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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3682/we-are-all-sick-in-the-head/

We are all sick in the head

June 7, 2005 by

A comprehensive survey by the National Institute of Mental Health has found that most everyone will develop a mental illness sometime in his or her life, reports the NYT. There just aren’t enough government programs out there to deal with the problem! The Times’ list of these diseases leaves no doubt: social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, separation anxiety, intermittent explosive disorder, etc.. My goodness, what a mess we are.

But the NIMH has a plan–a long list of much-needed federal programs–that seems not to address the very serious problem that government intervention makes people with economics knowledge crazy. Here is the list of programs the NIMH (not described as a special interest) has to further government involvement in making us all sane and abnormally normal: * Battling to end the discrimination inherent in the private health insurance market against children and adults with mental disorders as well as substance abuse disorders;

* Obtaining legislative and regulatory protections for consumers of mental health and substance abuse services in both the public and private sectors (including access to medication and specialists, appeal procedures, right to information, and privacy safeguards);

* Increasing congressional funding, and expanding authorization, for programs to improve access to community-based mental health services, particularly for children and adolescents;

* Enacting legislation and securing funding to implement comprehensive service delivery for youth involved in the juvenile justice system who need treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders;

* Enacting legislation to provide and improve access to community-based programs to serve adults with mental illness (as well as mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders) who are involved with the criminal justice system or at risk of such involvement;

* Securing authorization and funding for integrated treatment programs for persons with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders;

* Improving the effectiveness of the Medicaid and Medicare programs for individuals with mental health and substance abuse service needs;

* Preserving and improving the State Children’s Health Insurance Program with special attention to children with mental health service needs;

* Expanding Social Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) eligibility through legislative and regulatory amendments;

* Supporting programs that fund low-income housing and homeless initiatives and protecting and advancing housing opportunities for mental health consumers;

* Supporting the efforts of the National Institute on Mental Health and other government research programs to expand research on mental health and mental illness; and

* Monitoring the efforts of, and advocacy to improve the level of services provided by, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in serving people with mental illnesses, as well as working to secure increased funding for VA-supported delivery of mental health services.

{ 19 comments }

bkMarcus June 7, 2005 at 11:17 am

Isn’t “oppositional-defiant disorder” just another name for libertarianism?

Pete Canning June 7, 2005 at 11:48 am

“Isn’t “oppositional-defiant disorder” just another name for libertarianism?”

You beat me to it.

Andy D. June 7, 2005 at 1:19 pm

haha!

ben martin June 7, 2005 at 3:00 pm

Indeed, its appears that all of Washington is sick in the head.It is said that the consciusness of the people is reflected in their political body.If that be the case ,we can conclude that Americans in general are sick in the head.As exemplified in the present Administration

ben martin June 7, 2005 at 3:00 pm

Indeed, its appears that all of Washington is sick in the head.It is said that the consciusness of the people is reflected in their political body.If that be the case ,we can conclude that Americans in general are sick in the head.As exemplified in the present Administration

Brian Moore June 7, 2005 at 4:26 pm

“Isn’t “oppositional-defiant disorder” just another name for libertarianism?”

Don’t encourage them! Remember that certain regimes have considered defiance of state goals to be a mental illness, worthy of imprisonment. :)

noah pugsley June 7, 2005 at 4:54 pm
Brad Dexter June 7, 2005 at 5:01 pm

Shouldn’t the fact that many (if not most) people have mild mental issues be an argument against centralization in and of itself? I’ve had several arguments with Statists who have little faith in people in general which actually fuels their centralizing tendencies (the assumption of course is that those who hold power are free of whatever negative attributes held at large).

If people are generally afflicted and unbearable it says to me that there should be decentralization and few laws that can be clearly defined and executed lest a cadre of loons get a hold of power, and if that unfortunate event happens to occur, that its instution can be overthrown and relatively more rational people installed in whatever corridors of power are considered necessary.

Dennis Sperduto June 7, 2005 at 6:54 pm

The article is another example of junk science from pseudo scientists whose primary goals are the “justification” of a political agenda and securing research funds, and not objective research and truth.

averros June 8, 2005 at 1:36 am

Don’t encourage them! Remember that certain regimes have considered defiance of state goals to be a mental illness, worthy of imprisonment. :)

Nothing funny about that :( I grew up in a state which did that. Some my friends spent time in mental institutions with the diagnosis “chronic schizophrenia” which was a code for “being critical of communist policies”.

Laura Miller June 9, 2005 at 8:52 am

Thanks Noah for the link (to “The Myth of Mental Illness”). I particularly liked this section:

“Mental illness — as a deformity of the personality, so to speak — is then regarded as the cause of the human disharmony. It is implicit in this view that social intercourse between people is regarded as something inherently harmonious, its disturbance being due solely to the presence of “mental illness” in many people. ”

Of course, there is evidence which indicates that the difference in effectiveness between Prozac and placebo in treating depression is only a few percent – although I can’t find the citation right now, here is one which is not quite as good.

http://www.journals.apa.org/prevention/volume1/pre0010002a.html

So it’s possible we are (as a society) treating a non-existent problem with a placebo?

xteve June 9, 2005 at 11:05 pm

Okay. The National Institute of Mental Health desides we’re virtually all potential customers & will likely succeed in convincing the state to “reluctantly” expand its power to treat our disorders. The vast majority of the American rubes will celebrate this development. Because they’re nuts.

Rolf June 17, 2005 at 3:37 am

Robert Lowell has written a number of fine works which often come right to the core.

The Nihilist as Hero

“All our French poets can turn an inspired line;
who has written six passable in sequence?”
said Valery. That was a happy day for Satan….
I want words meat-hooked from the living steer,
but a cold flame of tinfoil licks the metal log,
beautiful unchanging fire of childhood
betraying a monotony of vision….
Life by definition breeds on change,
each season we crap new cars and wars and women.
But sometimes when I am ill or delicate,
the pinched flame of my match turns unchanging green,
a cornstalk in green tails and seeded tassel….
A nihilist wants to live in the world as is,
and yet gaze the everlasting hills to rubble.

By Robert Lowell from Contemporary American Poetry (1990)

Shelby June 6, 2006 at 1:50 pm

intermittent explosive disorder,now there’s a disorder label for people who “acutely” lose their cool.

what it really is is the effect of
working your butt off to just stay afloat, working longer hours for less money, a lower standard of living for middle class American, living in a country with unaffordable housing, a country that invades other countries and commits war crimes left and right, lack of health care, or too expensive health care, bad bosses, cheating spouses, trying to get your kids into college and somehow pay for it, having an idiot for a President, etc. etc. I think we could just call it the disorder that many (who are not wealthy) get living under a self serving Republican administration. It’s not justifiable in any case, just easier to understand why it is becoming so common. Is this disorder prevalent in industrialized countries where health care is available to all, and six weeks vacation or more, and six months paid maternity leave is the norm? My guess is probably not.

Yancey Ward June 6, 2006 at 2:08 pm

Sigh… it is enough to drive one to obsessively-compulsively consume ethanol containing liquids.

Peter June 6, 2006 at 9:20 pm

there should be decentralization and few laws that can be clearly defined and executed lest a cadre of loons get a hold of power, and if that unfortunate event happens to occur

What do you mean, “if”?

Peter June 6, 2006 at 9:28 pm

“Intermittent Explosive Disorder”? Is that what al-Qaeda followers suffer from?

Peter June 6, 2006 at 9:45 pm

I like how the media states that the recently arrested Canadian terrorists were inspired by “hate” rather than foreign policy when their own statements contradict this idea. When will the media get the gonads to debate our foreign policy decisions?

M E Hoffer June 6, 2006 at 10:08 pm

Peter,

with this: “When will the media get the gonads to debate our foreign policy decisions?”

Are you serious ?

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