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A "Sick" Society Produces "Sick" Citizens

To make matters worse, research shows that exclusively biological theories of mental illness contribute to the stigma experienced by mental health patients, which I know you want to reduce [27]. The more that ordinary people think of mental illness as a genetically determined brain condition, and the less they recognise it to be a reaction to misfortune, the more they shun mental health patients. The biomedical model of mental illness, which your programme showcased, makes it all too easy to believe that humans belong to two sub-species: the mentally well and the mentally ill.

Finally, the biomedical approach entirely neglects the public health dimension of mental illness. Given the evidence from epidemiological studies, we can almost certainly dramatically reduce the prevalence of mental illness in the population by, for example, addressing childhood poverty and inequality, figuring out which aspects of the urban environment are toxic (you might or might not be surprised to know that living close to a park appears to provide some protection against mental illness [28]) and by ensuring that all of our children experience more benign childhoods than the ones we experienced. We cannot do any of these things if we spend all of our time peering into test tubes.

 -- Richard Bentall

What I wish Stephen Fry understood about mental health | Spectator Health My great thanks to amaebi for her frequent priming of my aging mental facilities.


We are again confronted by "very serious" people talking about the "very serious" problem of public violence.  I know that i should have equal compassion for victims and perpetrators of violence, so why does it seem,that, over time, i am developing more sympathy for the perpetrators and less for the victims.  I think that it is because i am fed up as these "very serious people" continue to propose elaborate and unworkable solutions while failing to consider the one (or few) thing(s) that might actually work, a willingness to treat other human beings as human beings when they lack voice, power, and intimacy,  Perhaps violence is part of the voice of the voiceless and will continue until someone listens.

Think about it.  If you were told by God to deliver a message to your fellow human beings and no one would listen to you. what would you do?  Cower in a cave somewhere or try different ways of making yourself heard.

When we are free to experience the divine through creation and love, we no longer need to "spread the word" through words and actions.  We no longer need to shout or shoot for atterntion.  We no longer need to lead or follow (and certainly not "get out of the way.")

I will stop listening to serious people promoting their faulty answers to faultily defined problems and continue to try to make myself open to  what is really real.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
amaebi
Mar. 29th, 2016 12:08 pm (UTC)
I'm betting you're less sympathetic to perps of public sanctioned robbery-from-the-poor-to-give-to-the-rich, in its many usually-glorified forms.

Have you read Jessica Mitford's Kind and Usual Punishment: The American Prison Business? I think you'd like the book, though not of course what it described. And while it's old, things are still much the same.

I suggest that you friend andrewducker, who posts amazing links daily-or-so.

And i am so delighted to be your friend. :)
bobby1933
Mar. 29th, 2016 10:35 pm (UTC)
You are right. And i am increasingly angry at people who suggest solutions to the wealth gap that do not emphasize extensive sacrifices on the part of the wealthy. (education, teaching the poor the virtue of saving, etc.) Education is ok, but as long as it is "locally controlled*" it will do nothing to close the gap. I am also tired of hearing about how vast global structural forces are making the problem unsolvable.

I see bumper stickers that say: "religion exists to keep the poor from murdering the rich" quite a difference from Father Rohr's idea, but probably closer to the reality. But the rich no longer ride into battle at the head of their knights; they send the cops and militias to do their dirty work.

I am angrier about this than i have any right to be. And i feel so frustrated that so people can see what is going on when every day the rich and the republicans are making it more and more clear who they really are. Live Journal is about my only way to vent.

And i am delighted that some people can read me nonjudgmentally. And i love you. And i have friended andrewdrucker.
amaebi
Mar. 29th, 2016 11:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know what gives anger rights. :D But I dislike being angry, so mostly I'm not, even about things I dislike and find frustrating. Though I've been struggling rather acutely for a year now with the urge to yell at people, "You're only being so [adjectivally] dumb because it supports your convenience and comfort!"

Ahem.

Actually, i think that people's convenience and comfort do blind us quite regularly. What makes the difference, morally, by my lights, is whether one defends the stupidity or takes opportunity to give it up.

But beyond that, I think there's a levels-of-abstraction leap to recognizing systems,that is genuinely difficult and daunting for people, though since I've long leapt whatever gap there was for me, I don't understand it very well.

I love you. And I don't know whether I'm judgmental or not, but I know that I don't think my judgments are ultimate or important. I also have an irritating habit of automatically trying to think of counter-examples to any large statement I encounter. But at least I lack the bad habit of seeking counter-examples to statements that specify "in general," "often," "much of the time," or "in my experience".... (No veiled accusations were incorporated in this paragraph or comment: the writer was following her irritating habit of confession.)
bobby1933
Mar. 30th, 2016 04:23 am (UTC)
Our stupidity certainly does support somebody's comfort and convenience. I'm not sure it is our own.

Worse are those who use the ignorance of others to maintain a system that advantages them at the expense of those others. I'm sure you have heard the theory (and studies) suggesting that leaders and followers of right wing authoritarian organizations (including the Republican Party) are very different from their followers. The followers believe what they say they believe; the leaders believe in power, their own superiority, their own self aggrandizement. They are machievellian and have contempt for ordinary people.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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