June 09, 2014
Merely for stating the obvious, Szasz was treated by most of those who stood to gain significant revenue from the psychiatric profession as a witch. Blaming one’s deliberate actions on “mental illness” is a modern version of “The Devil made me do it””or, in this latest case, “Slender Man made me do it.”
Modern society is apparently awash in “mental illness” and drowning in pills to treat it. How easily we have forgotten the well-documented political abuse of psychiatry in communist regimes and barbaric practices such as lobotomies and electroshock therapy. All the new mood stabilizers and happy pills seem to have erased memories of how psychiatry has traditionally been used as a hammer to smash the souls and crush the will of political dissidents and simple nonconformists.
I”ve never seen a psychological diagnosis or a psychiatric medication improve anyone‘s mood, behavior, or life circumstances. I”ve only seen dependence on antidepressants and tranquilizers render them far less capable of fixing their problems than they were before willingly submitting to the psychiatric industry’s dubious wisdom. Still, I”ve had one person after the next insist to me that they “need” their medication and that I simply don”t “understand” mental illness. No, I feel I perfectly understand what’s going on”the problem isn”t mental illness, it’s character weakness.
What’s striking, though, is that it is no longer the political dissidents who are being force-medicated; rather, it is the pro-statist conformists who are willingly gobbling medication by the bucket. These days, “mental illness” is being blamed for all manner of seemingly willful foul behavior, while the only people deemed to be in complete control of their thoughts and actions are the alleged racists, sexists, and homophobes”modern society’s true dissidents and scapegoats. There are probably isolated cases, but I don”t ever remember “mental illness” being used as a defense against hate-crime charges. Everyone else, though, is a slave to their mental illness.
Ironically, it may be only on psychiatric medication where people truly seem to bear less responsibility for their behavior; hence the fact that so many mass murderers of late are up to their eyeballs in psych meds. You leave their brains alone, and they seem far less likely to go on killing sprees.
The mere idea that people aren”t responsible for their actions apparently leads to less responsible behavior. Various studies have suggested that the less a person believes in free will, the more likely they are to lie, cheat, steal, become aggressive, and fall victim to mindless conformity. The less they believe that they are in control of their actions, the worse they act. Thus, the idea of “mental illness” likely creates more problems than it solves.
Therefore, mental illness doesn”t need to be cured, because it likely doesn”t exist. People need to be cured of the delusion that mental illness, rather than their own lack of willpower, is the problem.
The defense lawyers, psychiatrists, and pill-peddlers who make a living from the idea of mental illness will continue insisting it’s real. After all, that’s their job.
But if the allegations against the pair of preteen girls in Wisconsin are true, blaming it on “mental illness” is as dumb as blaming it on Slender Man. The simplest explanation”yet the hardest for most humans to accept”would be that the girls did it because they chose to do it.