The Language Wars

The language wars are old and have a long history. Take psychiatry, for instance, where “sickness” starts with an insult applied to a human being. The human being thus insulted becomes a patient, and at the same time, is rendered “less” of a human being. Once this insult has been applied, in some cases, the application can lead, in a straightway and thorough-going fashion, directly to the ruination of the patient.  There is, in a concrete sense, no protection from ruination given psychiatric intervention. Psychiatric theory, being negative in general, supports ruination.

A few years back arose what were termed mental patient liberation groups. These mental patient liberation groups were part of a growing movement. It was a mental patients liberation movement that came to be called the psychiatric survivor movement. Eventually, something went haywire. These people who had been justifiably suspicious of the government decided to make a peace pact with the government. They let that government take the reins of their movement. The result goes by many names, but most pointedly, or disappointingly, perhaps, the c/s/x or consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement.

Psychiatry is notorious for its failure to integrate people–damned, divided and conquered by psychiatry–back into society at large. Psychiatry has an expression for its failures. That expression encompasses a set of people psychiatry dubs people, using the currently most political correct expression, with “chronic serious mental illness”. Looked at from another perspective, psychiatry’s failures are actually the secret of its success. People who fail to recover from the mishaps encountered in life keep psychiatrists in business. Once upon a time, psychiatry was a profession made up solely of the superintendents of lunatic asylums in this country. No more. Now there are 48,000 psychiatrists in the USA alone, and they claim that number is way too few to serve the numbers of people who would utilize their services, or disservices, depending on your perspective.

If psychiatrists, and other mental health workers, could be termed the ‘functionaries’ in this field, the patients, or “consumers” as some of them now prefer to be called, could be termed the ‘dysfunctionaries’. Their role in life is primarily to give the mental health worker a purpose through their own lack of a purpose. So-called “chronic mental illness” is defined by psychiatry, with all of its medical pretensions, as ‘dysfunction’. Alright. Now ‘dysfunction’ is a matter of degree, just as jobs can be part time or full time, and so you have a situation developing where ‘dysfunctionaries’ are moonlighting as ‘functionaries’. Because nobody else will hire them, the mental health system has taken the lead in hiring mental patients.

Sometime while you are slogging through a quagmire of gray areas, do you ever feel nostalgic about more basic black and white issues? I mean to say by this that there is a point at which complexity reaches a ridiculous level because the forgotten virtue of simplicity was always more black and white. We are experiencing an epidemic of so-called “mental illness” today and, ironically, mental patients have started working with professionals to escalate this epidemic to even more incredible proportions. I would suggest that if this situation is ever going to change, another role needs to be found for them beyond that of tending to ‘dysfunctionaries’. Just think, taxpayer money is going for the ‘functionaries’ who tend to the ‘dysfunctionaries’, and more and more, both categories are tending towards the synonymously interchangeable. What a savings we would have if we could find a more fruitful position for some of these people, both professional and patient.

The Evolution Revolution

Forced treatment is the big secret in the mental health “care” world today. Once upon a time, not that long ago, there was only one form of mental health treatment available, and that was it.

The American Psychiatric Association in fact grew out of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutes for the Insane. Where once you had the heads of what were then called Lunatic Asylums, now you have an association of professional pill pushers.

The big lie is that the pills they are pushing, and whose usage they are promulgating, are good for people, and not people in general, but specific people. People diagnosed with a “mental disorder”. This diagnosis is thought to make the people who have been given one somehow different from the general run of humanity and, therefore, in need of the fix that comes with a drug.

The truth is that mental health treatment is about social control. We have this law that permits confinement of anybody acting oddly on the grounds that they may cause harm to themselves or others. It would be a serious mistake, albeit a common one, to assume that people are held in psychiatric institutions because they are dangerous.

People in mental hospitals are not there because they were given a trial by jury. Usually they are there because they were given a hearing by judge, attorney, and psychiatrist in which judicial opinion subordinates itself to the whims of professional bias and procedural habit. Mental health commitment hearings, in other words, in the present day and age, are little more than kangaroo courts.

Drugs can’t fix people. Drugs can damage people. Drugs can’t straighten out faulty logic. Education can teach logical deduction. Drugs can’t supply insight. Drugs generally mask a problem rather than correct it. Masking a problem is not dealing with it, and coming  up with a solution to it.

Waiving independence in order to be treated by the mental health authorities, usually as a charity case, is not the best course of action to take as a rule. Doing so often involves forfeiting rights we think of as basic to our species. This revelation may take time to register and resonate, but it should come in time.

Yes, Virginia, there is life beyond the confines of the Mental Health clinic. One is not bound to the human services system the way a rat can be restricted to its track through a maze.  The thing is that that system shares many similarities with a rat maze. If it didn’t, researchers wouldn’t be studying rats with the idea of better understanding human behavior. I would strongly suggest that if success in the world is at all important to you, you should abandon the maze.

The irony found in the heading of this post comes with the realization that more complex organisms evolved from less complex organisms. The butterfly in a display frame is not a butterfly in flight. Our capacity expands to the extent that we learn to escape those boxes that other people would try to contain us within. Quite apart from biological limitations, and barring extreme circumstances, we have minds that allow us this advance and that departure.

The Great Need For Systemic Change In Mental Health Care

Failure and success are manufactured by people. This is part of the problem with the mental health system. On the one side you have the success stories, these are the people described as mental health providers. They make a considerable amount of money, live in enviable conditions, and support lifestyles to match. On the other side you have the failure stories, these are the people described as mental patients or mental health consumers. They tend to be chronically un or under employed, live in conditions of squalor, and seem to be doomed to repetitive cycles of failure that come of lamentable and impoverished circumstances.

Somehow advantage and privilege are built into a system that doesn’t serve it’s recipients so much. Instead you’ve got a self-perpetuating public service system that serves it’s service providers while crippling and impoverishing it’s service recipients. One career option, mental health professional, determines the role of the other, mental patient or mental health consumer. Trouble is the first, middle, and last name of the service recipient while the service providers official name is Help. The service provider is there to Help with the person in Trouble, the recipient, and the process continues. Should Trouble ever find an acceptable role in life Help is out of luck and out of a job.

Given that the provider’s lot is substantially above that of the recipient as a rule, this maintenance of Trouble is not such a tall order. The provider is paid to fail the recipient in his or her endeavors. The provider is essentially in the superior, more predatory, role and position. To draw a parallel from the animal kingdom, you always need more prey in relation to predators and, likewise, recipients must outnumber providers because the provider draws his or her sustenance from the recipients. Were the recipient not in a weaker position, the provider would not be in a stronger position vis-a-vis the recipient. Of course, this structural arrangement requires much collaboration from the community at large in order to persist.

Obviously if we haven’t got a sickness in the first place this isn’t about finding a cure. The cure to a bad situation is a better situation. Problem: if this be the case, you can’t cure the recipient without sickening the provider. When we’re dealing with essentially the lost causes of the survival game, no problem. The provider’s role is to survive by perpetuating the lost cause mythology of the recipient. The recipient’s role is to be the lost cause that supports the provider’s continued existence. Survival is more important to the providers than it is to the recipients in that the recipient’s role is fundamentally not to survive, but rather to be victimized. We don’t have an interdependence of equals, instead we have the relative independence and interdependence of superiors based upon the dependence of inferiors.

There is no way to label and treat people without making these more or less arbitrary value judgments regarding the relative merit of human beings. A wannabe is not a star attraction, but both wannabes and star attractions  are interchangeable. It is the audience that makes the wannabe a wannabe and the star a star, or further, the wannabe a star and the star a has-been. We’ve got more than enough overblown mediocre talents who make megabucks to go around. There is a world of worth beyond the dependency system that I have been critiquing that needs to be mined. This is a matter of rather than expanding mental health care services unto perpetuity, of contracting them. This is a matter of  creating a door crack  into the world at large rather than warehousing certain individuals in the world’s invalidated parenthetical doppelganger, that is, in a would be rehabilitation zone that rehabilitates no one.

The system needs changing. The system needs to lead to that which is not system. A self-perpetuating system of facility and debilitation is what we don’t need. While this system has been very good at convincing recipients of their debility,  it has been very bad at convincing them of their ability. This is because the recipients are not the only people in this system that need treating. The privilege and authority of the providers needs treating as well. They are all too often “sick” with their own sense of self-worth and power.  This conceit has blinded them to the assets of their clients. The providers need another role besides that of benevolent paternalistic dictator. The recipients need another role besides that of victim. The other side of the recipient’s misfortune is the provider’s fortune.  They just aren’t sharing enough of it yet, and this situation needs to change if some people are ever to achieve a better station in life.

Bringing the war in the classroom home to your doorstep

Did somebody say it’s jungle out there? It isn’t a jungle, it’s a war zone, especially in the public school system. Among the new disorders in the DSM-5, such as adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) , you will also find childhood PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) listed.

Just read between the lines on the first paragraph of this ABC News report, Psychiatry ‘Bible’ DSM-5 Will Add PTSD for Preschoolers, and imagine millions, perhaps billions, of shell-shocked kiddies returning home from their school day.

 When the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5, is published in May, a small section could alter the lives of millions of children.

Not to be alarmed, despite this potential sharp rise in the number of children labeled ‘off their rocking horses’, mental health professionals tell us they’ve got treatment, and that this treatment can be effective.

Small children develop PTSD at the same rate as adults — one in four — and the number of potential sufferers is vast, said Dr. Judith Cohen, a psychiatry professor at Drexel University’s College of Medicine.

I imagine we could just give children signs on their first day of class, basing children numbers on adult numbers, of course. Numbers, you know, don’t change. 1/4th of the students would receive a sign that read PTSD, and 3/4th of the students would receive signs that read NORMAL. The students with the signs that said PTSD could then automatically be enrolled in a treatment plan.

And yet because existing DSM criteria doesn’t apply to young children, and because of society’s tendency to idealize children as resilient, pre-schoolers aren’t getting the diagnoses they desperately need, [vice chairman of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Tulane University, Dr. Charles] Zeanah [Jr.] said.

Children are idealized as resilient. Oh, that explains it! We don’t have the time to offer classes to parents, teachers, and children in ‘how to be more resilience’ then I guess. Notice, they desperately need diagnoses, too. You think so?

If you will excuse me, I think I’ve had enough of this nonsense, and so I think I’m going to return to my bunker for a little blissful shuteye. The prospect of a nation of shell-shocked children is just a little much for me to face head-on alone at the moment. I’ve got my own patch of green pasture that needs tending.

My Rant Against The Mental Illness Labeling Industry

Fuck psychiatry! I’m sick of system shit. I’m so sick of system shit that I got out of the system. I don’t need to be a shrink, and I don’t need to be a patient. I don’t even need to be a patient shrink, or a shrink patient. I don’t need to be one or another specialist on a continuum in a rich variety of turncoat categories. I’m not overseeing adult children mental patients in one capacity or another. I guess that makes me irresponsible, but that’s not the way I see it. I’d say that makes me responsible. I’ve ousted myself from the 6 % category of people that need supervising, as well as from the glorified adult baby sitter category that does the supervising.

I now exist among the roughly 75 % of population who have no need for the mental health system whatsoever except perhaps in so far as it applies to other people. I will work with a portion of the 6 %, but that is only to dismantle this monstrosity we’ve created. It is a monstrosity that embodies and includes that 6 %. There is no us and them dichotomy here. There is only this monstrosity in the corner of the world that the rest of us do our best to ignore.  If you think about it, it’s not such a big snorting elephant of a monstrosity as some of us might imagine it to be, it’s really just a tiny pink one.

I cringe every time I hear people talk about educating people about “mental illness”. The only people talking about doing this educating are people with a personal stake in mental health treatment. Talking about “mental illness” has become a way of selling “mental illness”. “Mental illness” is not, and never has been, a fact, it’s an idea. The profession never had a real grip on what it was dealing with. The mental health professional has no interest in becoming alarmed at the rate of people labeled “mentally ill”. “Mental illness” labeling is his or her bread and butter. The more people receiving a “seriously mentally ill” label there are, the more secure his or her job status becomes.

This leads us naturally enough to the condemned by biology theory that is so readily adopted by our professionals. It’s a matter of convenience mostly. 6 % of the population have not become good automatons. They aren’t, and they never were, human beings, not fully functioning human beings anyway. Human beings can become good automatons, according to theory, and be content with a mindless 9 to 5 sort of thing. They are broken machines, and it’s the computing function of the machine that is most broken. So we’ve got our warehouses, and our ill equipped repair people, to deal with the matter. Given that the design was poor, they say, don’t blame the repair folk for not being able to fix the automaton.

There is not much point in going there if you’ve managed to get away from it. The people talking about the people who are defectively designed are, of course, not the people defectively designed themselves. No, they are the people who determine which people are defectively designed, and which people are effectively designed; they couldn’t do so, or so goes the theory, if they were defectively designed. Imagine the difficulties involved in becoming disentangled from that illusion. Illusion it is, but it isn’t the only thing going, so excuse me while I eject myself from the entire argument. Significance, as I see it, is sometimes a matter of rejecting insignificance. I feel much better knowing I’m not contributing to the problem, even if not contributing to the problem is not likely to win me any awards.

Policing Mental Health In The Schools

If you want to erase the “stigma” of “mental illness”, stop labeling people nutzoid. All the discrimination and harm that comes of “mental health” treatment has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is with the diagnostic tag.

The sad part is that now children are being labeled “mentally ill” at incredibly young ages, 2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds, 6 year olds, 8 and 9 year olds. I’ve got news for you people. Psychiatric drugs are no replacement for good parenting practices.

If folks knew this, perhaps they would be less inclined to label their toddler a problem toddler. All 2 year olds, for instance, are a world of trouble, as are all teenagers, and I’d think more than twice about labeling them, too.

I know it’s not bad parents, it’s ‘bad’ children, but all the same. I remember when we used to think of children as innocent, and when we used to put a great deal of emphasis on child rearing. If I remember correctly, there was much less childhood “mental illness” back then as well.

The problem we’ve got now is a big part of the Obama administration solution to violent school massacres.  Primary and secondary school workers, from principals on down to the janitorial staff, are being turned into mental health police. That’s right, the idea is to bust children for “mental illness”.

Well, the only thing we’re likely to get out of making our educationalists mental health cops is an increase in troubled peoples. When troubles are pathologized, hey, that’s a cinch for compounding them. The big tab for Obama care, as a result, is likely to get much much bigger.

On The Presumption Of Future Guilt

Now is not a good time to be in mental health treatment. Although people talk about reducing the “stigma” associated with “mental illness” labels, give the public a tragic massacre of the dimensions we saw at Sandy Hook, and everybody who has ever received mental health treatment automatically becomes a suspected future mass murderer.

It just ain’t so.

The problem is not medical, the problem is human. You take any individual who is not solely concentrated on making a million dollars by the time he or she turns thirty, and you’ve got a troubled individual. Our view of success is twisted in the extreme. We’ve got all these so called mental health advocates screaming, “Give, give, give”, because  all sorts of behaviors and emotions are being pathologized.

Bad conduct is not a disease. Shyness is not a disease. Boredom and inattention are not diseases. Anxiety and sadness are not diseases. Elation and excitement are not diseases. Silliness is not a disease. They aren’t real diseases anyway, but you can begin to get some idea of how these mental health treatment sales people put out these crazy (and I don’t mean “mentally ill”) 1 in 4 needy people statistics.

With 1 in 4 people characterized as “mentally ill”, it’s easy to see how any individual from out of this large population of people could cause devastating damage with a gun. With 3 in 4 people characterized as not needing “mental health” treatment, it’s easy to see how any individual out of this large population could cause devastating damage as well. Problem is, once that damage is done, the 3 in 4 becomes a 1 in 4. The armchairs come out, and the diagnosing begins.

Multiple murder is not a symptom of “mental illness”. Multiple murder involves the commission of multiple felonies.  The law imagines every man, woman, and child of us to be capable of committing murder. The only people the law picks up as potential suspects in future murders are people who have been diagnosed “mentally ill”.  If they had the rights of people in the criminal justice system they would not be presumed,  individually or collectively, guilty of these future crimes.

Sage advice is something young people aren’t born possessing. Inexperience always was one of the shortcomings of youth, and walking arm in arm with inexperience goes folly. If you’re going to learn by trial and error, you’re training is going to be fraught with many errors. Wisdom, it has been said, comes with age. Inexperience is not a disease either, but the problem with treating it as such is that then wisdom becomes more elusive than ever. There is no wisdom drug on the market, and there is not likely to be one any time soon.

A pill bottle is not a good substitute for parents, nor is a pill bottle a good substitute for sage advice. When the parenting role has been demoted due to conflicting responsibilities and priorities, the social mentoring role assumes all that much more importance. Folly is a right. Making mistakes comes with making decisions. Making decisions comes with freedom of choice. You are going to make a wrong decision. To err is human, to correct an error is also human. When correcting error ceases to be a human endeavor, you will have nothing but errors.

Forcing mental health treatment on people out of a fear of future violence is one of the biggest threats to freedom this country has ever faced. Force involves the deprivation of liberty.  Liberty is one of the fundamental values behind the foundation of this nation. When 1 in 4 people are categorized as “sick”, 1 in 4 people in this nation become suspected future killers. This 1 in 4 is much more than it once was, before mental health treatment, and with mental health treatment, drug company profits, became such a hot item.

The tragedies at Columbine, V-Tech, and Sandy Hook are byproducts of this mental health system pharmaceutical industry honeymoon, romance, and marriage. Perfect children don’t shoot perfect children. Perfect children don’t exist. Imperfect children have been deemed fodder for the pharmaceutical industry. Imperfect children are all children. Inexperienced children are innocent children. Wise children are adults. What did I say? You’re not going to find wisdom in a pill bottle.

The Government’s Response To The Sandy Hook Tragedy

The good news is that President Obama wants some form of gun control when it comes to automatic weapons and ammo. If we limit the number of massively killing machines that there are out there, we limit the number of chances that you will get the kind of body counts you got at V-Tech and Sandy Hook. Body counts, in fact, almost rivaling the Oklahoma City bombing. Unfortunately, gun control measures are not likely to get very far in today’s atmosphere. You’ve got the gun lobby and a Republican controlled congress to contend with. Talk about gun control always triggers a gun buying frenzy among certain segments of the public as well. The gun control measures are perhaps the least likely items on the agenda to get passed.This leads us to the rest of the counteracting measures, and that’s the bad news.

First there is this matter of closing the loopholes in the federal background check database. The problem here is that people labeled “mentally ill” are actually less likely to commit violent crimes than the general population. This group has become the scapegoat for the acts of violence committed by a very few failed and frustrated individuals. None of the people who committed the multiple shootings we have seen in the recent past would have been caught by such a database even if the so called loopholes were closed. This database targets not only people who have known the inside of a mental institution, but also foreigners in this country illegally, spouse abusers, and ex-felons. This database will be used by law enforcement for harassing the people who are in it. The database itself constitutes a loophole in the bill of rights of the US constitution as none of the people in the database are to be accorded the rights that full citizenship would ordinarily accord a person. As such, it represents a loophole in constitutional protections of citizenship. This certainly creates quite a challenge for the people unfortunate enough to find themselves listed. They’ve got the fight for the civil rights that have been taken away from them, ahead of them.

Additionally, there is the matter of mental health insurance parody. Parity is too good a word. This parody involves insurance companies treating psychosomatic conditions as if they were physical conditions. The key words here are “as if”. We’re expected to allow insurance companies to take up the slack for a broken mental health system. Really. If the mental health system were recovering contributing members of society this wouldn’t be a problem, but that’s not the case. People receiving “mental illness” labels are expected to languish for the duration of their lives in some form of convalescence for which someone else picks up the tab. Insurance parity, on top of job discrimination, equals economic damage. Malingering should not be turned into the kind of a career that insurance parody of this sort can turn it into. This is economic damage. It is economic damage to the individual and it is economic damage to the nation as a whole. It is keeping people weak and dependent who should be strong and independent.

Finally officials want to beef up mental health policing and surveillance in the school systems. They would have more money pumped into counseling and screening children and adolescents in the hopes that they could catch problem kids before they left school and shot bunches of people. The problem is that such an effort is likely to have a result opposite the one intended. Early intervention is not prevention; it actually amounts to causation. Putting money into mental health in the schools is invariably going to increase the numbers of school children labeled “mentally ill”. These numbers have increased dramatically recently in no small measure due to the focus that mental health has received in the mass media. Children that enter mental health treatment don’t always leave mental health treatment alive. There is a statistic that indicates the failure of the mental health system that I alluded to earlier. If 1/2 of the people labeled lifelong mental patients are labeled by the age of 14 years old, as it is indeed said they are, do we really want to label more children? Increasing the numbers of children labeled “seriously mentally ill” is going to increase the numbers of adults labeled “seriously mentally ill”. Children grow up, but they don’t always grow up healthy. A healthy mental health system is a system that is contracting. An unhealthy mental health system is a system that is expanding. We’ve got better things to do than to sell “mental illness” under the pretext of selling mental health.

The government has better ways to serve the people of this country than by beefing up it’s mental health security force the way it wants to do in the schools. This patrolling the hallways of our nation’s schools for errant behavior is going to result in more students penalized, and in many cases, pathologized, for annoying behavior. Children, as a rule, grow up. As they are children, we have to expect them to engage in a certain amount of foolish and silly behavior. We have to expect them to make mistakes. We also have to expect them to be able to learn from mistakes to correct mistakes. Lowering the expectation for some of them that they will ever attain the wisdom that comes with age is not an improvement. Damaging the futures of children in the name of mental health, although the course we are set on, is not the kind of thing we should be doing with our nation’s children.

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.

Old Scapegoat New Scapegoat

Remember the old scapegoat, meet the new scapegoat. Funny thing, but they are the same. I mean by scapegoat people who have been through the mental health system; people who get dumped by their relatives, associates, neighbors, and just plain strangers into the loony trash bin.

I recently came across a petition calling for the  opening up of all closed State Mental Hospitals, and my first thought thereupon was thank heavens so many of them have been demolished. You’d think we had enough problems with the largest prison inmate population in the entire world. Do we really need an extra large mental patient population to boot?

An article encountered suggested “sick” people “helped” by St Elizabeth’s were now being “forced” back into their families and communities by the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, and that this was what was wrong in the nation today. I don’t know how the author could ignore the fact that people forced into St Elizabeth’s were now free to go back into their communities and to have families. I guess that was some kind of minor oversight, or inattention to detail,  on his part.

There is a fine line dividing the “sick” from the well, and this fine line is determined by so-called expert opinion. These so-called experts, in other words, are the people who have been trained to think they know which people should be scapegoats, and which people should be allowed to go about their merry way.

Mental hospitals are places where the functionary staff make all possible effort to kill the spirit of the people imprisoned therein. I think it no wonder that the poet Ezra Pound was held for treason for so many years at St Elizabeth’s. Mental hospitals may be the closest thing we’ve ever had to an Auschwitz in this country.

It is always inconvenient to remember that the NAZI’s rehearsed their Final Solution to what they saw as the Jewish problem on people deemed ‘useless eaters’, people in mental institutions, especially when you want to blame violence on people who go into, and people who have come out of, such institutions.

Mental institutions are not, and never will be, the solution to the violence perpetuated by a very few frustrated and failed individuals with a vengeful fury to unleash. Failure, frustration, and revenge are not pathological conditions. We’ve got a social problem, and we’d do well to look to the social causes of it for a real solution, a social solution. Emphasis on real.

We live in a world that some people find unbearable. Maybe we would do better to make a more livable world for everybody, all of the world’s inhabitants, without exception. We could work on caring more about our neighbors for a start. When you get a solitary individual declaring war on society at large–yen/yang–do you have a raving madman come out of seclusion, or an isolated terrorist without a terror network? Take a good long hard look in the mirror. It happens.

Scapegoat and monitor more people for alleged “mental illness”, deprive more people of their first and second amendment rights, excuse a lack of automatic weapon control measures because of the high rate of traffic accident fatalities ( The 2 wrongs make a right, or a “lesser” wrong, theory.), etc, etc., etc… None of these proposals address the real problem. Again, emphasis on real.