Mental Illness

During my truncated foray into higher education I took a course in Theology at Marquette University. The course, taught by a very sexy Jesuit priest (at least all the girls thought so) centered on the 1974 Pulitzer Prize winning book: “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker. Our in-depth classroom discussions touched on many topics, one being the definition and meaning of mental health.

Guided in our thinking by this priest we concluded that the definition of mental health depends entirely on “who’s holding the gun.”

Another way of putting it is this: If you lived in a society of cannibals and decided to become a vegetarian, you would be considered mentally ill.

If you’ve ever questioned your own sanity – here is a simple test:
Stand upright, feet a comfortable distance apart. Relax.
Stretch forth your (favorite) arm to the side and parallel to the ground.
Close your eyes.
Swing your arm inward and touch the tip of your nose with your index finger.
If you can touch your nose with your eyes closed there is nothing neurologically wrong with you.

I can touch my own nose with my eyes closed just as well as you. But this society has labeled me mentally ill. In this society I’m the odd-man-out. In this society I’m a contrarian. I am dissident. I am outré in just about everything you can think of. This society practices human sacrifice and I disagree.

I am diagnosed or labeled as depressed. Would somebody please explain to me, the difference between depression and oppression? Intellectually I’m too heavy for most people. I think too much. I think too deeply. I doubt. I question authority. I will not, would not, should not, could not change.

Recommended reading: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”.

VA Doctor: “You’re lucky we gave you a place to stay.”

Woman Dispatcher: “You’re lucky we gave you work.”

If you’re looking for a happyface, pink bunnies, or hearts & flowers; you’ve come to the wrong place.

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
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