What is mental illness? Let’s start with what it’s not. While there are biological factors that manifest as ‘mental illness’, I leave the classification of organic mental illness for another blog. Mental retardation, for the purposes of this writing, falls under the organic category.
While there are biological factors that manifest as mental illness, I leave the classification of organic mental illness for another blog. Instead, let’s consider behavioral problems for which there is no organic cause.
Neurosis, psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and like classifications hinder rather than help an affected person’s recovery.
From this point forward, I base my observations on the findings and practice of Dr. William Glasser, author of Reality Therapy and founder of the William Glasser Institute. “Reality Therapy is the method of counseling that Dr. Glasser has been teaching since 1965. Reality therapy is firmly based on choice theory and its successful application is dependent on a strong understanding of choice theory.”
According to Dr. Glasser, “all we do is behave, almost all behavior is chosen, and we are driven by our genes to satisfy five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.”
Dr. Glasser says “the most important need is love and belonging, as closeness and connectedness with the people we care about is a requisite for satisfying all of the needs.”
The Underlying Problem
The prevalent root of all mental illness is a person’s inability to satisfy his or her own needs. In a word: irresponsibility.
We see college students who race to ‘safe places’ where someone meets their needs by attributing their disease to the actions or values of another person or persons.
Currently, an anarchist movement chiefly associated with the Democrat Party spawns street riots, looting, assaults on innocent persons, and property damage in the millions of dollars.
These mentally ill people demand free education, free housing, free food, and free medical care because they cannot provide these things themselves.
As Dr. Glasser teaches, the mentally ill person needs connection with a healthy, good-quality person who will reinforce the truth. They need this connection.
Constraining them in county jails and state mental hospitals inhibits any possibility of this vital long-term personal connection with someone who can love them.
Yes, there are chemical treatments that alleviate the symptoms but do nothing to heal the person.
Widespread mental illness due to widespread personal irresponsibility has overtaken college campuses and sharply defined the boundary between two major political parties along the line of irresponsibility which may be described as a yearning for more socialism.
Extreme leftists generally associated with the Democrat Party refuse to accept the fact of President Donald Trump. Fortunately, California excluded, most of our people are rational thinkers who understand the perils of extraordinary national debt and trade imbalances with other nations.
Extreme leftists threaten extreme measures to deny the present reality of a Republican majority in the Congress and White House. Madeleine Albright says she is prepared to “register as a Muslim” to protest President Trump’s moratorium on Muslim immigration. New York Times economist Paul Krugman claims President Trump is mentally ill.
Last fall a number of professional actors and singers threatened to leave America if Donald Trump became president. He did. They didn’t. Acceptance of Mr. Trump as president by Miley Cyrus and some of the others is actually a healthy outcome, not so for those who remain in denial.
Our major cities have become harbors for the homeless, some homeless due to financial disaster, most due to irresponsibility, all too often the products of government welfare.
Healthy citizens must become engaged in the broad problem of mental illness. If for no other reason, to prevent suicides.
Texas is 49th in per capita spending on mental health. I urge state lawmakers to parse out the various roles of the Texas Dept. of Health and Human Services, set mental health all on its own to focus on healing our people. I believe those cases requiring short-term hospitalization should be in the care of professional hospitals, not state warehouses of humanity.
Learn. Be aware of the homeless around you. Support legislation to better address the issues of homelessness, suicide, and irresponsibility.
Visit with your county and city law enforcement officers to learn about their interactions with mental patients in your community.
REALITY THERAPY Glasser’s classic bestseller, with more than 500,000 copies sold, examines his alternative to Freudian psychoanalytic procedures, explains the procedure, contrasts it to conventional treatment, and describes different individual cases in which it was successful.
COUNSELING WITH CHOICE THEORY In Counseling with Choice Theory, Dr. William Glasser takes readers into his consulting room and illustrates, through a series of conversations with his patients, exactly how he puts his popular therapeutic theories into practice.
These vivid, almost novelistic case histories bring Dr. Glasser’s therapy to life and show readers how to get rid of the controlling, punishing I know what’s right for you psychology that crops up in most situations when people face conflict with one another.
Practical and readable, Counseling with Choice Theory is Dr. Glasser’s most accessible book in years.
CHOICE THEORY: A NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONAL FREEDOM Dr. William Glasser offers a new psychology that, if practiced, could reverse our widespread inability to get along with one another, an inability that is the source of almost all unhappiness.
For progress in human relationships, he explains that we must give up the punishing, relationship, destroying external control psychology. For example, if you are in an unhappy relationship right now, he proposes that one or both of you could be using external control psychology on the other. He goes further. And suggests that misery is always related to a current unsatisfying relationship. Contrary to what you may believe, your troubles are always now, never in the past. No one can change what happened yesterday.