This is a subject that I’m not quite sure if I know exactly how it works, but to some level of degree I’ll try to explain it how I see it.
To some level or degree everyone has some form of mental illness.
The Wikipedia definition for mental illness is: a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behavior or thinking. And when you look at it like this, it doesn’t seem quite as bad as what you see on television. So why exactly is it depicted so bad on television?
Well a lot of things might have contributed to the stigma behind mental illness, but one stigma that that probably hurts mental illness the most is: because it is mental, they can simply get over it. But this is not always the case. The reason why it has become a stigma however is because of the economic capital that can be made from the mental health industry. I’m not talking about nice places though, I’m talking about places of nightmare that influenced things like Silent Hill.
You know, you have no face…I’m going insane…So, how about we grab a cup of coffee?
If they could maximize the number of patients, they could not only maximize profits, but they also could use them as test subjects or rather could bid them to the highest scientist. These are all speculations, but they seem like very plausible suggestions due to the fact that mental hospitals in the past were not regulated, high-stigmatized (as in no one goes there for shits and giggles), and kept on lock down 24/7 for “security” purposes. Hence all the cages and security doors and…wait, it’s not a prison?
So where am I going with this? I just wanted to highlight the ideas of how mental illness can be easily stigmatized and manipulated, when in fact we all share the same capacity for mental illness, however some have more than others, some develop later than others. For example, Dementia patients. Within the spectrum of dementia patients there are patients that have psychotically induced dementia and then there are those who have dementia due to loss of memory from old age. The first type of dementia would be the dementia you see after bad drug trips, Sally took a couple too many hits of acid and DMT and suddenly found God. While Sally probably saw God (because God is truth), the overindulgence of acid and DMT fried her brain to the point where the cognitive abilities became disorientated.
So Sally now thinks that she’s a cat in a human body and is constantly trying to hiss and scratch people. Also she purrs a lot. Bam. Instant mental hospital, instant diagnosis of dementia. Case closed. Next! That’s how it’s been run the past hundreds of years, and quite frankly it’s sickening.
However, if that’s Sally, she’s gone off the deep end, we just need to keep her at Grandmas.
People who are past help however need to be taken care of. But there are plenty of people who are caring and willing enough to take care of these people, because you know, we’re not all assholes. So if that’s the case, why not empower these people instead of empowering the mental institutions that have been in place for years with no change.
I apologize I am more than likely drawing a broad stroke. There are probably many mental institutions that have changed and applied this aspect and perspective to their practices. And to those people, I truly thank you and applaud you for your efforts into helping your fellow person. To the mental institutions, no bueno.
So then the question is how do we treat mentally ill people?
Well…what? Did you just really ask how to treat a person? You treat them like you’d treat any other human being. “But what about crazy uncle Tom who keeps trying to kill our neighbors cat. Something needs to be done” Yeah, I agree, lock uncle Tom up in prison then, because that’s the punishment for trying to kill a cat. I mean what is so hard to see? It’s almost as though you are implying that mentally ill need special treatment? But they don’t because that would imply segregating them out of society.
And that’s the main issue here, we segregate a marginalized group outside our own lived reality, so we stop seeing them. We stop being aware of their presence, we suddenly become ignorant to the fact that they even exist. The same is happening all around the United States. People don’t realize that Muslims have been living in the United States for over hundreds of years. And if you “True Americans” want to claim Islam has no place in America, then blame the North-Atlantic Slave Trade. Because they brought the slaves, who brought Islam with them.
Take my freedom – I don’t care – my jihad will save me.
Little do Americans know that slavery and Islam are directly correlated. We think of Africans as simply having no faith, or being that of the tribal manners. While in due parts this was true, that did not mean Moroccan slaves who were dominated mostly by Islam, were also captured in the mix. Because, you know, slavery knows no religion!
So coming back to mental illness, the marginalization of the mentally ill perpetuated the ignorance to the ever growing problem of non-regulation to mental institutions. But sometimes hiccups happen and some slip through the cracks. Like a lot of mass murderers! As much as we would like to think these people not as humans, they are, but think of them like Sally, but a much worse off Sally. So mass murderers belong in jail, simple enough, not a psych ward, a jail, where humans go, the place where we put all our tax money. While Sally belongs in a safe environment where she won’t hurt her cat-self. Both cases, gone off the deep end, both cases treated like humans.
So this brings me to my next point. When we think mass murder, what can you think of on a global scale? If you’re like me a flood of images and events fill your mind. Countless of times in history has there been genocide, ethnic cleansing, war, etc. All of this, in the name of peace or God? No! These are mentally ill people, who have gone off the deep end and need to be held accountable for their crimes. In any instance, justice needs to be served.
But justice in this regards needs to be universal. It has to be a categorical imperative. Thus if we regard it in the forms of Judicial Law: Justice in regards to the mental stability of human beings shall be determined by the same rights and courts of all human beings. That would mean if Sally accidentally beats the living crap out of someone. Unfortunately she would have to go to jail for her crime. Because, a crime is a crime regardless of intent (the same goes with law suits).
Brilliant strategic mind but bat shit crazy and wrong.
In history it becomes much harder where the line between mental illness and normal occurs. Even though in my opinion, we all suffer from some form of mental illness, if not from genetics (brain development) or psychosis, then definitely from existential angst which at one point in our lives, we all accrue.
For example, during your teen years, this could be seen as “puberty”. When your body is in a state of rapid change and you start to question your very sense of identity. This anxiety comes from existential angst, which ultimately comes from not knowing the Truth. But then a problem comes into the picture. If we can suffer mental illness from existential angst then what do we do about it?
Existentialist thinker Jean-Paul Sartre believed that this is where “bad faith” lies. In the ultimate decision of what you should do in regards to how you feel and what society tells you. The existential angst you get comes from the “bad faith” you have. You ultimately are not doing the thing you truly want to be doing. The most famous example is of the waitress. The waitress works at the cafe for hours on end and little pay. She does her job distraught and unorganized. When confronted by a customer of her impolite manners, she responds in anger. Sartre would call this situation “bad faith”. The waitress curses her job under her breath and dreams of becoming a writer, but because she needs to pay the bills and feed herself, she believes she needs a job. So she becomes a waitress, instead of writing. However, while being a waitress, she experiences the alienation of her dream from reality, thus becoming distraught and angry but ultimately believing she had no choice because of society.
Sartre would say that you would then have to think long and hard on this matter. You simply are justifying your answer based on the immediate gratification you will receive. For example, in the waitress example, the waitress believed that society was chaining her because she had to pay her bills and feed herself. But Sartre would say, “Non! Non. Nonnnnn.” this is “bad faith”! If she truly, from the bottom of her heart, wanted to, she could have become a writer. It would have been a long and arduous journey, but nonetheless if she truly wanted that, she would be happy from fulfilling her will.
If you look at it in this way, the only times someone complains about their situation, is when they are committing to “bad faith”. Because ultimately at the end of the day, what is it that you truly wanted? For the waitress, it was money.
But this can also be seen negatively, as in the sense of Nietzsche’s philosophy, of the Ubermench or Overman, and how it was convoluted by the Nazi regime to fit their ideology. For Nietzsche, the social constructs of society seemed to be dominated by predators. Predators could be seen as his “master mentality”. However, the prey (“slave mentality”) were the ones making the decision in society. So he saw the master and the slave in the same regards as in both of them were wrong.
Because the master in all of its power relies on the prey to survive, but the prey being strong in number, makes the predator step down from his status, creating mixed rules in society. This causes other prey, also wanting the predator to stop, to become stuck or lost. Not knowing where to fit as prey or predator. This is where Nietzsche deposits his Ubermench. The idea basically is a transcendence from human to something beyond, something greater. I guess in my terms, neither predator or prey, simply being.
Every living thing is equal, I think that’s the ultimate message.
Following their own will against the grains of society and overcoming the struggles of human kind. That is what Nietzsche wanted, however not in the regards that you are probably thinking of right now. It is my interpretation that Nietzsche wanted to live life in society comfortably, without having to deal with all the sociological bullshit that came with social life: government, fighting, inequality, etc. All of these types of things for Nietzsche pulled him down from his own optimistic views of mankind and thinking.
I mean if it’s so logical and easy for you to simply be nice to someone. How is it so hard for someone else to? He blamed society for this, namely religion. But after a tragic incident involving a man beating a horse, as he held the beaten horse in hopes of defending it, he broke down into a psychosis induced dementia, from which he never recovered from. Some attribute that he had a physical illness that contributed to this dementia, but that is beyond the case. I believed that Nietzsche was optimistic of human kind up until that point where he saw the senseless beating of a horse.
It was at that moment Nietzsche gave up on his pursuit of Truth. A sad day for all philosophers and scholars, when society bears down upon you so much, you finally succumb to its weight. But this doesn’t happen just in philosophy. It’s quite easy to find yourself having existential angst when studying philosophy, but as depicted in the example of puberty, humans can experience existential angst through almost anything.
Just as how Nietzsche finally gave up on humanity, people all around the world are feeling the same. They want to finally give up on humanity because it’s so tiring and so taxing on our souls. I call this the Nietzsche Dilemma in which you are forced to finally choose whether to succumb to your inner psychosis, or continue on living your life as best as you can, as Albert Camus would insist.
Cause the Queen loves you!
I would agree with Albert Camus however, in this regards we can never let society bear us down as intelligent thinkers and scholars. Because if we do, we succumb to our own existential angst, brought about from the very thing that holds intelligence. And if we do not help others out of this plight once they reach this moment in their lives, what are we doing if not perpetuating a meaningless existence? Are we not rendering our own intelligence meaningless by not spreading it with others? If by all means society breaks down your inner most walls, in science there is always the Truth. The immutable Truth which waits for us when we organically dissipate into star dust. That is what we must keep living for then. For we cannot as people who see the path of Truth, leave others in the dark. Just as how we have emerged from the cave, we must now force those still lingering inside the cave, out into the light of Truth.
Look at those monks…lol so far in…
And by force I mean simply just saying our mind, saying what you think, all you have to do is bring it to their attention. That is why protesting works so well, because at all times you are keeping it at their attention. They are forced to think about it. It’s beautiful how simple things work when the right people advocate for them.
This is why freedoms are so important in our society. Because without freedoms, we could never say our mind, and then we would all go crazy, like off the deep end crazy. And that’s what happened to a lot of people in history, bloody wars and nasty genocides were committed by some of the most oppressed people. Maybe there is something to be learned from these bloody years of oppression…But who knows, that’s just dust in the wind.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.