ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Mental Illness, Measles, and Primeval Thinking

Jack Bragen
Thursday May 02, 2019 - 05:35:00 PM

Some analogies can be drawn between people's dumb refusal to be vaccinated (and the morally inexcusable failure to have their offspring vaccinated) and many people's dumb refusal to realize that mental illnesses are brain disorders that require biochemical intervention. And you should realize that many of those who are mixed-up about what mental illness really is are not just the patients. In some instances, family and friends lack adequate understanding of the basis of most mental illnesses and will try to influence the patient not to take medication.

We live in a time of widespread ignorance. Typically, in the U.S., our President is the one to set an example for many American people. The example shown by President Trump is that of unparalleled depravity, ignorance, and sometimes superstition. It is also superstition to believe that people are not helped by modern vaccines. 

Scientists have made life-changing discoveries in past decades that have all but wiped out numerous infectious diseases. Vaccines are modern medicine at its best. Depriving oneself of vaccination and, on the other hand, refusal of psychiatric medicines, are of the same brand of human ignorance. 

People have ignorant misunderstandings concerning mental illness. They might believe that if you eat brown rice and run ten miles a day, it will cure mental illness. Not so; the result of that idea is you get a marathoner in great athletic condition but lacking adequate protein, one who continues to have delusions, hallucinations, mood swings, or depression, depending on the variety of mental disease. 

It is not always true that being delusional is the cause of noncompliance. When delusions are the cause of noncompliance, none of what I've written above is applicable. When the disease takes over the thinking, it is not an instance of being a dummy to refuse medication, it is attributable to the effects of the illness. The individual who lacks insight because of delusions isn't culpable.  

Lithium for bipolar people and early antipsychotics are/were tremendous discoveries, allowing numerous mentally ill people to live somewhat normally. More advanced, newer medications have, for the most part, helped mentally ill people even more. 

It is fine to avoid doctors for a while, because many will torture you with excessive time in their waiting rooms, painful tests and procedures, and being bogged down with time consuming treatment for chronic conditions. We need quality of life. However, when you really need a doctor, you should see one or more, because the life you save could be your own. 

Schizophrenia can kill. Schizophrenic people in some instances have a potential to unintentionally or, otherwise because of their disorder, harm people, including themselves. Lives can be cut short or otherwise ruined by psychotic behavior. A psychotic person could do things that could get her or him killed because of not being connected to basic reality. Medication increases our chances of survival. 

A person suffering from psychosis might not think well enough to pay for basic needs in a timely manner or might not plan adequately for other needs. Medication increases that chances of living independently and productively. 

Failure to comply with taking medication can arise for numerous reasons. Medication, due to side effects, causes physical suffering and, in some instances, side effects that ruin a person's health. Yet the alternative is that of having untreated mental disease, which can permanently harm brain tissue, and can get a patient incarcerated or deceased. 

Science is limited. Scientists might assert that science is limited only because of it not being advanced enough to do and understand everything. Yet, as it stands, many things about human existence aren't addressable or explainable with science or technology. 

Yet, if we're dealing with either a microbial threat to human health, or with a brain malfunction issue that can be alleviated, even if imperfectly, with medication, then people need to let science perform its job. Deciding otherwise is for fools.