Good Mental Health is it Illusive?
All health matters have three main strands and they are: 1.Prevention; 2. Management; 3.Recovery the issues are often complex in dealing with all three strands and so it begs the question is good mental health illusive particularly to those who have suffered a bout of mental illness? I am very pleased to share this video clip of the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull which is self explanatory.
Note well this is about the treatment of mental illness which is vitally important and must never be downplayed. There are claims that one in four Australians will suffer a major mental illness in their life time that is an alarming number of people. It is also said that it is something that most will have their major mental illness illness before they are 25 years old. 50% of the people who suffer mental illness have had a major attack before they are 15 years old and 75% by the age of 25 years old.
It is sad that there are so few records of those who have recovered completely from mental illness and the majority of the expenditure in the whole of the mental illness is concerning the treatment of the problems and yet the treatment is mostly about limiting additional harm and maintaining a mental equilibrium. I would love to see work done on the other two aspects of mental illness namely the recovery to the point of a life free of mental illness and the prevention of mental illness in the first place.
We need to fully understand the reason why people develop mental illnesses and more research needs to be done on this area of medicine. Although the exact cause of most mental illnesses is not known, it is becoming clear through research that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.
The acquired or trauma causes of mental illnesses have a physical injury origin that can find recovery if the physical injury is able to be healed or overcome; while other origins of mental illness are not so easily traceable. It seems that many people develop a mental illness from a lack of self-worth; a lack of meaning in their life; from continually being bullied; feeling rejected or not included; extreme disappointments; poor social skills often related to dysfunctional families; a feeling of a lack of justice; inability to perform to expectations; loneliness and a lack of meaningful love too name a few.
I have considered these concerns over many years and I have wondered why one person, who lives in a dysfunctional family with violence towards both the person and to others in the family, will have serious mental illnesses and yet another in similar situations or even in the same family will show no signs of mental illness.
It seems to me that a person who considers the questions of: who they are? ; where they come from? ; why they are here? ; what is the meaning of life? and are unable to find sufficient answers for them at that stage of their life will be torn between purposelessness and relevancy of life and can begin the a process of mental trauma of living without reason and purpose which will lead to thought of depression and then mental illness. Serious drug events also bring on this view of questioning the fundamentals of life and the long cycle of mental illness spins out of control. We need effective answers and yet are we asking the right questions??
It seems to me that we need to discover the things that make life so purposeless for so many of our population, for in there we may find the way to prevent the upward surge of mental illness that is devastating so many in our communities. I note the surge in use of illicit drugs and the indecision of government to effectively stamp out health damaging substances that are traded illegally on the streets of our towns and cities and we are now carrying the burden of such indecisiveness. Strong action is needed to protect our people’s future well being.
While I am not a medical practitioner in any meaning of the word I have observed life with care and I have sen many people fall into despair over these questions. It seems, as the studies suggest, that the school years need to be a time of delivering a person through a quagmire of mental illness intact so as to lessen chances of mental illness developing in their lives. So I turn to the school curriculum to see if this is designed to assist a person to navigate these years with limited problems so as to get through without the scourge of mental illness on their back as they graduate from high school. The examination of the school curriculum unfortunately not only does not answer these questions in a positive way but actually puts confusion in to the minds of most school children.
The serious questions of the meaning and origin of life need strong answers that enhance a person’s well being but as we have dominated our education system with uncertainty and confusion. When it comes to answer the question of ‘where we come from?’ the theories related to evolution do not give any answers of comfort at all to desperately inquiring mind – for the theory suggests that we evolved over millions of years as evolutionary changes occurred we are at the end of that change; and the only purpose it would seem to be logically deduced from that would be to be a part of a continuum of change in the evolutionary process. Such answers give no assurances to the meaning and purpose of life.
The most important question is: Is there a way that the education system can prevent or limit the exposure to harmful answers to these important questions concerning the meaning and the purpose of life? When we carefully examine life as we know it we can see very reasonable evidence of intelligent design while we see little evidence to the assumed random evolutionary changes that are the framework for so much of the teaching concerning the origins of life and the way history is interpreted.
Personally I have studied a lot of history and I have been very interested in a number of important underlining issues. Note that Darwin was seeking to prove two essential things 1. That through natural selection the species would retain the ‘higher forms of life’ and 2. That the white race was superior or favoured over other races and hence the full title of his book: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” In the time of Darwin there was a lot of thought concerning the black peoples in Africa and there was still many who were resistant to the anti slavery bills of the English Parliament on the foundation that the black Africans were inferior to the white people, who were considered superior and the evidence was directly related to the social and industrial development that the white people had achieved. Darwin went to demonstrate that natural selection was a good framework to understand the differences between the white and the black races. I understand that much of the funding came from the residual pro-slavery groups that were smarting from the William Wilberforce anti-slavery bill, perhaps the motivation was wanting repeal the anti-slavery bill.
I spent time in South Africa where I was confronted in 1979 with the views of the Government of South Africa concerning the status of the black people of their nation and I was totally appalled by their view. It was considered that by paying a black person 25% of the white man’s wages for the same work you were paying the full humanity of the black person as they were considered to be 25% human and 75% animal while a person from the Asian areas was considered to be 50% human and 50% animal. I spoke to many in South Africa to discover where this came from and it became clear that the reliance on the theories of Darwin on the “preservation of the favoured species” was highly influential in underpinning their inhuman, anti-scientific and very racist national doctrine of apartheid.
I then began to wonder why in my home country of Australia why our Aboriginal people were treated so badly ever since the first sightings by the Europeans. I recall the claim of “Terra Nullius” and this is repugnant to me in every way. However from the time of Captain Cook’s arrival the British Government acted as if Australia were uninhabited. So, instead of admitting that it was invading land that belonged to Aboriginal people, Britain acted as it were settling an empty land. This is what is meant by the myth of terra nullius. As we look behind the history we find that the reasoning for this was exactly the same reason for the slave trade from Africa to the Americas and to other European peoples places. That the black person was never considered to be a true human. Any scientific investigation would clearly establish this as total error. I have not fully understood all of William Wilberforce’s motivation at the beginning but it seems during the process of the years to push this anti-slavery bill through the House of Commons he discovered the true humanity of the black people who were the subjects of the slave trade. The work of Darwin was able to be so quickly accepted because of the “heart condition” of the audience that Darwin was to deliver his theories to. Any good peer review at the time would have poured much cold water on these theories that were based on bias and very speculative as well as selective information and field studies. It saddens me that today these theories that are not proven and incapable of being proven as being correct are still taught in our schools as if they were proven scientific facts.
In conclusion of this post I would like to state the passing of the gender fluid marriage laws in Australia will not resolve a single persons mental illness but will, I fear cause a spike in mental illnesses because enabling a person to become more confused will never assist in the strength of character that is needed to resist the attack on the a person’s self image which if it becomes so damaged will lead to the strong possibility unstable mental health. We need to deliver better for our citizens so that strong self-esteem underpins each persons mental health.