Society's Mental Health and Why It's Only Getting Worse

Submitted by cmarcera on Tue, 10/03/2017 - 6:33pm

I think "recreational outrage" is my new favorite term since it so aptly describes the keyboard warriors that emerge every time something remotely controversial happens.

"If you lined up the killers in the deadliest major shooters in America in a row, you'd have a poster for ethnic diversity. If you lined up all of the victims, you'd have the same."

Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma City 1995, 168 Killed, Agnostic retaliation to FBI history...

Wade Page, Wisconsin Sikh Temple 2012, 6 Killed, Neo-Nazi racial hatred...

Nidal Hasan, Fort Hood 2009, 13 Killed, Soldier of Allah opposition of military deployment...

Seung-Hui Cho, VA Tech 2007, 32 Killed, Bullied with Anxiety Disorder...

Jiverly Wong, Binghampton 2009, 13 Killed in Immigration Center, Disturbed and Depressed...

Omar Mateen, Pulse Night Club 2016, 49 Killed, 50+ Wounded, Mentally unstable and radicalized by ISIL...

Paul Hill, Pensacola 1994, 3 Killed, Christian Reconstruction Anti-Abortionist...

Adam Lanza, Sandy Hook 2012, 20 Killed, Schizophrenic/Psychotic...

George Hennard, Luby's Cafeteria 1991, 23 Killed, Hated Women...

Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, San Bernardino 2015, 14 Killed, 24 Wounded, Radicalized by ISIL...

And now Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas Strip 2017, 60+ Killed, 500+ Wounded, Motive still unknown...

He’s been described as an "ordinary man with no apparent affiliation to a religious or political group".

No religion or motive, no weapon or bomb, no law or movement will ever fix the world. There will always be broken people who will find a way to do horrible things.

As the Las Vegas investigation unfolds, we’ll learn more about what Paddock had, how he obtained it, etc, but all the gun regulations I’ve seen people ranting about can be circumvented by anyone who wants to do so. 100% legal semi-automatic guns can be made into automatics with inexpensive trigger cranks or bump stocks. Serial numberless guns can now be easily printed at home on 3D printers. And if a gun isn’t enough, you can build a bomb with stuff from Home Depot and yield the devastation of the Boston Marathon. Those who want to harm, will find a way to harm. I’m all for more regulations, but at the end of the day we’re really just improving the common house lock and keeping honest people honest (which we obviously SHOULD do, but it’s not the answer to our underlying societal issues).

The real problem with the world, the disease that is eating away at our core, jading our ability to treat the rest of humanity with respect, even if we disagree, is Mental Health and our society's lack of value of life.

Samuel L. Jackson’s quote after Sandy Hook still resonates with me: “I don’t think it’s about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.

While some of our Mental Health epidemic is from drugs, both illegal and the "helpful" kind, a large portion of it is from bad environments and misguided choices in how people are raised. Once someone has started down a mentally unhealthy path, divisive devices like organized religion or political platforms are fantastic causes to go from idealist to extremist. But why are these people so broken to start with? Why are they sensitive and offended to the point where they lash out and make these horrific choices? Society is so much more AFRAID and JUDGMENTAL than it used to be.

Have you ever thought about WHY and what has really changed?

75 years ago, World War II was reported via newspapers, very few television broadcasts (compared to today), and a lot of radio talk. There were select pictures that circulated through all mediums and if you didn't catch a broadcast, you missed it. There was LIMITED coverage by the media who had the resources to report the news.

35 years ago when a tragic event happened you saw it on the evening news, then a few follow ups for a few days after, read about it in the newspaper, and heard about it on the radio for a few days. Those dedicated to learning more could glue themselves to CNN if they had cable and relied on whatever additional news came in there.

Today we have 24/7 media coverage, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the Internet. People have been dying, murdering each other, bombing, and mass killing since the beginning of the human race. The real issue is how it now psychologically gets imprinted into our brains 24/7, from 100,000 angles, with every emotion on the spectrum backing every varied view we see, hear, and read. We see graphic pictures of the carnage, from dozens of angles, live video, recorded video, interview after interview... we are absolutely DROWNED in the massacre, 24/7 by TV, radio, and Internet coverage. You can't escape it even if you want to. We don't ever get a break from the coverage or the violence like we used to when we used to just sit outside and enjoy each other's company, before we all needed our cell phones like we need air. And our "escape"? It's supposed to be this "social network" where people were supposed to keep up with each other's lives, contact one another, and have a generally harmonious online environment of their FRIENDS. Now it's just another platform for everyone to spout out their views, their takes on the news, and raise their digital pitchforks in protest, which at the end of the day does NOTHING but alienate their "friends".

I reiterate, Mental Health and our society's overall lack of value for human life is the real problem.

And the icing on the cake, that is hurling us deeper into the abyss of hate and violence? Our own daily ingestion of it from every angle 24/7. We're conducting classical conditioning ON OURSELVES by simply participating in the world the way it currently is. We are ALL too sensitive, myself included as is evidenced by even posting this, and society is setting ourselves up to self-destruct. The general public can't handle the never-ending onslaught of current mass media, the gas-lighting of current politicians, and the non-stop assault of targeted advertising.

Our brains ingest 10x more than we have capacity to process. It breaks us. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. It seems absolutely senseless. Then we need answers. We need reconciliation. We need resolution. THAT is why our society is as broken as it is today. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any end in sight for the endless onslaught of negative viewpoints, bias, and misinformation.

Until our society takes a step back and realizes is has an addiction to hate, anger, division, and conflict, I don’t see things getting much better. The fact that we’re obsessed with the “Us vs Them” paradigm - Political Parties, Organized Religions, Racial & Cultural Differences - will keep conflict alive. I don’t get what it is with humanity but we really love defining things in binary modes: Light & Dark, Heaven & Hell, Right & Wrong, Hot & Cold - when the fact is that there are UNLIMITED possibilities in between all of those and we cling to one side or the other, desperately wanting one side to be the ‘right’ side.

Our society is unhealthy and simply coming up with more rules and regulations will not fix it. The sick and the damaged will find ways to hurt others no matter what whether it is with a gun, a car, or a bomb made from 100% inert everyday items. Yes, we can mitigate the damage those who would do harm can do and minimize their ability to get there (and we absolutely should where we can), but at the end of the day, we’ll never extinguish the dark side of humanity as long as mental health is at the forefront of our issues.

tl;dr

I'm all for improving regulations on anything that could pave the way to a safer society, but horrific tragedies will still happen until we acknowledge that there is a mental health epidemic and we choose to address it.

This post was inspired by this article:

http://www.zenruption.com/politicsareneverzen/10/2/accomplices-to-mass-murder-how-recreational-outrage-culture-fans-the-flames-of-hate