Our Total Lack Of Mental Health

I read “The Point of It All” by Charles Krauthammer and wanted to share this with you.

“It’s always the weapon and never the shooter. Twelve people are murdered in a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, and before sundown Senator Dianne Feinstein has called for yet another debate on gun violence. Major opprobrium is heaped on the AR-15, the semiautomatic used in the Newtown massacre. Turns out no AR-15 was used at the Navy Yard. And the shotgun that was used was obtained legally in Virginia after the buyer, Aaron Alexis, had passed both a state and federal background check. As was the case in the Tucson shooting—instantly politicized into a gun-control and (fabricated) Tea-Party-climate-of-violence issue—the origin of this crime lies not in any politically expedient externality but in the nature of the shooter. On August 7, that same Alexis had called police from a Newport, Rhode Island, Marriott. He was hearing voices. Three people were following him, he told the cops. They were sending microwaves through walls, making his skin vibrate and preventing him from sleeping. He had already twice changed hotels to escape the men, the radiation, the voices. Delusions, paranoid ideation, auditory (and somatic) hallucinations: the classic symptoms of schizophrenia.”

“So here is this panic-stricken soul, psychotic and in terrible distress. And what does modern policing do for him? The cops tell him to “stay away from the individuals that are following him.” Then they leave. But the three “individuals” were imaginary, for God’s sake. This is how a civilized society deals with a man in such a state of terror? Had this happened 35 years ago in Boston, Alexis would have been brought to me as the psychiatrist on duty at the emergency room of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Were he as agitated and distressed as in the police report, I probably would have administered an immediate dose of Haldol, the most powerful fast-acting antipsychotic of the time. This would generally have relieved the hallucinations and delusions, a blessing not only in itself, but also for the lucidity brought on that would have allowed him to give us important diagnostic details—psychiatric history, family history, social history, medical history, etc. If I had thought he could be sufficiently cared for by family or friends to receive regular oral medication, therapy and follow-up, I would have discharged him. Otherwise, I’d have admitted him. And if he refused, I’d have ordered a 14-day involuntary commitment. Sounds cruel? On the contrary. For many people living on park benches, commitment means a warm bed, shelter and three hot meals a day. For Alexis, it would have meant the beginning of a treatment regimen designed to bring him back to himself before discharging him to a world heretofore madly radioactive.”

“That’s what a compassionate society does. It would no more abandon this man to fend for himself than it would a man suffering a stroke. And as a side effect, that compassion might even extend to potential victims of his psychosis—in the event, remote but real, that he might someday burst into some place of work and kill 12 innocent people. Instead, what happened? The Newport police sent their report to the local naval station, where it promptly disappeared into the ether. Alexis subsequently twice visited VA hospital ERs, but without any florid symptoms of psychosis and complaining only of sleeplessness, the diagnosis was missed. (He was given a sleep medication.) He fell back through the cracks. True, psychiatric care is underfunded and often scarce. But Alexis had full access to the VA system. The problem here was not fiscal but political and, yes, even moral. I know the civil libertarian arguments. I know that involuntary commitment is outright paternalism. But paternalism is essential for children because they don’t have a fully developed rational will. Do you think Alexis was in command of his will that night in Newport? We cannot, of course, be cavalier about commitment. We should have layers of review, albeit rapid. But it’s both cruel and reckless to turn loose people as lost and profoundly suffering as Alexis, even apart from any potential dangerousness. More than half of those you see sleeping on grates have suffered mental illness. It’s a national scandal. It’s time we recalibrated the pendulum that today allows the mentally ill to die with their rights on—and, rarely but unforgivably, take a dozen innocents with them.

The Washington Post, September 20, 2013″

A totally different topic

I’m reading “Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution” by Tucker Carlson and wanted to share this quote with you.

“Over time, this trend reshaped America. What had been essentially an egalitarian country, where people from every income group save the very top and the very bottom mixed regularly, has become increasingly stratified. In 1980 it would have been unremarkable for a family in the highest tax bracket to eat regularly at McDonald’s, stay in motels, and take vacations by car. A few decades later, that is nearly impossible to imagine. There aren’t many successful executives eating Big Macs at rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike, or even many college graduates. Only hookers and truck drivers stay in motels. Most affluent people under forty have never been inside one. The rich now reside on the other side of a rope line from everyone else. They stand in their own queues at the airport, sleep on their own restricted floors in hotels. They watch sporting events from skyboxes, while everyone else sits in the stands. They go to different schools. They eat different food. They ski on private mountains, with people very much like themselves.”

“Over time, this trend reshaped America. What had been essentially an egalitarian country, where people from every income group save the very top and the very bottom mixed regularly, has become increasingly stratified. In 1980 it would have been unremarkable for a family in the highest tax bracket to eat regularly at McDonald’s, stay in motels, and take vacations by car. A few decades later, that is nearly impossible to imagine. There aren’t many successful executives eating Big Macs at rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike, or even many college graduates. Only hookers and truck drivers stay in motels. Most affluent people under forty have never been inside one. The rich now reside on the other side of a rope line from everyone else. They stand in their own queues at the airport, sleep on their own restricted floors in hotels. They watch sporting events from skyboxes, while everyone else sits in the stands. They go to different schools. They eat different food. They ski on private mountains, with people very much like themselves.”

I am really enjoying Tucker. I am not learning new stuff but seeing things differently. I think I have tripped over why our country has changed so much in the last 20-30 years. Immigration, both legal and illegal. The ruling class wants immigrants because they don’t have to pay them as much. The Dem’s, which are also the modern elites, want them because they reliably vote Dem.

Thanks to mass immigration, America has experienced greater demographic change in the last few decades than any other country in history has undergone during peacetime. Our elites relentlessly celebrate those changes, but their very scale destabilizes our society. If you grew up in America, suddenly nothing looks the same. Your neighbors are different. So is the landscape and the customs and very often the languages you hear on the street. You may not recognize your own hometown. Human beings aren’t wired for that. They can’t digest change at this pace. It disorients them. Over time it makes even the most open-minded people jumpy and hostile and suspicious of one another. It encourages tribalism.

In a healthy society, decades of obvious failures by elites would force a change of ideas or a change of leadership. Neither has happened. The same class of lawmakers, journalists, and business chieftains holds power, despite their dismal record. America now has not only one of the least impressive ruling classes in history, but also the least self-aware. They have no idea how bad they are.

2 thoughts on “Our Total Lack Of Mental Health”

  1. This country has changed all right. Not for the better either. There is a definite division all due to an election loss. The hatred towards one side is spreading at an alarming rate. Socialist ideas are now spreading. Genders have suddenly multiplied, White men are to blame for everything.
    I wish the word racist was on the NYSE. I would have made a fortune buying shares.
    People who were never political now are.
    Social media has ruined this world let alone this country.
    I know all rambling statements, but I’m sick of it alll.
    No Russian Collusion. Shucks. Trump Derangement Syndrome will now become Trump Suicide Syndrome
    In plain English, which is becoming a second language, all liberals can kiss my conservative ass.

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