Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mental Illness and What You Think of Yourself

NOTE:  I wrote this posting in 2014 and finished it only today.  Seems relevant.

Crazy plus guns = bad.

Another day in America, and another mass-shooting.  This time the loser involved came from a privileged background (most do, as guns are expensive to buy).  His Dad was a movie director in Hollywood, his Mother an actress.  He was going to college in Southern California and had a brand-new BMW.   Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, no?

No, from his point of view, he was put-upon and his life sucked.   He was measuring his life by the appearances of others lives.  He thought all the "other guys" had nice girlfriends and were having great sex, and for some reason he wasn't getting any - and this was an entitlement to him, and it was unfair that he didn't have a girlfriend and lots of sex.

He was about as petulant as a six-year-old who is denied a new puppy.  And six-year-olds who throw temper tantrums like that should be spanked.

Of course, the guy had mental health issues - likely Schizophrenia, which sets in among young men in particular, around age 18-25.  The movie theater doofus, the Columbine idiots, the child-killer from Connecticut - all wealthy and well-off suburban white kids, who felt they got a "raw deal in life".

But this got me to thinking - what is mental illness anyway?  And why are these people so selfish, petulant, and self-centered?   And why do they seem to care more about what others think of them, than what they think of themselves?

I have written before about mental illness.  Having family members, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends with pretty severe mental illnesses, I learned a lot over the years.   And the primary things I learned are (1) mentally ill people are annoying and selfish, (2) they will latch onto you and try to ruin your life, if you let them, and (3) don't try to "help" them but leave that to professionals.   You can't fix people, so don't try - it is very, very dangerous.

Of course, the douchebag in California couldn't get laid because he was crazy, and girls don't dig crazy.   They dig a guy with a BMW with movie-star parents, even if you have a somewhat odd looking face (a new haircut and a little plastic surgery and Voila!).  In fact, in superficial Southern California, it would be hard not to get laid if you had that kind of wealthy background.   You'd really have to work at it.

And hell, even if that didn't work, for chrissakes, go to Vegas and get a hooker.   I mean, really.   We all wish his Dad had done this for him, at this point.

But getting back to crazy people, the common denominator was this incredible selfishness and self-centered attitude.   A complete lack of empathy for others.   One girl I knew would bore you for hours about "her problems" and "what her therapist said".   A boy I knew would go on and on about his "meds" and his troubles and so on.  They made mental health a hobby, and were so concerned about their own well-being that, ironically, they destroy their own well-being!

Now, don't get me wrong, it is OK to be "selfish" on occasion and look out for your own interests.  But sometimes this turns into a feedback-loop and becomes self-destructive.   The looney-toons people tend to spend too much time on introspection - worrying about every little thing, every emotion, every ache and pain.  They can't let go of the Id, or is the Ego, I forget which.   They can't just say, "you know, fuck it, I'm not going to worry about that too much" and move on.

Panic attacks are one aspect of this, and some of the crazy folks I have known have had those.  They are crippling, as they lead the sufferer to believe horrific things are going to happen.   Again, the core issue is caring too much about yourself and too much about life.   You are going to die someday, and it will be messy.   And every day, you take risks, and absolutely awful things could happen - a car accident, falling down in the bathtub, being mugged, making a poor sartorial choice - whatever.   Somehow these folks can't let go and take those risks, which are magnified 1,000-fold.

And that is sad for them, but again, it is a pain-in-the-ass for the rest of us, as crazy people end up being unsettling, disturbing, annoying, and downright selfish.   And since they end up being shunned as a result, the feeback-loop amplifies by a factor of 1,000, and the gain is cranked up until their whole life is just introspection and far too much naval-gazing.

Pretty soon, you start to believe crazy things - that you got a raw deal in life, and that people are laughing at you and that it matters what other people are saying or thinking about you.   The Columbine idiots shot up their school only weeks before they were to graduate.   It makes no sense at all - you are about to leave high school and never look back, so what do you do?   Ruin your life and that of dozens of others - and prove to the world that you are the loser that "everyone" says you are.

Don't like high school?  Graduate - and leave.   Don't like college?  Graduate - and leave.   Move on with life and stop obsessing.

UPDATE:  Many on the Right and Left today are trying to make the argument that the crazy-guy-with-a-gun who shot members of Congress playing baseball was motivated by politics and not just crazy.   Even the New York Times goes out of their way to say he was just a "normal" kind of guy who lived in a van.  That's normal, right?   And he was quiet and kept to himself, except for the times he went in the back yard to fire off a few hundred rounds of ammo - until the neighbors complained.   And eventually the neighbors gave up on complaining because he did it so much.  And he dragged his daughter down the stairs by the hair and threatened her boyfriend with a shotgun.   You know, normal things.

The Right wants to sell this narrative as, let's face it, his behavior describes a lot of their followers.  And they want to make it seem like it is a political narrative.  And oddly enough, the Left wants to do likewise - he was driven crazy by Trump!   Any normal person would be, right?

Wrong.  Just another crazy guy with a gun.  Just another day in America - until we decide that crazy + gun = bullshit.   And that ain't about to happen anytime soon.