Here is a graph courtesy of the CDC…
Now it seems that the CDC failed to collect data on “contact with mental health professional” or “incarceration for supposed mental condition.”
Did you know that incarceration for a mental condition increases likelihood of suicide by a factor of 100? This, most embarrassingly, according to a JAMA study I have linked to in the past.
You cannot have a mental health diagnosis unless you are diagnosed. To be diagnosed, you have to have contact with the System, with a professional who has legal rights to diagnose you. A diagnosis isn’t medical, it’s a legal proclamation denying you basic human rights. Only you likely don’t realize that. At first. And many don’t realize it for decades.
I’m not saying that people do not suffer. Many do. I did myself. I was horribly depressed, especially over my ED. I was miserable, even before my initial contact with the MH System. My life really was a wreck at the time. I took myself to therapy voluntarily, hoping for a cure to my eating problems.
I didn’t get that. I got an irrelevant mental health diagnosis and pills. Oops.
After that, I believed the diagnoses for decades….Oops. But the truth is, you can, and do, and will, suffer immensely and that does not have to be called a medical disease. Christians say Christ suffered more than any human ever could possibly suffer.
Jesus wept. He wept because of the human condition. He wept because he felt deeply.
MLK suffered also. He was frustrated as an activist because he felt that things were not changing fast enough, that they had not touched enough people, even though the Movement had done so many amazing things. I believe he knew he’d be killed, foresaw his death somehow, and knew that the Movement would have to go on without him.
I would like to suggest that the suffering that MLK felt, and the suffering that Jesus felt, these were powerful and immense, and I validate this, but it would be trivializing the human condition to label their deep suffering as a mere disease.
YOUR suffering is deep and great. I would never trivialize human suffering by calling it a disease or a disorder of the sufferer, which is blameful indeed. We live in a cruel society, and life is very very harsh. There’s much reason to suffer, much reason to weep. Even reason to kill yourself, for some. I would never call that depth of thinking a disease, even though I may have in the past.
Feel deeply, and know that your feelings mean you are human. You are beautiful. This, to me, is what God means, or perhaps godliness. If you suffer, you are a one of God, none less than that. You are blessed. You and your life are sacred indeed.