Why a new blog on mental health?
- The public understanding of mental health is poor – not surprising because it’s a pretty meaningless concept.
- We are told that mental ill-health is developing into a crisis but this is not surprising when every kind of problem, distress, or unwanted habit is converted into a medical disorder. It is not a health crisis but health professionals, the pharmaceutical industry, and mental health charities would have a great deal to lose by dropping the idea.
- The existence of mental ill-health has become a myth like a belief in the existence of witchcraft. Scientists in white coats cannot solve problems that are attributed to a myth.
- Life is unavoidably messy and its tragic downsides should not be wished away as illness. People have genuine problems – for good or bad reasons they can become extremely distressed, act strangely, anti-socially, or feel a compulsion to act in ways they would prefer not to. These problems are not individual illnesses that need to be cured. Problems arise in unique social circumstance, under the influence of cultural beliefs, social norms, and government legislation.
- To address this situation we have to abandon a health mindset. There will always be a gap between what is desirable and what is achievable. Most people resolve the gap without ever thinking that their suffering is due to a health problem. We cannot just ignore calls for help but the mental health conspiracy limits the way we approach this task. In many cases, it serves the function of letting society or the individual off the hook. It can mystify the nature of problems and encourage a person to think of themselves as ill rather than confront actual causes.
- The concept of mental health lumps together problems that may have entirely different causes under single disorders . What is needed more than expanded services or more resources is greater imagination.
- The idea of disordered minds has been with us for centuries. The Public and the State believe in it without any intention to deceive. The myth has always been persuasive. The State believes that mental ill-health has little to do with its own laws, social policies, or prevailing social conditions. Sufferers seek cures from the State, which it supplies in an assumed act of generosity. It has become a duty of the State to provide a mental health service. The World Health Organisation believes that people around the world are experiencing an epidemic of mental disorders.
- The blogs on this site discuss various manifestations of the mental health myth. They do not promote an answer to any particular problem that a person might happen to have. This website is not offering a service. The purpose of these blogs is to encourage democratic debate – so please comment. Anything that seems completely irrelevant or insulting will be removed as soon as possible.
- For more about me, see ABOUT.