Well, here it is again, another early Monday on California’s north coast with the skies nearly clear, and maybe even more warm than it will be in a couple of hours.
And after a too-short weekend, it appears time itself has gone nuts — crazy being the egg that fried the golden goose.
And speaking of ironic crazy: A Texas man used a gun to commit suicide in the infield of a National Rifle Association-sponsored NASCAR race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth late on Saturday, local authorities said.
Or Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who isÂ dumb-ass crazy in opposing firearms background checks because he doesn’t want those Newtown kids to have died in vain: “And so I think â€” thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m focused like a laser on the mental health component.â€
(Illustration found here).
Republican Cornyn really, really needs to focus-laser on his own mental health component.
And cocaine is to blame for the 2008 financial meltdown, so says former UK Government drugs czar Professor David Nutt: Bankers use cocaine and got us into this terrible mess,” he told the paper adding that the drug made them “overconfident” and led to them taking more risks.
Maybe Nutt ain’t so nuts after all.
Are Americans going/gone crazy?
Well, yes, maybe so, at least according to the latest edition of the â€œpsychiatric bible,â€ the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — and like a shitload of other stuff, abnormal is the new normal.
Robin S. Rosenberg, a San Francisco clinical psychologist, explains at Slate:
Although fewer than 6 percent of American adults will have a severe mental illness in a given year, according to a 2005 study, many moreâ€”more than a quarter each yearâ€”will have some diagnosable mental disorder.
Thatâ€™s a lot of people.
Almost 50 percent of Americans (46.4 percent to be exact) will have a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetimes, based on the previous edition, the DSM-IV.
And the new manual will likely make it even “easier” to get a diagnosis.
The high prevalence of mental illness in the United States isnâ€™t only because weâ€™ve gotten better at detecting mental illness.
More of us are mentally ill than in previous generations, and our mental illness is manifesting at earlier points in our lives.
One study supporting this explanation took the scores on a measure of anxiety of children with psychological problems in 1957 and compared them with the scores of todayâ€™s average child.
Todayâ€™s childrenâ€”not specifically those identified as having psychological problems, as were the 1957 childrenâ€”are more anxious than those in previous generations.
Another study compared cohorts of American adults on the personality trait of neuroticism, which indicates emotional reactivity and is associated with anxiety.
Americans scored higher on neuroticism in 1993 than they did in 1963, suggesting that as a population we are becoming more anxious.
Another study compared the level of narcissism among cohorts of American college students between 1982 and 2006 and found that more recent cohorts are more narcissistic.
An additional study supports the explanation that more people are diagnosed with mental illness because more of us have mental illness: The more recently an American is born, the more likely he or she is to develop a psychological disorder.
Collectively, this line of research indicates that more is going on than simply better detection of mental illness.
And all this crazy allows us to relax:
Finally, I think there is an additional reason: As our lives take on an even more frantic pace and our workload becomes ever greater, having a diagnosis gives a name to the suffering we feel and the hope that with a label can come relief.
In dark or difficult times, hope is essential.
But Iâ€™m not sure that ultimately labeling half of us with a mental disorder is the best way to give people realistic hope.
Having a diagnosable mental illness has almost become the new â€œnormal.â€
As a society, we have an opportunity to think about how we define mental health and illness.
It shouldnâ€™t only be up to the authors of the DSM.
Crazy today, might not be crazy tomorrow — if there is one.
Good, old George CarlinÂ summed it up about crazy Monday: When someone is impatient and says, “I haven’t got all day,” I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?
That’s just nutts.