Officially designated Mental Health Awareness Month way back in 1949, ever since the month of May might unofficially be more aptly referred to as Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month. May is the month in which people pretend that there is such an animal, despite no evidence to speak of, as “mental illness”, and that mental health treatment, the animal’s obverse, in some fashion would help alleviate this theoretical disease and philosophical abstraction.
When mental health awareness has something to do with the acknowledging of medical conditions where there are no medical conditions, well, you should be able to see what I mean by fraud. Psychiatry has, with it’s DSM, for some time been categorizing misbehavior, that is breaking rules unwritten into law, as illness. Nobody is going to end violent crime by medicalizing it. Simply put, misbehavior is not pre-crime, and crime is not disease. To treat them as such, and to call it awareness, is similar in nature to calling a blindfold reading glasses, and vice versa.
The worst of the mental health frauds to come out Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month concerns the fact that a large amount of energy is directed during this month towards labeling and treating children for imaginary diseases. The first of the month in fact contains a designated National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, and in some cases, Week. Generally speaking this means that the mental health treatment of children is promoted in a big way. The problem is that before you “provide” a child with mental health treatment, that child requires a “mental illness” label to justify such treatment.
What would be preventative, where mental health authorities are concerned, is rather more causative than anything else. You’ve got one statistic that dramatizes the failure of organized psychiatry more than any other, and that statistic says that fully 1/2 of all lifelong mental cases were diagnosed by the age of 14 years old. Diagnose more children “mentally ill”, and you are going, of necessity, to get more lifelong cases of “mental illness”. Cease and desist at labeling children, and the lifetime “mental illness” rate will shrink correspondingly. The word used to describe children, much more appropriately than “ill”, particularly where there is no actual physical disease, is innocent.
Another matter that is, of course, going to addressed during Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month are anti-“stigma” campaigns. When you’ve got people incorrigibly malingering in the mental health system, their sense of entitlement gives them much good cause to campaign against “stigma”. You can’t really be maintained at tax-payer expense when there is no reason for doing so, and what is being called “disease” supplies some people with that rational. The issue that is ignored here is that prejudice and discrimination, the matters underlying the concept of “stigma”, actually stem from the law that allows for non-consensual treatment rather than from any real disease that can be pinpointed and isolated. End non-consensual psychiatry, and you’ve just erased the entire rational behind the so-called “stigma”.
Mental Health Fraud Unawareness Month makes it all the more urgent for those of us with some kind of inside knowledge on the subject to educate the general public about mental health fraud and abuse. Although there is, at the present juncture in time, no Mental Health Fraud Awareness Month, the damage done by so called Mental Health Awareness Month would seem to make such a designation all the more urgent and necessary. Lives are being destroyed by that mistreatment which goes by the name of mental health on a daily basis, and until we recognize it for what it is, even more lives are going to be lost. When we start saving lives, rather than throwing them away, you can bet that the “mental illness” rate will start to contract rather than expand as it more typically does. That’s got to tell you something. Mental health fraud is no way to treat a person you care about.