We’ve Got the Mental Health Crisis All Wrong

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From OK Doomer: “These days, the phrase ‘mental health’ refers to your ability to engage in surface acting. It has very little to do with your actual emotions or sense of wellness. It has everything to do with how well you can continue fitting in with a group and how much you can contribute to the economy.

All of this surface acting has devastating consequences for our mental health. It increases your sense of emotional dissonance. It widens the disconnect between how you feel and how you think you should feel. It leads to more depression, more anxiety, and a deeper sense of alienation. It can drive people to engage in more coping behaviors, like excessive drinking.

What happens when you finally listen to all of those internet aphorisms about reaching out to someone for help?

It makes your friends and family uncomfortable. They reach for more aphorisms. They offer superficial reassurances, like ‘Everything’s going to be okay.’ They make a vain effort to cheer you up. They minimize and trivialize your concerns, and then they leave as soon as possible.

. . . Almost everything in our culture attempts to convince us that mental health is a personal responsibility, a performance we owe to society, not the result of a society where we take care of each other.

That’s the problem.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. According the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of the definitions of a religion is:

    a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.

    I think a case could be made that mental “health” is a religion. It uses force and tactics not unlike that of a deranged cult. It is deceptive and manipulative to the core. It has priests (psychiatrists) who get their power from the gods (governing officials). People follow these faith leader priests like the Kool-Aid drinkers in Jonestown. The psychiatric hospital staff strong arm you into believing the medication is good like a religious zealot would try to convert you to his religion. If you don’t do what they want you to do which is to take their holy poisoned sacrament(“medication”) they keep you confined in the hospital. If you happen to lose your mind in confinement, which any normal person would, they advise you take their sacrament willingly or it goes into your butt. Like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, they will get their psychoactive crud into you one way or another. They can(depending on the hospital and psychiatrist) intimidate you with the possibility of ECT. I did not just read these things in a book or online or from someone else. These things have happened to me. They can still make me feel hopeless at times and wish for death. Mental “health” confuses, overwhelms and crushes the human spirit like any cold hearted tyrannical cult like organization would. It is the medical mafia. Like the mafia, it may have some use in society but it must be publicly acknowledged for the filthy scum that it is. If you seek its services then buyer beware.

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    • Absolutely! This is the sad truth about the cult of mental health.

      This explains why there are so many comments on MIA from people saying “medication saved my life!” and which then go on to say that the articles here are: disinformation, dangerous, propaganda, etc. They see any questioning of the “Mental Health” status quo as an act of blasphemy.

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    • Yeah, one thing clearer by seeing it as a cult, is that people spelled by cultish indoctrination is that they usually are very resistant to any kind of questioning their beleiefs. Worse than conspiranoic ways of thinking, these folks usually retain the ability to see criticism, to argue against it without name calling, but can’t or won’t change their mind.

      One has to work patiently until an oppening is there to try to lead people out of cults. And usually the most effective way of doing that is, as far as I understand, from people who escaped the cult.

      Which in psychiatry is lacking: many people who are critical of their own profession, are not entirely out of the cult. They, to me, seem to practice a different from of cultish beliefs and practice, unlike people who actually escaped a cult: they wan’t nothing to do with it, perhaps, sometimes, only helping other people escape and made it as public as personal/familial safety allows.

      And I haven’t seen many criticals inside psychiatry to spell the beans on all the suffering they took part in, even if only as bystanders or “following orders”. Unlike people who escaped cults: part of their way out and up, at some point, as far as I understand, involves self-reflection of all the wrongs done to them, and done to other people by the “cult”.

      And it takes years to do it, and usually involves absolutely no contact with any form of reminder of the cult. And critics of psychiatry still go to the critical chappel with their white or humanities coat, so…

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  2. Well, several issues with the linked articled:

    1. There seems to be normalization of antisocial behaviour with the acquiescence of the family during the bullying dinner. So, clearer terminology: antisocial behaviour, acquiescence, silence, bullying…

    2. There is the converse, I have suffered antisocial behaviour from personnel, humans, in service roles. And I did work in the services industries, I don’t mean it derogatory. So, antisocial behaviour is not unique to customers, providers also behave antisocially, for whatever reason. Their reasons, as usual were not put explictly to me. I just wanted a meal, a coffee, etc.

    3. Social media ways of interacting are inhuman, we are not made to comunicate or socialize like that. And that can’t be beneficial. There are incentives designed into, baked into, social media, that are harmfull to people. 30 state DAs can’t be that off the mark on suing some social media companies.

    4. We don’t know if people are sad. Even if people were sad we really don’t know if they are saddER than before. How do you objectively meassure saddnes?, how do you make causal inferences about feeling saddER?. How one tells if it’s not justified or part of an oscillating experience, like violence, prosperity, peace, etc.?. The objective and causal part of such claims is lacking in current humanities analysis…

    5. Fake is part of who humans are. Lying is ingrained in human behaviour, most of the time to protect the feelings of the persons being lied to, without nefarious intent. The simple “Hello, how are you?”, is as fake as all such behaviours can be: most of the time is not meant to express a genuine interest…

    6. Water cooler talks, organizational and socially are not supposed to deal with the real, actual drama of one’s existance. One in work does not talk about politics, abortion, inequality, sometimes not even sports: too confrontational or divisive. As it is, some topics are off limits for casual conversation during work. As is innuendo, pejorative, discriminatory, etc. It’s not fake or “surfacing”, it’s called etiquette, and it’s a normative obligation we all are obligated autonomously to follow, next to morality, legality and sometimes religion. Which usually is also off topic.

    7. Following that, society has no obligation to help beyond the legal, morality is not enforceable, other than ostracism and shaming. Unlike the law and religion, it’s self driven. that’s why the saying: if it’s everyone’s obligation it is no one’s to actually do it.

    8. There seems to be an implied condition: there is a way to deal with negative emotions, and it might be shared or the same for many people. Not the case, it could be as diverse as people are in diverse situations. There might not exist a way to deal effectively or efficiently with negative emotions for enough people. I dare anyone to disprove that doubt.

    9. Case in point: the refered therapeutical way of dealing with negative emotions, the ostrich head in the sand way won’t work for anyone. Particularly if there is profit to be made by saddening people in unhelpfull ways for them. A valid point, I think not clearly stated thus.

    10. When it comes to proposals to improve things, there is lacking for quantifiable benefit: basic income, public services, air quality, gun violence, school safety, etc. They are political proposals not administrative ones: there is no benefit vs harms analysis that could guide public officals, voters or citizenry at large to decide what to do about them, how to decide. There are voids, all of those fall into the political arena not the “mental health” one.

    It takes the argument, the discussions, from efficacy and effectiveness into the realm of values: freedom, happiness, discrimination, participation, stakeholdering of the non-Frankestein type. Instead of: is it really worth it?.

    Health is unofficialy to be behold to risk/benefit analysis that has to be individualized. That is also lacking in the “mental” space.

    Public “mental health” more so, since it can’t be individualized. So, in there, the abscence of knowledge is monumental, cyclopean even, and therefore drives the discourse into politics, instead of rational choices and decision making.

    No amount of critical theory rhetoric can address the lack of data, it only adds to political arguments…

    And that contributes to a “crisis” precisely because it obfuscates a big part of the problem: we, the citizens are being forced into thinking about the “mental health crisis” in political terms, instead of medical or administrative ones, even if we are not experts on “health”. That can only lead to divisions, and in best cases to compomises.

    And the medical way to address mental health, mental disorders, has been a catastrophic failure, that only made things way worse, and burned a lot of money, resources better used somewhere else, by making the epidemic, pandemic even, larger, more profound and longer term, precisely by the simple: “take this pill and you’ll feel better in 4 weeks”…

    And it created institutions, like both APAs, mental hospitals, mental clinics, mental care pros that now need continuous resources just to stay afloat, despite they cause more harm than good. They are a money and lives burning pit, visible to anyone from miles away if only they took the time to read the data, sometimes against the grain admitedly.

    And if you go to the psychotherapist with the added: TRY to ignore any bad news, it’s not good for you…

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