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In response to this post currently on the rec list which did, unfortunately start off with a claim that teabaggers - I refuse to be nice about these people given their general meanness - are 'mentally ill'.

The post in question has re-titled somewhat but, having browsed the comments, it seems a lot of kossacks, also unfortunately, seem to not quite get what 'mental illness' is, so I thought I would post a brief clarification.

When we use the term 'mental illness' we mean - whether you know it or not - that somebody has an illness of the brain.

The brain is an organ with a number of relatively complex suborgans and with a relatively complex chemistry which can get ....'out of whack'. There are issues of 'brain illness or damage' and issues of "chemical imbalances' and, because Life is the way it is, often times people suffer from both at the same time.

The 3 Main Mental illnesses would be Major Depression, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar disorder. I recent years "Schizoaffective disorder" has been added to the mix as many people have numerous traits of schizophrenia - but not all of them - along with numerous - but not all - traits of bipolar disorder. (I often explain this to clients as the Reese's Cup of mental illness)

With schizophrenia you get a cluster of progressive damage to various sub-organs of the brain leading to general dysfunction. Schizophrenia is generally the most devastating of the illnesses, usually preventing people from being able to work much or at all.

With bipolar disorder, there is a much more mixed bag and a sort of roulette wheel as to what will happen to you and how bad it will be. In the Diagnostic and Statistic manual by which these things are diagnosed, there are a variety of flavors in which bipolar disorder can come. Sometimes it is the classic "manic-depressive bit; sometimes you get the manic phases, sometimes the mood is majorly depressed, other times people are just really irritable. Sometimes these folks can work (I am told that Ted Turner suffers from a form of bipolar disorder, as well as Mike Tyson) sometimes they can't - it's disruptive.

With Major Depression, people seem to often be able to slog through daily life, work jobs but never really be everything they could be. Often drugs and particularly alcohol are involved.

All three of these illnesses can render people susceptible to psychosis: psychosis is that stuff most laypeople think of when they think of "crazy' or "mentally ill". Hearing voices, seeing thing, delusional thinking, grandiosity, all the good stuff I get to work with day in and day out.

Now, most of the teabaggers one meets DO NOT MEET the criteria for being mentally ill. Please stop suggesting "mental illness" if you don't really know how to diagnose it.

What I think YOU DO SEE with the baggers and a lot of repubs is "Delusional thinking" without a diagnosed underlying mental illness.

I say that specifically because these people have developed what can be called a shared paranoid delusion which has been nurtured and encouraged by rightwing media and talk radio over the years.

Not only do they harbor these thoughts, they act upon them, make plans by considering them and thus end up at serious odds with the Real World.

These people, as nicely delineated in the post referenced and linked above, have developed a constellation of erroneous ideas which have congealed into a sort of 'ideology' which has little to no factual basis and to which they are quite rabidly and unshakably committed.

I have a client with a grandiose delusion that his mere presence in a business is good for the business because when he goes into a business - such as a restaurant - other people come in. I tell him I have a similar power: all I have to do is THINK about going to a business and many people show up before me and I have to wait. His commitment to his sense of power is unshakable, even when his medications are tweaked correctly and working well, he retains this delusion. This is a classic paranoid delusion but it is  due more to personality features than to his mental illness.

Similarly baggers demonstrate substantial paranoid delusion: famously now, they have what we can call the "Birther Delusion". You know this one well. You know they cannot give it up. Every attempt to dispel it only makes it more true. Obama released his birth certificate, but he's a tricky liar bent on the destruction of the USA. It's hopeless to talk to them about this.

Another one I heard some time ago was that "traffic laws cause more accidents than just letting people drive as they see fit". My teabagging friends ranted about a stop light that made us stop in the middle of the night: Why does that have to happen?" he asked irritably. I replied "It's a stop light. Stopping things is it's reason for being. We don't need go-lights". Then there was the rant abou Muslims driving too slow "because they fear they'll get their hands cut off for breaking the law.

The rest of their ideology you know reasonably well too - again I see it as a very loosely assembled constellation of ridiculous sound bytes and half-baked thoughts that are simply all whirled together, much like an asteroid or comet is made up of collected pieces of dirt and ice.

The teabag delusional system is held together by rightwing media and talk radio as well as by leading republicans who reiterate the Article of Faith regularly, reinforcing the belief system (and pandering to their base in one fell swoop).

So, what you hear when you hear these nutjobs ranting on about incomprehensible and disconnected ideas is not a treatable mental illness: they are hopelessly delusional and there is likely no cure for them. You cannot argue with this stuff, nor help these people out of their pathetic delusional state.

Please have mercy on the truly mentally ill and just try to just leave the teabaggers alone. Accept your powerlessness over their nuttiness and move along.

Originally posted to DFH Local No 420 on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM PDT.

Also republished by Mental Health Awareness.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Racism is a delusion too. (205+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, citizenx, JayRaye, DaveinBremerton, Mentatmark, Bob Love, Polly Syllabic, Gooserock, One Pissed Off Liberal, ontheleftcoast, second gen, bythesea, beltane, claude, Purple Priestess, on the cusp, hoolia, nosleep4u, IndieGuy, jamess, FarWestGirl, pateTX, markthshark, GenXBadger, 2thanks, luckylizard, Hammerhand, Marie, Lily O Lady, DarkLadyNyara, Involuntary Exile, janl1776, Witgren, dle2GA, DuzT, econlibVA, statsone, Hushes, Black Max, private5star, Herodotus Prime, wasatch, rodentrancher, muddy boots, cotterperson, pixxer, stone clearing, Wee Mama, oklacoma dem, GeorgeXVIII, Clytemnestra, ATFILLINOIS, houyhnhnm, Shockwave, UncleCharlie, dsb, DontTaseMeBro, msmacgyver, emmasnacker, Akonitum, kathny, dotsright, Thinking Fella, RagingGurrl, Little Flower, linkage, Question Authority, VictorLaszlo, Ree Zen, drawingporno, jethrock, KenBee, Cassandra Waites, prettygirlxoxoxo, Trotskyrepublican, ceebee7, R2P2, strangedemocracy, Eileen B, Duncan Idaho, fixxit, BlueOak, AdamR510, Sapere aude, yoduuuh do or do not, sfarkash, rantsposition, Shotput8, Sandino, Keone Michaels, Lefty Coaster, bnasley, luckydog, deha, sb, dalemac, aitchdee, Creosote, FiredUpInCA, JTinDC, greycat, adrianrf, basquebob, ER Doc, ColoTim, Jeff Y, AnnetteK, uciguy30, SwedishJewfish, parsonsbeach, dkmich, MartyM, yaque, Old Lefty, Fonsia, Liberalindependent28, dadadata, triplepoint, Carol in San Antonio, Matt Z, flowerfarmer, real world chick, gnostradamus, marleycat, Ed in Montana, a2nite, Dirtandiron, jcrit, TFinSF, Melanie in IA, Heart n Mind, ChemBob, Yellow Canary, Mike08, Buckeye54, mofembot, Bob Friend, ItsSimpleSimon, Pat K California, SeaTurtle, zerone, Marihilda, nzanne, celdd, entrelac, zerelda, yawnimawke, Justus, Alma, jck, Cronesense, leftyguitarist, molecularlevel, RLF, blueoasis, Captain C, LillithMc, eru, Tinfoil Hat, dwahzon, mookins, Catte Nappe, seefleur, Sun Tzu, wilderness voice, rogerdaddy, lineatus, millwood, damfino, DBunn, kingfishstew, Only Needs a Beat, Oh Mary Oh, opinionated, LeftOfYou, democracy inaction, livingthedream, middleagedhousewife, blue armadillo, leftykook, Mimikatz, JDWolverton, JSCram3254, tegrat, Alice Venturi, praying manatheist, young voter, orlbucfan, LaFeminista, Crabby Abbey, stevenaxelrod, Jeffersonian Democrat, SeekCa, Renee, Turbonerd, yet another liberal, Skaje, regis, bubbanomics, Lorikeet, Lonely Texan, pinhighin2, bunsk, susakinovember, JVolvo

    Ever notice racists can't seem to be aware of their own racism?

    #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:53:20 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. (40+ / 0-)

    Many of us hold delusions without being mentally ill.

    Racist deserve our scorn.

    The mentally ill deserve our care and support.

    Those of us with mentally ill loved ones do not like to see the two confused.

    Solidarity Forever, for the Union makes us strong.-Ralph Chaplin, 1915

    by JayRaye on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:12:01 PM PDT

  •  Read the "Republican Brain" (62+ / 0-)

    I just finished the book and it explains in a clear way what it going on with these folks.  Right wing media is indeed a very big part of the "thinking" that the baggers engage in.  It validates their delusions.  

    Studies show that there is a real difference in the way right wingers think and feel and the rest of us.  For example, they are not open to new information or facts.  Even if they are intelligent by most measures they will only use that intelligence to rationalize their delusions more effectively than the stupids.  

    They cannot handle ambiguity.  It requires too much effort to sort through nuance, so they don't.

    They have an authoritarian world view-- meaning that they adhere to a mythical version of an ideal and simple past where there were clear lines of authority in the family and in culture in general and are genuinely terrified that reality in today's world is more complicated than that.  This fits nicely with why baggers tend to be fundamentalist in their religious beliefs.  Everything is spelled out for them by an authoritarian church which reduces their fear and again validates their delusions about how things should be.

    This book  taught me a lot about what is going on with the polarized thinking in the US today.  The bad news is that there is no way of changing the authoritarian brain.  The good news is I don't have to waste my time trying to convince baggers that they are wrong about virtually everything and put that time to more productive uses.

  •  Related Technical Question: (11+ / 0-)

    There's no condition known as General Mania?

    Seems to me that if some people can have an underactive reward system, which seems to be the case in the depressed people close to me, there should be the other side of the coin. I would point to high achievers, artists and such, but I actually had a boss once who seemed to be on a pretty stable slightly-manic plateau. I never saw her crash or burn out as I'd expect with drugs, or go through a depression phase.

    ??

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:34:55 PM PDT

    •  mania is an illness. (15+ / 0-)

      Treated with medication.

      Relatively easy to address. Baggers are not ill...just sorta hopeless.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:17:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mania is an Ilness (7+ / 0-)
        Treatable by medication....relatively easily addressed.
        Not to nitpick, but as many who have lived with persons suffering from this illness are aware, the availability of effective treatment does not necessarily equate with treatment being successful or easy, relatively or otherwise.

        In my more than 20 years of very very personal experience with one who shall remain nameless, Mania in particular has a counter-productive inbuilt dynamic whereby the experience for the afflicted can be exhilarating, even revelatory complete with a sense of omniscience, secret knowledge, unlimited personal significance, and other forms of self aggrandizing delusion. Sufferers may contrast those sensations with the 'flattened' emotions that accompany, say, haloperidol and/or lithium and decide that compliance with the medication is just not as emotionally rewarding as having conversations with Abe Lincoln or dead cousin Jimmy.

        Whether some clinically diagnosed people 'decide' not to comply with treatment or are simply unable to due to neurochemical or other organic deficits is a debatable proposition, but in the larger political context discussed here I believe the issue of the disease being preferable to the cure is relevant. Most illnesses present along a spectrum from negligible to pathological, and while Teabaggery has no entry in the DSM and is therefore, by definition, not a mental illness, I think that it is quite clearly as pointed out above a delusional condition adopted by its adherents because, like some clinical patients, it feels better than reality.

        Moreover, whatever the vector and mechanism, a disorder becomes an disease when it results in significant pathologies, when it damages the body personal or, as in this case, the body politic. I'm (quite) a bit more argumentative than the original poster and have gone toe to toe and eye to eye with a fair number of Bag-heads on their own turf. In my estimation its all about insecurity; a profound sense vulnerability in a world that is rapidly changing out of all recognition. Analysis and rationalism are the enemy because it is profoundly dysphoric for those unwilling or unable to exert the constant mental and emotional effort required to even vaguely comprehend the forces that are really shaping their lives. Its much more entertaining to be part of a righteous crusade for...whatever.

        This is essentially religion by another name; a short list of simple answers (Obama=Sum of all Evil) to a long list of complicated questions, facts and the laws of physics be damned. While religiosity is not in itself an illness, when you support people who shoot doctors, bomb clinics and would if they could blow off the President's head, THAT is definitely a disease, whatever its provenance. Perhaps we could call it Crypto-Religious Quasi-Manic Delusional Social Pathology; CQDSP, with a poor prognosis for the afflicted, and for anybody else caught in the crosshairs, and not at all

        relatively easily addressed

        Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

        by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 04:35:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clarification: "technically" easily treatable. (8+ / 0-)

          Our heinous healthcare system stands in the way and exacerbates most mental mental illnesses.

          Many of the ravages of 'schizophrenia' are those of neglect, not of the actual mental illness.

          Managed care is about the worst thing ever to happen to mental illness.

          #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:30:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Quality of care was not the issue (5+ / 0-)

            We had very good, expensive coverage from my professional employment. Compliance with treatment was the issue. While it is quite impossible for me to be entirely objective, I had a great deal of opportunity to observe the dynamics, to put it mildly, of the afflicted persons illness, and there was clearly an element of embracing the illness because the treatment was unpleasant and morally difficult, in terms of side effects, will power and plain and simple character, or the lack thereof.

            And that's the more general point I am trying to make in the specifically socio-political context of this discussion. Clinical mental illness narrowly defined its not, but Teabaggery IS  a social disease with pathological effects on the body politic and is contracted and spreads because its more fun than the hard work of living in the real world.

            Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

            by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:11:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A friend was married for twenty years to a woman (7+ / 0-)

              with bipolar disorder. He was a very supportive spouse, raised the children largely single handedly (and actually during her hospitalizations). She however did tend to go off her medications and the last time around fell in with some naturists who persuaded her they were "chemicals." During that episode she attacked him with a knife and left him needing thirty stitches. As the children were adults by then he finally sought a divorce.

              I'm glad to say that about two years after that he found a very good life companion and married her. I suspect that in the final tally he will have more years of happily married life than not.

              Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

              by Wee Mama on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:20:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Holy paralell lives, Wee Mama (4+ / 0-)

                With the knives and the kids and the...similar but not identical. Gory details aside though I'm the still single proud Papa of three warrior women whose up and coming five warrior princesses all now listen to the songs I used to sing to their mamas while the storm raged outside their bedroom door; House of the Rising Sun, Amazing Grace and Swing low sweet Chariot, with a little less of the basso profundo though.

                The health of the soul is a precious thing and the Bag-Heads are not helping that of our beloved country I'm very sorry to say.

                Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

                by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:56:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  XXDR - I'm jumping in here (5+ / 0-)

        to counter some of these thoughts. I disagree (respectfully, but forcefully) with your comment,

        just try to just leave the teabaggers alone. Accept your powerlessness over their nuttiness and move along.
        They are deeply affecting my life. The TP  - just a few, extremely loud and totally delusional people - have taken over my county's zoning and comprehensive planning. They have convinced our county commissioners to dismiss plans for considering clean energy. They are convinced the UN is taking over the county, and that only 300 to 500k people will be allowed to remain alive as caretakers of our national parks (the rest of us, through said zoning, will be rounded up 'like jews' and exterminated). Bike paths are part of this grand conspiracy. As is anything to do with the word sustainability.

        And don't even get me started on Chem Trails, the government's plot to kill us all with jet-stream poisoning.

        I would be happy to diary this separately, if there's interest, but I am BEYOND frustrated that these delusional folks are having really serious impact on the local and national conversation.

        I have no idea  how to counter their bile, but they are seriously moving the conversation further right - so much further right that our here-to-fore conservative but normal county commissioners are now spewing the same hate. Allowing the goal post to be moved in this game of triangulation is desperately dangerous.

        "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

        by nzanne on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 07:23:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like hypo-mania (5+ / 0-)

      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:20:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They are a Deluded Cult (27+ / 0-)

    as I said in my comment in the aforementioned thread.

    It's not an accident they believe these things, they've been indoctrinated to believe them by a strong, persistent, propaganda campaign funded by the Right.    It doesn't require being mentally ill in the classic sense, but they have been strategically programmed to buy into this none sense and to doubt and fear anyone outside the "cult".

    And I'm not saying that it's a conspiracy, it's right out in the open.  Media Matters has dedicated themselves to documenting it because their founder David Brock used to be one of those propagandists. Eventually he repented and has since explained exactly how it all worked, and continues to work in his book "Blinded by the Right".  When you take a concerted and overt plan to demonize and marginalize anyone and everyone on the left, add to that a dash of authoritarianism (ala John Dean's "Conservatives Without Conscience"), and a pinch of Terminal Confirmation Bias, this is what you get.

    Plant Corn you Get Corn. Rotten coil. Boll weevil infested corn.

     There's just enough truth in what their saying... like the part about government requirements for minimum care - not maximum, MINIMUM - before a provider can offer their services on the exchange.  Rules for providers outside the exchange don't change much other than offering preventative measures free and not blocking people with pre-existing conditions.  As far as people being tracked by the cell phones, that's true too, but the Government isn't doing it - Google and Apple are because that's how their phones work in order to provide GPS services.  This can be disabled on the phone.  Facebook is also linked into this and if you want to through their "Check In" feature which, but it's optional and controlled by the user.

    Some of their worries about privacy concerns are genuine, but the issue is either one that actually began under George W. Bush (NSA wire & email tracking) or is being done by private corporations (employers requesting Facebook passwords). CISP is a genuine privacy issue, not that they'll ever realize it's the people they elected who are pushing it to help enhance Corporate Power over their lives, not governmental.

    Lastly their worries about a "Racial Civil" War isn't exactly wrong either.  As far as I'm concerned it's already begun - but "those people" that they're so afraid of are on the receiving end of it through "accidental" shootings of minority men by police, innocents people being killed via "Stand Your Ground", the force of the crack down on Occupy, and out-and-out Terrorist Attacks by people like James Von Brunn (Holocaust Museum Shooting), Joe Stack (Austin IRS Plane Attack), Byron Williams (attempted Oakland ACLU/Tides Foundation Attack), spitting on Congressmen, curbstomping a girls head against the ground at a Rand Paul debate, the attempted firebombing of the MLK parade, the racial killing spree in Oklahoma, and Anders Beivik (Norway Bombings/Shooting Massacre).

    They aren't going to be the victims, they're going to be the shooters and the cheerleaders as the violence that has already started - grows.

    Vyan

  •  Proudly bipolar and *NOT* delusional. (12+ / 0-)

    Thanks much for the post.

    Now for the real fun. I saw a comment from Pluto that stated there have been some successful attempts to treat racism with beta blockers (IIRC). If that is true would it change the way we look at racism, would the fact it can be changed by changing the brain's mean it was an illness?

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:52:27 PM PDT

  •  Thank you. Republished to Mental Health (16+ / 0-)

    Awareness.

    If I wanted government in my uterus, I'd fuck a senator

    by second gen on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:55:02 PM PDT

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, democracy inaction
    These people, as nicely delineated in the post referenced and linked above, have developed a constellation of erroneous ideas which have congealed into a sort of 'ideology' which has little to no factual basis and to which they are quite rabidly and unshakably committed.
    There is a much larger group of US citizens to which this applies, a group to which the vast majority of US citizens claim to belong. It includes the vast majority of Democrats as well as the vast majority of REpublicans, teabaggers, and some others.

    With all due deference to the time honored psychological need to label "others", I think that tarring with a brush having a near global width is unsound and should not be engaged in.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:38:23 PM PDT

    •  Hegemony? (5+ / 0-)

      Cultural hegemony has been created by the dominance of the five corporations that own the media, imho, creating something like propoganda the projects ever-increasing consumerism, divisions among us, fear, and even worse. It is so pervasive, we don't see it, much like fish may not be aware they're swimming in water.

      culturally diverse society can be dominated (ruled) by one social class, by manipulating the societal culture (beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values) so that its ruling-class worldview is imposed as the societal norm, which then is perceived as a universally valid ideology and status quo beneficial to all of society, whilst benefiting only the ruling class.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:38:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris
      There is a much larger group of US citizens to which this applies, a group to which the vast majority of US citizens claim to belong. It includes the vast majority of Democrats as well as the vast majority of REpublicans, teabaggers, and some others.
      Are you talking about religion?

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 09:42:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have a winnah! As somebody pointed out, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        democracy inaction, Black Max

        GWB clai8med to talk to god. Had he said "through my hairdryer", nobody woulkd have doubted his craziness, so what difference4 does the hairdryer make.

        The Son of Sam heard voices, but so did St. Joan. One is treated and viewed differently depending upon whether one hears voices, aliens, angels or god. That's just silly and is why we shouldn't, in this country, use terms like "delusional"

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 10:56:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris

          That reminded me of an episode of King of the Hill (the "Buckley's Angel" episode) when Peggy thought she heard "Jesus is love" while drying her hair with a hairdryer.

          From the script:

          PEGGY: I mean, I have had my share of close encounters. Once, I heard a voice saying "Jesus is love," right in my ear. But when I turned off the hair dryer, it was suddenly gone.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 11:25:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Another difference between mental illness and (12+ / 0-)

    teabaggers is the degree to which the environment facilitates and defines their delusions.  That's limited for the former and almost the complete story for the teabaggers.    

  •  Doing crazy things is not (5+ / 0-)

    the same as being crazy.  Some of the sanest people I know do extremely nutty things now and then.  OTOH, I am manic-depressive and rarely do things that would call attention to me as having a mental illness.  I'm kind of a closet crazy person.

    Teabaggers are a breed apart.  It didn't take me long to find out that reason is not in their toolbox.  There is no real fact that they cannot refute, no matter how many hoops they have to jump though to do it.  Attempting to have a rational discussion of issues with people like this only leads to near-debilitating frustration for those who even occasionally inhabit the real world.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:41:17 PM PDT

    •  Crazy, especially in the context of "doing (3+ / 0-)

      crazy things" is a nonsense term. It is defined in terms of the normal vs abnormal spectrum and, at the very bottom, little or nothing else.

      As I have elsewhere had cause to argue today, normality is a drag, a crutch and a totally pointless and vapid state. We should all eschew normality.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:44:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Being "normal" is (4+ / 0-)

        an affliction from which I have never suffered.  When I was younger, I was considered weird.  Now that I am older, I'm eccentric.  It's something I've been training for all my life.  :-)

        When I talk about doing crazy things, I guess I'm mostly referring to things which carry a significant risk or a kind of "just for the hell of it" mentality.  Of course, "risk" can be in the eye of the beholder.  What seems totally nuts to me might border on ordinary for others.

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:10:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Refuting" an argument by (4+ / 0-)

      screaming, "Fuck you, [racial slur]," is not refutation, of course, but it passes for powerful discourse in their circles. I fully expect to see it in a presidential debate, if not from Romney's pampered little lips, from a Fox commentator.

      Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy everything. Force a tsunami of change on the nation.

      by Black Max on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:05:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like religion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan
      It didn't take me long to find out that reason is not in their toolbox.  There is no real fact that they cannot refute, no matter how many hoops they have to jump though to do it.  Attempting to have a rational discussion of issues with people like this only leads to near-debilitating frustration for those who even occasionally inhabit the real world.
      This is shockingly similar to the behavior of people of faith.  And it is telling that teabaggers are some of the most devoutly religious people in the country.  Their delusions about Barack Obama are intertwined with their delusions about religion.

      It all goes back to the concept of faith, which I entirely reject, faith being "belief in something for which there is no evidence."  I have faith in nothing, which is what makes me an atheist.  I am also deeply bothered by the fact that "faith" is something that in our society is held up as being honorable, noble or admirable when it should be seen for what it is: delusional.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 09:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep. You can't argue them out of it. I (6+ / 0-)

    live in a very red area where they overwhelmingly vote for the most horrible idiots. They moaned and wailed when Clinton was elected and swore he ruin the country. The fact that ruin didn't come under Clinton has not dissuaded them from their belief. When things finally go so terrible under Bush they claimed that he wasn't a true conservative and voted for McCain! Now they're miserable under Obama. They'd rather have Santorum, but will settle for Romney.

    When politics comes up around here, it's best to change the subject unless you really need a ferocious headache! That goes double for religion!

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:46:53 PM PDT

  •  There's a certain level of mental dysfunction (3+ / 0-)

    that some of these people display. They lack contact with reality and instead immure themselves in the alternate reality of Fox News and the right blogosphere. Thusly they believe that Obama is indeed a Communist, our taxes are higher than anyone else either now or in history, that the black helicopters are readying an assault on gun owners, etc etc etc. The environment they inhabit twists their perception and their ability to function in the real world.

    I have a similar theory regarding many children, who display symptoms of what I loosely (and admittedly inaccurately) call "environmental autism." They display an almost complete inability to focus on a subject -- any subject -- for more than a few seconds at a time, an almost pathological need for constant sensory stimulation, etc etc. I have a number of students whose eyes jitter about like fleas on a griddle, constantly hunting for something new to focus on (preferably bright, garish, and moving quickly) and refusing to rest on any single thing for a moment of contemplation or examination.

    I think the two are related...

    Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy everything. Force a tsunami of change on the nation.

    by Black Max on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:03:53 PM PDT

    •  It is not dysfunction (0+ / 0-)

      Show me the dysfunction, and you had best not say that their propositions are false.  

      When people worked with the demonological theory of disease, they worked with false propositions about the causes of disease, but they were not delusional.  ditto the Greeks with their belief that ancient skeletons of mastadons were the bones of their deceased, cyclopic giant ancestors.  Is that delusional and dysfunctional as well?  

      These people are misinformed and seriously so.  That is all.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 07:02:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you're saying they're perfectly functional? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        orlbucfan

        The meaning of "dysfunction" is "not functional." They are not functioning, in an overall sense, in the real world -- they're wrapping their homes in duct tape and aluminum foil, they're spending huge amounts of their limited incomes on stockpiles of guns and survivalist methods, they spend all of their free time exchanging conspiracy theories and repeating wild accusations about Obama and the Evil Liberals, etc.

        They live IN a world of delusion. Ergo, they are functionally delusional. I was specific in saying that the problem is not organic, i.e. not mental illness.

        Got that, or do you want to spit and spew some more?

        Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy everything. Force a tsunami of change on the nation.

        by Black Max on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 09:02:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Spit and spew? (0+ / 0-)

          Why on earth are you saying that?  Are you small minded and attack people who see things differently than you do?  

          Take your ignorance of what we are talking about and combine it with your foolish thinking, and fuck your tiny self with it.  

          The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

          by not2plato on Sun Apr 29, 2012 at 06:13:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Many thanks (5+ / 0-)

    I knew they weren't mentally ill in the medical sense but they obviously aren't operating with reality.  Delusional.......that's what they are.  Seriously delusional.

  •  Accepting that the (9+ / 0-)

    T-Baggers are not mentally ill at the moment, and didn't start off that way, my question is one of medical interest to me...

    Can the long-term, close-holding and acting upon delusional, and delusionally paranoid ideas that are reinforced by external (and powerful) drivers... lead to mental illness even if that ideation did not arise from mental illness?

    In short, I think most are correct in saying that that T-Baggers are not crazy now... but could persistence in delusional paranoia drive them crazy?

    Biofeedback, hormonal imbalanced induced by sustained emotional frenzy and so on... could that happen?

    We know that people can be driven insane... could Fox News and the rest be literally inducing and reinforcing insanity?

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:16:27 PM PDT

    •  In a functional sense, I think the answer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      is yes. In a medical sense, probably not. But the damage they're doing is catastrophic, regardless of how we label it.

      Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy everything. Force a tsunami of change on the nation.

      by Black Max on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:11:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well put. Most baggers probably don't have ... (3+ / 0-)

        ... organic brain damage / structural faults, but they still suffer from a syndrome of deeply habitual behavioral patterns that is overall dysfunctional / delusional.

        The grey area involves structural atrophy / hypertrophy - i.e. physical damage - that's caused by sustained, unnaturally high / low levels of hormones & neurotransmitters (adrenaline, dopamine, cortisol, etc) induced by behavior.

    •  I suppose people COULD become depressed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Alice Venturi

      if and when they sense they cannot accomplish goals set via delusional thinking.

      However, Orly Taitz seems undeterred at this point in time,

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:26:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      If you hold a physiological/biologistic theory of mental illness, then the answer is no.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:58:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless stimuli applied to an organ (0+ / 0-)

        can induce physio-biological dysfunction...

        For example: Lung cancer caused by smoke or particulate inhalation, or diabetes caused by diet...

        In short: yes there are "internal malfunctions" that arise solely as a result of inherent biological errors...

        AND...

        There are malfunctions that are induced by external stimuli.

        If the brain is an organ that can be influenced to function in different ways depending on input (which we know to be true!), then, in fact, physiological/biological malfunction can be induced by the proper and sustained combination of stimuli.

        Therefore, Fox News and their puppet masters are deliberately attempting to drive a significant portion of the global population dysfunctionally and insanely delusional.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:45:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  OK, so what's not "ill" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladelfina, Matt Z, Overseas, Old Lefty

    about an untreatable delusional state?

    I still don't understand.

    •  It's not genetically rooted and won't (4+ / 0-)

      likely respond to medication.

      People with delusions don't believe they have them and therefore never seek treatment for them.

      And the more tightly these delusions are held the more at risk you are of being hurt if you try to confront them: you challenge their entire view of reality.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:20:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Its a matter of definition (0+ / 0-)

      When it comes to mental ilness, if its not in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) then, according to the APA (American Psychiatric Association) it cannot be diagnosed. This may seem a purely semantic distinction, but it is far more significant. Many readers here will be aware that until it was removed from the DSM, homosexuality was, de facto, a disease. The struggle for de-listing is a fascinating case study of how abstract definitions, or the absence thereof can and do have real consequences in the world.

      If it ain't in the book, they ain't sick. That's just how it works. And, in fact, IMHO this is really a social phenomenon.  Like Mormons, talk to these people one on one and many are basically decent, hard working folks who are just scared shitless by the accelerating pace of change. Get them together in large groups, you got angels, demons and magic underwear.
       

      Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

      by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:25:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd leave them alone, IF they'd leave my womb (7+ / 0-)

    alone, and everything else they are trying to dismantle.

    They won't, so I won't

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:27:19 PM PDT

  •  Teabaggers. (6+ / 0-)

    There isn't anything not-nice about calling teabaggers teabaggers. Remember (and never let them forget) that's what they called themselves in the beginning when they still had the teabags hanging from their hats and dangling onto their faces. They coined the term!

    a claim that teabaggers - I refuse to be nice about these people given their general meanness
    I don't/won't ever call them anything else.
  •  Delusional & mentally ill of enviromental factors (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DontTaseMeBro, msmacgyver, melo, Matt Z

    Teabaggers once weren't so bad, but they kept feeding upon crap news from the usual suspects, and now they're beyond hope.

    Diabetes and obesity are physical illnesses often caused by environmental factors - keep eating crap food rather than healthy stuff, and eventually it spins out of control.

    Sometimes the genesis of mental illness is not much different than what causes physical illness.

  •  What about cultural or mass illusion? (5+ / 0-)

    I believe that Wilhelm Reich described this in the 1930s and had to run from Germany as a result, that an entire culture or a mass of humanity can harbor illusions which render the thinking in individuals subordinate to the group think.

    What I think we are seeing is something that intelligent people can actually be pulled into.  

    I think what is going on, especially with the "born again" cohort, is that the need for comfort, for a family, for things to make sense, is stronger than the proposal that we need critical thinking about society.  Most people actually don't.  

    People who have been hurt.  Who have suffered personal loss, who feel as if life has been a struggle and have been afraid, are the most vulnerable.  

    Terrible loss, hunger, pain are things we are all afraid of.  Some of us believe in an eventual better outcome and can struggle along on our own, others don't have confidence and may indeed be drowning and in need of helping hands.  

    Those factors are drivers that form a basis for creating a mass sense of things that doesn't depend on facts, but on a set of rationalizations about reality that are protected from critical analysis.  

    That would be OK, that people believe what they have to in order to have the courage to go on from day to day.  But the problem is that this has become associated with an effort to invoke all the fears and insecurities out there and stoke it up to attempt to create a political majority.  

    The problem is that it just might work, here and there, or maybe for a while.  

    There is a great deal of money vested in the idea that you can pander to all the base emotions and worst fears so as to create cover for the special interests that stand to make billions.  

    They really don't care if they create chaos.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:45:03 PM PDT

    •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)
      a mass sense of things that doesn't depend on facts, but on a set of rationalizations about reality that are protected from critical analysis.  
      Sounds like religion to me.  

      I think they are just a group of friends who share a few rituals in their circle that they consider tests of friendship and defenders against outsiders.  These views are held  for the sake of the social bonds.  

      The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

      by not2plato on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:55:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But don't behaviors effect the brain over time? (0+ / 0-)

    And has science really nailed down so definitively what defines mentally ill?  It's a pretty broad term, it seems to me; far different from someone saying, "These teabaggers are schizophrenic," or some such specific condition.  

    When the truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 09:20:23 PM PDT

  •  Sick, not mentally ill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Lefty

    Maybe pot will help, they have anxiety issues.

    •  Seriously with the anxiety (0+ / 0-)

      Weed? Hmmm...can you say 'bake' sale? I think a
      Little
      Something
      Delicious might help them see the world in a new light.

      Or not.

      Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

      by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:33:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Medical Marijuana has little to offer in this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, orlbucfan

      Some people will be more anxious.

      Others will simply be more assured of their delusions to begin with.

      With the genuinely mentally ill it can lower their threshold for the onset of psychotic symptoms.

      Others can smoke like Willie Nelson and be just fine.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:35:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The effects of psyops (7+ / 0-)

    That is the basis of the Republican messaging machine. It is not just distortion of reality, it is the creation of a false reality combined with a programmed outrage.

    How else can you explain millions of lower and middle class Republicans continuing to line up to buy the snake oil and vote against their own self interest?

    •  It's that against self-interest thing ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, JayRaye, Wee Mama, orlbucfan

      ... that really leaves me dumbfounded.

      I have a fundy Christian neighbor, self-employed, no health insurance. He's had cancer, currently in remission, but he absolutely foams at the mouth against Medicare / nationalized health care.

      This guy will probably die a terrible, painful death from recurrent cancer, yet votes for those who would see to it he has no health care / insurance coverage.

    •  How else? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      not2plato, orlbucfan

      Pure mental sloth and bull-headed unwillingness to accept the world on its own terms. These people are not victims of some greater force, they willingly and enthusiastically embrace anything that will both reinforce deep seated prejudice and simplify the world for them thus assuaging the profound cognitive dissonance created by living in a world that stubbornly refuses to stand still, be round, circle the sun, etc.

      IMHO its a kind of fruitless social masturbation, a fully consensual political circle jerk. Fortunately though they make themselves increasingly repugnant to the ever increasing number of those outside the circle, irrelevant to the progress of science and human endeavor and no more productive in the long run that that sort of activity ever is.

      The judgement of history will be upon their heads.

      Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

      by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:49:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oops (0+ / 0-)
        Refuses to stand still, continues to be round, circle the sun, etc.

        Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

        by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:51:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Lefty

        They are an example of something that is perfectly normal.  The shock is merely moral: lefties are pained that these folks think like this, and what pains us is immoral, originating in sickness.  So, they start naming illnesses as the cause of their pain.  

        Now all the teabaggers are sick, rather than misinformed.  

        The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

        by not2plato on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:50:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  'Misinformed' is too charitable (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orlbucfan

          I'd go with 'willfuly anti-informed'.

          what pains us is immoral, originating in sickness
          I don't follow this. In some churches, the opposite is deemed true, where sickness arises from sin or immorality.  Personally, in the abstract I could give a big 'ol Dick Cheney what, why or how they think, its what they are doing to this country that makes me sick. The rational mind seeks rational reasons for irrational behavior, which may be George Bushing up a rope. Now please excuse me while I wipe my Rupert Murdoch with a piece of Rush Limbaugh.

          Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

          by Old Lefty on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 07:10:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Semantics? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure that the DSM Google +1 will be able to list the types of mental illnesses afflicting human beings. The mapping of the human brain and the interactions between the cities within is in its infancy.

    We're all Mel Brooks' "Abby Normal" Young Frankensteins

    Are the people incessantly attending gritty new new millennium punk, or slash-metal shows already "mentally ill" before they took too much Ecstasy? How many acid trips in the 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's does it take to make someone "mentally ill" How many bumps to the head? Was Mozart "mentally ill?"

    Tweakers seem to do "mental illness" on the installment plan. It usually is a race between the failure of the body and the brain and they're neck and neck.

    Humanity seems to have a huge mental illness.

    Screwing each other for money, going to war repeatedly, raping the environment and now - even the climate and life that has evolved for eons disappear daily.

    And smoking your own well-tended, personally cured weed will bring a cop enough "reasonable cause" to bust down your door in too much of America. Unless you're on "Probation" and have to be extra-special nice because there's a judgmental sword of Damocles and after a while you get good at jail, or finally behave.

    If you have a toothache and you're out of jail or you lose a fight - there's no dentist to visit, and even if you were laying and wiring dynamite in Boston's Big-Dig for a few years but hit hard times you walk the streets alone at 1:AM in a t-shirt in the rain in a strange city because the jaillets out then when the trains just stop running and can turn on dialect in a hot-second but used to be in love-who's crazy?

    America has a hot-dose of mental illness too.

    I didn't even start on Facebook, did I?

    Now there's a mental illness. Account not busy enough or too busy? No Page?

    There's no real meaning to the term "mental illness" to me. If being unable to find and hold a job is descriptive - we have some crazies coming out of college and four times as many high-school dropouts who still want a life who can't find a reliable job that can even pay for the necessities that were a given in the '50s

    That "mental illness?" It's like pornography. I'll know it when I see it.

    John Boehner is getting closer and closer. And there's not a pill for that.

    I'll never forgive myself for letting my dog lick the cannabutter bowl.

    Is it insane to laugh about keyboarding that last sentence. Do I need drugs for that?

    Can I grow them?

    Dissatisfaction with democratic government is substantially due to economic globalization. We either rein in the corporations or Nation States will continue to diminish in stature, power and their ability to protect and serve the citizenry.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 10:22:25 PM PDT

  •  Shock treatment sometimes works (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    No, not electroshock or its chemical analog. Nothing of the sort. I mean reality, harsh, brutal, shocking reality, of the "I always thought this only happened to OTHER people!" sort, that slaps you in the face and forces you to confront your beliefs. Many people find ways to rationalize such events in ways that preserve their fantasies. These people are often psychically damaged from childhood and need their myths to keep themselves functioning, and while ultimately disabling, they do keep them going. But some people do turn around. This site regularly features diaries by former Repubs who finally saw the light and turned left (like, oh, the guy who founded it). So there's always hope. But I think that only such slaps in the face can "cure" such people, not reason or persuasion.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 10:39:21 PM PDT

  •  My term for this is collateral damage... (0+ / 0-)

    ... these folks are simply victims of the information warfare world we live in.  They are collateral damage in a war.  They are probably beyond repair.

    Karl Rove's idea was to eliminate the very concept of news and render everything into the realm of opinion.  To this extent... with their own base... they have been possibly TOO successful.

    Can't imagine what would happen if Fox in the US suddenly comes under serious scrutiny because of all the Murdoch hacking stuff in the UK... you think the wingers look ballistic now?  Just wait baby.

    Some folks trust to reason. Others trust to might. I don't trust to nothing. But I know it come out right.

    by dalemac on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:02:30 PM PDT

  •  How about demented? (0+ / 0-)

    Can we call them demented?

  •  So paranoid delusion is 'mental health'? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Overseas

    Coulda fooled me, but what do I know?

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:02:53 AM PDT

  •  The human condition (0+ / 0-)

    Is one mass delusion that we call reality.

    Thanks,

    Hairy Larry

    Please join the Protest Music Group where we sing truth to power.

    by hairylarry on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 01:11:14 AM PDT

  •  I am (3+ / 0-)

    I am mentally ill. I had no problem with the original diary.

    Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

    by justinb on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 02:21:44 AM PDT

  •  Too often we see mental illness used as a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, xxdr zombiexx, JayRaye, orlbucfan

    way to belittle and stigmatize political opponents. It's wrong to do that b/c it cheapens the life and experience of people who do suffer from real mental illness. Making fun of or degrading someone based on their mental health status is what is really crazy. Besides, we should be debating and debunking the ideas and policies rooted in falsehood instead of attacking the messenger.

    We need to look towards the notion of denial and prejudice of right wing conservatives instead of labeling them mentally ill. How many times have we heard their economic ideals rooted in racism? It's ok for white people to be on medicare or get help financially when they need it, but not for other racial minorities....according to many in the tea party crowd. Again this is not diagnosable mental illness. It's a combination of denial and prejudice at its worst.

    As someone who has suffered w/ depression and eating disorders through life I know the stigma that goes along w/ it. Especially as a man who are viewed even more harshly for having problems. Sexism works both ways. Anyhow, the main point is using the suffering of people w/ genuine mental illness as a way to delegitamize, degrade, or attack people one politically disagrees w/ is abhorent.

    •  Agreed they aren't sick; let's them off the hook (0+ / 0-)

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:14:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Making fun of the mentally ill is simply wrong. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, orlbucfan

      Using it as a political ploy, which you can find RIFE in anti-marijuana propaganda in the UK, borders pretty much on evil.

      Even here in the US with our federal government's UGLY embrace of reefer madness you don't see them scaring people with the threat of "schizophrenia".

      UK reefer madness has a very lurid preoccupation with it.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:15:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But if a Repub were president (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, xxdr zombiexx

    And carrying out exactly the same policies, what would their reaction be?

    I'm guessing steadfast support.

    Any psych majors out there that can explain that?

    •  Just speculating... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      take the SS scandal right now: Repubs are blaming Obama. Somehow Obama encouraged that mess, which most of us do not believe for a moment.

      If it happened under Bush it would be "boys being boys'.

      Part of that is just politics (which is not rational behavior) and part of that is paranoia bending information to be acceptable into the framework.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:13:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As usual, v clear. Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    Of course there are also some wingsters who are mentally ill (statistically there have to be) and they msut find -- I don't know the medical term -- reinforcement among the delusional.

    That can only lead to a general sort of feedback loop.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 03:53:22 AM PDT

  •  I agree that they can't be reasoned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    with.  They spend MUCH more time with Limbaugh and Beck than with you.

    How do we, as a society, deal with them?  Or, if they are already too far gone, how do we keep the RW media from creating more of them?

    Which is good news for John McCain.

    by AppleP on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 04:50:44 AM PDT

    •  WE need to take over more media (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan

      One huge root of this problem is conservative/corporate control of the media.

      We need an entire "ABC" or "CBS"  type network - at the very least -  not just Rachel Maddow one hour a night.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:09:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you plan to do this .....how? (0+ / 0-)

        It's a "belling the cat" issue. Everyone can agree it's a great idea, but who is going to do it?

        It's not just corporate control of the media. It's corporate control of everything. And we all know that the RW story is that government can't do anything, and capitalism (read "corporations")  is the only successful way to accomplish anything. Anything that can't, or won't, be done for profit doesn't deserve to exist. Or, if it does, let it be handled by a charity - but don't force individuals to chip in!

        They have lost what it means to be a society, just as they have lost what it means to be a nation. But that was a very planned loss. That way, you can't accuse the Plutocrats who exist outside of nations of being unpatriotic. If they were unpatriotic, they wouldn't deserve tax breaks, after all.

        They say "cut back" - we say "fight back"!

        by Louise on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 11:00:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They vote more than we do (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 05:13:27 AM PDT

  •  People trying to make sense of the World .... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Lefty, Wednesday Bizzare, Louise

    A lot of this thinking is based on reconciling how these baggers FEEL about the world and the facts that govern it.

    And something like this isn't just seen on the right wingers, I've heard a few people of color say 'AIDs is a conspiracy to all Blacks & minorities' and that the disease was whipped up in some lab.

    If you feel persecuted - rightly or wrongly - and you don't completely understand the mechanisms of what's keeping you down, I can see how people would create them.

    It's tough to have a hate level as high as the baggers have over Obama wanting to rise the taxes of the highest 4%, so they have to create something that justifies their irrational feelings.

    What I've found is on some level they know these wild claims are crap which is why they don't like being questioned over it. What I've found is the pull a 'Tim Russett'; play dumb; I don't care how Olbermann felt about him, Russett was a worthless GE shill, but he was great at asking the 'blank slate' question: "What do you mean by ...?" or "Are you really saying that (insert stupid talking point)? ... Russett would act like Washington politics was something completely new to him.

    Rather than confront them with facts and statement, just ask simple questions to provide details to back up their claims ... if they answer back with "you know", say "I don't know". They may not say it, but they'll feel stupid when the echo chamber isn't there.

    Smart people are getting more information than ever before, but so are stupid people and some people can't handle it, so they have to keep it simple in their minds.

  •  Excellent topic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Lefty, Louise

    I really like this post and the one on which it is based as well.  

    I rather think that this piece could use some sort of criteria for what is truly delusional thinking, and what is merely idiosyncrasy and misinformation combining with vanity and pride to produce standard issue self-delusions.  You know, like the vegan who goes everywhere in the glow of her veganism and can't stop talking about her veganism?  Or the professional whose profession is on everyone's mind from the moment he approaches until the second he's gone?  

    Are these delusional thinkers too?  Perhaps so, but there is a point at which the examples will soften to the point that such a serious diagnosis will be inappropriate.  There are innumerable garden level self-delusions that do not warrant medical diagnosis.  There is a level of involvement with those sorts of things that is simply human, and in no sense disease.  A youngster who habitually sees his or her self in the mirror in some fanciful way is human, not sick.  

    There are many sweet and gentle souls who vote republican.  There are many kind and generous hearts at a tea party meeting.  It does the left no good to treat any bloc of voters shabbily.  It demeans us and offers an easy target.  

    Do I think that the voters described in the other diary are mad?  Are they pathologically interesting?  I guess my answers are yes and yes.  But they are no more mad than sport, gardening or video-game enthusiasts are mad.  And they are no more pathologically interesting than the religious, the moral or the misinformed are pathologically interesting.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 06:35:08 AM PDT

  •  the diary in question (0+ / 0-)

    did not say that all tea baggers were mentally ill.

    It said the ones the diarist met were - and the examples given tend to support that.

  •  So many people are deluded about Pot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louise, orlbucfan

    It makes no difference how many boatloads of evidence you present to many people, they just won't think of it as anything other than 'bad'.

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 07:57:30 AM PDT

  •  The "going into a business" delusion. (0+ / 0-)

    I think this might be understood in other ways.  I do not think this, but often I have the experience that a store is empty, no customers, then I go in, and in a few minutes a few other people come in.  It SEEMS significant because it feels weird to be the only customer--something in our brain registers this.  So when other people walk in, which is only normal, the initial experience is so salient that it seems connected to the second.

    Hmm, I don't think I am explaining this right.  I am not a neuroscientist (nor do I play one on TV).

    Or maybe people have a natural tendency, or curiosity that leads them to follow other people into places?

    "I don't want to blame anyone. I just want to know how lowering taxes on the rich creates jobs" --Informed citizen at Congressional town hall

    by Time Waits for no Woman on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 08:17:53 AM PDT

  •  Okay, they're NOT "Mentally Ill"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye

    ....They're just NUTS...

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 09:50:00 AM PDT

  •  You've already missed the boat (0+ / 0-)

    The Right has been saying that "Liberalism is a mental disease" for at least 15 years. Coulter began the meme, and now it is a truism.

    I can't hold a debate with some of my Conservative friends, because when I begin to cite facts and use logic, they say, "You believe that because you have a mental illness. You're a Liberal."

    This is setting us up for a gigantic "mental health cleansing" once they win. It happens in China, after all.

    They say "cut back" - we say "fight back"!

    by Louise on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 10:51:07 AM PDT

  •  This diary is wrong (0+ / 0-)

    I read this and, without training, thought, "that doesn't sound right." So I had my wife read it -- she is a doctor who deals with mental illness every day. (She is also not a Kossack.) And she replied: "These people don't know what they're talking about. And are they REALLY this P.C.?"

    What is being described here is ORGANIC mental illness. There are some psychiatrists who argue that all mental illness is organic and everything else is a behavioral disorder. But this is not the widely accepted view of mental illness in the profession. And, what he is describing also blocks large numbers of people who need treatment from treatment. The scholarly papers (see below) say that as many as 15 percent of the population suffers from delusional psychiatric conditions that require treatment. Organic disorders are only ten percent. (Also, please note the range of mental illnesses listed that are not included by diarist.)

    And this matters. People with delusions need treatment. It is a clinical manifestation of either mental illness or a medical problem. If they can only fall into the classifications included by the diarist, then most people with delusions that require psychological treatment will not get it.

    (now..confession. I am the guy who wrote the original diary this is about. I have been quite surprised that people have gone so reflexively outraged about my saying that these people SEEMED mentally ill, given their paranoia. But, so be it... Also, one other fact: I never said that tea baggers seemed mentally ill...I said THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE I MET, given the magnitude of their paranoia, seemed mentally ill.)

    My wife throws one example out to demonstrate the error fo this diary: shared psychotic disorder. This is a recognized mental illness where a second individual adopts the delusions of mentally ill person who is close to them. How, my wife asked, does this recognized mental illness fall into the categories listed here? There is no organic cause, but it is a mental illness.

    So what are mental illnesses? Let's see what the National Alliance on Mental Illness says:

    Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.
    The NAMI then breaks the categories down. The three that this poster describes are included as AMONG the forms of serious mental illness, but JUST for serious mental illness, a lot has been left out.
    Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

    All of the bold ones are not necessarily the consequence of an organic condition, but they are ALL serious mental illnesses ignored by the diarist. And this does not include the less-than-serious mental illnesses.

    Next, contrary to the diarist's assertions, there is a widespread position with the psychiatric profession that delusions are, in and of themselves, a mental illness that needs direct treatment, rather than trying to find an underlying cause. Read this scholarly article, Helping patients with paranoid and suspicious thoughts: a cognitive–behavioural approach

    The alternatives are for a neurological or medical condition that needs treatment. The major psychological disorders that can have delusions as symptoms is far broader than the diarist maintains.

    Delusions are a symptom of either a medical, neurological, or mental disorder. Delusions may be present in any of the following mental disorders: (1) Psychotic disorders, or disorders in which the affected person has a diminished or distorted sense of reality and cannot distinguish the real from the unreal, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, schizophreniform disorder, shared psychotic disorder, brief psychotic disorder, and substance-induced psychotic disorder, (2) Bipolar disorder, (3) Major depressive disorder with psychotic features (4) Delirium, and (5) Dementia.
    But here is the bottom line: this is P.C. gone wild. People with mental illnesses who posted on my diary kept pushing back at the ones expressing their outrage about the words, saying that yes, what I was describing was a mental illness. And i said it SEEMED like one.

    One last thing about this diarists statement: I think it is insulting to the mentally ill to pretend like there is something wrong with saying someone seemed mentally ill. If I watched someone have a major physiological reaction to eating cake, and I said, "he seemed diabetic," I doubt many of you -- if any -- would go up in arms. But, what if he just had hyperglycemia? Had I insulted him by suggesting it might be diabetes? Of course not. So why is mental illness considered somehow different on this site? Is it considered a sign of some inadequacy rather than as a disease?

    Finally, as I was writing this, a friend dropped over. He has epilepsy, and when I explained what I was writing, he said "goddamit." The reason: While he loves liberal thought, he can't stand liberals when they deal with him over his health issues.

    "The worst kind of discrimination is benevolent discrimination,'' he said. He can deal with cruelty and ass-holishness because it is easy to counter. But, when someone tries to baby you or pity you out of a sense of benevolence, he says, he cannot convince them that they are doing more harm than good. One of his favorite: these people will jump in and correct others if they refer to him as being an epileptic, on the argument that they are defining him by his condition. But, medically, he IS an epileptic, and all they are doing is harping on his condition and embarrassing him in their effort to be PC, he says.

    Bottom line: The diarist is wrong. This kind of argument would block the mentally ill from obtaining psychological treatment. A doctor who deals with mental illness every day (and who has worked on a psychiatric lockdown unit) says he is wrong.

    And beyond everything else -- I never said teabaggers were mentally ill, I said these people I met seemed mentally ill. I agree with my wife that jumping all over that is PC gone wild.

  •  If 1 in 5 Americans are mentally ill (0+ / 0-)

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say the percentage is probably higher among teabaggers.

    Being teabaggers does not instantly qualify one as being mentally ill (although I would stipulate that it does instantly point to a lack of ability to perform critical thinking) but I'd bet there's a stronger correlation between mental aberrations and radical and delusional political beliefs.

    •  I'd disagree (0+ / 0-)

      Since most of that 1 in 5 suffer from depression, and since one of the characteristics of depression is not giving enough of a fuck to get out of bed in the morning, much less care who the President is--I think you're mistaken.

      In fact, I bet if you took a survey, depressives would be overwhelmingly represented amongst non-voters.

      I managed to miss very few votes when I was in the black whole, but I certainly didn't participate as I do now on Prozac. But I was always liberal. However, depression colors everything, including whether or not you think the world is going to hell in a handbasket and my vote doesn't matter anyway and doom doom should I kill myself on election day doom doom.

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 11:24:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome (0+ / 0-)

    As a sufferer of one of your three conditions (major depression), I agree wholeheartedly.

    And, as drzombie points out, mental illness can cause delusions, but I think there of a different flavor than questioning a birth certificate. My "voices in my head" were constantly telling me to kill myself. That is a mental-illness delusion.

    Furthermore, since I've been on Prozac, those self-destructive voices have gone away, but the helpful voices in my head, the ones that help me write, have not. Voices telling you to kill yourself=mental illness. Voices giving you a chord sequence or a character arc=not. Voices telling you the President is a Kenyan Muslim? Those, my friends, come from Faux News.

    My Dad is a teabagger. He's not at all mentally ill. What he is is, in a political sense, stupid. (He's very smart at other things.) He's a 73-year-old man with barely a high school education who became an autodidact in adulthood--but got led in his self-learning by idiots like Rush and is now a complete political idiot. Not at all mentally ill.

    "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

    by ChurchofBruce on Sat Apr 28, 2012 at 11:20:16 AM PDT

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