Understanding the Need for Change
Do you believe we are facing major change or just major disorder?
It has not yet been described as such, but it would seem we are on the verge of a national reformation. The reaction to the recent massacre in Orlando is just one indicator of a national crisis. Demographic change is looming large even as a major party seems to be in the process of collapsing. Now is a time for us to do a multilevel reevaluation on many fronts.
Public Safety and Guns
The events in Orlando certainly point to the issue of determining changes in our rules about guns. That means what type of guns should be permissible for possession outside of the military and what rules there needs to be related to possession in general.
With all the discussion I have not once heard a meaningful discussion regarding the second amendment. The amendment was about the maintenance of a militia in a newborn country which did not have a functional army. Somehow it has become transformed into something else entirely.
In broad strokes, what happened in Orlando indicates we need to address matters of public safety as they relate to gun possession and related restrictions. That means we will also have to address ideological issues as they relate to the wellbeing and the future of our country.
Personal Dysfunction in a Society
But for me as a psychologist, I see another set of issues related to what we call mental health. As noted, we originally applied the disease model as a way to remove issues of personal functioning from the belief in demonic possession. Our emotional and cognitive functionality did not belong in the religious arena but using the medical model has serious problems in its own right.
It would seem that the shooter in Orlando was himself victimized by family history, distorted religious zealotry and probably sexual identity confusion. His behavior and personal problems in turn raises issues of public safety. But the question of how we address safety leads us back to defining what the malfunctions are and how to respond. And in that regard the disease model offers little clarify. It is supposed to instruct us about the nature of the problem, what procedures to use to deal with it and what medication is indicated if any. Given this man’s multiple problems it hardly instructs us on response or ways in which we might insure public safety or give him help. They would be difficult problems in all regards.
Designing a Helping System
And then there is the matter of the systems designed to respond to his needs if he chose to make use of them. As outlined in the posts, our health care system is often dysfunctional, especially when corporate profit guides response.
In the larger picture we need to go back to fundamentals and design the model of how to relate to what are currently called mental health issues. They may be biochemical, stress related, developmental, chemically induced and so forth. Then we need to deal with how to respond and what help to offer. A long overlooked reassessment would take considerable time and even then will prove difficult when it comes to public safety. The issue will always be how to make functional help available and how systems can be designed to serve the sufferer and the public.
In short, it would seem, at this time of what I believe will be national reformation, we should be reexamining fundamentals. And my special interest is in reforming and completely revising the use of the outdated model of mental illness. How to respond to dysfunction and distress in human life is complex and that includes our response to drug addiction and abuse. Prevention is related to availability and utilization of services. When we tell people they are sick it may turn them away from the guidance and help they need. We attached the D to PTSD and turned it into a disorder when it is in fact a stress reaction among other things. The D proves to be a barrier to help and understanding. We can throw money at these issues but it would seem best to reevaluate our approaches.
How many of these issues have you experienced personally?