It’s no exaggeration to say that mental distress is being weaponised today. In many ways, we have reverted to the dynamics of the German Democratic Republic. At the time, re this dreadful society, we focussed on terminology and concepts which related to the security state and agencies – often of the Eastern Bloc, but just as easily of the West. We talked about spies, frontiers, poisonings, diplomacy, diplomats who weren’t … oh, it was all so very James Bond.
But just as easily we could have discussed it in terms of nations which chose to control and oppress their citizens through the suppression of their access to a broad and shared mental wellbeing.
Syria these days comes easily to mind.
But equally, at a far more stealthy and now digital level, we can argue the same has been achieved by the total surveillance states of 21st century Original Sin. Coupled with the fearsome passiveness of neoliberal economics, we are encouraged by our health services – public and private both – to seek solutions from our doctors which place the blame for our conditions and supposed infirmities firmly on our own internal responses, and never with respect to systemic aggressions carried out by people with the power to do so.
And so we victim-blame mental health. It is I who must change my behaviours because of my irrationality, not you who should change your socioeconomics in the light of my perfectly arational observations.
One of the strands of work for Better Biz Me Ltd’s intuitive thought capture-app involves precisely this subject of mental health and distress.
Once we capture its reality, we shall prove the hypothesis. It’s not the people who’ve become ill: it’s their places. And it’s not the people who are distressed who must shoulder the blame, as currently is the case, as currently we all experience: the blame instead, firmly, has to lie with those who benefit so completely from such distress.
The solution will lie not in more and more medication, but a greater holistic dedication to all the multiple factors in play.
* Footnote to this post: my MA Criminal Justice dissertation on the subject of 21st century Original Sin – and our relationship with the total surveillance state of now and pre-Snowden – can be found here:
Also published on Medium.