Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mental Illness Casts a Wide Net

Says who?

In a holographic universe mind is primary and therefore, mental illness is a more direct malady than, for instance, having a sore back. In our common understanding however, mental illness is still a mystery and without pharmacology, there probably would have been almost no progress in treating it.

Our approach is mostly empirical and based on
a material explanation. We give a person substance "A" and note its effects and if it's sufficiently helpful then it gets prescribed. Does it mean that this manifestation of mental illness is caused by a lack of substance "A" or that the substance acts on the conditions that are causing it? That all depends on the delicate art of correlation.

It gets difficult because so many substances, or lack of, can cause similar effects. For example, how many substances or other inputs can cause anxiety? That's why we can have popularly prescribed anti-depressants that make people suicidal. Most of us would consider suicidal thoughts or actions as the ultimate in depression which is what an anti-depressant should be combating. Maybe we don't really understand it all that well.

Yet, even as our lack of understanding becomes more
exposed, the list of things that are enveloped to some degree by the mental illness net widens. The former Soviet Union used to declare political opponents as mentally unbalanced. The United States under its corporate tutelage has more recently been declaring more and more conditions as illnesses for which medication is mandated. Political and other forms of correctness are dragging various "isms" into the mix. Racism is being mentioned in the same breath as mental illness. Alcoholism has been successfully rebranded as an illness.

All these dictates and compulsion is occuring precisely as
we call into question the foundation of how mental illness is currently explained. Sounds like denial.


Mental Illness Casts a Wide Net, Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be
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Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have been published in numerous publications. He may be contacted at evan.palmer@sympatico.ca

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