything about outpatient services is ridiculous. Take vocational rehabilitation. You’ve got people pretending to be working for no pay. People expected to never hold down a real job do this thing where they go through the motions day after day. They do everything, in fact, but go to the employment agency and fill out a form. This is the difference between a patient and a non-patient. Non-patients are a little less serious about the matter, and they have  managed to become the masters of filling out employment applications.

Given pervasive discrimination, don’t let me bash networking. The clown takes his or her costume off, and he or she still desires something of the human touch. The network is full of imposters, double agents, and swindlers, but to say so would be to hazard a diagnostic label and, frankly, I’ve had enough of that racket. Which brings me to the point. Psychiatry and prescription dope peddling are organized criminal activities as far as I’m concerned. I’ve heard of one instance where the Rico Statute was used against a pharmaceutical company. I hope to see more such realistic moves and appraisals being made in the future.

Antipsychiatry and Forced Mental Health Treatment?

I recently read, for the first time, the long out of print Psychiatry and Antipsychiatry authored by David G. Cooper. The question I had, in dipping into this slender volume, it’s only 148 pages long, was could there be any credence to Thomas Szasz’s accusations that some of the leading proponents of so called antipsychiatry were actually, if not favoring forced mental health treatment, soft on forced treatment?

The book bears a copyright for the year 1967, the same year co-hort R. D. Laing came out with The Politics of Experience. Between the two books, Laing’s is the stronger work, and to bear this point out, it is still in print. I had read Laing’s book years and years ago, and I had little desire to return there. However I was curious about this other book which had introduced the world to a strange new word, antipsychiatry.

I had gotten the idea from what I was reading that this idea of antipsychiatry was still relatively rudimentary, and I was surprised to get out of the book, rather than simply a diatribe against psychiatry, more psychiatry. David Cooper simply contrasts what we call biological psychiatry with his own psycho-dynamic brand of psychiatry, dubbed antipsychiatry. The arguments used, if more fully developed, are still around today.

What goes to the point of the question I was posing is the fact that David Cooper’s experiment, Villa 21, took place on an inpatient ward in Shenley psychiatric Hospital. This means that the people, males in the case of Villa 21, were not allowed to come and go as they pleased. They were literally prisoners. Cooper in fact dismissively refers in his book to a 1959 law under which they were held. You can only do so much on a locked ward at an inpatient facility, even if you are a psychiatrist wishing to implement changes.

The term Cooper used for what conventional psychiatry did was “quasi-medical”. This is a big difference between his view and my own. Psychiatry is simply not medicine, as far as I am concerned, despite the educational training of its practitioners and the pretence.  I’ve got another term for what this sort of conventional psychiatry is all about, and that term is quasi-legal. You’ve got a law for locking up innocent people, who have broken no law, on medical pretences. Generally the law exists to protect people from just such a consequence, making mental health law very murky territory indeed.

Much of his critique is subtle. The state is left off the hook, mostly, while he goes after one small unit for the implementation of the state’s will, the family. He begins his book by making violence a central issue, but this violence boils down to an invalidation on the part of parents and siblings of a family member. The state, the school, and the communities role in this depersonalization and invalidation is downplayed. He, as a therapist, is working to resolve issues that come up within this relatively circumscribed context.

I have always thought that R. D. Laing’s experiment at Kingsley Hall would have been much preferable to what I experienced. Such is the kind of an option that I wish I had had when I was imprisoned and forcibly drugged in a psychiatric hospital that I didn’t have. R. D. Laing had earlier worked in a psychiatric ward run by the military to loosen restrictions there. The problem with developing alternatives to conventional psychiatry, a problem that Dr. Szasz, restricting himself to private practice, didn’t have, is that doing so is going to mean a relationship to conventional psychiatry, and perhaps, as such, compromising with principle.

When this compromise is allowed to swerve into hypocrisy, we’ve got a problem. There has been some suggestion that the stance of R. D. Laing in the 80’s was not quite so adamant as the stance of the Laing of the 60s and 70s had been. As Thomas Szasz put it in his Reply to [Tristram] Englehardt in Szasz Under Fire, Edited by Jeffrey A. Schaler:

Even the “antipsychiatrist” Ronald Laing recoiled from denying the reality of mental illness, rejected my opposition to psychiatric coercions, and reasserted his loyalty to psychiatry as medicine.

Of course, it should be said to his credit that this same Ronald Laing may have had reasons for being deceptive as he was fighting a losing battle to save his license to practice towards the end of his life.

I think the case against is probably overstated in Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared, a book authored by Szasz, that I have no desire to read. All the same, I’d like to see more psychiatrists take a position, as Dr. Szasz did, unreservedly in support of the abolition of forced mental health treatment. Many of the psychiatrists associated with what was termed the antipsychiatry movement didn’t take such a strong and unwavering stand, and for that I would fault them. If their credibility has suffered as a result, it should come as a surprise to no one.

New ADHD study would push pills on minorities

Runaway “mental illness” fraud gallops on at an ever increasing pace. The latest example of this fraud that I’ve seen is in this comparative study, reported on by Reuters, under the heading, Fewer minority kids diagnosed with ADHD.

Black and Hispanic children are half as likely to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as their white peers, according to a new study that followed U.S. kindergarteners through middle school.

You’d think that would be good news, right? Think again.

“It’s a consistent pattern of what we’re interpreting as comparative underdiagnosis for minority populations,” he (study leader Paul Morgan) told Reuters Health.

If we’re diagnosing more white kids with ADHD than we are black and hispanic, it’s not because we’re overdiagnosing it in white kids, it’s because we’re underdiagnosing it in black and hispanic kids.

Let me tell you, illogic like that is not going to reduce the overall “mental illness” rate in the world today one iota. If anything, it’s likely to increase it.

“If you’ve got certain groups of kids with a disorder who are not being picked up … they might not be accessing treatment that can help in terms of their school-based functioning,” he said. That, in turn, can lead to poor self-esteem and acting out.

Morgan then goes on to talk about the dangers of “untreated ADHD”.  The short list he gives includes anxiety (a disease according to the gospel of the APA), depression (ditto) and “substance abuse”, sometimes euphemistically termed “self-medicating.”

Just what we needed, huh? More ‘mental ill health’ in the world.

This study is not about benefiting the minority community. How is the minority community going to benefit from a larger population of people with “mental illness” labels within it? This comparative study is about selling mental health treatment, and with it, “mental illness”.  There is basically one form of treatment used in standard practice these days. That one form of treatment is the use of psychotropic drugs. The one group that stands to benefit from such a study is comprised of multi-national drug companies.

Excuse me. I was a little rash in my last statement. Two groups actually stand to benefit. Were we to impose equality of disease diagnosis, by increasing the rate of diagnosis in minority communities, the overall “mental illness” rate goes up. The two groups that stand to benefit would be “mental health” professionals who would then have greater job security, and the drug industry that would have an increasing profit margin. Everybody else loses.

Children with ADHD diagnoses, as Morgan pointed out, are also prone to be diagnosed anxious, depressed, and to take illicit drugs. Short list. We really need a lot more of that in this country. Oh, yeah!

I don’t see much upward mobility for minorities developing out of this predicament, instead I see a persistent downward slide. This sort of equality–equality in disease diagnosis rates–is much like equality of inopportunity, and equality of inopportunity is just the sort of equality we don’t need.

Mental Health Treatment Is Not Gun Control

The drug industry mental health system propaganda machine is working overtime churning out statistics such as only 40 % of the people in need of mental health treatment are receiving it. These randomized stats beg a number of questions: how much of that treatment is forced, how is need determined,  how many of those people want treatment, do you mean “mental illness” or problems in everyday life, etc., etc., etc.

The government has decided the problem is a mental health problem and not a criminal activities problem. If we pump money into mental health treatment, if we beef up the mental health system, theory goes, we are doing something about massive acts of violence. I, for one, question the complete illogic of this absurd endeavor. The ghosts who commit atrocious acts of violence are not those sore thumbs who are going to get picked up by the mental health cops.

Excuse me, the real reason the government is beefing up the mental health system is to look like the government is doing something to deal with the problem after a series of massive acts of violence in this country. This is a cosmetic matter.  This is an political reputation strategy and a complete diversion. People in the mental health system are not responsible for violence in this country. In a word, they are innocent. They simply didn’t do it.

Mental health treatment, until very recently, has been mostly a matter of treating people who didn’t want to be treated completely against their will and wishes. If 60 % of them didn’t pursue this treatment, the only wonder is that the statistic is not larger. Criminals don’t have this problem. They are assumed to be friendly, unlike mental patients, with liberty from the beginning.

Murder is a criminal offense. “Mental illness” is a sensibility offense. We lock people up who have broken no official laws, but have displayed erratic behavior, because they offend our sense of propriety.  Also, it is thought that if we don’t lock them up, they will either manage to get somebody so offended as to do them violence, or they will manage, wittingly or unwittingly, to do violence to themselves.

The problem is that people are not really locked up because they are violent. Violent acts are criminal offenses. You’ve got people in both systems, that is, people who have been put in the mental health system by the criminal courts rather than by the civil courts. These patients are said to be forensic. They are not the rule, they are the exception. You could call them either “mentally ill” criminals, or, alternately, as is more conventional, the criminally “mentally ill”. Again, for people in the system, they are the exception, they are not the rule.

Beefing up the mental health system because of these few exceptions is not a good idea. Questions of conscious intent are not always resolved sufficiently by the courts. If a so-called “socio” or “psychopath” is a good anything, a so-called “socio” or “psychopath” is a good actor. One thing good actors are very good at playing is bad actors. People characterized as “mentally ill” are bad actors, otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten caught. They would have “slipped through the cracks” as the ruse goes.

Real gun control is a matter of seriously dealing with a culture of violence and reducing the proliferation of weapons of war. It is not a matter of blaming people in the mental health system any more than it is a matter of blaming people who belong to different races, religions or ethnic groups.  Curtailing the gun ownership rights of people in the mental health system is not going end massive acts of gun violence, nor is beefing up the mental health system. The problem is not “mental illness”, and pretending it is, is not the solution; the problem is violence.

Quite Some Scam

 I’m not here to tell people that they can take a permanent break from the struggle for survival by utilizing the “mental illness” excuse. No, that is the job of the mental health treatment industry, and it does so with a passion. No, I’m here with the opposite message. I’m here to say that people need not spend their entire lives in convalescence by encouraging more fraud on behalf of psychiatry.

 The latest bit of nonsense to emerge from our mental health propagandists would put the number of people who require the services of a psychiatrist during their lifetimes at 50 % of the population. Here’s a “disease” salesman’s dream. It can only be uphill from this point. Your “disordered” population is on their way to becoming a clear cut majority. Who, after all, is doing anything to remedy this epidemic?

 Truths of this sort are always mixed with a great deal of fiction. I can’t help but be put off by the fact that most of the mental health literature of late is directed at increasing the size of the population in treatment. When the literature has this slant, can there be any surprise that the numbers of people in treatment, and receiving disability benefits, go up? You’d think we were talking about a popular brand of household product, and not a “disease”. (In a sense, maybe we are.)

 Talking about “mental disorder” is encouraged, as if that’s going to be a solution rather than a part of the problem. Mental health is only a matter of talk for people who have poor mental health, and their associates, the poor mental health salespeople. The mental health treatment business would not be booming if there weren’t a great number of people deemed in need of services.

 Part of the mental health treatment businesses unspoken task is to insure that the size of this population is maintained. Were the numbers of people in treatment to go down significantly,  then a significant number of mental health service work positions would also be in jeopardy. People like job security, and mental health workers are no exception in that regard. There is a reason we have a “mental illness” epidemic today, many people’s employment is dependent upon it.

  Talk about doing something about this mess is taboo, literally. If you dispute the conventional wisdom of the mental health system ideologues and propagandists, you are, according to their  logic, “stigmatizing” people with “mental illnesses”. They have campaigns and campaigners, therefore, dedicated to maintaining the mess. The impetus of these campaigns is to try to convince people, on dubious grounds, that certain individuals will always be in need of a permanent vacation from life.

 The people deemed in need of these permanent vacations are, by and large, not people who can afford permanent vacations. The state thus is required to pick up the tab on these freeloading would be heirs and heiresses, but it doesn’t go to them. It doesn’t go to the patients alone, that is. It goes to the circle of vultures that surround the patients. It goes to drug companies, insurance companies, psychiatrists and mental health workers. Everybody involved, like politicians, is more or less a state employee, and in the hire of Joe Taxpayer. Need I add, there must be a better way.

Reflections On The President’s Mental Health Conference From A Grateful Non-attendee

President Barack Obama didn’t have a hare’s chance in hell of enacting legislation to ban assault rifles. He ran his second presidential election campaign on making a scapegoat out of people in the mental health system. Towards the start of his second administration there were three atrocious acts of mass violence perpetrated by lone individuals in this country. All of these atrocities were perpetuated by young male misfits on a failure track. Misfit, in politically correct campaign jingo,  translates “mentally ill”.

The president’s answer to massive acts of violence by maladaptive individuals was to throw a conference on mental health. What do you get out of such a mental health conference? All of these people claiming to be advocates for the “mentally ill” come out of the woodwork asking for more resources, essentially, more money. Theory goes, all these people who need therapy aren’t receiving it, and so we need more money so we can get more people into therapy. If we get enough people into therapy, we will also get a few of those guys with itchy trigger fingers.

Problem. We could end up getting a lot more people into therapy while missing many people who go onto commit massive acts of violence at the same time.  If you’ve read the news, on campus, “mental illness” rates are going up, presumably in response to student killings. Alright. The one gap that we haven’t been able to bridge in this construct is the gulf between mental health problems and violence. There isn’t a tangible link that touches everybody in mental health treatment, and yet everybody in mental health treatment is expected to pay for the gross misdeeds of a very few.

What if beefing up the mental health system doesn’t prevent a few lone and disappointed individuals from going out there and shooting up movie theaters, political rallies, and school houses? What then? Oh, I know. Time for another conference on the nation’s mental health. Seems we missed a few crazies. Okay, so long as crazed isn’t human somehow…Once crazed becomes human it ceases to be a behavior outside of the “norm” of everyday life. We don’t, after all, want a lot of people going around taking their frustrations out on the world with firearms, stress-reduction afternoons spent at the gun range aside.

I’m back to that point I keep making time and time again. “Mental illnesses” don’t kill people any more than guns kill people. People kill people. There is no “mental illness” demon that pulls the trigger in the absence of conscious thought. There is a body behind the weapon. A body at the mercy of a conscious entity. Murder is a crime. “Mental illness” is a confusion of terms used to describe what amount to wide range of problems people experience in their lives. Obviously, if violence is the culprit, somehow we’re investing our time and energies into an entirely wrong direction. Doing so is not dealing with the real issue, and that issue is the amount of violence that we are putting up with in this country.

Some gun fanatics have suggested that issuing more concealed weapon permits might be the answer to mass violence in America. We have even seen legislative initiatives in some states to allow concealed weapons in school rooms and barrooms. Thing is, soon as a concealed weapon carrier uses his or her weapon on a large number of innocent people, he or she becomes, in the eyes of the mass media, disturbed. Sure, “normal” concealed weapon holders might be able to put down a crazed gunman, but what if your concealed weapon holder snapped. I’ve heard these mental health advocates, so-called, say anyone and everyone is susceptible.

I think we need to address the real issue. That issue is violence in America, that issue is not mental health. The president’s attempt to bring ‘mental illness out of the shadows’ is going to send mental health back into the shadows. Mental health treatment is not mental health. It is a business, requiring a large number of people thought “ill”, to prosper. The danger is that by focusing on this business we will end up increasing both the numbers of people labeled “mentally ill” and the numbers of people committing massive  acts of violence. We have a violence obsessed culture, inspired by a violence obsessed entertainment industry, and as such, it is little wonder that we have much violence. Blaming violence on “mental illness” is missing the point. The problem is violence, the problem isn’t “illness”, and the solution isn’t going to come from medical science.

Crazy Is The Coming Psychiatric Police State

If you’ve been watching the news recently you should be able to see it coming. By it, I mean the Psychiatric Police State. The Psychiatric Police State is, partnering with Hollywood, President Obama’s answer to massive acts of violence perpetuated by a few lone gunmen. We’re going to beef up the mental health system in this country, and that’s supposed to prevent individuals from getting frustrated, and taking their frustrations out on crowds of people in a violent manner with gunfire. (Or, not.) If we can catch these gunmen before they start shooting, runs the theory, we can prevent atrocities from occurring. The way to catch lone gunmen before they go to war with the nation is to call them “mentally ill”, and to get them into a mental health treatment program.

Alright. One problem. Most of the people you’re going to be catching, as runs the rule with loony birds, are not going to be lone gunmen. They’re not even going to be threatening violence on people. They’re just going to be people pulled in by the round up of crazies. Crazy, slang for insane, is potentially violent by legal and legislative definition, that is, government proclamation. We got kooks. We got these kooks under lock and key by playing the potential for violence card. It’s all a ruse. By and large, they aren’t violent in the slightest, but they aren’t playing the game. Busted. Now there has got to be a great deal of irony involved in the state using violence to suppress hypothetical threats of violence.  This action isn’t about public safety, really, it’s about looking like you’re doing something about public safety.

There are any number of better things that our government could be doing. It is not really dealing with the causes of violence because it thinks that violence is produced by something called “mental illness”, and that violence is not produced by a man, conscious, with a gun in his hands. Malcontent, given the imperialistic aims of psychiatry, is interpreted as “mental illness”. Any child who rebels, especially if he or she is non-white, is now likely to receive an Oppositional Defiant Disorder label from the school mental health authorities. Just think, if this label had been around in King George’s time, and if he wasn’t such a case himself, maybe he could have had averted independence by having the leaders of the rebellion institutionalized in his own colonial version of Bedlam. ODD is not an adult disorder yet, but then we don’t have a King George any more either.

Failure is becoming increasingly common, especially when the measure for success is having something like 40,000,000,000 smackers. 20 % of the nation owns 90 % of the wealth. Where does that leave everybody else? Potentially, in therapy. The mental health system itself is a diversion from facing the real issues. If you don’t make a hell of a lot of moolah, you must be nuts. Money, money, honey; its the American way! Well, not so much any more when, as I pointed out, 20 % of the nation owns 90 % of the wealth. People are getting poorer and poorer while some big shot is doing his 18 holes, and getting away with murder at the same time. Expanding the mental health system, well, its happening, and with it, our problems are not diminishing, now are they? Yep, it would help if we opted for a solution rather than another problem but, where would we be if we didn’t make mistakes, er, I mean adjustments.

Give up? Okay. Well, I will enlighten you. Succeeding. Succeeding en masse, not just vicariously. Do you honestly think corralling misfits into mental health programs is going to help them succeed.? Look to results, look at outcomes. Nope, I guess not. Our mental health system has an atrocious record. It is a school for failure. In this school for failure, in fact, they have an expression for the training their most dedicated students receive, “learned helplessness”. Learning helplessness, despite the rhetoric, is not helpful. You, too, can learn to be a “burden to society”.  Sooner or later, the tab comes in, and it’s not just a tab rich tea partiers have to foot. The impoverished find themselves all the more impoverished paying for their impoverishment with monies they don’t have. Kind of like the nation, except the rich end of it. The mental health system, big government, is expanding, and the country is getting crazier, quite literally. Sure, it isn’t really a mental health system, it’s a “mental illness” system, and with a “mental illness” system, that’s what you have to expect.