It must be that time of the month again, you know, the full moon. Either that or the magic mushroom harvest has been particularly plentiful this year.
The fifth edition of the American Psychiatry Associationâs Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is due out in a few days â the bible of those who would seek to categorise us all under a suitable âmental healthâ label. This bible was responsible for categorising ânicotine deprivationâ as category 292.0 prompting my post warning that nuclear submarines were about to go to sea with a crew comprised of 40% officially suffering from a âmental illnessâ â a comforting thought!
From the 1st January, 40% of the crew of those sleek and secretive nuclear submarines roaming our seas that we are assured are our best protection against the âmadmenâ in North Korea and Iran, who, we are told, are ânot to be trusted with nuclear weaponsâ, will themselves, be comprised of those who may be, at any one time, suffering from one or all of DSM-III-Râs list of side effects of category 292.0.
From the 1st January, the crews on board the US nuclear arsenal are forbidden to smoke whilst submerged. Personally, the bath is the one place I never smoke, the end gets all soggy, but that is by the by. These boys (and girls) are submerged for 60 days at a time.
They are forbidden to use an E-Cigarette â too likely that the cartridge will be replaced by one filled with crack cocaine apparently. They must fall back on the tender embrace of the pharmaceutical replacement â now proven to cause hallucinations, a belief that God is talking to you, suicidal thoughts that have led to almost 5,000 serious psychotic episodes and over a 100 suicides â or alternatively, they can go âcold turkeyâ and suffer from the side effects of 292.0 which include â temper tantrums, feelings of despondency, mental confusion, vagueness, anxiety and depression.
Still, help is at hand. The British Psychological Society has declared war on the DSM and all its bastard children â including those who set their clock by it. War is possibly too mild a word to describe their first shot across its bows â they wish to see the entire basis on which mental illness is viewed, re-evaluated â and not as something that can be âtreatedâ by Psychiatrists using pharmaceuticals.
There is a major elephant in the room here â for our entire Mental Health law is based upon the idea that some mental illnesses can be treated and therefore it is reasonable to lock people up whilst they are treated, should they refuse to be treated voluntarily. Whether you agree with locking people up who are mentally ill or not, is not the issue here â for if you abandon the idea that people are treatable by pharmaceuticals, you are in effect abandoning our present Mental Health law. As it stands at present â if there is not a pill available for whatever ails you, then you canât be locked up.
It may be wonderful in theory to talk of a land where no one is ever detained against their will, but trust me, remove the basis on which some seriously psychotic individuals are removed from society for a period to enable their medication to take effect, and the present chaotic situation in the UK will seem like the land of milk and honey.
Some of the Psychologists responsible for the statement issued by the British Psychological Society believe that mental illness stems from âbereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuseâ and that sitting down with a psychologist to âtalk about itâ would help more.
13 studies find that more than half of schizophrenics suffered childhood abuse. Another review of 23 studies shows that schizophrenics are at least three times more likely to have been abused than non-schizophrenics. It is becoming apparent that abuse is the major cause of psychoses.
For instance, a person with six or more personal debts is six times more likely to be mentally ill than someone with none, regardless of their social class: the more debts, the greater the risk.
That, apparently, to the psychologists, suggests that it is the debts that create the mental illness â one could easily argue that those with a mental illness are more likely to behave rashly and run up debts. What of those who suffered childhood abuse and didnât become schizophrenic?
But just as psychologists bid to empty the mental hospitals of the world into their consulting rooms, along comes another renegade. Mental illness might not have a biological or physical dimension â but criminality? Now you are talking. (Careful where you are talking on this one â this theory was popular in Victorian times, and came to be associated with âbumps on the headâ, eugenics and the Nazis.)
Adrian Raine is busy turning the theory of crime being caused by er, âbereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuseâ as the Victorians and liberals believed, on its head â and proving that is has a physical/biological basis. If he is right, then Psychiatrists could treat criminals with pharmaceuticalsâ¦..
âIn the â70s, â80s and â90s, violence went up in America. What was causing that? Well, one hypothesis: It was the increase in environmental lead in the â50s, â60s and â70s. You know, lead in gas, for example. So, in the 1950s, little toddlers were playing outside, putting their fingers in dirt, putting their fingers in their mouths and absorbing the lead. Twenty years later, they became the next generation of violent criminal offenders because violence peaks at about 19 or 20. Then what happens is in the 1990s violence begins to come down, as itâs been doing. Whatâs partly explaining that? The reduction in lead in the environment. In fact, if you map environmental lead levels over time like that and map it onto the change in violence over time, lead can explain 91% of those changes. And to me, itâs the only single cause that can both explain the precipitous rise in violence from the â70s, â80s and â90s and also the drop that weâve been experiencing.â
I think Iâve got a handle on this now â Adrian is bidding to empty the prisons into the mental hospitals, and the Psychologists want to empty the mental hospitals into their consulting rooms, which leaves G4S free to stop running prisons and take over the police, painstakingly interviewing victims of long dead celebrities, and the nuclear submarines will be run by psychotic smokers talking to God?
There seems to be only one winner in this merry-go-round; the Pharmaceutical industry. If theyâre not treating the mentally ill, theyâre doping smokers or criminals. Canât any of this lot do something useful â like find a way to evaluate the mental health of our politicians before we vote them into power and get their finger on the nuclear button?