In ancient Mesopotamia, Canaanites were required to offer up their children to the god Molech. People in Thailand and other poor countries \u2013 some of them Western \u2013 are doing the same to the god Mammon, albeit unwillingly by most accounts, and we\u2019ve known about this for some time. Brits and Americans would never dream of doing that. We use scented quilted tissues to wipe our arses. And that means we\u2019re soft, eh? Or sophisticated. We have evolved beyond primal urges by good breading. I mean, what would you have to cauterise to do that with your own children? You\u2019d have to be sick, wouldn\u2019t you?
The ill wind that\u2019s been blowing across the UK since the eighties has intensified to the point where we should be wearing masks. Its suffocating fumes are unabated and its fog mind-altering. It will ultimately lead us all to sacrifice the lives of our own children, if the sickest amongst us don\u2019t get their paws on them first.
It is a prolonged downward trend that constitutes one of the biggest single contributors to mental illness and it is epidemic. It is a kind of mental illness itself. This wind of change has been sown into every corner of society and we are now reaping the whirlwind. Its whirlwind, driven by those who have the most power, will give them everything they want in the short term \u2013 more than they could ever possibly want or need \u2013 but it is unhealthy for them in the process and will ultimately kill them and their future generations. Already, we\u2019re wondering if those that are here now will last. Or it might just ruin them or their families in a slow luxurious death, or make them an instant target, or by some sudden twist of fortune to contemplate suicide for the first time, because there can be no other life for them. They will not change because they see no wrong in it. They are mentally unsound and their actions affect everyone else, which is why mental illness is on the increase.
And what do they want all this money, these belongings, this land, this power, for? What for? To be stronger? To be different from, better than, others? To show that they have the power to do it, expand their friendships, gain respect? Stand out from the crowd? Gather similarly-minded people around them to protect each other? Wear similar clothes and join clubs, go on red-carpet marches to look down on everyone who is inferior? Have gullible unimaginative people gawk up at them as their idols? This isn\u2019t my indignation or sour-grapes, it\u2019s a serious question. What are they going to do with it all once they\u2019ve got it? Build new schools, new hospitals? Reputation and a place in history is everything, though, isn\u2019t it darlings? \u201cWhat was that you said? \u2026 Oh, how very interesting, and\u2026 and who are you, exactly? \u2026 Oh, I\u2019ve never heard of you. Anyway, as I was saying\u2026\u201d Yep, we\u2019re all for equality.
They could join the ranks of rejects at the click of a couple of fingers, simply when their denial ceases to function. The writing is on the Wall Street billboards and they\u2019re pretty much desperately trying to avoid the inevitable repercussions. But not trying anywhere near hard enough. Leaders can impose this deadly virus on their own people and other nations, then go home and face family members over the dinner table. How does that work? Reconstituting human prejudices and deceit inseminates government, society and commerce. It is effectively prejudice against oneself. A form of mental illness. It is social, political and institutionalised denial.
they have usually (not always) seen the unreliable side of the staple principles we base our lives on. They have experienced the appalling state it can leave us in and the counter-productive attitudes and treatments that then strips them of the little power they have left. They may also know good experiences that made getting through easier. And mental illness is actually quite honest. It obtusely warns us of things that are wrong, wrong with our situation or wrong with the way we\u2019re treating each other, or the way we\u2019re treating ourselves; especially things that we have ignored or that are actually unseen. Like the dog mentioned in the opening chapter.
Acceptance of realities we have little control over is a fact of life. Acceptance of personal realities and the consequences of how we\u2019re treated is a matter of capacity and eventually choice. But with issues that affect our mentality, we neglect the things we do have a measure of control over and choice regarding until things develop beyond our control. Not that control is the only objective and that we can control everything. But there is a difference between that and not investing in what is needed to prepare us to deal with the most taxing issues that are more widespread, since unconstrained selfishness became in vogue. We often acknowledge that only after superhumanly attempting to hold on to something we couldn\u2019t possibly hold on to, in the first place. Neglect, denial, or fear pushes us to that point, then when the control passes to someone else, the nightmare begins because our feelings, our wishes become secondary to carer\u2019s and care services inhibitions.
The causes of mental illness, particularly various forms of depression, anxiety and stress, are well documented and have a source that is common to all people. Yet, what we prefer to do in society is brush people like that aside and label them defective, so that we can isolate ourselves from any such prospect. If you ask anyone who has not suffered an episode of mental illness, what would happen to them if they did, they won\u2019t be able to tell you. Even if they\u2019re able to research it, contemplating their personal outcome with the restrictive options that are available and with few positive accounts to go off, compounds that fear. Apart from expanding a range of lateral non- intrusive approaches; what we should be doing, from school age, is educating our children using their language and the interests they are passionate about, to dispel the stigmas and prejudices. It isn\u2019t enough to tackle it in history and social studies from text books and set examples. They need to see it in operation around them, intheir daily lives. They need to see how events can impact on their mentality, how it can change for better or worse and how differences can have positive references. They need to be taught by people who have experienced the extremes and understand them, not from people who don\u2019t. And we need to make it easier for them to speak about these things, routinely, in a respectful, easy, enjoyable environment.
People who acknowledge they are mentally ill often have no choice but to learn to endure despite their restricted capacity, or do something about it. But those who see nothing wrong with their thinking, or justify unsound thinking, are insensitive as to its effect on themselves and to others. It isn\u2019t necessarily evil, or unjustified, but someone else will usually have to suffer it. So, what?
Definitions of strength and weakness don\u2019t always fit the stereotypical precepts we base them on. Mature, considerate, people know this. Symptoms of any developing mental difficulty usually go unspotted. People who are struggling with something mentally and emotionally usually have to become skilled at covering it up. If you don\u2019t speak up, or defend yourself, or pick people up on things when they\u2019re out of line, you\u2019re seen as weak. When you can deliberately impose your opinion without listening, because your ego won\u2019t take no for an answer, we call it assertive and people get training to become it. I\u2019m all for both, but quiet people in committees and support groups are advised, being listened to is contingent on doing a course. If you surpass at it, you can even qualify as \u2018callous\u2019 which derives obviously from \u2018callus.\u2019
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?