Crazy, nuts, psycho, mental. (And those are my friends on Facebook.) Since time immemorial we’ve enjoyed a concomitant fascination with and by mental illness and diseases of the mind and a complete demonization of mental disease victims. Next to why Carrot Top hasn’t been indicted so far, nothing fascinates me more than the subject of mental illness. In this most reasoned disquisition, if I may say so myself (and I believe I did), I discuss a panoply of subjects anent the broad rubric mental illness or as I prefer, waxing nutso.
- Reality and consciousness
- Dopamine, serotonin and a dog named Boo
- Psychopathy and the appreciation of consequence
- Neurological versus psychiatric pathologies
- The brain versus the mind vis-à-vis Joe versus the volcano
- OCD, addiction matrices and Bea Arthur’s mannish features
- Phobias, irrational fears and rational dread
- SSRI, MMPI and the initializing of everything
- Neurological pathologies and the uniqueness of dysfunction
- Psychosis versus neurosis
- The quiddity of insanity
- Reality show concomitant exploitation and exposure
Neurological disorders and pathologies have no natural counterpart. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s chorea are the product disruptions and damage to the brain. The symptomatology knows no counterpart in normal behavior spectra. Psychiatric disorders are distorted variations of behaviors that are “normally” observed and experienced: depression, schizophrenia, mania and the darling of reality TV, OCD. Psychiatric maladies are exaggerations and distortions of behaviors and phenomena that are normal. When you see things and hear voices and you’re asleep it’s called dreaming. When you see things and hear voices and you’re in the express line at Whole Foods, you’re having a schizophrenic episode. Fascinating.
Our collective nescience of the brain and mind seems to be getting greater and worse. We’ve almost the same medieval frame of reference as to “crazy” folks as we did a century ago. In fact, when we disagree with someone and find her argument or reasoning specious, we call her crazy. How many times have you heard someone quip that someone exhibiting psychotic behavior must be off their Prozac? Depression, SSRI’s, Thorazine . . . aw, who cares? We warehouse the mentally ill in prisons where they receive no psych care whatsoever. Their illnesses exacerbate, they become more violent because they’ve been ignored or incorrectly mediated and their prison sentences are lengthened as a result. They’ve no advocates, no colored ribbons, they’re all but forgotten.
“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'” Matthew 25:45