How many victims are created by the thought that neuroplasticity is out of reach for some? Restated, just how many people with personality disorders or mental illness succumb to caricature simply because they are told that they cannot improve? Anyone that has followed my journey these past four and some years should know how I feel on this subject. Sometimes, the best cure is simply to be told that one exists, and that it is worth fighting for.
I dislike self-diagnosing individuals. There is little to gain when embarking on a dangerous journey without a guide. However, I hate even more those laypeople that diagnose others with personality disorders. Often, such people are trying to equate their disdain for an individual with a viable and biological or environmental explanation. They cannot accept that others may be defective individuals on their own. And, ultimately, they deny the darkness that lives within each and every human being – most importantly, the darkness that lives within themselves. How many times have we heard that Donald Trump is a narcissist and Hilary Clinton a psychopath? How many people that know better are spreading such potential misinformation based on their own ignorance and prejudices? We must reject such banter. We must sew their mouths shut.
It’s been a while. I want to touch on a subject that I’ve mentioned briefly from time to time. By now, many of you are aware of the murders by a possibly mentally ill man in Florida in which the murderer beat his victims to death and then started biting off the flesh of the face of one of the victims. So far, tests for illicit drugs have come back negative and the possibility of a mental “break” cannot be dismissed. The etiology of his bizarre behavior does not particularly concern me. However, if this is a case of mental illness, it resurrects the debate of the rights of the afflicted as contrasted with those that are “unafflicted” (or afflicted differently, at least). My position has solidified over the years, and I find that the only “fair” choice is for those that are being harmed to have safety from those that are doing harm or have done harm. Society does not need to justify a fair desire to remain safe. Is it possible that medication could help in similar circumstances with others that are mentally ill and violent? Sure. Should society have to take that risk when one has shown violence? No. Sometimes bad things happen that are irredeemable. Realization and restraint may come, but if one has shown that they are poisonous, no one has to take their word – or the word of anyone else – as sacrosanct and above those unalienable rights to safety that we all should enjoy.
Maybe it is because I surround myself with those mentally ill that are of questionable character, but I cannot find any upside to coddling the mentally ill. Many do not want to get better. Hell, I stated in my previous post that even I can succumb to tired stereotypes of not wanting to improve psychically. People with mental illness tend not to improve on their own – in the absence of external stimuli – and many will resort to manipulation knowing that others know that they are mentally ill. The former case is uninteresting and I will leave that topic to the reader for reflection. The latter is what is of great interest to me. I have used my mental illnesses to manipulate others and others have used theirs to manipulate me. The intention of the individual to commit interpersonal harm may vary, but I cannot believe that all that are mentally ill are not tempted by the reward of using their illness as a crutch. In a society that coddles the mentally ill, the rewards become self-evident and tempting to even the most pious individuals.
I ended therapy for the time being. The sessions as of late were incredibly one-sided, with my drive to change problematic behaviors nearing zero. Therapy is only effective if the person receiving therapy is open to change. Right now, I’m struggling to make it from day to day, dealing with the unforgiving assault of organic and environmental depression. I could change things. I could find activities and mantras that would help ease the pain that I live with currently. I could reduce my chain smoking and disdain for my health. I could change many things. However, I do not wish to at this time. I suppose on some level, chaos and a slow death is working for me, and until I come around, there is simply no point in wasting my therapist’s time or that of my own. All of this parallels the decision psychopaths have to make regarding their behaviors. If there is no desire to rein in one’s destructive behaviors, then no amount of coaching or analysis showing the benefits of such will resonate. A psychopath has free will, of course, but she must choose wisely when it comes to using that free will. She can choose to be a force of destruction, leaving lives – including her own – in the wake, or she can channel her energy into adapting to the mold that society requires. Ultimately, this decision lies solely with her.