We use the term mental illness in several ways. There is the clinical way and then there is the common everyday way. The latter is where we all know something isn’t quite right with a person’s thinking but they seem to otherwise function in society. Sometimes that term is used in a very legitimate way and others it is used to define a difference of opinion.
It’s common to say that leftists have a mental illness.
It’s even kind of fun sometimes to define them that way. It’s a fun way to denigrate them and their ideas in one fell swoop without being too personal about it. I suspect though that it is true. That there is something in the brain (of people who believe certain things) that is wrong. This isn’t a mere difference in philosophy though. No no, make no mistake, I’m not dismissing what others believe with a convenient term. I’m talking about people who believe two contradictory things at the same time, or who translate their beliefs into illogical conclusions but feel strongly those conclusions are true, and people who take a subjective reality and substitute reality for it. That and they believe every bit of it. That, to me, is the sign of a mental illness. The sign of a way of dealing with trauma (a broad term meaning anything that disturbs the mind) that is unhealthy. That’s really the easiest and most simple definition of mental illness. It comes in various degrees of course which allows for differing levels of functioning.
When I read the below linked article I suspect it was written by just such a person.
The title of the piece is, “I Couldn’t Tell My Parents That This Country Made Me Sick” but as I read it became clear to me that the issue isn’t the country but rather the author herself. I admit I’m making some guesses at a diagnosis but the piece reads like it was written by someone with an anxiety disorder. I think she projects her own anxiety onto the world around her. Then her own inability to cope makes the world seem like a much harsher place than it is.
I differentiate between mental illness, dysfunction, disorder, and what we commonly term “psychological problems”. I believe that to one degree or the other absolutely everyone has the latter. That’s just a simple difficultly in processing. It’s not a technical term, or a clinical one. Rather it is what all say to point out that someone’s mind just isn’t in the right place. Most of us deal with that in a healthy way though, when we are hungry, tired, or frustrated it can sometimes get the better of us.
Those who are not able to deal with it in a healthy way allow it to progress into something a little more binding on the mind. As this happens the person’s ability to figure out the reality of the world around them as differentiated from the “reality” of their psyche lessens and a disorder sets in. I believe that a lot of people on the left, and the extreme right, have mental disorders and most certainly some level of psychological dysfunction. I think that even someone without training is able to observe the behavior of someone like Hillary Clinton, Obama, Antifa, Alt-Right, etc. And see how events have forced their mind into a place that doesn’t quite coincide with objective reality.
There is a difference between mere political differences and the kind of thinking that makes one believe in a thing like “white privilege”, “micro-aggressions” or “racial purity”.
I saw a post the other day on one of the “liberty pages” that showed the winning candidate for several beauty pageants. None of the winners were white women. The meme, and the page agreed, said this was a sign of white genocide. I commented “Hubba hubba, if this is what white genocide looks like, count me in!” That comment was a way to express how absurd I thought the notion was. Not that the idea of one race dying out isn’t possible. It is. We talked about the Neanderthal and how we have a lot of DNA in us from that species which shows that certainly it’s a possibility that someday it will happen to white people. But that’s not genocide. That’s love. Or at the very least sex. Ha! By the way, I looked for that image to share with you hear but couldn’t find it. I went to their page and it didn’t seem to be there anymore. My comment, looking from the back-end of my page, doesn’t seem to be there anymore either. Which means they likely deleted their post. The comments were generally not supportive which might be why or they realized how stupid it sounded.
They are afraid and need to protect their mind from that fear.
It’s my opinion that there is something wrong in the mind that leads a person to believe something like that. One is frightened that a world that is already pretty unforgiving and hard to live in will get more so. They feel threatened. That fear of change, of increased competition for scarce resources, the loss of power, etc. represent the trauma I mentioned above. It’s a mental trauma, but very real to the person feeling it. Those who deal with such things in a healthy way move on, those who do not, have a mental illness, or disorder. That is not to say they are sick and can never become healthy in their thinking.
I’m reminded of a parallel to a story from the Bible.
“And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.” – Exodus 1:7,9&10
This is the oldest fountain of hatred among men. One tribe grows large and threatens the other. Pharaoh ordered the killing of children as a means to prevent this imagined overthrow from happening. Which, of course, is what ended up being the cause of his overthrow. Sometimes I think what we fear will happen is the thing we make happen.
Irrational people, feeling a threat, behave in ways that seem totally rational to them.
Killing babies – to pharaoh (and Planned Parenthood) – totally rational.
Taking money from one person to give to another person who didn’t earn that money – to the left – totally rational.
Preventing people from having sex who want to – to the right – totally rational.
Bombing a country to help its people – to the left and right – totally rational.
People don’t want to dig down to the root of the problem.
That is because often the root is them. Or the root requires that they change. Or it requires that they accept something as being so that they don’t want to. In the case of the author of the below piece they aren’t able to unwrap their experiences and so find a place to put the blame that makes sense to them. But if you read the article carefully you understand that the author has a lot of personal problems they think they have dealt with but the language used clearly indicates they have residual pain.
I wager that if we start looking at people who support things like socialism, or even anarchy, we will find a lot of residual pain from some life event that they think they have dealt with but haven’t or that they aren’t even aware bothers them. Because I really do believe this is why I try to be patient with people who espouse these ideologies. I recognize the ideology is dangerous (proven deadly) but the people may not really understand what it is they are advocating for or especially not understand the root of why. It’s easier to mock and dismiss than to care and explain but I really do believe, deep down, that is the only way we can reach others who have been hurt and are lashing out.
I Couldn’t Tell My Parents That This Country Made Me Sick
Source: I Couldn’t Tell My Parents That This Country Made Me Sick