An unfothomably heinous and horribly cruel act against defenseless innocents by a hideously immoral individual has many people clamoring for "greater access to mental health services" as the way to prevent further mayhem -- as if Adam Lanza could have and should have been saved by Medicine's red-headed stepchild, psychiatry.
At the risk of sounding badly - informed, callous, ignorant, insensitive, irresponsible or otherwise bound up in the tenacious grasp of some other undesirable personal attribute, I submit that the Newtown perpetrator wasn't any less healthy than most people his age; furthermore, anyone claiming that mental health professionals can stop these kinds of acts by improving the public's access to their 'services' is, at best, proposing an undercooked fast food entree in a world where the myriad choices one can make in life is represented by a vast gourmet menu written for an almost limitless range of palettes and tastes. On the fringes of this spectrum, there will always be people who refuse eat what is good for them, and those who will try to force others to eat what isn't. Or put another way: those who value self - control and those who value self - aggrandizement by their control of others.
What people call mental illness is as poorly understood today as it has ever been, despite what experts want us to think. There is compelling evidence to support this. A careful review of psychiatry's sordid history by its critics will reveal its abysmal and embarrassing track record. The attempts to control behavior by medicalizing it have largely failed, especially where it has counted the most. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were mental health clients; even the most experienced psychiatrists will admit that they cannot predict who might go off on a violent spree. So, do we just drug everyone deemed depressed, odd, troublesome or suspicious? Come to think of it, doctors have been administering ever - increasing amounts of psychiatric drugs to kids for decades; they now number in the tens of thousands. Seen any improvement in the 'patient' yet?
Of all the medical specialties, psychiatry the least scientific as well as the most demeaning. This shouldn't surprise anyone. Their primary function has always been to promote and enforce the ever - changing dominant ethic -- vis-a-vis the lawbreaker traversing the criminal justice system or the child traversing his family upbringing and compulsory public education -- not about curing physical illnesses verifiable by objective tests. People under 40 probably won't recall when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Today, it's a civil right. How is such a bizarre metamorphosis even possible? It's a matter of convenience: The concerns of the shrink are almost universally focused on the least powerful, least organized and poorest members of society. Homosexuals, once viciously hounded at every level, increased their political power and social legitimacy over many years; psychiatry responded by becoming increasingly less interested in persecuting them. Eventually, they eliminated the 'diagnostic criteria' for this 'serious mental illness' from the DSM in 1973. It should be obvious that this isn't how scientists should approach their subjects; it's how bigots approach their scapegoats, cowering in retreat to save face only after they begin to recognize their own defeat. As Henrik Ibsen put it: “Was the majority right when they stood by while Jesus was crucified? Was the majority right when they refused to believe that the earth moved around the sun and let Galileo be driven to his knees like a dog? It takes fifty years for the majority to be right. The majority is never right until it does right.” Today, the majority believes in a thing called 'mental illness' (never mind that they don't even bother to define 'mental health') and are convinced that forcibly 'treating' it with neurotoxins is doing right. Thomas Szasz was correct when he observed that "scapegoating is the metabolism of society."
As a result of psychiatry's innumerable meddling interventions, society's foundational institutions have been corrupted to their core. The line between health and behavior is now so blurred by so many conflicting and competing interests -- propelled by intellectually dishonest rhetoric if not outright lies -- that people no longer take seriously the idea that bad behavior is a problem of ethics and morals, neither of which are amenable to the laws of physics. It is physics which ultimately guides honest medical practice, but to point out the metaphorical fallacy of mental illness today is to invite ridicule for being "unscientific", or presumed to be calling for a return to more fundamental religious dogmatism. (Ironically, clergymen often unwittingly defer to mental health professionals when confronted with troubled parishioners.) With the very concepts of free will, self - discipline and personal responsibility having been so thoroughly undermined by the ascendancy of Scientism and the belief that bad behavior is generated by out-of-control biological 'events' in the brain (with no corresponding belief whatsoever about the biological 'cause' of exceptionally good behavior), the chances of these positive values being restored in our lifetime, or even our children's, are so slim as to be non - existent. There is simply way too much corporate money, political power and the momentum of misguided public sentiment behind the mental health movement now.
On the other hand, if we want to continue living in an increasingly paranoid, dystopian society of snarky little backstabbing, Halo - trained amateur 'bioethicists', where people -- pretending to be doctors who hardly know wtf they're doing, poisoning clients who hardly know how they should act -- deciding who is mentally healthy, who is mentally sick, who will take what meds (with a one-way ticket to hell for the recalcitrant), good luck to us all. God and his fan club have been rendered moot in the face of such monumental, pernicious and widespread stupidity.
Finally, allow me to point out that a political experiment very similar to the one currently underway in the U. S. has been conducted before: State - sanctioned psychiatric control of deviants was the first ingredient in the cauldron where the most vitriolic social engineering concoction of the 20th Century was brewed. They called it "National Socialism". Few people saw the pharmageddon they were about to be served up then, either.
Further reading, which may guide the reader toward some of the underlying reasons for the failure of the mental health movement: