Language is a virus

  Jonathan Thompson's use of the phrase "self-murder"is ill-advised, and "crazy"(as used by both Thompson and Ray Ring) arguably is, too, in this context, in particular as a major heading on the front page (HCN, 3/31/08). Yet more telling, however, is Thompson's - and to a degree (and surprisingly) Ring's - apparent ignorance of how mental illness and even just serious depression outside of mental illness actually work. Mental illness itself almost always, perhaps always, has a physical base. We divide illnesses into mental/physical under the false Cartesian dichotomy and under thousands of years of cultural pressure and ignorance and in large part because of insurance and medical corporations and their influence. There is no mind-body chasm. In fact, there's not even a thin crack.

There are, indeed, suicides of absolute will, where neither "mental"illness itself nor serious depressions that may or may not qualify as "mental"conditions are the factors: Buddhist monks dousing themselves and lighting up in protest, hunger strikers and suicide bombers. And there is little doubt that some suicides are "self-murder."But most suicides are indeed people in great pain, physical, "mental"or emotional. And many of them, contrary to what Thompson apparently believes, are impulsive, and most that are planned out are planned out while the people aren't thinking clearly, which therefore hardly qualifies it for "self-murder."Willful intent and a reasonable amount of self-possession need to be present for that.

As father of a bipolar son and brother-in-law of a seriously troubled woman who has been threatening suicide, I loudly applaud HCN's publication of this article and for drawing attention to the issue(s). I just wish the diction had been handled a bit more sensitively, particularly in the opening editorial.

Nial McCruimmen
Spearfish, South Dakota
May 17, 2008 05:32 PM

Mental Illness Is Too Valuable … To Be Eliminated

Your observation "Mental illness itself almost always, perhaps always, has a physical base." is aptly worded.  AND ... in addition ... Mental illness ... is what I might suggest ... a maladapted mind-brain systemic feedback system" or loop ... where each plays into the logic based reason why neither leads the host from the circular thinking >> feeling >> behaving. 

Taking this reasoning to the next level    its is not just the current “thinking >> feeling >> behavioral patterns” of maladaption that is the problem.  That is merely pathologically symptomatic.  The pathology or prime cause is the “thinking >> feeling >> behavioral patterns” that are "missing" that create this ever growing malady within society today.  And then to make matters worse … the mental health industry has been subsidized from professional evolution and thinking with the help of the Prozacian, quick pain relief culture that we so dearly love.


We have forgotten some very primitive tools or leverage points that were used by most First Nation people, like the Havasupai Tribe that, up until recently ...  I worked and lived with for nearly three years.  (For those that are unaware of this ancient tribe, they are the only tribe allowed to live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and are still served by the last U.S. Pony Express mail service.  See   )


 The curative leverage point is simple.  The beliefs that we think with … and don’t think with … is precisely where it all starts.  Well … sort of.  Belief systems are like black or white dominoes stacked in rows.  Some rows are white and healthy … while others are dark and deadly  … but they all assemble themselves in hidden (subconscious) rows of our thinking >> feeling >> and behaving and thus become the programs that we as destined to live our lifes with.   Or are  we?


If man does not learn how to intentionally change his beliefs … he remains both host and hostage to the white and/or black belief systems that controls his life based experiences.  Do you really and    “consciously know how”      to change out your belief systems?  …   that you think with … that sets up the neuro-networks and resulting bio-chemical emission processes of your brain?  Do you really know the four simple little questions that can assist your mind to clean up your brains electro-chemical state?  Do you really think  psychiatrists know  how or want to really share this knowledge?  Since we are still plagued with the black domino virus ... obviously one or both are missing from the tools of their profession.


I am not in the business and am not selling anybody anything in these regards.  If you want to learn what I believe to be the four simple little questions that have been running your and my life … email me.  I will be more than happy to provide to you with what no one has “Given” you before … and no one ever gave to me …  … until I really lived  . . . at the bottom of the Grand Canyon of life.