Saturday, December 22, 2012

WHATEVER BECAME of EVIL

Karl Menninger, M.D. wrote a book that was published in 1973 with the thought provoking title of "Whatever Became of Sin?".  The book attempted to make the case that psychiatry had gone too far in making all behaviors a disorder and had forgotten or left out sin in their paradigm. You will have to read the book to see if he made his case.

Today, I ask the same question about evil.  We listen to the "experts" selectively.  If we want to believe something was done by a severely mentally ill person, we believe the folks telling us that a certain person must have been very very sick.  If we don't want to believe that homosexuality is as real as heterosexuality, we call gay folks sinful or evil.  We pick the times we believe in the majority world view and we don't believe it when it suits our own needs.

Let me tell you a fact you might not want to hear.  Those of us with Axis 1 diagnoses, which means severe and persistent mental illness labels from the DSM which is a categorical classification system, have been abused and died at the hands of  caregivers and chronically normal people in greater numbers than we have harmed others since this country has existed.  In other words we are far more likely to be the victim than the perpetrator.

I am not trying to say we don't ever commit violent acts.  I am saying even when a person with a label does some horrible act you don't know what caused the action.  If I was planning a mass killing, I might start seeing a therapist a few weeks before I carried out my plan.  I might act crazy as hell when they locked me up if I survived the mass killing scene.  The people looking assume they are seeing, but are they?

Sometimes evil acts may just be that.  The result of a dark and evil soul.  To understand that, you have to believe we have souls.  Soul is not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). That presents a major problem.