Pathologizing Poverty

The 2002 report of the US Surgeon General says that 1 in 5 adults will be diagnosed as mentally ill.

I believe that statistic reflects the unfortunate fact that minor differences in temperament, coping style, cultural affiliation, and even socioeconomic status are being pathologized by out-of-control sickness-manufacturing industry.

Does the Surgeon General consider a depressed person to be Mentally Ill? Or does he agree that occasional misfortune – and the usual emotional reaction to helplessness in the face of that misfortune – is a fact of life? Isn’t “usual” equal to “normal?” I believe that the Surgeon General is pathologizing people who have temporary setbacks in life – and therefore making it more difficult for them to get insurance, good medical care, and even jobs.

I don’t believe that a full 20% of the population is abnormal. That’s just plain crazy. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what is “normal” and forget about the political nonsense.

Surgeon General is an appointed position – if Big Pharma and the insurance industry owns the politicians, it owns him too.

I believe that it is healthier to make sure people have jobs and homes than it is to diagnose them as Mentally Ill and pump them full of drugs when there is an economic downturn or if they were born into poverty. I believe that more opportunity and less lip-service to their abstracted freedom is the answer.

I also think we should reserve the Mentally Ill label for those of us who have life-long difficulties.



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