Dead to Rights

 

Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally… There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. –Mental Health, Suicide Data, World Health Organization

 

Overdoses killed young and middle-aged Americans at a breakneck pace as the country battles a crippling opioid crisis, adding to the first two-year drop in life expectancy since JFK was President.

More than 63,600 people died of a drug overdose in 2016, the National Center for Health Statistics found. The startling rate was 21% higher than the number of fatalities a year earlier. – Opioid overdoses kill more people in U.S. than guns or breast cancer

 

The numbers quoted above are not insignificant. These instances of mental illness are not insignificant. And, these statistics represent only a small fraction of the de-humanizing effects of mental illness. Most of the effects of mental illness are hidden from the public eye until a person’s mental illness reaches a peak. The media then reports the violence done to others or done to one’s self in the form of suicide. Mentioned briefly by the newscaster: mental illness and the need to find a way to deal with it.

Again, the numbers quoted above are not insignificant. The quotes tell us in effect that mental illness influenced a person’s choice to self-harm. The quotes (and newscasts) do not tell us the choices that led to a mental illness that in time led to an act of violence. A post about mental illness could go in many directions. Here, I will take the path less traveled. I want to talk about what I see as the genesis of most mental illness – people’s choices.

 

Certainly, there are forms of mental illness which are not based on a person’s choices. Some prominent forms of mental disorder such as Bi-Polar Disorder have been ascribed primarily to a person’s genetic make-up. Some mental disorders are related to a chemical imbalance. Either abnormality can result in abnormal brain structure and function. Much progress has been made to mitigate the effects of these disorders. Some mental disorders may have come about through a child’s early environment. Talking in therapy and building good trust relationships can bring about healing.

Beyond physiological and early childhood causes, there is a spectrum of mental illnesses due to a person’s choices, choices that have been assessed and weighed based on one’s belief system and emotions. Each of us make deliberated decisions using our free will.  We may choose to act in a mentally healthy way or in a mentally harmful way. We may choose to turn the other cheek or we may choose to imitate revenge (Copy-Cat Revenge). We may choose to endure pain or we may choose to commit copy-cat suicide (the Werther Effect). Choosing to choose to act against God, oneself and others is evil-based mental illness. Evil-based mental illness involves a person’s choices.

Adam and Eve made a choice and learned of evil through their disobedience. Their son Cain made a choice when he murdered his brother Abel. God, acknowledging Cain’s mental distress, let him know that his choice figured in his distress:

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”-Genesis 4:6-

One’s choice makes all the difference for one’s mental state. And, when a person makes the wrong choice, there are public and private consequences. There are mental health consequences. A descent into madness is one of the consequences.

“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue….

Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. – Daniel 4:24-27, 33-34 (emphasis mine)

We live in a world where choice is king. And, people want to reign as king or queen of their choice. What you won’t hear these choice-driven folks say is that they are responsible for the choices they make. If their choice doesn’t work out the way they planned they blame others, including the government. Scapegoating is a characteristic of evil-based mental illness. For example, I was once accused by LGBT advocates on Twitter of likely going on to cause the depression and suicidal death of gay community members because I spoke out against homosexuality. The advocates of the LGBT will tell you that any resistance to the homosexual lifestyle equates to depression and death for the LGBT. People want choices and want to rule in them but it their choices which cause the mental breakdowns, depression and worse. Resistance to accountability is another characteristic of evil-based mental illness. The Apostle Paul insists on accountability to the Lord as he reminds the Ephesian church that there are those who by their choices have darkened their minds:

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. -Ephesians 4:17-20

A darkened mind, evil-based Mental illness, starts with small concessions to evil. One acknowledges and then accepts these concessions and compartmentalizes them in part of the psyche. They are filed away from the conscious and away from public view. One goes on to absolve and protect oneself from outside reference with a half-truth: “It’s a hard life and I must do what I have to do to make it”.

One goes on to concede more ground to evil because the appetite for defiant free will choice has been whetted and there have not been any immediate consequences. The addiction to compromise has begun. The conscious is silenced. One’s mental health begins to deteriorate because thoughts are confused and growing darker; the light has been switched off. One becomes duplicitous. A public face is put on because one’s sanity is on shaky ground but others must see you as proudly self-assured and in control. And what better place to hide your self-deceit and look respectable:

Since the primary motive of the evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within the church. What better way to conceal one’s evil from oneself, as well as from others, than to be a deacon or some other highly visible form of Christian within our culture? … I do not mean to imply that the evil are anything other than a small minority among the religious or that the religious motives of most people are in any way spurious. I mean only that evil people tend to gravitate toward piety for the disguise and concealment it can offer them. – Martin Buber 

When mental illness is discussed, evil-based mental illness should also be discussed. But I believe the reason evil-based mental illness isn’t discussed is because it involves putting people’s choices under scrutiny. Twitter users become afire when I speak against homosexuality as a lifestyle acceptable for the church. They have told me that I am not like Jesus; I am judgmental. In truth, as a Follower of Jesus, I am trying to help the world around me become fully human. In the process, I’ve come to learn that Evil is defensive of its territory – humans.

Because Evil is nothing and has no substance, it must have access to human choice to act. Evil can, by human will, pervert what God created and called good. A glaring example of this hideous conversion from the good and absolute to sliding scale values and Epicureanism is the growing Christian acceptance of homosexuality as an acceptable good. In truth, it is a queering, a perversion, of the good.

It is a curious state of affairs today and a clear indication of evil’s degenerative effect: there are those today who demand rights for this and that while at the same time say they have no control of themselves or they can’t help themselves in their behavior. They want special human rights and the right to live as animals at the same time. They take Pride (Month) in this. De-humanization (e.g., giving over your free will and conscious to animal impulse) is a guaranteed effect of the choice to dwell in mental illness. Renouncing sin and turning back to the One true God will begin restoring your humanity and sanity. Just ask King Nebuchadnezzar.

 

The church should be the place for evil-based mental illness to be addressed. Sadly, many mainline churches have been comprised and now affirm evil as good, thereby increasing evil-based mental illness among its members. Read the Word and receive the Eucharist. The Word and prayer can help put you back in your right mind.

I am laid low in the dust;
preserve my life according to your word.
I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me and teach me your law.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding. -Psalm 119: 25-32

 

 

Are You a danger to yourself or to others? If so, what choices have you made to bring you to this place? You are dead to rights accountable for the wrong choices. But your life doesn’t end there. Have more fear of what you may end up doing than talking to someone. Seek out a Christian and begin talking. Ask God for wisdom and do so with no doubt of receiving it, as a matter of mental health. For, “A person who doubts is like a wave of the sea which the wind blows and tosses about. Someone like that should not suppose they will receive anything from the Lord, since they are double minded and unstable in everything they do.”

 

Interactive media has influence on your mental health, if you let it. Added 6/19/2018:

What is gaming disorder?

Gaming disorder is defined in the draft 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

 

Mental Illness or Moral Illness or a Life Well-Lit

“See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” Jesus, from an eyewitness account recorded by Luke the physician, chapter 11, verse 35.

“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Jesus as recorded in the eyewitness account of Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6, verses 22 and 23.

~~~

I don’t have to tell you that mental health and the lack thereof has been in the news lately. Tied mainly to reports of mass killings, the national mental health issue has been spotlighted when evil rears its ugly head. This post is about perspective on the mental health industry from someone who knows and for those on the treadmill of psychoanalysis.

~~~

We learned the other day that the mass murderer Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez supposedly suffered from depression “…Abdulazeez’s family said he suffered from depression for years, and condemned the “heinous act of violence.””

Yet, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez willfully and coherently texted “an Islamic verse: “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him.” Then, Abdulazeez immediately acted out those words by killing four Marines and a sailor.

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez

GIGO: Abdulazeez was not depressed. Rather, he was unhappy, bored and dissatisfied with his view of the West and probably with himself. Stoking his ego with radical Islamist mal-machismo and personal grandiosity, Abdulazeez thought he would become bigger than life itself by becoming part of something that he thought was even bigger than himself – Islam’s Grand Jihad and the Slaughter of Innocents.

Psychology would not have benefitted the mental health of Abdulazeez. Psychology does not judge right from wrong. Psychology is the multiculturalism of all values, the egalitarian leveler of all thoughts into equal subjective and even political values.

Could it be that psychology, like gun laws is ineffectual due to the depraved moral character of the persons involved? Could it be that the individual’s eye and society’s eye is NOT focused on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”  (From the apostle Paul’s to epistle to the Philippian church, chapter 4, verse 8.)

With regard to mankind’s focus and his progress in the area of proper human self-reflection…”Psychology is not a key to self-understanding, but a cultural barrier to such understanding as we can achieve…” from the Preface of Admirable Evasions, How Psychology Undermines Morality by Theodore Dalyrymple, 2015.

Admirable Evasions

Admirable Evasions

Who is Theodore Dalyrymple? Theodore Dalyrymple is a pen name used by retired prison psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Daniels. I have written about Dalrymple in a previous post (see below).

 

Theodore Dalrymple aka Anthony Daniels, retired prison psychiatrist

Theodore Dalrymple aka Anthony Daniels, retired prison psychiatrist

“Admirable Evasions” sheds much-needed light on the mental health industry and in particular on the proactive diagnosis of depression.

Commercially advertised medications are prescribed to stave off unhappiness, dissatisfaction and ennui. Depression as a mental health state is used in courtrooms (and the media, as shown above) as a defense. Thus, responsibility for one’s felony first degree murder is not correlated to one’s accumulated misbehavior or evil compounded into utter darkness.

Dalrymple’s book, as the sub-title puts forward, exposes the absolution of patients from moral culpability. Psychology, instead, seeks to divine a secret knowledge through its Sisyphean scientism efforts in hopes of uncovering the ‘deep’ mystery of the patient’s unhappiness. We read also of the consumer’s constant demand for felicity and the bottom line commercialism behind antidepressant prescriptions. Dalrymple also provides a brief and sardonic history of psychoanalysis.

“The purpose of such all-encompassing understanding, other than moral self-aggrandizement, is the evasion of one’s own moral responsibility; for it follows that if no one is to be judged (because to judge is to judge harshly), then one is not oneself to be judged-not even by oneself. This, in effect, means carte blanche to do as you feel like, because all behavior is put on equal moral footing; it is only to be understood.” (Chapter Four)

Briefly, scientism is a coupling of the lexicon and theories of science with pop culture, anthropology, politics, popular consensus and ultimately with Neo-Darwinism. Scientism becomes a form of ‘truth’ through repetition and consensus opinion. Scientism is the appearance, the apparition, of science and not the reality of science.

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) for example, is a frequent scientism apparition. And, just as in the opening scene of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the apparition of AGW sets a macabre and eerie tone while foreshadowing a theme of death.

Scientism, like Hamlet’s apparition’s appearance is expected by ‘those in the know’ to be feared and revered-the spirit of Mother Gaia is to be worshipped.

But scientism, uncoupled from reality and from this earth, is not subjected to honest reflection on the empirical science or the realities of cost to benefit analysis (see my previous post). Scientism seeks to generate free-floating angst meant to separate you from your money for the ‘right’ environ-mental cause and candidate.

~~~

Theodore Dalrymple has worked in the mental health industry over a course of a lifetime, mostly with prison inmates. With characteristic insight, candor, humor and background Dalrymple empowers the reader with his common sense observations about the mental health industry. He tells us that the mental health industry is NOT based on science. (This pseudo-science has to finance its own grandiosity by repeating its weekly psychic readings.)

Using his logo centric cerebral scanner Dalrymple gives us his diagnosis of mental health scientism where experimentation becomes published ‘settled science” until the next ‘sure’ thing comes along. Counseling “initiates” sooner or later are subjected to new ‘insights’ but the game is always to designate them as “victims”, victims who need to forgive themselves and/or learn to churn out positive self-esteem so as to inflate the ego and ward off scary intruders. And, remember Primal Screaming? “Shout, shout, Let it all out.”

“We [the mental health industry] need everyone who suffers to be a victim because only thus can we maintain our pretense to universal understanding and experience the warm glow of our own compassion, so akin to the warmth that a strong, stiff drink imparts in the cold.” (Chapter Four)

From Chapter One: “The first psychological scheme of the twentieth century to provide man with the illusion of much expanded, if not complete, self-understanding, together with hope of an existence free of inner and outer conflict, was psychoanalysis, then came behaviorism, after which came cybernetics, Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology were next; and now neuroscientific imaging, together with a little light neurochemistry, persuades us that we are about to pluck out the heart of our mystery. Suffice it to say, by way of deflation of exaggerated hopes and expectation, that 10 percent or more of the population now takes antidepressants, a figure is all the more remarkable as the evidence is lacking that they, the antidepressants, work except in a very small minority of cases; rather the reverse. That they are taken in such quantities is evidence more of dissatisfaction with life than of increased understanding of its causes, as well as of the spread of superstition regarding neurotransmitters and so-called “chemical imbalances.” (emphasis added)

Dalrymple goes on to talk about the absurdities of Freudianism and of Freud himself: [Freud] belonged more to the history of techniques of self-advancement and the foundation of religious sects than to that of science… He says Freud was ”a habitual liar who falsified evidence…”and “ he was a self-aggrandizing manipulator of people…”

“Admirable Evasions” delves into the mental health industry’s ‘absolution’ of a patient’s wrong doing based on as yet to be determined psychological mysteries locked in the patient’s brain. Hence the undermining and “Evasion” of morality as the book’s title posits. Hence, morally deficit people are left to roam our streets and at times kill others. Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is not a defense in court or a comfort to those who have lost a loved one to amoral psychoanalysis with its lawless diagnosis.

“Men can change; this is their glory and their burden, for it is precisely the capacity to change that renders them responsible for their actions; but what they do may be irreparable.”

The above quote from Admirable Evasions is found within the article “The Multiple Lives of Mehdi Nemmouche” . There Dalrymple talks about the “doctrine of the Real Me”.   

Mehdi Nemmouche

Mehdi Nemmouche

~~~

Everyone wants an out…

Remember CPL Max Klinger of the MASH unit who feigned mental illness (in women’s clothes) so as to be discharged as unfit?

Remember “The devil made me do it.”?

On the couch, morality is posited as just a scary apparition, an angry “Epicurean” god, a figment of a tormented mental condition, an unwarranted guilt complex, genes gone awry, synapses misfiring or firing at the wrong time due to over-stimulation. One Nudge too far!

To neo-Darwinists, morality is considered a Darwinian materialist’s adaption to one’s societal surroundings. Neo-Darwinists do not want to go where morality dwells because that would entail submitting to a Moral Absolute. It is much easier for their pride to accept a humanist’s scientism solution every time. It is easier for them to dabble in the mystical arts of new age scientism.

Dalrymple, in a footnote, admits that he (an atheist) has no moral high ground of his own:  “The fact that I do not have any watertight metaphysic of morals does not mean that psychology can just rush in to fill the gap.”

…but fools rush into the utter darkness anyway.

“…Emerson said in one of his brief excursions into comprehensibility, foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” (Chapter Four)

The default diagnosis of mental illness proffered by the media and by the waiting in the wings defense psychologists is most likely evil and its focus on fatalism.

“But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

~~~

Theodore Dalrymple’s answer to the mental health industry’s inability to improve one’s healthy self-awareness is straightforward-read good literature. Read and become self-aware after reflecting on the characters and the situations they encounter in the book. I agree. Psychoanalysis tends to be a masturbation of the ego.

I also agree, as Dalrymple asserts, there is some good in the mental health industry. There are those who are dealing with incurable psychosis. These need help working with reality. But, most people do not need the packaged nonsense. They do need good books, good friends, exercise and to be held accountable for their actions by their friends and society before the point of no return.

As a Christian, I would strongly suggest that if you are desirous of a healthy mind that you also turn your eyes upon Jesus. Cable TV and today’s media have nothing healthy to offer you. You won’t find moral absolutes on TV.

Consider the following offering to evil:

“Lady Gaga’s Bisexual ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ Character Revealed in Sexiest Season Yet”

[Ryan] “Murphy tells ET that he plans to initiate Gaga with a particularly “disturbing and awful” murder scene with her co-star Bomer, when the show begins filming next week.”

~~~

“Diversion is the only thing that consoles us in our wretchedness, and yet diversion is itself the greatest of our miseries. For it is diversion above all that keeps us from seriously taking stock of ourselves and so leads us imperceptibly to perdition.”

—Pascal, Pensées

From the Evil One’s point of view, the liturgy of psycho-babble is meant to replace the Lord ’s Prayer.

In Jesus you learn to forgive others and no longer hold grudges or unresolved anger. Any root of bitterness is soon uprooted and you are free to plant a plush garden in its place. That garden will be where Jesus comes to visit-as he did with St. Teresa of Avila and where He also visits me.

~~~

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

~~~

I have written about Dalrymple in a previous post: “Three Atheists I Listen To”

~~~

A second opinion:  “The Moral Limits of Psychology”

~~~

Added 8/6/2015: 

Bryant Brewer

Bryant Brewer

Judge rejects insanity defense, convicts man in Chicago cop’s murder:

“Following more than 2 1/2 hours of closing arguments, Judge Timothy Joyce concluded that Bryant Brewer wasn’t mentally ill but simply chose “not to be bound by society’s norms.”

“The only completely truthful thing I heard from (Brewer) is that he’s a cop killer,” the judge said as Soderberg’s widow, Jennifer Loudon, clutched a tissue in her right hand. “He brutally, callously, viciously and without compunction murdered Officer Thor Soderberg.””

Officer Thor Soderberg

Officer Thor Soderberg

“Joyce delivered a lengthy verdict, finally announcing the guilty decision after 8 p.m. He found Brewer guilty on all counts — including the attempted murder of three other officers in addition to Soderberg’s first-degree murder.

The judge concluded that the defense presented no admissible evidence that Brewer had schizophrenia.”

 

 

 

~~~

Added 8-7-2015, from NBC News:

“…the same jury that convicted Holmes of 24 counts of first-degree murder and 140 counts of attempted murder last month in the July 20, 2012, massacre at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora. The jury deliberated less than 13 hours before reaching that decision.”

“Defense attorneys argued that [James] Holmes suffered from schizophrenia and he was legally insane when he carried out the attack. The jury rejected that defense in finding Holmes guilty.”

~~~

Added: 10-4-2015

This astounding finding should be an integral part of the mental health debate:

Robert Whitaker author of Anatomy of an Epidemic asks the question, here paraphrased…

Is there a correlation between the increase of prescribed psychotropic medications over the past twenty-five years and the current epidemic of disabling mental illness? He notes that the disabled mentally ill place a significant burden on society.