Dear Editor,
I wanted to add some thoughts to the last letter I wrote, and clarify some things. I painted a rose-colored world that offered a miracle cure that probably came across as a snake oil to someone suffering. It might be a miracle cure for some or even many people, but maybe not. What is known as mental illness is not always going to have just a chemical component. Historical doctors of the mind (e.g., the neurologist Freud) had theories that some dismiss easily, but those tended to be the earlier ideas (e.g., the castration anxiety of the so called Oedipus complex). Defense mechanisms, the psychoanalytic theory and others have merit across domains that include criminology. Those convicted of theft will often “neutralize” (i.e., rationalize to Freud) their crime, because nobody wants to see themselves as bad (e.g., the corporation can afford a minor hit on the bottom line with the billions they rake in on the backs of minimum wage labor). Depression can have meaning that can be “figured out” and therapy can be key in unlocking problems; although, sometimes there is a chemical component that can causes suffering without any other clues. The meaningless suffering is something that might help someone with the genetic differences that I referred to previously. There are actual tests (saliva) that a medical professional can order to check and see if one has these MTHFR differences. I am reluctant to say abnormality, because in one environment something is a disadvantage, but in another, it is an advantage. (E.g., the APOE4 gene is associated with Alzheimer’s in western society. In the Amazon villages, whose population have specific microbes in their blood from the insects, APOE4 is associated with cognitive advantages and without Alzheimer’s disease present).
As I said, past civil rights movements had legendary organization, but the organization that blacks, women, and gays orchestrated tended to come from a place that plenty of people tended to believe to be justified morally. Not everyone will believe that gays should be recognized as legally married. Some view marriage as strictly biblical, although this position exposes a weakness in philosophy, in that marriage is sanctified as dependent on what the government says or allows; rather than the commitment in and of itself, without regard for the government, but the religious standards traditional Christian couples might believe. (I.e., the government should not be able to threaten the sanctity of marriage for any believers, so it should be ignored, forgotten, acknowledged, whatever, unless the belief is that the sanctity is dependent on what government says or allows, in which case, maybe it should be opposed if one believes government is the more legitimate authority.) The point is the contrast between a society that actively allows for an evolving standard of right, while believing many among us should be second class citizens, without autonomy, credibility and without 2nd Amendment rights, among other things and a group that fought for that recognition.
There are still ideas in some circles that hold women’s liberation as the start of the downfall of America and that women belong in kitchens, raising the kids, and subservient to men in important decisions. This, often cited as another biblical standard where women are to be under the authority of men (1 Timothy 2: 11-14, KJV). According to voting trends, married women tend to vote how their husbands do, anyway, but the key is that women can vote and this is because they fought for it under organization that was phenomenal; although, ironically, decided on the vote of one man from New York, in a close legislative decision. Most people believe this, women’s suffrage, to be morally correct, and rightfully. It could go unsaid that most people likely agree that people of color are fully human beings, deserve to vote as much as the next citizen, and that slavery was a disturbing part of history. For all of these things, there was a clear morally objective position, gotten from peaceful protests.
For those among the many sufferers of psychological problems today, the philosophy is fractured to mount a fight. One might believe that he himself would be fine with whatever rights he might have or might even have usurped, but that it is morally responsible to allow the restriction of the rights of his fellow sufferer, for a perceived greater good. This flaw was never present in the other civil rights movements of the past. This is the case among those with a sufferable condition, let alone a population willfully helping to restrict those rights, while feeling morally justified to do so. This creates an obvious hurdle. While there is not even a unified position on what “rights” should be had among the vulnerable population, with numbers as high as 1 out of every 4 US citizens, a step in the right direction would be to recognizing forced psychiatric treatment as torture, as the World Health Organization does, and preventing local tax dollars from being used to engage in such activity. Insanity was once seen as a gift from God and a condition that stretched the bounds of reason. It is too often associated with violence, when the opposite is true. We all have a vote, but perhaps most important is a voice, and an idea that enters the realm of competing ideas, especially when the ideas are morally true and protected by codified law that is written and "guaranteed" within the Constitution, and not just when politically convenient.
Adam M. Hutchison