March 20, 2023
Source: Wikimedia Commons
In his recent livestreamed interview with Hungarian-Canadian “toxic trauma therapist” Dr. Gabor Maté, besides crediting the ingestion of the hallucinogen ayahuasca with “cleaning the windscreen” of his tiny little mind, professional mental patient and amateur aristocrat Prince Harry revealed he had previously tried to “encourage everyone” in the Royal Family to undergo unnecessary therapy like he had. Whilst talking to various head-doctors (and possibly also a sentient pedal bin whilst off his thick ginger skull on magic mushrooms), Harry had “learned a new language” of quack California shrink-speak, yet found himself surrounded by relatives who “didn’t speak that language” as fluently as he now did, leaving him feeling isolated and alone.
Note how the man-child with a problem here, rather than seeking to have it cured, desires to infect those who are sane and well-balanced with spores of his own self-indulgent emotional issues instead. This is the main modus operandi of today’s psychoanalytical couch culture—to embrace and multiply madness, not cure it. Dr. Gabor Maté himself had recently published a book with the exemplary title The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture, which, to judge by write-ups, seeks to reassure emotionally incontinent solipsists like Harry that the true problem lies not with themselves, but with the insane late-capitalist Western society within which they are forced to live.
Prince of Wails
Having to have a job, family, or other onerous personal responsibilities of any kind is recast as a profound act of psychic oppression, something for which YES! magazine says Maté “prescribes a more authentic self that breaks free of the world’s expectations of us” as the best cure: i.e., “Be selfish—on doctor’s orders.” According to Maté, “Acquired personality traits [re: standard practical moral teachings received from one’s elders] such as excessive identification with socially imposed duty, role and responsibility at the expense of one’s own needs can jeopardize health.” In Maté’s ideal world, it sounds as if well-adjusted people should have no sense of self-responsibility, only of self-entitlement—you can see why the Fresh Prince of Bell-End became one of his most prominent patients.
Supposedly, when it comes to psychology, “There are no clear lines between normal and abnormal,” which may come as news to those familiar with the lives of mentally disturbed serial killers like Dennis Nilsen. Nilsen, a lonely London civil servant, murdered homosexuals and kept their corpses in his armchair before sexually abusing them and haranguing them with what the journalist Auberon Waugh once called “his boring left-wing opinions” and personal problems over cups of tea until they began to smell so much he chopped their heads off and flushed them down the toilet, an amateur therapy session gone horribly wrong. Are we really to presume that there are “no clear lines” between a head-flushing madman like Dennis and the average citizen?
For Maté, “the more people are divorced from their true selves…the more illness they’re going to have”—and not only of the mental kind. The more stress or negative emotion a person feels, the more likely they are to fall physically ill. Thus, “the more episodes of racism” black Americans experience, “the greater their risk for asthma,” perhaps explaining why George Floyd really couldn’t breathe.
Supposedly, stressful emotions “are not separable from physiology” and so “cause inflammation,” “undermine the immune system,” and “trigger cancerous change.” Therefore, if society is not totally upended and reconfigured around the endless momentary whims of the sacred self, someone like Prince Harry might end up acquiring a malign and inoperable tumor (besides the one he married). The trouble is, if everyone went around acting in their sole self-interest like this, the sum total of human misery would surely increase exponentially—Prince Harry’s own state of mental well-being wasn’t exactly enhanced by his parents’ very public affairs and subsequent equally public divorce, was it?
This may sound a harsh assessment, but in Maté’s terms, it is just what the doctor ordered: After all, “niceness” is simply “the repression of healthy anger,” which, if kept bottled up inside you, can cause cancer. One study of 150 patients with melanoma found these sufferers were “excessively nice,” a truly deadly personality flaw (nobody unpleasant has ever been known to have contracted cancer in all of recorded human history). It seems women are often nicer than men, being trained by a “patriarchal culture” to do monstrous things like looking after their families, leading them to suffer higher rates of chronic illness. Therefore, patriarchy, like capitalism, is literally a killer and must be dismantled. The conclusion would surely be that women must henceforth throw off their shackles and become wholly emancipated, selfish mega-bitches; by this logic, Meghan Markle, like H. Rider Haggard’s She, will live forever.
Maté’s basic message is that normality is unhealthy. Perhaps it is also racist? Another recent book, Am I Normal? by Sarah Chaney, a British academic employed by the profoundly quotidian-sounding “Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions,” argues the very concept of “normality” (which must now always be hedged in by inverted commas, like a demon imprisoned within an occultist’s floor-drawn pentagram) was an invention of Victorian-era white Western cisheteronormative imperialism, a malign exercise in “the othering of whole communities.” Really? So Dylan Mulvaney skipping into a Cairo mosque in only his bra and pants whilst sucking suggestively on a string of sausages and squealing at the imam like a gay piglet on helium c.1500 wouldn’t have appeared a bit weird to the average queer-tolerant Muslim Arab bystander at the time, then, only after about the year 1850?
Every society has its own individual sense of what constitutes normality. Yet according to Chaney, it was only in the past 200 years that the Western imperialism-invented idea of normality began to be “bound up in our laws, our social structures and our ideas of health.” Yes, prior to the evil Queen Victoria’s ascent to her colonial-era throne in 1837, concepts such as “criminal,” “heretic,” “witch,” “invalid,” “cripple,” “foreigner,” “deviant,” “sinner,” “pervert,” and “lunatic” just didn’t exist, did they? The Marquis de Sade was not imprisoned, apostates were not burned, and lepers were not shunned, whilst freak shows, court dwarfs, and cabinets of curiosity were all entirely unknown.
Ironically, the leftism-driven demonization of normativity seems to be fueling a current epidemic of actual mental illness across the West; or should that be relabeled more positively as “mental diversity”? By 2021, an alarming 40 percent of U.S. college students were suffering from some serious clinical psychiatric disorder like depression, self-harm, or being a goth—sometimes by intentional design.
According to a 2010 survey by now-defunct online therapy portal Mentaline, 11 percent of U.K. teens questioned thought mental illness was “fashionable,” whilst 34 percent had lied about being loony to impress their peers. Reasons given for why being mentally ill was now chic ranged from it making the sufferer appear “unique” to it being “just cool.” When I was at school, the ineffective wrist-slashing class depressive was quickly mocked back into healthy normativity simply by being dismissively dubbed “The Girl With Two Slits” at no cost whatsoever to an already overburdened National Health Service. Today she would have been seen as a role model, to the benefit of absolutely nobody.
Doctoring the Script
Studies consistently show conservatives enjoy better mental health than their liberal peers (Glenn Beck excepted). This has been linked to the fact conservatives are more likely to be happily married—i.e., the fact they stick to the time-honored “social script” of what a normal human life is supposed to look like, rather than following the antinomian advice of someone like Dr. Gabor Maté to act as if you were a perpetual member of the Bloomsbury Group. According to the admirably non-mad sociologist Liah Greenfeld of Boston University, since the 1970s the U.S. has been gold medalist in the global Mad Olympics. Why? Greenfeld explains the sad phenomenon as follows:
The more a society is dedicated to the value of equality and the more choices it offers for individual self-determination, the higher its rates of functional mental illness. These rates increase in parallel with the increase in the available occupational, geographical, religious, gender and lifestyle-related choices…. [This] inevitably makes self-definition a matter of one’s own choice, and the formation of personal identity…becomes personal responsibility, a burden some people can’t shoulder.
In other words, the more a free society “liberalizes” by loudly proclaiming, “There’s no such thing as normal!” the more that same society’s deeply confused individual members begin to go a bit loopy. Diversity literally makes people mentally ill.
Just look at a total moron like Prince Harry. Once upon a time, he would have been a simpleton prince, unthinkingly married an equally pleasantly retarded princess, then lived happily ever after, The End. Unfortunately, the likes of Oprah Winfrey got their woke claws into him, made him think about things excessively without him in any sense possessing the mental capacity to actually do so, and so encouraged him to self-destructively deviate from the healthy princely script. Now Prince Hamlet is so “happy” he eats magic mushrooms and talks to dustbins. Well done, therapy culture!
These people just aren’t normal, are they?